Here's how it goes:
If you want me to interview you--post a comment that simply says, "Interview me." I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn-- in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.
So maida_mac asked me these questions. And they're very cool ones; I feel all complimented that someone's been paying so much attention to my ramblings.
This is cut for great big huge pictures. I'm afraid it's also a little long.
1. Your photography is an important part of who you are. How did you discover this interest in yourself and what does it mean to you?
I was watching xmurf go through his photography portfolio a couple of years ago, and I was struck by how his camera made ordinary things - a drain pipe, water in a pine tree, a woman with her arm above her head - shine. I was particularly struck by a black and white photo of a pine tree.
Regrettably, this scan of the 8.5 x 11 photo does a poor job of conveying the shine and song of it - ask me to show it to you when you visit me - it hangs on my wall as inspiration. Each water droplet caught on the silver needles carries its own bright crescent moons, and you can see the woven threads of falling rain in the background, like a breath caught upon a stained-glass window.
So I said to xmurf, "Teach me," and he, being a sucker, said, "Okay." I wanted to learn how to see like that, to walk in beauty, to learn to touch the way light curls around a leaf, the way rain sheets across a window, the way glossy ivy leaves kiss a concrete wall, and the way the city sings and murmurs to itself at sunset. And I have, though it be the sort of skill one studies for a thousand lifetimes, and I think I'm a lot happier for it.
2. When and why did you first start collecting beachglass?
My family had just moved to Southern California, and I'd just become acquainted with that wonderful being known as beach. I was five; they were shiny and colorful and fun to pet and not smelly. Pretty straightforward. :)
3. Where does your interest in kanji come from?
Oh dear, now I will be exposed for how shallow I really am!
Once upon a time, I decided to do once piece of art a day with a computer, until my technique no longer made me cringe. They were usually quick and shallow pieces, fifteen minutes or less, working on some specific trick of lighting or texture or framing, and I was always looking for ways to make them look more "cool". Silly things like lens flares, just inverting the entire pictures so that skin was green, using photoshop's stylize filters, elaborate and bizarre picture frames, every silly gaudy trick in the book. (You can see the results of the piece-a-day resolution here ... please don't hold them against me!)
My roommate at the time had gotten me interested in anime (Japanese animation) and I thought kanji looked cool and made a picture seem more deep and mysterious, so I put kanji on a couple of random pictures, just copying them from a website called "Tattoo Dan's Kanji Archive" that contained the sort of things people would want for tattoos - love, spirit, dragon, sex, power, etc, which coincidentally worked very well for overly pretentious digital art, too.
The kanji here says "dragon." It is also, in my opinion, not the best kanji for the job - there's one that's actually from a pictograph of a dragon all coiled and powerful.
These say "pheonix" - I was in a morbid mood. "Pheonix" can also be represented with a single kanji - several, actually, seperate characters for male, female, and gender neutral - but they're NGU (not general use).
Not that I knew any of that at the time.
Until I wanted to put an entire poem on one of my photographs. Obviously I couldn't cut and paste all this from Tattoo Dan's Kanji Archive; I would have to paint it myself. So I did so, and was hooked by the end of the first character, kokoro, heart/thoughts/soul, all restless flame and dagger edges.
Translation here. I cringe at how clumsy this calligraphy is now - I had very little feel for the characters. But it was my first.
I keep doing it because it's fascinating - as an example, today I was looking at kanji meaning "balance" at gement's request, and I saw that all of them also mean "healthy." Interesting idea. On a side note, many of the kanji posts I've made in livejournal are collected here.
4. Obviously, you identify with corvids. Why?
I'm not quite sure. It's one of those life things that just sort of happened randomly, but now feels like such an important part of me that it's hard to say, "Ah, here was a time when I did not think this way," even though I know, objectively, when those times are.
There were all these bits and pieces - the longing to fly, the malaprop-prone black bird who's haunted my dreams since I was very young, the crows who ride my shoulders around Seattle, the love of mischief and shiny things, the tendency to wear black, the silly habit of making croaking bird noises at people, the name Corvi, which started out as a silly ICQ name because I couldn't think of anything else.
They all came together on MidgardMOO, because a MOO is a text-only world, like a chat room but with programmable rooms and objects, where you are what you present yourself as - there's a tendency to respond in kind when someone is being goofy. So when I typed, "Grawk!" at people, they ruffled my feathers in response. velvetknife reprogrammed my usual seat in the common room to be a "pallid bust of Pallas above the chamber door." People started telling me what mischeif they'd seen the crows in their various cities up to, and accusing me of posting spies on them. shandryl fluffs my wings just to annoy me, and eeyorerin offers me tasty eyeballs. I was flattered beyond words to be associated with the universe's most beautiful living creature. When people started referring to me in person as Corvi, it took on its own reality. There's a lot of power in a name, and for a couple of years now everyone but my parents and my professors calls me "corvi".
5. You're in a random place and you hear a song that makes you want to dance. What would it be? Why?
Evanescence - Bring Me To Life. That's the song that makes me dance in my computer chair, wierd arching arm movements and swaying like a tree in a strong wind, much to the consternation of my roommates, since I'm usually listening through headphones. I dance terribly.
So, yeah, post a comment if you want me to write interview questions for you!