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I'm still alive! Still learning.

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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 4:10 am    Post subject: I'm still alive! Still learning. Reply with quote

Miss me?

How's everyone been doing? I see Holly and Nate are both still around, and i'm suprised they're both posting recently. I kinda came here thinking maybe the river had run dry and folks had moved to greener pastures.

Reading through a few posts, looks like the same enthusiastic and knowledgeable convo I remember Smile

It's really a breath of fresh air. In the academic world, people really just don't seem to get it. My professors look down their nose at me when I mention I want to do theme park design rather than broadway. They think it's ghastly that i'm far more interested in Mary Blair than Grotowski.

*sigh* I really appreciate you folks. My acceptance into the BFA program is currently "under review" as they don't feel my heart is in theatre. I've got a portfolio review in 2 weeks and if it doesn't stun them - i'm out.

I'd understand because of the nature of the competition, but it's not because of the quality of my work (no, my work is usually some of the best they admit), but rather they don't feel i'm "dedicated."

Sometimes I wish they'd see how long i've been wanting to do this...

Anyways, nice to see you folks again and mybe if I have time I'll wiggle my way into a few threads.

Posts: 337
(4/16/06 3:34 am)
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New Post re: learning
Welcome back Rob. I did miss you! Smile I haven't had a lot of chance to post lately myself, but I still stop by and check things out from time to time.

If I might be so bold as to suggest you write an informal research paper of some sort to support your position in the program? It shouldn't be too hard to use sources like John Hench's book (and the like) to compare how the same fundamentals apply to both theatre design and theme park design. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that themed entertainment designers must have a much more keen eye for detail.

Besides, when was the last time their "experimental" production of Romeo and Juliet had an audience numbering tens of thousands per day...?


P.S. I have a degree in theatre performance, and I'm doing just fine. Smile

Posts: 39
(4/16/06 4:16 am)
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New Post Re: re: learning I actually just finished a paper like that for Theatre History.. too bad no one in the design side of the department cares what i do with the "common requirements" in the curriculum.

It's really dissapointing to be told that doing good work isn't good enough.

I have to do Petrouchka, it's my last shot - 12 costumes plates, paint elevations, and a 1/4" model are all i got. I am in the next set of classes, maybe they'll rethink it through then, but this just bums me out.

Going to have to make a bigger effort than usual with this one.

One of my friends said it's because my work is good enough to skate by while others are struggling, and they want to see me work harder, to care, to suffer, to struggle. To go above and beyond.

Feh - since when it being good not good enough? If it was a project i cared about and not some hoakey assignment with tons of rules that make it uninteresting.. *sigh*

I guess the idea is to care about all your work, not just pass something pretty and hope no one catches on that it's void of any real substance. In the real world i think that'd amount to making my own Stitch's Great Escape.

Posts: 76
(4/16/06 12:22 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning
Aloric! It's good to see you alive and kicking! One of the "old school", lol... Yes, I know what you mean about people not understanding themed attraction design... it's nice sometimes to have people around who are passionate about it and want to talk about it... that's probably why I hang out here too much... it's been pretty slow here lately... but it's nice to get messages of what people are up to and what they've been thinking about... =) Mary Blair, huh? What is it about her work that you really enjoy?

Some time ago, I had a personal situation that reflected some of what you're talking about. There was a company that I worked really hard for... the owner said particular video and graphic pieces that I was instrumental in creating were some of the best things the company had ever done... I contributed ideas whenever there was a creative problem... and worked more than a few times until 2 or 3am in order to make sure the project was "perfect"... But the only other guy who was in the office every day was a chipper extrovert. I am an introvert and not quite as expressive. The owner (also an extrovert) kept comparing me to that coworker and wondering why I wasn't like that. The fact that I wasn't outwardly enthusiastic hurt the job (as well as the fact that I was going to go to grad school and wouldn't be able to take company business trips anymore). It was a hard lesson that working hard -- caring about people and the projects -- isn't always enough... being outwardly well as constantly bringing new creative influences and inspirations to the table... can be an important part of the job...

