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Oh, how I dislike the title of “artist”. It comes with so many presumptions and ideas that just don’t fit with me. But other people tend to insist that I am an artist therefore I reluctantly use the label.

 

But I’m a rather terrible “artist”. I rarely get work done. Not to mention I work slower than a snail moves. I’ve grown a terrible habit of worrying so much about getting a line “perfect” in a sketch. Making everything look pretty (at least to me…I’m sure most things don’t look that great to everyone else). I have so many ideas for pictures and animations and comics, but they never get done because I work so slowly. There’s so may pictures (like the WIP’s I uploaded yesterday) that sit unfinished on my laptop because the work almost gets too much for me. If the picture isn’t done within a week or two it’s very rare that it will get done if it’s not a commission.

 

As bad of a drawer as I was when I was in lower or middle school, I miss just be able to draw for fun and not worry about if the picture looks good enough. If the anatomy’s good, expression’s good, if people will like it, if I’m good enough to one day live off of drawing…

 

I much prefer drawing realism over cartoony things. Cartoony things work for animation or a comic. Otherwise I much prefer painting realistic stuff. But I don’t really do it. Because none of it gets done. And if it does, it gets so rushed at the end because I have to finish it up and thus, the realism is ruined. Case in point…

 

http://sombrastudio.deviantart.com/gallery/7324217#/d2jl7t6

 

I think the eyes are the only things there I like. But I want to do more stuff like that. Because I like it better. So I’ll try to do that. I need to be a much more productive “artist”. So I think I’m going to plan out things that I want to draw. Whether it be an animation or just some painting. Especially the animations. I really don’t have anything for a demo reel. Aside from class exercises but they don’t show off anything special.

 

So…random questions for people so that I can possibly apply these tips to me…

 

1) For those perfectionists out there, how do you bypass your perfectionist streak?

 

2) For those procrastinators out there, any tips for not distracting yourself?

 

3) Any tips for drawing faster? It’s an odd question, but…yeah…I need some of those. Though I often can’t draw as fast as I want to anymore because my hand get’s some bad cramps from drawing for even short periods of time. The pain usually set in when I’m working with my tablet…not so much when I’m just sketching.

Why am I agnostic?

More specifically why am I Christian leaning agnostic?  Why not leaning towards the atheism end of the spectrum?  And why wouldn’t I want to keep the label of “agnostic” forever?

 

I believe I touched base on my history with Christianity in one of my earliest posts here.  I started out claiming Christianity and over time grew strong animosity towards the religion due to my own misconceptions of the religion.  Most of which I read from other people who had even stronger animosity towards the religion than I did.

 

I need to be more comfortable with what I believe.  And what I believe is this:

 

The label of “agnostic” is a cop-out.  It’s saying that  “I don’t know”.  Or rather that’s the guise.  In actuality the position’s more of an “I don’t know so I’m not going to try to learn”.  I’m not even claiming that one can know absolutely what is or isn’t true regarding the workings of the universe, life, afterlife, etc.  What I’m saying though is there is a “more likely than not” situation that can help a person figure out which way to go.  Either towards a theist path or an atheist path.  People can go through agnostic phases, but when one ceases to continue learning about the world, or even attempt to learn about the world, using the term “agnostic” is rather useless and meaningless.

 

Now I tend to look at things as if they were on a sliding scale.  So I’ll place Atheism on one end of the spectrum and Christianity on the other end.  From there’s it’s mainly a game of weighing odds, weighing the price, and weighing what each side has to offer me.  I’ll admittedly say that looking at what each side has to offer me is a rather selfish decision, but it’s one that needs to be there.  “Weighing the price” just means weighing what I’d have to “pay”.  What I’d have to give up in my life in order to follow said path.  And weighing the odds is rather self-explanatory so I won’t go into deeper detail.

 

So I’ll start with what each side has to offer me, the selfish decision.  I suppose I don’t know what Atheism has to offer me. “Reality” I guess.  Whatever reality is.  Though that’s not much of an incentive.  For a girl who desperately wants to escape from reality, offering me reality does nothing for me.  Knowledge?  Well you can gain knowledge outside of being an atheist.  Atheism doesn’t hold claim on intelligence (though many that I’ve come across behave as if it does).  As I don’t know Atheism well enough, I don’t know what it could ever offer me.  It has nothing to offer me because I don’t need to feel smart.  I know enough to get by in the world.  I don’t need to know everything or attempt to know everything.  I don’t need reality because reality is disheartening and stressful.  Sure there’s good things.   My friends, my hobbies, the subcultures I’m a part of.  But even the good doesn’t help with how stressful reality is.

 

I need the security of knowing that someone out there will always care about me no matter who I am (animator, student…), what I am (therian/otherkin, furry, “otaku”), what I believe, or what my interests are.  Whilst I don’t doubt my friends (not so much my family) can accept (or at the most general level tolerate) those deals, people change.  I don’t want that to come across as cruel because I know at least one of my friends reads some of the things I put up here so I hope that isn’t taken in a negative manner.  I need the security of knowing that I’m here for some reason.  I’m terrible at creating my own purpose.  And believe me I’m trying.  I’m rather fed up with animation as a career path.  I could do it, but I don’t think I’m at all good enough or have the passion enough for it.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  Do you know the list of things I would consider for a job?  Animator, illustrator, baker, pet groomer, freelance artist, fursuit maker, comic artist, writer…I want to do all of them, but can’t figure out which one would be a good job.  Not to mention I’d like to think I wasn’t some accident of nature.  Just being here just because.  It’s quite a depressing thought.

