Yarniverse

Guys…I’ve discovered something amazing.

If you don’t follow me on twitter or instagram you might now know about my newest obsession.

….YARN.

A few years ago, one boring winter break day, my cousin and I found some old yarn and an old book about how to knit. She picked it up instantly but after a few minutes of frustration and confusing knots and needle work I got bored and gave up.

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When I was younger I had a tendency of giving up when things got hard.

Now, in the present I have learned a thing or two about resilience, patience, and the courage to move on.

The thing about knitting and crocheting is that as you learn, sure, the first few stitches you make don’t always turn out perfect but as you continue and practice, you learn from your mistakes and what you used to think was ugly: it turns out in the grand scheme of things you still made a lovely hat. Every stitch teaches you that mistakes are okay and that you should never give up because in the end you’ll know that you’ve accomplished something great and that you worked so hard to make it here.

And, you know, in the end if you really made a bad mistake you can always just tug a little on the string, pull out all the stitches and try again. Now of course in real life there is no redo option but you can always learn from your mistakes. You can accept that all our human flaws are who we are and know that it’s okay to be flawed.

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Now…I’m going to go and recreate my entire life from yarn.
I love you all, have a nice week!

Illustrating Sadness

A few years ago I picked up this book off the bookshelf, Wintergirls it was called. I heard of the author, Laurie Halse Anderson. She wrote a book called Speak (which had not resonated with me yet until I re-read it later after growing up a bit). Both books are about girls suffering from very serious afflictions cause by the stresses of school, home, and just being a girl.
When I was at my worst I picked up Wintergirls again in attempts to soothe my sad and tired mind. I was sad and frustrated and angry and confused and everything Anderson wrote in that book. I understood then (even though I wasn’t suffering from bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa) that I was not alone. This fictional girl screamed the cries of millions of other people that understood my plight and have experienced the confusing whirlwind of emotions that I felt in my “Dark Ages.”

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cover screenshot

 

Which is why I decided to bookmark sections of the book that really spoke to me.
Laurie Halse Anderson uses very illustrative details very specifically through out the novel that enhances the readers understanding of the afflicted mind: the way that a disorder can affect ones thinking, their thought process, even what they see and how they react to things.

I’ve booked marked some of those parts and am currently drafting storyboards for those sections that I’m going to turn into a comic. Some scenes are so visual and emotional that this process is taking more time and emotional energy than I expected. This project is really making me face my fears, artistically and emotionally.

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screenshot of storyboard

 

It’s much easier to detach yourself from reading a book than it is to detach yourself from your creative interpretation of a book while creating that interpretation. The book itself was already a very emotion experience for me, now I’m forcing myself to wedge between the troubled cries and find the best way to tell this story through a pen and tablet that will beautifully express the story the way Anderson originally intended. Which might entail a lot of artistic practice on my end to I can fully illustrate the passages and have their distinct message known.
For all I know, this might just be an artistic practice, seeing my full capabilities and limitations as an artist, or it may morph into something else entirely. Who knows? I don’t and that’s okay.

When/if I finish I will not publish it here or anywhere else until I’ve received her permission because she worked really hard to create that book, which I really respect, and I don’t want to infringe on copyright laws.

Good bye and embrace the unknown!

Maybe Not Good Enough

As some of you guys know I’ve been taking an art class this year annnnnnd I’m not sure if I said already but IT SUUUCKS.

Having my art, pretty much my heart and soul, stamped with a number value is the worst kind of torture. Lately I’ve been kind of hesitant to pick up a pencil and draw just for me because I’m scared of the 73s and I’m sick of my art being graded as only just “Good.”

I detest the question, “What’s that?” that I’ve been getting asked by these people who sit next to me in Art class. I don’t want to be watched when I draw. I don’t need someone to understand the idea I’m trying to convey through my art until I’m ready.
There’s something so inherently emotional about art class that I really just, hate. I’m a really confident person, especially after becoming best friends with my German exchange partner but in art class I can feel all of the eyes and I can feel my confidence dissolve.

