Posts Tagged ‘art’

I watched a special on HBO while stuck in my house due to an ice storm this weekend. It was called “Every Brilliant Thing”, and it’s definitely worth checking out. But, it inspired me. I want to start making a list of every brilliant thing to me in life. Everything that makes life worth living.

It’s no secret that I struggle with depression. I have for over half of my life, now. Usually, I manage just fine. But some days, it gets to me. It’s like a poison spreading through my system, leaving me weak. I can’t find the light, and that’s my biggest problem in that state of mind: I’m lost in the darkness, and cannot find the good to pull me out of it.

So, I’m giving myself a list of things. Things to read and remember what makes me even slightly happy. I’m giving myself a way out of the darkness.

Let’s start by cheating a bit with my list of things I was thankful for a few posts ago:

1.) Movie nights with someone you love.

2.) My Batman collection. 

3.) My nieces. 

4.) Fur babies. 

5.) Feeling inspired. 

6.) Productive nights of insomnia. 

7.) Feeling accomplished. 

8.) Qdoba nacho dates with my  best friend. 

9.) The hunt for collection things.

10.) Long calls with your favorite person.

11.) Clear nights with the moon and stars shining bright.

12.) Hoodie weather.

13.) Nature walks / Hikes.

14.) Road trips with good company and good music.

15.) The exhilaration on your favorite rides.

16.) Doing something kind for someone else, and knowing they appreciated it. 

17.) Knowing this was the first December in a few years I didn’t have a surgery scheduled.

18.) The catalyst of meeting Kevin Smith a little over one year ago. 

19.) Filling up a box of comics.

20.) The excitement of somewhere new.

21.) Being so happy that I can’t stop the big, dorky grins. 

22.) Painting with music blaring days. 

23.) Adventure. 

24.) Chinese food. 

25.) Supporting the dreams and projects of others.

26.) The Bat Force / Bat Force Radio while working on my collection. 

27.) Naps.

28.) My fandoms.

29. ) People equally passionate about the same things I am.

30.) Good memories.

31.) Cards Against Humanity nights. 

32.) My closest friends.

33.) My BEST friend.

34.) Everything about a certain someone. 

Now, let’s add a few more on, to make it a proper new post:

35.) Meeting your heroes.

36.) Comic Cons

 37.) Finding new movies you absolutely love.

38.) The song that becomes Our Song

39.) Comfy socks.

40.) The first day of feeling better after being sick.

41.) Peanut Butter M&Ms 

42.) Art days after school in high school, working on projects with people that meant the world to me.

43.) Hot apple cider in my Ouija mug when I’m sick.

44.) Good, long conversations.

45.) Dressing up as Harley Quinn

46.) Poetry

47.) The work of Charles Bukowski

48.) Unexpected gifts of things you want, but didn’t ask for.

49.) When the person you fall in love with, falls in love with you.

50.) Happy dances.

There we have it. My first 50 things. I hope to read through them when I’m down, and then add to them, and hopefully use this tool to pull myself back out of the grips of depression.

~Angel

keepgoing

It’s always a curious thing, letting go of some aspects of your life in order to embrace other things that feel more important. The seed is planted, and you’re ready to watch it bloom. You’ve been watering it and giving it all of your love. Sometimes, something amazing blooms. Other times, nothing happens. You’re left alone in the dirt, waiting for something to come from nothing, and having no idea whether it will become everything you hoped for, or leave you as you are – alone in the dirt.

I started down a path a few months ago, terrified and unsure of myself, with hopes of pushing myself toward something better. I’ve been hard at work on Wandering NerdGirl. I’ve been working on my health. Trying to spend more time with friends. I’ve been working on things I’ve never done before. Spending time with my nieces and going to Six Flags. And all of these things can bring me some temporary comfort, and the occasional feeling of accomplishment.

