Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Things have been really... well, different lately. I find myself on an emotional rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. If you know me, you know I definitely prefer something more along the lines of Space Mountain's track, not California Screamin'.

Above all else, my grandfather passed away last week. He was an amazing, honest man who lead a difficult life in many ways but always stayed loyal to his family. I'm sad he's gone, but I'm a little more sad that I never got to know him better. This is the first death in my family that I've experienced (except for my Dad's dad, who died when I was very young) and it's just so surreal. Death is one of those confounding subjects that I never seem to stop thinking about and to be confronted by it head-on is difficult.

That's why I want to thank my friends who really gave a damn when it happened. You guys called me, made sure I was okay, and would have done anything for me if I needed it. That's sappy as all hell but I know it's true, and you guys rule. Thank you.

You know, I'm someone who doesn't take much stock in horoscopes and sign compatibilities and all that crap, but sometimes it's so dead-on that it spooks me out. Really. I always think "Oh hey, it's all coincidence" but then I read some big five-paragraph thing and everything except for two meager sentences is right on the money. I don't know if it makes me feel better or worse. Or just dumb.

God, this post is so depressing it's embarrassing. I'm really sorry, most of the time thing blog is great for my goofy nonsense but every now and then it's the only place I feel like I can really just ramble, if only to myself. Oh my God, I sound like such an emo. Jesus, someone slap me.

Well, either way I made this turnaround, and it and Demetri Martin are the only things that make me happy in my life. Okay, and American Idol and Burning Crusade. Wait, not Burning Crusade. Burning Crusade is stealing my life from me.

A special thanks to Mollie. Mollie, thank you for keeping me sane in these insane times. I'd like to think I'm helping you stay sane too. Let's just go to Disneyland and get fat on Monty Cristos and sing pirate songs be bitches and forget everything. Urgh.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007





Monday, January 08, 2007

Art School is a Big Fat Scam

Anyone who knows me for more than, oh, five minutes will probably learn my stance on art school. What was once simply "art school may be for a lot of people and that's swell, but I don't think it's for me" is now a raging nazi-feminist-esque crusade against the whole idea of "art school". Here's why:

1.) Art school costs money. And not just a paltry sum, we're talking tens of thousands (if not breaking the hundred-thousand mark) of dollars. Now you must be saying to yourself, "Erin, what do you have against paying money for a good college education?" Oh, I have nothing against that. If you're becoming a doctor, a teacher, an archaeologist, or even a writer, fantastic! You should pay for that education and be very proud of your degree(s). However, none of this applies to art. BECAUSE...

2.) A degree in art is virtually worthless. I say "virtually" because having a degree will certainly never hurt you on your resumé or in any sort of professional situation. But here's the thing; you don't need one. In any sort of art job, the degree is just some extraeneous sprinkles on what is (and I only hope) the delicious, buttery-frosted decadent five-layer cake that is your portfolio. When you go for an art job, the only thing the employer wants to see is your work. "Can you draw that cartoon monkey on model? Great, you're hired! Oh, and you have a degree from the Art Institute. That's cool too." Honestly, no one gives two shits in a handbasket about your education. If you can get the work done and make it right, that's all that matters. Not only that, but instead of focusing so much on complete two/four-year education for the sake of doing it, what is much more valuable to yourself and your potential debt is your ability to research what you really need to know for your particular professional goals and go from there. Which brings me to my next point...

3) Art school is not the only way to "learn art". Once you figure out the necessities of what you need to know for your particular vocation, you must find out where you can hone your skills. In most cases, community colleges can offer a much cheaper (and in many cases, a greater education. I know because this is happening to me right now) alternative to hoity-toity art schools. One time, and I shit you not, I looked through a catalogue for a community college in my area and this is what I found: A life drawing course taught by the same teacher that was teaching at the art college I used to go to. Same course, same teacher, one difference; $1,000. (This takes us back to Point 1.) Let me tell something to you. I am taking two courses in Flash this semester at a community college. In just one three hour session, I learned more valuable knowledge of a vastly important program than I had learned in a whole semester at bonafide art school. Also, the whole campus smelled like delicious chicken nuggets for some reason, and that was pretty great. Everything I've said so far builds to another point...

