Cool Linda D

The website of Linda Domingo: writer, editor, adventurer, storyteller, lover of good food and other cool things. Hope you find something that intrigues you here.

Tuesday Tunes

Yuna – “I Want You Back”

I’m still up, it’s 4 a.m. / I don’t know what to make of today.

Remember when we saw Yuna perform at the Santa Monica Pier on a warm summer night?

Tuesday Tunes

Darwin Deez – “Radar Detector”

We cruise the neighborhood / But it’s not supposed to feel this good.

What the what? This song and video make me happy. Although we haven’t heard from this dude Darwin Deez in a while. Miss him kinda.

On Creative Anxiety.

I was recently assigned a story that focuses on art (I don’t want to be specific until it’s published) and I ended up hurling myself down a rabbit hole. Now I’m afraid I can’t clearly see the end.

In a fairly recent post I mentioned that I’ve been pondering creative processes and this had me exploring various avenues of art whether or not they, at surface level, may be related to my own medium. It’s something that’s had me staring at paintings, observing sculpture, admiring photography, watching often-strange performance pieces, listening to some random music and reading a lot about artists/creative folks and their methods. The initial goal was to glean some sort of inspiration, no matter how small; and I have, but I now also have quite a bit of anxiety from it, if I’m completely honest.

Even though my work primarily involves telling true stories, I’ve always enjoyed the creative part of it, crafting sentences and finding just the right word—painting what I hope are vibrant pictures for readers. Now that I’m an editor and also manipulate layouts and choose photography and artwork to accompany stories, that purview has expanded. But there’s always the story to anchor me: quotes, facts, real people and places that are interesting and beautiful. It’s the reason why I gravitated toward journalism after studying English literature and writing. As much as I love to read works of fiction, journalism gave me parameters, a starting point, something tangible to grab onto and run away with. I need that. I need boundaries, an assignment, a direction.

It’s something that’s permeated my life since I was a kid. I vividly remember being in kindergarten and putting on a red skirt with a pink T-shirt. A friend at school told me that pink and red don’t match, and you’re not supposed to wear them together unless it was Valentine’s Day. “Gray matches with everything,” she added. I became increasingly obsessed with gray-colored clothes on days that it was not Valentine’s Day. In the second grade, it made me beam with pride that I had colored so neatly inside of the lines of a stegosaurus that it had made my classmates envious.

I went out for drinks with a new friend a couple weeks ago and I told him that I’ve always enjoyed journalism for the reason I outlined above—it gives me guidelines with which to work. He said he noticed that about me when he asked where I’d like to go that evening. I launched into a barrage of questions: what type of bars he liked, to choose between divey or upscale, to give me something to work with so I wasn’t left to my own devices to freely choose some wildcard option.

Maybe it stems from being raised in a conservative town with a father who was in the military or maybe it’s that nagging insecurity, thoughts that something I create will be judged negatively and that will be a reflection on me as a human being. I used to write on another blog which I’ve since made private because I felt I was getting too random and artsy and I feared someone might read it and think I was a crazy person.

I see past versions of myself as incredibly judgmental, but working in journalism, meeting so many new people and forcing myself to see things from new perspectives has, I hope, changed that or is continuously changing that. As a result I’m learning to be less judgmental of myself and in turn less insecure about the things that I put out in the world—whether they be stories that I write, thoughts that I vocalize or passions I pursue. I do see it being slowly rewarded over time; I think I’m becoming a better writer and a better artist with each step forward. But on the flip side of this I’m still terrified. I hope that’s normal. There is a vast world of endless possibilities inside ourselves, and to tap into that can be wonderful yet very scary. I read a very in-depth article about the extensive research that’s linked creativity with mental illness that made these thoughts even scarier, but I suppose that’s something we can’t control and not something we necessarily “unlock,” right?

There’s that often cited Steve Jobs quote about living life inside a set world, a practice that is limiting to say the least. Since it’s a little played out, I’ll offer a piece of an interview I did with an art gallery owner recently. We were talking about why street artists who create artworks illegally—on the sides of businesses, in alleyways, on train cars—do what they do. “We don’t have that much power as human beings anymore,” he said. “You can’t just go change things, like, ‘Oh, I don’t like how this looks; I’m going to change it.’ [With graffiti,] you can.” I’ve never set out in the dark of night with spray paint cans or wheat paste, but this resonated with me. With art, we can change things—we can manipulate our world and even change ways of thinking, subtly and conspicuously.

We need to keep pushing and pushing and creating and creating without fear. Do the impossible and be a little insane; those that judge will judge and those that know anything about this lifestyle will “get it.” It takes time and a lot of thought; this is just a reminder to myself that there is a place beyond the conventional boundaries and I’ll never know how great it can be unless I take those leaps of faith to get myself there.

Tuesday Tunes

A Tribe Called Quest – “Find a Way”

Now why you wanna go and do that love, huh?

I told myself I would go to bed early tonight and then ended up here: My kitchen table / makeshift home office is covered in magazines and I have no less than 35 internet tabs open.

I had a conversation with another writer on Sunday and I admitted that I was interested in way too many things. Still figuring out whether that’s good or bad.

On Saul Leiter.

photo-2

I was hoping to be forgotten. I aspire to be unimportant.

—Saul Leiter

I spent Thursday evening at the Orange County Museum of Art for the July installment of Cinema Orange. This month’s film was “In No Great Hurry,” a documentary by Tomas Leach about Saul Leiter, a photographer whose works would help to define the influential New York School. Completed in 2012, this little film followed Leiter around his New York City neighborhood as he snapped photos on his now-digital camera and interviewed him in his apartment, full of boxes and books of prints, film, slides and paintings.

So much struck me about this man, who people praise for his artful interpretation and vast influence, but whose humility comes off as so combative that it was endearing. He was an artist who created for the sake of creating, and creating things that are beautiful and putting them out in the world. There is something to be said about an artist who doesn’t ambitiously seek recognition—not to knock those who do, but I still romanticize the idea of quiet (and in this case curmudgeonly) observers and makers who just end up effecting a large group of people, unwittingly.

If you have the chance, I would definitely recommend checking out this film. Leiter passed away in November 2013 and I think it is a beautifully made and fitting tribute.

As a sidebar, I also had the opportunity, before the screening, to view the “Sarkisian & Sarkisian” exhibition on view at OCMA currently—wow, some really amazing artworks in there. If anyone is planning to go and needs a companion, let me know and I will make the time to go again.

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