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?

Echo by Woodsy the Performance Poet

John is able to elicit emotion through words more eloquently than anyone I’ve ever known. I’ve found his words sometimes haunting, sometimes consoling, hopeful, and dark. The contradiction shadowed only by the truth of it. There are moments of triumph, moments of defeat, and most importantly millions of little moments in between, that can only be captured by a true poet. Someone who feels completely, and knows that words can become a gateway to human connection.

I thought I would share here, one of his pieces, accompanied by a few of my own works, I hope you’ll consider reading some of his other beautiful poems at https://woodsydotblog.wordpress.com

I saw your face this morning –

something I needed,

outside of it all.


I reached out,

years too late to feel your skin,

and felt the echoes of your spirit.


These days,

it is the shadows

and empty spaces

that push me forward –

not quite

a ride or a dance or a dream…

just the last little ticks of nightmare…


falling away.


But here you are,

nestled in blue…


in the surf and the sky

and the morning…

and all of those things I can’t do.

 
Here you are,

filling

this crater of heartbeats

with the echo of yesterday’s screams:


“I’m getting better!”


The one damn thing you needed.

The one thing I did, too.


So did the world that forgot you were there…


showing it something,

everywhere.  


Sometimes, I’m lost here,

just like you,

slicing the world

with a hot steel blade:


“I’m getting better!”


(from this, from them, from you)


Trying

to shove a kinder,

less merciless truth

into indifferent ears:


“I’m getting better!”


(from this, from them, from stuff you say… stuff you do)


The only scream

I have left –

and sometimes,

the only scream nobody hears anymore.


A ghost scream,

throwing out my numbers and my codes,


filling

the crater of my heart

with precious bursts of echo,


like that smile:


always the gentlest

of explosions,

your smiles.


Starbursts

in the bear pit…

tiny factories of bonfire,

sat on the edge by darkness

and

blossoming

somewhere between…


I saw you sadder than before.

You saw me deeper in there too.


You hold some part of me

that’s still far better in your hands,

haunting

all those happy endings

that came scavenging

in your wake.


The truth is,

I’m more at home in darkness now,

whittling your echoes into kindling

and lighting our bonfires

with their own kind of peace…


riding out your faces and your loves


and showing the world

and the lights out of town


just what they say about me.

Painting: Works in Progress

Even though I have been utterly overwhelmed, and sometimes overtaken by anxiety, I’ve made it a mission to keep pursuing art. Pushing myself to pass the boundaries of my comfort zone and create. I’ve been dealing with pesky thoughts about my work not being perfect, or even halfway decent at times. However, I want to keep working at it, keeping bringing ideas/sketches to life, and try to enjoy the learning process.

I’ve also been considering making more video content as well. I bought a camera years ago with the intention of making videos, and have yet to try, for fear of judgement. It seems to be the thing holding us all back, doesn’t it? Fear is a bitch I suppose. It’s unfortunate that a lot of the time people like to prove fear right, rather than take control. I will confirm, I am very guilty of letting anxiety get the best of me, letting doubt be my friend, it’s something I’m trying to work on.

Some days are better than others, and I still have a lot of ideas I want to pursue, the commitment floats around my head, waiting to be picked up and taken seriously. Soon.

How dare you assume I’m human.

I have a few fun doodles I’ve done over the past couple days. I have really been loving everything alien lately, playing with a few different ideas about what that means to me. I’ve found, that when I start to draw on a certain topic, it most likely correlates with a feeling or concept that I’m holding onto in my personal life. I’m still unsure about this one, I have always just loved drawing aliens so it could be that too. Anyway, let me know what you think about these little sketches.

Works in Progress: Could it Sticker?

In pursuing drawing more, I have found that there are some more recent doodles that I thoroughly enjoy the concept of, or the strangeness of. I love drawing without any template or idea in my mind at first, just to see where it goes. This is something that I think carries over into other aspects of my life, for example, I never cook with a recipe, I always fail when baking because I can’t bring myself to follow any measurements. I’m very much a go with the flow type of person, and it shows in so much that I do.

