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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

That'll be Me!

Hey, there! I figured I'd get a few selfies for when I'm out and about, doing my thing as TintySun. To have my corporeal form tied to my words and actions even in cases when I'm not present in the flesh. Something of an avatar representing me. I tried as best as I could to "capture myself". Although, being as multifaceted as many of us are, it could be somewhat challenging. Regardless, in my opinion, I made my spirit justice. Albeit through symbols and metaphors. If you've known me and my content for long enough, you can probably make all the connections.

For countless years now, lights and mirrors have been a theme in my life. Along with my tendency to hold them up for others and also find myself surrounded by them (being held out to me too). So, there I am. In the room of infinite reflections. My role in life appears to be closely related to that, too. And I'll gladly take it. I don't consider myself too harsh, but some would disagree. At least with myself, though, I'll be as ruthless as I can be, facing truths, without ending up curled up in a ball, with my psyche in pieces. I definitely don't recommend being within range if you prefer holding onto illusions. Because although I often break things down gently, I'll still break them down. Calling people out on their B.S. since the 2000.

There's more to it, of course. Not just about me, but about the situations I end up in and the people I'm surrounded with. Many of them are quite indescribable! Impactful and unforgettable, too. I wished for an intriguing and exciting life. And, so far, by my standards and preferences, I got that and more. So much more that the saying "be careful what you wish for" applies. At this point, however, I wouldn't trade it away. It has been as wondrous as it has been atrocious. But, moving forward, I expect more of the former.

Yet, all through it, a huge part of what keeps me sane is not taking everything too seriously. Yes, there are serious matters that are in no way laughable. That should be addressed with tact and consideration. To be tended to with the utmost care. And then there's the rest or what's my own to handle. Plus, I'm guilty of unhinged use of emojis to convey emotions when text fails to. So I couldn't resist taking these pictures. 😁

Bonus picture: I get Jail Time, too! I've lost count of all the instances in which I've been timed out. It happens.

CREDITS: These photographs were taken at SelfieWorld, in Acropolis, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Tropical Small City vs. Tropical Small Town


I'm getting into making videos. And as a way of having practice and building habit, I decided to make a couple of videos showcasing my surroundings, capturing their vibes.

It is no news or secret that I'm in the Dominican Republic, and switching from Santo Domingo to La Romana and back, so it's fine to give a small peek. Besides, I wanted to do this for myself, too, so that I can have the memory of it preserved before these places change too much.

I'm still confused by how, out of everywhere in the world, I had to be born here, but here I am! For now and until who knows. I'll be making the best of it, though. And keep sharing more of it when I can...

Sunday, August 27, 2023

X, The Everything App

Twitter was rebranded to X and, despite the resistance to change that is to be expected, people have begun adapting. Twitter is now X and tweets are now simply referred to as posts. And I'm here for it!

I never really used Twitter much, until recently (when I committed to making content again), and happened to be around when Elon Musk's takeover occurred. It was wild, to say the least. And strangely, it feels so far in the past now. 

From the beginning, he was speaking of making The Everything App, which could sound too over-the-top and not that feasible. Also, he spoke of making it The Town Square and, given the amount of bots and awful people on the internet, it sounded quite impossible too. But hey, it is Elon Musk. I've been skeptical (and quite frankly, concerned as well) but it would have been foolish of me, given his history and accomplishments, to assume he wouldn't find ways around and through it to make it happen.

As the site stabilizes and more features are released, there is less and less to panic about or even doubt him for. And I'm sincerely hoping it continues that way. I'm looking forward to what more it can become and do for its users, the Xers. And since Elon Musk seems intensely devoted to it and he is an immensely imaginative and innovative person who is constantly optimizing, I see immeasurable potential. He did publicly state that they would likely be making many mistakes along the way - and that is inevitable if you're pushing limits, venturing into the unknown, and doing what hasn't been done before.

Personally, I'm rooting for bold moves. We don't need another social media site that is just like every other with only some minor tweaks. But we'll see what happens as steps are taken in their own time. And this is, in itself, one of its current appeals. We want to know what is going to happen next! Another feature? A fix? An upgrade? A catastrophe? I believe many of us are in for this ride that is, thankfully, not going too fast or too slow.

X is on more than one mission, from what I've heard so far and can recall: To be as inclusive as it reasonably can (terribly bad actors still get banned; sorry, not sorry), to restore freedom of speech, to bring prosperity to its content contributors, and to make it a fun place. I may be missing more that isn't already implied in these. That is plenty to juggle and balance together. Nevertheless, it can definitely be done and progress has been shown.

