What Just Happened

It’s been a minute since I’ve even opened up my laptop. I don’t really know what to say on here, my mind is still trying to catch up with a crazy series of events that hit me out of no where. Basically right now I am looking for a place to stay short term, until I can figure out a living situation. My car is packed up and I’m lost in space, it’s strange because I swear I had a dream about typing this up.

For tonight however, I have a warm bed to sleep in and am content. Sorry that’s really all I’ve got for now, I’m still finding time to paint and wind down throughout the days, even though I am stressed more than I have been in… well, in a very long time.

I hope the holiday season is going well for all of you, thanks for listening. Goodnight, talk to yah soon.

Mental Health Discussion

In the very beginning of this Ted Talk I was captivated, the eloquence with which Andrew speaks, is truly captivating. Truly, no one does think about the ludicrous feeling of not wanting to take food out of the fridge for lunch, not being able to get out of bed to shower.

It is also an interesting idea that we are far behind in treatment for illnesses like depression, yet we have come so far in the past 100, 50, 20 years.

I have found myself not being able to do those same things lately, not walking downstairs to get food out of the fridge, not leaving the house. It’s a huge problem, it’s an illness that plagues the world, and I find it interesting that it seems that nothing can separate this illness from individual personality and character. Diluting your mental state with medication is sometimes necessary and beneficial, but it is that, that separates yourself from your own insight. Existential questions that are asked by all, mingle in the brain of the depressed, are pondered often and thoroughly…. I wish it felt beautiful and profound to be a person who ponders, sometimes I suppose it is.

I’m interested to hear any thoughts about this, it can be lonely struggling with your own mind, it can be frustrating when you search for connection on a ground that is so individual and personal. I myself, am trying to find the beauty in asking the tough questions, finding the possibilities within my own incessant mind. What about you?

Acrylic Pouring Adventure

I decided to try something new, art block has been a struggle lately, so experimenting with new concepts has been a great way to spark creativity. I am excited to try more abstract painting styles in the near future, and I’m hoping some of the final products will make great Christmas gifts for family and friends. If I have any finished pieces of a good enough quality I will definitely consider selling some, if anyone is interested.

This pouring technique left my acrylic inventory dangerously low, so it looks like I will have to order more ASAP. Has anyone else tried this painting technique before? I find the whole process fascinating, and it is actually not a terribly difficult. A little disclaimer though, if you decide to try this at home, make sure you have plenty of space and cover anything and everything of value, because it is VERY messy. That happens to be one of the things I love about it though.

I decided to start this first attempt with simply water and acrylic, about a 40/60 ratio. If you are going to give it a go, the paint has to be super liquid-y for the blow dryer to efficiently spread the paint around the canvas. Overall though, the supplies needed, and the technique is quite simple. Just pour a bunch of liquid paint on the canvas and blow it around until you have a design you like! I found that the less you mess with it, the better. My first attempt went south very fast because I kept messing with different abstract styles on the same canvas, without a plan at all.

This is the one I did on a wooden canvas, I like how it turned out. However, doing this again, I would make sure the paint is well mixed, and I would put my hair up. There are a few times I had to pick hair off of the canvas, which is always annoying.
This is the one my fiancĂ© did, I’m only a bit jealous of the final product. My black acrylic was a bit old and clumpy which made using it for this technique a bit of a bitch. I’m assuming that’s why the cracking is happening on one side of the canvas. I am planning on diluting some mod podge, or other sealant after the paintings dry completely to hopefully preserve the glossiness and shiny metallic bits.

Dear Veterans

War is a terrible thing,

War is carnage and destruction.

You brave soldier have dedicated your life to a pursuit of freedom and for that I am grateful. You have made yourself a target and proudly honored your flag. What a disturbance it is to see that you aren’t taken care of after your valiance.

I have members of my family who have served, and it has been engrained in me to respect and appreciate those who are willing to do so.

However, I do not have to respect and appreciate a government that has so often cast loyal veterans aside. A government that doesn’t invest enough into soldiers acclimation back into a civil society, and a government that documents a soldiers worth off of how long they serve, or how tough they are both mentally and physically. Strength comes from those willing to accept and work on their weaknesses, the military does a great job of hardening individuals, making them more machine than human being.