I would love to see some of your work sometime... and I hope you find a way to really help your professors understand that you really care a whole lot... My current theory is that even in the professional world it comes down to people... People respond to relationship and emotion and those little gestures that indicate that you care about them and what they're trying to accomplish more than anything else at that moment... If you don't care, they'll know it... If you care, but can't figure out how to express it, they won't understand.

In the couple of theater design classes I've taken, it's usually that extra thought that the professors respond to... The professors here usually want to know that you struggled with the play, connected to it on a personal level, and then took that response and turned it into a well-thought-out design that expresses those core emotions and ideas that you found in the play... Even if they don't like the design, if you can prove that the decisions were deliberate and fit your view of the play, they will probably give a good grade. Your professors might be different... Maybe showing your professors that you care is something as small as finding some aspect of Grotowski (or whatever else they're talking about) that you can actually appreciate and discussing it with them... People seem to really enjoy it when others take interest in their passions...

Professors also seem to like it when they see that their students are evolving in their aesthetic and mental viewpoints by looking critically at the topic presented (basically, that the students are thinking, trying new things, and applying the topics). Most of your professors are probably making big assignments full of rules and having you study theater's past not just for the sake of piling on the work, but because they want you to learn something about yourself, your design process, and how you think through a design...

Whatever the answer is, I hope you find it and that they understand how much you want to design things that really matter (even if they aren't theater)... and Jeffrey, I agree with the idea that themed attraction design takes a keener eye for detail. It's an intersting challenge because people can actually walk (or ride) into your set, examine your props at close distance (or sometimes even touch them), and they're savvy enough to know when something doesn't fit the story.

Good to hear from you again, Aloric =) Please continue to drop by when you can and let us know how you're doing... And if you're ever in O-Town... well... you know at least a couple of people who would probably be willing to "do lunch"... Take care...

Posts: 40
(4/16/06 9:12 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning Sometimes it's really hard to remind myself i'm not some talentless hack.

On the other hand, when folks like yourself ask to see my work, I cringe Wink Correction, I feel terror!

Looking at the work of people I admire, I see I have so far to go - but I know i've come so far too.

Using Mary Blair as an example, she gave up on the exterior of small world at Disneyland. She's not an architect, and it fustrated her. She had to leave her "ideas" for another group to turn into a reality. That makes me feel a little better for when I can't figure out how to make something work.

Anyways, tonight i'm transfering my sketches for my backdrops and legs for petrouchka from vellum to watercolor paper so i can do the 1/2" scale epainter's elevations. Those then are going to be reduced down to 1/4" scale for the model.

I've got my work cut out for me.

Posts: 41
(4/16/06 9:54 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning Ugh..

I'm busy taking out stetches to get them transfered and a note falls off of one of my older projects, a note i've never looked at.

"Your drawing style lacks finesse. B- "

*bangs head on wall*

Posts: 78
(4/20/06 9:53 am)
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New Post Re: re: learning Ah... I'm not trying to terrify you... I'm nobody!
At any rate, be proud of your work... It may not be as good as Mary Blair at this point... but it's a way of speaking honestly with people about where you are in your development... and they will understand that you are still learning... they are probably still learning... and have been where you are at some point... At least, that's what I think about when hauling out the 'ol portfolio.

Very cool with Mary Blair... Yeah... I get that frustration too. I'm trying to do draftings, and eventually my advisor just goes: "Stop trying to figure that out! Just make a notation of what that piece needs to do, and your techs will be able to find a solution better than you can..."

I love 1/4" models... but they take a lot of work! I wish you the best on finals and getting everything done the way you want it. Speaking of finals... I gotta run! Good to "see" you...

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 4/20/06 9:55 am
Posts: 43
(4/20/06 10:22 am)
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New Post Re: re: learning "Oh what a beautiful morning.. oh what a beautiful day.. I've got a beautiful feeling, everything's going my way."


