Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Something has Awakened!

(Well, it's Halloween- why SHOULDN'T something raise from the grave?!)

That's right, kiddies! We're back! After 51 weeks, the blog is back and Amanda is too.

I've been thinking about it for several weeks actually, but it wasn't until a text conversation with a friend (and a hero of sorts- though I would never admit it to them!) yesterday made me really think about my situation, where I am, where I want to go, and all things included in that jumble of stuff.

Full disclosure: I work at Target. I have since April. I did not mention it anywhere on my social media for fear of being judged. Because I was afraid of what you all might think of me. Because of what ~I~ think of me. I work in the online shipping department, packing up and mailing out every online order that passes through my store. Lately, this number has grown to over 1000 orders a day (very possibly more, as I am a mere minion in the corporation, and they do not share that information with me). The number is expected to rise to over 2500 orders A DAY in the fourth quarter (read: NOW!). When I first started the job, I actually enjoyed it. It was Hard Work, but it was in the company of some great coworkers and we used to have a lot of fun. That has changed drastically with the unrealistic expectations and unsafe working conditions I have been exposed to in the last six months. I have suffered injuries and I am in a near constant state of pain due to the wear and tear on my body. I clock well over the "average" 10,000 steps a day. I have lost enough weight that none of my pants fit anymore. In fact, I believe I may be smaller now than when I moved to California 8 years ago.

I no longer like this job. I dread going every morning. I work a 4 AM - 12:30 PM shift. This job has strangely taken over my entire life, even though I have more free time than I did when I commuted every day to Torrance. But my "free time" is spent trying to rest and heal my body. (Even drawing for 15 minutes every day during Inktober was rough.) Then, we were pulled into a team meeting today where we were basically told that, as a department, we are FAILING every day. A failing I actually take fairly personally, as I tend to have great pride in my work- no matter what or how menial it may be. I don't like failing. I don't like missing deadlines. But I also don't like the fact that the job being asked of me seems absolutely impossible. An unrealistic expectation. (For those of you who like math: We have 3 'packers' (people who wrap the orders). If we have 1200 orders per day, that is 400 packages we are expected to wrap alone. We work roughly 7 hours a day. That comes out to about 57 boxes or packages an hour. That's about a minute a package. NOW DOUBLE THE PACKAGES. THAT is the time expected for us to wrap the boxes for Christmas. Then corporate tells us that we are OVERSTAFFED!)

Today, a new coworker of mine, while watching me stack boxes taller than I can almost reach, commented that he's never seen a harder worker- and when he asked me later if I would be trying for the captain position coming up in our department, I (without hesitation) replied, "No!". I don't want it. It is the wrong direction. It is the clear opposite direction from which I wish to go. I came here for Animation - I am staying here until I get it! (Unless I were to get some offer from Ireland or Portland or whatever- then I'm out of here! XDDDD )

But the conversation with my friend reminded me of something I have known for a long time. My Life will never improve unless I Do Something! The Dream Job will not fall out of the sky and land at my feet and make everything all better! I have to sacrifice. I have to be pro-active. I have to get off my @$$!

I've known this since CalArts. I've known it since before CalArts. It is one of my biggest failings as an artist and human being. But no more. Somehow I will revive that Amanda from before California, before CalArts. The one who sacrificed everything to come here and chase this dream. The one who drove over an hour every week to go to life drawing to improve. The Amanda who got up at the crack of dawn on weekends to drive to the zoo and draw the animals before the Houston heat burned her alive. The Amanda who, when she was rejected from CalArts, instead of crying and giving up- cried and then got back to work. The one who used the notes on her rejected portfolio to work on every single note and improve. The Amanda who worked four jobs to keep herself in school. The Amanda who wanted it so badly she gave up her friends, family, and most of her possessions.

Yes, I am a hard worker. Sadly, you could probably ask almost anybody and get that answer. For a while, it even defined me so much at CalArts that other departments and offices called me when they needed someone. But here I have a sour taste in my mouth... While I WAS a hard worker, I worked too hard on the things that WEREN'T helping me get my dream. And perhaps my dream has suffered for this...

