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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sepia Colors

Beyond primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, as seen on The Color Wheel, another selection of colors that stands out is the group of brown and brownish colors. They can fall into the category of sepia colors.

Sepia colors are characterized by earthy and sandy tones, whether dark or bright, tending toward yellow or red hues, not too saturated. They usually resemble what is old, as their shades invoke memories of antiques and worn-out items. But most of all, they can be considered "grounding".

With the wide range of sepia colors that can be chosen for a piece, there is plenty that can be successfully done with them. Besides replicating the past and all the sense of sentimentality that comes with it, it can also facilitate a sense of what is solid, which may be accompanied by a sense of safety, which can also bring a sense of comfort - and even coziness.

Not everyone is a fan of a brown palette, as there are both pleasant and unpleasant associations to it and some would fixate on the latter. Mud, dirt, and more that can be gross. Plus reasons other than that. Yet, that again circles back to how humbling it is, putting you in touch with the realities of practicality and what is in practice. 

Regardless, you can also just focus on the appreciation of the small pleasures in life, such as coffee and chocolate. Cherished photographs and handwritten letters that have been kept for decades. Tree houses and wooden wands or staves in the backyard. 

They are colors rich in attributes that can be applied in several settings.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Room to Roam

Structure and even pressure can and are conducive to growth and accomplishment. However, it may also get to a point where it causes stagnation and decline instead. And that can be quite terrible for an artistic spirit.

If you are artistic, particularly introspective and imaginative, you need space and freedom - more so than others may deem it. Not necessarily boundless, but enough to flow and be at ease. Mental, emotional, physical... in all the planes that you're called in.

This is often one of the most arduous challenges for an artist, to be able to claim and exercise their right to have room to roam. Usually, we're born into and/or stumble upon people and situations that place demands on us and they may turn into or seem to be duties that we're obligated to fulfill. Making us "selfish" and "cruel" if we don't. Whether that is really the case or not isn't so simple.

Finding out who you are exactly and what you precisely require isn't a task that can be done overnight. It can take years. Decades. Of much trial and error or being completely done with what over and over proves not to be for you (anymore or at any point). So it is not surprising that many eventually change course and drastically alter their lives. Or what is worse, lose it.

This is a matter to take seriously. Because while, yes, you must be a responsible person and tend to more than just your own needs and wants, you don't get to do a lot of that if you are severely neglecting yourself. And this is something you must examine and be honest with yourself about.

In my case, the two times my health has been the worst in the sense of leading to crippling depression and suicidal tendencies were when I felt trapped. I could see no end to my suffering. No path I could take that'd give me an exit. And I couldn't bear it. My attempts to progress out of it were actively deterred or even blocked. The time I could put into it, occupied. The energy, zapped. No amount of coping by any means would let me endure for much longer. Then, even if I wasn't taking direct action against myself, I was indifferent about what would happen to me. It is only because I was fortunate to know people who could and would help that I can still be here. Moving closer and closer to what is ideal for me and steering clear of anything that'd again drive me to that state.

Not everyone will get it and that is okay. Only a few may approve. Even fewer would support it. But you must take yourself into consideration even when what you need and want isn't what others believe you do or should - especially if the alternative is looking grim or even potentially lethal. Yet, it doesn't have to be absolutely horrible for you to recognize that your circumstances are detrimental and taking a toll on you. The process out of them is likely to be conflictive and chaotic, but it is something to go through to get to the other side. And once there, you can reassess and reconnect with the parts of it that you can realistically and reasonably handle. If it goes more smoothly than that, then you can gradually take note of what is and isn't manageable for you. But whatever you do, don't let yourself die (figuratively and literally speaking).

All of this is easier said than done. And it can take a while merely to start, let alone be done with it. If you have people close to you that are on your side about improving your situation, that is great. But you can also look into more resources that suit you and your specific concerns to be even less lost and alone in it. 

Eventually, by doing more self-work, you get to where you can accurately pinpoint your limits and set boundaries accordingly so that you neither overextend nor suppress yourself.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tropical Spring Day Walk

Turns out I really enjoy watching walking videos. Or at least have them playing on the side while I work or do other things. So I'm making my own!

Going with the seasons and visiting some of my favorite places where I live, this is the start of a series. It is a part of my Wellness category and its Therapy subcategory since, for real, a change of scenery helps (more so if you can actually go for a walk yourself, which I encourage).


