Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is INSIDE URSULA HITLER'S HEAD any good? Don't ask me!

Inside Ursula Hitler's Head is a strange, lumpy beast. But then, so am I.

I constantly change my mind about almost everything in my life, and when I swing, I can swing hard. As a for instance, I can look at a picture of myself in drag one day and think I look pretty hot, and then see it again the very next day and think I look like a monster, I'll want to die for ever having been so foolish as to show my hideous face in public.

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Jesus, what a hound!

That can go the other way too. Some of my favorite pictures of myself in drag made me want to cry, the first time I saw them. I'd lock them away, never wanting to see them again, and then one day I'd randomly find them and I'd see them in a whole new way.

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But as conflicted as I am about everything, I'm really conflicted about Inside Ursula Hitler's Head. When I started it it was just this goofy thing where I knocked out episodes as fast as I could, and as a result there's some pretty awkward crap in the first 10 episodes or so. Jokes don't work, the characters gesture too much, etc. Hey, I was learning.

But then you get into stuff like the Invasion of the Posh Spice Zombies storyline, where I no longer have the excuse of being a beginner. When I look back at that stuff now, I honestly don't know what the hell to think about it.

I obsess over all the stuff I know just did not work, like the whole thing about how the Posh Spice zombies zombiefy people by flashing their magic panties at them. I've explained before that that was just me trying to write around the fact that because of technical limitations with the animation I couldn't have the Poshes biting people like regular zombies would, but the solution I came up with was a bad idea, poorly presented. And the resolution with the "Anti-Posh" is also pretty iffy. I wrote myself into that storyline without any idea of how I was going to wrap it up, and I think it shows.

But... There is some funny stuff in there. There are lines and sequences I'm still proud of. And something really clicked for me in that final scene with Meany and Sweetie, it was one of those moments when the characters came alive for me. So... I don't know. I just don't know.

I get some good feedback on the cartoons from strangers, but almost nothing from anybody who knows me. (If you're wondering if I mean you, I probably do.) That sometimes bothers me, a lot. I gotta figure they tried an episode or two and thought it was crap. I mean, it's one thing for people to just not have time to keep up with the new cartoons or whatever, but when somebody you know has put 60 freaking cartoons online and you've somehow never said a word about any of them, that's just getting peculiar. (Of course, their feedback wouldn't matter to me so much if I had any idea if the cartoons were worth watching... But I don't.)

Sometimes it must seem like I'm desperately fishing for compliments, about my looks, my art, my everything. But the truth is that I'm desperately fishing for some sort of objectivity, some way to know if I'm pretty or ugly, talented or untalented. Sure, pretty and talented are what I'm hoping for, but mostly I'm itching for people to tell me the truth about this crap. I just can't figure it out by myself, and that's kind of like having some magically cursed wallet that never has the same amount of money in it twice. You go to pay for a bagel, and you never know if you're gonna have a million bucks or two nickels and a sticky old penny.

I don't feel like Inside Ursula Hitler's Head is the best work I'll ever do. I don't even feel like it's the best work I'm capable of doing right now. It's more like I'm posting stuff straight from my sketchbook, with all of the spontaneity, false starts, self-indulgence and occasional inspired improvisations that that implies. If I wasn't the person making these cartoons, would I be watching them? Yeah, I think I would. I'd probably be willing to forgive a lot of the awkward, confusing crap for the sake of the parts I liked. (Hey, Oglaf has been totally baffling me for a few Sundays now, and I still think it's a fantastic strip.) But then again Inside Ursula Hitler's Head is a cartoon that exactly caters to my weird sense of humor, along with a lot of my even weirder fetishes... So it's kind of hard to imagine anybody else doing it!

Barring disaster, I plan to keep making these damn things. But it's weird to keep plugging away at something without ever knowing if you're making something kind of great, totally worthless, or (as seems increasingly likely) some bizarre combination of the two.


AlterEgoTrip said...

What, you want to know OBJECTIVELY if you are beautiful and talented? Certainly someone like me can only be subjective..

Look you probably need to find that quite space inside your mind, where you see yourself as the beautiful person you are, away from the noise of the constant bla bla bla of media.. it takes possibly years to stay away from it to where it does not effect you. Meanwhile, you got to cut yourself some slack... you've got ideas that are way beyond most.

Now maybe Oglaf is a little wild there.. but I got the impression I'm just not adult enough to enjoy it. I can understand there is some interesting bits of humour there, not typical of your mainstream, definitely, wild. I guess someone never got over wanting to draw peni and such...

(me on the other hand was FORCED to in life drawing, and I was all too embarrassed!)

I think the parts of "Inside the Head of Ursula Hitler" I love the most is that specific wording and use of words used.

So very expressive that it makes those Xtranormal guys seem very articulate. Since my Zombie themed project led me to seeing your projects, seeing your Posh Spice Zombies, and your entire collection of videos after, I felt very much like these xtranormal characters had taken on such life, it was impossible to see them in any other way.

I was very very impressed how these generic characters really were "alive" and had taken on so much personality.

The things you have done inspired me, because you play around with some ideas that are rather important.

I don't want to get into the sycophantic fan girl thing too much, but I see great value in what you write and what you do, even if its small. Gems are such.

Mindi Flyth said...

Wow. Thank you so much, that honestly made me tear up a little bit. If I've got the attention of somebody like you, I must be doing SOMETHING right.

I know it's silly to go looking for "objective truth" about things like looks and artistic skill. I'm very attracted to many people that aren't generally considered beautiful, and I like a lot of art that a lot of people would think was dark and ugly. So I try to judge myself by my own standards, but I can't seem to stick to that.

Oglaf has been really off for a few weeks now... But I think it's worth clicking around in the archives. It's a really funny, sexy strip.

AlterEgoTrip said...

You must be going through a rough patch right now, I know what its like to be sensitive and feel like I'm not "getting it", especially about myself.

I just am another one on the path.. even still I'm greatly touched by your kind admiration as well.

Be well! *hugs*

Seven said...

For starters, as a fellow Oglaf fan, I must salute your taste.

"It's more like I'm posting stuff straight from my sketchbook, with all of the spontaneity, false starts, self-indulgence and occasional inspired improvisations that that implies."

You forgot fun.

Dude/tte, Inside Ursula Hilter's head is FUN. Plain and simple. It doesn't need to be the high point of the filmmaker's art. It's enjoyable - you have a constant stream of people, both here and on YouTube, you tune in for every episode, if you need proof of that.

But I know where you're coming from. I like to take pictures, and I know that I get a thrill whenever someone makes a comment, or marks a photograph as a favorite. But it's also taught me that I have to be my own audience. People are weird - sometimes they're critical just because the have nothing better to do.

You're not ugly, and your're not talentless. Sometimes the realization that we're small fish in a large pond makes us wonder if we're as worthy as the big, splashy people who get all the accolades.

"Barring disaster, I plan to keep making these damn things."

Please do. We could all use a little more kinda great in our lives.

Mindi Flyth said...

Seven, it's very late and I just don't have the time to write a proper reply... But as I said elsewhere recently, my problem is that I'm both self-loathing and an egomaniac, I vacillate wildly between those extremes.

I'm just going through a bad patch in my life, and I'm analyzing everything to death and being very self-critical. Thanks for the encouragement.

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