Welp, This Didn’t Go As Planned.

Instagram Post – Welp This Didn't Go As Planned.

Last year, I attempted to prepare myself and everyone else for 2018. I thought I was ready for the new year with 10 ART Lessons for the upcoming year. I just knew I had this down-packed. The thing is that the lessons were good. They made sense and I was happy to share. I don’t regret it at all. However, life has a way of life-ing and 2018 through your girl for a LOOP! Whew Chill-lay!

Since producing the 10 ART Lessons, I’ve definitely re-visited them and, in some instances, they have helped, in others not so much. Why? Because this year has been crazy and no amount of reading or writing could prepare me for what I experience. Although he is cancelled in my book, I can say it was a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy. From deaths to health issues and bizarre accidents, I could not prepare for what I’ve never experienced.

So, now to experience this year, I know I won’t have every tool I’ll need to get through the next year. What I’ll have is me. I have to have the confidence in myself and my ability to overcome whatever obstacles come my way. This year taught me just how strong I am. I’m more confident than ever to go into this next year for a few reasons: 1.) I know what I want 2.) I know I have what it takes to get it. I know life will life but I also know Art will Art. I’m not arrogant in the least bit. But for once, I really really believe in myself and my dreams and visions. I need to make some things happen. I will make some things happen. In order to do that, I’ve already started to make this transition a little easier by starting my 2019 earlier. Everything I want to do and feel in 2019, I’ve started in the month of December. I’m not waiting. Another way I want to help myself, because my memory can be really bad at times, is to write down what I’ve learned this year. I probably won’t remember everything but writing it down will help me and maybe it could possibly help you too.

  • Listen to your body. If you are still enough, your body will tell you what it needs. If you listen and your body is still not responding like you want it to, don’t be afraid to get professional medical help. Also, be consistent and unwavering if you know something is wrong. Don’t let anyone try to tell you that you’re overreacting.
  • Your worth isn’t connected to your work. Stop feeling useless and worthless because you can’t produce work. It’s okay to sit out and take a break. Never forget your purpose but by all means do what you need to do to be okay before you push yourself to produce just to feel like you are valuable or worthy.
  • Just being here is enough. Sometimes we’re just here and that’s it. Life is hard so the fact that you are here is something to be proud of.
  • The more you say yes to everyone else, the more you say no to yourself. Say yes to yourself more. It’s okay to be selfish with your time, mental space and body.
  • Let yourself feel. Don’t continue to bottle up your feels. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel completely. If you continue to bottle them up, they’ll come out sooner or later. It’s okay to let them out. It’s going to be uncomfortable ASF, but worth it. It’s really a cleansing process.
  • Do what makes you feel free. If you find yourself always tensing up and never feeling freedom, it’s time to do so. Painting makes me feel free. Dancing makes me feel free. Find what makes you feel free and do as much as you can. Life already has so many rules, it’s good to get outside of your head, break any mental barriers and life a free and fulfilling life.
  • Don’t torture yourself with hypothesis. What ifs are the devil! Let them go and live in what is. Unless you are willing to put those hypothesis to the test, LET. THEM. Go! You’re just torturing yourself for the hell of it.
  • Be quiet enough to listen to yourself. Noise has a great way of ridding you of much-needed you time. Sometimes you’re doing things you don’t even like just because you haven’t taken the time to process your feelings. Please listen to yourself.
  • Take 30 seconds to think through any snap-decisions. Yes, this sounds like common sense, but if you just take out 30 seconds to think through snap decisions you can save yourself time, money and resources that you may regret utilizing because of quick decisions.
  • Pay attention to people’s actions more than their words. The truth is in the action, not the words.
  • No one owes you anything so be appreciative of those who still decide to be there for you.
  • Say less, Do more. Stop looking for validation and congratulations on things you haven’t even done yet. You just announce things and once you get the instant gratification, it takes away the incentive to get the actual thing done. Just do it.
  • No one should make you feel bad for doing what’s best for you.
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself for how you react to things you’ve never experienced before.
  • Love on yourself, especially when you aren’t at your best. You’ll need all that love. Shower yourself with it.
  • Stop using “thinking” as an excuse not to be “doing”. Also known as procrastinating.
  • You can’t be good if your health isn’t good. Take care of yourself.
  • Smile in the mirror every single day before you go out into the world.
  • A good dream that is bad for you is still a nightmare.

