Life has been extremely busy lately (Just see how few updates I’ve made this year!). But yesterday on the train I decided that if that’s all the time I have to draw — sandwiched between irate commuters in a noisy NYC subway car — then so be it.
I made the below sketch on a little pad I keep in my bag, and then my stop came and I forgot about it…
Until today, when in the midst of working on a big retouching project for a client, fielding calls regarding a couple of upcoming business trips, and setting up interview shoots for my gaming & tech site (yup, told ya’ I had a lot happening lol), I came across this quote from Martha Graham:
“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”
It moved me, because here I was, doing so much for everyone else, working on projects that I felt other people would value (and pay me for lol), that it had been weeks since I’d done anything just for myself.
Well I dug out the cat girl I had drawn yesterday, and decided I could take 15 minutes for ME, and I inked her up and colored her in:
It’s not much; a doodle like this certainly doesn’t live up to my own impossible perfectionist standards for “real art,” but at least I had the guts to do it: Take time out for myself, do something I wanted to do, and then post it up here, for all the world to see and judge.
When I was a little girl, I used to draw cat people all the time. It was my very favorite thing & it made me unique. And now, as a grown-up, I think we could use a little more of our favorite things, and of honoring our uniqueness.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sending you all love on #MLKDAY
My art is a tee! I’m so thrilled about how well this turned out — I’m going to wear this every day for the rest of the summer! If you’d like one for yourself, they’re on sale here».
Quote: “There is nothing like a Dream to create the Future.” – Victor Hugo
It’s not always easy to find time to paint when I’m running around on camera. But it’s not for naught, because all that I’ve experienced helps me to refine my vision for one of my upcoming series.
This morning I dug out this unfinished painting, “Beauty Blinded,” from a few years ago; I’m not sure yet if I want to finish it or start anew. It’s part of that series I just mentioned, which I’ve been dreaming a lot about lately: Women + Mass Media (working title, hehe). After nearly eleven years working onscreen, I’ve seen for myself how this business affects us; both those of us in front of the camera, as well as those watching at home. And it’s something worth examining.
Growing up, I was taught that a person’s most important characteristics lie within: intelligence, talent, kindness and strength of character are traits to strive for. So I worked hard, earned top grades, and practiced my art & musical instruments with diligence. Focused in this way, I found little use for personal beautification, and that coupled with coke-bottle glasses and my nerdy nature, made for a rather homely presentation; but it did not bother me, because I knew I was a good person and that’s all that mattered.
Fast forward to many years later, I suddenly found myself on television — an unexpected turn that surprised me as much as anyone else. And I quickly discovered, that in this business, it’s not what’s inside that counts. In this industry, the most important thing is to be “beautiful.” And mind you, being beautiful on television, isn’t the same as being beautiful in real life. In real life, we think our friends, our mothers & sisters, our grandmothers & daughters, are beautiful not just because of the color of their eyes or shape of their face, but based on the content of their hearts. But on television, as in most mass media, beauty is very rigidly and narrowly defined. Despite talk of body positivity running rampant, so many of my colleagues are cutting themselves up with plastic surgery: I can’t tell you how many friends of mine didn’t “make it big” until after a boob job. Meanwhile, I myself have been admonished for the tiniest blemish (Horrors! An imperfection lol!), and then praised when I lost weight, even though I’m already quite thin. Rather like a dog who has retrieved a ball — “Good girl!” they say. Am I? Am I good? Because this kind of praise, as condescending as it is vacuous, doesn’t feel good.
And what about the viewers at home? What about the people connived into believing that their air-brushed celebrity crushes are as perfect as they appear, or that they too, at home, should aspire to squeeze and alter themselves to fit an unrealistic ideal in the name of self-improvement? And in my personal experience as a math & SAT tutor, I have discovered that so many little girls are more concerned with being pretty & popular rather than being smart, or even just being good human beings.
These conversations and thoughts are not new. We’ve been discussing this for decades. And when I was a child, my parents did not allow me to watch much television, in part for these very reasons — in my home, gender roles, unrealistic beauty standards, and the dangers of mass media consumption were topics for discussion. But now, having experienced first-hand the pressures that we, the women behind the scenes in media, are actually exposed to, I have something I’d like to add.
Working in the media, I could make a documentary about this subject, or conduct interviews; I could write a report or make a YouTube series. But since I am an artist first, perhaps I’ll just put brush to canvas and see where that leads me.
Thanks for reading, and as I’ve often said on the air, stay tuned.
I’ve been painting since I was ten years old, and one of my goals was always to paint as realistically as possible, which meant long, painstaking sessions in oil, watercolor & acrylic.
But we live in such a fast-paced world, that I’ve been desiring lately to get my ideas out more quickly, and on a larger scale. So I recently turned to street art for inspiration, and decided to give spray painting a try.
Right off the bat I discovered that spray painting is not as easy as it looks. Instead of small movements of the wrist and fingers, it’s a whole-body process, requiring quick, decisive strokes & a sensitive trigger finger. Moreover, not just any spray paint will do. And did you know that spray paint cans have different sized caps? Well I didn’t either! But I soon learned on my own, and in the process, I think I might have become hooked!
I created a speed-painting video to document the process:
A very different outcome than my usual precise little canvases, but I love it nonetheless! This little lady is finished, and ready to find a new home!
TGIF Weekend Warriors! Time to work on that Dream you’ve been putting off!
This little girl is all done and ready to be framed. What dreams are you guys working on this weekend?
Letting myself be free and drew this little girl just because I felt like it. Not sure where this drawing is going, but happy to be on the journey…
Finishing up this fun little commission Turned a client’s dog into a Pokemon Herdier — so cute!
Happy MLK Day! In memory of a great man, sharing my painting & our video tribute to his legacy: https://youtu.be/rLxFcPjERpw . The past few years have seen a lot of racial violence and tensions; what do you think about how far we have or haven’t come since his I Have A Dream speech?
Did this little doodle in a book I illustrated for my mother as a gift. What actress do I think should play my Mom, aka Superwoman/medical doctor/nutrition expert/activist/entrepreneur & all-around bad-a$$, in a movie? Why, Pam Grier of course!
Pen on paper, colored in Photoshop.