Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Sky

I took this picture with my cell phone a couple of days ago. I was standing outside my car waiting on my grandmother to come out the house so that I could drive her to the grocery store. I had just gotten off work in the early afternoon, excited that I was going to have some days off where anything was possible. Including the opportunity to do absolutely nothing for a day.

I think in many ways the picture represents how minutiae we can appear to be as people in this uncontrollable, measureless Universe, but also how it is true that what we believe forms into tangible possibilities. Added to that is why it is important to keep believing, because when you think about it, what else is there to do but look up at the sky and believe that your hopes and wishes will fall upon you. Each of us has that little seed of prayer and faith that fuels the unforeseen. So what is our purpose other than watering it with hope and chasing it down into reality?

I think of this with so many negative things in the media concerning social and civil issues. So much disparity, misunderstandings and hate. Things that I keep tuning out of in moments when I feel the need to respond. However, I constantly decide not to. Why would I want to attract those things into my life when I am trying to save it?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tar Baby

Toni Morrison’s Tar Baby was an amazing book. However, I first must admit that it took me about 150 pages before I finally, finally really got into the book. After that it took me a single day to swallow it down with a satisfying gulp. I also can’t believe it took me years to even get the book, after having read many of her novels with finger-licking happiness. I read a range of books by different authors of different ethnic backgrounds, but I love Morrison’s books mostly because I love reading about black people, or in essence, people sharper in my range of background familiarity and social positioning.  People who think and have the same thoughts and anxieties as I.  People that devise recipes and share folkloric stories that heed about the tragedies of being black in America.  I find much of that and more resonating without a whimper in Morrison's stories, therefore she has always been a clear choice on days when I want to explore these kernels of meaning.  

Now, I must add that I am much more of a Toni Morrison fan pre her Jazz novel. Though I enjoy her novels (as we know now) she is not always easy to read.  Sometimes it takes a minute to get into the gears of her novels, but once there it's a gently rocking sailboat ride to the end.  However, something about her works from the 90’s forward takes a little more work for me to find the coherency between her poetic syntax of her storytelling.  A Mercy is one example where I opened the book and had no idea where the hell I was and was going because of the overload of poetic passages.  Sometimes, I just need a character in a setting saying what he/she has to say to another to get me loaded and invested.

But I digress...

I wanted to write this blog not to get into a review of Tar Baby, because it would be terrible for me to start book reviews with material by someone as complex a writer as Toni Morrison.  Besides, who am I to review books when I read them for emotion.  I really just wanted to express my rounding thoughts about what the book left me with.  As well as how I reverberated (though it took me a minute) with Jadine Childs’ point of view toward the end of one of the material's many disputes against disowning your race and so on.

Now, there are a thousand reviews and analysis on the book, especially considering its initial 1981 release (two years before I was born). So people have already spoken about the gender role complexities of the novel. Not to mention the civil/uncivil race relations between blacks and whites.  Entitlements and suffering.  The haves and have nots. Themes in the novel range from removing and finding one’s African roots.  As well as incorporating into white society; necessary or not for an affluent lifestyle? Definitions of beauty and acceptance are also thrown in the thematic mix, and so much more in your classic Toni Morrison eye-opening fashion.  So it's all been picked over in peer essays and research papers across the globe.  Why even attempt to do any more?

However, I just want to talk about what I walked away from the novel feeling, because the closer I got to the end, the more I felt like I had to choose sides between the two main characters: Jadine and Son.

Tar Baby’s main character is a motherless woman named Jadine Childs. She is an African-American fashion model who spends much of the novel in the Caribbean where her aunt and uncle work as the help to two wealthy Caucasian individuals (husband and wife) with their own, dark back-story that unfolds throughout the novel. Nonetheless, these wealthy individuals provided Jadine with an education throughout her years, as well as a pedigree of sorts. With this upbringing, and her strong interest in art, Jadine aspires to own her own business and continue to explore the world with a near privileged perspective of her life removed from her black roots.

Then there is a fugitive named, Son. Son is an African-American man who comes from the South. He’s on the run after finding his wife in bed with a teenage boy, thus driving his car through the house killing his wife whereas the boy lived. So in the proceeding off-stage events, Son becomes a stowaway on a boat that makes its way to the Caribbean, eventually finding himself in the presence of Jadine and her white patrons. Morrison reveals much of Son’s tired journey from a lurker of the wealthy Caribbean-dwelling family, to an intruder, then eventually to a prized guest (exclusively to the patriarch) of the family.  With this Morrison sets the stage for the dynamics between Son and Jadine as they both began to butt heads concerning ethnic responsibilities as well as tango with their desire for one another.