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You have the teacher, the one who everyone seeks attention from, the all hail, all knowing educator who deals these small compliments that deform into invaluable precious gems that these insecure teenagers must hold on to with a grip so strong it could break me in two.

BREAK

Something about art class makes me feel…vulnerable, not weak, but just so exposed which kind of scares me.
I used to share progress shots of my art on social media and that’s okay because I have control over that. I decide what exactly people can see of my art and there’s a level of acceptance in that idea that I never was bothered by sharing my art in it’s beta form.
But art class is a different story entirely. These people that sit around you can decide if they want to stare at you draw a portrait of your friend and you can’t stop them. I mean you can look in their direction and they might look away for a few seconds but ultimately you have no choice in the matter. They can judge your work and ask if you’re drawing a fish when you’re really trying to draw a spaceship which might make you feel self-conscious about your skills as an artist and maybe make you want to run and hide and maybe never draw ever again… No? Well, then.

I feel like should say this before I go for who-knows-how-long: I’m not saying I hate people or when they compliment me or my art, I actually really love that! It’s just, art class is a structured class with grades and peers with this horrible environment so pretty much anything that comes from that class makes me want to vomit,

vommmmit

 

BUT out of that disgusting climate, I’m proud of my art and I’m proud to get compliments and constructive criticism and I’m proud to show people my work on MY terms without the number value grades, okay?

RECAP: I love you guys, my followers, my friends, my supporters, but hate art class.

See you soon and have a lovely life!

 

Don’t Look Away

We’re all friends here. We can talk about stuff like this right?
Maybe this is too personal. I dunno, but if you’re still reading then you’re obviously up for anything I’ll say right?

Okay, here goes. Lately, I’ve been going through some really hard times, some really bad times that incited thoughts of suicide. Now, I’m not gonna focus on me in this post WOW, I KNOW BIG SHOCKER because we’re going to talk about something way more important than me: Signs of Suicide

Click for more information

This has always been a really important topic to me, not only because recently I’ve had bouts of suicidal thoughts but also because frankly, killing one’s self has become such a joke that when suicide does happen everyone is surprised and confused because some red flag warning signs of suicide are also used as very common jokes among peers within my age group.
Kinda messed up, not gonna lie.

When I first started to have suicidal thoughts I tried to cry for help the most obvious way I could think of: shout, “OH NO. I’M GONNA KILL MYSELF.”
One would think this is a big flashing ambulance-type warning of suicide. I LITERALLY stated I would kill myself and no one even flinched. Really? Now, this isn’t a cry for attention, it’s a cry for help. Screaming-crying-in-agony help.
I hear so often from people that they’re going to kill theirselves over a bad grade in a class, specifically this one kid whose younger sister and friends began bawling over a low A (90-100pts out of 100, for all the non-american readers) spouting threats of killing themselves and some serious talks of suicide. The kid I was talking to went on to complain about how annoying their sister was for crying and screaming with their friends about this ‘bad’ grade. I remember saying that suicide is a serious thing that shouldn’t be treated as a burden or a joke which the kid immediately brushed off saying their sister would never kill herself over a dumb grade.

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Later on, I was asking someone on a suicide hotline, when I was feeling REALLY bad, why people kept ignoring all these tell tale signs I was witnessing and they said that more often than not people are uncomfortable with talking about suicide and sometimes it’s hard for people to find the words to say to make someone feel better.
BUT here’s the thing: It’s not only suicide people are uncomfortable with, it’s also bullying, rape, hate crimes, all these horrible things that still continue happening to people because “we’re too uncomfortable with talking about it.”

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I think at this point, I’m done with that excuse. That’s what it is, an excuse. We’re trying to politely skirt around serious topics that NEED talking about because they’re horrible and disgusting and will continue happening no matter how hard we try to look in the other direction.

Ignoring suicide, bullying, rape, violent hate crimes, queerphobia, sexism, etc doesn’t stop it from happening. It’s the same deluded idea that if you close your eyes and cover your ears to something that you don’t like then it doesn’t exist.

