The Gaze

Media: Ikea pencil (HB? H?), B pencil, mechanical pencil on paper.
Date of start: 23.8.2009
Date of finish: 23.8.2009

I always wish I could draw more often (damn you, medical course!). Now and again, I would feel like drawing or sketching but I usually suppressed my desire so that I could focus on the more important stuff at hand.

Today, however, I had the strongest urge to draw and there was no way I could let that unheeded. So I said to my journal article critical appraisal assignment (which is due next Friday), "Ah, screw you!" and grabbed my sketch book and the nearest pencil I could see at that time. That pencil turned out to be a short pencil that you get for free when you go to Ikea. Just so you know, it was a lousy pencil.

When I started to draw, I thought I wanted to produce a familiar face. So I took a self-portrait of mine as a rough source material. After 4 hours and some imagination on my part, the result was a Caucasian guy (what the--?). If not fully Caucasian, the guy is at least half-Caucasian. I guess I was kinda curious as to how I would look like if I were a white guy. Not sure if I would be that good-looking, though. (quirky smirk)

Major alterations: Nose, facial structure
(Very) Minor alterations: Eyes, lips
Retained features: Ears, brows, hair, neck, hoodie

So yeah, basically the guy has the same exact pose and clothing as the source photo, with some of my facial features incorporated. Wouldn't say he's me, and wouldn't say he's not me either.

Anyway, I focused on brushing up on my shading and lighting skills, especially on the face. That's why the hair was drawn unsophisticatedly and the shading on the hoodie was light and simple. I just wished that the scan would look better than this. The scanning process has a habit of bleaching out the lighter shades. Oh well, let me admire the original art by myself.

To those of you friends who have seen me in real life, do you think he has my resemblance? Even if you've never seen me face-to-face, you're more than welcome to drop your thoughts/comments. Maybe you can talk about his gaze? Or maybe he looks familiar to you? Like an actor or a model, perhaps? Hey, wait, where are you going?

P.S. That was my hair 3 months ago.

P.P.S. In retrospect, the hair wasn't that much different from what I have now.

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Take out your kitchen mixer from the cabinet, and set it nicely on the counter. Next get a top-notch orchestra assemble and an esteemed choir (which go very well together indeed), and gently place them in the mixer bowl. This might seem a bit strange to some, but now grab a rock band by the neck and put it in the middle of the ingredients in the bowl. The next step is very important: DO NOT turn on the mixer on high setting as this will cause the sound coming out the mixture to be simply tasteless and inconsistent. To avoid having to throw out the mixture and start all over again, mix the ingredients gently and slowly instead so as to produce a flavourful, creamy, and chromatic music that may be enjoyed again and again with your family and friends.

I'm guessing a lot of people might think that it takes the form of the following equation:

orchestra + choir + rock band = Rock You Like a Hurricane

Well, the album Epicon, by Globus, I assure you, is very much different than Scorpions. In fact the left side of that equation is not quite right. Not all of the tracks are rock. It is difficult to categorise the album into any of the conventional genres that we have today - it has a mixture of rock-driven orchestral track, choir-orchestra combo with solo vocal, ethnic music, orchestra-supported rock music, classical music in Italian, and choir in Latin. I could go on, but let's not go there, shall we?

Cover art of Epicon

In any case, once you have listened to the whole album, you would agree that the tracks are very emotional, grand film soundtrack-like, and simple EPIC. It's funny that some would even classify the album under the genre of 'epic'. To be honest, I think it's a fair classification since it is immensely difficult to pigeon-hole Epicon. Besides, 'epic' pretty much sums the album quite accurately.

In the Hollywood film-making industry, the making of movie trailers are usually commissioned to a trailer company that specialises in producing, well, trailers. Film production companies are far too busy with the film projects themselves (especially during principal photography and post-production) to make trailers for advertising purposes. Now trailer companies usually have their own composers to create music for the trailers they are making. Generally, however, big-budget films necessitate trailer music that match the quality and calibre of film soundtracks. For this reason, trailer producing companies may then purchase music (or license, rather) from another specialised company to be used in the trailers.

This specialised company is what we call "movie trailer music production company". The companies employ numerous composers to compose music beforehand and then keep the music in their library. Big companies literally have hundreds of such high-end music that sounded exactly like film soundtrack, sorted according to genres (such as comedy, drama, thriller, and so on). Other production bodies may browse their extensive libraries and purchase the license for use of the chosen music.