Like I said, I have family members who have served, and my uncle passed this year, not from Covid or from war. I believe it was a slow degradation of the mind and spirit post-service. It lead to health issues that may have been too difficult for him to handle. The truth is I don’t know for sure how it happened, or when it started. We had always been incredibly close even though we didn’t talk as much in the past 8 years or so… We had a bond that I didn’t think needed confirmation, but I still wish he would’ve called more, I wish I would’ve called more. I wish I managed to take more trips to see him. It was always in the plan, I was going to take a road trip across the US and I would stay in Texas with him for a month or so, just to catch up, have fun, and talk for the first time as adults. I would get some advice about life, and I would listen to anything he wanted to get off of his chest. We would rekindle our friendship and drink a bunch of beer, take a few shots of whiskey. I’d leave with the promise of coming back to visit soon.

34 years was not long enough, and I wish he would’ve been better taken care of because even though he loved and respected the military, it doesn’t seem that that feeling was reciprocated. In that way, the cost was a life, it was quality of life for years, and now it’s the absence of one. And quite frankly that makes me angry.

It also makes me angry that my grandfather served in Vietnam, he went through absolute and total hell, and left with two Purple Hearts. The answer through all of the physical ailments and PTSD was opiates, and is to this day. Therapy doesn’t work as it is in the VA, trauma takes patience and years of diligence, yet once you’re done serving the operative is to get them out of your hair.

So yes, I respect, appreciate, and love the veterans of my country but, will we start taking care of them as they deserve to be taken care of?

To a new year

I’ve never been one for Birthdays, not my own at least. Whenever this time of year rolls around, I go through the ‘normal’ thought process. I question mortality, my life, and assess what I’ve done in a year.

The truth is though, that I feel somewhat fulfilled with this years progress, even though it’s 2020 the year of absolute shit storms.

It doesn’t seem that I’ve gotten very far on the surface but, I am working towards my dreams, I have gained self-confidence (even if it doesn’t seem like it). Basically, I’ve become a totally different person in a year, I’ve come closer to who I’m meant to be, I’ve let go of a lot of baggage, and I’ve become overall happier. Not to say I don’t have my dark days, not to say that I don’t still get anxious and overwhelmed, and not to say that I’m the perfect image of a stable person. For me though, progress has definitely come.

So I’m not sure if I’ll be super excited when my birthday rolls around next week, it is after all just another day but, I am going to take a moment to be proud of who I’ve become. I’m going to take a moment to visualize what I want for this next year, and I’m going to try pretty hard not to get stuck in thoughts of impending doom, and mortality. I have plenty of other days to think about that, hopefully.

All Over the Place

Well, it has been a whirlwind…

All of my ideas, and visions for the future swirling around and altering themselves in seconds. I suppose that’s just how life goes, especially when you have so many interests, ideas, and missions. It’s interesting to feel so motivated in so many different areas of life. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why I always quit too soon. I have an issue where once I get an idea, it becomes a montage of dozens, all with equal importance in my mind.

Taking things one step at a time is difficult when everything seems so dire, and interesting. I know I talk about my own thought processes often, but I find that it’s easier to hold onto my motivation when I do. I know that I have things to do, sometimes I just allow myself to forget. Writing this down, and occasionally looking back on it helps keep my shit together, to be perfectly honest. I can’t help but plead with you, plead with myself too, in order to keep holding myself accountable.

I often wonder if anyone is really listening, or if anyone really cares. I always come back though, to the idea that I have no reason to question that, I am fulfilling something for myself, and that’s okay too. I feel as though, society pushes people away from themselves. Everything that society is, a conglomerate of individuals if you will. When people are pushed together, sometimes it’s difficult for them to remain separate entities, they may remain in title themselves but, in everything else they are an ant to a colony, a bee to a hive, all serving a queen. It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?

From what I’ve noticed, most of the people blogging, and/or creating, are holding onto their individualism more than most. Maybe, just maybe, we are the people clinging onto ourselves, and saying screw you to those who judge us for it. This is why I continue to create, clinging onto the idea that we are all trying to stay, and be, very much ourselves.

Punching Anxiety in the Balls

I decided to make a video! This is the first in (hopefully many more)…. I really want to keep creating new content and developing myself, and my place in this digital world. So even though I’m sure it won’t be easy, and I’m already immensely unsure of myself, I’m finding ways to keep going regardless. If you happen to watch this short paint with me video, I’d love to hear what you think, any ideas for new videos, and of course any tips or tricks on how to improve. Thanks for sticking around for all of my crazy ramblings, and for listening… It means more than you know.

