Well I’m still working on my commission piece. It’s coming along very slowly. Maybe I can finish it in the next 2 weeks. I am certainly going to aspire to that.
Spring is here and, with that, a desire to go outside. So I have been doing a lot of that lately: going outside. I think this is impacting my ability to finish this piece in a timely manner. I also acquired a record player from a friend of mine who is moving. It’s an old record player and I wouldn’t say by any means its sound quality is great, but it works good enough and has inspired me to start building a record collection, something I’ve been wanting to do since the dawn of time. Yesteday, I ventured out and sought out my first official records for the collection. It was so much fun!
Since I had my second vaccine appointment yesterday, I went with records that are good for listening to while laying lifeless and sore on the couch. These were my choices:
Two artists who are without a doubt beautiful, old souls and extraordinarily talented at what they do. On the left is Weyes Blood’s “Titantic Rising” and on the right is Adrianne Lenker’s “abysskiss.”
Take a listen if you like!!
Okay, that is all I have. Hopefully by my next update I will be done with my commission!
Here’s a progress shot of the commission drawing I am working on. I’m just beginning to make sense of the color scheme. It’s going to have predominately blue hues with purple, yellow, pink, and green hues scattered throughout, I’m thinking.
Crossing my fingers nothing goes wrong. Unfortunately, if something does, I’ll have to start over because I can’t erase colored pencil!
This is a picture of my cat, Marcel, which I took today. It just hit me he is going to be 10 months old next month… Already all grown up. I can tell pandemic time has messed with my brain because it seems like just yesterday I brought him home at the ripe age of 8 weeks. It’s unbelievable to me how much time has passed, as well as all the events that happened within that period of time. Here I am today, walking around and healthy and soon to end my isolation. Didn’t really think that’d be the case months ago.
Hopefully I can get the commission drawing done in the next 1-2 weeks. I wasn’t too productive earlier this week, but have thankfully found some much needed momentum in recent days!
Hi. It’s been an incredibly unproductive week. Certain things have happened in the last week that have made it hard to work, but I’ll show a bit of my progress, anyway.
As you can see, I’ve just gotten started on the commission piece. Very little to show.
On Thursday, April 15th, I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and I spent a good two days experiencing unpleasant side effects, all of which disappeared this morning.
On Sunday, April 11th, a shooting occured in my hometown of Brooklyn Center, MN, blocks away from where I grew up. A white cop shot and killed a 20 year old black man by the name Daunte Wright. His death was labeled an “accident” and protests broke out in front of the Brooklyn Center police station and have continued throughout the week.
I could write forever about my reaction to this tragedy, but I won’t. All I will say is racism is taught. And when it’s taught to children, it’s absorbed so quickly and potently that it remains in those children’s bodies for the rest of their lives. And if those children grow up into adults who continue to be taught to be racist, they turn into someone like Kim Potter, someone who takes the life of an innocent person because they were never truly challenged, they were never truly held accountable for the harm of their racist words and actions.
While it may be true that Potter didn’t intend to shoot her gun, I believe a racial bias underscored each decision she made that Sunday afternoon. Growing up in Brooklyn Center, I watched the white adult figures in my life, including policemen, treat black people unfairly, both explicitly and implicitly. As a child, I was role modeled racism by these white adult figures I was told were my leaders, and, as a result of that, I have spent and will continue to spend my adulthood trying to purge this racism from my body and soul, this garbage that in a better world I never would have absorbed.
Unlike myself, who has been challenged and will continue to be by my community, those within the police force appear to inhabit something of an echo chamber of racist attitudes and beliefs.
I hope with all my heart Kim Potter is convicted of her crime. If she has her dignity intact, she will plead guilty.
And I hope with all my heart that the family of Daunte Wright is surrounded by love and warmth. It is undeserved, what happened. No family should have to experience this.
Hello! Long time no see. It’s been an intense couple weeks.
I’ve spent the majority of my time sketching. I was able to complete a sketch of a commission I’ve been asked to do. I was also able to compelete a sketch of the next Taiga Series drawing I plan to do, which is going to be of another lynx. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been able to start the final drawings of either these sketches, so I have no in-progress drawings to show. I’m thinking, then, as a way to show more of my art making process, I’ll post the two sketches, which are rough digital collages I made from personal and copyright free photos and will serve as references for the final drawings.
