Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Venom of the Soul" - New Artwork

Recently, I was imbued with inspiration to start drawing people again after nearly ten years. I felt my art stagnating, as I've only drawn animals in profile for most of my life. I wanted to start pushing my limits and trying new things, so this piece was the first step I took to do that. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone for a realistic portrait, rather than a high contrast, graphic one, but I think for the next one I'll do something a little more lifelike. I may even draw the same character again, but a more realistic version of him.

This character is not one I ever have or ever will write a book about, so he was a good test subject to improve my skills. I'll only attempt drawing my real characters once I've settled into a comfortable style, and that may take a while! I wanted to combine high contrast people with textures and tones applied in photoshop, and my first attempt wasn't a complete and utter failure. Close, but not quite! I'm pretty excited about the way my art and writing are progressing and evolving at this stage in my life, and I'm glad the inspiration is only increasing..

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Moment I've Yearned For - My Novel Is Done

I thought for a long time about how I could start this post, and I came to the reluctant conclusion that there simply is no perfect way to start a post about one of the most amazing moments of my entire life. Perhaps not everyone will understand, but a few will.. A few may even understand quite well if they’ve experienced this very thing..

Yesterday at around 1:30 in the afternoon, I officially completed the novel that has been a pivotal part of my life since early 2011. The end came more suddenly that I thought it would when I finally mustered up the courage to sit down and complete it. I knew the end was drawing near for a long time now, at least a few months, and there was this massive part of me that was wanting to leave it unfinished. To still be able to slip into the safety and familiarity of that world whenever I wanted as I have for the last four years. I knew once I finished it, the door to this character’s world would close, and I would finally say Goodbye to him forever (because no, there will never, ever be a sequel). I’ve been afraid of that moment now for years, and as those last few pages were typed - I shook and sobbed with the sheer weight of everything this story has meant to me. I wept not only for the story, but for the weight of all the experiences in my life that were required to create something of this magnitude. The last thing this novel is about is myself, but I know the pain I had to live through to even begin to understand the scope of this story, and hopefully do it justice.

It feels like a painfully long time ago that this character first came to me. He appeared to me as this ragged, mysterious little trace of thought in 2010, and I never could have imagined he would become something I adore so powerfully that my heart is now shattered at the idea of never being able to touch him again through writing. As frightening and bizarre as it is to admit to the world, I wept mostly for him as I finished this book. For the knowledge that I will miss him for the rest of my life. This character was there for me through the most difficult year of my life. He was birthed from my anguish and sorrow in 2010 and 2011, and now I have to set him free. Our time together is done, and the shuddering sobs I experienced as I ended his story was the very act of me severing my tie to this book. To this character. To that time in my life..

Now, I prepare it to be released to the world. In the pure and earnest hope that this story can be to someone else what it was to me.. A comfort in dire times. An escape from a dismal reality. A guiding light that can hopefully shine just bright enough to lead the soul out of darkness, and into a new, beautiful chapter..

My target release date is October 1st, 2015. There is still a lot of work to be done to ready it for release, including editing, illustrations, and preparing it to be printed - but the hard part is over. Right now I just feel like I’m grieving, but once this incredible ache in my heart fades I can finally come to terms with the thought of truly letting this massive piece of me go..

I don't want to end this on a sad note though.. I'll leave it with the gif that explains my feelings more flawlessly than words ever could!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Seeking Serious Musician For Project

SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY! I’m interested in finding a mature artist who actually wants to see a project through and create something noteworthy. I am mostly interested in working with a guitarist or pianist, who can create slow, dark, ambient tracks for me to write lyrics and sing with. Ultimately, I would like to create a whole album in this fashion.

I want the music to be mostly organic, rather than electronic. Even simple, so long as it adheres to the dark, somber mood I’m going for. The music has to have structure as well, where one can feasibly inject lyrics. I would also like to do some longer, more experimental, ambient tracks. "The Limitless Reaches of the Earth" is not really the style I'm going for with future projects. The song following it is an example of what I’ll be going for, “Living With The Black Dog”. Not exactly of course, but I want to create music that feels more stripped down, while sounding more haunting at the same time.

First, I would like to provide a few a Capella track downloads of songs I've written which better show my voice than the collaboration song below :

To Feel Whole :

Whip-Poor-Will :

Example of a past collaboration with me singing :

Example from another artist of the general mood I’m going for with the music :

Again, only inquire (privately on Facebook) if you are serious about making music with me. I don't have the time or patience for someone who doesn't follow through with anything. I'm serious and ready to create something awesome.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Videos : Finding your Motivation and a Poetry Reading!

I made two new videos today! Wearing my lucky poetry reading dress. Actually, that wasn’t intentional.. I only realized I’d worn the same dress after I was already done! Anyway, this first video is a reading of “Fade and Forget”, which is in my poetry book, “Fragments From Nowhere”. It's a rather dark poem, though contrary to how it sounds, it's rather abstract, and not meant to be taken literally.

