Hobby Corner: August ART Edition

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Hey peeps, so I wanted to do something a little different and talk about hobbies other than reading. I KNOW, it’s weird, right? Well, when I think about what my other hobbies are, I seem to always to defer to the usual: writing, drawing/art, and playing video games. Each have been a huge part of my life almost my entire life, and I can’t see myself without any of them in my life at all.

How is it going to work? Well, I’m going to be introducing a bit of different things to the blog once a month that will include artwork, poetry, writing (which I’ve already introduced), video games, anime, etc. Whatever my hobbies are, that’s what I’m going to talk about that month! It’ll become more detail and focused on certain topics and other things after the initial introductions are out of the way, but for now, I’m just going to talk about why each of these hobbies are so loved by me.

So, for this month I’m going to talk about ART!

Now, for those who don’t know, I love to draw. I always have, so I can’t really pinpoint a time where it really began, BUT I can tell you that my love for drawing grew after my introduction to manga in sixth grade, around the age of eleven or twelve. I loved manga and anime styles, and my friends who introduced me were also very much into them.

As I got older, though, and continued to take art classes every year throughout my schooling, my art began to improve more and more, but I feel like I’ve reached a sort of plateau when it comes to certain styles of drawing – my style – and though I’m okay with that, of course I’d like to improve still. In fact, I love art so much that I took AP Art in high school (and got a 0 for the AP score, but an A for the class, oh well) and I minored in art in college.

The picture above on the left was drawn using only charcoal pastels. I’ve always loved drawing flowers, especially roses, and when I have a model to use it makes it much easier to draw. The picture on the right was drawn free hand, but I did use a little help from online sources for the placement of the hands.

I know my strengths lie in still life, pencil, pastels, and charcoal. My favorite medium is in graphite pencil, with charcoal being a close second. But I also draw digitally.

I love drawing and creating cute chibi characters for people on other websites or just for fun (I did a whole bunch when I was still on Gaia Online, which is where the above pictures were drawn for: people on Gaia). They’re the easiest to me, especially head shots, and I just have a special place in my heart for this style of drawing.

I haven’t drawn much since I graduated college, though. I’ve been in sort of a rut since having to work full time, but when I participated in the Biannual Bibliothon, I did a challenge where I let a character take over my channel and I chose be Feyre from A Court of Mist and Fury and paint three paintings.

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And it was marvelous.

The paintings didn’t come out spectacular, but it was the first real kind of art I had done in a long time and it felt amazing. I had a blast! And I’d totally do it again, too.

Being able to touch and hold paints, paintbrushes, markers, colored pencils, sketchbooks, tablet pens, and more just bring a whole other level of happiness into my life and I don’t know why I don’t just do it more.

I think having hobbies that you love and cherish are important, especially when they’ve been so part of your life for as long as art has for me. So pick up that paintbrush, get those colored pencils, and make art!

If you want to check out more of my work, you can visit my deviantART account. I don’t post a lot any more, but I might start doing so if I pick it up more again.

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Do you like to draw or paint or do any kind of art? What’s your favorite style and medium? What are some of your strong points? Are you better at still life or creating from your imagination?

Finding Your Voice As a Writer

So if you’ve ever tried to write before, you probably struggled trying to find “your voice.” You know, your style of writing that makes your writing unique.

From writing in first person or third person – even second person – to using extremely detailed descriptions for the setting to incorporating large, complex, and dynamic sentence structures, to having very simple but effective tastes in your plot, writing and finding your voice as a writer is, in itself, an art form.

It takes practice.

Honestly, did you think it would be easy? For some people it is, but for many of us it’s not. I started writing back when I was probably eleven or twelve, and from there I really started to develop my own voice. I prefer to write in third person point of view, and usually those kinds of books use past tense to tell the story. For example:

Mary Beth could feel her heart pounding in her chest, the only sound she was able to hear was her own heartbeat in the silent air. She thought she was still asleep – she had to be. What else would explain the blood pooled on the floor and the dead body lying just beside it?

Now, I didn’t just wake up one day and all of a sudden BAM I was able to write like that, but rather it took me years of trial and error to really reach and hone in on my voice. But I also think it came a lot more naturally to me because I’ve always loved writing. I’ve always loved to create in many forms, and writing is just one of them. (And honestly, if you couldn’t tell by some of my reviews, then I don’t really know what to tell you.)

Does it mean it’s perfect writing? Not at all. I still make grammatical and spelling errors, just like everyone else. And yes, sometimes I sound a word out out loud to make sure I can at least phonetically spell it.

It takes patience.

Let’s be honest: writing’s tough. I find myself struggling to want to even write stories lately, but sometimes I get hit so hard with motivation or with a new idea that I have to write out the scene playing in my head or else I’ll forget it.

Sometimes it can get frustrating, though. I’ve struggled with writing a story before, and it’s just not fun. I tried to originally write a story from a single perspective in the third person before I realized I wanted it in first person, duel perspectives.

The thing is: I can’t write in first person. It just doesn’t sound like me. When I was editing the story I was talking about, it just didn’t sound the same; it sounded generic and like what I had been reading a lot of at that time. It wasn’t my voice, and so I stopped and switched back to third person perspective, but I kept the dual perspectives.

And boy did it sound so much better. And it just felt right. You know you’re writing well when it feels right and it actually sounds like your voice.

When it comes to finding your own voice, play around a little! See what kind of perspectives and styles your prefer and go from there.

 

If you don’t get it right away, don’t stress about it! Again, this can take time and practice and patience.

It just takes writing.

If nothing else, finding your voice just takes writing. Set up a time each day to write a little blurb and see if you think it sounds good to you. And if not each day, than each week or something that fits your schedule.

Try this technique: when you type it out as if you’re speaking it out loud, does it still sound good? Or should you tweak it to fit a different audience or the setting?

I try to always make blog posts like how I’d actually speak in person, but sometimes in person I’m not always so eloquent with my words. It’s just always easier for me to get my thoughts out in writing than orally because I can always delete and try again if I don’t like something. So don’t be afraid to try it – you can always delete and try again.

If you’re struggling to find your voice as a writer, then don’t worry so much about the content and just play around a little bit with different types of tones, perspectives, languages, etc.

If you’re writing about a tsunami crashing into land and killing hundreds of people, you’re not going to make that scene or the overall tone of the book sound cheery. It’s going to be serious, melancholy even, and you’re going to want to try to convey that through your voice in your words.

Same as if you’re trying to write about two friends getting together after being apart for six years: you’re not going to make it sound like both of their dogs just died; make this sound more upbeat and cheerful.

If you’ve been struggling with writing, I do hope that this helps at least a little bit. I can definitely go more in depth about writing for a specific audience, writing different genres or scenes, the differences between first and third person, and other kinds of topics. Let me know what kind of writing topics interest you and I’ll do my best to give my opinion on the topic.

Do you ever find yourself struggling to find your voice in your writing? If you’re a writer, what kind of voice do you use (would you mind writing a blurb to share)? If you haven’t found your voice yet, what are you struggling with and how do you think you can improve? Let me know!