Along with these videos, I'm adding a handful of shorts with short messages as reminders to go with them. Extracting clips I liked from the same footage.

“Endings can be hurtful and painful,
when and after they happen.
But beginnings can be promising,
and bring more than you’d imagine…"

“Give yourself the time you need.
To break out, to let go, to grow and evolve,
and to be restored…”

“Worry not about what you’re not
and cannot be.
Tend to yourself instead
and be revealed…”

I enjoyed making these, so I'm happy to continue the series in between other content! 

Taurus' Description

Taurus, as the second sign of the Zodiac, stands as an earth and fixed sign, embodying stability and steadfastness. This sign exudes a grounded and practical nature, rooted deeply in its connection to the material and physical world. Often associated with qualities like determination and resilience, possessing a resolute will that is unwavering once set in motion. It may sometimes manifest as stubbornness, but beneath lies a profound commitment to its path. In the realm of comfort and security, Taurus excels, cherishing the finer things in celebration of the tangible.

Spiritually, Taurus represents a stage of growth where the soul learns the value of patience and perseverance. It teaches the lesson of slow and steady progress, reminding us that fulfillment comes from the consistent nurturing of our aspirations.

For context and more of relevance, please read about The Zodiac.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Justin Timberlake & NSYNC's Paradise

I've been wanting to write about this song, to bring and keep it here, forever to be cherished, since I first heard it. And it's been a while now, but I finally can. It came out during a heavy moment for me, and even so, I could love it so much...

Justin Timberlake has been the bringer of pleasant surprises for NSYNC fans since last year. And don't get me wrong, I appreciate Justin and his solo works as well (and I can go off about them too). But when you get NSYNC together, it hits on whole other levels. And I'm sooo thankful for it!

I'm not even sure how to describe it exactly, but it does something not only to my brain - but to my spirit, too. NSYNC was the band I hyperfixated on when I was young and yet to become cynical. You wouldn't believe the degree to which I loved this band and everything they did. And it was in such an innocent way, too. They hooked me with a music video of a psych ward, then with their glowing personalities, their impressive performances, and left me with lifelong favorite music and the memory of a fulfilling childhood that was complete with most-listened-to CDs. I knew nothing about the world back then. I didn't even know English and my obsession with them sped up my learning of it (thank you again for that!).

Unfortunately, I moved a lot since then. And quite often, in a rush and leaving possessions behind. So I no longer have any of the NSYNC merchandise I collected. I wish I still did to have proof of my level of craziness, but you'll have to believe me on this one. And maybe that's for the best. Pfft. But in other words, yup, definitely a true fan.

And it's so weird for me now because I disconnected from all of that until recently, when I suddenly saw them together again at the awards. I don't even know how to have this conversation with my child self. Like, how do I even begin to explain to her everything that has happened in between and up to this point, where she gets to live again? She'd be in utter disbelief. Everything from how life went to how much has changed all around. The unbelievable situations we'd find ourselves in. And how nice it all can be after and despite it all.

I don't know for how long NSYNC will continue to show up as a band, but it has already been magical. They indeed took us to a better place.

And this song, Paradise, is so absolutely perfect in so many ways. The melody and the lyrics come across as genuinely inspired and sincerely made with love. And as if that wasn't enough already, the vocals and the harmonizing between them are astoundingly flawless and outstanding. You'd believe angels are singing. I can't imagine a better gift, better wrapped, for those of us who are happy to see them and have them around once more. They really went in on this one and over-delivered.

The far-sighted and holistic view employed through it can make trivial and petty troubles look as small and insignificant as they are, lifting us to a plane where meaning is what is important and it prevails. I don't know about you, but for me, it is a remarkable example of art working wonders. And this one does it by connecting largely distanced points across time and space in a manner that transcends the mundane and arrives at what's considered paradise. It is soothing, relieving, and gently engulfing in the softest and fluffiest clouds. Talk about transmitting vibes and setting moods.

