Well, to start off, I finished my entry for this round of NATA, and you can see it here. It's definitely not the best video I've ever made, and it admittedly doesn't have the same appeal that another big metaphor movie would, but I sort of like it. It was nice to make a movie that doesn't actually mean anything. If for some reason the Newgrounds video player still takes too long to load for you (although I personally see no problem with it now), you can also watch it on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLi0kbN1noc
Ok now that I've got the obligatory self-advertisement out of the way, on to the other stuff.
I've been so focused on animating on schedule to meet deadlines that I've barely done anything else. So far, NATA has been a great experience. It's provided an unbelievable amount of practice which leads to improvement, I've met some awesome people, and it's fun. However, I've noticed that I haven't actually done much else recently.
I should start out by saying that I start my new job tomorrow. I'll be teaching kids at a science, engineering and computer science summer camp. This will involve teaching grade 2-6 kids a bit about about Flash, Photoshop, and HTML, among other things. I'm not entirely sure how it will go, but it will be interesting, anyway. I have a feeling that no matter how much I plan this out, there's going to need to be a lot of flexibility, due to the nature of the smaller children. Funny story: Part of the training involved being given offensive things little kids might say, and we would have to say how we would respond to them. One example: "Little Jimmy sees an attractive girl walking by and says, 'Boy, would I like to bang that shit.' What do you say to Little Jimmy?" It was very hard to keep a straight face. Anyway, I think it'll be a fun job.
I would also like to start painting again. I think it's been half a year since I have even picked up a paintbrush. I took art class in the first semester of grade 10, and since then, I haven't done much art just for the sake of art and not specifically as an asset for an animation. I have a set of brushed and canvases and paints that I got at the end of the first semester, hoping that I would then use them, but I haven't touched them. In fact, they sat on my desk for so long that one day my sister just waltzed into my room while I was gone and took all my art supplies and used them. I didn't even notice for a few weeks until I needed to get a pencil, but noticed that the area where I keep them seemed unusually empty. I think I didn't use them because, to put it simply, I just didn't want to paint. I find that if I don't want to make something, if I'm not inspired enough, or if I find it boring, the end result will be boring and bland and bad. That was one issue I had with art class. I don't feel inspired every single day, yet I'd have to work anyway. Now, though, I actually want to, so it's a different story. Maybe I'll start to use the art portal. We'll see how it goes.
And, lastly, I have to also remember to continue practising music. As you may or may not know, I play the flute, and you can hear a little bit of that in the soundtrack for Masquerade. I typically forget to take out my flute at all over the summer since music class is over, but that's not a good thing because I'm not very good to start with and it never ends well when I don't practice. This year, though, I took the initiative to get a bunch of photocopies of my friend's RCM studies and pieces (around grade 6/7), so I'll have that to look at. Also, it sounds sort of silly, but I've been looking into some jazz flute stuff, like Moe Koffman. (He made the song used for the theme of As It Happens on CBC, so you might know his music if you're Canadian even if you haven't heard of him.) I'm hoping to maybe make some more songs using real actual instruments since pretty much all of my friends at school play something, and they are, for the most part, really good. It'll just take a lot of extra planning and forethought, not to mention time to transpose everything for different instruments.
So that's what I have been and will be up to, Newgrounds.