But you know what I haven’t been doing lately? Writing – working on new stuff, or editing, or finishing Work-in-Progress stuff. I haven’t been taking any pictures. I haven’t been drawing or painting. And not doing these particular things is really waging war on my brain.

I just came home a week ago from a last minute trip, mostly just an adventure, with a bit of excitement. I was on top of the world when I was coming home. I felt decent for the first time in a while emotionally. But no sooner than I returned to normal life, did Life decide to step in and remind me that I was coming back to normal, and needed to lose that happy, euphoric feeling. Don’t forget who you really are, it seemed to say this week.

However, I am fighting back. I have full intention to get some writing and hopefully some drawing done this weekend. I will not allow myself to keep feeling like a failure.

More soon.

~Angel

I have been very, very cautious when it comes to thinking about what I want out of 2016, because last year as soon as I set my goals for the coming year, it all came crashing down around me: I was losing my job, my aunt was very sick, and then to top it all off, the stress triggered a bad flare in my body and I literally spent New Years in the bathroom vomiting and running a fever. The beginning of 2015 was a hard one. I didn’t feel like I achieved anything. I was uninspired and stuck most of the time, and I hated it. And considering how rough the last month or so has been health wise, 2016 could go either way.

Here we are, the end of a very chaotic year, and I have found something: I want to draw again. And by “I want to draw again” – I mean that I AM drawing again. Instead of just whining that I feel the need to work on some art, I AM. I’m sketching and prepping for some new paintings and practicing to get myself back into the swing of things. And for once, I feel good about it. They’re good drawings, considering how out of practice I am. And people LIKE them. They want the sketches to keep coming. It’s bizarre, to me at least. Mostly, so far, it’s been a lot of character sketches from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

No: This is NOT my art.

No: This is NOT my art.

So, bring on 2016.

I will write as much as I possibly can.

I will work on my art purely for the happiness it brings to my own heart.

I will work on my collection and appreciate everything I have so far.

I will try to keep this train wreck body from completely derailing.

I will help the world be a better place.

I will not, most of all, let 2016 be the year I am defeated. Not by myself or anyone else. I will keep going. I will gain new ground.

So, let’s do this. Bring on 2016.

~Angel

daydreamSo, here it is:

Less than two weeks until I say goodbye to my day job.

Less that two weeks until my health, my friends, and my passions take priority again.

Less than two weeks until I’m writing books, working on photo shoots, doing new artwork.

Less than two weeks until days that I can relax if I don’t feel well and catch up on my DVR.

Less than two weeks until I can take up old hobbies again, like when I used to be an amateur magician. I know that sounds a little weird, but hey – I miss it.

Less than two weeks until I can figure out what I want to do for college.

If you want to summarize all that: Two weeks until I have my life back.

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by
The rules of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes
And leap”

Am I scared? Of course I am. Not having steady income is terrifying. But I’m driven by something that scares me even more – giving up on my dreams. I’ve been pushing everything that was important to me to the backburner for far too long, and I was growing comfortable with the idea of settling into a normal life. Not because it was what I wanted, but rather because it was what seemed easier. Maybe everyone is right, I would think. Maybe it’s time to grow up and accept that this dream will stay just that – a dream. And that isn’t like me. That SCARES me. If I want something, I go after it. It’s that simple.

But, I’ve got my manuscript revision finished and ready for Beta Readers and the final round(s) of editing to make it all polished and shiny. I’m booking shoots like you wouldn’t believe: some paying work, some portfolio updates, and some for designers. Not to mention finally getting back to my artwork properly, and having time for my friends again.

It also royally sucks that the coworkers I do like won’t be around every day. I know we can still get together and see each other if we want to, but it’s going to be weird not seeing each other every day like we do now. But I couldn’t stay forever, so this was bound to happen.

But at least, in the world of my art stuff, this happened:

camrenselinakyle

Camren Bicondova, the talented gal that plays a young Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) in the Fox TV series Gotham, LIKED THIS PHOTO OF HER I DID! I know, in the grand scheme of things, this can’t go on a resume or really much of anything. But HOLY FANGIRL MOMENT, BATMAN! SHE LIKED IT!

