The Struggling Artist

The Struggling Artist

"Even through every struggle, you could always break through."

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"The Struggling Artist," is a narrative piece on the dangers of mental health and anxiety in an artistic world. As an artist, it's been a stressful endeavor to tackle especially as a young aspiring artist. The life of a young aspiring artist is but a stressful one, with the constant thought of being inadequate and the constant thought of wanting to better yourself and wanting to create the best piece.

I drew this drawing a year ago and it always stuck to me. Creatively, I wanted to work with this idea and reimagine it realistically.

photo by Jay Evans & Jose Ruano

photo by Jay Evans & Jose Ruano

photo by Jay Evans & Jose Ruano

photo by Jay Evans & Jose Ruano


The mannequins in the photo represent the skeletal anatomy of a figure when you first draw someone. Metaphorically they also represent my anxiety and stress, the stress of wanting to do art but not knowing what to do; plus the inevitable stress of wanting to create meaningful and amazing work. This piece almost becomes the social ideology of being inadequate, and having stress become the being of who you are. As the mannequins themselves are incomplete as my thought process as an artist is parallel. My character represents the struggling artist, a puppet to the game of the art industry. A being forced by their own creations to make choices artistically that they themselves have no control over. As my character slowly gains their own autonomy and attempt to create the portraits himself.

The inspiration behind this piece was for a bad experience I've had with a professor roughly around this time last year. During the course of that semester, I've felt depressed and shadowed over by a peer of mine who I once considered a best friend. He was always trying to rival me and always tried to outshine any of the work I'd do and would even ridicule it. The original struggling artist piece was even derailed by my professor who always seemed skeptical over my work and suggested I'd make my "best friend" be the subject of the piece. This caused a huge form of stress and depression and caused me to create an art piece I personally did not enjoy. It only made matters worse when during my final portfolio review, when my professor ridiculed my career goals and my major and simply told me, "I don't think you're cut out for that major. I don't think it's right for you." while my "best friend" went on for his review with a happy face and a jokingly and expressive conversation with my professor. Only to look me in the face and have the nerve to say, "I think the professor was hard me" as if joking around and having a friendly conversation was a harsh critique. This built a big form of depression and desperation to create a better piece, and thus the drawing formed itself and I became more apparent on wanting to create this piece and serve the message. Although you may feel shadowed by the world around you, and your work may feel over bearing, you are the best you and everything you could ever make- is... Special.

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We Need To See These People Get Together in 'Bachelor in Paradise' Season 6

Blake and Hannah G., please.

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The best of the "Bachelor" franchise shows is coming up, and season 6's cast is stacked to the max. There are girls from Colton's season, guys from Becca and Hannah's season, and a few people from so far in the past they're hard to recognize.

Take me to Mexico, I'm ready for "BIP" to begin! Bring on the drama.

1. Hannah G. and Blake.

Hannah G. is known for never getting her fantasy suite with Colton, and Blake was the runner-up on Becca's season. After both being heartbroken, these two would make the sweetest couple ever.

2. Tayshia and Blake.

Tayshia is another one that Colton let go of, and she seems just as sweet as Hannah G., but a little more adventurous. Blake is always traveling, so I think they would make a fun couple, too.

3. Demi and John Paul Jones.

Demi was the most entertaining on Colton's season, and the same goes for John Paul Jones on Hannah's season. They'd make one hilarious couple.

4. Derek and Caelynn.

Although I was a bit surprised to see both Derek (Jojo's season) and Caelynn (Colton's season) on the cast list, I think the two would make a nice couple. Derek got engaged to Taylor on season 5 of "BIP," and Caelynn reminds me of her a bit, so I'm shipping these two.

5. Bibiana and John Paul Jones.

Just like Demi, Bibs (Nick Viall's season) is hilarious and fun. This is her second time on "BIP" so I'm hoping she finds love with someone as fun as her. JPJ is in the running!

6. Hannah G. and Wills.

Wills' was the hidden gem of Becca's season and is most known for his snazzy style. Again, Hannah G. is super sweet and these two would be a cute match.

7. Katie and Wills.

Katie was someone I thought was going to go far on Colton's season, and she was a hidden gem just like Wills!

8. Demi and Dylan.

Dylan from Hannah's season is adorable and a bit short, but so is Demi! I would love to see these two get together.

9. Nicole and Kevin.

Although we didn't get to see much of Kevin on Hannah B's season, he seems super nice. Nicole is most known for all her crying on Colton's season, so I'm hoping they get together and Kevin puts a stop to all those tears.

10. Chris and Jane.

Chris? Don't know him. Jane? Never heard of her. Which is exactly why these two would be great for each other.

"Bachelor in Paradise" Season 6 premieres August 5th on ABC.

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Hey You, Get Off Your Phone!

A phone addiction: the one thing we all have in common.

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Your best friend is telling you about her relationship issues when you get a text from another friend. You nod along as she speaks and go to reach for your phone, responding to the text.

You're at work when you hear your phone buzz- it's Urban Outfitters and they're telling you about a sale: 25% all graphics tees! You know it'll look bad to be on your phone but you've got to hop on the good deal before it's gone.

You've got a million things to do- finish a 12 page report by Thursday, clean the dishes, respond to a 100 emails- but you also have snapchats to open, an Instagram to scroll through, and tweets to retweet. A little procrastination never hurt.

We're all guilty of doing it. We've become so normalized to a life with a phone in our hand 24/7, that not being on it sends us into a spiral. It's an addiction and a habit that's incredibly hard to break, but it's the reason that our friends feel ignored, our bosses think we're distracted, and our everyday tasks gets pushed to the last minute.

Force yourself to find another outlet when you're bored.

I recently decided to delete the apps I know are a biggest waste of my time, and find other distractions instead- distractions that involve the people and things that are right in front of me.

Read a book, go for a walk, talk to your friends and parents, paint, draw, go for a run.

Give the respect that people deserve.

Your friends aren't going to stay your friends for too long if you're half listening when they're speaking to you. If you want people to give a shit about your problems, you might want to put in a little effort on your end.

Not to mention, staring at your phone all day is definitely killing your brain cells.

Studies have proven that cellphone usage leads to a shorter attention span. It's the reason we cannot read for more than a couple minutes without getting distracted and why we can't remember things as well as we used to before the era of smart phones.

Habits are hard to break- it takes about 21 days to form one but even longer to get out of one. Take little steps in achieving a life without your hands plastered to your phone and remember that reality is so much better than the digitalized version we see on our 5 by 7 screens.

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