Though my blogging has taken a devastating downturn in the last year, I’m pleased to announce that I’m moving my future efforts to my blog at the site I so labored designing, kayleighroberts.com. It’s ever-so-slight progress.

You can also follow me on Twitter, which I’ve finally started using, or on Tumblr, which I still barely touch.

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This blog post has very little do with my current goal. Almost nothing in fact. It’s more of an announcement. After hundreds and hundreds of doodles and about half as many finger cramps from drawing on a trackpad in essentially paint, I broke down and bought a dirt cheap pen tablet.

It’s slightly relevant in that it should help speed up my cartoon making. In theory.

Read the rest of this entry »

Earlier this month, I claimed I was going to learn Anime Studio 8 and make a cartoon. That claim has seemed more and more dubious (even to me) as the month has crawled along and I’ve learned and produced nothing. I’ve spent more time than I would have liked to desperately trying to get the program to do anything but mangle my drawings and even more time completely ignoring the entire project. Tonight, however, was a pretty momentous night in the story of Kayleigh learning to make cartoons. Tonight, I made an animation. It’s about three seconds long and took me two hours to make. I’m almost positive I could have moved faster hand-painting celluloid, but I did it.

The animation I made doesn’t star Huuh or Rarr, mostly because I’ve gotten so tired of drawing both of the characters in my many failed attempts. Instead, it stars Monicat, a character of ambiguous loyalty and motivation co-created by my friend Monica, who heard I was making a superhero cartoon and said it would literally achieve her life’s dream if she were turned into an animated hero. The name is derived from a nickname based on a series of inside jokes not worth even trying to explain to the outside world, but if you accept that Monicat is a really good name for Monica, you’ll be pretty much caught up. I doodled the character with cat ears and we agreed on a few catlike powers (jumping around buildings really well, suggested by Monica and extra lives, suggested by me), but Monica really wanted to add a little oomph to her character. She needed a big power that could really let her compete with the other supers in the planned series. She decided on bracelets and a shield that allow her to harness energy (because she likes accessories AND power).

This animation is based on the last power. In it, Monicat destroys an apparently happy and innocent pink blob that’s approximately one-fifth her size and has done nothing to provoke her.

My next post will (hopefully) include a behind-the-scenes desktop capture of process of making this short (boiled down to the few productive minutes because I’ll re-do it and I can’t see it possibly taking two hours again), an element I’ll try to incorporate into the blog more throughout the year.

Oh and no humorous doodles today – I’ve done enough trackpad drawing for one night.

This is my productivity cycle. I’m currently in between the procrastination and massive guilt attack phases you see above. The problem is, I skipped a step this time around. I had an idea (learn Anime Studio Debut 8), but no elaborate plan. The elaborate plan is kind of central to my spaztastic cycle. Read the rest of this entry »

Next month (which is a whole two days away), I will attempt to learn enough about Anime Studio Debut 8 to make a cartoon to post on this blog by the end of January. My cartoon will be of the awesome superhero variety. Or, at least of the superhero variety. Meet my main characters: Huuh and Rarr.

Huuh (pronounced like the sound a body builder might make while lifting something very, very heavy) and Rarr (pronounced exactly like it looks), are superheroes based on my sister, Kelsey, and me, respectively. Kelsey picked Huuh’s powers pretty much immediately. Super strength, because the character is named Huuh, so it should lift heavy things. Mind reading, probably because she’s a psych major, and invisibility just because she likes that power. Read the rest of this entry »

The new year is coming and I feel a surge of rededication to this blog. 2011 was a big year for me. I learned a lot of new things, got a new job, moved across the country and completely stopped learning new things, for the most part.

I’m going to try my hardest to get back on track. Last year, I was a little bit bored with lots of free time. This year, I feel like I’m never not busy already, so apologies in advance if the goals are a little less lofty than before.

For those of you who weren’t reading last year, my goal in January 2011 was to learn how to build a website. I built kayleighroberts.com and a site for my mom. It was beyond time consuming. It was life consuming. This January, I’m going for another technical goal, but one within the confines of a single program.

Here’s a little backstory: Read the rest of this entry »

Okay, so the title of this post makes me sound like something of a stalker, but I promise, I’m not. To really understand this story, we need to go back – way back to winter 2010. I was living in New York City at the time, completing an internship, and the Tim Burton Exhibit was enjoying a temporary stint at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). The Tim Burton exhibit is a traveling exhibition of Tim Burton’s work, from childhood to present. It features his original character sketches and artwork dating back to the 1970s, as well as school papers and mostly-lost projects he worked on during the 80s before making a name for himself. It’s pretty cool. When I was living in New York, two of my friends (Lana, who you know as the Lowly Intern from my job in Chicago, and Megan, who recommended I listen to Phoenix in March) and I decided to go see the exhibit as part of a grand Alice in Wonderland-themed day (it made sense because Burton’s version of the movie had just come out).

It was a really good plan except that the exhibit was really popular and sold out pretty much immediately every day.

We kept saying we’d go back, but that involved getting up really early on a Saturday, so we never did. Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday, the good people at the OLL (that’s the Office of Letters and Light, for those of you who don’t frequent NaNoWriMo.org) posed a question on their blog. I would have answered it then, but I had already drawn that ridiculous Titanic plot mountain in paintbrush and I was pretty determined to use it.

The OLL asked why we write. I could give about a thousand very true answers to this question. “Why do you write?” Because I have an overactive imagination. Because I love to read. Because, as I suspect is true of most writers, I like the feeling that I’m kind of like god when I create something complex or interesting. Because I’m naturally pretty good at it, which made it more appealing than calculus. Because I’m terrified of dying and leaving behind nothing and words seems like something that might last. Read the rest of this entry »

Including today, there are twelve days until NaNoWriMo 2011 kicks off. It’s a little weird to think that this time time last year, I didn’t even know what NaNoWriMo was. Last year was hard. I started brainstorming ideas for what I might want to write about around noon on November 1 for last year’s NaNoWriMo and, even though I won, what I produced wasn’t something even approaching publishable. It was unfinished. It was messy. I’m pretty sure I changed my mind so many times about so many things as I was writing that an actual re-read of the draft would leave even me confused by the plot holes.

This isn’t to say that NaNoWriMo 2010 wasn’t a great experience. It was a whirlwind, sure, but it was a great 30 days. It was a crazy 30 days and by the end I was kind of a zombie, but it was enough to convince me to participate in the competition again (and I don’t see myself dropping out of future NaNoWriMo’s any time soon).

This year, I’m hoping for slightly lighter bags under my eyes on November 30, so I’m getting started ever-so-slightly in advance. I’m working on a story that’s been brewing in my head for a while and I’m even sitting down to plot and plan and all those other pre-writing things you learn are important in middle school English. Read the rest of this entry »

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kayleigh who started a very ambitious blogging project. Every month, she was going to achieve some big task. It was going to be awesome. And it was pretty awesome. Until she, like so many a blogger, dropped off the face of the Internet.

If you’ve followed this blog at all (although, at this point, I’m not really sure why you would be), you know that I pretty much abandoned ship in June. What happened, during that promised Harry Potter re-read? Long story short, I got a new job and moved across country.

That’s right, folks, I finally got out of the Windy City.

In a decision that laughs in the face of everything I ever complained about regarding Chicago’s climate, I now reside in Los Angeles, California. It’s kind of hot here. And there are palm trees, which I’m still not used to. Every once in a while I notice one and wonder how on earth I ended up in Florida. Read the rest of this entry »