This book is vastly different than most celebrity biographies. Most of the time, they never really talk about the creativeWow!
HOLY SHIT I LOVED THIS.
This book is vastly different than most celebrity biographies. Most of the time, they never really talk about the creative process or the amount of stress that goes into their jobs, because lets be honest, it must be crazy stressful to live that lifestyle.
She actually felt like a person and not some sort of wish fulfillment. Not the "look how awesome my life is" "you'll never achieve this because I'm special" sort of book.
No, she achieved her strange road to success with sweat and tears. And I admire the hell out of her; I am the exact same way when it comes to working on my own art.
I plan out my paintings with excruciating detail, and every paint stroke feels like a misstep. There is crying, long drawn out nights. At one point, I spent over 100 hours on one painting. I love/hated every minute of it. (If you want to check out my paintings from this era follow the link: http://www.barbarawilliamsonline.com And also, I can totally relate to having someone steal the URL address you want... I'm still mad that I had to add the "online" part...)
Also my obsession in college with getting good grades, my social life be damned!
Think the part that most rung true to my own college experience was that I had a professor tell me that I should get a B in his class, it would be the best thing to ever happen to me. I worked my ass off to get an A but, since art is a very subjective field, he was still able to give be a B. I remember after that class fantasizing about ripping off his stupid hat that he wore all the time and yelling, "WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE BALD UNDER HERE." I continued to get A's in other classes after that.
After college I remember thinking... what do I do now? Good grades don't help my resume. It was a very dark time. I was able to create more work on my own at my own pace after that, though I never produced the amount of work that I did in college.
Also I am not a big gamer (I do have some exposure to this world, since my current BF was addicted to WOW in college and is actually an actor as well.), but this book was still very inspiring and relatable.
So mostly what I'm trying to say is that Felicia Day and I would be best friends if we ever met in the RL.
So I recommend this to everyone, even if you are unfamiliar with her.
I must confess I read Saints before I read Boxers. I found this graphic novel to be more enjoyable after I read Boxers, although I am glad I read SainI must confess I read Saints before I read Boxers. I found this graphic novel to be more enjoyable after I read Boxers, although I am glad I read Saints first, considering the ending was not spoiled for me. I have read other reviewers on here who have said that the author Yang, is a devote Catholic, and I did get that vibe from the WAY he wrote about Catholicism. While he does not seem to relay the idea that all catholics are perfect, he seems to suggest that Catholicism filled a void for a certain type of Chinese, like Four Girl, who did not fit in the confides of their feudal society.
The most powerful part of the novel (view spoiler)[ When Vibiana is murdered by Bao after refusing to revoke her faith and cites the Lord's prayer (hide spoiler)]to me is more moving than Boxers, and Vibiana/ Four Girl's journey to find a loving family is more relatable.
(view spoiler)[ I also found the ending with Bao citing the Lord's prayer to save his own skin at the end an interesting twist, like Yang is saying the greatest heroes/marauders are lost to history. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway, if you want a good cry, read this series. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I remember attending a lecture my freshman year of college where the speaker discussed the use of animation, generally considered a children's medium,I remember attending a lecture my freshman year of college where the speaker discussed the use of animation, generally considered a children's medium, to express adult themes. He considered it a way to impress radical ideas without a spotlight, since there is less scrutiny, AKA less adults watching these shows. Similar to 70 years before with the advent of science fiction to protest oppressive governments. There was a huge shift in movies around my freshman year, Scorsese was directing Hugo and Jonze was directing Where the Wild Things Are, children's movies. It can be said that graphic novels have been playing this role for a long time, slyly criticizing society without a watchful eye. I found this graphic novel series to be in the same vein (considering that I found it in the teen section at the library.)
The graphic novel covers some very adult themes like what I refer to as the "us and them" idea, as well as the affects of colonialism, total war, etc. So don't expect an uplifting story (I mean there is really nothing uplifting about the boxer rebellion.)
After reading this I just wanted to give everyone I saw a hug and ask "How is your day?"
I gave it three stars, not because the art is terrible or the story is poorly written, it is because I did not find the story or its characters to be likable. Which, to me, was not the author's intention anyway. I think he wanted to express the idea that there is no good or bad in war, only death and destruction.
