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Posts Tagged ‘2016’

I will not stray from the truth, 2016 has been a bittersweet year for the United States. As a whole, we have suffered from an outpouring of hatred, political piracy, and deaths of beloved people. While, I could expand upon these issues, I won’t, I would like to focus on the positive, the events making 2016 good.

To start out 2016, I had left 2015 behind with many new paintings and an application submitted to graduate school for the 3rd time. I was burnt out. I began drawing again which has been the most pleasant experience for myself and inspirational. Painting is always a stressful media for me to use, being a perfectionist about my art and knowing with oils, I could easily modify, I would freak myself out over getting everything just right. When I went back to drawing, it forced me to let go of perfection and to work with mistakes. I also got to explore observational ideas as well instead of setting up a stage. This was a much needed transition for me artistically and payed off very well in helping to lead me to the next step. I played pretty low, didn’t participate it shows, just gave myself a break to work and solve artistic problems without putting myself in a strenuous mind set.

I also have been continuing writing poetry, my poetic expression expanded into short story writing. As I have been working on a poetry for the past eight years, I’ve now added a short story manuscript. This seems like a heavy load, but really its therapeutic and a work as I go type of process, not a commitment at the moment. With this, my songwriting has increased, there had been a death in the family of a person who was musical and had encouraged my music. It was unexpected for this person to pass on and came a week after I wrote my first song of 2016 to be recorded on a short demo. Somehow, I think he was passing his musical energy onto me. When these songs come to fruition, they will be dedicated to his memory.

Meanwhile, my cousin gave birth to a cute little boy whom I refer to as my nephew. He has been a joy to be around and watch grow. Talk about one of the happiest babies I have ever known! He smiles, giggles, plays, and now he’s trying to walk. He loves to play with my jewelry, I don’t mind at all. My Aunt Rosa used to let me play with all her breakables when I was a kid and never blinked an eye, with my nephew, I feel the same way. I trust my nephew to handle the jewelry with care and I make sure he knows what he can do with it in a proper way. (Of course he still has to learn boundaries, he’s a good little guy though.)

Over the summer I went to see Weezer, which I may have previously posted about. I got to hang out with our Weezer Fan Club Family. We all enjoyed the show, the guys did an amazing job as usual. What has been so great about being involved with Weezer is the wonderful people I have met and gotten to know. Everyone is friendly and although we all have our agreements and disagreements, it does not get in the way. What I have realized over the past couple years is community is extremely important and it doesn’t matter if they are right next to you or in a totally other state or country, as long as you build bonds with people and can communicate, you will be in a healthy place.

After the show, I had a slated move date to Los Angeles, I was set, I had bags packed, I was just trying to seal a deal on a lease. I couldn’t get anyone to lease a place to me due to not having a job in the state. There were so many obstacles getting in the way, it was to the point I had to go back to my job. This was not the only reason, I needed to keep my health insurance, then my Grandma’s health was threatened and I had to help my family get her back to a good state (She is doing better that ever now!), and then Frida Kahlo also had a hand in keeping me around. As much as I wanted to leave and finally start my new life and career, Big G had other plans, the Insurance provider had other plans, and Frida had her own plan too. I do believe there is a reason for everything and I know these are the reasons. I would have loved to have started my life again, but I guess my work here just was not quite finished. I get to see Frida this coming week for our visit. This was a long time coming and I cannot wait for our visual communication conversation.

Another reason keeping me in town was to make sure I did the best possible work on a poster commission. My good friend and former Screenwriting professor, Lorraine Portman had me create a poster for her comedy short film, Endangered!!! It was my first commission and one that would be at film festivals. Working in collaborating on the design was an awesome experience as Lorraine passed on her ideas and I brought them to life. This is a big deal for me, never did I think I would fulfill a dream of designing a real poster nor think it would get to be at film festivals and promoted online. Ten years ago, if I knew this would happen, my younger self would have been crazy excited! That girl would be proud of what I have gotten to do with Endangered!!!

This year also charged me up politically, my whole life I have been a Feminist. I’ve always been involved, but the unfortunate events have inspired me to expand my voice. In 2017, I plan to embark on artwork centering around people who feel victimized by hatred. I want to visualize them and write their stories to share with the world. I also want to be active in lending my voice to rallies, speeches, any public speaking engagement. I may be a powerful writer, but I am a charged up speaker as well and this passion needs to be channeled to the nation. Also, the plans to relocate to Los Angeles will happen for the sake of my future and health. With this, I would also like to get involved with the Girl Scouts and volunteer with a Troop. My students have inspired me to take action on this long pondered dream. I would share my stories about being a Girl Scout with my students and they would remind me of all the fun and prosperous activities they engaged in. I feel it would be a good group to be involved with again. I’ve also reapplied a 4th time for graduate school, I hope this time they will see I am an excellent pick. If not, I have so many plans, I know I will not be idle and my talents will be going to work for the greater good.

