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Monday, October 08, 2018

September 2018



Between the Lincoln Arts Festival and my new show at Gallery 9, I genuinely had no free time in September. Needless to say I’m feeling some really hardcore burnout right now. I had a few nights off this week and it was wonderful.

BOOKS

I took reading breaks amidst all of the art, which really helped keep the stress from becoming overwhelming. A good romance book does wonders for stabilizing my brain when i’m anxious. I only wish that I had picked better books since despite reading 13 of them, I only have a few to recommend. 

(The Mermaid Murders, The Monet Murders, The Magician Murders)
I knew nothing about this series when I started (I think one of the books popped up on an “Amazon recommendations” list?) and ended zooming through all three in quick succession. The series has a long-running they-love-eachother-but-won’t-admit-it romance plus a different mystery to solve in each installment. The main character is an FBI agent from the “Art Crime” devision who keeps getting pulled into the orbit of a legendary (and aloof) criminal profiler. Sleuthing, smooching, and some murders ensue. Definitely a fun series to check out if you want popcorn mystery with your romance.

The Duke I Tempted mixes a gothic-romance atmosphere with a duke who is secretly into BDSM and a gardener who remains unmarried so she can run her own business. I really liked the characters and the way that the "forced marriage due to scandal" plot device doesn’t lead to immediate romance. The two MCs are stuck in a moment of passion/big fight/confused feelings loop for a good long while. But, of course, this makes it all the more satisfying when they finally figure out they're in love. I would definitely recommend this one, although be warned, I found myself yelling “just tell him/her you’re true feelings you idiot!” on more than one occasion. Sadly the second book in the series follows my least favorite character (the Duke’s self-absorbed, phenomenally annoying sister) so I probably won’t read number two. 


MUSIC

Usually I like to have favorite movies or youtube videos playing in the background when i'm working. While prepping my recent LA show for example, I binged three seasons of Fringe. Yet for some reason I found myself getting instantly distracted whenever I tried to watch anything in September (with the one exception being OutsideXbox lets-play videos), so I ended up listening to music most of the time. Specifically a constant rotation of BTS and Troye Sivan. Seriously, the entire month it was just these guys on unending repeat.








ART

I created 11 new pieces for my show at Gallery 9 (which is up through the month of October) and will finally be adding new prints to my shop this week. CLICK HERE to see all the new art. I really don't like how blogspot displays groups of photos so I will spare us both the frustration of trying to add them into this post. 

Now i'm taking a little time for myself to play video games, clean the house, and pay attention to my dog before hopping back in the studio. With all of the really awful things happening in the news I’m finding it harder and harder to recoup between shows, but I’m bolstered by the fact I have new project ideas already. Hopefully that means that my brain is just dried out and not dead all together.

Ok, now to get caught up on GBBO and about a million Netflix shows...

Monday, September 10, 2018

July & August 2018

July and August were a blur of art work and traveling followed by a short period of decompression. I basically read/watched/played nothing in July and then overcompensated by doing nothing but those things for about a week and half in August. So here is a combo run-down of some things I enjoyed this summer...


MOVIES

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
The word that keeps coming to mind when I try to describe this movie is BONKERS. In usual MI fashion, the plot is basically just a flimsy delivery device for super cool action sequences, and they really outdid themselves with Fallout. The finale involves a fight with/in/around helicopters while in mid-air. As soon as I left the theatre I was animatedly recounting the insanity and utter bonkers-ness of this sequence in particular. Plus, it's one of the few movies where Henry Cavill seemed appropriately cast. So I definitely recommend seeing this if you are in the mood for some spy nonsense and rad stunts. 

Other highlights include LOVE, SIMON which had me happy-sobbing, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN which was so god damn cute, and TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE which was fluffy and sweet. I also had a chance to see all three extended edition Lord of the Rings films in the theatre with my mom and dad, which was really wonderful. 

VIDEO GAMES

RUNNER 2
Since I've been so busy with art/life stuff, I haven't had much time to really dig into any games this summer. But I did occasionally find myself with 15 minutes where I needed an art break and I used that time to finally finish Runner 2. I love this series to bits and always get a great sense of accomplishment when I'm able to perfectly dance my way through a hard level.



BLOODBORNE
I've never considered myself to be a particularly skilled gamer; I resort to button mashing more than I'd like to admit. But for some reason, I decided to try out Bloodborne and....I like it? Yeah man, I'm surprised too. I've only made it through the first three bosses so far but I think I might play more when I have free time again. 

BOOKS
I ended up reading two long-ish books in July and August that I didn't really like, which meant less time for books that I would actually recommend. On the plus side, I've recently gone on a bit of a romance bender (as I tend to do when I am stressed), so I will probably have lots of good recommendations to share next month. 

Mortal Engines is a surprisingly dark adventure/coming of age story set in a grimy future where the big cities of the world have become giant, roaming monstrosities that move around and swallow up smaller townships and settlements. I'm not sure if I'll sit down and read any of the other books in the series, but this one was good. 

I would also recommend the romances A GENTLEMAN NEVER KEEPS SCORE by Cat Sebastian and THE LION AND THE CROW by Eli Easton. Gentleman is a fun period romance which pairs up a socially outcast, emotionally scarred victorian dandy and an ex-prize fighter as they try to find a missing painting. The Lion and The Crow is a weird one for me; I didn't love the writing but found myself becoming rather invested in the characters anyway. What made this one memorable is that it follows the romance/relationship from beginning to literal end. Where most romance stories end with "and then they lived happily ever after", The Lion and The Crow actually follows the two main characters through old age and contented death. Yeah, obviously it made me cry. 

ART
The big exciting news from the art front was my August group show at Gallery1988 in Los Angeles. I was able to attend the opening and meet lots of great people. Plus, after the reception I went to dinner with a bunch of good friends and drank margaritas while being serenaded by a mariachi band in a room decorated with twinkle lights, painted portraits of celebrities, and a whole wall of dusty wine bottles. It was a memorable evening.


I am now well into another crazy busy month of art as I prepare for the LINCOLN ARTS FESTIVAL (September 22 & 23) and a two person show at Gallery 9 which opens in October. I'll have more details soon! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Paper Cut - Gallery1988


I've been mentioning this show for a while now and I now can finally share all the details! I will be joining Britni Brault, Cameron Garland, and Jackie Huang for a paper-themed art show at Gallery1988 in Los Angeles. The show runs August 3-18, with an opening reception on Friday, August 3rd (which I will be attending). The theme is loosely based around pop-culture from our childhoods, so I will have new pieces featuring Paddington Bear, Batman Returns, Return to Oz, Castle Greyskull, Cowboy Bebop, and more! *much excite*