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Monday, April 29, 2024

I was Tame, I was Gentle...

I went into The Tortured Poets Department universe after all!
Or at least let a character come alive in one of my imaginings of it. ♪ So all you kids can sneak into my house with all the cobwebs ♪

I can be at peace, at last, having immortalized in photographs some of my favorite clothing items before I lose them or completely wear them out. The stockings were a quick buy and they accidentally ripped as I hastily put them on, but it fits the aesthetic better that way, putting the "tortured" in "tortured poet". And I got new curtains for this shoot, but ended up using old ones as they give more of a "dusty attic" atmosphere. So I can pretend it's one of the secret hang-out places. There are also flowers in my jewelry and in my fabric. I wanted to bring them in as part of spring, without detracting from the gloom of it all, since it's the season when TTPD was released.

And look who's here! I kid you not, this black cat showed up the other night and I wasn't expecting it at all. It roams around here now. ♪ So I leap from the gallows and I levitate down your street. Crash the party like a record scratch as I scream: Who's afraid of little old me? ♪

Lastly, what are you most tortured by or what tortures you the most? For me, it's a few different things, but willful ignorance is definitely among them. My own and others'. ♪ Is it a wonder I broke? ♪

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Taylor Swift’s Fortnight

When I first saw the teaser, I worried it would feel void. As a high contrast, black and white, geometrical place. But it was so immensely and profoundly filled with meaning!

There’s been speculation about who this song is about, and I can’t tell either. But regardless, it is a lovely song that I quickly grew to love as I better comprehended it. After a few listens, going back and forth with the lines to read between them and get how they added onto each other or canceled each other out. Like a book of code, it must be grasped holistically rather than partially.

Listening to it alone, I loved it, but with the video, I loved it so much more. It does seem to show more of what it is all about, with the different characters and scenarios, rather than simply being an unrelated video patched to it.

And we know that Taylor Swift is guilty of putting an INSANE amount of attention to detail in her videos so, whenever she is involved in the writing and direction of them, I KNOW there is more than meets the eye and she’s telling more of the story through them.

The covered tattoos that she reveals and match Malone’s, “Stay Away” and “Always Tired” being especially visible. But also letters and symbols that could point to more. If she included them, then it is quite probable that it fits into the story too. Though you might never be fully sure.

The emphasis on the line “I love you, it’s ruining my life” and how it’s coming from both of them, through writing and reading machines. Yet it isn’t explicitly described why and how exactly. You could try to intuit it but, again, might never be fully sure.

I loved how the telephone booth is shown as such a key part of it all, along with how they sing of calling and not picking up. Like they’re right there, near each other, but can’t be reached via it. Speaking of approaches. And the importance of communication.

Things didn’t quite work out, it would seem, but there appears to be genuine love between these two characters. With their embracing, the caring for the other’s wellbeing, and looks that silently say “I love you beyond anything I’ve so far expressed”. Perhaps a doomed love regardless. But that doesn’t necessarily make it small and insignificant.

Where passion of this degree is involved, and one's yearnings are not fulfilled, lines such as “I wanna kill her” and “I wanna kill him” don’t shock me at all. The frustration can be unbearable. She just happens to be honest with herself. And whatever happened in their story that is not made obvious could be further fueling it. What else happened here? You don’t know. Maybe he did fail her terribly, but it might be… complicated. See, guys often don’t give a damn, but sometimes they do. It is unfortunate that it’s not always so easy to tell when which is the case.

Furthermore, I am obsessed with the concept of colors as the manifestation of energy, so of course I was thrilled by the typewriter room scenes that had them emanating. Taylor Swift’s character had mostly orange with subtle tints of yellow and red eventually showing, while Malone’s character had mostly blue with subtle tints of purple and green coming through, as both typed across from each other. They all ultimately join into a white sphere of light. If you aren’t aware of it already, white contains them all. And white is the color TTPD comes in with, often hinting at it. It does make me wonder!

