Important Update

Hey guys,

I have been away, brewing up a new place for all of these wonderful posts and things in order to merge my various blogs and works.

My next post will be the link to this new wonderful place (which will be replacing the Writer’s Cottage Blog and Artistes es Les Humains)!

Get excited! I will see you soon.

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Mystery Blogger Award

Earlier today I was nominated for the “Mystery Blogger Award” by MladenR, a new friend. I really like his blog, and I am honored that he enjoyed my blog enough to nominate me for this award. I would also like to thank Okoto Enigma for the creation of the award.

Award Rules
• Put the award logo on your blog.
• List the rules.
• Thank whoever nominated you and link to their blog.
• Mention the creator of the award (Okoto Enigma) and provide a link as well.
• Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
• Nominate roughly 10 – 20 people for this award.
• Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
• Ask your nominees five questions.
• Share a link to your best/favorite post that you’ve written.

3 Things about myself

  1. I am what you would consider a “renaissance woman” when it comes to the arts. I started off training as a ballerina (along with other dance styles including tap, ballroom, bellydancing, etc), but after an accident I went on to various other arts including: theater, singing, violin, drawing, painting, costume design, set construction, and of course, writing.
  2. I am a romantic, so I wanted to list here a few of my favorite things to explain what I mean: classic novels, poetry, coffee, red wine, chocolate, romantic movies such as Serendipity and You’ve Got Mail, and my favorite books are The Mistletoe Books by Richard Paul Evans. (And yes, I believe in faeries.)
  3. Job Route: In the past I have held many jobs from art teaching to working in the ICU at our local hospital. However, I am now in my senior year of college studying Creative Writing. My plan is to become a career novelist, but I am also going on to receive my Masters degree in Writing and Publishing so I can work in the industry, and I hope to get my PhD (concentration for PhD still pending). I love learning.

5 Questions from MladenR

What does blogging mean to you?

To me, blogging is a way to share your ideas with others, both those who think like you, and those who are interested in learning more about your topic of discussion. It is a way of saying “I am here, and these are my thoughts!” And then in return others can say “Me too!” or “I never thought of that, that is interesting!”

What is the worst day of blogging like for you?

That is a tie between either the days I don’t blog at all because I can’t get any words out OR the days when I do get my words out and I put a lot of work into a piece only to get zero views on it.

What is your goal in connection to your blog?

The goal of my blog is to inspire people to bring out their inner artist, especially in a way that allows them to be more genuine, or go out and help the world. I am a strong believer in the arts being the best way to help people and connect people. I think the arts are the best way to implement real change in the world, and that is why I created my blog.

What is you wildest/craziest idea for a story?

In my journal I keep of book ideas, there is one that is very different from any of the others in there: Circus Von Loon. This is the story of a manic depressant and schizophrenic young girl who is put in a mental institution that uses the arts as a form of therapy. She is assigned to be the living doll ballerina for their circus program, and long story short, the more violent patients overtake the circus and she must choose between performing with them in their violent shows or going off on her own into the world while she is still unstable.

At what point would you say: ‘I succeeded’?

My goal is to make a positive change in my reader’s lives. If I am ever told that my writing has helped someone in their life, then I have succeeded.

My Nominees 

John Coyote

On Gypsie Mountain

The History of Love

The Belle Jar

The Human Rights Warrior

Medieval Books

Tylor’s Imaginary World

Archaeology and Material Culture

Interesting Literature

Sabiha Scribbles

Questions

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. When did you first get interested in the topic of your blog?
  3. Favorite thing to do when not blogging?
  4. Favorite Book?
  5. Biggest writing inspiration for you?

My Best Post

I think my best post was Why the Liberal Arts Should Be a Major Political Focus. This piece really talks about the power of the arts and why I find them so important.

The Daunting World of the Arts

There is something in the world of arts I am coming to understand more clearly now that I am within the Liberal Arts as a scholar.

And it is this:

The arts are difficult for people to understand and get into because the rules are very abstract.

When I was just an artist, writer, musician, theatrical actor (and all the other things I have been artistically) for fun, I had no idea why everyone wasn’t trying to incorporate art into their life. They felt scared of trying the arts, feeling that they were somehow unable to be any level of “good” at it.

I laughed and encouraged them to try. Why not? It’s expression, it is letting your true self out. Everyone should do that right? Why were they so scared?

And even more than that, why was it that when I told people I enjoyed all these artistic expression, did they assume I was some sort of stuck up snob?

I didn’t see why someone couldn’t just compose for fun or write for fun, or even finger paint as an adult because they felt like it.

Now I see it is because when one tries to study the best of the best, they are all geniuses of some sort, and yet there are still no rules attached to them.

Let me explain this concept.

Take a mathematician or a scientist, for example. They are geniuses because they can solve complex equations or prove/disprove facts of the universe. You can put their genius down on a piece of paper and everyone can sit around and say “Wow, they are a genius!”

