Update: New Page

Hello Readers,

In the menu there is a new page, the Catalogue. I know that scrolling through my articles might be a wee bit tricky considering you don’t get a preview but the entire post of all the posts on the home page. This was why I created an archive of things I have written  in order of most recent being first. It is also useful if you don’t know what you are looking for and are just window browsing my posts.

Enjoy!

“No One’s Gonna Care”: Responding to ‘Confident and Insecure’ & Internal Monologue

I think this will hopefully explain how important and fun this blog is for me, but also how challenging it is for me to keep going. Maybe in a way you might not think. I don’t know, I can’t read minds (yet) but continue reading if you want.

I’m struggling now to even begin writing. But I need to do it. I want to it is just becoming difficult to become motivated to follow through with an idea on the spot. You would tell if you follow my blog. I go from absence as in tumble-weeds-and-wolf-howling-in-the-distance-in-a-desert sort of absence to very full-on activity as if my creativity has been sharply sparked and I can’t stop. In my head, I can’t stop. I keep ‘writing’ and drafting my blog posts in my head. But not one has been published yet. The thing is one week in April I had a lot of ideas that rolled one after the other and I immediately went to my computer to write the plan down, write the title, add tags and categories and find a feature image. This is so when I come back to it, my future-self doesn’t have an excuse not to work on it because I have already perfectly done the groundwork. I have a list of drafts that may or may not be up to 30 posts that I plan on finishing, starting and publishing. There are going to become a reality. But I am very aware of how much my inner monologue is stopping me.

What even made me write about this was a video I watched. I already used Filmmaker and Comedian, Jack Howard, as an example in a previous post about my creative process but there is one thing in particular that stuck out to me in a video he recently posted, Confident and Insecure. I will get to this later on.

I’ve said it before it isn’t necessarily writer’s block because I can clearly come up with ideas and it is one of my strengths that I can just think of something on the spot. I just go through peaks of being in the right headspace to not only follow through with those ideas but to then have it to my standard that of course, I will never reach because it is my own personal standard. I will get to this in a post (I am working on in the future but currently in the draft list I have previously mentioned, all planned and everything), but Jaques Lacan (talked about at the end of my Sigmund Freud post in a Wisecrack video I discussed) addresses the idea of want, how the minute we want something, the moment we get what we want, we no longer want it, because that want is fulfilled so you go searching for another thing to want, something that is very likely to be better than what you wanted previously. If you have read any of my posts you know that very often that they would be no shorter than 500 words and ones that I have spent the most time on perfecting and getting everything polished for is over 100 words such as Art Fart: Waves edition, Graphic Novels, Sigmund Freud or Robert Frost, or even my casual musing posts. They always take at least three full hours of writing excluding finding the right images, citing them and other thingy-ma-bobs I want to include to make this a professional post to my unattainable standard. I always want my posts to get better and better but in this process, I set the bar higher and higher for myself that I find difficult to reach because the want to do more will always be there. Always.

Yesterday*, I was in the wrong head-space. I let my inner monologue that was quite…ranty judge what my next post should be. It was about how it is sometimes difficult to actively decide not to drink but be surround by the British (Uni) culture of drinking. Because I was going full force and just wanted to post something because I wanted to write, I published it. I did some revisions of the post to edit some things to polish it, but then a few hours later I realised: this is not my blog.

From the get-go, I knew what I wanted my blog to be in April and take it from there. Yet somehow, a single thought slipped out and created something I thought was important to say. it still kinda is but it was 100% not what I wanted to write. Of course, I wrote it and had full intentions of keeping it. And I know that I don’t have to be rigid to what I write but at the same time, this post was in no way creative in the sense I wanted it to be and I didn’t care about it. I didn’t feel like I spent some time in a creative mindset and produced something that I was proud of. And of course that was based on my standards and what I want my posts to be, because I established goals and went off target in a voice I was not able to recognise as my own voice. It was a voice I knew for a long time, but it was the internal monologue voice that wasn’t creative and very often can take me down a spiral of thought I can’t get out of that doesn’t help my creative process as a writer.

