Industrious Illustrating #62 – Coming to an End

I almost can’t believe that the school year is almost over already — I feel like the spring of 2023 happened only a couple of months ago! Currently I’m trying to finish a bevy of final assignments on time this week before they’re due, which includes both UX-related coursework and client work. I wonder how it’d feel to balance a full-time job workload on top of making my own artwork for both personal and business purposes… (Also, this is why the column is a couple of days late this week)

What I was definitely able to make time for this past week, however, was driving down to Toledo to see the total solar eclipse. I don’t regret this one bit, as I’ll remember forever throwing off my eclipse glasses when I saw the sliver of sun disappear and seeing a giant void of darkness with a glowing rim of white light looming in the dark sky above me. No wonder why so much mythology and artwork has been inspired by the sight of a total eclipse!

I didn’t get any really good eclipse photos because my phone camera is older and I didn’t think of borrowing a nicer camera from LSA or Stamps’s equipment offices, so this is the best one I have

I also did Con Ja Nai last weekend and made a fairly decent amount of money — several times more than what I’ve historically made at CJN before my art business really started taking off this year. I think the addition of mecha keychains has boosted my con revenue from average to quite good, as they satisfy an under-served niche for small mecha merch. It goes to show that sometimes you don’t know what’ll work best for you and your business until you experiment and eventually hit it off with your customer base.

My setup from last weekend — I definitely feel like I need to simplify this down though, as it’s a huge headache to set up just for a single day of selling even with two people working on it

Also, filing taxes by yourself as a self-employed small business owner is a huge headache — I’m likely going to reach out to a small business CPA (accountant) for next year’s tax season since my taxes are going to only get more complicated now that I do out-of-state events. The difficulty of keeping track of sales, income, and estimated taxes is something that I don’t think enough people warn you about before you try to run an art business.

Anyway, I think there’ll only be one or two more Industrious Illustrating columns this school year before I go on summer break and focus my energy on other things. I’m not sure yet whether or not I’ll bring back this column next school year, as my art business has now taken off a lot this year and my coursework is also becoming increasingly demanding closer to graduation. However, I’m tempted to keep this running until the end of undergrad because it’d be a really nice log of my growth and development as an illustrator and product designer over the course of several years.
If you’d like to see this column come back next year, I’d love to hear from you ^^ And either way, I hope you’ll enjoy the nice weather outside in the upcoming weeks!

Witness the Small Life – Fooling & Folking Around

Carpe Diem!

I truly believe that sunshine and fresh air will heal most anything. Stressed about an upcoming project? Go sit outside for a little! Worried about the end of the school year? Open that window and breathe in! Filled with an inescapable dread about the fate of the world as we know it? Set up your hammock and take a nap! (and also reach out to your support systems and get that help you deserve!) Not only does a beautiful day help the mind, body, and soul recuperate from a tough week, it’s also really heartwarming to see everyone out on the Diag on blankets and in hammocks spending time together after being cooped up for so long this past winter.

Sierra Ferrell’s new album, Trail of Flowers, has been exclusively on repeat in my headphones this past week. She’s been a favorite artist of mine for a while but she has been my absolute everything lately. Over the course of the past few years I’ve been reawakening my love for folk and bluegrass music and this album has only just fueled those flames. There’s many a person out there that denounces everything country (I used to be one of them yikes!) but I feel like wider society’s perception of country music is extremely limiting to just the honky-tonking Big Green Tractors of the world. (And if you like that song, all the more power to you! I’m over the gatekeeping and demeaning nature of pretentious music communities.) But I feel like once you find a song or two or maybe even a musician within the wider realm of country music, your entire perspective can change. There’s so much to the genre and the ones that exist within and alongside it! Every decade of country/folk/bluegrass since the mid 20th century carries their own certain flair and styles so there’s bound to be something out there that clicks with a certain part of your taste. For me, folk music feels like the singer is speaking directly to the thoughts and feelings within me that I can never put into words. There’s a certain melding of the emotions of the lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals that touches a certain part of my soul that can’t be replicated anywhere else and that’s why I love it so much. Trail of Flowers is another testament to this beautiful relationship I feel when listening to folk music so if you haven’t listened to it yet, you better get on that!

