Chroma #15: Am I Human To You?

In this piece, I wanted to explore the idea of self-identity and perception. I remember once reading that “identity is comprised of three main facets: who we think we are, who we want others to think we are, and who others think we are”. I don’t really know what I’m doing most of the time and I rarely have original thoughts (so take this next paragraph with a grain of salt), but I feel like most people, especially myself, have been driven by the second and third facets our entire lives. A valuable lesson I had to learn recently is that people are never going to perceive you the way you want to be perceived, and you have to let go of the fantasy of trying to fit an ideal, whether it be through beauty standards, race, gender, or external pressures in general. Once you let go, a process I’m still working through, I believe you can live a healthier, less restrictive life. Yes, outward perception is an inescapable thing, but instead of forcing yourself to mold into a standard, or attempting to present yourself under a guise of normalcy, you can use it to express yourself creatively. For example, lately, I’ve been viewing my appearance and features differently. Instead of styling my body or face to fit a gendered and Eurocentric beauty ideal, I’ve seen my body as more of an accessory that I can use to express creativity and have fun with. This viewpoint has increased my self-confidence and allowed myself to become happier with myself. In general, I think a big part of maturing for me has been letting go of mindsets ingrained in me since childhood, things that I wasn’t even consciously aware of. What do you guys think?

Chroma #14: Pixel Cowboy

This week, I drew some pixel art for a small video game I designed for a class I’m taking, COMPFOR 121. The premise is basically to avoid the “Sheriff” and the cacti while “wrangling” cows. If the cactus or Sheriff touches you, you lose health. But if you touch the cow, you wrangle it. You have to try to wrangle 10 cows before you lose all your health. I’ve never done pixel art or made a video game before, but it was honestly pretty fun! I always liked the ideas of Cowboys, and I think the colors went really well with the desert scene.

By the way, if you want to play it, you can do so here: Side Scroller Video Game: Pixel Cowboy

Just press the Green Flag icon in the upper right hand corner, and use space and the left/right arrows to move!

Chroma #13: Seeing Quadruple

Here’s a quicker piece for you guys this week. I was originally just sketching the guy on the far left, but I decided I wanted to expand it a bit further, which is how I ended up with this. I really enjoyed playing with colors from the palette and drawing in this less realistic style. I think I usually try to push myself into immediately doing complete illustrations instead of more casual sketches, and I often have to remind myself that half of my finished pieces came from random sketches in the first place. I also have trouble letting go of half-finished pieces, even when I feel like I’ve lost motivation or passion for it. Who knows, maybe in the future I’ll go back to finish them, but not in the foreseeable future. Either way, hope everyone’s been doing well and had a nice St. Patrick’s day!

Chroma #12: Human Fly

Although I didn’t finish this piece, and I’m not very satisfied with it, I still wanted to post it. It’s based off the lyrics of “Human Fly”, a song by The Cramps. At least in the way that I interpreted it, the song describes a man who sees himself as a human fly, a pest, with a “garbage brain”. I wanted to personify the song as a man, one dealing with a lack of motivation and inner turmoil. The shading/coloring is still quite unfinished, as I ended up just not knowing where to go from where I was at. This semester, my workload for my classes has been significantly more than it was last semester, and I’ve been struggling to try to create art consistently, especially as the things I want to create art around seem to shift faster than I can keep up with. Work, in my opinion, can be one of the most effective killers of creativity and passion, and I hope to find more time for art in the summer.

Chroma #11: Gritty Sleep

In this piece, I wanted to encompass that disgruntled feeling when its late at night and you’re groggy and sleep-deprived. You might feel kind of crusty, and you just want to pass out in bed. I hoped with the lighting and the drops of water I could create that sense of sleepiness, a feeling that I’m sure most people here are at least somewhat familiar with. Also, with the guys sleeping in the doorway and in the background, I tried to create a feeling of camaraderie and coziness, even if they’re all bone-deep tired. I hope everyone’s making sure they’ve been getting enough sleep recently.


Chroma #10: Post-Slump Pancakes

This week, I painted an interaction between two friends, possibly the morning after a difficult night. I wanted it to be bittersweet, with the one on the ground clearly going through a rough patch. This turmoil is alleviated by the friend at the forefront, who made pancakes for their friend. I wanted to show a dynamic in which these two friends look out for each other, even if maybe they’re not ready to talk about their problems. I hope everyone has friends who are there to make pancakes for them when they’re in a slump.