BENEATH A DESERT MOON

¡Hola, mis amigos! (I don’t always greet y’all, maybe I should? I just get into the thick and thin of it and that’s kinda rude, innit? I mean, I care because you’re reading which is really sweet because it’s me, and you know, you’re still here – you guys make up a handful, and you make me happy.)

Because I was so incognito back then, you would’ve missed this – this year, I created/made up themes for every couple of months in the year (I divided my year into four parts, and not quarters). Each period was to tell a story by way of the content I would be covering and sharing on my blog etc. Except you know that it didn’t work out that way, I wasn’t actively working on any material; the ideas, of course, piled on and on and you know what went down. Nothing!

SO. What the illustration for this post is meant to be is an introduction to the story I wished to tell during the months of May, June and July called…

The Song of the Seamstress

As one could tell, the drawings are inspired by Mexico (a country I have never been to – but am really keen on visiting, soon) – the colours and clothing; some desert cactuses; the marigolds and roses; the ofrendas and sugar skulls etc.  The Song of the Seamstress also drew colourful and cultural inspirations from: cameo pendants; dulce de leche; floral embroidery; Frida Kahlo; la combinación de naranja y rosa; Lisbon (I really like this city; it’s colourful and so very warm – it makes me think of Cuba, Goa and Mexico, all at once!); Mother Mary; Pablo Neruda; ruffled clothing; the Día de los Muertos festival; Ugly Betty etc.

P.S. (Would you get a better idea if you saw this? It forms the display picture and cover photo for when I did publish this theme on Facebook and Twitter etc.) – This might be continued in the posts that are to come but it’s also December and so, I will be covering some other *fun* material (I haz ideas)! We’ll see.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT

Glass houses ought to be carefully constructed (they must be); never having built one, myself – I wouldn’t know what it takes to make one. The ones I see in my mind’s eye – there’s light filtering in, making everything luminescent within (I very much like the glinting of gold metal ridges). But that’s a romantic way of looking at it. And as you and I know, there is a lot under the surface or even that that we see that we don’t, truly.

In a sense that is metaphoric maybe, I did try to build a glass house out of this space. I wanted everything to be and look perfect. After all this time away, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return. I still am uncertain. Is this over? The truth is: it might be. I mean, it is difficult to be articulate about this – I do want to start something new, however, over the past night and this morning… I felt something else, too. Volver.

There were feelings of angst and unrest amongst the colloidal particles settling around me. What use were the objects I was carefully tucking away? The book of stories I kept to myself? Was this glass house a home, and if so, what did it protect me from? I felt an untoward gaze upon me, anyway; I possessed no cloak of invisibility. Cobwebs formed, specks of dust everywhere – nothing I did felt good or worthy. I was too busy taking care of glitches, didn’t I say? Everything had to be perfect.

No more.

P.S. There are other one-sided conversations I would like to have; I should tell you now to expect a flurry of posts – as the weeks unfold.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

OUT OF THE WOODS

Okay, I have been gone a long time. I am not sure how it happened so, then again – I think I know. Can I just say that I am really excited to be back? I have sincerely missed you too. Sorely! (I am breaking into a huge grin as I type.) How are you? How have you been? Everything good? Not bad, not good? Figuring things out?

I would hope you are well. (I am, too.)

Where do I begin?

There is not much to tell, of course, but it has been long and I feel like talking. Okay, so here is one something: I have purchased a monthly subscription to Adobe Illustrator so I can use it alongside Adobe Photoshop and it is one of the better things that I have done, this year! I have much to learn (re-learn?) but yes, finalmente. (I have developed a mild obsessive/compulsive way of thinking over the years – I could have just said Photoshop without the Adobe when I used it in the previous sentence – you would have got it, but I just could not bear to not. I would have not used the word at all, then.)

Because of which, I have drawing on there some more than otherwise, and I randomly thought of making a project/series etc. of it on my Tumblr blog. The series is called Women of My World and I am protective/proud of it. Of course, some of the women may have some ‘drawing defects’ (sorry, my beautiful women) but I do not know! These women are special to me, they were my friends when I was bored at home – feeling dejected/depressed/lonely (about two months ago). I also have been meaning to acquire more work (of the illustrative variety, etc.); usually, a few folks reach out to me every year but it would be nice if I could manage to hear of interesting projects outside of this ‘tiny pool of reach’, and pitch for more projects (not too many) etc.

Oh yes, and the title of this post. Yes, somewhat apt, I could say! I have not been hiding but I have been scuttling about in the woods… I have been looking for something, walking on an unbeaten path (Don’t you hate the way I talk or write sometimes?), and falling down deep tunnels (not as intriguing as Alice’s adventures) and feeling beaten and broken etc. – however, every now and then, I seek refuge in a cosy hollow; ferns, leaves and saplings have been growing all over the place or I bump into worker bees who want to teach me that working hard is one of the world’s oldest methods to make the brain feel good. So I am happy, in a general sense. It is the little stratosphere around me – that bit is okay. It is good. There are pollutants that infiltrate etc.; some, I have no protection against. I am not trying to control every little thing, I am making decisions on my own, and I am trying. Really hard. (I want it to hurt!)

I am hoping to make something better of myself.

I am scared, though. (Though I think immersing oneself into a body of something is good; the word itself is light, it is not coercive or forceful or persuasive – it is healing. It is letting you breathe/do/make – complete with a very faint prickle of urgency. All in good measure, to get your ‘floating situation’ in order.)

There is more to come.

P.S. This post may have been all over the place; I do not apologise for it being so. I am happy to be writing here, again! Over the last few months and weeks, I was in a mind to delete a great big chunk of my posts from long ago. They were bothering me. There was a disconnect. I did not know what to write about. Shallow and superficial were two of the words hovering in my mind’s eye, all the fucking time. I do not directly help anyone through this platform, I know this… I am not sure if that is/was the primary purpose of this blog. But I have feelings I would like to express, and some thoughts too. Lots of in-between tales, I would hope you understand that this space has its shortcomings – I can accept that. It is dear to me; I love my other children too. I hope you do not just see this as a puerile place, it would feel horrid. I want my work to have meaning (whatever I do in life, no – not just jobs, necessarily.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

The Notebook

217 The Notebook

As is tradition, every January (feels special when it’s a new year) – I have to buy myself a pretty, new journal or notebook… Because it feels like a fresh start, and I love doodling and writing down things – so it just feels much nicer when you have a lovely book to jot down what you’re thinking – in. This year, I haven’t picked up any books yet because I haven’t found any in the city that have struck my fancy except for this beautiful set online by Rifle Paper Co., aptly titled Vintage Blossoms – ooh, how I lovelovelovelove Anna’s works!

This is what they say about the notebooks on the Rifle Paper Co. website that mildly excited me, “The notebooks feature lay-flat binding, a high quality binding process that allows the pages to stay flat while you’re writing or sketching.” Coveting these books for now because they might be slightly expensive to order (with shipping, etc.) but um, you never know… I might just cave in and order them a little before my birthday. (Okay, fairly certain that I’m gonna do that. I’m an idiot! Where do you usually buy your colourful/pretty notebooks and journals from?)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes