Childhood Week: Day 1 – Toys and Games

The week is basically done but decided to start posting these up anyway! Beatrice Blue started this online event this week called Childhood Week to inspire artists to create art based on prompts related to childhood. It may be late in the game but don't let that stop you either!

For the first day I just decided to capture myself crazily multitasking playing with as many toys as possible because I was too indecisive and too spoiled as a child to pick a single toy! I was really into Nickelodeon so a lot of toys and posters reflected that! And of course I had to through in Beanie Babies, Skip It, Sky Dancers, Gameboy, Ribbon Dancer, American Girl Dolls, the board games Mouse Trap and Operation, and of course my hula hoop, wagon and yo-yo for good measure! I really like toting my tape player, toys and friends in my wagon around the neighborhood! I think some Nickelodeon shows or movies like Dennis the Menace or the Pagemaster even really emphasized the importance of a wagon in one's childhood so I took to heart that subliminal advice. I hope to casually and maybe not so casually draw and share more of these childhood inspirations for the next couple of days this week so sit tight!


Hold You There

Weightless
And it takes your breath away
Just before dropping
You dare to hold on
The rush of wind in your lungs
Freeing you from yourself
Letting it all go
Utterly alive
Utterly terrified
And flying
Feeling your heart flutter and race
As you plunge in the wonder of this vast abyss
The sparkling deep blue
Flowing up and down
Together and forever
Over and under
Sharing you there
Swooping, diving
I’ll hold you there
In the embrace of the night sky
Your spirit elevated
As light as a tear
I’ll hold you there
In our one and only time here

Ancient Tree

Haven’t done a stop motion for awhile. Recently I realized that stop-motion out of all the arts I’m interested in pursuing is the one I want to try and do my regularly. So at 11:40pm last night I decided to make this. It already was late when I started making it but I managed to get it finished in an hour, which made me feel pretty proud of myself. And yes that’s me singing and making the music. I’ve been wanting to make a video where every aspect including the music was completely original. I’m finally stepping one foot forward toward this goal! It is very rough in terms of the lighting, the focus, the smoothness between each shot, the abrupt endong, and number of other things I could name but the emotion and atmosphere between what is seen and heard was consistent. The graphics were simple and economical and the mood and pacing was engaging. I look forward to making more of these! Maybe even making a musical stop-motion sometime! 😀

Circa 2012

I went on a walk with Destiny to get outside of myself, my mind, my restlessness, do something good. I found a son grown into a young and thoughtful man helping his father put up Christmas lights. I felt his calm presence, so mature that I found myself feeling younger than him and wanting to model him by slowing down my pace, being mindful of Destiny and my breath and the world around me. I found a teenage girl playing basketball with a heavy set middle aged man with Down Syndrome. Reminded me when I felt my best, compassionate and responsible. I thought if I was in San Francisco I would somehow have the courage to talk to them. I felt so nosey. Were they related? Was she volunteering? I realized that even I wasn’t that close to my uncle or other adults in my extended family. I felt guilty.

A 6 year old brother and an 8 year old sister on bikes and scooters wanted to pet Destiny. They said how it was going to rain and were thinking how they’ll avoid walking in wet shoes all day since they don’t have rain-boots. I said how lucky they were to do art and write stories and how when they’re my age, they’ll look back at their old work and say, “Wow! I was such a cool kid because I made this!” Then the little boy said, “You can do it as an adult too. Just get some paper and a pencil” and that tomorrow it will be a perfect day because it will be raining. I said that will be great because I could draw and write a story about the squirrel who threw a leaf at me. The girl mentioned that a bird threw a rock at her which started a conversation about penguins using rocks to make their nests. The girl thought I was in high school but I told her I’m in college but I haven’t talked to kids for a while so I start to talk like a kid when I’m around them, which makes me seem younger. The girl smiled at this; the boy looked confused. It was so nice to get out of the box, out of my comfort zone, and into the world, being the person I want to be.

