May Mood Board

May is tricky. It's almost summer but not quite, it's still Spring but feels like even that should already be past. This may for me is about systems. It's about organizing by type, by emotion, by color. Lately, I've been into wearing all one color, and creating mini-color study sets. It feels a little redundant, but I think it's important to rediscover old concepts again. Somehow, color can always seem fresh. I like the idea of being surrounded by one type of thing. Even if it's a set. You are the alien, and the color is the majority. It can be a feeling of total immersion. 

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Articulating Screen by Sasha Sykes

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Alba Yruela

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Example: When I was 17, I spent and entire day covering every surface in my bedroom in white. White sheets, white objects, white clothes, etc. I wore all white and photographed myself in my room, which at this point really wasn't my room anymore. Then, I wore all black. It was an entirely ordinary, homemade set and I was just an overly creative teenager, but it felt surreal. Being in someplace familiar, but no longer feeling familiar myself. Visual comparisons are the basis of how we ground ourselves in reality. Things make sense because of comparison. I guess right now it's al about playing with that dynamic. We only understand things in relation to each other.

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Ann Collier

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Mayasa Chiba

Sunday Book Review

Book review time! 

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I just read straight through The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson. I'm not too shy to say that when I started this book, I was in a rut. A pretty deep rut, actually. And obviously, reading a book doesn't entirely change your life. They help, but you are still responsible for the heavy lifting of actually enacting change. But for what it's worth, Manson is an honest and upfront voice that makes you want to implement his tools. He doesn't talk around things, and he's willing to get into some of the nitty-gritty that is hard to write about. I mean literally, the main chapters of the book are called things like: Happiness is a Problem, You Are Not Special, and You're Wrong About Everything. The list goes on, but I feel like we all get the gist. 

Manson finds creative ways to make harsh realities seem inspirational. He turns them on their head in a way that is uplifting, but still centers the responsibility on you. My personal biggest takeaway was about personal values, and the importance of creating internal values. That means if your value is "I want to got a promotion", that centers on someone else taking the action to decide to give you a promotion. No personal responsibility, and once its achieved, you'll be without a goal again. Having to come up with new goals again and again make them superficial, and if completing your goal depends on someone/something else, it's going to be frustrating, and ultimately unfulfilling. By comparison, if your value is something like "Be honest with people", it depends on fully on you. This means that you can make the choices to live by that value again and again, and be proud. of yourself for following it. It have no end, so you can go by it forever. It is a value that you can both have and chase, which is the mark of a good value.

ANYWAYS, I could go on with lots of other great point from this book, but you should go and find them for yourself! Ok. book rant over! Happy Sunday guys!

Making Even When You Don't Feel Like It

The feeling of finishing something is truly amazing, right? Satisfaction, relief, and a well deserved nap, right? The only comparable feeling is starting something exciting. When you have a new idea that's practically bursting out of you, and you're so full of energy and excitement and brand-new plans. Those things are the best. Honestly, the best. The problem is all the stuff in between. The middle part of working on projects, when you're mucking through all the actual work. It can be difficult to remember what you were so excited about when you started. It can feel like you've lost direction, or maybe even that your amazing idea might not have been that amazing after all. 

But fight through it!! It's totally normal to feel lost or discouraged in the middle part of the project. That's the time when both our ideas and our endurance are put to the test. In Austin Kleon's book, Steal Like An Artist, He gives us an easy diagram of the average thought cycle of a project:

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It's so hard to stick with an idea from beginning to end, but you can do it! Your brain will play tricks on you, it's get tired, you'll doubt yourself and want to stop. And you should take breaks, take yourself for walks in between working. But remember to come back, because you're in the hardest part. And the more you work, the easier it'll eventually get. Projects can take time to fully form, but know that if you keep at it, your idea will eventually realize itself.

For example: Right now I'm working on building a show of all the things I've been making that aren't photographs - Weavings, clay sculptures, beads, embroidered clothes, hanging ashtrays, hanging planters, etc etc etc. 

I've been building up my inventory for the past 8 months or so, although every no and then I get weak and sell a couple to make myself feel "successful" which sets me back a bit. But I just found a space that could work for showcasing my work!! So exciting! A big step forward! Now, all I have to do is work like a madwoman to create enough things that this show could look full. Which sounds easy. But besides the time I'm eating, sleeping, bathing, going to my job, tending my garden, and/or 100% locked in on watching the Netflix series on Flint, it's hard to find the time. But I can do it. You can do it! We can all do it! Motivation is hard, but my top 3 tips for keeping going are this:

1. Give yourself deadlines and guidelines! Try to plan in advance as much as possible so when the time comes to get to work, there are as few distractions as possible.