It’s so much more and I’ll probably add more later. I need to get this out though. Why? Idk, but I need to release it so here it is.

I love you and I hope you smile a lot this year and many years to come.

Signed,

ART still Undone but Better.

 

You’re Already At Your After

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You’re not who you were a year ago. You got through some things that you thought would take you down. You have accomplished more than you thought you would. You are at after. You’re not the same as before.

Think about it. Think about how much you’ve changed mentally or emotionally. Are you able to see the change? Do you process information differently? Do you think before you do now? I know somewhere between the more experiences you’ve had, that you’ve made some progress. It may not be drastic, it could be incremental, yet, it still is change.

You are at a point where it is okay to acknowledge that change. Little by little you’re doing something better. You’re becoming a better version of yourself.

You are living your best life means you are making the best out of every situation that life throws at you. That means every step you take forward is the best version of yourself you’ve ever seen.

I’m so proud of you! I’m so proud of you acknowledging your growth. Your after has arrived, so enjoy it and move forward again. How amazing is it to know that you are constantly getting better with time and experience?

Keep going, I’m rooting for you.

Love,

ART Undone

Three Years Later

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I’m currently sitting and waiting for my very dear friend to come out from the back of my alma mater’s  2018 Commencement Ceremony. It’ll be three years since my graduation next week and I can barely remember how it felt to graduate other than almost falling before I got to stage because I was rushing to put on lip gloss at the last minute (Typical Art behavior). So, here I am, taking in what I did over 3 years ago. It feels a little surreal honestly, even after such a long time of being out of school.

It’s quite amazing what the human does without thinking. We eat, laugh, sleep and even graduate without completely conceptualizing the very act of what we’re doing. Our 20’s seem to be about completing a goal and moving to the next thing that we’re supposed to complete without ever actually appreciating what we’ve just completed. It’s like our story always ends in coming soon and never in a reflective time to think about what has already been done. So, here I am, three years later taking in what I should’ve taken in so long ago. I freaking graduated from college and worked my butt off!

It makes me sad to sit here and see people get their rewards for working so hard and realizing that I just saw this day as a stepping stone and not a real prize. I should’ve cherished it more. Instead, I fell into the same trap of trying to figure out what to do next because something done is never enough. It’s always a “next step” because we have to move forward right? But what’s the point of moving forward without celebrating what it took you to get here in the first place?

So, celebrate your wins as they occur. Don’t be afraid to enjoy the now before looking for the next. You’re right here and deserve all your applause. Hell, even ask for more applause if you need to. It’s okay to celebrate. You accomplished something so great, don’t let what’s next diminish that away. No matter what you accomplished, remember YOU completed something. Gas yourself up and enjoy your moment.

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Signed,

ART Undone

Things I’ve Learned About Being A Creative From Beyoncé

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This year, I’ve been more creatively free than I’ve ever been. This year was also historic for Beyoncé. Having the opportunity to witness Beychella in person, I was inspired to write about the things I’ve learned about being a creative from Beyoncé. Of course, people could (and have) write an entire dissertation on Beyonce and her creativity, I decided to write a quick list of the ones that have inspired me. Enjoy!

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  • Release content when you’re ready, not when it’s demanded.
  • Regardless of what people want, release what speaks to you and what makes you happy. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try to.

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  • Be sensitive about your creations. Don’t allow everyone to have an opinion during your creative process. Remember, you are the creator, this is your work.beyonce fashion GIF
  • Learn the power in silence and let your work speak for itself.
  • Keep a tight circle around you that you can trust to keep your secrets. We don’t do leaks!

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  • Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. You never know who’s looking.           you ready beyonce GIF
  • Tell people what you did, not what you’re doing. Don’t release premature information that’s not solidified. When you decide to show up, make sure you show out.

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  • Don’t be afraid to take chances. Everyone won’t get it, but remember, Quality is quality and THAT is undeniable.
  • It’s none of your business what the other girls are doing or what anybody else thinks of your work if they are not supporting you. You can’t please everyone.

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  • Work your butt off for your craft. Be the best you can be and compete with only yourself. You are the standard that needs to be topped.
  • Be the Beyoncé in your field and let your work speak for itself.

