Photoshop Fun

Using CS4 to avoid work:

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ARE YOU EXCITIED?

So it turns out that those weeks before you go on a big trip can be somewhat painful. Sometimes I feel that my life is a little bit like the movie Groundhog’s day in that every day, every conversation you have- doesn’t matter who you’re talking to- revolves around the same thing: your travel plans. When are you leaving, where are you going (where is that, exactly?), what are you bringing, what are you doing there, are you nervous, ARE YOU EXCITED, etc. I was hoping to make these last few weeks as normal and routine as possible, to perhaps ease the transition, but it doesn’t seem possible with everyone harping on this every day. Here are your stock answers:

  1. I am going to Freiburg, Germany.
  2. It is in southwest Germany, in the Black Forest region, near the borders of France and Switzerland.
  3. I am leaving in one week, on February 28th.
  4. Officially I am going there to study German language and culture. In reality, I am going there to become fluent in German and to see and experience Europe. I am interested in the day-to-day lives of Germans, but I do not give one single, solitary fuck about their history. I don’t care if I never see the inside of a German classroom. I intend to drop out of school upon my return to pursue art. Yes, I am absolutely certain about that.
  5. I am not nervous. I see no reason to be nervous (a big shift from my last post).
  6. I am not excited at the moment. The stressors of travel are currently preventing me from becoming super duper excited.

My mother in particular has this habit of bringing up travel concerns several times a day, every day. I understand that it is because she cares, and she is worried about me. I appreciate this more than she can know, but at the same time, it’s driving me completely insane. There was a nasty scene in Target today, when, while shopping for European plug adapters, I flipped out on her. Before we left the house, I explained that I needed a plug adapter for my camera’s battery charger. I showed her the charger and pointed out that because the European power stats were within the device’s range, I would only need a plug adapter, and not a power converter (which is more expensive). When we got to Target, she asked “Do you need a power converter?” I said “No.” I pick out some plug adapters, while she inspects a power converter. “Why are you looking at power converters? This is all I need.”

“But don’t you need a power converter?”

And this is the part where I lose my fucking mind in the middle of Target.

I think she sensed me writing this, as she just came in to placate me with mini doughnuts.

It was wrong of me to blow up. I’m no Jedi master, and my mental discipline is not spectacular.

My point is basically this: have patience with people. Normal people (in other words, not me, and probably not you) are excited about these sorts of things, and usually perfectly willing to blather on and on about them…and thus, other people expect them to. Just be patient.

Jack Bauer

Here is the finished Jack Bauer painting, which I finished last month. It’s in oil, and not very big-

Jack Bauer

Jack Bauer

The Fucking Apple

It’s big, it’s delicious, it’s in oil, and it’s finally done. Without further ado, I present to you The Fucking Apple. Behold it in all its appley goodness.

The Fucking Apple

Detail of The Fucking Apple

Frustration and Fear of Failure

Art is frustrating as hell. I find that I have so many images in my head, but whenever I try to chase them down and get them into some visual form, they don’t even remotely resemble what I had imagined. It seems to me the only solution to this is to practice by painting mundane things from life, in the hopes that the skills learned here can be applied to the fun, imaginative stuff. It’s a long road ahead, and it’s hard to get started when something as daunting as a semester abroad looms overhead.

Most of the people going to Germany seem really excited. Others…not so excited. I, personally, am shitting my pants. I don’t think I’m really concerned about what will happen in Germany- I’m just going to learn the language, and I am extremely confident that I will achieve my goals in this area. Other than that, I suppose I don’t really care. I’m not interested in passing the classes with stellar grades (and if the classes doesn’t interest me, or advance me along my path of language learning, I simply won’t go to them). I am similarly not interested in fulfilling my German requirements. Some want to go to blend in, and deceive others into thinking they are natives. I can see how one might get some perverse pleasure out of shedding their American identity, and becoming a chic and blameless European. Personally, I’ve never had an issue being an American. I don’t see myself trying to blend in. I don’t care if I offend Europeans with my American-ness. It’s not important.

Ok, I have an example. In one of our preparatory meetings for going abroad, it was mentioned that Germans love to talk politics, and therefore, we should brush up on American politics so that we don’t appear uninformed.

But I hate talking politics. I make an EFFORT to avoid newspapers, news sites, and news broadcasts on television. I find that 95% of it is not at all relevant to my life, and usually fades into oblivion within a month’s time. Keeping informed then becomes a drain of time and energy. If it’s important (a la earthquake in Haiti) then I will hear about it.

The reason I’m really shitting my pants, is that going to Germany brings me one step closer to coming back, and I am coming back to uncertainty. I won’t be in school anymore, I don’t know exactly where I am living, and I don’t know how I’m going to make money. I think I have some very viable ideas, but there is a world of difference between ideas and actions.