Is My Friend More Worthwhile Art-wise?

Is it just me, or is there a snootiness when it comes with opinions about art?

As you guys know, I’ve been making comics lately. It’s a janky series called Just Vinyl Comics. I would, infrequently, also make colored pencil art.

Now, every artist gets criticism, constructive or otherwise. I’m no exception. However, the most popular criticism seemed to be, why waste your time on comics?; or comics aren’t real art, try real art; or comics aren’t worthwhile compared to painting.

The problem is people don’t seem to understand art is more than painting. And by their logic, my friend Lee Valentine, a painter, is a more worthwhile person than I am. (Also, check out his stuff, he’s amazing). That’s like saying Pablo Picasso is more worthwhile than Bill Watterson. We can’t compare them. Picasso paints, Watterson cartoons.

And if we want to continue this stretch of the imagination, am I actually more worthwhile than Lee because I do theatre and sing (an art form) much more than he does?

It’s a weird argument.

The point is, no, one person’s way of art is not more worthwhile than another person. Whether you paint like Lee, make janky comics like me, or some other form of art.

No art is more important than another.

Hugs

Alexandra

P.S. Check out Lee Valentine Art, he’s great at what he does! He’s the one who made the painting for me.img_5011

Message from Caregiver Willow

Hi! ^_^willow

It me, a-Willow!

Alexandra been a-sick lately and asked me to a-write to you!

She got a flu. Lasted for a week and a half so far.

She be fine, though! ^A^

I know it a-hard to take care of self when busy!

But do your best!

Drink a-water, wash hands, take walk, stay in a-sunshine! Sunshine a-good for you! I love sunshine! ❤

Be well!

Love,

Willow

Ramadan

Ramadan started last night. This is a special month-long holiday. While you do not need to celebrate it (I don’t), I believe you should be mindful, especially if you know someone who may celebrate.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is one of the most holy months of the Islamic calendar year. It is a Muslim religious observance, believed to be the time when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah.

There are Five Pillars of Islam, and fasting through Ramadan is one of them. With the exception of illnesses, diabetes, pregnancy, and other health issues, it’s an obligatory thing. Muslims are expected to fast from all food and drink, water too, from dawn until sunset every day during the month. And because we are entering summer months, they’ll be fasting, approximately, from 5 am to 9 pm–16 hours! At night, the fast is broken with a communal meal.

During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to pray, read the Quran daily, and give to charities. They are meant to abstain from foul speech, gossip, smoking, engaging in sexual relations, and fighting. The fasting, as well as the praying, reading, doing good, etc., is meant to promote self-discipline and bring you closer to God.

Now, why do I care? What does it matter if I do not celebrate it?

When I was in the seventh grade (Year 8, for my UK friends), I had a friend who came from Pakistan. She and her family were faithful Muslims. One day, I went back to the classroom in need of something when I saw a familiar hijab in the room. My friend was reading, alone and without food. I offered lunch, but she was fasting. This is when I first learned about Ramadan. I didn’t understand at first; it took a hot minute for me to grasp what it was. And at the end, she invited me to Eid Al-Fatur, their celebration the day after the last day of Ramadan.

Even if you don’t celebrate/aren’t part of their religion, be respectful. Don’t belittle their efforts or mock their tradition. And if you see/know Muslims using this time (until 4 June, I think?), don’t force food or water in their direction. You don’t need to make fun of a religious time just because you don’t understand it.

Have a blessed Ramadan.

Hugs

Alexandra

Dropping the Ball

I didn’t post on Wednesday.

Why?

Because I forgot.

Sometimes we drop the ball on stuff. Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we are too busy to do everything we want.

And it’s okay.

It happens to everyone; we’re all human.

But what we definitely need to remember in these moments is not to be hard with ourselves.

Strive to be better, yes. Change something to help you remember what you need to do.

But don’t beat yourself up for being human.

April Book Club

Well, how about that.

I was able to read the four books I had actually planned. So, let’s get into this:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This appealed to me after multiple reviews and sources compared her writing to Agatha Christie. I love Christie and her writing, so I gave this a shot. I can understand why they said that; it was very Christie-esque. Though, the ending was much more predictable than Christie ever was. It was a much better mystery than a lot of the modern books today. I do recommend it if you like mysteries.

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

This was a yard sale find, and the summary on the back of the book drew me in to buy it. The beginning was fascinating! And that’s the only good thing I can say about it. It started with such promise, then it just got long winded and boring and confusing. Great concept, poor execution. Nah, I don’t recommend this one.

The Outsider by Stephen King

Guys, I found this at my local bookstore for 50 cents! And I wanted to read more Stephen King, so what a good place to start. This was actually more of a murder mystery/suspense than sci fi or horror. Of course, with King, there’s a supernatural element to it, but it just adds to the mystery of it all. The characters were great, the story was great, and I was itching to know what happened next. If you like a good suspense, I do recommend this.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

John Green recommended this book in a vlogbrothers video, and it seemed up my alley. Also, I found this book for 50 cents at the local bookstore. I’ve been so lucky finding these books around. I read this in one sitting, finishing at 2 in the morning because I couldn’t put it down. It was raw and true and I connected with it. This may be a new favorite. I definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.

For May, I plan to read five books: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, Home by Julie Andrews, and The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis.