Not to spoil or give away much of the book, but the story leads us readers to Manhattan where Son and Jadine began their sort of committed courtship with one another. During this period Jadine is constantly nudging Son to go to college and find himself a real job--a career.  She also shares ideas of traveling and starting a business together with him.  This nudging spoke to me that Jadine wanted to "save" Son's future with a “proper” education, and being aware of his Southern background, save his cultural outlook as well. To Jadine, this can be done with financial assistance from her own white patron and somewhat friend to Son.  This white patron is, of course, the patriarch from the wealthy Caribbean family the two left to purse life in New York.  So while Jadine is falling in love with Son, she, quiet frankly, looks down on him.  Or better yet, she can't get pass certain aspects that make up his mentality and directions with life.  However, the same can be said from Son’s perspective of her. Here, Son wants to "save" Jadine from what he perceives is her sort of “whitewashed” world of thinking, believing that Jadine should stop trying to fit into that world and accept that she is not only black, but not as privileged as she believes.

This is where I started to understand the novel, even in regards to the many other elements happening between Son and Jadine as well as the other characters.  I started to feel like I was suppose to pick a side between Jadine or Son. Do I take root in one concept over the other? Or is there a gray area?

When Son took Jadine to this hometown in the South, Eloe, did I sympathize with Jadine’s point-of-view because it beat against something inside of me on an idiosyncratic level. In Eloe, Jadine was introduced to women and men who more or less “represented” the sort of dominated position that African-American’s faced in America. In retrospect I see that the visit was going to be too much for Jadine when her first words upon entering the town was: “This is a town… It looks like a block. A city block. In Queens” (244). Eloe is too small for Jadine. It is too narrow. Yet… recognizably familiar, or not too distant for her fancy sensibilities.  Now, that doesn't mean she put on airs about entering Eloe, she just knew that despite her reluctance, there will be a way out of there.  Therefore, Jadine was willing to continue along with the journey. However, the more Jadine explores and confronts what she sees in Eloe, the more she is ready to take Son (her lover and "prodigy") and escape. It is particularly the women of Eloe that causes Jadine to panic, so much so that she sees the “spirits,” or reflections, of these women within the people of Eloe.  The passage I favored in my decision to become somewhat Team Jadine reads:

“The women had looked awful to her: onion heels, potbellies, hair surrendered to rags and braids. And the breasts they thrust at her like weapons were soft, loose bags closed at the tips with a brunette eye. Then the slithery black arm of the woman in yellow, stretching twelve feet, fifteen, toward her and the fingers that fingered eggs. It hurt, and part of the hurt was in having the vision at all--at being the helpless victim of a dream that chose you. Some was the frontal sorrow of being publicly humiliated by those you had loved or thought kindly toward. A little bitty hurt that was always gleaming when you looked at it. So you covered it over with a lid until the next time. But most of the hurt was dread. The night women were not merely against her (and her alone--not him), not merely looking superior over their sagging breasts and folded stomachs, they seemed somehow in agreement with each other about her, and were all out to get her, tie her, bind her. Grab the person she had worked hard to become and choke it off with their soft loose tits.” (262)
Beyond the amazingly poetic syntax, this passage is amazing to me because Morrison caused me--the reader--to feel the swell of panic inside of her character, Jadine.  This is where I began to realize that I was in fear of Jadine just as well as myself. Now, I most certainly do not have the prestigious background that a character such as Jadine has. No white man directly took care of my educational and cultural needs. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon, and I am from and currently remain in my home city in the South.  Which isn‘t so bad only that I know my potential lies in other cities and countries just as I dreamt to be free to explore them with my talents. However, I know what it’s like to see your surroundings and fear that you will become and remain one with it, even if you are proud of where you come from. So in that respect I acknowledge that I am different than the character of Jadine, and we certainly don’t see/view our race and others the same.
However, her anxiety at seeing the women of Eloe translated within me my anxiety of being stuck in my own surroundings.  And I believe this sort of anxiety applies to anyone with racial circumstances far removed. 
When Jadine asked for better out of Son I felt both her urgency and a reemerging of feeling for someone to ask for better out of myself.  Other readers may see it differently and disagree. Maybe see it from a layer so conceptual and complex that even I might change my mind. But I still felt and understood Jadine’s desires because I grew up feeling  pieces of that way.  I mean, let's be honest.  It didn't mean I wanted to run and disown my background, it just meant I wanted to stretch myself as an individual.  My biggest fear in life is not necessarily snakes, rats, or even being murdered on the streets, while they all are fear inducing.  No, my biggest fear is failure to reach my potential. Now, with all of the self-help and inner work I’ve been doing, I’ve learned to accept that there is no such thing as such. That life always gives us what we need. That our thoughts are things and therefore it is important to think and speak in an enlightening and positive manner.
So I am in no way siding with Morrison's purpose for Jadine to disregard one's cultural background.  But I do know that tension, that panic, that swell of anxiety that comes across me when I want so much more for my life and the people surrounding me.  When I look at my surroundings and all the things I don't particularly want and believe is "right" for me, I pray for me to recognize that I deserve more and to realize how to find such for myself.  Maybe the one thing I believe Jadine doesn't know that I know is what it is like to scream day-after-day for the opportunity to simply shine, feeling as if no one prepared or groomed me to do it so it comes from within in another form.