That said, I have been doodling each day, enjoying taking the time to come up with new characters and weirdos. As they represent everything that I am, and all that I enjoy. I have been playing around with the idea lately, to create some characters, or other doodles to make stickers, and/or prints of. Eventually maybe have some cool graphic tees with my own creations on them. It’s just an idea, and I am prone to doubting myself and giving up. However, I think in some ways I owe it to myself to try, to actually give my creativity a go, and allow myself the opportunity to succeed or fail.

I read a really interesting blog post the other day about accepting failure as a necessity in life, and letting go of the fear to try. In that blog post, I realized that I had been holding onto so much fear that in a lot of ways I haven’t let myself try much of anything. I mean, yes, I did buy a trailer and am currently converting it into a home on wheels, and yes, I do pursue this blog in the hopes that others will gain something from it. But, I’ve also had so many fun dreams, and ideas, that have funneled themselves into the toilet just because, I’m too afraid or overwhelmed to try. In taking on the trailer project, I’ve learned that it really is about taking things one step at a time, each step is just as important as the next, and I hope that I can carry that knowledge over into my creative pursuits as well.

So, here are some current concepts in progress, and I’ll leave you with the question, could it sticker?

Mr. Peanut Head
I apologize for how out of focus this one is, my camera didn’t want to cooperate with me at all.

My Goals for the coming months.

I’m going to start off by saying that, as of right now, I’m incredibly excited to work on some new projects. I genuinely thrive off of having personal projects to work on.

As some may know, I bought a 1979 Layton trailer to remodel, and eventually travel in. Demolition has been going well, however it’s still daunting, and almost surreal. There’s so much work to do, and for a person who constantly stresses about time passing, it’s a bit terrifying I’ll be honest. However, all said and done, I’m super excited to be working on my travel dreams, FINALLY! Sometimes I do question the state of the world, and how safe it is to travel nowadays, but we have a while to go before the trailer is anywhere near long-term travel ready. Maybe things will get better, maybe they’ll get worse, but I’m going to see national parks all over the US, and no-one can stop me!

An idea that I’ve had forever, is making stickers and prints, of some of my pieces. I don’t know how well that one will work out. Honestly though, I would love to be able to share my art, and in turn, my perspective, ideas, and mind. So over the next months, I’m going to be working on editing, formatting, testing, and so many other things involved with producing art. Most of all, I’m going to keep creating. For me, that is the most exciting and revolutionary part, to think the motivation all started with a week long doodling challenge that I had set out for myself.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read, it is amazing to find a community so supportive, and I hope to continue sharing my life, and art, with you.

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”Ernst Fischer

Doodles: Day 6

One more doodling day to go! I’ve been having a lot of fun drawing a bit each day, it’s something that I think a lot of people lose over time. Once life gets busy, and we are all worried about the daily grind, artistic hobbies can take a back burner. It’s sad that the world seems to undervalue creative minds, with so much going on in technology and science fields, we all know that becoming a computer engineer is a lot more monetarily rewarding, and a safer choice. Rather than becoming an artist, writer, or musician, which is basically asking for a life filled with uncertainty.

All that said, drawing more, and pursuing more artistic fields has given me reason to keep cultivating a part of myself that is really defining. I’m not a computer engineer, and I accept that fact that not everything will be conventional, or safe, about my path in life. I may never become a professional artist, but I sure as hell like spending my time doing things I truly enjoy. Whether that be writing, drawing, painting, sculpting, or photography. I never feel as though that time was wasted.

Doodling: Day 5

As some may have noticed, if you read my last post, I left for a weekend camping trip. It’s safe to say, that it was a much appreciated break from everything. It’s always so nice to be completely disconnected from the modern world. It makes me so excited for my future plans of travel and camping around in different national parks. I’ve talked often about how much I crave adventure, and escapade. Every time I get out, and go somewhere to camp for a few days, it reignites that desire in me.

