You Can’t Win If You Don’t Try

This motivational article cropped up a few days ago, and it’s been sticking to my mind.  It echoes my thoughts nicely, the ones that are more feelings than coherent sentences.  Here’s what Jon Acuff has to say, and what I agree with:

You will work harder at something you love than something you like.
You will work harder than you have ever worked when you start chasing a dream.
You will get up earlier and go to bed later.
Joy is an incredible alarm clock.
It will wake you up and keep you up and pick you up and gently pull you through a thousand rejections along the way.

The feeling of late-night-computer/creative-project-hangover is very familiar to me, as I used to make websites before things like WordPress or Dreamweaver or even FrontPage came along.  Remember the Angelfire/Geocities days of the late 90’s?  Right.  If you’ve been following along at all you’ll recall that trip down memory lane.  It’s the one where  was supposed to pop out of a cake and make me famous, or something.  😉

Here’s my library haul from this evening:

giant stack of books
Some funnin’ at the top:  Catcher in the RyePride and Prejudice and ZombiesFort Freak (what!? he wrote a book OUTSIDE the Game of Thrones Series?!?!two days later i notice he did NOT write it, he only EDITED it. even though his name is in giant print everywhere. grrr.)

Some learnin’ in the middle:  Learn Spanish With Batman: Rogues Gallery (yes that is a Spanglish comic book that I couldn’t resist picking up) – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intermediate SpanishSpanish Made Simple – Learn Spanish The Fast And Fun Way

The rest is art project researchin’:  Succulents: Nature’s Sculptural WondersShellOwls: The Silent FliersWild Birds of CaliforniaJellyfishThe Octopus: Phantom of the SeaDown in the Sea: The OctopusTentaclesButterfly & Moth

I picked up all those books because A) I wanted something fun to read, B) I’m trying to refresh my Spanish and C) I’m starting up a new series (will probably be encapsulated in The Fear Collective or something like that).  There’s definitely a lot stirring in my artsy subconscious, and I’m not one to try and quell it when it finally does peek its head out.  My thoughts were that all my cupcakes, robots, and bunnies have all been more of the cute-but-evil variety, definitely getting darker as they go.  There’s a recent Bunny painting that is hard for me to complete because it actually triggers my dizziness, but it’s almost done.  Now this new kick is going to be me and some of my fears.  Birds, moths, creatures with sharp bits, deep water stuff.  Why not, right?  Is my goal to get over my fears by some sort of immersion?  That wasn’t the plan, but if it works, that’d be nice.  Here’s a secret: when I opened the “Butterfly & Moth” book, just to browse and see if it had what I needed, I started to panic a bit.  My skin was crawling, it was not good. That’s how I knew it will do what it needs to do.

You’ll notice there are no books about spiders, bees, or flying/biting/stinging insects, and that’s because I am effing TERRIFIED of them.  I’m not that brave right now, sorry.

Anyway, here’s hoping the outcome is shaped similarly to what’s in my mind.  I’ll have some base sketches by tomorrow – if I type that, I plan on following through with it, so this is me crossing my fingers.

Digressing a bit – back to Jon’s article up top.  He mentions the alarm clock of joy, which reminds me of how enjoyable my manic stages are (despite the undesirable effects of sleep deprivation).  At working harder, that’s also true – if I only kind of liked shading in circles to give them depth, I wouldn’t do it during long phone calls.  It wouldn’t calm me down or keep me entertained during flights.  I wouldn’t pick up books hoping to see a photo or a phrase that sparks off something in my mind that absolutely MUST BE sketched out or painted.  I wouldn’t try to feed my compulsions.  I wouldn’t care what my final product really looked like; it wouldn’t bother me if the edge wasn’t totally crisp.  At getting up earlier and going to bed later, that’s also true – my alarm is set for less than 7 hours from now.  I don’t function well on less than 8 hours of sleep, but if this blog entry doesn’t get written and I don’t at least flip through some of the books there will be a mental hangnail that bothers me for the rest of the week.

On hope, and rejections… well, let’s just say that even though I’ve heard my fair share of the word No in various forms, I still keep on keepin’ on.  The creative process – creation itself – it’s what I am.  The pieces that don’t turn out perfectly, the emails that don’t get answered, they all just keep driving me.  Even when the only sound is my nails scraping off the bottom of the barrel, after a brief hiatus of lying in a pool of self pity, I take a deep breath and pick up that mechanical pencil just one more time, because this might be it.

Then suddenly, wonderfully, it is.

Something clicks.

That is why I keep going – not for money, not for infamy (though bonus points for anyone else saying ANYTHING I made is awesome) – but for that one tiny feeling of remembering what it’s like to see something on paper that is EXACTLY what needed to get out of my head.

Some people say that real artists are never happy with their work, they never accept compliments.  Someone says, “Wow – your work is amazing!” and they say “Eh, it’s not that good, look at this flaw and that flaw and that blue is less turquoise than I wanted and it’s actually a 44-degree angle not 45 and and and”.  The person trying to pay the compliment just looks and says something like, “Yeah, I can’t draw a straight line, and you drew THAT, it’s incredible, just hush”.

