Saturday, June 30, 2007

SQUEEE! My first sale (or two)!

Note: This entry is actually copied from my journal on RedBubble. Yes, I know, ANOTHER blog/journal to post on. Because I have so much time on my hands :p But don't worry, anything of interest that I write on RedBubble, I'll just post here as well. Saves me writing two posts (hee! Angie is lazy) but also allows you to see what I'm doing over there in the art community.

Well, since I already have a personal blog that Iooks like the ravings of a madwoman, I thought it would be nice to have a work journal here on RedBubble that showed my cool, calm professional side.

Look at me, it would say, I am here to deliver work calmly and sedately and always be punctual, with the efficiency and the meeting deadlines and the documents in triplicate.

But no, I cannot do it. Because today someone purchased 10 cards and another someone (perhaps the same person?) purchased a print of “Camouflage” (seen below), and I must dance with abandon and squeal like a little girl paying her first visit to the county fair.

Thank you for making my day. And thank you, RedBubble.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

WELCOME TO REDBUBBLE!

Well, it's 1am. Another late night to be followed by a bleary morning tomorrow. Woo hoo.

However, I am still excited.

Possibly because I have consumed three giant campfire marshmallows and a pound of Smarties.

Anyway ...

I have posted my first portfolio item in RedBubble. You can read all about RedBubble via the link, but for those who would like the potted version:

RedBubble is an online art gallery and community. You post your high quality images into a portfolio, and visitors can buy them as cards, prints, or t-shirts. The prices are very reasonable, and postage is the same price to anywhere in the world, from Bombay to Berlin to Ballarat.

I actually posted my image there last night, but evil Mr JPEG compression (that bastard!) made it look awful, and I was too ashamed to show anyone. After some research and lots of experimenting, it looks like I can't do much about the bad preview image.

However, I've managed to do some damage control, so the gates are now open.

VISIT AN9IE AT REDBUBBLE!

I'd better go, MFC has had about a thousand Long Island Iced Teas (he's been trying to perfect his recipe) and I think he's fallen asleep in the water closet.

A brief interlude

Just to provide some light relief from all the illustration stuff ...

Angie arrives at MFC's house, just in time for dinner. Dang, you'd almost think I planned it this way!

MFC: (Gleeful) Guess what Mum's making you for dinner? It's your favourite!
an9ie: (Mind goes terrifyingly blank, the only thing I can think of is "sweet and sour fish", but it is unlikely to be in MFC's Mum's repertoire) I don't know?
MFC: Guess!
an9ie: Um ...
(Oh crap, he's getting impatient. Say the first thing you can think of!) Marshmallows?*
MFC: What?
an9ie: Bacon?
MFC: Almost.
an9ie: Marshmallows wrapped in bacon?

She made pork chops. I think I was close. They were dee-licious!

The rest of the evening was spent watching Eurotrip, which is HILARIOUS and has a great cameo by Matt Damon.

SCOTTY DON'T KNOW! (This will only make sense if you've seen the movie.)

* I've been going through a bit of a marshmallow phase, but a lot of the ones in the supermarket are too soft or too sweet.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What have I been doing?

Right, it is half-past midnight and my eyes are like sponge cakes filled with strawberry jam: soft, leaky, and red. Unfortunately they're not as delicious.

Where are our blog posts, Angie? I can hear someone (hi, Kathry!) saying. Seriously, as much as I would have liked to, these past few days I have not been lying in bed with a paperback, sipping tea and eating hot buttered toast with honey.

Nope, I've been frantically doing a lot of processing on the illustration below, and getting it ship-shape so that it will be good enough for print.

This has meant taking it apart, fixing the bits I didn't like: jaggies, holes, inconsistencies, putting them together again and exporting the image into a suitable format. I think I've spent 6 or 7 hours on post-production so far. GAH.

Now it is a massive 600dpi file that is about 3500 x 2500. And oh, the imperfections that can be seen at that level. Bad news if you're a perfectionist with OCD.

But it will all be worth it. I've joined a fantastic Australian art community that will provide me with the opportunity to not only display my portfolio, but also sell my art as t-shirts, cards and prints, with a decent commission. I'll let you know more as soon as my first piece is up!

And then let the pimping marketing begin!

Update (27/06/2007): Ended up going to bed at 1.19am. I slept in, which made my mother think it was Saturday.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ilustration Friday: Camouflage


Please click on the image if you would like to see a larger version.
Thank you for visiting, and have a great day!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Photos from The Golden Compass A.K.A. Northern Lights

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is going to be at the movies soon!

