Last week I went to a Sam Smith concert. For those of you that are familiar with Sam Smith you’ll know that he has a powerful and soulful voice. It was a great concert. Not just being able to hear him preform but being able to hear and feel his voice without a filter like headphones or speakers. I think music is best when it’s live and more honest as there’s no refining or fine-tuning, just raw power.
I’ve often wished that I could sing. And while I try (to the annoyance of everyone around me) my voice is not good (to say the least). Instead I write and that is my release. Poems and stories convey my emotions and thoughts just as a song would. My feelings are bound in ink and will be released to you, the reader. And in that moment you are there, with me, and just as a song resonates, I hope my words to too. I hope that you can feel all that I say in your bones. Like a cello’s low note, or the soft beating of a drum.
Listening to I’ve Told You Now by Sam Smith
Writing is hard.
I wish words could just flow from my mind to the page but they don’t and so I am left with the arduous task of spelling them out letter by letter. Spelling was never an easy subject for me. I pronounce things by how they are spelled and vice versa.
H+e+l+l+o = Hello
Forget the “O” and you are left with a place. Forget the “H’ and you have a mispronunciation by a British person perhaps. Forget the “E” and you have a jumble of letters that are unpronounceable. It would be much easier just to wave.
Listening to: Work by Hozier
I’ve never actually said I was aspiring to anything. I’ve said I was this or I was that or the dreading ‘trying to do’ this or ‘trying to do’ that. Never aspiring. Always trying.
Looking back on it from the fresh hindsight of two days I realize now that aspiring was exactly what I was doing. I was an aspiring writer- I wanted to write 1,000 words a day and instead ended up just reading or watching yet another episode of How I Met Your Mother, House of Cards or an interchangable cop drama. I was an aspiring artist- sure I drew everyday but nothing powerful or anything that I was really proud of; just lines on a page that I would later post haphazardly. (Omitting tags or just forwarding it from one site to another without taking due time to upload it to each individually). I was and still am an aspiring graphic novelist. I have all these ideas and they sit in a little designated box waiting to be reviewed, scrapped, or frankenstiened into something better.
Now I’m not claiming anything. I am neither aspiring nor am I trying really to do anything. I am just doing it. In the words of the great fictional philosopher and Jedi Master Yoda:
“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
And so I shall.
A few of you may be wondering why there was no Music Monday yesterday and that’s for two reasons; 1) I actually went to a concert yesterday (Sam Smith) so having that on top of a Music Monday post would’ve been a bit much for me and 2) Music Mondays are a little difficult for me as my music taste change throughout the week and then I have to pick which artist from that week to do so I’ve decided to just share what I’m listening to at the end of each blog post.
For today it would be Broken by George Ezra.
When I woke up it was snowing outside. Part of me had forgetten that it was winter. The other part longed for the snow like it was a lost lover, an old friend waiting to be embraced. I didn’t embrace it. Instead, I went downstairs, warmed up the kettle for some coca and sat and watched the world be overtaken by purity.
Unique and delicate purity. I wondered what it would look like if it snowed in the house. How the furniture would look blanketed in frozen water. It would ruin the carpets. Still, how beautiful it would be everything covered in white- to start again in the spring. And me, what of me? Can the snowfall cleanse me too? Will I wake up in the spring a different person? Better, perhaps, changed?
I thought not, and the kettle was boiling anyway.
I was initially a little wary to write about this group as I wasn’t so sure that I would like them at first myself. However, after listening to FKA twigs more I was pleasantly surprised as the beats and almost trance-like sound were quite beautiful.
FKA twigs stands for Formerly Known As twigs. The lead singer is Talliah Barnet and FKA’s debut EP in 2012 EP1 won critical acclaim and they have gained steam ever since. Now they are actually on a world tour. The band now has 3 albums out and are still making music according to an interview they did on KEXP radio. (A Seattle radio station I would encourage you to look up if you have time.)
Their sound is soft and haunting with strange sounds that add to twigs’ lovely voice. She sings of sex and the longing that comes naturally in relationships with a pure voice that stays in your head long after the song is over. This is especially the case with Two Weeks where I found I had it playing in my head a few days after I first heard it. Two Weeks is their most popular song and one of my favorites by them but my favorite by them would have to be Pendulum with Two Weeks and Lights On tying at a close second. Their sound is very modern with the beats and lyrics but there is something almost timeless about twigs voice and when everything comes together it’s just magical.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “New Skin.”
