Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ever Present, Ever Demanding


______I've always wondered how much less complicated life would be if art wasn't a part of it.

______If creating something wasn't constantly plaguing my mind. If I wasn't drawn in by the way a color engaged another color and the relationship they produced. If I wasn't seduced by the alluring sheen of fabrics and the way they shift and change like oceans' tides, always the same material but infinite in their potential. If I lived my life as someone who never dabbled in anything pertaining to the arts ever.

______But I know I could never be that. I know if I didn't produce something substantial at the end of each day, I'd feel as accomplished as the lone yellow Skittle that everyone probably has wedged between the two seats of their couch cushions. Whether through writing, photography, or textiles, I have this desperate, clawing, grasping at the air need to create.


______The want to make is subtle most days, vaguely present on the mind, but more overwhelming and needy on others. You'll be in prime blogging mode when it creaks open the door and slides in.

______"Hey, babe," it whispers huskily, leaning against the door frame. Personified, it's a male model balancing a silver platter of assorted chocolates in one hand and a golden retriever puppy in the other. You can't help but have your attention taken by its presence (mostly because of the dog, let's be honest here).

______"How 'bout you and I spend the evening together," it coaxes in that same nuanced voice. I'm trying to write, you think, but it carries on: "And the next evening. And the next one. And every hour of your existence while we're at it. Also if you don't give me all the attention in the world, I'll probably kill you and your family and stuff."

______And of course you don't say no to a man with a six-pack, a soft dog, and chocolates. Especially if he threatens to kill you. I mean, uh, you don't say no to art.

______It's a metaphor. Shut up. I'm not lonely.

______So you sigh, close your laptop, and get to work. Because if you don't, you'll probably die. Honest!


______Art is romantic but it's exhausting. It's always begging for attention, always demanding more out of you, always leering over your shoulders and whispering sweet nothings into your ear. It reminds you that if you're not climbing up and pushing conceptual and aesthetic boundaries, you're at a standstill. It makes you push the limits of the grid you've created for yourself, pave new territories, tap into unknown areas that walk the line of those familiar to you, make everything grander, better, more efficient, more pleasing to the eyes. And accomplishing the aforementioned requires feeding your soul at all times. It requires thinking, double-thinking, over-thinking, thinking to the nth degree. And it asks that you absorb as much information as possible, whether art related or that peculiar interest you have in the history of rug weaving. Because everything is important and everything is necessary in some way.

______Because everything pertains to you and you are the only vessel which can spur your creations.


______Art is a greedy thing.

______It makes you feel whole and gives you purpose, but it also drains you and reminds you of the less-than-emphasized role it plays in our culture. There are ups and downs to devoting so much energy to creating, but you can't imagine your life without it. You bawl over the tiniest of art-related decisions, over starting new projects, over wondering where the hell creating these things is taking you in life, over what color fabric to pick next. For god's sake, it's just fabric, you think. But it's important somehow.

______You have mini existentialist crises that make you question why, why, why am I making this. Why am I still doing this? What is the purpose of all of this? And then when you try to quit thinking about it, you feel a certain guilt. There's so much work to do, your mind nags. There's always something to be done. It requires silence, patience, a sharp dedication. Though there's a dreamy air to it, it's as much of a grind as anyone else's job. Why worry about death when you can worry about art?

______I guess I've been working at balancing art and everyday life, but at this point in my experiences, I believe the two are attempting to merge into a single entity. Like art and my life are engaged but unsure if it's too soon to share an apartment. Ugh, just get it together, you two.

______What keeps you up at night?

Dress: KnowStyle (similar)
Boots: Korks
Socks: F21
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Chain Bracelet: Charming Charlie (similar)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

(Not) Clueless


______"Hey, Ali. Hot Topic called. They want their stuff back!"

______Yeah, yeah: I look like a middler schooler who had ten minutes to put together an outfit using items only sold in Hot Topic. In the 90s. In the dark. Wearing a blindfold with the knowledge that my dog was being held hostage in a foreign country. A foreign country whose population favored cats over dogs. Where dogs received less pets than cats. Less. Pets. Than. Cats.

