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This is my last week in LA as part of my university's summer program so before I head back home, I thought I would share some things I learned from my experience. Here we go! 

1. Use your time to create things.


This was by far one of my busiest summers yet, if not one of my busiest years. Not only did I have two classes and the best internship ever grin wink, my weekends were spent doing photography and making films with my friends around LA (in addition to a touristy trip here and there). While I'm ready to go home and just sleep for a whole day at this point, being so busy has given me tons of great material for my professional development. This includes a short film my friend and I made of us running around Hollywood as the White and Black Swans from Swan Lake.


2. Act on your ideas.


Feeling inspired to make something? Do it! Don't worry about whether or not it will turn out well or if people will like it. It's better to try and fail than not try at all. Many of my best projects originated from a random idea I had and chose to act on, including that film I linked to above. My current thesis idea was inspired by sand art projections before an ice skating show I watched on a cruise ship. Seriously.


3. Collaborate!


Don't be afraid to ask people to work with you - the worst they can do is say no. Getting a whole bunch of talented people to work together can lead to something great, so make those connections and get to collaborating! We can't always do everything alone.


4. Present yourself online in a way that highlights your potential.


What you post online says a lot about you to both your colleagues and potential employers. Ask yourself: What image do I want to convey? As a double major with many interests, this dilemma lead to building my own website.  In addition, the amount of favorites/likes, watchers/followers, etc. you get on social media can be a currency. It's one thing to be talented, but can you get people to care?


5. And finally, you can get work done and still have fun.


I wasn't exaggerating when I said I had the best internship ever. Being the Marketing Intern for DA has been an amazing experience and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with so many awesome people. Thank you all for making me feel welcomed and :iconmadizzlee:, :icondanlev:, and :iconheidi: for having me on your team! I suppose you can call this my own version of #thankyoudastaff

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I just realized that I actually grew up watching/playing Pokemon during the second generation but whatever.

Here are the original 151 Pokemon, ranked based on type (not including Fairy) and cuteness. Use that link to follow along. 


Grass and Grass/Poison


1. Bulbasaur 

        This is a fact. Bulbasaur is the cutest grass Pokemon.

2. Tangela

        Aw, you cute blue spaghetti with eyes, you... 

3. Oddish 

        If I had a garden, I would want it to be filled with these.

4. Ivysaur 

        It's bulbasaur with a flower.

5. Vileplume

        That flower is a little freaky but I can dig it.

6. Venasaur 

        BULBASAUR, WHAT HAPPENED?

7. Exeggcute

        ExeggNOTcute. That broken one with the yolk showing has always freaked me out. How long has it been like that? Is it rotten?                     HOW CAN IT STILL BE ALIVE?

8. Exeggcutor

        ExeggDEFINITELYNOTcutor. If the Happy Mask Salesman were a Pokemon, he would be this. Nightmare fuel right there.

9. Bellsprout 

        no.

10. Weepinbell

        No.

11. Victreebell

        NO.

12. Gloom

        Oddish after two years of a drug addiction. Please wipe your mouth - you're drooling halfway down your entire body.


Poison, Poison/Flying, and Ghost/Poison


1. Nidoran (M&F)

        These are by far the cutest poison types, and they aren't even that cute. 

2. Nidorina

        Nidorina is just slightly different from Nidoran.

3. Gengar

        Gengar is supposed to be scary but it has the same face as the Cat Bus from Totoro.

4. Ghastly

        Ghastly looks more goofy than anything.

5. Koffing

        Minus the stink puffs, Koffing is kind of cute.

6. Zubat

        I hate Zubat, but it's cuter than every Pokemon after it.

7. Haunter

        The detached hands remind me of Super Smash Bros. and it overall just looks incomplete.

8. Ekans and Arbok

        Ew, snakes. 

9. Nidorino and Golbat

        I can't tell which one is uglier so they tie. 

10. Nidoqueen

        The color scheme always bothered me and it has lost all of the cuteness it started with.

11. Wheezing

        Wheezing looks like he is making himself sick.

12. Nidoking 

        Same with the color scheme here and there is just too much going on in general.

13. Grimer

        No.

14. Muk

        No x infinity.


Bug


1. Butterfree

        Butterfree does not have much competition in this type.

2. Caterpie

        Caterpillars are cute too.

3. Venonat

        The eyes are a bit creepy but it gets points for being round and fluffy.

4. Weedle

        If it wasn't brown, it would have ranked higher.

5. Venomoth

        No one likes moths but Venomoth is ok, I guess.

