11``` The Worst Time, The Best Time


In the days approaching the deadlines, I get stressed and annoyed about why I get myself into this situation and why I craved so much work at first, but as soon as I hit the submit button, I start to miss the previous days when I had very clear goals, and even think about the next project to work on. I recognize this pattern  every time, but it never changes. It  became something that I learned to expect every time a big deadline comes up -- it is a part of the process that I don’t consider if I should change or not. 

This week was one of those days. Friday night was the deadline for my portfolio submission for Gnomon. Sunday night I had to submit a paper proposal for an anthology. My mind was preoccupied with the work and nothing else. So when I started to write this week’s update, I could not think of much else to include in this page...

A lot of the times I get embarassed by my own art, because my standards are always too high for my capability. The pride I feel with my art usually comes from the emotional investment in the energy, labor, and time I put into creating the art, so it fades away within a few days, if not a few hours, as my emotional attachment decreases. 

However, I do feel quite proud (at least right now) of some major adjustments I made in two of the pieces I created for my portfolio.  Below are the progress pictures! 

You can see the full project I did in the past three weeks or so, here.

Given what I knew three weeks ago, I am quite satisfied with how much I learned and improved, through purely browsing through concept art online and a lot of trial and error. Based on the app I used to paint all the images, I spent almost 67 freaking hours on the 7 paintings/images! (I really had a LOT of trial and error guys... The images above don’t tell the whole story) Plus I spent a lot of time looking up great concept art on Artstation and Pinterest, watching tutorials on Schoolism, listening to interviews by Blender Guru on YouTube, to get myself more acquainted with how inexperienced I am and motivate myself and improve. Looking at these images now (which is three nights after submitting), I’m seeing a lot of basic perspective mistakes that I didn’t catch before. Definitely still need so much practice!

I do love how this process--just like anytime anyone learns to really do something on their own--helps me better understand *how* to apprecaite concept art: unexpected color palettes, wild imagination of forms and combinations, etc.

Also, in the three weeks of working on this project, I was really glad and relieved to find myself enjoying doing concept art more and more. Choosing to dive in--even though it was only for three weeks--did not make me crave for things I wasn’t doing all the time. So I am a lot more determined to do the program at Gnomon, if they choose to accept me!


Another pattern I have with dealing with deadlines, in addition to the beginning of this update, is that I always expect myself to work all day on the last day, and to the very last minute before submission. I’d tell my friends I can’t hang out with them that day because I’ve got work, but I end up spending the same amount of time it would take to eat a meal with a friend on watching random videos. And watching those videos only makes me feel more drained when I get back into work.

But this time, I decided to break that pattern. On Friday and Sunday--the days of the deadlines--I assigned myself hours to socialize or explore the city, no matter how pressing my deadlines felt like. Friday I had lunch with a high school friend,  went to Center City just for some good matcha dessert, and went to a roof garden with two friends when we talked about philosophical things in the beautiful sunset that is the background of this page. Sunday I went to the South Street to explore hippie stores and coffee shops. Doing these “distracting” things did make me feel a lot more energized working than I probably could have if I just sat in front of my laptop by myself for a whole day... 

I don’t know how much sense what I’m writing about makes. But my point is, I think I put myself into unnecessary suffering just because it *feels* like the right thing to do. I somehow want to suffer in the days or hours leading up to the deadline. But, I don’t have to. And I’m trying to find alternative mindsets in dealing with deadlines.

That being said, I did binge some youtubers’ videos this week. And here are four of them.
(Note that I am not necessarily recommending their videos to everyone)

What I’ve Learned

He makes 10-30-min-long videos on nutrition and health, citing papers and interviews in English and sometimes Japanese. I’m not exactly sure how valid his videos are generally considered, but they do sound pretty legit to me.

A few episodes I enjoyed:
    Why is nutrition science so complicated?
    Fasting vs. eating less: what’s the. difference?
    Why we get fat AND hungry

Matt D’Avella
To be honest, his aesthetic is a lot, and I usually ignore videos that have that kind of. aesthetic because of how intentional they are. However, I was procrastinating, and I clicked on his video, and I just absolutely love that his videos make me want to be more organized with my life. I got back into journaling on paper and pen. I am cleaning and organizing my room a lot more. I tried to wake up at 6am.... Well, it is the next habit I will want to work on, while I am trying to get more organized and work out more regularly. But, that was cool, to see how a few videos could motivate me like that!

Aesthetically pleasing food videos with ASMR background. Loved watching them before going to sleep.

Dry Bar Comedy
Standup comedy videos without dirty jokes! Honestly just click on random videos they have and you’ll probably stumble upon quite an amount of good ones. 

Gotta love YouTube recommendations sometimes.