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Notes from Vannotes: Trading Spaces


A photo of the artist's studio space.
That pile of boxes surprisingly has more books inside of it. If you look closely, there's also four Madeline McGrane prints on the wall.

After a few weeks of home improvement/trudging back and forth, I'm officially moved out to the outside apartment at my family's place, which was formerly my dad's work office. As he's retired and my mom no longer needs me in the house for company and a sense of security, it made sense for us to swap spots. Like many millennials, I'm enjoying that sweet spot of being gainfully employed, but also having too many student loans to even considering living without another person's income. It's not like there's easily accessible and quality apartments in this area either, however this solution should last us all until the next clear step becomes apparent.


A few thoughts during and after moving my crap:

  • I have so many journals I've purchased, thinking apparently that this one would be the one to unlock all the secrets of my mind. Unfortunately that hasn't been the case and I have a huge stack with half-finished drawings of torsos.

  • If my death doesn't involve being buried under a bookshelf, what was all this for?

  • It IS as nice to have a computer desk, drawing desk, AND writing desk as I'd dreamed!

  • Having a dedicated reading chair does mean you'll read more. It will also mean you'll sit around and play video games more.

December's going to involve putting a lot of little projects to bed in anticipation of 2023, which is going to involve a lot of horsepower to get through. Words and pictures are both in the works, if you forgot about me being able to do one or the other.

 

What I'm Reading - Milestone Compendium One by Various Artists

They don't make comics like this anymore. This is actually the most fun I've had reading superhero comics in a while. Static and the Denys Cowan drawn Hardware stand a cut above the rest, but these comics go down nice and smooth, having been crafted with care and attention. I also can't get enough of these watercolored pages, which have so much more personality than the blinding or muddy computer coloring we've become so accustomed to. By the end, the comics seem determined to add magic into the mix of their universe, which seems like such an eyeroll when Milestone seemed so cohesive and "believable" at the beginning, but that's not going to stop me from picking up the second one.


What I'm Reading - Intro to Video Game Theory by Frans Mäyra

I've grabbed bits and pieces to reference in essays, but finally reading this text in it's entirety has been a goal of mine while trying to whittle down the to-read pile. In my opinion, academics texts and theory are an important part of a creator's overall health, allowing the brain to grapple with concepts it might not even have known were possible to engage with, even with subjects they're well aware of. Aspects of this text are dated, but still a fantastic introductory read and provides a framework for other engagement with video game theory.


What I'm Watching - The Great North/Bob's Burgers

In complete contrast to the previous paragraph about engaging with rigorous academic theory, comfort is also something the artist needs to pursue to produce creative work. I think we all need approachable media to make us feel the possibility of joy in art. That's not to say that Bob's Burgers and The Great North aren't skillfully constructed, because they are made by far more competent creators than myself, but the broadly palatable yet quirky sensibility reinforces that art can just be what it is and not be the next great American novel.

What I'm Listening To - Christmas Songs by Jars of Clay

Despite all the best attempts by the secular music industry, Christian music artists still are the best at Christmas music. This time of year, there's just something about going hard for Jesus that makes a Christmas jam sound better. This older album by Jars of Clay is still my go to, no matter whether I'm reading, writing, or actively listening. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a banger.


What I'm Playing - Pokémon Scarlet

I'm having a good time with this glitchy, but fun entry in the franchise. I'm now at the point pre-Elite Four where I'm trying to balance out my team and figure out which of these lovable dopes I want to level up to the point that they'll be heavy hitters. My standout of the whole game though? My gal Tinkaton and her big old hammer that takes up the entire screen from almost every angle. She's a beast!


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