Taking Things One Week At A Time And Playing With Shimmer Sharpies…

Well, I think this week’s blog may take on two different themes because I just don’t think my brain has been thinking in a solid frame of mind all week. I am feeling the pressure of the semester and just trying to keep my head on straight throughout this online semester. Also, I am trying to allocate the time for myself to open up and feel creative without the pressure of needing to post something about it.

Let me start with the not so fun stuff, like laundry that has piled up to the point where you have no more clean pants. Or that therapy appointment you know you should go to, but you are insisting to yourself that it’s going to take up too much time, so you don’t go but instead of being productive you just scroll through social media. Not to mention the hours’ worth of homework you are actively procrastinating while you imagine all of the ways your classmates could be judging you during zoom classes.

Life is moving so fast that in one moment I may feel like I am rocking productivity and the next I am literally laying on the ground crying because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to read everything. I am the type of person who is always looking ahead, trying to plan and strategize for any future inconvenience while still trying to put out all of the current fires in life. In some respects, I think this has helped me throughout life because I am hardly ever surprised, but when I am surprised it sends me off my rocker.

I think as I grow older the number of things that can be planned out and strategized for continues to dwindle because with age comes the wisdom that nothing is predictable. So, my ability to constantly look to the future may help me with school projects but for the majority of life that isn’t schedulable, I think it makes it harder for me.

That is why I have been practicing taking things one week at a time since I have started the fall semester. Breaking my energy up into weeklong segments allows me to focus my time on the tasks at hand while still being able to look to the future but just for a week or so. If I try to think of all the projects, I’ll have to turn in by the end of the semester I just end up stressing myself out. Each week all I need to worry about is doing the reading for each of my five classes, complete two to three quizzes, post to discussion boards, complete two to three weekly projects, and of course attend my classes.

Within that week, each day I just focus on finishing whatever tasks are due first and I cannot explain how much this way of thinking has changed my life. So, maybe a week is too short for you, or too long but either way I truly believe that at least consciously knowing every task you need to complete and when is a game changer to productivity.

With this method of mental organization, I usually end up leaving my painting or creative time for the weekends. More often than not I just find time for my creative endeavors in the evenings or early mornings when I can convince myself I have caught up on homework. There have been a few days that I chose to focus my mental energy on something for my little business rather than homework and I quickly regretted it when I came out of the creative trance.

Needless to say, creativity sometimes takes a backseat when I feel like I have a million other responsibilities and I couldn’t tell you why it makes it harder when I feel the pressure to post on my social media outlets. Considering I don’t want to see myself fall out of practice, or worse just stop altogether, I have been channeling my inner silly and trying to have more fun.

Since I try to finish a painting every week, this week I wanted to add a little something extra to the art. I painted a typical scene I find easy, some clouds and a mountain top, but the dried product was so bland I decided to add some sparkle. Metallic Sharpie’s are always fun to write with, so I picked some up and went to town on my boring painting, trying to create something new and exciting.

The first stroke was the scariest because I knew that I couldn’t really paint over it unless I wanted to completely restart my painting and video. Once I placed that shimmering gold sharpie tip on the canvas I just hoped for the best and glided it across the slightly defined mountain tops. By the time I got to decorating the clouds I was just playing around with different shapes and patterns but eventually decided on a simple dot effect, this meant I had to fill in quite a bit of my mistakes.

In the end, I was left with a simple sparkling design (if you catch it in the right light). It may seem silly and I’m not sure exactly when else I could use this technique, but I did enjoy getting to do something brand new to me. I think it freshens up creativity and hey now I’ve got a new multi-medium art piece. Thank you for reading this week’s blog and make sure to check out the video of my sharpie creation!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

Art Style As A Beginner Artist

Recently I have been expanding my learning and understanding of most aspects of my life, art being one of them. In the spring semester of 2020, I took the first real art class I’ve ever taken and in just a few short months I had I learned so much. Since then I have been continuing to learn what I can online, whether that’s on YouTube or just by listening and paying attention to artists I look up to.