 

Anyway, that’s it for now. More soon!

~Angel

I was overjoyed most of this week because of good news. It was finally looking like things could actually be okay, and I could move forward with my life and get out of the rut I’ve been in. Until yesterday.
Yesterday was a bad day. Today hasn’t been too swell, either. A lot of it has to do with health reasons. Bad tests. Bad news. News I don’t need.
The worst part of it all is that I felt like I was finally getting somewhere, I finally had a direction to go. And then I hit a wall just as I started. And I’m staring at it, unsure of what to do. Unsure of what I can do. It terrifies me.
Last night it left me so lost and scared, I didn’t know if I could function.
Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was done. Done with everything. Because I took one step forward, and it launched me three steps back. Suddenly, the things I wanted to do, the things I had set my heart on, seemed like they weren’t worth it. And yet, they seemed to also be the most important things in the world.

I considered buying a one-way ticket anywhere but here.

I considered things much, much more permanent. Because I am scared, and I am human, and I am overwhelmed.

But instead of giving up, instead of running, I’ve decided I just need to work harder, and save up faster, and just use this all as fuel to get me somewhere I need to be. Whether my health gets better or worse, I need to continue forward.

It is time to change my stars.

Motivation-Picture-Quote-Later-Never

I’ve decided:

+ I’m paying off my medical debt ASAP when my check comes in.

+ I’m going to save up for a new car, if I can’t fix mine.

+ I’m saving up for England, and going in the next few years, even if I have to go alone.

+ I’m quitting NaNoWriMo to focus on the project I had been working on, because I want it ready to go by February to agents.

+ I’m going to begin selling my artwork, and taking it more seriously.

+ I’m going to take my health back. My life back.

+ I’m going to break away from all the negatives in my life, and start fresh. New home. New work. New life. No more toxic people slowly killing me.

 

So I will work harder to earn more. I will write, make artwork, sell Scentsy, do photo shoots, sell my own stuff, save birthday/Christmas/bonus money.

I will not be dust. I will burn up in a brilliant blaze and be ashes.

I am not done yet. There is so much more I have to offer the world, and myself.

 

~Angel

I had a bad day yesterday. Not the worst day ever. I didn’t have a great appointment about my kidneys. Not the worst news ever, just more worry and stress. But because of the bad day and the bad news, I decided I’m not devoting any more energy to bad things. So, today I want to focus on something good.

Here’s something about me that confuses people: I hate Christmas time. I’m getting better about it, but it’s mostly one of those situations where 1.) there are several bad memories tied particularly to Christmas, and 2.) I get irritated with people that ruin it for me because everyone seems offended by something, or people lose the basic point of Christmas, or whatever. That isn’t what I want to get into, since it isn’t the point of this post.

Now, while I become a tad bit Grinch-y during Christmas time, I do love giving. I try to do what I can for people I love, pick a perfect present (in my mind at least), to let them know I actually put thought into what I bought instead of generic body wash gift baskets and junk they won’t really like or use.

But besides the things I buy for friends and family, I also work with local organizations as much as I can to help get things for people who have lost everything, or who are alone (a lot of times, these are Veterans), or people who just don’t have the money to do anything for their family for Christmas, etc. My mom and I will buy the things, give them to the organization responsible for distributing them to families in time for Christmas, and go on with our lives. We don’t give our names. Most of the time, my friends and family don’t realize I do this, except in instances where they ask me what I want for Christmas and I give them one of the people on my list to help and have them buy for them instead. Because trust me, I’m not in need of anything. I’m perfectly fine buying myself Batman collectibles and random other junk.