Now, take a painter or a novelist. You can show people the painting, or have them read the book, and every single person is going to have a different opinion on the piece. Some will claim the person is a genius, some will think the person is an idiot.

That is because when we talk about art, we are talking about a person’s view of the world, and how they choose to express that to other people. Some people will get it, and some people won’t.

However, when you study it as a scholar, you learn what all the lay people are being judged by. You learn “the rules” as to what makes something good and what doesn’t. And now, I can honestly say, if this is what was presented to me before I fell in love with the arts, I , too, would be afraid to try.

Art is so personal, and like showing a newly discovered part of yourself to people who don’t know who you are even on a normal day. The idea that people might be judging you or following a set of rules that, to be honest, are vague and more opinion than fact, is extremely daunting.

Here is my advice: Do art anyway.

Do not let these heady, vague, scholarly rules make you feel like you are unable to do art. Art changes over time and so do the rules.

If the art is genuine, then it is good. 

P.S. The only time I would recommend learning or applying these rules to your work is if (and only if) YOU WANT TO.

I do, so I am getting a degree that allows me to implement these techniques into my work because I enjoy it. However, when I am teaching an art class, I NEVER tell my students they are not meeting these standards or that they are wrong, because art is not about trying to be great. It is about trying to be you.

Artistic Style: Nature or Nurture?

Everybody has an artistic style.

This can be the style of art they create themselves, or the kind of art they like to view. Anything from traditional art to the way they like to decorate their house to the books they read.

But what determines artistic style? Is is a part of us or is it what we taught to view as beautiful?

Yes.

Where we come from and our upbringing have a lot to do with what we consider to be aesthetically pleasing. Every culture has their own art, and a person’s fondness or hatred for their upbringing and culture greatly impacts their view on the art of their heritage. In our lives, art can be a celebration of where we came from.

On the other hand, art is a form of self-expression. So, the art must connect with the personality of the individual. Our personalities might draw us toward a form of art that was never a part of our life, but that reflects the kind of life we want for ourselves.

A person who grew up in the country might enjoy street art, while a person who grew up in the city might enjoy more country-style pieces. Art can symbolize our longing, our hopes and dreams, and who we are deep down; the version of us we don’t let out very often.

Look at your style, is it more nature or nurture? Knowing this can help you explore new forms of art and deepen your connection with your personal style.

Why Everyone Should Have Their Portrait Done

No, I am not talking about a selfie. Not that I am not a fan of selfies, but I mean something a little different here.

I mean everyone should have themselves painted or drawn. It doesn’t have to be realistic. In fact I believe it is important that the painting be in a style of art you particularly love. The style of art you find beautiful. Make it abstract, or pop art, or impressionistic, a charcoal sketch, or a traditional oil painting. Whatever art style you have always loved will help you love yourself.

Here is what I mean:

Art focuses on the beauty of things. The essence of things. The life inside instead of the form without.

Many of my paintings are of women. Specifically nude women. One of my friends who has had some problems with her self image, after having 3 kids and gaining weight, saw my paintings and fell in love with them. She asked if I could paint her like that. And I did.

I didn’t make her skinnier, or more photogenic. I painted her as she was, but artistically, wrapped in a red scarf with a pink rose. She loved it so much she hung it in her bedroom to remind her how beautiful she was.

Like a piece of art.

With all the body  shaming on social media today, I believe art is a great way to remind us why we are beautiful. Not by the  way we look, but by our essence. By who we are.

So go out and get your portrait done and hang it in your house. It will change how you see yourself, I promise. No longer will you feel dull or boring or ugly. You will be a painting, a piece of art.

You will be your own Mona Lisa.

Art is an International Language

There is a reason art is a major part of study when trying to understand another culture. The way a group of people express themselves says a lot about what they find important. However, it is also the easiest to understand. Art does not need to be translated. No matter the language spoken by the viewer and no matter the language spoken by the creator of the piece, art can give them a mutual understanding. This is also why it can be passed through centuries. At any given time, what it means to be human will always be the same.

If a painter from Russia paints a picture of a starving family on the streets in the winter snow, someone from an island nation who has never seen snow or known this suffering can feel their heart break as they look at the painting. They can’t speak Russian, they have never been in the cold. And yet, their heart breaks because suffering is understood by every human. We all want comfort and happiness for our families and our people. 

On the other hand, if an artist from Japan makes a piece about love, two people looking into each other’s eyes surrounded by warm colors, a person in Brazil might see it and feel happy and filled with hope at seeing some love in the world. Now the viewer from Brazil can’t speak Japanese, and yet, they communicated love.

A mutual understanding across nations can’t be made easily with policies, laws, or doctrine. Even talking it out can be a problem with language barriers.

We need to learn to communicate with art. We need to communicate with emotion.

As they say, everyone smiles in the same language.