Fuck yeah, I’m an adult! So, stop wasting my time!

I think I’m becoming an adult. I realize that that is an odd thing to say, considering I am 25 and should see myself as an adult already, but I kinda don’t yet. Not that I see myself as a teenager, either… I’m just a “student”: That weird limbo area between education and the real world. In my 25 years of life, I have yet to have a job that completely covers my living expenses. I hope that will come in two years time when I am finally done school.

Physically, I know I have surpassed being an adult and have gone straight to being old. That happened at the ripe old age of 21. A serious hip operation would suck the youth out of anyone, I think. Now I think back fondly to the time when I had flexibility in my right hip, as I painfully exercise and stretch in the hopes of gaining it back.

By “becoming an adult” I mean taking control of my own actions and decisions without needing approval from anyone. There are people in my life who’s opinions and advice mean a lot to me, but I am coming to realize, more and more, that this is my life and I am free to live it how I want. I also take more stock in how I spend my time. Studying minimalism and mindfulness, working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, reading and attempting to follow Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, I’ve realized that they all have the same message: happiness is to spend your time intentionally doing things you love. And I have started to do that, trying to actively ween myself away from digital distractions and push myself to spend time doing things I want to do. And they are all right, I am happier! On the flip-side, however, I find myself more easily irritated when I have to spend my time doing something I don’t want to do, or doing something that wastes my time. Do I want to go out for drinks with people I don’t like? No. That would be a huge waste of my time. Would I get more out of going home and reading a book? Yes. Heck yes.

“I’m an adult. I can do what I want!” I use to ironically yell in a fake temper tantrum. But guess what, ladies and gentlemen… who are my life colleagues now, I guess… I am an adult and I can do what I want. So there! *Blows raspberry*

The Reawakening of Water Child

So let me tell you something about what happened yesterday.

I am currently teaching ESL at a summer camp, and our afternoon activity was to take the kids down to Toronto Island to go dragon boating. It was hella hot, and we had just been stuck in a stifling school bus as it inched its way down Bay St. We get out and herd the kids down to the ferry terminal when, suddenly, the air changed; before I knew it, I was being washed, head to toe, in fresh cool air from Lake Ontario. Oh! My heart just sang and my whole body trembled. In the ferry terminal there are photographs of water: shallow water over a rippled sandy bottom; deep water waves shining like a polished diamond in the sun. They were so beautiful that I couldn’t stop looking at them.

Later, standing at the bow of the ferry, feeling the lake breeze caress my mind, body and soul, I was in such a place of bliss. I spent my childhood swimming, sailing, kayaking, and power boating on the Great Lakes. I never realized how important they were to me and how much they effected me. I’ve been called a fish since a young age because I just would not get out of the water. I have been told that I am a true pisces. The first dive into fresh lake water is better than any orgasm. Whenever I see water, I want nothing more than to tear off my shoes and dip my toes in. Water just calls to me.

I am my happiest when I am around fresh water. This isat the core of my being. I am thankful that I know this about myself because it will help guide me forward to my happiest, most fulfilling life. My dream ini life is to own a cottage on a lake in Northern Ontario and live, surrounded by plants, with my Labrador retriever. Now, I’m thinking, I might want to also own a sailboat… ooh, maybe live on a sail boat for a time?

Do you love the water as much as I do? Is there another place that just excites your soul, like towering mountains, or lush forests, or arid deserts?

Can an introvert really ever find the perfect job?

I feel ya, teacher lady. I feel ya.

Is anyone else out there introverted? I wouldn’t say I am completely introverted, but I fall on the more introverted side of the spectrum. As an adult, I’ve found that I’ve become more aware of my symptoms of introversion, mainly the signs that my body gives me to say: “You really need a break from people.” I feel tired. My thoughts are laced with irritation. Despite this, I talk a lot, and it’s almost like my mind steps back to watch what my body is doing, and the conclusion it comes it is that my body is an idiot. My eagerness to help becomes a little conniving voice in my head, one that knows how to solve your problem, but gleefully holds it back to watch you suffer. I exaggerated the last one a bit, but the point I’m trying to get at is when I have had too much human interaction, I my mindset changes. I try to fight against these new, more negative impulses, and hope they don’t show. I try to never act on them, and as far as I know, I have been successful.