Back to the video, the whole point of this video and the whole point of this blog post. Right… Left. Directions. One Direction. Off-tangent. Moving on. Jack Howard posted a video which I won’t summarise because then you are forced to watch it mua haha (seriously, it will be better hearing it from him than me).

Confident and Insecure

I was watching, understanding that sometimes the personas displayed online aren’t necessarily the person in reality and how his brain has conflicted with creative and negative thoughts that people can dismiss or even just umbrella-term as being a ‘struggling artist’, which I personally think is outdated considering how difficult making yourself present in a crowded world of money can be. I was happy to watch this and let my usual thoughts and inner monologue just discuss this internally and never see the day of light, or be immortalised (because if you didn’t know anything is temporary on the internet, now you do but I don’t know why you had to find this out in my post) in word or speech. BUT, here are a few things he said that spoke to be perfectly and I wanted to actually write down about.

“If I’m writing something, I have to believe in what it is enough for it to sustain possibly years before anyone wants to make it into a thing”

Spring-Summer 2015, a close friend of mine passed away and because I didn’t allow myself to grieve because I was preparing for a 15-hour art exam, I spent and an entire weekend dedicated to writing a play-script. A very short 19 paged one, in an Absurdist style, that was indirectly influenced by my grief. I had that viewed by my creative writing tutor and she gave me the feedback for it. It was all valid and important for the revision and editing process. But since that day I hadn’t touched it because at the time I thought because she didn’t understand how significant writing this piece was, it shut my creative brain down into protective mode, it shouldn’t have done, but it did. I felt pricked an plucked and pranged about the narrative and writing style that was done with purpose. But, rightly so, because I said I saw this as potentially becoming a short film in a very distant future and thought it had potential to be more than a written piece, she saw how difficult it would be for my characters to go through a 2005-2015 timeline with two young adults and how to depict the aging process they would have been through and how fashions, styles and ways of speaking would have been different. This was another reason I shelved it because I didn’t and still don’t know how to solve this problem. I really believe in this script and I really believe I have something worth saving and going back to, it was just at the time I wasn’t ready to make changes to it when I couldn’t find solutions to those problems. But the belief is still there that I will very likely hang onto for years before anyone notices or I even want to do something with it. That is one creative dilemma.

If you haven’t watched the video already, 1) why? 2) go to 2:45-3.10 minutes in the video. It is the very moment he stops talking, a lightbulb went off and I knew exactly what he was probably thinking. Because that has happened to me too many times where I am just writing, happy as Larry (whoever he is) and then I suddenly stop. The page I am writing on suddenly feels blank. I stop writing, my train of thought is lost, I can’t get it back and I can’t get back into the headspace of writing. I have deleted things before, all because of this very feeling of putting the breaks on what I have been writing. I am tempted to delete everything I have written and make the entire page blank, the same way my train of thought just pulled at the station abruptly. Because something, that something being myself, has told me to stop. All this because:

“my brain is going ‘you should stop this video because it’s rubbish and no one’s gonna care’

That was exactly what happened to me when I was writing a post responding to a political image. I thought it was rubbish and no one was going to care. Even though I know from my stats (I see you from *insert country here* don’t think I don’t know) that very few people read or even go to my blog. That’s fine. I don’t write for readers. I do write so what I want to say is out there for people to potentially find in whatever way, and I want what I have to say to have a reason. I don’t want to just say something because I can, anyone can do that. I want to take the time to articulate my thoughts in a coherent manner as you would for an essay but in a way that was more accessible and mattered most to me for when I read back. Again, I set a bar I can never truly reach but I set it and I try. So more than…five times I have been writing, then I stopped because I thought it was rubbish and not something I would be proud of publishing. More importantly, I have had nagging feelings in my head all through my blog posts, especially the post I deleted yesterday* (one that I am definitely not happy with), these small creatures of thought that drag through my head where no one is going to care.

