Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updates in Growing Harmony

Some years ago, someone offered me a pearl of wisdom that I've carried with me ever since. Unfortunately, I don't know who exactly it was that passed it along to me, but it went something like this:

In our lives, we're always juggling a variety of responsibilities.

There are matters of work, of friends, and family. There are dreams and goals we strive for, and passions we crave. There are pets, bills, and mundane responsibilities, through to concerns for the health and well-being of both yourself and those you love.

Human as we are, we can only juggle so many of these responsibilities at once, and as we grow, we must learn to differentiate which are made of rubber, and that we can let falter and bounce, and which are like fragile glass that we ought to focus on, because they are at risk of cracking wide and shattering if they chance to drop.

At the time, the metaphor seemed a bit convoluted to me, the ultimate multitasker. I wanted to keep everything in play at all times, but truth to be told, it can get to be exhausting, especially when certain things truly do and should require more attention than others.

Health and family are two of these things that I've tried to make sure I maintain a steady focus on, as well as making sure that I make time for the wonderful people in my life, rather than giving away time to people who are prone to unnecessary or self-inflicted drama or insist on pulling others down. Life is too short to get caught up in those sorts of things, and you only have so many hours in the day, so I've founds it's important to make them count.

Health Stuff

Part of my way of doing this is to make sure that I'm doing what I can to stay healthy and make changes to improve things in that regard. This has meant a better diet overall (including more juicing), and trying to make sure my sleep schedule is a bit more regular (and earlier). I can safely say that both of these changes have made a lot of positive impact overall, and I'm eager to keep on trucking, and see how far I can take things. Health truly is important to me, so it's been sort of refreshing giving it the attention it deserves in recent years. :)  I can't recommend highly enough that others consider prioritizing it as well.

My Iced Tea Maker, Juicer, and Infuser


The last few weeks (and even the upcoming ones) really seem like there's too much to cram in at once!

Between my usual work and my full-time job, I also spent a sizable amount of time hunting for a larger place to live, which for anyone that's done a lot of moving, knows it's a job all unto itself. ;) A sizable reason for the lack of updates from me was actually because I felt that I needed to make sure that I was able to secure a great new place to live, and thankfully by the time I'm writing this, all the boxes have been moved and it's time to start unpacking! While it will still be a little while yet until things are all unpacked and sorted out, it's nice to feel like things are starting to settle into a pleasant routine once again, with some great new beats along the way (such as the addition of a lawn and the beginnings of a garden all my own!).

Conventions and Festivals

A couple months ago I had the pleasure of again attending Lightning in a Bottle, followed-up by San Diego Comic Con the following week! These two events couldn't be more different than one another, but both felt really good on the soul, not to mention Monsterpalooza some weeks before!

Monsterpalooza... please never change.

Lightning in a Bottle

For those of you unfamiliar with Lightning in a Bottle, it's sort of a mix of a music festival, art and performance festival, and a bunch of sort of healthy-living "hippie" stuff mixed in. It's a fantastic festival, and it has a really wholesome and approachable vibe to it. You can listen to music, dance, learn about healthy living, buy handmade clothing, eat exotic and ultra-healthy natural foods, listen to lectures, or even just lay out in a big tarp and just.. be. I get an incredible amount of peace from attending this event, so I was really thrilled to be able to make time for it this year and just breathe in all the good vibes from it.

So very peaceful and enlightening!
Giant Connect 4, thrumming beats, and huge sprinklers to dance around in? Don't mind if I do!
Relaxing and letting my mind drift on a downright GORGEOUS day.

San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic Con the following week was a very different beast.  It remains one of my favorite conventions, and the sheer variety of things to do, panels to see, and folks to geek out with is just awesome. Movies, books, comics, games, TV, cards, collectables, art: it's all here in all sorts of wonderful and inspiring forms, and the panels were just a rush of passion and inspiration. I left the con inspired and touched by just how awesome my group of friends is, but unfortunately I also left the con with a push to find a new place to live, so my creativity has sort of been treading water for the last two months or so waiting to be unleashed. It's not forgotten in the least, it's just nestled in a corner waiting for its chance to get back out.

If you didn't already, you now know someone who is one of those
"crazies" that gets up in the crazy morning hours for exclusive panels.
This is the line for Hall H about 8 hours in.
Here be dragons!
This photo... sort of defines that which is Comic Con.
Such sweet loot!

Of Writing and Art ... and Monarchs

If you hadn't already guessed, the last two months haven't been very productive for me in a creative sense. I could talk your ear off about all the boxes I packed and art supplies I've sorted-out and how I've been able to turn the dead shambles of a lawn lush to the point that we had 12 monarch caterpillars munching on some fresh milkweed, but in terms of art and writing... not so much.  I've worked on a few things under NDA I can't yet show here, but as far as my own stuff, I hope to get rolling on that in short order.  Where writing is concerned: there's been a bit of that to be sure, but I have a certain story point I'm still trying to work my way through, so even that's been delayed a bit (not having a computer hooked-up for about two weeks didn't help though, I tell you what).

I counted 12 caterpillars in all at one point!

So beautiful!

I'm also trying to figure out what I want to tackle next artistically. I have about a dozen "unfinished" or "WIP" pieces I want to finish eventually, but I also have some ideas for some new things, so we'll have to see!

In the meantime, here's a minor update on my gryphon model from late June (oh how time flies!):

Me at dinnertime - "Man, I can't wait to get home and do some writing."

Me at midnight - ".....well, that wasn't writing."

It's coming along, but it's tricky making those front paws look something between avian, feline, and dexterous/human. I'm still trying to figure out how much of each is mixed in there.

I'm still not altogether sure what I want to do about the wings and all those feathers. Talk about intimidating!

It was also a treat to see this huge older piece of mine all masterpiece-framed above my mother's piano. It brings back a lot of memories for me, and was one of my more "unique" self-portraits.

40 x 30 inches (which is HUGE for me).
Dream Spirit - Old Art - Completed on February 3, 2006 [More Info]

In Conclusion

That said, I hope you're all doing well, and I look forward to getting back in the groove with these updates. :)

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