I sincerely hope we will have a good four years to come due to our fighting against the evil raised. Do I fear whats to come? Yes. This is why we retaliate with our votes, our voices, our art, our communities, everything, but peacefully, civilly. We must not be the hate we dislike. Do not turn yourself into a monster to fight the monster. Be a hero/heroine. Be a leader, be a role model, be positive, and support one another. If you see bad things, call it out, do not stand idle and be an enabler. Take back the good of this world and reject bigotry in all of its forms.

Happy New Year to all! There is light amongst the darkness, do not be afraid to walk through. Stay strong, be brave, enjoy the beauty of this world, do not forget it exists, do not believe it has died. Do not allow yourself to be fooled by the manipulators.

-Johanna Falzone Dec. 31st, 2016

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After finishing the Miss America Deconstructed paintings, I was pretty much burnt out. I knew where I wanted to go next, but was not sure how to get there. I decided to go back to drawing/illustrating with a focus on people in natural states of sleeping and lounging. Of course I stayed true to my self-portrait nature. I participated in the 5.4 Million and Counting project put together by Chi Nguyen, which is an amazing effort constructing a tallied quilt by women all around the nation to show support for women’s reproductive rights. To see the whole quilt and learn more about it, visit the website, http://5point4million.tumblr.com I also have been returning back to Timmy the Cyclops. Back in June, I included Weezer into the world and had them passed off to the guys by their tour manager at the show I attended. Hopefully those little guys brought some laughs because that’s what the cyclops world traditionally does!

Recently, drawing has been on pause for a special project I have been working on. I am so excited to share it with everyone, but I cannot reveal anything until its finished! But, I can hint that the creation is beyond adorable and hilarious!

This past weekend I hung out in Downtown St.Pete and pretty much ate my way through and photographed. I was looking for new inspiration for the next half of the drawing series I have been working on. I want to incorporate vintage chairs with unique design and textiles to illustrate. Pretty much every antique shop on Central Avenue was visited to find unique chairs for me to photograph, luckily, I got some great shots to work with.

Some who are friends with me or have recently visited my website, may have spotted something new on the Bio page, Los Angeles. Yes, I will be moving out to the Los Angeles area. It’s been a tough process, I’ve been looking at apartments and applying for about five months now. It’s not easy when you are coming from out of state. Hopefully something will come through this month or next, the move has to be made ASAP. So, please keep your fingers crossed for me! This is the perfect time to make this change!

Also, some of you know I am a HUGE Bernie Sanders supporter, still am and I support his decision to back Hillary Clinton. I will be voting for Hillary. We don’t have room for bigotry, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia etc. in this country. I am extremely disgusted by what has come out of the wood work this election year. Now, I knew these people existed, I’m from the South, I’ve lived my life around people who are grossly racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist, and just plain ignorant. These people found their puppet and it’s scary. Some of you are probably disgruntled because Sanders did not make it, I’m upset too, but as Bernie said, “No one is more upset than me.” The thing is, do not give up on the political revolution, giving up is being a traitor to what Sanders started. People need to get involved with Government if they want to change it. Voting Third Party in this election is going to increase chances of us having a Hitleresque Dictator for President, so I caution everyone, be careful, keep in mind the severity of this election. While I support Third Party normally, I cannot condone it in this current election. The good thing is, Third Party is going to now be seen as a normal option and the next elections to come, I can guarantee we will see an increased amount of Third Party elected politicians.

Enjoy some images of my recent work below, I’ll post again when the project I am working on is finished! To see all of the work and my process, please follow me on Instagram at doll_legs on Facebook, or my website, www.johannafalzone.com

-Johanna

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I was planning on posting about all of the events of 2015, but I felt I first should start with what I did not think at this point in my lifetime would happen.

I was awoken by my alarm clock to get dressed and take my medication before heading out to a Doctor’s appointment of which I was dreading. I have been dealing with an ongoing problem and it’s been difficult dealing with doctors. I instantly took my phone to see what notifications were left for me overnight (an occurrence that happens more when I am asleep than awake). I looped over to Facebook and saw one of my good friends Kristin post David Bowie’s Let’s Dance video, I have a deep connection with that song as when I was still dancing, that was one of my favorite songs to put on while doing so. This post made me smile, but as I continued to scroll through the feed, I saw all of these posts about David’s death. I was taken aback thinking it was a hoax, internet trolls like to target big stars everyone loves, but official news networks confirmed it.

I felt an extreme emptiness. An emptiness I had not felt in a log time. But this time is was a painful emptiness and anger. A man who had captured my heart as an infant has lost an eighteen month battle to Cancer, a devil that my own Dad beat and is going for his I believe six year clearance check-up in Jacksonville, FL. I cannot thank the Proton Therapy Doctor’s of University of Florida enough for their continuation of research, treatment, and experimental work with people of all types of malicious Cancers. David’s death devastates me because with all of the advances, we still cannot get rid of this demon, this parasite that has taken the lives of people we love. But, what I must acknowledge of David’s death is the pure fact that he was a graceful fighter, who knew his fate, yet would not let this ailment take his art, he died making art and completing his artistic journey.

