Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not-Sketchblog 7: Way Beyond Myself

I make no attempt to hide that I am, indeed, a Christian,
a fact I am quite proud of.
I am not proud of, however, the attitudes associated with most outspoken Christians out there,
and how it has drastically changed the way Christianity is portrayed to the world.
That is why I have this sketchblog.
I want my voice to be louder than theirs.
I will change the way the world sees Christians,
by becoming what a true Christian should be,
not filled with hatred and judgmental behavior,
but rather a force of love more powerful than anything you can imagine.

That out of the way, I first apologize for the week-long silence on the sketchblog.
It's been a harrowing week, to say the least,
and an emotional one at that.
I won't go into the details,
but it nearly caused something I have feared most:
losing all that I am and ever was.

I have always acknowledged that human beings are, by nature,
selfish creatures.
Incredibly selfish.
And it is perhaps the biggest problem I have had to deal with as of late.

As someone who has sworn to love everyone and hate no-one,
and as someone who has always said I would give or do anything for a friend,
even my own life,
I pay a dear price on top of that.
The price is my own energy and my own needs and desires.

During the course of the last year,
the events leading up to this last week have sown seeds of bitterness in my heart,
and as hard as I've tried to fight it,
I found them growing nonetheless,
stronger and stronger each day.
They grew so strong, in fact,
that upon the realization (or rather the subconscious suggestion) that,
though I would give anything for a friend,
while they would only take without giving anything back,
I had finally had enough.
All that I had known and fought for,
all of it,
I suddenly turned away from.
In the course of two days,
I came to the conclusion that since I was always giving and everyone else was always taking,
I should stop giving altogether,
and start thinking of only myself.
At the end of the day,
this thought frightened me deeply.

The very core of who I am is love.
The very principle I have lived by and vowed to live by all my life,
the thing that defines me and sets me apart from the rest of humanity,
is that I love everyone,
without expecting a return.

Yet here I was,
face to face with the person I could be,
my exact opposite,
and someone who would blend in with the rest of the world.
And though it did indeed scare me,
it held a certain appeal.

I'd always been an outcast prior to my college years.
I'd had trouble making friends,
and was often made fun of,
mostly because of what I had mentioned previously:
my sincere love for everyone and everything.

I remember once, in elementary school,
I saw a classmate crush a tiny spider in the hallway.
I immediately began crying for the life of the spider,
and everyone who saw me made fun of me for it.

Fast-forward to Junior High.
A dear friend of mine suddenly stopped speaking to me,
and never told me why.
I confronted her and said that I only had love for her
(meaning agape, the kind of love I previously mentioned, which is unconditional and sacrificial).
Another classmate overheard this exchange,
and all too soon,
rumors began to spread about me.
Nasty, and extremely hurtful ones.
All the while, the friend I had once trusted,
did nothing to defend me.
It was an extremely painful time for me.

It was moments like these that tested my strength and my oath of love.
each time, I forged ahead,
though I had no-one to stand by my side for support.

I find friends all around me,
and I'd like to think it's because of my principle of "all is love."

Yet in my darkest hour,
whispers tell my heart that I am worthless,
and nobody would do what I would do for them,
so I should give up my foolish pursuit of love,
and turn my back on those that would so easily give up on me.

And I found myself lonely,
as with each test before.

I'd reached the edge of my endurance,
drained from a year of giving my all to those who wouldn't sacrifice an inch for me,
and came up empty.

This morning, however,
My parents and I went to Church,
where I heard the sermon that saved who I am,
and brought me back from that darkness that I found enveloping me.

It was a sermon about having a heart like God's.
The bulk of the sermon discussed how humans like to surround ourselves and fill our lives with stuff,
whatever we desire.
(As I said before, humans are naturally selfish.)

The preacher went on to say that,
in order to be a true Christian
(which by definition is a follower of Christ, or one who strives to be Christ-like),
we must empty ourselves like Christ did,
and be filled instead with the call of love,
and the concerns of others.
We must "take the form of a bond-servant."
Serving is why Jesus came and what He did,
and if we want to be Christ-like,
we too must become servants,
often putting aside what is best for ourselves in the concern of what is best for others.

Mark 9:35 says, "If any wants to be first,
he shall be the last of all,
and servant of all."
This basically means that if you want to have a happy life,
you need to stop reaching for what you desire the most,
and become humble,
a servant to others.

This is the complete opposite of what human nature tells us.
We strive for what benefits us most,
what makes us happier,
rarely thinking of what it is that others need.

