Swallow Crystals and Laugh Prisms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


final compositional sketch for Detour:

colour study (see left margin):

Also did a lot with my werewolf motorcycle rider piece.

Linda says I should just set out and do one thing and that I'm thinking too much, and I should just not even think about all the other stuff until I'm done with one thing.  I really needed to hear that, and I've been really productive since.  She also mentioned the possibility of taking a couple incompletes and finishing the work over winter-break.

L.A. seems so close.
I bought a street map and tacked it up in my studio so that I can learn the neighborhoods and it will inspire me to work as hard as I can.

At the bookstore I was looking at Annie Liebowitz' American Music and there is this amazing photograph of Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry after a show at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1972.  Bo's carrying his own cases, and a girl is hanging around Chuck's waist.  Makes me think of the magic musicians have.

I'm listening to Fleetwood Mac's album "Then Play On," the Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green, before Stevie Nicks came into the picture.  I remember playing this record on the vintage red Braun record player in Delft with all the lights off except for the red light.  
I can't help it, I'm a very nostalgic person.

I'm feeling a little dejected.  From a number of things.  I've felt pretty isolated lately, this year I made the conscious decision to be more open to people, because I'm pretty unfair when it comes to that sort of stuff.  I have ridiculously high standards for people I take into my life, and I sort of "test" people before I bother getting to know them.  Well, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of elitism lately, and I'm definitely not done thinking about it, but it plays into this.  The thing that's bothering me is that I feel like I've made 2 or 3 good connections with people, but when I try to take the acquaintance up to the level of friendship, I end up feeling rejected.
I've never understood the concept of acquaintance, it reduces humans to Filler, to convenience to your own comfort.  You don't really learn about yourself or others through this type of relationship, it's essentially useless and superficial.  Thus, I've eliminated it from my life prior to this exercise in openness.
I'm feeling frustrated right now because this is kind of proving to me that the method I was employing before was the right one.  Acquaintance relationships leave me feeling even more alone.
Another possible factor might be that I come across as too intense, or that maybe I'm too fast.  I prefer working in a small amount of time, because I skip the bullshit.  I was talking about that with my sister.  How the concept of waiting to kiss someone or have sex is dumb; if you're feeling it: do it.
So what is it?
Does it have to do with the East Coast?  Does it have to do with my intensity or speed?  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

panther women

After days of stressing out about this, and trying to think of some kind of background, the answer finally came to me tonight.  I've been getting inspiration from blaxploitation movie posters, why not model the cover after one??  It seems so simple...

So that's what I've been working on for the past 5 hours.  I don't know why things take me this long, but they do.  
My concept is to take the "xploitation" out of blaxploitation, and show badass super strong black women kicking pigs' and other white male oppressors' asses.  I don't think there's ANYTHING anti-feminist about being buck naked, feminism is about doing whatever the fuck you want without sex holding you back.  That's not to say I support the fucked-up, insecure girls who reveal their bodies to receive male attention. There's a difference in using your body as a power-suit and a big fuck-you, and making it an object separate from your Self, 'cause you don't believe in that self, do you?

I've still got to add tons of other small figures to this, and figure out one architectural element.  This is my main compositional inspiration:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

rough day/year

I can't handle Illustration anymore.  I'm in the studio until midnight every night and I'm not getting anything done.  I've only finished one project, a bullshit one for Word & Image.  I have 8 finished pieces due this week.  I can't do this, I'm wearing myself down physically and emotionally I'm always on the verge.  I'm going to talk to Irena about this.  The class that bothers me the most is Word & Image, second most is Advanced Drawing.  That one more superficially, because it's a class I've already taken and passed, with an A, but the curriculum is completely different this time around.  The structure and assignments of junior year classes are just very different and they are everything that I hate about school.  The last three years have made me want to drop out, I've had to force myself to graduate.  The senior year studios are like a sigh of relief, FINALLY, a system I can learn from, and now I can't even fully concentrate on them.  It's incredibly frustrating, and infuriating.
Essentially, I feel punished for studying abroad last semester.  I need to graduate on time because I'm moving to LA and because I don't have money to stay in school any longer.  I want to switch to Art and Design but I wish I could keep Illustration IV and Degree Project.
I just want to pass the other ones.  I'm just not used to settling for less than a B+, so it's going to be really weird letting go of that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

more progress

These are my sketches for the Detour piece, colour studies will follow.  Stephen has been telling me a lot about African history and there is some of the richest imagery in those stories, so I want to put those in this piece.
It's playing off of blaxploitation and taking power back from your oppressors.  That's an idea I've been exploring for a few years.  I like turning the tables, I love dressing like the female equivalent of the classic 70's pimp because I feel like I'm spitting in their faces.
(how the title will be incorporated):
I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do with the background, but it won't be a scene, it will be pattern or texture or flat colour.