It is phenomenal that she included actors from the Dead Poets Society (and named this The Tortured Poets Department instead, keeping “poets” but switching “dead” for “tortured” and “society” for “department”). Makes me want to rewatch that movie again sometime soon for it’ll likely tell more! And by the way, some of my favorite movie quotes come from there. “We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” So it definitely hits home for me.

I’m unsure of what the ending here means, though. They do get to be together in some manner after all? Is it a cliffhanger? Is there a continuation to this story? I certainly do look forward to more being tied to it!

Bonus: How she looks like a scary doll too? Priceless.

The Tortured Poets Department


I figured us, tortured poets, were in for a treat when The Tortured Poets Department was announced. But holy goddess, I did not expect this much!

It is a double album, one I’m still not fully done processing. You thought there would be around 15 songs? Nope. There are over 30! It is lengthy. Multidimensional, too. I’ve listened to it. I’ve pondered it. I’ve casually hummed and sang along to it. Swayed and danced. But I’m still far from fully grasping it and all that it contains. And maybe expecting to do so around the release date is unrealistic and not even ideal. The Tortured Poets Department is an entire realm to be transported to and be in for months - perhaps years. It is the work of letting go of what is being carried. And to do that, you must dig into the torture. It’s like roots reaching to hell so that branches can reach to heaven. While simultaneously letting light meet with darkness and vice-versa. This integrative and expansive process takes time.

So I found it suitable and appropriate that it is so mellow. Rather than have a variety of songs wildly varying from each other, all of them retain the same certain moods and give off the same certain vibes while the lyrics and the stories they tell change within what The Tortured Poets Department is fundamentally about. It’s nostalgic, hypnotic, and floaty. As if you are submerging into the sea of your subconscious, where your past is. Or just turning back time and getting light-headed on the trip there. And there’s sadness and anger to deal with regardless.

It can be overwhelming. I wouldn’t recommend rushing through the album. Less so to form opinions, which would be quick but superficial. I would say that this is music to sit or lie down with. Dwell on it some during and afterward. Then let “a-ha” moments come to you. At least when aspiring to thoroughly take it in. You may speculate and attempt to decipher what or who each track is about, as the album covers a wide range of situations and circumstances, but there is significance and meaning in what is expressed regardless.

TTPD is not for the stiff and the shallow who wish to remain as such. It is filled with prompts and stimulants that can shake, bend, and take you out of your comfort zone. Not as abruptly as TS can and has been on other occasions, but still quite candidly. It comes across as having plenty of harsh truths to say but holding one’s tongue - or pen. Sparing some pain and saving you from what you’re not ready for, letting you realize the rest for yourself. If you don’t wish to meet yourself past your illusions or your surface levels, then you might not enjoy paying attention to it.

There have been criticisms about how it all sounds the same. But it doesn’t exactly. This misses the fact that, in such cases, you can tune into a state where you are more perceptive and sensitive to subtle differences, which you will need for nuanced introspection.

There have been criticisms about how Taylor is supposedly trying to be something she is not. But I view it more as tapping into other aspects of herself, her life, and what surrounds her, engaging in other kinds of alchemical transmutations for restoration and growth. Hers and those of whoever resonates with any of it. And it’s not like she has ever been someone to stick to a single style. She is always exploring and experimenting (within reason).

There have been criticisms about being too much. Personally, I don’t get tired. I may get momentarily overwhelmed or even stressed when there is a lot going on, but nobody is forcing me to consume and digest all of it as fast as I possibly can. And when I notice that I’m pressuring myself to, I can just take a deep breath and come back to my senses so that I will see and remember that I should manage myself better. It might indeed be a problem for people with fear of missing out or whose job is to immediately respond, in one way or another, to media. But that’s not the case for everyone.

On the other hand, I’ve been delighted by the positive reactions it has garnered. People relating, joking, and more. Many have welcomed TTPD with open arms or at least an open mind to let it gradually win them over. And as the trendsetter that TS is, I won’t be surprised if for a while brooding is more embraced. Something that should be prescribed in this era of mere appearances.