LALALALAThe only way to make things better is to speak openly and to be completely willing to help one another through tough times, even if you don’t know exactly what to say, you can at least provide resources. Help them reach out to trained professionals who can better help the situation. PLEASE, watch out for the warning signs and don’t look away.

TAKE ACTION. RESPECT ONE ANOTHER. LOVE YOURSELF.

Because I could have died last week
Because people are still dying from suicide, depression, abuse, and everything else
Because it’s hard to go through this all alone.

Change in Perspective

NOTE: Reading on might put you in danger of reading Bioshock Infinite SPOILERS. You have been warned.

ACHTUNG

Once upon a time there was a story. It was told by a man with a very passive and detached narrative to the events that were happening before him.

The story, of which he didn’t much care about, was an age old classic about a young child who was given away to a man who could not have children. The story begins with the child whom, grown up at this time, is imprisoned in a tower, hidden away from everyone except the man who adopted her. Our main narrative joins us drunk, and disorderly scrambling about in search for this lost child in hopes of kidnapping her to settle his large gambling debt.

I’m not sure if you guys noticed yet, but I’m summarizing the beginning of Bioshock Infinite.

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I was thinking for a while now that Bioshock Infinite could be so much better with a change in perspective. The experience would feel way more immersive rather than a player watching a docile character watching a scene in someone else’s movie play out on it’s own.

justwatchin

In video games the last thing you want your main playable protagonist to be is passive in their own story. Sure, Dewitt has a manly commanding voice. Sure, he’s got guns and power. Yeah, he’s an unfeeling soldier with a shady past, but all-in-all the reason he’s the narrator of someone else’s story is because, as everyone likes to believe, women can’t escape from their own towers…

 

The game’s beginning relies on the player’s investment in an ominous note, a stranger’s mutilated body, a pretty face, and a light house.

goodgame

You save a strange girl in a castle because despite her having the ability to time travel she is incapable of escaping a castle. SHE CAN ESCAPE AT ANY POINT IN TIME BUT DOESN’T (I mean there’s probably a really crappy skim-over why she doesn’t…something about an emotion obligation to a metal bird…? Her “father”? Stockholm Syndrome? I dunno. I call BS though.)

Now I’m not an expert game developer nor am I the perfect story writer, but honestly if you think about Bioshock Infinite’s story cutting out Booker Dewitt, the main protagonist, and inserting the player directly into the action of the game that completely revolves around Dewitt’s “sidekick” (the girl mentioned above) whose life is being thoroughly explored through a series of flashbacks and defeating of past “demons” makes a way more interesting narrative. Also it’s just a really cool game mechanic to be able to time travel. Seriously.
Booker’s story is so briefly skimmed upon that the ending seemed like shoving a pretty ribbon on a hastily packaged gift and throwing at the recipient and running away (amazing how that simile worked out, eh?)

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Elizabeth (Dewitt’s sidekick) makes an amazing main protagonist because the entire game is her LIFE. She’s trapped in a castle, she escapes, she experiences the world for the first time, she fight’s her dead mother’s demon, she kills someone for the first time to protect her morals. Elizabeth develops and changes and grows up through out the entire length of the game. You get to live this young girl’s life and experience loss, and cotton candy, and an entire world!

And what does Booker Dewitt do? He discovers he’s a dad and is actually a super devote Christian(?).
Dewitt hardly changes or grows throughout his experiences in the game. The player only learns more things about him that develops in cut scenes and flashbacks. His life was all planned out already and you’re only living the end, to his inevitable death.

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I’m not saying Bioshock is a bad game/series because it’s not. It’s has a lot of really good aspects that I enjoyed and the story really was interesting, but thinking about perspective is interesting to me.

 

I challenge you guys to think about interesting, creative, new perspective in a beloved video game/movie/book/comic/etc. If you think of an interesting one, tell me in comments!
Later you guys.