On Recognizing Emotion Channeling and it’s effects on my Art

<<Painting above – early channeling art of mine, still as of now unfinished. A favorite of my dad’s>>

January 2016 – From my journal

I believe ‘swell’ and ‘surge’ to be the appropriate words to describe the sensation of such feeling that builds up, or is conjured by brilliant creativity, expression, emotion, or passion. Good or bad, focused or unruly and uncontrollable, it needs to leak somewhere – relieving, satisfying, like…channeling the energy of it, the emotion generated can be released. Feeling everything and passing it through me, not having to hold onto and manage the causes or reasons or meanings (not having to keep them inside of me as my own and try to prevent warping or distortion, overwhelm, or the tainting of my other contents). An ironic concept to a “feeler”: keeping feelings objective. But it is in art and writing and not many other aspects of life where I have been able to do just that; feel things without paying for their consequences, without fearing to pursue their reality too far and become overly immersed in a persona or position. Because feeling does not always equal truth or logic, and keeping objective allows the experience (like a strange high almost) to remain purely psychic, experimental, and for experiences of a different kind than those applied as lessons in the scope of one’s real life. Not actionable or intention-generating (which can, in my case, mean the devastation of well-being and spell misfortune for reasons not even properly founded, but just ill-channeled).

Whether or not they like or dislike the sensation, I think everyone should experience this at least once in their life. It is powerful, stirring, and can be enlightening, or damning…like watching brilliance, dedicated endeavor of passion in action through the fails and the flights and to the final result that is more beautiful for the ‘blood cost’.

“Channeling” is something I am recognizing as a trend in my tendencies; picking up/feeling/sharing emotions, trying to control or soothe them, understand and interpret them (which is a lovely challenge, given the amount of variables and variability). And thus I often do not plan my creative outputs, and rather just…unleash what comes, and what I have been holding on to, editing what comes, shaping it and transforming not only the result but myself and understanding as well. These efforts are naturally influenced by my interests, passions, pleasures, curiosities, and attention span (as well as my artistic abilities) but I do try to keep things open to interpretation, impression, theory, projection, etc. so that viewers can mix themselves in as they look; fill in, question, try to understand. Let them learn as much or more about something in them or about themselves – as much, if not more, than they learn about me.

I imagine that if I can encourage and inspire this sort of conduit with my work – like a personal level mental/psychic collaboration for those moments, for those who really look to SEE, then it is like the work is never finished, never perfect, but always carrying further potential. It becomes new with every pair of eyes – at least a little. Never dying, always changing, evolving, shaping, inspiring, and opening eyes and minds.

Maybe my greatest so far…

Working Title(s): On Feeling in Flow  (I don’t know if it’ll stay that, though…profound titling can be difficult); perhaps I’ll call it after myself: E/INFP-HSP (Briggs-Meyers personality type + highly-sensitive/empathic type person) since it’s certainly an abstract composition of symbolic elements in representation of visualized approximations of my inner churnings and burnings.

Largest image is most recent. Top right is earliest photo taken (result after the live paint event) in 2014, and bottom right is a midway point of progress, likely mid-to late 2015).

Dimensions: 20″ x 24″

Acrylic, watercolor, ink, graphite, and collage bits of my own artworks.

Started in late 2014 at a live paint at a nightclub show in Akron. Evolved from a composite of few separate drawings from my sketchbook (I’ll upload those also here shortly). Mostly worked on in spurts (not steadily or consistently until more recently). I’d like to see it in a gallery one day, and make prints of it to sell once it’s finished.

UPDATE: Original art sketches that were combined into the final above:

She’s Not Here, Either

Title: “She’s Not There” (with a nod to the song of the same name by the Zombies). 2014. Developed from a sketch done around 2013. Photoshop and graphite.

Concepts reflect a lot of what I was feeling at the time; (descriptive words): facade, subliminal, defiance, poison, forbidden, pain management, twisted passion and intent, misdirection, survival persona, facet, temptress, morbidity, hollow.

Resigned to evil for desires, needs, impulses, and though not malicious in original intent, results stained like a sacrifice of blood for peace. She is acceptance of the inner darkness, made possible through the abandonment of sympathy, naivety, illusion, and social decorum.She is the fiery passion, the intensity of all that burns, and such a flame consumes all else. Retaining only the selfishness, desire, the temptation of moths to a flame, it is the only way to continue on un-extinguished. As they burn, so would she if of similar accelerant made. She summons with a deadly beauty, a sickly sweet decay perfume, and keeps and feeds with a poison like ambrosia, a toxic addiction that is never forsaken.

It is not so far-fetched thus to view a demon as a survival persona.

I leave the extent of her truth and fate to each individual viewer. Is goodness, hope, selflessness adeptly buried away in a survival bargain? Or has it been completely lost altogether? And what are the boundaries of being – is it all you are and have been, or only what you are most recently? Does it include the parts of yourself you’ve disconnected, but that still exist dormant or hidden?

