OTM #11: Sweet Nothing

Hello and happy Wednesday once again!

As I’ve finally wrapped up the semester, I found myself scrambling to make catastrophically huge plans in my mind. After all, I’m starting my summer job in a week, so I should have some fun, right? Yet I’ve found that my body stopped me at a certain point; she needs rest, and it is due time that I finally respect that. I’ve worked hard, so why not stay up and watch video essays about movies I’ll never watch? This time to sulk and do nothing is so deeply valuable to me; maybe not in the moment, but I think I’ll thank myself down the line. I hope you can all find some time to let loose on yourselves as well, sit and do nothing for a moment! Thank you so much for reading, and have a great summer!

OTM #10: Art Begets Art

Hello, all! Deviating from my usual format – I won’t be in my own doodles today! In the midst of finals week, I bring you these microscopic art studies I’ve been doing in my free time. So much inspires me as of late; the outdoors, music, my friends’ artwork, and especially film and television. It’s so easy for me to become deeply moved by the simplest shot, the simplest color composition. As I study for my final exam tomorrow, I continue to find myself inspired by things around me. I wish I was done with my responsibilities so I could retreat to my own little world to create and dream, but for now, I’ve been creating quick shortcuts to “getting the sillies out” (AKA making small drawings that keep me motivated)!

My favorite show, Better Call Saul, is in the midst of its final season, and I’ve been itching to make all sorts of fan works. As a way to placate my high emotions, I’ve been taking screenshots of interesting color compositions and moments from the show and making quick paintings of them! They’re not super advanced or detailed, but that’s the fun in it; I’m making my own digital diary of sorts. Just scribbling out the bone structures of art pieces. It feels low pressure, in a time where pressure is in high supply. As an artist, I think it’s all too common to expect your best ideas and executions at all times; however, I think it is so much more important to free yourself from this and learn to love your “bad” pieces, learn to stop caring a little. Make little sketches, just let all your creativity and inspiration flow onto the page! Keep moving forward and love your art for what it is, mistakes and all (this goes for things outside of art as well, there is always time to improve!). Have a lovely week!

OTM #9: Company

Hello again, hope everyone is well!

I’m currently starting out my second week of isolation at my family’s home, and I feel quite lonesome to say the least. It’s hard enough working through finals, as I’m sure you all know, but this added layer of contamination feels quite grim on top of that. It’s at least given me an opportunity to force myself to relax, but there is only so much of that I can take, since I’ve found I have a proclivity to desire work. Either way, I’m trying to make the best of my time in isolation, drawing as much as I can. I’ve been doing a lot of painting studies, which I usually wouldn’t have time to do. It does feel nice, once I can pull myself away from my anger and stress.

The other day, my dog pushed my door open to stare at me for a moment. It was a nice reminder of the existence of the outside world, the love that exists in nature and people. Her eyes made me smile; I had my own UMich “therapy dog” session for the day. I think taking that time to look outside, text a friend, look at old pictures, or anything like that while studying is a good way to keep us grounded in what matters. Let’s keep taking care of ourselves!

OTM #8: Daydream

Hi all! We’re almost to the end!

Sorry for the simpler sketch today, I’m currently sick in bed, trudging through this final week like it is my last week on earth. My motivation as of late has been a childhood classic, my dearest circle friend Kirby! The soundtrack really takes me back to my childhood, where all I ever needed to think about outside of school was beating the bosses in each game. I’m telling myself that once the semester ends, I can buy the new game and fully get in touch with that side of myself again. I haven’t been able to really enjoy a video game in so long; I think that’s a strange adjustment with “adulthood” I’ve faced, where suddenly something as simple as a video game feels like a concept I’m no longer allowed to engage with. Suddenly, if I have down time, I feel as though I should be going to see friends like every other student.

But, no, today I’m not allowing that idea to prosper (I also quite literally cannot since I have to quarantine). I am forced to relax, and this relaxation has taken my mind back to what brought me joy in the past. I think it’ll benefit us all in stressful times like these to remember a simpler time, to daydream a little! I’ll leave this post with a track from Kirby Super Star Ultra that really defines my headspace at the moment: https://youtu.be/PLKRbL41wWA

I hope you all have a lovely week, thanks for reading!

OTM #7: Forbidden Fruit

Happy Wednesday once again! We’re almost through the semester!

I’ve been obsessed with coffee lately, as most teenage girls become enamored with at some point in their adolescence. My trips every so often take me to M-36, which has become by far my favorite coffee shop in Ann Arbor. However, something about their cold brews leave me absolutely destroyed; I already have a difficult time processing caffeine, yet the cold brews at M-36 seem to be built different. My friends and I have come to title these occurrences my “Grasshopper Days”, in which I order the Grasshopper cold brew (a delicious mint chocolate flavor, like a thin mint cookie) and just a few hours later fall to my knees and tremble for the rest of the day.

There’s something beautiful about it. After all, I keep going back for more. Something about the experience has become inspirational to me, comedic, legendary. I always am sure to prepare myself before I get one – “Am I ready for a Grasshopper? Have I finished enough work to relinquish my day to this beverage?” – And then I’m set. (P.S., I do know people that drink this and do not fall to the same state as myself, so I would certainly recommend trying it!)

Hope you enjoy my plights for today, and have a great week!

OTM #6: Flashback

Hello again, and happy Wednesday!

The other day, I found myself plagued with doubts about my self-worth as a student. As UMich students, I think it’s unfortunately very natural to compare ourselves and our experiences to others, to worry that we are not “doing enough”. As I sat on my phone and pondered this, I was politely notified of a flashback from 2015. What awaited me was a cringeworthy photo of myself in Gravity Falls cosplay from the eighth grade, made out of my mom’s clothes and duct tape.

She stared me in the face. There was a preserved innocence in her eyes, a definitive adoration of herself I could see behind the gaze. I needed that at the moment; a shameless glance into that unbothered, uninhibited joy that I felt in middle school. As I looked at my twelve year old self, unafraid to be the most cringeworthy version of herself, I felt a swell of love. I saw myself sitting at a table with her, showing her what kind of art I’m making now, what TV shows and video games I love now. I thought of how she would appreciate every word, be proud of my artistic improvement, and even how she might admire how she looked in the future. This detailed image of us together grounded me, brought me back to earth, and I realized that I should be proud of where I currently am. At that moment, I realized I should go easier on myself. That twelve-year old that once was me would really appreciate it.