Everyday I wake up and am basically the same. Different clothes sure, maybe a little bit groggier, or stressed, or maybe I’m thinking of breakfast instead of that paper due next week; but I am, in essence, the same person.
And who would I be if I weren’t?
If I could wake up and be anyone, anything, completely different I would be the me in my head. I would be the me that’s bold and inspiring and says what she’s thinks and doesn’t give a shit. I would be the me that has interesting conversations and knows exactly what to say. Who doesn’t get worry over everything because she’s got everything under control. Who never worries about losing control.
She does what she loves everyday and it great at it and for it. Her work sells and she’s been published a few times. She even has an interview coming up and a gallery showing. She lives with friends and when she’s not in the studio or at her desk she’s with them hanging out or making some fantastic invention for her friend’s start-up. (She’ll have some stock in it of course.) Or, she’s walking her two dogs and a cat (who thinks it a dog making things much easier) to her fiance’s house where she’ll have tea and watch a movie. She’s not rich but she doesn’t worry about money.
She’s focused and self-disciplined. She goes after what she wants even if its scary and if she fails she looks at her mistakes, picks up the pieces and tries again. She does things even though she knows she’s bad at it. (She sucks at dancing but you’ll always she her on the floor.) She’ll not quite an extrovert but knows how to have fun. And when she does doubt herself its for good reason. She knows her skills and how to use them to her best advantage and knows her weaknesses too. She’s always learning. She’s always reading or thinking or theorizing or listening and when she has something interesting to say she says it.
And she never looks back. Ever.
She has her regrets but she’s moved past them a long time ago. And she deals with new issues as they come. Her life isn’t perfect. She wouldn’t want it to be (that would be boring). But its a good life.
I’m not her. But everyday, I’m gonna take my steps to get there to be her and one day I’ll wake up and I’m there.
I am daunted. I love art and it has been a passion of mine for a long time (6 years). I draw daily now just as I hoped I would write daily. I have a few old sketchbooks piled in the night stand by my bed and they show better than words my progress. I can’t draw everything but what I can I do well. However, I must continually remind myself that I am not an artist.
Let me explain. I draw, yes. I have even made some money from my art ($2 at a convention). Therefore it would not be unreasonable to call myself and artist. The problme lies in what calling myself an artist means for me. It means that I must have a clear vision every time I sit down to do a serious drawing. It means that I must have a disctinct style by which everyone can see that this is my work. It means that what I draw must either look cool, resonate, or be so mindblowing that you can’t tell what you’re looking at (ahem abstract art and cubism). It means that to a certain extent I should be making money from my art or at least doing art trades. I know that is doesn’t have to mean these things and in many cases it doesn’t. Still, everyonce in awhile I’m looking on Instagram (where i post most of my art) and all the amazing artist there. I find myself looking at my sketchbook comparing and critising and making list of things to improve apon. I’ll find myself doubting and looking at all the materials I still have (markers on the other nightstand, a case of colored pencils by the bed, charcoal barely touched waiting in the closet) and wondering if it was a waste getting them. I should be able to use them afterall I’m an artist. Or, at least, if not use them, be proficient enough in another medium that leaving the other mediums out won’t matter. Then I’ll feel a little guilty as I look on these abandoned things and I’ll count how much all this has cost me and I’ll wonder if its worth it and-. In all this the one thing I’m not is happy. The one thing I’m not doing is enjoying creating.
This is one of those times where the phrase live in the moment comes into play. Well, I don’t know how to do that. So I won’t say that. Instead, what I’ll try to do from now on is to focus on what I am and try to put that back into my art. I am a storyteller. I was telling stroies before I was drawing and started writing (seriously) at nearly the same time. If I focus on telling a story with my art rather then making a style, or having emotional resonance, or making something that I can sell later, or any of those things then perhaps I won’t get so frustrated when it doesn’t turn out right. Perhaps I can focus on the ideas that I’m trying to show rather than how it all looks in the end. Becuase as long as I got that message across- as long as I’ve told the story I want to tell then my job is finished. And I have done well.
If you would like to see my art. I use eclecticnovice as my handle on pretty much every site so you can find me at Deviantart, Instagram, and Tumblr.