Writing

handsSometimes I don’t really know what to write, and then I think oh, you shouldn’t write for the sake of writing, you should write because–because you’re trying to write something. Because you’re trying to convey something. Because there’s a story you have to tell, a thought to flesh out, a destination to get to. You’re driving your point home.

But I don’t always have a point or a story or destination. And then I remember how I used to squirrel away hours just stabbing down words, stringing together sentences, writing whatever I wanted just because. Because it was fun and it made me happy and I didn’t really care if people read it or loved it or hated it. It was like rubbing on unscented lotion. It’s therapeutic, no one really knows you’re wearing it, and it’s something you do for yourself. You’re not trying to leave behind little scent fragments of yourself. You’re just doin’ you.

And I like how writing’s an avenue to sort things out. It’s like talking through a problem, but writing through ideas instead. I’ll start off with a nebulous idea of what I’m going for, or something I’m trying to get out and by the end of, oh, five or ten pages, I’ll have come to some conclusion. That, or at least have reached greater clarity on something than I would’ve if I hadn’t written it at all. Thinking is thinking: chaotic and constant. Feeling is feeling: sometimes uncontrollable and inexplicable and discomforting. Writing’s sorting through that. If my head were a tree raining varied thought-leaves, then writing’s my little rake.

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Snowfall

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Snow came hailing (hailing hail, hail isn’t the one thing that hails) down all of Saturday, blanketed the city in a coat of white. On the walk back home, post snowball-fight and snowfall-shoot and snow-name-carving, we marveled at the small flakes, crystallized asymmetry, dainty and ephemeral.Pinprick patterns of cold dust, size of freckles. Imagine if we could store these in jars indefinitely, keep each one intact. Snow way this comes from the sky, Instagram caption.

The Art of Shit-Talking

BFF. Photo credit: Society 6

I am not entirely sure how far back my eyes can roll at this point.

So there was an invite to a massive organization’s dinner, which I attended a few years ago, and a place to list on the RVSP if you knew anybody there. I asked my old roommate–who recently invited me to her intimate fancy birthday dinner, whom my friend and I footed the dinner bill for–if she was going.

She said yes, I said cool.

Wondering how she was doing, I looked at her public blog, where she immediately wrote my name, rattled off about how fake and uncaring I am, and how it pained her deeply to talk to me (because we talk that often, right?–we’d hung out maybe once the past year). And so, in an effort to be the bigger man, she had to respond, because, you know, she’s the “bigger person” and this “restored her” to some state of inner peace.

And then I said hey, don’t use my name. She then apologized that she was sorry (for what? that I caught you talking shit about me?) How was I supposed to respond to that? So I didn’t.

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A Year of Digital Painting

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Spent last Nov/December holed up into digital art, the one thing I derived a sense of stability from. With protests going on outside my room–constantly, it seemed–and wishy-washy people fluttering around and tests looming ahead, art was an escape.

So I drew. A lot. Mostly on the computer using Wacom tablets–the library had them. They had the Cintiq, a massive screen you can draw on, and smaller Wacom bamboo tablets. I’d spend hours a day drawing on Photoshop, learning from artists on Youtube, hunting out inspiration on DeviantArt.

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Blink. These are screenshots from an animation I worked on in February. I didn’t realize, until attempting animation, how much of it I took for granted–how tedious the process really was, how every 1/20 or 1/80 of a second had to be drawn by-hand. And only then could you piece together the slightest movement. (Though there are animation programs now, which speeds up the process)

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Ruby. I used this piece to practice digital shading. Creating depth/values on Photoshop is a quicker process than it is with oils and acrylics. With paint, you have to mix and dilute until you have the right shade and consistency; on Photoshop, it offers the entire color spectrum with all its variations. I was initially was frustrated with this piece until I threw in highlights–on the nose, lips and cheek–which added a lot more depth to the piece, and subsequent realism.

When it comes to shading, I’ll usually start out with a base color, add in shadows, then tentative highlights. I’ll go on to darken the shadows, do a bit of blending, and then add a final layer of the brightest (sometimes completely white) highlights. These are the little white dabs on her upper lip and nose bridge.

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This was my first digital sketch, done hurriedly over a one hour lunch break.

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A few days later, I decided to expand on the eye, to practice faces and portraits (my favorite! as you can probably tell), so I sketched her, who I never named–my first digital portrait.

Life Updates

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My boyfriend pointed out earlier today that I haven’t written much on my blog (“Well, sort of. I posted my art recently.” “No, I meant a journal entry.”) and for a moment I felt emotionally sweaty. Hm, well, why haven’t I? Because the thing is, I have been avidly writing, from midnight rants about psychology studies to utterly mundane journal entries– I just haven’t been publishing them. Think I’ve just been feeling self-conscious lately. So I’ve either distanced myself from the things I’ve written or felt nauseated about them, taken a step back from blogging to do other things instead, life things. But I might go ahead and publish some things I’ve written. Or maybe not.

Anyhow, I am… alive and kicking.

The past three weeks have been interesting. Well, maybe interesting’s too strong a word. Interesting connotes deviation, and I wouldn’t say they’ve been different or strange. They’ve been… pleasant. I spent the entire pre-Thanksgiving weekend at my best friend’s house, where I recorded her in slo-mo bellowing (she’s a really talented singer) to Christmas hits by Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande. I painted portraits; we cooked carbonara; the whole family went Thanksgiving dinner shopping. After this brief respite, I took yet another one, of Thanksgiving break, which felt like one big intake of fresh air. I hope you had a restful break! chirp emails. Well, I did have a restful break. Filled with family, food and sleep.

The week and a half since has been both mellow and fun. Lights are up, both in the city and in New York, so I’ve been visiting parks and spaces now glittery lit-up. Twinkling trees, glowing branches and whatnot. Over the weekend I went to New York City, which ended up being one wild adventure stuffed with dessert-y foods and rich pasta and spiked Korean watermelon and, of course, window displays and Christmas lights. Oh, and a missed bus and speed-walks down 50-60 blocks (this time through Times Sq. and Rockefeller Center and Saks 5th Avenue!) to catch the next bus. I’ve just finished going through the 300+ photos I took on the trip, and I’ll elaborate on it soon once I have more time. I’m also trying to use my camera more, too; I’ll start upchucking them onto here.

Time flies is one of those cliches you secretly hope will apply to you. And, well, it did for me. That we have one more week of classes left is appalling, that we’re nearly done is baffling, that it’s 20 days ’til Christmas is absurd, and insert-whatever-other-synonym-you’d-like. I haven’t honestly wrapped my mind around it, and I probably won’t until I have to, until I have to come with the wing-flapping nature of time. It feels like yesterday was September, the day before was August, and the day before that was February. The less you pay attention to time, the quicker it goes; I’ll try my best not to count down the next 15. And blog more while I’m at it.

Empire State of Mind

new york city skyline landscape photography

Photographed this about three years ago. I miss New York and all its lights; I’ve been itching to visit for the past year or so.  In my general consumption of rom-com movies–always based in NYC (of course) and around Christmas (yes), Christmas lights, in particular, have become somewhat of a myth.

So I’m going back soon–for the sixth time!–this time to see the Christmas lights!