Saturday, August 25, 2012

U.P. Original Theme Music: Pussyfoot - "Persnickety"

After being AWOL for the past month, U.P.'s latest composition has been completed. This theme pays homage to the lovably sly yet adorable Pussyfoot, an almost forgotten Warner Bros. character from the late '40s mostly known for the shorts "Feed the Kitty" and "Kiss Me Cat". Break out your headphones, because it's about to get funky!
All rights reserved. D. Stevens, 2010.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Letricia Pearl Griffin Stevens (1941-2012)

To say that the past seven days had been an emotional roller coaster for the Stevens clan would be an understatement. I definitely wouldn't stretch the level of grief each family member experienced, in his or her own way, when accepting the realization of the rock that held the family in a tight grip, even at her most frail state, had expired from her physical shell and was called Home. Even now, typing this blog becomes a bit difficult to compose without memories flooding back to my memory bank.

That Easter weekend, I had a dreadful feeling during my weekend occupation as an orderfiller. Earlier that day, I called to check on my sister to see how she, her husband and her kids were doing. The tone of Sister Girl's voice alone indicated that Grandma's health was deteriorating. She had been suffering from cancer for some period of time, but NO one had any idea about the severity of her condition. Normally, Grandma would often confer to my sister or my mother about it - Sister Girl's a registered nurse and my mother will finish the nursing program in May - though she kept certain details to herself. Even as I saw her in the hospital, she fought it out to the bitter end. Mama Girl was just ravished the moment she got home, as if a piece of her own heart had torn apart, so all I could do was console her as best I could though I couldn't say anything to make the news any less painful.

I had such fond memories of Grandma, as does many of the Stevens family does. The primary quality that she displayed was her brutal honestly. She'd tell someone if she thought ill of him or her due to one's personality traits, vices, attitudes towards others, etc. She also had a sharp mouth for anything revolving around her family (or neighborhood gossip). I can hardly calculate the numerous conversations she and Mama Girl would have over the phone about someone serving time in prison or about one of my aunt's habits of not answering the phone when she was needed for family gatherings or holidays. Much of Grandma's backbone rubbed on my mother, I'm proud to say, because she acts similarly, with slightly lesser patience and more compassion, that is. *giggles* Her greatest quality was her love for all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, although she pertained to the boys moreso than the girls. I appreciated her kind-hearted gesture when she would give me food when I was at college with little to no money and how she kept up with my nelly-tongued nephew during a family conversation. From the numerous meetings with the belt each grandchild received from her (one I managed to avoid, somehow, heh heh) to the humbly crafted feast she'd make on Thanksgiving and Christmas, she was such a spectacular human being.

I had the privilege, as did certain male members of the family, to be a paul bearer for Grandma's funeral service in her hometown of Cameron, which is twenty-five minutes from Temple to there. Typically, a funeral service would feature "friends" of the family coming up to comfort the family with remarks and stories of encouragement. Not in Trish Pearl's commencement to Heaven. Just as the Remarks portion of the service was completed, one of the right microphone stands near the choir tilted over and fell into the ground, providing some slight amusement. Mama Girl looked over to my neice and said, "Hey, that was Grandma (the kids refer to my mother as 'MiMa' and Trish Pearl 'Grandma') telling 'em folks to sit down and shut up, because they're telling a lie." Had I caught on with that sentiment, I would've peeved myself. Oh, even in death, Grandma knows how to make a scene. The family invited the pastor of our church, Macedonia Baptist Church, to offer words of comfort and he really put the nail on the head by referring to one of the most quoted verses from the Bible: "Jesus wept". Again, I recalled Grandma having us to say that particular phase to bless the food during dinnertime, followed by the comment of "No eat, no treat" if we didn't eat our meat and veggies. Personally, that verse was comforting in itself.

Upon accepting the passing of my grandmother, I was content to draw a quick portrait of her to commemorate her legacy she had left upon the Stevens family. It's not my best work, but being a woman of dignity and respect, I know she'd appreciate it.

"I love you, a bushel and a peck..."

I love you too, Grandma.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Kinfolk, where you been, MAN?!"

Wow, I'm surprised to realize that it has been over two years since I've used this account. Of course, that was to be expected considering how much I had gone through within that time period. From financial strife resulting to my animation dreams to be put on hold to trying to keep a steady gig, these previous twenty-five months have been quite tremontrious for yours truly, wouldn't you agree? Currently, I am a dry shipping orderfiller who is trying to keep his productivity quota at no lower than 95% - IT... IS... ROUGH!

On the filp side of things, I am extremely proud to say that my sister, I usually refer to her as "Sister Gal", had tied the knot with a man who I know will keep her elated and comfortable for years to come. They announced their vows at a Las Vegas wedding chapel that was streamed online for the family to see, which was a bit hilarious considering the quality of my mother's antique computer. It took at least fifteen minutes for the stream to pick up and five more minutes for the wedding to actually start - I always joked about Sister Gal not attending to important occasions on time, but it had nothing to do with cold feet, I promise you. Speaking of the wedding, my mother ordered one of the pictures (at least one that wasn't burnt on a CD) online to give to the newlyweds as a Christmas gift. Of course, she had to search far and wide for an 11" x 14" picture frame that matched the interior design of their living room. It's a nice gift clamorating the loving relationship that has blossomed into a marriage.

