As the time goes on, I find time to do random personal hobbies and interests; this time is rare as it is typically taken by work or Netflix, as I'm sure most of you can sympathize with. This week's free time was spent getting back into some doodling, which led to a fearful foey into trying to format some of those in a mildly witty arena, and though the formatting and style are prone to change (mostly to polish it and make it look nice), here is the first installment of a most likely sporadic but definitely to-return comic strip on Heinz Evolution! I will post the panels in the blog and on their own tab for now, though it might get it's own site in the future. Hope you enjoy!
If your new here, welcome! Also, if you know the drill, I'll try to keep it interesting. This second installment of UR Artistic comes with a little story from a few weeks ago, when I was headed to O'Brien for a meeting. I had always seen the odd square building that sat in
the shadow of Sue B's famous dining hall/sledding hill and wondered what it was called and who had classes there, but had never had time to stop in. To those of you know, and to those about to learn, That building is the Sage Art Center, the home of the Studio Art Program at the University of Rochester. I saw the lights on and people milling about, and I had excess time on my hands, so I strolled inside. It was an exhibition of student art, one of some number of galleries there that rotate typically on a two week schedule, but that receive little attention through the sea of Fraternity fliers and promotional posters on Sue B. bulletin boards. I realized that I have only just begun to see the undercurrent at work here, but I have found a foothold with which to begin digging a well to the surface. Meet Amy Scarpelli. ____---- __________-------- ___________________---------------------
Jonathan Heinz: So I guess that I'll just jump right in; how long have you been doing things that you would consider 'artistic'?
Amy Scarpelli: For as long as I can remember, I mean I did it in school and stuff and then in lessons growing up.
Jon: So when did you start making art in school?
Amy: Just the generic art classes in school and then I had some technical lessons outside of that.
Jon: And were they with a group of people?
Amy: Yeah, they had a group dynamic but the teacher would spend some time with every one individually.
Jon: So the next question would be, where do you typically get inspiration for the pieces that you do?
Amy: Ha, I guess that's the part that I struggle with. I worked a lot technically in the classes that I took-
Jon: And you hear people talk a lot about the technique being a tool, and the inspiration being what you use the tool for, so the technique is still really important, but the inspiration is what... makes it, kind of.
Jon: Let's see... so I saw a self portrait that you had in the Sage gallery, Self-Portrait in 5 Parts, I think? And it was ok a rather large canvas; do you like working with larger our smaller canvasses?
Amy: Large. I did that in intro Painting, and they had all of the stuff for us, so, I mean, why not go big?
Jon: I know that for me personally, drawing mostly with a mechanical pencil, my sketchbook was always small, so getting detail in is definitely a challenge. So what do you see in your future for art?
Amy: I really want to do something in the arts, like animation or 3D modeling, and then there's painting and digital art, so.
Jon: Yeah, there's so many things that we can do with digital stuff now, too.
Amy: And what they do at Pixar and DreamWorks, where they have a whole program to model how hair works, which is really cool.
Jon: What would you say is your favorite medium for art, then?
Amy: Painting, especially portraits. I started out painting.
Jon: Do you feel like faces are especially a challenge, or more something familiar because of how many we see day to day?
Amy: I think that they're a bit of both. Also, being able to capture someone's likeness is really satisfying. There are so many details and getting any one of them of can be very bad.
Jon: Yeah, there's the uncanny valley, where the closer something comes to being realistic the more creepy any detail that is off can be. So, to finish up, is there anything that you to say to Rochester's artistic community?
Amy: Just to get more involved; there are lots of galleries and exhibitions to go to and be a part of.
Jon: And they're not exactly advertised, so it's definitely something you have to go out of your way for a little bit.