 

Now enough of that.  On to weighing the price.  Now we’re all aware that Christianity calls for you to give up a lot.  I suppose I’m not afraid to admit that I make a lot of mistakes that I’m not proud of and want to work to fix.  Well not fix what I’ve done, just fix myself I suppose.  And want forgiveness from the wrong things that I do (despite the fact that the only one in this equation who’d be able to forgive me of such things would be God).  I don’t just mean the obvious wrong things I do.  I also mean the things I do that I feel guilty about.  For some people guilt may go away easily.  For others, it doesn’t.  For everything that Christianity would call for me to give up, it would be things that would probably change my life for the better.  Whether or not I decide to completely give them up is on me though.  Whereas Atheism would call for me to give up something as well.  For when I call myself Agnostic, it’s not because I’m agnostic on the existence of God.  For me, the world wouldn’t make sense without some sort of Creator who at the least started everything off.  Sure I tried to understand the position of “something coming from nothing” in the “scientific” or rather Atheistic point of view.  And I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible with understanding such things.  But I do understand one thing.  The purposeful redefinition of “nothing” to suit the position that nothing can be created from something.  To speak rather frankly, that doesn’t “fly” with me.  But that isn’t the purpose of this post so I won’t go any further with that.  When I say that I’m agnostic, I mean I don’t know what way to turn, what God is like, or who’s closer to understanding Him/it.  That’s not saying that I know for sure that God exists either.  I just don’t frequently question whether or not God exists.  So to take an Atheistic point of view requires me to give up much more than Christianity.

 

I don’t believe I should get into weighing odds.  As I’m still in this process.  Nor am I any good with apologetics.  Nor am I any good at remembering what I read.  So that part is for another time and place.

 

So that’s my beliefs in a nutshell.  Take it or leave it.  I don’t feel like I have to keep hiding everything I feel, believe, etc.

Question for Christians

So I’m sitting here watching a marathon of Touched by an Angel.  I kinda grew up watching it ’cause my mom used to watch it all the time.  I’d never really paid any attention to it before.

 

But anyways…the majority of the emphasis in this show is on the relationship between a person an God/Jesus.  The semantics of beliefs other than that relationship really aren’t discussed much.  Which brings forth a question that’s been bothering me for quite a while:  Aside from the belief in Jesus as your savior and faith in God, what else constitutes being a Christian?  Now I’m well aware that the most would say that this is key and probably a good deal of other beliefs could possibly be debatable.  I don’t believe that.  I find that what else a Christian believes always comes into question.  If you’re a Christian that believes that gays should be able to get married, your faith is questioned.  If you’re a Christian who believes anything else that falls outside the norm of being a Christian, you’re questioned.

 

So do Christians really have to believe everything the bible says?  No deviations at all from it in order to be considered true Christians?  I hear Christians saying that you have your own mind.  And if a person has their own mind and believes something different why does that make them a bad Christian for not always agreeing and parroting (sorry if that word sound harsh…many times people just sound like they’re parroting the Bible and not actually believing it…they “believe” just because the bible says they should) what they’re told because perhaps they feel like they shouldn’t believe any different.

 

Is that a proper assessment or an incorrect one?  Say if I were to convert to Christianity, would I be able to believe something different and still be considered Christian?  Or would I have to “believe” the bible wholeheartedly even though I don’t really believe it?

Now I’m not saying the songs themselves are horrible.  In fact I’m adding in a lot of openings that have songs that I like.  I’m talking about the opening sequence itself.  Whether it’s bad animation or it gives you no insight into what the series is about or the songs are the wrong fit, these openings are examples of bad ones.  I thought about calling these the worst anime openings.  But that would be quite unfair.  These are by far not the worse considering I’ve yet to scratch the surface of different anime series out there.  But these are some pretty bad ones.

 

Bobobo-bobo-bobo OP 1- Wild Challenger

 

I know I said 10…but let me explain this one before I get questioned on it.

 

I don’t add this one in because there’s anything in particular wrong with the opening.  In fact it…pretty much describes the series perfectly.  It’s sheer randomness.  That’s all that Bobobo is.  The animation isn’t terrible.  It’s pretty fun to watch actually if you aren’t paying close attention to the images being thrown at you.  Mostly the music is just awesome.  It gets you pumped up for the show.  The reason I add this in as a “terrible” opening because it’s a trap.  The music lures you in.  You completely forget that the opening clearly just warned you about how random this show is.  The imagery of a guy using his nose hair as whips.  That should be enough that you never want to watch the actual show.  Believe me…don’t watch it.  Ever.  You will lose brain cells.  Lots of them.  I do recommend listening to the full song of Wild Challenger by Jindou though.  It’s a real “pick-me-up” sort of song.  Really energetic and lively.

 

Now on to the actual list of the top ten terrible anime opening sequences…

 

10. Digimon OP 1- Butterfly

 

I put this one in the list for only one reason.  The song doesn’t fit the feeling of the opening.  The song’s great.  But there’s something about the annoying American opening to this series that fit the feel of the opening much better than a campy pop song.  Butterfly owns the American opening to this series by far.  But musically, the song just doesn’t fit.  It doesn’t get me pumped to watch the show like the American opening did.  But still it’s a fairly decent opening so that’s why it makes 10 on my list.

 

9. Highschool of the Dead OP 1- Highschool of the Dead

 

Now, I’m sure (if anyone reads this) I’d get flamed for putting this one in here.  But I’ve got my reasons.

 

This opening isn’t completely terrible.  The song’s great.  Decent animation.  Honestly, parts of this opening really get you pumped for the series.  The problem comes in with the gratuitous fan-service.  That’s right.  The copious amounts of breast bouncing and panty shots from all the women in this show.  Even the opening has enough fan-service for the entire series.  When I first saw the opening I was pretty pumped for watching the series.  I also have a fairly high tolerance for gravity defying breasts and useless panty shots.  But…but when most series fit in fan-service there’s a reason for it.  Either the girls are showing off to guys they like.  Or maybe (like in the case of Kallen from Code Geass) they’re sitting in a way that would be natural for them to be sitting in but the “camera” angle is showing them off in some way.  But this show (and this opening) has absolutely no reason for it.  It doesn’t fit in anywhere.  It’s just…there.  The opening itself has pseudo-soft core porn/playboy model shots of some of the students (and the school nurse who’s purely in the series for fan-service).  The concept of the series had potential.  It’s a decent show over all and a decent opening sequence overall.  If it weren’t for the soft core porn, I probably wouldn’t have added it on this list.

