Category Archives: blogging

Websites Mother Fish

Reyes_Joseph_Fish_12inx14in

I found this Website which caters to artists, allowing them to have a fairly decent portfolio online. Here’s my Website: https://www.works.io/joseph-m-reyes. The layout is pretty clean and the interface is pretty easy to navigate. A lot of free sites offer a general Website or blog and people just customize it to show their works. This site has the artist in mind. The basic account is a little limited, but I guess that pushes people to either upgrade in order to display more images or just simply put their best images forward. I’m still not sure how accurate the site’s Web statistics works, like how do people find your page, especially since most of the artists on the “featured works” page, I assume, are paid accounts. There also isn’t a sort of function that allows artists to network with one another. I think that would’ve been interesting. But I guess that’s not the point of the site. Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting site with lots of what I’m guessing are European artists, https://www.works.io/. I suggest people check it out before it becomes like deviantart and get filled with too much anime.

Speaking of Websites. I’m having a bit of trouble with Godaddy and editing my Website’s mobile version. There appears to be a glitch on one of the tabs in my site. I couldn’t edit it out, so I’m chalking it to a combination of my lack of knowledge with html and the glitchy nature of the mobile version editing interface.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Well, it’s still Mother’s Day today in Canada. Happy Mother’s Day Ma! We miss you. Happy Mother’s Day as well to every mother out there who happens to wander to my site for whatever reason.

 

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Blog Burnt

Aunt_Jemima

Aunt Jemimaria

I was about to post something really personal on this entry, a post five paragraphs long. I once thought that despite being on the Internet, my relative anonymity allows me to be truthful and air out my personal grievances. But no, I’ve been burnt before.

I once had a blog that received decent traffic. I maintained it for a few years and it was visited mostly by strangers on the Internet, some of which also have similar blogs and I’ve considered to be my “Internet friends.” My daily escapades entertained some. Many of the things I wrote I would never tell to many people I know. But to close friends and strangers, they were interesting tales… the stuff of conversation when you just shoot the breeze with friends.

Relationships, sex, politics, etc.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last. I couldn’t stay anonymous for long. Someone I cared about did a bit of sleuthing (and snooping), and soon my blog was discovered and all the truths which I have written about were shoved right back at my face. It was a mixture of embarrassment, frustration, and a feeling of being violated. I felt guilty for what I wrote, but then I felt anger and frustration at being discovered. And after mending that relationship, I could no longer maintain a personal blog. The closest I could come to is this. And I know this could also be called a personal blog, especially since I don’t just write about art… but really, I could never truly write about my life and innermost thoughts.

I miss that.

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Lesbians and their sex

sexy

Just saw Blue is the Warmest Colour and it broke my heart. The past couple of months, with none of my regular shows on the air, I’ve been catching on films that I really should be watching, you know, movies that are meant to nurture the soul and make me a more cultured individual. Sorry, Fast and the Furious series. Just saw Room 237 too and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Most of these movies, due to the hard subject and the fact that it requires subtitles, often have me watching them all by myself. Which is unfortunate, really. I regret not having the same taste in movies as my wife.

Going back to Blue is the Warmest Colour, I’m surprised at the backlash the movie is getting due to its portrayal of lesbian sex, how it’s unrealistic and heteronormative. Well, I find that this is quite a common criticism of all lesbian sex in film, be it normal movies or the X-rated kind. I often hear that sex is often portrayed from a male point of view and that it is based more on fantasy than on anything else. Well, I’m sorry for all the lesbians out there, but I really think this is the problem with all sex in general not just for lesbian sex. I don’t really buy the notion that lesbian sex is this mystical thing that men just don’t have a grasp of what it truly is. I’m sure they’ll know if they asked (if men truly cared about real lesbian sex, that is). Men would know lots of things if they asked and if they truly cared about it (insert pleasing women in bed quip right here). It’s just that realistic sex, be it homosexual or not, maybe is just not that interesting when portrayed realistically.