My only concern is why. Why this colossal stream of pent-up thoughts and emotions? She is pouring her soul out. Sharing what seem to be not only recent but long-ago occurrences. Letting go of it all. So what is next? This cannot be her last album! Gotta at least have a 13th one (imagine what she could do with it)! But if this means she’s taking a long break to recover from everything she’s gone and put herself through lately, have new experiences and make new memories, it is totally understandable and deserved! I’d miss her but I’d wait. As for what is going on right now, I am absolutely into The Tortured Poets Department and anything else that’s coming out of it!

As a Tortured Poet…

I am sooo going to join into the universe of The Tortured Poets Department! Just you wait.

For now, let me just go on about how much I love how Swifties make events out of releases and more. Dressing up, tidying and decorating, making and/or getting snacks, in accordance with whatever the theme is. I believe and am fully convinced that that is one of the best things you can do for your life - especially since budget isn’t really an issue and you can spend as much or as little on it as you will. Celebrating is an important part of life and without it’d be bleak (take it from me, a post-nihilist who learned it the hard way). So never feel sorry or silly for throwing parties if they make you happy and aren’t harming anyone.

Yet, it doesn’t even end there. Too many people like to assume that there’s no depth to being a Swiftie. But have you met a Swiftie? They. Are. Insane. They can be keen investigators that leave no stone unturned, connecting dots, forming theories, and getting to the bottom of it all. Insatiable. Taking things at face value? NEVER. There must be a hidden meaning somewhere. Double or multiple meanings. And numbers, can’t forget numbers! Following any clue, real or apparent, and Taylor continues to leave them for us. It’s the art of being secretive but not completely private. And we love the intrigue and the fascination that it all brings.

You may be concerned that it is being taken too far, as if it is some sort of cult. But that really depends. It is a hobby that can get obsessive, yes, but everyone is still free and in control of how they spend their time and energy. Some of us are just that intense and are thus pulled to that kind of intensity, but we can manage it and remain sane (enough). As for children and people who cannot quite or yet handle it? Here’s a friendly (though exasperated) reminder that artists are not here to be your sole caregivers and do all the raising that you require. Artists are here to make art. A few are generous enough to guide you through some of it, but they are not obligated to (and it can defeat the purpose of the piece(s)).

Taylor Swift’s artistry is impressive, in my (not humble, not arrogant) opinion. But what got me about her from the beginning and still does is how that doesn’t seem to be her #1 priority. And ironically, she still got where she is. More than anything, she is someone expressive who tells stories that people can relate to, feel validated by, live vicariously through, or rack their brains trying to understand. She’s always been brilliant to me in that regard. So often people expect a pop star, but I keep seeing somebody who is genuinely curious and devoted to their craft - while still making it big. So whenever people accuse her of being less than that, I have to keep myself from pointing out all the genius moves she pulls. Let them underestimate her. That works in her favor too! And amazingly, all of it without losing her humanity. She is a 100% worthy of being the icon that she is.

I didn’t think much of her and her music when I first heard it. It wasn’t what I normally listened to at the time, but I enjoyed it and kept listening to it. Next thing I knew, it was getting me through my dreary, often harsh, existence. And today, as another tortured poet, I can sincerely say that, oddly, it is one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me. I literally cannot tell you just how much exactly, but it’s true.

B&W Colors

While the chromatic colors lie in The Color Wheel, the achromatic colors exist outside of them. These are black, white, and the wide range of grays between them. Which, often, are noted as "technically, not a color". (But for the sake of easy communication, let's call them colors too.)

Black and white colors blend with each other to create grays but can also blend with other colors, making them darker or brighter. Although other colors can also lighten up or down, black and white do so more simply. Any color you add white to will be brighter and any color you add black to will be darker.

The B&W palette, in itself, doesn't fall short in works. What it lacks in color it makes up for with what it can specifically evoke, whether it has gradual grays or not. In the absence of other colors, it can direct our attention toward shape and form, along with illumination. Furthermore, it can make us wonder more about what is presented. Which colors could and would go there if not placeheld by gray tones? The eeriness of it can be as profound as it is elevated.

