Archives for posts with tag: art

In the midst of all this school-related frenzy, I’ve been allotting more and more of my time to doing things not school-related.  We all need to de-stress, right?

First and foremost, the things that have been stressing me out lately: school’s started again, the robotics season started, and the college application process isn’t over yet.  The winter break was nice, but I was so focused on finishing up my apps that I didn’t have nearly as much time to relax as I would have liked.  Now that I’m back in school, the work is piling up again, and robotics means a 17-hour-per-week time commitment.  Crazy stuff.

It’s not like I don’t have time, though.  I have enough time between getting home and going to sleep that I’ve been spending a good portion of it drawing.  I don’t think I’ve drawn anything seriously in years, but it’s been wonderful to get back into it again.  I’m really rusty, but that’s alright; what matters is that I’m rediscovering what a great outlet art is.

I’ve also been spending obscene amounts of time teaching myself how to play the ukulele!  I’m a total noob righ now, but I think I’ll continue to improve if I keep practicing.  The uke is so different from, say, a cello (which I also play) in that it’s tiny and pretty easy to learn.  Being able to play and sing like an idiot is honestly one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done.

Lastly, I’ve been working on a visual novel with my little sister (boffinart.tumblr.com).  For those who don’t know what a visual novel is, it’s basically a cross between a choose-your-own-adventure book (do those still exist?) and a video game: it tells a story in a format similar to that of a novel, and the players get to make decisions that influence the direction and ending of the story.  To get an idea of what they’re like, try out the demo for Dragon Essence or Area-X by Zeiva Inc., or play the free visual novel, RE: Alistair ++, by Sakevisual.  These examples are mostly for girls, but google “visual novel” and you’re bound to find options to suit everyone.

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Here’s a screenshot from one of my favorite Visual Novels, Area-X.

I should probably get back to doing homework now! 😀

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In my last post, I mentioned that I’m currently taking a writing class.  To be more specific, this writing class is sponsored by CalArts as part of the Community Arts Partnership Summer Arts program (CAPSA), which is an intensive arts program for high school students like myself.  It’s a three-week program that goes from 10 to 5, four days a week.  Aside from creative writing, the program offers workshops in animation, dance, music, photography, theater, and visual arts.  Because it’s tuition-free, the program is selective and applicants have to submit samples of their work in the discipline they’re applying to.

Honestly, I’ve never really looked forward to attending any of my past summer classes—sometimes, I even dreaded going.  But CAPSA has been different: as intimidating as it may seem to write for 6 hours a day, it’s actually a lot of fun to get my imagination running.  I absolutely love my classmates and my teachers.  Perhaps there’s just something about being writers that makes us such a close-knit group.

Maybe the whole idea of summer “school” isn’t appealing, but to give you an idea of what we do in class: today, we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in downtown Los Angeles to eavesdrop on people’s conversations.  The reason?  Our assignment was to write a poem based entirely on observations and snippets of conversations we overheard.  We all had a great time gathering information and writing the poems.

After class today, a bunch of my classmates and I went out for a lovely ramen dinner in Little Tokyo.  Naturally, as I was one of the only two Asians in the group, they relied on me to give them food recommendations and to show them around Little Tokyo (which I don’t even know that well, but it was pretty fun pretending I did.  At least I can pretend to meet some Asian standards, right?).  I brought my ukulele and one of my classmates brought his guitar, so we all kind of sang and had fun and probably annoyed the heck out of the people around us.  It’s funny to think that I didn’t even know these people before last week; I already know i’m going to miss them so much after the class ends.  

Here’s a photo of the restaurant we ate at.  I nabbed it from the internet because I forgot to take a picture 😦

If anyone has any questions about the program, feel free to ask!

Like every Asian out there. Because really, guys, everyone knows that giving an Asian a violin and a bow is like giving birth to the next Mozart.

I think that’s the funny thing about Asian stereotypes: some of them may not even be intended to come across as mean, but we Asians still don’t like them. We don’t like the “Asians are terrible drivers” or the “Ay-see-unsu kant speeku Engrish” stereotypes, and we don’t like the “Asians are musical geniuses” or “Asians are artistic geniuses” or “Asians are just geniuses in general” stereotypes, either. Why? Because they aren’t always true.

This may be pretty hard to believe, but we don’t like it when people think we’re amazing mathematicians, artists (and martial artists), or musicians simply because we’re Asian. When people make these assumptions, they’re really looking at the higher end of the spectrum (for reasons I fail to understand). It may be true that there are a lot of Asians out there who are good at these things, but don’t discount the majority of Asians who aren’t.

