Thursday, December 21, 2006

Piano is the Music of My Soul

Any crappy/bad/frightening day can be erased by equal parts Eyes on Me (accoustic) and Jinsei no Merry Go Round.

Almost a week without an update! My blog is in terrible danger of becoming lost by the wayside. I'll have to post more randomness.

For instance, Sakiika, Japanese dried squid, is ridiculously delicious. I need to get me some...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wacom Longings

I'm not an artist, I know it. My visually artistic learnings have pretty much come to the doodles in the corners of my journal and a brief study of eyes when I had this grand vision of individually mastering each portion of the face so I could easily draw entire faces.

All the same, I terribly want a Wacom tablet. After trying to edit my Umaro icon to make it festive today, I once again smacked headfirst into the lunacy that is drawing with a mouse.

Too late to put it on my Christmas list as that already went out to the 'rents, but a man can dream...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hypnotized

I have a terrible need to learn how to dance the Haruhi Suzumiya dance.

Also, the opening words sound like gibberish to me, so I dream of a McDonald's parody staring the Hamburgler, going "Robble, robble..."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Joe Hisaishi Rocketh My World

I just can't get enough Hisaishi. Sen to Chihiro soundtrack, Howl no Ugokushiro soundtrack...
He is my gateway drug into the world of orchestral/soundtrack works.

I need to dig up my old Princess Mononoke album as well.
Hmm, and perhaps some Peter and the Wolf for old times' sake...

Any further suggestions?

Friday, December 8, 2006

The Democratization of Art

One thought, concept, theory which keeps cropping up in my head from time to time, is the democratization of art currently gaining momentum in our culture. By this I mean the use of the Internet to distribute, share, and expose art made by the people. It's intrigued me for a while now how sites like DeviantArt, musician profiles on MySpace, and YouTube, in addition to the sharing of art through file-sharing services, has allowed anyone to put anything they create online, available for viewing by their peers.

It's a very freeing yet chaotic thought. I can put my poem up on DeviantArt, and hundreds of people will read it, but can I be considered a "successful" or "notable" poet? The standards by which we measure legitimate art, and art that has been recognized as "good" (yes, perhaps interchangeable with "mainstream"), these standards are being redefined, if not completely obliterated, as we speak. My friend Nico no longer needs to get a big label record contract for people all over the world to hear his music. Placing the tunes up on MySpace and sharing them around on BitTorrent exposes him to anyone who has a computer and an internet connection.

I'm really intrigued by the thought that this will change our notion of "artistic success". Do I really need to be a published poet to feel successful? (And even now, it's possible to submit and publish a book myself through Amazon, ordering copies as I see fit) Does a film need to be shown on two thousand movie screens across the country to be "successful", when it can be seen on two million computer screens? Do I need to enter the "art world" (again, a commercially defined concept) by getting picked up by a major publisher/label/studio and receiving massive amounts of compensation for my work?

Can I be satisfied with living my life, producing my art, yet not providing a living by it? I suppose in the "old world" terminology, one would describe it as being my hobby. Now? I don't think its significance needs to be so small. I can have a nine to five job, produce art that is viewed by hundreds and thousands of my peers online, and feel like being an artist is part of who I am. Perhaps I can even feel more free as to what I produce than as a "compensated" artist, where I would need to produce a consistent, popular style in order to support myself financially.

Well, just a brain-rambling of mine. I honestly have no formal, "legitimized" training or learning in this subject. Just a thought. A curious one though.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Analysis

"Oftentimes, academic writings like this aren't meant to explain the creator's direct intent, but rather to observe the relationship between the work and culture, and how they affect and are affected by one another."
Boffins Discuss GTA

Wow. I stumbled across this comment on the Kotaku article linked above, and it really struck me. I've always been one to scoff at academic deconstructions of movies and games. I always thought "You idiot! The creator wasn't being that intellectual and deep when he filmed this badass zombie fight scene!" This realisation in particular never crossed my mind, that maybe they're not writing about what the creator planned, but how we're going to see it and think about it.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Heroes and Their Absence

Fantasy writer Gemmell dies at 57

It's hard to express how you feel when someone you look up to dies. It feels like a little part of you slips into "history", becomes words in a dusty tome that's then put up on a bookshelf in a vast, endless library which contains the piece of you along with everything else that's now gone from this world. It makes me feel like "my" age in history is passing. The things I love disappearing, though I realise David Gemmell is just one thing among many that I love and define me.

I first read Legend when I was in high school. I really don't remember the exact year. I do remember that I couldn't put the book down and while I was reading it the world around me disappeared. Gemmell had this way of writing that felt vivid and real rather than words. It was especially noticeable in his action scenes, where I could see what was going on rather than read it, because his words were precise and direct. His characterisation was superb as well. Every character felt like a person and their actions were realistic from their point of view. He had a thing for father figures. All the main strong males in his books (Druss, Waylander) had a direct, straightforward sense of what was good, and what was evil, and they always had a lesson to impart in a witty manner, with a memorable phrase.

I guess more than anything else, his books, his worlds, were a home to me. Not just when I was a kid, but across multiple spans of my life. I've looked up to him as a hero, the only one I can honestly think of having that was a living, breathing human being, and he was a guiding light to me as a writer as well.

I feel like I don't have the proper words to eulogize him. To express that he was more than a man to me: he was larger than life, he was my favorite writer of all time. I could sense that he was a good man through his words, and he encouraged me to strive to be like the heroes he wrote about in his books. Looking back, it was really him that I wanted to be like. He was my hero, and although I never met him, he was a huge part of my life.

Goodbye, David. You will be missed.