Sex is rarely portrayed realistically on film. And if it is, it is often either so ugly that is deemed raw and controversial (like the ugliness of rape), or so normal that the players are either criticized or praised for showing off their less than ideal bodies (like the portrayal of sex in Girls). So yes, I forgive Blue is the Warmest Colour for the inaccurate depiction of sex. It is just a film after all.

And to the people at Posture Magazine. The way these lovely women reacted to the film. I’m sure that that’s how a lot of heterosexual people would react to watching heterosexual sex, whether it be from a major Hollywood film or a gonzo flick, when they are in polite company. Personally, when I see something, I’ll find some things hot, some things impossible, some things doable, and some things I’d want to do but I’m sure my significant other would never let me do. We’re not all that different, ladies.

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Insects and Tattoos

Been designing/brainstorming tattoos for a friend. Looking at cicadas.

cicada

Start out with a watercolor/ink wash.

cicada_b

Bumped up the colors.

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Pixelize it.

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Pixelize it some more.

Just a start. Still drawing/painting/thinking.

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Morning Commute

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This is probably one of the most normal looking statues I made. Yay for normalcy!

Speaking of normalcy, life is back to normal. No more holiday stuff, so I’m just trying to recover from everything. Rest a bit, stay home for a while, save a bit of money, etc. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to rest much lately. Been busy with work and everything that I haven’t had much time to make art. I’m not really having a great start with my resolution of making more art.

Odd thing, I spent the morning talking about suicide with a couple of people I haven’t seen since last year. Our first conversation for 2014 was about suicide and how Koreans love to hang themselves, jump off bridges, stop trains, and suffocate in cars. I guess it all stems from highly stressful living and the stigma of going to a shrink. In this country, most people would only go to a shrink if they have “mental problems,” and stress, depression, and anxiety aren’t considered mental problems. This is akin to General Patton slapping and belittling “shell shocked” soldiers and telling them to suck it up. I can’t stress enough how valuable psychologists are and how they’ve helped me sort through my issues. I’m not an expert, but I’m sure South Koreans would see their suicide rate go down once going to the shrink becomes an accepted norm instead of being a source of stigma.

Going down the morbid route, one of the people I was talking to suggested that jumping in front of trains is one of the most popular forms of suicide in the country (happens once a week) because it’s relatively quick, as opposed to jumping off a building which takes half a minute, or drowning which could take longer. It’s the reason why the Seoul subway lines now have gates installed to prevent jumpers. Unfortunately, some people think this only increased the number of incidents of bridge jumpers, and some people would travel outside the city for the sole purpose of jumping at an unguarded subway track. Ironic. Travel an hour outside the city for a quick death.

I always thought that suicide should take a long time. It should take a week at least. That’s the way I would do it. Go to a country where you can easily get drugs. Party with drugs and prostitutes for a week. You’re going to die anyway, so might as well go out happy and check a few things off your bucket list. Who knows? Maybe you’ll change your mind in the process. Then after a week, pick a nice hotel, a really expensive one that won’t be driven out of business by the news of someone dying there. Continue partying, or just shoot a lethal amount of drugs in a tub.

Wow, that was a downer. I really should just make art instead of writing depressing things. Why the heck were we talking about suicide on a Monday morning?

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New Year… gah!

Face

Another year?!?!

Lord, please let the next year be good. Let it be better than this year. I’m not complaining much about 2013. The year has been great, I am counting my blessings and I did manage to accomplish many things. But I do hope that 2014 would be much better. Better and bigger changes. Please, let me have some more of the good things in life now.

2012 was bleh. 2013 was great. I hope 2014 would be so much better.

…..

Due to the holidays, I haven’t been able to spend much time making art. This will have to change soon.

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They don’t do humans.

Korean_drama

I don’t watch Korean dramas. Despite their global popularity and despite me being in the country, it’s just not my thing. My wife however often follows one or two dramas. I don’t really pay attention, but sometimes she’ll explain things to me or I’ll just absorb it through osmosis. One particular drama though has me seeing red. My wife stopped following it but will occasionally watch it or read what’s going on online. Now, I don’t know much about Korean dramas, but whoever’s writing “Princess Aurora” is a cynical, creatively bankrupt writer who has no concept of how human beings function in real life.