The Start of Something New

After a lot of contemplation, I decided to splurge and buy myself some things, things that I can use to focus on art. I’ve been working on creating some designs for stickers, painting some new acrylic pieces, and overall just developing my art style. It’s been a lot of fun, and a bit overwhelming learning how to do all this. I hope someday to be able to launch an online business of sorts, my mind is moving a million miles an hour with a bunch of ideas, organizing them has been a challenge so far.

Below I will show some of my designs, stay tuned for some photos of my applications for them, I’ve been going a little sticker crazy, so there will be plenty of content to upload in the next couple weeks. I hope you’ll stick around (pun intended).

Anti-Columbus?

So Columbus Day has come and gone but I am wondering if there’s a common consensus. Does everyone know what Columbus actually did? Does everyone know how detrimental he was to whole population? How he raped, pillaged, enslaved, and murdered… To me that isn’t someone to celebrate.

The whole history of the United States is skewed and the truth is only recently coming into the light, as the books we read in public school are so biased. All written by a rich white man, who was in the position of power, following a line of oppression, and willing to exploit humans to help themselves.

Adolph Hitler himself stated that some of his inspiration for genocide came from the United States. A fascist, who killed millions, said he gained inspiration from explorers coming to an inhabited land, and ripping it away from those who had settled on it. It truly is disgusting to me that we continue to ignore what it is that we have done. Maybe not us specifically, but as a ‘culture’ we celebrate someone who destroyed an indiscriminate amount of lives.

It isn’t just about Columbus, it’s about the American perspective, it’s about our lack of knowledge, and understanding. It’s about the wrongful information we receive, in order to better fit the narrative. We are fooled into thinking our country is great. When in fact, our country could be great, we could be compassionate, empathetic, and helpful to others. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s something we can do until we acknowledge our past for what it truly is.

There is, of course, room for human error, as those in the past are just as human as we are now, and we all make mistakes. Mass murder is not something to be taken lightly. That isn’t a simple lapse in judgement. Columbus set out, commissioned by Spain to find gold. To make money, and when he found ‘savages’ (which is just ridiculous, as they had more knowledge in many areas, and had created a predominately peaceful way of life), he decided to exploit them for all they were worth, putting them in chains, forcing them to change their beliefs. Destroying not only the people themselves, but their culture as well.

How do you feel about 1492?

My thoughts on Social Media/Influencer ‘Culture'(?)

Social media is the epitome of life nowadays, and while I find that kind of scary. I can understand why we have gotten to this point, societally. It’s interesting how everyone is looking for fame, in a place that it only starting existing about a decade ago. Now I’m someone who struggles to understand social media, in terms of gaining a ‘following’. I honestly find it quite scary how marketing has gotten online. We get ‘optimized’, literally, all of the ads and marketing that we see is tailored to our searches, previous likes, etc. I’m getting a little off topic so I’ll go back to the media moguls. The people with millions of ‘fans’, people making their income off of a following.

I think it’s amazing that some people are able to make money off of their own branding. It must be awesome to make money just being you, and creating awesome content. My only qualm with this, is that it’s hard to see why everyone can’t offer the same individuality, and make money off of it. In some ways I know it isn’t realistic, but really it’s only because I’ve been told that’s unrealistic. I truly believe that everyone has quirks, and marketable ideas for social media content.

It’s hard to understand how these people even got where they are, I’m sure for most of them it was an immense amount of time and effort. But seriously, how the fuck do you gain such a massive following? What is it that that person has, that we don’t. I’m genuinely not trying to bring anyone down, or bag on social media influencers. It’s just a perplexing concept to me, it’s perplexing that some people can build a giant following in less than a year, while some are working day in and day out to produce quality content, and seeing very little progress for years upon years.

Now like I said in my last post, I’m writing this blog for me. I still have a terrible time trying to keep up with other social media platforms, and that’s okay. As much as it would be awesome to make money posting pictures on Instagram, it isn’t something I even really see as attainable. I feel as though there is a certain type of personality that excels in social media, and I think that’s great. My only dissuasion, is that I really think more diversity needs to be in social media culture. Not just different ethnicities, and backgrounds, but, different personalities too. We need some more ‘weirdos’, if you will. People who aren’t afraid to go off the beaten path, people to account for all of us who don’t fit, and don’t want to fit either. Society is exceptionally diverse, my question is, why doesn’t influencer culture reflect that?