I wonder if da vinci would say things are moving too fast

I recently started to ponder about creative content in 2021. Going further, I thought about my own creative process. And a question that continued to circulate in my head has been, “How did I ever get anything done in school?” Knee-jerk reaction? Deadlines. Grading systems. Fear of failure. But against all that was something a bit more subtle in my creative process. My ability to start and finish something came with time and focus.

So often I feel like we live in an whirlwind of “pics or it didn’t happen” or “have you monetized yet?” We don’t want to feel like failures by not capturing our up moments (or what society deems is up) or being exploited. As someone who considers themself a creative person, I’m constantly stating so behind a mask. There is a thin veil in front of my eyes that makes me constantly say, “You’re a fraud. You haven’t created something in weeks!” Everything I achieved gone in moments. Suddenly I’m a liar for saying I’m a creative because I’m not doing it at that exact moment. Or I don’t have the nicest staged pictures to prove it. It’s almost like my brain can’t settle down enough to accept what we’ve accomplished because before I can applaud the moment, someone else has had that moment several times over. And I’m just not moving fast enough.

I had thought back to my favorite class growing up: Art. You work a piece for about an hour. Come back to it the next day and work it for an hour again. And then you just keep doing that for a semester until you have something. Full stop. You have something. Maybe it isn’t complete. Maybe it isn’t the best. Maybe it should be hung in a gallery or tossed in the trash. But you have something. A slow, constant work manifested itself into something.

But in today’s work, every hour not spent with some form of gratification seems as if a waste. “You spent time drawing today? Did you film it? Did you sell it? Is someone going to pay for it?” thoughts spew out of other’s mouths until eventually they become your own thoughts. It’s tragic honestly. Bills do not stop because you need to pace yourself. I get it. But somewhere between childhood and adulthood I feel like we’ve fallen out of understanding with time. I used to be excited to share my work. Now I’m too far behind the latest trend by the time it’s complete that only a handful of people care to see my random, poorly lit creation.

I’m currently struggling with working a project for no more than the sheer enjoyment in creating. Writing a book takes time. Perfecting your hand at drawing or calligraphy, takes time. I practice both everyday. I want to better learn how I can pace myself and be comfortable that, well, nothing gratuitous is coming.

I often go in museums and hear about how long it had taken an artist to complete some work of theirs. And yes, they were getting paid. But the matter that creative endeavors take time and practice is something I feel myself and so many other creatives I know let slip from us. I want to make things slower. Is that even possible in the digital age? I’m not sure… but by the end of my process I’ll have something.

I’ve tried using planners, apps, anything to help me better realize that everything is in smaller pieces. I mean, that’s sketching 101, right? I’ve also realized that everything has a price tag. Assuming you can just sit at home and pace yourself all day is unrealistic for most. However, against all that I get 24 hours in a day, and I don’t need to have it all resolved in that 24. I need to understand that it is absolutely okay that things take time. I’m not falling behind, failing, or mismanaging. Creative things take time. And whether good or bad, I wonder if the artists of yesterday think things are quite frankly, moving too damn fast.

The Red Queen Series: Glass Sword Rant

If anyone has read the Red Queen series and fell in love with Mare, Cal, Maven, and the lot I do not intend this post for you. This post is for those of us who wanted to fall in love but simply couldn’t because an editor somewhere in some god forsaken place didn’t know how to say “enough is enough!”

glass sword

To clear the air. I purchased the Red Queen in hopes that I’d fall in love with a new fantasy series and boy was I sadly mistaken. Red Queen had some hiccups but nothing that didn’t make me want to read further. For those that do not know, the first book in the series is about a young girl named Mare who by sheer happenstance makes a powerful friend in the most unlikely place. Her life gets turned upside down at the discovery of her hidden talents and the tale continues on with love and betrayal as most YA Fantasy does.

But that wasn’t the part where I became dissatisfied. I actually think the first book of the series was pretty well done. It had character development, believably authentic, and someone to root for in the face of adversity. No, my problem with this series entered around book two called Glass Sword.

Reading Glass Sword feels like someone literally had to hold Aveyard’s hand and force her to write the book. Mare is nothing more than a whiny and full of herself character (keep in mind I’m only on chapter 4 so if I actually finish struggle reading this mess I’ll let y’all know my plot thoughts) hell bent on her delusions of grandeur. Oh, y’all don’t know how I’m hoping this book is Mare in a dream state and the writing is so poor because Mare isn’t really awake. (HOPES IN BIGLY)

Let’s pull out a lil gem shall we?

“Ash and concrete dust choke our vision…” (p. 16)

Now sis. Who let you get away with this terrible cliche? metaphor? idiom? OMG what is this!? Anyway, I soldiered on past that but the plane inevitably crashed. Mare goes from a fragile little nothing to “I’m the lightening girl” to be read as “I’m the lightening (I’ll kick anyone’s ass who tries to step to me although all my past battles have been won because other people jumped in and saved me but I’m going to pretend like I did it on my own) girl.”

Y’all do not write your characters so lazily arrogant that your reader doesn’t even want to hear them. But wait, someone is reading this series. It’s literally a well selling series. But so was 50 Shades. So, that’s all I’ll say about that.

Til I finish this book these are my thoughts so far. Clinch y’all buttcheeks this story takes a turn for the best. Otherwise…


Update 4/19/18: I couldn’t finish it.

My Reflections: Donald Haase

Once again, I must greatly express my deepest gratitude to Lehigh University and the English Department for allowing me to meet and speak with yet another author. Mr. Donald Haase, a man with a dry sense of humor and a knack for elaborate analysis of the art of storytelling, came to speak at Lehigh about his study of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairytale stories and how they impact the roles of society and children’s perception.

Mr. Haase spoke of many different roles the Grimm Brothers have played in the way society and morality have been shaped. He made references to Red Riding Hood’s original tale of a girl who disobeys her mother and suffers the consequences. He expounds on the idea that the Grimm Brothers’ original work addressed the need for morality in society. Much of the Grimm Brothers’ work has been transformed to fit the roles of a particular society in which the text is read. I recall the first time I read author Stephen King’s essay titled, “Now You Take “Bambi” or “Snow White”- That’s Scary!” and I immediately correlated the ideas Haase spoke about. It explains the purpose of transforming the Grimms’ writings. Many readers of the Grimm brothers’ work believed children should not have been learning that Rapunzel’s prince only climbs the castle walls, using her locks, for a late night rendez-vous. Haase speaks with intention when he explains the multiple roles the brothers have in mainstream media and fictional works today.

Much of Haase’s presentation focused on the ways the Grimm brothers’ lives have been romanticized through media outlets. He conveys a message that was present in the Grimm brothers’ lifetime and is still prevalent today: the romanticism of real issues to convey a more socially acceptable idea. I’m sure many people who work as artist of all mediums can relate to the ideas of being told what is socially acceptable to display and what is not. In following what society believes as correct or morally justifiable, artists are able to make money and sell their work to the masses. The Grimm brothers’ focused their original works on adult audiences, as Haase told us, but were willing to adjust their works because it would allow the tales to transcend all audiences and create an aura of fame for them. The collective work of the Grimm brothers, and I hope Haase would agree with me when I say this, has shaped the way many scholars, artists, and people view the society they dwell within. It has taught them to cope or understand barriers created against them in a constructed normalcy.