Mea culpa!

Blogger faux pas, I fell asleep yesterday without posting. It’s terrible, I know. “When will you learn to schedule your posts beforehand!”, I hear you cry. You’re right, nameless, disembodied voice. You’re right! Attempts will be made to better organize myself.

On the bright side, yesterday was a pretty productive day. I’ve been working on fixing up an old table for my room, I’m still on the sanding stage because doing it without power tools takes forever and a day. It’s shaping up though, which makes me happy, especially because it means I’m getting closer to spray painting it! In the mean time I’ve been spray painting a few other things in my room partly because they needed it, but mostly because I’m a little bit obsessed. The sound a spray paint can makes when you shake it is oddly satisfying!

I’ve also been learning how to make stencils on Photoshop and Illustrator, to further expand on this whole spray paint thing I’ve got going on. I have a huge space on my wall and I’m thinking of filling it with one or two of my doodles.

Check out my first efforts. I give you Phone Head and Awkbbit (he’s still a work in progress).

Phone Head Testing (dragged)

Which one do you think would look better on my wall? I’m kinda leaning towards Phone Head, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ll show you the finished product when I do!

In the midst of all these random little projects, I’ve been reading Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. I’m a few chapters in and getting a bit antsy to get to the actual story of what happened with the Lafferty brothers. So far he’s talked about Fundamentalist Mormons, their settlement on Colorado City, apostates, charges brought up against Mormon polygamists, and I’m starting to wish he’d get to the story already. On the other hand, I appreciate this slow roundabout because it gives me context that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s insanely helpful because, as I’ve said before, I really don’t know much about the Mormon religion – Fundamentalist or not, so having a bit of background helps when trying to keep things in context.

I’ve gotta say, I like this early morning writing thing. I might use last night’s missed post as an opportunity to switch my posting hours.

Will she change or keep posting at the same hours? What will she end up painting on her wall? Will she ever get over her spray paint obsession? Find out on the next episode of Destination:Reading! By which I mean, as time goes by because none of those questions will be answered by tomorrow.

Stay beautiful, readers. Until next time.

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Under the Banner of DIY

I love everything to do with upcycling, DIY, and crafts. Really, I just like working with my hands and being able to have a tangible product at the end. Something I’ve always wanted to do is play around with spray paint, but for some reason I’ve never found a project to use it in. Well, that changed today! I’m going to repaint a little patio table we have and I decided to go ahead and do it with spray paint. I’m probably more excited than I should be, but who cares! IMG_0100

I recently learned of a spray paint brand called Plutonium. According to the website, it dries faster, is more eco-friendly, and offers better coverage than other brands. It’s only sold in three places on the island, one of which is thankfully close to me. I bought two cans, red and black, to try it out, but I’m hoping this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I’ll keep you guys updated as the project develops, I’m excited to see the end result!

It hasn’t all been furniture and spray paint, though, I did some reading and spent some time on yesterday’s homework. I was trying to figure out how many Mormons reside here in the island, but I didn’t have any luck. Unfortunately, today wasn’t any better so I’m thinking of finding people who belong to the Church so I can ask. We’ll see!

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, my pick for Utah, is holding steady at concise, yet informative. I know I keep harping on it, but I think only a small amount of writers know how to condense their writing without making it into something tangled and convoluted. I know it sounds contradictory, but it makes a weird sort of sense, I promise! I think the fact that it’s so direct just makes what he’s saying seem that much more incredible. There’s no string of empty sentences to buffer or serve as padding, which means you’re reading one surprising bit of information after the next. It makes for high energy, dynamic reading.

Stay tuned for more thoughts and contradictions! Until next time, readers.

Art, Suffering, & Crafts

IMG_0809Today was meant to be an insanely productive day. Instead, I did nothing. Seriously, I didn’t do any of the things I was supposed to do today. It’s terrible.

On the bright side! I got creative and ended up making necklaces out of old clothes.I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, although I need to work on making them look more polished. Still, for an impromptu activity, I’m fairly pleased. Tickled, even. I have a whole bag full of clothes that I was thinking of selling or giving away, but now I’m thinking of keeping them and making some more necklaces. Who knows, maybe I can sell them and make a bit of money that way.

I’ve been thinking about a scene in St. Urbain’s Horseman. Where Jake, the main character, is wondering about the effects his happy marriage could have on his children…

“Jake feared that a felicitous marriage not only reflected poorly on Nancy and him, stamping them superficial, tin-like, but it was also bad for the kids. Everybody he admired, his most imaginative and resourceful friends, had emerged from afflicted homes. Dad a zero, mum a carnivore. Parents so embittered that they wrote off their own lives and toiled only for the children’s sake. Divorced parents, vying shamelessly for the kids’ affections. Quarreling, lying, but, inadvertently, shaping rebels. Hammering out artists. Whereas in their home there was only symmetry, affection, parents who took pleasure in each other’s company.

What are we spawning here, Jake wondered? Surely from such a well-adjusted and cozy childhood only ciphers could spring. Cocooned and soft-minded dolts, who would grow up totally unprepared for life. Sammy would never shoplift. Molly wouldn’t have hysterics. In a drug culture, they were already tranquillized.”

We always hear about how true Art requires not only talent and dedication, but also a certain amount of suffering. Blood, sweat, and tears have always been touted as essential ingredients in the making of truly great art. It is necessary to to feel intense pain in order to accurately portray it, in order for our art to be relevant. Otherwise, art becomes superficial and meaningless. At least, that’s what people say and it’s Jake’s concern, as well. Will being happy and loved mean that his children will grow up to be adults without dimension, people who lack strength and resilience.

But, is it true? Does a lack of hardship mean a lack of character. Not petty hardships, but true, life-changing ones. The kind that tear your soul, that make you lose your beliefs and hope – death, poverty, hunger, betrayal. All of these demand more than a pound of flesh and it’s thought that it’s this karmic payment that imbues the artist with a greatness that goes beyond merely being talented. When the soul tears in half part of it goes into the artwork or the writing, just like a Horcrux (Harry Potter is relevant everywhere). However, is it impossible to achieve that particular quality without having gone through a similar experience? Can great art be made out of not knowing “real” pain?

Here is another thought. There are a great deal of writers and artists who have been terrible people, far from having suffered, they’ve caused suffering in others. These are people thought of as geniuses and pioneers in their fields, but have also been rapists, mysoginists, even murderers. Not to mention, a lot of artists, musicians, and writers throughout history have just been dicks. People have suffered at the hands of moody, self-righteous, sometimes violent creatives. Does this mean then that art’s relationship with suffering goes both ways? Is it possible suffering is necessary, irregardless of whether one suffers or inflicts it on others? Do we have access to the pain we cause, even if we can’t feel it?

I don’t have have  answers to these questions. I think rather than needing to suffer or feel what people refer to as “real pain”, what we truly need are experiences. Of course, going through difficult and painful situations can definitely breed good art, but I don’t think it’s a guarantee of it. Whether they’re happy and fulfilling or painful and heartbreaking, we need meaningful experiences to shape our lives and, in the process, our art.

Now, having taken this moment to talk very seriously about art, I’m going to leave you with a piece that’s not even a little bit serious.

Sorry, not sorry! Stay golden, readers.