Here is an update on the werewolf piece.  This is sort of an underpainting.
a detail:

Monday, October 20, 2008

letting go

today I had degree project and it was a really strange experience.
I came an hour late, because i'd rather go to class late than unprepared.  we were presenting our test pieces.
I felt completely railed against, and then i had to tell the backstory.  all my pieces DO have concepts, I'm still bitter about the one professor who did my semester review and wrote that my concepts are weak.  I've got concepts, you just don't have an imagination.  I guess I really like telling pieces of stories, isn't that what we're doing, anyway?  I don't know why people "can't understand" what's going on in my work.
Does that mean I'm a bad illustrator?  That I'm not communicating?
Do I care?
I don't know.  Those are all valid questions.
ANYWAY, I hate talking in front of people, and my stories are pretty personal, so I started getting really frantic and nervous and the story kind of stumbled and fell out of my mouth in this blubbering heap and I was so embarrassed by the end of it and a couple people said, "wow."  And I wanted to disappear.
That I need to let go.

Actually, I think that's the lesson of this year for me.  I don't trust people, and I guess now I don't trust myself?  I was so sure I did.  Damnit!  Maybe I just don't trust myself with art.  The big complaint in Degree Project was that my illustration did not match my experience whatsoever.  It was very fine ink work with watercolour.  I know it's true.  That's not how I approach anything else in my life.  
On a related note,
... I don't know if I'd go so far as to call myself uptight, but I know I'm definitely not laid-back.  I pretty much always want to be doing something.  It gets worse if I haven't danced lately.  I'm probably the least biggest fan of "just chilling" in existence.  Like on Friday, when Liz was taking acid with her roommates and forgot to call me and then when she did and I went over, they were all just sitting in the living room.  One girl took a blue crayon and drew an arch on a piece of paper and showed it to Jeff and was like, "Look how cool this is!  It's so beautiful!"  And he looked at it and said, "Why is it pulsating like that?"
and Liz was just having Sevi teach her guitar.  I thought I was going over to party with her, you know, drink some wine, smoke, put some records on and dance in her living room till we're down to our knickers.
The evening got even more thrilling when 4 or 5 of them left to go to the liquor store and I stayed behind with this guy who started meditating and intermittently would explode with anger at the cat, who was playing with a bell.  The worst of it was when he tried to TEACH me how to meditate, I am so adverse to being taught things without my consent.  I find it incredibly condescending, even when I know it's meant well.  THEN he told me that my body language was melancholy.
Liz' roommate Jessica came in and she's one of those girls who squeel their hiii's and I kind of cringe and throw a hey at them and pray that they go away but for some reason they decide that I am just SO COOL.  So I went to the bathroom and cried and hid in Liz' room until they came back.
Fine.  I was feeling melancholy.  But that totally wasn't what I was intending to communicate.  Plus, we'd watched a movie about letters Vietnam soldiers had sent home during the war in my 60's class that morning and I had a lot of stuff on my mind about war and what it does to people.
Eventually we ended up on the roof listening to some shit indie sleep band.  The girl was doing sexual yoga with glowsticks, Liz couldn't stop hula-hooping and was the center of attention of the guys who WEREN'T (a) withdrawn and staring at the wall, (b) goddamn meditating.
I observed this and couldn't stand it anymore.