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  • Your bigger supporters may be under the radar. You don’t need people to shout from the rooftops that they support you to know that you made it.
  • Perfecting your craft takes time. As long as you’re growing, you are doing something right. Be unapologetic about your growth.I Aint Sorry Music Video GIF
  • Sometimes you just have to snatch wigs and take no prisoners.beyonce wig snatch GIF
  • Confidence is KEY! Make sure you believe in your work and OWN it.beyonce GIF
  • And lastly, always remember this is your work and you are the boss. Don’t let anyone treat you any less.queen b fashion GIF

Signed,

Art-yoncé 🙂

Changing Directions | Making the Turn Anyways

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When it’s time to make a change or turn in your journey, you have to prepare yourself for the turn. Or, you can take the risk of losing control and just moving into your new turn without any warning. The more seasoned and prepared you are for a turn, the easier it is for you to maneuver curves and keep control.

Ever instantly identify a new driver on the road by how they slowly inch towards the turns on the roads? Or the super anxious new drivers who give their parent whiplash by not slowing down and drifting the curves like they’re auditioning for the 20th installment of the Fast and Furious?

The thing is that as long as you don’t crash or hurt yourself, a turn is a turn. A lesson is a lesson. Don’t be afraid to take that turn if you know you can make it. Don’t be embarrassed because you drive slower than molasses to get to the turn. You still got there. You’re still making a move towards somewhere you’ve never seen or experienced.

Regardless of how your change happens, make it happen. Even if you crash, pinpoint what you did wrong and don’t be afraid to get up and try again.

No one asks a driver how they exactly got to a destination. The point is they got there. So, if there is somewhere you want to go that’s off of your “projected” path, take that leap of faith and make the turn. Even if you have to slow down and bit, make the turn. Even if you missed a few of the warning signs that the turn was coming up, if you still can, make the turn.

A change in direction is not a setback if the destination is where you’re meant to be. Make the turn and if it doesn’t work out, it’s now just a path you know not to take anymore.

Signed,

Art Undone

The Art Experience | Finding The Feeling of Freedom

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July 16th was the day I felt freedom for the first time in a long time. In my favorite city of Chicago, sitting on the floor cross-legged, I had a blank canvas in front of me. My friend, Rachael, was already painting. As the “Have a Good Day” Spotify playlist played in the background, I looked at my blank canvas. I had to think. I couldn’t put anything onto the canvas until I had an idea. So, I finally eyed the color that I wanted. It was a beautiful turquoise color. It stood out among the bunch. This was it. I was finally going to paint.

In the corner of my eyes, I see Rachael going to town on her canvas. With little regard to any vision she may have had, she just layers colors on colors. Her fingernails are now a different color with a mixture of acrylic paint slowly drying on her hands as she is in her own world. I’m jealous because I won’t let myself do that. I’m trying to make sure that the paints stay on the clean plate I’ve put a couple dabbles on. The horror to imagine the paint getting into my manicured nails. I don’t know if this will stain or now. So, I carefully caress the canvas with my flathead brush as I cover the canvas with a sea of seawater blue. Every stroke feels like I’m transferring any stress from my body to the canvas. The energy is turned from stress to relief. However, in the corner of my eye, I see Rachael has now taken a cup, mixed with various colors proceeds to pour the entire cup onto the canvas. My GOD! I’m not OCD, but the mess! I’m freaking out in the inside, but more than anything I’m jealous. She’s so free. She is painting to paint without the restrictions of a vision. How ever her canvas turns out, it will be great. It’s a guaranteed masterpiece because of the energy put into.

At this point, I decide to get a little “frisky” and take a copper, metallic paint and softly stroke some on the canvas. It’s always a stroke. Precise and intentional. Boring. It’s okay. I’ve definitely painted something like this before. I know how it’s going to true out before I’m even finished. It’s my usual. It’s creative, but not risky. Just enough not to get me out of my comfortable zone. I don’t know what to do next because although this is quite boring, it’s nice. But, I’m jealous. I’m jealous because I realize I care completely too much. I was so close to asking Rachel to give me another canvas because this one was ugly (more so basic). It wasn’t going to be revived. I almost said that. But, thankfully I did something that I will forever be grateful for.

