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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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?)! ❤

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! ❤

Calendoodles || Your year at a glance

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Hi, everyone! Welcome to a post I’m really excited to share!

(I’ve made a video about it already, if you haven’t seen it, click here! And, if you come from the video, why, hello there and welcome to my blog!)

Today, I’m going to introduce you to a thing that I like to call Calendoodles which is an art project that I started at the beginning of this year.

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Calendoodles!

Calendoodles is the fusion of a calendar & doodles. The idea came from my need for a year-at-a-glance type of thing that could both document my journey and also look pretty cool on a wall.

I actually wrongly stated in the video that it was before I started a bullet journal, which is in fact, not true, since I started my bujo in November. Just a little side note.

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My intention was to use a much bigger format.

In my head, I pictured it as a huge poster on a wall of my room, that I would fill in every single day, and it would be that cool thing to look at every night before sleeping and thinking, “Wow, I’m so alive!” It would literally be an overview of the year, small enough to fit on a wall, yet big enough to mimic a year’s gone.

However, as I still live with my host parents, I resorted to something much smaller than I had in mind. So, I settled for an A5 format, and stuck three pages from my sketchbook together.

I found that using this format was a little constricting sometimes as the boxes can feel too small and therefore kind of limit my creativity. But it still works for me, and since I can fold it and put it in my sketchbook, it is portable, which is pretty cool in the end!

A doodle a day!

The concept is pretty simple: for each day that goes by, you doodle a thing that either represents events of that day or your emotions on that particular day.

Now, as you go, you might find, like I did, that sometimes it feels better to fit two or more days into a single box. Not because of lack of space, but because life isn’t as constant and organized as a calendar, and sometimes days melt together, no matter the amount of dusk and dawns.

And that is literally all there is to it. A doodle a day, to keep a creative representation of your year.

I can show you a close up on some of my days, if you’re curious.

I can go from drawing every single thing that happened to just key things. I can also draw metaphors or jokes to sum up a day. Or, sometimes, I might draw a simple icon to show the theme of the day: for example, an empty battery on a day I was exhausted(although that surely wasn’t the only thing that I was/did on that day.)

Sometimes I don’t draw anything, I just put a color to represent how I was feeling that day/how that day felt, or simply the main color that the memory of that day is painted with.

Rarely do I use words, because that’s the opposite of what this is about. But, sometimes, I did get lazy with the creativity and other times, it just had to be words.

And, of course, let’s not forget to put the date!! Ha ha

What’s the point, though?

It is an aesthetic and creative way to have glance at your year as you go. Also, I think there’s also something very satisfying about filling boxes; or maybe that’s just me.

As silly as it can seem, I think it is a very helpful tool.

I was talking about it earlier on the phone with my sister and she told me “but you can’t remember everything that happened”, to which I answered, ” yeah….”. I realize that! And sometimes when I look back at some doodles I’m puzzled because, one, they’re so cryptic I can’t decode the message (haha), and two, I just don’t remember the day at all because it wasn’t anything too big so it’s stored in the very depths of my memory which I cannot reach on demand if ever.

But calendoodling isn’t about remembering the days strictly speaking, rather not forgetting where you’ve been. You might not remember what every day has been made of, but when you take two steps back and you look at your year overview on those sheets of paper, (and it’s the middle of may and you’re having an existential life crisis wondering where has your time gone, what is your life), and you see all those little boxes, each for a day that you’ve lived through and accomplished, if not basic tasks or bigger ones, to walk forward into another one and another one and another..

Calendoodles help me remember life, the bigger picture. They show baby steps and bigger ones. They show simple days and empty ones. And they simply show that I kept going and I keep going. They serve as a reminder that I have lived and they help document my journey as I go.

It’s all about the little things that create the bigger picture.

Will you join me?

So, that’s Calendoodles !

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By sharing this, I hope I can get some of you jump on the Calendoodle train so we can all be calendoodling together all over the world!

So, if you too wish to capture your days in small boxes and be able to look back at your year and see the many waves of your life as it moves forward, then you are more than welcome to start your own Calendoodle!

