Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Prompts: Part 2 (Seattle Trip!)

"they move when nobody's looking."

Multimedia entry!
I just started taking photos for fun. It's like, the first time ever (on my very, very crappy camera)
and some of them even turned out alright (especially after reintroducing some contrast in know it's funny, it's one of the ONLY times I've ever used Photoshop on photos?)
So if you'll indulge me (and if I keep the habit up) I'm gonna pepper a few photos up on this blog as I go...It's become more and more related to my artwork, since I've been taking my watercolor on the road and my sketchbook has become more of a hybrid sketch/travel/prayer journal.

Last week I decided to take a trip to Seattle. One of my very best friends moved out there a year ago, and I promised him I'd come visit him sometime- so (realizing I have become a grown-up with a job and stuff) I hopped a plane, scheduled some time off and headed out there with my sketchbook & camera in hand. Even better- I went with 5 new prompts in 5 unopened envelopes tucked away in my bag.

I've been to Seattle once before, for an interview with Microsoft whereupon I was pampered with beautiful weather and expenses paid. I assumed, based on my previous luck, that I could expect Seattle's trademark rainy gloom to be in full effect this time around. Somehow I was blessedly wrong and ended up with the most beautiful 5 days ever! The result of which is that now Seattle ranks up there with my favorite places to be in the world. I'll have to see it when it's pissy sometime, maybe I'll like it less :/ For the time being, though, my good opinion remains untarnished. I love Seattle.

So- before I wax too lyrical, I should get on to the prompts and sundry (my favorite of which, I slapped some quick color on. It's sitting atop this post):

Day 1:
"something left, something taken"

I mean-'s a cute idea. But I was on a plane (dead alseep for most of the ride) and had to rush this out in between the hustle and bustle of arriving, getting settled, seeing my friends again and eating good food. And guys: let me tell you: I ate some GOOD food in Seattle :)
I think the prompt is really beautiful and evocative, and I feel a little silly for having only come up with the above. Ah well, it was my first instinctive response and I couldn't shake it :)

Day 2:
"deeply rooted"

Quite happy with this one- just a sweet little illustration, and the context of it is hard to explain. I just like the idea of giving-tree esque friendship between a child and an unmoving tree. Something transient and something intransient.

Day 3:
"the kid's table"

For whatever reason, this was the hardest prompt for me. I just didn't connect with it- sometimes you have an idea and sometimes you just don't. The top illustration is what I came up with, and I'm pleased enough with it, but "meh" overall :p It does amuse me as an illustration of the concept "God is very, very patient" The second illo is a pass at the next prompt...

Day 4:
"the unmendable hole"

Hopefully pretty self-explanatory. I had a few other solves for this one, but they got a little more personal than I'd like to publish. Still- enjoyed this one...less of a scene and more of a graphic solution.

Day 5:
"they move when nobody's looking"

This is my favorite. Favorite prompt and favorite solve. Hopefully it's self-explanatory. It was a real challenge to try and work out a composition on the fly in this medium...most of my watercolor stuff has been single characters, landscapes, or spot illustrations- but when you introduce the idea of a narrative scene, suddenly the composition becomes the thing. I'm not happy with this as more than just a study, but it was a step in the scary direction of composing in media without a ctrl-z. Sketching, erasing, and ctrl-z are a huge part of my composing process, so I definitely balked. It drives me nuts now, but at least I got something out on paper. More better in the future!

That wraps up the prompts, but I should mention, for honesty's sake: I had a 6th prompt, but I didn't finish it...not because I didn't want to, but I ran out of time and got frustrated. I guess I felt I should mention it because sometimes this happens: you fail. It's not the end of the world- especially with self-inflicted homework for fun, but it does suck to feel like I couldn't even keep up with voluntary sketch work :/ At any rate: a good lesson ^_^

But I didn't just do prompts while I was away- I kept doodling as the mood took me, and I figured it would be fun to toss those up here too, interspersed with some of my favorite snapshots :)

We climbed the space-needle and had lunch at the top- it was SO incredible up there. I know it's the most touristy thing you can possibly do in Seattle, but the fact that it was a cliche didn't cause it to lose any of it's lustre. I had spent a couple of days bopping around the city before we went up, and it was awesome to pick out places we had visited as the restaurant spun. (oh yeah- it spins. Did I mention that? Who has two thumbs, a blog, and was mildly nauseous the whole time? THIS GUY)

Since we were turning around and around, I was struck with a sudden inspiration to pass a note along the rim of the restaurant. Peter could freehand a passable map of the USA, so we decided to send this around and see what happened! In an hour, we were delighted to find that once we reached our note, several other people had responded! I was a little miffed that they had stolen my pen in the process, though -_-

We got fancy pizza downtown somewhere (don't remember exactly where we were) and right outside the pizza place was this ivy-lined alleyway with this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop hidden in it. I was so struck by how beautiful it was, I remembered it and drew it from memory later.