Taking a note from Rachael, I take all of the colors that spoke to me and I squeezed them on the back of the plate. Then I did something I would NEVER do at home. I took my perfectly structured canvas and splatted the paint on my canvas. And I did it again. And I did it again. And I did it again. When I ran out of paint, I put more on the plate and repeated the process. Every time I splattered the plate onto the canvas, I didn’t know what would happened, but I kept on going. I just did what felt good. I kept on splatting until I was satisfied. Then I looked at my canvas in complete shock. It was nothing I would expect, but it was everything I loved. It was free. It was freedom.

My canvas turned into art because I gave myself the chance to be free for once and not put expectations on the outcome. I did what felt good. I did what felt free. Sitting and looking at my canvas, I couldn’t believe I made something so out of bounds. What a masterpiece. What a mess and a masterpiece at the same time. My hands were now covered with paint. I didn’t even reach for a paper towel. I just asked for another canvas because I wanted to feel that again. I wanted to allow myself to feel and not think. Just do what feels good. Art is about feelings. If you don’t feel when you make it, no matter the sentiment, you aren’t really making Art. So, I attribute July 16th as one of my many recent awakening moments. That’s the night I fell in love with painting because I felt it. So, thank you to Rachael for being fearless and showing me that it’s okay to let loose. Here’s to painting more blank canvases and allowing myself to be free.

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So, whatever makes you feel free, do that.

Signed,

Art Undone

Stop dissing your Razor now that you have an iPhone

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You ever get a new phone and start acting brand new like you didn’t use to be so excited about that Pink Razor you got in seventh grade? You change everything over and you’re hype. You mention it every chance you get that you got a new phone. You send out a mass text and let everyone know you’ve upgraded.

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You casually mention it in conversation and you have to make sure that all the group pictures are taken on your new phone so people can talk about how nice the camera is. It’s a whole movement. It’s a visual representation of the glow up and you couldn’t be more excited.

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It’s the same thing we do when it comes to our personal glow ups. We “subtly” mention the glow up every chance we get because we’re proud of our progress. However, when mentioning the glow up, we tend to completely stunt on who we once were.

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We tend to forget that just because we’ve upgraded, once upon a time we were just as hype to get that new razor. It was the best thing out at the time and everything we wanted.

Now that we have better options and new information, some of our old decisions seem pointless and even ‘stupid’, but were they really? I would say no. That’s why I think we should be a little more forgiving and understanding of the decisions we’ve made in the past. While we should all grow and glow over time, we should also be less hard on the past versions of ourselves. We did the best we could.

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I treat my past self and I’m not too proud. She was me. She is a part of me. If it was not for her, I wouldn’t be where I am today. No matter if I made the best decision or the worst decision at a certain point and time, it’s no reason to beat her up. I can’t change the past, all I can do is learn from it and be better because of it. She deserves appreciation and not depreciation. She was just doing the best she could. And if she wasn’t doing the best she could, she at least learned a lesson.

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So, I’m going to stop being so rude to my old self now that I’ve experienced some growth. Instead, I’m going to be appreciative of everything she taught me and continue to move forward. I don’t want to be that person who has to degrade my past to appreciate my future. If you can relate, I would hope you do the same.

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Our past experiences are still painted strokes on our ever-evolving masterpiece. They’re not going anywhere, so you might as well embrace their beauty within your journey. #Embracethepaint

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Signed,

ART Undone & Unashamed

Dear ART at 25

Dear ART at 25-1

Dear ART at 25,

Hey Girl! I can’t believe I just typed 25! Woah, it’s crazy how time flies when you’re living life. I feel like we just turned 24! Anywho, here we are, live and in color.

So, ART at 25, I wish this that your 25th year is one of the best years of your life. This past year has definitely been one for the books. It’s been a fun ride that had its twists and turns. You thought you were done learning about yourself, but every day there seems to be more layers to this work of ART.

As you continue to live life, I hope you continue to learn and love yourself a little more every day. Also, don’t be so hard on me and your past. While we have made mistakes, we’ve always tried to do the best we can. It’s a learning process. You’ll make mistakes this year and possibly let yourself down in a few areas, but the good news is that if you stay true to yourself, you’ll make a way through.

