Popular Posts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Open your eyes: It’s all in the details”...

So I am a person that is interested in the details. The "whys".... 

Every Thursday morning at work, I discuss American Horror Story Freak Show with some co-workers. Well my coworker showed me a picture and a story about Edward Mordrake; the one with the 2nd face on the back of his head. Turns out, this is an actual legend of a real person...down to the name & back story. We all know I'm a horror freak so the show mesmerizes me on its own...but knowing there is a little truth to it fascinates me. After looking into this, I found that a lot of the characters on the show are modeled after real life people. It's not the idea of the "freaks" that amazes. It's the detail and the research that went in to creating this show that has me in awe.... 

This post is not about American Horror Story, but it DID make me think of my art and Lee's music. How? 

The writers obviously are passionate about this show and are devoted to giving you the best. That's how I feel about my art. Still not following?

When something is important to you and you are passionate about it, you put your all into it, no detail is random. Just like when I was watching my favorite show, I didn't realize all the details in it such as the real life references, etc.  I loved it anyway, but now knowing these secret things...I love it more! So I'd like to share some secrets with you.

Secret: when it comes to my art, nothing I do is random. I'm all about the details. There are reasons behind every pattern, color or person's position I chose to draw or paint. I pay attention.
Sometimes they are intentional and sometimes they are not.
For example, unintentional: when I sketched a picture of Lee in a hoodie holding a guitar. I remember this day. I was sitting at Owen's BMX practice listening to another mom tell a story. I was just shading the sweatshirt, not thinking about what I was doing. I was just shading & listening. Little did I know, Karen pointed out later...I put a hummingbird in there! Isn't that crazy?! So think about it, I did that when I wasn't thinking about it. 

But then there are the intentional ones, like the Braille word for “Muse” in my tattoo, or the pattern in the background of the “Fight” painting… that is a pattern scene on one of Lee’s instagram photos.
Sometimes when deciding on what colors I use, I absolutely look up color theory studies, creating a certain mood or vibe with certain colors. There is always a method to my madness. I will tell you this, when it comes to my Lee inspired art; I have never put this much thought and effort into anything. True Story.

Did you ever notice that inside the "Frames" album cover... each one of those pictures in the frames represent a different track? I did, I noticed that almost right away. This is what happens when I listen to music, I go right for the lyrics because that is where the real story lives. So there is this article that I think you should all read:http://laminatedlyrics.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/lyrics-people-vs-music-people/
It’s about Lyrics people vs. Music people. There is a perfect quote in there from One Tree Hill that is probably one of the most perfect quotes out there: “Sometimes things find you when you need them to find you, I believe that. And for me it’s usually song lyrics”- Peyton Sawyer- One Tree Hill.
That is exactly how I feel. The author also mentions how she how she views lyrics as storytellers’ investigative clues into the artist’s soul. This author and I could totally be friends because… yesss… exactly!

Those lyrical "clues” are what sparks all those images in my head. I pay attention to every single word Lee writes into those songs then I add a little bit of me into them because I can relate so much. It’s always in the details. I bet after this, you’ll go back and listen to a song and you will hear it in a different way than you did before….I’d bet money on it.

As Pablo Picasso once said; “Painting is another way of keeping a diary”, there is so much truth to this, as an artist, that quote is legit. But what about songwriters? They take it to a whole other level. Lee is by far my favorite songwriter. He is telling you a story, those words you are singing along to actually MEAN something to him. How amazing of a gift is that? He is sharing that with us and it’s beautiful. I think a lot of people overlook the details, they get reeled in with the melodies and stay there, but it’s the lyrics that draw me in. Always have. It’s the details that mesmerize me, the story behind them.

This is why it is so important to me to “get “ Lee’s music and illustrate his words in a way I hope shows I “get it”. That art is important to me because I am creating it out of 100% inspiration, but it’s even more important to me that they represent the lyrics accurately. Why? Because those lyrics he is writing are important to him.