I have been hoping to start spotlighting the amazingly artistic community at the University of Rochester, and Jenna was wonderful enough to offer up some of her sketches and things. This is just one person that has amazing ideas and soaring goals which can be read on her face at almost any moment, but who has creativity flowing beneath that is not as often seen; I want to show that creativity that is constantly flowing at the U of R. I was only able to wriggle a short interview for the spotlight, but I feel it is entertaining nonetheless. ----------------------------------------------------------
Heinz: So what typically spurs you on to make art? Jenna: They're all gifts for other people... H: If you make something as a gift, how do you approach it? Do you try to constrain yourself to what they would like, or do you follow what you feel it should be? J: Haha usually if they're a good enough friend, I know exactly what they like but it also has some similarities to what I like too, so it ends up being an awesome combination of art and love and quirkiness. Now stop it with the questions! H: How does being questioned make you feel? J: Like a lab rat injected with quinpirole. Which was actually a great experiment where they induced OCD in rats and the poor things felt awfully anxious and kept checking to see if their doors were locked. H: ... So would you call yourself an artist? J: Hahah get out.
So there you have it folks, the first UR Artistic. See you all next time, and stay classy - Mankind.
Even though all of you will not be reading this until afterwards, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and all else that you look forward to being at home for, wherever your home is. This is, depending on the person/beliefs/cynicism/optimism, a time of magic or a time of consumerism (and family, whatever that means to you.) The topic that I had planned for once finals week finished off is still in my mind, but another subject has edged it out since I have returned to the Southwest for the Holidays, one that seems much more relevant for this time of year. In this season of Santa, in whom children believe until they must face the red suit and glimpse the machinery underneath, of gifts which inspire both greed and graciousness, and of the same music played again in a tired and routine way that rings of tradition. It is a dualistic time, and the vocal seem to lie on one side or the other while the rest pick their favorite parts to love and hate. Since going to the University of Rochester and being exposed to new subjects and information, not from the purely conceptual point of view that is plentifully available on the internet but from a detailed look at why the concepts came to be, I have though somewhat differently. This started to change the way I see the world around ever so slowly, enough so that I am only now noticing that when I look at something I no longer let its inner workings go in order to appreciate its use and purpose; I now know enough of how people go about thinking about solving a problem that I can't help but try to reason out how they accomplished their goal. Let's take the ever-proverbial curtain, so that we can use an analogy to escape my (really rather empty) self-reflecting monologue. Imagine it there, dominating view, shimmering with such deep red that you cannot tell whether it has some blue staining it purple, or whether it is the golden light of the sun that is pulling it to a rippling orange. Behind this curtain is who knows what, magic, most likely - judging by the wind that seems to come from beyond even though the theater is sheltered from the elements. You sit in a plush read seat - more of a throne, really, as they do not typically have seating this comfortable in theaters; but this is no ordinary theater. No, this is The Theater, that which was built by Mankind's imagination in order to exhibit his greatest feats and wonders. The seats around are filled with children, toddlers through teens, the Time Before the Storm who see the curtain unbreakable, and then Young Adults, those who search and scry, The Cynics; the rest hide in the shadowy wings and balconies. As the players make their shows, day and night, getting more and more intricate all the time and never retreating, never looking back, The Cynics see their strings and jeer, call on the puppeteer to show his face. The young do not listen, but for those who grow older and begin to see the strings themselves. As you look you see, catch a glint of silver light - and there they are, those fine strands through which the life of progress flows, animating the players to loud commotion, even with the silence that stands dead in the theater, broken only by the hum of That Behind the Curtain. The edges rise, just an inch, to show even more of the distant glow. There is a murmur now, in the wings, the shadows stirred from their passive observation into active interest. The Young and Older call to each other - "That is a dead glow, the harsh light of a machine." "That glow proves that it is magic, that the players are fueled by magic!" The players themselves begin to resolve, no longer blurry but with detail discernible; what a display! So many colors, and textures. Some are crudely made of wood and dance around just as animated and colorfully as the ones that seem not puppets at all - flesh sustained from Behind the Curtain...
