Artistically Scrambled.

Today I felt like a scrambled egg. An anxious scrambled egg (if eggs have emotions).

I am currently doing my PhD. I should be focusing on that. However, at the back of my mind, I always have this lingering thought saying that I can just get the degree for the sake of it and just open a bakery cafe in the mountains, or put up a beach bar, or just be a street photographer. A PhD and an academic career is great, but I don’t want to be defined, judged, and be remembered for just being an academic.

I feel like art and photography is my main life, and academia is just my jealous boytoy. Sometimes it’s the other way around, though.

I have a very unstructured schedule. I am doing an independent research kind of thing, and I am basically left to my own devices. It is liberating, but at the same time, being the lazy son of a bitch I am, I can’t be trusted like this. Month after month since I moved to Singapore, I have been trying to crack the code of productivity and motivation. I can take a million advice from people, but I know myself enough to believe that only I can figure it out.

I tried to structure my schedule by dedicating certain days to certain school-related and personal goals:

  • Sunday: Art Blog Day (I will spend my day doomscrolling social media and the internet to look for creative inspirations, and creating whatever I will come up with, and maybe sell them on my Redbubble page).
  • Monday: Class Preps and Thesis Updates Day (I will focus on my reading assignments for the next day and I will reflect on thesis-related things I have achieved the week before and update my supervisor about it).
  • Tuesday: Coursework Day, All Day (I literally have to attend the lectures from 2PM to 5PM and from 6:30PM to 9:30PM).
  • Wednesday and Friday: Arabic Class and Thesis Day (I have a 2-hour Arabic language class and I will dedicate the rest of the day for my thesis).
  • Thursday: Errands Day (If I need to go out to buy something, go to the city center to meet people, or watch a movie, or go to a museum or art show, this is the day).
  • Saturday: Cozy Literature and Arthouse Cinema Day (I will spend the day just reading with a cup of coffee or tea and update my progress on Goodreads and pick some arthouse film to watch and rate/review them on my Letterboxd account)

Also, I am documenting the whole process this time. Let’s see how it works out.

And today, I created some shit!

An Attempt at Scanner Art

I just got my new printer-scanner. I have been contemplating on buying a new one because I still have a fully-functioning one back home, and I can just bring it over here. But there’s a sense of urgency: I want to be productive in reading more academic works for my thesis, and reading through the screen just doesn’t do well for me. Plus, I have a shit ton of highlighters that I have been dying to use. I have finally purchased my printer, and did some test run by printing Matisse coloring pages. Naturally, I will have to use my Crayola 120 crayon set to color them.

In the meantime, I printed Matisse’s The Dream.

I have been following Joe Boyd‘s Instagram page for a while now, and I am always amazed by everything he creates. A huge part of his art uses a scanner. His works give me indie rock album cover vibes, and I am dying to create some myself. I looked for scanner art inspirations from Instagram and came across some posts.

I gathered random things within my reach and positioned them on the scanner. With this attempt, I am planning to create an art series entitled (Un)Necessary. I want it to be about my relationship with materialism and consumerism, and my own personal reflections on the history of purchases of every single thing I have inside my room. We’ll see about this idea.

And btw, a long time ago, I remembered I had plans to create a blog series sharing all my creative ideas I will never have time to execute, and call it “Ideas Worth Stealing” (inspired by TEDx’s tagline “Ideas Worth Sharing” and Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like an Artist”). Shall I push it or something?

Patterned Background Art (from my clothes!)

Next, oooh, somebody scanned a fabric (which I also tried!). But, I realized taking a photo of my patterned clothes and editing them might be something I can have more control of.

Here are some of the results. I post-processed them using Prequel App (I love Prequel to death!).

I then used these patterns as backgrounds for my street photography shots!

Macau (c) 2019

As I was rummaging through my photo archives during the process, I also got to post-process one of my street photography shots from Tallinn, Estonia.

Tallinn, Estonia (c) 2021

Lastly, my doomscrolling journey brought me to one of Marimekko’s designers, Sabine Finkenauer. I was very inspired by the plaid design she created for Marimekko that looks like crayon-textured (called Urdimbre). Finally, something I can create with my precious crayons!

Some artist-inspired crayon pattern art I created! I am planning to use them as background textures for my street photography next time!

Okay, art day is over! Until next week. 😊

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