My art journey so far…

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Hi everyone! Story time!

I just filmed a video on my second channel looking back a little bit on my art journey and so I figured I’d make it longer over here!

It all started back in January 2016…

That’s the month I decided to start getting serious about life and start doing the things that I’ve always wanted to do. University was making me miserable and eventually, four months in, it finally pushed me towards where my heart was this whole time.

It’s kind of crazy that I had to wear myself out doing things that I didn’t care about in order to open a door which wasn’t even locked in the first place. In fact, there wasn’t even a door. It was just literally right next to me. I just preferred touching the things that were further away and not even real. All the while being fully aware that it was next to me and that I should have been giving my heart to it and nothing else. It is pretty silly, but I guess sometimes it takes what it takes…

So, I started a blog, I bought a sketchbook and all sorts of art supplies that looked appealing. And it’s also the month I bought my first left-handed guitar and started a healthier music journey.

Here is my very first sketchbook which I bought from a very French shop in Lille:

 

 

And I customized it as best as I could, dressing it up in my favorite people’s favorite quotes. (By the way, these Lynz quotes are like, so important!) And, I swear, everytime I would open it, it felt like I was opening a window on such a bright horizon!

And then, the magic happened…

I still remember the first time I attempted drawing anything, which was in fact, in a different sketchbook, and how it blew me away.

See, the thing is, I had always kept in mind this idea that I was simply really bad at drawing and kind of accepted it as my universal truth. When I decided to get serious at it, I was ready for all the hard work it would take me to get to a fairly decent level because I knew that I was starting really low..

So, when I put my pencil on the page and these happened:

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I couldn’t believe it. At first.

Then, I could totally believe it. And maybe it filled me with a little too much confidence which led to some disappointment when I tried out drawing again the following days and I was not creating masterpieces.

It was only a test to see how well I could follow a simple tutorial, and even my preliminary lines were a perfect match to the tutorial! Which I had certainly not expected since I had never been good at copying things. And I nailed it. So, I expected to nail everything from then on, which of course, was purely a fantasy…

However, from that moment on, I progressed on and on and faster than I ever thought was possible! Things just clicked so easily and I unlocked brand new patience slots every single day, I forgot the meaning of “impossible”!

The amazing thing is that, all the things in the first part of that sketchbook, even the most mediocre sketches are still so many levels higher than what I thought I was capable of at the time! The last time I had actually drawn anything before that was for my highschool drama group and it was far from that quality!

As I said in the video, it’s like my decision to dedicate myself to art pushed open a door from which skills just came pouring out, as if they had been held back this whole time, but never locked away.

I like to joke that it all just fell from the sky and hit me in the face. But I don’t believe this sort of things can happen that way. It had to be here all along, laying silently, patiently, waiting for me to call…

An incomplete tour of that 2016-2018 sketchbook:

 

 

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At the end of it, I wrote a little looking back note, which I read in my video. That was back in last December, which is when I finally finished this sketchbook! Phew!!!!

And that was a big relief, finishing it! Because I started it so long ago and it held with it not only the memories of all the places I went to and carried it with me, but also all of the storms that I had to keep running through. Which is both a good thing and a hard one. But I think that’s what makes it so precious… As you flip the pages, you can see the evolution of both, my mind and art skills. It’s the perfect document of my journey from & through Lille to Ireland.

I’ll hang on to this sketchbook for as long as I can, not because I need a reminder of where I started from so I can fully celebrate my growth, I’m not gonna lie. I think it is mostly because, as much as it hurts, these are parts of the past that I can’t let go of.

At least not yet.

Oh, how I’ve grown!

It started with a spark. Which didn’t come out of nowhere but from the depths of me. And I’ve been burning ever since. Different intensities, different colors. But, burning on!

Here’s a little side by side of “firsts” from that period and latests:

 

Both as an artist and a person, I’m in a much better place now. I am capable of more and willing to try harder. I’m happier and healthier! I’m stronger, more determined, more dedicated and focused. And, man, have you seen my last painting???