The first movie is called The Golden Compass, which confused me somewhat because I only knew it as Northern Lights, the Australian and UK title.

At first I thought they had called the movie after the third book, because Hollywood likes to do that thing where where they compress an entire series into a single, really crap movie, but it turns out I just had the titles confused.

What? Amber spyglass? Golden compass? They're both yellow instruments used by seamen!

IMDB has photos from the movie, and they look very impressive indeed, with Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel and Nicole Kidman as Marisa Coulter.

But my ideal pairing? Jason Isaacs in his Lucius Malfoy role (so deliciously evil - see here for picture) as Lord Asriel, and Cate Blanchett as Mrs Coulter. Sigh.

Eva Green as Serafina Pekkala looks made for her part, although I don't know what her acting is like, and the little girl they have playing Lyra? Dakota Blue Richards.

Please God, let her be a good child actress, because I've just about had it up to the eyeballs with the wooden stylings of those Harry Potter kids. Gah!

I hope Rupert Grint has learnt a third facial expression for Order of the Phoenix. If not, I may have to combust spontaneously in my seat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Engrish: Snack time!

Seen a large Asian supermarket in Northbridge last Thursday:

Hmm, talk about overselling!

Does Al Gore know about these?

These have been around for as long as I can remember, and they're actually quite yummy. Yes, unfortunate slogan. I think they are actually trying to stir up a sense of nostalgia, not ... you know.
Also, what the heck is that thing in the bottom right-hand corner? A caterpillar? A map? Mini-Jabba?

"Pizza"-flavoured potato chips. MFC bought these from a coach stop while we were in Japan, and we tried them in the coach on the way to Niseko (ski resort). Worst. Potato chips. Ever.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Feeling thankful: Illustration Friday

I forgot how much I used to love Illustration Friday. Granted, I didn't do that many pieces for it last year, but I had forgotten the challenge of thinking up something to go with this week's topic, and the utter absorption that would follow, consuming hours in the blink of an eye.

When I saw this Friday's topic arrive in my Inbox, I immediately thought of a theme, a piece that had been brewing in my brain for a while.

Someone sitting cross-legged on the ground, fiercely concentrating on sewing together the tatters of their poor heart.

The piece I submitted (see the last post) was one of my quick and dirty sketches, but I also have a vision of a gentler piece along the same lines, something more painterly and soothing. Perhaps one for my TwistedBrush trial program, in the style of an oil painting?

Anyway (darnit, I got distracted! As usual!), what I've forgotten about Illustration Friday, is how wonderful and supportive everyone who participates in it is.

I felt quite ashamed of my untidy scribble, and seriously, have a look at the IF website and you'll see the incredible talent that goes there. At first I thought I'd just have a private IF post, and put it up on on the blog, but not link up to the IF site.

I'm very glad I did, though.

Within 15 minutes, I kid you not, of posting the link, the very talented Tina Vaziri left a cheerful, encouraging comment, and an hour later Laurel left some succint but powerful feedback as well.

What a great way to connect with other creatives! I got to have a look at some inspiring stuff, and sprinkled my own comments around. I hope people get as much of a kick out of them as I do.

There really is nothing like feedback from your peers (or people that you hope will be your peers one day :)

Love you, Illustration Friday.

Illustration Friday: Rejection



Thursday, June 14, 2007

Toon: Pick Me

I really felt like drawing a cartoon today, and for some reason this idea really tickled me. It's too wide for the blog so I had to host it elsewhere. You'll find the link at the end of this post.

And yes, I'm one of those people who finds their own writing and drawings funny. Sometimes I re-read my old blog posts and go, "Teeheehee!"

True story.

Hopefully someone will get this one.

an9ie proudly presents: "Pick Me!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Crocodile Dreams, or, "I'm Glad I'm Not a Shaman"


Twice now, I've had scary dreams about crocodiles.

I still maintain that there is nothing more boring than listening to an account of someone else's dream, but MFC found these quite amusing, so you might too.

The first dream is terrifying.

For some strange reason, I let my brother organise our next holiday, and the two of us end up in a spooky wooden hut in the jungle. A hut which is not only dilapidated, but PARTLY SUBMERGED UNDERWATER.

