Where has she been…? And who am I?

I’m in the business of seeing. At least I want to be.

Since senior year of college, I’ve been involved in the art world. As much as I’ve allowed myself to be. As much as the art world has allowed me to be. Creativity, expression, and art have always held an interesting place in my life. They have been my guiding lights, the tenets by which I live. Yet I have taken little action to assert myself in these ways. Without an artistic background or formal training, I have stood on the sidelines appreciating and wishing. It’s not that I am afraid of failure–it’s that sometimes it’s easier not to try. Sure, that’s not as gratifying. And there are always excuses to be made. But the point is I am now “doing me” as best as possible. As I’m rounding out my 25th year, I’m finding that not trying is getting harder than just doing the damn thing. This pent up energy must be put to good use. I still don’t have a clear picture of what this “thing” is, but I’m finally ready to start creating it. There is too much inspiration around me not to.

Consider this blog… why has it been 7 months since I have last written? It’s certainly not a lack of material. It might be hesitation to put myself out there, though people who know me would not believe that. Do I have better things to do? Have I been doing better things? Yes and no.

When I am getting to know somebody, I love to ask, “What you be doing if money, education, and time were not an issue?” Dream jobs can say a lot about person. Alternatively, I enjoy finding out what someone would do if they had one hour of free time. What would you most like to do in the world with 60 spare minutes? My default answer is writing. Specifically for this blog. But somehow, I’ve let seven months get away.

I do know one thing. I have been looking and seeing. And I’ve been inspired. I’ve been reading, watching, and listening. And I’ve been inspired. Feast your eyes on some of the beauty and creativity below.

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Rest area at The Ebell of Long Beach, CA

Diaper babies I made for a baby shower

Diaper babies I made for a baby shower

Restroom sign at The Ebell of Long Beach

Restroom sign

My Halloween nail adornments

My Halloween nail adornments

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Part of a Madmade Designs baby shower set-up at Booze Brothers in Vista, CA

Earlier this year, I made a decision to stay stagnant in my full-time position. It afforded me so much freedom, time for leisure, low stress. I convinced myself early on that I would have time to work on my other projects, which was true. Needless to say, I haven’t made much progress in those either. But I’ve reached a tipping point. I’m ready to do me. Really do me, even if that means doing extra work. Procrastination will no longer plague me. 2016 is not far off and there is plenty to accomplish. I’ve spoken some goals into existence, but here they are for good measure:

  • Find a meaningful full-time position
  • Lead a healthier lifestyle (physically and mentally)
  • Get my small business up and running (and profitable!)
  • Start (and hopefully finish) the digital photography certificate program I enrolled in
  • Buy a house
  • Travel to Europe

XOXO

The Artists in Our Lives

Recently, I have had a lot of experiences with artists/art of all sorts… from contemporary painters and sculptors to mixed media moguls and performance artists. I have also had some run-ins with artists famed in the popular arts, better known as celebrities. [Comic-Con, anyone? Don’t worry, that post is on its way.]

As I’ve said before, my ideal self is an artist. I like to think I’m striving to become my ideal self. What I have been dwelling upon is the sheer fanaticism that comes along with knowing and identifying so closely with someone’s artwork, be it a painting or a television show. When I meet an artist whose work I admire, I find myself starstruck… unable to express anything but sheer gratitude for one’s creations. Shame on me, I would think to myself, that someone’s celebrity would leave me speechless… after all, they are human beings who just happen to be famous.

But upon further reflection, I realize why these encounters have left me in awe. Consuming these artists’ works and really allowing myself to become a fan awakens something inside me. Call it “inspiration.” I used to think it silly to be obsessed with movie and television stars–when we meet them, they are not the characters they play onscreen. Yet to see them in real life and understand their humanity can be a life-changing experience. We fall in love with these characters because we see a piece of ourselves within them [something we want to be or something we wish we weren’t] and we are made vulnerable by that. So many characters who do not exist define our generation, just as many pieces of art will go unseen by the masses and still be equally definitive of what it means to live in this time period.

No matter what artform is your chosen poison, by all means consume it. Be it food, medicine, music, visual media, anything… go out there and grab it. If is stirs your soul and challenges you to think differently or be more creative, surely it must be meant for you. And when you meet the artist behind the work, fangirl all you want. Just remember that the artwork disturbs you for a reason. Do the artists a solid by finding that reason. If you binge-watch serialized TV shows or museum-hop every weekend, find out what exactly it is that keeps you coming back for more. It is a huge injustice to artists of all forms to tell them their work is “good” without ever knowing what stands out about it and the effort that went into making it great.

Would you tell this man his work is “good” and just leave it at that?

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics