Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art Lately / January.

An assignment to 'Illustrate Your Name', we were supposed to synthesize things. There were lots of octopus tentacles making letters, plants making letters. I chose to be a smart ass and go phonetically. Hehe. All done on Illustrator.

A CD Cover assignment.
I chose to illustrate by means of embroidery, which was a crazy decision but I managed to get it done in time. Hoorah! My prof loved it, I love it. I feel like it was totally worth the actual BLOOD and tears that went into making it!! 

I feel super creatively inspired lately guys. And I have so many fun assignments, can't get enough of school!! Well, except my lecture classes, those could just, end now and I'd be fine with it. But whatever.


(All images copyrighted to Katia Engell)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Small Talk - Late January

A few random thoughts about my past few weeks that I'd tell you if we were chatting idly on the telephone.


+ I painted my face as though I was a day of the dead girl (as reference for a painting I'm going to do, but it was also just fun!)
Ah yes, my Frida Kahlo inspiration persists.

+ I am currently going through the process of applying for a foreign exchange program! I'M SO EXCITED. My academics are at the requirements, the chair of my program approved me to go, all I have to do now is essentially get accepted by the foreign school I want to go to... which requires a portfolio and everything. EEK. A lot of work ahead of me, but it'll be worth it.
I'm currently looking at doing a semester in either:

- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Paris, France
- (somewhere), Switzerland

Denmark is where my grandpa was from, so I'd really love to go there. Also, one of my friends from another school is also applying to do an exchange in Copenhagen - how funny would that be!?

+ I just started watching Adventure Time this morning (finally!) I'm kind of in love with it, in a strange way the characters remind me of my friends, with their funny facial expressions and random strange noises and reactions. I also love the strange sort of morals/back stories they have in each episode.
Do any of you guys watch Adventure Time?

Hope you're all having lovely weeks!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Introducing: Lifeboat Jamboree

Hey everyone! I'm excited to introduce you all to a new project of mine.

My friend Annie (who is in my program at school!) and I have been doing these little challenges together for about a year now. We pick 3 random words with a random word generator and both build a concept off it then illustrate it - it's always lots of fun to challenge ourselves outside of school projects and to see how hers is different from mine and vice versa!

To make sure we actually stay on top of doing these challenges this year (last year we did... two? Maybe... hehe.) we've started a blog to post them on. And so I bring you:

Check it out!!

I'm really stoked to work with Annie, she's a sick illustrator and it's going to be fun to push myself to not let my work shy beside hers ;)

Hope you're all having a good start to your week!

Friday, January 18, 2013

King Katia

I did a little illustration for the first letter of my name. I used a few little tricks I learned in class and man, I love the results! This was actually based on a sketch I did for an assignment. I'm not going in this direction for the final but I liked it as a spot illustration.

I put this on facebook and someone immediately made a "King? you're a girl! You mean Queen!" comment. No. I mean King. Because it goes with K and drawing king crowns is fun. Go away, person severely afflicted with the ideas of culturally defined gender roles. But then again, maybe I'm only so touchy about that because I took a social sciences class last semester taught by a seriously feminist anthropologist. Ah well.

What do you guys think of this illustration? Would ya wanna see one for the first letter of your name ;) ?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Perpetually Unsatisfied

A few weeks ago Mel from My Billie left a comment on one of my blog posts that struck a chord within me and it's been snowballing into a whole new perspective on life (I've had a lot of those lately).

Melanie wrote:
"It's all a balance. I think its a good thing that you're wanting more and to keep growing and evolving! That's a beautiful way to live and I personally hope I never stay comfortable and too satisfied with my life. That's when you start getting boring : )"

Staying unsatisfied. Normally we're encouraged to be satisfied with what we have, to always look at the positives and be happy with what good luck we get. And though this is entirely true, what if there is a fine balance as Mel suggests?