Now, keep in mind though that, this is a personal project, so you do as you please. Whatever you wanna do works. The only rule is a doodle a day, and even that rule can be broken!!

So, I hope you get even more creative with your calendar and your doodles and find more ways to make this thing more awesome and more fitted to your personality, creativity and needs!

If you do decide to start calendoodling your life, then please, let me know, either by using the hashtag #calendoodle or tagging me in pictures/posts/videos/etc. I’d love to see what your versions of it look like and hear your stories!

That’s it for me! What an exciting post to write!

I can’t lie, I’m really proud to have come up with a thing, and I hope we can share it together and be calen-buddies!

Happy doodles! ❤

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! ❤

Infinite fresh starts.

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Turn ’em pages. Make up pages and turn them some more. Anytime.

I like the idea that you can start over anytime. Because it’s not just an idea, it’s a truth; if you let it be one.

I know that it is not always easy because we need things to feel more concrete. I mean, maybe that’s just me, but I have a hard time envisioning a moment as a new chapter, a definite point in time as a page being turned, if it is not accompanied by something that represents that little shift in my life.

Like a new day, a new week, a new month or a new year. Because these, with the sun rising again or a new calendar being put up on the wall, bring you that smell of freshness. Am I right? Ha ha.

BUT if you’re only able to truly start over, give yourself second chances, under these restrictive triggers, then you’re screwing yourself over. Because these, even the smallest of them, i.e. a day, always are too far away.

There’s literally nothing stopping you from starting over straight away but yourself.

You don’t have to wait tomorrow to do/be anything. It can be now. Right now!

It doesn’t have to wait until next week for you to drop the laziness and focus on your studies.

It doesn’t have to wait until the morning for you to apologize to that person, wipe those frowns off your faces and just be okay again. Like, please, don’t spend the rest of your day sulking.

I could go on, but I think you’ve caught my drift already.

So, as I said, I do realize that it is hard because there is kind of a desperate need for something that means change for it to feel like a fresh start indeed and for you to find the juice to truly be/do xx.

And lucky us, there’s loads of other things that we can always have straight away to allow us to have a fresh start anytime, any place.

The obvious would be to change your bed sheets, clean up your room, but these can’t be done anywhere; obviously. He he.

Splash some water on your face. Take a deep breath. Slap yourself(butt/face/whatever; your choice)? Count to ten! Take a shower. Drink a full glass of freshly poured water or juice. Coffee? Go out for a walk and set the finish line as the fresh start. And so on.

Honestly, it could be literally anything that gives you that little click in your brain that makes you feel alright and like it’s safe to start again. Anything that you can attach the meaning of that small shift/big change to.

Anyways. So my point is, remember that you can start over, anytime, any place. And I’m talking big & small things.

Find your own little ways to trick yourself into being nicer to yourself. You have infinite fresh starts if you allow it. Don’t make it wait; let yourself feel alright straight away.

Isn’t that why we like fresh starts so much, anyway? Makes you feel lightweight, confident and hopeful again, and like you can do anything! A little bit like waking up on a brand new day, or slipping on some newly bought shoes or just slapping yourself out of a downwards spiral? Ha ha!

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I changed my bed sheets today because I needed to feel that fresh start! Sadly, this day didn’t go as planned and my clean bedsheets didn’t make me bulletproof to Monday morning anxiety.

But tonight, I made myself a cup of peppermint tea, I sat down on the foot stool in front of my bed(yes, I don’t have a desk and I wasn’t in the mood to stay in the kitchen), I took a deep breath and there I had it, a peppermint fresh start!

I finally posted the eleventh chapter of Uncage the Night, after a single day delay(which is long enough for me to beat myself over). And I’m writing this. And as soon as I hit “publish”, I’ll dive in my journal to quickly plan tomorrow in order to make the most out of my time. Not only to catch up for my very unproductive day but also because that’s what I should be doing. Making the most out of my time.

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Goodnight!

And, until next post, don’t deny yourself second chances; you deserve them all! ❤

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