In this experience of expanding my horizons as a writer and artist, I have been hearing more and more about artists needing to find a “style”. The artist community tosses this word “style” or “personal style” around like crazy as if everyone is just screaming to the world that they are an artist!

But it got me thinking, do I have a personal style yet? Am I supposed to know what my artistic style is now? How do you find your “personal style”?

I’ve been diving into a couple of chapters of the book called On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, and a particular chapter caught my eye, chapter 4: Style. Zinsser explains to his readers that true and captivating writing comes from a writer expressing his or her style without fear of judgment. He reassures the audience too that finding this “style” everyone speaks of takes time.

It is simply illogical to assume that you could be the fully developed and stylized version of your artistic self without the years of experience it takes to get there. Most importantly, it is okay that it takes time, it allows you to play with new creative things and have blissful fun without the pressure of upholding a certain “personal style”

If you are on a journey to find your artistic “style”, like me, then continue reading to see what I have been doing to discover and develop my artistic style.

Being Creative Daily

This is somewhat of a hard one but arguably the most important aspect it seems, of becoming a developed and stylized artist. Me telling you this, along with every other respectable artist out there, isn’t new information but maybe you will practice it better than I have. It can be so hard to find time every single day to create something, but I have noticed the benefits are worth the struggle

Trying New Ideas

I have always loved painting skies and mountains and oh do I love painting moons, but it wasn’t until recently that I gained some interest to start painting different scenes. Sometimes creating a new pallet of colors opens up your imagination, for example, I accidentally created a beautiful sea green color and have been enjoying creating ocean scenes. In a recent painting I decided to go even further and try painting something I have never done before, painting people, well a mermaid to be exact.

You can see in the video, I wasn’t trying to be perfect and I most certainly knew that this would not end up being any of my best work, but it was so fun to experiment with skin tone and body shape. More than that I learned a lot about what I could do differently in the future to improve my painting abilities. Stepping outside of your painting “norms” can be just the push you need to see more creativity come out of yourself than ever before.

Learning New Mediums

I would say my primary medium for creating and painting is acrylic paints on canvas (either board or stretched). I have dabbled into watercolors but nothing too fancy, and I enjoy calligraphy and hand lettering, but if I had to give one medium I use, it would be acrylic. I just love that it is opaque and dries so that if I make a mistake it isn’t too hard to cover it up.

However, a medium I hadn’t considered before six months ago has now become a medium, I go to often, digital media/art. My purchase of the app Procreate has been a game-changer in my digital art practice, compared to the Windows Paint 3D I was using beforehand. Opening myself up to trying a new medium as digital art has most definitely increased my creativity because I have discovered so many tools I can use in future projects. Even in the last couple of months, I can already notice certain styles appearing in my work and I am excited to continue developing my artistic style.

I hope you all enjoyed this little blog post where I examined ways in which creative people can find or discover their “artistic style”. Go ahead and check out my painting video at the end of this blog, I would especially appreciate it. Make sure to like, comment, and follow to never miss an update from me, happy reading!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

Not Creating Out Of Fear…

Sometimes I just feel like I have a gazillion things on my To-Do list, and I can never get them done. I have so many ideas in my head of creative things I want to write or paint or record, and they all rush through my head at top speeds. Whizzing by, before I can even fully digest the thought, another brilliant plan comes soaring in and stealing the show until another genius idea grabs my attention.

Everyone says just do one thing at a time and it will work itself out. All of the productivity masters preach about ”niching down” honing in on just one skill or activity at a time. That all sounds like fantastic advice but my question is, how on earth should I choose any one thing?

I am realizing more and more that I can’t really do one thing at a time, even when I am learning in my college classes. In the fall semester I did in person classes and really had a hard time sitting for almost two hours in lectures. Now that almost all of my schooling has switched to online, I am fully aware of how I multi-task to do everything.