The only place to sit in this hut is a filthy, brass, single bed. We wade in, and hoist ourselves up onto it. There is just enough room for us to sit at opposite ends, and I glare at my brother while he looks embarrassed.

I snark, "This is the LAST time I'm letting you make the holiday arrangements, Glen. Oh, you just WAIT till we get home."

Then there's a ripple in the water, and we realise we're not alone. In fact, the water is full. Of. Huge. Crocodiles. I then notice that there are sandbanks in the corners of the hut, and crocodile mamas are nursing large clutches of eggs and giving us evil looks.

So, we are not only surrounded by large, vicious man-eaters, but large, twitchy, HORMONAL, vicious man-eaters. Eeep.

I hatch a cunning plan to distract the crocs.

It involves me throwing a stick into the far end of the hut and screaming.

All the crocs make a beeline for the stick, and Glen and I, hearts in our mouths, half-swim, half-stagger to the door.

We make it safely to the entrance just as the crocodiles notice we're escaping. Unbelievable!

Just as we're about to exit, the door flies open and this mad scientist-looking guy bursts in.

"I HOPE YOU HAVEN'T TOUCHED ANYTHING!" he shouts at us.

"Um, no," we mumble, and then peel out.

Then I'm watching the next sequence like it's an epilogue from a movie. It turns out that he really is a mad scientist, and he's performing a surgical procedure on one of the crocodiles. A Caesarean section.

He extracts ... a crocodile-human hybrid. It looks like a little boy covered in scales.

"This looks like trouble," I think to myself from my omniscient and calm position*.

But then he accidentally drops it into the water and it drowns. Peacefully. Like it was sleeping and never woke up.

I heave a sigh of relief and the dream ends.

OK, now for Dream Number 2, which happened a few days later and may or may not be linked to the consumption of half a packet of Girl Guide cookies.

I wake up in my bed, which is next to some sliding glass doors, and I notice a small crocodile about a yard long slinking about the room. Despite its small size I am (naturally) freaked out.

Then I notice that this little guy seems to be showing signs of intelligence. He's muttering to himself and piling small black bags of loot, my loot, next to the door. I just lie flat on my stomach and pray he doesn't notice me.

Then he exits with the bags in his teeth, and pauses when he sees MFC's brand new computer sitting on the brick paving.

As an aside, MFC does have a new computer. It is his pride and joy and he has spent many nights doing geek stuff to it and making me watch while he runs memory tests. Sigh. What it is doing outside my house, in my dream, I don't know.

The crocodile starts to pull out one of MFC's new hard drives with its teeth. I can see the drive coming out halfway, colourful IDE cables dangling. I almost get out of bed but my brain goes, "ARE YOU INSANE, WOMAN? IT'S JUST A ^$@*-ING COMPUTER!" So I hide until the crocodile goes away.

The rest of the dream passes by in a blur, but in a nutshell, I contract out some vampires to get rid of the crocodile and his family (one wife, two kids). They ask for some blood in return and extract it using a machine that pokes a metal straw into my neck.

The end.

If I were the shaman of some Stone Age tribe and I told them about these dreams, we'd be freaking out right now and sacrificing a caboodle of virgins.

STAT.

* I also recall wondering how the crocodile got inseminated with human DNA in the first place, but then deciding not to pursue that train of thought further. Because it could be quite icky.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I ditched the matching underwear a LONG time ago

From last Saturday, 4pm. I am wearing three-quarter baggy denim shorts, MFC's jumper that is seven sizes too large (because I forgot to bring mine), white ankle socks, trainers, and my nerdy glasses instead of contacts.

MFC: Are you going to the shops like that?*
an9ie: What? It's Coles Kalamunda, not Paris!
MFC: You are NOT my girlfriend. If anyone asks, I'm going to tell them that you're my adopted half-sister.


* Ironic, that. Usually it's me asking HIM that question.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time, eh?

I got to MFC's house last Friday night to find that Mr "I'm so awesome that I only need 5 hours of sleep per night" had crashed at 7pm, and all efforts to wake him AND keep him awake (i.e. jumping up and down on the bed, bouncing his carcass up and down*) were failing.

So I went and played the Futurama game on the XBox for 3 hours.

At about midnight, I got ready for bed and went back to Snooze Central. Someone roused himself sufficiently to say:

MFC: Could you bring me my toothbrush, please?
an9ie: Is there anything else you'd like, master? Perhaps you would like me to undress you? (This was not asked in a suggestive manner, you dirty, dirty people.)
MFC: TIME will undress me, woman.
an9ie: That filthy whore!


