Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making Time to Write and/or Draw

I have recently been blessed enough to be able to work 40 hours a week at a GREAT successful mom and pop place in Portland. I'm on a break from school until mid-January, so I'm using the time to get acclimated. I'm usually better at being productive on a schedule, but after work, I am so beat that I just fall on the couch and lounge until bed. But slowly I've been getting much better at getting things done, especially within this tight schedule and prepping myself for school. This is my first official full-time job, so I haven't gotten to discover the little secret that I have until now.

I and many other people I know have little time for themselves due to school, work, kids, etc. But I've found out a great secret. LUNCH BREAKS. Lunch breaks are magical, especially if you have an hour or so off. It's great because you're still in a productive work environment and not off of the adrenaline of it enough to realize you're tired, so you can get a lot of work done in a short amount of time (although I'm not promising it will be pretty, but it's worth it).

 Here's what you do...

  1. Bring your lunch so you don't waste any time (or money, which is a plus). 
  2. Hole yourself up in a corner in the lunch room or an appropriate quiet eating area.
  3. Bring your computer, notebook, sketchbook, etc. with whatever supplies you may need (no matter how crazy you look, but the less prep time needed for it, the better).
  4. Set your alarm (in case you get pulled into whatever you are doing and forget about when you need to get back to work).
  5. Then eat your lunch and work on that time crunch (the short time allotted actually pumps more work out of you than unlimited amounts of time with no deadline but your procrastinating self).
  6. If you eat slower while you work, then save the rest of your lunch for a snack when you're hungry later.
Because of this, I've been getting quite a bit of writing done in the last few weeks (I need my Cintiq to do any art, and I don't want to bring something that expensive/clunky/sucks up all of my time to set up, so I write and sometimes sketch in my sketchbook). If you work full time, you should try this too and see how it goes. I love it so I highly recommend it. Also, when you get home, you can guiltlessly veg (unless you're in school too and not on break, which in that case, good luck).

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Too Young for a Mid-Life Crisis

According to Forbes,  "The struggle to live up to our parents' expectations, define ourselves career-wise and identify what our real values are, as we move from our 20s into our 30s, has become known as the "Quarter-Life Crisis" (Ingham).

So it's Christmas Day and I'm working a 40 hour a week job (which I'm lucky enough to love, even if it's outside my chosen profession) and going to school part-time while trying to work on my book, my artwork, career, and brand. Then there's caring for the pets and keeping house with the fiance. Oh, and then there's the small matter of planning my wedding for next year. How is there enough time in the day? There isn't.

Honestly it's all so overwhelming. Since I've been so low on time, I haven't been posting artwork because it isn't up to my standards, and I haven't been keeping in touch with email contacts because I have nothing to share, and I'm feeling a little bit bad about that. Then there's the reading, or lack of, because I can't do it without feeling guilty, and as a result, very little writing has been coming out too.

I'm at a crossroads and I don't know what to do. My career goals are getting fuzzier and more out of reach, I'm not getting as much done as I thought I would or as I want to. I want to move to London but I want to stay here in Portland. I want to learn many languages, but can't even manage one. Hell, I'm having a mid-life crisis in my early 20's.

The Washington Post discusses this very problem with other people of my generation. According to specialist of emerging adulthood, Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, "it is a unique time of life when people are not entirely dependent on their parents... but they don't have a stable life structure with marriage and parenthood and stable work... They go in a lot of directions, change jobs a lot,  change love partners. They go through a long period of figuring out who they are and how they fit in the world." (Minnema)

If you're not sure you're going through a quarter-life crisis, try checking this list from allgroanup.com. If most and/or all of these are right, then welcome to the club, buddy!

(Photo courtesy of http://queenbeady.com/)

Now for most, Arnett assumes this period is a good thing. It is a period of growth and transition that people can learn from in an adventurous manner, but for some (like me), it's a tumultuous period that causes anxiety, stress, and a loss and/or confusion of identity. Most people, some 68.9 percent of more than 2,000 correspondents would or have moved back with their parents (Minnema). I chose not to do that because (a) my parents are not in a location useful to my career or myself and (b) after moving out for college and beyond, moving back with my parents would be a big step back.

If I had it my way, I would get my Masters. But since I don't know what I want to Master in, I'm going for my second Bachelor's degree part-time because one degree isn't good enough in this day in age. But I also have the problem, like many, of an insane amount of debt. I'm in $33,000 of debt plus credit card debt. The only savings I currently have in my account is under $20.

This is all so tough because I've always known what I've wanted to do, ever since I was in 4th grade and watched my first behind-the-scenes of a Disney movie (I wanted to be an animator, make movies, and change the world). I grew up riding horses and grew incredibly fond of them, so I figured I'd train and ride on the side.

