wk 6 – Zines/flipbooks

I had made a zine once before, but didn’t really get the concept. It was difficult for me to figure out what to write or draw this time as well, even after seeing examples.

After thinking about it for a while I figured I’d document my Wednesdays, the most difficult day of the week for me.

I stitched together sketchbook pages with pink thread, of course.

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My Wednesdays begin when no reasonable person would be awake. The Coffee Bean at which I work opens at 5:30am, so my shift begins at 5. It takes me about thirty minutes to get to work.

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Customers aren’t always pleasant, especially in Pasadena. They drive nice cars and have huge egos. I’m just a barista. Who cares if everyone dumps their sh*tty attitudes on me? It’s not like it has any effect on the rest of my day.

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My shift ends at 9:30 on days that I open. This gives me barely enough time to get to class, especially since finding parking is an absolute terror.

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I use my gap to eat dinner and do some homework. I still haven’t been home since I left for work.

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Driving home takes about 45 minutes. As soon as I get there, I’m out like a light, but not for as long as I should be.

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Wednesdays are exhausting to my mind and body. I usually keep things simple these days. I’ll wear a T-shirt with my work pants, maybe a hat to cover the hair I haven’t washed in a few days. These days are very blah, so I decided to make the documentation of it the same.

I went with simple, to the point drawings because I like to keep Wednesdays as short and sweet as possible. I also went with an alarm clock theme because of how constricted I feel to my schedule.

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Wk 5 – Spray Paint

September 25, 2016

This week I was planning on going to Venice Beach to participate with the class in this activity, but then life happened and…we all know how that gets in the way sometimes.

So I bought a piece of wood to paint at home. Looking back I probably should have gotten something a little bigger since my name has eight letters in it, and an easel would have made it easier, but I’m a rookie.

Luckily, pink was one of the colors I got in my art kit. It’s my favorite color and I don’t see how I could have possibly done this project if I wasn’t working with my favorite color. It’s, like, a big deal, or something.

I didn’t know where to start, so I figured I’d paint the whole board blue to get myself a background.

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After the first squirt of paint hit the board, I realized that the beach would have been a MUCH better place to do this. There wasn’t much of a breeze, so the smell was strong. I looked at my boyfriend with puppy dog eyes, looking for sympathy.”Do I have to do this?

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I still didn’t know what to do, so I just dove right into spelling my name.

Then realized that I REALLY had no idea what I was doing. I tried out the different can tips on the back of the board to familiarize myself with them, but I was still lost. The S came out blurry, and I made it too big. Once I got the rest of my letters on the board, I decided flowers would be a good idea. Even better, I wanted to make them purple, so I tried to mix the pink and blue to create something new out of what I have, which is artistic, right?

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I couldn’t get purple. As you can see, I got frustrated. Under that concentrated amount of blue paint was a flower, a very ugly morphed flower.

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The paint from my name was starting to drip because I’ve never worked with spray paint before, but I liked the way it looked, so I went with it. And, of course, turned the S into a dollar sign because, why not?

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I really like this picture. I think I’m going to make it my new profile picture on Twitter.

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And here’s Chris having fun taking pictures of me while I complain.

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I’m actually happy with my final product. If Chris wouldn’t mind me taking over our room with my girly things, I’d put it on the wall. But for now, it’s probably going to sit on the patio until the weather ruins it.

Wk 1 – Plaster Casting

It would be cheaper for me to buy a $3 bag of sand at my local Home Depot than to spend the 2 gallons of gas it would have taken me to get to the beach and back (I am a commuter) so I got my 50 lb bag of sand and went to working.

It was too hot outside, so I decided to throw some newspaper on the wood floor to do my project. We’ll find out how my roommates like this.

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I imagined myself creating this pretty hand sculpture that I can paint and set on my dresser to be a jewelry holder. Boy, was I wrong! The sand started falling apart and the mold wasn’t what I was hoping it would be. When I took out my project, it looked a little scary.

This won’t sit on my night stand for decoration, but maybe it’ll be a decoration for a Halloween party.

Wk 4 – Automatic Drawing

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I’ve had all weekend off of work, and this hardly ever happens. No work. No class. Nowhere to be. I get to just stay home. And so does Chris. It never plays in our favor. We never both have a day off at the same time anymore. Now, we get Saturday and Sunday.

