Admission Essay

So, I want to get a bachelor’s in drawing.

Art has always existed in me. I’m not sure from where it sprang: looking at it from a genetic perspective, none of my family has displayed an artistic predisposition. Even upon looking at it from an environmental viewpoint it can be noted that there wasn’t much to encourage me to do art in my home, but I did it nonetheless.

I began with what I could grasp: crayons on walls. I think a lot of people start there. Somewhere in the rampant scribblings of childhood, my interest changed from destruction to observation and creation. As a young child I began to use art to express my experience as a person.

My family, though they don’t “get” art and don’t do it themselves, was very encouraging. Once they became aware of my love of creating, they did their best to offer an environment where that passion was nutured. They provided me, early on, with paper and pencils, encouraged me to take as many art classes as I desired, and, as my skill level grew, provided nicer media with which I could create.

Upon completing high school, I was under incredible pressure to choose a school and a “viable” career path. Not wanting to abandon art, I decided to do graphic design, enrolled in and was accepted into the design program at UNT. As a 17 year old, I was wholly unprepared for such a competitive program and for the social climate pervasive in and around UNT. I ended up dropping out, even though I was meeting with some success in (progressing through) the design core.

I took a break and lived with a friend for a while in a small house in Denton. It was an ill-kept house, and a January storm sent the sopping ceiling down on all of my possessions. The accumlated mold and rat carcasses made the house unliveable, and I ended up moving in with my parents. At that time I decided to pursue an associate’s degree in visual communication at Brookhaven. I adored my professors, classmates and the school. My experience there was an idyllic one and I graduated without issue.

I decided to attempt to find a job and work to save money before returning for my bachelor’s degree. I applied wherever I could, but could not land a design position. I found a barista position with Starbucks, and thus began my long tenure there. I made attempts to find design jobs during my time slinging coffee, but didn’t meet with any luck. I had a go at doing freelance design work, but found it wasn’t what I enjoyed.

In the midst of my years spent working for Starbucks, my mother lost her battle with cancer. For a decade she fought it, and, even as she grew small and weak, we had hope until the very end that one of the treatments would work. Hers was the first loss I ever experienced, and my grief was a maelstrom. For years afterward I lived in a sort of attempted “normal,” but never felt myself. I attended therapy, which helped, but grief cannot be assauged by anything but time and good company.

Shortly before my mother’s passing, I met a young man and began a relationship with him. We spoke of my returning to school, but it was put aside to make room for other things. He wasn’t a bad man, but we were a terrible match, and it took my emergence from my grief to realize it. In late 2015 I left him, and have been on the warpath to acheiving my goals. Where I once waffled over choosing a degree which might assist me in landing a “normal” career, I have grown a determination and passion to instead invest my time and money in doing what I love. I love drawing. I love drawing more than I love painting or graphic design. I love it a whole lot more than the idea of spending my time learning to be an accountant, executive, or anything of that nature. Part of my recent determination to live as I want is in no small part influenced by the position I’ve recently held: the past year I have worked as a graphic designer creating funeral programs. Editing obituaries every day certainly helps keep things in perspective: life is brief, do what you love, do what you want and do it while you have the chance to. I want to draw.

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Oh, Childhood

My home town is a suburb of a bustling metropolis located in the hot heat and icy winters of central Texas. When young, my house stood one street away from a field of cattle. My parents would often take my sister and I to the barbed wire fence running the length of the field to feed carrots and apples to the gentle beasts. When the field was sold, and the city moved in to build houses and a middle school, all sorts of small denizens of the earth came creeping into the neighborhood. I witnessed, in the exaggerated vision of my youth, a snake, ten feet long and white as alabaster, creeping its way through the dry, caked dirt and rustling, yellow grass. I saw, to my bewilderment and excitement, a tarantula which easily measured five inches in height, parade down the alleyway as if he were mayor. I passed the afternoons counting scorpions in their rush to relocate, scorned from their homes by bulldozers and cement trucks.