At the end of the day, I just want this blog post to express how I know what it's like to want to escape.  To want more for yourself than what is immediately before you even if it is a part of you and your make up as a person, but not necessarily an individual.

Morrison, Toni. Tar Baby. New York: Vintage International, 2004. Print.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Check Him Out

While it is Wednesday (6/19/2013), and I haven't started on my goal of two drawings per week yet, I must finish revealing my wins and fails of last week. Also, flipping through my portfolio I found an additional drawing that I (for whatever reason) did not add in my initial plans.

Let’s start with the win from last week, besides the cherry blossom drawing I posted previous.  You see, I had to quickly make up for a fail that happened, so I drew the drawing below as quickly as possible while I was off from work last Friday.  I just wanted to make a quick sketch of a cute guy, and while it is summer, I have fall-like leaf stickers to help elaborate his use of sipping a hot mocha.  I've been itching to use some of the prints I bought over the past month and that is where the color lies in his hair, shirt and earring.  The reason I added it to his hair was because I loved the color so much, and the drawing was such a quick shot, that I absolutely refused to waste any more of the paper.  Plus, I just like to try something different.  I am already away from the "traditional" sense of doing anything.  So why not continue to do it my way.  Anyway, after a couple of hours I was finished and had to scan the drawing a couple of times to get the scope that I felt I needed.  I walked around for a week with the drawing on my phone trying to figure out why I didn't like the scope before I changed it.  Any any regard, I love the turnout.  It is simple; a cute guy with nice skin and colorful hair that match his shirt.

I named him Kay (or Kei), after recently watching the Korean drama Nail Shop Paris.

 The drawing above was an emergency drawing to replace the picture below: my fail for the week.  The pseudo-shades must be excused because I royally screwed up the drawing below up and tried to fix it only to screw it up again.  I clearly messed up on the eyes, and the more I drew and colored, the more I realized it was going to be too late to fix them.  Still, I tried and made it worst.  I only use computers to revive color or add filters to my drawings, but here, I added these awful Paint program shades to disguise my screw up for this particular blog post.  Needless, to say, she will not be featured in anything but this blog post.  The idea I had was nice, though.  I wanted to combine felt with sticker jewels as a hat and purse.  Sort of like street and grimy.  In many ways, I have to relearn some of the methods I used in my past drawings to keep from making this mistake again.

The last drawing was done in 2008.  It is of the character Jiremi giving us curly mo hawk and easy eyes.  As mentioned, I wasn't sure why I never added this picture to the original collection I started with.  However, I am happy I've rediscovered my love of it.  As always, I need color and this has it.  There is a person this drawing was inspired by, yet those details are saved for another day. (^. ~)

While I haven't produced a drawing yet to fulfill my weekly challenge, I have to say that that's okay.  It's only Wednesday.  I'll get to it.  Quite honestly I have been wrapped up in using Hulu to watch Korean Dramas, playing The Last of Us, and reading Toni Morrison's Tar Baby.  These are all slight distractions, and like many things, fueled with upcoming inspiration.