The second video I made today is about a topic I’ve discussed with several people lately, and have thought a lot about. This of course won’t apply to every artist, but it will to some. Because many artists, including myself, indulge in numerous artistic outlets and hobbies that can distract from what we TRULY want to accomplish. This can create a sense of being unfulfilled, a profound frustration, and chronic procrastination. It's important to fight against being so erratic artistically and devote your time and energy to your most important projects. The ones that create a deep sense of accomplishment, and represent who you truly are as an artist.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Chapter / Plus Beautiful Winter Birds!

My life has changed dramatically over the last few months, and it has been truly amazing in almost every way.. Everything I had come to know is now gone, and I have entered an entirely new phase in my life. One I find terribly exciting, and it is truly a massive leap forward. While I don't want to delve into personal specifics, I will say that leaving behind the job, city, and apartment I was in was one of the best decisions of my life, and proved to me that sometimes taking huge chances is worth every bit of doubt you might feel. Sometimes a bad situation can feel "safe" or even "comfortable", but you can't advance when you stagnate, and even when when you have to take on a whole new set of challenges, you still have to dive forward and chase your dreams. It's truly the only way to live, and the experiences I've had these past few months have only made me more confident and happy with myself. Had I been afraid of change, none of it would have happened at all..

I think Winter is getting everyone down this year, especially with how harsh it's been in certain areas. It has been so incredibly cold here that I sometimes wonder how the birds survive such brutal conditions.. Though they always seem as chipper as ever. I think the massive amounts of food they get to eat on this property helps, but they were quite happy to pose for some pictures yesterday! The beauty of the birds can always make you smile, even on a miserable winter day. ♥

Northern Cardinal

Carolina Wren

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Have a seat, and take a listen..

I'm well aware of the fact that very, very few people will care enough to take the time to listen to even just one of these songs, let alone the whole list.. But I wanted to share my absolute favorite songs to be released in 2014. The albums these songs are taken from are all incredible as a whole, so I suggest buying the album if you enjoy the song presented here. So, without further delay, here are what I consider to be some of the best songs released this year :

Godflesh - "Shut Me Down" from A World Only Lit By Fire

Godflesh, the absolutely legendary, untouchable pioneers of abrasive, "industrial" metal made their crushing comeback this year with what I believe is their heaviest album to date. The entire album is complete perfection to me, but this song has been on repeat a little more than the others. Pulsing, relentless, rough, and undeniably sexy.. Though descriptive words like that are pretty common coming from me when in reference to Godflesh. Regardless, the song is exceptional.

Jakob - "Blind Them With Science" from Sines

Jakob have slowly but steadily risen to become one of my all time favorite bands. Masters of post rock since their 1999 debut album, Jakob have proven once again why they reign supreme within this genre. Theirs is a unique blend of heavy guitar, and unmatched emotional, poignant moments that make their songs unforgettable. "Blind Them With Science" is typical Jakob, but perhaps more polished than their earlier work. As always, moving, heavy, and potently inspiring.

Emma Ruth Rundle
- "Living With The Black Dog" from Some Heavy Ocean

We'll drift now outside of the confines of "rock" and into soloist guitar work, though Emma Ruth Rundle is no stranger to extremely heavy genres, which is why I think her newest solo album is so profound and hard-hitting. This song in particular has really stuck with me since I heard this release. There is a gritty, dark sense of melancholy trapped inside this simplistic track, and it just gets under my skin.

Judd Madden - "Radio & Tone" from Everything In Waves

Judd Madden is my favorite "one man band" of all time. The music he creates is incredibly structured, balanced, and never lacking in moments that blow you away entirely. His new release is absolutely his best, and this song captivated me the most. Not to mention, my Husband Ascending Storm created ten separate paintings for the album, one for each song. Needless to say, this release was beyond epic.

YOB - "Unmask The Spectre" from Clearing the Path to Ascend

YOB are a recent infatuation of mine, and directly after falling in love with Atma, the new album was released. So unlike long-time fans, I almost felt as if the two albums bled directly into one another. The most accurate word to describe YOB's music is power. Mike Scheidt's vocals are some of the absolute best in the entire genre of "metal". Though I wouldn't classify YOB as metal at all. Not even "psychedelic" or "stoner" metal as they're often classified as. They are purely their own entity, and once their music finds its way into your soul it can never retreat. Their music to me is like taking a slow walk through a graveyard, but as you look around, you realize the earth is shaking, and every grave is being torn apart.

Pallbearer - "The Ghost I Used To Be" from Foundations of Burden

I have saved my favorite song/album for last on this list. This album, but perhaps this song the most, has become my favorite release of the year. Pallbearer are a relatively new band, so for them to be this groundbreaking after a few short years is a sign of immense things to come.. This album is, from start to finish, flawless. Filled with emotional, unforgettable moments and thought-provoking lyrics, yet it's also nowhere near lacking in brutal heaviness. What is more, they are phenomenal live. I had the pleasure of seeing them live last October, and it only made my love for this album grow leaps and bounds. They are passionate performers, and truly bring these songs to life. They are one of those bands whose music can't simply be called "music". It is art. I feel the same intensity, brilliance, and emotion in their music that I do in my favorite books and paintings. I'm so elated that I've come to know their music, and got a chance to see them, so early on in their career. I have very high hopes for this band, and I'll be awaiting their next release with bated breath.