I am trained to be a Teacher. It is what I have been working towards my entire life. On one hand, I enjoy leading a class. I believe that I have strong ideas, and am a good teacher as a result. My concern is, now that I know myself better, is teaching the right profession for me? I love the solitary nature of creating art, but also enjoy the thrill that comes out of collaborating on ideas with others. I’m still in school (seven years of post-secondary education and counting!) so these wonderings can sit on the back burner for a while yet.

At the moment, I’m off to teach ESL at a summer camp, and I don’t really feel like it today.

Do you consider yourself an introvert? What kind of symptoms do you experience when your body says “I’ve had enough of people”

Do you believe that a person can find the perfect job, or is that just a pipe dream?

TUNESDAY: “Toast” by Streetband

 

I promised I would put this song on #Tunesday when I posted Reasons to Be Cheerful Pt 3. I was introduced to this song in high school and have loved it ever since. Like “Reasons to Be Cheerful Pt. 3” it is a nonsense song talk-sung by a British guy. And I do love those.

This one is about toast. How many songs do you know about toast? Not many, huh? If I hadn’t been introduced to this song by a friend many moons ago in high school, I wouldn’t be able to name one, either!

“The upper crust was not for me,
I could tell that”

Geddit? Don’t you just love toast puns?

Go take a listen, what have you go to lose?

Was today’s song a hit or a miss? Do you know of other toast related songs? Let me know in the comments below! Song recommendations are always welcome!

I Failed Sketchbook Summer

I failed #SketchbookSummer.

I started the month ready and prepared. In a feat of Einsteinian mathematics, I counted the number of pages in my sketchbook (110), divided those up by the number of days in July (31) and came to the grand conclusion that I would need to complete 3.5 double spreads every day in order to fill my sketchbook by the end of the month. That didn’t seem so bad.

Week one, my momentum was really strong. Believe it or not, I even went over my weekly quota and drew more pages than I should have! I was feeling great.

Then what happened? I got into my head. I made excuses. I was “too tired” to draw. I let days go by without drawing anything at all. I told myself that I would catch up on the weekend, when I would magically be in the mood to draw. As anyone knows, that magical day when you wake up and have suddenly become a perfect version of yourself, full of motivation and discipline with magically acquired level of talent to match, never actually comes… and so the weekend would come and go and I’d be just as behind as ever.

That being said, today is July 31st (Happy Birthday Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling) and I have filled the large majority of a sketchbook! I am quite proud of that. My goal for #sketchbookSummer was not simply to put marks on paper, but instead to create a habit where I spent time every day with my sketchbook, and I did! I was writing, drawing, and experimenting within those 110 pages… I tried to stop treating the paper as a special object that should be saved for masterpieces. Instead, I viewed my sketchbook as a private playground uniquely designed for me, and it felt great! It is a practice I fully intend to keep up. Besides, masterpieces only emerge from sloppy, messy, ugly idea play, so go ahead “waste” a page in your sketchbook, see how it feels! After some time, chances are, it won’t feel like it was a wasted page after all because it, in some indefinable way, helped you get to where you are now. 

———————–

Here are some of my favourite recent pages from my sketchbook:

TUNESDAY: “Powerplay” by HOLYCHILD ft. RAC

 

And when I think of time past
And wasting body tightness
I cry for all the babies
Their beauty quickly fading

Something about this music video makes me think of Arthur’s little sister, DW. Like, HOLYCHILD is DW all grown up, going to the mall with her friends, growing aware of societal pressures on women’s bodies. But, like, in a fun, catchy way that is not at all sad as it suggests.

Was today’s song a hit or a miss? Let me know in the comments below! Song recommendations are always welcome!

TUNESDAY: “Rebirth” by Nina Diaz

 

 

I am a sucker for girl punk, especially when it has a Tarantino, western rock and roll feel.

Nina Diaz is fierce. NPR’s Felix Contreras agrees with me. Or, namely, I agree with Felix. I gotta check out the rest of this album. If I believed in god, I’d ask that Nina Diaz’ voice would come out when I sang. And if her backup band could follow me around and make me look and sound cool as I walk around, that’d be cool to. Thanks.

Was today’s song a hit or a miss? Let me know in the comments below! Song recommendations are always welcome!