Thanks for reading, everyone.  Have a blessed day.

Oh, and a link to my DeviantART page where you can see a full on collision of my drawings from lower skills to growth:

Quit or Get Fired...?

As I sit here and write this, I’m wondering what is the difference between wanting to walk out of your job and wanting to get fired from you job. Which is worst? Which is more “beneficial” than the other? See, I’m in circumstances that ask whether I want to do one or the other. As I stand there and take what this circumstance forces me to take, I try to layer my frustration with the honest realization that I should be (and am) grateful to have a job in the first place. Therefore, I chew over how grateful I am and continued to push forward doing the work.

It isn’t an extravagant coporate desk job. And for what it is I am severely underpaid, even with my abundance of experience. I think it really boils down to my frustration toward wanting something else--something more. Something of my own. Something I have been working toward by taking steps each day. Little steps. Baby steps. Hopeful steps. While working on matching my vision with my emotions so that the Universe can provide the reality.

Yet… that damn job is still there.

So I am happy when I am getting paid the little bit of “change” I get each week. With that money I can put a little more into buying the services and products I need to continue on my baby steps toward my bigger vision. However, that doesn’t always change that nagging desire for me to turn my back on my “day job” when in my heart and soul I keep feeling like there is something else trying to get my concentration. Trying to open me up to a fantastic new experience. Something along the proverbs of a person having to throw away the old to make room for the new comes to mind.

I could go into deep details, but I suppose I will reserve them just to get my expressions and feelings out about the situation. I realize I am lucky and that I have nothing to complain about. Perhaps if I were a little younger, and with a lot less direction, this wouldn’t faze me as much. But still, I am hungry for my future and its possibilities. And I can not shake the feeling that one day I have to learn to not be the hard working responsible employee and just walk away trusting that the God/the Universe has my Truth right around the corner waiting on me to catch up to it. Or that being jobless will force me to take those other leaps and risks to forward my vision within faith.

If anyone reading this understands what I am feeling, say ‘I’.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sweet Nothings...

Trying to get back into the swing of matters, I drew a quick "out-of-practice-on-a-whelm" drawing to test myself.  Maybe I need to be a little more patient with my angles, and I must regather my sense of blending colors for skin tone.  Overall, I am not totally disappointed.  I'm more upset that I just spent $20 on a 3-pack of Copic markers.  I spent all of Sunday looking for the ones I owned, bitching at the house.  It wasn't until I needed my crafts glue that I opened the toolbox I use as a sitting bench.  And there they were.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Just Do You!

I remember a time when I was attending the Art Institute of Atlanta where a drawing teacher discouraged all of his students from manga-style art. His words didn’t bother me so much because I like art in general, particularly cartooning.  I chose this style of drawing after my childhood exposure to animes such as Project A-Ko and Sailor Moon.  However, what did nudge at me about this teacher's discouraging words was whether or not what I loved would ever even matter to another. Then I realized that it does. It matters to me.  And that became the most important reason to keep doing what I love to eventually connect with others.  You, the individual, are your own best friend.  Ultimately, all we have is ourselves to guide us.  So why should we not be honest and truthful with ourselves to the utmost degree of awareness of our bliss? Especially if it creates an inner happiness within us while doing no harm to others. After all, the more people are happy with themselves on the planet, the better for us all. So if someone likes to decorate his/her room with azalea flowers, why should someone tell him/her that it is “meaningless” or “purposeless” when those azalea flowers are the one thing that calls to that individual’s spirit (interchange this word as needed)? The same can be asked concerning what a person chooses to draw and illustrate, especially when you consider what stories art tells others about the individuals who produce it. So why question someone else’s reasons instead of questioning why we do what we do ourselves? I say this to be less than psychological, as I try to keep my writing and ideas simple. Still, it is always something to think about on a surface level.  Because how else are some of us going to tell or relate our stories to others without some kind of connection or conduit? So I added a couple of new drawings to my pseudo “pre-web store” as a part of my growing dream for connectivity. Here in my blog I included my words on what inspired me to draw them as I share pieces of my personal story.  My purpose for doing this is to remind people to JUST DO YOU no matter what people say.  If you can find the strength to stand on what you believe about yourself and your abilities, then that is enough.  The rest will most certainly follow and fall in place.


