Threads of Thought

inspiration, Communication, connection

Reality

During a conversation with a friend yesterday, she talked about how happy, stable, and productive I seem. Of course that’s how I would like to be and may appear to be online, but the reality of my daily life is very different. I thought that it would be helpful if I went into detail about myself, because so many people, myself included, fall prey to the illusion of other peoples lives being perfect.

As I’m writing this, I’m lying in bed with a cat in my lap. It’s lovely, what most people would dream of being able to do on a weekday afternoon. I, however, feel as though it’s the only thing I can do even though I know that paintings and people are waiting for me. I am so lethargic that typing this and answering emails are about the only things I will accomplish today. This is a very regular, predictable occurrence for me. Fortunately, my life is structured to allow for this.

I’m quite certain I have PMDD, though I’ve never been diagnosed because I’ve found ways to cope with my issues without needing professional help. There are certain times of the month where I can get a ton of painting done and my creativity and energy feel limitless, while other times of the month I have to sleep for days and even standing upright is difficult. My moods follow my level of energy, and during my best months I get a week of optimistic happiness, while the rest of the time I’m functioning at “charmingly morose” (as my partner describes me), with a few days of utter darkness. It’s a fairly predictable cycle. What often gets me through is creating, or at the darkest days, simply knowing that “this too shall pass”. The closest I’ve come to any kind of medication is coffee, which makes me feel infinitely more stable and functional. When I’m at wits end I turn to writing and walking in the forest. At the risk of being too honest, I’ve become very good friends with death. I reflect on it often as a way to gain perspective, and it reminds me that life is best served doing the things that are important. It’s taken me years to recognize my cyclical nature and it’s signposts; finding ways to work with it and accepting that the trajectory of my life is a result of what I am capable of handling. 

I do think I’ve accomplished a lot in my life so far and I think it’s because I recognized early on that I couldn’t survive in a 9-5 world. More than anything, being self-employed allows me the freedom of flexibility. I can pay my bills, make the art that needs making, and fulfill my few other obligations, all because I have the freedom to do it in my own time. And I feel like I need an inordinate amount of time to accomplish things. Perhaps that is why I try very hard to use all of my time and energy to it’s fullest. If painting isn’t an option (I typically only have the energy to paint every few days), then perhaps drawing or writing or answering emails is - anything to keep some semblance of a flow happening, which is important for keeping my stress in check. Scheduling is another stress-reliever, and I allow a lot of space for things to be completed. I always plan to finish things at least a month before they are due so that I have wiggle room. Once that becomes the routine then it’s easy to stay ahead of upcoming projects.

Not to babble on too much, I realize that all of this comes from a very privileged perspective and I don’t want people to take this as advice. I simply want to be honest about myself because the more people I talk to, the more I realize how important it is to share our experiences with one another.

In-progress snippets of my piece for the Kubrick show at @spoke_art in Sept. I’m sneaking in some of the impasto oil technique and other textures that I’ve been playing with lately. I tried to censor as little as possible so sorry if boobs offend you 😕

In-progress snippets of my piece for the Kubrick show at @spoke_art in Sept. I’m sneaking in some of the impasto oil technique and other textures that I’ve been playing with lately. I tried to censor as little as possible so sorry if boobs offend you 😕

(Source: mandytsung)

Foxes

I’ve had this incredibly visceral recurring dream since I was a child. In it, I am a fox running for my life through grassy meadows, being chased by hunters. They shoot me and it’s very painful. The pain wakes me up. 

I tend to have lucid dreams, so the more times I have this dream, the less painful it is when I’m shot because I’ve already recognized it as a dream.

Maybe this is why I use foxes so often in my work.

Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.

Drawing On The Past: Interview with Artist Mandy Tsung

Here she is! Batgirl redesign by @cameronmstewart. So much fun to draw.

Here she is! Batgirl redesign by @cameronmstewart. So much fun to draw.

(Source: mandytsung)

My most recent paintings that are now hanging in Hellion Gallery. They are available online here.

(Source: mandytsung)

Tonight is the opening of Perfect Thirst! I am showing alongside @crystalbarbre and Makiko Sugawa at Hellion Gallery (@helliongallery). Opening starts at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

Tonight is the opening of Perfect Thirst! I am showing alongside @crystalbarbre and Makiko Sugawa at Hellion Gallery (@helliongallery). Opening starts at 6pm. Hope to see you there!

