Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Progress and (my first) Painting

There's always a lot on my plate that keeps me from doing what I want to do. I'm sure that's the case with most people, except perhaps the wealthy. I should probably further define "want to do". There are things to progress my career as a writer/artist (keep in mind artist is a term I use fairly liberally) that I have not been able to do because A) they do not make money this-very-second B) they are not working towards a degree. So unfortunately, I've had to put a lot of important things on the back burner.

Art, however, is important, and finding a place in my schedule to place it has become increasingly difficult. So, today, I decided to drop one of my classes. This will hopefully help me open up more places in my brain for imaginative ideas to dwell and more time in my schedule for rest and writing. Very exciting.

You see, progress is important to me. I need to keep moving towards it being a full time career. When I'm not making money doing so, justifying writing is hard. Do I study harder for a course I'm sure I will never use in the future OR do I settle for mediocre just so I can work on one of my many projects?

In the past I learned a few very crucial things. School and work (the money making kind) cannot get blown off for my projects. These are areas of life that take dedication and commitment. No matter how smart I am, I still have to study. No matter how good of an employee I am, I still have to show up for work to keep my job.

- BUT -

My projects (writing, crafting, creating) cannot get blown off either. In order for me to eventually make the transition into full time artistry, I have to be continually honing my skills in the little nooks of my day to day schedule. And when those nooks start to disappear and I find myself staring longingly at my keyboard or one of my writing journals or [insert any number of artsy projects here].... I find it's time to make a change. (As a side note, my projects also keep me feeling sane and less like a sellout to a mundane "American Dream".)

So what's to be learned from this? Balance. Equilibrium. Stability. Egalitarianism. Symmetry. Pick one.

Sometimes, for me, school needs more attention. Sometimes family calls for more attention. There are times when it is necessary to lay down what you are doing and give a lot more to one area of your life. It is  important to realize that when this happens, the balance must and is getting disrupted. When the situation is handled, it's time to reestablish that balance. That is what most people forget. It's easy to get off track, life gives us plenty of distractions to derail us. So keep at it. And I'll continually be trying to listen to my own advice. :)

And that's that.

On a separate note, I got behind someone else's project today. I felt that it was a well written and half-desperate attempt to realize a dream. Perhaps it's because somewhere in my future I could see myself getting to the point that David Malki! did. I found myself purchasing a book, his anthology. I think with shipping and handling it came out to just under $14. I know for fact the illustrations will be worth that much alone.

As for painting. I rather suck. As I am known to have my fair share of nightmares; actually, I'm abound with nightmares unfortunately. They've been like clockwork for the past couple of weeks, that being every other night. Anyway, this painting is in it's baby stages and is what I threw together in about 20 minutes while watching a movie. I have much more to do. But this is where it starts for me.... (please judge not too harshly...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Artist's Block - Myth

Oh God.

I know, right?

I'm sure everyone, including myself, has typed artist's block or writer's block into their search engines. Just Jack does a song about it that I find quite entertaining called Writer's Block. It has a great line in it, "I get this writer's block, it comes as quite a shock, And now I'm stuck between a hard place and the biggest rock." Catchy.

The truth is, I don't have an answer because despite the innumerable articles on the subject, there is no real tangible solution. They all pretty much say the same thing...

1. Do stuff, get out and about
2. Try old stuff
3. Make yourself work no matter what and something good will eventually come along.

It's not "the block" I have trouble dealing with. And I really want to shout it to all those people writing those articles. The problem is that I lack that magical feeling that makes me unable to stay away from my studio. And any real artist will tell you that. It is that very feeling that draws us to artistry to begin with.

I've been through blocks before. I remember what I did then to get out of them, but it rarely works twice. So while I'm sitting there trying to be creative, I have to be creative on how to get around my block.

I've only found one thing to answer this question for me. And your answer to this question will help you solve all future blocks. Where do you derive your reason for art?

My answer? Well, that's very personal (its my escape). But, by knowing why I do it, I can usually find a reason to continue doing it.
Lately, however, I've taken to stretching out my limbs a little. Dabbling here and there in different parts of art. While I love writing, it is still work at times, and I'd like to try to find something else I can throw my creativity at.

Those aren't the only brushes I have. I used to use a lot of paint in other works that I did, so I am full up on brushes, those are just some new ones I got to fool around with. But, I bought cheap acrylic and cheap canvases and even a table easel. I'm excited. Something new.

Back to the point, if you're having a hard time putting out something creative, here's what works for me.

  • Try something new. This can be anything, food, website, music, put together a new play list... I do that last one a lot.
  • Do something out of your specialty.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Go for a scenic drive.
  • Review older work for edits.
  • Google Artist's block or Writer's block and search through the images, some of them are really great!

But, honestly, every time you go through a block, you get through it. And only you know how to get out of it. No article or advice will help. (Friends might though. Does anyone else have a designated person they go to just to get distracted? I do.) Sometimes distraction is all I need. But I know that about myself. Chances are, you know why you're blocked, and you know what you have to do, but you just don't want to do it.

Do you know why I wrote this post? Cause I'm blocked. Do I know how to get out of it? Uh-huh. Do I feel like doing it? Nope.

