Summer blew me away..

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First of all, I know it’s a little late to be doing this, but, believe me, I tried! The truth is that summer did in fact get the best of me… Those two months have got to be the longest summer I’ve ever survived. I am not just talking about the soul-melting sunshine but also my super duper long days with the kids being off school. Loads of things happened, in & out, and now’s the time for me to look back and see the bigger picture! But I’ll make this really short cos I just wanna move on tbh

 

To be completely honest, the best thing that happened to me this summer was meeting my dear friend Maria!

She took me on all those cool adventures and we shared some beautiful moments together, from the simple walks in the park to the mesmerizing cliffs of Moher and the Blarney castle. Seeing her face every Monday night in the Brù bar’s small crowd, listening to me pour my heart out while struggling on the guitar, was the best feeling. She brought me light, strength, confidence, smiles and actual good memories! And now, it’s been six days since she’s gone back to Italy and I miss her so much. ❤ It’s hard to adjust to not having her around anymore…

Then, of course, the real big thing that happened this summer– no. The greatest thing that I made happen, was the 11 live performances and all the good things that came from them!

I tried my best to go as many open mics as I could. Sadly, I didn’t make it to every. single. one. of them! Which was really my goal for the summer. But my pushing myself a little too hard in a social life that I had never been used to was not a good idea, and my anxiety made sure to rise up just to slap me in the face & back into a chill place. I had to take a full week off music and social stuff so I could take a few steps back, let go of the pressure and remember the reasons why.

The real magic thing with the open mics is that by just being in the right place I was doing the right thing. That’s literally the one thing I’ve always been doing wrong my whole life, never going to the place. And so, even on the first night I went, things happened. And the more I went, the more doors unlocked. I’m not just talking about me getting better at everything and more confident; although that is a thing as well! I’m talking about the people!

I’m having more and more people come up to me after a performance to tell me how they really enjoyed my songs, following me on social medias or simply coming back to hear me again. And this is all surreal, you know? The best part actually is to have those really cool talented musicians telling me how good they think I am and some even wanting to work together. The feedback has just been so positive and encouraging. I’m shook.

And that’s really been the main things of this summer. There’s been more but now that I look back I realize that they weren’t as important as they felt in the moment. And then, there’s been crazy stuff as well which I might share later on or maybe in a song some day haha

So, summer’s been long and draining. Lack of free time + 7/11 right-handed performances almost got the best of me; I’m lucky I didn’t fully lose my mind! Ha ha And it’s brought so much light and so much good!

Now, I’m  very excited about all that’s to come. I’ve met a new musician last week at the Brù, Billy. He’s an awesome guitarist and we’re working on stuff together now, and soon, we’ll blow your brains away. Gently. Look forward to it, this might be the start of something bigger!

And there we go! A short enough post to remember this past summer and now we can finally keep moving on. My brain is buzzing with ideas and I can barely contain myself. I’d say this is all going pretty okay for me! Can’t wait to share the new songs!

Until next post, remember that sometimes, it’s as simple as it gets: show up, and things will happen! ❤

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New Bob Ross pastel!

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Hey there! I tried another Bob Ross tutorial last might and it felt amazing!!

It was such a nice way to end my weekend which had been so lovely already! I did mess up the sky a bit! Because, I forgot how pastel worked, and I got some of the brown and black stuck in the sky but it’s alright! Hehe

Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this already but I have an art only blog now! So if you’re just here to see my art and don’t care about the life updates and stupid songs and weird stories, head over to @chloeriviereart to get only the delicious paintings, drawings and sketchbook peeks! 😉 It’s a little wobbly as I’m still figuring it out but it’s just the good stuff 😛

Feeling g(.)(.)d

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pardon the silly title he he

Today was such a beautiful day. In a very simple way. And I just feel so good! So, here’s me, writing a blog post about this beautiful day.

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I went for a walk this morning, straight after dropping the kids to school. Usually I take the bus to the city, so I can read a bit and then walk back home, but I wanted to try something different. And so, I called my sister and walked all the way to the city. One hour under the warm morning sun!

When I reached the city, I had a quick debate with my sister whether I should go for a coffee or not. And eventually, I settled for an ice cream, which I devoured on my way back home!!! And from then on, I just got some nice little surprises. From the smile of the busker to whom I gave my change to the group of French tourists I helped. It was a lovely morning!!

And then, when I got back home, I only had enough time to have a snack and practice my guitar scales.