* This may sound erotic to you, except we were both wearing tracksuits pants and fleecy tops, so the overall effect was that of one woolly whale doing a belly flop onto another.

Head on FIRE

I strongly suggest all the male readers skip this post and go read something else today.
...
Seriously, it's about my last HAIR appointment.
...
Fine, but don't come bitching to me!


Lately I've been feeling like I've had an affair without actually having an affair.

My usual hair stylist is a dream, and I love her, I really do. She can layer like no one else, and turns what could potentially be a one-length Goth/Morticia*-look into a bouncy, somewhat fetching style that doesn't drag my face down and make me look like Neil from the Young Ones.

But I have cheated on her, not just once, but twice now, as I have been going somewhere else to get my hair coloured.

The dye that her salon uses is too harsh, and I thought I'd give the Aveda range a try. It's a little pricier, but people rave about how skin-friendly it is, so I tracked down the nearest (and most affordable) Aveda hair salon that was close-ish to my work. (Which actually turned out to be in a suburb far, far away. A *&^%#@*% 30-minute drive from my work. GAH. Never mind, it's only every 9 weeks.)

And guys, Aveda is AWESOME. Primarily because my scalp didn't suffer from chemical burns while the dye soaked in, and the fumes didn't cause me to speak in tongues.

I don't know the staff at this new place very well, so when I make appointments I just ask for a "Permanent Regrowth" and trust to the fates.

On Thursday night, when I arrived for my second appointment, and finally came out of the dressing room 17 minutes later (they give you black kimonos to wear and the sash had only one end and the loop thing was mystifying me as well and what is wrong with plain velcro? Or buttons? Don't laugh until YOU go there and try it, my friend, they have the most confusing garments), I was greeted by someone named Brendan.

He looked about the same age as my brother, which wasn't encouraging, since the last time my mother asked my brother to give her hair a trim (she couldn't be bothered going out) he ended up cutting on a 45-degree angle and she looked like an extra from Bladerunner. I think she resorted to drastic perming to hide the results.

(First the Young Ones, now Bladerunner, am I showing my age or what?)

Although Brendan did not suit my image of the stereotypical effete male hairdresser, which discomfited me slightly (what's the world coming to if you can't trust stereotypes?), I was glad he didn't have some cringe-worthy quiff or faux-hawk or trendy mullet thing going. In fact, he and the other male stylist had a number 2 or 3 cut. Minimalist. I like.

And you know what? Brendan was surprisingly good.

What I liked most was that he didn't try to start a conversation, because the last thing I feel like after a long day at work is conversing in a polite and civilised manner.

It must be hereditary because my sister and brother do it too, and my father to an extent. Mum is perennially chirpier than a chipmunk. (There were a lot of genes we should've gotten from her but didn't.) I'm more of a "Meh. Please don't bother to ask me about my day. It wasn't that interesting. You are not that interested. I just need to go and decompress quietly somewhere private for half an hour. No, really. Please don't even look at me. Let us spare each other a world of tears by maintaining a dignified silence. PLEASE."

Brendan commenced with some nifty pre-treatment, where he brushed on this petroleum jelly stuff around my hairline so the dye wouldn't leave a fetching red aureole around my face. Woo! 10 points!

Then he quietly (aaaaaah, sweet silence) and efficiently applied the hair dye while I read all of this month's trashy magazines, and only once spoke up to point out some article about a musician who had an unusually large scrotum (there was a photo), and honestly, it's not something you see every day, so I was happy for him to have a giggle about it.

Full marks for shampooing and rinsing also. The water was just the right temperature, and topped off with an excellent towel-dry. Brisk but gentle. He even remembered to dry inside my ears. But discreetly, not like my Aunt Pat, who, when she washed your face and ears (hey, I was 6!) would dig in so vigorously you'd think she was looking for Montezuma's lost gold.

Unfortunately he then handed me over to some apprentice to blow dry my hair. I can't quite remember her name. Sienna? Sheonagh? Shona? Sheena? Whatever it was, it started with "S" and ended in "naAAAARGH!"

Perhaps it was my refusal of a leave-in conditioner that aroused her ire (I was worried they'd charge me an extra $10 for styling products; it was that kind of salon), but she kept bringing the blowdryer too close to my scalp and it was BURNING ME.

Testament to the fact that I am the poster-child for passive-aggression was that I didn't say a damn thing about it. I just prayed for it to end and kept reading my magazine.