6. Metapod

        They lack personality. Also, why do cocoons have eyes but not starfish in this universe?

7. Kakuna

        Slightly creepier than Metapod.

8. Cyther

        Scary blade hands.

9. Beedrill

        Scarier drill hands. Also, bees.

10. Parasect

        It's kind of like a mushroom hermit crab but gross looking.

11. Paras

        This is the kind of thing that would be all over your house but you would be afraid to kill.

12. Pinsir 

        THOSE TEETH. THOSE HORNS. WHAT LAYER OF HELL DID YOU COME FROM?


Fire and Fire/Flying*


1. Charmander and Vulpix 

        There is no way to distinguish these. 

2. Flareon, Growlithe, and Ponyta

        Slightly less cute than the first two, but not by much.

3. Ninetails

        If you know what hair products Ninetails uses, let me know, because it looks SO SOFT.

4. Rapidash

        FIRE UNICORN!

5. Arcanine

        There is too much going on here. Someone needs to take Arcanine to get a haircut. 

6. Charizard and Moltres

        I love both of these Pokemon but they don't rank highly on the cuteness scale, sorry.

7. Charmeleon

        Charmander in its awkward years. 

8. Magmar 

        What is this? He's like a weird lizard with a duck beak and flaming butt cheeks for eyebrows - I'm just saying.

*The fire Pokemon are KILLING IT. This was the hardest type to rank.


Water and Water/Ice**


1. Squirtle and Vaporeon

        Squirtle is the obvious choice and Vaporeon is my strategically favorite Pokemon from the original 150, so they tie.

2. Lapras

        It's the Loch Ness Monster's adorable cousin. 

3. Wartortle, Psyduck, and Dewgong  

        Yes, I think Dewgong is cuter than Seel. 

4. Poliwag, Seel, Shellder, and Horsea 

       It looks like Poliwag tried the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge but those eyes and that little tail make up for it.

5. Slowpoke and Slowbro

       The expression on their faces is a bit creepy but they look pink and harmless.

6. Poliwhirl and Seadra

       Meh.

7. Staryu and Starmie

        Where are their faces? There is virtually no difference between them - one is just purple and has more arms.

8. Poliwrath and Blastoise

        Tough, but not cute.

9. Goldeen, Seaking, and Magikarp

        Just fish. I was tempted to put Magikarp at the bottom because of how useless it is, but that's a different list.

10. Krabby and Kingler

        Just crabs.

11. Gyrados

        Again, great Pokemon but not cute.

12. Golduck

        This is why people are scared of birds.

14. Tentacool

        What are those red growths? 

14. Tentacruel and Cloyster

        Do I need to elaborate? These two are just straight-up ugly. 

**JK this was the hardest type to rank because there are SO MANY WATER POKEMON. 


Electric and Electric/Flying


1. Pikachu

        Duh. Pikachu is probably one of the cutest Pokemon ever.

2. Raichu

        It's a fancier, orange Pikachu.

3. Jolteon

        I feel like Jolteon's fur would feel spiky but it's pretty cute regardless.

4. Magnemite and Magneton

        It's a floating ball of metal but at least it has an eye.

5. Electabuzz

        This Pokemon has always weirded me out but I couldn't tell you why.

6. Voltorb and Electrode

        Pokeball and reverse pokeball with eyes. Boring.

7. Zapdos

        Awesome, but not cute.

Flying/Normal


1. Farfetch'd 

        I don't know why it has a leek, but I like it.

2. Doduo

        It's endearing in a weird way.

3. Pidgey

        Just a regular ol' bird.

4. Spearow

        Slightly more dangerous looking bird.

5. Pidgeotto and Pidgeot 

        Dangerous looking birds.

6. Dodrio and Fearow

        Final boss birds.


Normal 


1. Snorlax

        This is the Totoro of Pokemon and my all-time favorite. It is the cutest of them all.

2. Eevee

        Eevee is a close second.

3. Ditto

        Ditto is a blob, but a cute blob.

4. Clefairy, Clefable, Chansey, Jigglypuff, and Wigglytuff

        These are all the same and they are all adorable. Also, I know Clefairy and Clefable are fairy types now - let me live my life.

5. Meowth

        One word: Cat.

6. Porygon

        Does anyone actually use this Pokemon? It doesn't look like its alive, but the colors are nice I suppose.

7. Persian

        Meowth all-grown-up looks more dangerous than cute.    

8. Kangaskhan

        It gains points for having a baby in it's pouch, but Kangaskan itself if more intimidating than anything.

9. Rattata

        Ugh.