It makes some sense considering I end up multitasking while watching things on my phone or, like cleaning or cooking or resting. I am always thinking at least six steps ahead of where I actually am, just constantly thinking of what I can do next to be better (sometimes to a fault). I find that whole “being present” thing very hard sometimes, and then other times the reality of now hits me like a ton of bricks and I realize all the other ideas I forgot about.

On top of creating this blog and deciding to make internet content, I am a fulltime college student and I am looking head on at a fifteen credit fall semester that is now going to be fully online (except for one class). I have a lot going on in my life and I’m always trying to find time to socialize with my family and friends, bond with my partner, and even time to take care of myself.

I feel like I’ve let myself down or others because at this point, I don’t know how to balance all the greatness in my life, but I am grateful for it. I have more than I could ever ask for and the people I love and care about have shown me nothing but support in my creative journey.

I have some amazing things I want to do in this world and so much art and creativity that I want to share as well, and I don’t want to give up on any of it. People always say choose one thing and go after that, but I want to be so much more than just one thing. I want to be a mother and a businesswoman, who can teach if she wants to while creating art on the side.

I want to be an author and an artist, because I don’t think just one of those characteristics portrays me the way I want to be portrayed. I am all of the things I am, and I refuse to be diminished to one single trait, there is so much more to my story than just an artist or just a writer.

These dreams I have are not too far off from reality except, I know I have a bad habit of getting my thoughts stuck in my head, not giving them the chance to ever come to fruition. I need to choose instead of mulling the idea over in my head for days, then weeks, then months, and now even years, to act when I have the feeling to create.

I think so much about how young I am and how much life I still haven’t seen yet, and that silences a lot of my stories. I like to be well informed before telling the world something, probably because I’ve seen clear instances when I had incorrectly spoken, and I don’t want to be that person. I like to know I am educated on what I am talking about, but I also have to recognize that I am often talking about my own feelings.

If a story I want to tell is about my feelings, my experience’s, or my thoughts, then I am already the expert I crave to be (at least on the subject of myself). I too often fear that whatever I am saying or putting out into the internet world isn’t worth putting out there and that is just simply not true. No one in the world has heard my exact story, maybe very similar, but I haven’t heard a story exactly like mine!

Instead of worrying about how the world may perceive me or that my voice doesn’t need to be heard in such a chaotic world, I choose to do what feels good, make what feels good, and follow those feelings in creating my life.

Feelings are so fleeting; I could be crying for joy one minute and the next weeping from sorrow. So, with that in mind I should take advantage of the feelings that propel me to make things instead of squandering that voice with fear.

A New Decade

So in the truest fashion of my blog I am uploading my birthday content a month after the event, which makes sense because this was a surreal and unexpected scenario to be in when turning twenty. With that in mind please bear with my scattered thoughts from a month ago, but her it is:

To anyone who didn’t know I am a 2000’s baby, which means as we all have entered a new decade of 2020, I have entered the second decade of my life. I am no longer a teenager woohoo! Or at least that is what I thought I would feel like but instead, I am feeling the weight of the world as I realize I am now no longer really considered a kid. I mean I am of course still very young and at the beginner of my journey, I realize that, but I am no longer in the excusable teenage years.

I think entering a new decade of my life has gotten me thinking about the past ten years of my life, which comes with a lot of reflection at who I was as a kid and who I am now. With that I have also been contemplating the next ten years of my life, who am I going to be in another decade?

Graduating and having a career is on my horizon and with that, I also want to create a family. Buying a house is on the horizon if my partner and I play our cards right. Financial freedom is in my future if I just keep killing it at what I am doing now and continue believing in that dream. I may be a broke college student now but if I continue creating the dreams, I always wished for I can have whatever I want in a matter of years. There’s not even a number on it I just know that if I continue creating art with the passion I have and keep writing my experiences and stories, I will become the middle-aged woman I want to be, not the middle-aged woman I fear becoming.