And flinching is NOT a universal language. Imagine that!

She also pulled at my hair quite roughly while she was combing it (No leave-in conditioner, eh? I'll show you what happens when you refuse my leave-in conditioner, BITCH!), and I naturally assumed she just hated me on sight.

I mean, fair enough. I don't even see some people's faces before I give them a bum wrap. But when she dropped the comb on the floor twice, and then recommenced combing my hair without so much as an "Excuse me," I realised she was just a brutal, rough-handed klutz.

The next morning, as I was driving into work, my scalp was itching and BURNING. I hope no permanent damage has been done, and that I don't wake up with clumps of hair on my pillow à la The Fly.

Damn you She-hyena! If I see you again I shall attack your tender parts with a GHB curling wand!

In my mind, of course.


* By the way, I actually know someone who legally changed their name to Morticia, but more on that another day ...

Try-outs

Some new colours.

I decided all that white background was a little stark. I like these so far.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back to the drawing board

I just had a look at the new blog on MFC's big big BIG wide-screen monitor, and holy Toledo, that is a lot of green background. And the banner does look a little empty, as Razer pointed out.

Oh well, the weekend means I get time to play with the design. Thanks for your input!

Look at what's new!

Well, it's not like you could avoid looking at it. Seeing as it's right here, ALL UP IN YOUR FACE.

Finally, that new look I've been promising for ages.

Comments? Boos? Roses?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Not safe for squeamish people

This may be a little gross for some. I know Kathry told me the breastfeeding post weirded her out a bit (Hi Kathry!). There is very little my family doesn't talk about, and pretty much nothing is sacred when MFC and I are feeling silly.

So, anyway, the other day MFC and I were talking about vibrators.

***All of you who need to, click away now***

an9ie (wondering out loud): What do you think people used instead of vibrators in medieval times? You know, apart from the obvious.
MFC: A stick?
an9ie: WHAT?
MFC: With a frog on it?

You know you need a life when

... the most exciting part of your day will be the potato wedges you're planning to have for dinner tonight.

Monday, June 04, 2007

And I don't even have a hangover

(Low revving noise outside MFC's house is making an9ie annoyed. It feels like the noise is grinding into the back of her neck and causing combination of motion sickness, headache, and grinch-iness.)

an9ie: What the heck is that person doing? They've been revving that car for the last hour already! Just freaking drive off, will ya?
MFC: It's a lawnmower, dear.

If my subconscious says it, it must be true

Hmm, that bra post seems to have struck a chord with a lot of readers. This is probably why John Gray never got round to publishing "Mars and Venus Go to the Department Store"; he knew it would undo all the hard-earned between-the-sexes understanding that his previous books helped to achieve (hee).

Even as I write this, MFC is getting some boy-time in his "cave", and judging from the sounds of explosions and gunfire coming from his room, he is either: a) a former Navy SEAL trying to escape from an island populated by drug-trafficking mercenaries, b) winning World War II singlehandedly, or c) rescuing his (computer) girlfriend from carnivorous aliens using his shaman skills and his spirit eagle.

See what a good girlfriend I am? So considerate am I, that I am going to wait for him to come out of his cave (like a rubber band springing back, thanks John) before I rugby tackle him to the floor and put my cold hands on his stomach.

Anyway, on Saturday night I had an interesting dream demonstrating what my subconscious really thinks about men and their choices. Do bear with me, guys, I know listening to an account of someone else's dream is about as interesting as watching re-runs of The View.

I was in a college building, and people had been going missing for a while. Bodies kept turning up with their throats ripped out, and one night I was walking through a corridor when someone pulled me into a cupboard to hide and we saw a gang of vampires violently round up some humans and take them away.

Finally there was a big showdown. People had to choose sides.

Unfortunately, the vampires had already turned all the popular girls on campus into vampires.

This made all the guys decide to join the vampires.

Which left me, and the other homely not-so-popular girls, to defend the forces of good.

It wasn't a pretty face-off. I think the ratio of vamps-to-humans was 3:1.

Luckily, at the last minute, I found a set of Japanese swords, decapitated the head vampire (some chick in a very short skirt and quite possibly a thin bra with no padding) with my awesome skills, stole her Mask of Protection, and then cut a swathe through the rest of the bloodsuckers and the pondscum who had decided to join them.

Hmm, I wonder what my subconscious is trying to say?