But then college took away all the time from that. But something in exchange was that it did introduce writing to me and my (current) fiance, and I fell in love with both of them. Internships introduced me to comics publishing, life introduced me to languages, comics introduced me to France and Europe, and so on and so forth. Then I became obsessed with story (although I've always been obsessed with story, I just never realized it) and decided I wanted to direct. Now I want to do all of those things and more. But too many choices and too much time and too little money have changed things for me. If it wasn't for my supportive fiance, I don't know where my psyche would be.

Quarter-life crises, as scary as they seem, are normal, especially for our generation. This is rough, but rough is life and life tends to suck a lot of the time. I think the only way to get through it is to keep on trudging, and when you trudge yourself out of it (probably after a while, sorry), then Paul Hudson of Elitedaily.com has some advice to help. Here are 50 things to remember once we're out of the mud:

1. Crises are for the masses, not for you.

2. You don’t have too many real problems.

3. Life can get better with every day – as long as you want it enough.

4.There are many things in your life that you have no control over whatsoever.

5. There are also a few things in your life that you do have direct control over. The trick is differentiating between the two.

6. Sometimes your friends become more of a negative influence than a positive one.

7. At the end of the day you alone matter.

8. Happiness is a fleeting moment you shouldn’t try holding onto.

9.If everyone in the world were happy then nothing would ever get done. There would be no innovation, no progress, because there would seemingly be no problems nor motivation to create change.

10. Not everyone deserves to be happy, to live a great life. Some people simply haven’t earned it.

11. Life isn’t fair. But it’s how you deal with this fact that either makes you or breaks you.

12. If there is a god out there, she isn’t guiding you through life – you have to be your own guide, your own reason for being.

13. We each have our own journey to travel. Unfortunately, most people will never attempt to take that first step.

14. Even of those that do attempt to follow their dreams, travel that road of life, most will fail.

15. Most people fail not because they can’t cut it, but because when they realize they can’t cut it they accept it as final and claim failure for themselves.

16. There’s little in life that isn’t mutable in some way. This, however, doesn’t mean that you necessarily have what it takes to make those changes.

17. There always has and always will be those that are on top controlling the game and those below being used as pieces on a board. While you may not be capable of being a chess master, you can refuse to be a pawn.

18. Whatever you think you know, you know less.

19. There is little in life that is as simple as we’d like to believe it to be. The right answer isn’t usually the simplest.

20. There must be leaders in our world because most people choose to be followers. It isn’t necessarily right or wrong, it’s just the way it is.

21. Not everyone can or should attempt to lead. Whether leaders are born or made, most people aren’t capable of managing.

22. If you’re part of the rat race then, by default, you’re opting to be a rodent.

23. Your body is your temple and your mind your library. Both need to be maintained.

24. People will come into your life and they will leave. There’s no point in forcing them to stay. Instead, enjoy their company while it lasts.

25. Your life would be better if you had fewer people in your life. Most people are more poisonous than anything else.

26. Long commutes should be avoided.

27. Working a job you can’t stand is one of the biggest mistakes almost everybody seems to make.

28. The only things you actually need in life are: water, food, sleep, oxygen, exercise, and companionship. The rest you can refuse if you so wish.

29. You’re going to die and it’s okay. You will make the best with the time that you have and accept your fate when the time comes.

30. There is no better teacher than a broken heart.

31. Feeling great relies on a combination of physical and mental health – mainly the result of your diet, your exercise regimen, and your sleep cycles.

32. You’re stuck with yourself. You may as well make the best of it.

33. Material things weigh you down. Often, less is better.

34. Our current culture is drowning. We no longer consume information because we’re being water-boarded by it. Opting to stay clear of most of the things on the Internet and on TV is good for the soul.

35. Reading is the ideal form of entertainment.

36. Not everyone should have children. Sadly, most people who shouldn’t have children have too many and those that should don’t have enough.

37. Human beings managed to screw up the planet more than we yet know. But there are little things that you can do that can eventually make a big impact.

38. With all the wars going on and all the secrecy that the world’s superpowers have indulged in, right and wrong is more a matter of opinion than an objective stance.

39. The media exists not to give you information, but to sell you ideas.

40. A democratic country isn’t ruled by a president. Therefore, all the problems a country has shouldn’t fall squarely on his or her shoulders.

41. The United States of America is less of a democracy than it is an oligarchy.

42. You can’t – literally – become rich working for someone else. It’s actually impossible.

43. For the human race to survive indefinitely, we will either need to impose strict regulations on reproduction and consumption, or find another planet to expand onto.

44. The goal isn’t to sleep with as many people as possible, but to find that one person you want to sleep with for the rest of your life. No, it’s not easy. But yes, it is possible.