So instead, I'm going to drag my feet around cheerily complaining about "the block" until I finally get up the gumption/motivation to fix it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Fire Pit and Pics and Lame Lines

I committed to building a fire pit, which I did. I intend to use it to fuel my inner fire. I know, a fire pit to fuel an inner fire is a lame line. But you know what? I'm okay with lame lines every now and then. And while I understand that having a public blog, or any website for that matter, is a showcase of your skills as a writer or artist, I also feel that it is a showcase of individual quirkiness. I don't spout out poetic verses when I talk, and I am certainly not trying to when I blog. I offer that as a blanket disclaimer for writers and artists and other bloggers out there... not everything we do is perfect or "artistic".

At times I find myself purposely exposing my flaws. Why? Sure, maybe it will hinder me from signing a book deal, but it holds a truly opposite and good purpose. If an editor or agent or anyone else reads one of my lame lines and disregards me because of it, maybe it's for the better. Wait a minute, I'm sure you're having the same thought I've had so many times before... which is "Why would I ever do anything to make someone not pay me for doing what I love?"


Very, very simple.

If my lame lines turn someone off, chances are that editor/agent will not much care for my corny quips in person anymore than in my blog. As a writer, whether I am getting paid (or not) on any particular project, I am my own brand, and I like my life flavored a certain way, a way that calls for some lame lines every now and then. Okay, I'm done with my little rant.

Enjoy the pictures of my beautiful store bought (but pieced together myself) fire pit.

Also, pictures of myself are far from what I normally look like. It's not because I am ugly or insecure or any wayward weird thing that I have. For everyday, I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal.  However, by maintaining a level of anonymity, I fully allow myself to be delectably candid.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What to do?

So, I continuously have loads of things going on in my life. Tons. Today, I went shopping for all those pantry items that frugal shoppers like me stock up on only about once a year. And it's those shopping trips that are the most tiresome. I'm sure the buggy weighed well more than I do (which is plenty) and pushing it throughout Walmart was less than fun.

After shopping I had planned to do homework, because, as we all know, very few people take you seriously unless you invested a large sum of money into a college in return for a piece of paper. However, I realized that this was my fall break. Hallelujah- Fall Break! But that just means I need to decipher what I won't consider important enough to spend time doing during the school week.

So, right now, I'm blogging. Well, I had at one point made a pledge to blog more than my friends did, so ... this is pursuing a goal.

My other two goals for tonight... take a profile picture in disguise and put together my new snazzy fire pit. Isn't my life glamorous! We'll see how it goes...

Oh, and did I mention that I have a request for a partial that I haven't gotten out the door yet? I know, but honestly, school is the main drive in my life. And if I can get all these tedious issues out of the way, then perhaps I'll have time to let my hair down and let my creativity run wild!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Does It Really Get Better?

So, I feel pretty sorry for the kid who felt so secluded that he had to jump off a bridge. It makes me sad that it takes death to get anyone's attention. It really does! Every single time someone young dies there is a bunch of media hype about the issue that caused said young persons death, and then it dies out and leaves the headline... anyone remember Sean Kennedy or maybe Jaycee Lee Dugard? These two events shocked our country in the last few years and now, they only gather minute highlights in the news, maybe to announce Jaycee Lee's kidnappers sentence, but that's about all.

Will Tyler Clementi be another name that gets overlooked once we have all moved on?

What irritates me most is that our shock and concern could start before then. It should start before then! 

What does it take for human beings to treat each other well? Will some kid working at some chain burger joint have to go ballistic killing all the customers and then turn the gun on himself/herself in order for people to stop treating fast food workers like something that we scraped off the bottom of our shoes? Or will the reverse need to happen so that employees of these places stop acting like customers are being a pain by even showing up? It's a two way street and if people would try to communicate, and if WE would just try to help, maybe like these guys on this site we'd make someone's day better. They made mine better and certainly made me feel a little better.Thank God someone actually gives a damn.

And just as a side note: we all have a Tyler Clementi in our lives in some way. You know that person you just can't stand because they honestly have fewer brain cells than a dust mite? What about the person who's got a stick shoved so far up their, well you know, that everything that comes out of the their mouths makes you want to hit them? Does homosexuality offend you? Does homophobia offend you? Either way, chances are there is something that makes you worth ignoring to someone else. So here's something I try to live by (although sometimes I really fail, especially when it comes to servers in restaurants, but that's another story for another day) Anyways... if you want people to grant you graces for your idiocies and imperfections, overlook their stupidities first and show them how it's done.

And if that doesn't work, well, just try and keep your mouth shut and smile anyways. And in my case, if you're a difficult customer at a restaurant, tip very well... and that means a minimum of %20 of the bill.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The First Entry

I used to wonder why people blog. I used to have an online journal a very long time ago... does anyone actually remember Xanga? If someone asked me that question right now, I'd say no. Of course not. But my eyes would be rolling in my head and I'd find myself looking downward while I silently remembered all those embarrassing late night posts.

But, lately, I've found myself reading blogs again. It started by a few of my friends attempting to document life changes they were going through. It was going to be great!... or so they said. I can count on my two hands (and maybe some toes) how many posts they collectively made. I still have those blogs bookmarked, and every other week or so, I stop in to see if they've updated. Sometimes I even leave footprint-like comments stating that I'd been there, and to my dismay (while not surprised), there were still no updates.

And that got me to thinking, every time I see these friends, I talk to them and find out what they're doing with their lives and I think, "Why aren't they blogging this?" Free online documentation that may make others laugh, or perhaps even cry? Maybe just a good hint or two about cooking or a new real life adventure? Come on! Wouldn't that be worth writing about?

Well, I am a real life writer, and in my real life world, I have real life things that are worth writing about. So here, right here, is where I choose to document them. But, be warned, this is my forum, and I will write out loud and it's all fair game... here.