Even better news, I’ve set you up for the ultimate come up! You know what you have to do, you just have to do it. Don’t spend so much time pondering what needs to be done. JUST. DO. IT. Yes, get up and do it and stop talking yourself out of your greatness. I may not have made every layup, but I have the ball in the air; All you have to do is catch it.

Side note: you know that one thing you ridiculously afraid of failing at? Do it anyways.

This year, I hope you surprise yourself. I hope you exceed every expectation you once had of yourself. I hope you get out of that comfort zone and rise to the occasion. You are gathering all the tools you need for your journey, the only thing that is missing is you putting your all into it. I hope you decide that you deserve to give life your full court press.

It’s important to remember that you’re not always going to be at 100%. Sometimes, you’ll be operating at a much lower level. That’s completely okay. It’s okay to do something, instead of nothing at all. Stop holding yourself back. Progression over Perfection.

Let’s not forget: No matter how strong you are, you didn’t get here on your own. You have been blessed with an amazing support group that shows up and shows out for you constantly. Don’t take them for granted. They have helped you grow exponentially. It still takes a team. Nurture those relationships.

Also, don’t forget to make yourself smile. I see some new things entering your life. Remember that the essence of ART is ART. Don’t forget about ART. Love her. Cherish her. Appreciate her and all her forms.

Remember, instant gratification is a sham. Save your coins so you can take even more trips.

Finally, just do the best you can with what you have. Cherish your family. Save your coins. Read more. Please read more. I can feel that this upcoming ART year is going to everything you could ever want in the best possible way. Get ready girl, because your future is BRIGHT and ready to shine.

I love you girl, don’t you ever forget it.

Love,

ART at 24

P.S. This year was LIT! Don’t let anyone tell you different. You lived your best life as ART at 24. Doors have opened that you have never even thought of and more great surprises are on their way!

P.S…. Every day the world is changing more than we ever thought it would. In some ways, it can be very terrifying. Please don’t forget that there are good people out there. Remember that you are one of them. Don’t compromise your truth for temporary gain or satisfaction.

Computer Love | Hitting Reset

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Has your computer ever start ‘failing’ you while you’re hard at work typing your heart out?  You have all your current tabs open and you’re working, but minute by minute, your computer is starting to malfunction. You have everything you need open and you’re working hard, but your computer is responding slower with every click. You get the same “time for an update” notification that you’ve ignored for over a week. You ignore it. You figure you can push through a little bit more and your computer won’t let you down. You are doing everything in your power not to have to restart your entire laptop, but you know and your computer knows that it’s inevitable. Just your luck, right?

Well, here’s the thing: Once you update your computer, you know it will work that much better. The update will also give you a clean slate to start on. You probably didn’t need all those tabs open anyways.  Even if you get the “restore all tabs” once you reboot, you’ll be more cognizant of overloading your computer the next go around because you remember how it felt to have start all over again because of the last reset.

So, ART, what the heck are you talking about? Are you really writing about a computer upgrade!?!

Just follow me… Imagine, your mind is the computer. While you may be the latest and greatest version, at some point, you’ll need to restart your computer and update (or reset). Imagine the tabs and programs are tasks and thoughts in your head. While you may be able to contain and process many things at a time, if you overload your computer, usually one of two things will happen: the computer will slow down and completely stop working (forcing an involuntary shutdown and reset) or voluntary shutdown and restart because you have taken the ‘power’ in your own hands. The choice is yours. It’s imperative to pay attention to the signals and know when to reset and when to keep going. Taking care of your ‘computer’ is the same thing as taking care of yourself.

More specifically, realize that sometimes you need a fresh start to operate better. It’s all great and dandy to be able to exit out of a couple ancillary tabs and keep it moving, however, a complete reboot comes with a clear mind.

If you find yourself working on a project for an extended amount of time and nothing is going how you imagined it in your head after multiple attempts or you see yourself slowing down drastically, don’t be afraid to completely shut it down and refresh. Yes, updating means you are completely taken out of your zone. However, this gives you a chance to come back with a clear head and fresh approach. Yes, time will keep moving and you may feel idle while everything is updating; However, tell me what’s better than logging onto your computer after an update with a clear screen and a clear mind? Also, the time you’ve had to wait and reset can offer new benefits you never knew you needed. Timing is everything.

So, go ahead and give your computer some love! Hit that reset button and update. Tell me how it goes :-).

Signed,

ART finally resetting