Poetry On Odyssey: Closed Doors

Poetry On Odyssey: Closed Doors

Original Publication by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey (December 2016).

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Closed Doors.

The day you left was the day I promised myself that I would close this door forever.

A torrent of fire raged inside me,

For you left me without a goodbye.

In fact, you left me with nothing -

Nothing but lungs that were empty of air,

With the shattered remains of a heart that stopped pulsing,

With a soul that was lost and could no longer be found.

From there it took me months,

Twelve months, simply to feel again.

For it was not a feeling of wholeness,

Nor one of safety or security,

It was simply the feeling of being able to breathe again.

And now here you are,

Standing before me.

You yearn for me as I once did you,

When all I truly yearn for is to regain the ability to love.

Yet here I stand on this frosty December night,

On the doorstep of your former dwelling,

And you close the door behind me.

*Original publication of the Live Poets Society of New Jersey (December 2016).

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5 Tips For Beginning Digital Artists

No matter your skill level when it comes to art, switching to a digital medium is no easy task.
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No matter your skill level when it comes to art, switching to a digital medium is no easy task. There seems to be a common misconception that digital art is cheating or easier than traditional art methods. While there are features that make creating art easier, (using layers, opacity, unlimited color options, erasing, etc.) it still falls on the artist to put effort into their creation. You aren't having a computer create your piece; you still have to draw it.

1. Use layers

One of the first things you should learn how to do in your art program is how to create new layers, and how to use them. It can be incredibly beneficial to break down your piece into different parts and separate the parts. When you have to make changes to a specific part, it'll be set aside from the rest of your work, making it easier to edit.

2. Invest in a tablet

If you start out using a mouse to draw, you'll start to compare yourself to other artists. There are some things that impossible for you to do with a mouse, such as pen pressure sensitivity. It'll make your journey in learning how to draw digitally a lot smoother if you get a tablet as soon as possible. I personally don't recommend investing in the most expensive tablet right on the get go. It's possible to find cheap starter tablets that are under $100! Just make sure to get one that has positive reviews. Once you're more comfortable with the transition to drawing with a tablet, it won't be as daunting to invest in a more expensive tablet.

3. Try a variety of programs

A lot of people seem to think that photoshop is the only program to draw with. PaintTool Sai is also a popular drawing program, but it isn't free (legally). While having knowledge of photoshop is great for a career, if you're drawing for fun, it's not necessary to drop money on it. There are lots of other art programs available online for cheaper, or for free, that are simplified/more streamlined for artists. Start out using free use programs as you learn, such as GIMP or Fire Alpaca, to avoid sinking more money.

4. Save multiple files

As you get used to drawing, be aware of how you're saving your files. Having an organized naming system and folders is great, although most artists have a hard time keeping up with it. If anything, I recommend making sure you know what types of files you're saving your pieces as. Make sure to save unfinished pieces as a .psd/.sai/.mdp (usually whatever the default is in whatever program you're in) so you can go back and edit. This way, the layer information will be saved, and you can pick up where you left off. If you're unsure if you want to go back to a piece, it doesn't hurt to save multiple versions, either.

5. Don't quit!

When I first started digital art, I had a preconceived expectation that it would make me a better artist. I was discouraged when I realized it was going to take me a while to adjust to drawing with a tablet. Drawing digitally versus traditionally doesn't automatically change your skill. It's simply another method that you can use as an artist. You'll grow as an artist from trying any new medium, but it takes persistent practice! Even if it seems difficult, the more you try, the more you'll learn!

Below, I'll attach a few images showcasing my progress as a digital artist over the years. I didn't catalog my art over the first few years, but the first few images are from 2011, 2012, and 2013. The last image is from the current year, 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Morrow

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A Million Questions Leftover For My Many Lost Loves

Unanswerable questions to ponder about loves past, present, and future.

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How can you claim to love me, yet threaten to leave?

Where do you see your love for me whilst so high up on your pedestal?

Is it possible to love a woman in the midst of her destruction of your own doing?

Have you ever felt the simple joy of existing in my presence, as I did in yours?

Do you know what it's like to be on the brink of losing a lover without knowing why?

Have you tried to convince yourself that it wasn't really over?

Or wanted to take back all you've done to me?

What did you feel when you saw the pain spread across my face?

Does it feel very much like a dream when you picture my face in your mind?

Did you know you would break all your promises as soon as you made them?

When you sought out the perfect woman to replace me, how did it feel to come up empty handed and alone?

Have you ever considered the curious beauty that lies within imperfection?

What makes you think you deserve the perfect specimen of a woman when you are far from perfect yourself?

Weren't you the one who said all of our imperfections are what make us so perfectly perfect?

Why does fear so often rule over our hearts and never courage?

What does it take for a man to fight for a woman who actually wants to be fought for?

How was it so easy to leave after all we've been through?

How was it so easy to inflict the same pain on me that has been inflicted on you?

How was it so easy for you to fall in and out of love with me?

Did you really think it was possible for us to be friends after all of that?

Was I supposed to stand by the sidelines as you searched for another woman?

Why is it that you all pine for the woman who scorn you?

Do you think it's so bad for a woman to finally love you back?

We both said we wish each other the absolute best in our lives, but how could that possibly be true for either of us?

Are you happy that we happened at all?

Where do I stand within your ocean of memories?

Do you remember more than what happened at the very end?

Was it simply not the right time or not the right match?

What does it mean that I deserve better when you continually treated me so poorly?

Do you still remember all the little sweet things I've done for you?

Has any woman ever done them for you since the end of us?

How is your conscience clear following all of your trickery, bullsh*t, and lies?

Can you still think that you're a good person despite all you've done?

How do you come back from that level of vileness?

How could I still love you after all you've done to me?

After all the pain? After all the misery?

How could I still forgive you?

How could I still miss you?

How could I still love you?

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