10. Lickitung

        I see why some people might think Lickitung is cute, but I am not one of those people.

11. Tauros

        Bulls are scary and these bulls are especially scary.

12. Raticate

        Raticate legitimately looks rabid and I would't want it anywhere near me. 


Ground, Ground/Rock, and Rock/Water/Flying


1. Diglett and Dugtrio

        Diglett and Dugtrio are also some of my favorite Pokemon and I just love them.

2. Cubone 

        But what does Cubone look like without the skull?

3. Sandshrew

        It's a hedgehog. That's explanation enough.

4. Omanyte

        Reminds me of Gary from Spongebob.

5. Sandslash

        Hedgehog 2.0

6. Marowak

        Cubone, but a little fiercer.

7. Geodude

        Geodude is kind of weird, not going to lie.

8. Kabuto

        Kabuto is creepy but in a good way I suppose.

9. Ryhorn and Onix

        Rocks.

10. Rhydon

        Rock.

11. Aerodactyl

        The color is not pleasant at all. It's like zombie purple - whatever that means.

12. Golem

        Nightmare material x 10.

13. Kabutops 

        Nightmare material x 100.

14. Omastar, and Graveler

        Nightmare material x 1000.

Fighting


1. Machop

        The only one you can really call cute.

2. Mankey

        Kind of cute.

3. Primeape

        Barely cute.

4. Machoke and Hitmonchan

        Not cute.

5. Hitmonlee

        Chicken leg with feet.

6. Machoke 

        Uses the most powerful steroids in the universe.


Psychic, Ice, and Dragon


1. JYNX 

       
        I'm totally kidding.

1. Mew

        Mew is adorable and you all know it.

2. Dratini

        Dratini could probably tie for first place too.

3. Abra 

        Abra is a million times cuter than it's evolutions.

4. Dragonair

        Fancier Dratini.

5. Dragonite

        Did anyone see this evolution coming? Why does Dragonite look so different from it's previous states?

6. Mr. Mime

        Mr. Mime is a little freaky, so he ranks squarely in the middle.

7. Articuno

        Not really cute, but less intimidating than the other legendary birds based on looks.

8. Mewtwo

        This is where things start getting weird.

9. Kadabra and Alakazam

        These look like a cross between an ant and fox.

10. Hipno 

        Is this a crazy person trying to sell you something on the street? No, it's just Hypno.

11. Drowzee 

        What is that nose?

12. Jynx

        WHAT IS THIS?



Major props to you if you read this whole list. Which Pokemon do you think are the cutest?
Since my journal last week was on the serious side, I'm switching it up this week with something more lighthearted.

To give a little background, I've been creating art since I could hold a crayon. What started as a hobby turned into four classes in high school and half of my second major in college. With all of the experience, awards, and showings also came many failures, some of which I'm sharing with you today. My art is definitely not perfect; but instead of getting upset over the failures, I laugh, learn, and move on. And then share them with the Internet.


1. My friend's face and hair in this tempera painting from 2011/2012


Untitled by afungshui     Untitled by afungshui 

What. Happened. This painting took so long that I had to work on half of it at home, which meant I had to get my own tempera paint from Michael's. I went straight for the cheapest paint, and the white paint was basically white water. Despite my best efforts, the face and hair thus turned out like this. Side note: I didn't even try on the boots and jeans and they are probably the best parts of the painting. Go figure. 


2. My other friend's mouth in this chalk pastel piece from 2014


Untitled by afungshui     Untitled by afungshui

I actually still like this piece, but something about the worm's-eye-view made the face extremely hard to recreate. I messed up somewhere while shading the mouth and she wound up looking like a giant angry baby. I was laughing so hard my art teacher had to help me fix it. Now it just kind of looks like she is wearing a mouthguard. 


3. My brother's eyes in this colored pencil piece from 2013


Untitled by afungshui     Untitled by afungshui

I think I fixed this relatively well, but when I first colored in the eyes he looked like he was on some mad drugs. Like "I just got my wisdom teeth surgically removed" drugs and can barely focus my eyes. Luckily, there is so much going on in this piece that you can barely tell now.


4. THIS WHOLE THING from 2011


Untitled by afungshui

I have no words. I think I was going for Alice in Wonderland vibes. My art teacher had us print out pictures of ourselves and color them in for some reason, meaning I didn't even draw that. If I had, this piece would have redeemed itself a little. It was one of those assignments where they say you can use references, but imply that you shouldn't. I hope you learn from my mistakes because that tree bark looks like terra-cotta roof shingles.