A constant need for something 'more' can be a burden. More money,  more success, more love, more clothing, more time with friends, more attention, more this, more that. Sometimes you DO have to suck it up and remind yourself that the people and situations around you are, in fact, better than good enough - sometimes they're actually GOOD. And that need for something 'more' is un called for and is only going to bring you down unnecessarily. I've lived this way before, looking forward to 'the next big thing' only to get there and... be disappointed and start immediately looking forward to the NEXT big thing. So it makes sense that people tell you to stay satisfied with life because life is in fact good, I guess.

However, now that I am in fact not only satisfied but happy with life, I still find myself wanting more. I have a great group of friends, a great family, I love school, I have a part time job I enjoy, I have goals and ideas of what I want to do in life, but I still want more. And you know what? That's ok. No one should be able to tell me that I should just stay satisfied with a simple, easy, happy life - that way of thinking is equivalent to squashing ambition. Do you think that explorers, entrepreneurs, the people in our world who have gone down in history and changed the world thought to themselves that they'd stop striving for more because it was easier to stay satisfied with what they've already done? Probably not.

So, as long as I'm not letting my 'dissatisfaction' get in the way of me being happy, why not constantly strive for more? Maybe I want to start this new personal project, expand my brand Solé, meet new people, throw myself into the art world, travel more, experience more. I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. In fact, I think it might just be a more enriching way to live.

I don't know how to end this post, so I'll just leave you wanting more....

(badoom chhh!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Costa Rica Film Experiments

I brought my Holga 135 with me on my trip to Costa Rica and used regular ol' 400 ISO film. 
Most of the photos turned out blurry, or overexposed. Such is the risk with using what is, essentially a toy camera, experimentally. Even though most are blurry, with a little bit of darkening with photoshop on some, it actually led to some really awesome effects. Almost ghostly!

(This one reminds me of a David Hamilton photo)

(this one, and the one below, are the only two that were not edited whatsoever)

I love film.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Comic(al) Moments v1

I am going to start doing quick doodles of real life moments or thoughts. The point of this is to loosen up my drawing, not worry so much about how it looks in the end, and to draw on a regular basis!

So here's my first go at it!

A punny moment from last night with my cousin and her boyfriend.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Leaf - Pura Vida!

Hey everyone! I am back from my trip to Costa Rica. 
Currently I am getting back into the swing of things, grocery shopping (the only things I have in my apartment are hash browns and mouldy grapes), school, being at my apartment, making new plans for life in general because I'm an over-planner like that.
Costa Rica was astounding. Mind Blowing. I've never been so taken by a country before, even though I love the places I've been in Europe. I found Costa Rica special; they don't have an army, they say 'pura vida' as a greeting and expression of life being 'plentiful' and great, and the people there are so friendly and nice. They have volcanoes, and rain forests, and beaches. 

We were near Liberia, which is on the pacific side and is mostly comprised of flatlands for farming. However we went on an excursion to where the volcanoes are to do horseback riding, zip-lining, and to bathe in volcanic mud and volcanic hot springs! It was quite the experience.

The waves at the beach were 'hunormous' as I accidentally put it to a friend. To the point where, in the following photo, those are my dad and step mom, and my brother is somewhere in that mass of crashing waves. The three of them quickly ran out after that one - I admit even I got frightened by the strength of some of those waves.

I feel as though this trip helped me turn a new leaf. I tend to become very introspective and do a LOT of thinking while I'm on trips. It's like taking a step back from my day to day life brings me real clarity. I feel so refreshed and happy, and I feel ready to tackle 2013 with this new mindset.

My artistic gears are turning, my ambition is through the roof, and my excitement for all that is to come is growing.

I warn you all - Costa Rica really inspired me (if you couldn't tell already), so I might bring it up non stop for the rest of forever, and I might say pura vida all the time, because I think that's the most wonderful expression. And I might have fallen in love with the colours from their country, and the styles, etc. etc.

So Pura Vida, hello my new leaf, 2013!