So if you enjoy a good moral tale wrapped in a colorful children's blanket, then I recommend this series to you (also Adventure Time.) ...more
Are you a naturally curious person? Do you wonder why things are the way things are, like why Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November? Why soAre you a naturally curious person? Do you wonder why things are the way things are, like why Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November? Why soccer is called football everywhere but the US? Why we continue to elect the same inefficient people to congress (do we just hate progress?!?!)
Then this book is for you.
No seriously, I mean it.
You should start reading it now.
It answers questions like:
Did you ever wonder why the hashtag/pound key/number sign has so many names? Where did it come from?
& (WHY DOES THIS MEAN AND????)
And with all this hipster knowledge you will be a hit a parties!
Because who doesn't love the guy that spouts out random facts to drunk people?
Before I read this book I was like an infant learning to walk. Now after completing David Rees' instruction manual for sharpening pencils I feel as thBefore I read this book I was like an infant learning to walk. Now after completing David Rees' instruction manual for sharpening pencils I feel as though I could run a thousand miles. Thanks David for showing me the artisanal craft of a sharpened pencil. And may I never use an electric pencil sharpener again....more
I have recently (in the past week or so) become addicted to this little show called Homeland. In fact, my boyfriend and I spent one afternoon watchingI have recently (in the past week or so) become addicted to this little show called Homeland. In fact, my boyfriend and I spent one afternoon watching over 5 hours of the show and I swear our eyes began to bleed from our sockets. I had just finished reading “The Yellow Birds” the week before, and I couldn’t help but see the parallels (Brody was sent to Afghanistan in 2003, the same time that Private Bartle was in Iraq! Both these men are disillusioned war veterans who see the pointlessness of killing and are broken! Both have major secrets that are driving them crazy! OMG I need to watch season 2 ASAP!!!)
But unlike Homeland, “The Yellow Birds” is heavy, so heavy in fact that while reading his novel I sometimes feel like Sisyphus, destined to rolled that damn boulder up that hill for all eternity.
Which clearly by my star rating, is not a bad thing.
It can be a bad thing when you decide to get the audio book instead of the hard copy, and therefore have some form of “cryface” everywhere you go. (Not too fun when you walk into Meijer looking like you were just dumped on the ride over.)
“The Yellow Birds” is mostly about two young men who enlist in the army around 2003. They are sent to Al Tafar, Iraq where one of them dies a tragic death. As the reader, we are informed right away that Private Murphy dies, and somehow, this does not lessen weight of his death. Surrounded by mystery (JUST LIKE HOMELAND) several events foreshadow the events that lead to the tragedy, which did catch me off guard (what a twist!).
So I recommend this book to anyone who likes a tear jerker and not a romantic kind of tear jerker.
And also watch Homeland; but just be prepared, because it will consume your life. ...more
I remember the first time I visited the Chicago Art Institute. It was a blistering hot summer day and my mother and I had just spent several hours seaI remember the first time I visited the Chicago Art Institute. It was a blistering hot summer day and my mother and I had just spent several hours searching for inexpensive parking (which does not exist in the Loop.) We had made the trip down from Grand Rapids to take a tour of the school located near and in the Art Institute. To me, this was the epitome of what I wanted to be after high school, a coffee drinking, Wicker Park living, city dweller with a canvas strapped to my back as I sneered and tourists who crowded MY streets as I was trying to get to class.
Thankfully, this is did not happen. I ended up at a liberal arts college studying painting with professors who did not see me as a potential threat to their own careers. But I always wondered what my life would have been like if I had chosen that path. Would I be a different person? Would I still live in Chicago? Would I be a successful artist by now (this would probably still be a no)?!?
If my life turned out like Harold Knishke’s, I think I may have enjoyed my life in Chicago.
Harold Knishke wanders around downtown Chicago one summer day after being told my his flute instructor that he was the worst flute player ever. THE WORST. His tutor even offers to buy Harold’s flute off of him so he is never tempted to pick up his instrument again. As Harold walks, he recalls last night when his friend Geets crawls through his window, bringing him Guinness and a banana, in honor of the dead gorilla named Bushman. In a chance meeting, a beatnik girl sitting on the steps of the Art Institute tells him that he needs to look at a painting inside. “It does things,” she claims. Harold does indeed stare at the painting and as he does he is transformed. The world to him looks a little bit off; better, but off. Through more chance meetings Harold enrolls in a life drawing class and decided that he wants to be an artist, he just isn’t sure if he knows what one is yet.
