The opposite of dissociation is connection. Late February and March have been a time for connection— or maybe for re-connection— in my life. Re-connecting with myself, re-connecting with my loved ones, re-connecting with my art. I’ve discovered that sometimes, giving up is the only way to make yourself want to keep going. Here are some photos (and above, some footage) from this strange/good time, and the songs I’ve been playing a lot throughout it.
I realized today that it’s been ages since I last made a moodboard, which is something I used to do all the time when I was 15/16. I used to be very into collecting images and tossing them together to evoke a feeling, give off a vibe, put you in a mood. I guess you could call it curation, in a sense? It was nice to be able to scroll through my moodboards and soak myself in beautiful, inspiring imagery whenever I found myself in a creative rut. So I figured, “there’s no time like the present,” and made one. Here’s some blushy, bronzey goodness:
Here’s a roundup of all the things that are shaping me as a person and as an artist this month.
…Could there be a more pretentious way to open a moodboard blog post? Probably not. You’re welcome.
I’m always feeling yellow and orange come fall. When I left Vancouver and went away to Portland for the first week of September, it was summer. By the time I came back, it was suddenly fall. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Maybe it’s just Vancouver, with its culture of knocking down and rebuilding anything that’s over 30 years old (à la Hollywood-reboot of film that doesn’t need a reboot) but when I leave it I never feel like my city has been still and waiting for me to return.
I’ve been watching a couple shows– I finished Stranger Things (like everyone else with a Netflix account) and absolutely loved it, almost as much as Eleven loves Eggos. I also started watching Degrassi: Next Class out of curiosity and a need to fill the hole in my heart that is present when I don’t have a Shitty Teen Drama TV Show to watch. I assumed it would be cheesy trash, which it kind of is, but I also wound up binging all of it because it’s HIGHLY ENJOYABLE. Even though the acting/writing can be weak, it’s really progressive, has a diverse cast, and I watched all of 90210 and Gossip Girl, bad teen dramas are my guiltiest of pleasures.
Promises Ltd. (the musical collaboration between producer Chrome Sparks and singer Charlie Brand) has been playing on my phone pretty much nonstop since a friend of mine sent me Days of Lavender. Their entire EP is made up of gorgeous, dreamy songs with a vague hint of sadness, but I think the standout for me is Crystal Showers. It’s the kind of music that just makes you FEEL things. It sends me into some kind of sad love scene from a movie that doesn’t exist.
In late November I’ll be going on a four month long travelling stint across Europe, like a typical post-high school North American looking to fill up time during their gap year. It’s been weird being in SEPTEMBER, the time between The Summer After Graduation and The Winter of Travelling. The time Between. It’s like my life is on hold and not actually currently happening. It’s like life is both going in slow motion (I can’t wait to go do new things) and moving far too quickly (oh god I’m leaving everything I love for four months SO SOON). It’s like everything I do now is just… in anticipation.
My sister joins me in December and I won’t be back home in Vancouver until the end of March. My thoughts about it waver between genuine excitement, extreme nervousness, and a calm kind of curiosity. Whenever someone asks me why I’m going, I just think, “why not?” I’m not really seeking to FiNd MySeLf, I just want to have a good time, experience new things and be young, present, and alive. There also isn’t much keeping me in Vancouver right now– I’m not in school, I work a job that (although I love it) isn’t exactly a career, I’m experiencing the normal shift in friendships one experiences after high school ends (where the friendships that are only maintained out of convenience stop being convenient, and therefore stop existing). Parting from my boyfriend is going to suck, big-time, but I have no other solid reason to remain here, stagnating.
My first destination is Manchester, UK, to stay with one of my favourite, favourite people, Cosette. We’ve been talking about me coming to visit her for over a year now and I can’t believe the day is coming so soon?
Then my trip comes to a close with a stop in Montréal before heading home. More of my good friends are in school there, at prestigious universities, making me briefly question the non-collegiate path I’ve chosen for the time being. It’s weird watching someone post videos of boozy frat parties publicly on their Snapchat stories, and then privately send you snaps of them stress crying from their workload. I was getting some First Year University Dorm Life FOMO for about a week, but now I’m pretty content that I’ve given myself a break before pursuing further education. I’m excited to end my long-haul trip there. After months of pretty much only seeing and doing new things, I think it’ll be nice to DO new things in a place I’ve SEEN before, with people I’ve been friends with for years.