Soulful artists are no strangers to the value and the effects of this palette.  

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Within Temptation's A Fool's Parade

I was looking forward to this music video since I first heard about it. And in anticipation of it, began worrying I was setting myself up to be disappointed with my high expectations, but I certainly was not! I liked it so much that I could barely handle it. Still can’t say I fully can. Within Temptation is a band I’ve always loved, still do, and probably forever will. And this is not my first time writing about them (though you can’t currently access all of my posts on them). I doubt it’s my last.

I missed their art more than I was aware of. I knew I could always have more, but I did not realize just how much I was craving more of what they do until I finally got it again. The song alone blew me away, but the music video going along with it made me explode - overloaded by how great it is. I needed that in my soul. All of it. If I hadn’t spent so much of my life reflecting on the barely perceivable abstract and intangible things (which, actually, they majorly prompted), I would be so confused and clueless as to why and how could this affect me so. But it is so artfully and masterfully done. And this genre does push the limits to go beyond.

I am obsessed with symbolism and Within Temptation isn’t a stranger to it. I do wonder just how much is there intentionally and what they signify exactly, but the mere fact that many symbols can be spotted and pondered already gets me going. Besides the overall moods that are reflected through light and color, there’s the open field, the shambles, the glow, the birds, the statue. I cannot explain to you what happens to me when I see a sword and a shield like that. Excuse me while I go further into law and justice studies so I can feel at least a fraction of how epic that looks!

And the dancing. Oh, my, God. I have no words, I am speechless. How do I even start to describe what it means to me that it was included? A dance studio isn’t only an escape, but also a sanctuary for those of us who are most ourselves when we dance. This is also why I can appreciate the unconventional beauty of the dancer and the dance here. It is pure and raw expression. Energy flowing out. Maybe in, too.

Yet, couldn’t leave it there, huh? There are what looks like people covered in some sort of black mud. Perhaps made of it as well. And they… rise up. I… I can’t say anything. That’s like imagery out of some bizarre but prophetic vision. And I don’t know if that’s what it is but… DAMN. This moves me down to my core and leaves me shaking, is all I’ll say.

But okay, let me calm down and go into the lyrics… This. This is precisely why I adore songs and songwriting. The condensation of so much in so few words. Still telling a story, still sending a message (or several ones). And coming from Within Temptation, you can expect wisdom. If we were to decompress the lines in these lyrics, there would be essays on abuse and abuse tactics. A topic I would assume, being familiar with their work, that they know and understand quite well. Don’t mess with someone this metal.

All of this is delivered through powerful vocals filled with what I’d call righteous anger, in collaboration with Alex Yarmak. And it could not be more fitting. I’ll defend anger as an essential emotion until I die. When it is not born from overentitlement and more that could manifest as mere temper tantrums, anger is one of the most loving emotions there are. Contradicting as it may sound. It is there to tell you about trespasses and unfair treatment - and protect you and others from that. It is the 'stand up for yourself and for others' emotion and that is how it most came across to me here as it was released. Not misguided at all.

I’m so glad that Within Temptation is still around and active, doing more of the work that they excel at and being formidable people. For me, personally, life is enhanced in groundbreaking and otherworldly levels with what they bring. And I’m infinitely thankful for that.

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 finished 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

Life has been... Something

Looking back, I figure that there are a few things that I haven't made as clear as they could be. And I want and need them to be as I go forward with everything:

- As much as I adore art and the artists behind it, you can rest assured that they aren't "brainwashing" me. I have always been insanely reflective and looking for what makes sense and resonates with me. At most, I may consider an idea, deem it plausible, test it out, and then decide whether or not it is something I should adopt or take as only an experience. So, worry not, I am my own person and make my own decisions.

- Continuing about adoration, I have and respect limits. I would never harass anyone with affection or flattery no matter how impressive I believe they are. In fact, the moment it seems likely that any of that isn't welcome or is in some way burdensome, I'll keep it to myself. May even vanish completely, depending.