45. Never settle for less than you believe you deserve. You live once. Don’t settle for subpar in anything you do.

46. Those that matter most to us need to be reminded how much they matter to us.

47. Animals are sometimes more human than some people.

48. You have all the answers to all your problems. Stop making so much noise. Instead, quiet down and listen.

49. There are some decisions in life that are incredibly difficult to make. There isn’t always a pleasing option – sometimes you have no choice but to lose.

50. Your life only matters if you make it matter. You only matter if you decide that you matter.

Good luck guys. Hope you get out of this sooner rather than later.


  1. Hudson, Paul. "50 Things Late 20-Somethings Need To Realize After Their Quarter-Life Crises." Elite Daily 50 Things Late 20Somethings Need To Realize After Their QuarterLife Crises Comments. Elite Daily, 03 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. <http://elitedaily.com/life/quarter-life-crises-realizations/738315/>.
  2. Ingham, Edmund. "Can The 'Quarter Life Crisis' Really Be Life Changing? Here's Proof That It Can." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Dec. 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/edmundingham/2014/09/04/can-the-quarter-life-crisis-really-be-life-changing-heres-proof-that-it-can/>.
  3. Minnema, Lindsay. "Hard Times Can Be Troubling Even for Those Too Young for a Midlife Crisis." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2009. Web. 25 Dec. 2014. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081002317.html>.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I just finished my finals for my first quarter of The Art Institute and I feel great. My only problem is I've been in a rut with self-confidence issues and mulling over  just how much I haven't been working or how far from my art/writing goals I am.

So I'm going to display my final here and just explain to you that my art is in a major work-in-progress stage. I'm just making a bunch of mistakes to better it.

This is a cd album project, designing an album representing me as an artist. So without further ado, here it is.

The Inside Case

The Outside Case

The CD Disc Design (with Template)

Business Card Design (Front)

Business Card Design (Back)

That's all for now, folks! Feel free to let me know what you think and/or leave helpful feedback.

Happy Fall!!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sound Boards Experiment

Hey everybody,

So I'm pretty sure the hiatus is over, for real this time. Maybe sometime in the future I'll really get the hang of this blogging regularly thing.

School has been awesome. I'm learning a lot about animation and refreshing my Photoshop skills at the same time. Not bad for my first quarter Post-Bach, eh? I'm super excited about this set of storyboards I did. They filed into a pretty rough animatic, but the sound is what I'm excited about. This is my first time recording dialogue in Storyboard Pro and using multiple layers of sound effects at the same time. It was super fun.

I do need to work on my acting, but that will progress in the future. I acted as the forest sprite, and my fiancé, Kyle Stroud, put his brilliant natural voice acting talent to work as the pirate/viking character. The video is below.

Sound Boards from Sarah Steele on Vimeo.

I'll do my best to make more posts soon. Thank you all for your patience and happy fall season!!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hiatus Over

For those who are reading my blog, thank you for waiting.


While I've been gone, life has gotten a little crazy with anything from debt collectors and loans people

to my attempts to get scholarships to further schooling while trying to convince people that I know what I'm doing and yes, a second Bachelor's degree is necessary to my path and no, it doesn't take 4 years, but 2.

I've fought for jobs, credibility, time for writing/portfolios while simultaneously trying to keep my anxiety at bay.

The fight isn't over yet, but I'm coming back anyways. Life goes on and so will this blog.


Now that you're all up to date, we can continue on with this blog.

Normally, for those with social media and business promotion strategies, a goal and context plan is set for their blog and, in the real world, that's what works best to bring readers in. But for this blog, I have no business strategy and, instead, I am laying out my life and figuring out how this blog is going to work as I go along.

So because of time constraints and pressures, I am probably not going to be trying every little thing like this blog says. That doesn't change the fact that I enjoy everything from archaeology to business to farming and beyond, all centered around my passions for visual and literary stories.

As a result, I am guessing the way this blog is going is to be a source for tips I find on writing, art, comics, and the like while information from other interests seeps through into the works, giving this blog a bit of variety.

But all I can do is guess, and time will tell. If there's anything you want to learn or see me write about on here, let me know. This blog is just as much a blank canvas for me as it is for you.

My Work Updates

Someone I admire was extremely kind enough to give me a great rundown on what I need to work on for my visual portfolio. I completely agree with her 100%, so in the next few months or so, I will be working on completely making over my website with a brand new foundation of works that I can build on for my professional career.

In addition, I will be attempting a written portfolio (I've never done a written portfolio before). Included will be samples of comic, screen, and stage scripts; short stories and longer pieces; articles; movie reviews; and whatever else I can think of that would be a good fit.

If you'd like to see my research images and articles along with information about what I'm passionate about, follow me on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/sarahrsteele/. If you'd like to friend me on Camp NanoWrimo as I try and finish the last 20,000 words of my first draft next month, go to: http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/rosered91. My Twitter is on the right side of this page and feel free to subscribe to my blog as well.