I, however,
have always strived to live the way nobody else would.
I live to prove people wrong,
and to show them that there is still hope for this world,
and there's a way to fight human nature.

I almost fell from that goal,
and looked failure in the face,
but I have fought it,
and emerged,
bruised and battered all the same,
but victorious.

There is still a long stretch of road ahead,
and I am much more cautious than I was before,
almost running out of trust and hope,
but my love for others remains.

I will still do whatever it takes to help a friend,
often at the sacrifice of my own happiness,
but the problem I face now is much more difficult to solve than anything I have ever faced before.

How do I balance my own love and self-sacrifice
with self-preservation?

How can I keep from being drained of everything I have
by those who only seek their own benefit,
and would tell me otherwise?

It is a long and hard road I face,
but I face it as I have before,
with only God by my side,
only God's understanding of agape to back me up,
and only God to lead me.

This is my warning to my friends:
I will sacrifice for you,
but I ask that you do the same for your own friends,
without asking anything in return,
or expecting anything in return.

Do not take advantage of my love,
because the weight that comes with it has taken me years to learn to support,
and you are not experienced enough to take on the burden.

Try to maintain your friendships,
because they will benefit you in the end.

Don't give up on me,
because I would fight the world just to stay your friend and see you happy.

These are the principles I stand on.

You may not understand them,
but that's what makes me "Me."

I stand alone on this foundation,
but it is strong as diamonds,
and just as beautiful.

I will not settle for being merely "human."

I will show the world this love.
I will show them the hope I have come to see in each person I meet.

Thank you for reading,
and as usual,
thank you for your continued patience as I catch up on sketching.

I love you all,
and hope you have a good night.

Emily J Sampson

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 82-86: Shore Leave

I know, I know.
Sorry for the delay (again).
But this time the reason was because we've been running around doing errands and shopping and what-not,
and it's been a different kind of busy.
Granted, that's no excuse for uploading sketches,
but hey, it's worth a shot.

Well, anyway,
I'll get right to it:

Free sketches!

July 13th:
For Reed,
my rendition of Garurumon.
(So difficult to draw!)

July 14th:
Disney requested Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
winning a pizza eating contest.
This is what he gets for requesting complex things.

July 15th:
Kid Icarus goes to Pickles.
(I'm trying desperately to ignore the fact that I forgot the other wing on his sandal. ><)

July 16th:
Heidi wanted a movie-version Van from Escaflowne.
This one was fun!

July 17th:
Today's request was Yakko for Tracey,
something different and refreshing.
It was extremely fun to do this one! :D

Now to other sketches!

Another conceptual sketch for that story I've been working on about getting unlimited powers:

Here's some expression practicing,
utilizing as few lines as possible to suggest a body and motion.

Dad's been gone this week,
so I've been trying to find some other form of entertainment.
It just so happens my mother has all of the Star Trek: Original Series season box sets on dvd.
And I've begun watching them one by one.
See if you can name the 2 episode references in the below sketch.

Today, Mom and I took Tucker for an evening walk.
We saw a deer in the forest,
and I was able to get footage of it running off.
This isn't the deer we saw, but it's good enough. :P

Well there you have it!
I'll do my best to upload more sketches for you more frequently than I have been. ^^;

Thanks for your patience and for reading!

Love you all and goodnight!

Emily J Sampson

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 80-81: Creating A World

Sorry for the late upload again.
At least it wasn't as long a wait this time, right? ^^;

Well anyway,
Sunday was my dad's last day at home before taking my grandma to Southern Illinois,
so we were spending a lot of time together.

I missed Church,
but I was able to clean up my room a little and get organized.
We went out to breakfast, then went home and hung out a little.
After that we went to see Toy Story 3,
which wasn't what I was expecting at all
(though I'm not sure what I was expecting really).
It was pretty good.
Loving the Totoro cameo. :3

The free sketch for Sunday goes to Tyler.
He wanted Wishbone dressed as Robin Hood.
I was happy to oblige. :)

Today's free sketch was a little harder.
Hillary asked for Wolverine and Phoenix from the X-Men Animated Series (from the 90s I believe),
so I wanted to figure out a good dynamic composition for them.
Here are the prelim sketches:

And here's the final version:

When my dad and I took one last walk with Tucker on Sunday,
we saw three fawns and their mother at the edge the forest.
We just stayed and watched them in silence for a while.
It was so pleasant.

And, of course,
today marks Chester K. Fingkelbottom's birthday!
(AKA the day that Sara gave me the pink flamingo that inspired the webcomic
The Adventures of Chester K. Fingkelbottom
Here's a little sketch to celebrate.

