Zach Claymation

Zach Claymation

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reflections and New Challenge: the Magic trick


Making art for others is a complicated process let me tell you. First you have to think (if drawing/painting/etc), "hmm what does this person want to look like". Then you have to think HOW they actually look, and all while being aware of your own artist capabilities (unless your a vincent van gogh, and he's not a blog follower). Its tough, there are a lot of sociological factors going on, but don't give up!

Sometimes you have to make it less about how things actually look, and more about how they feel. I know my friend jay wants to be a doctor, I know its something he feels passionate about, and I know that I am not good enough of an artist to make a picture REALLY look like jay. So i fake it, a kid in a lab coat with a nametag that says Dr., a pair of running shoes that he actually wears, and a designer belt because I know he likes fashion. AWESOME. But here is the cool thing about art, all it takes is for someone to get the ball rolling, and then others can pick up on the idea and elaborate, change, simplify, or just altogether steal.

Perfect example, last Friday I went to see a Philharmonic preform the music of the Doors. Thats right, an entire orchestra was trying to recreate the music of a four person acid rock band that was huge close to 45 years ago. But were they really trying to recreate the music, or the feeling? I will admit the guitarist and keyboardist were probably much more talented than the original members of the Doors, but in the end they were not the real original members so tickets were much more affordable. With the strobe lights going, the horns chirping, the full string section adding an element to the Doors music that I have even realised could have existed, I was down with the feeling that was being recreated. Thank God people haven't given up on art. So to all those artists, please keep making it, re-making it, rethinking it, and however ya can just get it out there. We can't live without it.

CHALLENGE: The Magic trick

 Okay, so if you know me personally you know i love corny jokes, storytelling, and magic tricks. Here is one of the only magic tricks I know, and its so simple, even I can do it. Here it goes. Go to the bank, cash your paycheck and put money into wallet. When you return home, take an envelope and fill it with an undisclosed amount of money, something small, but enough to buy a little bit of food, a shirt, a movie, etc ( i'd guesstimate like 5-10 bucks). Ok, so when you put the money in the envelope, lick the glue, seal it and WHA-LA! that money no longer belongs to you, it is merely just being held by you. Where that money goes is up to you from that point on, but try to make it something that will get you to experience the joy of giving, and the joy of seeing someone recieve. If you cannot find a person that you want to buy something/do something for, you can donate that money to a charity, organization, church, etc. But the point is to put a face to those who we serve, making others realise that random acts of kindness benefit us all. Good luck with the trick, most people that see it really like it. Peace guys and gals

This is a picture done by my sista, shes an amazing artist (obviously). It is modeled after a women she saw at the airport trying with all her might to close a suitcase JAM PACKED with clothing. Im sure this had to be hilarious to witness.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reflection and Challenge 3: Make art

After consciously trying to be more honest for a week, I can totally see why the movie Liar Liar was such a hit. A little fib here and there can get you out a situation you don't want to be in, but if you just flat out say "no" it is in a sense freeing. Now in this digital age where cell phones have changed our plans by the minute, I will admit I could not fulfill all my weeks obligations. The woman that I am doing research with had her basement flooded and so our research schedule changed, which ran into other plans I had, and thus I was not 100% a man of my word. Even though i did bat 1000 this exercise helped me to realize how critical communication is, in all of its forms. It also made me realize how difficult it is to interpret text messages on cell phones or on the internet, so i made a new rule for myself. If someone sends me a text that gives a reason why they cannot be somewhere, i will take it as truth. It saves me a lot of time, and a lot of raging energy. And on we go....


This weeks challenge incredibly fun, but it can also be incredibly difficult. This week I am going to make a piece of art for a friend or a family member. For my birthday gift my sister made a claymation figure of me and a drawing and I have to say it was the best gift I have ever received in my life. I knew that she was spending a great deal of time thinking about me, thinking about who I am, what I like and dislike about myself, and what would make me happy. Now, don't put super high expectations on your artwork, we all have different talents. But make sure that it is uniquely you, and that it is uniquely the other person. It can be a poem, a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a video, a dance, a song, or anything else that you can make a case for being art (i'm sure   my friend laura could give a in depth definition of what art is, so if your low on ideas check her blog out). Spend time thinking about that person, pinpoint what you want the work to showcase, and get crack-a-lackin. I am going to post my stuff, I hope someone else does! But if not, were all still friends. Peace. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Reflections and Moving ahead. Challenge 2.

