Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Printmaking class

I had my first class for my Printmaking class this afternoon. I am already out of class, even though the class normally goes till 4:15, because the teacher let us out early.

I'm supposing there's lecture time and then the rest of the time is lab time. That is how it usually is in art classes.

I am a little nervous cause although there are no pre-reqs for this class, a number of my classmates have taken other art classes and so they actually know how to draw. This scares me. My art won't look like squat (to borrow the phrase) next to theirs. Just like how my acting looked like nothing in Elementary Acting next to people who'd been through the Actors' Academy.

For next class, we're to bring in an image to put on a linoleum block for blockprints. It doesn't have to be one we drew, although I would like to draw something. I considered printing out my friend Hannah/Jewels's recently finished drawing of my character Nightshade, since we could bring in something someone else drew, but I don't know how well her drawing will look on a blockprint (based on the blockprints we saw in the lab) since it has quite a bit of details. (Go to
The-Finished-NightShade-75621321 to see the picture I mean).

Another thought I had was drawing some of the "power-up" bracelets for the Percival House Heroes. Although I'm not quite sure what I want them to look like. Maybe like the Jewelry Star Bracelet in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (this is Mercury's - the other senshi's ones look similar but with a different color for the center stone, depending on the senshi):


Nah, not what I want. My story is sci-fi, after all.

I think it should look like a normal sort of bracelet. But futuristic somewhat.

Let me go through the characters and try to think what their bracelets might look like.

Vega: Starlight Bracelet. Activates with "Starlight, Power-Up;" deactivates with "Starlight, Power-Down"

Colette: Tekblast Bracelet. Activates with "Technoblast Alpha, Power-Up" and deactivates with "Technoblast Alpha Power Down"

Linus: Tekblast Bracelet. Activates with "Technoblast Beta Powerup" and deactivates with "Technoblast Beta Power Down"

Mira: Kyringlasse (Kee-reen-glahs) Bracelet. (Mercurian for a combined fire-ice element). Activates with "Kyringlasse Power Up" and deactivates with Kyringlasse Power Down.

Coral: Lightning Bracelet. Activates with "Lightning, Power Up" and deactivates with "Lightning Power Down." (In the CYA arc, her bracelet breaks and Schloffel fixes and modifies it. This new bracelet is called the Shockwave Bracelet).

I can't remember all the characters. I'll look up the others.

Anything Lightning Girl is tough because the story keeps evolving in my head. For instance, at one time Avalon was a nightclub singer with a boss who doted on her à la Harold Zidler from Moulin Rouge!. This version is what I gave Hannah and what she now has in the description of the Nightshade picture on DeviantArt. In another version of Avalon's story, the version I planned out to appear in the ezine Anime Angels, has her as a stage manager for a theater. I don't know why I changed this, maybe to avoid the Moulin Rouge comparisons. Not to mention that most nightclubs nowadays don't have live music all the time. But then, since I don't do the clubbing thing, I wouldn't know. Plus European nightclubs are probably different from ours.

It is difficult to write something 100% original. Not if you read a lot for sure. I like the way Philip Pullman puts it in his Acknowledgments at the end of The Amber Spyglass:

I have stolen ideas from every book I have read. My principle in researching for a novel is "Read like a butterfly, write like a bee," and if this story contains any honey, it is entirely because of the quality of the nectar I found in the work of better writers.
In my basic concepts for Lightning Girl, I have subconsciously borrowed from X-Men a good deal for my concept of the Percival House Heroes (or PHH, as I call them for short). My concepts of the Nightshade story borrow perhaps a good deal from the spiritual warfare portrayed in Frank Peretti's books. The "power-up"/"power-down" thing is a bit of an homage to Hot Spot from the animated show Teen Titans, who "powered down" to turn his powers off (the "power up" may have been influenced by the "make-up" thing from Sailor Moon).

The CYA (Christian Youth Alliance) is perhaps my most original group of heroes in terms of skills, etc. Avalon was already a set character, but her role was changed, making her part of the CYA and not the PHH. Also, she does not have mental powers as in original versions of her story (including the one I'm doing for Anime Angels). Actually, none of the CYA members have superhero powers, which is what makes Coral's entrance into the group interesting. They all do have "spiritual gifts" (as in the ones listed in the Bible).

Avalon in the CYA sense is the leader, though (to paraphrase Shakespeare) she had greatness thrust upon her. The original leader, an elderly man whose name just escaped me, was killed while protecting the Prime Minister of England. Avalon, one of the CYA's first members, took his place. Her skill is weapon-making; she also has the spiritual gift of discerning evil spirits. Her experience under the "Nightshade curse" has made her more attune to this sort of thing. (I originally had her be a sort of exorcist also, but now I'm not so sure about this being particular to her - technically by God's power, any Christian can "cast out" demons). Her code name is Ashela, after an ancient heroine of Phi Andromedae, where she grew up.

Ayumi is Avalon's close friend and her second-in-command. She is a former miko (Shinto shrine priestess) and also well-trained in martial arts and in ikebana (flower arranging) and sadō (tea ceremony). I imagine her as being similar to Rei from Sailor Moon. She primarily fights using martial arts, including kyudō (use of the bow) and sōjutsu (use of the spear), but also puts her more traditional arts - flower arranging and tea ceremony - to good use by making "weapons" (if they can be called that) out of them - a vase that shoots out flowers like a gun and a tea ladle that shoots out stuff (tea I assume - haven't worked that out yet). Somehow the idea of a flower arranging vase being used as a gun sounded both fun and absolutely hilarious to me. Anyway, Ayumi has a spiritual gift too, although I haven't decided what it is yet. I've gone through lists of spiritual gifts and not found one suitable to her yet. Her code name is Kannon, the Japanese name for the bodhisattva of compassion (known as Guan Yin in China and Avalokiteśvara in India).

Edit: I did some more checking and decided to make Ayumi's gift service. The website I found defines this gift so: "This gift is a practical gift. Those with the gift of service enjoy doing routine tasks around the church regardless of how they effect others. Those with this gift enjoy menial tasks and do them cheerfully. Service-oriented people would rather take orders than give them."

Then there's Matt. He's the resident genius, the techie guy. He doesn't fight, but instead runs operations from behind the scenes. He's kind of like Q from James Bond or Wade Load from Kim Possible. His skill is computers and building and fixing stuff. His spiritual gift is knowledge (a gift I didn't know of till I took a few spiritual gifts tests and always got high scores for "knowledge" as a gift). I have also imagined him as possessing a item that allows him to take away a teammate's power if he or she is getting out of hand with it, though I don't know if I'll continue with that idea. His code name is Schloffel, after the creator of the United Federation of Galaxies's information database.

Maria is also a bit of a support character. Her skill is making and fixing robots and playing a recorder called a txistu. She is half Spanish, half Basque. Unlike Matt, she can fight if needed, distracting people with the txistu or fighting with a makila (a Basque walking stick) much like martial arts practitioners fight with a staff. She speaks Spanish, English, and Spanish Basque. The android Quinta-575040 (the number being her model number), also known as Quinta, is her assistant. (I picked Quinta's name cause it sounded Spanish; in fact, it is a Spanish word that means "fifth" and also "country house/estate" -- neither of which have to do with Quinta).

Oh shoot it's getting late. I better get home. More later.

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