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Why do I write here now and then? There's basically only one person I know of who reads this, so guess it's just for letting out steam. Which can be useful.

I'm in another art slump. Sucks like hell. There's a lot of stuff going on in my head right now, plus I'm busy like perkele with my studies. The teachers seem to take pleasure in bunching all the major assignments up in large clumps. I'm so behind it's embarrassing, and my goddamn mother is driving me insane with her talks about how I lack in study-morale. Everybody has bad phases, and I'm doing extra-curricular work by translating Korpiklaani texts! So, nu-uh mooom! (Yes, I'm 23.)
Some stuff is going forward, other is going backwards. I applied to become a tutor for the new students who will (hopefully) enroll after the summer, and I have completed the application process for the Finland-trip. My summer is set in stone: Finland->Wacken->spending a lot of time being a tutor, with or without newcomers (but it's paid, so that's awesome either way). On the 30th I have a concert that I'm looking forward to, and the day after I'm going on easter holiday to Norway. Gotta get me some of that fresh mountain air!

On the flip side, my head is messing with me. I've been so busy since the autumn that I haven't had time to stop and breathe, but now that the sun is coming out, I'm getting enough energy to get all philosophical about my life and the current state of it. I haven't drawn a lot for 2 weeks now, and I got so frustrated today in drawing class that I literally threw down my pencil and walked early. Yep, I started taking classes again. The teacher is a super hardcore french guy, and it's all math-no-art. I have learned a lot about proportion-measuring though, and I've gotten better at viewing my art. Guess that might be a contributing factor to my declining productivity. And I've gotten a free pass to the best sculpture and art collection in Denmark for the entire spring, because we study in their sculpture collection. That would be something, if I just had the energy to swing by now and then, and just enjoy the world class art for it's own sake. They have an amazing collection of french paintings too...

I really need to sort out my head. I'm getting sick of it, and when I'm not doing homework, I'm just staring at blank pages or procrastinating. I guess the core problem is, that I looked in the mirror one morning, and realized that I don't recognize myself anymore. I've been so deep inside my mind for so long now, drawing, learning a new language, adjusting to student life, that I haven't looked myself in the eye for quite some time. My inner image of myself has been misaligning a lot with who I am and act like on the outside. I guess it might just be time, age, all that jazz. I am not who I was when I was 20 anymore, that's for sure, and that's natural, but it's not just that. It's... something else. Or it might be. I just don't see myself anymore, when I look in the mirror. And the bad thing is, that this isn't just a recent thing. I just sort of didn't realize it for real before now.

Also, Humon faved my drawing of Finland! :D I'm a little proud. No, very.
  • Listening to: Korpiklaani
  • Reading: Stupid shit on the interwebz
  • Watching: Orange is the new black
  • Playing: DnD, I just got into a new campaign!
  • Eating: Nothing, I'm on a diet now...
  • Drinking: Coffee
It's been a really weird weekend. When I took the bus from the central station to the university this morning, all public institutions, including my university, had flags flying half. There was also police everywhere, some even visibly armed, which is super rare here. Everything else was almost distressingly normal. I have learned my approximately 15th way of conjugating a verb in Finnish today, I am still behind on my homework, I am waiting for my new tablet (not a Wacom kind, but a Samsung note), that I ordered last wednesday for my birthday-money and some of my savings, I am still planning on going to a concert on friday...

I am not afraid, that some maniac with a gun is going to shoot me down. I am more afriad of, what this is going to mean for our domestic security and politics. The elections are right around the corner, and I bet everybody is going to try and capitalize on this.

And ohmygod am I excited to get a hold of that tablet! It was kind of expensive, and my brother snickered at me for buying it, but I think I'll get a lot of milage from it. I've been painting a lot on the train (I have two 45-minutes commutes almost every day) and my 7-inch dinosaur, that I inherited from a distant relative, and have used a broken stone-age stylus to paint with, is coughing whenever I start sketchbook up. It will retire galantly to bedside e-reader now.

Also, tomorrow is the tryouts for the 3-week summer program in Finland. I'm pretty much guaranteed a spot, but they will decide my entry level based on a test. I really want to get into the BII-level course in Vaasa!
  • Listening to: Wintersun
  • Reading: Drawing on the right side of the brain
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: The "a study a day" -game.
  • Eating: B2 pencils
  • Drinking: Red wine, fortunately!
Well, danish winter sucks. It's butt windy, humid and daaaark. It is, however, the best time to sit back and get some drawing done.

I have gotten into the most amazing habit ever, of drawing every day. I don't put a lot up here, because, well, I don't feel like it's good enough. I guess I have too high standarts. I just don't feel like I'm very consistent. One day I want to make a graphic novel, the next it's all about dat paint. I have a feeling, that I could benefit from making a folder here for my OC's and everything related. Too bad I have no idea where to begin.

