Lake Snaps

Olympus OM10 // 02-24-2018 // Buhi, Camarines Sur

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6 Months

I just want to stop by and talk about work. I just realized I don’t really talk about my job much because I don’t think it’s…polite? proper? I don’t know, when you’re putting stuff out there in the internet, there are specific things that you avoid talking about. Things that may affect your relationships, your career and even your future. Also, there isn’t really much to talk about because…I don’t talk about the lectures that I listened to when I was still at school. It’s the same like that.

But something really divine happened. Nope, it’s not a promotion or an increase or anything like that. I just finished a 3D-animated video that explains how a certain machine works. I can’t tell you the details involving it but there’s a lot of things I can tell you about how it was like working on it for more than half a year. Yep, it’s one of the longest project I’ve ever had in my career.

At first, I was genuinely excited. I’ve had 3D projects before and they’ve all been fun and fulfilling. So at the beginning of August 2017, I was happily making assets and trying out different lights for the scene. There were revisions regarding the placements and the models but it was okay. It was part of my job. Until halfway through the animation process and the revisions started to go on a different path. It turns out that I failed to really grasp what my client envisioned. The final output was starting to get blurry. And the deadline was getting further and further away from what we had all expected. What everyone had expected of me.

Christmas and New Year came and went, I was still fixing a lot of things. I welcomed 2018 with more frustrations. I wasn’t able to help in other projects because I was stuck with this one. It wasn’t even supposed to be difficult. When you look at it in an animator’s point of view, it’s really just a simple 1-minute clip. The characters were simple stick figures, the cameras were placed in just one angle and the simulations were minimal. It wasn’t supposed to take this long.

That was when I started doubting myself. Maybe I wasn’t really that good. I never dreamed of becoming the best. But I sure as hell never wanted to be the worst. But that’s what it felt like. It felt like I failed my client, my boss and myself. Even if they were nice and patient enough to point out the stuff that needed fixing, there were voices in my head that weighed me down. Why do I keep making mistakes? Why do I miss the important details? Why am I taking so slow? And I started to compare myself to everyone else as they finish one project after another. Sure, it’s really about the quality over quantity but holy shit every output they produce were so good that I cannot even look at my own work anymore. And I started to think about how we all started the same way and how much everyone else has achieved and learned. What did I learn from the past year? And I started to hate myself.

Every revision became an ordeal. Every comment, no matter how nicely delivered, gave reasons for the voices in my head to start whispering awful stuff. Everyday, I carry this weight as heavy as the machines this project was about. I lost the passion for it and the drive to help my client. I was making the revisions with the mindset of wanting to finish it. Not wanting to create a fulfilling output. As much as I hated to admit it, I stopped caring.

And that’s when I started to see a light at end of the tunnel. It was just a tiny speck but I can feel it was out there. You know how when you’ve been on a really long trip on a bus or a car and you suddenly feel that you’re almost at your destination? And there’s this excitement in the air and people start to sit up straight. And they crane their necks and they press their noses on the windows. It was as if the energy came back to the same level it was at the start of the journey.

It was on that penultimate moment that I started to pick myself up and the voices started to fade. The excitement I felt was back as if the whole revisions and frustrations never happened. I got focused on fixing it and I was even making extra effort in making it better. Of course there were still a few mishaps along the way, but it didn’t bother me anymore. because I knew where the project was going.

And I did it.

The moment my boss gave the thumbs-up for the final render, I LITERALLY dropped and rolled on the floor because the euphoric feeling was too much for me to contain. Of course, I didn’t actually do it in front of him, I still had to go back to my seat and stuff.

And that was it. It was a roller-coaster of emotions before I got here. And I am left with nothing but feeling of gratitude for the whole experience. And I’m looking forward to more projects. Even the dreadful emotions that come along with it.

Art Journal #9: She Don’t Give A

03-13

I’ve been trying out characters with outlines. I realized I liked drawing people a lot. And most of them are drawn from waist up. Now I need to practice full body poses. This is supposed to be my version of Dua Lipa during her BBC Radio 1 performance. She’s such a gem.

Anyway I’ve done this like weeks ago and I am only posting it now because busy busy busy. Maybe I’d talk about it sometime.

Art Journal #8: Sky

03-11

My first piece this month. Man, I’m been really busy last February. But here we are. I recycled my old sketches again and in this one, I tried this technique called Chromatic Aberration. It’s not as fancy as it sounds, it just means that you move the channels a little bit so it creates this really cool, distorted look. Anyway, it’s a quick art. I’ll come back for more.

