Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feelin' Crafty

So this coming Thursday I will be selling things at Art & Flea along with a teacher/artist friend of mine. I've been working on various recycled items this weekend and I will share them with you:

 I started making soda can tab bracelets in seventh grade. I made one hundred bucks selling them to kids at school in eighth grade, and even sold them at a local consignment store for about a year. Unfortunately, they changed owners, and she returned my products after no one bought any for several months. I'm excited to sell them again; hopefully they appeal to the crowd at A&F

Pins made of film canisters! These are fun, I have some on my bag.

I've been into making bottle cap pins these days, and I have a wide selection because I visited a vintage soda store this summer.

I have a bunch of messed up/expired film I got from a friend, so I'm making film cuff bracelets and bows! And I've never seen anyone selling these before, in real life, over the internet, or otherwise, so hopefully I will garner some buys for originality?!

These earrings don't look very special, but they are made out of rings that fell out of a broken camera lens I dissembled. I'm not sure what function they serve, but I they are brassy and crimped and pretty, so I hope someone buys them. If I am lucky, a camera enthusiast will think they are the coolest thing in the world.

My craft box, what up.

Now I'll tell you about my day yesterday:

So I planned on waking up early but my disgruntled teen body did not allow this, and I woke up at ten. After a few hours of idly crafting and watching Freaks and Geeks, I decided to travel to the LIBRARY, partly because I wanted to get out of the house to write, and partly because I had also been playing dress up and conjured up an appealing outfit that I wanted to take outside. I drove past the state library and, seeing that there was no parallel parking available, immediately gave up and drove home.
I have no idea where people park to go to the state library, but it must be in some sort of underground dwarf tunnel much too obscure for me to find, because I've NEVER seen a designated parking. Please, someone, enlighten me, it's probably a lot less complicated than I am making it.
I returned home to a puzzled mother and immediately decided I wanted to go to Barnes and Noble, the next best thing, right?! I sped over to Ala Moana and instantly regretted it, for the mall was crowded, B&N was playing annoying music, and there were people. I circled the store once and returned to my car to drive home.
A complete waste of two hours, go me! I never know what to do with myself on weekends.
Anyways, here is the outfit that I crafted:

I'll probably just wear this to school with a sweater to make it remotely in dress code. I really prefer wearing jewelry that is handmade, whether it was crafted by me or a friend or a vendor somewhere. I got the tights for christmas and they are my new favorite leg-wear, by far. The necklace is made from film canister cutouts. I like how the colours seem to follow a common scheme even though they are from different brands of film.

Another thing: I have to write in a journal for my creative writing class, so I took the opportunity to decorate one of my many moleskin notebooks lying around:

Really, I just have messy handwriting, and unlined pages force me to control my script so that my teacher can actually grade what I am writing.

Is this how one blogs? Am I doing it right? WE SHALL SEE

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Doing what feels right

Today I had a glorious melt down on the way home after school. My father, who is typically very observant but was more focused on operating the obfuscating contraption that is our fuel efficient Prius (bless his soul), took a good twenty minutes to notice the various fluids leaking from my various facial orifices. It is the first day of the semester, and I am already extremely anxious about the cOPIOUS RESPONSIBILITIES that always culminate at the end of the year and leave me trailing tears and tea-bags all over my bedroom floor. Major concerns are as follows:

  • Consistently printing images for my Concentrated Study
  • Designing the lights/assistant stage managing for the musical, How to Succeed
  • Finalizing the creative writing and art for my high school's literary magazine
  • Laying out and distributing said magazine
  • Improving on my creative writing, as well as writing much more prolifically
  • Keeping up with French in light of my desire to be a French minor
  • Eventually, applying for summer jobs
I am positive there are others. Immediate concerns involve creating jewelry and other products to sell at Art & Flea (this will garner a separate post), and readying my scholastic art submissions by this Friday. Because I am an artistic masochist and I adore making things hard for myself during the school week, I've decided to doodle an intricate border around a diptych of bff Sarah to give the images a ~*~*CUTESY EDGE*~*~.

I will share the final product eventually. Last year I submitted five pieces, two in the digital art category and three in the photography category, and won four awards, which was the most awards given to one student at the time. Two were gold keys, two were silver, and one gold key went on to win a silver key on the national level. I feel incredibly honored as well as pressured to create immaculate work to prove to myself that I did not reach my artistic peak as a sophomore. If this piece that I am working on does not win anything, I shan't fret; I am doing for my own artistic satisfaction, which brings me to my main point...