Another song: “Falling in love again” the version sung by Christina Aguilera.

I’m going to start planning to make prints to sell, or cards or whatnot. And I’m thinking of making similar concept ladies to create a collection/set of emotion/persona beauties in various colors.

Facets of Me on Pinterest

I find this board to be a helpful place to post things that pertain to how I am, resonate powerfully with me, or help me identify things about myself. So, while I am not always feeling so wordy and insightful as to make a post on here about any given facet, it is easy and natural for me to repin something that fits perfectly (the way I have habitually and almost compulsively saved thousands of images to my computer in desperation to absorb, remember, inspire, and categorically define my obsession with visual communication, meaning, methods, and efficiency in the expression of complex ideas).

Link: https://www.pinterest.com/hollibear8/facets-of-me/


Featured image (quite accurately illustrates one of my facets)  by Gemma Correll (http://www.gemmacorrell.com/) – she’s very inspiring and talented and amusing, and I hope to be as awesome as her someday!

Mood Mode: Mental Malware

It is so very frustrating and defeating to be so violently at odds with my own mind. It seems everything positive is countered by an equal and stalemate-rendering negative, or conditional, that consistently keeps my progress at zero (likely the most consistent thing about me…). My mind of contradictions. So I learn something, gain a valuable insight, become inspired and motivated and hopeful about progress on an artwork, sales, becoming more organized,  developing healthy routines, implementing A.D.D-life controls to give me even one thread of solidity to follow through the whirlpool-tsunami of chaos that is my life as interpreted by my brain….it never sticks. It’s all so clear one moment, and easy and logical…and then it’s gone. Be it a distraction, a necessary (annoying) life requirement like eating, grooming, work-for-money (ugh), etc…and I lose the trajectory. Sure I write it down, and re-read it like I’d read a work of fiction: a novel idea that seems like it could work – just not for me, because these things never work for me. I gain the knowledge, but it’s proper and effective use is lost to me. If I’m not in the proper mindset or mood, all the knowledge in the world seems useless. The steps I made are erased. And even now, amidst surely a thousand things to say, I am tickling in an anxious and unpleasant way, remembering the awfulness of melancholy, and how revisiting it out of that mode so conveniently conjures it back up (unlike my useful progress moods, which won’t come when called). I don’t know what I need or how to fix it, and feel quite forlorn and useless. Perhaps all I have is a grand legacy of self-defeat, and an epic example of how not to accomplish anything, despite having quite a lot of potential. My brain makes these beautiful things – I am looking at one now – one of my paintings that’s going well (why haven’t I posted it? why can’t I do the easy simple things I know I should?) but then I remember all of the weights – how long it took, how I can’t post it easily like a smartphone-owner with an instagram (how I don’t even want an instagram, or at this very moment, any social anything anytime – which is equally variable by mood), how it’s not ready yet or should have a watermark when posted or a million other things BRAIN SHUT UP, LIMBIC SYSTEM CHILL THE FUCK OUT and STOP TINGLING for FUCKS SAKE. Ahh and back to a contradiction of how the relaxants that might ease my mind will counteract the stimulants which distract my distract-ability. I’d better move on before I start twitching.

Drawings: Notecards and Geometry

These drawings (done on standard note cards) represent some of my earliest experiments with form, line, geometric figures, and how to structure and fill compositions. If I had finished them all and say, published an art show or something, I would have called it “Geo-Safari”, and thus it would have shared a name with the first piece created:

  1. “Geo-Safari”  2. “GeoRaptor”  3. Original note card drawing of the artwork eventually adapted into “Madness” (though I would still like to adapt a version that fits better in this collection as I originally intended)  4. “Red-Eye”  5. “Geollyphant” 6.”GeoParrot”  7. “GeoWings”  8. “Mechnolick”  9. “Triagedy”

Most of these drawings were created with ink, graphite, acrylic paint, collaged paper, marker, and digital editing. They are in varying degrees of completion and conceptualization. I think most are from around 2013. I hope to adapt these or make something of them someday. Maybe….a gift card set? Postcards? Print sets?

So, what’s wrong with me? (part 1)

<Featured image: a sketch of mine from a while back, still living in my “work in progress/concepts to develop folder” – titled “Dark Room”>

I will do my best to keep this succinct despite all that rambles around in my thoughts, almost as if my brain is always on duty trying to sort and process everything stored and find reasoning and solutions to the things that plague me and make everything feel so difficult.

