I’d like to think that it’s fate that my birthday this year falls on the same day as the Love Yourself Linkup. A lot has changed for me in this past year and so it’s crucial to fight the usual bouts of disappointment I typically associate with this annual event. I am officially closer to the age 30 than the age 20 and instead of feeling like my youth is slipping, I need to look at this birthday as one year closer to happiness.
The lure of admitting defeat gets stronger with passing time. As I begin to hear the biological clock ticking away, I often wonder how much longer I can keep this up before having to succumb to my greatest fears in order to sustain my hopes for a family. But as much as I’d like to fall in line with the crowd, I know that happiness is still out there. The yearning I have for it is more palpable than ever and as the desire for stability grows, so does my resistance to the currents of practical living.
How do you keep swimming when you have no idea what direction the shore is in? (Yes, I’m going to try to keep going with this ocean metaphor)… You just do. There is no answer other than what your basic survival instinct is telling you to do: keep your head above it all and continue searching.
I stumbled upon Chandler O’Leary’s Drawn The Road Again travel blog thanks to one of my favorite daily reads, HonestlyWTF. As Chandler journeys from coast to coast, her memories transform into pen, ink, and watercolor onto the pages of her many moleskin notebooks. In drawing these experiences, she honors their temporal beauty more than she ever could with just a mere photograph. The simplicity of this act is a pure revelation; paying homage through expressive representation is a tradition that goes back to the origin of art itself. With new media flying around every day, we often forget how meaningful these artistic forms can be. They serve as a relic of the cultural and physical landscape we so take for granted. They remind us that in order to cultivate and preserve memories, we must pause, absorb, and reflect. This obviously comes second nature to Chandler, but her choice to share this passionate diary is as courageous as it is generous. She invites us into her personal history and her marks guide us through a romantic look at places and things we may have never noticed on our own. I’m so thankful that she took time out of her busy travels to connect with me and I hope you feel as enlightened as I do by her sincerity and dedication to her craft.
Describe what your work is about in one sentence.
I document my life and travels via sketchbook drawings, in order to create a record of where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced.
What’s your favorite object to draw?
Lettering. I’m a fiend for type (I’m a lettering artist in my “normal” professional work), so I’m always on the lookout for found typography, hand-lettered signs, vintage neon and street lettering. There’s a treasure trove of beautiful lettering out in the world, and some of the best stuff was done by people who were never trained as an artist or designer.
As summer winds down and the breeze starts to pick up, I am being renewed. I have moved to a new residence (unpacking is another story) and am in the midst of many changes happening in my professional life. All this change can be stressful, but there is a relief in the air that holds hope for new beginnings or at the very least some happy holidays. While I’m somewhat terrified of change, I know it’s necessary to move forward and get closer to the life I envisioned for myself. So here is a new music playlist – songs to build anticipation and invite change, whether it be internal or right before your eyes.
[ image via tumblr ]
I hate doing this, but I gotta take a little break from posting for a week or two. Moving in with a significant other for the first time is going to be quite the adventure and the new place needs my attention! In addition to that, I’m re-arranging my work priorities and also focusing on two art projects. One is a small commission and the other is an artist flask for Foxboxes’ Infoxicated show at Borderline Gallery. Can’t wait to show you all of these things – my new place and the artwork – when they’re done. I’m hoping this is the start of a wonderful season in my life.
This blog has been such a fulfilling addition to my life so trust me when I say I’ll be back soon! Try not to be too devastated.
[ image via tumblr ]
Oof. Without Photoshop, it’s really hard for me to edit pictures of drawings without messing up colors and line work. So please just assume these look more delicate in person than they seem here.
Oh well, you get the gist at least! These are two patterns I’ve been messing with; shapes and lines just pour out without thought. To get these bits and pieces out is like a momentary cleanse.
Seemingly random, perhaps they represent thoughts or memories needing to be sorted out and categorized for me to make sense of them. I can’t really say definitively, but I do feel like they’re somehow weird little manifestations of internal currents – I guess really, all art is that.
I’m sad to say that I’ve been guilty of not writing to the fullest. And this is mainly because I haven’t been living to the fullest. With the pending move and the shape shifter that is known as my income, I’ve been happy to even keep my head above water. When going through times of change, decisions get that much more difficult to make given how much is riding on them. I know now that the decision I made to begin this blog was a landmark for my personal and professional growth, so continuing to move forward with it is just as important, if not more so. Despite feeling like I don’t have any beauty to give right now, it’s also important that I participate this week in the Choose Beauty Linkup – in order to remind myself that there has to be something left inside to push forward. There just HAS to be.
One of the obstacles I face every day (particularly lately because I’ve been on so many job interviews) is projecting the shiniest and best, most optimistic version of myself. I wear carefully curated outfits, I meticulously draw on my lipstick and my smile, I speak confidently about my erratic and yet fulfilling journey.
St. Louis had never really crossed my mind before I met Ben. I guess the Midwest in general just wasn’t on my radar because I had no family, no friends, no ties to the area. But as you can see from previous posts, it’s actually a pretty wonderful place if you have the right guide. We were only there for a weekend, but saw so much beauty and vitality – a truly burgeoning city. And of course, a visit to the 314 would not be complete without an up-close look at the infamous landmark arch.
In pictures it tends to just look like this big curve over the city. And while that is true, you don’t truly realize the magnificence of the structure until you’re standing right underneath it. The sheer enormity is overwhelming and though I didn’t manage to ride to the top (too long of a line for the time we had), I can easily imagine how incredible it must be.
There is a place on Buford Highway that Ben and I so lovingly nicknamed “skewers”. It sits in one of those random Asian-dominated commercial plazas, so conveniently next door to Quickly (where I get my regular taro milk bubble tea). At Bei Jing Kabobs, you can get a variety of clear-your-nose-water-your-eyes spicy kebabs.
Unfortunately my spice level tolerance is pretty much zero so I can’t enjoy about half the menu, but it sure does look attractive. You can get a variety of spiced meats and seafood on kebabs or submerged in this steaming and delicious-looking stew. I mean, look at it! Has broccoli and asparagus ever looked so delectably lethal?
Lately I’ve been shopping with my eyes instead of my wallet, which sounds good in terms of practicality and money-saving, but is a little bit unbearable for my incurable fashion addiction. I’m completely guilty of the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome… anyone know a good support group? For now, all I have is Pinterest. My latest addiction is jumpsuits and it’s probably due how infrequently I actually see them in stores. It’s terribly difficult for me to find good fits when it comes to these silhouettes so I can’t bring myself to buy one online either. Here are some jumpsuits I’m currently addicted to looking at:
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1 / 2 / 3
Visit the Tide & Bloom on Pinterest to see more of my materialistic addictions (and some inspirational stuff too)!
Little did I know that St. Louis would have some great art in store for me. It truly shows that all it takes is a few donors who truly appreciate art to transform the visual landscape of a city. Atlanta, please take note. Here are pictures from our visits to The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, The St. Louis Museum of Art, and Citygarden (a downtown sculpture park). We also visited the Contemporary, but I failed to take pictures there. However, what I did manage to capture was pretty magnificent…