Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Hunger Artist

This is a copy of a post I shared on my new blog specifically about animation, and I just realized that I probably should have posted it here as well, just in case some of you out there didn't add miles of smiles to your bloglines or next preferred blog reader. tut tut. PS I'm back in America and I had a good time in japan.

I am very excited about this post. The reason for this is because I finally have jumped through the proper compression hoops to upload my and dear friend Erin Robinson's last video art piece from our video class last semester. We started the project around spring break time and finished in late april. We primarily worked in Adobe AfterEffects, and also used Flash, Photoshop for coloring, and Premiere Pro CS4 for the final edit. My good friend DM Stith provided the music from his album Heavy Ghost on the Asthmatic Kitty Record Label and he also portrayed the Hunger Artist himself. The story was inspired by Franz Kafka's short story "A Hunger Artist". Enjoy.

A Hunger Artist from Torlando Hakes on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sound of Silence

My heart was a little heavy today, and head like the milk weed. Sometimes I think God battles negativity with generosity. My own thoughts of negative things or situations are egged on by the world and yet I feel that the universe is for me.
The battle is fierce and the clouds of dankness are thick. But God won today.

I remember being very impressed by the music of Simon & Garfunkel when I first watched The Graduate but I never got into them beyond that until a few days ago when I heard an instrumental version of The Sound of Silence in a restaurant in Japan. The song could not escape my mind and my roommate who was visiting me would hum the harmony with me as i worked out the melody with my own hums. Then I looked up this old recording of a performance

When they talk about people not loving each other in the beginning, that's where my heart was feeling heavy. But as I said God won today. And the people of Japan have been very generous. We decided to go to Dominoes today. I used to work at Dominoes and I can tell you that in America Dominoes is not a group that is happy to serve anyone. But these workers were legitimately happy to serve us pizza. They were so moved by the spirit of service that they gave all of us Dominoes soup bowls that I didn't know existed.

Unfortunately their generosity was lost on this ol' poopy pants pupil. But the universe did not give up on me. As I became progressively more self-aggravating as the night went on, I felt that the only remedy would be some good old fashion mac donald's french fries. And so I walked all the way down there to find out they were already closed. So I figured I'd go down to the Lawson Station and pick something up, which I did. But I really wanted meat. And Yoshinoya was close, and open. So I went.
Upon ordering and trying my best to describe that I wanted no onion I engaged in conversation with a young Japanese man. His English was about as good as my Japanese so we immediately had something in common. He asked me how I was, I asked him how he was. And that was about the gist of it. So here is where the sound of silence and the universe come together to win tonight. The song talks of people who are talking without speaking and hearing without listening. If I could have said more in his language or if he knew more of mine, I would have talked to him and he would have heard me. But instead I think he listened to me and I spoke to him without him hearing anything or me talking at all. And he bought my meal. I understood that even though we were strangers, I was a guest in his country and we were brought together for a purpose.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Five Crowns

My family is pretty musical. My moms dad had a group called Hot Howey and the Hot lips back in his heyday and he played the saxophone for them. And my Dad was a Michael jackson impersonator in College and then went on to produce an album in the mid-90's. And I was always told that his dad, my grandpa was in an old chicago doowhop group called The Five Crowns. We just found a track on Youtubes. All Hail Youtubes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Miles of Smiles

Hi everyone, I've decided to start a new blog. One a little more geared toward art and comics and whatnot. We'll see how diligent I am with it. I'm making it under the pretense that it will be a place where people can see my stuff when they ask as opposed to me subjecting my artwork upon the few readers of Torlando Today. I'll
still do Torlando Today, but it will prolly be my usual complaints about the Bannekids and other poopery nonsense. and the link is milesofsmilescomic.blogspot.com

And for some more japan you can of course go to my flickr But I will give you a preview.
These photos were taken in Kyoto. We saw a lot of shrines and temples on this trip. But a couple of impressive things here were the massive coy. I've never seen a group of fish this large in an outdoor pond before. They were beautiful. My professor is chinese and he told me of the old fable about how if a coy swims up a waterfall it turns into a dragon and that's like getting your big break in life. I don't know about the getting a break in life thing but I just might believe these things can turn into dragons. Preferably ones that breathe snakes who in turn breathe killer bees. Its a trifecta.


We also went to the ocean on this trip to see the two rocks that were tide together with rope? I got some good pics and since I'm sort of into frogs like weird white women are, I decided to show this funny statue, which I'm sure has some sort of religious meaning.


This was a really neat shrine. Solid Gold.