December 31, 2014

Change is the only constant. So bring in the new year.

To end off the year my final sketchbook drawing and process are below.
It started with a simple sketch in pencil, drawn in with copic multiline and outlined with a regular old sharpie.

It may be the end of the year but that does not mean “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. Try not to have a catchy tune in your head. I love how music is the soundtrack of our lives. A few notes are able to evoke a strong emotion and bring us back to a moment in time. Audio is a powerful thing.

I then coloured in the body and antlers with Copic markers for a deep rich colour.

As we approach the end of the year, for me, it is a time to reflect and gather ones thoughts. . Every year I write a list of all the things I did in the previous year that made it awesome, then I make a list of the things I’d like to accomplish in the next one. I also make a list of all the people I love just to remind myself how lucky I am to have all of you. Finally I buy myself a new moleskine day-timer and begin filling in everything I have booked so far. It’s great that as the previous year comes to an end we all have the opportunity to begin anew. Like a final chapter in a book the new year offers endless potential and the chance to begin a whole new story. Let’s all start the new year on the right foot while making a step in the right direction!

I filled in the background with watercolours so they would not be as vibrant as the main subject, though sketchbook paper is not well suited to the material, it was a risk I was willing to take.

2014 has been both a challenge and a joy. The things that occurred were both difficult and interesting. There were notable tribulations some acted as a real test of my intentions and morals. TO say the least it has been engaging. It has been hard personally and I’m sure many readers can relate. I remember all those who I have lost, this year I had 6 funerals for family, friends and acquaintances. I hope next year there are none.

I added some texture with prismacolour pencil crayons onto the watercolour paint. I masked out the deer with painters tape by cutting around it with an exact knife, being sure not to goo too deep as to score the paper below.

Nothing mean more to me than knowing that after my vulnerable and heartfelt words that there are those of you who read them. I feel so deeply and decided to share but the vulnerability often makes it difficult. Your deep, rich resonating replies mean the world to me, I really appreciate it. I am so grateful that you let the conversation commence and your opinion/viewpoint are honoured.

I splattered white out with a tooth brush and misted the paper to create blurred flowers and to set the background further back. This photo was for Instagram and has a vignette and some tilt shift added. I wish it was easier to draw blurry like this. I like how it has turned out but may revisit it with more pencil crayon and copic marker in the foreground in the future.

I look forward to the new year and all it may bring. I hope yours is awesome too! Cheers, see you in the new year!

December 27, 2014

A picture says a thousand words

20% cooler & have 30% more time.

Before I quit Facebook, they require you give a reason as to why. "It was taking up too much of my time" was definitely the least intrusive of the options.  Stalkers and threats etc being the other reasons. I feel good about my graceful exit, like a tremendous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Every time I pick up my phone and have nowhere to go to, no app to select. It is kind of strange yet strangely gratifying to have my life back. I did manage to get a coffee table book published with some of the content and tagged pictures as a back up plan.
Teenagers using Facebook said it was 30% of their lives. Adolescents growing up with todays connectivity and technology face new problems that us adults can barely rectify. It is implicit that mature people are responsible enough to make healthy decisions and yet it is still challenging.  But what about the developing mind and morals of youth? Daily activities surround the pictures they planned to take to post. It was like they were maintaining this other life. Preteen girls dress up in a highly provocative and sexualized way and post them to their online avatars. I am not sure they have an idea of the gravity of what their were doing. It may just be an innocent way to attract boys. Or a means to bolster self confidence. Or that by maintaining this status quo that invented persona will influence who one will become in 'real' life.
I have found myself in this vicious cycle. The persona people think I am is nothing like who my closest friends know me to be. One is real, the other surreal. We always aim to put our best foot forward and to portray ourselves in the best light possible. I kept an internal rule to keep everything I post positive. But we only show what we want others to see.  We are our own censorship mechanism to some degree. Maybe they don't need to be broadcast to the world. But then again is there really any privacy?
Those embarrassing pictures of drunken debauchery will continue to bite you in the ass.  Society is not forgiving. Life and technology seem to spin so quickly out of control these days.  Our decision and our mistakes are what make and help us grow as individuals. Failures and mistakes are often good. After all, we are just human.

