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!)Β 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! πŸ˜‰

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.

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Tomorrow will officially mark my eight months as an au pair in Ireland! And I still can’t believe it.

This life has brought me all I had expected, and much, much more!

I might write a post reflecting on it tomorrow or even later than that, I don’t know. For now, I am tired and ready for bed! And since I’d like to read before sleeping, I’m gonna keep it short.

I have been blessed with a lovely, caring and supportive host family, that very much feel like my own now. We’ve grown so much into each other. There’s loads of love and happiness. What else could I have asked for?

Sometimes the routine gets a little wearing, but we’re all in this together and we make it work.

Life is beautiful. It still rains. In and out. But having the children around always make things so much brighter.

I love my host parents and my kids. And it always fills me with joy to be around them. I am so thankful.

I love the city and the places. I love my friend Esther and the special connection we got to build thanks to us being au pairs. I love the grass, the sky, the weather and everything.

I love the way I feel here. And I love all that it has brought me.

Tonight I was chatting with Emily for about an hour and a half while I was studying music theory. We talked about My Little Pony, about Italian, music theory, colors, hair, and so many cool things. Sometimes I forget she’s only seven! We have a sweet complicity together and it’s the best!

I always have so much fun around Adam and her.

Hide and seek is still as intense at almost-22 than it was fifteen years ago!!

I’m just happy, guys, I think that’s it.

Goodnight! ❀

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A productive day!

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Today was pretty intense! And also, it flew by so fast!!!

I managed to do a lot of work, which I’m really happy about.

Tuesdays are usually my “soft” days in that, since the cleaning lady is here in the morning, my free time is dedicated to music theory practice. Meaning, I do some sight-reading and various exercises in the two guitar workbooks that I have.

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Today, I completely nailed this ear training drill on intervals! It made me so fucking happy, I swear!

I had some struggles with the sight reading exercise when it came to playing with the metronome. But just reading the notes, I can do. I cannot just yet read&play as I go. But, in time, it’ll happen. Ha ha! And anyways, I kept at it through the headache and I will practice the same exercise again this week.

Like I had planned, I also did two Italian exercises on irregular verbs in the morning. What I hadn’t planned, though, was the time it took… I thought it would be a matter of fifteen minutes but as it turned out, I spent a solid 45 minutes on it. And that’s because I was really serious about it, translating the sentences in both French and English as I worked on them. I guess it was the thrill of having bought a new dictionary haha

I also, of course, did all my chores. And, the only bad thing though is that, I was so thrilled by my work that I forgot to work out! (Which I will make up for tomorrow!!! πŸ˜‰ )

And last but not least, I just finished my first draft for the next chapter of my story, Uncage the Night. It will be published by the end of this week. I’m not sure when I’ll finish it exactly, but it will be posted before next week for sure.

Anyway!

All those words just to say that I am very satisfied with the amount of work that I got done today, even though I didn’t cross out everything on my list. I’m really, really, really pleased by this day. And although I would love to write more and ramble on about my satisfaction and pride, I must go. It is super late and I need sleep. Yet another long-short day tomorrow!

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happy productive cookie

Until next post, get enough rest! Can’t walk the walk if you can’t even leave the bed! ❀

Shine through the rain

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What a surprise was it, to find in a familiar crowd the familiar face of a complete stranger.

This week has had an okay start. Lovely surprises, good times, decent amount of productivity for my first two days after the holidays.

It’s been raining but when have I ever minded that? Rain is not the enemy.

I’m going to bed now. It’s late. Can’t wait for tomorrow to do things and live another lovely day!

I feel bright although the dark spots are still going pretty strong at the moment.

Until next post, keep burning even through the rain! ❀

It has to be a silly face

Things on the way!

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I had a rather productive couple of days all locked up in my room! Ha ha Not saying I wasn’t distracted, because I was (I’ve gotten to the fourth season of a show I started watching last Friday, so… yeah) and I’m even more amazed I managed to get anything done at all! Ha ha

  • I’ve got five song drafts! Yes, five! Two from yesterday and three from today!
  • I’m done with the draft for Uncage IX and I will post it tomorrow!! (If you haven’t followed the story and want to check it out, here’s chapter I, but it’s really bad; and if you missed the last one, here’s chapter VIII)
  • I’m going on a trip to Kerry with my host family this week!

This whole month is happening!

New book to read, new days to seize, new chances, new opportunities. I’m very hopeful.

Last two months were challenging but they’re over now and I’m ready for this new one.

I will try not to let my emotions take over too hard and react better in the face of challenge. I will take better care of myself. I can’t sink again. This isn’t Lille anymore. I’m stronger now and I must behave as such. I know better than to punish my body for my mind and heart’s suffering and struggles. And I know better than to let pleasure and fun lead me astray me from hard work. I know balance. I know self-control. I know the importance of nothing and the fire in something. I just gotta shake myself up a little bit and get up straight this time!

I can’t let myself down. That’s not my job. I can find loads of people to do it for free, no sweat, no nothing. I’ve gotta have my own back. I’ve been letting go a little too much lately, crumbling under my own clouds. Not as bad as before, yeah, sure. But I’m not okay with it so we gotta bring some discipline back.

That being said, I’m really excited for what’s ahead. I’ve been dying to write new songs and it feels really good to have so many doors open at once! I don’t know if all the drafts will turn into something but they’ll get the creative juices running. I’ll get there!

I promise to myself, me and no one else, I am more than this. I am the fire!

That song!!! Halestorm rocks! \m/

Until next post, embrace the joy but keep your head in place ❀

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P.S.: I know this post is very … wibbly? I’m tired and tried to rush it to post before midnight, but look, it just turned 12:01 on the clock! Ha ha! I’m gonna finish my movie now before sleeping! I deserved that entertainment better finish it now before another day of things to do before the treats!