I hope this journal made you laugh more than cringe. Also, I'd love to see your art fails, if you have any, so we can commiserate together.
Growing up, I bounced between wanting to become an astronaut, a dancer, a fashion designer, a superstar, an artist, an architect. Money didn't matter. I grew up thinking that I could do anything I wanted as long as I was happy. That is, until I grew up and voicing any desire to pursue an artistic career earned the response, "I have friends that are _________s. They can't find any jobs and don't make any money."

So I went to college thinking I would pursue physical therapy.  

All was well until it came time to make our four year plans. My schedule was beyond overloaded with two major requirements plus Honors requirements and PT prerequisites. I would have to take summer classes almost every year and juggle about 20 credit hours several semesters, plus extra time for thesis research. And even if I survived, I had at least two more years of graduate school to earn a PT degree. Intensely stressed out and mid-existensial crisis, I had a mental breakdown.  

Don't get me wrong--PT is a great career if you are interested in it. For me, PT was a hypothetical way to work with dancers and have steady finances. But the thing about pursuing any sort of doctorate is that you really have to want it. College isn't cheap and six+ years of tuition adds up quickly. Quite frankly, I don't love school that much and I had little interest in working as a PT--or any sort of doctor for that matter. It took a semester of researching dozens of majors, seriously considering transferring, and the worst depression I have experienced in years to accept that. When I did, I had a embarrassingly tearful meeting with my future advisor and declared my majors in Dance Performance and Choreography and Communication Design the next day. And I never looked back.

I'm not writing this journal to be discouraging or to scare the deviants heading to college this year. If anything, I hope it prepares you a little for the experiences many people have but don't want to talk about. It's ok to not know what you want to do with your life. It's ok to change your major ten times then change it again. And if you still aren't happy, it's ok to transfer or take a break because it's ok to not be ok. I'm writing this journal because I recently realized I have spent a full year without any depressive bouts for the first time in five years. As scary as it was to decide to pursue my passions--despite the criticism, the doubt, the stigma--this decision was the turning point in my quarter-life crisis.  

There will always be people who doubt you. Learning to accept that fact is tough, but I would rather take the chance of pursuing my passions than not take that chance and spend the rest of my life wondering, "What if...?" What you do with your life is ultimately up to you--don't spend it trying to cater to everyone's expectations. And whatever you decide, always be unapologetically you.

Inspiration for this Project


I've been doing dance photography for about a year and a half, posting my photos on Instagram and Tumblr when I had time and new material. While talking with other photographers in LA, I realized that I could be doing more than just taking pictures and posting them online--I wanted to tell these undiscovered dancers' stories. As inspired by Humans of New York and Dancers Among Us, I'm so excited to announce that I'm finally ready to start releasing material from my new photography project "Waiting in The Wings!"

WITW Cassie:Ashley by afungshui

About "Waiting in the Wings"


This project provides a spotlight for undiscovered dancers to share their stories as they work toward becoming professionals. It's about showing more to the people fighting for their chance on stage to inspire other dancers and artists to pursue their dreams.   

As with any genre of art, making a career out of your passions can be difficult. This is especially true in the dance world, as often only those who were born with perfect bodies and natural talent stand a chance at getting into the top dance schools--with yearly tuition rates comparable to private college tuition in some cases.  This project seeks to highlight dancers who trained in the studios down the street, waiting in the wings despite the odds.


Coming up... 


The first two featured dancers are my classmates Ashely Abbott and Cassandra Tumasz. Look out for their stories soon here on DeviantArt and on Instagram! 

Untitled by afungshui      Untitled by afungshui





If you have read my first journal, you might have noticed I have my foot in a lot of different creative areas. From dance to photography to visual art and--as of this summer--film, here are some artists who continue to inspire my work that I want to recognize and share with the community. Maybe you find inspiration from them too.  

1. Hayao Miyazaki 

Do I even need to elaborate? I grew up watching Studio Ghibli films and I'm probably one of his biggest fans. Ever. First of all, the art is insanely gorgeous (just look at these colors) and second, the storytelling. There are so many layers to his films and every time I watch them--which is often--I discover new ones. Pretty art and significant, powerful stories. It doesn't get much more inspiring than that. 


2. Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York

I've been following HONY for a couple years now and it keeps getting better. It's the definition of both how a simple concept can turn into something powerful and how photography can bring people together and change the world. In such turbulent times, his work gives me some hope for humanity.  