Friday night I get home from work at 8:30, after leaving at 7:30 that morning for class. I get home and Chris is home, and nobody has anywhere to be any time soon. For days. So we just stay home. Together. In our own apartment that we share with each other and no one else like our parents or siblings or anyone. We’ve been in love for almost four years now, and after waiting all that time, we get to be together, alone, unchaperoned, for days and no where to be.

We didn’t really have beautiful moments though. He has a stomach ache and I still have homework to do (but of course I’m putting it off because FINALLY I get some peace and quiet with the person I love). We cooked our meals, took a trip to the San Pedro Fish Market, slept in until we couldn’t possibly sleep any longer. It was nice. But nothing special.

We got caught up in our own selfish heads. Getting mad at each other for stupid little things like tomato sauce spilling in the fridge or debating over whether my shirt (which was his that I stole to sleep in) belonged in my closet or his. I got pissy because he wasn’t holding me enough in bed, and he was turning his back to me because I was bitching at everyone all the time.

So the weekend sucked.

And by the time Sunday rolls around, I still have a week’s worth of laundry to do and two week’s worth of homework to do. I’m sitting at the table. Chris is doing his own thing. And of course, there’s something to fight about. So now not only am I going to be up all night (I have to be at work at 5am in Pasadena and class at Long Beach at 11), but I’m sad.

And I haven’t even taken a glance at this drawing assignment. I watch the video first (because who would prefer to read) and I’m thinking, “Why am I the one who has to give up and break the silence?” I was so good at being stubborn, sitting there waiting for HIM to say something, why did this assignment have to screw that up?

So I ask him to do it with me, and he accepts. I walk outside to get the drawing paper from my car (because I like to wait to the last minute to do things – like put my stuff away) and when I came back in he had a space set up for us. We start drawing and it’s awkward.

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We’re forcing it and we’re breaking the crayon-pencil-thing almost every time we make a turn.

But at least we’re laughing.

I’m not wearing any makeup. I haven’t all day. And I hate my bare face. It’s all red and uneven complexion and I have no eye lashes. I hide my face best I can when I have to go into public like this. But I never had to do that with him. So I’m bare faced, and I’m comfortable with it, and we’re laughing.

I suggest that music would ease the tension. We try a few things, weren’t feeling it, and settled on some brain relaxation music playlist on Spotify. It’s getting better, but we need to ease more into it. So we have a drink, and it gets better.

And then this comes on:

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02:09 – Eden

He suggests we close our eyes, like Dr. Zucman had suggested. I didn’t want to explain to him that I needed help, so I told him to watch the video (I didn’t want him to think I was forfeiting by choice). He watched it a second time on his own after that. I think he was really interested in it, but didn’t want to say it out loud.

So we closed our eyes and listen to the music and let our minds carry us around the paper, and some things happened.

I forgot that we were drawing on a piece of paper. I just sat there in the moment with my hands on his, embraced by the music.

I had to peek because…what if he was peeking? And he was. We had covered our forced green scribbles with embracing black loops.

We made eye contact. Busted. We agree to try out the yellow because my arms were covered in smeared black dust.

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I sit there for a while longer, dancing with him on this paper. Letting go of everything that has pissed me off and hurt my feelings and made me bitchy. And I felt a warm surge of positive energy overwhelm me, and I open my eyes to peek again (partly because I’m getting pretty emotional) and I look at Chris and it’s him. He’s my positive energy. Set all the bullshit aside, and we have something pretty great. It feels good and natural and “automatic.”

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We look at what we’ve done and we had created a yellow dancing aura that’s surrounding the embracing black loops that are covering our awkward green scribbles. We look up and smile. This is when I asked him to take a picture of my arms to help me “blog the project – for grading purposes.”

He has my phone and he’s taking pictures of me, and of course I feel awkward, but at the same time he’s looking at me, smiling, telling me I look cute, and I feel beautiful. Bare-faced and beautiful. And I get to see him smile, which alone is enough to make  my day (it’s the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen).

We sit there and stare at the drawing; we both obviously love it.

At the end of the song, a woman voiced that instead of “seizing the moment,” she feels that “the moment seizes us.”

I tried to seize this weekend. We tried to force something beautiful to happen and it didn’t.

Nothing beautiful happened until we stopped trying to force it, and we let the moment seize us. What happened after that was automatic, and it was beautiful.