Surprisingly deep for a children’s novel, Bushman Lives! covers some pretty complex themes. Ranging from political systems like socialism, to the philosophies of art, these concepts were handled in a simplistic and understandable way. Harold contemplates what art is and what makes a great artist. (Sad to say, but sometimes I don’t even know what great art is.)
In the end, we never learn if Harold decided to be an artist. But what we do know is that Harold made a decision that changed the course of his life.
If I learned anything from art school, this is the kind of painting I want to create; with or without a Chicago Art Institute Education. ...more
In most of my time as a student, I have enjoyed the pursuit of learning. Though I majored in art and design, I attended a liberal arts school and studIn most of my time as a student, I have enjoyed the pursuit of learning. Though I majored in art and design, I attended a liberal arts school and studied a variety of subjects, and honestly, enjoyed most of them. But like most of my fellow art students, we considered math to be our nemesis (the irony here is that an art student does use quite a bit of math. In fact, students with an emphasis in ceramics or sculpture were required to take MATH TESTS in each of these classes. Needless to say, I chose an emphasis in painting.) And if you add economics or statistics to the mix, these two things combined cause me to have what I would call, “deer in headlights syndrome.” It is like listening to an unfamiliar foreign language, where someone is really trying to tell you something important, so she starts shaking her fists and performing crazy hand gestures, which is like the witnessing worst game of charades ever performed. In the end, there is some semblance of understanding between the two of you, but you are still unsure of what exactly transpired. This is what math + economics/statistics does to my brain. So my understanding of this book is rudimentary at best. I will try my hardest to review “The Signal and the Noise,” but I make no promises in my comprehension of this subject matter.
I first heard about Nate Silver when I happened to be watching The Daily Show. John Stewart was interviewing Silver about his correct prediction that this past election was not going to be a close battle between Romney and Obama. Silver stated that Obama would win by a larger margin than what FOX NEWS was predicting. Now this intrigued me, because if someone can make FOX NEWS look even more foolish, the guy is a winner. So I decided to read his new book “The Signal and the Noise,” since Silver proved that he was pretty good at making predictions.
The first part of this book was dedicated to the types of predictors: the foxes and the hedgehogs. Foxes gather from many sources and is good at many things, while a hedgehog only digs blindly forward. Silver suggests that he is a fox; he analyzes past data and looks at current statistics in order to make a prediction. This concept to me is almost common sense; a flashy prediction (like I don’t know, let’s say predicting that the world is going end) is like shoot an arrow in the dark, sometimes you may get lucky and hit your target, but most of the time you… don’t (not even close really.)
The rest of the book was dedicated to this past decade prediction failures, from the housing crisis to weather patterns. These chapters were not as hard to read since they were things that affect me directly (even though sometimes it looked like gibberish and my brain started to hurt.) The main problem I had was the chapters filled with topics that I had no interest in (like baseball stats, chess and poker games…. Yawn.) And the book was like an information overload; it is definitely something I could only read for an hour before my mind began to wander to a grassy meadow with pretty yellow flowers and blue butterflies, a world that operates on no MATH.
Though these problems may just be me…
In fact, I am pretty sure it is mostly my problem.
Back in the fifth grade, at the humble age of ten, I discovered that apparently clothes were important, like life or death important. And so began myBack in the fifth grade, at the humble age of ten, I discovered that apparently clothes were important, like life or death important. And so began my strange journey into the world of baby tees, hush puppies and glittery pants (Do you remember glittery pants? You would wash them once and they would just be pants again. This was such a waste of glitter really.) I would buy any fashion magazine I could find, just so I could be the first to wear a new 'fad' to school. My friends would always comment, "I love your sparkly bell bottom jeans with the glittery pink flowers on them. Where in the world did you get that?" I was a fashion maven. I reveled in knowing everything there is to know about clothes.