I need to find a way to let go in a way that I won't feel compromised.  I need to extend the way I feel at shows to the way I feel when I am making art.
but how?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


This is a silk-screen I did while I was in Rotterdam at WDKA.  It's one of two of my favourite pieces I produced this year.  I don't produce a lot of work.  I'm beginning to suspect that I am a perfectionist in what I allow people to see of my creative expressions.
It's for my Dutch soul-mate band, vague friends of mine... '69 dirty lysergic blues rock that'll blow out your brain.  I told them that I can't describe the live experience in any adequate way, but attempted to, using the following two examples:
(1)  like being injected with pure seratonin because I feel SO HAPPY, it's like I don't have control over my happiness and I'm just grinning and THRILLED.
(2)  as if every single atom that makes up my body and the immediate area around it had the ability to cum for the duration of the set

Basically: I love them more than life and I miss them so much it hurts.  Come over and let's listen to their records.  Seriously.  

for the near future/life plan:

-throw myself into Degree Project and Illustration IV
-create a portfolio I am proud of
-Contact Arthur Magazine, Arik Roper, Tim Clark, Mitchell Meseke, Waxpoetics
-work and save money
::: don't buy anything for myself (unless it's more winter clothes [BUT NO VINTAGE.  no, kerstin.  No.] OR the subscription to Arthur because I can't go up to Portland all that often to get my fix OR entrance to Soul-le-lu-jahSLASHconcert tickets.  What else do I buy myself, anyway?  I just am not going to allow myself to look at records.  Or vintage anything.)
-graduate on time, find a person to take over the remainder of my lease, allowing me to get to LA at the beginning of summer.

-in the two weeks following graduation, move to LA.  
-market myself, find work
::: show up often at the two bars/clubs Peter mentioned, call Steve if I don't run into him anywhere for a month.  become a networking WHORE.  yes, more than I am now.
-learn to ride a motorcycle
::: save up money for the motorcycle safety course, get licensed, then save up money for the motorcycle.
-get a job old school go-go dancing at a club.  a cool club, not a sleaze palace.
-build my legend.

-at 30 consider becoming a tour manager or an artist manager and/or moving to Europe
-at 80, buy a RV, loads of cocaine, heroin, acid, and speed, pump my body full of them and tour every single national park in America, while simultaneously teaching myself astronomy and the finer points of professional photography.
-die of a dramatic overdose or be murdered while fighting for a cause I really believe in.

I have no ounce of doubt that I am going to be a fucking underground legend.  I have way too much passion for life for anything to hamper me.  
Goodnight, my dumplings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

on muses

I think of myself more as a collector of images than an artist.  I'm not sure if I like thinking of myself as an artist, I don't really like the sound of the word.
What I aspire to be is a muse.  Lilu wrote me this:
"I was reading some of your writings lovely.  
and I have come to the very serious conclusion that some of your best pieces were inspired by men.  
now I'm very serious about what I'm going to say next so don't laugh.
I know you imagine ourself a muse to great poets, but I believe with every inch of my heart sug that you yourself were meant to find yourself a pure muse so that you may grow and use them to become a flaming success.  no use is a bad word.  you require a muse so that they may inhabit your mind and you their soul.  without one I certainly see no real hope for you dear.
Great artists who struggle to know their own potential need a muse.  someone of purity, a non-passive soul that serves only to excite.  I believe this is what you need.  
I believe you want this.
you want someone who makes you see shining stars rain down and who sends shivers to and fro round your body.  muses do this love you know that better than all.  perhaps everyone needs a muse."

The seed of this heavy realization had surfaced in my mind earlier the same day.  I realized that all of, what I consider, my most successful writings were all based or inspired by men.  Maybe that's true of my visual art as well.  
So in aspiring to be a muse to others, I need to find my own.  A muse must be self-sufficient and Create on her or his own.  S/he cannot be dependent on being an inspiration to others to feel self-satisfaction.  I think that perhaps The muse is love.  Not just romantic love, but isn't it essentially love that motivates all of us?

I must create to satiate my need for self-expression.  And I want to be a creative force to be reckoned with.  I know I am in other facets of my life, but I want it to be that way in visual art as well.
And this semester, for the first time in my life, I've decided to dedicate myself to my visual art.  In the past I've relied on other sources of expression, but I've come to realize that I just need more confidence and then I'll be able to express myself through my art the way I want to, and I'm not going to gain confidence by not taking risks.  And I need to make myself vulnerable and draw ugly things and make haneous colour choices, etc.
all of that is boring.

Monday, October 13, 2008

blood speed and sperm

I really kind of am in love with my man/wolf hybrid creature.  I think he's much improved but I know something is still missing.  Something is still wrong...
this is my sketch for the dream job piece... revisited.
I really like the werewolf biker creature but that's my favourite part.