Monthly Archives: March 2012

10 posts

Changing the World

I used to fantasize about either taking over the world, or just changing the world in high school.
I’m good at politics and basically lived and breathed that world for 4 years. My politics have changed significantly since then, but sometimes a moment comes along and that bit of me that I’ve left in the past where I thought it belonged, sparks.
I realize more and more that I have many “faces” but not so much faces, as facets. I get energy and exhilaration from many things, and maybe there’s a way to embrace all of those passions, and not focus solely on one at the expense of another, or cut one huge part of myself off completely just to avoid it.
Maybe I can blend my love of the arts with that thing that ignites when I’m culturally aware and just want to do something. It’s all I’ve ever wanted really, and it’s been staring me in the face. All I want to be able to do is something, to change something, to have a reason to be remembered because I tried to make something better.
It makes me feel so vulnerable. I’ve been looking for something new but it’s been there all along, just different than what I thought it was initially.
I want to make a mark on the world, and I want to make it better. I feel alive when I make things and do things that I feel matter. I love art because with it I can express thoughts and emotions that I can’t put into words.
I don’t want to make propaganda pieces or anything, that’s sort of….my definition of what my art shouldn’t become – and whenever I’ve tried it always turns out much too preachy for my taste. I prefer to center around universal truths that seeking souls sort of…find and cling to, or mine does anyway. But art is powerful, and I’m good at that too.
Artivist? maybe… Rise of a Beautiful Champion? perhaps (sounds like a weird movie title). Maybe I’m an idealist…but maybe in some way, I could change a small part of the world.
Starting with mine {and learning what that means}. Maybe having a vastly huge and possibly unattainable dream with so much room to explore isn’t a bad thing, because small ones just aren’t working for me.
I have a voice…I’m just learning what it sounds like.
Strangely, the epiphany occurred while reading this article from Esquire.

Check, check, and check

ETA: you can view a sample by clicking the going to The Balloon Lady (book) > The Book > The Preview in the nav bar above, or by heading over to this cute little splash page here.
So, my Month Of March Book-ing-ness is almost over, and guess what….
I’m done!
Well, mostly.
The iPad version is currently in review in the iBookstore. There’s this thing with the Table of Contents and the pages slide, but unfortunately, those are the fault of the apple developers and I’m unable to fix it. However, it *does* look good on there, and hopefully, they’ll confirm it and/or let me upload the fixed version with the title in the TOC page…because “Untitled” doesn’t look very professional, now does it?
I spent most of yesterday/last night working on the new version for createspace, and this morning, I ordered the proof! It all looks great on their online proof display, but I really want to see what the illustrations look like in print. So that should be here around April 5th.
I’m actually very very proud of the illustrations this time around, and I’m actually excited to put my name to them. The first batch were ill-conceived, though heartfelt. I’m happy I made them, and used them, and used that experience to progress into what’s hopefully a much better version of the same story. I also learned to work with the medium I’m more comfortable with. This round of illustrations I used acrylic paint on watercolor and multimedia paper, with, if I may say so, much better results. I was even able to paint the faces instead of inking them in with pen!
So, I’ve officially crossed it off…

A few other things are crossed off too. Monday, I went to the library and finished the paperwork for my passport application, so in a few weeks, it should be in my hands! Also, I finally bought myself a bikini. I can’t wait until it’s summer and I can wear it. It’s yellow and grey and surprisingly looks quite good on me…

Bikini

I ended up almost finishing out my wardrobe shopping while I was at it, so lots of progress all around and it’s only been a month! 😀 Exactly, actually.

Sensing

read: my book, so. many. times.
taste: nothing..
see: The upload progress bar….too many times this evening.
hear: Mass Effect 3 – Alex is playing ahead of me, I’m hoping it’s not spoilers.

smell: Well, I really should take a shower…I meant to…but got distracted by formatting the book

touch: trackpad…in frustration…for much too long

think: it’s weird how easy it is to fall in and out of blogging habits. It was really hard focusing and not posting, and even not being on FB every so often at first, but now I’m so close to finishing the book (if it would upload and not take for.ev.er.) that I’ve sort of gotten into a habit of doing random book stuff and that’s been keeping me off facebook *on my computer until evening, and blogging, sadly – but expectedly – has become less of a daily thing. That won’t last forever though, but interestingly, doing less blog/online/social writing has decreased facebook and increased twitter. I plan to return to regular blogging again after this book crunch – especially because I have some epic bits of news related to my list.
feel: exhausted.

Beautiful Champion

I wrote a letter a few weeks ago, to myself in the future. It’s not something I do out of habit, but one of my friends – a kindred soul – inspired me to try a few weeks ago. What I thought was going to be something I saved and read to myself 10 years from now, turned out to be something more powerful, and something more….real. As I slowly become brave in myself, and learn who I am {becoming} and who I want to be…I find that deep down, the answers have been there all along, voices just waiting to be heard – beats meant to be danced to.
I feel almost as self conscious writing this, as I did when I wrote the letter.

I called myself Beautiful Champion, because that is who I want to become; and when I read my letter to myself, not 10 years from now, but when I read it adressed to myself now – I knew somehow, that’s not who I hope to become, but who I am. I feel, far, far, short of that title – I fail myself probably more than I fail anyone else – but my soul cries and it resonates, and somehow that truth penetrates.
Dear beautiful champion,
Your bravery, heart, and imagination inspire. Your strength, love, and passion help people you don’t even see. Your grace and empathy makes you safe for people to come to and discover that it’s okay to be themselves, as you are yourself. Your journey, your pain, your path, and your discovery are all important, while hard, parts of your journey and your story. You wouldn’t be who you are without the painful and sad pieces, because those enable you to understand what other people are incapable of imagining. 
Unwittingly, I wrote truths that I needed in this moment – truths that I battle to find all the time. Which is probably why, when I let my heart speak and write the words, I found exactly what I needed to find.
You beautiful, strong, compassionate champion – may feel lost at times, but don’t let that stop you from your journey – your journey to be and become and realize your full potential, you who truly are. Never stop growing, dear one – you are more important than you realize.

