New Post, New Thoughts, New Life (Gets Kinda Personal, but Don’t Worry, It’s still a Boring Post).

So, I had to put on the Smiths playlist to write this post, because I find the melodramatic undertones of Morrissey’s annoying, yet familiar shrill to be quite fitting for writing this.

I just finished watching the hit-or-miss anime, Aku no Hana and found it to ring a lot of loud, unnecessary bells from my youth. The inane want to be different, to feel superior, and to win the hearts of the heartless, all the things Kasuga experiences while torn between his beloved Saeki and his feared Nakamura. I checked up on some forums discussing the show, and while I was pleased with some interpretations, I was displeased with many. There was this recurring idea that Nakamura was better for Kasuga because she unleashed his darker, artistic side. To stay with Saeki would be settling, not just for something boring, but something expected, and Kasuga couldn’t live with the knowledge that he is boring and typical.

This was a recurring battle in my mind while in my youth. I wanted to feel superior, I wanted to feel special, and most importantly, I wanted my lack of vision to appear to others as ‘complicated’.

What a crock of shit.

Seriously, I despise this period of my life, but I’m sure many people have experienced the same level of teenage Narcissism, so I don’t feel too guilty. I hated being abandoned by friends because I made them look ‘uncool’ or unbecoming. I hated that my friends wanted to have sex instead of playing Barbies, I especially hated that being seen with a boyfriend was the most important aspect of this period of life. I was fascinated by learning, but plagued by social expectations, so I tried to balance the two out by becoming a ‘superior intellect,’ who was above social expectations and was given a free-card because of my eccentricity. Of course, all this led to was a lot of time in my room reading Milton, getting high, and let’s not forget crying. I was so dramatic, but who wasn’t at this age?

What I really want to get to that bothered me most about a lot of interpretations of the manga and anime Aku no Hana, is this idea that you’ll never get over your first love, whatever ‘your first love’ means. It is somewhat implied throughout the manga and among fans that Saeki never really gets over Kasuga, and Kasuga never really gets over Nakamura, akin to how many people never get over their first heart-break.

Why does this bother me? Ideas like this imply that we never change; and that is simply not true. I know, a large statement, from my mouth? But really, whether we are convinced we can’t change, or are too busy to notice it- we change. We lose interest in things we once idolized, we start to enjoy the things we once thought was evil, like me with Reality Television (yes, I’m that girl). And when we can’t seem to move on from a loved one, ten years later, we’re still holding on, it’s not because we haven’t changed; it’s because we’re bored.

No, really.

Falling in love is magic. When I met the guy who would come to be the first guy I had actual feelings for, it was like I was living an alternate reality. My head was a constant boiling stew of ecstasy, intense melancholy, surrealism, excitement, terror, anger, anxiety, and inebriation (I became good friends with Alcohol at this point). Keep in mind, he was never my boyfriend, he was always just barely out of reach. I was always hungry and had no appetite, figuratively and literally.

He drove me nuts. I mean, I was already nuts, but he really made me aware of it, and not in a good way. For two years I questioned if I existed, I had dreams that my body was dead but my brain was overactive. I often fantasized over suicide and just floating around the world as a ghost; how liberating would it be to witness and not have to feel. I was sick with love, and it was a horrible ride, yet one I never wanted to leave.

Eventually, I decided enough was enough, I couldn’t have him as a boyfriend, I couldn’t have him as a friend, and so I told him I could no longer speak to him. Well, it was received, and while he was hesitant, he left pretty early on, tending to his own matters; fair enough.

Our engagement lasted for about 2-3 years, but getting over him took about 4. I would often compare my dynamics with new boyfriends to the one I had with him, secretly, and of course there was no comparison. I would do the same with friendships, and with life experiences. I wanted him to know how much better off I am with him gone, mostly to convince myself. It didn’t work. I dreamt of him all the time, especially when I was with someone new, what a nightmare for the new boyfriend. Obviously, things didn’t work out, and I’d find myself alone and bitter, over and over again.

And then, it happened.

One day, I was alone in my tiny apartment, freaking out about money, most likely, and also if I existed (those thoughts turned out to be my own craziness, not something caused by him, thanks Prozac!), and he crossed my mind. I looked him up on Facebook, on Google, all over the net to any form of social networking information on him. I found a recent picture of him with his girlfriend (whom, by the way, he was dating while we had our little special engagement), and something different happened. I felt nothing.

No, I take it back, I felt tired.

Not tired like bored, tired physically. Tired in the way that you keep seeing the same episode rerun over and over again, you’re so sick of finding the same outcome. He goes home with her, you go home to nothing. It was finally exhausting to stress over him, but not just exhausting, it was boring. I found that I felt nothing for him, no resentment, no joy, not even ambivalence; just apathy.