Today is a good day Smile Nothing is due for an entire week, I have one not-so-exicting CAD class to attend, someone is buying me lunch, and I got to sleep!

Oo, gotta leave soon to make lunch though.

Anyways - hope to have my stuff at home tonight (it's just a pain to lug, but I don't want to be in the studio all night) and thus I will try to get a decent picture with my digital cam and upload it to some image server and post a link for you Holly.

Just gotta promise no laughing Wink

Posts: 79
(4/20/06 7:34 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning lol... I'm taking a CAD class too... but the program we're using is VectorWorks. It's not exciting, but some people in my class got some beautiful things out of the program (almost painterly renders)... at the same time, you can crank out precise drafts of what you modeled... beats the pants off of hand-drafting! And I know what you mean about lugging things back and forth. I always have half my art supplies and artwork in my office (where I have lots of space to work) and half at home (where my drafting table is)... so things are always going back and forth...

Hope the remainder of the semester goes smoothly... Get some sleep! Wink

...If I find some good stuff amongst the mess that is my room, I will try to post something as well (when finals get over)... If it makes you feel any better, I messed my sightlines up significantly on my last project (all the theatre students did it right)... you live, you learn... I guess...

Edited by: Holly3216 at: 4/20/06 8:11 pm
Posts: 44
(4/20/06 8:24 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning Well, here's just some quick basic renders of objects I made in autocad (i just learned 3d)..

A tomb thingy..

And a detail of my happy little sconce I'm so proud of with point-light coming from inside.

If i can get a decent pic, i'll try to put up some of my paint work - which i admit is still rough.

Posts: 45
(4/20/06 8:39 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning And this, for reference, is the original drawing i did which the gate is based off of...

We were supposed to take elements from the earlier drawing to make the 3d model. I think it came out pretty nice for my first attempt. Neither is perfect, but I think they aren't bad.

Incase you're wondering, my CAD prof calls my style "German Neo-Fascism meets Art Deco."

Edited by: Aloric at: 4/20/06 8:42 pm
Posts: 80
(4/23/06 11:24 am)
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New Post Re: re: learning
I love the original drawing. It has nice lines and areas of detail. It's a beautiful design. I love Art Deco, too, though, so I'm biased Wink Did you do the drawing in CAD? It's so clean...

Your 3D has some nice lighting, and good solid modeling. You're well on your way to... Well... kicking some of our butts at this stuff Wink

I've gotta go do some laundry and keep preparing for finals (next week)...


Posts: 46
(4/23/06 3:08 pm)
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New Post Re: re: learning Yup, all CAD. I was never taught hand-drafting. My group is the first in my school to not be taught hand drafting. It's n experiment they seem to think works. I hope it doesn't bite me in the bum later, so i'm going to be taking some introductory architecture courses that involve basic hand drafting.

I've got a ton of work to do on a light plot today. *sigh* I'm really just not in the mood though

Posts: 82
(5/9/06 1:42 am)
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New Post Re: re: learning
Finally... I got some stuff online! I spent the past few days working on an online portfolio... so hopefully it works... though I haven't tried it on other browsers (if you have IE4, it'll probably just combust!)... anyhow, there's a few things to look at there... I wish I had better stuff to show... It's a little thin right now... still working on adding stuff...

So... if you look at my profile here, there's a link to my portfolio... up and running... If it doesn't work for anyone else but me, I'll post some pics here.

Grah! I have a cold... I'm going to bed now!

Posts: 339
(5/9/06 8:30 am)
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New Post Holly--at UCF? Smile Hey Holly...Love your online portfolio! You've got some great work represented. Did you have an email contact address that I missed on the site?

I take it you're working closely with the theatre department?

Just for fun...(assuming you have any spare time) Tell us about your artistic concept for one of your set designs. I'd love to hear how your mind works. Smile

Oh, and Tell Paul Lartonoix that Jeffrey Yapp said "Oh boy, I need my keys!"

