30 January 2017

Disabled Parking Rant


You don't know this about me...and I don't think I'm going to go into too much detail about it either, at least not today. It is a big aspect of my life and a topic which I know needs to be written about someday, but similarly, I know that that day is not today. I have a quadriplegic sister and if I had a 'most important things in life' list, she'd rank very, very highly on it.

For countless yearly cycles, I have driven around public areas scouting out the usually yellow painted symbols, on the conventionally gray mall parking floors, closest to the entrance of a building. And, to be fair, there have hardly been moments where bays aren't open. However, now and again, a car parks in this 'prime spot' to satisfy their able-bodied convenience (and although the driver or passengers are never in the car to verify their ability status, it's just an innate feeling that wells up inside of me, with an inkling that this car should not be in this designated parking bay) Maybe it's the lack of a disabled sticker that affirms my inklings)

Some nights ago, after exiting a casino after a lovely dinner with my family (no gambling, I promise), a male in his early 20s, driving daddy's plate-less silver and half a million rand car wanted to scoop in on our rightful parking bay as we left it. I had the sudden urge to shout. My heart quickened to a thump. My eyes became vicious and strength only equal to Hercules' compelled the movements of my body. Don't worry, despite my vehement desire to leap from the car and shout, my parents held me back. Sure, I could be the judgmental imbecile here, but the driver looked eager to spin the roulette wheel and pull down the leavers at the slot machines, as opposed to spinning the wheels of his wheelchair.

Here's my plea: If you drive now, or one day find yourself behind the steering wheel, with sweat racing down your brow and scrambling for a parking bay and you see an open disabled parking bay. please, with all the beating chambers of my heart have respect for disabled individuals and drive straight past it. Respect their purpose. From experience, they make a world of a difference to those who are 'different' in the world.

Till next time-
Steph
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You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
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27 January 2017

Moving Away From my Twin


I just put together my first computer. I yanked out all the wires, the blue one first- which I think connected to the printer, then the two black ones- keyboard and mouse, and then the blue and bulky 'twisty turny' one which I think lead to the screen. After jolting and plucking the wires out I then carried each component down the hall, where I re-assembled the same computer I had just pulled apart not even 3 minutes prior. In the same order that I yanked them out, I jostled the various weighted, multi coloured wires back into their slots as If they had never been removed.

This was a big thing for me. I have a twin- a tech savvy computer god of a twin. When I was young, I hollered and he helped me turn on the now non-existent tape playing machine or showed me how to navigate the near extinct DVD player, often salvaged a document that I deleted by accident and many-a-time helped me re-assemble and dis-assemble PCs as I required for school exhibitions. Not today. He's going off to university soon and so am I. For the first time, we're going our own way in this world. We've walked the same path for 18 years and suddenly, we've hit a fork in the road and he's going one way and I'm going the other.

Although I am chuffed with myself, for re-assembling a PC, without the help of my brother, it just means that I'm going to have to get used to doing a lot of things alone. I wasn't even in the womb alone! We've been co-dependent forever. I lean on him for somethings and he leans my way for others.

I guess it'll take some getting used to and when I next have to assemble a computer, I can smile fondly knowing that I was taught by the best.

Till next time-
Steph

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You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
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25 January 2017

My Acne Story + Tips


When I was 13 years old, not only did I grow hair here and there, not only did I start to develop 'the girls' but I developed what at times felt like mountains of sebum which changed my once flat face into a somewhat bumpy, potholed or incorrectly-tarred road surface which not only could I feel, but on display for all to see. I developed acne.

I found that I got acne a lot earlier, for a lot longer and at a worse severity than most of my peers- talk about a triple wami! Possibly due to the influence of my older sister, societal convention, or just me, I started wearing foundation to cover up my pimples the best way that an inexperienced 12 year old could (which is not very well). At first it was just the one pimple and the surrounding area that got covered. Then it was three pimples in close proximity to one another. Eventually, it was a fully-fledged face of pimples that all needed covering. To make matters worse, my darker-than-vanilla-lighter-than-cream complexion and an inability to blend and buy correctly resulted in a firm, darker than skin tone 'halo' around my face which left me constantly begging my siblings to tell me if I had a 'line' every time I went to school which ultimately led me straight into the school's bathroom to salvage my appearance for the day to come.  


As time went by, my acne got worse- and it was probably my fault. No, it was definitely my fault. When mountains appeared, I yearned for flatness. With two fingers on each side of the mountain and a little (okay, sometimes a lot) of pressure, I  made craters. And that, girls and boys, is exactly what NOT to do. However, has anyone watched those pimple-popping videos? Honestly, and quite ashamedly, it's very satisfying.

Time continued to pass and my make-up applying skills were still against me. One day, one very thankful day I came to a realization, a very important realization. Everyone knew I had acne. I wasn't fooling anyone. My super foundation skills meant that my foundation didn't last the whole day with already minimal coverage. I spent a great part of my first few years in high school practically walking around like a clown- discoloured face and all. The day after this realization, I didn't wear foundation to school. I survived. So, I did it the next day, and the next and the day after that. I was surviving high school with no judgement (at least not any that I knew about). For the first time, I was showing my acne to what felt like the world- untainted- and it felt empowering.

I walked around school unashamedly me from then on. If I could pass on one piece of advice to anyone that's still reading at this point it would be this: if you love yourself, you're invincible. I got to a point where I was okay with my acne which ultimately meant I was okay with people seeing it. Never once did I think that having acne devalued me as a person- no matter how bad it sometimes became. I think I actually became more respected amongst my peers for highlighting what is commonly hidden.

I went through some good patches but those seemed to last for a shorter time than the rough patches that followed. To this day, I still consider myself a sufferer of acne, although the good days are more frequent and much longer.