Here are some points (You don’t have to know the plot).

1. The male lead basically stalked the female lead and later won her affections. Not only does this encourage stalking, but is akin to my experience with Korean women and their stalker exes. “She will come back to me once she dumps him!”

2. The weaksauce male lead’s life is controlled by his three older spinster sisters. The writer must have a thing for weak men.

3. The female lead dumps the male lead, starts dating some sucker, then later dumps him and marries the lead. This sucker later ends up getting cancer, so the female lead gets a divorce and marries him.

4. The sucker who got cancer asks the male lead to help him recover because he’s the only man he trusts with his wife. Did I say he was a sucker? The two later become friends.

5. The sucker also chooses not to treat his cancer because he considers it a living being and a part of nature. The sucker however has no qualms about eating bacon. Heck, even a plant is more sentient than cancer!

6. The cancer spontaneously goes into remission. I suppose that happens SOMETIMES, but the writer basically took a shit on everyone who lost a loved one to cancer despite aggressive treatment. Maybe the cancer responded to idiocy.

7. My wife first got interested in the show because one of the side characters is bisexual and is involved in a love triangle between his gay live-in boyfriend and another girl, the writer’s niece. My wife thought it was interesting that a major Korean show is tackling gay issues on primetime. Although I pointed out that if she knew Korean women, not one of them would ever be with a gay man if they had a visual of what gay sex involves. (But then again, a lot of men in K-Pop look really gay to me.)

8. The gay character tried teaching his boyfriend’s mother how to “go-go dance.” He teaches her “the hustle” instead. What kind of homosexual doesn’t know the difference between “go-go dance” and “the hustle?”

9. This gay character decides to go to a temple, bow a thousand times everyday in front of Buddha, and becomes straight. The show basically says you can pray the gay away. So much for tackling gay issues. The writer just took a shit on gay people.

10. Come to think of it, the writer took a shit on human sexuality in general. Does this mean I can bow a thousand times everyday and become gay as well? Can I pray the straight away?

11. The formerly gay character is now dating one of the spinster sisters.

There are so many other hackneyed points in the show but this list would get too long. The writer is basically just writing the show in order to create buzz among Korean netizens. It is cynically manipulative. It’s like she’s going through a list of what would get the Internet talking about the show? What next? A tragic death? AIDS? Twerking?

My wife says most people realize this, but it’s like watching a really bad car accident. Now, I don’t mind watching garbage television and bad writing. I used to watch Sons of Anarchy before I realized it featured the most inept motorcycle gang in history. But it really gets my gourd when writing gets ridiculously bad and spreads misinformation about how human beings work. The thing about the gay character I feel was the worst. “Let’s all use a gay character to drive up ratings then basically say that being gay is an evil that can be cured with a bit of religion.” This is especially troubling since Koreans are still pretty much in the dark ages when it comes to certain aspects of human sexuality. This is a country where many claim “there are no gays,” AIDS is a foreign disease, and adultery is punishable by jail time.

Maybe I’m reading too much into it. But with Korean dramas being very popular, I hope they’re all not as bad and as hollow as this garbage.

Here’s some art so this post is not solely about Korean dramas!

The_Hunt

The Hunt!

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Killer Cars

Hood_ornament

Religious hood ornament. With the chances of dying in a car accident being around 1 in 100, I’m surprised I don’t see these on the road. Automobile fatality stats are higher than being chosen to compete in the “Hunger Games!”

A little late, especially since the death of Nelson Mandela being in the news, but speaking of dying in car crashes, notice the amount of good deeds the media reported regarding the late Paul Walker? He started a charity, he helped pay for someone else’s engagement ring, he helped some other person, etc. Is this his PR people? I don’t have much to say about Paul Walker and the “Fast and the Furious” movie franchise other than it’s just not for me, but it’s like the media tried so hard to distract the public from the fact that the man died doing something which his movies encouraged, going vroom vroom on suped-up cars. If you strictly just read the Huffington Post for news, you would think the man was the pope (or Nelson Mandela). I mean, you didn’t hear too many of the good deeds James Gandolfini did in his lifetime after he died this year, not that he didn’t do any, I’m sure he did. But the media mostly reported about his genius as an actor and his role in “The Sopranos.” With Paul Walker, it seems the only thing he did whenever he wasn’t acting in those dumb racing films was help out the rest of humanity.

