World’s Eye

World's Eye

WORLD’S EYE

What do you see, when you look at us?
shards and pieces
fragments of a whole truth

broken
hazy
hidden

To be found
on any day of your choosing

should you choose to search

Look closely, and you will see
secrets
and shushes

a quiet so loud it rumbles and hums

Emotion and daring and dreaming and more
underneath our haloed surfaces

Underneath our shields of rippled glass
of torn sky
of softest earth

underneath the crystal veil we wear

But step away

away for just a moment more

away
afar
a distance

Let the fragments become whole
let the pieces fall together
let the strings intertwine

See every detail
See them coalesce

See them through world’s eye

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When Characters Begin to Leak Out of My Story

First of all, school’s back for me. (…Hooray? Boo? *shrugs shoulders*) Unfortunately that means that my blog will have to suffer a little more neglect yet again.  Because, while I do enjoy the sensory overload of so many shiny new things to learn, I am no magician. Nor do I own any clones. Time is something I seem to have less and less of. *sigh*

But I promise, I will be posting regularly, at least once or twice a week. Most of the time.

Now, on to what this post is actually about:

(Let me first just say, I’m a little terrified to be admitting some of this stuff. For most of my life, it’s been me, and my real world, and my imagination. Neat, clear lines separating each piece. But if I want to be a writer, well, I’ve got to let that fear go.)

I am a very visual person. Art is in my writing and writing’s in my art and I’m fairly sure that writing is art so… naturally stuff from one category will seep into the other occasionally.

I’d like to say that this doesn’t happen very often… but then I’d be lying. It really does. Art and writing are crisscrossed for me, so a lot of times I’ll draw what I meant to write or write what I meant to draw, which helps me to better write/draw what I had originally intended to be a piece of writing/art.

…That didn’t make any sense at all, did it? Here, let me try again:

Basically, a small scene or blurb of writing will sometimes become so etched into my mind that it evolves into a sketch or painting or other, which in turn causes me to write more, based off of the image I can see in front of my eyes. And vice versa.

So when I have writer’s block, I’ll probably have art-block too (artist’s block? um…) I cringe at the very thought.

I’d always known they were linked together inside me, but I never really knew just how linked they were, until the other day.

I was drawing, not really with anything specific in mind, except that it was most definitely a person (or at least person-shaped– there was still plenty of room for wings and tails and things later down the road.)

I ended up with this:

L

Nothing too weird or special about it. No wings or tails, either.

But the real thing about this drawing is that, although the attire might be ever-so-slightly inaccurate, this is most definitely a character–the character– straight out of my writing.

I swear I did it on accident.

It’s not that I haven’t drawn characters out before, but this time I didn’t plan on it beforehand. It’s like my hands have small brains of their own inside them…

I love her to pieces, but now I’m kind of wondering if I can uncross my writing and art. At least, just a little bit.

I am afraid they may be irreversibly conjoined. Not so good when I’m drawing stuff for other projects. And I’m just the teensiest bit afraid that I might be too obsessed with my own characters and stories. Characters and stories that, let’s face it, don’t clash well with the real, working world.

And yet, here they are.

Clashing. Coming together. Mingling.

I won’t tell you what the character’s real name is (for many reasons, one of them being that her name is still very impermanent), but she– the drawing– certainly is her.

She’s got that expression on her face that she would have. And I’m pretty sure that if this outfit was in her closet, she would choose it and wear it.

A little scary, isn’t it? How the imaginary worlds in our heads escape into the real world in our hands?

But that’s the whole point, I guess. I do want her to join the real world one day. To really sit along a bookshelf wearing a pretty, new book jacket, hopefully to be picked up by other people, people who will get to know her like I do.

I would like very much for you to meet her someday.

In many ways, she is one of my best friends. Most good characters are, whether they belong to my worlds or someone else’s.

It is a little scary, but there is a thrill that comes along with the scary. A thrill, a joy, a compulsion to bring the world in my head to the world outside.

Do I sound a little crazy? Because in truth, that’s kind of how I feel right now, writing this. I mean, on top of typing out this very iffy-complicated post, it’s half-past whatever time I finished my calculus homework, and I also had a yummy, sugary, caffeine-y iced mocha. Calculus + lack of sleep + blog + yummy iced mocha = crazy

If this made absolutely no sense, I’m blaming the calculus homework, because the mocha was yummy and I never get enough sleep anyway and I CAN’T BLAME MY OWN BLOG.

Breathe Jackie, breathe! Sorry. Not good at this.