No one cares about my thoughts on why I don’t drink.
No one cares about my readings of certain art.
No one cares about my experience with certain literary and theory figures.
No one cares that I had spent time writing and structuring this post.
No one cares how many things I link or reference in a post.
No one cares about my creative writing.
No one cares I structured and edited my posts in a coherent and accessible way. Why bother with the effort?
No one cares I posted a new blog post. Why bother writing this post if no one if going to care to read it?
No one cares about what I wrote.
No one cares about what I have to say.

But you know what, I care. It is very clear that I do care even thought I set myself these challenges and goals. I care. Because I want to write. I am partially a part of a monstrous yet fun world of the creative industry, and I want to be here. Even if sometimes there is the lagging thought that makes me stop and think ‘what is the point of writing this if no one cares and no one is going to read it’, that is sometimes the driving force I need to finish a post, like this one, and keep going because I care about it and I will read. Not in a narcissistic way but as a way of tracking what were my thoughts at a certain time and how my creative process/writing ability has developed. If I think something is rubbish then I will try and summon the will to revise it, not bin it.

No one might care about what I do, but I care about what I do. That is enough for me to keep going.

 

Thank you for reading.

*Note: If you are reading this where ‘yesterday’ is no longer relevant, please refer to ’twas Saturday 28th May 2016 in the break of evening’

Update: As of 30/05/16, although this was written in response to Jack Howard’s video, I have also turned this post into a response to The Daily Post’s daily prompt, Blank 

Playing Outdoors

You know the phrase ‘DUFF?’
I think I have found
The demographic that will understand
Or not. There is Google right there,
I don’t need to tell you
How to find meaning in something
Because I am lost
With my version of it.

Have you seen these best friends?
The ones playing with their toys,
Laughing like joyful monkeys
About what has so amused them.
They know everything.
Not the everything you would know,
Nor the everything I would know,
But the everything of each other.

Nodding, winking, hugging, smiling,
Everything that seems to be
In sync to their friendship.
So why is it,
That whilst they play with their toys inside,
Their other friend decides to play with the mud,
And sees comfort in that,
But still tries to look into the house,
With no key to get inside?

She doesn’t like the same juice,
The same intoxicating poison
Of their lost and found years in adulthood.
She stays out of the same sand boxes,
The same ones the jolt an earthquake
Of strobe lighting and sound
The same ones where these friends bump and grind
Against friends-to-be
And not-to-ever-be.

The music crinkles and cracks
A single person’s ability to cope,
with the shatteringly disruptive noise.
What’s wrong with Bublé?
yet she wants to join
Asking herself:
Am I having fun yet?

So the one playing outside
Is silent. And remains silent.
She doesn’t play with the same joys
Or do the same things.
But that’s beside the point.
It’s friendship, a deep and youthful bond.
And if that is so, then why
Are the ones inside not joining
The one playing outdoors?

Art Fart: Fantastical Waves

When studying at a University known for being a coastal city, it is hard for even my English course to tear itself away from the sea, and I don’t blame them.

I have always been at some point close to the sea, not the seaside-holiday-bucket-and-spade-sun-burning sea, but the quiet-everyone-has-gone-to-have-dinner-and-you’re-just-walking-alone-with-a-few-kite-surfers-blocking-the-sunset sea.

This post is going to be in waves of three:

They say here that great waves reach the coast in threes. Three great waves, then an indeterminate run of lesser rhythms, then three great waves again.

The Outermost House, 1928 – Henry Beston

great_wave_off_kanagawa2

The Great Wave of Kanagawa | Katsushika Hokusai, 1829-32 | Colour Woodblock

This is one of the most iconic images of waves. Even when I typed in ‘wave’ into google, it immediately showed for one of the results this woodblock print. It is also seen as the most recognised piece of Japanese artwork. The amount of intricate detail and control of colour really shows the care and time Hokusai has taken into making this piece of work.

