Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Reflecting on Junior Year

Honestly, junior year pretty much sucked. Academically, that is. I realized that everyone was telling the truth when they said your junior year in high school will, without a doubt, be your hardest year. BUT, amidst all the suckiness, there was my art class. I'm glad I had this class last period, because I used it as an asset in numerous ways. One, to let out all my stress caused by all my previous classes, and two, to better my art skills, like drawing and painting. I feel as if I have really improved with my art, and it has shown outside of school. My free-drawings that I do at home now look much better, due to all the techniques I've been reminded of this year in art. What I'm most proud of though is my time capsule and how well it came out...especially because I did it all by hand! No stencils, no pictures, nothing. Just my creativity at it's finest. I was skeptical about taking art for my junior year, but I'm glad I did. From my very first attempt at the bicycle drawing to the pages of my book, I am proud to say the quality of my work has really shown improvement. 

Looking Back 20 Years into the Past

The date was June 11, in the year 2034. I had just recently moved to Florida with my husband and our four young children. We were unpacking the last of our things; I was unpacking the boxes that were upstairs and my children were unpacking the boxes that were filled with their toys downstairs. As I was putting things together in my and my husband's bedroom, my youngest daughter came running upstairs, yelling "Mommy, Mommy, look what I found!" She was carrying a box, which was painted with a different Disney movie on each side, and two pink handprints on the top. 
I instantly remembered what this box was. In my junior year of high school, we had an assignment for my Art class to make a time capsule. This was mine. The box was sealed with packing tape, so I decided to cut the tape and open the box. Looking at the contents inside, I started smiling at the memories they represented. I read the letter I had written to myself, and laughed at my younger self. But what really got me were the pictures, pictures of my closest friends from high school. There were also pictures of me and my brother and my parents when we were toddlers, and even Catrina, the cat that I had from kindergarten to college. She meant so much to me, and so did everyone who's picture was in the box. My daughter kept asking who each person was and why each little object was in the box, so I explained every detail I could to her. High school wasn't my favorite part of my life, but the memories my time capsule held reminded me of the good times, the times that mattered most. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Conquering Depression

It all started… when I was born.
Okay, scratch that. It was more like 16 years, 7 days, and 8 and a half hours after I was born.
My depression started January 19, 2013, after my first real relationship ended. It wasn’t really bad at first; I could deal with the fact that we needed a break. But then, there was the drama that followed. Rumors about why things ended the way they did; how the fact that he cheated on me with my best friend played into it. One thing led to another, and I finally put the puzzle pieces together; he cheated on me with my best friend, a girl I considered my sister, and then after we broke up, she dropped me like I was nothing and they made their relationship official. There is so much more I could say, so many details I could add, but I think it’s understandable at this point how upset I was. I was betrayed by the two people who meant the most to me, and it didn’t seem to bother them that what they did was wrong. It only took a month and a half for all the details to come together and hit me in the face, but my little period of complete darkness stuck around much longer.
I, along with many others, have a problem where the act of being emotionally hurt makes something click in our minds. We can’t tolerate the intensity of feeling emotionally pained, so our minds wrap themselves around the theory that physical pain will make the emotional pain go away. Thus, we are convinced that causing ourselves physical pain will ease the numbness that emotional pain can cause. So I started self-harming. A lot. And after a while, it came to a point where I had to get approval from doctors saying that I was “mentally stable” enough to come back to school. This was because in April, I attempted suicide.
Getting evaluated by doctors and counselors isn’t something I enjoyed. I hated talking about my problems, especially to people I didn’t know. But the evaluations and questioning made me realize something; sulking and letting my problems control my life was only going to plow me into the ground. I finally accepted the fact that I needed help, and that revealed a little spark of hope that had been hidden beneath the darkness. And after that tiny spark was found, I was determined to become happy again. I didn’t want to stay depressed. It wasn’t good for my mind, my body, or those around me that had to watch me suffer.
People say that the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one. That was honestly the last thing that I wanted to do, but I knew it was the only thing that would motivate me to get better. It was the first step towards healing and breaking through the darkness I had been engulfed in. I started going to a counselor once every two weeks, and while I was skeptical about going at first, it really did help me gather the strength I needed to let everything go. And eventually, I did let everything go, even though it was very difficult at first. Now, a year later, I’m happy to say there’s no more darkness, no more depression. I found the light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Inspired by a Cookie

Whenever I open a fortune cookie and read the fortune, I never really think much of them. On occasion, I'll come across a fortune that kind of relates to a situation I'll be dealing with, but that doesn't happen very often. But, when we were assigned to pick out six fortune cookies and use the fortunes inside as a basis of our next project, I came across a fortune that reminded me of the darkest part of my life that I went through a few months ago. 
*you should be able to undertake and accomplish anything.*
In January of 2013, I went through a period of severe depression. The worst part of the depression lasted for about 5 months, and even though I've gotten through most of it, sometimes I feel as if it's coming back to haunt me another time. I went through depression at the end of 2011, but it wasn't as severe as last year's. However, even though I don't like talking about what I went through and the mental and physical problems I endured, I'm not ashamed to admit that at one point, I had those problems. How does this all relate to the fortune I received? I undertook the depression, and I accomplished getting through what I thought I would be haunted by for the rest of my life.
The two wrists with "Stay Strong" written on them were inspired by the Demi Lovato's "Stay Strong" tattoo. The numbers scattered on the paper come from the numbers on the fortunes I received. There are negative words written in blue that one thinks when they're suffering from depression, such as pain, loneliness, and emptiness. In white, there are positive words one thinks when coming out of depression, such as happiness, love, and most importantly, hope. 
I thought I would get over what caused me to be depressed and have all those mental and physical problems. But I did it. And I'm glad I was handed this fortune so that I could show, in artwork, that I accomplished defeating my depression. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Letting Go