Going through what I've been through, I think I can pass down 'expert' tips, tricks and advice to combating acne as a teen:

1) Don't pick your pimples ( I made this mistake and heavily regret it)
2) Don't touch your face unnecessarily
3) Wash your face with an acne cream twice a day.
4) You don't have to go on medication for acne if you don't want to. Many people do choose this route, I personally didn't because I don't like to take medication that is not essential.
5) Drink lots of water
6) Clean your face thoroughly after wearing make-up
7) This is the most important tip- love yourself. Having acne can be tough. Depending on your social environment it can be tougher. Be your own supporter!

Till next time-
Steph

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You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram.


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24 January 2017

Unfriended Unfollowed

Unfriended//Unfollowed

 

we were friends for five years
now we haven't been for one
we remained friends on Facebook 
despite the grim outlook

Today I got a notification
I have 239 friends minus 1
We weren't really friends
atleast not for a while

now those endless laughs and midnight talks no longer seem worthwhile

we didn't say goodbye
we just went our separate ways

No longer followers
No longer friends
Just strangers who met at one of life's bends

its nearly mid night and I'm surrounded by darkness
 just thinking about how this all started
we were friends for five years
and will possibly be foe for more

or we may meet in a bend like we once did before


Till next time-
Steph

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You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram.

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20 January 2017

My Art Journal I Scarcity & Surplus

I'll let you in on a bit of a secret of mine; At school, I did Organic Chemistry, the arrangement of the nuclei of atoms, I did all of the human reproductive system and how different hormones are sent to glands or muscles. In maths, I did calculus and in English I did Shakespeare. That's not my secret- it's the norm. So, my secret is this: art- particularly the practical component of art- was the most difficult component across all my subjects at school. 

The practical component of art was difficult for me for several reasons: I found it very easy to compare myself to others who had a natural ability to draw- unlike me. Before taking art, I can't say I volunteeringly scavenged for a sketch pad and got drawing (which makes me think that I took art for the theory component and the practical challenge) which probably explains my lack of drawing confidence. Also, I don't think I ever found my personal, distinctive artistic style- which made starting a new drawing or artwork more frustrating. I think if you look hard enough, all artists (and now, including myself) have a visual thread that links all their art together. One just has to look more closely for some artists than others.

So, knowing my secret, I'm about to do something that petrifies me down to the bone marrow in my bone. If someone were to come up to me and ask me if I could draw, I would reply "no". However, I'm proud of this body of work presented below. These pieces represent a girl who over came her fears, her doubts and got to the finish line. 


The work below can be found in the visual diary pictured above. This was my year work project, which formed part of my final, senior year's art examination. The theme for the project of work was 'Scarcity and Surplus' .It was up to each individual artist to interpret the theme as they pleased. The group of work had to include a drawing and an artwork. A drawing consist of line weights of varying weight, where as an artwork does not need to consist of distinct lines.

I have selected some of my best pages, in terms of layout, or pages that were integral to the process, to lead you through my journey of how I got to my final artwork and drawing.



Drawing
Artist Research
I always found that I started my process out with research into what other artists were doing- both in terms of subject matter and media which I thought linked with the theme. Research was important for me to find inspiration and learn and possibly adapt an already existing technique.
I've never thought of this process as linear, hence, I found that time and time again I would return to artist research or experimenting as I found necessary, after doing initial research and experimentation.

















Experimentation
This part of the process was probably most enjoyable to me. I could 'mess around' with different subject matter and media without people knowing that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I could blame any 'failed' works or mishaps on 'experimentation'- which I found went down well on the social judgement spectrum of my art life.
Take a moment and remember this work. It is amazing to  reflect how different my final drawing ended up being. However, I like to think that this experimentation was integral in ending up where I did.

I liked the mixed media but I found that I hadn't really made this concept enough of my own. It was too similar to the original artist and hence, abandoned my experimentation with this already existing style.
My work looks at the scarcity and surplus in The Fees Must Fall Movement which I wrote about here
I think the movement epitomizes a surplus of youth, hope and togetherness in a scarcity of money and resources.
Hence, the woman drawn below is inspired by a student leader that I met whilst doing primary research. She was an integral part in developing my final idea.














The culmination of all my experiments lead to this. It is charcoal on paper. Upon completion, I realized that this wasn't what I wanted to exhibit and be judged on. However, a discussion with my teacher led to the idea that follows.

The faces below are multi-media and in different, very distinctive styles. The idea for these faces was to make so many, that in the end, they formed a crowd, like the Fees Must Fall protest crowds. The differently drawn people don't marginalize or discriminate.
 























Below, I experimented with light to distort the initial drawing. I was fascinated by how different the drawings ended up being. However, in the end, I didn't end up using lights as logistically it would be too difficult to exhibit.



In the end, I had about 40 or so faces. It is way less than the amount that I wanted, but it is all I could manage at the time. There were some faces, which weren't up to par with other faces, so I discarded them. Some of the discarded pieces are today.




*Scroll down to see the final exhibit of this work*

Artwork
Research
Once the drawing was in progress and on its way to completion, I went back to the research phase, but this time, in hopes of finding inspiration for a three dimensional work





Thumbnail Sketches
This step is really important in terms of conceptualization.  Like every other part of the process, the depth could vary. Some artists may find that they can conceptualize better three-dimensionally. These were very initial sketches but they were very helpful in putting my idea onto paper and visualizing it. 

Production




Exhibiting


Let me know what you think about my art and the process that I went through. If you're an artist, it would be lovely to hear how your process differs from mine. 

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You can find me here:

Instagram: @socialspying
Email: socialspying@gmail.com
        
Thanks so much for stopping by. If you're feeling up to it, follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin' or on Instagram.

Till next time-
Steph
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