 

I was not so productive, although I did go through one of my theory exercises. (Just now.) It’s a “sight-playing” exercise which I’ve been struggling on for the past two weeks. And this time, I actually managed to play through it all with a click on (70bpm… hehehe). I mean, I did make loads of mistakes but I kept playing anyways, adding some silent bars and beats here and there! Ha ha

Although I wish I had done more, I am completely at peace with it.

Another thing that I talked about in the videos for channel #2, is how, apart from feeling overall good, I’m also just feeling very happy with my little empire that I’m slowly building.

These past few months, I have become more aware of all the progress that I’ve made ever since I started working on building this empire. And I’ve been giving myself more credit for all the distance that I’ve walked already! Although I am fully aware that I’ve not even reached half of it, I am proud of myself for having gotten so far. All the hard work (stubbornness) is starting to pay off…

I’ve done loads of looking back, and remembered of all the immense struggles that I used to have when I had just started learning the guitar/singing. It fills me with confidence and powerful hope, and never fails to bring a smile to my face. I am now capable of doing things that I once thought I could never possibly do. And I have overcome most of the things that used to hold me back!

There’s a lot more skills, a lot more confidence and way more natural and magic! Which is something that I was telling my host dad last night, as we shared a beer in the back garden and joked about Robert the pigeon.

As you may already know, I’m always looking for the light everywhere, and there is a special thing that I see in everyone which I like to refer to as “a spark” or “un je-ne-sais-quoi” for when I’m feeling French. And that spark is something that I’ve been feeling pretty much in everyone. From my favorite artists to my friends whose art resonate in me.

And the thing is that I am now starting to feel it in my work… Like, last night, for example, as I was listening to What You Are Without Me with my host dad, I could feel some sparks in the music, filling the air with a strange, haunting, magic. And it’s crazy because, it is my voice; it is me.

And you know what’s even crazier? It’s that I can feel it, inside of me, that it is happening. Soon. I can see it slowly building in my hands, as I write better songs and manage to reach more people. And I can feel it deep inside that it’s all just around the corner. And it is terrifying!!! (I will surely elaborate on that feeling on another post pretty soon.)

But it also makes me so happy.

This is the main reason I came here in the first place anyways. To get my empire rolling. And, guys, not to jinx it, but it is happening!!!

When I come back from my holidays (which are in less than three weeks now!!!), I will be jumping head first in! And I just can’t wait…

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Life is good. I’m in such a good place. Things are looking up.

I’m more me. I’m creating more and better. I’m happier and healthier! And surrounded by such supportive and kind-hearted people & a pigeon.

Things are almost fully on the way! I’m seeing my family again in three weeks.

My songs are cool. I’m cool. Robert is cool!

And the new season of Arrested Development is finally on Netflix!

What is there not to get excited about?

I want it all!

Anyways, until next post, make sure you keep looking for the light! It’s always there. Not always the color you’d expect. But it is real and it is everywhere!

I had such a beautiful day and it’s only Tuesday, so hopefully that’ll help me rock the rest of this week!! ❤

My art journey so far…

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Hi everyone! Story time!

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! ❤

Tree sketch in my new sketchbook!

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This was a sketchbook that I bought with the intention of using as a travel journal. Which I did, for a while, until I realized… I don’t really have a use for a travelling journal. I don’t travel this much lately anyway and also, it’s simply not really my thing.

Anyways, I am really proud of this tree sketch that I started yesterday and finished today. It’s my first page and it kicks ass!!

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I’m growing very fond of Faber Castell’s PITT Artist Pens, to be quite honest. I loved them from the start and, although I didn’t really know how to use them properly, I knew it was the sh*t! And now that I’m getting used to them, I can only confirm how amazing they are! My favorite has to be the soft brush types because it gives me so much freedom of movements. And also, guys, the colors are !!!!!!

So, here’s a side to side of my tree and the reference tree outside of my house:

 

 

I really enjoyed doing that!

For one, because drawing outside is actually pretty fun! And also, because this little pointillism thing I’ve got going on for the leaves is both fun to do and beautiful!

So happy with this! And looking forward to filling out this sketchbook!

 

I still have another brand new sketchbook to start filling also! It’s an A4 one that I bought a couple months back cos it was 10€ instead of 25 or something!

There’s no such thing as too many sketchbooks though, am I right? Haha

Until next post, cherish Nature, please! ❤

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?)! ❤