I Found My Voice

In the past, I was known for not speaking about politics. I just felt like I should keep my head down and not say anything. Hell, even writing this post is making me a little bit nervous. But then I got older and I started to see and read things, and that made me think. But the thing that made me realize that I really need to start talking to people about were I stand on things was the shooting in Dallas that happened this past summer.

I did not attend the march and was home when it happened, but my best friend A, did not know that. She was staying in a place that had a bad connection and didn’t here about the shooting till late that night and called me, but I asleep and didn’t hear my phone. A left me crying voicemails, begging that I call her as soon as possible because she needed to know if I was okay and was praying that I wasn’t shot or killed. When I got a hold of her, reassuring that I was fine, she did something I wasn’t expecting. She made me promise that when she got back, we would have a discussion on race. Being a white female, A admitted tat she didn’t know that much behind everything and what she was allowed to talk about. You can bet we had that talk and it made me realize something too.

You have to talk about things for change to happen. Staying silent and letting others handle it does not mean things will get fixed, to get change you have to make change. And so, I found the idea for my painting final last semester. blm-project  When I told my painting professor/mentor about this idea he gladly said, “Lets do it.” Now, It’s not like I thought Prof. AB would say no, but still I was a little nervous about starting these pieces. While Moudy is a pretty liberal place, I didn’t know how people would feel about these. Luckily, everyone really loved them (for now I’m not going to do to much explaining about these pieces until a later post, but rest assure I’ll explain them soon).

I think that I’m going to paint more things like this in the future. I’ve found that I bests express myself with my paintings. I can make it say what I can’t say with words and show others a different side of me. Now I’m talking, to my family and to others. I’m trying to get my friends engaged in the conversation as well, and I understand that talking about these things make people feel uncomfortable. But we have to talk about it.There are problems in this world that we need to fix and talking about how to fix it is the first step. I want my friends to realize that they have a voice. If I can talk about this, then I know they can and so can you.

 

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United Stand.

Saturday I attend one of the many Women’s Marches that were held around the world. Literally, every single continent held a protest and I am happy to say that I was apart of history. 20170121_123442To some, including the Cheeto, this march seemed pointless and they don’t understand why we’re even trying. Things are going to get a lot tougher in the near future. So while some people might not understand, I’m going to fight back. I have my friends and family behind me. 20170121_130638We are not going anywhere and we are not backing down.

I’m Going to Fight.

As many people know, today a certain person, who shall not be named on the blog ever, is starting his new 4 year temporary job. I do not support this man or any of the beliefs of his followers.

I understand that to some this post will seem like I am whining and I need to just get over what has happened and everything will be okay. To those people, I say you can not tell me that things are going to be okay. You don’t know that. You have not been through what my  people have been through. You are not seen as a threat to some people just because of the color of your skin. You are not constantly going over what you’ve said and done to make sure you didn’t perpetuate a stereotype. You are not scared to death that being around the police or asking them for help could mean your death.

The day after the election I was distraught. I put in my headphones and listened to my music, trying to block out the world. But then I went on Facebook and saw something I had to respond to:

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I am scared. I’m scared for my self, for my family, for my students, for my friends, for my boyfriend, for people I have never and may never meet in my life. I’m scared of the America that I am about to face for the next four years. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to take any of this lying down.

Starting today, I’m going to fight even more for what I believe in. I’m going to make my voice heard and I will not tolerate anything from anyone. My ancestors fought so that I can be where I am today, now it’s my turn to fight for my descendants so they can have an even better life than me.

Film Star!

That title is very misleading, I am not and (hopefully) never will be, a film star. It seems like that’s to much pressure. By film star, I mean that I am currently helping two friends with two movies. As a kid, I always wanted to be a movie director and now I’m an art student. I’ve also always loved going to the movies, my boyfriend and I love to watch movies at home and in theaters. Hell, we’ve made it a tradition to go to an action movie every Valentine. It’s not flowers and chocolate but it works for us.