If you think about it (and of course I do); when a musician does a cover song, there is probably a very personal reason why they chose it. Of course it could be just because they like a particular song, but my guess is that, that song probably means something to them personally. Don’t we all do that? If you have a favorite song, there is probably a reason for that, like in the last post. Or back in the day when someone made a mix tape for you… there is a reason why they chose each song, they are trying to tell you something.
This is why I love art and music, there is so much more to it than people think.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Soundtrack of Me: My happy place

So, this time of year gets a little hard for me because this is the time of year my grandmother started to get sick and be in and out of the hospital. This, on top of everyday stresses and the blues you get from the time change kind of put me into a funk.
Luckily, music is always there. No matter what life throws at you, no matter what mood you are in music makes it better. Have you ever heard a song that just opens a floodgate of memories of certain people, places, moments in your life or something that didn’t even have a big significance…but a certain song always reminds you of it? For me, this happens ALL the time.
I am a huge believer in everyone having a soundtrack to their life. I do not think people realize just how special every individual’s soundtrack actually is. It’s just as important as photographs or diaries. There is a quote I love from Maria Von Trapp;“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” I truly believe that.
I am going to take you through some of my personal life soundtrack in this post. There are songs that make me happy, sad and the ones that comfort me. There is no surprise that Lee DeWyze has become a major part of my soundtrack, so I’ll only be speaking of a few of those today. It’s no secret that his voice inspires me and comforts me and I have this entire blog site dedicated to trying to explain that. This is going to be more of the musical side of me that you don’t already know.
You’ll find that I pretty much listen to ALL types of music. For Example, one of my favorite songs is “Regulator” by Warren G. ha-ha, shocked? I do not know of any specific memory attached to this song, but I have always loved it and I get happy inside when I hear it. Lol, true story.
Or, the song from the Dirty dancing soundtrack: “Be my baby” by The Ronettes. This song will always and forever remind me of one of my best friends that now lives across the country in LA. One of our friends had a juke box and this was on it. As soon as we’d get to the party we’d play this song and dance. Sometimes the guys would actually unplug it because we played it so much. It's  small things like that, which makes music so magical. To an outsider... that story may not be that interesting. But to me, it brings back memories of fun times and makes me happy when I miss her and wished she lived closer for when I need those late night marathon diner coffee talks we used to have.
Or of course people's wedding songs… that reminds them of the day they got to marry the person they love. Mine was “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw. Not only does this song remind me of love and Mark, it now makes us laugh because when you are dancing to it and everyone is watching you… it’s the world’s longest song. Lol. We just kept whispering to each other laughing "omg this is the longest song ever…".
Not all music memories are happy though. Like anyone that knows me knows that I am not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. I do not dislike them though;  I love their songs…I even like Stevie Nicks, but her voice reminds me of childhood memories that make me uneasy. Now, so you know, I was never in danger or anything like that when I say this, but When I was not at my grandmother’s house... I always felt uneasy. Her house made me happy, it was a comforting safe place to me, so the times I’d have to be away from her, the songs I’d hear there just made me think of how much I wanted to be at my mom-mom’s house. Know what I mean? So I love Stevie Nick’s songs and her style… but I can not listen to her sing. I do not like the place it takes me to. It's the exact opposite of when I listen to Lee.
Another one that is forever embedded in my memory was when I was in Junior high and my mom lived a block away from the school. We saw a kid get hit by a car right in front of her house. Later that night we had to go pick up my step dad from work and the song “Second Chance” came on by 38 Special. I remember sitting in the back of the car re-playing the scene of that poor boy getting hit, then feeling so much sadness for him.. All while this song was playing. Whenever I hear it, I think about that day. (For the record, fortunately, that boy was not killed)
You all know I ramble when I have lots to say! My thoughts are often jumbled in my head, bouncing all around. It's hard to write them out when they are constantly moving! The whole point of this post was to tell you that I made a playlist to listen to when I am sad and missing my grandmother! So, here it is! It is made of songs that hold a very special place in my heart and have the power to make me feel better and closer to her! Here is the list and the why’s. Ready? :
Track 1) Miranda Lambert “The house that built me”
This one is pretty self explanatory, I feel as though I could have written this song. It describes the home I grew up in, the feeling I have now when I miss it. I wish nothing more than that when it went up for sale, I was old enough to buy it. I’d love to live there now. Creating new memories. My grandfather built that house for my grandmother. It's always been a magical place, the world was never a scary place when I was in those walls.
Track 2) Cyndi Lauper- “Time after time”
My grandfather passed away when I was in 7th grade, so by the time I moved away to art school it was just my grandmother and me for 6 years. This song was playing on the radio as I backed out of the driveway as she stood on the porch waving goodbye when I left for the next chapter of my life.
Track 3) Lee DeWyze- “Don’t be afraid”
Did you really think Lee would not make this list? This song kind of speaks to me as a comforting pep talk. Obviously being raised by a grandparent, you know that at some point they are going to pass. I started worrying about this after my grandfather passed away. I was petrified of what I was going to do without her. Heck, I STILL am. So not only do the lyrics fit, I get the bonus of his voice saying those words… win
Track 4) Steve Wonder- “I just called to say I love you”
This was my grandmother’s favorite song! My sister and I would call her and play it over the phone, get her greeting cards that played it and sang it to her all the time. I can not listen to this song without shedding tears. I love it and it makes me feel closer to her.
Track 5) Jack Johnson- “Breakdown”
I remember being at work one day listening to my iPod while my grandmother was in Hospice. At that time it was just us waiting for that sad call. She was ready to let go. This song came on shuffle and the lyrics just hit me. I started crying and I could not stop. It kind of made me realize that I shouldn’t be so greedy in wanting her to hang on when she was ready to let go. She wanted to. That is all I have to say about this song 
Track 6) Jamie Johnson- “In Color”
This song does not have a memory attached to it per say, but if you listen to the lyrics; I just put together an entire music video of my grandparent’s old photos…..