So… what did I learn from all this? I’m not exactly sure, to be honest. Maybe it’s that I can become a little obsessive with the projects I truly love. Maybe it’s that I can’t take the art out of me– or the writing– no matter what. Or maybe it’s that all these different pieces of me are better when they coalesce together.

(Coalesce. Ha. Hopefully you’ll understand my clever word choice some time in the future. “Coalesce” just happens to be one of my favorite words.)

And most importantly, perhaps I learned that I don’t like the idea that the dual worlds I live in and explore are as far apart as black and white.

There’s got to be a little silver space in the middle.

Logo Design for a Free and Featherbrained Friend

Recently a very good friend of mine *cough Jazmyne cough* asked me to design a logo for her up-and-coming EMPIRE (dun dun dunnnn), Free and Featherbrained, which you should go visit like, right now.

Feather Logo

In a whirlwind of excitement and inspiration, I was able to get it done in a day and a half. And you know, excitement + inspiration is like ten shots of espresso in my system.

Jazmyne, (or Jazzy. Or even Jaz sometimes when I get lazy with my texting), has been one of my best friends since the beginning of time (aka second grade).  Jazmyne is a super-talented dancer-writer-bloggy-person. Much more so than myself, especially where dancing is concerned.

*sigh* If only. Tripping on your feet is not fun, my friends.

Anyway, this EMPIRE (dun dun DUNNNN) currently includes her Tumblr,which you should have already seen *shoots a look*, Blogspot, WordPress and a blossoming vintage shop on Etsy, not to mention her Twitter, Youtube, Pintrest and Instagram stuff.

Anything I missed? Because I just juggled like eight different internet places, and if I’ve learned anything about my coordination, it’s that I have none.

Anyways, you should go check out her stuff! It’s awesomeness on a computer screen.

Way to go, Jaz!

Something School-like This Way Comes

One week left until school.

ONE WEEK LEFT UNTIL SCHOOL.

Oh, if only you could hear my internal screaming. It sounds like this: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

While my level of emotional preparedness isn’t exactly anywhere near “prepared,” I do happen to be prepared in a different sort of way.

I have new stuff. Yay!

At least there’s one good thing about going back to school, and that is that I actually have a legitimate reason to waste my money on notebooks and pens and things. Finally!

Waste. Ha, that’s funny. Buying notebooks and pens is never a waste!

The past few weeks have been spent collecting items for school.

This is my new planner. Personally I liked the one I had last year better, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any 2014 pages in it, so I can’t use it anymore. *sob* Usually what I like to do is buy plain, blank notebooks and such (which are often times cheaper–See? No wasting!) and then decorate them.

Black Planner with Silver Clouds Drawn on Top

Black Planner with Silver Clouds Drawn on Top 3

Silver Sharpie on top of black is one of my favorites.

Black Planner with Silver Clouds Drawn on Top 2

I also have these super adorable eight-pocket folders that I got at this store called the Art Box when I was up in Canada. I absolutely love them. Eight-pocket, semi-transparent love.

Folders from Canada

This is my best friend, my orange backpack. My backpack isn’t new (in fact, many would venture to call it old), but I still think it’s awesome. It’s much more  bright orange in person.

My Backpack

I also get a chance to wear these pretties. My old grey boots had turned different colors, one being a muddy green and the other being a cloudy shade of blue. But not these! They’re the same color. See?

Grey Boots

Good luck to all of you going back to school. I hope you’re ready– I sure am not.

And also, bunny-shaped cookies in perfectly portable packages:

Bunny Cookies

These Sky Paintings Are Amazing *sigh*

Just to get some business out of the way: the clouds are back. Yay! Well… sort of. They’re at the bottom now. But I kind of like them like that. What do you think?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

So, quick back story. I have always been fond of the sky. And paintings of the sky. And when I have the materials, I like to try and paint the sky, with various results.

But of course, I do not always have the materials, and/or the time.

*sighs dreamily*

Very recently, I was searching for some inspiration for my not-really-a-novel-yet, and what I really needed was some good examples of painted skies (not my crummy, acrylic-on-whatever-kind-of-paper-I-can-find version.)

(I also watched the La Luna Pixar short film and fell head over heels for it, especially the paintingy-feel of it. It was filled to the brim with all kinds of inspiring. Favorite one so far.)

Then I took to the internet, typing in oil painting sky or something similar, and then I found these really cool sky paintings by Jessica Gardner of Tree Hollow Designs, which I fell in love with almost immediately.

If I ever get around to painting with oil, I want to paint like this.

Black and White Snowfall Oil Painting

Ocean Oil Painting

Maine Coast Oil Painting

Night Sky OIl Painting

If I had money I would definitely buy one two a few. In fact, I think that if I ever get around to finishing my book, they would make good book covers, no?

