I take inspiration where I can get it, whether thats when i’m out exploring (and who can forget that time I had the bf pull over while we were driving around Big Bend National Park to try and sketch some of the mountains out there that caught my eye….in 100+ degree weather), through books I read, magazines I pour over, websites I spend too much time on (tumblr, you hell-site) or of course, through music.
Generally, I listen to anything and everything I can get my hands on, usually through exposure from playlists people make over on 8Tracks ( you can go take a peek at my playlists collection here if you’re curious) but a couple of months ago the bf brought home the latests album from the band Bastille and it caused a flurry of inspiration in my mind. I love the band for their creative approach to songwriting, musical experimentation and of course their lead singer Dan Smith’s vocal talents and by the time I had reached the end of the album I was clutching a bunch of new favorites. The Anchor is the second to last song on that album and… I couldn’t quite say what it was that stuck with me, but it dug deep. I remember listening to that song on repeat for what felt like days on end until I found myself with free time on a Sunday and there I was, sketching out the lyrics. And then a couple of days after that I was fumbling with my colored pencils, blue smudged all over my hands and my arms sore from detailing swirl after swirl. Surprisingly even after the hours I spent working on this, I still really love the song.
( Obviously the art doesn’t do the song justice but, it was lovely to see the way the song made me feel expressed out on paper. )
I try and get out there, travel as much as I can when I can and if you combine that with the type of personality that loves to hoard things of little to no value, you end up with a person who’s got a stash of postcards and travel trinkets that could rival a gift shop.
Thankfully though, for both my house storage capacity and my friendships, I love sending and sharing all the travel ephemera i’ve picked up. So sometimes when i’m writing to a friend who suffers from the occasional bout of wanderlust that I do, I might stuff 1 or 2 (or 10) postcards into the box and send it on it’s merry way. And then add a magnet or keychain, maybe a cool rock or leaf. I like to think of myself as an intelligent, mature near-adult but when i’m sitting on my office floor surrounded by postcards and bits of tape stuck on my pjs, trying to decide what sea shell to send on the basis of which one seems prettier, I gotta admit I’ve probably still got years to go.
Its definitely worth it though, both when I’m reliving the memories of trips past and when I hear back from a friend who got inspired to visit somewhere I sent them a postcard from.
(Fun fact- the place I have the least postcards from is actually my current home state, Texas.)
I’ve been snailmailing for about oh….8 years now? Its something I used to do with fervent frequency, dashing out letters almost everyday to friends far and wide, some just a couple of counties away from mine back in California. These days though, i’m lucky if I get the time to write out one a month.
Thats not necessarily a bad thing though. Before I might have had more time to devote to spilling out words on page after page and flinging them thoughtlessly halfway across the globe to anyone friendly enough, but these days my time is constrained to the point where I only devote the effort on people who mean enough for me to craft responses with more care and deliberation. Theres something about putting pen to paper that slows down your thoughts, presses them onto the pages with care and finding people who enjoy doing that as much as you do and getting to know them through this medium can be one of the loveliest experiences.
This particular letter was actually crafted and sent on it’s way months ago but I hadn’t had a chance to share it till now, given all the travel posts I’d been doing. A good friend from the UK had mailed his first letter to me after months of sharing words online and it was eloquent and very lovely. For my response, I decided to shove eloquence to the side and burst forth with paper and what ended up being almost it’s own kind of art piece. While the years might have taught me restraint with words, apparently I still have no chill when it comes to paper and all you can do with it. But considering i’m just finishing up another letter to send out to him this week, thats probably not such a bad thing, all things considered.
I feel like I blinked once, twice and by the third time the month had rushed on by. Any plans I had to wander around the DFW area this month have taken a backseat to art projects, catching up with friends, obsessing over Yuri!!! On Ice (and that last one was completely unexpected let me tell you), working on writing projects and getting my work out routine back on track. Also tack on watching way too much HGTV with the bf and drinking so many fruit smoothies I’ll probably start having dreams of strawberries soon.
Music on Repeat:
Goodnight Gotham- Rihanna
Nuvole bianche- Ludovico Einaudi 12 Violin Concertos, Op.4-“La stravaganza”– Vivaldi (if you’ve about an hour or so to spare, give it a listen)
Prosthetic Love- Typhoon
We Don’t Eat- James Vincent McMorrow
Death of a Bachelor- Panic! At the Disco
Varúô- Sigur Rós
Of all the places I enjoy traveling to in the USA, from the big cities that burst with life (San Francisco, NYC, Boston) to sleepy coastal villages (Mendocino, Ft. Bragg, Augusta) and all of everything in between, anywhere that has magnificent mountains will always take 1st place with me.
Last year was a drought year when it came to art, and this piece was the only landscape one I worked on the whole time- started it sometime after coming back from the March road trip, lost inspiration and picked it back up at the end of June after the trip to Big Bend Natl. park and then didn’t look at it again until after the last road trip in October to give it some finishing touches, still unsatisfied. After unearthing it again this past weekend though- to give it one last pass through- as I re-inked some lines and brushes away colored pencil dust, i think i’m content with the way it turned out, if not how long it took to finish.
Definetly looking forward to creating more of these this year, especially with the chance to get up close and personal to some real mountains come March.