For this assignment, we were asked what we think of when we hear the word: "celebrity." Many people think of fame, money, flashing lights, makeup, and some of their favorite singers and actors. I think of that too, but I also think of what's lying under all the makeup and airbrushed pictures- a real person who makes mistakes just like the rest of us. We then had to take what we thought of, and create a collage. However, we weren't keeping the first collage.
Starting off a collage that I wouldn't be keeping was actually very difficult. I had to find pictures from magazines that I thought would be easy for the next person to work with. I managed to figure out how to make a base for the first collage, and then when we passed that one on, we received another. We worked on the started collages that we received for two days, and then received what would be "our" collages. 
When I first saw what I was given, I had NO idea what I was supposed to do. I didn't know where to start or what to cover up or what to enhance. I didn't know how to keep going on something that I didn't start. However, after a while, I just began painting over things and plastering things down, and I went from there. I have to say, I am pretty proud of the final outcome of my collage. The entire process of starting one collage, giving it away, receiving one that was already started, working on that and then giving it away, and receiving a third collage that wasn't my own also reminded me of a life lesson I've been handed multiple times. Life is going to hand you situations that you don't know how to react to- you may be put in the middle of something you didn't start, or you may start something that someone else will eventually have to finish. But no matter what problems you may be given from someone or something else, you have to figure out how to finish it, even if at first you have no idea where to begin. 

⚓️Anchor's Away⚓️

When I was in art class in eighth grade, we were given an assignment to make a rubber stamp. We would draw our designs on paper, and rub the paper drawing-side down onto a rubber stamp, and then use cutting tools to cut away at the rubber. I don't remember my exact design, but all I remember is that it had hearts and stars and very little thought was put into the design. 
However, this year, I got to redeem myself with my stamp making. 
To say I was excited when we were told that we would be making stamps again would be an understatement. I was ecstatic. We could either pick an object from the "Blue" project we did, or pick something of another color. I thought for a while about what type of print I would make, and then when I was rummaging through my jewelry box, it hit me. 
I decided to draw the anchor charm from a necklace that I got over the summer. I drew the anchor on a small piece of paper that matched the size of the rubber stamp. After darkening the picture, I rubbed it drawing-side down onto the stamp, and a faint outline was present. I went over the outline with a dark pencil, and then started cutting away at the rubber. 
I've always loved the beach and the shore, and that's something I think of when I see an anchor. Anchors to me also represent stability and a firm ground, as well as a symbol showing a "refusal to sink." In my mind, that means refusing to let the bad things in life pull you under. Anchors are heavy, obviously, and they sink, but when I see an anchor, I think of all the times I managed to overcome the bad things in life that were pulling me under and trying to drown me.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Blue Society

At the beginning of the week, we were all given a piece of paper and asked to write down a color - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple, and whatever the winning color was, that would be out theme for our installation. Since blue is my favorite color, that's what I wrote down. Turns out, a lot of people wrote down blue, and that was the color that got the most votes. Each one of us was supposed to bring in any two items that were blue to contribute to our installation. Our small installation was mimicking what  artist Portia Munson does for a living; she takes various objects of certain colors and piles them together. However, our installation is a little more than a bunch of blue things piled together. It reflects the society we live in. 
In the picture that I took of our installation, we see various things like a ball, makeup, perfume, a ball, a belt, paint, and other little items. How does this reflect society? The ball and the paint isn't what I'm pointing towards. I'm talking about the makeup, body spray, the belt, and the iPhone case. The makeup, belt, and body spray all support the fact that we care way too much about our appearances these days, because we have the fear that we will be judged on what we look like and not our personalities. We have every right to that fear, because of the very fact that it is true. People in today's world, including myself, are judged by what we look like and not how we act. I'm judged because I have red hair, because red hair isn't "normal." Appearance is all that matters to society these days, and I'm proud to say that I don't judge people on what they look like, I judge them on their personalities and how they act towards me as well as others. As for the iPhone case in the picture, it represents our ever-growing advances of technology. Soon enough, paper will probably go out of style, and everything will be written on iPads and computers. Even in school, we've started turning essays and homework in and doing presentations on the computer or the iPads. It's ridiculous. Everything is so fast paced now a days, and technology only makes it worse. People need to stop and think about the effect this technology is going to have on the world. Social media has played a big part in my last comment about how people are judged and bullied on how they look. I've had that happen to me multiple times. Everyone just needs to stop and think about how all of this is going to effect everyone, because for all we know, we could be running our world into the ground; while we think these advances are doing us good, they could really be destroying us. And we wouldn't even know. 

Portia Munson's work: