Atlanta holds so many treasures that I forget all the different places to find them. Usually it takes an out-of-town visitor for me to recognize the things I fell in love with when I first moved here. A great example of that is Kudzu in Decatur (not technically Atlanta, but close enough).
Kudzu is full to the brim with vendor stalls holding things like antique treasures, mid-century modern, vintage toys, and more. I seem to always find something to take home with me whenever I go, but that’s probably because I’m good at rationalizing utility for random vessels.
Not quite sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m just obsessed with collecting vases, cups, plates, etc! Maybe it’s a way for me to compensate for not being able to purchase the larger furniture I covet.
Now that I’m an “adult”, I no longer have school assignments leading my art practice. This is liberating and terrifying. Without any limits, how do you chose to represent yourself? Wait, I’m wrong. There are definitely limits – the limits of self-doubt, financial resources, physical space, mentor support. I’ve been slowly and painstakingly inching towards finding imagery from within. While I could very easily just draw from life (and sometimes I do), my true self is only revealed in abstract gestures. What you see here is a small series from my sketchbook that I’ve titled “Lock”. They’re all 14 x 11 inches and done in Micron pen.
I envisioned these in my mind laying in bed one night, thinking about how to distill my mark to a pure form. They end up looking a lot like feathers or hair (hence the series title) and I love – yes, I love – how delicate they ended up. The movement in each line is subtle and sometimes strained, but always organic. It’s really difficult to take accurate pictures of my drawings, but I edited them to the best of my ability.
I decided to share this series as a part of the Love Yourself Linkup because the act of exposing my drawings is an act of self-love. It takes everything in me to be proud of myself. If you know me in real life then you know how ridiculously true this is. I’m terribly self-conscious about speaking about my work or showing my work – even more so if you’re my friend or loved one. So here I am, allowing myself to receive whatever reaction may come… including praise.
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When my family comes to visit me, they usually take me to places I would have never gone myself. One of these places is Helen, Georgia. In an effort to see some natural beauty, we set out on a short road trip and found ourselves meeting the Blue Ridge Mountains of North GA. Here, just a couple hours from Atlanta, is where you’ll find Anna Ruby Falls – a humble yet still gorgeous spot in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The actual trek to see the falls is really easy so it’s a bit more fitting for a leisurely afternoon stroll rather than a true forest hike.
Just as interesting as the waterfall were all the quirky country shops speckled throughout the town of Helen. The architecture of the main street is meant to be a re-creation of historical German alpine villages (I tried to take pictures but they all looked hella boring), but it ends up being sort of like a second-rate Epcot scene. While it feels a bit lame, there’s something that’s also weirdly charming about it all.
A Georgia road trip just isn’t complete without a stop for boiled peanuts and tchotchke-browsing. Although it seems like my family and I never actually manage to eat all the peanuts we buy for ourselves.
….Oh, also gem stones. Yes, I said GEM STONES. Are they real? Maybe. Are they pretty? Definitely. I didn’t purchase any because I have no earthly idea of what I would do with them. So I thought I should at least take some pretty pictures.
Every few weeks I tend to experience an identity crisis. I have the awful plague of being a creative and ambitious individual which means nothing is ever good enough, including myself. In order to pull myself out of this hopeless hole, I have to do something that will lead me back to remembering who I really am. Sometimes it’s rambling on to my boyfriend about how I’m too far behind to do anything worthwhile in my life, to which he usually responds with reassuring words about how everyone loves everything I do. Other times it’s chatting with best friends who usually tell me how much they admire my strength and courage.
Today it happens to be that I’m reminded of who I am by my birth date. Everyone loves reading descriptions of themselves and their potential futures, in hopes that their own self-image and desired goals will be confirmed as what destiny had intended for them. While I do believe that we are in control of our own lives, I also think you can’t get anywhere without knowing thyself.
The idea of a style post scares the hell out of me. While I’ve always loved fashion (wearing and coveting), I’m so much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it. Thankfully there’s no shortage of cutie-pies in my life to showcase and posting pictures of my friends will help me feel less awk about posting pictures of myself. First up is Kylie!
Kylie is a brave and beautiful girl I know back from my ol’ college dancing days. We used to spend most of our time together figuring out West African dance moves or shakin’ our rumps on stage. She’s already a success at the tender age of 22 because she’s strong, independent, and knows what she wants out of life. Her style reflects exactly this – always poised and pretty, with a little bit of fun flair mixed in. Kylie said her inspiration for this outfit was Carrie Bradshaw (whose isn’t?) and I was basically ready to steal this crop top right off her back.
head to toe: sunglasses / necklace / tank / skirt / shoes
Though I was cringing editing these photos so graciously taken my patient boyfriend, I know that it’s healthy for me to put these out there.