The road was long and dark and bumpy to get here. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot about myself and the world. It sure hurt me, but it also forced the best out of me. Gotta learn the hard way when you’re born to be wild! hehehe

Now, I’m looking forward to all that’s to come. All the lessons and the learning. The new skills and the acquisition of all the knowledge. The creations and discoveries. The people and the things. The places and the moments. The smiles and the tears.

I’m grateful for all that’s past and all that is present. And I’m looking forward to more life.

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Literally best selfie of the day. He he. Looking forward!

And, I think that’s it! Proud of my progress and looking forward to more! Because there’s nothing like getting more and more comfortable in your own little universe. Being able to fly freely-ish in my music and art is a big goal! 😉

Until next post, keep working and keep believing! ❤

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I had a lovely weekend with E. But Reality has caught up with me and it’s hard to face the facts.

Hard working rhymes with self-loving!

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Last week I took a break. Tried. And it was really hard.

But during the last few hours of it, I eventually had a breakthrough. And now I’m back on the road, at a slow walking pace, trying to catch up with the image of who I’m trying to be.

These four days were intended to be a “mental health break”, where I would let go of all the necessary and unnecessary pressure, and focus on feeling good. Relax, as Esther likes to say it. It was supposed to calm me down and help me find my way again. Kind of like a “spring cleaning” of my mind, sorta???

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It was hard to step away from work! Simply because “work” literally consists of all I’m passionate about. And also, it wasn’t easy to ignore the loud voice that always goes: “you gotta work harder or you’ll never get there on time”; ‘on time’ referring to my time, as in whenever I’m scheduled to die.

I had to resist the cravings to open up my books or pick up pens or bring out my guitar. And, at first, it was the hardest I had ever had to try not to do work!

But eventually, my body settled into a more relaxed, as in lazy, mode of life — which I actually used to be very used to, years ago.. And so I had four days that were very different from whatever lifestyle I had settled into ever since I got here.

Although they didn’t bring me the peace I expected, they really helped my sanity and body. I did loads of walking and watched loads of my favorite shows, and, most importantly, I let go of some of the pressure.

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If you know me, you know I’m not one to take breaks, and certainly not long ones.. But I’ve just been so stressed out these past few weeks that I had to do something about it. What motivated me to take action was that the small breakdowns just kept happening and it was both draining and frustrating.

Anything would be enough to make me feel defeated and get me on the floor. And it made it so hard for me to go through each day, accumulating disappointment and frustration. All I wanted was to make some progress, get things done and get better at everything. But I only got the opposite and it was down right irritating.

It created this crippling fear in me with the daily anticipation for the small struggles, disappointment and I-want-to-bang-my-head-on-the-wall’s. Every little thing felt a thousand times bigger and it weighed on my back, which was bending too much I was scared it’d break.

The last straw was fucking up my guitar restringing… I felt so heavy when I realized I fucked up. It was the most defeated I had been in a long while. I wanted to give up on everything!

And the thing is that I instantly knew why it made me feel that way. Which doesn’t happen all the time! You know, sometimes you need time to cool down and think back on a breakdown to realize which cat pushed the vase off the table and how that is why your foot is bleeding. what the hell did I just write

One, because I was so stressed out that anything that would come in the way of my work and “jeopardize” my progression towards my goals would freak me out. And two, because I was utterly disappointed in myself for failing at doing something I thought I was good at.

I mean, this was changing the strings on my guitar. Musician 101. And I thought that, even though I still don’t have that much experience, I could actually handle it and do a decent job on my own. It was kind of a slap in the face. Very small. But it was enough to throw me off my foot stool (which, with the edge of my bed, constitute my desk, aka working space, ha ha)… A small mistake, which can easily be fixed, and my whole career was annihilated!

And that was it, the moment I knew that I had to step away from it all before I would completely lose my marbles.

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I was overwhelmed that even breathing was too stressful

Now, I think that the reason that this happened is because I do not ever take real breaks. Small ones. And so I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing… And eventually, the tiredness and pressure accumulates and I only realize that I should stop and take care of myself when I’m so close to breaking. (Which is not that bad a thing! At least I know when to stop!)

