Tuesday, May 31, 2011

To thrive.

Thrive intr. v. 1. To make steady progress. 2. To flourish and grow vigorously.

They started out as a single cutting which I took from a stray morning glory vine growing in the lot next door and added to our garden.

Several years later it has COMPLETELY taken over every inch of space along the backyard fence!

Even though they can become a nuisance, I love flowering vines especially for their tenacity and ability to thrive in less than favorable conditions....and still manage to bloom. Good role models for living life.

Their abundant arrowhead leaves and rope-like vines looping every which way will eventually choke out this year's vegetable plants. But before pulling out the excess morning glories, I wanted to sketch some of them on this rainy Memorial Day weekend.

Can you spot the water damage from the raindrops?

This pen-and-ink sketch turned out so shitty I almost didn't want to post it here.

But it's been five long months since I did anything in my sketchbook and I felt very rusty coming back to it again. I try telling myself I just have to keep practicing, stretch my limits....and maybe one day I'll bloom too.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I was almost in the paper!

An unassuming, 20-something girl with glasses approached me while I waited for the Red Line the other day. She said she was with the RedEye.

Chicagoans are well aware of this free newspaper, known for its trendy topics and flashy pictures over hard-hitting content. It's like a watered down Chicago Tribune for people on the go, or with short attention spans, or those not that into in-depth news coverage.

It's become a staple for commuters, businessmen, and college students traversing the Loop.

Anywho, this "reporter", with pocket notebook in hand, asked for my thoughts on the coming rapture which supposedly occurs sometime today (!!!).

My response would've been something witty like, "Good thing I didn't pay this month's credit card bill yet!"

But instead I politely smiled, "I really don't want to be in the paper."

For you see, the RedEye always takes a picture of each Chicagoan they "interview"....their headshot alongside the printed quote.

With my self-image issues, the idea of my photo being immortalized for ALL of Chicago to see made me cringe. I was too self-conscious about the way I look to take a chance.

Looking back on it days later, it would've been a quirky, fun piece of Chicago counterculture to have taken part in.

It reminds me of all the opportunities I missed out on because I was too scared or worried or nervous. Maybe one day I won't care so much about what other people think of me, or rather, I'll think a bit more of myself.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A moment in time. Grainy. Colors faded.

I found this photo while looking through old family pics for my birthday post a couple weeks back.

There's something I just LOVE about this one and it warms my heart.

I'm around two years-old in this picture, steadied by my father, with my two older brothers at my sides.

Each one of us is holding onto someone different....almost like a human chain. So very sweet and innocent.

It's hard to believe my dad was 47 when this was taken. And we would plant petunias in that same tire basket year after year.

But a happy family photograph can't mask what will come afterwards.

My, my--how everyone in this picture has fallen since then.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Questions and Answers.

It was an honor to be asked and I just couldn't say no.

The wonderful Anna T. from See. Be. Draw. is launching a new interview series on her blog and I'm one of the first she's chosen!


Oh, I'm flattered!

I found Anna's blog shortly after starting my own and love her mindful approach to making art. From an artist's standpoint, reading her blog makes me think about why and how I create.

She introduces the introspective and meditative element to art. Creating with purpose.

I was supposed to give my gut-reaction response to each question. Hopefully I expressed myself adequately and gave some insight too.

So hop on over to her blog and read my answers to Anna's questions, won't you?

Go me and go Anna T.!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On my way out.

It's been three weeks since I lost my original position and took on the new role as a cashier at the arts-and-crafts store....and I don't really care for it all that much.

The first couple weeks were quite stressful. I kept making a lot of mistakes and was up at the registers by myself. Those initial few days I had to cry after work.

But thankfully I had lots of help.

My former job within the store had me mostly working in the back but I always made it a point to say hello and ask the front-end staff how they were doing. Apparently they remembered that because as soon as I called for backup or troubleshooting at the registers, my coworkers rushed to my aid.

I could not have survived these last few weeks without their help and made sure to thank them EVERY time they assisted me.

Dealing directly with the public isn't the only problem though. Unfortunately I'm not getting as many hours now that I'm a cashier. Last week I worked just two days.

And only three hours this week. THREE! That's less than 30 dollars. At this point it's almost like I'm not even working there.


There's not much opportunity for me there anymore. Perhaps it's the universe's way of gently saying, this just isn't for you, Dean.

On the bright side, I've been getting some much-needed sleep and have been cooking and baking more too.

So for now one foot is still in the door at the crafts store and I'm tolerating working 1-2 days a week with the idea that I'm slowly on my way out.