The woman who gave up on her dreams because they were too big or too frightening. I don’t want to become the mom who hates her life because she gave up her dreams for kids, but I also don’t want to be the mother who is so concerned with her career that the babies feel unloved. I want to set up a lifestyle where I can be making money without actively being in the office every day before I have children so that I am allowed the financial freedom to enjoy taking care of my family for a while when it does happen. Because I am so excited for those days, I am turning twenty and simply thinking of the time I get to be a mom.

That life seems so far off from the one I have now where I get anxiety at having to make dinner most nights, but I am going to therapy, I am working on myself daily to create the future I know I want to have. That is the life I want and dream for bur I know I am young; I don’t expect perfection now. I know I am too young to expect my dreams to come true but how do I continue propelling myself in that direction?

I am taking my late teens and early twenties years to learn about how to create a passive income, how to be a good parent in the future, how to be a better partner now, how to teach people things, psychology, history, English, I am even relearning math. I am learning about my country’s government, I am learning about the economy, about foreign countries economies and governments, about world history.

I am about to start my second year of college and that has got to be exciting! I survived freshman year, I did better than just survive and now I shouldn’t let myself get down because the world seems unsure while I’m in college. To be honest, my education experience has never been normal, or easy, or even typical. So why would I expect my college education to be so? Thinking about it like that makes me chuckle to myself, to think that this would be my first year of college. Ha! A pandemic, of course.

Nothing about my life has ever gone the way I expect it to, I never thought I would turn twenty during a global pandemic, and I never thought I would be living in my home town after I turned eighteen. Nothing went exactly how I would expect it to, but none the less, I graduated high school and now I am working towards a career and living with my love in our own apartment. Just because this is not the way I would have imagined my life at twenty doesn’t mean it is a negative outcome.

They say the best time to learn is when you are younger, that’s why children can learn new languages more easily than adults and why older generations seem to be stubborn. It’s hard to learn how the world works when you’ve spent your whole life not being taught. That is why I care so much about learning now! I have an infinite amount of information at my fingertips with google, and not to mention the benefits I get as a college student. Now is my time to learn. I have to take advantage of it while it’s right in front of me.

I didn’t expect this birthday to be as introspective and reflective as it was but now, I see I probably needed it. This is not the birthday I expected but life isn’t what I expected and that is okay. It’s okay to not know what the hell is going on because you just turned twenty years old and you’re signed up for five college classes during a global pandemic. I am so lucky to have made it to twenty years old, and that has got to remind me that it is all okay.

Recognizing Blogging Day (a day late)

Well, it is the day after ”Blogger Day” and I wanted to post a blog about it but per my usual style, it is not posted on the day. Even though I am a heavy procrastinator and never, and I mean never, post anything on time, I still wanted to post something in honor of blogging because of how much it has changed my life.

I started inconsistently blogging in April of 2019, as a form of journaling about my feelings and in hopes of finding like-minded humans who could relate to my content. Since then I have gone through a galore of self-doubt, re-evaluating my circumstances, anxiety, bouts of depression, surges of inspiration, and bursts of productivity. Since I began blogging I have rediscovered art and painting, started going to college, decided on a career path, and burned many bridges.

When I decided to take my art and writing seriously in April of 2020, I began to notice all of the habits and negative self talk that have plagued me for as long as I can remember. Over the past months of this year I have broken down walls within myself that I didn’t even know were there, and once I broke down a few walls I saw all of the barriers that have been caging my soul, for who knows how long.

Writing about some of the things that have plagued my heart on my blog or on my social media accounts has given me some solace in knowing I am not alone. When I post my experience and feelings to the internet, I am met with other people doing the same thing! The internet is such a vast and ever-changing place that it excites me to think of what it may look like in the future.

Even with the knowledge and realization that the internet, blogging, posting my arts and passion can connect me to people from anywhere who relate to my information and may even like it, I still feel inadequate. Considering I took a long couple of years not posting really anything to any social media, I have concluded that this must be some deep understanding I have about myself that isn’t caused by the sometimes overwhelming internet.