I think once you stop caring about your work’s imperfections, that’s when you stop being an artist.  Your imperfections are what make your work what it is, and they are what drive you to do the next thing.  I have a hard time writing all this because (personally) even claiming to be an artist… who am I, this random nobody, claiming to be in The Ranks of Artists?  That word: ARTIST, it’s reserved for those of Dali ilk; sculptors that make magic out of a block of clay or music from a sheet of dots and lines.  It’s reserved for the old masters and the new technical geniuses.  I will never feel worthy of calling myself an artist, and will always feel like some sort of sham.

It all feels very hypocritical, and much like wearing jeans that have been in the dryer too long. An uncomfortable sort of stiff tightness, and when you put them on the other day the zipper worked just fine, but today it sticks and doesn’t lie flat.

An “ARTIST” is defined as follows…

From Google:
art·ist

noun /ˈärtist/
artists, plural

  • A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby
  • A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker
  • A person skilled at a particular task or occupation
    • – a surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel
  • A performer, such as a singer, actor, or dancer
  • A habitual practitioner of a specified reprehensible activity
    • – a con artist
    • – rip-off artists

Web definitions

  • a person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination
    • (artistic) relating to or characteristic of art or artists; “his artistic background”
  • (artistic) satisfying aesthetic standards and sensibilities; “artistic workmanship”

From Dictionary.com:

1.a person who produces works in any of the arts  that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2.a person who practices one of the fine arts,  especially a painter or sculptor.
3.a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.: a commercial artist.
4.a person who works in one of the performing arts,  as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer: a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5.a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.

From Wiki:
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art.

From Merriam-Webster:

1 a  obsolete : one skilled or versed in learned arts
b
archaic : physician
c archaic : artisan
2 a : one who professes and practices an imaginative art
b
: a person skilled in one of the fine arts
c : a skilled performer; especially : artiste
3 : one who is adept at something <con artist> <strikeout artist>

Examples of ARTIST

  1. the great artists of the Renaissance

So… that’s the classical definition.  I don’t know where I’m going with all of it, but I know I will never give up.  It’s part of me.

It’s A Nice Day For A …Trip To The Fabric Store?

It’s a typical San Diego Sunday: mid-70’s, light breeze, strains of music floating through the neighborhood. The curtains are all drawn back and the house is getting a nice airing out. There’s been a light winter cleaning – sorted out a drawer of canned goods, cleaned off the random debris on top of the fridge (so THAT’S where my hummingbird feeder nectar went to!), and started laundry. I’m taking a little break to write before heading out to the dollar store for hairspray, which will hopefully aid me in my attempt to do a fauxhawk.

My hair is a bit long, but I’m hoping to achieve something like this:

Also, I found THE BEST volume hair tip ever (for real). Go check out the video, and watch the whole thing. I’m sure it helps if you have a flat iron, but my house is very product-and-accessory free, so … yeah. Dollar store it is.

So, the fabric store.

My wonderful lovely creative fabulous friend Morgan is getting MAWWIED in September, oh-em-gee, and she’s been sweet enough to send an invite to Casa de Awesome. (Yes, that’s my house’s name.) It’ll be in Seattle, a place I’ve always wanted to go – ceremony at an old gas works and reception at a yat club. Some people say yacht, some say yat, and that’s what we’re calling it right now. 😉

Look how cute their wedding site is! Matt & LindsayMorgan

Since the two of us here have been getting more involved and interested in steampunk lately, it seemed like the perfect occasion to acquire some apparel in that genre. So began The Great Outfit Search.

First of all, the stuff is not cheap. It’s not cheap because it’s all custom made, and generally of good quality. As are most discussions (surprisingly and thankfully) – most fans of the genre tend to be well spoken and well read. It’s a nice change if you want to give your brain a break from YouTube or ICanHasCheezburger comments.

The thing about it is that a lot of people do tend to just “glue some gears on it and call it SteamPunk”, myself being one of them. Yes, some people say if the gears/buckles/bells and whistles aren’t functional then it’s all for naught, but you can’t deny the aesthetic appeal.

Here’s an example.

Plain Black Arm Cuff

Steampunk Arm Cuff:

See? Just glue some gears on it. And if anybody wants to track down the manufacturer of that second cuff and then PURCHASE the cuff for me I’d be much obliged. I bet you dollars to donuts (best phrase ever) that it’s at least a hundred bucks if it’s hand-tooled or anything.

We got to talking here at The Casa, and J feels that he’s capable of sewing things. Maybe even clothes. After picking both my eyebrows off the ceiling, we talked about local fabric stores and how I want to make my own mini cocktail top hat instead of paying $150 for the one that caught my eye. So after breakfast, he crutched on over to the local Discount Fabric Store where we looked at all the awesome items. I spent most of last night looking for a hat pattern/tutorial, and he spent most of yesterday looking for a vest pattern. It was fun.

Anyway, we have the beginnings of a sewing kit, and an old holiday popcorn gallon tin is where the excess fabric will go for now. I think we can pull something off.

I’m not sure who this new crafty person is that’s living with me, but I like him.