Another thing my mom and I have done over the years, which even less people realize, is buy a bunch of things for the residents in nursing homes and deliver them for Christmas. It can be anything from crossword puzzles, card decks, or handheld poker games, to body wash or blankets, treats, etc. There are a surprising number of people that are alone on Christmas in those facilities, because their families don’t bother to visit, or maybe they don’t have families for whatever reason. This kills me. If I had more free time, I would like to go in and visit the people that won’t have visitors but would like to. I can’t imagine myself ever being in that scenario, where I’m alone in a home with strangers, bored and basically waiting to die.

Again, we don’t give our names, we don’t want to be praised for doing something that I wish more people would do, just because it’s the right thing. We’ve started involving Lillie and Dica, my two nieces that live with me 50% of the time. One year we dressed them as little elves and took them into the nursing home with us to drop off the presents. The residents that saw them loved them, and the girls liked being “Santa’s helpers.” I was proud to have started showing the girls at a young age the benefits of giving to someone, not because you have to, but because you want to. Because it feels good.

This year, I hope to involve them more in the buying for families tradition, and have them help me pick out things for little kids their age that aren’t going to have much of a Christmas. I’d like for them to help with that every year, to see that not everyone gets quite as spoiled as they do every year, and that they can help make a huge difference in someone else’s life.

But I don’t just do things at Christmas time. Many friends, family, acquaintances, people through work, etc will tell you that I readily give when needed, and sometimes just because. If I can avoid people knowing I did something, I will avoid it, and let it be a miraculous gift from the Universe. My mother and I have bought and delivered an entire Thanksgiving dinner for a family I barely knew, because they had just lost everything. The home of some of my friends burned to the ground and they lost everything in it,  just a few days before Christmas, and we didn’t hesitate to go get them some clothes, food, random things they may need until they could get back on their feet. Mom and I have bought groceries for families struggling to pay bills and keep food on the table.

I’ve bought many, many friends random little gifts, just because. I’ve offered to buy or help with paying for the purchases of someone in front of me in Walmart, because they didn’t have enough to buy the things they need. I donate to the local no-kill shelter, where I got my big baby boy Lenny. I’ve donated to random charities, both with money and item donations (food drives, toy drives, etc). Every single time the gas station I frequently use has the donate $1 or $5 Shamrocks for Muscular Dystrophy, I buy the $5 shamrocks every time I’m in there, or at least the $1 ones if I’m short on cash that day. And trust me, I’m in that gas station A LOT. I organized the Legends of the Knight screening in Eric’s memory and, while I’m still gathering the money from that event, I’m happy to say that so far we’ve sent more money to the Muscular Dystrophy Association than I ever thought I could from one thing. At Hot Topic, and various other stores, when they have the round your purchase total up to donate your change – I usually do it. I leave some really good tips for exceptionally nice waitresses having really bad nights. Plus other things I can’t even think of at the moment. When I have more free time, I plus to volunteer at a place or two locally, even if it’s just a few hours one day of the week. If I ever make it big as a writer, and am more than financially stable, you can bet I will be donating monthly to Muscular Dystrophy, and offering any and all help that I can to the organization.

Now, here is the point of all of this babbling, because I sure as hell wasn’t doing it to praise myself. I wouldn’t keep most of the stuff I do a secret if that was the case. I don’t do any of this because I want people to think of me a certain way. I don’t do it for brownie points with God or the Universe or any other deity or religion or cosmic force you can think of.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

I do it because I want to give the world my very best. I want to do the best I can to put everything I can back out there into the world. I do it because I’ve been there, stuck at rock bottom, and I’ve been lucky to find my way out. I do it because of the kindness of strangers and family and friends that I witnessed as a child, when we were going through rough times. I do it because my mother taught me by showing me how good it feels to know you’ve helped someone else, whether they know it was you or not. I do it to pay it forward for the help I’ve been given in life. I do it because I don’t want to be part of the problems in this world, but rather because I’d like to help see those things change. I’d like to teach other people, whether or not they know it’s me, to give back too. Because maybe some day their stars will change, and the opportunity will present itself for them to help someone else. I’d like to think I could be a part of something like that. That if I’ve inspired at least one person to help another, that maybe my life has been worth something.

