In the summer of 2020, I was one of the many who were grappling with mortality, which started to rattle the cage on - if this is it, I wanna go down swingin - I want to do things I said I would do when I "had the time," which as we all know never comes.
Turns out, on the top of that list was learning how to play an instrument. I taught myself how to play a little piano by ear when I was around 8 years old, but got stumped when I got to the part of the workbook that introduced the black keys. I am 35 now, and happy to report I am still at odds with the black keys (no, not those The Black Keys - they are great). I started out by buying an analog synthesizer, that lead me to a vocoder/mini drum machine, which required a keyboard controller to utilize the full range it's capabilities. While I was shopping around for one, I came across Elektron and their catalog of incredible beauties, so I picked up a few of their gems. I'll probably write a blog post soon with a gear run down and talk about my experience onboarding myself to the electronic music making process, from exploring the instruments themselves to teching out the integration workflow between all the moving pieces.
I want to demystify the music making process and make it more approachable to BIPOC women and non-binary people, I want there to be more queers behind the decks, I want more ADA-accessible venues to allow disabled music makers the chance to shine, I want peer-to-peer support across gender lines, that requires yt men to share their resources and knowledge with marginalized people who are excited and ready to learn.
I have 0 aptitude in music making, outside creating etherial soundscape and film scoring, however 90% my friends throughout my life have been in bands, all of partners with 2 exceptions have been in bands - yet I'm always the one taking photos. For all the band practices I've had to sit in on, for all the gear I've hauled during load outs - no one has ever offered to teach me a chord or how to keep a beat on the drums. Logistically, I find that ridiculous.
It wasn't until Gloria Stienem inspired me to make music as an act of feminist rebellion that I really started to put in the hours practicing. I'm learning everything from scratch and it's THRILLING. I love how instantaneous the process is, no prototyping involved! Right now I'm in a bubble of pure experimentation and I forgot how good it feels to fall in love with a new art form, to submerge myself in a new fascination. I'm so excited to see where this goes, I've vowed not to ruin this time of enraptured exploration by suffocating it with expectations. This is only for fun and will remain fun as long as I don't try to push it to grow faster than it's own natural pace.
Follow me on this wild ride on instagram @houseofegregious:
You can listen here on SoundCloud:
I decided to do an animation for my final project for the Comics in Journalism class I took at SVA, which wrapped up yesterday. It feels great to have officially graduated! I'm proud of the work I did and highly recommend taking a class with Sarah Shaw if you can, I am forever spoiled by her woman-focused, BIPOC prioritized curriculum. It's like eating a freshly boiled lobster that was caught on the boat floating next to the dock you're standing on, after a lifetime of living landlocked - you didn't know it could be so good - standards forever ruined by thoughtful intersectionality.
It kinda sucks that of all my hobbies, comics is one of my most adored but by far the most time-consuming. I love making them but they are a bear to do complete. I no longer enjoy spending hours chained to my desk, my life priorities have shifted this year and sitting in a room by myself on sunny days is a bummer I can't keep ignoring. As a result, my goal over the next few weeks is to figure out what that sweet spot looks like for me to find between alone time and hangout time. Pre-pandemi I was a hardXcore extrovert, but over the last 2 years I have grown to see the many perks of being an introvert and so now I find myself to be a switch ; ) for the very first time in my life. My first experiment will be to see if I can tap into my circadian rhythm so I can write more in the morning, leaving my evenings free for more spontaneity. It's an interesting journey I've been on, thanks for riding along side!
This animation spells out "ENJOY IT WHILE YOU GOT IT," as I've realized lately we often fail to recognize how good something is when we're in the moment - sometimes it takes something bad to happen, insert COVID, to realize how special a moment was when in the moment it was a "mundane," ordinary thing - that's why I wanted to use ghosts to represent the haunting feeling that sometimes comes with the disconnect between now and then. I'm working harder to be more present, and not so concerned with what was or what will be. I'm blessed to say the future has often been better than I could've imagined and the past carries the fine line of appreciation and inprisionment, because it's easy to freeze-frame a time, a place, a person to only be that thing. The truth is the only thing that stays the same is the reality of change, to revere the past sidetracks the present moment.
Here's a comic I made for class this week, I want to push myself to see what other definitions of a comic I could come up with. This comic uses the mechanism that is often used to build puppet crankies - the idea of taking 2 handles, attaching a scroll between them and then scrolling the image across a window that's usually cut out of a wooden or cardboard box. I write more about this building process on Substack, sharing it here because that platform doesn't support gifs - so I'll be using my blog as a repository for my animated work to link out to from there.
Food has been a lifelong passion of mine, as has writing - yet the two only ever cross paths every blue moon. My audience has always encouraged me to write more food-focused work, so I decided to throw my back into it this year and commit to publishing on Substack. You can sign up here for my free newsletter if you want food-centric essays and comics like the Chicago-Style Hot Dog delivered right to your inbox.
UPDATE: My original goal was to publish weekly, however through the process of trying to keep to that rigorous schedule, I learned my life doesn't allow for that frequency. So I've changed my publishing cadence to whenever I find the time, because if it doesn't bring me joy - it's outta here!!
This is my first zine for sale at Quimby's in almost a decade, so it feels invigorating to make a long overdue return to the shelves of one of my favorite bookstores in America. If you're in Chicago, drop by Quimby's at 1854 W. North Ave. and ask for Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, a mini-zine about an alternative opinion of Mike Myers.
I've been a blogger for over twenty years, it's been more than five since I've had a public blog on here. As much as I cherish my privacy and enjoy staying low-key, I'm working on a lot of really fun projects this year and am pushing myself to share them with more people. So cheers to getting back on the horse, well, in my case - unicorn.
be well, stay safe and mask up <3
¿Como se dice "Un Blog?"
Here is where I share announcements of all shapes and sizes, and deep dive into my art and music making practices.