As for drawing, well... I had such a hard time getting my groove back. After having to withdrawal from school, my confidence has been shaken up, plus I needed to contribute to providing income within the household. The end result was the lapse of time necessary to remain passionate on my drawing capabilities. I have the inspiration and the drive to continue on my artistic journey, but the spark isn't there. It's quite difficult to hold on to your long-term goals when reality digs its foot directly into the opening of your rear end. My apologies for the crass statement there, but that was accurate to my experience up to this point. I'm still practicing yet it is at a slower pace than I desired. I hate being a late bloomer.

This isn't being less pessimistic than it is being realistic, if one could consider it as such. I guess this is God's way of making me a better individual, even if it means having to eat an extra slice of humble pie. I'm still fighting, though.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Recital for a Lonely Heart

Immersed with remorse,
I propose a toast
To the lonely heart I endorse
Where - at its utmost -
The quiet angst from within becomes worse;
Foremost, I delve into the pain as a source
Of my internal competitive nature,
In hopes to creatively savor
The remnants of my sanity by the slightest measure
As my cerebral cortex boils with high pressure;
Whoever is in favor to treasure
The privilege for many to listen,
If not, hear about the numerous decisions
That forced me in this position;
No use in asking God for permission
To envision His vision
Of perception toward my personal finances,
Working hourly or for a high-end client;
I refrain from the right to remain silent
Since I failed to promptly impress the masses;
I lasted through deep despair and hunger
While Mama girl's words in my head left me to ponder
Whether my conduct of character produce proper
Implications that would either make me better of fall harder,
Directly unto the unnerving ground;
The bottom of the ladder appeared to be loud,
Yet the impact upon fragile flesh made little sound.

In silence, I knew I allowed
Myself to remain proud
Of nothing but my overly bloated ego,
so eventually, I am now in limbo
as I stumble in line with desperate people,
Seeking a tiny twinkle
From a beckon of hope;
Unto Thee, I evoke to emote
Through unconditional intensely presented love I promote
With these enveloping tears that soak
The undermining sentiments of the words I wrote
Unwilling to escape my lips yet waiting to explode;
I propose this sacred proposition
Against the opposition unforgotten and unforgiven;
Invisible killers of my vision for reason
Upon my soul, they dare commit treason
With villainous intentions;
Alas, as light recedes, my strength will increase
As I refuse to to decease
From submission by the abomination not eager to seize;
Through hope and faith, I shall solemnly release
The glimpse of darkness and desolation for inner peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Caricatures - Wanna guess who these celebrities are?

I have been practicing on caricature drawing since obtaining a position for a masquerade ball two weeks ago. The ball won't take place until Oct. 29, but I want to establish a cohesive balance of speed and formality with each drawing, as well as play with the subjects distinct facial features.

When I have time, I wish to draw within a frame of 5-10 minutes, just to see if I can get the job done in a relatively quick manner since there are going to be plenty of attendees at the masquerade ball. Thus far, I am pleased with the current results, but I still have plenty of work to do. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2009

"One for the Road" - A Tribute to Samantha Nance

"One for the Road"

O sweet child,
How unexpectedly cruel and unjust
Fate demonstrates unkindly
As it turns the knob to the lowest level -
Its most silent setting -
Severing the connection to all signals
that trigger the blossoming tenure
that once was a beautiful life.

In mourning,
I wished death to be unwelcome,
That faith would have benefited more time;
More time to become accustomed,
The time needed to be further adjusted
A time of which is celebrated
Robustly as a pivotal milestone.

Time requested is what fate denies,
Its presence defines, defiles, and defies
The logical premise of life;
A life of which God generously provided unto you
To cherish with unrivaled passion,
Displayed by moments of creativity and wholesome memories
Granting guaranteed satisfaction.

Before you attend to your travels,
Allow me -no, us - this momentary chance to unveil
our utmost wishes:
Though fate proved too greatly a presence,
We sense your hovering essence
Haunting all you have known
In rememberance.

Here you are now, child;
With this token of appreciation
For the time given unto you,
For it shall serve as a reminder
To the clamorating moments -
Mostly sublime, yet randomly jovial -
Attained from Mother Earth.

Here's one for the road...
A road of endless purity and prosperity
Leading to a realm free from cruelty and tyranny,
With an guide embracing you with warm, open arms
Welcoming all to Heaven;
May love and peace be fulfilled on your travels.

We love you, Shelley, forvever from the bottom of our yearning hearts! R. I. P.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ring Angel TV Spot - Motion Graphics

The following is a motion graphics piece completed during finals week. The objective was to compose a 15-second or 30-second promotional spot for a specific brand (i.e. Nike, Lego, Crayola, etc.). For the TV spot featured here, I chose to create a 30-second spot for a fictitious animatied series based on a comic book idea that I am pursuing. Enjoy!