See you at next month’s book club!

Chibi Self

I found a website where you can make yourself into a chibi character. And this is what I did for me:

I posted it on social media with the comment ‘just needs a fatter face’.

And I realized today, what a shame to say something negative first rather than positive.

So, here’s my chance to actually compliment my Japanese chibi self: how cute!!

Website: https://picrew.me/image_maker/8687 just warning, it is in Japanese

Making a Morse Code Necklace

I’ve been seeing a trend on Pinterest of morse code necklaces and bracelets. I wanted to add my own twist to things.

Presenting my version of the morse code necklace:

Start with your basic supplies and the word you want. I have my plier tools, big beads, small beads, and long beads, pre made cord necklace, and rings.

The word I went for was ‘warrior’, which is actually pretty simple in morse code.

Cut seven plastic wires (I changed from copper wire to plastic).

Make a knot at the end of each one and place the small bead at the bottom. Make sure the bead can’t get through the knot.

Using the big beads and long beads, spell your word using each individual wire for every letter.

Put them in order on the cord necklace, and voila.

It’s nice and simple, but can hold such meaning depending on what word you use.

Hugs

Alexandra

Why I Don’t Like Musicals

I’m a theatre person. I’ve said that so many times, but I always get hung up/questioned about a certain aspect of my theatre passion.

I don’t like musicals.

Sure, some musicals are cool and I like them (The Producers, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I guess Into the Woods). Some musicals have a couple of good songs and I can tolerate them (Les Miserables, Wicked, even Shrek the Musical). And the majority of musicals I just don’t like. Even if they have one song I like, it doesn’t save the entire musical (Dear Evan Hansen, as an example).

Overall, I prefer straight plays. I would rather go off Broadway to see Death of a Salesman than go on Broadway to see Hamilton.

“You can’t be a real theatre person if you don’t like musicals.” Okay…wrong. By that logic, you can’t be a singer if you don’t like opera. You can’t be a vet if you don’t like snakes. You can’t be a farmer if you don’t like goats. You can’t be a chef if you don’t like haggis.

You get it? Just because I don’t like a portion of theatre does not mean I am not a theatre person.

I started theatre as a kid, doing plays and a single musical. I found my real passion after doing ‘The Mousetrap’ by Agatha Christie when I was 13 years old. I was able to go to the Shakespeare festival when I was 14, where I fell in love with plays even more after watching ‘Faustus’. I was accepted to an acting school at 15 after performing ‘Antigone’. Yeah, I did musicals in high school. Only two. Everything else was a play.

There’s a part 2 to my preference over plays. It has to do with my own talent. On my way to college, I adored acting. I can prat fall, clown, and move all kinds of ways if need be. When I was 14, I was in choir and my teacher told me I couldn’t sing. When I was 15, I was told that again. When I was 16 and 17, the musicals always cast show choir people rather than drama kids. So, I just accepted my fate of being a shit singer, and stuck my passion into plays.

And the last little part: I like shows grounded in some sort of reality. Random singing and dancing does not do that for me. I’d rather watch acting than singing and dancing.

In no way am I saying musicals shouldn’t exist or that they are below straight plays. It’s just not for me. Plays and musicals, one is not better than the other in the theatre world. I just prefer plays.

Wherever your preferences for your hobbies lie, you’re not wrong.

Hugs

Alexandra

Easter

Easter is this Sunday. Meaning today is Good Friday. And the first day of Passover.

Happy everything.

This is just my little note to all of you who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter!

Eat eggs and ham (I just realized Easter I practically Dr. Seuss Day). Paint those eggs green. Eat chocolate. Watch Peter Rabbit (the old one actually based on Beatrix Potter’s books). And find a bunch of plastic with more chocolate. Enjoy baskets!

I hope you have a great holiday.

And for those who don’t celebrate, I hope you have a great weekend.

Easter Hugs!

Alexandra

Crying Over Notre-Dame

If you didn’t know, Notre-Dame cathedral burned on Monday.

I was beyond heartbroken when I found out. And that whole day was a mess as I followed along the live news for hours and cried. I listened to the Broadway album of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the cathedral’s actual church bells on YouTube. And I stared at the pictures I took myself of Notre-Dame when I went to Paris. I felt such grief for this place.

Something about me, Notre-Dame is one of my favorite buildings. I feel a deep connection to this place, though I have near-never visited. Its architecture, its beauty, its history, its significance, I love it all. It was important to me.

Then Monday came around. Of course, I mentioned my grief on Facebook, as someone would do. Someone mentioned me why I was so upset. I explained what a significant place Notre-Dame is. They came back with, ‘But that’s nothing to cry about. Yeah, it’s sad, but you’ve been there once. It’s not like you’re there everyday.’

Now, I was not upset with this friend, despite their insensitivity. Sometimes people don’t understand the significance a person or place has on them. It’s no less than grieving over the death of a celebrity. One of my best friends was a mess over David Bowie’s death because he played a big role in her life, even if she never met him.

So, my advice is when someone is upset about the death of a celebrity or the burning of a building, do not treat it lightly. They have a reason they’re upset; find out what part that person or place played in their lives and development.

I’m still a blob over the burning of Notre-Dame, even if it didn’t burn to the ground.