picnicking in a ghost town

Editing pieces for fun in between drawing for my big project.
Here I took one of my drawings, made the lines transparent in Photoshop, and then layered it over different photos I’ve taken in San Francisco, which, as I hope you can guess, is the location of this particular home.

"What’s this one about?"

"Well, I was thinking, we don’t really have any photographs of us, and I thought this song could be, like, a photograph. Captures us in this moment in our lives together."

"I like our photograph. I can see you in it."

"I am."

Her, 2013

Sometimes you just need to drive to a foreign part of town and swim in a cold river until you feel better.

alph4t asked: your blog and photography skills are seriously incredible

Hey Sena! Wow, thank you so much! That’s really nice to hear.

Blues and greens from my most recent road trip along the Northern California coast.

Clockwise from top left: somewhere along Hwy 20, Eel River near Dyerville, Fern Canyon, Clear Lake.

"If I were to use one word to describe the trees here, it’d be majestic. And if someone wants to understand the word majestic, they should come here. Don’t you think, Mad?" 

says my mom, a wide grin on her face and a look of wonder in her eyes. Like a kid in a candy shop.

I’ll never get tired of exploring hidden places along the northern California coast, where the cool air clears your mind instantly, the horizon extends almost 180 degrees around you, and the people are scarce. Where it’s just you and the ocean.

Getting back on track.

So I’ve recently started running again with my mom.

This is probably just me, but I consider running to be a real challenge, as opposed to school or work. In the past it’s been sort of like a class I’d give up and get a B in. Not my strongest suit.

But I do it anyway, taking on the challenge day by day. And I realize, every morning—evening—midday—run, there comes a point when I know my legs will keep moving with or without me. If they could detach from my body altogether, keep their pace forever, they would. They keep moving on.

And at this point—my side cramping, my breath panting—my mind is faced with two options: I can let my troubles hinder me, fall back, lose whatever sliver of hope I have of finishing strong, or I can pick up the pace, get moving again, because my legs are kicking, because the clock is ticking.

snapshots from our camping trip to Humboldt Redwoods State Park

A typical summer afternoon adventure.

too tired to be productive
too awake to sleep

through with social media
through with conversation
can’t watch tv
can’t listen to music
so what’s left?
just me and the anxieties in my head
oh these are the evenings I dread

an afternoon spent in Lithia Park reading and writing beneath the treesit’s slightly humid but I’m thankful for the breeze


"Nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish somebody had told this to me — is that all of us who do creative work … we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there’s a gap, that for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good, OK? It’s not that great. It’s really not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste — the thing that got you into the game — your taste is still killer, and your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you, you know what I mean?

A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point, they quit. And the thing I would just like say to you with all my heart is that most everybody I know who does interesting creative work, they went through a phase of yearswhere they had really good taste and they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be — they knew it fell short, it didn’t have the special thing that we wanted it to have.

And the thing I would say to you is everybody goes through that. And for you to go through it, if you’re going through it right now, if you’re just getting out of that phase — you gotta know it’s totally normal.

And the most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week, or every month, you know you’re going to finish one story. Because it’s only by actually going through a volume of work that you are actually going to catch up and close that gap. And the work you’re making will be as good as your ambitions. It takes a while, it’s gonna take you a while — it’s normal to take a while. And you just have to fight your way through that, okay?”

The most encouraging words regarding creative work I’ve heard in a long time. If you consider yourself an artist—all mediums included—please watch, watch, watch.

Also, stunning video.

This past week I’ve been on and off the road for hours at a time, first camping at Humboldt Redwoods State Park and then staying in Ashland, Oregon and also visiting all sorts of towns and beaches and canyons in-between.
I just got home this afternoon, suddenly thrown into the panicking reality of mid-July. Half of summer’s over. I already know my schedule for senior year. So much has happened this summer in some aspects, and so little in others, and I still have a month to go. I’m ready and I’m not ready for fall. But, instead of stressing about it right now, I’m gonna go watch some OITNB on Netflix. Because that’s what summer’s for.