Rating Miyazaki’s Ghibli Work

Recently I talked about some Studio Ghibli when I wrote about Isao Takahata (read it here). This inspired me to complete something on my bucket list: watch Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli filmography. I had been forgetting about watching one for a long while and I finally got to it. So, I completed that goal, and now I can officially rate the movies. This was hard, because I actually love all the movies, and I mean all the movies. But I think I did it.

Just remember, please, this is personal opinion. Everyone is different, and you don’t have to agree. But this is how I rate Miyazaki’s movies:

13. Ponyo. Yeah, Ponyo is last place. It’s adorable, and I love Fujimoto and Lisa as characters. But the other movies are just better.

12. Arrietty, the US version. Unlike other Ghibli movies, this one got two English versions, the US and the UK, both with different actors and different scripts. The US one is not as good, sorry about it.

11. Princess Mononoke. Is Ashitaka my favorite male hero? Yes. Are there still better movies than this one? Also yes.

10. The Wind Rises. I swoon for the animation.

9. My Neighbor Totoro. I’m gonna get shit for this one. Again, I love this movie, but I think there are better movies. Sorry, Mom.

8. Arrietty, the UK version. Better script and better actors. It works better with the UK script, I believe.

7. From Up on Poppy Hill. This movie speaks to me more than people know, and even if it’s the least-liked according to critics and stuff, there’s something special about it to me.

6. Porco Rosso. This movie is so friggin’ funny. I was non-stop laughing, and there was a point the laugh got so ugly Vladimir got concerned.

5. Kiki’s Delivery Service. This, I believe, was my first Ghibli movie, and it holds a special place in my heart.

4. Whisper of the Heart. This was my most recent watch, and it touched my heart and soul. I saw myself at ages 11, 15, 21, and even now. Super special.

3. Spirited Away. I mean…this is just a masterpiece.

2. Castle in the Sky. Characters, story, animation, this movie gives it all to me.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle. Everything about this movie is magical to me, absolutely everything. I cannot fault it, nor do I want to. It’s definitely my favorite Miyazaki movie, and one of my favorite movies ever.

Well, darn, this was tough. I reiterate, I love every Mitazaki movie. He is one of my favorite creators. So know that, even if it’s at the bottom of the list, I recommend it.

Thanks, Hayao-sama, for transforming my life through your art.

Hugs

Alexandra

When Crafting Can Be Too Much & Ideas

Edit: I checked earlier this time, but it still didn’t publish on time, so I’m definitely gonna fix whatever happened here, okay, on with the post.

I have a lot of hobbies.

I’m a creative and crafty person, always have been, and I love making things. But I’ve noticed lately that, growing into adulthood, maybe I have too many. I won’t have time beyond a career and self-care and relationships to do as much as I want to do.

First of all, what are my hobbies? Well…

Making jewelry, making pins, painting, drawing, reading (duh), making videos (sort of), writing, penpaling (also sort of), journaling, sewing, cosplay, cross stitch, crafting in general, and of course theatre in general. I’m sure there’s more, but I can’t remember anymore off the top of my head.

Like I said, I have too many. And it’s begun taking a toll on me because I look at my craft tower and all the supplies I have, and I realize that it’s gathering dust. I haven’t made a pair of earrings in a while. Last pin I made was maybe nine months ago. There’s an unfinished cross stitch project that’s been sitting since Christmas. And let’s not get started on my TBR bookcase.

So, what can I do? I enjoy doing these things, but I hate having so much/leaving it to rot almost. And with the school semester coming up, I’m going to have even less time. Do I quit some of my hobbies? Or do I leave it all to be forgotten about?

I think I have an idea…

First of all, I don’t have any physical hobbies. So, I need to find something I can enjoy that’ll keep me in shape, or at least in a healthier state. That’s something for me to research on my own.

Second of all, what in my hobbies do I consider more ‘lifestyle’, or will help advance my career/goals/dreams? There’s three: reading, writing, and theatre. I’m not getting rid of these three, not now not ever. I have a Masters in a theatrical field I want to combine with my current studies. Writing is a dream AND goal as I want to be a writer. So, I keep working on that in the hopes I can get published/performed one day. And reading is just so special, and works with my writing dream and current studies. These hobbies are sailing.

