Monday, September 23, 2013

Insert witty title here


I'm working on a few different posts at the moment. Some are being written, some are still thoughts bouncing around the inside of my head. They're all kind of heavy topics though, so they're taking time. Time spent going 'do I write this or not? How do I convey what I want to talk about the clearest without sounding like a back-country redneck from whom nonsense is spouting?'

(The topics in the works are about rape culture, abortion and responsibility and my self-hate bouts. Nobody wants to talk about those with a muddled head)

So while trying to keep the blog up to date, without suddenly dumping three months of deep thinking on it, I thought that it's probably okay to talk about something light. Or interesting. Or mildly amusing.

Animania was last weekend.

Not the 21st; the 14th. I only went for the Saturday, and am due for a blog post about it. Owing to the briefness of the convention, the post will be similarly brief. But that's on hold too.

What else has been going down of late?

I've got a residency starting up on the 2nd of October. Opening night is the 3rd. Residencies are opportunities for the general public to get to interact with the artist, since the point of them is to have the artist set up their workspace in the gallery and then work on their stuff in the gallery. I think this will be good for my work, since the next best way to appreciate a cosplay aside from going to a convention and being familiar with the character is seeing the stuff being made. I'm also trying to get as many cosplayers that I already know to come on opening night dressed up. I'll be coming as Tex, if that makes it any more appealing.

Wait. Does it?

I promise I'm not going to beat anyone up.

So there's that. It's a bit of a challenge, because although I love it when people get to see my stuff, I always end up a bit bashful when it comes to standing next to it and going "HEY EVERYBODY LOOK AT MY STUFF!!!"

I'm not great at self-promoting. I leave my signature on the back of the artwork, or in an inconspicuous spot. I guess that's why characters are fun. People get to see my work, but it's Rukia or Tex that they're talking to. I get to disappear.

But yeah. If you want to come to the event, it's at Watt Space Art Gallery in Newcastle Australia. If you're one of my overseas readers or you're not going to be able to visit, I'll try and keep the blog updated on shenanigans. The blog is supposed to be part of it, so there is that.

What else is going down?

I turn 22 on the weekend. It's weird, because I'm not ready to have another birthday. I've been too busy to organise a get-together, and I'm probably going to be in the middle of nowhere with my folks in any case. It kind of feels like....

...I dunno? I haven't had time or energy to get excited over it. Is this what being grown-up is like?

Or maybe that's just me. Could be just me getting mad at myself and not wanting to think about it - Mum got married at 22. It feels like I should be getting my life underway and I keep putting it off, or I haven't been able to yet and I'm trying hard but can only do one thing at a time and everyone else is getting married and has a job and is going on overseas trips and I'm...



So yeah. There is that. I'm turning 22 and the state government reckons that means I'm financially independent and at the moment, all I really want to do is move into the house in My Neighbour Totoro and fly kites. And not have to do things like worry about the state of my teeth.


Wow. Are you enjoying this post? It must be fun, eh?

I'm sorry.

Have a cute animal picture.

What else is kind of worth blogging?


Okay. Talbot.

Because this is my last semester at uni, I'm trying to get good use out of the facilities there. Gonna be perfectly honest there - I love film photography, but there's only a couple months left when I'd be able to access a darkroom to do my own stuff.

So I made a pinhole camera to put the 8x10 film I have in.

It's a substantially large pinhole camera, so I named it Talbot.

I've since covered it/him with black bookbinders linen, so he looks mega classy.

Back when photography was getting onto its new and wibbly-wobbly legs, and getting slightly easier to cart around, there were two photographers who were prolific in the spread of 'street photography' - Henri Cartier-Bresson and Henry Fox Talbot. I named the camera after the guy that invented the calotype (a precursor to film negatives and one of the first processes that didn't involve mercury vapours to make a photo). (Fun fact for the day.)

I may end up doing a dedicated post on Talbot too (the camera) as I get the hang of working with it. In the meantime; have a look what what I've taken with it first.

Pinhole cameras are essentially a box with a tiny hole in it. They're as basic as cameras can get, but they're still kind of cool. They also have a massive depth-of-field, because the hole (aperture) is so small. (Case in point: a kit lens for an SLR might be able to go up to f22 - Talbot goes up to f423)

But yeah. More on Talbot later. I need to find a dentist. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nobody wins a poo-throwing fight

This is a phrase that I thought up at the start of the year, and now it's three days out from the Federal Election in Australia.

I thought now might be the best time to talk about it.

But, I kind of want to preface this blog post with something that my international readers probably need to know:

1. Australians don't often talk about politics
2. Australians are pretty good at slagging off at each other (badmouthing, talking down, slandering etc)
3. Did I mention that we don't talk about politics? At least, not in a coherent or polite way to people of the opposition. <sarcasm> No friendly discussions here! </sarcasm>

I have a few problems with politics in general, which is at least in part because one half of my family is staunch supporters for one political party, and the other half supports the other major party.

A couple years back, we had everyone at out house for Christmas lunch. The talk swung to politics for about 30 seconds before Dad vetoed it. Nice Christmas lunch doesn't need people arguing or getting sour about stuff.

I guess one of my problems is basically to do with Australian culture. We're pretty good at mouthing off to people, and we don't have a lot of respect for authority. I'm not necessarily talking about toeing the line there. I'm talking about actually respecting the political members responsible for looking after the country.

Yes, let's keep up to date on the election by playing a smartphone app that allows us to hit our politicians. Smooth.

Case in point.

And that kind of has its own type of reasoning: Australians live in a place that famously spends a lot of time trying to kill its visitors, or makes little sense. We don't trust a lot of promises made by the higher-ups because they frequently fall through.

But that's not the point of my argument. That's just giving us some context to work off, and therefore makes sense why the parodied Australia in Terry Pratchett's Diskworld series elects their Prime Minister and then immediately throws him in gaol.

My problem stemmed from heated discussion between the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader a while back, but it can very easily apply to a lot of things.

This is, that nobody wins a poo-throwing fight.

You can throw as much poo as you like, but the fact of the matter is that in order to throw it, you've still got to touch it.

So, dear political parties, when you want to pitch your spiel to me, don't start by telling me how much the other guy sucks.

In a group environment, anyone can suggest an idea. And then everyone else can contribute to that idea. Any third-rate can say that every idea sucks. If you want to move forward with the idea though, you have to have feedback. Constructive stuff is better.

The opposing sides of Parliament are designed to keep the other in check, but they could make each other better. At the moment everyone's looking like complete noobs.

And see? There's me, one of the mudders, with no interest in respecting anybody in power.

But I digress.

If you have an idea, or a political party has an idea, it should be able to stand on its own two feet without having to slag off the opposition. Otherwise it's like kicking in everyone else's sandcastle so yours looks the best. In that case, there is no longer a 'best sandcastle'. There is just a lot of kicked-in ones and a kicker-of-sandcastles.

Or a thrower-of-poo.

Slander on others does in fact reflect back on the type of person that the giver-of-slander is. And with all of the campaigns at the moment dissing everyone else, it's making me feel like I'm going to have to pick the least worst to vote for, as opposed to the best.

And I really wish I didn't have to do that.

But anyway. Please keep it in mind. Group projects, planning for the weekend with friends, having a fight, whatever. The moment someone sinks to slander, they might have successfully scored a hit on the opposition, but they've also sunk down to do that.

Rise above, my friends.

Rise above, my political leaders.

Because at the end of the poo-fight, someone has to clean up.

And it's not going to be me.