Category Archives: Art

Being Visually Artistic on the Most Basic Level with Jackie

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Ha! Look what I made! I am most proud of the ones with the hashtags.

I got the materials to create these beautiful pieces of practical art really iffy mini tote bags from my Aunt and Uncle over Christmas and I am half way done (the back sides are currently blank). AREN’T YOU IMPRESSED BY MY USE OF STENCILS AND THREE DIFFERENT PAINT COLORS? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

Lol in all seriousness I love doing this shit and have fun despite the results, and now a select few (Well, eight. I have eight of these tote bags.) can look forward to receiving these around Valentine’s day. You’re…welcome?

Hope you’re all beating the January blues! xoxo

 

Paris, je t’aime

 

Sappiness Warning: this post is sappy but I am sappy so yeah.

Last week was pretty terrible.  On top of ISIS The First Evil’s attacks in Beirut and Iraq, earthquakes in Japan, the continuing Syrian refugee crisis, general racism, and a million other awful shitty things I am no doubt forgetting, there was Paris.

Paris is one of my favorite places in the world.  I returned there for the first time since college this past August, when I was overjoyed to introduce one of my best friends to the city where I first discovered the joy of cheese for dessert (and lunch, and a snack, and breakfast).  Paris is the subject of more than half of the “artwork” pieces “decorating” my lame apartment.  It’s where I spent more evenings than I care to admit drinking two euro wine next to a dirty canal while various Frenchmen asked me if I was Mexican(?).  It’s where I fell sleep on the bus after a night of clubbing and ended up stranded in the suburbs at 3 am in a skimpy dress and heels higher than any I’ve worn since the age of twenty.  It’s where I got the news that a friend had died in an accident and cried my eyes out in a café at the thought missing her funeral while the usually stuffy waitstaff looked on sympathetically.  It’s where I learned to be an adult.  It’s where I first understood that I am a citizen of both the United States and the world. Seeing Paris under siege for hours on TV Friday night left me paralyzed for a good 24 hours.

None of this is different from what anyone else who loves Paris (or Beirut, or New York, or any other place ravaged by terrorism) has said or written before, but I just had to get it out, here and, as it turns out, on paper.  A new piece of (extremely lame) “artwork” now adorns the walls of my (extremely lame) apartment, in honor of the city that helped me grow up.  Paris, je t’aime.  Mon coeur est à toi pour toujours.

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The Power of the Doodle

I had a great weekend.  On Saturday, I worked on NaNoWriMo and followed it up with a fantastic evening complete with Thai food, wine, friends, and Mad Men.  Then, yesterday, a friend visiting from out of town and I took the Caltrain down to South Bay to see our other friend’s (too adorable to exist) new baby.  Finally, last night I started knitting a new sparkly scarf and decided to re-watch a couple of my favorite episodes of Gilmore Girls before conking out for NINE UNINTERRUPTED (HUZZAH!) HOURS OF SLEEP!  It was a fantastic weekend, full of friends and activities and fun and personal time.

It was also the weekend containing one of the worst breakdowns I’ve had in recent memory.

From about 11 to 2 am from Saturday night into Sunday morning, I cried uncontrollably and felt like a horrible, worthless, bad, evil person.  The demon voice in my head was at full volume.  I’m not sure why I lost it so hard.  It’s likely that the equivalent of a whole bottle of wine I drank had something to do with it (note to self–when your brain chemistry is already effed up and making you clinically depressed, do not consume additional substances that are known depressants), but I know it’s also likely the effect of the season and the upcoming holidays.  November and December are two of the best and worst months of the year.  I love Thanksgiving and Christmas in general, but I hate the pressure to enjoy food and drink without gaining weight (ha! hahaha!) and the societal expectation that I have a significant other to share all the festivities with (whether or not I want to be coupled at present).  I love the decorations and lights, but hate the fact that the sun sets IN FREAKING CALIFORNIA at 4:45 pm, which makes me want to vomit endlessly and also live inside a giant onesie until March.  As Dickens said, it is a good and bad epoch at the same time (I think that’s what he said…ish?  I’m paraphrasing.  I haven’t read that one since high school because I have an aversion to stories depicting decapitation).

The point is, I had a really bad night of weeping and dark thoughts.  I wanted to talk to someone, anyone, but it was too late to call friends or family without being exceptionally rude.  So I had what turned out to be a good idea: I went online to my favorite website’s Saturday Night Social open thread, where a wonderful poster gave me the following advice:

If you’re at a loss for something to do tonight, while you’re in this dark place, create something beautiful. A painting, a sketch, or (as a friend of mine who battles self-harm herself does) use markers to draw beautiful designs wherever you’re tempted to harm. Make beauty there.

I read this person’s post and immediately went to my “Crafts” box (yep, I have a crafts box because I AM IN MY THIRTIES AND LIKE TO MAKE HOMEMADE GREETING CARDS SOMETIMES OK?) and dug out my markers and colored pencils, and I drew this:

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It took about 30 minutes to make, and it’s obviously not, you know, good*.  But in those thirty minutes, I stopped crying.  I also had some fun.  I explored, uh, symmetry (is that a thing you can explore, art people?  You know what, I’m just going to say it is.  Go symmetry!).  Best of all, after finishing my doodle I was able to curl up in my bed and finally fall asleep so I could spend the following day with my friends and one hella cute baby without passing out.

So it was still was a great weekend despite the breakdown–not just because of my great friends and fun activities (and in spite of too much wine), but because I discovered a new tool to dig myself out of a tough spot.  I discovered the Power of the Doodle as yet one more way for me to manage my often unruly brain.  All Hail the Doodle!

Have a great rest of the week, and stay strong through those early sunsets 🙂

*So, art people, if you actually do think this is good in some sort of avant-garde way please let me know so I can sell it for one million american dollars.  That’s how art works, right?  RIGHT? 

Happy Halloween from Helen the Hipster Witch

Hipster Witch
                                                                        Anyone have some organic potion?

Hi, I’m Helen.  It’s Halloween this weekend, so “Happy Halloween,” I guess, though the commercialization of the night when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest is really obnoxious.  Anything for a buck, though, right?  Hallmark and candy companies got y’all by the balls.

I guess I’m ok with you calling me a witch, but I technically prefer the term “wiccan.”  My flying brooms are made of reclaimed wood with organic bristles.  I prefer to use non-GMO ingredients in my potions, which are, of course, raw, gluten-free, and low-carb.  My cauldron is vintage and I got it from this super chill warlock in the Mission who also runs a vegan taco stand.  We’re tight.

I know I look like that bitch from “Wicked,” but honestly, that show is some mad cultural appropriation so I really don’t like hearing that comparison.  Idina Menzel has got some pipes, though, I’ll give her that.  Her singing puts a spell on you – and I should know, my incantations get thousands of likes daily on Instagram.

In any case, enjoy your drunken shenanigans this weekend, and if you see something flying in the sky on Oct. 31st, remember – it’s not me.  Only poseurs actually fly on Halloween – and their brooms are from Costco.  Blech.

Happy Almost-Halloween from Hipster Pumpkin!

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN
HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN

It’s Friday, so my newly-drawn Hipster Pumpkin wants to wish you a Happy Almost-Halloween!  He hopes it is filled with vegan non-GMO raw candy, eco-friendly thrift store-bought costumes made of organic unbleached linen, and soy-based paraben-free (?) candles, and all booze except for pumpkin-flavored beer.  As a pumpkin himself, Hipster Pumpkin finds that too weird even to drink ironically.  He’s not an effing cannibal, guys.