Hello everyone! So, it’s been a while since I last posted, huh? I definitely wanted to make a post before Christmas so, well, here it is!!
I’ve actually been quite busy these few months preparing for my finals and whatnot. The good news is that I passed both of them, yaaay!! Thankfully, I’m only missing 3 more finals to finish my Animation career 😀 HURRAY!!! The so-so news is that this career is akin to a college career in the sense that the degree is not a bachelor; in Argentina we call these careers “carrera terciaria” while bachelors are “licenciaturas”. I could go for the bachelor’s degree if I wanted to but I’ve been in this University for 7 years, I’M THROUGH WITH IT. Plus I even changed careers in the middle from Editing to Animation so yeah…it’s been a long ride.
So what will I do after I get my diploma? Something that I realized this year, despite having made around 4 animation short films, is that I don’t want to pursue the animation path. The main reason I left Editing is because I felt what I was doing wasn’t really mine…sadly, the same goes for animation. When you’re an animator, unless they use your character design or you’re the director of the film/short film, you don’t really get to decide much of anything…you just animate a certain character or special effects or whatever you’re assigned to animate (and don’t even get me started on how almost everything revolves around the world of 3D, nowadays). I don’t want that, the deepest part of my soul screams at me that I don’t want to tell others’ stories, I want to tell my own. Sadly the artistic life is really harsh and not that simple to achieve. It’s not simple but it’s also not impossible, so now that I’ll soon have the “degree matter” out of the way, I want to focus on what I REALLY WANT.
As I mentioned, my biggest dream is to be a storyteller, that’s why I love writing and drawing so much. I love creating worlds for my characters to live in, reason why I always try to take down notes on my notebook everytime an idea comes to mind. In fact, I recently started to give “real writing” a try. What do I mean by this? Well…ideas are only ideas, unless you make use of them. So, early this year, I started going to a writing workshop where I had my writing being read/analyzed and critized by others for the first time. It’s not easy, sometimes you feel like what you write isn’t good enough or, on the contrary, that it’s awesome, yet when you hear what others have to say, you start to realize it’s not that simple. Writing a good story takes time, rewriting – lots of rewriting – and patience. Plus, with this workshop, it’s motivating to have a sort “task” you need to do every week; in this case, writing. It doesn’t matter how much you write, what’s important is that you write at all. It can even be a sole sentence. This year’s writing workshop has already ended and, at the beginning of December, we had a small get-together with the teacher and some of his students (including me) to read the short stories that we had been working on (finished ones, of course 😆 ). At the end of it, we had to vote for the best 2 and their writers would win a book as a present. Guess what? I won second place! I was really happy, not only because of the book I got, but also (and mainly) because ten people voted for my story. Ten people liked it enough to vote for it. Ten people were moved by something I wrote. And that made me insanely happy. In total, I wrote 3 short stories this year and am currently on my 4th. Even more good news: I’m returning to this work shop next year around early January 😀
Drawing is another activity I’ve always loved doing, and have been doing it far longer than writing stories. The thing with drawing, as many probably can tell/know is that, naturally, it takes A LOT of practice to improve 😕 I have an art teacher (drawing teacher, specifically) that has been teaching me for a long time. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to him. He’s a wonderful teacher and has a lot of patience with me, plus he wants to see me succeed in what I truly love. This is why this past Tuesday, he suggested that I organize my art blog (or even make a new one and leave that one for some writing) so that everything’s a bit easier to find. We’ve also talked about what I could do for a living that I like/love or don’t mind doing while I use my free time to do what I really want. I came to the conclusion that, having studied animation for 3 years, what I found the most enjoyable was making storyboards & animatics. Just take a look at Miyazaki’s storyboards and you’ll know why I find them so captivating. Animatics, like the name suggests, have a sort of “animation” in their process. They’re sort of like an animated storyboard, but the animations aren’t full and the characters can even be rough-looking. They can be simple or extremely complex.
Of course, this is something I want to make temporarily, because what I truly wish is to be able to create visual novels (especially otome games). Visual novels…I remember discovering them some years ago when I started University (probably around my 2nd or 3rd year). Until then, I never paid much attention to videogames in general either, I was just content watching anime and reading manga. But videogames opened a hidden door inside of me. They showed me a new world, particularly visual novels. Thanks to visual novels, I’ve come across wonderful games such as Ace Attorney, Dangan Ronpa, Zero Escape and, of course, otome games. I love books, I love comics, I love movies, I love animation…but the way I want to convey my storytelling the most is through visual novels.
On another note, I’ve also been studying japanese with my sensei. Due to University, last year I had to suspend my classes for a whole semester because it was getting to be too much and I didn’t have time to practice japanese at all. Thankfully, 2016 was the year I decided to resume classes 😉 and even though I still can’t read that many kanji, I’m happy to say that I’ve been improving quite a lot!! The way I found out is by playing a japanese otome game I recently bought called PsychicEmotion6. A friend from reddit recommended it to me so I gave it a try and played one route. The game’s Cero B so it’s a good level to start with when you’re learning japanese and MAN, even though I couldn’t exactly understand every single thing nor read every kanji that appeared, the voice acting helped a lot, I recognized a lot of kanjis after seeing them a couple of times and there were things I guessed with common sense. Overall, I played a whole route in japanese and understood the story!!! That in itself is a big step forward and I’m definitely going to try improving my japanese little by little so that I can get better at understanding the stories and, thus, enjoy them even more.
FINALLY, as regards my free time, I’ve been playing a lot of great games lately:
-A wonderful mystery game called Cafe 0 ~The Sleeping Beast~, with a lot of twists and loveable characters (especially the protagonist).
-The Blackwell games, where you’re a medium that has to help spirits “reach the light” so to speak 😆 I have already played the first 2 games and loved them!! The characters are super cool and unique.
-Kathy Rain, another mystery game depicting a journalist major who has to discover the strange circumstances behind her grandfather’s death. Lots of hilarious dialogues, and I recommend playing it with a friend. I’m doing that and we’re having a blast!
-Ace Attorney 6, the latest game from this series, which I’ve been dying to play. So far, I completed 2 episodes and am currently on the third case. I’m loving it a lot ❤
-Danganronpa V3 demo (in japanese), the newest danganronpa title which fortunately is getting a release in the west too! I already preordered my limited edition copy, but I’ll also be buying the japanese version as well (only in digital version). Since the game’s super difficult, being Cero D, I helped myself a looooot with google translate to be able to somehow understand what was going on. Sometimes Google translate would spout nonsense such as “such real pork” (wtf seriously), but other times it’d be more accurate; I just had to make sense out of whatever it translated whenever there were kanji I couldn’t read (which was most of the times lol).
Whew, I didn’t think this post would turn out so long 😆 but, basically, this is what I’ve been up to. I’m also planning to make drawing commissions to experiment how they go and make some money. There’s even a game I want to translate (Cafe 0; for which I already translated the prologue – just have to test it and tell the developer) but since I’ll be keeping myself busy, it’ll probably take a long time until I translate it completely. Plus, since it’s more or less a free job, I’ll take my time. I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post reviews here but I’ll try to come up with another type of posts so that I can do it more often 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the ride! See you next post and have a wonderful Christmas! (≧∇≦*)/
PS: Feel free to comment! 😉