2nd Round

All of the new illustrations are DONE!
That’s kind of huge, considering I started on them in September. Also, I think they look much much better, the real tell is going to be seeing what happens when I start scanning them in tomorrow.
After that, it’s formatting and releasing in the iBookstore, and then getting another proof (probably April) and releasing with Createspace, WITH an ISBN!

21 things progress (new, with a legend!)

21 things progress

I’m a photo session at walmart, a large check, and a trip to the library away from getting my passport.

A bunch of new clothes and my converse shoes(!!) should arrive in the next two weeks, and I should also be able to finish that off in a few weeks and be all ready for the next, long time until I need clothes. Or at the very least, winter.

5 illustrations and a bit of formatting away from finishing my book and launching that, and subsequently, buying a month-long team treehouse subscription.

I’ve been experimenting with plucking my eyebrows (and that actually worked pretty well, unruly things) and with the exception of this week, I’ve been giving myself a weekly mud-mask session as well as playing with my yoga mat and doing things that make me feel good. Starting Monday (if my legs aren’t out of commission from our 8 mile walk today) I’ll be waking up early and running from Zombies.

I’m 11 months/new drinks away from that particular goal too. ^.^

I like progress.

What I really really really want.

I don’t know.
Some of my current favorite quotes remind me of those questions, the questions I don’t have answers to.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. -Steve Jobs

What do you do when you look at yourself and all you see is a vast empty space, full of possibilities but no clear tug? Just options, so many options, all equally thrilling…

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? -Robert Schuller

I painted this months ago and put it on my wall, to remind myself to ask, and as a conversation piece eventually, when I know my answer and am brave enough to ask it of others.
I think about it a lot, but the answer remains the same: I don’t know. So many things, and so few, all at once.
The blank line is both terrifying and exhilarating. There’s excitement in the unknown and the knowledge that I could put anything in that line, and I want it to be something that resonates so deeply within me, I want it to be the right thing.
What if I choose the wrong thing? Is that even possible? Is the daunting nature of the question in the answer, or is it the question itself?
If I could do anything, if I really followed my heart’s desire, and did the thing(s) that made me feel so alive, what would that be? What would my life look like from here on out?
I haven’t the slightest idea. Part of me wonders if the reason I haven’t an answer is because I’m already there. What if I’m already doing those things?
But if so, why can’t I name them?
I think more introspection is required; the lines stay blank and full of possibilities until then.

Progress

This week I knocked out 6 illustrations + some touch ups on the few people shots I made in the fall. Only 5 left to go, which means after taking today off I should be done painting by the middle of next week.
I’m going to make the iBook Author version first, since I’ve been itching to play with the app, and then I’ll drop the new photos into my createspace template. I’ll be scanning the originals in at 600dpi so the quality should work really well with The New iPad and the hard copy of the book, hopefully.
Sneak Peek
Tonight we’re having soup, I chopped up the vegetables a few days ago, so I thought I’d throw them in the crockpot with all the other stuff today. I’ve been keeping track of my food intake and stuff on tumblr, so I can spam – er, update as much as I want throughout the day.

Senses

read: bits of scripts in progress, and blogs I frequent
taste: water. Should be tea…
see: lavender sky, and periwinkle snow. The sun is setting.
hear: wind, soft murmur of my laptop’s fan, husband typing (and humming) in the other room

smell: paint and soap – from washing the paint of my hands and palette

touch: dry skin. I may be turning into a lizard…

think: Sometimes I feel like life would be easier if I hopped off facebook for a while, but because the internet has been my only outlet for so long, it makes me feel a little insecure… Still, I think it would be a good idea. I can’t/won’t go without internet for a week, but less bombardment might be emotionally beneficial. Not that I don’t like the people on facebook, just it adds to my already-overwhelmed state lately. 😛
feel: mostly drained, and a little happy.
 

Book Month!

I intend to probably be posting less on here this month because I’ll be working on my book – but I came up with a plan that’s kinda brilliant.
I’m transferring all my draft illustrations to watercolor paper first, and getting them *all* outlined before I start painting, so I won’t face another hangup like I did in the fall because of the more daunting pieces.
Today was sort of face-palmy. It’s cold, snowy, and I lost my pencil sharpener for several hours so it took *a lot* longer than it should have to transfer the drafts to the other paper because of all of the erasing from un-sharp pencils.
Also, my arms are killing me because I walked the groceries and a pair of boots home last night after I parked the car in the parking garage about 5 blocks away in anticipation of the snow that started last night and won’t end till who-knows-when.
I have 6 illustrations transferred, started with the most complicated and worked my way down. I’m saving 5 for tomorrow because 1) I’m tired and so are my arms and 2) to give my arms more time to be less achey before I pick up a brush for several hours.
So that’s how it’s coming. They should all be transferred tomorrow and painting shouldn’t take too long, it might be a couple-weeks project instead of a month at this point, but I shouldn’t say that because I’m sure the bulk of it will be formatting and then making an ipad version with the new ibook author app that came out.