Welcome Home

Home
Noun; the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
Adjective; relating to the place where one lives.

IMG_3960.JPG(A second magnolia flower I’ve done– symbolizing femininity and purity)

That amazing moment when you finish your exams, which also means: summer! Finishing the end of the school year! Freedom! Parties! Friends! Livin’ it up!! Time for art!!

Kidding. I’ll be working. Full time. Which isn’t too bad when you think about it, considering I’ll have some financial security in the fall. I mean, sure, parties and friends are fun too an it’s likely I may do a few things related to that, but I’m also okay with working to help pay off rent in the next year. Most importantly, I’ll also be able to make time to do art things, sculpting and sketching in particular. However, I’m just sorta sad that I’m in Winnipeg, MB for the summer (4 months, to be exact).

Okay despite the fact that Winnipeg is my birthplace, I just hate it. Everyone likes to tell me that Winnipeg is my home because I was born and partly raised there, but just because you’re born somewhere doesn’t necessarily make it home! To me, Vancouver has become my home; I love all the things about it, and I feel like Vancouver makes me more optimistic, and I’m often in happier moods. Even though a lot of people’s moods are disrupted by the gloom and rainy days of Vancouver, I’d still take that over -45 degrees Celsius. I’m pretty crabby in that kind of weather.

Yet another part of me wonders if Vancouver is truly my home. Maybe I have multiple, different kinds of homes. Ones that I haven’t been to yet, past homes from previous experiences. Maybe when I was a little five year old, Winnipeg was my home to me because it was all I really knew. Burnaby, BC became my home when I moved there when I was eight, having never wanted to leave. At one point in time, I lived in Calgary, AB, but have never truly considered that a home but rather a temporary placement. Who knows, maybe London, Paris, Florence or even Lima may be the place I call home sometime in my life. Maybe, home isn’t necessarily a physical place, but a person, suggested in the teen romance novel, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (a great read if you’re a total sucker for little romance novels). Maybe it’s your mom, dad, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, grandpa, grandma, brother or sister.

Either way, I hope this summer, even the rest of this year, you may find your home. Be it Edinburgh, Scotland or your best friend down the road, I hope you find it. I hope the summer of 2017 is also something memorable, filled with joy and bouts of creativity.

 

Magnolia meaning:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/magnolia-flower-meaning/

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Seeking Lao Tong

Lao Tong (Mandarin)
Lit; “old same”; a form of eternal friendship between “heart sisters” – two women who are closer than husband and wife.

IMG_3933.JPG(A peony– they signify honour, beauty, wealth and riches, romance, and much more)

I’ve always wanted that tight-knit group of friends. You know, like in the movies? They’re your absolute best friends, and you couldn’t imagine your life without them; think How I Met Your Mother or Friends. I feel like we all want that, and some of us are even lucky enough to have such a group of people in their lives. We all want that group where unbelievable memories and stories spark from. The kind of group that quickly becomes a home to you.

I came to UBC all by myself. Having lived in Burnaby for 6 years as a kid meant that I did know of a handful of people coming to UBC, and a few others in different colleges, but the distance and the amount of time I was gone meant that I wasn’t as close anymore. Nothing bad, just that drifting occurred. It hurt a bit, seeing people in their own, isolated groups from high school or other backgrounds. Sometimes they’re nice and let you in, other times you’re just an outsider, trying to look in. Or the worst: being that third wheel, the one that’s forgotten, the one that’s not as close as the others.

During high school I thought I had been part of a tight-knit group, or the makings of one. Until, of course, drama would occur, or the endless girl-bashing and just repeated conversations over and over again. Not all of it was bad; we were all going into different paths, leading to different futures that likely meant leaving Winnipeg or staying. So needless to say, that group probably wasn’t going to make it (most of them don’t actually talk to each other now). After leaving them and going to Vancouver, you truly see who you’re actually friends with, and who you were only friends with because you saw them everyday of every week from September to June.

Personally, I always thought making friends was a tad difficult. You’re never sure of everything, and in university, some people are only there for school and work, nothing else. Sometimes, those people just use you for homework, which hurts. Other times, it can be hard to find people you just vibe with; the campus is so large here that you meet all different kinds of people, and it may take a while to find out who you truly connect with. But it’s bound to happen; maybe not in university, but sometime later in life, you’ll likely find people that make you realize life would be dull without them.

So far, I’ve learned that it’s definitely something you can’t hunt down. You can’t really make this a quest, you know? Kind of like love, it just happens. You just get out there, maybe you join a couple of clubs or something, and out of nowhere, your life is altered in a different way (without regrets, of course). All I can say is to get out there, do stuff, go to places. You might meet new people, you might not, you might just be alone for a little longer. However, like everything else in life, it’s worth giving it a shot! Have a good day 🙂

Meanings for a peony flower can be found here:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/peony-flower-meaning/

To Temul is To Live

Temul (Mongolian): te • mul 
Verb; signifies a sense of creativity and passion– to rush headlong, to be inspired, to have creative thoughts, and even take a flight of fancy.