In the Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes about epidemics and the 'tipping point,' when a fad, disease, or trend, saturates the market and becomes mainstream. Basically this means that someone, somewhere down the line accidently spilled glitter all over their pants and just went with it. Gladwell talks about several ways that this can happen and refers to three different types of people, who are able to sell an idea and create a full blown epidemic. There are connectors, people who have several acquaintances, mavens, people who invest a lot of time into a certain idea and product so that they become an expert, and salespeople, who are able to sell a product to a mainstream audience. Little did I know that I was a maven and was selling pants for someone else just by being invested in their glittery product. This book is an excellent read, and Malcolm Gladwell writes in a straight forward and clear manner. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the social sciences. I found that I wondered where I fit on the social spectrum when it comes to epidemics, especially when it came to my pre-adolescent choices in clothing. The only downside to the book is that is it dated (pre 9/11 so there is less cynicism and a more hopeful feel.) But if you can look past the fact that he talks a lot about outdated shoes and ad campaigns, you will get some insight on how you just happen to be wearing those ballet flats. ...more
My mother and I had a deep discussion about that state of feminism a few weeks back (while walking my fat lovable dog Molly down a trail, it was definMy mother and I had a deep discussion about that state of feminism a few weeks back (while walking my fat lovable dog Molly down a trail, it was definitely a ladies day out.) “I don’t think I would consider myself a feminist,” my mother replied when I asked her how she felt about the subject.
“Well too bad, mom, because you are one no matter what you say,” I responded. I held up three fingers, “ One: You went to college for criminal justice and not just to get married. Two: You have had a full time job your entire life while simultaneously raising three children. Three: Never once did you ever consider that you wouldn’t work, and you have never felt like it was ONLY your responsibility to take care of us and the household. Dad is a feminist too. He has never tried to control you, my dear mother, and you have a equal partnership in your marriage. Women before feminism were considered to be what Molly is to us: a man’s property.”
My mother sighed, “I guess I am a feminist then.” (I never understand that whenever I finally convince someone that she is indeed a feminist, she always seem to sigh, like it’s a ‘gotcha’ moment. HA! I fooled you! You are actually interested in your rights as a person! You like voting and getting an education! I mean SERIOUSLY, it’s not like you just discovered that you have aids.)
“How to be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran is a hilariously look at what it is to be a modern woman. So when you read this book expect lots of period/ Brazilian wax jokes (which, trust me is a good thing.) Moran does make quite a case of feminism, by asking A. Do you have vagina? B. Do you want to be in charge of it? Because that is what feminism is, women in control of their own lives. On the other side of the coin, if you are a woman who thinks that your husband should make all your life/ reproductive health decisions for you, then congrats, you are not a feminist.
This is not a hard decision ladies.
But then again, every woman seems to be rejecting the idea nowadays. It’s like if African Americans started rejecting the civil rights movement.
When I was scanning the other reviews for this book, I came upon one comment, stating although The Feminine Mystique has its place in history, the booWhen I was scanning the other reviews for this book, I came upon one comment, stating although The Feminine Mystique has its place in history, the book was horribly outdated. I found this to be miraculous. It is two generations later and what my mother and grandmother had experienced as women in America has changed so much. Betty Friedan, along with many other trailblazing women, created their own path in society. By cutting the vines and stomping on a very rocky ground, this is now a well-traveled path for both male and females. These women have given me the opportunity for a better life. If only every woman in America could read this book, then maybe feminism would no longer be a dirty word in the minds of many women. For after all, we live nearly in a feminist world (The definition of feminism is the equality of genders, not the idea that women are superior to men). We as women are expected to use our education, make safe sex choices like birth control and have an equal partnership in marriage. I’m glad I live in that world....more
I found that this book listed everything I already knew about the creative process and how to be a working artist. Don't get me wrong here, I thoughtI found that this book listed everything I already knew about the creative process and how to be a working artist. Don't get me wrong here, I thought it was an amazing book and was putting togther in a creative manner. I mean I gave it four stars! But maybe it was just me and the art school I graduated from but all these "secrets" were recited to us daily by all my professors. Move away from home and travel a lot? WHAT?!? Mind blowing. Carry and sketch book and have interests in things other than art? CRAZY TALK. I guess I shouldn't be harsh; this book could be very inciteful for some. I do recommend this to non-artists especially. Those people for some reason think that art and the creative process is easy and fun!...more