 

8. Detective Conan OP 8- Koi wa Thrill, Shock, Suspense

 

I love this song.  Rina Aiuchi has a great voice.  This is nothing against the song in the video.  This is actually nothing against the video.  I find it absolutely amusing and it’s one of my favorite openings because it’s one, a para para dance (a simple one but a para nonetheless) and two, poor Conan’s expression throughout the entire video.  He’s clearly not getting paid enough for that mess.  I do have two problems with this video.  The first is that it’s poorly animated.  The dance steps are completely off the beat.  The second problem I have with it is that this opening has nothing to do with the series.  If you walked into the series on this opening (which you could actually do and you’d really have few problems understanding the series) you wouldn’t have any idea what the series is about from this opening.  The only character you’re introduced to is Conan plus the silhouettes of a few other characters.  The series has absolutely nothing to do with dancing.  The only reason I put this on the list is because despite the fact that I like this opening, it has nothing to do with the series.  Unfortunately there is a much worse opening from the same show that is also going on this list later on.

 

7. Yugioh GX OP 1- Kaisei Joushou Hallelujah

 

Again, this is an opening with a song that I love (made by the same group that makes, but the opening just doesn’t match up.  The cutting of this song for the opening is horrid.  Not to mention it’s a poor fit for the series.  Some parts worked.  Some parts were just poorly planned out.  Particularly when they broke out into the rap.  It’s a fun part of the song.  But it’s fit into a part where there’s no action.  It’s just silly comedy.  Most of which had nothing to do with the show (which I’m sure most people are familiar with the “plot” of Yugioh by this point).  The way they cut the song to fit to the minute thirty for the opening.  The song’s short enough as it is.  It didn’t need to be butchered to the degree that it was.

 

6. Yugioh Season “Zero” OP- Kawaita Sakebi

 

The so called season “zero” of Yugioh owns the commonly known Yugioh series that was seen in the US.  This series…you can only watch it online pretty much.  It was never released other than in manga/comic form in America.  Once you read it, you would understand why 4Kids could never dub this version.  It’s miles more violent than the children’s card game that we’re all used to.  Case in point…Yami plays a “game” with a robber/escaped convict and the “game” ends in the convict setting himself on fire (in the anime it turns out the fire is an illusion…in the manga the man literally sets himself on fire).  Plus Yami Yugi (and Yugi Motou) live up to their title of “Yugiou” which means King of Games.

 

I put this opening up here though because it doesn’t match the feel of the series.  It’s slow and boring.  Yet again, this a song that I like to a degree.  I don’t listen to it on a regular basis.  But for the series, the sequence is a poor representation of what the show is.  Too much of the focus is on the card game when cards don’t play a major role in the series until the end.  Not to mention the song is a poor fit for the series.  Just look at the opening for the sequence.  Yugi walking on some dull path with hieroglyphic covered half-columns.  That’s the tone that this opening sets for this good 27 episode “pilot” for the show.

 

5. King of Bandit Jing- Shout it Loud

 

I need to finish watching this series because despite it’s bad animation, the story’s pretty fun.  And again, this is a song I really like.  My problem with this opening is that it bombards you with uber colorful images of the show’s title and logo.  It’s trying entirely too hard to make sure that you don’t forget the name of the series.  Between animated frames or still images they flash frames of the title of the show and keep going back to the super colorful version with the title and logo.  The first 11 seconds or so of the opening are just that of the title of the series.  Not to mention we keep getting flashes of it in the middle of the opening or overlapping with some images.  Plus it ends with tell us the name of the series again.  We get it.  We won’t forget it.  The show should be able to speak for itself.  Tell us the title once or twice (in the beginning and the end) but don’t keep flashing it here and there.  The audience isn’t stupid.  I the show’s good, we’ll remember it and watch it more.  If not, we’ll forget about it.

 

 

4. Full Metal Alchemist OP 1- Melissa

 

For such an active and peppy song, the sequence is so amazingly slow!  This is the opening that I’ve never seen, despite having watched a good deal of the series.  Adult Swim never aired this opening.  It just started with Ready, Steady, Go (which is a song I might cover on a different top 10 list).  The only interesting parts that might’ve given any hints as to what the series is about was the fight sequence, which was short and a bit dizzying due to the constantly spinning “camera”.  The shots of the landscape were pointless.  They were just taking up space.  Same with the tilt on the arm in the beginning.  Fun song.  Absolutely poor opening.

 

3. Ranma 1/2 OP 1- Don’t Make Me a Shrew

 

There’s running…more running…some terrible dancing.  Even more running.  Ranma getting water thrown on him so he turns into a girl.  More running.  And end pose.  That’s it.  If it weren’t for the fact that there was animation in this opening, I probably would’ve put this at number one.  This is an example of a bad random opening.  Randomness works for some series.  If the series is already random and doesn’t have a set story then use a random opening.  Random can work.  This was random working in a bad way.  It’s dull and repetitive.  But it’s a cute opening so I put it at number 3.

 

2. Chobits OP 1- Let Me Be With You

 

Let me preface this by saying that I’ve never seen the series.  I’ve been meaning to watch it, but I’ve never gotten around do it.  However, I’ve watched the opening.  To most people’s surprise, I actually like the song itself.  Repetitive and slow…not to mention the vocals are a bit grating, but it’s cute.  Definitely not the best song out there by any means, but it’s cute.  The opening itself…if there was anything that could make this song any slower it’s the “animation” that goes along with it.  I’m loosely using the word animation here because what was animated in this opening was very minimal.  The opening is mostly shots of Chi and Hideki.  Back and forth pans with them.  Color changing silhouettes and photoshop mosaic filters.  That’s it.  While watching it, you just want the opening to end.  It’s boring.  You don’t want to watch any further.