The change was drastic: in a matter of years the quiet neighborhood grew to thrice its original size, and boasted an elementary and middle school. I had no problem finding friends, for it was a popular group of homes for young parents. I ran wild in the dusk, yowling with my friends like a feral thing in the setting sunlight. There was no greater joy for me than watching a great thunderstorm roll across the sky, counting with bated breath the time between flash and boom to see how fast the wind pushed the tempest, and hiding in the open garage when the sky let down its fury. Time passed and I aged, my friends aged, their families aged, and their homes aged. The neighborhood is less polished than it once was. Each street is host to at least one neglectful homeowner who lets their shrubs devour their house and leaves their grass to grow as high as their knees. Some crime has crept in: an assault here, a theft there, but for the most part the neighborhood remains safe.

The suburb outside the neighborhood is made of other neighborhoods, each essentially the same, and is pockmarked with grocers, pharmacies, fast food restaurants and churches. One shining exception to the demographics sprang up, on unsteady ground, in one corner of the suburb. People spent more than their life’s savings would ever amount to on palatial houses. Much to their chagrin, the houses were built cheaply and on unsteady land, and many of those glimmering trophies of false wealth cracked as the earth shifted below them.

Small snippet about my childhood home.

Death in Dreams

Peering through the rusted door’s window, Grace mouthed the words, “Do as I say,” and pointed to the corner behind Opal where Eli had just pushed his way through another door. Coalescing in the shadowed corner behind him stood a specter, dark and ominous. Opal rushed, her limbs suddenly weighted as though full of sand, to intercept the ghoul, but her vision went dark as she crashed to the floor. She knew her failure by the taste of blood issuing from her split lip.

I’ve finished cleaning up the novella I wrote. Come to find out, the novella wasn’t complete. I still have another chapter or two, maybe even three or four, to go. At the end of the document I found this snippet, which has nothing to do with the story, but might have, had I decided to integrate it. I thought it was a fun glimpse into the type of writing I’ve done for this project. Maybe I’ll find a way to work it into the story, but at the moment I feel that’s unlikely. I’m hoping to have this novella wrapped up in the next week or two; I’ve been working on it before and after work where time allows. I’m eager to get it ready to present to publishers. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get lucky and get published.

I’m off to cross my fingers, hash out a chapter, and down a hot toddy against this chilly February weather. What’s your favorite cold weather drink?

Dalliance

A quiet night, my head full of smoke, the whiskey warmed my throat as I sat slowly sipping. Fingerlings of cold air attempting to worm their way into the bleached white sheets encouraged me to burrow deeper. A brief sweetness, a small oasis hidden amid hectic schedules and miles of highway, placed for safekeeping in memories and words, lest I forget.

A dalliance which set my head to reeling all while anchoring me in something gentle.

The remnants of this brief respite are just the sighs in my lungs and the smile at the corners of my mouth.

The sting is gone and all that’s left is a wistfulness.

More Faces

IMG_195811 Fictional Faces

I managed to eke out 11 more faces today, bringing my total to 26! I’m going to scribble out a few more before bed. I’m aiming for ten, but have had a glass of wine and may well fall asleep or opt to read instead.

Visit the 29 Faces challenge page to see other participant’s faces. Also, I just discovered Sunday Sketches, so I’ll let these little faces be my first foray into that!

SundaySketches

Faces

barbary-sheep-teeth-slef-portrait_25032260542_oMy lovely mug posing with my barbary sheep skull.

With the weather becoming absolutely gorgeous I’m eager to get out-of-doors and pick the spiderwebs from my collection.

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Viva La Hillary!
Quick sketch of my favorite candidate. Given the current attack on women’s rights to health and domain over their own bodies, and given my possessing lady bits, I can’t help but favor a politician who promises to put an end to the puritanical, dark-ages inspired attempts to control women’s bodies.

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Bernie & Bernie & Bernie
(Bernie Sanders, Jack Black as Bernie Tiede, Bernie Tiede)

I think this brings my total February face count up to 15. I’m making pretty good progress! I’m going to hash out another 10-20 this weekend, maybe more if I end up in a good flow.