______I know. The horror.

______...I was that middle schooler, though. I remember the days of pink and black striped tube socks, converses with apathetic AFI lyrics scrawled in Sharpie on the rubber parts, and neon jelly bracelets stacked up my wrists. I also had like zero friends at that time and watched a lot of Inuyasha. Those were dark, dark days, ones which were recorded in too many embarrassing diary entries, but going through these faux-punk-rock phases are what makes us who we are in the now.


______Now that I'm all graduated, if anyone has tips on functioning as a REAL LIVE ADULT (all caps necessary), I'd love them. From what I hear, it's all about pretending to know what you're doing, pontificating with friends about interior decorating over wine and cheese from time to time, and buying off-brand everything. Oh! And baking cookies for neighbors if you have new neighbors. You've gotta be polite, right? I can incorporate all those things into my new adult life, plus I can start carrying a monocle and whipping it out while saying "quite, quite / very indeed so / lovely, really / biscuits and tax exemptions" when I need to converse with another so-called adult.

______I do hope you're all having a fabulous end of the week, and forgive me for my awkwardly spaced, awkwardly written posts as I get back into the swing of blogging. I'll have plenty of stories and the like to tell as I remember how to ride this rodeo. Yee haw and stuff, dudes! Have a good weekend!


Skirt: beat up a scotsman and stole it (along with his lunch money) (similar)
Socks: ASOS (similar)
Choker: Nasty Gal
Oxfords: Jeffrey Campbell

Monday, June 8, 2015

I-I-I-I'm Stayin' Alive


______I promise you all I haven't fallen off the face of the earth like a gob of queso falls from a tortilla chip, just as I promise I haven't been taken hostage by a vicious band of time traveling bards. I have merely remained hidden these past few months. Unbeknownst to you, I've been observing everything from behind a very suspicious looking bush. I waddle around on concrete shaking my plastic leaves obnoxiously so everybody knows I'm not a real bush rooted to the earth, but I still inhabit the bush because pretending to be a bush makes you laugh at yourself for hours.

______And you guys know how I love poking fun at myself; that way, you guys can't do it. Because I know you would. BIG JERKS. I bet you all flick ladybugs for fun.

______Besides, if I was taken hostage by time traveling bards, I'd probably join them in their fifteenth century shenanegins. I've always wanted to sharpen my lute skills, become infected with the incurable plague, and be discriminated against since I'm a woman. At heart, I always knew I was a peasant wench.


______My final semester as an undergraduate was the busiest of all with 18 hours of classes and a part-time illustration job. It was a persevering trial where I was included in three shows (one which was an exhibition in a space an undergraduate has never shown before), received a handsome $15,000 fellowship that will allow me to pursue my textile-based art for another year or so (holy potbelly pigs on a plane, batman!), tried to understand my own art and practice through the longest artist statement I've ever written, exchanged names with a range of vibrant people, and performed all those other daily mundane tasks that sap precious minutes away, like exercising and remembering to eat.

such peptomilk

______I'm in no way complaining because being busy is my jam and biscuits, yo.

______It was a nice, productive sort of drowning… like drowning in chocolate milk, and everything around you is so tasty you can't complain. And sometimes opportunistic marshmallows float by and other times obstacles present themselves, like wasps that are still alive are veering toward you on their backs, barely a threat but still terrifying and always looming. And your professors are wearing floaties or lounging on inner tubes and pull you up when your arms need a rest and you need a pep talk, but soon after you willingly dump yourself back in to the chocolate milk. You know you've gotta swim hard since they're always watching.

______Always watching. They could be in a plastic bush watching you slurp down that tea in the art quad. Shake shake. What's that? Oh shit, it's your professor wearing a bush! GET BACK TO WORK, PEASANT STUDENT.

______And then, just like that, graduation smacks you in the face like a drunk guy's sweaty manboob in a mosh pit. And now I've finally begun working on art with the money I've received from the Windgate Fellowship. Basically with that, I was given 15k to better my textile craft-based work, which I've put aside for delicious pricy fabrics and embellishments, two sewing workshops, and renting a studio space.

______So... that's where I've been. I'll be back and frequent as ever on here! Thanks for sticking with me, you guys. You're cooler than cool. You're ice cold. Aw-right-aw-right-aw-right-aw-right.

______Here's to the next year! (I say as I clink my apple juice-filled wine glass to my laptop screen)