 

“Make it work!” Mondays: … How do I animate?

I wanted my videos to have animation in them. Animation was something I’ve always wanted to learn how to do, and it would give my videos a much more surreal quality to them if I hand made every inch of the frame. It would also be much, much, much more time consuming. Was I ready to commit to a project like that? Did I even know how to realize a project like that?


I had messed around with a green screen in a class once, and found it surprisingly easy to use. This was encouraging. Maybe I could act in front of a green screen and then add in animated backgrounds?

All I know is I’ve got a lot of work to do…

Weekly Update: July 2nd-9th

This was week one of Sketchbook Summer. People seem to have a prompts list for this challenge, but I can’t find it! If you know where it is, please send me a link! Regardless, I am having a lot of fun drawing this week. Some days it has been a challenge to fill the 3.5 pages, but other days I get on a roll and more than make up for it. I did the math, and so long as I complete 24 spreads per week, I will be golden. The thing I find myself noticing the most is the fact that I have to wait for my paint to dry… and even though I’m still in the art-making-mood, I can’t flip to the next page because I need to wait for my paint to dry! Ah, first-world-artist problems, eh? 

 

This has been a busy week, mainly because of teaching. Highlights include: Going a packed aquarium with a group of 50 students while everyone else had the holiday Monday off; taking the same enormous group to the Toronto Zoo and slowly inching our way through “Africa,” baking under the hot sun; and finally, going shopping with 50 teenagers. The life of a teacher is extremely glamorous, no?

Back in April I had signed up for an online course, which now, I am kinda regretting. This course will qualify me to teach Gr. 11 and 12 English, which is good because it will open the door to me getting a job in a high school, but it adds more onto my daily work load than I would like. If anything, I am taking the fact that doing the course work feels like drudgery to be an indicator that  pursuing something more creative is the correct path for me. I am still on the Artists Way, week 8 just finished… and I am more and more confident in my ability to forge a creative life for myself. This online class has also taught me how bad I am at reading online. Does anyone else get that? What I don’t understand is how is it possible that I spent hours and hours of my life reading fan fiction from the ages of 12 to 20, yet give me a work of non fiction, an assignment, a message, and stick it on a screen and POOF, my eyes glide over it and it means nothing. This is why I flip flop about digital books; they’re just harder to read somehow.

This week, I wanted to talk about SemiSkimmedMin. At first, when I saw her videos, I was annoyed by their beauty and her phenomenal art ability. Yes, I was jealous. She was doing everything I wanted to do… and she had a cool British accent to boot! Not fair! Something drew me back to her channel this week, and after I had blinked a few times to clear the jealousy from my eyes, I discovered what a true wealth of knowledge her channel was! I learned so much from her 30 ways to fill a sketchbook videos —and I haven’t even watched them all!

She recommended a great channel for life drawing videos, and had the great idea of going to google street view and drawing landscapes. Duh! How simple, FREE and amazing is that! I’ve been putting off going to life drawing classes for months now, blaming the cost of a class, fitting the class into my schedule, and the fact that all of the classes are just a little bit farther from home than I’d like them to be… and now I don’t have any excuses! I can do them from home on my computer and keep being the homebody I so desperately want to be! I can definitely see doing google street view drawings when it is way too cold to go outside. Shout out to you, Canadian winter! I highly recommend going to check out her channel. I guarantee you will be inspired!

What have I been reading? (in five-ish words or less)

  1. Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks
    “Funny people being inspiring. Sth-aaap!”

    I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves comedy, television or movies, or is thinking about living a creative life, or entering “show business”

  2. How to be everything: A guide for those who (still) don’t know what they want to be when they grow up – by Emilie Wapnick
    “Multipotentialite: Hear me roar!”

  3. Draw from your head: A step by step system for drawing the human figure without a model – Doug Jamieson
    “Yass, teach me how bodies work!”

What have I been watching? (In five-ish words or less)

  1. SemiSkimmedMin
    “Let me be you, please!”

  2. Labyrinth
    “I think I need to have watched this as a kid for it to have been good. Bowie’s sexy as hell, though.*”

*Please don’t hate me for not liking this movie. It was just a little too lame for my mindset at the time, maybe? I would love to read some good Labyrinth fanfiction, though… this movie seems ripe for some good stuff!