Art Attack – I

Posted in Some Selfish Exposure with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2010 by ajanae79

As I improve on many aspects of my life I must improve on my art, too. This will showcase some of my sketches. Please comment and critique on anything you like, don’t like, or any suggestions. Thanks in advance =]

1.) Kill Bill Screencaps

Approx. Time: ~30 min.

These are some sketches I drew from one of my favorite movies, Kill Bill Vol. 1. The sketch in the top left corner is my favorite, and the one done most accurately. It was fun getting into the habit of sketching again, so there will be a lot more of this to come.

2.) Kid J Comic

Aprrox. Time: 30min.
Approx. Time: 2 min.

Ha…my attempt at an Aaron McGruder style? Possibly. This originated as a comic for my journalism class a year ago and I liked it so I ran with it. Unfortunately I only made three installments and ventured into other projects since then. Yeah, I need to work on that short attention span. But Since then I’ve recycled these characters into another project called Class D Kids, the story of a teacher rejected from society who finds passion again in a bunch of gifted elementary school students, and if I play my cards right CDK will turn into the next great children’s cartoon.

3.) Skyworld – Tara

Approx. Time: ~5 min.

Skyworld is a project I’ve been working on for a while, and it’s getting to mean a lot to me. It’s the story of a 15 year old girl who dies at the foolishness of her parents, and because of that she tries to defy the rules of death by escaping the Spirit World and returning home. But almost every creature holds contempt for it, and while she’s fighting them she has to fight herself and find out what is life truly worth living for. Once I begin writing more I’ll post chapters up here.

4.) Nekoria

Approx. Time: ~30 min.
Approx. Time: 20 min.

Nekoria is also one of those projects that’s special to me. This would be a feature length animated film, about a young girl (Kari, picture 2) whose father dies, and with wishing for just one last bedtime story, she gets dragged into the warring world of Nekoria where a prince (Toryu, picture 1)  tries to bring her home while battling evils of his people.

5.) Nowhere Soldiers (Header Art)

Approx. Time: ~2 hrs.

This is not attached to a story, this wasn’t even premeditated, but when I started drawing the visions and multiple stories started forming in my head. They are nowhere soldiers because they have nowhere else to go, no one else to see, and as they fight for others they must learn to fight for themselves. That is the prologue for the revolution.

——

With all of these, I’ve been inspired by the work of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli films, along with series like Samurai Champloo, Hey Arnold, and The Boondocks, to create something socially captivating, aesthetically beautiful, and something where the soundtrack is just as interesting as the story. I have a lot of work to do to polish my gems, but it’s more than worth it to see my future work touch at least one person.

—AJE—

The Other One (A Love Song)

Posted in Some Selfish Exposure on December 9, 2010 by ajanae79

I will be your moon when you hate the sun

I will be your knife when you hate the gun

I will be your brain when you hate the heart

I will be your end when you hate the start

I will be the other one…

I will be the other one…

I will be your dark when you hate the light

I will be your mercy when you hate the fight

I will be your wrong when you hate the right

I will be your pen when you hate the mic

I will be the other one…

I will be the other one…

I will be your sun when you hate the moon

I will be December when you hate the June

I will be your whither when you hate the bloom

I will be your me when you hate the you

I will be the other one…

I will be the other one…

I will be your love when you hate the hate

I will be your want when you hate the wait

I will be your lover when you hate the friend

I will be your start when you hate the end

I will be your poor when you hate the rich

I will be your woman when you hate the bitch

I will be your gem when you hate the coal

I will be your heart and, damn it, be the soul

I will be the only one…

I will be the only one…

I will be the other one…

Rest assure I’ll be the other one…

—AJE—

Skystories Studios – My Future Legacy

Posted in Some Selfish Exposure on December 8, 2010 by ajanae79

It has taken me a while. It has taken me many endeavors, many experiments, many successes, and many failures to finally realize what I want to do, what I want to be remembered for. I will one day have my own production studio, Skystories, to create the most beautiful animations and videos with heart, content, and individuality. Everything I love: art, writing, and music, will be encompassed in this project, and as I record all my work, I hope those of you out there will travel along on this journey with me.

Click here to view and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

So far I’ve delved into the art of AMVs and promotional vids, but I’m ready to expand on that and do as much as I can. My latest project, Diggy – Oh Yeah! feat. Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell Williams MV, has taken me over two days and four hours of sleep to complete but I’m proud. There’s always room for improvement, but I hope you can watch this and support my future work:

I collaborated with Aviator on this one and created an AMV for his holiday track Navidad de la Muerte. It fills you with such a need to dance and a need to fear Santa ;] Don’t forget to check him out!

So get ready all! Because eventually this is what you will see on all your big screens and home TVs:

AJanae approves this message, so C.I.O N-O-W

—AJE—

Tuesday’s Talents: Entertainment for the Off Day – I

Posted in Tuesday's Talents on December 8, 2010 by ajanae79

Tuesdays are usually the “meh” day of the week right? You can’t hate it, but there’s nothing to like about it, either. Well allow me to salvage that a little. Here is the first installment of my weekly recommendations of music and art worthy of exposure.