Complicated stuff, and you'd think film-making or even trailer-making is simple.

One such movie trailer music production company is Immediate Music. It's a huge and very successful company that has been providing music for trailers of famous movies, such as:

Spiderman 2 trailer (Warning: music is quite obvious.)

Now, since I'm not a PR officer for Immediate Music and I'm not gettin' paid for it, I'm not gonna list down other movie trailers that have used their music (go Google that yourself). However, as an informed fan, I will let you know that following popular demand, Immediate Music has formed a collective band consisting of an orchestra, choir and a rock band that is Globus. Several trailer music were hand-picked by the composers and re-arranged for the album. This explains why the album is "very emotional, grand film soundtrack-like, and simple EPIC".

And I just had to capitalise the word "epic". EPIC.

The wonder of Epicon is that it brings all sorts of emotion with different tracks. I generally like the whole album, but I especially love "Preliator", "Europa", "Orchard of Mines", "Madre Terra", and "Sarabande Suite".

Here's a medley of almost all the music in the album Epicon for you to have a taste.

And one of my personal favourites: Europa

I can't remember how I came by the tracks from the album early last year, but I do remember before having a copy of the album (which I eBay-ed from UK), digging as deep as I could for the music and live performance at YouTube. You might actually just do the same thing.

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"No, it can't be true..."

Media: 2B pencil on paper
Date of start: 30.10.2008
Date of finish: 31.10.2008

Today, I digged up my close-to-a-year-old HUGE stack of papers, notes, hand-outs, feedbacks, and whatever crap I get from classes. You see, I have this one special corner on my bookcase that I accidentally dedicate for all sorts of paper I get and simply wasn't quite sure where to file into. I lost count how many times I rolled my eyes and grimaced upon sorting through that ridiculously tall stack - there were some papers I would have thrown away in a heartbeat but for some magical reason slipped their way into the stack.

Wait, that's not the point. The point is that I discovered my second year portfolio. The med faculty at Monash Uni has this really weird habit of asking students do all sort of even weirder stuff as part of academic assessment. Some of the assignments we had to do were:
  1. a report on Behaviour Change Project, in which you had to change a bad behaviour/habit of yours and improve upon it by utilising some of the outlined methodology and strategies. While a lot of people chose to exercise or eat better, some people chose to stop nail-biting.
  2. a report on Human Lifespan Development, in which you had to interview some random guy/girl you choose and get info about the stage of life he/she is in (e.g. young adulthood) and probe into their previous life stage (e.g. adolescence). Weird stuff.
  3. a report on Critical Learning Incident, in which you recount and reflect upon one incident in your life that you find has brought great impact and hence, 'critical'. I don't wanna use the word "weird" twice, but hey.
  4. two additional pieces of work, in which you can pretty much submit ANYTHING you want (really, anything) as long as you can relate your work to medicine. Some made "clinical examination for idiots" videos (you can find a lot of those on Youtube, you know), some constructed a huge model of brachial plexus or human eye (yeah, I know, real easy to slip into your average folder), and some wrote poems.
      Well, suffice to say that the med faculty wanted us students to be a well-rounded doctors one day. I do understand that, but to do all those stuff when you're busy with classes and other more important assigments and revision was an absolute torture. You'd actually stare at the monitor while typing and think for a while, "What the hell am I doing again?"

      Anyway, the drawing at the top was one of my two additional pieces that I submitted as part of my portfolio. I even wrote some description to couple with the drawing. Seeing back the drawing within the huge stack of paper sure did bring back memories. Aww.

      All medical professionals would agree that one of the greatest joys derived from the profession is to see smiles carved on the faces of their patients, after the pain is lifted from them, or knowing that they have been fully cured. Doctors also enjoy great merriment and satisfaction when their patients shed tears of joy after being told that they will be alive after a fierce battle with their fatal disease.

      However, it is inevitable that the opposite of these situations happen as well. It is gravely difficult for patients to receive bad news, and it is also difficult for doctors to deliver them. This drawing serves as a reminder that a patient's reaction may vary greatly depending on how doctors deliver bad news. It is important that one in the medical profession master the art of delivering bad news.

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