I gotta work on that. I am working on it, as a matter of fact! I think I am finally starting to learn how to learn from my mistakes! Hip, hip, hooray!

I am thinking in a healthier way now, including breaks in my routines and allowing fun activities to relax in between the grind.

When I read what I just typed, I realized how silly it sounds. But my head is literally so focused on what is to come out of it, that sometimes I forget myself completely in my hardworking ways. And so I have to remind myself that I am a person behind all of those dreams and goals, that I have to take care of myself because without me, there is no me.

There you go, I made it even sillier! 😉

But what I mean is that I am at the bottom of it all, the foundation of the dreams. Healthy body, healthy mind. All of that. I sometimes get so absorbed by the idea of hard work that I neglect myself which is a big issue that I must work on fixing for the sake of all. If I can’t stand, nobody will drag me to the other side of the mountains and then nothing will be possible anymore.

There’s only one door to all possibilities and that’s me.

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I gotta take better care of myself for I am the only one that can turn my dreams into reality.

This is a hard concept for me to comply with because, like I said, the over-achieving-hard-working-gotta-make-it-happen part of me always gets the upper hand. And that hand is a hard ruling one; an imperious one, dare I say! And that little dictator has that unhealthy way of correlating “fun” with “slacking off”… So, I guess that is why it is hard for me to learn that working hard doesn’t mean “always beating yourself up and neglecting the poor little human that you are”.

You know, people always say “Don’t let them kill your spark!”. But I think that what we should say is “Don’t beat the dreams out of yourself!”. Have I said that before? (yes) Because sometimes, by dreaming too hard, we kill our own fire. And that’s one of the things I kept telling myself during these four days, this is not what music is all about.

I have been too overwhelmed lately. Not just by work. Although, it is part of the problem. There’s been too much tension and frustration. And I was feeling miserable. Which is definitely NOT what art is all about.

Art is my safe place. It feels good and it makes me feel alive. And it should always feel that way. But I let my demons eat away at me again and I let them go too close to the fire and they got a bite out of my dreams..

But I’m bouncing back up now!

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My break didn’t really relax me. If anything, it stressed me out some more. I was just trying so hard not be stressed out at first, that I got overwhelmed. Took me a while to find back the “easy going” way.

But it made me remember something…

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I don’t exactly remember it, but I know I mentioned it in several posts last year, because that’s when this new point of view came and changed my life. And this, my friends, is a very crucial key for me to keep moving through life. Don’t let the fear paralyze you; instead, let it fuel you. Work through it. Work through the storm! Not because you’re scared means you shouldn’t even try.

And I realized that, lately, I had let the fear eat me up and this is not okay.

It’s time to kick those demons in the ass again, remind them where they belong. I know they can’t leave, and I’m kind of fine with them staying; that’s not what I’m asking. What  I demand is that they stay put in their place. I am in charge. They are tied to the tree while am roaming free!

So, I am ready to get my shit back together now. We’re two days after the end of my short break and I’ve been doing okay. I’ve been really nice to myself and letting it happen. I’ve not been pushing too much and my head is up. I’m doing my best!

I am happy because I know that I can count on me and knowing what I know about me, I’m glad to know that I’ve got my back. I know this is weirdly-phrased but what I mean is that it feels good to be able to trust yourself like this and know that you are enough, you’ve got all it takes to provide for yourself on this crazy adventure!

Now, this is a long post like we hadn’t seen in a while, ain’t it? I’m glad I got all of this out! I am so ready for a more self-loving hard-working life and I can’t wait for you guys to hear the new songs! Also, there will be paintings soon with my mom and brother’s birthdays coming in June!

Plus a special little BIG news…. hehe

Until next post, remember to be kind to you and to everyone else and do not let fear stop you! Coexist with your own storm(s?)! ❤

There’s nothing that I can’t do.

