I am being stupidly productive this Spring Break. I started and finished three separate piece of work today, back-to-back, and honestly I should probably get up from my chair because being sedentary for this long isn’t healthy. After doing two more Olly-Moss inspired illustrations, I needed a break, so I decided to do a Geometric piece of art, namely this Amish-Quilt inspired “Sunset Star.” This might look like it took some time to do, but honestly, it’s a lot faster than making an illustration. Once all of my diamonds are in place, it’s just a matter of choosing the right colors for the job, so really, this was the perfect project to take a break for. It was fast, fun, and I’m left with a nice-looking, satisfactory product.
I bought myself a Korg Microkorg with Christmas money a few weeks ago, and its been one of the more fun things to do since I got it. I haven’t touched any videogames (beside the occasional minute or two of Pinball Arcade) since, and on most nights I think I’d rather be sitting in my room playing with my synth than drinking at a party. I’ve been figuring out how to play along to Bjork on it, figuring out the notes to her vocals, and the parts behind her voice. I sit on my bed with the synth on my lap and just go to town on the keyboard, guessing and listening, and getting up to restart songs on the laptop. I’ve been getting crazy static shocks every time I go from playing keyboards on the bed, to messing with Spotify, the second I touch the laptop – zap!
Speaking of Bjork, I listened to her album Vespertine (2001) in its entirety on Wednesday night I believe – as I was working on a pixel portrait of MNDR. Vespertine was awesome, I absolutely loved it, and it motivated me to finish that portrait I had spent months working on. I didn’t want to stop listening to Bjork, and I didn’t want to leave MNDR unfinished.
By Thursday afternoon, MNDR had seen and liked my portrait (and said it was relevant to something she was about to release, woo!). It’s kind of crazy how my work is being seen by more and more people now, it is making me feel like my art is less of a hobby and something more serious. A member of A Tribe Called Quest saw my art two weeks ago, MNDR saw it three days ago; who knows where my work can go from there, you know? It’s encouraging to think about my potential, there’s a talent and passion here, and it’s vessel is in positive spirits.
Heh, the date is 1-23. I’m doing good. Everything bad that I’ve felt over the last few days; from horrible laundry machine malfunctions, to eating a whole eight serves of pita chips in one day, to loneliness and self-hate, is miraculously gone. A new art piece in the bedroom (a Plumen 001 light fixture), a seminar about Transexuality in Thailand presented by Aren Z. Aizura, and a shrimp’n’salad dinner – that’s all it took. A new infinity scarf that radiates a rainbow of colors around my person, a class where I can make both intelligent and humorous remarks (generally feeling noticed and very-much not-invisible), and a clever shortcut in an art piece – other sprinkles of delight on the day.
The Plumen 001 is beautiful, a twisted knot of a light-bulb, and needs no lamp or shade – it stands on it’s own. Aren Z. Aizura is brilliant, and his work and presentation about Thailand was incredibly informative. Additionally, when I took a seat in the back of the seminar room, and embarrassingly my backpack fell and made a bunch of loud noise – everybody who turned around to investigate had a friendly face on. And the shrimp and salad? A blend of foods that left me feeling exactly no guilt about eating. The new infinty scarves from Scarf& look fabulous, though I’ve only thrown on this paint-splatter rainbow pattern one, and I think it works well with a white tee. I’m thinking about picking up five-t-shirts from American Apparel; black, white, cyan, magenta, and yellow; a CMYK+W t-shirt collection. Plain tees will go better with this new scarf look I’m going for, as these scarves have a tendency not to go with, or cover up a large portion of the t-shirt design.
I felt comfortable today. No self-hate, body shame, none of that “oh god what did I eat?” stuff. I do want to go to the gym tomorrow, but that’s a choice, not born from some pressure to lose weight. Also, don’t let me forget, I need to call up the folks at the Cider House tomorrow for an interview.
I started, and completed today, a portrait I had been meaning to do for a while. Anita Sarkeesian’s “Feminist Frequency” videos have really opened my eyes to the ways that tropes in media hurt women. Her videos make it easy to see what’s wrong in our everyday media, and I hope she keeps making them for years to come. I mimicked the YouTube player using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and the plaid shirt pattern that Anita was wearing during her Damsel in Distress in Video Games video. Both were fun, difficult, and rewarding challenges. The white skin and black hair style is something I’ve gotten the hang of, as I’ve been doing that since, 2008 or earlier. I also nailed the background color gradient, though that only required a base level understanding of gradient mesh. I’d love for her to see this, but that seems like a long shot.
Happy New Years, Anita.
– Kenneth CW.
Nearly every single time I write one of these entries, I have to double check and see how I write the dates. Do I use (9/25/2013) or simply just (9/25/13)? You’d think after doing this for months I’d know the answer, but I don’t.
As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Michel Legrand’s very pleasant “I Love Paris” (1954) on vinyl. By the way I own a record player now. I’m not the type of guy that’s going to tell you that you need a record player because it sounds so much better than digital music; no, the real reason to get a record player is so you can experience new music. I would have never listened to Michel Legrand if it wasn’t for the sheer fact that it was a dollar in Jerry’s Records bargain bin, and it had a rendition of “La Vie En Rose” on it. Buying things I’ve never heard of because the album looks cool, or because I knew a song, or the artist, it’s great. This isn’t special to records, as I’ve bought bargain bin CD’s for the same reasons – but there’s just weirder records out there than CD’s. If you don’t have the means to sift through a local record store’s bargain albums; and could only buy new records, I might be a little colder on the “you should get a record player” thing. I love my records, but I can’t take Michel Legrand with me wherever I go (even though the Crosley Cruiser record player I got is arguably portable) and as such digital music is still pretty awesome. I don’t know if people draw lines in the sand between the two mediums, but that’s what I have to say… both are cool.
Which reminds me, I need to buy Nine Inch Nails new album… I’m seeing them in two weeks and I really should familiarize myself with the new stuff.
Anyways, the real reason I’m writing this post is to say this: I write because I like to write. I know that… practically nobody reads this, but writing is therapeutic. If I were to tragically die tomorrow, then there’s this big whole log of most everything I think and encounter during my life here. In this Journalism class I’m taking, we had to listen to an interview with Esquire/ESPN’s Chris Jones who said something along the lines of “People who say they just write for art, that’s wanky bullshit.” Maybe if my living depended on writing, I’d agree with him, maybe I’d see the truth in a lot of the things he talks about, like how journalism is a competitive business and it’s all about being the best. But this is these are the same reasons I’m not lining up to use my art talents for a living; I love making art, but if making art for a living is all about doing what someone else demands, being competitive, doing it for the paycheck and not the satisfaction of creation, then screw that. And if Chris Jones’ view of journalism is how it really is, then I’m glad I’m not an English major thinking about going into journalism. I’m an English major because I love to write, and I’m going to put my honed writing skills to use i whatever I do for a living – but I’ll never sacrifice writing for the art of it.