What this means for artists and artistic people, in general, is that, as long as it stays true to its missions and manages to stay afloat, we won't be suffocated to death by the agendas and restrictions pushed by those who could not care less about authentic expression or do not know any better and are too quick to promote and adopt measures that, ultimately, aren't ideal.

I'm particularly glad about how advertising on its platform is being handled. Basically letting the advertisers choose what kind of content they'll show up around rather than encouraging everyone to shrink and censor themselves, being as family-friendly as possible, so that ads can show for them. (It is something I wished AdSense would do, the last time I bothered to apply for it and it kept tagging my site as problematic, no matter how much I tried to "clean it up", so I eventually just whatevered.)

And of course, I'm also particularly glad over the fact that Text content is standing a chance again in what has become a widely spread social media arena. I appreciate videos and audios but, PLEASE, some of us need to READ and give our senses a break! 

I've yet to become fully active on X and learn more about how it has been changing. But I wouldn't be surprised if it leads me and many others to ditch other apps eventually.

I like X. 😀❤

Perfection in Art

Perfection can be a tricky and elusive thing. And it may even drive you to madness.

By now, most of us know that perfection is subjective. Or, put differently, nothing can ever be completely perfect in every single sense that it may be measured by. Because even if you try to cover all the bases, in order to make it perfect, that, too, could be an imperfection in the eyes of some. Therefore, objectively, perfection would simply be the meeting of certain standards and expectations - regardless of what they are. Yet, there is no denying that there are a few qualities that are more typically associated with what could be considered perfect in a normal or regular manner.

The absence of dirt, decay, and disharmony usually points to a state of perfection. However, if you're artistic enough, you would perceive that as lifeless (or even soulless) and, consequently, imperfect or subjected to an oppressive and restrictive type of perfectionism. But since not everything has to be wildly artistic and some things can just be sophisticated and intricate or elegant designs, it is not something to always be against of.

Still, by focusing on perfection as an absence of flaws (or "flaws"), we could fall into many traps. One of the worst is being at the mercy of others' opinions - even when they are uninformed or malicious in nature. We begin getting rid of anything that could be criticized and turn ourselves or our work into an example of a lack of spirit. Then be criticized for that, too. So, ultimately, it is a matter of choice. Of choosing which route you're taking and whether others' opinions will be relevant or not and to what extent.

On the other hand, being a perfectionist, if not to a crippling or even paralyzing degree, does have its benefits and shouldn't be fully discouraged. But you ought to be clear about what the purpose is in a given scenario so that you can accomplish it without getting lost tending to innumerable details that would deter you from it.

You can nitpick what you are and what you do, but in a kind and reasonable way that won't send you into a downward spiral or make you afraid to make moves. Thus, realistically pushing yourself to make improvements where they can be made. You can also leave things at a point you're not completely satisfied with and come back to them later when you're able to further improve upon them. And of course, you can as well "beat" yourself by coming up with something brand new of higher quality.

Dropping perfection altogether is a mistake. As it is a mistake to let it be more limiting than motivating to go beyond casual or habitual efforts.

(And please, for your own good, if you're compelled to, allow yourself to be messy from time to time.)

Points on Polishing

 #1  There's only so much that polishing can do. No amount of polishing can save something that is poorly done. Sometimes you do have to start over.

 #2  If something feels or seems off or not quite right, you may be tempted to dismiss it. And if you do, it might still nag you. Take the time to fix it if you can or you might never be pleased with it. 

 #3  Beware of obsessively tending to details that don't really matter. And beware of carelessly disregarding those that do.

 #4  You can't always get your way. Energy, time, and resources can keep you from doing better. Come to terms with it and make the most of what you have. Later on, you may have more and be able to do more.

 #5  Revising and readjusting isn't something to be left for last. In certain cases, you must do it as you progress or by stages.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Revolution in Art

Is it even worth attempting? Hasn't everything been done already?

We live in times when, to a great degree, freedom of expression has had its way in expanding our minds and making us more flexible. Though it may not currently be as encouraged, incentivized, and rewarded as it could be, everywhere, rocking the boat is not as punished as it historically has been. With an abundance of works of art and facilitated access to them, it can even be baffling to encounter people with rigid thinking, adhering to narrow and short-sighted views, opinions, and, consequently, attitudes. But it shouldn't be too shocking.

Art can revolutionize you... if you let it. And unless you actively seek it out or it is made mandatory (for a course, a job, etc.), there is much that you can miss out on and remain the same. We may even feel uncomfortable and be reluctant to come into contact with a piece of art, knowing that it has the potential to move us and ultimately change us in some significant manner.

