Heart

2016-01-30_1454197656.jpg

SO you take it upon yourself to judge the content of someone’s heart without ever having the chance to rip open a chest to peer inside. Instead you look at the way their arms flail or their facial expression, the way they extend a hand or recoil in fear. On a bench or through a friend of a friend, you decide on which adjectives you’ll use to describe this heart.

You decide that:

the heart is open, the heart is cold, the heart is kind, the heart is distant, the heart is hardened, the heart is shut-off, the heart is readable, the heart is murky, the heart is big. The heart is stony. The heart is a million things except for what it simply is: a heart.

It never occurs to you that: maybe we’re all just wasting our time trying to superimpose these value judgments on an organ. But that doesn’t stop us.

Advertisements

Two Paths Diverged | Daily Art

may 1st

The road not taken, Robert Frost.

5.1.18| Daily Art


may 2nd

 

Violet wash.

5.2.18| Daily Art


may 5th

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

5.3.18| Daily Art


ezgif.com-video-to-gif (2)

Doodling designs for you, coolpeppermint: blog, creative outlet, little corner of the Internet.

5.4.18| Daily Art


ezgif.com-video-to-gif (3)

Playing with colors, art therapy.

5.5.18 & 5.6.18| Daily Art

City

The city is tired, the city is alive. The city is moving, the city lies still. A stop motion. A slow motion. When the light turns green I cross anyway, counting down the milliseconds, swiveling my sight in circles.

The city, from far away, sparkles and sprinkles and glitters and glows. Juxtapositions sit at every street corner. The homeless slump by the chatty elite, carry cardboard signs by their fine wine glasses. Angry bright lights glare. Still cold lampposts hang. I play the streets by ear, following the crowd, hoping to god that I’m moving southeast, not north.

The city overwhelms. Screams, honks, turns right because it’s right on red. Showers rain like a garden hose lite, like a childhood treat on summery southern days. Spinning and laughing in a one-piece, now cold and shuddering in jorts, jean shorts.

The city is zha. A mess. Tight cold fear plus high strung steps. I quicken my pace as the alleyways add up and it’s no longer hipster city. I hear there are Cambodian gangs by sixth and that it ain’t pretty up North but in the South it’s just fine. Just fine. Except at home, I whisper–like it’s a curse word and I’m a clean-mouthed spiritual believer–this would be the ghetto.

The city houses nail salon after nail salon. Our nail salon’s next to the gas station. Open doors. First breeze of summer wafts in. A woman with acrylic stuck in her nail drifts in, “you can remove this?” You don’t want new nails? A new coat? “Nah, just get rid of this.” Five minutes later she leaves muttering under her breath because she doesn’t want to soak them-she wants to rip them off.

The city is gritty, the city is loud, the city is terrifying, the city is striking, the city is cold. I skip down the steps to the train, slot in my coins, smile at the receiver who seems unusually patient and friendly. I pace my way back and forth as I wait stonily for the trolley.

The city is a million breaths at once, all breathing, breathing, breathing. And I’m afraid–once in love, but now just afraid.

Lost in my Mind

Scarlet scarfs frayed at the edges. Orange-yellow bulbs of life, warm against the blue black bruises of the cold outside. Home is a phone call away.

The coffeeshop is empty, save for the hawkish worker with the light eyes who started a few years ago. He wasn’t here when I was ten, when this place was new, and I only ever asked for mango smoothies.

And it’d come out artificial-creamy sweet, rich sun yellow against a dollop of white. I’d scoop out the whipped cream with the outer edge of my straw, slurp it into a pathetic heap at the corner I couldn’t reach.

______

Familiar strumming overhead. A lollying tune, an indie low-whine. Drawn out wail of a banjo and musician who sounds like he sports a beard and wears pea-green jackets with camo sleeves,

Lost in my mind, lost in my mind, I’ve been lo-o-o-o-st—

They play this song every time I come in. It’s on the coffeeshop playlist, and it always has ben, unchanging, carved in time, shaping my own musical preferences as I bury my head in words.

______

Insomnia. There’s a softened edge to memory, to memory’s memory of insomnia, to memory’s memory of the insomniac’s late-night thoughts. Other things mattered then, trivial things, mind-numbing replays of the inconsequential, and that was what kept me up.

______

The things that matter now stand in sharp relief against the mindset I’d held then.

Sun streams in through the window. On five hours of sleep, I crawl out of bed.

At this coffeeshop, littered with people working hard and hardly working, I order nothing from the bar. I bring a water in. I peruse through reddit and creepypasta and play psychic word games. When I pass the counter, the barista jokes about throwing out my water container, but I can’t tell if it’s a joke, so I laugh as though it is, and throw the water out.

Overheard, Lost in my Mind plays. And for a moment, I’m enmeshed in the warm cocoon of nostalgia, buried in tunnel vision.

Insomniac’s Rmble

photo diary photography iphone photoblog curtains

The insomniac has a song. It’s not a song, it’s a warble. It does math problems at 1:29 in the morning and curses at small bladders. It tallies up why the studies show that we lose two friends for every romantic relationship you gain and why it doesn’t matter. I kept things from you anyways. 

It ruminates over slander, and how it can’t be slander if it’s true.

The insomniac has a cry. A cry about blacklisted tags. About puffs of light brown, one, two, minus three. On existentialist concerns, but mostly practical ones. On critical tirades, on bi-monthly tantrums. And nightmarish things. This is why you don’t binge horror on a plane.

The insomniac has a dream. A daydream. An elaborate daydream about coconut cream and custard and condensed milk at the cusp of a cup. It wants to listen. All it wants to do is listen. And it dreams, more, of listening. Of evolving into a massive, massive ear. So tight-lipped, you are.