My time working for my high school newspaper was fun. Of course I joined just to draw comics, but I wrote articles too.  I was pretty damn brave for putting myself out there, considering I was somewhat of a shy student. Only a select few of people really knew the extent of my outgoing personality. I learned through middle school and the early years of high school that not everyone is going to appreciate the parts that make you. So I shut that part of me down. Still, my senior year was approaching, and filled with dreams (drawing, singing, acting, writing) I decided I needed to do something memorable.  After much contemplation, what finally encouraged my decision to do comics was reading an article in an old Smile magazine by Tokyo Pop. The article was about a group of high school students who did something similiar, eventually starting their own run of comics. To me that was amazing, as I’ve always had hopes of being discovered in some part of the world. So I did the comics and became somewhat popular toward my last year of high school. People (including teachers) would pass the word on who was doing the artwork and suddenly folks would ask me about it in the hallways and classrooms.  These two examples were my first attempt at applying screenings to my work. They weren’t official screens (I laugh at the process I used), but I liked the results.  Eventually I moved on from drawing manga panels. Something about my need for color and my love of Naoko Takeuchi's dramatic character portraits. Nonetheless, I did the best I could with what I had on hand. Nothing fancy. Just the ambition for greatness and the will to be taught. My newspaper gave me themes to work with.  The two here are about the prohibition period teachers were facing back then, as well as one on high school graduation. I wonder if I can do manga panels now? I must say that what I realized about myself back then was that I was super, super hungry for an opportunity. I was willing to work my ass off just for a chance, especially growing up in a household that didn’t encourage anything out of me.  Putting myself out there was an attempt to find someone who could help me be the person I dreamt of being. That was all I truly wanted.


While I volunteered at our public library, as well as worked for Habitat for Humanity, my first paying job was doing fast food. Should I mention where? Of course. KFC. Five days after my high school graduation I was stuffing fried chicken pieces into boxes. It was an eye-opening experience when I think back on it.  One that I do treasure proudly. However, the reason I think it was so eye-opening was because that’s where reality began to set in. All those dreams I had in high school were being pushed somewhere. It didn’t mean it was a time to give up on them. Not at all when you consider I kept drawing, making singing demos, and going to model scoutings in the hopes for that breakthrough. But at the same time that fire and passion being stifled in my work environment began to lead me down some very, and I mean very, dark roads. Perhaps that is a bit dramatic. I wasn’t on drugs or anything, it was more like battles with depression and an anxious fever for my start. I did start college at my local community college, though.  While I absolutely enjoyed the experience, despite my ill-readiness for it, I never understood exactly what I was in college for.  I didn’t have a mentor or any guidance. I just had mostly myself. My parents didn’t give two shakes about anything but me getting a job--which I did.  I think it’s funny that I mention this now when just this past weekend my mother and I went out to eat and began talking about school and my ten year struggle to earn a degree. The conversation turned toward my current progress, which is actually pretty dire, I must admit. Nevertheless, that stale look she gave her plate was something I will never forget. I think then she got that I needed lots of support in the past. This is part of the reason why I want to own my own business.  From there I can create programs that support kids’ dreams and educational pursuits with encouraging couselers and leaders.
These drawings were inspired by Christina Aguilera during her “Dirrty” phase. I was twenty when I drew them, and much like Christina, I was anxious to explore what all life had available for me. But stuck at a job I didn’t want to be at was hurting me, and helping me in many ways. Still, it was here that I continued to draw, channeling my confusion into colorful drawings


These next drawings are what I did while at work and outside. I finally jumped out of fast food and moved into working inside a call center (there‘s a story about that). This eventually brought about a slew of further dark days, thankfully ensconced by reconnecting with my childhood friends and starting to share our adult lives together. While this call center job paid me well, the price was anxiety and depression. Here I was, locked to a chair for eight hours taking back-to-back phone calls from angry individuals who were enraged because their satellite cable equipment wasn’t working properly. Great. I was so enthused to help them. This job persisted, so I began to bring my bliss to work with me. I tugged my book bag along every morning and throughout my shift I would lay all of my notebooks and tools out and draw. Colored pencils, pens, markers, I didn’t care who saw me. I would take those goddamn phone calls and draw!  One of my team leaders gave me an evaluation, stating that everything looked good on my scores but she thought I was distracted while sitting at my desk writing "poetry." I ignored that.  Lots of ideas and characters came out of this place/period, but by the summer of 2005 I was seeking therapeutic help (and a psychic I might add). By winter, I took the opportunity to move to another city. So driven to do the “right thing” and be responsible, I walked away from another job.  Many didn’t see this move coming.