I could plaster my walls with them.

Cue dreamy *sigh*.

Creamy, Buttery Moonlight

Creamy, buttery moonlight. The phrase really makes me want to eat a cupcake. You know, like a moist, fluffy pillow of a cake plus a swirl of vanilla bean frosting. Ooh and little chocolate shavings. Chocolate and vanilla. Mmmmmm…

…I’m getting off topic. So, anyway, one thing I like to do when writing (besides eating cupcakes) is to mash up all the senses when I describe things. Sure, moonlight (unfortunately) does not feel creamy or taste buttery, but it makes you envision some pretty sweet moonlight, right?

I didn’t know that there was a name for it, though, until a few months ago when my English teacher talked about it as a rhetorical device. What do you know, I learned something at school that day.

The combination of different senses, using one sense to describe another, is called synesethesia.

Wait! I’ve heard of that before!

As soon as she’d said it, I recognized it. While it may be a rhetorical device, synesthesia did not start out as one. Synesthesia is actually a condition in which the senses are sort of mixed together, so that when one sense is stimulated, another one is too, if that makes sense.

The first time I had ever heard of synesthesia, I was in sixth grade, I think. I was walking around Borders (may you rest in peace), and happened upon a book called A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass, about a girl who had synesthesia. In this book, the main character saw different shapes and colors when she heard certain noises or read letters and numbers. Is that not amazing?

Ever since then I’ve been really interested in it. And inspired.

I drew this for my portfolio for art class freshman year. I think of it a lot when I think of synesthesia.

Colored Swirls

And it’s not just sounds and sights that can get all mixed up. Remember the movie Ratatouille? That was one good movie. But remember when they were tasting the grapes and the cheese and all those colors were swirling in the background?

Yes, synesthesia can be something like that.

My teacher said that many people may have synesthesia, but maybe not quite to that extent, and it might be stronger when we are younger. And when I think about it, it makes sense– I mean, I used to associate certain days of the week and certain letters and things with specific colors. But I never actually saw anything, sadly. Just an association.

I have yet to meet someone with synesthesia. I would love to talk to them, to ask them about it. Wouldn’t you?

Anonymity, Fillable Bowls and Magicians’ Hats

Sometimes I don’t want to know it all.

This is a very interesting concept for me, one I politely named anonymity. Its actual name should be something like not-wanting-to-know-too-much-it-would-ruin-the fillable-bowl-effect, but that seems too long.

This is going to be confusing to write about. Hmmm, let me see…

There are times when I just don’t want to know every. single. detail. about something. It ruins the effect. It’s like a magic trick– once you know how it works, it becomes un-magical. Or maybe a good joke– if someone has to pull it apart and explain it to you, it isn’t funny anymore. (Okay that one was a bad example, but it’s close enough to count.)

A similar thing happens with books and movies and songs and art, in a way. Sometimes you want to watch a movie where you don’t know all the actors’ faces or how each scene was made because if you know, it takes away from the atmosphere of the movie. It makes them have a real background that doesn’t fit well with what you think the characters, the world does when we’re gone, outside of the main story.

Or like with songs, sometimes– you hear a new song for the first time, artist unknown, and you like it. You imagine everything around the song– what the singer is like, how he or she sings, what kind of a montage would be playing in the background. And then real life kicks in and the person you thought up in your head looks nothing like the real thing, and you sit back all confused and blink a few times. A little bit of the fairy dust falls off.

The anonymity creates what I call a fillable bowl effect (or maybe a magician’s hat effect, I’m not sure. I like both).

When we don’t know something, our brain likes to guess about what’s there and fill in the empty spaces. It’s like the story/movie/whatever is more of a bowl (or hat) than a concrete thing, one that we like to fill in to make it whole.

Take this blog, for example. You have no idea what I look like (at least… I think you don’t), but you know what you think I look like. Am I tall to you? Am I short? Is my hair raven dark, or is it milky light? When you look at me, are my eyes blue? Green? Brown? Is my voice high-pitched, bell-like? Is it low, hushed, gravelly? Muted? Shrill? Strong? Fragile?

Then think about someone else who’s looking at the same thing as you– same subject, different angles. I look and sound and am different to you, to them. Their me is not your me. What is blue to you is magenta to them.

And so, by taking on some anonymity, these mysterious things create little bowls, bowls that can be filled differently by each person. It allows us to see something as blue or magenta or periwinkle or chartreuse, even if it really isn’t. And I like that, sometimes. Being able to fill in the blanks. It’s almost as if it allows me to put my own personal stamp on something, as if a part of it belongs to me, and to me alone.