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I had a lovely weekend with Esther. Of course. Once more. I wish there could be many many more but, soon these won’t be a thing anymore and I’m gonna miss them! We had our usual hanging around on Saturday and on Sunday we studied (different things) together. It just feels so nice to have someone to share the little things with, someone that never fails to bring a smile to your face. Much love!

Anyway! Yesterday I posted video on my second channel, saying how proud and reassured I was. Indeed, on both Saturday and Sunday, before I met with E, I did a couple of things on my own, many of them who I’ve known to be anxiety triggers. But I did them, without a sweat, or almost, and it felt really good!

Like I stated in the video, lately, I had grown scared that I had lost all ability to things on my own again, as the storm has been messing with me again. I had had a couple tiny anxiety fits lately, even in the presence of E and in friendly environments. And this, along with the fact that I could feel my dependence to my friend, had led me to think that I couldn’t do anything anymore and that I was, in fact, doomed.

And so, on these two days, I set up tests for myself, and, I passed them all! With flying colors! Not only did I go and buy some guitar strings or go at a café alone, I interacted non-awkwardly with the cashiers and baristas, and I was pretty cool. From my point of view at least. And you see, that is the thing…

What the storm does, aside from eating up from within, is make me forget who I am and the things that I can do. Because, at the core, I am a pretty smooth talker that knows how to get her way, but because of all those years spent under the control of my own demons, I’ve forgotten my own ways.

This is not who I am. I’m not a scared, shy little girl. I am strong, funny, clever and unafraid. And that’s what this weekend was a reminder of:

I am the fire!

And there’s nothing that I can’t do once I set my mind to it! And, what the storm thought it had destroyed, I am getting it back, and there’s no stopping me!

I know I sound dramatic, as per usual, but I truly thought that some things I had lost forever in that familiar darkness. But I was wrong. The power is in my hands, and I get to decide what stays and what doesn’t. I choose. I build. I destroy. I am not the storm’s puppet, nor is it truly my enemy either.

This weekend, I proved to myself that I still got it, the strength, the will; everything. And today, it only got better!

Today, I walked to the city, then went to buy some acrylic yarn for my sister, and then I went to my favorite coffee shop to study some music theory. And, eventually, I took one more coffee which I drank on my way back home, walking once more. AND I was alone the whole time!

Sure, at first I was on the phone with my sister, which did help a lot. And then, my first thirty minutes in the café, I was shaking a little. But I was on the field, nonetheless, and I did not once chickened out!

I went, I stayed and I worked through the very minuscule anxiety waves pulsing through me. And I did it! I even managed to go to the bathroom, which is a really HARD thing for me to do, unless it’s like a public bathroom in a shopping center (….don’t ask, I don’t even know! ). And I did it all. I was shaking a little, and all of that. But I did those huge things on my own, and it makes me so happy.

Now, I’m exhausted, but happy!

I did loads of walking and not enough of eating. And also, the little bit of anxiety still took a lot of energy from me. But I am happy! Happy that I did things and happy with the little rewards that the Universe scattered on my way.

I got so many surprises today and I just don’t know what to say. It was little things, like, you know, a dog smiling at me or my mp3 playing exactly a song I wanted to hear. And, it was silly little things, that I desired to happen which happened and left me shocked and thrilled. It was sweet little rewards that felt like a warm hug, saying “I’m proud of you for trying and succeeding; you’ll get there”. And it was comforting.

Still, on my way back home, I stopped in a shop, feeling the need to reward myself with a new dress or something. But the need faded quickly and walked out of it, empty-handed. However, the Universe, in Its infinite generosity wasn’t done sending love my way! When I got home, I checked Instagram, only to find out that the fifth season of Arrested Development is coming this 29th on Netflix. And I am ALIVE again!

I feel so good…

IMG_20180507_185303_710.jpg These were such empowering days! I had let fear feed of me instead of using at a fuel, as I usually would, and that led me to forget how bright I can actually burn! But, I guess that the fighter in me had had enough and finally gave me that little jolt, for me to go out there and find out for myself, that, yes, indeed, I’m still good.

