the art of opening up

I have a hard time doing things half-assedly, so I feel a little ashamed crawling back to this blog with months between posts. But while reading Amy Merricks' very lovely blog this morning I was reminded that "it doesn't have to be all or nothing. All you can do is the best you can do." Which isn't just a blog related note-to-self or an art note-to-self, but also a general life note-to-self. So I think I can be okay with going MIA without feeling guilty, even and especially if that means coming back around with very little other than sketches. I had a long, up-and-down summer. I worked for a month, flew a lot - Chicago > LA > Hong Kong > Jakarta and back again. Visited my family, put together a real portfolio, got my wisdom teeth out. Slept in, woke up to my mother's breakfast, snuggled with my siblings, had a bit of a love affair with the Indian Ocean

Visiting home is always an exercise in absorbing moments instead of grasping for them. It's rare that I get to be with my family for very much time at all, and when it happens, I tend to have a bit of an internal panic. You can feel the moments whizzing past you like wasps, and you start counting down the days you have left, curled against the sand like it's a warm body that reaches for miles.

School started in October. I've been kicking up a lot of leaves, eating a lot of microwave popcorn, waking up for a lot of early mornings, and listening to Death Cab like I'm fourteen again (they released a bunch of Translanticism demos I've been eating up like an emotionally starved middle schooler). 

I've also been terribly busy with art things - maybe moreso than I ever have been before, which is ironic considering I have very little to show for it other than in-class margin sketches. But I'm in a ceramics class that's been the light of my life recently, to the point that my hands perhaps spend more time caked in clay than they do otherwise. I've been practically living in the art building. The ladies in the cafe know what muffins I like and nod sympathetically when I ask for an extra shot at 2pm and leave the studio after midnight.

The curiousest thing is that the art I've been making, for the first time ever, has been almost exclusively 3D work, and the things I've been thinking about have been almost exclusively large, sculptural things, hanging things, shining things, moving things, things with curves, things you want to touch. Which isn't at all what I anticipated myself being interested in, and now I can't imagine seriously pursuing art that isn't sculpture-related. The other art class I'm in is about as conceptual as anything could possibly be, but when I'm not fiercely confused I'm fiercely fascinated. So when I'm not making art, I'm thinking about it. And that's new and very nice. 

I should have some actual images to show for it soon, if everything goes according to plan. Other than that, I've just been trying to power through this quarter and preserve some sort of mental stamina for the nightmare that is winter quarter in this city. 

"To be lazy is to give way to other processes that exist in that moment. When you're sleeping, eating, moving, standing still, you are still an artist at work, projected outward."

I'll be in California over Christmas break, which should be a very welcome break from the Chicago wind and ice and sideways snow. I mostly plan on sleeping on couches with too many blankets and/or driving to the coast for my annual seawater fix. You can only pretend for so long that Lake Michigan fills your soul like the ocean does.


  1. I've always had the hardest time with faces, and generally I just go for a cartoonish kinda thing. I think your proportions (esp. on noses and lips) are perfect: just the right combinations of angles and curves to add depth without making those features caricature-ey. I cringe whenever I show someone a "finished" work because a) I don't feel like it's actually finished, or b) it seems like I passed the "finished" mark wayyyy far back, and my stuff gets overworked. I think it's incredible that you're sharing your sketches - it takes major chutzpah to do that. Bravo! <3

    1. oof, you're killing me. thank you very kindly. :*

  2. Jessee! You are amazing!!! I really like your sketches! I can totally relate to margin doodle's in class; however, not one of mine could hold a candle to yours ;) thanks for sharing,