1.)  Akilo Tomás [Aviator]

Click here to listen to "At Nite" by Aviator feat. Kid Cudi

This is a guy with a vision and the drive to go and do whatever he can to achieve it. Starting his journey at the age of 14, he has evolved his music into something that will make you sit, listen, nod your head in crazy spasms, and love. Whether you want to label him as Electronica, Dance, Trance, Alternative Hip Hop, or whatever, label him as talented first. He has created something new by combining different elements into one epic sound.

Click here to join official Facebook page

So take it from me, be apart of the movement and become a fan!

2.) Diggy – Airborne and More

So, are you familiar with the hit family reality series Run House? Are you skilled in your hip hop knowledge of greats such as Rev Run and Run DMC? Whether the answer is yes or no, it doesn’t matter. None of that history matters because Diggy Simmons is proving to the world that he’s talented on his own. This dude has converted me into a fan.

This song was the soundtrack to one of my dreams tonight, actually. Very chill, shows Diggy’s affectionate side well, nothing that I originally expected. I got both of his mixtapes only 24 hours ago, and while I give his freshman work a solid B, he has stepped up his game with this sophomore Airborne to a golden A–or should I say platinum.

Click here to download Diggy's mixtape "Airborne"

3.) Jessie J – Do It Like a Dude (acoustic)

Wow, and I say this is the most heterosexual way possible, that her voice is sex in its verbal form. Her studio version is nice, but it doesn’t give her soulful tone justice like this version. You fall in love with her confidence and talent when you watch her videos, and I hope she grows as successful as possible. Note to all skeptics: never doubt the power of people not from your country. This chick rocks.

On the Instrumental Tip

4.) Lupe Fiasco – Theme Music to a Drive By

Since the dawn of this gem it has been covered by artists such as Wale, Melanie Fiona, and J. Cole, but no one blesses it better than Lupe–in this one girl’s opinion, of course. It doesn’t need a hook, the horns itself is the hook-line-and-sinker. Just close your eyes while listening to it. Does it take you back? Bring you forward? Take you on any journey at all? If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You’ve been touched by greatness. If the answer is no, then maaaaybe you should take another listen.

5.) Nujabes – Peaceland

Yes. Just yes. This song is manifested peace. I am a jazz baby, I am a dreamer, so this songs speaks to me every time I listen. First it tells me to seize life’s beauty, to indulge myself before it’s too late, to fear nothing while doing what I love. Then it tells me to press repeat =]. Unfortunately this great man passed away early this year, but to quote a quote-worthy comment:

Death is an illusion, death is merely your soul leaving your body and living on in what we perceive the person to be, so press play.  –sambojones123 via YouTube

So thank you, Nujabes, for reintroducing me to peace through music, and inspiring me to merge that music with my art and future series. I will suceed! Oh, and Samurai Champloo is awesome, btw. I encourage everyone to check it out if not done already.

 

6.) Mobb Deep – Shook Ones Part II

Hip Hop. Enough Said.

Well, actually I’ll say a little more. I was probably the least exposed to violence and streets as a little girl despite the places I’ve been, but this beat makes you feel the whole aura of it no matter what walk of life you’re from. It’s scorching, it’s raw, it’s melodic, it’s heavy. In Layman’s terms, “this shit goes hard.”

AJanae approves this message, so C.I.O N-O-W.

 

—AJE—

The Landmarks: My Love for Music

Posted in Music Contemplation on December 8, 2010 by ajanae79

Stage 1: Tupac and My Virgin Ears

For all of my childhood I have said Tupac is my favorite rapper, because for all of my childhood he’s spoken to me, told me stories of a world I never knew, and helped me cope with anger and fall asleep. My dad was a huge fan, so I would always hear his voice around the house, but there was just something about his face, his eyes, his music and its contents that captured me. He made me curious of that world with the scary people and dangerous streets and great evils and I wanted to learn more. He made me want to get up and take some sort of action. Songs like Changes, Words 2 My First Born, and Who Do You Believe In inspired me in the best ways to want to do something with my future, to give someone, anyone, that same feeling that he gave me.

And I knew the controversy behind him. I knew the battling position he had with Biggie and the competition they had as the better rapper. Yes, Biggie was more clever with his wordplay, had that instant-hit likeability, and was revered as the greatest with good intention, but he didn’t speak to me like Tupac did. There were many before Pac and many after him who had better freestyles, better beats, who made me smile, but alas, he was my first. And no one in this hip hop culture could ever replace that.

Stage 2: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, ATCQ, The Roots: The Pioneers

The pioneers of my parents time paved the road for the rappers we have today, but for me, these five were my pioneers, they set the bar for my standards of good music. I couldn’t understand most of their topics, but their flow and beats were so nice I knew it had to be special. And as I got older and started looking up their lyrics, I was proven right. Umi Says, The Blast, Respiration, I Used to Love H.E.R., Award Tour, What They Do, and You Got Me are embedded in my mind as classics. While watching their videos on tv I would think “Wow…hip hop is so great…” because I was lucky enough to be exposed to it. I didn’t have to download underground mixtapes or listen to college radio stations to hear good music. It was always there, always on mainstream, always playing on the radio because back then quality was in the forefront. And even today listening to the songs that escaped me when I was little, I realize it wasn’t just nostalgia that made these guys great. Their rhymes are timeless, there’s always something new, a hidden meaning I find every time. So I was damn lucky to have grown up listening to these guys.