For some, it can throw them off for hours, days, or even weeks. If not just set them off to a point of no return. Some people avoid words because of this, so that they won't get to "mess" with their mind or their heart. Others avoid the sensory stimulation that would ultimately have a similar effect. Or both as much as it is possible; ignoring, blocking out, and so on. Art can be quite triggering and a catalyst for profound and immense change and transformation. Not everyone is willing to go through that or can even afford the luxury to (losing mental and emotional stability while they must keep it together).

However, one of the best uses of art is that. It may sweep in by taking over and widely delivering a message that you cannot escape. Or it may sit there, waiting for you to have the space to take it in. Works of art can be powerful items like that.

People who live for personal growth (in the truest and most spiritual sense) tend to have no issue with exposing themselves to artworks that get them to think and to feel differently - so that they can reach new heights and dig into unexplored depths. They may even crave it to a concerning degree, making everything else secondary to it. Anything but stagnation.

Sooner or later, it would be as though you've already seen it all. And what may terribly disturb and unsettle someone else, would leave you unfazed. Yet, something else could eventually come along and surprise you, leading you to question yourself again and to rearrange more within and outside yourself.

At the root of unfair bans and censorship is cowardice that "protects" from the threat of losing what's familiar upon meeting with could make it obsolete.

Points on Change

 #1  Depending on a person's situation and circumstances, as well as their own nature, change may be embraced or resisted. There may be valid reasons behind the latter, but quite often it can be reduced to fear and/or stubbornness.

 #2  Gradual and almost unperceivable change tends to be the easiest to implement. And as such, it can be quite dangerous too (grooming, brainwashing, etc.). You may notice the signs, but can hardly argue on them. In contrast, sudden and obvious change tends to be met with the most objections. As such, it would require force to push through until it is conceivable and there is acceptance. 

 #3  Change can be for better or for worse, accomplished ethically or not, smoothly or roughly. Being averse to change itself denotes an inability to process and adapt to new data or settings. Usually, due to strongly relying on, attaching to, or identifying with something. Alternatively, readily welcoming change without considering any implications denotes a lack of discernment and a failure to act responsibly.

 #4  At certain points, change is inevitable, and attempting to control and stop it is futile. In such cases, preparing for it would be the wiser choice.

 #5  Some changes are not reversible. You just have to learn to live with them. However best you can. Or see if there's a next stage to move on to. 

Virgo's Basics

Transit Date: Late August.
Concluding Summer.

Position: 6th.
Element: Earth.
Quality: Mutable.

Symbolized by: The Virgin.
Typically Associated with: Thoroughness, neatness, health. 

At Best: Conscious and sensible.
At Worst: Uptight and pessimistic.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Grandeur in Art

Should you go the extra mile or hold back? Is seeking to impress even artistic at all? What will people think and say of you?

Grandeur does have negative connotations but there's plenty to unpack. When something is grand or grandiose, it has the potential to draw attention, to amaze, and to leave people in awe. For many, it can also be inspiring and motivating, showing them that great things can be accomplished and that it is fantastic when they are. It may even call them to stop focusing so much on trivial matters and instead work toward something bigger than themselves. For others, however, it is no more than offensive, for which they get defensive about. But they are not necessarily entirely wrong.

Art enables the pursuit of grandeur. There is so much that you can do in a work of art. Seeking and gathering the best materials, employing the best tools, putting in a baffling amount of time and effort into it, perhaps even uniting the most talented and skilled artists. All so that it will inevitably stand out. Maybe break one or more records, too. Make people speechless. And in many ways, indulging this craving pushes you to fulfill your potential. So it is not merely a vain attempt for external validation, applause, and adoration, but a purpose to test yourself and what you're capable of, gaining mastery and expertise in the process.

Besides, what is the worst that can happen when you aim for it? That you fail to meet your standards and expectations and become disappointed in yourself? That you are laughed at and told "I told you so" for not succeeding? That, in the end, it was a waste that left you with little to show? You will have to decide if it is still worth it to you or not. What would be a worse regret?

Some people are born with an innate desire to do the "impossible", to break the limits and go beyond, to take all that they are gifted with and make the most of it, or simply to be as astonishing as they can while they still can. If you are one of them, quieting and denying that desire can be severely detrimental to you. It can make you apathetic, listless, and stagnant.

Yes, there are other things in life that are also important - arguably more important. But to some, this is everything. Yet, it can be a particularly difficult path because of the resistance that they face. Their aspirations viewed as insane or selfish (and secretly or not so secretly, as threatening). It isn't until it has yielded major benefits and that those benefits are shared that opinions begin to change or at least lose volume (and rivals might accept defeat or cease to undermine them).

Nevertheless, practicing good judgment is still rewarding. You don't have to be completely self-centered or single-minded to pull off something grand. You don't have to lose friends and gain enemies out of callousness and carelessness if it can be helped. There is only so much that you can balance and tend to at once, but you can keep from falling into the pitfalls of causing more damage than is necessary.