Also, today, I got to taste some sweet little surprises which filled me with both, hope and inspiration!

I’m really tired now so I am simply going to lie in bed and watch something! I did finish my music theory chapter today, so I don’t have to worry about doing more work. I can just sit back and relax, and pat myself on the back over how I’m a big girl!

I will publish an original song over the course of this week. So, look forward to that! Also, probably another video on channel #2 at some point; I want to be more active on there also because it feels good to speak out some things! And, hopefully, some art too!

Until next post, remember…

When there’s no one else, look inside yourself

Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within

Then you’ll find the strength that will guide your way

You’ve got this! You can do anything; you’ll get there! ❤

Positive bullets #5

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Finally back with some P.B.; it’s been a while!

I’m in need for some of those bright vibes, warm reminders, to feel okay tonight. So, let’s shoot that happiness!

  • Peppermint tea!
  • When my host mom makes me tea
  • Bob Seger
  • When the sun hits the trees and they’re so colorful and bright!
  • My mom’s knitted creations!
  • Knowing that I can play the guitar right-handed AND left-handed
  • The vibrations in my body when I sing
  • Caffè Nero in town
  • Those chocolate bars that look like butts
  • Hugs
  • The way Esther says my name
  • Button mushrooms & broccoli
  • Soy sauce
  • My kitty slippers
  • Using silly words to censor myself when chatting with the kids
  • My flower-printed bed sheets
  • My yellow shoes
  • When the wind makes my dress sway gently and it feels like I’m flying
  • The way my best friend says “ah la la”, and even better, when we say it at the same time!
  • Jason Bateman he he
  • Cat videos!
  • Will Arnett’s voice
  • That feeling when I understand music theory material
  • When my fingertips hurt from playing the guitar
  • That first stretch in the morning that feels like death and life at once
  • My little pony socks
  • Peanut butter and banana toasts!!!!!

Alrighty! Five minutes out!

I do feel better now. 🙂

For those of you that have no idea wth this is: It’s a thing I started back in 2016(?) when the storm was going pretty strong. I set a timer for five minutes and I jot down things that make me smile, that make me happy, things I enjoy, etc. It serves as a reminder of the light that surrounds us. And it’s like a little positivity shot!

Sometimes you can feel lost or overwhelmed by the silliest things, so it’s always nice to sit down and remember those little sparks that brighten up your life. It’s comforting. And as you write them down, it tickles those memories in your brain, and you smile as you recall how they make you feel. And you breathe better once you’re done as you remember that there is so much good in your life, no matter the amount of darkness, no matter how worn out life can get you.

Until next post, keep your eyes peeled; the Light is here! ❤

The right to sleep.

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Life is a constant struggle. Ain’t it?

There’s always so much you want to do and always so little time. And it’s so easy to get distracted or lost and waste that time in very silly ways. This is what I’ve been wrecking my brains over lately: trying to use my time wisely. Which is mostly why I picked up on the whole bullet journal trend!

You know I’m all about… everything, right? If you look at my tracker, you’ll see music theory, guitar, voice, art, writing, reading and Italian fighting their way into my daily life. And, of course, on top of that you have my desperate needs to keep a social life and a healthy body. Of course, you’ll tell me, it’s hard to manage all those things at once, why don’t you pick one? And I would probably very rudely answer, “No.”

I don’t wanna and I won’t. Because that’s not the issue. There is enough time in a day to fit at least a consistent 75% of these. It doesn’t have to be everything at once, but a nice amount of… a couple of them. Or maybe just one but really intensely then. Or maybe I’m just delusional… yes

The real issue is that sometimes I get lost in silly daydreams and I let my time slip right outta my hands for a hollow ephemeral mental bliss. It’s like a fucking drug, I swear. I’m trying to fight that because it is not the healthy type! And it’s also double-edged because in the end it brings more pain than pleasure, and more anxiety than peacefulness as I panic over all the time that I just lost.

