Monthly Archives: January 2016

A New Semester…

The blizzard hitting the East Coast has finally made it’s way to my house and I am hunkered down waiting for the snow to stop falling. Since they’ve estimated anywhere between 8″ and 2′, I think I might be waiting awhile.

Anyway….

The Spring 2016 Semester began at my University this past Tuesday (January 19th) and after the first week of classes I can certainly confirm to you that this semester will be FAR more work than I had originally thought. With a 2D animation project and 1.5 digital paintings due by the second week of March for midterms, ALL of my spare time will be going to artwork. Not to mention I have to have an entire comic book done for my Illustration class by the time the semester ends in the second week of May. And more projects will pile up as the semester progresses. And then I have that children’s book to illustrate, too…

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Basically, if you see me on here, I’m procrastinating or I’ve finished what needs to be done for the time being. Although, it will probably be the first reason.

If you want to see my art you can find me here on DeviantArt: Soleil Grand! I upload my work at least once a week.

Take care of me this semester, please!

-Soleil

STUCK

Recently, I read a post by a fellow blogger and their words resonated within my very soul, to the very core of my being. With this post, with those words, I was able to relate and feel and conclude and finally realize that it was the same way I felt. She wrote exactly what I’ve been trying to say myself for months now. Her name is Lindsey but she’s better known on WordPress as MomentMuser and the post I’m talking about is “Becoming”.

I want to quote a bit of it, the pieces that held the truest to me:

“I had thought I’d be further along by now.”

This much is true. To be honest, when I was small, I pictured myself happily married and with children of my own by now, just like my mother (married at 22) and grandmother (married at 20) when they were my age. Yet here I am, 25 turning 26 in March and I’m still not married, nor do I have any children. In fact, I’ve never even had a relationship last pass six months! This realization often makes me ask questions of myself like, “What’s wrong with me?”, “Is there something wrong with me?, “Is there really someone out there for me?”, “Am I going to be alone my whole life?”

But I didn’t want to just be married with a family by now. I also wanted my career by this point, but instead I am still a university student. I wanted to be this great artist, Disney Animator, working on amazing movies and creating characters and stories to be loved by all! Instead, I’m an unmotivated, uninspired slacker.

And this point resonates to the next quote of Lindsey’s post:

“I am not entitled. Surely the world does not owe me the Life I dream of living. I doubt that the world really cares what I do. In its indifference I will slip away.

I am lazy, lazy, lazy.

Today my alarm sounded at 9, at 9:30, at 10. Dozens of 8-minute intervals later, I rose at noon.”

Seriously, this is my life every day. I am actually quite the shackled-companion of those “dozens of 8-minute interval” snoozes. Frighteningly so.

I have absolutely nothing to live for it seems, no real reason to get out of bed in the morning except that it’s past noon and beyond reasonable to be in bed any longer. What kind of life is this really? A poor excuse for one, that is obvious. And I obviously want more, so what do I do about it? To change it? To go on? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t try to change. To try new things. To find something to do. I don’t need to. I know what I want to do but I don’t do it. When I try, I am unsatisfied with the results and give up.

To be honest, I feel so STUCK. I have for a while now and I don’t know what to do about it. I am an artist, an author, but I feel so uninspired that I cannot draw or write. When I try to draw it’s nothing how I imagine it. So I give up. When I try to write, it never sounds quite right. It doesn’t flow the way I want it to. The story isn’t going anywhere. So, I stop.

I feel as though I’ve stagnated. That I’ve come to a point in my existence where I feel like I am not moving forward. There is this great uncertainty. I don’t know what to expect, everything is so unfamiliar, so elusive that it is terrifying.

And even though I don’t know what to expect, I know what I want:

“I know what I want. I know it so much that it hurts. My chest feels heavy with it. My mind fears it.”

I want to be a success. Not in the sense that I want to be some famous, well-known person, but I simply want to be able to support myself. To be stable and live. To be inspired and find the thing that I love most in the world and just by doing it I am filled with such joy, such imagination again that I feel as if I will burst from creativity if I do not get it down with paper and ink. I want to express to the world through my art, through my words all that I have learned on the journey called Life. I want to share everything with everyone. I want to learn and keep learning and never stop!

But that’s hard when your own mother tells you that you dream too big. That you can’t accomplish the aspirations you have concocted through years of daydreams no matter how hard you try. To pick something easier, simpler, so that you can’t fall short in the end.

I’m not blaming her. I understand where she’s coming from. She doesn’t want me to fall, to fail, to hit rock bottom and have nothing left to fall back on. I understand the reason but I am stubborn. I ignore her words. I want to dream, but it’s come to the point where I feel like all I have left are my dreams. And that that is all they will ever be: dreams, illusions created by a girl with no drive to actually go anywhere or do anything towards those goals. The day she told me my dreams were too big, was the day I began to doubt myself.

Now, I sit here and I stare at myself in the mirror and I want to cry because all I see is a girl who got lost somewhere along Life’s path and can’t figure out how to find her way again. A girl who is stuck, stagnant in the same place she’s always been and probably always will be. A girl who dreamed for the world from her home in a small rural farm town and began to doubt herself so much that now she is trapped by the very fear and anxiety that she created for herself.

I am lost. I am stuck. I feel like I cannot escape. And I am afraid.