IMG_3927.JPG
(Lisianthus flower– expressing gratitude from a friend, traditional values, and lifelong bonds)

I always think the process, or the journey, is often more fun than the destination or the final project. The act of making something is more interesting to me. The journey of creating something truly shows someones creative spirit, and often shows their passion. When someone’s fabricating something, you can see parts of their soul coming out and into the open.

Of course, the final project is important, and is often the best part. Especially when it comes to art, you can proudly say, “hey! This was in my head! Now it’s tangible!!” and that’s pretty awesome. But there’s something about the process of creating something that’s magical to me. You literally see something in your mind, come to life. With sculpting, if you’re sculpting a person especially, it’s as if you’re giving birth… without having to deal with the excruciating pain or blood and all that (still a natural and beautiful process, but I’m a bit of a queasy person).

Art is just so cool. I’m forever grateful that humans formed the cognitive ability roughly 160’000 years ago to take the abstract and make it real. Looking at the murals in Lascaux Caves, France, astounds me, and I often wonder what our ancestors would think of our art now; not only do we sculpt and paint still, but manage to create digital forms of our thoughts. Art is inspiring, and I love how something as simple as a painting sends waves of emotions through us; sometimes empowering, sometimes anger, sometimes joy, even sadness.

I just have so much love for art. Art gives me a lot of feelings, haha. I hope something gives you fuel to create today; I hope something or someone inspires your creative vessel and sends you on a headstrong mission to pour out your soul. Have a great, and creative, day! 🙂

 

Lisianthus flower meaning:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/lisianthus-meaning/

 

The Bliss After an Exam

Bliss
Noun; perfect happiness; great joy. 

IMG_3923.JPG(A gardenia flower– symbolizing trust, hope, clarity, purity, and much more)

THAT FEEL WHEN YOU FINISH OFF A FINAL FOR A CLASS THAT YOU REALLY DIDN’T LIKE.

I mean, I still have three more final exams to go, but finishing off my geomorphology and landscape processes course? An inexplicable feeling of profound joy. After having done three midterms for it, studying for five days until 1AM all for a cumulative exam, I’m really happy that it’s now done and over with!!

I mean, I haven’t eaten a proper dinner in days, and my physical health probably isn’t the absolute best right now; plus, I think my vision is getting even worse than it already is… but I no longer have to take another geomorphology course!

Next week I have two back-to-back midterms– art history and biogeography –but for now, I’m going to relish in a couple hours of blissful sketching and just enjoy the fact that I’m not having to reread about volcanism or answer another blot of 200 practice review questions.

Perpetual good luck to those still fighting with finals; push through! Have a great day 🙂

Find out more about the meaning of gardenia flowers:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/gardenia-flower-meaning/

Påtår For Finals

Påtår (Swedish): på • tår
Noun; a second refill, or “threefill”, of coffee.

It’s that time of year again.

Highlighters and pens fill up your bag to the rim. Random snacks like mini Oreos, Cheerios and sour cream and onion chips for breakfast. Naps instead of 8-hour sleeps. Wearing the same outfit for three days in a row. You can feel your brain slowly turn into mush. Your bloodstream slowly transforms from blood, into coffee.

Finals.

Okay I can’t totally complain since I was lucky enough to only have four finals this semester. But last semester, when I had six finals, that was definitely me. I remember I had a caramel macchiato with three sugars, and was literally bouncing off the walls (I drank it at 8am and was still jittery at 11pm. I try to avoid drinking those now). I also did have Cheetos and a Twinkie for breakfast during last semester’s final exam period. I was a straight up zombie. Thankfully, having four somewhat-nicely-spaced-out exams, I can breathe a bit. I won’t be able to do a lot of art-related things, but at least I’ll get this year over with, ready to work for the summer and rejuvenate for the next year ahead.

With finals approaching rapidly, I find one of the most underrated problems about studying for finals is finding a good study space. You automatically want to go to a library, but when your campus has 50’000 students in the same boat as you, the libraries– especially the really nice library spaces– are full. What about the unappealing libraries? Full. Dorms? Too loud, despite the quiet hour signs plastered everywhere. At a friends? If you’re like me, it’s difficult to get any work done around friends. This is the downside of a large university, I have to say. Finding a decent study space is difficult, and soon, you find yourself aimlessly roaming campus to find one; a small corner in a building nobody goes too.