3. Nederlands Dans Theater

I saw them perform live in March and it was easily the best dance performance I have ever seen. I don't think I have the words to describe the impact that show had on me as an artist. Their use of different mediums to create their work--film, choreography, design--spoke to me as an artist who too fights against limiting herself to one genre. Seriously, check them out regardless if you're currently interested in dance or not.


4. Ai Wei Wei  

He might be controversial, but it sure works. He embodies both the importance of fighting to maintain freedom of expression and the power of art. Also, how can you not like a room full of porcelain sunflower seeds? 


5. William Forsythe

While choreography isn't really relevant to DeviantArt, it would be a mistake to leave Forsythe off the list. "In The Middle Somewhat Elevated" was one of the first contemporary ballet pieces I saw, and it continues to be one of my favorites (especially this pas de deux). It inspired my first full choreographic piece and symbolizes my love for contemporary ballet. 


What artists inspire you and why? 
I spent last semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy--the hub for all things Renaissance. I left the US in January having never been to Europe and not even knowing how to say, "I don't speak Italian." Somehow I survived, and now have an arsenal things I learned about living abroad to share with the Internet. Or maybe just 5 things, because I have to cut it off somewhere and 5 is a good number.

1. If someone is harassing you, pretend like you don't speak English. Or Italian. 

No, I don't want a selfie stick, a stock photo poster, or a knockoff handbag. And I certainly don't want to "sign against drugs" (PSA: It's a scam). This is really a skill you can use anywhere. 

2. Don't be afraid to do things by yourself.

Chances are, not everyone you're with will want to do the same things as you. If there is something you know you want to do, then do it, even if you have to do it by yourself. You will regret missing those opportunities while you have them.  

3. Try to maintain your sense of wonder.

After awhile, life in Italy became almost like life anywhere else (minus Target and Chipotle). While it might eventually feel like you've seen every church and cathedral on Earth, try to find something that amazes you everywhere you go.

4. Say "yes" to new experiences.

It's cliche, but trying new things can lead to great memories and changes in perspective. Be flexible and approach new experiences with no expectations. Things may not go as planned, but there's a chance that change will bring about something even better. 

5. Finally, take time to rest.

It's ok to take a weekend to stay in town and sleep late. Really, you'll thank yourself for it. Traveling is exhausting and while you should try to do as much as you can, you still need to maintain some sense of balance to avoid burnout. Nothing disenchants the study abroad experience like being stressed out and exhausted all the time.  
 

Untitled by afungshui    Untitled by afungshui    Untitled by afungshui

   Untitled by afungshui    Untitled by afungshui    Pylu8609 by afungshui

Hello, everyone!

I thought it would be good to post a more detailed overview of the different types of work I do and my current projects.  I'm majoring in Communication Design and Dance Performance and Choreography, and try to overlap those interests when possible. I work mainly in visual art, design, editing, and photography, as well as a little videography here and there.  So, first up...


Visual Art
I have been drawing basically ever since I could hold a crayon. I guess it just comes naturally. I prefer pencil, pen, pastel, and charcoal over all other mediums, but enjoy acrylic painting occasionally as well. This year I started focusing more on digital art, as I began my Com Design major.  For my digital work, I use a Wacom Intuos tablet and either Sketchbook or Photoshop. With dance and school, it's hard to keep producing work at my old rate (I'm a HUGE perfectionist when it comes to my art), but I am planning on posting mostly visual art on my account here--even if the material is largely basic or simplistic.  


Abstract Self-Portrait  by afungshui      tumblr o717egtkKC1vov2pco1 1280 by afungshui      tumblr o7178aiEb21vov2pco1 1280 by afungshui


Dance Photography 
This is what I work on most frequently at the moment, since I'm taking a Dance Filmography class and have an internship with a photographer in LA for the summer.  I started this work about a year and a half ago, shooting my friends whenever I get the opportunity.  I use a Canon Rebel T5 DSLR and edit my photos with Adobe Lightroom or iPhoto.  Here are some samples of my work.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 10.56.20 AM by afungshui      Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 10.58.28 AM by afungshui      Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.54.34 AM by afungshui      Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.55.48 AM by afungshui

If you would like to see more, you should check out my tumblr , where I post highlights from my shoots.  I also have a photography Instagram.  


Videography 
I also recently picked up some video work in the past year.  As a longtime lover of all things YouTube, I finally decided to create my own channel where I had been documenting my experiences studying abroad in Florence, Italy, last semester.  My channel is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment since I'm busy with classes and work this summer, but hopefully I will be able to post some dance films and other fun videos soon.




So that about sums up my creative life at the moment.  Feel free to ask me any questions! 

--Alexandra