Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brain training continues

Hey people.  The inhabitants of Suelandia are patiently waiting for winter to be over.  Yes, it's a bit like a cat spa-resort here for them, but they'd still rather be running around outside.  They just aren't as determined as me to do it in all kinds of weather.  I suppose, they only have the one layer...

They also don't discriminate between unfolded and folded towels, although they don't show as much interest in laying on the dirty ones as the clean.  You have to put them away quick.  It's like they have sensors and put the word out-- "Hey guys-- Fresh towels!  Pile on!"

Admittedly, this part of this post is basically just forcing you to look at cute pics of my cats.  So, there you go.  Raymond-- ~*awe*~.

Meanwhile, trying to figure out Maczilla has been humbling to say the least.  I took a few days to read all the instructions, which is probably a girl thing, but I felt intimidated and thought it would help.  When I was done, I still felt like I'd need to actually DO something in order to *get it*, but didn't want to begin by working on anything I care about because I knew it would be a bit of a fail-a-thon.

Wow.  I have to admit, I did not expect it to be so different from regular drawing.  So far the thing I understand best is the *pencil tool* (you click these different icons to turn your cursor stylus into different art tools).  It behaves the most like an ordinary pen or pencil-- you draw on the pad (which is like a huge trackpad), and your image appears on screen.   (Yes, I'm aware these suck.)

The thing that is hard about this, is in my case I'm looking up and to the right, at my screen, and my hand is moving down on the desk slightly to my left.  My brain is programed to look at my hand while I draw, so I can feel new neural pathways forming like crazy, and it feels very foreign.

Another weirdness is that if you pick up the stylus, to start a new line, and you touch any of your previous lines (which is a pretty normal way to draw), your previous line disappears.  I know lots of this is because of my lack of understanding of the program so far, but, ~hard~.

Then there is the pen tool, most commonly used by graphics artists, from what I gather online, and so far completely counter-intuitive for me.

I'm trying to draw a heart here folks.  I got as far as making one side of the top in the left hand figure, and whatever I did next just made a mirror image of it appear beneath that.  ~Fail~  The figure on the right shows attempt #2.  It is super weird how this works--  imagine the line you've drawn is a limp noodle, but by dragging your stylus a certain direction you can insert a wire into part of the line and maneuver it to bend the straight line into a curve.  It is NOTHING like normal drawing.

I did this this morning, after trying to follow two different tutorials yesterday that were total fails-- one not made for my version of Illustrator (which it turns out is rather a key point), and another where the person really just wanted to show off or something because I couldn't follow what they were doing.  You know those "for dummies" books etc?  Apparently I need "for total effing morons."

My poor little misshapen heart is how it is not because I was being all *artsy*, sadly, that was the best I could do!

A friend asked me last night if I was having second thoughts, if I'd gotten in over my head and maybe thought this wasn't going to be for me.  "No way," I told her, "I've gone and dived into the deep end now.  There is no going back."

This is true, but doesn't mean I'm not crapping my pants a little.

It reminds me a LOT, of my intro to metal working.  I came up with a plan to design metal furniture.  My idea was to make prototypes, and have them manufactured, so I saved and saved, and came up with lots of designs, and planned a ton, and when I had everything I needed-- I quit my good job.

I remember my very first day walking out to my brand new shop with all the equipment I'd saved up for for about a year, and thinking, "Okay, I'll start making a table."  I went over to my bench grinder and turned it on.  It was kind of loud, and I knew from how heavy it was it must be pretty powerful.  I tentatively held a piece of metal up to it.  It was knocked from my hand and shot across the room like a missile.  I'd never even seen one operated before and had no idea you MUST hold your work at the correct angle etc or it's pretty dang dangerous.

Everything was like that, very loud, very intimidating, things were flying all over, I felt like at any second something terrible was about to happen.  What had I done?

But I learned.  Now, ironically, today I want nothing more than to spend all day in my shop doing things I am familiar with and actually know how to do.  I need to feel semi-competent again, and have clients waiting for stuff too.

I've found a series of video tutorials made by the company that puts-out this program, so I'll begin going through those.  If I still feel confused, I'll purchase an online course.  If I still don't get it, I'll find a tutor or something; but I WILL learn about this.

It's just going to be a while before I'll be able to turn the stuff in my head into digital art, but that's okay-- heck, people go to COLLEGE for this.  I just have to be persistent and go though the learning curve.


Maery Rose said...

I've used those pads and it takes awhile to get the hang of it. You're right, you do need to build those brain-hand coordination signals. And please stop saying things suck. It's a process right? And I can see the progress already.

irishk said...

Truly Sue, I agree with Maery...suck is such a relative term. When you say you suck, you are still light years ahead of those of us that have never even held a graphic design tool or opened a program. It is natural to dislike being on the low end of the learning curve when you have experienced the other end with your other endeavors. Like you said though, you were once a novice there too. I can't tell you enough that to just jump into this pool takes great courage and for that you have the admiration of all of us that know you. BTW, love the kitty pics. There is something so calming about looking at their back legs when they are completely relaxed and they just curve so trustingly and peacefully. Ray is just a love machine:-) Kathleen

pseudosu said...

It is totally a process. Everything is feeling like that lately. I wonder if at long last I'm... gulp... maturing??? Nah.

I guess I bust out the *I suck* defense when I know I'm not meeting my own standards, and want to make sure people know that so they don't feel the need to put me in my place. I guess I tend to do that a lot and it's probably kind of lame of me. Beat myself up before anyone else does! Thanks for the support. :)
Ray is a TOTAL love machine! WAY better than James Brown! Oh wait- that was sex machine-- nevermind.

Jill said...

My "real" job is furniture rendering (basically coloring pictures of furniture) which I do on a Mac with PShop and Illustrator using a tablet. Check out Layers magazine. They have lots of great tutorials online. All kinds of great stuff on that site. Looks like you are doing a fantastic job! Your kitties are very cute by the way.

pseudosu said...

Awe, thanks Jill!
How funny-- one of my jobs at *last actual job* was to draw all the furniture for their ads-- by hand. Pretty stone age, like- pencil, ruler, protractor, sharpie, etc. I even remember getting ads "ready" by covering all the seams with scotch tape!! (cut & paste was literal there)
Oh well. I don't want to get stuck in the past. Got to keep up and keep learning new things. :) Thanks again for the support. :)

pseudosu said...

And the tip! Will def check out!

Nezzy said...

I draw, sketch and paint but I can only imagine how hard it would be to translate your hand to the screen. I'm a lefty to boot and am just gettin' the hang of those electronic signatures. Heeehehehe!!!

Love the kitties girl, I'd kinda like to veg out on warm fresh towels too!!!

God bless ya and enjoy your weekend sweetie!!!