At least, that’s where I found mine! Okay, it’s not a corner, but a lounge with like, three people and a kitchen. Pretty snazzy if you ask me. Okay, the chairs are a tad uncomfortable and the walk is a little far, but you know what? Totally worth it. Plus, I can almost guarantee that if I have to get up to go to the washroom, nobody is trying to steal my spot like a hawk. Sometimes, the best study spaces are worth the search. Also, I get a great view.IMG_3917.JPG

If you have finals, good luck! Always remember that you are more than a grade; you’re a human being, not a GPA. We’ll all get through this together, and soon, summer will be upon us (unless you’re also taking summer courses, then, I hope those will be less stressful on you!). Bring on the coffee! 😛

Our Querencia

Querencia: que • ren • cia
Noun; a place from which one’s strength is drawn, where one feels at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

IMG_3904.JPG(Study for finals? Nah. Camellia flower– symbolizing refinement, desire, and perfection)

I feel like we all have different versions of ourselves that we use in our everyday life. We’re the nice and responsible version of ourselves at work, school or around professionals. The goofy, chilled out, and loose version of ourself around our friends. Affectionate and loving self to our significant others. Some of us might even have those versions of our selves that we hope to be; they have their life together, actually go out and exercise, and are not sketching the evening away instead of studying for upcoming finals…

It’s sometimes hard being able to find those times where you can truly be authentic. I mean sure, we tell everyone that this is the real you and all that, but when it comes down to it, people act differently among other groups. Not in a bad way necessarily, but it’s just a normal thing; you don’t always act the exact same way you do with your significant other than with your grandparents. I find myself always trying to be authentic in every situation I’m in, no matter who is there, but sometimes you just have to make adjustments.

But sketching, doing any sort of art really, that’s where I’m most authentic. That’s where I feel most real, most like myself. I could do art for hours and truly hope it never ends. I mean, every situation does of course, but there’s this sensation that I hope doesn’t end. I remember I was doing a wax/paint work and was sitting cross-legged for (apparently) 6 hours. I didn’t even realize it until I tried to get up to eat; my legs were numb. But you get into such a mindset where you’re so focused but relaxed at the same time. I feel most happiest, pure, and natural in that state. Although my body might be tired, I feel stronger, like I can conquer whatever I want after finishing a work. Things are content when I just pick up a paintbrush or pencil. Doing art brings me a feeling of home, even if I’m away from my physical one. A mental home, I suppose.

Perhaps, though, these different versions we all have are just part of our authentic self. The real you. All these different selves are what make each and every one of us up. The one where we feel most at home with, our querencia, just so happens to be that one that takes us into a mental state of happiness, and where we can feel our strongest. Be authentic, because not everyone in the world is. Carve your own path, and just keep on being you. I hope you’ll get to embrace your most authentic self today, and hope that you have a great day 😀 cheers!!

 

Camellia flower meaning:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/camellia-flower-meaning/

 

Writing About Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block: write• ters • block
Phrase; condition in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown.

IMG_3883.JPG(Apparently, I can still attempt sketches but can’t write, haha. Here’s a marigold flower– they symbolize creativity, the loss of a loved one, and other sacred meanings in specific cultures, such as sacrificial use in cultures such as the Aztec and Hindu.)

I hate writer’s block!!!!!!!

Okay, sure this blog is about my everyday thoughts, but sometimes writing them out is difficult. Sometimes, the neat thoughts in my mind are only a sentence long, and can often be too difficult to expand on. Or, some of my thoughts are just too hard to actually fathom and string into words. Other thoughts are sometimes very personal, and the cyber-world doesn’t need to know them.

I remember as a kid I loved reading and writing stories. I’d even make little “books” and write in them (I would fold paper to make a “cover” and glue smaller, multiple papers inside and write in them, then draw a cover). I’d always start some story, get halfway through it, and then stop writing because of major writers block. Or, since I was a kid, I’d just start doing other stuff, get distracted, and forget about the story I was writing in the first place. Not much has changed as an 18-year-old amateur blogger. I’ll start writing posts, get through at least a hundred words, and then bam! A brick wall in my writing capabilities. Or, I’d finish writing a draft, reread it, and have no feeling towards it. I refuse to post stuff that I don’t have any feeling towards, because through my writing, you can probably tell that there’s no emotion through it. What’s the point of reading something if there’s no passion or emotion written behind it, you know?

Oh and titles. I literally hate doing titles. You always want something clever and witty, something to catch the reader’s attention, but honestly that can take time. Sometimes, the title is what starts the writing, but other times, it’s likely what ends your writing, at least for me. My English professor insisted on having clever titles for all our papers, and especially the research paper, but I’m pretty sure I spent a good half an hour trying to think up a title that was both intriguing and witty about the controversy on artificial intelligence. I don’t even remember what the title was, so it clearly wasn’t good enough if it didn’t linger with me.

So, having writers block on my own thoughts is a little funny. I can think up all of the material, but can barely get any of it down. I feel that as time goes on, it’ll get a little better. But I’m still new. Curses to you writer’s block, even though my writer’s block gave me this post’s content. Irony, such irony.
Cheers, have a great day ya’ll 🙂 (and I hope you don’t get writer’s block!)

Here’s a site on the meaning of marigold flowers:
http://www.flowermeaning.com/marigold-flower-meaning/