Because I’ve experienced very dark, depressive modes, apathy typically scares me. I’m supposed to feel something at all times, if I don’t, then I’m sick. However, I was no longer afraid of having nothing left to feel. I was free. And it made me realize, I had gotten over him a long time ago. I felt nothing when he kissed me, I felt nothing when he’d ramble on about his favorite band while we were driving, I felt especially nothing when I’d watch him smoking out of a bong while somehow still be able to drive. The only reason I struggled to move on was because I wasn’t willing to admit I have completely lost all feelings for him. If you’ve ever struggled with depression, or the like, you know the biggest battle isn’t fighting off your demons, but fighting off boredom. Without help, us lunatics thrive off of sadness, desperation, and anger, or else we feel lifeless. Or at least, I did.

What I’m trying to say is, people who don’t get over their first love, don’t want to, because moving on is boring. In movies, it takes an epiphany for the main character to realize he/she is over someone (and usually also some nookie from the new heart-throb). It takes a road trip to the ocean, or pursuing your dream career, becoming famous, etc. But all of this is bullcrap. Getting over someone is one of the most mundane, anticlimactic experiences of your life, and that’s okay.

True feelings are never as big and intense as you think, they are usually subtle, soft, solid, like a stone.

I love Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. I thoroughly love eating savory food and falling asleep before 11pm. I get a thrill out of Kourtney Kardashian laughing at Kim crying, or Khloe calling Kris “Satan”. I fell head over heals in love with New Girl and the Mindy Project, and I totally laughed at Judd Apatow’s films. I’m normal, usual, and also weird, like everyone else. And I still have crushes on guys, only now it’s more pure and genuine. Whenever I think of my first love, it’s usually because I recall an event in which he was a part of, but thinking of the romance just makes me feel bored, and quickly I move on to what I’m doing in the present moment, with everyone presently with me, all of which matters most.

I’m not telling you should settle: a) with someone you don’t like, or b) for a job that drains the life out of you, or c) into a city you hate, or d) all of the above; but if you can’t accept that you’re indifferent to your past, and you can’t let go, then you will settle, and you will be worse than bored, you’ll be content.

So, what I’m really trying to say is that if you want to become happy, you gotta turn off the Smiths, and allow yourself to get bored.

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On Teaching Her to Fly (Dream)

We were in a rush. It was going on to be the late afternoon, and we had to get going. The bus had already been 10 minutes late, we couldn’t possibly wait any longer, and where we had to go was all the way across town. We only had one other option.

I didn’t want to admit to her my deepest secret; my power. I didn’t want to expose to her this impossible gift. The potential for me to be locked up in a looney bin just by trying to explain to her my chemical complexity was a major risk, let alone another friendship lost would send me to my death, for certain… But, she needed to get across town and I made sure of myself that she would make it.

And so I zipped up my sweater, tightened my wool tweed fedora, and grabbed her hands.

“This bus is not gonna come, so I’m gonna teach you how to fly.”

I held her hands up in the air against mine and laced the fingers. I then told her to shut her eyes.

“Listen to me, be very quiet and listen.”

She paused, “Okay.”

“Alright, now I want you to imagine a darkness around you, a darkness so pure and lacking in any matter, no light, no energy, not even the color of black. The darkest dark you can possibly fathom.”

She sat still and I could see her eyes rolling slightly up towards the back of her head; she was imagining it.

“Do you see it?”

“Yes.”

“Alright, now I want you to allow this darkness to flow around you and through you. Relax; allow your atoms to ease a little. That’s how you can let it in.”

Her shoulders dropped; an uncommon sight for this woman.

“Do you feel it weaving in and out?”

She nodded.

“Good,” I responded, “Now I want you to imagine that darkness sinking beneath you. Let it all fall out of you and around you, allow yourself to be composed again… And let that darkness fall.”

It was beginning to happen. I saw a glow of color in her face, that peculiar, so familiar wink of light.

“Do you feel like you are light? So light, that you are floating?”

She nodded.

“Open your eyes.”

She opened them, dreamily at first; then a glint of shock ran across her amber eyes. She looked down to see that the ground was yards beneath us.

“We-we’re really flying?” she asked in bewilderment. I nodded, “Yes we are.”

“I feel so light!” she exasperated. I explained to her the process; that she, at her own will, essentially decomposed herself of unwanted or unnecessary energy, molecules, and dead cells, while simultaneously relaxing her mass and allowing space to flow in.

“Think of it kind of like an osmosis of sorts. Or a cleanse. You let go of unnecessary matter, and leave whatever is needed to live.”

“Why do I feel so happy?”

I winked at her. I answered, “Because you have to be, heavy hearts don’t float.”

She looked down at the ground, at the small roads, the tiny moving vehicles. It was such a sight to see.

“But once we get this over with,” I finished, “you are going to feel like absolute shit. Worse than any hang over you’ve ever experienced. Now let’s go.”

She followed, amazed by the impossible. And while I led the way, I always  turned back to see her; not just to make sure she was alright, but because I have never seen such an honest smile on her face before.

New Stuff Made!

