New Year New You

Scrapping my studio time together & finally settling in. Picking up an hour or two here and there; organizing and layering and adding. All to find balance, the heart of this practice I have claimed.

In and out of the mechanic since I signed the studio lease. I fight weekly for this space. Most of the time I fight myself to overcome hindsight. So here we are, forging new days and setting on our histories.

All things considered, the space heater has really made this possible.


So many beginnings lately, where to start!

My schedule has fleshed out to include a second position as studio assistant/production manager for a local fiber artist. The commute is a shock, but there are so many wonderful people. The work is a blessing.

With newfound income, I am setting sights a little south on a rent-able studio space. I picture the space with windows the owner planned to update, and tell myself I have to save the windows. I am eager to work side by side with other artists again. It has been too long. 

This week we are moving the yarn store next door to the gallery, and there is a lot to do. Everyone is working hard and all day, together. The last time I felt so high moving mountains was my senior year of undergrad.

More work and responsibility means longer days away from the house, and the black cat is annoyed that we are gone so long. If I sit still, I catch myself wondering how I "got here" to this desert city. 

And then I remember, we drove through the landscape...

Theory Quilting

I have begun sewing pieces of paper together, notes that I haven't touched in two or three years. Old knowledge at this point, I suppose. I lay the blanket of words on the floor in our living room (distinct rooms are the biggest relief!) and decided to drape even more imagery over it. After a few strokes of graphite, I quit and sat on my heels.  I am nervous and don't want to obliterate the meaning yet. I am not sure what this really means, either.

Work has slowed down significantly, and I am given time and space to dream clearly about the future. A few days ago my bad habits caught up with me, scaring myself into paralysis again. Instead, I am searching for outside commitment again - building the curriculum I started earlier this year. Learning again how to balance work, life, art...


Last week I heard the need to start hard work again, and my environment has repeated it steadily since Friday. I dream about broken car brakes while the roads turn into downward hills.

The past two weeks I've been making table runners for a friend's wedding out of Harry Potter book pages. My hands immediately knew I could put this method to use in my own practice, sewing papers together to make whole quilts. I call it Theory Quilting, and have only implemented work in laborious daydreams.

We are eagerly moving a bit south and will have 100 more square feet of space. I can already picture a sewing table underneath our bedroom window, pages and pages of thought flowing behind me. Between the yarn store's move to Inglewood, and the new home we found, I have a feeling things are "settling in" and I will be moving forward with my thesis finally. One of my professors senior year in undergrad told me to wait before I apply for my MFA, that the years after initial graduation settle like dust. I'm not quite sure why I was (am) so scared of not knowing what will happen next.


Part I

I committed myself to completing a project within a deadline: "Beyoncé + Visual Albums pt. I"

I still daydream about returning to school, still wavering between academia and laying down self discipline. Waiting for more to come.

I use the abandoned gallery for personal projects, breathing in the large space and loving the polished concrete floors. Hungry for the state of mind that will allow me to focus on my thesis and ignore the rest.


Re: Steady Forward

More free time has me leaving skeptical of how to use it. I've spent the last year focusing so hard on job-work and not self-work that the transition confuses me. More or less, the same scenery is welcome and expected.

I've reaffirmed my current projects, all under the heading of "nesting." They move out of focus as my attention wanes and I find interest in the next sketch. I reinvented the basket reed-and-crochet project, seeing it with wire and in a similar size as the small acetate sculptures (my next big interest). I picked up one of the drawings I made last July when we first moved west, cutting into the image. The most liberating. I am finally hungry to do more in studio, lending it more time and energy.

Similarly, I have also revisited the Beyoncé + visual album topic and how it relates to the cinematic realism ideology. I am beginning a new blog post on NDF for the first time since the end of 2015, and it feels right. I can see myself taking real and concrete steps toward furthering my studio work since graduation, not just wishing a schedule into place. I am setting up old habits that have waited so long to be in use again.

Progress I Guess

My practice emerges every week, the table listening to what projects I prefer to work on. I have rearranged my materials many times in the last month, still unsatisfied with where everything goes. I am meticulously combing through everything we live with, weighing it against "need" or "want." I have noticed an additive quality to the work I make. I suppose the subtractive need to eliminate clutter balances such an act.

Is it the subtle season change into Gray May? I remember now that I purposely brought nothing of significance related to my schooling. My obsession for truth and genuine statements have begun to cripple me, causing anxiety and self-doubt to look at the work I make. Lashing out at any form of silence or pause. As though my conscious fights this break in jaw-clenching work, while the rest of my mind begs for peace. Like I am waiting for another tide to take me.

I dream of school, I dream of saving money, I dream of room and time to dance around my ideologies again.

Spring Cleaning Affect

I have taken items to the donation center every week for the past month, and will continue to do so until the end of this month. A steady stream of mindfulness and wanted silence. We met a desk and took it home, disassembling and reassembling in the same hour span. It rests heavily across from the couch.

Much of my energy has been trained on outing the clutter, banishing it, I guess. Slowly, I am able to look up from the corners of our small studio apartment. I made time to begin a new project adventure today. I have also made time to focus on the other projects I began earlier in April, working through imagery in my head.

It is still a struggle to make time for studio, even with all the free air, but I can feel myself making a true schedule yet.

Sunday Blues

I am without a computer as of late, which makes writing a page every morning that much easier. Keeping a web presence, however...

Change and other strange things have moved me further from graduation and closer toward my career. Many have told me how impressed they are with my current job, straight out of undergrad. I tell them this is what I've dreamt for years past.

We are living with a black, fluffy cat who mistakes closed windows for open ones. She loves wiggly strings. I have been graced with time to sit in silence, to draw an hour a day, to purchase new materials for projects to come. I have stopped steamrolling my exhibition curriculum, and instead let myself float from book to project, from repairing my clothes to wrestling basket reed into new forms.

Needless to say, I am ready for summer.


Still finalizing travel arrangements for these next two weeks, but I will be attending my first opening reception since attending school (!!!). I've submitted work to two other open calls for exhibitions, checking off 3 out of 5 opportunities I had lined up for the month of March. While it's been a few weeks since I've confronted any new ideas, I can see myself making strides and plans for work when I have time again.

Scheduling to work over weekends has slowed my progress, but my bank account isn't protesting. I've been full of to-do for the past month, but that will soon wrap up in coming weeks and I will sleep. I'm learning to let dirty dishes linger, ignore the unmade bed, shield my face from my desk piled with papers. I've never been more in love with my job.

By inches, I carve my path and continue on this leap of faith.