To those of you who have been following my blog/facebook/tumblr/etc, thank you SO much for your support. It’s been great to receive all the words of encouragement and to connect with others going through similar life experiences.
As much as I love sharing my adventures in Atlanta, I’m going to cool it on the posts for about two weeks and see what happens when I just focus on drawing and living life. I really do enjoy blogging and all the social media that comes with it, but there are times when I feel like I’ve become too disconnected to actually experiencing what is going on around me. I’ve been spending too many minutes thinking about hashtags, content, followers, and the like.
I’ve been taking it slow with the whole art thing, but it deserves my full attention, even if only for a short period of time. The plan is to allow myself to get sort of lost in the process and see what happens. Hopefully, I’ll end up with a new little collection to share with you!
Thanks again for checking in and stay tuned to see what unfolds next…
This month has gone by way too fast. The older I get the more convinced I am that time is speeding up. That being said, let me take some time to share these moments from some wonderful memories made in May.
Kirkwood Spring Fling
Free fun? Who can say no! This was one of my favorite festival-type events to date. Not for any singular reason, but just because it felt so perfectly simple. It was small yet held a lot of quality vendors and I enjoyed getting acquainted with the Kirkwood area. The food stars of the day were Nectar and Atomic Ice Cream Sandwiches. Again, who can say no?
Finally got a chance to sample the Indian street food delight in Decatur. While I definitely enjoyed what I ordered (kale pakoras and a mango lassi), I walked away still feeling hungry. The menu is set up in a tapas style and so the best way to go is with a huge group. All in all, it was quick and easy, but not the best option for just two. Side note – I was completely enchanted by the vintage Bollywood movie posters on the walls.
Robert L. Staton Rose Garden
Nestled right next to Fernbank Museum of Natural History, I’ve driven past this garden for three years and only discovered it because my mom pointed it out from the road. Best of all is that it’s free and open to the public every day!
Amidst summer movie madness pushing films like Iron Man 3, Great Gatsby, and The Hangover 3 (none of which I’ve seen), a movie like MUD reminds me of why I love movies in the first place. It was a poignant cinematic composition that was equal parts romance, suspense, and humanity. I usually only expect one of the following to satisfy my movie-going experience: mesmerizing cinematography, universally relatable themes, or incredibly convincing performances. Luckily for me, Mud has all three of these intertwined in an unassuming tale of Southern heroes and their desperate aspiration for greatness (or perhaps just peace).
It’s extremely uncommon that my entire family and my boyfriend and I all enjoy the same movie, but this was one of those times. I feel like I have so much to say/feel about it that it’s difficult for me to even figure out a structure to this blog post. So for my own sanity, I’m gonna break it down to these three elements. [Potential spoiler alert.]
As you can probably tell, I’m a self-proclaimed lover of all things decadent. Fortunately Atlanta never fails to satisfy my cravings and one of my favorite spots to get a fix is Cacao in Virgina Highlands. Rain or shine in every season, this local chocolatier always has something deep and delicious to perk up my mood.
You can easily pop in and grab a truffle or two (a little pricey but totally worth it) from the flavor bar you see here. For our most recent visit, I chose Pecan Penuche and Ben got CAYENNE PASSION FRUIT.
If you ever make it to Atlanta, this little gem is definitely a must-visit.
My life has been riddled with fear of failure and self-doubt of my talent, despite all the evidence of my success. But thanks to divine luck, I have a best friend slash life coach who has a never-ending arsenal of encouraging words of wisdom. During my visit to see her graduate, she was actually the one giving me source for life inspiration. She handed me three books by Sark and asked me to choose one of them, as a gift to take home with me. I chose The Bodacious Book of Succulence: Daring to Live Your Succulent Wild Life.
For this week’s Love Yourself Linkup, I present to you my favorite excepts from this motivational read paired with pictures from a study abroad trip I took to Ireland about five years ago (I still yearn to go back).
A succulent is a plant that gets its nourishment and water from the inside – it replenishes itself.
I wish for you the ability to self-replenish, to be juicy, ripe, filled to over-flowing.
We deserve to be the caretakers for our spirits and dreams, and this means truly sensing and listening for our most alive route.
Step back into the light of your creative purpose even if you’re not sure what it is.