This is the sketch for the commission, the first drawing I plan to do. The prompt for this commission is a blue hued colored pencil drawing of a crying highland cow.
This is the sketch for the next Taiga Series drawing depicting a lynx.
Both these sketches aren’t completely indicative of what the final drawing will look like. Sometimes I make changes, both major and minor. I also do my best to better blend the collage elements together using color pencils or graphite.
Hopefully I can show some in-progress shots in the next week! But maybe I won’t. I’ve been extraordinarily anxious lately, like there’s a ticking bomb inside me and if I spend any time relaxing, I’ll blow up. So, lately, instead of working on art, I’ve just been running an insane amount of errands, compulsively walking and driving, doing all the laundry, etc, because I don’t want to blow up. I’m scheduled to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine next week and, for whatever reason, this has brought up all kinds of feelings of terror. What if I have a rare allergic reaction to the vaccine and, yeah, die? What if my immune system freaks the **** out and I spend another couple months in some kind of Long Covid limbo? What if I get COVID-19 while waiting in line to get vaccinated with all the other people waiting in line to get vaccinated? What if I get COVID-19 before I’m even able to make my appointment? What if all the doses at the vaccination center get destroyed and my appointment gets canceled?What if, what if, what if?
Maybe I feel this way because I believe I am so close to finding my resolution to this pandemic. Getting the Pfizer vaccine, to me, is symbolic of stepping out of the shadowy land of self-isolation I have inhabited for the last 13 months. It is symbolic of warding off the most severe form of COVID-19, allowing me to work my day job with less concerns, less anxiety. I am five days away from getting my first shot. Given how unpredictable life has been throughout this pandemic, five days seems like a long time, a period in which anything could happen, and I’m really struggling to be patient and acknowledge that it’s possible for things to go smoothly.
All that said, I will still do my best to get some drawing done.
Here’s my 6th drawing for the taiga series. It’s titled “Moonlight Watcher” and is a graphite drawing based off the lynx I saw at the Minnesota Zoo. I had so much fun doing this. It felt refreshing to draw an animal that isn’t a deer, haha. While I absolutely adore deer, I realize I had recently gotten a bit bored of drawing them.
I’m going to be taking a detour with my next drawing. I have a comission next. This comission is going to be a small drawing in blue hued colored pencils and will feature a crying animal. That’s all I know for now.
I am not as familiar with colored pencils as I am with graphite, so I am looking forward to the challenge! Some part of me is thinking it’d be fun to include colored pencil drawings in the taiga series, just to add a bit of color. This commission will be a great way to test whether that is something I want to do.
Another progress shot of the drawing I’m doing. My phone’s camera was not centered when I took this shot, I apologize for its crookedness.
The lynx is getting close to done! I still have a decent amount of work to do on the rock, tree, sky, butterflies, well everything else. But it should go quickly. I’m anticipating I’ll be done in a few days as long as I keep working on it each night.
In the meantime, here’s a beautiful song…
Be back very, very soon! (Probably.) =)
I had such a vivid dream last night. Want to share it.
There were two parts to it. In the first part, there was farmland every which way I turned. It was almost like I was lost out at sea, but instead of being surrounded by water, I was surrounded by wheat, grass, corn, that kinda stuff. And there was this dirt road I was standing on. And some semi-trucks off in the distance behind me. I remember thinking I need to be wary of the semi-trucks because they won’t see me on the dirt road. I should make sure I don’t get hit. Then I began to walk down the dirt road and, as I did, the wind picked up dirt and it swirled all around me, making it impossible to see what was in front of me. Instead, I’d look ahead and just see a dark orange haze. Worried about the semi-trucks, I dove into the grass on the side of the road and hid. A semi-truck came roaring down the road and kicked up so much dirt it buried me. I layed there for a long time as more semi-trucks passed and made what looked like a dust storm. Then, I saw an image in my mind of a stranger who had also been on the dirt road get hit by one of the semi-trucks and die. That was the end of the first part.