It is tempting to see everything other than what you're fixated on as worthless and dismiss it as such, becoming excessively arrogant, but remember that you give others permission to dismiss what matters to you when you dismiss what matters to them for no good reason. And it is cruel if not just rude.

You don't have to play small for others' convenience and comfort, but you can strive to be and do your best all through it.

Points on Ambition

 #1  Ambition and the absence of it can put people at odds. To the point where, to defend one's stand on it, the ego gets involved and attacks to the character are made. However, inherently, ambition is neither good or bad. what is tied to it is what determines that.

 #2  If you are highly ambitious, your ambitions will seem unrealistic or unlikely to most people even when they aren't. And unless you find it in yourself or surround yourself with people who believe in you, you might be convinced that they are and give up or become less invested.

 #3  Blind faith and unquestionable illusions can get you far. But skepticism and pragmatism can as well serve your ambitions if you don't let them sabotage you instead. 

 #4  Having great ambitions can be attributed to various factors, some more noble and genuine than others. And what may feel like an unfillable void, may actually be a sign that you're called to do more.

 #5  The child or childlike version of people usually have better access to what their greatest ambition is, because they get to explore and experiment while still having their options wide open. Furthermore, what they get into is seen with wonder that then makes it more special.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Meaning in Art

What makes art meaningful? How can you make your artworks have meaning? Why would you? What even is meaning?

When we speak of meaning, we speak of something of importance. Something with a worth that goes beyond what is at face value. Something that can be immediately experienced but not as instantly explained. Meaning is contextual and nuanced. It can be pinpointed, paying close attention, but not simplified, for it would be lost. Indeed, it is something abstract. And in many cases, deeply personal.

Art is a conduit for meaning. You can make art meaningful to you and/or to others. Intentionally or not. This is both a talent and a skill. Perceiving, interpreting, and translating meaning is a process with many layers and levels to master. Tapping into what’s beyond. If it doesn’t seem complex to you, you may be missing a great part of it or you may be gifted at conveying meaning. Possibly both, if you haven’t made the unconscious conscious and, yet, still comes through and is plastered on your artworks.

For art to be meaningful, there has to be something more to it than being pleasant or impressive. It must internally touch and move a person in a manner that evokes thoughts and feelings that lead to a sort of completion or wholeness within them. So they are fulfilled by it. This can be healing, clarifying, fortifying, and more. Essentially, it is meant to fill a void.

By tending to yourself, making what is meaningful to you or what brings you meaning, and granting access to this, you naturally tend to others that share the same state and condition you were in when you decided to do this work. However, it can also be done from a more distanced place, remembering what you once craved or yearned for even if you no longer do. Further than that, you may be a stranger to it but still able to, through intuition or by instinct, respond appropriately to what others are deprived of, picking up on the signs that they are giving off.

Meaning can as well be grasped through emotion, though you’d have to decompress those, and through reason, though you’d have to articulate that. This is a longer (and more tedious) path and approach to it, one that can be quite confusing and misleading, but it can also be more enriching to you as it makes you more thorough and aware of what it all implies and entails.

If you don’t know where to begin, take some time to reflect. Wonder and marvel as much as you can. Be alone with yourself and what you’ve been through. What has your life been like? Are there parts of it that you wouldn’t trade away, whether they were good or bad? Do you see puzzle pieces that you can put together to reveal a greater picture? Is it strange yet fascinating how things work and turn out? And if that’s not enough, go out for a walk and look around. But this time, look at everything with fresh eyes and no rush to reach any conclusion or form any opinion. What amazes you?

Finding meaning is a profound and intricate journey. One through which you may begin seeing life itself as a work of art full of significance.

Points on Significance

 #1  Significance in art can be both subjective and objective, but more often than not it is subjective. Something personal and valuable to those who make it and/or to those who perceive it.

 #2  When something is significant to you, how it fails or succeeds at meeting other standards and criteria becomes pretty much if not completely irrelevant.

 #3  Significance can come in the form of acknowledgment, validation, solace, reassurance, restoration, encouragement, liberation, empowerment, enlightenment, transformation, transcendence, commemoration, recognition, and more. 

 #4  We easily move past and forget that which is void of or of little significance. Although what is of significance can be dismissed, denied, and not honored as it deserves, it is still something that becomes a part of us and that we carry with us. It remains there to be appreciated at any time unless shown to be illusory and thus destroyed. 

 #5  Significance rushes into and engulfs you. You don’t have to look too hard for it or force it through. It hits and clicks with you with ease. It may come unexpectedly and may even answer to wounds and lacks that you weren’t even aware you had. And if you were, you may not have not fully known how much they were affecting you until they were responded to.