I've decided to truly put my time and energy into things that I am passionate about. 

Today was my first and last day of trigonometry. My teacher, a zany bearded trig enthusiast, seemed so incredibly excited about triangles and sine and cosine* and tangents that his zeal was almost contagious. Almost, because when he started to explain the basic arithmetic of the class, a familiar fog slowly crept across the sloshing harbor of my mind and clouded any hope of immediate understanding of what the hell he was talking about. 
I am extremely bad at math. Partially because I am innately better at crafting sentences than equations, and partially because equations disinterest me to the point of nausea. If I were to greatly improve in math and raise my C average to an A, I would have to spend at least two hours every day studying, and several days a week with a tutor, mortified and frustrated with my inability to do basic multiplication (once upon a time, I was a fourth grader who apparently missed the flash card boat). 
So, I made the hasty but necessary decision to switch into Statistics, a much more useful class for me, especially if I decide to go into education at some point.
I really am disappointed that I don't get to spend time learning with this teacher who gets so freakin' pumped over sixty degree angles, but it will be better for me in the long run.
I want to focus on photography and writing and crafting and making things for other people. I'm tired of academics that I will not remember a month after school ends.

Now I will share with you a selection from my journal that is actually a coherent string of pleasant sentences:

Sometimes I feel like it's useless to write anything down. Adolescence comes in endless vicious cycles, periods of violent rebirth and destruction, like a great skeletal tree who will never be whole, not really. There will always be the trembling leaves in question, branches whose muscle memory foretell a great seasonal loss.. and when nothing but phantom limbs shaking on the cold bark remain, a girl cries into her pillow with bone-shuddering sobs and feels her self-worth disappear in a torpid breath of wind.
That is what we feel, and what we know.
I don't know if I will read this again, if something will happen to me and weeping parents will come, with coffee-spiked breath and eyes like soft bruises, inspecting my writings and drawings that spread inscrutably through both pages and time.

No, I don't think they will come; however unfair it feels, I will stay.

I tried writing a sestina but no stores or feelings came to mind. My six words were small, eye, find, drop, done, and sleep.
Everything seems to fall into earth, sickly warm like the edge of autumn or post-mortem. I bury dreams in decaying foliage, cover them up because no, they aren't there, they never existed.
Or at least, were never worth anything.
And even though I know I'm not alone, that legions of half-crazed teens are forced to learn without sleep and listen to parents screeching like judgmental rusty metal and watch a best friend walk away for good... well, it all feels like we're being prepared for a battle we can't win.
Or a battle that will never happen.
So, I'll write.
When everything hurts like a white hot iron of anxiety deep in my chest, and when existence is heavier than the world and I'm expected to cary it in my back pocket and move on. Even when things are dull, commonplace, and even when something happens enough to light a smile on the shadow of my face--

I'll write, and I will search for the stories that aren't happening here, but do exist, whether I can feel them now or not.

A sestina is a form of poetry involving six stanzas and six repeating words, popularized by Elizabeth Bishop, I believe. Read one by her here, and check out this one as well.
This bit of writing is quite angsty, I apologize, but I figure if I'm going to keep TEENAGE DAMNATION as my domain for a while I might as well share the darker stuff. But hey, there is a light turn at the end!
(I don't consider this koala-T writing by me in any shape or form, it's just important stuff, man).


••• Previously I misspelled sine as "sign," and I am NOT embarrassed maybe. This is further prove of my inability to retain mathematical knowledge of any sort (it's not like Mr. Trig Enthusiast explained how to spell out the abbreviations in the first place :P).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I shot myself in the forest

With a Nikon FM10, of course!

So every semester for my photography course we work on a concentrated study, which is a series of eight (or more, if you're an ambitious artiste) images with a common theme.
I will probably do a separate post on my CS from this past semester, with which I was far from satisfied. The second semester hasn't even started yet and I have already figured out my idea and shot 2.3 rolls of film. That's right, I've decided to shoot my images in film, which is time consuming on a ludicrous level, taking into consideration all my other commitments as a junior.


I am taking between eight and twelve black and white film self portraits; some are rather lucid, some are more obscure, and all will create scenes that embody my anxieties, insecurities, and the horrible feeling that seems to come out of nowhere and send me into a dark place from which it is difficult to return.

I've found that I really, really enjoy self portraiture. A part of me feels a bit narcissistic or self indulgent, but this sub-genre of photography allows me to incorporate acting, which is one of my other favorite artistic mediums. In sophomore year we were required to take self portraits as an assignment, and I shot them in film to force myself to be extra decisive with my composition. Also black and white film is just timelessly beautiful in every way.