Needless to say, it got a special place in my heart. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Long Rides

Riding with me is having no guarantee we'll get there fast, possibly getting a little lost, taking the scenic route, stopping to help innocent animals we see on the way, getting angry at inconsiderate drivers and cursing at them, questioning the layouts of everything, a couple of meltdowns here and there, drink and snack breaks at different locations, happy to pass the wheel to whoever can drive well and wants to (taking it back if they're a danger or must/prefer to rest), but definitely with great music through it all!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Complementary Colors

More that can be seen on The Color Wheel are the colors that sit across from each other as complementary colors. 

When a color is facing another from the other side of the wheel, it is considered a complementary color to it. Complementary colors are those that differ precisely enough from the other, left and right, to possess what they lack and be then their complement. E.g. Yellow is a complement to purple and vice-versa.

Complementary colors bring balance to a composition. Though they may be tricky to combine in just the right amounts, and in just the right spots, for them to add to and bring out the best in each other rather than fight for attention. This is a sort of partnership that stands out as peculiar yet enhancing. As with Contrast in Colors, complementary colors can be eye-catching when together despite and because of their differences.

It's not unusual for artists to work with complementary colors - and be known for it. This is yet another of the clever ways to work with color that yield impressive and memorable results.

Again, as with Adjacent Colors, depending on your preferences, the impression and impact you aim to make, and the meanings you aspire to convey, you could decide on a set of complementary colors as your go-to palette. Or switch them up as you go.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Adjacent Colors

Continuing with The Color Wheel, let's take a further look into adjacent colors - what we are referring to by that and what that means.

 Adjacent colors are two or more colors sitting next to each other on the wheel. These are colors with similarities and overlaps as they are more the same the closer they are. Their differences become more significant and notable the further apart they are. E.g. Orange slightly inching toward yellow gains a yellowish tint and orange further approaching yellow may become more yellow than it is orange.

When coloring, if you're afraid to take risks or make leaps, you could try sticking with a selection of adjacent colors so there won't be much conflict or noise between them. And while that's playing it safe, it won't necessarily be boring. Besides, it may be what is more suited for a given project or mission. Temperature in Colors, for example, is composed of adjacent colors.

Many artists make adjacent colors their trademark. They may stick with colors such as purple and those adjacent to it for all that they create. Or at least make them predominant in what they do. 

Depending on your preferences, the impression and impact you aim to make, and the meanings you aspire to convey, you could decide on a set of adjacent colors, whether closely tied together or wider apart, as your go-to palette. Or switch them up as you go.

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

The Color Wheel

Here is the color wheel. There are several ways in which you can group and organize colors, but this wheel is one of the most encompassing and cohesive kind. Not limited by the few colors shown above, but able to contain countless shades of them in between and in and out of them. For the sake of simplicity, though, let's just look at a few colors.

Within what we can call chromatic colors, you will find what are called primary colors and secondary colors (tertiary colors, too). The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. While secondary colors are green, orange, and purple. The names aren't about rank, but about blending. You can get secondary colors by blending primary colors, but not vice-versa. E.g. Red and yellow, primary colors, make orange, a secondary color. And you can see how they appear between them on the wheel.

Furthermore, on this wheel, you are able to see which colors are adjacent to one another and which ones are complementary to each other. E.g. Adjacent to blue is turquoise and indigo, and complementing blue is orange.

Being familiar with the color wheel comes in handy for understanding, choosing, combining, and also blending colors.  

Saturday, April 6, 2024

AI Art for Storytelling?


Experimenting with AI tools for art, I keep giving into more uses for AI Art. It doesn't take away my desire to make art myself. If anything, it makes me wish I had more time to do so. Because the process of creating is enjoyable too, not just the end result - and I get to be hyper-specific with it. But I'd be lying if I said I'm not having fun with AI Art.

I prompted these images to aid storytelling and it's one of my favorite uses so far. It took me quite a few tries before getting the pictures that most resembled what I was aiming for, but still much better than not having any! I'm looking forward to doing something like this again in the not-so-distant future. Whether it is a continuation to the story these are for or any other story.

The application is called Leonardo.AI. It is web-based and sufficiently free. It currently contains many features and options. These images were generated using the Leonardo Lightning XL model with the Colorpop element (at 1.00 weight), including keywords such as: detailed, black, dark blue, cyberpunk, underground, city...

The tools are rapidly evolving so the complaints I have about them now may no longer have place soon and that's exciting. Go play with them if you aren't already!

CREDIT: AI-Generated Reference done on Leonardo.AI