So I have been making some new paintings, as well as jewelry since this last semester ended, what with minor shows and Christmas coming up. Christmas for an unemployed artist means opportunity to lay out those creativity skillz.

I have only one image right now of a pair of earrings I have made for a family member’s gift (hope they don’t see this!!), my first attempt at this, and I’m actually pretty impressed. I think I’m going to make more. I need to learn how to make ceramic beads though!

2012-12-23 01.31.29

 

Eventually I will put this, along with my other stuff (paintings, lanterns, jewelry, and other spin chart/volvelles onto my portfolio, but 3am is not the time for that kind of work.

Anyways, happy Holidays to you all, and hope all the creativity is being explored and executed during this festive season!

Phoenix Festival of the Arts

So, another great newborn festival, right in the heart of downtown Phoenix! I participated in the Biggest Mural collaboration. Hugo Medina put the mural event together, and invited over 80 artists to paint. We were each given our own 4×8 ft panel, plus one on each side that we had to collaborate with the artists next to us. This was wrapped around the Festival of the Arts, which was originally for the Phoenix Center of the Arts, but this year was open city-wide.

The event was incredible on many layered accounts. We were all exposed to each other’s art, we were all exposed to the public, and the fact that it was so widely collaborative, even to the public, made it very endearing for the art community. We all are in it together, the Phoenix community is there, and it was made apparent by this project.

Here’s a link to the interview with Hugo. Excuse my extreme dorkiness, it’s just part of my nature. Haha.

And here are a few pics of my mural panel:

Again, I wish I was a little more prepared, and I would have taken photos of other’s work, and with other artists. I’ll be sure to announce with the curated opening reception will be!

Side Pony Express Music Festival

So, a couple of weekends ago, I went on a trip with a few friends of mine down to the tiny, ‘western’ encapsulated town of Bisbee. We journey 4 hours south to see and be a part of this newborn music festival called the “Side Pony Express Festival”. The friends I went with were part of the band Field Tripp, but there were plenty of other people there we knew.

The neat thing about this festival was that it was composed of all in-state, but primarily Phoenix valley based bands. The talent is incredible! The bands performed all day and late into the evening, and in between shows you could venture around the main downtown part of Bisbee. This was not just fun, but a great way to advertise a lot of the well-refined work from the local artists. I didn’t just get a look at the town, I could really grasp what kind of artistic culture surrounded the place. I heard from a few artists that after graduating from art schools from the main cities (Phoenix, Tuscon, Flagstaff), that Bisbee was a great place to move to for a couple of years and focus on building a portfolio of work. The rent in studios is relatively cheap, and art in Bisbee is more than an appendage of society, it is society.

Grant it, to be real, it isn’t necessarily your charming San Francisco. There are economic and social set backs, Bisbee being birthed from a mining town. A lot of people around the area struggle with business, and some even struggle with keeping their house, and the remoteness of the area has caused some depression in some of the residents living there. But a lot of the people native to the town have said that festivals like this are really healthy for the town; the exposure, the rise in sales, and the general excitement was really helpful for the small city.

And I heard in the grapevine that this might become an annual thing! Let’s keep our fingers crossed. I’d love for ya’ll to come down next time and enjoy the scene that I experienced!

Here are a few pics I took from the trip. I really wish I thought more about it, I would have purchased a thrift store camera and taken more formal pictures of the band mates, sets, and artists. Enjoy!

Shadow/Self

To Expand on the Jungian theme, I created a book to discuss my Self, Shadow and Animus, using scanography for the imagery. I entitled it, “Archetypes”, which I will post up later. These two images posted are the illustrations for the Self (in white) and the Shadow (in black). Scanography is essentially using a scanner as photography for art work. You can move around to create cool effects, or add items onto the glass to create a different universe. Some people will make a box filled with things and place it on top of the scanner to create a scenery suspending in space.

It’s really cool.

I wish to try this out again.

To Hear Another’s Voice

This was a digital sketch I composed about  year ago for a lithograph idea. I was going thru a strange emotional time, in an uncomfortable setting. I felt it necessary to express to the external world the kind of convoluted abstractness going on inside my brain; for if I didn’t, I would begin to  lose connection with the everything.

However, words would have no function to describe such eccentric, in depth thoughts and feelings; they can only go so far. And so I began an idea with this, although, I like the collage by itself.

I was having articulate dreams about strangers that would interact with me on a very emotional level. This was when I became invested in Carl Jung, his beliefs, his followers, and those that hate him.

In this image, I was playing around with spiraling loneliness, of flesh, thought and virtue; but I was also toying with the idea of the Animus and the Shadow.

Plus, both of the actors seemed fitting; both known for composing lush beauty and airy grace, yet there is little known about the souls of either. Lost in Hollywood’s mystery of talent, drugs, sex, and good looks, it seems both have suffered their own set of personal dilemnas; something with which I feel most of us, regardless of background history, have dealt with at some point in their lives.

What’s love got to do with it?