Cheers everybody and have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Big and Small Picture

It's ok to idolize and follow in someone's footsteps who has accomplished the world, just make sure to break down your path into steps in order to not get overwhelmed.

In other words, it's ok to have high hopes and see the big picture, but don't forget to keep in mind the small picture too.


Many times I become overwhelmed because I want to change the world the way Walt Disney did. But if I think about all of the things he did and then look at where I am and what I've done, I become incredibly overwhelmed. I constantly have to remind myself that he started from scratch too. It's scary though and I still get overwhelmed all the time.

If my man wasn't here, I'd forget to live in the present and forget to see the smaller part of the picture. Thank goodness he's here.

Bottom line: Big AND Small Pictures are both important to keep in sight.


Night all.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Short and Sweet Advice

Shoot for your dreams, but whatever they are, never hope for them more than you work for them. Some advice I'm trying to take...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Web Comic Updates

In between my massive job searches, designs for my web comic are coming slow and steady. For constant updates, check my new instagram at http://instagram.com/rosered901. I've been trying to update it with art and web comic things regularly now.

A fun movie find I discovered over the week was:


That's all for this week. For updates to this blog, check Saturdays or slightly after. That's when I do my best to update.

Thanks for following!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bank Expressions

Just a general rule of thumb, banks WILL try to charge you hidden fees and will not tell you (ie: getting a cashier's check and later finding out that your bank has put a $12/month charge on your account because you "decided to go paperless" or, a.k.a., used their teller).


Keep an eye on your account. Check it at least a couple times a week, even if you have an accountant, always know what you have in your account and what is being charged to it.

If you can't get your money back from the bank, keep fighting until you get to their supervisor. If they're a jerk and say "we told you about this in your opening paperwork (when you signed up 3 YEARS ago), be sure to be prepared for this beforehand and find the lovely loopholes and fine print that is there for us, their prey.


I'm usually pretty good about this, but every once in a while I get a little too comfortable. Lesson learned for both myself and you guys.

Also, if you can avoid Bank of America, PLEASE DO. They are the KING of hidden fees and have screwed over myself and countless others many times.
(https://occupyreno.wordpress.com/2012/03/ ).

Just a heads up.


I was just thinking about this the other day. Why do people online use GIFs?

It was so simple and I can't believe I didn't realize this til today.

Because they're EXPRESSIVE. 
 photo giphy_zps9af31508.gif



My fiancé uses them all the time for his online goings-ons, and he finds the BEST expressions that communicate quickly and effectively. So I started using them and was instantly hooked, which got me thinking.

SO many times I have had to hunt far and wide for great ideas of expressions to draw. Why not search GIFs? Below I'll list a few different feelings and put some GIFs below that express those feelings PERFECTLY. This is what visual storytellers STRIVE for... perfect communication!


  Not Amused

 photo giphy-1_zpsdf10a1a3.gif



Joan Halloway says Na-ah photo giphy-2_zps6466061b.gif


    Look at All the Fucks I Give

But take note, just because a GIF SAYS that it's a certain expression, doesn't mean the expression would necessarily read on it's own. Sometimes the GIF makes fun of something out of context, like this:

 photo giphy-5_zps9c12d810.gif


Just so you know, I found that GIF tagged under this very expression. So be careful. The expression needs to come across with or without the words. The expression needs to READ in their face and body language.

In visual stories, many times, artists and creators lean too much on words (ie:comics and word balloons) or symbols (ie:anime and exclamation points above people's heads when panicked and/or alerted) or anything else they can as a crutch. But since the stories are VISUAL, they need to be able to be read VISUALLY.  I mean, REALLY read... WITHOUT crutches.

The characters need to PUSH the stories, not the other way around. You can have a great plot, but that plot with those events shouldn't be the only reason characters exist. So breathe life into your characters.

Take Liz Lemon below...

 photo giphy-3_zpsc9e13314.gif


Notice how her head tips up, her face scrunches around the mouth area, her eyes widen, she has that "What are you lookin' at?" look, and the hunched shoulders and raised hands to go with it that really shout, "Look at all the fucks I give!" This is what you're looking for.

*Remember, the top goal of the visual storyteller is "Does it READ well?" The clearer, the better!     

So use GIFs in your references, artists. You may be...  photo giphy-6_zpsbb90f599.gif (http://giphy.com/gifs/9JtL6oA3LsmsM).

P.S.--If you guys want to know how to upload GIFs to blogspot, I learned how from this blogpost: http://fuschiabysd.blogspot.com/2012/11/nerdy-chick-how-to-upload-gif-to-blogger.html

Night all!