There is more to this story, and maybe I'll finish it someday, but all of the swirling thoughts of my mind are made manifest, sans resolution. I ask you to ponder these things in light of this season filled with color and commercialism, and to know who you are this time of year. Food for thought, as my gift to you. Once again, Merry Christmas from the whole Heinz family, and may this season be ever better than the last. -Jonathan Heinz
No big post today, sorry, just a few housekeeping items. First of all, in the drop-down menu of the User Art tab we now have a page for selected poems! Most at first will be from contributor Jonathan Quinn, because I know how introverted my audience is, but I will read any and all works (including stories and artwork, too!) that I receive. The first new poem is one called "A creek that through the woodland ran", which I think has some great imagery and a pretty neat concept. Remember, my friend Jonathan is not the only one allowed to contribute and is especially not the designated artist for the site; I'd love for the User Art pages to be a community thing. Also, the e-mail list is growing (however slowly), and i wanted to remind everyone that by clicking the shiny red link at the top of the sidebar on the right side of the screen you can get any post made to this blog by e-mail on the day it was published, so you don't have to check here when things are stagnant. That's it for now, but I'm planning on doing one significant post, or more of an opinion piece really, on something that has been coming up a lot in my work lately.
Here's a hint:
If you have any ideas, discuss in the comments below. I don't have any prizes yet for the one on the closest track, except for awesomesauce, internet cookies, and a shout-out in the post when it hits the front page!
As I sit down here at my computer again tonight, for the fifth and last time of this marathon, it brings my mind to consider why I am carrying out something that I decided on a long time ago and that I might not even have the words to complete. Why am I bound by what an old version of me, one not burdened with the fatigue of late night after late night, thought? This very question is the end of all those grand New Year's resolutions that we make every year, that and the lightning speed of things slipping the mind. The question creates a conflict in our minds, a conflict between what we want and what we need. But that's not completely accurate; we never know exactly what we need so it is a conflict more between want and something that tries to hold to responsibility and to do what is best in the long run. Let us call them Forethought and Impulse, the spirits of thinking ahead and of living in the moment. The problem with resolutions is that Forethought is the thinker and Impulse is the doer. Motivation is when they agree and the stars align and we get things done; procrastination exists, not simply when they disagree, but when they disagree and the power lays in the hands of impulse. The people that put who put their life eternally into the hands of Forethought, however are those who get their work done and keep everything in order right up until the moment that the stress forces them to change something. The clicé is that we obviously need balance, but most people fall into daily life and let Impulse handle social interaction and activities and forget to let Forethought carry out its plans. Is there a way, then, to take the decision out of the automatic hands of Impulse and weigh it between the two? One way, the one that has worked rather well for me recently, is to put the analogy to an extreme and try to visualize the two ideas of Impulse and Forethought as two separate people so that they can present your views on either side and discuss it; it doesn't have to be that hard, though. Just noticing that you need to take the time to really think about upholding or abandoning resolutions and making a situation where sleep or other things do not sway the decision already sets the foundation for a much better decision. For my part, I'm incredibly glad that I stuck to posting this week. For all of your's, I hope the reminders weren't too annoying. Thanks for stopping by, and you stay classy.
For those of you relatively new to the blog here, There's Something about Thursdays was a weekly tradition that I had to discontinue due to difficult Thursday scheduling every week. With this week's mission, however, I am bringing them back for this special installment - and I've been saving something just for this.
I had an extensive topic in mind when I sat down to write today's post, one that I have had many scattered and fretting thoughts over in the last few weeks, but I came across this article while doing my research on the topic (like any good blogger would. As I read it I first decided to link it at the end and state my own thoughts in my own words, but I soon realized that, barring the conversation that inevitably should follow something so relevant in today's world, the author said what I meant to far more beautifully and passionately and with more examples than I could possibly have done. Please, please read it and discuss in the comments. This is an immensely important topic that I would love to talk about. Following the article link are some initial thoughts of mine, spring-boarding off of the stuff presented, I suggest reading it first.
As I have said on the Facebook page previously, as well as implied by posting for two days in a row, I am doing a post here for every day this week. Today's is to announce... Drum roll, please... The New Logo for Heinz Evolution!
(Pending further review. Leave ideas for improvement in the comments below.) This is the baseline of what may end up on T-shirts and business cards, guys, so this is a big deal. Comment and let me know what you think!