Month: January 2015

Notions of Home

I have my first critique of the year scheduled a week from tomorrow. Do I have anything ready for it? Not yet but I am working on it. I am nervous that it will either not be ready in time, or (and let’s be honest here) not successfully translate well. But the latter speaks to my insecurities. More on them later.

I like the theme of the project, which is on the notions of home. The word “home” can mean many things from displacement, loss, to belonging. I chose to tackle the subject by revisiting memories of my childhood, a positive and nurturing environment. I thought about the activities and the surroundings I grew up in, and one thing that struck me was the huge park located near my house that I visited often.

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This park is located in North York and it stretches from Bathurst to Dufferin, Finch to Steeles, and it was my favourite playground. I knew every square inch of that park. I would ride my bike on all of the bike trails. To me, the park was my second home and a place to let my imagination run wild, and to appreciate nature.

This weekend, I visited my parents (they still live in the same house near the park after all of these years) and did a bit of the hike in the park with my mom. The park is still the same but different. Some of the wide open spaces have been filled with trees; some of the big trees I remembered have died. It was nice to be back in it, though the memories I have included green foliage and warm weather, not snow. Also, my memory of walking through the park seemed bigger back then. Of course, when I was a kid, even a teenager, everything seemed big. It was like the trees were 20x their height and for my overactive imagination, these trees were giants.

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So, my project idea includes two possible solutions: to create branches and foliage out of paper, or create cut outs of branches and foliage out of paper. Both of these would hang from the ceiling. I want to do this because I can play with light and shadow. I tried creating the paper cut outs but failed to include bridges between the cuts so the result is flimsy and unsupported. Why paper? I’m curious about using it as a material for sculpture. A catch for this project: it has to be portable.

There’s a lot of self-doubt happening in my mind right now but I knew this would happen. Many of us artists have this and it’s easy to plagued by it. I know a part of me is worried about how the work will be interpreted, which translates to approval from my teacher and classmates. We all want approval. But I’m pushing passed that. 2015 is the year I banish self-doubt. So, I’m still thinking what I can do despite the cut outs not working… I like the idea of creating a forest out of cut-outs and playing with light and shadow.

It’s time to figure out Plan B with a week to spare, and of course, other projects looming on the horizon. I just hope the idea strikes when it’s not two or three days before it’s due. I dislike all nighters and avoid them at all costs but I know that the creative juices really flow when the deadline is so close. I wish I wasn’t so but that’s how it is. Wish me luck!

Hello 2015!

Happy 2015!

So far, I’m liking the new year. I find it interesting that with a change of calendar, a new year seems fresh and full of hope, and that whatever happened in the previous year is suddenly gone.

In my last post, I wrote that 2014 was a good year and it was for the most part, but I was also sad for the better part of the year. I didn’t realize that I was sad until I had a long and teary talk with a friend of mine last week when he asked me if everything was OK. I opened up to him, which brought out doubts, insecurities and whatever else I had bottled up inside for the last few months.

After opening up my heart, I felt much better. Last year, I tried dealing with my sadness in different ways or even by not really talking about what was hurting me. It felt good to honest with my friend, and suddenly I realized that those words or thoughts I had stuck upon myself, were not me and they didn’t define me. It felt good to shake them off and leave them in the past. So, with this, I welcome 2015 and the lessons I’ve learned from the year before.

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The last day of Claire Twomey’s “Piece By Piece” at the Gardiner Museum

My holiday break was great and despite having some good intentions to finish working on my website, launch my Etsy page, and make art, I didn’t do any of that–and I loved it. I had to work but the rest of my free time I watched movies on Netflix and went to the movies, read my book and met up with a few friends. It was lovely. I did check out the closing day of Claire Twomey’s Piece By Piece exhibit at the Gardiner Museum. In all of the years I’ve lived in Toronto, I’ve never visited the Gardiner Museum, which is a beautiful space where gorgeous ceramics are displayed.

As for this blog, I still don’t know what to do with it. Is it a personal blog where I share everything about my life or keep it strictly about art and my projects? I don’t know. It seems to be a bit of both. For the time being, I’m going to post as regularly as possible just so this blog can continue to be maintained and that I can practice writing.

Frigid walk home from work and passing by Trinity Bellwoods Park

Frigid walk home from work and passing by Trinity Bellwoods Park

So, in this post, I’m going to write about my goals for 2015. I hate the words “New Year Resolutions” because they’re loaded words. I feel there is so much emphasis on them and I’ve gone through the disappointment of not having them happen. But I have goals and goals take work. I have a list of things I want to do more or less for the year. I know that some will happen or others won’t this year, but maybe next year or the year after that. I’m also writing my goals down because I want them to happen. If they exist outside of my head, then they have a better chance of coming to life if they’re written down and out in the world.

Here’s my list for 2015:

– continue and finish my Serge and Jane embroidery project
– draw more
– shoot more film
– plan more hiking trips
– eat less bread
– read five books (it’s not an ambitious number and I’m not that slow of a reader but with school, I can’t read the stuff I want to read all of the time)
– plan trips ahead of time
– get driver’s licence
– invite friends over to dinner
– get rid of stuff that I haven’t used in over three years
– sleep more
– use my building’s gym
– sleep more
– organize my sunroom and make it into a studio space
– bike more often – even in the winter months!
– save money more
– launch my Etsy store (why am I so hesitant to do this?)
– continue building my website from scratch
– walk the Camino de Santiago (that’s a biggie!)
– continue to pay down my debt – no matter amount, big or small
– learn a sport
– spend time in a cottage for a few days
 That’s it for now. I’m sure that list will grow or a few will fall off of the list.