I have been in tears all morning when I am alone, I don’t want anyone to see my grief. But, I know my mourning will eventually show itself publicly in some way, and I apologize if I am short tempered.

I would like to share my story of my life journey with David Bowie as an inspiration. Since I was an infant he was a pop culture presence in my life. As a child I religiously watched Labyrinth with my older brother Sam. I would dance and sing to every song. I’d play the opening credits with the creepy owl to freak out my brother. And during my Ballet and Modern Dance training years I would play his songs on repeat, especially Let’s Dance. I choreographed my own ballet steps to Let’s Dance and always dreamed of performing it as a Pas De Deux. I would sing Queen’s Under Pressure, both David and Freddie’s parts in my bedroom. To this day I sing his songs in the car, they cheer me up, and they energize me! I aspire to be brave like him, talented like him, and humble. I’ve dreamed my whole life being on stage performing, wearing the most out of this world glittery, spandex, ruffled, high chroma colored costumes just as I saw David wear. I still want that, I always will, and will always be working for it. I can no longer pursue a professional career in Ballet or Modern Dance, but it would not have worked well with being a singer/songwriter anyway, my dancing will come to play in another way. David is one of many people who have given me inspiration and courage to be myself, to dream, to keep going even if no one cares, even if the world thinks I’m the biggest weirdo on the planet. I was born knowing I am weird and if we are born weird, we need to own it, rock it, and enjoy it!

I know that David is in heaven and living in an eternal bliss, but I am still selfish and want his physical presence on earth. It’s sad to know my future children will not know him in their life as a living person, they will only have this idea of who he was. While they don’t have to feel the effects of knowing what it’s like for a person you respect to pass on, I feel experiencing his career and wisdom in real time is worth the pain of losing him, there is so much to learn from the living. Every time I watch one of Patti Smith’s interviews, I really cherish the opportunity because one day she will be gone too, and the words or wisdom she has will no longer be, they will be in memory and re-run of old videos, but it will never be current and in the now again. Those moments are absolutely precious.

In addition to this, I am jealous of all the celebrities posting online their pictures with David, I will never get to meet him in my life on earth, know him personally, or have the pleasure of working with him. I hope these people cherish the moment they had and don’t use it as some kind of badge of superiority, David is a human being, not a pop-culture puppet. Please respect his memory.

I wish his family nothing, but healing and happiness through the loss of such a wonderful person.

These are two of my favorite songs off the BBC recording of which is the best!!!! I love the BBC recorded performances, they are intense and really show off the artists passion!

Moving onto an update on my personal work,

I have completed the 11 paintings in my series Miss America Deconstructed and have started working on new illustrations that are about lounging and sleeping. Here are some of the works, also my website has been updated. www.johannafalzone.com I will update the blog more in-depth later this week on 2015, my health, work, etc. But, at this time I have sketchbooks to finish constructing and I am still trying to wrap my head around David’s death. I need to meditate for a bit and eat lunch.

Johanna

Tried to think of all the 2015 highlights, 1. Completing all 11 Miss America Deconstructed paintings in five months. 2. Completing a 5K for Suicide Prevention. 3. Refurbishing an old table to put my laptop on. 4. Joey marrying the awesome, Melissa in Old Town Alexandria, VA. 5. Getting to visit BFF Roomie, Shayna @kiwiloveslime at her place in Orlando and getting to act like goofs as we were once in college, 6. @kaaaate._ finally marrying Adam and eating five million different cake flavors because Kate is awesome and couldn't just pick one. 7. Getting to see Brian's band, @trelationship play, Mark went too and witnessed me gobble down a huge French crepe and lose my ability to use words when we met the band. We also thank God, dodged Vampire night in Ybor, good thing the guys played on a Thursday and not a Wednesday. 9. Taking my Mom all over NYC and using the Subway the whole time, no cabs for us! Oh and meeting the one guy from Sex and the City, Chris Noth, that was weird… 9. Making gingerbread cookies and finally getting the recipe right to make the fancy icing. Going to take it a step further next year. 10. Finally, of which is not pictured, finishing grad school app which included 3 essays, Letter of Intent, Artist Statement, and Diversity Statement. I said, screw formats, I'm writing in my way, short story with sass. Here's to 2016 hoping I get in, hoping I have a successful move to the West Coast, hoping my dog will still love me after I leave, and that I will get booked in a solo show that will change my life positively and hugely for the rest of my life, oh and before I forget, another Democrat President gets elected! Woo-hoo, bring on the New Year! #cookies #refurbishedfurniture #missamericadeconstructed #paintings #selfportraits #5k #suicideprevention #bestfriends #weddings #nyc #mom #music #rocknroll #gradschool #bringon2016 #screwtherules #california #movingon #liberal #feminist #democrat @libertygraceart #tbt #throwback

A photo posted by Johanna Falzone (@doll_legs) on

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