 

1. Detective Conan OP 30- Tear Drops

 

Okay…

 

I love Detective Conan.  I really do.  It’s a great show.  Long…but a great show.  But this opening is pure crap.  Now you might be thinking that I should’ve put Koi wa Thrill, Shock, Suspense as first instead of this opening.  At least this opening had some of the other characters (mainly Ran and Shinichi…though if you want to be technical about it, Shinichi’s in every opening).  It establishes some sort of relationship in there.  But that is besides the point.  The point is that this opening takes itself seriously.  Not only does it take itself seriously, but it has terrible animation and nothing to do with the series other than the relationship between Ran and Shinichi/Conan.  But the worst of it has to be the horrid rotoscoped-looking dance sequence in the middle of the opening.  It features the singer of the song doing the dance that she does in the actual music video for Tear Drops.  The dance isn’t even that good.  She literally has nothing to do with the series yet she’s featured in about half the opening.  The actual parts of the opening that do have to do with the series in some way are pretty poorly thought out.  Most of the interaction between Ran and Shinichi/Conan is taken from a Valentine’s Day episode (maybe parts were reanimated for this opening but still it’s a very close re-hashing).  Kaito Kid didn’t need to be in the opening.  He technically has nothing to do with Detective Conan.  He’s from a series (by the same author, Gosho Aoyama) called Magic Kaitou.  Honestly, this is the epitome of a terrible anime opening.

 

So there we have.  Top ten terrible anime opening sequences.  The sad thing is I like all these songs (with the exception of Don’t Make Me a Shrew).  Next up…the 10 best anime opening sequences.  I will talk about the best and worst of anime songs, but for now I’m just focusing on the sequence as a whole.

Hatred of young celebrities?

Okay, it was really the introduction of Justin Bieber’s movie “Never Say Never” that made me think a little more about this subject.  That coupled with a few of my friends and their mentality about him and celebrities like him.  As well as the way I think/thought about younger celebrities.

 

Especially among people my age (21; in their late teens to twenties) there seems to be this trend of hating teen celebrities.  Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Victoria Justice…you name it, there’s probably someone out there who hates them without reason for hating them.  But for simplicity’s sake, I think I’ll just stick with Justin Bieber since I personally know so many anti-Bieber people.  Including myself at one point until I realized that I had no reason to dislike him at all.  I know nothing about him.

 

What it really is is jealousy.  Here comes this 15-16 year old kid who we’re told was discovered off YouTube and here we are in our late teens and twenties still going to school, still trying to earn degrees to get a decent job.  And even after we get degrees we still have a ridiculous time trying to search for a job.  We’re told that it was luck.  That Bieber was discovered after someone famous saw him on YouTube and wanted to sign him to a record deal.  Is it true?  Probably.  But do we know everything else that he had to do before he was discovered on YouTube?  No.

 

Now some people don’t like him because they say he’s untalented.  Is it true?  No.  Of course he’s talented.  He’s not the greatest singer ever.  There’s plenty of singers who have very similar sounds to his.  But obviously people like him or else he wouldn’t be where he is today.  It’s not just teens either.  Some adults like him as well.  Not to mention that it’s adults that he works for and adults that have to buy his CD’s for their kids.

 

Jealousy is the real name of the game.  Anyone who doesn’t admit this is just lying to themselves.

 

Don’t like that he has a movie?  Tough.  I think he’s too young to be having his life’s story, however his message is something that anyone should get behind.  He didn’t give up on what he wanted to do.  Neither should anyone else.

 

Don’t like that he’s famous?  Again, tough.  He’s got a niche audience and this audience is going to keep paying to see him.  The only way you’ll stop his fame is by stopping the millions of fans he has from seeing him.  That is a near impossibility.

 

If you really want to ‘hate’ someone, find a reason to do so.  Don’t use a cheap reason like “I hate their music” or “How dare he have a movie?!”.  That’s a ludicrous reason to hate a person as a whole.

New Project: “Tri-Angle”

“TAS” stands for “Traditional Animation Studio”.  It’s a class where I’m allowed to create my own project.  It’s a class that students are allowed to take twice (in order to finish up a project if it’s necessary or if the student wants to).  Which was my initial plan.  I was going to finish my project that I was calling “No Escape”.  It was more of a psychological thriller.  I knew it had some loose ends to be tied up and cleaned up.  And I had planned on doing so.  However, apparently no one in the class could understand my “story” (which I admit that there really was no story).  And the teacher couldn’t either.  So my options were to change my story to something I didn’t want to do or to come up with a completely new story.  I chose the latter.

So this is really my plan B and I’m using a very wonderful song as the base for my story.  I’ve only got a few weeks to get stuff done so there’s no way that I can finish the entire project.  But perhaps if I like it enough I can work on it over the summer as well.

The song I’m going to use for the base story is a Korean song called “Tri-Angle” by DBSK (feat. BoA and The Trax). :

Definitely going to have to add the subtitles to my own project or else the story won’t be understood.  So far I’m working out the details.  Tomorrow I plan on doing a few thumbnail sketches.  Honestly I don’t really want anymore input on the story.  I just want to work on my own thing.  I don’t want to please other people doing this.  If other people like it, it’s fine.  If people understand it, that’s fine too.  It’s a plus.  But I’m not working on a story that isn’t mine when the point of the class is working on my own story.  Outside of this class of course I’ll work on things that aren’t mine.

Anyways, I’ve got three characters I’m working with: Sombra, Yesebel, and an unnamed wire-coated Ibizan Hound.  Yesebel’s a hellhound.  The Ibizan Hound is an angel.  Sombra is…Sombra.  Just a regular mutt.

