I Thrive in Chaos

Here comes a quirk ball: 

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Let’s cut right to the best part of this post – the Rachel Ray reference. That was my LIFE, I tell you! I subscribed to that magazine, and read it religiously…me and 70,000 of my closest soccer mom friends. Everyday with Rachel Ray, to me, was the epitome of all things domestic, glamorous, and container-organized…

…and then there was reality: my warped, cork-topped card table. I didn’t have much space in my room growing up, so most of my artistic endeavors happened in the basement next to the oft-roaring fire. I’d crank the Carrie Underwood Pandora station and spend hours down there painting, sewing, drawing, or crying about my life. It was like a man-cave; but hormonal, and manless.

Since everybody loves a good transformation photo, I thought I’d take a picture of what my workspace looks like these days. I’m studying writing in college, so my desk is where I read, type, and stress eat. In fact, I’m sitting here now. Spoiler: it’s still chaotic – though the thriving part is up for debate.

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For bonus points, count the mugs!

…and here’s a close-up: 

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Me chillin’ at mah desk:

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I know what you are thinking now. You are thinking, “what do those inspirational quotes on the wall behind her computer SAY!!?!? What INSPIRES this near-genius into GREATNESS????”

I will not share all of my secrets with you, but I will share one of my favorites:

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It’s a quote from an old Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

“Working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, even the fantastic.”

Isn’t that a lovely way to choose creative projects? When I sit down to write, I try to keep these adjectives in mind…unusualfantastic.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it…do you know who else was known to thrive in chaos?

Sēnior Sherlock himself. 

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Have you not seen the Robert Downy Jr version?

I’m basically him, but a chic writer.

See how I did that? See how I connected this post back to the idea of chaos even though I started off by talking about Rachel Ray?

THAT, my friends, is called writing. Or self-obsessed pretentiousness. I’ll take either one.

All hail me,

Amy

Beauty in Brokenness

From Amy Tunes Out:

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There are a lot of funny thing about this post. The fact that I drew fashion sketches with prosthetic legs that look like knotty toothpicks. The adieu at the end that sounds like it came from a suburban spirit guru. Get the laughs out. Ha ha. It’s all ridiculous, isn’t it?

It is, but there’s another layer to it.

There’s a thread of tenderness that runs through this post. Something inside of me was grasping for light. I was clawing at the idea that there’s an antidote for the kind of pain that runs deep. My foot, at the time, was held together with three, 3-inch long screws. At every moment, my leg throbbed. I couldn’t escape it, so it leaked into my drawings. And in a way, it felt like healing.

Another thing that inspired these sketches was a photo that I saw on my faaaavorite street style blog, The Sartorialist, of a woman in an orange skirt and low-backed tank biking down the streets of new york.

The strength of that woman gave me hope. Her situation is obviously far more serious than mine was, more severe, more life-altering. I did eventually heal, and I can walk, in moderation. So if she could survive, could live, could ride a bike and look stylish while she was at it, then I had absolutely no excuse.

Beauty really is strength.

It’s one of the reasons I ended up at art school. Art helps people cope. It did more for me than therapy ever did. The things that made me feel like I wasn’t alone – a photograph, a sketch, that woman’s style – are all different forms of art. Of aesthetic pleasure. Beauty.

This is one of the more basic facts of life, that beauty = pleasure, but it is true that as humans we sometimes forget the facts that ground us.

Instead of leaving you with one of my present-day hippie wishes for good vibes, here’s a quote that I’ve always liked.

Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life.

                                                            Pablo Picasso

I do love me a good bath.

Amy