"Plurality", one of the pieces that will be in the show, "Perfect Thirst", at Hellion Gallery (@helliongallery) next month. Show opens July 3. Crystal Barbre (@crystalbarbre) and Makiko Sugawa are showing as well! I’ll be at the opening so please come say hello :)

"Plurality", one of the pieces that will be in the show, "Perfect Thirst", at Hellion Gallery (@helliongallery) next month. Show opens July 3. Crystal Barbre (@crystalbarbre) and Makiko Sugawa are showing as well! I’ll be at the opening so please come say hello :)

Panda Spirit. It’s been an interesting exercise to keep these pieces simple, when my usual tendency is to get more elaborate or move onto something entirely new. Trying to meditate on simplicity and consistency these days. In my shop now - http://mandytsung.bigcartel.com or click my profile link.

Panda Spirit. It’s been an interesting exercise to keep these pieces simple, when my usual tendency is to get more elaborate or move onto something entirely new. Trying to meditate on simplicity and consistency these days. In my shop now - http://mandytsung.bigcartel.com or click my profile link.

(Source: mandytsung)

kimboekbinder:

"I Have Your Heart," a short film by me (Kim Boekbinder) and Molly Crabapple and Jim Batt, is in an online festival with serious prize cash. To have a chance at it we need to be ranked in the top 10. We’re currently at #25. So close! To help us make it to the top ten, go watch and "like" the film, to have your "like" count you have to watch and "like" a few others (try to find some lower on the list than us - plenty of really great short films on there.)

Watch and like here: http://www.viewster.com/movie/1262-17529-000/i-have-your-heart

I can’t remember ever asking anyone to “vote” for anything I’ve done for one of these online competitions, but this one is real, for real money, and we worked so hard on this film, it would be super handy to have money to make more art. 

Thanks to all of you who have been voting and sharing. You have my heart, or I have yours, or both, back and forth. 4ever. <3 <3

Viewster Online Film Festival

(via mollycrabapple)

Raven spirit in watercolour, 7.5”x5.25”. Getting back into small pieces so I can work out ideas before starting on bigger oil paintings (and pay my bills 😏). This is available in my shop now - http://mandytsung.bigcartel.com or click my profile link.

Raven spirit in watercolour, 7.5”x5.25”. Getting back into small pieces so I can work out ideas before starting on bigger oil paintings (and pay my bills 😏). This is available in my shop now - http://mandytsung.bigcartel.com or click my profile link.

(Source: mandytsung)

Finally had the chance to do a spirit animal piece in oils. This one is only 16&#8221;x16&#8221; but I really want to do big ones so I have lots of room to play with textures.

Finally had the chance to do a spirit animal piece in oils. This one is only 16”x16” but I really want to do big ones so I have lots of room to play with textures.

Painted this portrait of my aunt a while ago for a competition. I&#8217;m quite happy with it despite it not being selected. It was, however, a huge headache to get it returned to her. I&#8217;ve come to realize how much these &#8220;pay to enter + round-trip shipping&#8221; competitions are a way for galleries to make money and don&#8217;t really foster new artists, especially those who can&#8217;t afford to sink hundreds of dollars into entering and shipping work. (Not to mention that it&#8217;s not even possible to get round-trip shipping in Canada). Then I see a competition open to women only, which on the face of it is great. But then I realize that it&#8217;s really just preying on the high hopes of a marginalized group, by having them take on the majority of the financial burden of an art show, just for the *possibility* of an opportunity to show in a reputable gallery who claims their show is all about bringing visibility to women artists. There are ways to actually go about this without putting further limitations on who can show in a gallery, like sticking to the normal gallery-artist rules. I know galleries need to make money, but not at the expense of artists who already work incredibly hard for little return. I don&#8217;t want to burn any bridges here, but I feel it&#8217;s really important for people to know. Sorry for the rant!

Painted this portrait of my aunt a while ago for a competition. I’m quite happy with it despite it not being selected. It was, however, a huge headache to get it returned to her. I’ve come to realize how much these “pay to enter + round-trip shipping” competitions are a way for galleries to make money and don’t really foster new artists, especially those who can’t afford to sink hundreds of dollars into entering and shipping work. (Not to mention that it’s not even possible to get round-trip shipping in Canada). Then I see a competition open to women only, which on the face of it is great. But then I realize that it’s really just preying on the high hopes of a marginalized group, by having them take on the majority of the financial burden of an art show, just for the *possibility* of an opportunity to show in a reputable gallery who claims their show is all about bringing visibility to women artists. There are ways to actually go about this without putting further limitations on who can show in a gallery, like sticking to the normal gallery-artist rules. I know galleries need to make money, but not at the expense of artists who already work incredibly hard for little return. I don’t want to burn any bridges here, but I feel it’s really important for people to know. Sorry for the rant!