First I will recognize that this article/list on Listverse ( http://listverse.com/2016/03/01/10-fascinating-and-trippy-works-of-art/ ) encouraged me to make a post on the things I struggle with. The article covers artworks coming from those with altered mental states, whether from psychiatric disorders, drug use, or a combination of both. These works are fascinating to me – much more so that your run of the mill still-life (why should I want to see what is already there, already is and is known, when I could gaze upon and contemplate something no one before has ever seen?- the same is said of the work I create; I want it to be new, unknown, open to interpretation as fits the viewer, to stir up and incite and inspire…). Many of these artists create amazing unique and powerful imagery that is both as uniquely illustrative and mysterious as their own incredibly different minds and selves. To me, this is beauty. To know the best and worst of sensations and emotion and pain and euphoria and to put them into something of a communication; a means of linking or connecting and expressing which can bridge where no other channel may exist. It seems to me one of the most powerful methods of allowing the brains and frequencies of individuals who might never glimpse understanding or empathy for each other, who might otherwise never connect in any way, to interface in a manner that allows the conceptual exchange of completely unique human experience.

Let’s start with the depression. It’s been my mental roommate since middle school, when we were first personally acquainted. I won’t bother to go into the turmoils and difficulties of depression, since it has become much more understood/publicized as an issue and condition/related in countless ways. What I will say is I have come to accept that mine is chronic major depressive disorder for which I take medication that allows me to function, and I will always need this medication.

Next: attention deficit disorder. I don’t remember having trouble with this as a kid, but I remember the relief of learning through books and my psychologist that there was a reason behind all the chaos, inconsistency, impulsiveness, and more that were (and still are) making ‘normal’ or ‘functional’ life very challenging (I’ve been putting off finding a new psychologist/counselor whatever for a long time, because having had ones that do not fit with my needs and how I am, it is hard to imagine and harder to identify individuals who might be a good match). The best book I’ve found so far is called “ADD-Friendly ways to Organize your Life” by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau. It’s quite helpful, insightful, and I think is one of the main reasons I can operate at any sort of successful capacity – though I am almost certain I will need professional help establishing routines, strategies, and consistency in my life that help me work with, not against, my a.d.d. I’ll list the issues I have that may relate to the condition (for my own memory and troubleshooting purposes if nothing else):

My ADD Tendencies – A Discouraging, but Actionable List I Hope to Tame or Minimize Someday

  • Impaired capacity to develop, maintain, and organize daily life. Problems with self-regulation.
  • Trouble with planning, organization, and follow-through.
  • Difficulty completing tasks without distraction – especially when tasks are mundane, repetitive, uninteresting, and not necessarily chosen.
  • Poor sense/concept of time – time management issues, punctuality issues, and unrealistic time estimations.
  • Inconsistency and forgetfulness. Difficulty developing and keeping habits and routines. Great difficulty with follow-through (finishing things, remembering to do things at a later time, keeping up with maintenance, responsibilities). Frequent trouble with “out of sight, out of mind” concept.
  • Reactive rather than proactive.
  • Focus and impulse control. Distraction (interest-grabbing items push all else aside, cause loss of focus, underdoing things as a result of distraction or improper focus), Variations in attentiveness, Focus control and scope issues (hyperfocus, micro focus,  and inappropriate focus tendencies to avoid larger problems or anxiety), overdoing (overcomplicating), getting ‘stuck’ on things – unable to move on, issues with stimulation levels and self-control.
  • Trying to do everything at the same time.
  • Life feels overwhelming and chaotic all the time, but basic regulatory skills are underwhelming and tedious.
  • Extra: (worth noting) aspects of obsessive compulsive disorder, an anxiety disorder – overfocus on tiny details, perfectionism. Feel like I am constantly organizing without ever actually getting organized.


How exhausting. Maybe I’ll have to eventually make a post on the strategies listed in my book to counter this overwhelming Sisyphean disorder. Stay tuned for part 2 next, covering personality type and traits further rounding out my mental crazy maze!

What’s in a Name

One of the things I have struggled with over the past few years is coming up with a good, solid, consistent way to represent myself – most notably, what should I use as my artist name? My legal name(s) aren’t really much to write home about, or particularly memorable or striking, not to mention not any more personally identifying than their intrinsic value. I want something that suits me, that feels right when I say it, when I see it written, that I can adapt (as I do with all nicknames and monikers, and words in general) but still always return to. It has to describe or at least have the feel, the temperament, the mood of me and thus, my art (which is very much an extension of myself in that almost all of it is self initiated and influenced and driven only by my impulses and interests).

For a long time I have played with variations on them (from Holly I got Hollibel, which I used for a bit, but it just doesn’t seem quite right. Not the right tone. Too light perhaps?) and developed initials, signatures, all sorts of things but nothing sticks or feels like…”aha this is it”. Then I experimented with “Hollow” (Holly + W from one last name) or Holloh (said the same, but also a palindrome) but the word itself just wasn’t a proper fit for always. So for now I’ve got Holly Zezu, a shortening of my legal name, which is at least functional in that it won’t go obsolete, is unique enough, and mildly fun while still identifying and accurate. But the endeavor will persist, I’m sure, until I find something that really fits, something that can embody and represent my creative talents and who I am and can be as an artist, without the failings and/or shortcomings of the rest of my identity necessarily included.