Follow by Email

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rolling the dice

Lately I've been feeling a little blocked. I made the conscious decision a year ago to take time off from producing new work while I worked on myself. It has been wonderful. I've gone inward a lot, made some really self-nurturing decisions, and seen a lot of beauty. And now that some time has passed, and I feel more in touch with certain aspects of myself I am ready to pick up some old projects again. 

Since coming back to Los Angeles this fall though, I have felt a bit paralyzed. I haven't exactly known where to put my energy when confronted with all the ideas in my head. So what to do?  How to choose?  Luckily a friend reminded me of a fun method to get around this: roll the dice!

So, I made a list of 20 things I can think of to do. Everything is on there; physical activities, chores, paperwork, artistic projects, meditations. Anything that will aid me in my desire to take something out of my head and make it real for other people too.

Then, because I am a nerd and a have one of these, I roll a 20-sided die. 

Then I have to do whatever number I roll. As if!  Inevitably, no matter what I roll, my first reaction is "I don't want to do that!" So I don't do it...yet. 

Take Friday for example: I rolled a 2. Painting ❤️. I have two large canvases I'm working on at the moment, but not a great workspace. I've never worked this large in my space, and I don't have an easel, and I end up in a different spot each time, wedged around my desk behind my couch. As I pondered this, I was inspired to rearrange my living room, which was number 18 on the list. So I completely reorganized my space, including vacuuming behind things I moved and dusting etc. It took half the day, but I LOVE the way my space feels. My desk faces the window and the front door now, and I have enough room to hula hoop to my hearts delight when I want to. So later that evening, when I felt ready to paint, my space was ready for me. 

I like using this method because it feels like a game. I tend to change things up a lot, and this helps manage that. And I almost always find that by the end of the day I've done more than one item on my list. You could use a regular 6 sided die (d6) if you want, or d8, d12, whatever ya got.  (You've wandered down the role playing path once or twice, haven't you?) 

Rolling the dice (die) is working for me right now. I'm sure I will get bored with it eventually, but hopefully then I'll find some other way to keep myself having fun. That's the trick I think, keep making it a game, keep having fun. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Taking another pass

Yesterday for my 33rd birthday my friends and I adventured to Deep Creek Hot Springs. I'd say hike, but honestly it was more than that. Being our first time there, we didn't know what to expect, and ended up taking an intense route. 

Taking the intense route kind of seems like the theme of the last year, or even longer, maybe since the last time I posted, over 18 months ago. Maybe that's the theme of my adult life. Up until a few days ago I wasn't feeling too great about turning 33. 32 was an incredibly difficult year. I experienced my worst bout of depression, and came face to face with some life long patterns and habits that were no longer serving me. Luckily I have an amazing support system of friends and family, and I got through it. I did a lot of inward looking last year. 

In these past few weeks though, coming up to the anniversary of my birth, circling back around to all the expectations I had for the year, versus the reality of what I experienced, I haven't been that stoked. Even though I have tried my best to divorce myself from "shoulds", from ideas of what I am "supposed" to have achieved by this time in my life, it's difficult when faced with a birthday not to hold that measuring stick up and find myself falling short. 

Recently though, I went to a great talk about creativity by artist Dave Zaboski. He talked about his keys to creativity, and how he has used them to keep from getting blocked. The thing he said that resonated the most strongly with me is that artists iterate. Artists take a pass at an idea, and then, in the event that the product of their efforts doesn't match the desired outcome, they circle back around. To illustrate this idea Dave drew a spiral, indicating that each time we take a pass at an idea we come closer to our goal.   

I love this. The notion of the spiral as a function of the way we cycle through experiences in our lives is not new to me, but I had never quite thought of it this way. I like the idea that if I try something and it doesn't work out, when I give it another shot I'm not going back to the beginning, rather I am continuing around the spiral, closing in on my goal, making a smaller revolution on the way in there. 