The upper right-hand image won a Silver Key in the Scholastic Art Competition last year, I'm rather proud of it.

So today I took an epic trek on the Nu'uanu Judd Trail with my perpetually patient father who lugged around a messenger bag full of vintage, dilapidated reading lesson books, as well as my tripod. He did a wonderful job of not falling and cracking his head open on the slippery stones as we crossed the Nu'uanu stream. We hiked passed a group of teenage ruffians, several of which stared at me as I waited for my father to catch up, as if they'd never seen anyone hiking in a pleated skirt and knee-high socks before (the nerve of some people).

He helped me take photos in a spot where I previously shot pictures of Sarah Garica:

My friend Ilana and I appropriately dubbed this section of the trail "the Twilight forest," and we often run through the trees at the breakneck speed of an ironically sardonic Robert Pattinson

 I took pictures of myself using these old books and, with a dirt smeared face, attempted to convey my frustration in learning and retaining information that ranges from the profoundly interesting to the profoundly mundane. Such is the life of a typical high-school student, but it severely weighs me down when I'm not able to put the time and effort into classes that I genuinely enjoy. When I find myself falling behind in French because I have to spend copious time in extra help for Chemistry in the Community (aka Hoodrat Chem), I start to feel completely unsatisfied with my educational situation.

I didn't bother wiping the dirt off before sauntering into Foodland 
to pick up shrimp and tortilla chips.

I took a few other images which included being tied to a tree with 
sheer fabric and almost setting a strip of negatives on fire.
Fun stuff. I can't show any of it here because I shot it in film, of course. It's a good thing I started everything so early, for it will take me a long time to process and print my images. So far, I am the only photography student who has used our downsized darkroom, because we shifted our program from starting out in film to primarily digital. I REFUSE to shoot digitally all year long. Shooting in film is extremely satisfying to me, and we have free access to film and processing equipment. Why no one else has taken advantage of our darkroom this year, especially now that the foot traffic has been drastically reduced, is beyond me.

And thus ends Blawg Post #3

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lomography Film

This Christmas I asked for Lomography's X-Pro Slide Film to experiment with.
For those who are hazy in film terminology (which would probably be most youngins these days), slide film is used to create those little slides that go inside old fashioned projectors that people used to display their bad vacation pictures to somnolent family members who couldn't care less.

The fun thing about slide film is that instead of producing transparent negatives, after it is developed the transparencies are ~*~*POSITIVE!~**~ Which seems unfathomable when you take into consideration how film functions as a strip of plastic covered in silver crystals that darken when exposed to light (More light=darker pigments, that would be why the colours are reversed).

So I shot this uber cute roll of film with random pictures, testing the waters without putting much thought into a roll whose quality I was unsure of. When I got it developed, I chose to cross process the film in C-41 (colour negative chemicals as opposed to slide film chemicals) which typically yields highly saturated and contrasted images. This also means that the film actually DOES come out negative, since the colour reversal process is disrupted. Photography chemistry is the only chemistry of which I have any remote understanding.


How the hell does one ALIGN IMAGES ON BLOGSPOT?!

 I was not blown away by the quality of the film; the images are generally grainy, which I'm pretty sure can be attributed to the film itself, not the processing lab. I'm not particularly surprised because Lomography, as a magazine, film/camera store, and photography movement, is all about lo-fi DIY images. I don't think I'll be purchasing this film again, but I will enjoy the other two rolls that came in the pack and attempt to create whimsical images!

Well, is that how one posts on a blawg?!?!

This just might be happening

I tried starting a blog in eighth grade.
My first post was lengthy explanation of why I am unable to keep up with a blog and ended with this picture of a horse-swan:

And of course, I never posted again.
The trouble with starting a blog is the pressure to provide good content that somehow follows a common theme and garners readers who can tolerate mediocre writing. I've decided to just disregard any guidelines there may be in starting a blog and post what I feel like talking about. 
My posts will span many artistic and emotional topics, SUCH AS:
  • Photography/other visual art forms
  • Writing/Poetry/Literature
  • Music, and why I suck at it
  • Fashion and having short hair
  • The obfuscating nature of teenage girl-dom
  • The French language
  • Adventures in being not-straight
  • Supernatural
I don't know about the last one, but I think it is safe to say that I will vary what I talk about greatly before I figure out what this blog is going to BE.

And of course, there's a large chance I'll never gain any followers on here besides my friends.

But that's okay!
I'll try it out anyways.