Creative

The land of 100 mailers

It’s been a rough start to the week. I’ve been in heavy thinking mode these last couple of days and feeling what feels like grief? Music, family, and friends have been my consolation so far.

I took a long walk, talking to a friend as I did, and came home to the box of mailers that I ordered last week. I’ve been wanting to mail some of my sketchbook pages out to friends but didn’t have the right size of envelope nor the right kind.

So today they arrived, all 100 of them. My studio (the desk area in my bedroom) is now the Land of 100 Mailers. Let’s see where they’ll go.

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Creative, drawing

“Can it be tomorrow already?”

I didn’t want to go to sleep last night because I was excited for today. What was today? An entire day free for creativity.

I didn’t end up getting much done, but it felt good to feel energized again, to just feel that surge. I can’t remember the last time I felt this good.

I read a little from Show Your Work!, took some notes (“The act of sharing is one of generosity—you’re putting something out there because you think it might be helpful or entertaining to someone on the other side of the screen”), and brewed my cup of coffee.

I had no plan for the day other than to make sure that I played with color and created something. The colors peach and red were on my mind when I awoke, so they became part of today’s palette.

I wanted to deviate from the usual watercolor drawings I do since I’ve been doing them for my live sessions on Instagram. I find myself getting bored with that approach, so I decided to play around a bit.

This was to change things up and remind myself that my sketchbook is just that, a sketchbook—a place that gives creative license to do whatever I feel like doing and the freedom to experiment.

Composure and restrictions are the last things I want coming from my sketchbook. I want my freedom to show. It’s meant to be messy.

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collage

Dead men tell no tales

I thought I posted this on March 25th, but I guess it didn’t go through. Well, here goes:

Three weeks ago, Katherine and I stayed behind at the office to work on our presentations that were due the following week. To burn the midnight oil and keep on track, we’d call each other every now and then to see how we were doing.

Once 9:30 p.m. came around, I picked up the phone, dialed Katherine’s extension and, without greeting, said, “Man, working at the State House feels like Davy Jones’s locker.” We laughed. Because it was true.

As I said those words, I pictured the Flying Dutchman from Spongebob Squarepants hovering over the State House in his green menacing glow, as though holding us back from going home.

I took to making a rendition of it that night as a way to capture the moment. I added the flowers and wash of green this past weekend.

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drawing, sketches

Don’t think, just draw

I didn’t wake up quite on time for Sketchbook Skool’s “Live Drawing Party” on Instagram this morning, but I did make time to draw something. I took a piece of card stock that was lying around in my room and, without thinking too much about it, decided to draw my succulent.

I followed the artist Koosje Koene’s lead in using big bold orange and red colors for my plant’s outline. I later added the patterned blue background for some needed contrast.

@sketchbookskool

I actually stole this idea from one of the Skool’s blog posts which I came across last night. I filled the white space in as I waited for my computer to download Adobe Lightroom.

The big takeaways for me in all of this were (1) to make sure that I draw at least once before my day starts, and (2) to not give it much thought.

Doing so gives me the chance to create whatever comes up, as opposed to thinking too much about it and waiting until the end of the day to create.

It felt good to have something drawn so early in the day, and by early I mean 11:30 a.m. It helped me feel a bit better. I got to make something beautiful, even if it was just for me.

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Creativity, sketches

A ghoulish morning

I haven’t been writing much, but this last week I connected with people I haven’t seen in years. I’m talking close to seven years since I last saw some of them, some of who I never thought I’d be catching up with.

I may not have posted about these experiences, but I count this time spent with them as part of the creative process. Just as you let things simmer in order to intensify in flavor, so does conversation and interaction feed the work you’re doing, sometimes without even knowing it.

Talk is the exercise ground for writing. It is the way we learn about communication—what makes people interested, what makes them bored… Talk is a way to warm up for the big game—the hours you write alone with your pen and notebook.

Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones (84).

To keep the flow going, I’ve lined up a few more conversations for this week, mainly with other artists. I’m excited to see what comes of them.

Also, for kicks, here’s this morning ghoul in boots, inspired by an artist I once met in Chapultepec, MX. I felt like keeping the ghoulish theme going.

Inspired by @mcfly.
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Courage

Standing up and the aftermath

This is the first time (ever) that I show up in front of the camera for one of my Instagram stories.

This is a big deal because I consciously tend to hide behind the camera to avoid exposing myself. Not out of shyness (because we all know that’s not true) but out of fear.

For a very long time I have believed that I cannot speak up, stand up for myself, or share my own opinion. That it would be best if I quieted, never said a word, because I wasn’t supposed to. That even if I tried, it would all prove futile.

All of this stems from childhood trauma, living in an environment that reiterated this message over and over. Yet now that I am out, it still haunts me in the form of fear.

More and more, in these last two weeks, I have seen how much my fearful self tends to get in the way. Although she is only trying to help, there is no need for survival anymore. That reality is gone.

The aftermath of my session.

So now I get to pick up the pieces of both my responses to life and my tutorial. Now, I am off to go watch A Ghost Story. Suiting, isn’t it?

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encouragement

Corazón cantante

Algo que mejoró mi día fue escuchar a Silvana Estrada cantar en vivo en Instagram este miércoles pasado. Como varios músicos durante esta cuarentena, Silvana cantó desde la comodidad de su casa, llegando a las salas de sus escuchantes. Yo andaba en mi cuarto y acababa de terminar mi trabajo cuando me topé con su video en vivo. Sin querer, estaba a tiempo.

Con tan solo escucharla tocar, mi corazón se alegró de una forma inesperada. Sentí una emoción correr dentro de mí que casi me hacía llorar. El sonido del cuatro y la letra de sus canciones invocaron un sentimiento profundo, parecido al momento cuando recuerdas algo que habías olvidado desde hace mucho tiempo.

Fue un encuentro no tan solo con la música, pero con algo de mí misma. Me reencontré con la idea de que yo también puedo ser como ella, no en el mundo musical si no en el ámbito creativo. Que, aunque unas veces no lo vea, yo también puedo reflejar esa luz.

Aquí Silvana canta “Carta,” una de mis canciones favoritas suyas.

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