26 September 2007

sauna vihdan tekeminen

Marja-Leena mentioned something about birch vihta or vasta in a post that mentioned sauna. It's difficult to get over just how important sauna is to Finnish people but it might help to explain that just about everybody has a sauna of some kind at home. Even in blocks of flats/apartments, there's often a shared sauna that people use according to a rota. Vihta (or vasta depending on what part of Finland you're from) is part of the sauna ritual. I've seen vihta translated as 'bath whisk' and that's sort of what it is, a whisk made of birch branches and leaves that you tap yourself - or get your partner to tap you - with while in the sauna. Some of Marja-Leena's readers seemed to get the wrong end of the stick, imagining vihta to be an instrument of self-flagellation. Joining in the discussion, I remembered that Ms Suomi-Suolmate's dad recorded some videos about making vihta before my first trip to Finland last year. So I edited them together, put on some text, and here it is.

Oh aye, in case it's not obvious, please don't take it too seriously...

(For some reason, the embed thingy doesn't seem to be showing up at the mo in which case, watch it here)

22 September 2007

First test - ink and bristol board...

As mentioned previously, I'm restarting an old, almost abandoned, long narrative project but I'm not sure how to do it. So I'm trying out different styles etc to see which I like best. This is my first test, with bristol board and ink. It's very rough and ready and should be regarded as a kind of swatch to help me rather than a part of the story. The main lesson I learned from this is that I shouldn't try and draw a page on an A5 sheet, even if that's how it's going to end up, because it's far too fiddly and just ends up looking really cramped. I was aiming for a slightly messy look but I don't like the cramped look of this. I suppose the photoshop constructed comic page I tried before avoids that but I'm not sure it's me. I am sure that it's very time consuming and unforgivably fiddly doing it all on-screen and I feel like RSI and eye-strain are creeping into my wrists and peepers every second of the way but then again I quite like the results. So the jury's still out on that one. Any lesson is important and valuable and makes the effort and exercise worthwhile. Now on to the next test...

1 of 2 New GoG test - bristol and ink
2 of 2 New GoG test - bristol and ink

A brief note on pronunciation/translation: the very last speech bubble, in the final panel, contains South Yorkshire dialect which may be vaguely familiar if you live in certain parts of the north or if you've watched and understood the movie Kes. In certain parts of South Yorkshire and northern counties generally you might encounter use of thee and thou for you. However, they're not used or pronounced in ways you might encounter in Shakespeare and thou is more likely to be pronounced tha (the a as in hat) and thee thi (the i as in him). For example, 'as tha got time on thi (have you got the time on you). Pronunciations can vary over relatively short distances however. For example, as a child I remember people from Sheffield being referred to as 'deedars', a reference to how they were perceived by us to pronounce thee and thou. Anyway, to translate: 'im - him; thi - thee/your; in't - isn't/is that not; rate - right; cock - a term of endearment similar to mate.