So basically I created a section completely devoted to this project.  With all the sketches, pencil tests, character sheets and bios and whatever else that pertains to the story.

 

EDIT:  Well it’s not being done for my TAS class.  But I will keep the project.  I’ve written up a decent story to go with it.  Next step would be storyboarding.  If only I didn’t get another idea recently.  But this animation will get done.  I do need things for a demo reel…

Definition of “nothing”

Okay, this has been bugging me for quite a while and wasn’t on my mind until today.  I was talking with my friend (whom we share both similar and drastically different spiritual views) about what constitutes as “nothing”.  Yes…we were talking about the origin of the universe.  And we’ve both heard the “nothing doesn’t really mean ‘nothing'” when it comes to the “nothing” of the universe.

 

Now, I’m a stickler for actual definitions of words.  I hate swear words (well…a love/hate relationship with them) because they’re often used out of context.  A “bitch” isn’t a horrible woman.  It’s a female dog.  An “ass” isn’t an unintelligent person or someone’s buttocks.  It’s a donkey.  How these words come to new and often ridiculous meaning is beyond me.  So I’m going to break down the word “nothing” to see if there’s a way that can fit in the concept that “nothing” doesn’t mean the “absence of things” (whatever “things” are).

 

Firstly, nothing is technically a compound word composed of the words “no” and “thing”.  But first let’s go into the definition of “nothing” as a whole word.

 

Nothing (pronoun; according to Collins English Dictionary)

1) (indefinite) no thing; not anything, as of an implied specific class of things (IE: I can give you nothing.)

2) No part or no share (IE: I have nothing to do with this crime.)

3) A matter of no importance or significance  (IE: It doesn’t matter, it’s nothing.)

4) Indicating the absence of anything perceptible; nothingness

5) Indicating the absence of meaning, value, worth, etc. (IE: Amounting to nothing)

6) Zero quantity; nought

 

The last one is to be broken up into different subcategories, but I believe that the point is made regardless.  In this case we’d be working with definitions 1, 4, 5, and 6.  Specifically 4 (which I bolded for importance sake), the absence of anything perceptible.  Of course one can say of the universe that this means that there are things out there that we cannot perceive and these are the things that started the universe.  However that will lead to a few questions.  One, how do you know there are things out there that you cannot perceive?  Two, how do you know that these are the things that started/lead to the beginning of the universe?  And three, would the definition of nothing under these constraints continue to be pushed back further and further once these objects that could not be perceived become perceived?

 

I suppose then that I should define what “perceptible” means so that is clear as well.

 

Perceive (verb; as defined by Collins English Dictionary)

 

1) To become aware of (something) through the sense, especially the sight; recognize or observe

2) To come to comprehend; grasp

 

So that we’re very clear on what it means to “perceive” something.

 

What I’m annoyed with so much by this notion of “nothing” doesn’t mean what you think “nothing” means is that it’s a term created purposely to suit what the “scientist” needs the term to mean.  We know the universe had a beginning.  We know this beginning meant that not a thing existed in the universe before the universe existed.  What we don’t know is the means that the universe began.  There’s a point where science needs to acknowledge that it will never be able to explain everything.  Changing the definition of a word to fit what you want it to mean doesn’t make the new definition more valid.  Just because people say “bitch” to mean a woman (generally; it can also be used towards men) who’s rude, mean, insensitive, etc. doesn’t negate the fact that that’s not what a bitch is.  In proper context it’s a valid word used to describe the female gender of a canine.

 

What did the definition of “nothing” become?  It now describes an infinite void where nothing except the universe contained inside of it can exist.  So now I have to figure out what “void” means.

 

Void (noun; from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

 

1) An empty space

2) A vacuum

 

This now forces me to define two more things, “empty” and “vacuum”.  Defining empty however will just circle back around to the definition of nothing (as “empty” as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language is defined as “holding or containing nothing”.  Vacuum circles back around to both the definitions of “empty” and “void”.  That is aside from the definitions of it being “a state of being sealed off from external or environmental influences; isolation”, but that’s not a definition to work with anyways.  The ones we would be working with would be “absence of matter”, “a space empty of matter” (which is very similar to saying an absence of matter), or “a space relatively empty of matter”.

 

Honestly, I could go on and on breaking down words until there is a decent enough definition, however I think the point stands.  What definition of “nothing” are we going by?  A linguistically established standard of nothing that everyone is aware of and can look up in any basic dictionary?  Or a “scientifically” created version of “nothing” created because there needed to be a new definition of “nothingness” in order to fit in with the mold that “scientists” needed “nothing” to fit into?

What constitutes as art?

Or the second half of this question, what makes an artist?

 

Now this is a weighted subject filled with a lot of different ideas about what an artist is and isn’t and what does or doesn’t make art.  I’d love to hear from other artists about what does or doesn’t constitute as art.  But first I’ll share my own opinions on the subject.

 

I don’t refer to myself as an artist.  I am a cartoonist, animator, illustrator, but I do not consider myself an “artist”.  That’s not to say that I don’t believe those things aren’t art.  I do believe that cartoons and illustrations are their own art form.  “Artist” is a weighted term that I would rather not burden myself with.  When a society pictures an artist, we picture a person sitting at an easel working with their acrylics or oils painting elaborately beautiful images that any person would love to have in their home.  When we speak of artists, we either picture someone like Caravaggio, Michelangelo, DiVinci, or we picture someone like Pollack or Picasso.  There is an established idea of what an artist is.  I don’t agree with that established image of an “artist” but it’s there.