 

Week 3: 1/16/17

This week was a big week for everyone. The inauguration and protests were huge historical events. I loved how the rain revealed and strengthened the determination and passion of everyone involved with the march. I saw a lot of creative messages like “Tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted,” “A woman’s place is with the resistance” and “We’re only going to get browner, queerer, louder, stronger and watch the dinosaurs die away.” It was inspiring to see the vast ocean of people in all directions and how smoothly and peacefully it was all organized. Kids, families, pets were all there. It was invigorating and emotional, a wake up call to be ready to protect what’s important to us.

I was a little bit better with sleeping this week. Instead of going to bed at midnight every night I went to bed at midnight for two nights, at 11pm for two nights, 11:45pm for two nights and late night that was more like 1am for one night. I still need to turn the bed time ritual into a habit but I realized having a large pillow on my chest and stomach under the layers of comforters really relaxed me and made it easier to sleep.

I’m still doing the drawing once a day challenge! Lately they have been more quick and sloppy because of time so my goal has been to at least hit the bare minimum of just getting something out there. So I haven’t used the enveloping technique as much. I drew some of my drawings this week from photos of people from this website called bodiesinmotion.com that my friend showed me. They have photos and movies of dancers, martial artists, and acrobats that you can draw. It’s really good for practicing epic figure drawing! It inspired me to look into classes at Circus Circus like cyr wheel, lyra, hooping, aerial silks, and bungee dance.

Also my friend and I went to a figure drawing class but unfortunately the model didn’t show up. It would be great to get that practice every so often because how you see things in person is different than how you see things photographed. It’s harder and provides more potential for growth through the challenge.

This week was the first week of my art class! I learned how to access the online portion of the class and started reading posts and introducing myself on the forums. Looks like I’m going to have a busy semester. Every couple weeks a big project is due that will give me a hands-on understanding on a specific design concept. On the first day in class we got to paint with found objects (feathers, leaves, cuetips, pipe cleaners, etc.) on large butcher paper while listening to music with a process oriented intent. This coming week we are going to frame a  small portion of what we painted and then critique and talk about why we framed what we framed. 

Only went to the gym once but I walked a lot this week during work and during the marches so at least I was moving somewhat. I had three days in a row where I walked  two hours straight. And I’m starting this week right by going to the gym for two and half hours on Monday (80 minutes cardio, 50 minutes of strengthing, 20 minutes stretching).

Sushiritto, pupusas, Duper Duper veggie burger, and Arizmendi pizza were the four meals I went out for this week, but I cooked this week too to make up for it.

Delicata squash, ramen with egg, roasted hazelnuts and almonds, hummus, crackers and Swiss cheese were snacks I made and had. I love delicata squash! It’s my new found favorite! And snacks are the best. I think I need them little meals throughout the day so I don’t over do it. 

I met with friends for three days this week. I haven’t seen one friend for over six months and another in over a year and was able to catch up and play Bananagrama with them. Also the march brought my work, samba and college friends all in one place, which was tricky to coordinate but cool to see! 

I haven’t mentioned anything about work this year but so far in the past month with my clients I’ve played indoor basketball, had two long walks (including a scavenger hunt) across various neighborhoods of the city, read in the park, helped make orzo pasta and polenta lasagne, and acted as a giraffe lost in space in the first day of drama class. The year is off to a good start.

I’m on my third comic book from that pile of nine. This past week I read the first volume of Wicked and Divine and am now in the middle of the second one. The way the artists use the panels and express the emotions of the characters is very clever and creative and surprising. Like showing a map of a weekend concert with the main character’s comments all over it about what things have happened there or a photo sequence showing the perception of the character as she is slowly experiencing being drugged. The colors in the art is very neon like it’s an adult Lisa Frank book. I’m learning a lot about world mythology and celebrities by taking the time to look up all the connections in the comic online. I enjoy the strength and attitude in all the characters and how diverse they are in their races and sexual orientations. It’s a little hard to follow all the characters so sometimes I’m lost but somehow I’m still pulled in and enjoying it. I’m excited to see who I’ll meet next and what will happen.

As always, goals for next week:

• Draw figures using the envelope technique.

• At least start getting ready for bed at 9pm or as soon as I get home.

• Look at my online class 3-4 times a week.

• Read another comic or two.

• Have 2-3 days where I go to the gym.

• Go out to eat only for 2-3 days.