Art Journal #7: Lines and Guys

02-25a

I recreated another work. In this piece, I tried using lines. I wanted to achieve a comic-style line art. It was a great idea but I realized the problem I had here is that I used only one kind of thickness. I watched a few tutorials about this and found out that I have to use a variety of thickness in my lines if I wanted to emphasize. This looks a bit…generic and it was as if the lines are just there. There is no depth and there is no life.

Gotta go and fix stuff! See ya!

Art Journal #6: Iñigo

18-a

I’m back! I know, I know I’m two weeks behind my art journal. But I have been really busy with work and I had to work overtime on the weekends and stuff. Anyway, I’m back now with this random dude I saw on Instagram (not that random he’s like the son of some famous local actor). The fine edges looked awesome. I’ve already worked out the details on clothing. I also liked the contrast of the colors I used.

I guess I still have to practice more on details especially on hair. And the patterns of the background look so simple and boring.

Love and Movement

Daily Prompt: Courage

February 14 was an important day. Nope, it’s not because it’s Valentines Day (although C and I managed to scrape a few minutes during lunch time. We were both drowned in our own deadlines that day). And it’s not because it’s also Ash Wednesday. I did something and it’s one of the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life.

I spoke about women and human rights and how wrong rape culture is.

There’s this thing in the office that we do twice a week wherein someone from the team gets to pick a topic they’re interested in or passionate about. Then, they would discuss it in front of the whole office. After that, the audience gets to share or ask questions. It’s like a typical show and tell except we don’t get grades from it. Personally, it’s really fun because you can really tell a lot about a person from the topics he/she chooses.

So I was assigned to discuss that day. Well at first, I was having second thoughts because I was clouded with doubt. What if people wouldn’t get me? What if they judge me for being too angry about stuff? What if they accuse me of hating men too much? What if they shake their heads in disagreement? What if someone from the crowd asks a question and I wouldn’t know the answer to? But the need of speaking about it was stronger than these doubts so on Sunday night (I was due to report on Wednesday), I was doing research and making notes. There was no turning back.

When I spoke in that room, I was so determined of making people understand what women go through everyday. I even shared my own experiences as a woman in the society and how I was treated because of it. I also made sure that my discussion won’t be female-centered because I wanted to invite the male population. I was careful with my words and avoided saying things that might offend them (and men get offended by everything). Which means not pointing out the things that they are but the things they are “programmed” to be–so as to not sound as if I was blaming them.

Okay since the world is full of political arguments these days, here’s a quick tip on how to let yourself be heard by someone from the opposing side–forget the facts and empathize. Sure, facts are facts but are they willing to acknowledge them? No. So, there’s really no use of listing down all the things they are wrong about. They won’t listen. People will believe what they want to believe. Here’s what you should do–you talk in their language and speak about the stuff that they understand. Reach out and listen. Yes actually LISTEN to them no matter how bullshit their facts are. Because only then, you get to understand why they think that way. You listen to the things they care about and that’s when you explain how their beliefs will endanger these things. Don’t mock them or be mad at them. These things will only make things worse. And even if, in the end they don’t listen, give them time and retain that respect.. Remember, before all these you yourself were also ignorant of these views and you were also as apathetic as they are. So be patient and empathize.

Now back to where I was, even though my audience was small (not more than 25 people), the whole thing was an accomplishment. I was so happy that people were asking questions and making arguments. Some women from the crowd were even sharing their own stories! They were all talking about it and that was enough for me.

Ever since I’ve been awoken about how wrong women are treated in the society (despite people saying both genders are now equal because women are allowed to vote blargh), I cannot help but be vocal about it. I cannot help but insert it on conversations among friends. And just seeing how my friends are influenced by these beliefs was already fulfilling for me.

But having to spread the awareness to my colleagues? That was beyond everything that I’ve been doing for the past years. I wasn’t just inserting points to them in a conversation. I wasn’t just making sarcasm about how women are treated. I wasn’t just rolling my eyes and expressing disagreement on how the world works. I was actually conducting a proper discussion about the whole thing–with prepared PowerPoint slides and notes and sample videos to back up my statements!

I would never know if that tiny thing I did was enough to sink into the minds of everyone in that room. But I was lucky enough to get my voice out there.