Nebulous Nebula | Daily Art

Here’s a clean compilation of daily art posts that I did between April 1st to 14th. I’m trying something new out for the month, an idea I’ve been toying with since March–instead of churning out a sketch per day, I’ll be posting a weekly post on Sunday.

april 1st

Missed deadlines. You know the way water suddenly stimulates creativity and forgotten reminders? This was one. I missed the design deadline. And it’s been on my mind.

4.1.18 | Daily Art


april 2ndd

Crooning mellow tunes, soul’s skyrocket to fame banking on the nostalgic dust-coated memories of an idyllic high school days. We’re just like that one song, young, dumb and broke, except we’re not broke, just young and dumb. 

Khalid’s been playing on repeat, from early AM origami folding to concentrated midday digital doodles to nighttime vibes.Numbers saved lest one day you chalk up the pride to come back and say hi. Tell me where your love lies, love lies.

4.2.18 | Daily Art


april 5th

If I had a spirit cartoon, it’d probably be Diane Nguyen from Bojack Horseman.

Diane’s this smart and nerdyish character who’s into writing (she’s penning Bojack’s bibliography) and third wave feminism and books. Not one for social gatherings. Freaks out when her husband throws parties and does wild gestures. Hates surprises. Is a “misunderstood intellectual.” On the stubborn side. Quiet. 

Granted, I’m not Diane Nguyen–it’s just that, of all my favorite cartoon characters, I identify with her most. I love Stewie, but I can’t identify with Stewie; Louise Belcher is great, but more adorably conniving than I could imagine; Rick Sanchez is a wild, slightly sociopathic genius, but he’s a kind of his own. Ah! Diane it is. 

4.5.18 | Daily Art


april 6th

You learn to curse on the playground. You’re doing cartwheels to synchronize to songs by the Cheetah Girls. Everyone’s got their legs and back straight, pinwheels dancing on rubber nuggets.

Meanwhile, you’re spitting shit so it rolls off your tongue, easy, and when your substitute teacher compares you to the dark-haired girl in Peanuts, you say, talk to the hand. And when your second grade best friend stares at you wide-eyed, incredulous, you laugh.

If every petal was one bad word, another angsty thought. That’s a lot of angsty thoughts.

4.6.18 | Daily Art


april-7.jpg

Lo and behold, a watercolor watermelon.

4.7.18 | Daily Art


april-8.jpg

There are no mountains where I live. Nor are there cherry blossoms. But this image, of flowers in bloom, nature’s puff, of tiny yellow homes by the mountainside, struck nuggets of peace in my heart.

The city, in contrast, is so loud. Angry hum of bus engines, people scuttling around, loud. Cars on concrete continually. Whirs and roars and squeals and squeaks. Chorus of ambulance sirens every. half. hour. Sounds I tune out over time. But in the morning, when I tried a solid minute of meditation, all I could hear was the din I’d learned to shut out.

Madness. I’m channeling nature instead, albeit in 2D illustrations.

4.8.18 | Daily Art


april-9.jpg

Sometimes I’ll feel little spurts of gratitude–this time, it was for the closest people in my life. Ah! What are you grateful for?

4.9.18 | Daily Art


april-10.jpg

A nebula of nebulous thoughts, decisions, plans–or lack thereof. Of paths less traveled, of roads well-worn.

One day, it’ll seem so obvious–an epiphany, albeit late, will hold the answer to every qualm. The next day, one naysaying opinion in the middle of design will cast long shadows of doubt.

Nebula, nebulous. In looking ahead, I can opt either to diverge, or to trudge upwards. But towards what?

4.10.18 | Daily Art


A visual attestment to the importance of brows. This is a late-night sketch of a random girl, whose face I merged graphite with digital medium. Toyed around with the brows for kicks and giggles. Same image, parallel face;
she looks (subtly) different!

4.11.18  & 4.12.18 | Daily Art


april 13

I asked my boyfriend from caption ideas. “Beauty covers beauty,” he suggested. Like: Beauty over beauty. Beauty superimposed upon beauty. Beauty of nature. Beauty of reflections.

4.13 & 4.14

Sensory Clash: Washington, D.C

2018-03-29 09:28:58.458

The streets of D.C are wider, quieter, flatter, cleaner. D.C isn’t as frantic as New York. Or as gritty as Philly. Or as schizophrenic as Austin. There’s something immaculate about D.C., instead, something steely and modern and calm.

From up here, I watch the slow scenes of the city unfold. Cars whizz by, colorful legos beneath our legs. Human beans cross the crosswalks, Beatles-style, almost in slo-mo. Lotion pink berries bloom in angry succession.

It’s my third time in Washington D.C. I welcome the sensory familiarities.

There’s a distinct vibe to the D.C metro, clash of smells and sights and sounds. Smell of metros, musk. Row of escalators, steep. Metro-card, bendy and flappy. Gripped tightly in my palm, lest I accidentally drop it–it’s our way out, this card.

We’re encircled by large beige arches. I’m constantly reminded: we are in a giant tunnel.

The subway’s clean. Stops are quick. There’s a sign above a girl’s head that indicates where we are, and the announcer’s clean voice projects from the speakers, and she’s telling us we’re at this stop, that stop. It’s not our stop, and then it is, and we hop off the subway, back into the station, where we scan our Metro cards on the way out.

2018-03-29 16:32:31.237

We exit Union Station. It’s a high-end train station, fancy airport-style. It’s got spiral staircases leading up to shops and restaurants and balcony areas on the second floor. Statues and pillars greet us from the entrance. Out and back, in and through, and we’ve hopped onto the train again, and we’re hailing home.