Take me, for example. If you’ve actually read any of my previous posts, you’d know that I’m not exactly what one would call a shining example of Stereotypical Extraordinary Asianness. Despite this, people tell me that I’m a stereotypically artistic Asian. Sure, I like to draw, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it. As for math, well, I’m not doing so well in the class right now because I’m missing a few assignments. In fact, I should be studying for my test tomorrow. And don’t get me started on martial arts. Kung-fu? Kung-who now?

People in my band tell me I’m a musical prodigy all the time. I’ll admit; I like music. I like playing the cello. But I play the cello in a school band comprised mainly of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, guitars, and pianos (think: awkward), and I’m having some, er, issues living up to the ‘musical prodigy’ standard. [Hint: you have to be good to be a prodigy, and in order to be good, you have to actually spend the time to practice.] Heck, this particular Asian standard wasn’t even set by Asians, and I’m still struggling to meet it. Why do we Asians have to try to be everything other people perceive us to be in addition to everything our Asian parents expect from us? Good lord, give us a break!

Look at how much there was to say about the ‘good’ Asian stereotypes…Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about them, considering the ‘bad’ ones are probably much more offensive.

‘Till next time!
~Hedgehog

So just a quick update on what I’ve been up to, as it’s now obvious that I haven’t been updating daily as promised.  I’ve actually been busy :O, and summer is actually beginning to feel draggy.  Looks like I’m not the only one who’s lazing around–summer is, too.  

This week, I’m sailing.

That’s right, sailing.  No, putting on a floppy hat and some sandals and hopping into one of those little motorboats does not, in fact, count as sailing.  This is the real deal–two sails and a buncha ropes that look super confusing and that you can easily tangle yourself in (trust me, I know).  I’d say that’s the hardest part; rigging the boat properly so that you don’t capsize when you’re sailing.  Once you’re out on the water, though, it’s smooth sailing (haha, pun-y), and when the wind picks up and you gain speed, it’s actually a lot of fun.  Being too young to drive, it’s great to feel like I’m in control of something, especially something like a sailboat, which is, I guarantee you, far more complicated than a car to get a hang of. 

The downside of sailing: the SUN.  I don’t know what on earth happened with that thing, but it was extra extra extra bright today and I–apparently–did not put on enough sunscreen.  So I burned my face, and now I look like a beet 😦  Which sucks.  So if any of you are planning to sail, or go out in the sun at all, wear some good sunscreen.  For your sake. Please.

Oh, and before I go, here’s a piccy I finished recently.  It’s….well I like it.  The proportions aren’t great, but I like it.  So tell me what you think ^_^

Kayy, I’ll post again soon.  Promise.

~hedgehog

Before I continue, I just want to say that no, I have not drawn anything since yesterday. I figured typing the words “art” and “update” in the title box wasn’t really worth it. Moving on.

I am currently in the process of completing my psych homework.

That’s right, I said psychology.

I may have mentioned that I’m taking classes this summer, and today I’ve decided to specify. I’m taking an introductory psychology course, just to clear those cobwebs outta my brain and keep me up and running for at least part of the summer. I also really just enjoy learning about the functions of the human brain, so the class is actually a lot of fun. The only problem I have with it is the staggering amount of homework.

Speaking of work, my school gave us a summer reading list, which I have yet to start on. I feel bad because most of my friends are talking about all the books they’ve read so far, and I can’t tell ’em I’ve read anything. Because I haven’t. Yet here I am, updating my blog.

Short blog today. I like these.

Post up questions, comments, or random stuff!
~hedgehog

So most of you out there know what Asians are like, regardless of whether or not you are one yourself. Asian parents push their kids hard to do well in school, Asian teachers are strict, and Asian students are–in case you haven’t noticed–probably some of the best students. Generally, the Asian culture is very academics-oriented, and once an Asian is set on something, they’ll take it very seriously. Most likely. If you’re a stereotypical Asian.

I don’t know if being a stereotypical Asian is a good thing, but one thing’s for sure: I’m definitely not one of them. I’m not super-neat. God knows I’m not a straight-A student. I believe that I am a pathological liar (to which my parents will happily agree).

But then there are good things to being a non-mainstream Asian (oh mah gaud, I know. AMAZING). For instance, I realize that I’m more extroverted than most Asians are (and this I would know, considering my school is like, 75% Korean. I swear xDD), meaning I have pretty good communication skills and I’m charismatic, I think. I play basketball. I love to draw. I have awesome, crazy friends who aren’t Asian (a shock to even myself, considering most of my friends in the past have been Asian). These things I love about myself. These things I’ll never change.

That about wraps up my mini-rant thing.  Not much more to say about myself here, but you can be sure that you’ll be hearing from me as soon as I have enough energy to think (three basketball games and a science fair, all in one weekend).  Read read read! And drop comments or questions if you have any! ^^

Oh, and just a quickie: I am officially changing my name to Hedgehog.  Well, not officially.  Just call me that from now on, ok? ^^

Thanks guys!
Hedgehog