In the second part, there is a whole section I can’t really remember. I had been in some sort of dark, haunted building. There were people there who I couldn’t recognize, but, for some reason, I called them my friends. And something had gone wrong, I don’t remember what, that prompted me to leave the building. Once I did, I was greeted by a downpour of rain that completely soaked me. I escaped into my car and then was transported to the roof of a very, very, very high skyscraper, like so high it was above the clouds. And I became an airplane. Inexplicably. I was no longer human, but an airplane hovering over the edge of this very, very, very high skyscraper. I looked at all the airplanes flying below and around me and wondered, “is it wrong of me to be up here hovering on this roof? Should I start flying, maybe?” I looked out at the sky. It was so beautifully blue and pristine looking, like heavenly. I felt compelled to fly as far as I possibly could into the direction I was looking in. So I said, “screw it” and flew away. And that was the end of the second part.
I’ll be back soon! My lynx drawing is nearing completion.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what direction I want to go in professionally with my art. I’ve spent a great deal of my life feeling confused about that. I went to school for illustration, but, after I graduated, barely attempted to become an illustrator of any kind. The only kind of illustrator I put some effort into becoming was a children’s book illustrator, which professors and colleagues often suggested I be. While I agreed with them and decided to try my hand at it, I struggled to accept it wasn’t actually what I wanted for myself. I went to SCBWI conferences, made lists of agents and publishing houses, wrote drafts of children’s stories and created accompanying illustrations. I did these things, but all while feeling heavy and hollow. There was nothing exciting to me about being a children’s book illustrator, no matter how hard I tried to convinced myself there was.
Since realizing that, I haven’t had much an idea about what direction to go in. I feel like some kind of artist peripheral, hugging the walls of every room in the art world, unsure if I can access, or am even allowed in, those rooms’ centers. There are some things I know I love. I love to frame and display my art. I love to share my art with others. I love to be around other artists and have them share their art with me. For this reason, I’ve felt excited when exhibiting my art in galleries and art fairs. I wonder, then, if galleries and art fairs are the right places for me. I wonder, if they are, if I can commit to them, like reallycommit to them. There was something safe about trying to become a children’s book illustrator. I didn’t care if I failed. Because I just didn’t care at all. But when I pursue something that brings me real excitement, jerk-me gets all riled up. Jerk-me starts telling me I don’t belong in those places, ’cause my art’s too illustrative, ’cause I’m too quiet, ’cause I’m not enough. Jerk-me tries to protect me, might even say, “why don’t you try being a children’s book illustrator again?” Because it’s so much safer than possibly failing at something you care about.
So, I don’t know. Or maybe I do know what I want, but I’m just struggling to think I deserve it.
Anyway, here’s a progress shot of the next drawing I’m working on…
Well I’m happy to write that 5 months since I contracted COVID-19, I’m at last feeling 100% recovered. For about a month now, I’ve been absent of what had been a solid 4 months of chest pain and intermittent bouts of shortness of breath. Last weekend, I decided to see if I really am totally recovered and put my body to the test with a walk. Had no issues . =) And this week I returned to my full work schedule, also with no issues.
I don’t think I am ever going to forget what it felt like to be physically ill like that. In my 31 years of life, that was the first time I had ever had such an experience. And I am aware how incredibly privileged I am to say that, that for the vast majority of my chilhood and young adulthood, I had been what one would call “healthy”, at least physically. (My mental health was a whole different story, ha!) While struggling to move around and walk for 2 months, and feeling generally unwell for another 2 months, was a frustrating and scary experience, I’m certainly going to value it for the things it taught me, because it taught me a lot.
So here’s the fifth graphite drawing. Finally all done. It’s what I’ve decided will be the last deer drawing in this series I’m doing. I’m currently in the process of planning the next batch of drawings for this series, which are going to depict lynx. I’m excited!
I’m just about done with my current drawing. I predict it will take a week at most, a few days at least, to finish. As I’ve been finishing it up, I’ve been wondering what I’d like to draw next and have decided it will be an animal other than the deer, particularly an animal that resides in the taiga biome. (This series is ultimately going to depict a variety of animals from this biome.)
I’ve been thinking maybe the lynx. Then, I went to the Minnesota Zoo today, saw the lynx in person, and immediately decided… yes, the lynx is next.
Here are a couple photos I took of the one at the zoo. They are such a beautiful animal. Ugh. Kills me.