 

What I believe constitutes an artist is someone who is consciously using their preferred medium (whether it be music, writing, painting, etc.) to evoke some sort of emotional response from an audience.  This can either be done though composition, characters, lighting (if it’s a drawing), pitch, lyrics, tempo (if it’s music), or dialogue, setting, etc. (if it’s writing).  Why don’t I consider myself an artist?  Because I don’t aim to do that.  If I do so, I count it as a fluke.  I only aim to please myself with what I make.  I don’t create anything specifically for an audience.  I suppose if people like what I draw/make it’s a bonus.  I prefer to work on my own projects for myself.  If on a particular day I feel like drawing some realistic Pokemon, then I’ll draw a realistic pokemon.  If I want to draw an animal portrait, I’ll draw a portrait.  If I want to draw a gift for another artist, I’ll do that as well.  And if I want to draw something where I pour my own emotions into it, I’ll do that as well.  I suppose I don’t consider myself an artist because I’m very selfish about my art.  I work for myself, by myself.

 

I prefer labels of “cartoonist”, “animator”, and “illustrator” over “artist” because those other labels are specifics that tell what it is that I do.  I draw cartoons.  I can animate (though I’m still learning on that front).  And I illustrate.  “Artist” is a very generic term that encompasses all, but every person has their own definition of what an artist is.  Illustrators may be artists to most, but cartoonists aren’t naturally thought of as “artists”.

 

As for what it is that I consider art, it’s a rare day if you can get me to call something not art.  I don’t want to tell someone what is and isn’t art.  However of course there are things that I consider art and things that I don’t consider art.  99% of the time, I don’t consider simple drawings like stick figures art.  I’ve found a few examples of amazing stick figure work (if you’ve ever seen Animator vs. Animation then you know exactly what I mean by amazing stick figure work).  Snapshots of a person in front of their mirrors (AKA “Myspace” or “Facebook” shots) aren’t art.  It doesn’t matter if you messed with it in photoshop and turned it black and white.  It isn’t art.  There’s a beautiful art to capturing artistic photos (whether they be portrait shots, landscape portraits, or more).

 

In all honesty, it would be much easier and wiser to show you what I believe is art rather than explain it all through words:

 

I’ll go through a few different works to show different styles, techniques, even mediums that I consider art.  So first up is a digital painting.  I believe that not a lot of people would consider digital art as a viable form of artwork but I’m out to show that it is.  It does take real skills to paint a picture on a computer as it does to paint a picture by hand.

 

by Cryslara

Here’s a beautiful painting by an artist on deviantart (where I’ll probably be getting most of these pictures) named Cryslara entitled “Forgiveness”.  A lot of misconceptions around digital art is that the computer does all the work for you.  That the “artist” doesn’t put in any effort.  Photoshop, Open Canvas, Painter, or whatever other program an artist may use does all the “real” work in painting a picture.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t believe that there’s any computer program on earth capable of painting this level of beauty on it’s own.  You can tell that there’s a personal human touch here.  The colors, lighting, movement of the cloth, plants, hair, wings, etc…these all invoke this emotion of wonder and awe in me.

 

On the complete flip side of things is the image below.  A comical, cartoony piece by Vaporotem portraying some pokemon (Cyndaquil, Kirlia, Gochimiru, Meowth, and Baffuron) portrayed as the main characters from another anime series called Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (Baffuron as Garterbelt, Cyndaquil as Chuck, Kirlia as Panty, and Gochimiru as Stocking; I don’t advise watching the series unless you can stomach crude humor).  This image is funny, cute, and silly.  Even more so if you understand the references of both series.  It’s also very fun stylistically.  The colors and shapes are very appealing to look at.  It also might be a little disturbing and weird which on it’s own is another sort of emotion to evoke from people.  Art doesn’t always have to beautiful (as this picture isn’t so much beautiful as it is silly and odd).

 

Now I’ve posted two version of drawings that I view as artistic.  I left out traditional art as this is the default for what is seen as “artistic”.  But I’ve got a few more versions of artistic images that I’ve got to show that shows what I think art is.  These are non-drawings and non-sculptures (I also left sculpture out as this is another default for what “art” really is).

 

 

by Vaporotem

by LatinVixenThis sweet little lady is named Valerie.  She’s a personal character (though the artist sold this suit now I believe) by the artist who goes by the name “LatinVixen”.

 

I honestly love this costume for it’s cute factor and it’s craftsman ship.  Especially the mask.  The eyes are absolutely beautiful.  I love that they “follow” you but not in the typical creepy way that I see of most costumes.  The airbrushing of the spots and blending of the markings (both on the face and the body).  Like it or hate it, you can’t deny the level of craftsmanship and talent needed to create a costume like this.

 

 

This last one I can’t find a way to insert the image of this last one but it’s a photograph I find absolutely fitting to add into what I think what art is:

 

Mother’s Day by BittyKate/Whisk Kid

 

I consider this art in two ways.  Firstly, it’s a wonderfully composed photograph that perfectly shows off this beautiful and delicious cupcake.  The focus is exactly where you want it.  She wasn’t afraid to place the cupcake off center.  In fact, the fact that the cupcake is off center is what makes this a beautiful photograph.  Secondly, the cupcake itself is art.  You wouldn’t think of food as art would you?  But it can be.  If I wasn’t so into baking and cooking now I probably would’ve thought it either.  It’s a product of watching so much Food Network I suppose.  The flower in the center of the cake…the color of it works wonderfully against the dark chocolate.  Even the subtle green of the pistachios both on the cake and on the plate makes this beautiful.

 

So I’d like to start up some sort of conversation on the subject.  What is it that you all consider art?  What do you consider an artist to be?

Tl;dr: No Excuse

Stands for “Too Long; Didn’t Read”.  It took me a while to figure out what this meant as I’m not up on my internet lingo like most people my age are.  Often this abbreviation is used online as a playful means of shortening up what otherwise would’ve been a long rant by the person leaving a post or comment.  However, there are people who use this as a truthful method to describe why they don’t care about your opinion on an issue.  For example.  Let’s say someone wrote a well thought out reason for why they don’t agree with a hot button issue like abortion, same sex marriage, war, etc.  This thing they wrote up could be referencing the best of the best of essays or interviews.  Perhaps the writer interviewed a few people of their own and came to a conclusion base upon what they’ve learned.  They’ve put up a very convincing argument on their view on whatever issue it is they’re writing about.