4) Art school bullshits you. Yes, it does. Why? Because art school wants your money. I'd hate to say this, but there are many people who aren't gaining enough from art school to enter into the professional world. Classes can enhance your abilities, but you need to have the talent and the ability to push yourself as well. Art school will not tell you this (particularly the school I went to). They will keep patting you on the back and tell you you're doing a great job so that you'll stick around to get your degree. They tell you that the degree is the way to go, the way to get a job. Not true, buster. Refer to Point 2. Also, they will make you take a bunch of bullshit classes that won't help you at ALL as an artist. Example: VISUAL THINKING. I got signed up for a class once that was called visual thinking. Now, here's what the curriculum was; draw a faucet. Now, draw a zebra with some lines around it to show "dimensionality". Next, paint a bunch of animal eyeballs. PEOPLE, THIS IS NOT DEVELOPING YOU AS AN ARTIST. I dropped this class because it was a bunch of bullhockey and when it came time to sign up for my next semester, my teacher demanded that the only way to move forward in the program and get my degree was to take this class. Great. So to get my fancy "degree" I need to waste six hours a week of my life when I could be doing something more valuable, such as life drawing. (By the way, life drawing is an absolute necessity. There is a saying that if you can master the human form, you can draw anything. Well guess what, it's totally true. Take a thousand life drawing courses until you have some really nice nudes, then don't stop. Keep taking more courses. Life drawing is fantastic and you should learn to love it) They will make you take class after class that won't mean anything, but hey! Each class is $1,000? Well, guess who gets that fat money cake. I'm an animator, and I had to take a painting class. I hate painting. So here I was, painting still life after still life, grumbling to my teacher that the whole thing was a waste of my time since this was something I'd literally never be doing again. What was even worse was the fact that the teacher herself was an absolutely terrible painter. Believe me, it's hard to try to learn from someone whose work you don't respect at all. At one point she pulled my aside and told me I'd fail if ditched class one more time (and I was ditching... a lot). Also, a friend of mine who was an illustrator and could have used that painting class was forced to take animation. I ended up doing almost all his assignments because it was something that actually helped me practice what I wanted to do. But still, he had to pay a grand for something that was of no use to him. I confronted my painting teacher about this and she said to me, "Erin, we're expanding your horizons. That's what being an artist is all about." Yeah, that's beautiful and all, except if I want to expand my horizons I'll do it on my own and not have to pay someone who is teaching me while probably having acid flashbacks every few hours. Jesus.

So there you have it. I'm sure I could go on for hours but it's probably best that I wrap this thing up. If you want to go to art school to essentially get yourself $60,000+ in the hole for the next decade or so, be my guest. Or maybe I'm just full of crap and I don't know what I'm talking about, but I don't think I am. Seriously, there are alternatives. Look into community college, get the opinions of professionals in the field you want to be in, and let your passion drive you to what you want.

Now I'd like to take a moment to apologize to my friends who are in art school currently. This isn't supposed to be a slam on you or make you depressed, though Mollie, it will probably make you depressed. Like I said, I might be full of crap, but art school was definitely not for me and this is just how I see it.

Art school is a scam.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Life of an "Artiste"

Being an artist is not as glamorous as one would think. This is mostly because myself and many of my peers never sleep. Visit an art school sometime, you'll see what I mean. While I may not be exactly sure why some of my artistically-inclined peers don't sleep (some things are better left to the unknown), a major problem I have is that once I start a drawing, I can't stop. I say to myself, "Yeah! Wow! Look at this sketch, it's gorgeous! I can feel the passion flowing through my veins! God, life is great!" and then look up and go, "Oh Jesus, is that the sun?" I had such a dilemma tonight. Even now as my body aches for the comforting softness of my bed (God, I'm making it worse), I'm sitting here writing in my blog. I have other motives, friends. I will show you what keeps me up at this hour. Behold!

But that's not all. I spent a good portion of the evening coloring this:

Now, this whole thing started out harmless but apparently there's a Pan's Labyrinth sketchbook contest that will be judged by del Toro himself, and with a little over a month to scrounge together some fan art I really want to enter this thing. So there you have it.

Also, Venture Bros is GO for SEASON 3!!!! I am a happy little bunny, even though it currently feels like there is a vengeful imp poking holes in my stomach with a pitchfork. Time to sleep!