I have signed up for a classical drawing class in Copenhagen, running over the entire spring. I can't wait! I got so much from the portrait course I attended last year. (Or is it the year before, we say now? New Year did technically pass, though it's only 13 months ago.) I completed a paid assignment just before Christmas, and it was gloriously messy and stressful. The first image went easy and turned out good. I laboured over the middle, but it ended up nice. And the last one was a disaster. My client accepted and paid full price though, so wohoo!

Right now I'm neck deep in my exam for Finnish history. It's a one-week ten-page assignment, and I'm in a state of flux between optimism and utter self-loathing.Finnish history is just so damn exciting and so damned boring at the same time - plus it's university level, so I can't just skip the boring parts about politics and get right into the action. I chose the least politics heavy subject of the five I was offered, and I'm still bored to death. And I mean, who studies Finnish anyways? Freaks are who. We're three people in my class (including me!) and it's the complete opposite of my experience, from the last time I went to Uni. You feel obligated to turn up every day, because the thought of the other two sitting alone with the teacher is frightening. There is this weird sense of anti-social camaraderie. The whole department is this weird, tightly-knit place where you know every face, yet never really get to know people. You do get surprised - my teacher told me to check out Amorphis in november, and goddamnit they have been in heavy rotation ever since.

There is a thing going on in Denmark right now, where politicians are sort of conducting a witch hunt on university studies that "don't give job oppotunities". For some reason, that has translated into exterminating every single small line of education in the entire system. Luckily my university has insisted on not closing any programs, but they are falling hard everywhere else. SDU, which is a fairly large and respected university, just cut it's language programs down to two (!) languages - english and danish. You say that the environment you exist in forms you as a person, and only one semester in I already feel quite attatched to my whacky little niche study. If anybody's going after us, I'll personally put on a white uniform and a pair of skis, and go after them armed with nothing but a knife, molotov cocktails and conviction!

And I'm going to Finland for three weeks next summer! Wohoooo!!! :happybounce:  I can't wait! The benefit of being in such a small department is, that every single grant we apply for, is given to us. I also had the joy of going to this really upper-class party on the 6th of december, paid for by some millionaire with trade interests, and watched the finnish ambassador and the former foregin minister of Denmark dance the lanciers. It was glorious and there was free wine, constantly being refilled by silent waiters with white gloves. I need that more often.

So in conclusion - my life right now needs more wine and less boring exams. And more drawing. MOAR DRAWRVING! CURSE YOU! 
  • Listening to: Amorphis
  • Reading: Finnish history. Say Mannerheim once more, and....
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: The "a study a day" -game.
  • Eating: Leftover xmas snacks
  • Drinking: Not wine, unfortunately....
I haven't really spent a lot of time here, as of late. My focus has a tendency to shift a lot. So I have spent the last few months buried in work, figure drawing, painting and reading. I went back in today for some resources, and had a look at my gallery. And oh my, it's out of date. It's kind of crazy how much better my drawing has become since January... So I took the liberty of cleaning up a little. Hopefully I'll soon be able to make some real updates.

I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire like a maniac, this last month. I'm halfway through A Dance with Dragons now... And to my big surprise, I have sucked the universe in like a big dry sponge. I've spent a lot of time studying medieval armor, weapons, landscape painting and horse drawing - and hopefully I'll soon be able to put up some paintings, of my own imagery of the books. I have limited my watching of the series a lot, because I have found reading so awarding.

Summer is here, and I'm soon going home to Denmark. I went home to work at the Eurovision and will be going home in a week to attend Copenhell, and it has struck me how much I've actually missed that little pile of sand in the ocean I call home. Sometimes you have to go east when you want to go west, I suppose. I have also finally found a line of study that I find interesting. Hopefully I'll be able to make an everyday possible, where I get the proper time to study both for university and drawing, after the holiday. I don't want to give up on all the lovely progress I have made since September... Maybe I should do one of those month-by-month memes, just to line it up.
  • Listening to: VNV Nation
  • Reading: A Dance with Dragons
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: The "a study a day" -game.
  • Eating: Fish. All the time. Gotta love Norway.
  • Drinking: COFFEE
I've been stuck in a really bad, soul crushing artist's block lately. It has just hurt to even lift a pencil, and I have wanted to break my tablet over my knee more than once. But I think I'm moving out of it... I am currently visiting Denmark, and found a place yesterday that sells Imagine FX Magazine (probably the only place in Scandinavia that does...) It was incredibly inspiring to read through it last night! Also, watching youtube-videos by Sycra, HowlSeage and Will Terrell the last couple of days, has helped me cope. My poor Cintiq had probably not been safe and in one piece, had I not had their good words of encouragement.