• Start writing again: a journal entry, a poem, and a snippet of a fiction story

Week 2: 1/9/17

This week I spent time with friends a lot! Four days to be exact. I saw two movies, The Arrival (had some deep and mind expanding conversations after seeing this one!) and Rogue One. I also watched the original Peter Pan with Mary Martin which was funny and endearing and mostly just so 1950’s.

I also started this thing with a friend where each day we text each other a picture that we drew to keep us on top of our drawing practice. I’m learning that I feel the most confident and excited about capturing the expression and gesture but my proportions and perspective need a lot of work! My goal is to focus on drawing from things I see and someday being loose and carefree in pen and other days in pencil focusing on the big shapes in this “envelope” technique to analyze and correct myself as I go along.

I went out to eat at El Cerrito Theater, Mr. Dewie’s, Nazarios, and Sushiritto. Didn’t really decrease going out to eat from last week but some really great food experiences were had! El Cerrito is small, old and fancy with loose tables and rolling cushioned chairs as the furniture for the front. The customers can order food and they will find you in the theater to serve it to you. It’s not normal movie theater food either. It’s good. And Mr. Dewie’s cashew ice cream is so smooth and silky. It’s something I look forward to whenever I’m in the East Bay. I’ve had coffee, turmeric, vanilla, and chocolate. It’s the best! And so is Sushiritto! It’s a giant sushi with all sorts of amazing things in it! I love food.

And gym was only a one timer again this week and I didn’t really write in my journal. I did go to bed a tiny bit earlier. There were three days I went to bed at midnight and the rest were around 11:30-11:45pm. I’m realizing I need to brush my teeth right after I eat dinner and then not have any screens after 9:00pm but instead read or dim the lights or wear the amber glasses. At nine I need to set up the environment and I need to be ready for bed by that time to help with the transition.

I also made a dent in that pile of comics and read the first volume of Saga. It’s definitely more action oriented which usually isn’t my thing (I usually like relationship based, regular people kind of stories) but I loved the world and the artwork. The bright rich contrasting colors were like vibrant psychological candy to to dive into. Now I’m starting the first volume of Wicked and Divine which seems just as vibrant or more!

Oh! And I finally subscribed to OccupationalTherapy.com so I can have unlimited CEU credits for a reasonable price. I started it off by watching a video about how to adapt a toy so that it is more accessible to children with cerebral palsy. It was mostly learning how to connect stereo wires that are connected to a large button to the wires of a toy that most likely has a button that’s more difficult to press due to size, low feedback, location, number of buttons, or pressure required to make it work. So excited to learn more!

I joined a DIR/Floortime forum on Facebook and got excited about a DIR/Floortime class that I’ve always wanted to take to learn about it but I have an art class that’s at the same time. It was a good reminder to keep it on the radar, especially in the summer and late spring. It’s not exactly a near future goal but a possibly this year goal.

Randomly I found an email I sent my mom during the first week of college. It made me so happy to read it! I wrote so much detail, details I wouldn’t remember otherwise about teachers, classes, buildings, food, including my first impressions of the closest friends I still have now over 10 years later! Another thing I read was about how my English teacher was the basis of the character Daria from the cartoon. I guess her friend was either the writer or artist and was inspired by her sarcastic personality.

So next week:

  • Start of my art class
  • Atmospheric bed transitioning time at 9:00pm for at least 3 nights
  • Bed at 10:30pm for at least 3 nights
  • Exercise at least 2 times this week
  • Read another comic
  • Write in my journal at least 1 time
  • Go out to eat only 2 times this week
  • Maybe buy one thing that’s on my list
  • Draw everyday

Accomplishing this would be a taste of success and a step in life enhancement. I’m ready!

Away From the Flame


Stories are like marshmallows
Burning in campfires
Goey, messy, tough to control
A dance between you and the world
Burning in ways you didn’t expect
But making it all stick together
All the rich layers that can be bitter or brittle
Or melt under a warm touch
Or stay strong and steady through the thick and thin
Each marshmallow to be seen as too burnt or too white
All of them striving for that perfect tan
That perfect vulnerability that doesn’t kill you with carcinogens
A thin layer strong enough to hold a soft gushing heart

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