I am afraid that this is all my life is going to be because I’ve dug myself into a hole and built the walls so high I cannot climb back up to see the light of day beyond me. Nothing but darkness and fear and anxiety to keep me company for all my days to come.

And that is daunting. Terrifying. PARALYZING.

Help me, please, because I am stuck and I need to be found again.

-Soleil

Just, Right Now….

Sometimes I get teary when I realize that I’m almost 26 and the longest relationship I have ever had was six months.

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And that I have had a pretty lousy date/relationship record so far, including an obsessive controller, a liar, and a cheater.

Personally, I think it’s rather hard to find someone to actually be in a relationship with. I live in a very rural area so it’s not like there are many guys around to choose from. When I’m in my university classes, my classmates are always much younger than I am (the downfall of being a 25 year old college student).

All I’m asking for is someone who understands (and if they share it, that’s a bonus) my appreciation of art, writing, and history. Who will actually want to sit and watch the same shows and movies as me (yes, I’m the girl who still likes to go to Disney and other animated movies because they’re cute and I adore them and animation is what I want to do for a career, so it’s cool to see animation in action) and who accepts that reading tons of books is a very fun hobby for me. That I like to watch anime and BBC and that I’m a Whovian through and through (PS. My favorite Doctor to date is Matt Smith as Doctor 11)! That I enjoy Sherlock and think Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic as the consulting detective (Martin Freeman is an excellent addition and they compliment each other very well, talent-wise). That I want to travel and find inspiration in new places for my art and writing (I truly believe an artist cannot survive creatively stuck in one place)! I mean, I don’t think I’m asking too much.

But sometimes…I’m just lonely and I’m getting awfully tired of waiting for Mr. Right.

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

“A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” Review

Recently, I finished reading a book by Miss Liz Braswell, an English-born American who began her career developing video games before becoming a young-adult fiction writer. While it’s not totally up-to-date you can find her at her website, The Messy Desk. She most famously known as her alter-ego Celia Thomson, author of “The Nine Lives of Chloe King” series.

Her most recent book is the one I happened to pick up. Published this past September 1st (2015) by Disney Press, “A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale” is a re-take on the Disney Classic version of the Aladdin tale.

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Now, my last book review was on “A Frozen Heart” by Elizabeth Rudnick (and, although it was a short review, you can find it here in my “Back to Blogging (Finally)!” post) which was also published by Disney Press. While I am always skeptical about a corporation like Disney taking a new crack at expanding or expounding on their original telling of a story, books like these are interesting to pick up and read, regardless of any contradictions that may arise. (Unless of course you’re a die-hard fan determined to never see any of the Disney-verse movies changed from their original storylines).

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Haha, see how I did that, with the Aladdin gif. Yeah, I’m clever.

Pulling back, this book asks a question of great importance, which Goodreads was clever enough to point out: “What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed?”

Liz Braswell’s version of the Disney Aladdin tale takes a much darker turn. When Aladdin retrieves the magic lamp for Jafar, the evil vizier actually GETS the lamp instead of Aladdin. The events that ensue create a new world of havoc for our heroes, with rebellion, death, and destruction becoming a daily piece of their lives. Jafar is proven to more than psychotic, Jasmine battles with herself concerning right and wrong, and Aladdin finds himself trying to keep her sane, along with every other character he interacts with.

I must admit, it is a much darker tale than I was expecting when I picked the book up. Death and violence is portrayed in a very un-Disney-like fashion of grotesque and avid imagery. For true-to-heart Disney fans who don’t want different perceptions of their favorite Classics, I would say this book may not be for you. However, for those who are of the more open-minded Disney fandom, I encourage you to definitely give this book a chance! For all its darkness and betrayal and evil deeds, it is well-written and a captivating read.

Want to read it for yourself? Find it HERE, on Amazon!

Look for my words again soon!

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

Recap and Ramble

Recap on my last post “A Café Encounter”: I got the illustration job!

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Seriously, though, that is majorly exciting! I cannot wait to get started on this project.

In the meantime, I’ve started binge-watching the CW‘s “The Flash” on Netflix today.

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I’m already about halfway through the first season. And, you know, Season Two starts soon. January 19th, to be exact. The exact same day I resume my college classes. I think I can watch all of Season One by then. Downright easy.

Now, please, let me gush over the Sherlock “Christmas” special that aired New Year’s night and be a good fangirl. (Ahem, spoilers ahead).

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It was pure gold. A beautiful merge of classic and modern without missing a beat concerning wit, snark, action, mystery, and adventure. I’m sure that by now it is common knowledge that the episode is a flip-back between the modernized Sherlock we know and love and the Victorian-classic of the stories origins. I especially loved the mix of three Sherlock Holmes stories in the episode. I laughed at the orange pips because I knew exactly what they were, which story they were from, and what they meant. It was excellent! Truly.

I really don’t want to give a full recap because I don’t want to ruin the episode for anyone who missed it and is waiting for the second showing on January 10th (again on PBS). However, if you really want to read a full review, the Den of Geek has a fabulous article: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride Review.

All I will say is that I am big admirer of Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and of Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. The two really do bring the characters from the books’ pages to life and that is what I truly love and appreciate. So thank you both for your time and talent. Please continue to do an amazing and wonderful job.

And that is all for now. Please look for my words again soon!

Soleil