On a lighter note. The holidays were good to me. My family has never been really close and we don't get together as often as I would like. Especially for dinner…….. my mom is an amazing chef. Family and friends are the most important to me and we are continually making efforts to constantly improve it amidst all the challenges, hardship and loss. My brother, who I really haven't seen in a decade made a real positive leap this year and sent us all a care package. He combined what he loves doing, making chain mail armour combined with a bit of online research to see what might be an appropriate gift for me.  He made made me a chain mail guitar strap for my new cigar box guitar that I got myself for my birthday. I really appreciate is his effort. To me its the best gift I could have gotten this holiday season, though it is as heavy as the guitar it is strapped too.

December 23, 2014

RIP FACEBOOK. Open mind – close Facebook.

I spent 7 years of my life on Face Crack, and for what?
Am I any better for it?
1691 “friends” and 528 likes on my artist page.
Swiping past photos of strangers.
Is this what it is to be connected?!

The reason I am taking the first step is to regaining some semblance of my life, time and relationships. It is enough of a reason that the new users agreement gives up our rights and freedoms. What worries me more is that we are so attached to this time waster of an app that we are so willing to trade off our personal information and freedoms to corporate interest, for me personally, this is the last straw. An impetus for personal change.

Many years ago I banished the Nestle corporation from my life. I had to drop my favorite chocolates and candies, carnation, Delissio frozen pizzas, my favorite cologne and bottled water. At first it was difficult. Nestle is a powerful and pervasive corporation, interested in privatizing the worlds water supply.  Yet in a short period of time it has not impacted me negatively in the slightest.  1 me stands for what I believe. I don’t think exodus from Face-Crack will be any different.  I need to be free once more. Fingers crossed.

2014 was a very challenging year. I lost many friends, family and acquaintances.  An inevitable reminder of our inescapable mortality. It feels to me like life is slipping away and I need to regain it with all my fight and fervor.

Exactly a year ago this time, I was forced out of my studio. Which has taken away my ability to create art leaving me feeling dulled. I have been without my temple of creation and it has been more than difficult. That being said, I have saved the same amount I would have spent on rent and I now wonder what to do with it.

I drew myself out of life, hiding away and battling the doldrums. I intend to put the effort back into this blog, my website but mainly my artwork and I hope a return to this brings the benefits social media could not.  I feel naked and alone these days. Vulnerable and lost. I need to find myself in all of this craziness. Re-read favorite books. Turn off Netflix. Pick up one of my many instruments instead. Spend my time, my most valuable asset, by building amazing new memories.

I can be proud of my constant self-reflection, or maybe my overtly self-critical nature inherent in any artist.  Social media has become an addiction, an addiction to immediate gratification. I find myself reaching for my device every morning, which battles the importance practice of writing my morning pages. In this I worry I am dissolving and losing the parts of myself that I love most and make me unique.

I have kept up a daily practice of sending “ H a P p Y b I r T h D a Y t O y O u ! .... and many more....” because it is as important as knowing somebody’s name to the bearer.  Every now and again the rare and deeply satisfying conversation or connecting to friends from the past.  It gives me a constant flow of news I don’t need. “Comments” and “likes” being fished for to build up ones ego. Hundreds of events I cant remember or attend. Yet I feel this alone has set a huge wedge between my true self and this other "internet-identity".

It seems to me that my interactions have become less and less sincere. I keep putting in my effort but as I look around, I see people around the table, at the club and in the mall, their fingers punching frantically, their eyes lit by little glowing screens.

I turn off my phone when I drive, and keep it off when I share a meal with friends, which does not seem to be the norm. But the thing I’ve missed most as of late is real connections with people. I’d rather have one close person in my life who really knows me deeply than 1600+ “friends” who when I encounter in person seem to loose eye contact after the first surface hellos. We really never really connect deeply. I want real connections, not “likes” and text messages. 

I don’t think dropping completely out of society is a solution, but I feel like those I interact with, or date should equally respond with an enthusiastic attitude of “FUCK, YES!” If not, then there is no real reason to go forward. Recently, I tried to make every effort to grow some new friendships.  I consistently put in energy but it was met with apathy and indifference. Why have I wasted my time struggling for no reason? It seems my lesson lately is to move onto things that really matter.

Like a hungry ghost my taste never ceases for an adventurous and passionate life. For people with a shine in their eyes and a fire in their hearts. Maybe along side my art I should elevate my drives and desire to write, to love and to eat amazing food. I desire connection and love, just like you. I reach out here, I invite you to be part of my world still but in a more real way, if you say “FUCK, YES!” you know where to find me.

Real life is better…..Farwell Facecrack!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and farewell facebook!