Tag: storytelling

Traditional art, new art supplies and video making

A week ago I started my Art History Challenge and it has been a really interesting and fun experience so far, but I think it will be best to talk about it after it is completed and I have the 30 illustrationsin front of me. Even thought the challenge is focused on producing digital illustration, I’m getting more and more interested in expanding my “traditional media horisonts”, something which only 5 years ago seemed like it will never happen.

After discovering the digital world and vector illustration I almost entirely withdrew from everything traditional, well except pencil and paper for doodling. All my finished pieces that I’d dare show to the world were made on the computer. I got terrified by the imperfection of traditional work and too addicted to the clean sleek look of vector graphics. It felt like there’s no way to hide or fix my mistakes, so I just avoided facing them by only working digitally. What I didn’t realize was, mistakes were still there. No computer program can hide gaps in knowledge of proportions, anatomy or perspective, even though it can make it much easier to fix or gloss over, once they are noticed.

As a self thought, I was always aware of the gaps in my knowledge and always stived to fill them whenever I found the time and means to do so. And one day I realized that part of it would be going “back to the basics”, back to the traditional media. It started gradually from pencil on paper, through pen on paper to rediscovering watercolors. I had signed up for a drawing basics class and one day before Christmas when only me and 2 others showed up for the class the teacher decided that we should do something different for a change and as a reward for our loyalty to his class. He introduced us to one of the coolest techniques I know of today: ink and watercolor (the class was focused only on pencil and pen techniques). It was pure magic and a love from a first sight! Next semester I signed up for an extra class in aquarelle basics and had some amazing time. Since then I’ve been developing my traditional skills, even at times (in 2015) was more focused on them and did nearly no digital work (except clients projects of course).

Today I can safely say I’m no longer scared of traditional media. There are materials like pastels or acrylic that I haven’t touched since I was a child and to be honest have no interest in going back to. I admit I should probably give them a try and be curious about all new things, but they just don’t excite me at all. At least I can say with clear conscious it’s just my lack of interest that’s stopping me from trying and not at all fear! There is however a medium from my childhood I’ve been dying to go back to: markers!

First time I heard about Copic Markers was during my Graphic design education, this was also the first time I got to try them. Unfortunately I only got to play with bunch of them (mostly grey scale ones) during class and since they were owned by the school, the teacher took them back in the end of the class. We were told that they are “the deal” and “a super cool tool for designers”. Back then my thoughts must have been something along the lines of “meh! why not just use a permanent marker”. I also remember being told they require special paper and a bunch of other special things… and on top of it all they cost a fortune, so I really didn’t think it was worth all the hurdle and dismissed it all as another pointless trend. [Kind of how I feel about Apple products, please don’t kill me with stones!]

A long time have passed since and in the last year or so I’ve been re-evaluating my feelings towards Copics. I’m not saying they are as amazing as everyone says, as I’ve never owned one, but I’ve come to the point where I wish I did, so so badly! The only thing stopping me is how expensive they actually are and I’m not sure I want to invest so much in something that I might end up not liking and not using. I am a person who evaluates almost every purchase quite critically and only buy things I have at least 85% certainty I’d use on at least a weekly basis.

Truth be told I have already reached the level of certainty I need, but every time I go to the store and am faced with the price, I stop and go back to evaluating. I’ve been also looking into more affordable alternatives, but so far I either didn’t see these as that much more affordable, or hated the feel of them when trying them in the shop.

So when last week I was at my art store again, looking for inspiration and drooling over the Copics, I’ve decided I’ll get some markers with brush tips to try them and if I use them often enough, I’ll finally get some Copics. To challenge creativity and save money I’ve only allowed myself 5 colors. What I ended up getting was actually colored brush pens rather then markers, but I’d say it’s close enough. They are by Faber- Castell and the color palette I selected for myself is: Light skin (114), Ice blue (148), Indanthrene blue (247), Dark chrome yellow (109) and Scarlet red (118). I also got two in black, because one can always use a black brush pen and Inktober is coming!

Another item of art supply I’ve been after has been the Prisma color pencils. I want to try them so bad, but none of my local art supply stores seem to have them, so instead I got a Stabilo pen, half red and half blue, I just love sketching in color!

I’ve been pretty happy with this fairly experimental for me purchase… well two of the brush pens are a bit lighter than I thought they were (the Light skin and Ice Blue), but I did try them at the store, so it was my own mistake. They remind me how clumsy I am with a brush pen and how much I need to practice, but I’m having a lot of fun playing around. Which brings me to my other current love and newly found pasion: video making, which deserves (and will get) a post of its own soon!