Inevitably, drawing Emma inspired me to draw more of her facial expressions.

And drawing facial expressions inspired me to draw her mouth,
which is her primary form of expression.
It's always fun drawing mouths. :3

This last sketch is just a quickie poster design for a short story I want to work on sometime soon.
I did some sketches of the characters here.
Of course, this is just a sketch.
The proportions on it are all wrong,
so those would be fixed in a final version.

The concept of course,
is based on a hypothetical question,
asking what would happen if someone suddenly was given unlimited powers.


Thanks for reading!

Love you all, and goodnight!

Emily J Sampson

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 71-79: Cloud of Captivation

I apologize greatly for the extreme wait.
I know I said it wouldn't happen again,
but I really can explain.
It being a holiday last weekend,
things got....

So here's a rundown of the past week or so:

Friday, July 2nd:

Went with my Dad to pick up my grandma so she could spend the holiday with us. :)
Lots of traveling but well worth it.
I love my grandma. ^^

Free sketch of the day:
Batman (Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond series)
for Elaine.

Saturday, July 3rd:

Out and about with Grandma and the family,
shopping and what-not.
Fireworks at the High School. :)

Free sketch of the day:
Yellow and Blue Power Rangers
for EranthyaeNoire on deviantART.

Sunday, July 4th:

Church with Dad.
More shopping with Grandma and the family. :3

Free sketch of the day:
Rocko and Spunky from Rocko's Modern Life
for Sara. :P

Monday, July 5th:

Took Grandma back with Dad.
Cleaned out her fridge of some expired foods.
It always feels good doing things for my family without expecting things in return. :)

Free sketch of the day:
The Orange Lantern from the Green Lantern Corps
for MAK-ATTACK on deviantART.

Tuesday, July 6th:

Got up early and went to the High School to clean Dad's classroom for him.
We went shopping and got foodstuffs afterwards. :3

Free sketch of the day:
Tiger from Monster Rancher
for no-kagami on deviantART.

Wednesday, July 7th:

More cleaning up of Dad's classroom.
More fun on the town with Dad. :)

Free sketch of the day:
Darkwing Duck vs. Negaduck (with a bomb behind his back)
for NickCaligo on deviantART.

Thursday, July 8th:

Went back to Grandma's with Dad so he could take her to some appointments,
and while they were out I cleaned out her freezer of more expired foods.
Again, FOR FAMILYYYYYYYYY!!!! *punches air*

Free sketch of the day:
Dexter (from Dexter's Lab) and Blossom (from PowerPuff Girls)
for Shiory on deviantART.

Friday, July 9th:

Mom and I took Dad to get a shot for his back so he could be prepared for the long trip down to Southern Illinois next week.
Afterward we went out to eat,
and later Liz and I did some shopping with Amanda.
Twas funness.

Free sketch of the day:
Daggett and Norbert (from Angry Beavers) getting scared as they watch The Crawling Spleen
for Addikive on deviantART.

Saturday, July 10th:

Went out to lunch with the parents,
then saw Toy Story 3.
Giggled uncontrollably in the tortilla scene.
We saw a really awesome giant puffy white (yes white) raincloud with lightning bursting over and over again inside of it.
Got footage (will be uploading to facebook soon).

Free sketch of the day:
Seraphimon (Digimon) vs. Arceus (Pokémon)
(and yes, the attack is a real Seraphimon attack...
because I'm a nerd)
for Vawn-O-The-Dawn on deviantART.
(This was probably the most difficult free sketch request...

the rest of the sketches.

Some sort of cat-warrior-thing.

Lizard Otter!
(based on a cloud I saw)

I've been wanting to do a pirate story for a while,
and I've toyed with a couple different plots about pirates,
but I think this one is going somewhere,
so I developed some characters for it.

It's a story about an all-female pirate crew
(only 6, but they're recruiting!)
led by a crazy feminist pirate on a vendetta against male pirates and sailors.
She's forming a pirate crew to take the seas back from men.
Unfortunately, it's a little slow-going for them,
as they only have a few allies...
and a lot of enemies.

This story has much more adult themes in it than most of my stories,
so beware.
I'm still trying to find names for all of them.
Open to suggestions.

The Captain:

The Medic:

The Navigator:

The Mechanic:

The Weapons Expert:

The Cook:

When my dad and I were coming back from my Grandma's the second time around,
we went to a used CD and record store,
where we found Dr. Demento's Greatest Novelty CD Of All Time.
On it was a song I listened to all the time as a child.
See if you can figure out what song inspired this next sketch.