Also, if you ever need some great folk music to listen to and don’t know where to start, tune into WCBN’s very own folk specialty show Just Folkin’ Around every Saturday at 9am! There’s a great rotation of hosts every week (including me!) and we love to highlight our collection of folk, country, singer-songwriter, and bluegrass music in the station!

In other words of music and musicians, I promised a shout out to my favorite Jazz Drum major of UW-Madison, a certain Francis Randall! If you’re interested in the inner machinations of the future generation of jazz drumming in Madison, WI, I’d highly recommend giving a follow to uw.jazz.drums.studio on Instagram. Although their posts could be deemed “strange” and highly-unrelated to jazz drumming, they’re still very entertaining (in my opinion!). And as Sebastian so astutely says about jazz in La La Land: “It’s conflict and it’s compromise, and it’s just…it’s new every time. It’s brand new every night. It’s very, very exciting! And it’s dying. It’s dying, Mia. It’s dying on the vine. And the world says, ‘Let it die. It had its time.’ Well, not on my watch.”

To take into our next week:

Ins: Impractical skirts, basking in the sun (always), hot pink nail polish, being especially talkative, allowing yourself to cry at silly things, the smell of sunscreen, unashamedly listening to really great musical soundtracks.

Outs: Birds chirping at 3am, forgetting hair ties at the exact moment you need them, self-isolating, wearing wrinkled clothes, not treating yourself with kindness, forgetting to patch up your favorite pair of shoes.

Remember to take a break from the whirlwind of finals and spend some time outside! It isn’t everyday we get this beautiful sunshine in the craziness of Michigan weather, so let’s seize those days!

~Sappy Daze~ Day 9

I Bet Your Parents Made Love in a Bed 

of bright marigolds and cosmos. 
That would explain your innate 
stubbornness, like when you sprouted 
in May, too eager 

to grant your mother
the sweet poison of a lily 
of the valley, 
which is motherhood.

Although it’s not as beautiful as 
the red tulip she raised, I hope 
she likes the hydrangeas I gave. 

I’ve been wanting to gift more.

While their brilliant red still 
doesn’t compare to the adorable 
pink blooming on you, 

Look, the carnations we planted 
have beautifully bloomed. I’m 
determined to grow peonies with 
you, too. I’ve already decided that 

when I lie in my deathbed, nobody shall 
give me white lilies. Instead, they’ll 
give me poppies, for the wound you left 
when you left me: 

Its medicine will grant me peace in death, 
just like the peace your lavender gave me.

- Sappy

Chapter 8

Hello, and welcome back to Captured Moments! This week, I am showing a day (April 9th) in my life.

9:30-10:30

I went to my aural theory class. Today, I learned about sentences and periods and how to identify the difference between the two in a piece. I listened to many examples, ranging from Beethoven to the movie “Frozen”, and identified if the song was a sentence or period. A sentence in musical terms has one cadence in the end and begins with a basic idea. This basic idea is then repeated and fragmented. On the other hand, a period has two cadence. The first cadence is weaker than the final cadence. The picture I provide is a catchy song I learned that is an example of a sentence!

12:30-1:30

I then went to my sight-reading class. Today, I sight read a movement from a Beethoven piece. This class is very helpful for pianists as it helps us sight read faster and accurately!

3-4

I went to central campus for my French class. I had a journal-like test in class today in which I wrote about my daily routine.

4

The last thing I did today was practice. Juries (final for piano performance major) are coming up, so I practice as much as I can.

That’s it for this week. See you next week!

4/11/24

All the things I’ve accumulated 

Sitting listless and unnumbered 

A red towel soaked from suds fleeing from the sink

You have to use your nails to get clean

Wash cloths aren’t enough 

Some people don’t use them 

I can’t stop to talk to you 

Clean clean splash nothing is clean 

“Miss 1 pink pill in week 1 of your pack take the first as soon as you remember 

The second at your regular time”