 

Now here comes a person. They’re probably (more often than not) some smart-aleck teenager who thinks they know everything about how the world works so they decide that since the writer’s opinion is different than theirs, they dismiss the views of the writer, call them idiots, and write in incorrect English and chat-speak about how wrong the writer is.  The problem this teenager has is that they never read past the first paragraph.  They realized that the writer disagreed with their views and stereotyped them along with his idea of what people like that believe.  They made assumptions about why the writer believed what they believed.

 

If something is too long, that’s no excuse for you to make assumptions on what’s actually written.  “Too long; Didn’t read” is no excuse for remaining ignorant on a subject.  What you’re doing when you say this is you’re admitting that you’re too lazy to read something that’s a few pages long (if online…would be much longer if it’s a book).  If you’re faced with the chance to learn more about a different position then do it.  Don’t continue to pretend like you know what you’re talking about.  I’m not saying that you have to agree with the opposite position.  But learn about that position.  Then look at why you believe what you do.  Weigh the sides and see which one comes out stronger.  Now am I perfect on this front?  No.  I’m most certainly not.  The difference between me and some other people though, is I can learn from the mistakes I make and admit that I make mistakes.  I often talk myself in circles without realizing it.  But I take the time to learn about different points of views.  I don’t always understand it or agree with them, but I’ll learn about them.

 

I mentioned teenagers earlier, but I don’t want to single teens out.  Even though adults don’t say “tl;dr” like a teen would, many adults still have the same attitude about subject matters.  And it’s harder to break an adult of the habit of disliking or spreading false information about something or someone than it is with a teen.  But I would encourage adults to have the same open-mindedness that I would encourage of anyone.

This is going to be a more elaborate version of an “essay” I wrote for Deviantart pertaining to the same question.  The basic idea is what would happen if therianthropy/otherkin were proven wrong?  How would you cope with the idea?  Is it even possible to prove these ideas wrong?  I believe I left some holes in the last essay so I’m revamping it to elaborate on a few points.

 

Is it possible to prove therianthropy and/or otherkin wrong?  I suppose it depends on the point of view one takes on the subject.  There’s two main points of views that need to be looked at when speaking of therianthropy/otherkin: Spiritual and Psychological.  The therian/otherkin who looks at the phenomenon in a spiritual light will have drastically different ideas than the therian/otherkin who looks at it in a psychological light.  Either way, it can neither be proven nor disproved.  However, for the sake of argument let’s say that it could be disproved.  How would one go about that?

 

From the Spiritual Perspective


Quite frankly, I don’t know how one would go about disproving something from a spiritual perspective.  However there’s two things that science would have to disprove in order to say that therianthropy from the spiritual perspective is false.  The first is the existence of a soul.  The second is that the soul of a non-human could inhabit a human body.  I left otherkin out for the moment because there some extra ideas that need to be disproved.  Those are the ideas that mythical creatures existed (either in this world or another plane of existence) and that if these souls came from another plane of existence that they can cross space and time to end up in this world.

 

I’ll start of with this first because it is the easiest thing to disprove.  It would be hard to find anyone willing that believes that it’s possible for a human to contain the soul of a dragon or fairy.  I covered this a little bit in my post on past life memories, but it takes a stretch of the imagination to believe that a soul will cross space, time, and dimension just to end up in some human body.  It is a wild claim that can’t be substantiated.  But it’s wilder still to claim to know that these creatures exist or have existed somewhere in the universe.  Now I believe in the possibility of life out there, but will remain skeptical until it is otherwise proven to me that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe.  I have to say it’s much easier to disprove otherkin from a spiritual perspective than it is to disprove therianthropy from the same perspective.

 

So I’ll cover therianthropy now.  Like I said before you have to disprove two things; that the soul exists and that an inhuman soul could be placed into a human body.  Let’s start with the existence of a soul.  How would you go about this?  What would you be looking for?  It’s possible that you could run some tests on the human body and potentially find the soul.  However we have no knowledge of what the soul looks like or where it’s located in the body.  But there are a lot more pressing issues that go with this.  Let’s say that we had knowledge of what the soul looked like and it was proven without a doubt that the soul did not exist.  Therians would be the furthest thing on people’s minds.  Let’s face it.  How many of you reading this even know what I’m talking about when I speak of therianthropy?  Most of you have never heard the term.  Some might have heard the term but only in terms of beings or deities that are part human-part animal.  So this is something that no one would be thinking about.  If you could disprove the existence of a soul, you would single-handedly disprove all of religion.  Or rather most religions as most religions revolve around some idea of a soul that lives on after death.  Don’t you think that would be a more pressing issue than proving whether or not it’s possible for a human to feel as a non-human?

 

If souls were disproved, you would disprove most psychic phenomenon, ghost/spirit sightings, angels and demons (which by default then means that angel and demon-kin are wrong).  It would mean that anyone fitting into these categories would be first up for going into some sort of psychiatric care.  I would also place those who honestly believe that it was aliens who started life on earth in this category as well (but this can go for non-therians/otherkin as I’ve heard this as one of the plausible “theories” for life starting on earth).

 

Now onto the second possibility: The psychological standpoint.

 

From the Psychological Perspective


I think this perspective might scare people a little bit.  When we use the word “psychological” we usually speak of some sort of mental ailment that needs to be cured.  This isn’t the case.  A psychological anomaly doesn’t need to be something that has to be cured.  Something that interferes with a person’s everyday life.  It can just be something that makes a person think differently or feel differently than “the norm” (whatever normal is).  So we need to get out of the mindset that “psychological” means something’s wrong with you and begin to think of it differently.