So I moved. My cousin was staying in the state of Georgia with a roommate who was a friend of hers from high school. They both moved to Georgia with the intentions of going to school for fashion design, while I just wanted a change and a way out.  What I didn't fully grasp was that this change included a package of: my cousin's friend's then pregnancy, two others kids by her, and her current boyfriend.  So essentially my cousin was alone, and since we were close, I was the perfect fit. Nevertheless, I did not know what I was getting myself in to. All I knew was that I had to make a change. I had to feel life. So when they were in preparations to move closer to Atlanta, I asked could I come aboard. Putting my half of the money down, I made it happen. What a journey, all requiring a separate blog post I must say.
By January of 2006 I had finally nailed a job working in a bookstore [Borders]. Great experience, despite days where my bloodsugar was so low my head went swimming.  I even met a few celebrities during my period there.  However, the best part was being surrounded by thousands upon thousands of books. I used to think I was a great reader before, but wow did that experience really open my eyes and mind. I learned a lot in my two years working and living in Georgia. I truly could write a blog straight from my journals about my experience. Nevertheless, in focusing on the picture underneath the heading, this photo was inspired by a photograph of a swimmer preparing to dive while in the nude. I loved the use of shadows in the original photograph so I wanted to make it strong and heavy in my translation. I wanted to give the face a clear, almost emotionless glare. It was sort of my attempt to let the drawing interpret itself.  I also love skin-tone colors and did some extra blending to create his.  Because I had to start over making friends and getting out to do things, I sought comfort in drawing, as usual. This is one example of those days I spent alone with my dreams and thoughts, building on the hopes that this new city would open up the opportunities I left my hometown to seek.  I remember listening to a lot of Marcos Hernandez during this time. (^_^)  Though that information is irrelevant.


At the tail end of 2007 I decided, after much debate because of discouraging circumstances, to move back home.  It all sort of happened right when I was getting the hang of living in Georgia. My cousin and I promptly separated ourselves from our previous roommates, as they became the roommates from hell, and got a place of our own. The details of that ordeal are intriguing, should I get the urge to rehash them. Nonetheless, that separation was such a relief that I began to truly open up to the relocation experience, instead of living with one foot ready to haul back home. After much frustration and tears, I started school for Illustrations and Designs.  This expanded the ideas of my drawings where I started to experiment a lot more with the backdrops of my drawings.  I also learned to accept my particular style of drawing, as it was better that I stick with traditional coloring instead of computer based.  I love my pastel chalks and water colors.  How could I trade those in for computer coloring taught at my new school?  But I digress.
I also made friends, spending many weekends at Six Flags and driving out and about the city of Atlanta. I even took to several dates.  I still spent time alone, too. I remember going to the bookstore in Midtown and reading Harry Potter for hours just to feel apart of my new city. Slowly I began to get comfortable there. In retrospect, “comfortable” might be an understatement. Except for some of the pigheaded managers at my bookstore job, things were truly looking up. Without getting into the details as to what caused me to move back home, I had finally had enough of one single situation that effected my home. As I don’t allow people to take advantage of me should I feel such, it is even harder for me to watch someone I love be clearly taken advantage of. It was so sudden and frustrating that either I could fight my way out of another living situation from hell, or just let it all go. 
I decided to let it go, and without regrets.  I've always made it a point to try not to have regrets because the truth is that we never have all the information in the moments that we need to make sudden decisions.  Or an emotional based decision.  I believe the hardest part was letting go of the friends I’d made. I found it amazing that the friends I made in Georgia were far more interested and interesting than the ones I made back home (outside of my childhood friends). It really is a curious feeling. I was immediately accepted there, with all of my quirky ways. One particular friend that I miss dearly was named Jamier. Toward the end of my experience there her and I became close. I remember when I was super broke, sitting at a restaurant with an appetizer before me. We were in a party of four, and to save me from embarrassment, she paid my way. She hung around my apartment a lot during that time. It was as if we were both seeking an honest friendship and found that in each other. The night before I left, her and another close friend of mine went out to eat, laughing before I said goodbye. Jamier spent more time than any friend of mine looking through my drawings and commenting on them. Her favorite was one that I had drew shown here in yellow and plaid. Two years ago I found out Jamier had died. I have no idea what happened to her, only the roaming speculation that it was a brain aneurysm. All I can remember is her calling and texting me even after I’d moved. Always wanting to know how I was doing while we were apart.
After two years I was back home.  Far more advanced emotionally and spiritually.  I felt like I had on a fresh pair of glasses, seeing my life situation differently.  After spending those years working around books, I decided I wanted to change my major to English Literature.  I've always loved writing and drawing pictures based on my characters.  Even as a child I wanted to write stories and illustrate the covers.  Since my hometown isn't exactly art-based, English Literature was the perfect alternative.
At least at this point I had a direction.  That was good enough for me.  I proved that I could do much more than I thought I was capable of and grew to be stronger as a result.