That's all I've got for you this time, guys.
I know it's not a lot, considering how many days I've been gone,
but I hope some of the better sketches up there make it worth the wait.

Thanks for reading and being patient!

Love you all,
and goodnight!

Emily J Sampson

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not-Sketchblog 6: Miniature Explosions In Your Eyes

So I didn't do any sketching today because I was on the road most of the day helping my dad pick up my grandma and bring her back to our house to celebrate the 4th as a family.

I hope you guys will forgive me for not getting them to you (again).

However, what I do have for you today is a compilation of music that I listened to on my iPod while watching fireworks this evening with my family.

Here's my custom shuffled soundtrack:

1. Pick Up The Phone by Dragonette

2. I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas

3. The Underdog by Spoon

4. Sticks & Stones by Jónsi (off the How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack)

5. Pomp and Circumstances by Smashing Pumpkins (post-fireworks viewing song)

Hope that's at least a little consolation for not having any sketches for you today!

I promise I'll get you some tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!
Love you all,
and goodnight!

Emily J Sampson

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 70: World Waits For Nothing

Today was a good day. :)

I woke up early,
did a tad of cleaning around the house,
went out with my dad,
went to see a movie
(which turned out to not be a great movie,
but it was still fun),
and then went to dinner with my parents at Ruby Tuesday.

I also got some good sketching in.

I've always looked for an excuse to draw Emma in a dress from ModCloth,
but then I thought, you know,
you don't really need an excuse.
Just do it.
So I did it.
I used parts from different dresses,
and some boots I really love from ModCloth.
I like it. :3

And after going through different shoe options on ModCloth,
how could I not be inspired to draw some shoe designs of my own?
I don't really do fashion too well, I admit,
but it's a heck of a lot of fun to play around with it! :)

Later in the evening, after returning home from dinner,
I checked my email to find this message from my landlady:
"Three firemen have moved in upstairs.
They are very nice."
What more could a girl ask for?
Of course, that means no more Southern Drawl Cat living up on the porch,
"May-owing" at us constantly,
but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
As a sign of my sadness at SDC's loss, though,
I drew him in a fireman's hat.
Goodbye, Southern Drawl Cat.
Hello, accidental fires in my kitchen. ;)
Well, the final sketch of the day starts the new month of free sketches,
with the theme of "Favorite Childhood Show."
It goes to XxSpyderxX on deviantART,
whose favorite cartoon growing up was Rainbow Brite.
Here's my rendition.
(Arms are a bit wonky, but whatever.
At least I know what to fix.)
Hope you like! :)

Well, folks,
thanks again.
I can't tell you how much it means to me that you all read this.
I love sharing my passions with the world,
and it brings me nothing but joy to see that there are people out there taking a real interest in it.
You all give me purpose.
My art gives me purpose.
And God gave me my skills,
so He's kind of to blame. ;)

Thank you so much!
Love you all,
and goodnight!

Have a great weekend and a great July!
Emily J Sampson

"I need to know that you're not gonna wake up in the morning and feel differently."
"And I can't give you that. Nobody can."
(Quote from (500) Days Of Summer,
a movie which is of great importance to my life right now.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sketchblog Edition 67-69: Sick To My Stomach

Sorry for the lack of updates,
and the significant lack of artwork this time around.
I've been sick the past few days,
and have been pushing myself as much as I can to get something done,
as insignificant as it seems.

Here it is.

We puppy-sat my sister's boyfriend's family's new puppy for an evening,
and it was the most therapeutic thing ever.
The little guy fell asleep in my lap and was just the sweetest puppy ever.
However, it was really hard to sketch something that won't stop moving. ^^;

After watching so many reports on the Gulf Oil Spill,
I felt urged to draw turtle creatures.
I may make more later....

I like drawing characters who do things differently,
and conveying that through their actions.
There are millions of ways to do even the most simplest of things,
such as running.

Now, for the part you've no doubt been waiting for:
the sketch requests.

First up is for Andy Mai,
who requested his friend Jeff....
riding a Ninetails.

Next is for Grace,
who is a huge Hellboy fan.
First time ever drawing Hellboy.
'Twas fun. :P

the very final sketch request of June,
goes to Tyler.
He likes Jurassic Park,
so this is a sketch of Ian Malcom,
shirt ripped,
riding a velociraptor,
saying something "Jeff Goldblumish."

There you have it, folks.
Sorry there wasn't much.

Thanks for reading,
and happy July!

Love you all,

Emily J Sampson

p.s. "I am madly in love with this life.
After having your own child die in your arms, twice,
in the good and the bad,
I've seen God through it all,
through it all." -my Dad