Last night I had a movie date with dad; we saw The Witch. I was disappointed. I’m a total wimp where scary movies are concerned, and this one, over the course of the 2 or so hours it ran, created only a few moments of suspense for me. I can imagine those who don’t find frightening movies frightening were bored to tears and numb asses. That said, it did have a couple of visuals which I really enjoyed and might explore in some sketches.

I’m working through my blog pages and updating them. Just wrapped up the About the Artist page and will undertake the Artist Statement sometime soon.

Thrillinging

The next several days will be full of a first date, a familial get-together, and a drunken night with friends. I’ll try my damnedest to squeeze in some drawing, but may succumb to the hedonistic rush of a full schedule.

What’s more exciting is that I’ve had an idea pop into my head for a small book. It will be vulgar and painfully honest. So much so I may actually consider using a pen name!

Slowly Slowly Sadness

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Oh, a silly Trump face. Isn’t he pretty?

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A quick study of Humeur Nocturne by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Her face is muddled, but I think it still counts toward one of my 29 for this month.
I’ve decided to attempt 1,000 faces again this year, as it was such a resounding success last year! We shall see how it goes.

I’ve also had a growing inclination to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and I’m thinking I might like to pursue it in fine art – painting or drawing or both.

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A Valentine’s moose, drawn but not delivered.
Oh well, such is life.

A dramatic little snippet about it:

A small series of hurts, collected like drops in a red mug, slid down from the shadowy side of the mind. One, then another, assuaged and comforted, hidden behind a brave face and quelled by a shy tingling and roaring excitement.

A night, dark and starry with a gaping, wide sky, brought a hurt, larger and more fluid than the rest, akin to them all. There is a consolation, albeit small, in knowing it will be the last hurt.

If I’ve been told the truth, as I suspect I have, it is for the best.

I am crestfallen, but resilient. It stings, but that will fade.

This blog is a lovely stage for my theatrics. My theatrics are fabulous exercise for my creativity.

To end on a positive note: I had a valiant go at NaNoWriMo in 2014 and popped out a novella. I’ve finally opened it up again to edit, revise, send out some copies to be looked over by friends, then, finally, I will attempt to have it published. I will say, it was written in a rush, and I was expecting it to be pretty rough, but the first paragraphs have surprised me. Maybe I won’t need to spend months editing it as I originally thought.

Hidden

Masked Small

Prints of my small, masked woman available here.

What grew from her forehead was but a small feather at the start. Over the course of days it grew into a plume, vibrant and wild. As time passed it became dense and wily, a dense growth of effervescent color and thick quills.
One night, as she lay beneath the glad moon, she heard a whisper creeping from her tuft of feathers. As she reached her hands up and delicately traced her fingers from scalp to the soft fluff of each feather she felt something warm, smooth, and soft. She felt something fleshy and human. As her fingers trailed slowly further one slipped into a mouth and had its tip bitten off.

I’m off to a late start with my 29 faces, so I’ll have to triple my efforts & output to catch up. I think tomorrow, amid chores and errands, I’ll be able to knock out a handful.

Sweet Dreamer, Indeed

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Prints of my dear dreamer available here.

This was my little drawing submitted to the For the Love of Kettle 2016 Show. Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared and had nothing to submit to the For the Love of Artists Show, and, in an even more spiteful twist of fate, was stuck working late the evening of the latter’s reception and missed the whole thing entirely!

However, I was able to attend, with no small amount of bells on, the For the Love of Kettle Show, and it was spectacular. The art adorning the walls was varied and interesting and beautiful, the crowd was enthusiastic and elbow-to-elbow, and the atmosphere was convivial and energetic. All-in-all, it was a blast.

It is so exciting and invigorating to see the community gather together to appreciate not only art, but the establishments which support and encourage artists, as well. Kettle is a fabulous gallery, a Dallas staple, if I may be so bold, which has long been a springboard for local artists. They work tirelessly putting on shows, nurturing artists, engaging and growing the local art community and are incredibly nice people. If ever you find yourself in Dallas, Texas, I encourage you to stop by and have a look-see at what Kettle has brewing.


This year I’m having another go at the 29 Faces art challenge! So, above, I present my first face of February 2016.

29 Faces