Friday, 5 February 2016

Are these obsessions morbid?

I have no idea where the days go. I spend 10 hours at work, 8 hours asleep, maybe 2 travelling and reading, and the rest, probably daydreaming. I feel like I've withdrawn even further into myself than normal. I've been avoiding messages and people I actually know and like, and I have no idea why. Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming ill again but I don't want to dwell on that, especially now when I'm learning to actually do the things I think about.

Speaking of, Chaos Theory, the Jeff Goldblum Zine is finished! Finally!

I actually can't believe I managed to finish something with a group of people. But yes, it's finally done. It cost me an arm and a leg to print but I think it's worth it. Hopefully other people do too. It's for sale here

Apart from that, I've learned some things and have some things to say but feel like I'm waiting for a break, or for time, some stars to align, or for a clear head. That has to stop because my head is never clear. So I'll put it all here in a rush because that's what it's been like for the past couple of weeks.

Front Page 
(Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, John Lennon)


I'm not worrying about the fact that I haven't written an essay in a long time, and am just playing with my current obsessions: blissymbolics, celebrity deaths and myths. Maybe it will translate back into a written piece. It's so weird, I find it easier (at the moment) to say what I mean with fewer words, and in some cases no words at all. 

I've been reading a lot of Rolling Stone obituaries and trying to see how we write about dead celebrities, and after watching Series 2 of Work of Art (oh my days I never knew this existed for the longest time! It's like project runway for artists!) I found out about Adam McEwen, this artist that used to write obituaries for the Daily Telegraph, and then turned obituaries into art by writing his own for celebrities who are still alive, like MacCauley Culkin and Jeff Koons. And while I was ecstatic, I was also like "NOOOOOO! Fuck you, bitch! Ugh! I'm so jealous I didn't think of that!"

But it's cool. Got a new artist/writer to look into now, and see where all this morbid fascination in the deaths and legacies of pop cultural icons goes.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Is that you, yeah?

Hey! I can't believe I took this screenshot last week. Where on earth has the time gone? I've been working everyday this week so I mostly do any Work (writing) I can on the train. I wrote about symbols last time and I've made things inspired by that, that I'm building up the courage to show (cloudy water cloudy water cloudy water). 

I want to be a writer, so words are supposed to be the tools of the trade. But the discovery of Blissymbolics has been game-changing for me. It's a completely visual language and though I'm not a visual artist, using these symbols has helped me to close the gap between what's in my head and what I express out loud by using far fewer words. 

I drew a little piece inspired by the rise-and-fall stories of many rockstar/popstar/superstar, and the mythical status they attain in and after their lifetimes. I've been obsessed with this theme since I did my dissertation on Michael Jackson and utopia, and I know I've got something to say about it, I just need to find ways of getting it out that don't intimidate me into inaction. This is one of the ways.

blissymbolics aida amoako kidisalright
I also have a little project going on where I print out Rolling Stone obituaries of famous people and then circle the interesting words and phrases used while I'm on the train to work. I've become really interested in how these artists, musicians, cultural icons etc are written about, and tributed after they die. So far I've done David Bowie, Elvis, Andy Warhol and Michael Jackson, and it's been really interesting to see how these people are described, but even more interesting to see what kinds of words and phrases are repeated across these articles which are separated not only by writer, but by time. Crackpot, not that common a word, appeared twice! (David Bowie & Michael Jackson)

From Rob Sheffield's piece on David Bowie

I'm starting to share these things on here and my tumblr, where I've deleted all but 50 posts, (a nice little spring-clean) because I don't want to hoard. I feel like if I hoard I will never develop, but if I put things out there, even if they're rubbish, then I'm forced to continue working. And when I say forced, I don't mean it to sound like a burden; I live for it.

Sunday, 17 January 2016


I've been working on the Jeff Goldblum zine for a while and I'm finally getting the quote for printing. So excited about that! I've been really frustrated recently, what with coming from work exhausted and then being too exhausted on my days off to write. But I keep saying to myself 'baby steps, baby steps'. As long as I do something.  I went to Westfield to get out, replace my iphone charger, have a look at the sales and, my main priority, take some photos in clothes I cannot afford.

I love this shirt I got from Etsy. The skirt is from Urban Outfitters and it fits me now! Finally! I still kept the tag on the skirt just in case. Trainers are Adidas Superstars, and the coat and cardigan are things I tried on from Forever 21 but didn't end up buying. 

I was on Rolling Stone's website doing some research for a project and I found out some Belgian astronomers have dedicated a constellation to Bowie and I cried a little bit. Isn't that amazing? Isn't that amazing? Humans are fascinating. Sometimes I think about whether there's life out there and what they'd make of the way we tribute our superstars. We treat the really special ones like, well, like gods. I mean, there's a piece of the vast heavens set aside in tribute to this one brilliant man!

I've been reading up on symbols and signs and types of hieroglyphs and was led to Henry Dreyfuss's Symbol Sourcebook via the work of Jean-Michael Basquiat. I was watching a documentary on him, I think it was probably The Radiant Child and one of the contributors mentioned that Basquiat drew inspiration from the hobo symbols, which is how travellers and homeless people would communicate with each other about where it was safe to stay or where they would get moved on.

It's just been really interesting looking at how signs and symbols are used to communicate abstract concepts not just in everyday life but in art too. I'm the kind of person that tends to write really long and really dense sentences, so it's been refreshing to try and think of how to craft a hieroglyphic sentence. I think that's what poets do. They use far fewer words (unless you're Milton!), and so as many words as possible must make an impression, must conjure an image. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Eroica II
so yup! That's what I've been up to this week. How 'bout you?

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

And The Stars Look Very Different Today

I've cried and cried and scribbled in my diary pages upon pages but I can't say anymore. I talked about David in my last post as well, written on his birthday. And then three days later..
I've struggled to find the worrds, and have found relief and comfort when stumbling upon others who've managed to express how I feel about Bowie too. Especially this essay/tribute by Sara Benincasa:

Thank You, David Bowie, From The Weird Kids
I do not believe it is a wild exaggeration to say that there are on this earth today many people who would not be here without David Bowie — either because their parents procreated to his music or because (and this is I believe the more important group) he gave them a reason to stay alive when perhaps they did not want to. He was the patron saint of all my favorite fellow travelers: the freaks, the fags, the dykes, the queers, the weirdos of all stripes, and that most dangerous creature of all: the artist. He was the crown prince(ss) of the unusual. He was so marvelously, spectacularly weird, and he gave so many oddballs, including this one, hope. 

This is it. This is it.

David Robert Jones (Bowie)
1947 -