the lame reason why i quit my full-time job

This is from a shoot I did a few years ago and it seemed an appropriate graphic.

One day, while working in my elaborate home office (aka my fancy shmancy standing desk smooshed against my bed) I heard a loud thump followed by my four year old child screaming in pain. I ran, opened my bedroom door and there he was with our child care provider: crying hysterically, sporting a fresh bloody gash and a large plum sized knot swelling and taking up a large amount of real estate on his tiny forehead.

As I gathered the blubbering boy into my arms, I one-handed slacked my (super star and very understanding) boss that I had to rush my son to the pediatrician to see if he needed stitches. And after that, I rolled him, in the stroller he had outgrown months ago, a few blocks to a plastic surgeon with not so great bedside manner with my kid (“Sit still! I have to look at that nasty laceration! Ya gotta sit still, BUDDY!” Which meant that, once again, I had to take time off from my job as the shittiest program manager in the history of program managers.

Just before Covid hit New York City, my husband and I purchased an apartment in New York City. I said “Adios!” to my life as a working actress and was ready for a steady income to help support my family. I was ready for the change and didn’t mind that I quit acting, the thing I’d been doing my whole adult life.

In February 2020, I was balls to the walls working my tail off at a tech company. I really enjoyed it, I learned new things every day, loved my office mates. But most of all: I had dignity, (I had a heavy dose of attaching my value to the amount of money I brought in). The years of being an actress were very good, but now that we were GROWN UPS and HAD AN APARTMENT, I decided to be a real woman and bring home the bacon.

A month into my new job, our friend COVID-19 made her grand entrance to New York City and immediately killed over 15,000 people. 28,000 is where we currently stand in NYC. Luckily I kept my job but after a year, the pandemic took a toll on me, bla bla I couldn’t function, completely exhausted and in a fog whilst my little son went completely off the rails.

I looked down at my little guy and thought: “Wow, we are two steps away from Child Protective Services whisking him away to a better mother.”

The gash on my little guy’s head was a wakeup call. An inner voice (with a Southern, Alabamian accent) said kindly but firmly said: “Honey child, you need to change things up, PRONTO!”

I gave notice. The knot in my heart vanished. I no longer felt like I was being split in two.

After one week of me being a newly “fully-present mom” my son went from being a hyper, horrid gargoyle wreaking havoc on our entire family and transformed into a sweet, funny, talkative little boy who wanted hugs and kisses. Additionally, my older daughter, hated me a lot less and was 10% less embarrassed by me.

So that is the boring story about why I quit my job.

What are my next steps? Spending less. Brown bag lunches. Eating, exercising and sleeping soundly. I have so much more energy and my attitude sucks much less than when I was working.

I’m gingerly reacquainting myself with being a loving wife and mother (“Babe! Holy *$%#$^&&!! You let the kids stay up HOW LATE? Get your ass in bed!”) and taking it one day at a time.

A few months before I quit, my old talent agent emailed to see if I was open to working with him again. I was like: “I’m working HAM AT MY JOB. How DARE you email with such a preposterous query. I DON’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO WRITE THIS EMAIL TO YOU!! GOOD DAY, SIR!!”

UPDATE: After a month of quitting my job I reached back out to my talent agent. And so, just like that I’m yelling: “Game On!” in the middle of a suburban street, dragging the hockey net back into the middle of the street after a car passes our play area.

I signed with my old agent and a new manager…so I guess I’m back to being an actress again.

AND SCENE!

why austin kleon thinks you should make some zines

If you’re looking for some inspiration to create, I highly recommend hanging out with Austin Kleon. He is a wonderful artist and also an incredibly generous one at that. Buy his books, listen to him on podcasts and find him on YouTube. I was SUPER JAZZED as he admires cartoonist extraordinaire Lynda Barry as much as I do!

I have read his books a few years ago, but decided to listen to them this week on Audible. There are countless gems but One of the things he suggests is to create with your hands and not on the computer.

The computer is not an ideal place to create your work. It makes you anxious, gives way to distraction and basically sucking the life out of you.

He also has this great tutorial on how to make a zine from one piece of paper. When I first saw it, I felt anxious (never made a zine, but really want to but it’s too much work??!!) but after I made the first one, I got lost in the process and now have a new way of creating. Thank you, Austin!

zine #1

We had scrap paper from when my printer printed out 532 sheets of gibberish. It also crossed my mind that the gibberish of numbers and ASCII characters were actually aliens were communicating with us via the my printer.

Either way, I appreciated how it adds to the weirdness of these two.

Lesson learned: Trying new things can be a lot of fun and good for your mental well bein.

visiting the noguchi museum

These were some photos I took of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City in the summer of 2019.

the simple sign says: 
noguchi

the isamu noguchi foundation and garden museum.

I didn’t really know much about Noguchi except he had designed a mass produced table that some people loved.

It was so great to see his process and how his mind worked.

Even though he had many pieces where he used several different mediums, the through line and evolution of his work cohesive and in harmony.

Several pencil sketches by Noguchi.

I especially loved seeing his sketches and ideas penciled on the page before he jumps into the materials. Pushing movement with materials that we mostly associate with stability and stillness (metal, wood, glass etc.)

The form follows his imagination, not the materials.

He draws freely and playfully and occasionally adding emphasis with darker markings.

Pencil on aged paper drawings. A smooth strange structure; half human half abstract on top of a ball. (Noguchi)
The set that Noguchi and Graham created for one of her pieces. Two people kneel on the ground with their hands in prayer and their hands looking up. 
Several long sticks hold up the sparse set and there is a blanket on one of the horizontal poles. There are four women sitting on a bench by the cloth. They are wearing the same drab, long dress. 

A woman stands, holding a pole. Watching the couple praying.

I was also jazzed to see his collab with the famed modern dancer, Martha Graham.

A picture of me taking a picture of the modern dancer, Martha Graham. She sees something in the distance, her lips are dark (in a black and white photo). She is still but moving at the same time.
Look at this picture…PURE DRAMA!
Curvy and smooth sculpture made of metal on a wooden floor.

Later on I found this interesting article in the New York Times which briefly discusses how he was an apprentice under the artist Brancusi and how Brancusi was an artist under Rodin.

Apparently the article ends with saying that Brancusi did not have a pleasant relationship with Rodin, however Noguchi had a fine mentor in Brancusi:

Unlike his mentor, whose takeaway from Rodin was negative — Brancusi didn’t want to create sculptures like the great French sculptor or run a Beaux-Arts factory-studio — Noguchi’s apprenticeship provided a lifetime of lessons.

Brancusi was a tree under which an artist could grow.

exploring gouache

I’ve been taking this course with Maru Godas from Domestika and I love it!

I like how she is passionate she is about the this medium. She is passionate about gouache and sketching her surroundings and I also enjoy her playful and joyful approach to teaching. When she talks about using gouache and her techniques you get the feeling that she REALLY knows gouache and delights in the process.

She starts us off by using and observing black gouache and how it looks with more and more water.

Then we go from white to dark. My white is looking splotchy and sloppy as I try to figure how to work with it.

For my cartoons I usually work in black and white and this is a refreshing way of doing things differently. It forces me out of a comfort zone and I observe the paint’s viscosity, texture and vibrance.

I see a lot of things that I can do better (making the paint more consistent) and at the same time it’s a lot of fun.

I enjoy the fact that Maru does these exercise to see how we can manipulate the medium. If we jumped right into color, we might not have noticed the nuances.

She is joyful and knowledgeable and I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. (No sponsorship, just me working with my hands.)