Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Birthday and how far I have come.

Well today is a special day.

27 years ago today I was born.

Some time after 3pm I will officially be 27.

Kind of scary. 3 years closer to 30. It makes me take a long hard look at my life and what I have and haven't accomplished so far and what I have been through to get here.

As like many children, I dreamnt big. I was going to be a famous writer/Hollywood actress/artist/Olympian by the time I was 13.  I remember having to write an autobiography in 8th grade and I put all my wild and crazy thoughts into it.

In the bio I accomplished all those things, sans being an Olympian, because my nine kids (or was it 10? I was the future Angelina Jolie/Rainbow Tribe)were going to be that. Biological and adopted :) I won several Oscars, starred in several blockbusters, even in the movies made from my best selling books, and married a wonderful man named Eric Nevard (Draven spelled backwards. I was a HUGE The Crow fan). I was a freaking celebrity rockstar with my celebrity writer/director/producer husband and my dozen perfect Olympian children. Eric eventually died at the tender age of 85 thanks to a drunk driver that hit our car on Highway  1 and I hermited in my mansion gardening, writing and painting.

Ah the life. 

Well, by the time I entered highschool at that very tender age, I was none of those. I barely survive getting out of middle school with fading scars on my wrists. To be brutally honest, I cut myself, sometimes with the hope of dying. I was socially awkward. I felt like I didn't fit in with the girls in my class. I was relentlessly mocked and teased by quite a few of the boys.  The class was made up of 30 or so students at a small Catholic school and I just didn't belong. 

I had friends, but I felt disconnected. Everyone seemed to be going down this perfect little path and I was going down the road that would have made Tim Burton proud.  Dark, brooding, crows cawing from gnarly branches as wisps of fog would blind the path before me.  I wasn't very happy from 4th to 8th grade and during that time I dove into books. I had been reading Fear Street by R.L Stine since 4th grade, moved up to Christopher Pike by 5th and was well into Anne Rice by 6th. Being lost in books didn't help me much. It was just a form of escapism from the torments of reality.

Perhaps it was more of my own mentality at the time, maybe the bullying wasn't as bad as I remember, but to me, in those years, it was bad enough for me to draw the pain out by whatever sharp object I could find. Even pens.

I wrote. I wrote a lot. To relinquish pain I created alternate universes, places where I was strong and those that hurt me were going to pay.  By the time I got to high school and finally felt comfortable amongst a group of girls that seemed to understand me, I had written at least 2 novels and several short stories, none of which I have tried to publish and shall remain hidden from the light of day, except on the occasion when I open that time chest and reflect back in the pain I was in.  I don't want to relive it, but just know how far I have come.

 I kept writing, the universes expanding, creating others, maturing as I grew. I was still awkward but I was in my element. No one made me feel as lost as I did in middle school. I found some of my closest friends, some of us creating stories together, writing chapters during one class, handing it over in the halls, waiting to see what the next chapter was about.

My life. Full of chapters.

When I graduated highschool I still hadn't completed what my dream filled autobiography said I would do, but no matter. I had that one goal in mind. Be a novelist. Be a writer. I went to community college with this goal in mind, focusing all my attention on rhymes, reasons, songs, and word.

I had dreamed of going to UC Santa Barbara to pursue their awesome writing department. But after several acceptance letters came in, I still hadn't gotten that one. I checked out UCLA and UCSD, both with amazing programs,  I eventually chose San Diego.

I'm glad I did. I couldn't pursue the writing as I wanted. Language was a sore sticker for me. You have to pass a certain level of foreign language to gain the degree in Creative Writing. Cue major crisis. It took me a whole day to figure which major to switch to.


When I wasn't writing or reading, I was doodling, sketching, vividly imagining the worlds I had created and putting them to paper and seeing them in the two dimensional. I loved drawing women, specifically in the anime style. I was and am still a big fan of anime. Yoroiden Samurai Troopers represent!!

Now let me tell you this, I had picked up a paint brush in years, and here I was diving head first into a world I didn't and still don't know much about. But I loved every single minute of it. I learned, I grew, and I had a blast doing it.

I loved living in San Diego, not just because of the beauty, the ocean, the beaches, the bars, the people (I made some amazing friends there) but I also met my love and unbeknowest to me, my future husband, Eric.

Ding ding ding ding. Eric? As in my 8th grade autobiography husband, Eric?? Well, maybe some dreams do come true :)  Ok, so he isn't a movie star but he is my star. My light. My rock and my white knight on a dark horse. What more can I say?

6 years after meeting him and several months after marriage and after two publisher rejection letters, I am getting my name out there in the art world. I may not be where I had wishfully dreamed to be, but like with all things, the dreams have changed. And I'm working on them. I have the love and support of my family and friends and am exactly where I need to be.

I'm working on my Dias de Los Muertos paintings, I am sketching like crazy, and I got story ideas exploding inside my head and can't wait to get my first letter from a publisher that wants my book, but all in due time. All things that need to be worked for, worked to, and worked on. I may be highly impatient, but  with my support system with me, I know I can accomplish most, if not all my dreams.