Some unrelated inspo:
Tavi Gevinson’s Infinity Diaries for Rookie Mag are the kind of pieces you read and then spend the whole day thinking about afterwards– just intensely real and beautiful snapshots of her life as an 18-year-old living and growing in New York City. I also read it and was just, like, “FUCK.” She’s a successful editor-in-chief, writer, actress and feminist. #goals?? And she’s only 20 and has her whole life ahead of her to keep doing cool shit! I hate idolizing people because they’re literally just people, but she is a cool people and has been someone I’ve admired and respected for… 6 or 7 years now? I hadn’t even looked at Rookie Mag for a year or so and then this piece reminded me how great it is.
I love love love Every Frame a Painting, a YouTube channel dedicated to film analysis. I got into filmmaking kind of by accident– I loved to act and write, and I made my own YouTube channel in 2009, back in the days when sketch comedy reigned supreme on the site and I thought my dumb 12-year-old self would do that and hit it big. Obviously my filmmaking ability has changed, y’know, just slightly since then, but I still do approach it from a background of writing and acting, and the actual film form and theory is the part I arguably understand the least. Take this video, for example. It (combined with my background in live theatre) influenced my decision to shoot conversations between characters in one long, unbroken shot that frames both actors in my most recent short film.
Basically, Every Frame a Painting is gold and helps me understand film form better even though critical analysis of films was always my least favourite part of my Film Studies class. I’ve been documenting all the films I watch over on Letterboxd— they’re not exactly hard-hitting reviews, but I like being able to look back at everything I’ve watched recently.
I extremely thoroughly enjoyed this Refinery29 Shoot that embraces frizzy hair. My curl type is naturally frizzy af and I’ve pretty much just incorporated the frizz into my aesthetic cause trying to tame it is too much effort. I’m glad to see Refinery29 doing the same thing!
And, finally, I extremely, strongly, really thoroughly enjoyed this video that I’d like to end this post with. I think the best part of this video is when Johnny unabashedly profits off of women’s unpaid labour w/ that fashion show hahahhah. This is the kind of stuff I think of when people say they were born in the wrong generation. Like, I’m so glad I’m alive in 2016 and not 1940. I humbly present: How to be a Classy Girl.
Opalside.com (which is currently a working site but is hella ugly because we don’t have a design figured out yet– if you’re willing to help us out with that that’d be super cool) is going to be a website dedicated to the arts of all kinds (with a special focus on photography and poetry) with monthly themed content curated by myself, Sarah Sloan MacLeod, and one of my favouritest people ever, Mikyung Jung. We’re both teenage girls from Vancouver and art fanatics who’d like to offer unsung artists an opportunity to, like, PUBLISH STUFF. ON A REAL, INDEPENDENT, FREE TO USE WEBSITE. BECAUSE HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE.
So you’ve read all this and want to submit? WELL LUCKY FOR YOU THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT YOU TO DO.
The first issue’s theme will be IDENTITY. By which we mean, what is an identity? What defines us as people– our sexualities, the places we’ve lived and loved, our aesthetics, our favourite foods? Is identity something you’re born with or do you grow into it? Is it fluid? Is it fate? Can you choose who you become? Who even ARE you, anyway, at the core?
Yes, we know this is super ~~deep~~ and we hope it’s a decently inspiring prompt. There’s also a moodboard below for visual artists looking for inspiration.
If you’d like to apply to join the staff (aka contribute to multiple issues) fill out the form below and just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We keepin this application and publication process chill. Yo.
URL to a blog/vlog/somethin’ along those lines:
What would you contribute? Attach/link to samples of your work.
Poetry – 3 seperate poems (slam poetry is accepted in video or written format)
Photography/Illustrations – 5 seperate pieces
Videos – 3 seperate pieces
And if you’d like to submit on a one-time-only basis, email the work you’d like to be considered to email@example.com.
Aaaaaaaaand finally if you’ve just got questions, ask them in the comment section below, I spend too much time on this website anyway.