Warning: the first bit of this is just a reflection of the weeks events, if you want to see challenge 2, scroll down to it.

So overall the week went pretty well. I got a chance to have lunch with my great uncle and my grandfather in a little greek restaurant near my school. Getting a chance to speak with people that are much older than you are can really be a blessing. They give you point of views that you do not often hear and they put things into the context of life as it was when they were young. My uncle told me, " Oh when I was 22 I was in Africa for the millitary", that not only made me feel old, but incredibly uninteresting.

But people that are older than you can often give very sound advice, and in the case of my grandfather and uncle, I know that they are very sincere about what they tell me. My grandfather told me how he feared that my generation would be the one that no longer thinks they will be better off than their parents were finicially, and I think his words are becoming facts. But with that being said, my grandfather also loves telling stories of his youth when his family had nothing but the shirts on their backs, and ya know what, things sounded pretty good. Perhaps its all perspective...

I did have some meal plans cancel on me, but I plan to make those up with my friends. I also had a little surprise visit with my cousin. I got to visit him at his college campus and just chat for a bit. Seeing family or friends on their own turf can tell you a lot about them, and I can honestly say I do not think we walked by a person in the halls that didnt say hi to my cousin. He's pretty much the man.

The breakfast at home was amazing as expected. Fruit, Oatmeal, Eggs, Focaccia, coffee, yogurt, etc. My mom treats me like the prodigal son when I return, so whenever friends complain about going home I really have to stay out of those conversations. My mother even gave me an early birthday gift, something that I really really wanted. She took a little bit of all the house plants in our home and put them in a pot for me, so that I could have a peice of home at school ::tears:: Thank god for moms, seriously, they rock.

CHALLENGE 2- be a person of your word.

While I was sitting in church this sunday, i decided to skip ahead and look at the gospel. Just to summarize for those who do not go to church, or are not catholic/christian/religious, or just couldn't pay attention (it happens), Jesus tells those listening to him to make your yes's mean yes, and your no's mean no. I thought this was so great. Simplistically beautiful, and yet for me so hard to follow. I am THE KING of sending last minute texts saying, " i don't think i'm going, sorry" or leaving voicemails with sometimes good and sometimes bogus excuses. So for my experiement, I am going to be a man of my word for a week.

 Now that doesn't mean I am going to say yes to everybody, infact it will probably mean more no's, but I will be firm with my scheduling. I am also going to attempt to be extremeley genuine with my words, trying to say exactly what I mean and not misguiding others (this will be tough). Its an attempt, its an effort, and i think its worth a shot. Being a man of my word for a week is going to lead to a lot reflection, and try to be mindful of where you do end up saying yes, and where you end up saying no. It may be interesting...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The first challenge- a meal with a loved one

The one thing that I have learned from three and a half years of college is that being a student can be very isolating. Sitting on your computer. alone. Doing your lab write up. alone. Grabbing a quick bite to eat in between lectures. alone. Its crazy to think that in a class of 200 people I would not meet a single person, oh but it happens a lot. The first week of my freshman year I feel like I met over a thousand people, and then something happened. People were comfortable, no one needed to meet anyone else it seemed. But I think thats very normal and I completely include myself in the group of people that no longer makes an effort to get to know others.

But that will change. If no one ever reads this blog but it gets me to go out and meet others or just improve the relationships that I already have, awesome. A change has been made for the better and I will take that no matter how insignificant that may seem. So here was my week's challenge- When listening to pandora the other day, "cats in the cradle" by harry chapin came on. I said to myself, " i should really take the time to call my dad and spend some time with him".

So this sunday morning I am coming home early to have a big breakfast with him, followed by going to my grandfathers for lunch and helping him with some house projects. The challenge is to make some time to spend with a family member or friend who you may not see or talk to very often, but who is special to you. Try to pick a person who you would benefit greatly from seeing and someone who you think would greatly appreciate your company. Relish it, and let that feeling remind you of how great it is to love and to be loved. Isolation is a conscious decision, and no one should go through life alone. peace.