New Chapter

It’s my first day back to work after regular weekend + 1 day PTO for being ill. Both of my physical inboxes and my email inbox are completely full, and the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend definitely has a lot on my plate work-wise as well. This is all good, because it’s better to be busy than bored. The only tough thing is trying to tackle everything in a major DayQuil haze, but I’m just working through one piece of paper at a time.

Taking a little break from that mountain to talk about something else… my book. Oh man, you guys. I’ve started books before, but this is the first one that ever has felt like something that wasn’t an overwhelming project. There’s a lot of work and research involved, to be sure, but at least this one feels like something that isn’t impossible to complete. I looked into getting Scrivener but don’t have the funds to buy a license right now, so GoogleDocs it is (for the moment). My thing has been just to pop open an email or blank Word doc and start writing whenever something pops into my brain, paste it into the file I have (online) and figure out the mess later. There will be research and revisions, sure, but overall it feels pretty solid. I even have a couple extra books that are brewing – like sequels, but also like additions to the collection. It feels good.

So cross your fingers and hopefully this works out.

Back to the regular grind, have a good one!

Rain Rain Go Away

Originally I was going to say “I haven’t done anything today”, but that’s not true.

If you want to count “making tea” or “eating oatmeal” or “surfing the internet mindlessly for three hours”, then sure! Things have been done. Just nothing of importance or that is on my list to do today.

The rain looks to have stopped though, so after this post I’ll get moving.

There’s supposed to be a lunar eclipse tonight (running into tomorrow), the first one to happen on Winter Solstice since 1638. Or 1648. Either way, if you get the chance to see it you better get on it.

Link time!

I’m listening to Rhumba Shake by Chris Cutz. It makes me want to shake-shimmy-shake-shake.

My friend Denice updated her blog, “Our Daily Feed“. She’s smart and adorable and loves food just about as much as I do.

I just found Bedtimes are for Suckers and Short Fat Dictator, further validating my logic that I don’t need to have children, I just need to hang out with people who do. It works well.

Beyond that, I haven’t been updating you kids with the stuff that’s been getting made, so here’s a little shot of something a client requested.

I will probably be burning things in the desert for New Year’s or going to Sabbat, but if you’re around you should go to River Bar. It’s free!

Spinster in the Making

It’s been some time since my last venture into this blog. The WordPress side of things has been neglected in lieu of my MySpace, Vox, and LiveJournal… but I’m back now!

The word count that updates as you’re typing an update on here is really distracting.

My newest obsession is home decor. It all really started when my boyfriend’s parents came to visit. Truth be told, home decor and general interior design has always been in my head, but they are the ones who made me feel like we really should be doing more with this place. Not only that, but that things actually could be done with this apartment. The local Ikea here was built only a year or two before my move to San Diego, however I’d visited the one in the Pittsburgh region many times prior.

“Two people are needed to assembly this furniture.”
It says that on the tag as well as on the website.

We almost bought this sofa in this color, but it was either the new entertainment/storage monstrosity or a baby shelving system and the new sofa. I also wanted these open-back wooden boxes (kind of like shadowboxes) that could be mounted to the wall separately; so I could put them between the little round mirrors that are up. That way there would be somewhere to put all the CDs and DVDs and my art crap.

Anyway, since we haven’t sold our old sofa yet (and it’s too huge to get out of the apartment alone), I said who needs groceries?! and bought the Shelving Beast.

I’m not sure where this blog will go, but I’d like it to focus on reviews of my attempts at being domestic. Let’s start off with window shopping. The links in the following post will be embedded into this blog at some point, but for now we can just peruse the Links of Ultimate Want.

Something I’ve been looking into lately is shelving systems. When you have a tiny apartment, or at least an artist+gamer boyfriend+cat living in less than 1000 square feet, you need to think of how to store all their unique items. My last trip to Ikea introduced me to wall-mounted shelving, and this T-Shelf over at Chiasso does something very similar.

The one at Ikea could, I believe be separated into multiple tiny storage units, and would look great between the small round mirrors hanging up here in the bedroom. Another option would be a quick purchase of wood from Home Depot, and you could make your own custom sizes, which you’d be free to paint however you wanted. Now if only we could find that hammer…

Apparently enjoying organizing my apartment and making little crafty things means I am now boring, but at least my knitting needles won’t get rusty, right?

Scratch that – I actually like embroidering better than knitting.

New and shiny.

The original subject header was “Hello, world!”, but I opted out of that one for the moment.

First and foremost, this is an introductory post to what I’m hoping will not be another failed attempt at productivity. His name is drunkbunny. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, but I wanted to get a web presence up sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’ve been consuming a lot of this swill and pronouncing it good.

No news on the yoga as of yet. Too many parking tickets and bills to take care of, including car & glasses repair.

The work is done, but how no one can see; tis this that makes the power not cease to be.

Hello, world.

After several attempts at working with my cgi-bin and random blogging software, I’ve come across WordPress.  Despite being yet another free account in an already oversaturated blogosphere, I’ll do my best to maintain professionalism.  Feel free to check out my links for a little less of that.