While at pizza, I did do some sketching. My friend Peter challenged me to draw him (which i did! and I was super pleased to find I caught some part of his personality in it). Then I passed the sketchbook around and made everyone else draw. It was like pulling teeth, but the humored me, and then I watercolored over their drawings :)
ALSO: near this pizza place we went to this place called WOW which was, get this, an overtly 'christian' bubble-tea joint O___O Like: seriously. I was slurping my slushee to worship music.
I was so amused, I texted my sister about it, which unleashed a cavalcade of puns including:
Tapioca Testimonies
Biblical Bubbles
Scriptural Slushies
Mighty to Mango
Lord over Litchi
Gummy Gospel
The Taro Torah
Parting of the Red Tea
King of the Juice
Frozannah in the Yoghest
Boba and the Whale
(and my favorite)
Slurpshack, Teashack, and Abendystraw

^_^ derpa derp. derp. derp. I have a good sister.

On our tour of the most-cliche-tourist-destinations-in-Seattle, we stopped over at Pike Place Market. Again, I was delighted...I just really really love big colorful overcrowded markets and street performers (of which there were several :D)

Taken in the Seattle Public Library. I had a day of exploring the city on my own, and I headed over there where I ogled at the architecture, found the reading room, sat down to sketch and promptly fell dead asleep. Like- totally gone, mouth agape, probably snoring loudly. I woke up to the sun setting through the angled windows of the building with my mouth tasting like library.

And then THIS happened. Gasworks park...on the most incredible afternoon-into-sunset of the week. It was the most beautiful location on the water in the middle of the city surrounded by harbor activity and the skyline , and it was so SO cold. I sat up on the crest of the hill and sketched as my friends wandered off in search of warmer climes:

This. Place. I am in love. F'real.

Before you ask- yes. Those are what you think they are...and my sister made them from scratch. Like I said- I have a good sister :)
Oh, and yeah- I got a haircut.

Alright, that wraps up my indulgent slideshow of snapshots and, I think, this entry!
I'll keep sketching if you keep reading :) And keep those comments coming- they are immensely encouraging (just knowing people are reading this crap is neat!) and I love hearing back from you're all pretty neat ^_^
Until next time- Much love, and may God bless you with life in abundance!




The Lady Nerd said...

You are truly blessed with an amazing imagination. I read the prompts and jotted down my the first thing that came to my mind - oh my...dull, cliched results. I think that's one of my hardest things right now is trying to think outside the box. That's one of the reasons I love reading your blog - you creative such imaginative concepts from simple things.

Oh I have GOT to go to that Christian bubble-tea place. I'd be heaven! (pun intended? Oh yes indeed.)

scruffy said...

Every since discovering Donald Miller books and Imago Dei podcasts i've been Pacific Northwest bound in my head. My feet of flesh may never wander there but thanks for filling out some of the holes in my imaginary landscape :) i'm still reading and enjoying.

The prompts and solves are delightful and a great idea, the photography well composed and a eye catching. And i like your ideas for involving engaging those around you.

scruffy said...

Golly, i hate typos i can't edit.

Gabi Dimaranan said...

King of the Juice sounds a lot like it came from a Power Thirst commercial. hahahaha!

May I know how exactly do you do the prompts? Do you write them yourself and seal them on an envelope or you get it from the internet somewhere? I just want to try it myself is all...

Also, the illustration you made with the boathouse reminds me of this song by Norah Jones. have a look!

I missed your posts, but I can totally relate to the delays, I haven't been posting well myself these days -- months actually. T__T But hey, at least you still manage to inspire people whenever you do come back with amazing stories. :)

Anna said...

That solution for "they move when nobody's looking" is GORGEOUS, and I'm ever-so-slightly jealous of you for coming up with it.

Your photographs are really neat as well, and I'm glad you had a good time in Seattle. :)

Kirbish said...

These prompts are such an amazing idea, and I love the interpretations that you've come up with. I've decided to incorporate them into my own sketch routine (only using a random word / phrase selector as, alas, I'm not blessed with friends willing to fork out for envelopes to fuel my silly hobbies :P). I'll be entering the ones you've done too, so if they pop up I'll send you the result that I come up with. I think it'll be endlessly interesting to see how different people interpret each prompt :)

san said...

Hey Nick, nice post and lovely sketches. This is my first time commenting here, but I've been checking your stuff out obsessively on DA for a long time now [: Again, great job and keep it coming!


froggie said...

something about you and the color really stands out in your sketches and daily musings. your work is wonderful, truly. "-)

the doodler said...

I come here for the drawings, and what I can learn from them, but your posts sometimes make me snicker madly. This was one of those times. :P

esv said...

I always read and admire but seldom comment. However, I do love your blog, your illustrations and sketches, and I check for updates whenever I'm feeling whimsical or in need of some color in my life :) Thanks for sharing, it's great to see you on the move and always pushing yourself to do more and better.

Joshua James said...

Nic you have some really awesome work. You need to get 38 to develop those jelly suit dudes as a video game!

Beth said...

I love your work! So dreamy and beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

professional dog grooming said...
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Ackerley Nelson said...

I am student of multimedia technology in Howard university and i am nominate to college essay writing prompts competition which is held in oxford university next month.

Fon said...

Loved your works and feel like comparing the Needle Tower with Eiffel Tower in my hidden Paris.