And I had a really good experience today! Being at my parents' place, I decided to shuffle through my old old drawings and paintings. And was I surprised... I had no idea, how much I actually was capable of when I was 10, 11, 12, 13... I must have been drawing from dusk 'till dawn those years, because there are just so many drawings! Of course I did loads of "fan art", mostly W.I.T.C.H. and Star Wars inspired - and Lord of the Rings! I think I for real had ambitions about making my own illustrated version of those books, at the fine age of 11. And I am surprised about how detached my illustrations are from the movies, that came out just around then. I remember watching the WETA-Workshop DVD documentaries on repeat, dreaming about joining a team like that... So I actually did many original designs. Especially armor and weapons, but also environments and character design. I was ambitious! (I was also the first kid in class to actually read the books, and I even got into Unfinished Tales and The Silmarillion shortly after that.)
I did tons of acrylic painting too, and two of the smaller pieces made me sit and look at them for a while. One is a moonlit landscape, painted in a very graphic style with complementary colors. The other is more painterly, clearly aiming for an Alan Lee inspired look, but with acrylic paint. It's a blue-greyish skinned angel with long black hair and black wings, walking solemnly with a black torch above her head, that has a blue fire. It is by no means a masterpiece - it doesn't even have a finished background, because I was even lazier back then than I am now. But it just gave me a good gut-feeling, and I thought to myself "I wonder what I would have been able to do, if just I had kept it up..."

It's a bittersweet feeling, indeed. I often regret that I stopped drawing and painting almost completely, after I finished 9th grade - 16 years old, where my style had become even more graphic. When I stopped at my university over one year ago, my skills were actually worse than when I stopped practicing 5 years earlier. Of course I spent all my classes drawing weird shit on my notebooks, to the point where I even stopped buying notebooks with lines and used a sketchbook for school notes. But I did not develop my style, and I began slacking off. And when I started at the university... ugh... I stopped. Like from one day to the other. Drawing in class just wasn't acceptable in the same way. People gave me weird looks, and I shied away. And at my place, I spent almost all my time playing video games or partying.
In other words. From keeping a sketch book, I moved on to fit my sketches literally in between my school notes, until I stopped sketching all together.
My lines were just better then, when I was 16, and I had even begun shading and grasping forms. It took me one month of intense studying with a professional artist last November, to even remember the concept. And the ideas I had! Looking back at that time, it seems like I lived completely in a fantasy-world of light sabers and dragons, constantly channeling it out through my drawings.

I think what I realized today, is how selfish my artist's block really has become. And somehow... it instantly made me feel better. Because the perfect image isn't flowing to me right away, and the anatomy isn't perfect, I just shut down like a crybaby and pity myself. 12-year old me would probably just have laughed at me, telling me to calm down and draw another dragon. With tiger-stripes and awesome armor, and a hot elf lady on top, with huuuge... magic swords, dual wielded! And, and...

I have to try and do that later. the very thought feels refreshing! But first, I am off to see the lovely Ducktrot for a jolly good cup of coffee! I've been missing you, dewd!

Maybe there's time for some thumb-nailing, before I have to go...:happybounce: 
  • Listening to: Macklemore
  • Reading: Persepolis
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: Well, I'm going to the boardgame-cafe saturday...
  • Eating: Scones
  • Drinking: COFFEE
So, I feel I don't really have any direction with my stuff. The thing is - I have way too many directions. Waaaah! On top of it all, I got this bad habit of sketching up huuge paintings, getting stuck in the "frak, this looks like somebody sat on the color wheel and dragged their butt across the screen" -phase and then starting over. I have already explored some different "genres" of digital painting, like environment design, illustration and character design. I want so so so bad to be good at painting epic landscapes, but always end up doing stupid doodles of characters I have bouncing around my head. But maybe, I thought, it's time to take a step back.Nod  So I will now try to focus on line work, color palettes and character turnarounds. Most of them are part of the different stories I have written in the past (I am a little proud of my novel, that I'll never ever, like ever, publish Heart ) and some are a part of the web comic I'll hopefully get around to make, when I'm good enough.

... I bet I'll be focused for one day, and then jump right back into my bad habits. Gah.Grump 
  • Listening to: Epica - it's just so darn epic
  • Reading: Blue is the warmest colour
  • Watching: I fraking miss BSG... Caprica just doesen't do it.
  • Playing: Wow - sometimes...
  • Eating: Nothing.... :
  • Drinking: COFFEE
*Holds breath...* I got it. I mean, like, omfg sheesh wtf, I got my Cintiq. On the morning of my birthday, I only got one gift - a card with near-enough money to buy it, attached. I think I just sat there until my coffee went cold (which rarely happends, because, COFFEE) and stared. My mom explained that they could afford it, because she had sold her old piano, which makes me feel a little bit better inside.
Three days later, after we had come safely back to Norway, I went into a shop here in Oslo and bought it. Just like that, and for a price that wasn't incredibly over the top. I tried out the 24HD model in the store, because the 13HD wasn't hooked up, and I felt like I had unicorns pee in my eyes while I stood there, swinging the stylus. 
But yes, I got the 13HD model. And here it is!
The 24HD model is amazing, but I like the 13HD one better. It's mobile, light, and fits on my desk! And the performance is not lagging one bit. The colors are awesome, the respond time spotless and the hardware genuinely feels like drawing on a surface meant for drawing, not just glass.