And since it is November, and this is the time we all try to mention the things we are thankful for, I thought I’d mention a slightly different group than I normally do in my Thankful posts.

creativeminds

I’m becoming surrounded by these wonderful people in my life. Even though they may not all be physically close to me – some several states or farther away – they help and inspire and teach me to grow.

There are plenty of friends and other people that inspire me in some way, but these people inspire me, motivate me, and make me want to keep growing as a person and giving back to the world. These are a very particular set of inspirational people:

First, I do need to say that a lot of my drive to do better, to give, to inspire, and just live the best life I possibly can, comes from my friends Eric and Whitney, both of which are no longer with us. Eric died many years ago, and Whitney died in 2013. Both of them were dearly loved, and deeply missed. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of either one, because I miss them both more than I can say. They were some of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. I know I have to live the best life I can, or it would be a dishonor to their memory.

our dead

I have a friend, Sky, that’s about to embark on an amazing adventure, volunteering in other countries and traveling for at least 11 months. She’s saving and working hard to pay her way on this trip to help other people and grow as an individual through this experience. And you know what? I think that’s absolutely beautiful. You can check out Sky’s journey on her blog: Sky vs World.

There’s Brett Culp, his amazing family, and the incredible people in Legends of the Knight. Because of the hard work Brett and their team and the people interviewed put into Legends of the Knight, so many people all over the country have gotten to host screenings of the film, and not only inspire everyone that watches it, but also help raise money for so many different charities and people that need it. I’m one of the many people that were inspired by their great work, and was lucky enough to hold a screening myself for Eric. I was even more lucky that Eric’s mom and brother were there, and we could cry together when we thought of how proud Eric would be. This is a blessing I will never, ever forget. You can learn more about Legends of the Knight on their website and order a copy of the DVD.

Which leads me to the amazing duo: Tommy and Samantha Castillo. Tommy is an incredible artist, and Samantha is his amazing wife (with quite a bit of her own talent.) They were kind enough to donate several signed prints of Tommy’s work to us for the Legends of the Knight screening. Tommy and Sammy visit a TON of conventions, if you want to meet them in person for some prints, or you can order online on their website. I have a huge collection of his work, myself, and it is gorgeous.

And these are just a few of the people I can think of that inspire me on a regular basis. People that motivate me to keep going for my dreams, and to keep trying to give the world my best.

Now tell me: Who inspires you to give the world your best?

~Angel

dancinggroot

The Universe is rewarding me for giving Sunday to myself and my passions, I think. Because since Sunday, good things have been happening:

+ I made a significant improvement health wise from where I was post-procedure.
+ Kicking my NaNoWriMo project in the teeth and getting that sucker DONE.
+ Found a way of making serious headway in my medical bill mess, so I will not longer be The Walking Debt. Well, IF it works out. That’s still up in the air. So cross all things that are capable of safely being crossed.
+ The Jessica Lange cover of “Gods and Monsters” (On American Horror Story: Freak Show) is available on iTunes, and I bought it, and it pleases me greatly. I know that’s a random thing, but hey – gotta appreciate the little stuff.
+ I have a shoot Sunday if all goes as planned.
+ There is a light at the end of the tunnel for something that has been a nightmare for two years now.
+ I feel like I’m making some improvements in my art, and I’m hoping to take some steps forward with that soon.
+ I have adventures to look forward to next year. Plus little get together things with friends the rest of this year.

 

And what may be the best of it all, is that I am learning to redirect negative thoughts as soon as they enter my head. For example: If someone is making my life miserable, and I start to let it get to me, I remind myself that there are billions of other people in this world, and that it is absolutely ridiculous to let one person ruin my day. I take a deep breath and push the thoughts aside, and focus on one of the many good things I have going on. No one is going to take the good going on right now away from me.

~Angel