Stage 3: Nas and the Contemplation of Lyricism

Around this time hip hop was in the stages of becoming more of a business and a genre than a culture. Every song on the radio wasn’t a gem anymore, but it was still worth listening to. This was back when BET still had Rap City to let some of the greats shine. And this is when I became a friend of Nas, not just an acquaintance.

I remember watching one episode for the hell of it, and I saw perhaps one of my favorite music videos ever. Nas’ One Mic came up and I was silenced by the emotion of it. The shaky camera pans, the dog barking in the background, the screaming people. It was pure action caught on tape. The girl in the video was me after that: lying on her bed, headphones in her ears and cd player pressed to her heart reciting his lyrics as accurately as possible. That’s just it, the lyrics. He made me want to study Lyricism. He made me want to be as clever as possible, he made me ashamed that I didn’t realize how good he was until then. I was born the year Illmatic came out, so I never got that effect of hearing it in its birth. The only song I had of his on my radar was If I Ruled The World (which is one of my favorite 90s songs). But I was a sold fan after that, after that One Mic.

Stage 4: A New Realm: Rock and Raw Emotions

This could be the result of my life crashing around me during this time. This could be the result of crappy music bleeding through my radio. This could be the result of a lot of things, but for a period of time, I was sick of it. I was sick of hip hop, I thought it died, and I wanted to lay it to rest and move on. I heard a rock song that made me angry and I ran with it. I immersed myself in it, I listened to old and new, of music I thought I’d never touch, but was suddenly relating to, which was suddenly screaming for me so I wouldn’t have to, so no one would have to hear my cries. Even the music where I had no idea what they were saying, I loved it. I searched up lyrics, translations, all of it. It was something different and I liked it. It helped me cope.  It didn’t give me any hope for the future, but I didn’t care. In that moment it soothed me and quieted me down. So even though I’ve branched out since then, I could never forget it. It’s stained to me. The most random artists like Queen, Pearl Jam, The Fray, Shiina Ringo, My Chemical Romance, Utada Hikaru, Thousand Foot Krutch, and much, much more, showed me something new, and their importance will never be lessened.

Stage 5: The Resurrection: Lupe Has Silenced Me

After so long, I found it here. I finally found a light of good, beautiful hip hop. I give props to my sister for introducing this to me, because it has matured me and the way that I think. I heard Lupe Fiasco’s Kick Push on a mix cd, and I put as much emphasis on this as possible: it was a gem among coal .  The beat made me want to go back in time to when I was five, sitting on my grandma’s porch and watching the city and people before me. It was just that chill. A story about skateboarding basically changed my life. I thought he was the funnest rapper I’ve heard in a long time, but when I listened to more of his stuff I realized he wasn’t just fun, he was deep. He was complex, he was on another level I couldn’t even touch. There were so many songs where I had to pause and rewind, where I had no fucking idea what he was talking about. Damn, no one has ever made me think this much.

But I loved it. I loved it so much I wanted nothing more than to listen to it all day and dream about it all night. I wanted to dream about the future, dream about what I wanted from life, dream about how I could change. He opened the door to similar artists and old ones whom I’ve forgotten. At this point, hip hop revived for me. I saw the light, I saw the hope, and when you see it too it’s going to capture your very soul.

Stage 6: Nostalgia and Old Soul

I connect this to my life, to my family. With finding peace again, with tightening once loose bonds, I found sudden interest to relive those days. Those days of dancing in your socks around the living room as Grover Washington, Jr. blew his sax through your stereo. Those days of falling asleep on long car rides to Boney James playing you a lullaby. Those days of Anita Baker filling you with fantasies of love and finding that perfect heart to match yours. Those childhood classics. Earth, Wind, & Fire, George Benson, Incognito, BeBe Winans, Stevie Wonder, Wayman Tisdale, Bill Whithers, and many others, thank you. Thank you for filling my childhood and my present with such beautiful music for the soul.

Stage 7: Renaissance and Exploration: The Movement is Coming…

Ahh, where do I even start with describing what I feel now? Inspirational? Overwhelmed? Amazed? How about all of the above and then some. This new window has opened for me, and it’s filling me with so much love, so much excitement, so much drive. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint when this even began. Maybe I started feeling it when I found out Nujabes died and I started listening to his soul-touching beats. Maybe I started feeling it when I heard the All City Chess Club remix of I’m Beaming and got introduced to six new talented artists. Maybe I started feeling it when a friend introduced me to a new way to listen to music and found a way to mix different elements to create something truly epic. Maybe it’s a merge of the three, but however it started it’s brought a change in me. It lit a creative flame inside my core and now I’m more driven than ever to fulfill my dream. I’m more driven than ever to spread my vision to everyone, anyone I can and live in a way that I can be proud.

It may be small, but I feel it. I feel the movement coming.

—AJE—

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