Still Stuck Going East, and Just Passed Through Italy

4 08 2010

I can definitely relate to my character right now. He’s stuck going east, and I’m stuck going with him. Despite the challenges, he discovers that his curse can also be a blessing, he makes new friend and explores the world as a result. It’s just the same for me. So, though I’ve been able to take a long vacation and refresh myself (while he gets no such thing), I’m back now, and glad of it.

My goal is to get as much done by the end of August as possible. Once school starts up again, I’m going to be swept off to the zany world of classes, senior seminars, art-portfolio work, grad school applications and all the other joys and stresses that fill an ambitious senior undergrad’s existence.

Our Room With A View: Florence

But last time I wrote, I was off on a three week long art tour of Italy, so I ought to tell you a bit about that, especially as it has to do with travel, a main theme on this blog. The first thing I want to say is that I had low expectations for the trip. I’ve had som

e not-so-fun experiences traveling with a large group of students before, so I was wary. But, as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

Italy was more fantastic than I could have hoped for. I enjoyed every moment of it. I

savored delicious Gelato ice cream, quiet moments painting, hours gazing at spectacular art and those quirky observations of people and places. I found myself wanting to make watercolors all the time, and created 30 of them, despite the relatively fast pace of the

Church Di San Marco: Florence

trip. The trip was well organized by a gang of fantastic art professors from my college, and w

e went to Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Florence, Milan, Assisi and Venice, among other places.

I’m putting a couple paintings in this blog post, but you can see more of my paintings over on this awesomely cool site called Paintmap:

The other important update in my life that relates to this blog, is that I found another really cool site called Storybird. On storybird, some fantastic illustrators have up loaded artwork which members can select and arrange into a picture book, adding text to the mix. You can then read and share them. I’ve made five stories on my own, and one in collaboration with someone else on the site. Two of my stories have actually been

featured on the homepage of the site, which is a big honor.  I hope you’ll take a moment to visit the site and read some storybirds!

Alright, well, it’s back to everything else for me. I’ll be working on editing my current draft the text of Stuck this week, as well as focusing on Turkey and North Korea. I’ll post again as soon as I have something new to report.  Thank you all for your continued interest in this project.


In Beijing and Greece

13 04 2010

detail from illustration

The week of break is over, and I managed to get a lot of work done, though, of course, never quite enough. I’ve done some research for nearly all the places, and have planned out at least 5 of the 7 country page spreads left. (Ask me if that makes no sense.)  I’ve also almost finished 4 of the more narrative-focused pages. My art advisor, Jillian, took a look at what I’ve done so far and seemed generally pleased, which was a great relief. This is by far the most difficult creative project I’ve ever taken on.

The most exciting things that happened last week were my interactions with two people. One was a guy who works in Beijing and has taken some really good photographs that he’s volunteered to share with me. He may also have a story to tell about a person in one of the photographs and is willing to answer my questions. Pretty great. You can see some of his awesome photos on his flickr:

one of Vikki's pictures

The other is Vikki, who is ½ Greek, and has agreed to be a character in the story, along

with her family. She also sent me some great photos, told me some good stories, and suggested that the characters encounter a wedding while in Greece. I think this is a very fun idea!

My plan for the rest of this week is to get some school essays out of the way, and then try and complete 2 more page spreads. This will be a miracle and a lot of hard work. Haha.

A cool thing I found this week was these yummy-looking flags: As I’m trying to include flags from each country in my book, as well as food from some places, something like this might actually be a fun way to include both.