2. Once you're far enough along, get critiques! Meet up with other young creative people and get their opinions. It's important every now and then to make sure your own perspective isn't affecting your work in a bad way. 

3. BREATHE. if you're feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, close your eyes. Sit still. And take 3 deep breaths. Imagine your project done and beautiful, with you standing next to it in all your glory. Doesn't that look great?? Now take a second, visualize what needs to happen next, then dive the fuck in!! 

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I recently got this keychain that reminds me to calm myself tf down, and know that everything will be ok. It's not necessary, but having a lucky charm helps me for some reason. If it helps you too, check out http://www.adamjkurtz.com/

You guys can do anything you put your mind to!! I'm so excited to show you my show when I'm all done with it :) What are you working on right now?

MoMA Free Day - The Realities

Museum Free Day. We’ve all done it. And it can be amazing! Free access once a month to some amazing, one of a kind collections of art and history. But with that incredible access comes the masses, and not all of them actually care about what they’re seeing. So while you’re having a moment in front of your favorite Rothko, you may have to weave and dodge children, squeeze between lost tourists, and narrowly avoid a smartphone to the face.

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Not too long ago, I attended MoMA’s free day while visiting New York, and it everything I expected, and...more. Too much more. Honestly, the museum was a madhouse. Lines snaked back and forth around the lobby, and crowds ebbed and flowed through the exhibits in a thick mob.

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As I was pushed along, I watched a pretty blonde teenager lean up against Jo Baer’s Green in Primary Light Group: Red, Green, Blue (1964-65) for a selfie. I repeat, she leaned. On. The. Art. Being an art nerd and informed museum goer, I was fully aware that you don’t touch the art. They put signs literally everywhere. They make alarm triggers little fences around the art. They tape the areas off. These poor museums workers could not be more clear. It’s pretty much the one golden rule of going to a museum. Immediately after, I watched a child try to start climbing on Louise Nevelson Sky Cathedral, before a security guard pulled him off and sternly handed him to his mother. As you can imagine, I’m a little apprehensive at this point. This was my first time at MoMA, a place I’d always wanted to go, and it was being trashed! The art seemed almost incidentally there, as people ambled by it, taking a photo of each piece on the way.

So, feeling violated, I wandered of until I found a quiet corner, and took a little time in a small circular room at the end of a hallway that to my delight was filled with Agnes Martin’s work. The round, light filled room combined with the ethereal work of Martin made the space feel a little like church. In this one small offset of the museum, everyone was quiet and introspective. Almost every person who entered this space lingered, seemingly as entranced as the rest of us. After a little while here, I gathered my strength and went back out into the fray. Next, I found myself talking a mother and son in hushed tones in the Monet Water Lily room, feeling the same sense of peace. Now, I had a strategy. When at a Museum Free Day, the way to get through it is to seek out spaces that are naturally quiet and calm. Every museum has one of these, if you look. At MoMA, It was the Agnes Martin exhibit, and Monet’s Water Lily room. But with a little exploring, you can always find a quiet room in a museum, and often this is where the art can really make an impact.

 

I floated through the rest most my visit to MoMA feeling full on art for the next couple hours, and by the time I left, the crowds didn’t bother me so much, and I felt surprisingly calm after how my visit began. I later realized, there are a few simple rules that helped me through, and hopefully help other easily overwhelmed museum goers.

  1. If you can, go early in the day before the crowds set in

  2. Make a mental list of of what you want to see there. Museums can be exhausting when you spend the whole time lost!

  3. If it gets to be too much, seek out a quiet, smaller exhibit, or a screening room. Sit in the dark or the quiet and breath.

  4. Focus on what you’re seeing, not the idiots around you

  5. Open up to art & have fun! It’s ok not to understand what you’re looking at, but if it makes you feel something, be open to that feeling.

 

Museum Free Days are amazing! They make it possible for thousands of people to go see art that they normally don’t have access to. But collectively, we have to try and remember to be aware and respectful of the art and of each other when we’re there. Know that if the art is good, then lots of people around you may be caught up in their feelings., and/or exhausted.

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