How could it be? The joy of creating a video I am proud of and posting it to the internet where just one person says they like it, has given me more support than I can by telling myself in the mirror affirmations. How can doing something that gets my heart beating with excitement and my mind racing with inspiration be a bad thing? I love forming words and sentences together to make intriguing stories and possibilities for an audience, I love letting my mind melt away as I paint sunsets and mountain scapes, I gain so much joy from creating content I am proud of.

Although, this joy does not override my mental illness so I have started attending therapy and I am really trying to improve my life, even if some days I fall back into toxic patterns and behaviors that end up making me feel like I haven’t improved at all. Being able to look back at the videos I have created or the blogs I have written, gives me a window to my old self, which as I grow older seems to be farther and farther from who I am.

So here is to blogging day, a day I want to continue celebrating, for how much blogging has brought to my life. Creating a blog was really my escape from the boring adult world to a creative and expansive world of inspiration and art. Thank you whoever invented blogging, and thank you to everyone reading, you are the reason I continue writing and creating so that someone like you can find it and enjoy.

4 – 21 -2019

So over the past two years I really feel like I’ve been in a slump, compared to others I’m sure I was excelling because that’s always how I’ve been. I was just so down and hard on myself but now I see how great my life is, every single day I think how grateful I am to live in this gorgeous apartment with this man I am so in love with. I haven’t ever gone hungry or cold. We’ve never missed a bill. I have an amazing life and it only makes me think how much better it’s gonna get, I’m working hard every day to make money and save for my future and now I’m applied to college and registered for classes.

It feels like life moves so fast, I remember sitting in my childhood bedroom dreaming of this exact moment in my life and sometimes I feel frozen. You know, that gut – wrenching feeling in your stomach as the world begins to spin and things don’t make sense anymore. It makes me feel like literally I can’t breath, my heart beats so hard i can feel it all through my veins. It makes me want to crawl into a ball and just disappear and when I can’t do that it makes me want to hit, punch, scream, anything to distract from this feeling. They tell me it’s called General Anxiety Disorder, mainly because it’s almost constant and flares up out of nowhere.

So I guess where this is: me preparing to learn more and more but most importantly better myself every day, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I used to be an all honors student, my lowest grade was a C and I was devastated to get it. Then I finished high school through online school, and as weird as it is I’ve been beating myself up for it for years. I just get into my head that because I didn’t do high school like “normal” people I’m somehow less qualified or intelligent, which I’ve been told by many is not true. Now I’ve been out of school for a while and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, that’s a big part of me starting this blog. Making a commitment to myself to write something every week is going to prepare me for writing all those college essay’s in my future, plus I think it will be good for my soul and even confidence.

I’ve thought about starting a blog for some time because I’ve always loved writing, I cant tell you how many novel ideas I have flying around my head. So this is my commitment not only to write more consistently but also to improve my writing. Something I’m learning is you can’t talk about it you gotta be about it; you can sit on the couch and tell everyone what you’re going to do but until you get up and do it they won’t care. Life isn’t only our actions and decisions but also our inaction’s or what we choose not to do. Just like everybody else I have fears of being judged or misunderstood and to be honest lately I haven’t really wanted myself on the internet at all because of that. I feel like social media has really taken over society, it scares me how much people care about likes and comments and so on and so forth because it’s just not real life(not to mention it literally never disappears). I think I had to be reminded that even though the internet can do a lot of harm it can also help and be a great resource. Again it’s all in the actions we choose to make, we can be awful or we can spread love.

Overall the only way to really prepare for the future is to be the best you in this moment, for the only time you can change things is now. Think about that, the only way to help yourself in the future is to do stuff in this moment to make your life easier when hard times come. Like I can decide to eat a fruit salad rather than having the whole bag of hot fries for a snack or even do my chores sooner rather than later. It can be hard because I usually just want to do what feels good to me in the moment, like sit on my phone and watch you tube rather than to paint or read instead but in the end the latter always makes me feel better. What may feel good to me right now will make my future self feel even worse. I think that’s part of growing up, choosing what may not feel good but ultimately it will do good for you.

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.