Tuesday, February 25

Aya Brackett

This morning while procrastinating on my homework, I had one of those rare moments where my hobbies and interests collide. I'm often on the lookout for art writing and artists who interest me, but I'm having a hard time looking at those interests as a "hobby" and almost see that search more as work. Why should it be that way? Isn't the dream to have a career that doesn't feel like work, and that combines your personal interests with your needs to pay the bills? Isn't that what I'm working toward? That said, I have quite the blog hobby - mainly lifestyle/food/interior design blogs. When we moved into our new place a year ago, I knew months in advance the size and layout of our new apartment so I spent months bookmarking, reading design blogs, and buying design books. It was something I really latched onto and those blogs are still part of my weekly reading rotation. I've never really thought before about my fine art "career" interests and my bloggy design interests combining, but why shouldn't they? Recently on the Kitchn there was a post about food photography by Aya Brackett. What stood out to me was the mention that she also does fine art photography and her series explore food and what she considers "painting with food" (not literally using organic material as paint) she explains it best: 

"On painting with food. I really love doing still life work. I pretend that I'm painting. I work with the color and texture of the food and the background color and texture. It's like I'm composing a painting with what's in front of me. I really have fun with that, working slowly. It's what I choose to do on my own time, so that's saying something!
Food is so compelling in color and texture and cultural significance. I focus a lot on food when I'm traveling, too. It's so much fun to see what people are eating and to explore what's delicious in Paris, what's delicious in Oaxaca."
Here are some images that stood out to me from her website:

Friday, February 21

Found on FFFFound

Since my post yesterday was a bit of a bummer, and those melancholic feelings have persisted into this morning, I decided to look for some random images to cheer me up on FFFFound.

...and a little positive inspiration...

Thursday, February 20

On Feeling Down

Sometimes it's hard not to get discouraged about the way things are going with your life...my life...life in general. This is something that's been on my mind since a year ago, when I decided to go back to school, but more recently with a few things that happened in the last week or two. First, a friend of mine at work let me know that her last day was coming up. She got a full time job doing work in her field, which is very exciting for her - she's been working very hard and she deserves it. Then at school, we had a guest speaker in, who is an artist, writer, and recent participant of a very fascinating artist's residence. She is also a phd student, and is doing some amazing work and writing. She's very inspiring, and it was mainly her focus - the fact that her art and writing have such a clear scope - that inspired me and got me wondering...is there anything that I'm that interested in? Right now, I don't know. This past weekend, my lifelong best friend came to visit me. Though we have very different jobs and live pretty different lives, we got to talking about goals and five-year plans. We both want a lot of the same things. We spoke wistfully of homes, cars, kids, and weddings (we may have different feelings and goals in some of those areas, but the main feeling was the same: when is it our turn to grow up?!).  Finally, one of the blogs I frequent just featured a post by one of the writers about her goals and success. It was a great entry, but gave me those pangs of regret. I'm 27 and am working on a second undergrad. I'm basically living pay check to pay check, and personal goals like buying a home and starting a family loom in what seems to be a very distant future. I work at the mall. My uniform consists of a t-shirt, and whenever I see people I know from school in the store I work at I have this odd sense of shame. I want to hide - I don't want people to see me in that damn t-shirt.

I have to remind myself - almost daily - that my long days and 60-some-odd hour workweek is worth it. I'm working toward something. I do an internship in a great space and I like my program at school. I'm more focused this time around and am doing everything I can to leverage my student status in my favour (it's amazing how many doors being a student can open for people who are looking for opportunities in creative fields). I know I'll have to run myself ragged for a few months yet, but the experience I'm gaining now is headed somewhere. That picture is a little fuzzy and I'm still figuring out exactly what I want. I'm trying to figure out, realistically, what my strengths are. Am I going anywhere as an artist, or am I a better administrator? Will I be better at curating others' work, or writing about it, or both? Can I have it all? It sucks to be on the closer side of thirty and still not have any answers. I feel like a kid in a lot of ways, but with adult concerns...savings, credit scores, debt.

I just need to power through I guess. I joined Linkedin, I browse for new jobs weekly, I'm trying to stay afloat on my homework and keep aware of what's going on in Toronto, art-wise. I often feel like I'm treading water but I remind myself everyday...it'll be worth it in the end.

Also, did I just use a stock photo? haha, yep. But it's from a very cool, very positive collection of stock photos that you make you feel warm and fuzzy when you look at them. I picked this one because this chick seems to have it all sorted. I mean, she's actually probably just a model in a photo shoot, but she's basically the image of having it all together. Maybe one day I'll have everything I want and I'll look just as killer in a pencil skirt and heels...