I feel clearer now on what I want and the direction of my dream than I did then. But just like Tiana and Charlotte said and how The Princess and the Frog proved: It's not JUST dreaming or JUST working that will achieve that dream. It needs to be a little of both. The dreaming I've got down pat. Somehow I just need to get back to the work. The carpal tunnel may hold me back a little, but I will find a way. The pains in my body are gonna have to sort themselves out. It's time to get down to business ((stifles the urge to sing)), knuckle down and work hard - the Right kind of work. I hope you all will follow my on the journey.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Nail

"We interrupt our regularly scheduled nightly reading to bring you this important Blog Announcement..."

I've been thinking about this for a while, I think it's just time to call it what it is.

I am officially abandoning this blog. I've been failing spectacularly to do it for years now, I guess. I have no following to speak of, and I don't update it at all anymore, and it just feels like a stone dragging me down at this point... I'm not even sure blogs are a thing anymore. I feel like a relic from a by-gone era. I feel out of sync.

To tell you the complete truth, my few faithful followers still reading this, I no longer feel like an artist anymore.

I've tried to fight it and attempt to keep up, but I just can't. I can't keep lying to myself. I cannot find the time or energy to even draw a doodle, a sketch- nothing. This Inktober kind of really put things in perspective. I failed more than even I can believe.

So, thank you to my few followers. I am sorry if I let you down. While that is probably not accurate- the truth is, I let myself down. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. And how to use Twitter and Instagram, or what the hell a Tumblr is...haha

RIP Amanda Candler's Blog: Feb. 22, 2009 - Nov. 9, 2017

"We now return to our irregular sleep schedule."

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dark Night of the Soul

I'll try to keep this brief, without too much detail, but-

All that stuff about how a character has to go through the "dark night of the soul" in order to come out on top and have a true victory at the end of a film- it's complete crap when it's your actual LIFE! I've seen characters in so many stories and films that suffer these scenes, you know? Those Oscar-clip moments where they break down and sob and reaffirm their determination of seeing something through- of going for that dream.

It's all complete crap when it actually happens to you- because it doesn't last for only a scene. It doesn't last for only a few painful minutes with a killer score. And the crying is not a beautifully lit moment- it is UGLY. It is painful. It is the WORST!

And let me tell you- you don't ALWAYS end up wanting to reaffirm your desire to continue trying for that dream. Sometimes that dream beats you up so much that you actually start to think maybe you should give up. Maybe you won't make it. Maybe your whole pursuit of this dream was an utter waste. Maybe it was the single worst decision in your life. Maybe this whole dream thing has irrevocably destroyed the rest of your life...

But they don't make films about the people who give up, do they? I leave the answers to you.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Unlike Taylor Swift, I'm not dead...

Just busy.

But I just HAD to come and share the announcement! I have been published!

A local author who happens to be a friend of mine asked me to design the cover illustration for his new book- and it came out today! I am beyond honored and he has been very happy with the result. So much so that he had the original framed and hanging up in his apartment less than 24 hours fter he had it in his hot little hands! XD

Please help support the author and purchase the book. It is a great read and was a real page-turner for me!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Day 131 of 365

Wait... what day is it?

This isn't the only thing I have on the burner right now. Too many projects and not enough hours in the day!

Really looking forward to fixing these.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Day 125 of 365

"Apprised in time of the visit paid him, Monte Cristo had, from behind the blinds of his pavilion, as minutely observed the baron, by means of an excellent lorgnette, as Danglars himself had scrutinized the house, garden, and servants. "That fellow has a decidedly bad countenance," said the count in a tone of disgust, as he shut up his glass into its ivory case. "How comes it that all do not retreat in aversion at sight of that flat, receding, serpent-like forehead, round, vulture-shaped head, and sharp-hooked nose, like the beak of a buzzard?" - The Count of Monte Cristo

A work-in-progress.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Day 123 of 365

My second of four Celtic knots I have planned. Unfortunately, will be redoing BOTH the Oak and this Birch one because of errors. The Oak knot is wrong and this one, I hate the BG color. The yellow leaves were supposed to be vivid and bright, but I misjudged and made the BG too close. My own fault.... I love orange! Live and learn.... But think of it as a bonus for you guys. More art from me!

The next one will be so much better!