Travels: Block Island

We biked across the island and trekked down a long beach behind a lighthouse to get to this spot.

We biked across the island and trekked down a long beach behind a lighthouse to get to this spot. (P.S. – I am wearing pants in this picture, I promise.)

A freshwater pond in the middle of the island at dusk.

A freshwater pond in the middle of the island just before sunset.

Sunset at The Oar.

Sunset at The Oar.

Block Island features a small, exotic animal "zoo." This is an emu!

Block Island features a small, exotic animal “zoo.” This is an emu!

We trekked down 172 stairs and a steep rock face to get to this beach, and it was full of these unreal seven-foot-tall rock piles!

We trekked down 172 stairs and a steep rock face to get to this beach, and it was full of unreal seven-foot-tall rock piles! (There are nicer pictures of me, but this one was so funny I had to share. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re doing it wrong.)

My family had never been to Block Island, RI before, so we booked a last-minute, three day trip. It was such a quaint, peaceful area–you can bike across the entire island in an hour. I’d love to go back for a day trip or an overnighter at some point.

photography by yours truly.
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On being an artist

via my flickr

via my flickr

The other day in my biology class we were all sitting around relaxing and talking, now that the AP exam is over. One senior girl was discussing how much work goes into the science research program, which is a three-year course at our school that offers students a chance to work with a mentor from an outside institution and delve deeper into a scientific topic of their choice. Making a case for the time she’s put into the class, she said, “I’ve been working my ass off for three years! I’m not one of those people that just took a bunch of art electives and skated by.”

Immediately, the class erupted in indignation, and I’m glad it did. Because art is a lot of work. I have invariably had to put more time into all my art and music classes than I have for any other class I’ve taken in high school, because art demands that time. You can’t bullshit art the night before it’s due. You can copy someone else’s history notes, but you can’t copy creativity. You can’t copy rolls of film. You can’t copy the ability to play an instrument. You can’t throw a sketchbook together twenty minutes before it’s collected. Art is something you simply can’t fake, because it is so personal. You put your soul into it.

Why be an artist, anyway? Sometimes I ask myself the same question. Without a lot of luck and good publicity, it’s difficult to make a living off of it. It sucks up huge amounts of time. There are a lot of ways in which being an artist isn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t change for the world. Being an artist is about seeing the beauty in small moments. Sometimes, for one beautiful second, a ray of golden sunlight will catch a fluffy white dandelion at just the right angle, and it’ll make my whole day. Being an artist is about taking those moments and freezing them in time. Capturing a smile, a mood, an idea, and making it so that everyone can feel what you felt.

I think art is so important, and I’ve neglected it for too long. I was under the silly impression that my art isn’t as important as my grades. But it is. A lot of people will probably think that’s foolish, but I’m not going to major in test taking. In life, a number on a piece of paper won’t inspire you; it won’t make your mind gears turn or your soul sour. Art will. Art speaks the way nothing else does.

Lately

I haven’t been so great at keeping up with blogging lately. Life has been incredibly hectic, what with APs and SATs swiftly approaching, increasingly frequent rehearsals for a show I’m in, and lots of events with friends, but I couldn’t be happier. The world is coming back to life: every day there’s a little more green, and the sun doesn’t set until almost seven thirty. Excuse the cliche metaphor, but I feel as if I’m on a roller coaster that’s only going up.

I’ll try to post more real content within the coming week, but for now, enjoy these snapshots of my weekend.

This is my adorable friend Georgia, moments after a random stranger walked over and posed with zher.

This is my adorable friend Georgia, moments after a random stranger walked over and posed with zher.

Have you ever been friends with someone for a while, stopped talking to them for years, and reconnected only to become best friends with them? That's what happened with me and Brandon. We "dated" in middle school, and now at the end of junior year we started talking again and realized how wonderfully alike we are in personality. He loves BMX biking, so we had a really fun shoot yesterday by an abandoned bridge.

Have you ever known someone for a while, stopped talking to them for years, and reconnected only to become best friends with them? That’s what happened with me and Brandon. We “dated” in middle school (lol), and now at the end of junior year we started talking again and realized how wonderfully alike we are in personality. He loves BMX biking, so we had a really fun shoot yesterday by an abandoned bridge. You can see more on my Flickr!

Oh, and I got my braces off about a week and a half ago. With all the smiling I've been doing lately, I don't think the timing could have been more perfect.

Oh, and I got my braces off about a week and a half ago! With all the smiling I’ve been doing lately, I don’t think the timing could have been more perfect.

As always, there’s more to see on my Flickr! Stay tuned; posts may continue to be sparse, but I’ll try to make them good. I hope you’re all enjoying your lives as much as I have been lately.