 

I wanted to make a video trying out my new art supplies, but at the same time I didn’t want to make just another basic process video. I want to create videos, which tell a story. I must admit this is rather ambitious desire when all you have to work with is the video recorder on your phone and absolutely no knowledge in video making, both production and post production- wise. I’m not a person who’s good at systematically learning the theoretical basis of a subject. If I’m ever to learn anything I must have a problem, so that learning happens in the process of solving that problem. Oh and that problem must excite me so much it won’t let me sleep at night! This is why I have my challenging visions of where I want my videos to be and I’ll either figure out how to make them come true by producing one crappy video every week until they start getting better (and will then continue to produce good videos…) or I’ll find out it was just a phase and I didn’t actually care for video production at all! Video making has been on my mind for quite a long time though, so I kind of believe (and secretly hope) that the first scenario will come true, but there’s only one way to find out!

Enough blabbering! Hope you’ll enjoy my first attempt at a story- telling video and my (I think) third attempt to draw with my new brush pens!

 

What is “Forindet”?

Every time I hand my business card to someone, or tell someone my e-mail or website address, they ask me what “Forindet” is. Since I live abroad and have an unconventional name nobody heard of before, the question sometimes is “what does Forindet mean”, as people assume it is a word in my native language. So I’ve decided to answer this question early on here on the blog and reveal the whole story behind “Forindet”.

It all started back in high school. I’ve always enjoyed writing and telling stories, and there was a special collection of stories I used to write in collaboration with a friend. We called them “diaries” as they were written in a diary form. They were usually supposed to be the diaries of famous historical figures and followed their everyday life and described random imaginary events that supposedly led to big breakthroughs, discoveries or works of art they’ve produced. It was all made for fun and the stories were all rather silly and ridiculous and we laughed quite a lot while creating them. The first ever diary we wrote (or what I remember to be the first) was of a very important literary figure in Bulgarian history, who’s work kickstarted the Bulgarian renaissance. Later those diaries spread over to made up characters, mocking different literary genres and cliché movie plots, the most notable example being our masterpiece the sci-fi diary of captain Skruuber.

Ok so what does all of this have to do with Forindet? Well one day we started a diary, inspired by fantasy stories and the legends of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and all that good stuff. The diary belonged to one of those knights, but it was in fact kept by his squire, who was describing all the awesome heroic deeds of his master (which were neither awesome, nor heroic). In this story Forindet was a very minor character that was mentioned as a part of some other knight’s backstory. I remember laughing quite a lot while writing it, so maybe that’s why the name stuck with me later.

Forindet was a fearsome sorceress, surrounded by mystery. Everyone were terrified of her and thousand worriers tried to fight her only to come back home crying like little girls, if I remember correctly. In fact the reader was never told of anything she actually did to back up her reputation. As for the name itself and what it means, it is just a random made up name. I’ve always enjoyed making up words and names for my characters, but I think her name derived from the word “foreign”, maybe because the character was somewhat alien and strange to the people in her universe. That actually makes it relatable for me as well.

 

Forindet the sorceress

So how did Forindet become my online pseudonym? Again it was all pretty random. At that time I never used my real name on line, it wasn’t the standard back then and after some experience with a creepy online stalker I had even less intention to do so. In fact in those days I used different name for each and every account I’ve created, so no connections can be made. I think I first used Forindet as a user name for my Deviant Art account. At the time I didn’t even mean to post anything as I was quite nervous and insecure about showing my creations to other people. I made the account, because my cousin asked me to vote for her in a competition on dA, so I registered with the first name that came to mind, voted for her and forgot all about it. It wasn’t until much later that I started actually uploading stuff to my dA profile.

As I became more serious about my illustration and design aspirations and starting to create an online presence on different platforms I started using Forindet more and more often as my user name. There are many reasons for that. For one I saw my starting to upload illustrations to DeviantArt as the start of my visual arts career and “Forindet” was a symbol for a new beginning. Over time I started considering using my own name or creating an online name that made more sense and actually meant something not just for me, but also for others. I’ve experimented with many different names and ideas, but none really stuck with me and gave me the meaning I was looking for. My own name is long and as I live abroad often makes as much sense for people as Forindet does, it was also quite often taken and I wasn’t willing to add numbers and what not to it to be able to use it as a user name. So for all its flaws (weird, unheard of, meaningless, unrelated to my name) Forindet had also many advantages- short, always available, relatively easy to remember (I was told so) and connected to my journey of becoming a designer.

I still wonder every now and then whether it is a smart choice to use a random name such as Forindet for self branding purposes. I even postponed redesigning my website for way too long, because I wasn’t sure I should stick with the domain, but in the end I kept coming back to it. I didn’t feel “at home” with other domain names I thought of and many of them were unavailable anyway.

I suppose Forindet is here to stay for the time being and I’ll probably have to explain again and again what it means. I rarely go for the long version of the story as I just did, but at least it is now out there.

 

Thank you for sticking with me through the whole story! Do you think an unconventional brand name is a good idea or a disadvantage? I’d love to read your thoughts below. What do you call yourself online and why?