((feel free to email me directly to chat sometime at

Edited by: jeffreyyapp at: 5/9/06 9:08 am
Posts: 83
(5/14/06 11:43 am)
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New Post Thanks =)
Thanks for the encouragement, Jeffrey! =) In all the rush, I totally forgot to put up contact info, so thanks for pointing it out... There's a lot of work to be done still on the site. I'll probably be putting up some stuff soon about the process of creating a couple of the projects... it's something that should be on the site... but takes time to create... Being sick has made me a bit slower than usual, lol... but I'm almost well... and starting to move forward...

Regrettably, I haven't met Paul yet. I've only had 2 theatre classes (most of my classes are Digital Media and film), so the only professors I've met are Kyle and Vandy. They're both really great, though... and they put up with a lot of theatre newbie questions! I've learned a lot from them...

I'd love to e-mail you soon and chat Smile I hope all of your projects are going well... and thanks for taking a look at the site and giving me a heads up!


Posts: 47
(5/15/06 2:13 am)
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New Post Re: Thanks =) Hehe, see Holly, there ya go making me feel self concious about my stuff Wink

*repeats over and over "I don't have a masters, I don't have a masters.. yet.. I don't have a masters..."*

I officially vote is that the most painful part of learning is looking back. I got a lot of work done for my finals and I was so proud.

Then, after looking at your stuff I decided to open my portfolio which has been sealed for 2 weeks. Oh, I have such a long way to go.

Anywho, my summer is off from theatre but i'm going to work on drawing and painting with some "how to" books by myself.

At my review my professors all said i have to "want" this more. I know I want it, i'm apparently not showing them that though. My grades: B, B, B, B-, A-

Feh. What is a B in art classes anyways? It sorta feels like an insult.

Posts: 85
(5/15/06 10:50 am)
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New Post Re: Thanks =)
I got some B's in art classes in undergrad... Art classes are hard!...They're not graded like other classes... And I agree that looking back is hard... There's stuff I did 2 years ago that I don't show people anymore because I'm too embarrassed... part of the process, I guess... and I'm always looking at the artists on and other people I know, and go "*auugh!* I have such a long way to go!"... At any rate, I think it's easy to be overcritical of one's own work, and love someone else's... I think it's part of being an artist, lol... never satisfied... you're *very* creative, and your renderings are solid... there's people who would give their right arm for that!

I hope you have fun on summer break... I'm going to go run out and have some fun with my camera...yay! Good to be off school, yes?

Posts: 49
(5/21/06 10:47 pm)
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New Post Re: Thanks =) Had a sit-down with a friend who is grad school now. Someplace in Austin, she does costume technology.

Anywho, one of the professors i have to win over (or else) is big on costuming. We went over my costume plates to really examine what i've been doing to get on his bas side...

Apparently i'm not painting the swatch, but rather something "similiar" to the swatch. It's close to the color, sort of, but any fiber length, texture, etc, is being left out and i'm ignoring light reflection based on the fabric type.

So, i've now got a book on acrylic technique, because I really don't know how to paint hot pink faux-fur to look different from hot pink felt and different still from hot pink chemise.

On the scenic side, still "too sketchy" at times and i'm not showing a consistency within shows. I tend to go off making each scene rather stumming, but not cohesive. Quoth her: "I don't believe these backdrops are in the same world."

I knew better than to do an abstract palette knife of savannah grass over a neon african summer watercolor wash, but i wanted to Wink It of course totally doesn't go with the "sketchy" blue imperial russian palace in the first scene, and certainly not with the impressionist painting of the Alexander column that's the show curtain.

Argh!!! I vote time is the resource i most lack. I want to really develope my ideas, to make them fit or find new ones that do... ya know? With deadlines and such I find myself stuck having to force something to work rather than having a fully fleshed out idea.

Oh yeah, the big comment was that i need to learn to let ideas go and no stick to them hell-or-highwater. To let a piece evolve rather than be limitted by my first instincts.
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