I am the Fire||Looking (back) forward

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Hi! Today’s the last day of this long-ass month and I think it’s the perfect time for some introspection by looking at my past-self all the while focusing on the road ahead. So, let’s jump right in!

Following my post about frustration&cie, I tried recreating this picture of me taken when I was 16 and with my sweet Lady Revenge (on the right, obviously).

 

Note: I remember taking it myself and then pretending my little brother took it for me because, sometimes when you’re sixteen, it’s hard to admit that you took a selfie… Ha ha!

I’ve come a long way…

The other day, I had just finished my vocal practice of the day (half-assed) and ended up singing a little bit longer just to record my progress. And as I skipped from song to song, I ended up singing I Don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance.

I have a very sensitive relationship with this song and have actually rarely listened to it, especially since the break up. It makes me feel lots of things and I can’t handle it. But it’s one of my favorite songs by MCR. The melody and lyrics and the riffs are just beautiful. And as I sang it, it reminded me of my sixteen year old self. I remembered the struggles of my younger self and how I always had hope overcoming them. (When it comes down to singing at least.)

And I did.

I used to not be able to stay on key so well and let’s not even talk about my range or projection. My voice wouldn’t come out at all, it was a lot of throat, a lot of tension and so on. You get the idea. And now, as a not-so-far-from-22-year-old, I’ve learned so much and I’ve gained more control over my voice, and honestly, now there is really hopes that I can become a singer in this reality. he he

I am really happy to see and feel the progress that I’ve made! Even without working every single day nor as hard as I’d wish. Proof that no matter how little you do, you’re still doing something and still moving forward in the end!

And just yesterday, I was looking for an audio draft of a song that I recorded at some point when I was living on my own in Lille last year (and I found it, and I’m gonna finish writing it this upcoming month!) and oh, what I found! Gold.

I found my several attempts at an audio journal and also too many singing clips (much cringe). Now, I didn’t listen to all of it as I had something else in mind at the time, but… Wow. I sound much younger, even though it was only last year. And that, to me, is very surprising. But it’s not just that, I hear every subtlety of my suffering, struggling and the Act. It’s like watching a movie you wrote the script for. I’d guess. I don’t know.

It’s just like when I go through my pictures. I don’t know if it’s as obvious to others as it is to me, most probably not, but I see the change. I hear my voice and I hear all those differences. Not only technique-wise, but just, you know, my soul? I hear my soul. And I hear the wounds that were still so fresh and oozing out of my every sounds. And I see my face, and I see a completely different person. Some pictures even look like a complete stranger to me. And those smiles… G**, those smiles..

I know this is extremely obvious, so pardon me for saying but I need to…

I know exactly what I’ve been through. Obviously. (told you) And when I look at these pictures, when I hear my voice, it takes me straight back to then. I know it, I remember it but I also can feel how it is in what some would like to envision as “the past“. But what I feel most intensely is empathy or maybe even pity (??) for this young girl that I see/hear.

I used to be such a…. mess. And when I sit down now and look at her — me — I feel sorryΒ  (?) for that person.

I feel the pain, I see all the cracks and I smell the decaying hopes. I see how miserable and desperate she is for some light, some love, anything. I hear how she fights but to what end? I know how she feels but I feel it in a different way now that those feelings aren’t truly my own anymore. And I feel so sorry. Because no one should feel like that and no one should be alone to face storms like that. And I wish I could have been her friend instead of my own enemy. But self-destruction has a way to seduce me, no matter how strong the warnings.

And, you know, all that empathy and humanity that I feel when I look at past-me? I realize as I type this, that, this is exactly what should be one of the pillars of self-love (like any other love), but it is hard to be like that to your present self though, isn’t it? I feel as though the only reason I actually am able to feel it now, and only now, is because she feels like a stranger now, she is in another chapter of my life, and therefore, I can see her for the human that she is. And I believe I must strive for this, a humanization of my own self. Dear ***, what have I become? Ha ha

Now, as much they hold heavy amounts of darkness and brokenness in them, I must hold on to these audios and pictures (and I think I aslo have a couple video journals somewhere). Not as an anchor to “the past” but more as reminder of where I’ve been. I gotta keep that weight on my feet, not on my shoulders, you know what I mean? I think it’s great to have these remnants of “the past” around and to be able to check them out whenever you need to.

Humans are very emotional creatures and I’m not gonna pretend that I am not attached to who I used to be and the memories. I must never forget. So I won’t lose myself. But also because, almost like a mother, I enjoy re-living the growth of that little girl that’s made me who I am today.

I’m really glad I made and kept these because, documenting my progress both as an artist and as a little human trying, is what keeps me progressing. Because, if I couldn’t look back and see that I’ve moved and I’ve become more, wouldn’t that kill the fire?

I know where I’ve been, I know where I am and I know where I’m going…

There is strength to be found in all “past” weaknesses and some more to be found in the uncertainty of whatever is to come. I remember everything and I pray I never forget, no matter how heavy it gets. Everything is fuel and I shall take as much as I can because it’s a very demanding journey.

Now, as much as I’m proud of all the progress I’ve made both as an artist and as a person, I’ve gotta keep looking forward and keep harvesting for fuel as I keep on blooming. I realize that I am constantly growing, even when I least expect it, and I must keep trying my hardest to get to where I wanna be.

I’ve come a long way but I’ve still got a long way to go. Good thing I’ve got a tank full of fuel, some good souls on my side and my loyal & dedicated self.

I’ve got my back!

 

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Until next post, keep at it whatever it is you love and remember who you are. You’ll get there! ❀