Anyway, after a few days without posting I thought it was about time to get back on the band wagon, and keep, keeping on. Without further a do, here are some crappy doodles I tried to do during the drive. Moving vehicles on dirt roads, don’t make drawing easy, that’s for sure. It’s the effort that counts I suppose. Also, I found that drawing with pencil, after days of using ballpoint, is supremely difficult. I have always preferred pen for drawing, I’m not really sure why but, I think I’ll probably be using pen from here on out.

Doodling: Day 4

Another day done and gone. Yesterday, I mainly focused on drawing faces, (as it’s one of my favorite things to draw). I decided to draw with blue pen this time, and then red ballpoint ended up mixing itself in, to make for what I think is a really cool effect. It was a lot of fun, but also kind of frustrating, I had a bunch of practice sketches and things that I decided not to add, but I feel like, as with any artists, the worst critic is yourself.

Overall, I’ve had a lot of fun sketching so far. I may say it every time, but it really is just a nice way to create without all of the pressure that comes with in depth pieces. I don’t think I’ve done a finished piece since my last year of high school to be honest, I just can’t bring myself to put all that effort into something that I know I won’t think is good enough. It may sound rather harsh, but sketches are where I can go to really just allow my mind to run wild. I know a lot of people recommend using references, however, I use reference photos pretty rarely. Maybe I’ll try out doing only reference drawings some day soon, I think it definitely could be beneficial. For now though, this is what I’ve got for day 4 of my self-administered sketching challenge.

For this one, I tried to add in a bit of a background, I also wanted to do fairly large eyes, just to get the wide-eyed vibe. Especially because of all of the crazy atoms, flying (?) all around her.

I still don’t really know how to judge my own drawings, as I definitely see flaws in every sketch. That’s what sketching is all about though, isn’t it? Improvement.

Is it Wednesday?? I definitely get Addams’ family feelings from this one. I do really like this one for some reason. I think she’s kinda cute.

I’ll also be out of commission for the next few days, on probably what will be, the last camping trip of this year. I’m super excited to disconnect for a long weekend, and avoid all of the chaos for a little while. Wish me luck!

Reflecting on the past: Sketches

I thoroughly enjoyed looking back at old notebooks, and because I found an old high school sketchbook recently, I decided to reflect on some old drawings as well. I find it super interesting to see what my tortured adolescent brain decided to come up with. Let’s dive in, and find out.

As it turns out, circles and lines have always been my thing. Maybe I speak fluent alien, and just don’t know it?

I really like this one, I remember it taking hours upon hours of stippling, I’d say it was worth it none the less. It’s something pretty to look at, and it’s actually quite relaxing drawing a bunch of tiny dots, in interesting patterns.

Another one of my favorite doodling habits, shapes and shading. What a way to kill a few hours, especially during school. I have to have a million homework assignment sheets, and old tests, all covered with drawings like these. School was never really a source of enjoyment for me, but I found doodling to be a good way to kill a lot of time there.

Ignore the page staining, I must’ve spilled some coffee on it at some point… Oops. Anyway, this is the first page in the sketchpad, and as you can see it’s could definitely use some work. That said, the emotion behind it still holds strong for me. I was a pretty angsty teen, but to be honest it was only because I was so mad about the injustices of the world, still am, to be perfectly honest. This drawing was created after watching a documentary about war-torn countries, and seeing images of children stuck amidst the chaos, just broke my heart.

Well, let’s follow the last image up, with some characters I drew. Honestly, drawing characters was one of my favorite things to do, although I have to say, I still suck at drawing anatomy. I really only drew floating heads, it’s always fun none the less.

See what I mean about the anatomy? However, this alien guy is actually one of my favorites from all of the old sketches in this book. I just find him so cute, and I’m sure I had some story for this guy as well. Maybe I’ll have to revisit and revamp some of these old character designs.

Well, I guess that’s about it for shareable doodles, for now. Does anyone have tips for learning to draw figures, people, and anatomy?? I would genuinely appreciate any tips or tricks, especially now that I’m taking some extra time lately to doodle away.