So here's to my familia here and gone. My mother and father who fell in love and had me to torment my older sister. To my sisters, my brothers, my friends and to my husband. They make my life worth living, they make me want to keep growing. They make me proud to be able to be another year older, for taking the dark road traveled by many lost in the fog, but managing to get through to the other side.

Thank you.

If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be doing what I love.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

art. art and more art.

Hmm, so far I have been bad at blogging.

Please forgive me, but it's not for without reason. You see, I am married to a San Francisco Giants fan, and by default I am a SF Giants fan. I have always liked baseball and support my teams on the bay, Oakland A's holla! (okay I never really ever say 'holla') but not to the extreme that I have been brought into that past six years. Giants fever baby. The past few weeks have been torture as we fought to win the West. But we did it. We beat the Friars. Celebration and good times kept me from the canvas.

Okay, so Giants are not to blame for my lack of posting. I have also had technical issues with BOTH of the computers I use. I have a Dell desktop and home, which is a POC (blue screen of death) and a Dell desktop at work which inexplicably decided to stop working for several days. And it's the only computer that connects to the internet at work. And being the secretarial assistant/engineer/"computer geek" (i know more about computers than my father, hence the reason I am a geek, but know even less about computers to ask the tech support guy what the heck is the Motherboard) I was designating with fixing it.

Cue crickets chirping.

Anyways, long story short. Computer dead. 6+ hours on Dell's evil tech support phone line over 2 days equals seventh ring of Hell. I'd rather sit in Dodgers stadium wearing full on Giants gear (hopefully under the protection of my Dodger loving cousin) than have to deal with Dell tech support, all the transferring and the reexplaining of the issue,  and their technicians some of which are called Baby and Bobby. After three days of dealing with it and the rude technician that came out to replace hard drive and motherboard, I needed a drink. The following week was spent with me trying to install the freaking system.

Now we're back up and running and I can post about what's been going on.  Easily, not much. Work, Giants games and painting have consumed most of my life so I haven't had time nor the creative energy to channel into writing at this time. Actually, all my creative thought and actions have been put into my artwork.

You see, I am working on a series of paintings for Dias de los Muertos.

The skeletons dancing is by artist Carlos Vellez.  On the back of the post card is the information with my drawing on it. Yes, the drawing is very sketchy. I only had one week to come up with concept promotional artwork for the show in the midst of planning my wedding.

I squealed with delight when I was offered this opportunity. I am so excited and honored to be able to paint artwork for something that belongs to my heritage. I have been building ofrendas to my departed loved ones for a while now and couldn't wait to offer my art.

Here are some other images of what I came up with:

I love love love floral embroaidery, especially on dresses, and coming from a Hungarian Mexican background I was all over the bright colors of the flowers.

Mariachi guitarist with his beautiful undead senorita.

Kiss from a rose on a grave..... hahahaha. Sorry. Now I have the song in my head.

La Madonna. I got more of her on grander scale and in paint!

Sorry for the poor quality of the images. So far even thing has been taken with my camera phone. Also, it was my first time working with markers like this. I generally work with pencil and paint.

Luckily the event is on October 30th. So since having to do the promotional work, I got married, took a 2 week honeymoon and came home to work on another show (not day of the dead) so once that other show finished I could finally get to work on my Muerto paintings.

Here are some of the paintings that I am currently working on:

La Catrina. Made famous by the etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada. She is the "skeleton of high society woman"  Not quite finished. I need to define her skeleton and work more on her hat.

I work a lot with the female form so moving from full  bodied women to calaveras is some what difficult but exciting for me.

 This is actually a photo  from my wedding with my husband Eric. :) I'm skeletonizing us.  I think this is the only time I will ever be that skinny. Hahaha.

Obviously still a work in progress. Long way to go but I am enjoying it. Detail the bones, detail the flowers detail detail detail.

This is my first time painting on wood. Not quite sure how I feel about it, but once the painting is complete I'll let you know what I think.

When I first started sketching ideas for Dios de los Muertos, I didn't want to go completely down the skeleton route. I wanted to keep the female form in my work. I also thought of the history of the day. It wasn't just a day, it was a whole season celebration marking the fall harvest along with honoring the dead. It was also brought to light by the arrival of the monarch butterfly.

Butterflies and hummingbirds were thought to be the spirits of departed loved ones, so butterflies make a big appearance in my work right now.

I also love masks.

 (Yes the first picture of me on this blog is with my husband and a butterfly mask. Sand City 50th anniversary. We look good for 50 years together. Lol)

Butterfly masks were my first thought to do for paintings, but then I didn't want to go overboard with the little insects (like the above) so I also decided to work on the death masks, or skull masks, like on the Catrina above.

So yes, I still got a long ways to go and I have soooooooo many things planned. Like a painting of Santa Muerte, Mictlantecihuatl, more butterflies, familia, lilies, marigolds, calveras, owls, snakes. . . anything to do with Dias de los Muertos I am on it!

I am stressed for time, but happy. I love what I am doing and wish I could do so much more. I just don't want to rush. I want to make beautiful quality work that will last.

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my work. And hopefully I will see some of you at the festival!