Third of all, what in my hobbies do I believe I can utilize more? If I decide ever to open an online shop, it would be with jewelry and pins, and I’ve also made money with my drawings (not paintings, though I could add it in). The question becomes, can I actually do that? Is my work good enough to sell? Would anyone actually want it? I’d be willing to try, but it’s not at the forefront of my mind. These hobbies are floating.

And lastly, for the rest of my hobbies, are they ones I do once in a blue moon for something special, or are they gathering dust due to being on the bottom of the craft totem pole? For those who are once in a blue moon depending on situations, which are cosplay, sewing, and penpaling, I can keep them around since they don’t weigh on my mind and I still enjoy them. For those who gather dust due to neglect, which are making videos, cross stitch, and crafting in general, it might be best just to let them sink.

What about journaling? Moving it more into the self-care arena might help that one.

These are my thoughts and ideas about what I can do with my gazillion hobbies.

If you’re like me with perhaps too many things on your plate, take into account those questions about

  1. Do you have a physical hobby to keep you healthy?
  2. What hobbies are sailing?
  3. What hobbies are floating?
  4. What can you keep around for that once in a blue moon project?
  5. And what can you let sink?

Hopefully this helps some of you. I’m going to go put it into practice now…

Hugs

Alexandra

Synesthesia

I’ve always had a connection to color in words. Color keeps me organized, and it’s easier for me to differentiate various readings. While I was in grad school, we had a project that involved fairy tale princess (for another time). I wrote the princesses’ names in different colors, and when someone asked why, I said ‘because that’s how I see it’. She asked ‘do you have synesthesia?’ Did I?

First of all, what even is synesthesia?

Apparently, it’s a brain thing where you experience one of your senses leading to automatic experiences in a secondary sense. “Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time.” (source) Think back to the movie Ratatouille. Remy can hear music and see swirls of color when he tastes something. That’s a form of synesthesia.

While I cannot say for surety whether or not I have synesthesia, I do believe I have a form called Grapheme-color synesthesia, which is when letters and numbers are associated to specific colors. I associate words and numbers with color in nearly everything. That’s why Snow White was a pale purple and Cinderella was yellow.

The problem becomes that colors change for me. The word ‘apple’, purple when I look at it now, might become more blue later in life. The month of March used to be brown before becoming a pale orange.

I don’t know.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is I saw something on TikTok (surprise, surprise) when someone with Chromesthesia (when you see colors as you hear sounds) painted what a song looked like. Their username is jurisprune, and it’s fascinating to see.

So, I tried it in my own way.

I had Vladimir chose a song, and I painted as I read the lyrics (while listening to the song because I love music). The song he chose was ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’ by The Beatles.

Here’s how it went:

I gathered up most of my basic colors and printed out the lyrics. Vladimir and I underlined some key words to hit in the painting. As for the painting itself…

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Guys, we all know I’m not the best at painting, but I still had a good time with this. It’s not perfect, and there are only certain aspects I actually like. But this is the song as I read it. I concentrated a lot more than I thought I would. And at least I tried.

Enjoy and celebrate your quirks and special talents!

Hugs

Alexandra

Benefit of Creative Week

Wanna know something pretty funny? Last week (Creative Week), I successfully uploaded a post or story every day on time. And today, I am late with my post…

At least I thought it was funny.

Let’s talk about Creative Week that just happened!

I pulled off a DIY, a costume post, two stories, trying some new art, and creating a special art project. It may have not been too smart of me to do it when I had two big assignments due within a day of each other that I was working on as well, but I did it. Also, I don’t recommend that.

But why did I have a Creative Week?

Several reasons, really.

One of them was due to the unsuccessful venture of inktober. I was able to get through five or six days when a very scared cat destroyed my sketch book. It was a shame, and I saw it as a ‘sign’ that I should focus on my school shit.

Here’s the next reason: I’m a very creative person. I’m constantly making something. Focusing on school, I can’t see the creative endeavor YET, and I was starved of creative juices (delicious?) So I went ham, cheese, and spam on getting creative.