As for Nelson Mandela, there’s really not much to say about his death that hasn’t already been said. The world lost a hero and a role model, and we are in desperate need of Nelson Mandelas to look up to. (I realize this is quite the change in tone compared to how I talked about Paul Walker) What’s sad though, is that even as the world honors a great man and tries to glean lessons from his life, not long before he died, his family was feuding over making money out of the family name in ventures which included a reality show.

I’ve been reading about the upcoming Penn & Teller movie about the painting process of Johannes Vermeer. It might sound like the most boring topic in the world and something that art history students would snooze through, but looking at the Dutch master’s photorealistic work and trying to emulate it using one of the theories that he used mirrors and lenses to guide his brush sounds very intriguing. The movie is the first movie that’s got me excited for 2014, that and George Clooney’s “Monuments Men.”

Update: Speaking of deaths. Eleanor Parker just died. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/eleanor-parker-dead-dies_n_4415730.html) The Baroness is dead! There was a great letter in McSweeney’s which makes some great points about her in the movie, although it failed to mentioned how those misguided kids practically bullied her out of a ball game.
(http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/i-regret-to-inform-you-that-my-wedding-to-captain-von-trapp-has-been-canceled)

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Hound

doberman

I’ve been really productive since I got back from Canada. Art, art, make art. Get it done, Joseph. Draw, sculp, do anything! I’d better go nuts on art now before I get all lazy again.

The problem with us people who don’t make art for a living is that neglecting art or being “lazy” involves the business of living in the real world: working, working extra jobs, working out, working on my relationship, working on the hidden dungeon on a Playstation game, working, working, working!!! It take a special kind of dedication and inspiration to stop “working” and start making art. So I guess I should make art while I’m still inspired.   Epiphany, most television is vapid and uninspired. I realize that’s not the most insightful of revelations, but it truly dawned on me yesterday when I was having lunch with my wife while she channel surfed through Korean shows and commercials. They all feature the same celebrities (I see less than twenty people on Korean TV ALL of the time!), the same annoying music, and the same canned sounds of oohs, ahhs, and laughter. I was a bit annoyed at how she can’t just stick to one channel and how it’s a tad inconsiderate of her to just mindlessly surf through shows which I mostly A. don’t understand and B. don’t really care to understand at all. Watching Korean dramas doesn’t really inspire me to learn Korean at all. I don’t care who is pregnant, who is dating who, and what taboo is being broken for ratings this month.

But then it dawned on me, is western television really any better? Granted, there are great shows on television right now, with TV enjoying a great renaissance in terms of inspired writing, but a lot of it is also mindless, boring entertainment. From the pseudo-inspirational OWN and the dumbed-down Discovery Channel, to the commercialism of MTV, I just come out feeling dumb and bored.

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Art and Cake Time

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I was visiting a friend’s stalker’s sites (his Facebook and personal Website)… because that’s what friends do, they visit their stalker’s Websites and see what makes him tick. Now, I’m not sure how much traffic this guy gets (probably more traffic than my site), but I was surprised at how inspirational he is. He’s trying to encourage visitors to make something of themselves, be adventurous, and make something now and then. A part of me is thinking:
A: I don’t have any stalkers!
B: This stalker is quite positive for a stalker. How come I’m not this positive? He’s at least trying to affect some change into some people. How come I’m not doing that?
C: Maybe I should start hanging out with this guy. Hey, maybe he could change me! Maybe he could stalk me instead!

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Well, here’s to you, friend’s stalker. I started making art, so yeah, I’m making something. This is just halfway through, but I did finish it over the weekend. I kinda wish I worked faster and that the final product actually looks bigger. Most of my work fits on an 8×10 inch piece of paper and it takes about 8 hours to finish, but I don’t think my audience realize that.

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And yeah, eating cake while I’m at it.

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