After all, what good is a bowl if you can’t fill it?

Granted, it’s not always like this. There is a blurred area between reality and imagination, and some things fall more to one side than the other. Maybe sometimes more is better, and maybe sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes more details might make for a better show, and sometimes they might not. Sometimes you need a good concrete plate, not a bowl.

But sometimes you just want something to exist separately from reality so that it can be yours, and yours only. It is your own tiny secret, one that you carry in your pocket and smile about, because only you are aware of its existence. You don’t want anybody to know about it, and you don’t want it know anybody.

Sometimes it’s nice, not knowing it all. We can focus on the magic rather than the trick. And we can make ourselves believe, if only for a little while, that we are a part of that magic– not simply an observer, but  a partial magician ourselves.

A Masked Magician

Who Saves the Hero?

Artwork Originally Titled Heartbroken

Who Saves the Hero?

Strength.
Heroes are strength.
They are everything we aspire to be.

There is a certain light in their eyes—
be it a warm, comforting glow,
candlelight flickering undying against shrill winter winds
or a blazing, furious fire
a crackling whirlwind of growling flames
ready to consume

They are both shield and sword, ready
to jump in front of the bullet train,
driving it to the ground with only the flat of their palm
to meet cold metal
Ready to launch themselves into smoke,
to tear enemies down as if they were only grass blades.
Because to them, that is all they are

Weakness.
When I am weak.
When I am nothing but a shriveling dust in my shell
When ashes have come to claim me, and I am no more

A hero shall rise

A hero to come to my aid
When my own arms lay broken and torn
A hero will raise his hand for me
When my voice is a mouse, limp and bleeding in the cat’s mouth
he will shout, a clear, bellowing shout
and all will hear him

Who will save me?

When I cannot run
cannot stand
When I can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe

A hero will.
A hero will save me.

A hero
invincible
infallible

A hero to defeat all those I cannot defeat
A hero to defeat them all

Every last one.
All of them.

But.

But all empires come to fall.
All days must fade to night
Even the crashing tide must recede

And the hero will have no strength
he will know his weakness
feel it

When he can no longer shake the earth
When he cannot run
cannot stand
When he can’t climb or jump or step or speak or breathe

Who will save him?

Who will save the hero?

If he was the strongest of us all
If he was the one bearing the mountain on his back
Then who could carry his burden
When it became too heavy for him?

When the stars fell from the sky
who caught them?

When he couldn’t

When we couldn’t

When I couldn’t

The final battle hymn will die out
leaving only the frailest of heartbeats
the unsteady rhythm
keeping time as the funeral march begins
the requiem will fill the silence

And we will remember him
the hero
undone
always

But I pity him
for while there was always
someone
something

stronger than me

there was nothing stronger than him

There was nothing there for them

When you are the net to catch those who fall
who will catch you?

Who will save you?

Who will save the hero?

• • •

The artwork above is a piece I did two years ago for my art class, originally titled “Heartbroken.” If I were to rename it now, it might be something like “Silenced” or “Flightless” or something like that. So feel free to imagine up your own title for it.

Blood, Sweat and Tears: Red Cross Designs

Okay, remember Wings & Antiques? That little backstory? This situation is somewhat similar. Bear with me.

So, sometime at the beginning of this year I was in Red Cross club when it was announced that we needed club T-shirts. And how better to get an awesome club T-shirt than to have the club design the shirt? And then turn it into a shirt-designing competition?

If we look back at Wings & Antiques, we notice how there was a competition that I ultimately lost, while simultaneously earning some sort of self-worth, or something similar.

This is that story. Just replace the words “library” with “Red Cross club” and “piece of writing” with “shirt design” and you basically have it.

Regardless of my apparent losing streak, I did actually gain something personally (no, really). This was my first attempt at some pattern like this, one with clean lines and shirt/logo aspects. A lot of work went into these cuties. I love my little designs, and maybe someday I’ll make my own shirt just for my own enjoyment.

But of course, I wanted to share these designs with all of you. Sharing is caring!

So here’s what I started with– basic drops that I scribbled in the back of my notebooks, plus little droplets that would float near the big ones:Basic Drop Design for Red Cross

Those drops turned into these in my head (the font is Onyx, I think). So I drew those three drops, copied them a whole bunch, and put them together on the computer like this:Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 1

This next one is just inverted.

Red Cross Drop Logo 2

This one’s a pocket-logo-type thing, but …backwards.

Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 5

Then I decided that the drop itself was pretty great, so I put it by itself:

Red Cross T-Shirt Drop Logo 4

The last one became my favorite. I am very proud of my little Red Cross drops. They have come very far.

Oh well, there’s always next year.