- Furthermore, regardless of how much I adore someone, it isn't necessarily in a romantic manner. I can love for many different reasons and in many different ways to great degrees. And it seems to me that the greatest amount of love I can have for someone emanates from gratitude. So yes, I can love someone a lot because they helped me through something somehow.

- And speaking of being grateful, that often steers me in certain directions. Honoring help, keeping promises, but also realizing when I might be able to give back, regardless of how much time has passed, and turning back for it. Even if I don't know what will happen. If there's anything I can really do or that they would accept. But I at least could check. Would be terrible if I didn't and forever lost my chance.

- I don't like being pitied, so I reserve pity for those I dislike. If I like you, it's as if I bypass that emotion and go straight to simply knowing that you deserve good things and wanting you to have good things. Might be furious if that doesn't happen, too. And if I can facilitate that, then awesome. If not, hopefully, someone else will. The point is for you to be well.

My life has been a series of mixed events, one leading to another, that got me to places I would not have imagined I'd ever be. But once there, there were things I felt like I must do. And the more I didn't do them, the worse I felt. It's as if everything happened for a reason, and it was pushing me to continue to go along with it, but that's kind of crazy to believe (realistically, there's probably more than one reason). And yet, crazy things keep happening. So, what is sensible to believe?

All I know for sure is that life can be confusing, frightening, and horrible. And that can be unbearable if you're alone. I'd rather kindred spirits aren't.

Hello, Newcomer!

One month into what I’d call a new cycle, I’d like to make a quick recap of what you’ve missed if you’re a newcomer along with a few points on what you should know.

This is still in the early stages and I’ll probably keep saying that for a while! I have long-term plans for what I’m doing so, next to what I’ve visualized and am aiming for, this is still messy preparation. It’s like arriving at a party while it’s still being set up. Can’t expect optimal hosting yet, but you’re extra appreciated for helping out or simply being patient.

I may seem strangely unbothered by my lack of audience (we are still just a few), but I’m not really in a rush for a wide one (I’m not an example to follow if you are). I started this with the intention of eventually reaching “mini-me’s” who are struggling with what I’ve struggled (people similar to me and on a similar path but who are a little behind in aspects of it). However, it seems that I’m currently in a period of honoring my ancestors and heeding their guidance instead. Yet, I have so much faith in all of it because I’m certain that, if you’re art-obsessed like me, sooner or later, one way or another, we’ll be in a carefully crafted universe that is worth every second.

Then again, I still exhort you to have other sources of content for your needs and wants as I cannot cover them all now or ever. I’ll keep occasionally curating those I can deem trustworthy or at least worthwhile, but you should still go after what you require to keep going forward. Also, limit or moderate your consumption of my content if and when it is counterproductive to you and where you are (get back to more of it when that’s no longer the case).

There are times when I would like for things to move along faster, but maybe this is running on divine timing and rushing it would defeat the purpose. What do I know as a mere mortal? Admittedly, it’s like I’ve dodged a few bullets already. Sometimes what you believe you want is not what you need. And I’m currently happy to be working toward my goals with various types of support from people I’d gladly be grateful and reciprocal toward.

As usual, if you have any concerns, you can let me know and I’ll see if there’s anything I can do about it that’s still in alignment with my mission.

Be warned, though, I don’t promise eternal and constant pleasantness. I only promise to persistently strive to be and remain authentic. This means that there will be ups and downs, steps back and then forward, and a range of thoughts and feelings. Which, in my opinion, leads to some of the best art and you can take it as an invitation to allow yourself the same. As long as it is not seriously detrimental to you and/or to others, it’ll be fine. I do value some degree of safety and stability, though, so I’ll give notice and take precautions whenever I can.

Furthermore, don’t let my invisibility deceive you. I’ve been online since mIRC days, observing (and often discussing) online behavior across the web. I’m not as naive as I look. Nor are those closest to me.

Lastly, you’re more than welcome to become a regular if your intentions are good. I don’t consider myself too strict, but users and abusers might disagree. Nevertheless, if this place feels right for you, then I’m glad you found me and are around!