Even though the subject matter is these boats trying to steady themselves yet struggling against the great, and even majestic, waves of the sea with a small mountain peaking in the background as if to imitate one of the waves but a less fluid form. Although this clearly shows a sense of chaos, because of the nature of working with woodblock where a steady hand is often required to make clean lines and the distinct style this Japanese art(ist) has acquired, there is also an element of control and focus embodied in these waves. The waves almost appear beyond nature, monumental and ungodly with their sweeping forms and small curls looking like pointy fingers gripping at the air. The sea spray looks as if it is falling gently like snow, juxtaposing the sharp imagery of the waves.

It also really shows how mankind is powerless and quite meek against the monster that is nature, no matter how beautiful it is and no matter how much we try to control and tame it in this artistic style.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

27bride_of_the_wind272c_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_oskar_kokoschka2c_a_self-portrait_expressing_his_unrequited_love_for_alma_mahler_28widow_of_composer_gustav_mahler292c_1913

The Tempest / Bride of the Wind | Oskar Kokoschka, 1913 | Oil on Canvas Painting

This is a self-portrait of the Expressionist artist and his lover, Alma Mahler. However, she was a widow to composer, Gustav Mahler. This made their love a struggle and even though Alma made the decision for their unrequited love and relationship to come to a conclusion, Oskar never stopped loving her. This painting became his most expressive pieces of work and a passionate form of their expression viewers get to see immortalised in oil on canvas.

The two lovers are swirling in an ocean of their love and compassion with a shell cupping them into each other’s arms, showing an intimate connection. However, because they are in an ocean, the ocean is a grand and expansive amount of space that the painting represents their distance in a dreamlike state/fantasy as well as togetherness. The overwhelming blue and green tones are expressive of the sad and even mournful undertone of the painting based on their relationship. But the active and gestural brush marks evoke a sense of excitement and passion that the relationship might have brought for Kokoschka. This can also be seen in the small flecks of vibrant colour floating around the painting.

Mahler looks like a bride as expressed in one of the painting’s names, ‘Bride of the Wind’. This is from the light, pale colours to appear like white, a colour that signifies purity and innocence for weddings in western culture and her hair is entangled in the ocean like a veil. However, the colour white signifies in Chinese culture (forgive me if I’m wrong) death and is worn in funerals so for people who are familiar with that culture competence could read this painting as the mourning and death of their romantic relationship. Because of this glowing pedestal, Kokoschka has given her in her restful and calm state, she almost becomes an embodiment of the sea and shows how the waves can be gendered as a female in art and literary texts.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

starry-night-original

Starry Night | Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 | Oil on Canvas Painting

‘Wait, this isn’t a piece of work with waves’ No it isn’t, BUT it can be read as if the sky was. Bear with me. Grrrrr. Sorry, bad pun.

The sky looks like very dreamy, albeit trippy, swirls of waves and because of the individual impressionist marks, not one wave is the same. These swirls are almost paradoxical being at the top of the painting reaching above the surface and the stars look like bio-luminescent fish in the depths of the ocean that only appear during the night time.

It might be interesting to note the dark undertone of this painting and probably all of Van Gogh’s work. In terms of a biographical reading, this painting can be a metaphor for the waves of depression and problems with mental health Van Gogh was going through during his adult life. Considering he was famous for using yellow in his colour palette evident in the stars and moon of ‘Starry Night’, this would often evoke a connection to happiness, light and joy. However, it can be seen as almost the colour of being unwell evident in the wilting ‘Sunflowers’ and Van Gogh’s self-portrait. Not only that, but the yellow in this painting is almost drowning in the dark depths of the ocean that can represent Van Gogh’s cloudy waves of mental stability and his internal struggle between life and death.

Unfortunately, this painting can, therefore, be a metaphor for the dominance of darkness and death when Van Gogh had taken the decision to take his life in 1890 when he shot himself in the chest.

Image URL: http://roman-shymko.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/starry-night-original.jpg

 

I hope you can see these pieces of work in a different, more interpretive way that are really just layers to and endless amounts of meaning. Thank you for reading.

Feature Image URL: http://www.wallpaper77.com/upload/DesktopWallpapers/cache/Vector-Wave-abstract-wallpapers-vector-wallpaper-vectors-1600×900.jpg