I Am An Artist…Or Am I?

A Biopic of One Girl’s Quest to Be Accepted into the Art World…
(Disclaimer: NOT a real movie, but I’m sure you’ve figured that out already…)

Have you noticed the tagline that follows my brand, Just a Girl with Mental Problems who happen to draw.

I once watched a movie by the great elusive Banksy “Exit Through the Gift Shop” which follows an eccentric arts aficionado Thierry Guetta (sometimes going by the moniker Mr. Brainwash) who, armed with a camcorder, explores the underground street art scene and crosses paths with prominent artists, one of whom is Banksy.  When Thierry undertakes the task of making a documentary based on the footages he had captured, the end result puzzles Banksy greatly, on which he quotes, “… it was at that point that I realized that maybe Thierry wasn’t actually a film maker, and he was maybe just someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera.” In some ways I identified myself with the eccentric “Mr. Brainwash” who no doubt loves art with passion but is terribly misunderstood by even the pros.

Now I’ve never been officially diagnosed with any particular mental condition, but I do know I bear many characteristics of ADHD and autism.  And to date I’m on meds for depression. So in a sense I am mentally challenged…and I love to draw and paint.  

But does it justify the fact that I am an Artist?  I wonder about that pretty often.  (Here is An old post about what in my opinion Art is)

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember when I started holding a pencil in my hand and scribbled on paper.  I even remember how I got severely reprimanded by my mother for pouring a bowl of water over a TV and ruining it (I still haven’t figured it out why I did that.)  In school I was labeled the class artist, and I got in trouble a lot for doodling away instead of listening to the day’s lessons. It was in junior high that I actually started a formal private training in art, but I ended up driving the instructor nuts with my inability to listen and concentrate (guess I did have ADHD after all).  Then around high school I started drifting away from art and dabbled in other interests that had nothing to do with art. Middle of college was when I really took a dive and almost totally gave up on art, like I did not care for it as I did before. My mental state was in haywire as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.  It would take many more years after college before I FINALLY got a grip and started driving in the right direction again.  (For more in-depth about this story you can read this old post here)

So while in the midst of reinventing myself and setting up for a full-time lifelong journey as an artist the quote from the movie popped into my head. And I made it my life’s tagline. The more I think about it the more it suits me. Emotionally and mentally I’m as unstable as a hot pot of boiling water. While I am trying to really get my $#!@ together at the same time I relish in my unstableness and accepting it as a blessing in disguise. I’m still not considering myself a pro yet, even though I have taken that next step into introducing myself to the world on line and off line. I don’t know how long it will be before I get that official acknowledgement of being accepted into the hall of pros, only time will tell. In the meantime I will continue making art and present myself as that girl with mental problems who happens to draw…

Recommended read: Creativity and Depression from Patsy’s Creative Corner.

Hey y’all!  I’m back and I have survived the extreme summer heat.  No doubt Climate Change is real, but there are still doubters out there.  Don’t know what it will take them to believe it, perhaps a global flooding due to the massive meltdown of the Antarctic…

While I did not pursue any major creative endeavors over the summer (too hot to do anything anyway) I dabbled around in old habits, like video games and watching bunch of stupid YouTube videos, which I have to say, is far more entertaining than what the TV and movies offer these days.  I’ve also played around with some features on my smartphone, including the Facebook Camera, which had a Selfie Skins options.  Now let me tell you I was never a big fan of selfie shooting.  I didn’t find it necessary to stick my ugly face into every screen shot of a beautiful scenery or a major monument, and I’ve always quietly mocked those who proudly stick their selfie sticks out in mid air trying to catch themselves in 15 minutes of fame moment to put up on social media.  But upon finding these Selfie Skins on the FB Cam app it gave me an idea- if I ever were to take a selfie, it sure as hell won’t be normal!

Selfie As Art, as I call it.  And last month I challenged myself to posting funny selfies for thirty days straight, each with different skins, and share it on Instagram.  The results were, well, anything beyond hilarious.  There must have been at least 100 different skins, but not enough days to fit them all.  Perhaps I’ll do a sequel…;)

Here I present to you in no particular order of the 30 selfies I had done in the month of August.  Bask in the aura of insanity!



Random Thoughts : Making My Statement

If you’v ever read my artist statement (here) it probably sounds like I ripped it off of about ten different artist statement examples and randomly pasted it together.  Truth be told, it’s exactly what I did.

It’s actually very hard to explain what kind of art I do, and why I make the kind of art that I do.  And I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’ve haunted the shelves of bookstores and drove the Google search to kingdom come trying to learn the rules of writing artist statements professionally.  I can’t count how many drafts I’ve written, the one on my blog site was probably the sixth edition.  And still it isn’t good.  Even I read it and it sounds so lame.

First of all I don’t know how to describe my art.  I thought I did when I started out.  Of course I was very inclined to pop art and myriads of expressionism and I thought that’s where I was headed.  Then time passes and I began questioning where does my art really fit in.  But in the end I am relieved to learn there are plenty of artists out there whose art don’t really fit in the conventional genres either.  Which makes it whole lot easier to describe my work.

I’ll keep you updated on when I’ll have a new, better statement.  In the meantime please bear with the current one, even though it is so bad (I know, I cringe at it when I read it too.)  Have good weekend everyone.

It’s official: I’ve caught the Twitter Bug!

From now on it’s where I’ll be recording my daily random rants that pop in my head.  It’ll also be where I’ll take quick note of new ideas that flash before my sight and before it fades away from my short-term memory bank.  At least its more convenient and faster than trying to log onto my laptop, because I’m not on it so much.

So if you want to be part of the madness that is my brain follow me at @taalisalee.

And say hello to my new cartoon ego below.  More about her soon:


Random Thoughts : Jack of All Trades, Master of None

In the years since I left college I’ve built up quite a resume for myself of all sorts of skills and crafts.  It initially started as a decision to acquire another trade to supplement my degree in art, in order to increase my chances of getting a good job in the ver competitive field of art.  However the economy has been in the pits since 2008 with thousands of people getting laid off from their jobs and still counting, the unemployment rate is constantly teetering left and right, and the incoming college grads are having lots of trouble getting even a part-time jobs.  It’s been ten years since I left college, and I’m still sitting in my PJs binging on the latest movies and TV shows on Netflix.  Yeah I don’t remember the last time I’ve held a serious job.  Hooray for me.

Nowadays I’ve learned to accept my position and try to see things in more positive light, rather than whining and bitching about how I ever got myself in this rut and why I’m left with the scraps, constantly comparing myself to my siblings who have had lot more successes in life than I.  I have continually kept myself busy polishing up on my skills and abilities, and learning new ones.  Who knows one of these days one of the skill-sets will actually come to good use.

I’ve time to sit down and make a list of all my accomplishments.  And boy did the list get unbelievably long:

(Disclaimer: I won’t pretend I’ve mastered all of the listed skills, but have some intermediate understanding of majority of the stuff.  Hence the title of this post)

Drawing (pencil, pen, charcoal,pastel)

Painting(oil, acrylic, watercolor)

Mixed Media(collage, montage)

Printmaking(relief/block, monoprint)

Computer Graphics(Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Video)

Animation(storyboarding, frame-by-frame)

Theater Arts(set design, set building, prop making, costume design)

Sewing(alteration, reform, pattern)

Jewelrymaking(wirework, beadweaving, decorative knots, macrame)

Sculpture/Modeling(polymer clay)



Comic Book

Writing(Poetry, Short Story, Prose, Blogging)

Well that’s about all I can think of for now.  I’ll keep you updated.  😉