As I’m really serious about those things, I want myself to be sincerely dedicated to them to make them move my way and as fast as possible because I’m getting tired of waiting! And sometimes, I get really tyrant-like with myself…

I’ve got this really unhealthy belief that I do not deserve rest or distractions or treats unless I have worked what I consider a considerable amount that day. I do realize that I need sleep though to be able to go on and keep working hard the next day. But I do go to bed feeling really guilty and shameful if I haven’t done at least half of the work that I had in mind for the day.

I’m working on it, don’t you worry. But easing the grip around my neck doesn’t mean self-discipline is out of the door. I still think that treats are earned. Sleep, on the other hand, should not be on the bidding table(is there such thing?).

Anyway. I’m writing all of that just to dramatically state that tonight, I have earned the right to sleep.

This day started out pretty “meh…”. Bad vibes and then, I’m not going to lie, a lot of dancing around and fooling around instead of serious work. And then it got turned around. Although I only had a mere hour and a half out of my four hours of daily morning free time, I did kick the shit out of it.

I didn’t work so well on my voice or guitar. But I practiced the two songs that I have been learning (Girl Crush by Little Big Town and In the Mourning by Paramore), in order to perform for my host family and eventually at an open mic session or something. Just to get me started. And it’s taking me forever And I posted a cover on my YT channel. AND I got yet another song idea!

This afternoon, I filmed bits and pieces for a video coming soon on my second channel. AND, I posted a short update video saying I’m not dead and things are alive again.

And then, tonight, I have completed the first draft of the last chapter of my story Uncage the Night. And I posted here on the blog, aka the place to be! 😉

This is why, I have earned the right to skip my Italian revision tonight and go to bed (still gonna read a bit first, though) before eleven!

It feels good to get things done! And it feels bad to waste my time. Why isn’t it so simple as to just stop doing the things you know are wrong? Meh; where’s the fun in that?!

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Until next post, sleep, my dude! ❤

The “H” word.

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Happiness is not a sacred land that you can only reach after years of hard work. That is purely a fantasy.

Happiness is not an everlasting bliss. That is delusional.

Happiness isn’t a mysterious light at the end of a tunnel that you pursue.

Just like sadness, happiness doesn’t last forever for it’s only an emotion. And emotions aren’t forever. They have a certain duration and intensity, and more often then not, they fade fast. They’re only passing through.

How long it lasts only depends on what caused it. It can be a person, a thing, a moment, a dream; anything. It can be recurring. Like, when you see them again; each time. But it’s never a constant line. It needs to take breaks, breathe in, freshen up so it doesn’t get old. It’s interrupted by other emotions, sudden waves. Or it simply fades out after a while, like a cigarette slowly consumed by your eager lips.

 

It can’t last.

Because nothing lasts.

“Forever happy” is a fantasy. Happiness is a moment; a deep breath; a smile; a smaller piece of dust from the sea of dust blowing in the wind.

Happiness is the little things, the bigger ones. It’s the people, you. It can be found anywhere, in anyone, anything, at any time. And it’s a lovely emotion, it feels really good. But it doesn’t last. And it isn’t as big a deal as you’d like to believe.

 

Don’t reach out for a fantasy. Reach in and around for a real emotion, a pure bliss and enjoy it as it runs through you.

Happiness is now. It’s everyday. And it’s never lonely for we are like salad bowls of emotions and feelings. It’s never just one. Your insides are intertwined in a big messy hug.

Sometimes, this life leaves you blue…” But if you look close you’ll see that’s not the only color in your bruises. There’s more than meets the confused mind & distraught heart.

I’m a firm believer that there’s light even in the darkest of places, even if just a spark. And I’ve made a way of life out of finding it everywhere, the Light; the sparks.

You’ll get sad. You’ll get angry. You’ll get happy. You’ll get loads of different things, sometimes all at once! But you won’t get to a special place that contains all that means “light” to you. Not in this life at least. If happiness has to be a place, then, look no further than in yourself. There’s a whole universe in there; it’s all yours to explore…

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Until next post, embrace the ephemeral lights that make this world go round! ❤