The night before I went out to buy it, my boss wrote to me and asked if I could cover up for somebody at work the day after. So I had to rush to work straight after I went to the store. I have this personal policy, that I always say yes to shifts unless I'm out of the country or something really serious is in the way. So when they asked me monday, if I could work tuesday, I said yes. And when they asked tuesday about wedensday, I did say yes... And then, thursday morning, still in bed with my back hurting and a weird itch in my thumb that screamed "stuck nerve in drawing hand, be careful or you'll get The Hurt!" ... They called and asked if I could come in, and I did. And friday too. So I have barely had the time to break in my wonderful new little baby, but I've done what I can. It's configured, the shortcut-buttons are set up and I have begun drawing a few pieces - the one on the photo, is the one I've gotten the furthest with.

And holy hell. It's just insane how good it feels to draw on this thing. All the crampiness and strained eye-hand-coordination of the old bamboo... Gone! The reason why it originally took me so long to get into digital painting, even though I have thought it's the coolest thing ever in forever... yeah, the whole eye-hand thing. The disconnect just felt like a break on my ability to put stuff on the screen. Some of my very first digital drawings look like something a third-grader would draw, even though I've been drawing all my life, because of that block.

I know that a bad craftsman blames her tools, which is why I had this ambivalence about getting a Cintiq in the first place. I told myself, that with only a single year of digital drawing behind me, and barely being able to put something properly together still, it'd be a stupid and pretentious investment. But I am so happy now, and I am pretty sure this Cintiq and I will have some great adventures together.
Thank you Wacom!
  • Listening to: Kerli
  • Reading: Digital Painting Techniques vol. 1
  • Watching: Battlestar Galactica
  • Playing: DnD, or hopefully will be later today
  • Eating: Nothing.... :
  • Drinking: COFFEE
Deviantart has a journal? I suck at keeping journals. Let's try this.I am a dummy! Nobody's probably gonna bother reading it anyways, so I suppose I can write just as much gibberish I want to.

We flew down from Norway to Denmark this morning, and never have I slept so tightly through an entire flight. It's weird coming home, and I am still debating if I like Denmark or Norway the best... 

Heart Norway has awesome snow and dairy products, and the language is quirky and cute. (They seriously got a hilarious "norwegification" of the word trouble: trøbbel. I mean, seriously, trøbbel. Wtf. Okay, maybe you have to be Scandinavian to see the fun in that.)
But on the flip side, everything is crushingly expensive. Even with my high Norwegian wage, I'm still constantly broke.Waaaah! 

Heart Denmark is just so small, cozy and... small. It's comforting to know, that no point is higher than 100 meters above the ocean. And stuff is cheaper, much cheaper. I feel like a child in a candy store, whenever I hit bars down here.
Cons: the snow is 2-dimensional here. And the ticket system for the trains still make no sense, even though I still count myself as a native. And being made up of 100 % dirt and 1 % bedrock, this country is living with the constant risk of being swept away by the sea currents. One tsunami, and Denmark would be bye-bye.

Bullet; Blue Bullet; Blue Bullet; Blue One week left until my birthday! And this year I only have one birthday wish... money to save up for a Cintiq 13HD. Yep, I'm going all the way. My A6-sized Bamboo feels more and more crampy, as I wear down nib after nib. I considered getting a larger Intuos, but after reading a bunch of reviews I got to the conclusion, that a few extra months of saving might be a more solid investment. ... I mean, it's buying the Cintiq, or buying a wide screen AND a Intuos for my desktop computer. I'm currently working with a second hand 4:3 screen, which just plain sucks. Bless Odin's beard I have my laptop, or I'd be blind AND cramped up in my drawing hand by now.
Hopefully I can get it before Dark Souls II come out, so both my boyfriend and I have an excuse to not leave the house that month. Bullet; Blue Bullet; Blue Bullet; Blue 

Butterflies and Pinkie Pies! :pinkiepie: 
  • Listening to: The wind
  • Reading: Digital Painting Techniques vol. 1
  • Watching: My dumb ass 4:3 screen
  • Playing: The game of life. And MtG. All hail Nicol Bolas.
  • Eating: Imaginary cupcakes
  • Drinking: Coca Cola