 

We as humans cannot pretend like we comprehend how the brain works 100%.  We’re still learning more and more things about it.  However there are plausible ways that both otherkin and therianthropy could be proven true using psychology.

 

We it comes right down to it, we all know that we’re human.  We have no special knowledge of animals.  What we know of animals are what we’ve learned through experiences with them (IE: pets, seeing animals in the wild, watching documentaries, and going to zoos).  I don’t believe anyone who claims to have any special knowledge of a specific animals species based upon the fact that they  “are” that animal.  It’s an impossibility.  The only thing that you know is what you are right now.  The only things that can be made are close approximations based on feelings, personality, and behaviors.  This could account for the high number of canine (specifically wolf) therians or any other species of animal that are thought of as “majestic”.

 

To start with wolves, humans have always had a tie with them.  We domesticated them and they became the hundreds of breeds of domestic dogs that we have today.  Humans are around dogs on a daily basis.  We see them when we walk down the street.  We have them as pets.  Many of us have some sort of experience with them.  With wolves especially, these are animals that are culturally thought of as evil due to religious contexts or historic context (wolves killing farm animals and humans, specifically the history of werewolves).  Wolves are also thought of as very spiritual creatures.  Whatever it may be, humans and wolves have a strong tie to one another.

 
Felines are the second most common type of animal found in the therian community.  You’d be hard pressed not to find a therian community that doesn’t have a large portion of lions, tigers, leopards, or domestic cats.    Cats are another animal that humans are exposed to on a daily basis.  Statistically, there are more cats as pets than they are dogs.  Look at what we think of as “feline” behavior.  Aloofness and gracefulness.  These are human traits that we just attribute to cats.  Believe me, cats aren’t nearly as graceful as you may think.  Ever see a cat attempt to jump up on something and fall short?  It’s quite a funny sight especially when what they were trying to jump up on isn’t very high.

 

But that’s besides the point.  These are animals that we are exposed to since childhood.  Not just domestic cats and dogs, but their wild counterparts too.  Wolves, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs.  Perhaps there’s something about these animals that resonated with us strongly that subconsciously they became ingrained in our minds and personalities.  Of course I cannot speak for other therians.  I can only speak for myself and I believe I covered this topic a little bit in previous posts.  But I shall reiterate it for this one.  I was terrified of dogs when I was younger.  I believe the fear came from being around my uncle’s dog Jordan.  He was just the meanest Bulldog.  Whenever I was around him, he’d bark and growl at me and try to get at me.  I didn’t like his other dog, Crispy (this little terrier) either.  He was just a very yappy dog so I thought he was trying to attack me too (looking back on it, I don’t think he was).  So I developed a phobia of them.  I didn’t want to be around dogs.  I didn’t even like Golden Retrievers and they’re supposed to be one of the gentlest breeds.  I remember running away from one, hiding in my mom’s car and crying.

 

I was never terrified of seeing a picture of a dog or a cartoon dog (in fact, Scooby Doo was one of my favorite characters growing up).  Just real dogs.  On the flip side though, I loved werewolves and anything to do with animal transformation.  One of my favorite series was Big Wolf on Campus.  A show that used to come on (then FOX Family) ABC Family about a high school student who was bitten by a werewolf and became one.  I just loved seeing humans turn from on thing into another.  It’s a like of mine that’s stuck with me for some time now (though at the moment, I’m very picky about my werewolf movies…there aren’t too many good ones).  But I realized that not only was it the change from human to animal that I liked but the struggle to keep one’s humanity.

 

I believe it was some mix of those two things that triggered something in me that made me feel the way I do.  Perhaps a subconscious notion that if I “became” a canine that maybe I wouldn’t be afraid of them anymore.  Or perhaps it was triggered through realizing that dogs weren’t so bad after all.  That’s assuming that there might be a genetic component to therianthropy and perhaps the right conditions were met for it to be triggered.  That takes a lot of assumptions so I won’t go any further with that theory.  Or it might even just be a subconscious desire to be like a werewolf or were-creature that made me like this.  There’s a lot to work with.

 

There is one nasty fault with the psychological perspective though and that leaves open room for fiction/media-kin and otaku-kin.  These are the people who feel like they are a fictional character.  This is a subject for another post, however I will say that it’s not uncommon to relate to fictional characters.  When people write stories, scripts for television/movies, comics, etc., they purposely create characters for people to relate too.  If no one related to the characters then the story wouldn’t be successful.  No one would be interested.  There is a fault with saying you are that character.  I believe the only people who reserve the right to say they are a character is the person who created the characters themselves.

 

So how would I cope if one day someone told me that this was all false?  I’ll just have to realize that I have awkward quirks that I can’t explain.  Feeling like a dog doesn’t interfere with my life.  I have friends and hobbies.  I’m going to school and pursing a career (despite wanting to possibly change what career I’m pursuing…but that’s noting out of the ordinary).  I don’t have to cope with anything.  I’m smart enough to know not to show any animalistic behaviors in public.  That’s reserved for the privacy of my own home.  Is it hard at times to suppress a behavior that comes naturally for me?  Yes.  But I do it because I have to.

 

Let’s face it.  We can swallow a lot of strange ideas in this society.  The idea that someone doesn’t feel the right gender.  That one can make a bit of sense depending on if the science behind it is correct.  But the idea that someone doesn’t feel the right species is an odd one.  Especially from the spiritual perspective.  I completely understand the hesitation when it comes to believing people who say they are ‘X’ animal or they are ‘X’ creature.  But I do think there is a reason for it.  One that isn’t necessarily just spiritual.  Spirituality can play a role in it however I believe that the phenomenon is something rooted in the brain and something that can be pinpointed and explained.  It might take some work but I believe that it is possible.