Back to the topic, J asked that I help him out with an art favor. Essentially he just needed me to make some caricatures for him real quick for a new film he was working on. Being the good friend that I am, I made 6 caricatures for him, color included, in two days while working with a medium that I don’t have much practice in. Now, I won’t be paid for this since it was a favor, but I am getting my art on scene and I’ll be credited in the movie and get free tickets to the premier so it’s a pretty good trade. The pictures turned out great and I’ll post them later, since the film is still production, but I’ll probably do a lot more work in marker now.

The second film I’m currently working on is an original piece by my friend Gabe. As of last week, I am the official Artistic Director of a short film.  Usually I work more with staged productions and not film, but hey this seems like a cool chance. I don’t know much about my job but Gabe has said he’d help and be patient with me. So far my job has been like the usual stuff that I do when working in theater. Find the props, make sure everything and everyone looks nice, and don’t go over budget.  I’m going to do all that I can to help my friend out in this and this will also be really cool to put on my resume. We’re suppose to start filming soon, and I’m going to be sure to post texts and picture of what I can and am doing for this. So far my 2017 in starting in a interesting direction.

New Project!

Last summer my Shakespeare troop asked me to create a new logo for them. What I did was recreate a portrait of The Bard using his words to make his face. He is made entirely out of the names of his characters and his play titles. In the end this was the finished project: MAAS LOGO

Not only did my producers love this (I gave them the original) but so did everyone else who I showed it to. This led to an idea for my latest on going project. I call it A Thousand Words. Basically the main idea of this project steams from the fact that words hold power. They can influence nations to band together or destroy each other. A person’s words live on even after they have died. So far I’ve do  Maya Angelou, Jane Austin, Oscar Wilde, and H.P. Lovecraft.

Now the really exciting part of this project is that I entered the images that I so far had in a contest for a seminar that was happening on campus. The topic was, “What makes us Human?” They were looking for some media and fine art related works to the topic. The winners would be invited to talk at the seminar and receive $100. Wouldn’t you know it, I won! Not only that but I’ve also started selling some custom made Thousand Words and people seem to really like them.

While I am going to continue on this project, I feel that my next one is going to be a little bit darker than my others.

Logos

For years I have had the image of what my logo should be, the one problem is that, despite my art skills I have no talent when it comes to digital art. Sure, I could draw it but what I have in mind needs to be made on a computer, and as off a few days again my idea came true. lil-art_logo_04-01

Thanks to one of my good friends from school I was able to make an art trade! In exchange for making her a brand new coffee cup she made me this beautiful logo. I’ll be sure to post the cups in a later post, but for now I just wanted to show off this logo. Seriously, my friends are some of the best people in the world.

Music and Art

It’s not uncommon for an artist to listen to something while they create. Hell, I have about ten playlists on my Spotify alone that I jump back and forth to when I’m working on a new project. Music has a very big influence on how I as a person am feeling at that moment. It helps me clear my head from all the worries of everything else in my life and focus.

Personally, my music tastes are pretty much everywhere. Most days I stick to Pop of Indi or Alternative, but there have been days where I jam out to Blue Grass (Wood & Wire are my favorite band) or get lost in the words of Rap ( my boyfriend has gotten me into Kendrick Lamar). When I’m feeling nostalgic I’ll croon along with Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald. My parents made sure to instill a love for all music as I was growing up.

In general, music is a large part of my life and as I’ve gotten more involved in the art world, that involvement has only grown. It’s gotten to the point that when I make a new lesson plan, I make a new playlist to go along with it. In fact I’m listening to my Shazam playlist while writing this post!

The point of this post is not to just tell you about the music I listen to but to explain what listening to music does for my art. In the past, I’ve tried painting in silence and that really didn’t work out to well. If there are other people around I’ll talk to them instead of working and if no one is around, I let something else capture my attention. In laymen’s terms, music helps me focus. The days that I forget my earbuds when I go into the studio are the worst. My usual response to forgetting my earbuds is to turn around and go get them, if I have enough time, or go to the closest store and buy yet another pair. Essentially what I’m trying to say is that without music, I wouldn’t be able to make half the pieces in my portfolio.