There you have it, it is not a long playlist, but it’s just enough to comfort me when I miss her and I’m feeling overwhelmed or down. I’d love to hear what songs you have attached to certain memories! Please post them below if you’d like to share!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

EXCITING NEWS & Making art permanent..

Hello everyone,
So Remember that time when Lee DeWyze & Andrew Michael Golden wrote, directed and shot the music video for Lee's single "Fight"?!?! Well it won "Best Music Video" at the LA Indie Film Fest 2014!!!!! Congrats! Very exciting! The  crochet dolls of Lee & Jonna were created by Leesasaur, you can see her other work here: http://www.leesasaur.com/p/abouts.html?m=1 

Ok, had to get that out, woke up to that news! Very exciting! Now back to my original post:

Just stopping by to say hello and give you a few updates because I have realized that it’s been forever since my last post. Hopefully you noticed that I have not been posting and it’s more “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and not “out of sight, out of mind”…. There is always a thin line there... 

Between my son and my husband’s bike stuff, traveling and work, I have had no time to sketch. Hopefully things slow down soon and I start having that time back again. I get into a funk when I feel rushed and can not create. I guess it’s good that I am having a little break now because we all know Lee is busy in the studio making new music and as soon as we can hear it…. My mind will flood with images.  Words can not describe how excited I am to hear what he has been working on.
On instagram he posted a little clip and just that few seconds sounds amazing.
You can see the short video clip here: http://instagram.com/p/uqruG6lQog/
I am loving the vibe that comes with that little sample.
As for the updates: I finally got my new tattoo!

 For the last 3 years I have been thinking about the perfect tattoo to get to incorporate my art & Lee’s music into the perfect design. I have 6 other tattoos that are thankfully hidden because in the past I never put too much thought into them. They were  just what I liked at the time, which is why it took me 3 years to decide on this one.
Ever since the first time I heard “Hummingbird” (aka Lullaby), I knew I wanted it to be a hummingbird. The problem was, I was not happy with any of my own designs. The other issue was I wanted to incorporate the art & music thing, without having it holding a paintbrush in it's mouth or actual lyrics on it because I like things super simple, especially for something that I’ll have the rest of my life, ya know?
I finally got a design that a friend drew up for me (Thank you Liz!),  it was exactly how I pictured it, simple and “sketchy” looking. So now, how do we incorporate the meaning and why it’s so important to me? Braille! It’s very hard to see if you do not know to look for it, but there were “shading” dots on the head when Liz drew it up, so I looked up the word “Muse” on Braille and replaced those random dots with the word “Muse”.  I was pretty excited about this detail and the meaning, because as we all know, Lee DeWyze is definitely my muse. I know for a fact that I could not create without him.
My other plan was to have it in white ink, but there aren’t very many shops that will do a white ink tattoo due to how quickly they fade, etc. So I decided that I wanted just the sketched outline, in a sepia tone. I wanted it to look almost like a scar from being branded.
I found a shop while we were in Kentucky the other week and let me tell you…. Even on the phone talking about my idea, they had the best customer service and attitudes I’ve ever seen in a tattoo shop. I was very impressed and I highly recommend them! It’s Called “Tattoo Charlies” my tattoo was done by Joel.
Joel had to mix up a sepia color, in the little cup and it was the perfect shade, but on my wrist it’s more orange. Although it’s not the color I really wanted, I am still happy with it. It’s subtle, meaningful and it's  totally my style.
As for art in general, I have started a commissioned piece for a dear friend. It’s only in the beginning stages, but it is coming along nicely I think.
I hope to have this completed by next weekend!
Also, Before I forget… to everyone seeing Lee in Indiana tonight, Chicago tomorrow or better yet…both…. Have a great time! I wish I was there!
Have a good day everyone!!!!