What we need to realize is that we all need to be creative. Even if we are a serious person who prefer law or math or whatever serious people prefer, we need a creative something in our life to make us whole. Creative Week was not only giving me the chance to get those juices flowing again, but to maybe inspire someone else to try something new.

Get creative; it’s good for you.

Hugs

Alexandra

 

AFTER THE STORM

{A song is associated with this art piece, so I recommend having it on in the background: YouTube link}

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“Sometimes the only thing keeping me from ending it all is that I’m literally too scared to.” -Maren

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“Life ain’t easy but it sure is beautiful.” -Dave

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“Life is worth it because of faith and hope.” -Kirsten

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“If you’ve been struggling, that’s okay, but don’t do it silently.” -Syd

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“As long as we’re here we might as well do what we can to make this Earth a better place and make our own hearts happy.” -Elta

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“Life can be fun. It can be whatever you make it.” -Steven

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Confidence in your self-worth, your beauty, and that you’re doing what you believe is best for you and your world. -Brianna

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(Sort of) Trying Watercolor

It’s almost the end of Creative Week!

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Alright, friends, I took a break from my stress to do some watercolor. Or at least to try it out.

I had one of those cheapy Crayola ones, but it did the job. Obviously, I don’t know much about how watercolor works. The color is janky and the blending is nonexistent.

But I’m still happy.

Taking a break from the hellhole that is currently school (just too stressed and busy lol) doesn’t mean creating substantial art. It just means relaxing your mind. I simply did what I wanted to do that required the least amount of thinking, and this is what came.

When you get creative, whether for yourself or for others, remember to enjoy your craft. Creativity is nothing if it is not enjoyable to some capacity.

So, my janky Mother Earth will be placed somewhere in my library because I like it.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Special project coming tomorrow. It may come late tomorrow, but it’ll be here.

Creative Week

This week has been quite busy (if you couldn’t tell from the last post), but I’m excited to bring Creative Week to the blog next week!

Monday will be a DIY on something I made for Disneyland.

Wednesday will be a costume made for a festival.

Friday will be a choice (meaning I’m not sure what yet). I’m debating between trying watercolour or going through the process of drawing people (from when I did commissions). If you have one you’d rather see, do let me know. I’ll take it into account.

But it’s not just the main posting days that are getting creative!

Tuesday and Thursday will bring a new story for my writing tab.

Saturday will bring…a surprise (*wink*)

Sunday is a day of rest. Or just basic sketching.

Let’s get creative! Join me if you want, I’d love to see your creations.

Hugs

Alexandra

Art Catch Up

Since I started Just Vinyl Comics, I’ve updated as a blog occasionally as almost a filler post while I get my other nonsense together.

That’s what today was going to be.

But, I only had five comics between now and the last catch up. So, I thought I’d share other art I’ve done since, including a few commission pieces. Some of it is a little…macabre, but I’ll be making a post dedicated to those pieces a little later.

Alrighty.

If you’re interested in Just Vinyl Comics you can find the page under the art tab or here

If you’re interested in commissions you can find the info here

And other art exists under the art tab.

Enjoy!

Commissions-Ish

I’m in a precarious position of needing some money. However, I HATE asking for it. So I tried something I never planned on doing, but I am not opposed to:

Commissions.

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If you didn’t know, I draw. Not terribly often, but more lately than usual. I have those little comics every Friday, sure, but my colored pencil work is what I advertised. I put it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, everything that I was doing commissions. I had quite a few people on all platforms enjoy my art, so I thought I’d do well.

I got two commissions.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit disappointed. But I am also understanding. Not everyone has cash to spare and/or not everyone has a need for colored pencil art. I get it.

Still a bummer, though.

Sometimes things don’t work out like you hope. I was hoping to be able to put a little cash into going to grad school orientation, but it didn’t quite work out. I was still happy to draw for two people who were able to help me out.

I’m still gonna draw. If you’d like to, you can commission me at drawing.by.notcon@gmail.com but only if you’d like to.

And if I can give one more little inspirational message: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Art-wise, I have much more talented friends and I feel like commissions aren’t something I’d be good at. But I still did it. You never know, guys.

Hugs

Alexandra