I recently had been getting down on myself for feeling bummed out again because I thought I should be "better". I felt like I had to start all the way over to feel happy again. But now I'm looking at it a little differently. It's not that I'm going all the way back to where I was last year at this time, heartbroken and sick and pretty lost; now I'm just taking another pass at it. I'm not starting completely over, I'm circling around the spiral again, closing in more quickly or concisely this time on the ultimate goal of happiness and self-awareness. 

Our hike yesterday took about an hour and fifteen minutes down to the springs, which seemed long and steep. Our hike out took about two hours, finished in the dark, and seemed never ending. We had to stop to rest multiple times. But it was so worth it. It was one of my most unique and cherished birthdays ever. And I would not have had that experience, or even the idea to do that, if I hadn't gone through this last year.  And now I'm feeling pretty great. Ultimately I still have the same challenges in my life-I still have to figure out how to achieve my goals, I still have to clearly define those goals, and support myself while I do it, but I remember a little more clearly that the journey is more important than the destination. I saw so many gorgeous variations of the sky yesterday. The hot spring was the midpoint of the journey, it was not even the end of the adventure.  

I'm the spirit of the spiral, in the spirit of enjoying the journey, I'm taking another pass at some things, including blogging. I'm a little rusty at the moment, but I trust the process. Happy fucking birthday to me!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Great Feelings ideas and storyboards

As promised, here are the drawings I made for my Great Feelings video. The first sketches are the initial ideas I had during my first brainstorming session.  (Remember: the challenge was to create a one minute video on your device of choice, with the theme Great Feelings, and elements drawn from a hat. The elements I drew were tree bark, and mirror.). Following the sketches are my storyboard; the inspiration for which came to me totally visually, in one large download. 

So often the things we say to ourselves in the mirror.  I struggle with this to the extent that I wrote a reminder on my bedroom mirror a while back: "I love myself".  Most likely everyone can identify with experiencing very great feelings, both positive and negative, while looking in the mirror.  And what if even natural, inanimate objects felt the same way?  Does a piece of tree bark which it had smoother skin?

From there, I was inspired by an Instagram account I stumbled across called Heal Yourself, Skeletor.  Most of the affirmations spoken by my two characters were found there.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Hey friends!  Long time no see.  I have a couple of new videos to share.  The first I created for a challenge among friends.  The task: create a one minute video on your device of choice using elements drawn from a hat, and with the theme '"great feelings".  The elements I drew were mirror and tree bark.  Here is the result:

It's pretty absurb, and not meant to be taken too seriously.  I'm really pleased with it for a number of reasons.  1) It's the first video I've made that I wasn't it. 2) I shot and edited it myself using my iPad.  3) Another first: I created storyboards for this, which I'll upload in another post.  I hope you enjoy it.

The second video was written by my pal Neil, and directed by Jeremy.  It's about how dependent we have all become on our phones.

This was a lot of fun to shoot, and I hope you all enjoy it.  

If you like these videos and want to see more, or want to be supportive, please share them with your friends.  The more views we can get on Youtube the more likely that we can start to monetize some of our work, but for that we need exposure.  With that in mind, please also subscribe to our channel "EvilAlienPirateBooty" if you have a YouTube account, or don't mind setting one up.  I think if you use Gmail it's pretty easy.  And you won't get any spam or annoying messages, it just helps our channel look good, and for more people to see what we make.    Thank you all for reading, and also for watching.  xoxox

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chatty Cathy Goes to Yoga

Hi friends.  It sure has been a while since I've posted here.  But the theme of 2014 is getting shit done, so I've been putting most of my creative energies toward finishing Chatty Cathy Goes to Yoga.  It's been a little bit like herding cats, mentally.  Anyhow, here it is.  If you haven't already seen it, I hope you enjoy it.  If you have already watched it, get a life!  (Totally just kidding. Why not watch it again?)

I'll be updating this blog with my other projects.  However I'm using my Tumblr page more these days, as it's a bit more convenient to use as far as an online portfolio goes.  It's called Today I Did These Things