It took waiting out a semester and summer before I started at my new--and tough as hell--school. I remember during that wait I was working for a temp agency doing assembly work.  As we were working down the line, one of my co-workers told me about all the degrees she had and how she retired from teaching. I told her my story and the singuliar thing she had to say in return was to “just do it.” She told me not to worry about anything else but my future. When jobs go, they go.  But following and believing in your passion is something you should fight to keep running.  She inspired me, and as usual, I took leaps and prayed for the best. This picture is one of the characters in that story I wrote during my time in Georgia.  I consider it a "power shot."  I love experimenting with beads and jewels so I used those to sort of accentuate the drawing. Unfortunately, this was also the period where my drawings began to slow down in favor for my love of writing. Besides the new school kicking my ass, I began to divulge myself in writing another story. I put my best efforts into studying the craft of writing then. Reading even more reference books. It was here that I also tried to focus more on my main writing interest, which was mystery writing. Because this was a transitional period where I was a lot stronger in my thinking and emotions, I began to learn to let things that weren’t good for me go. I think I started to become a little more selfish in my desire to make a positive change for myself. I hurt some people unintentionally in the process, but I was back home with a new attitude and new direction--an actual direction. Soon school took over much of my life, and I stopped drawing more.  There came a day where I was looking over my profilio of drawings from over the years and saw that I had nothing I could do with them.  So I stopped, feeling as if I hit a brick wall as I had already changed directions.  However, because my personal stories are journalized, I did have the idea of using my drawings to start my own line of journals.  That idea stuck with me. Putting all of my eggs into finishing school and thinking my life was going to get better with a degree was actually faulty thinking.  I remember reading a horoscope that told me not to do this exact thing, even encourging me not to go to school anymore because it'll only "slow" me down.  I didn't invest in the horoscope, but now I see its truth as my direction is branching once more.  While I did enjoy school, I do sometimes feel that it was a crutch of some sort.  But life is life.  
So do you. No matter your circumstances, believe in something and keep pushing toward it. Whether you run across roadblocks, shut doors, lies, and half-truths, keeping being honest with yourself and others as you move forward. That honesty will reflect in the Universe, allowing things to happen.  Something even as subtle as taking an inspired thought will create a world of difference in your future. People will not always get why you do what you do, and they will not always understand your perspectives and philosophies, as they are too involved with their own. Nevertheless, the important thing is that you grow to understand what really works for you. What is going to make you comfortable enough to face life’s circumstances that you can still give faith into working toward the things you desire? What is going to make you comfortable enough to move out of your own way, enough so that when things began to blossom, you’ll be too excited to be uncomfortable, allowing you to take a leap into your opportunities. And most of all, be brave where it counts, but remember stillness is also a state of allowing things to manifest. Lastly, remember that it is okay to not know what you are doing... so long as you do something.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zazzle, Cafepress, and Vistaprint Goes to Work!

Zazzle, Cafepress, and Vistaprint. I’ve used all three to speak to the Universe and God about what efforts I will take to make my vision come to pass, including creating a pseudo web store to get me started. It’s a learning process, after all. Because I have no background, and am mostly just made up of talent, it’s a good place for me. According to my mentor (thanks for keeping up with me Mr. Malkus), it’s best that I start off slow and easy. In essence, getting my name and goal out there. So I made a video and just now remembered to post it on my blog. Here’s a sneak peek into my little offerings until I finish editing my next--and long--post.

Thanks for those who watched!  And remember to keep moving!  Move!  Move!  Move!


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