Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Randy Ruby

Randy Ruby (August 20, 1954 - November 17, 2018)

"In just a few short years, Randy Ruby made a name for himself as a skilled photographer of the Redondo Beach coastline. Often from a kayak or with his feet submerged in water, Ruby captured a side to Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes Peninsula that few people experience in person."

  This site was created by Randy before his death and continues to showcase his beautiful photos of the culture in southern California and the pristine beauty of the ocean.

  This site give a greater insight to Randys fight with cancer and an eventual amputation. It also goes into depth on the impact that he had on the entire community. 

The reason I find Randy Ruby such an important artist to share is because of his extremely positive outlook on life. Even in the darkest times he always appreciated being able to live along the coast and have such a beautiful view every day. I grew up with him always taking pictures of my friends and I surfing down at the beach when we were young and he has always been a very positive force in the community and it is very easy to tell. He would walk, kayak, paddle board, or drive along the coast every day, rain or shine. Because of this he was able to capture some truly amazing shots that many people dong get to see very often. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Kim Jonghyun

Image result for kim jonghyun poet artist

Kim Jonghyun, is mostly known as an author and singer-songwriter from South Korea, he lived from April 8, 1990 - December 18, 2017. Jonghyun has an extremely distinctive voice, he has played around with many styles such as 80s funk pop, tropical house, EDM, and alternative R&B. Within his solo work he distinguishes himself from a lot of the general stereotypical kpop expectations, in which he came from, being originally from the kpop group SHINee. I enjoy Jonghyun's creative expression, within the songs he writes and performs you can see how deeply he connects with every single word he belts. He is transparent in expressing his struggles in the form of a poetic fashion. I am able to feel and connect with the way he writes within some of his songs. Many of Jonghyun's songs are much more of a sad tone but they are written in a beautifully colorful way, which bring happiness in embracing darker emotions, expressing them and aiming to rise above them. I believe somewhere within the time he was alive as an artist he hoped to connect to fans, comfort them and remind them that they are not alone. Jonghyun often talked about wanting to be seen as a poet and an artist, that is exactly how I see him.

Below are the lyrics and musical composition to a song called skeletal flowers.

Diphylleia Grayi (Skeletal Flowers)

You're a flower that becomes transparent as you get wet
Our relationships, the white petal becomes damp because of remorse
Although you're transparent, but you don't disappear
When I can't see you, I thought you aren't even hurting
So what you couldn't hold on to even though you knew
Actually hurts like being ripped apart, like dying
Because I'm drenched in tears
That blatant fault of mine can't be seen now
 Ah, so you're blown of by wind
Ah, so you're getting wet from dew
 The petals right in front of me
You bear the strong scent that deceived me
You confine me in the room of eternity such that I can't find you
So you're laughing craftily and purely
 Ah, so you're blown of by wind
Ah, so you're getting wet from dew
 As time passes even the white petals will wither away
Without the memories that has become transparent
 Ah, so you're blown off by sadness
Ah, so you're getting wet from tears
 As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
As time passes...
 As time passes...

Image result for skeleton flower composition kim jonghyun

This article provides insight to how he wrote his songs in general and in particular how he writes
songs for his first album, this interview takes place during the release of his first album.

This article is a review of Jonghyun's final album, it looks at some of the songs and talks about
their strengths and weaknesses.

This website provides a biography which holds interesting points about Jonghyuns life
as it runs through of his life.

Nawal EL Kuwaitia

Nawal EL Kuwaitia is a Kuwaiti singer who is very popular in the Middle East. Nawal Started her career with her first Album in 1984. All of her albums since the fist one were named by the number of the year it was released. She is considered one of the best female singers in the gulf region of the middle east She is also known as Qaitharat Al Khaleej which means Harp of the khaleeji song aka the Gulf region of the Middle East. What makes Nawal also very unique is that she is one of the very few female singers that lasted for decades making music in the Middle east region of the world. She released 19 albums since 1984, and the latest one in 2019.

Nawal El Kuwaitia is my favorite singer because the first song I remember in my life is her song. I enjoyed listening to her as a child and her music brought me so much joy. Not only that I enjoyed her music but I also remember singing one of her songs in my first ever Karaoke. She made so many great songs that did not loss any popularity, and people still repeat the same songs over and over again, even songs from her first album in 1984. It is 2019 now and she is still making music and still very popular. 

This link provides a brief introduction to Nawal EL Kuwaitia. It is a good place to get an idea of who she is and what did she do. There is few information but they are interesting to get to know some of Nawal El Kuwaitia accomplishments in the Khaleeji Music scene and the Arab world in general. 

This is an interesting article, about how Nawal was the first female artist to drive in Saudi Arabia after the ban was lifted. It was after she finished her concert, and the night the law kicked in. It is interesting because she is showing support for females in that region by being one of the first to drive, and I believe that can aspire more females to drive and take actions. 

This is Nawal official Youtube channel. It is a great place to find and listen to most if not all of her music. It is a great place for you to get to know new kind of music. Khaleeji music is different but many people around the world can appreciate good music regardless of the language of the song. 

Otis Redding

Otis Ray Redding Jr. born on September 9th, 1941, was an American singer songwriter and an influential giant of the soul and blues music genre. Redding was raised in Macon, Georgia where he grew up singing in his church choir, at school and in local theater competitions. His career started with him joining Little Richard's band The Upsetters,  then Johnny Jenkins band, The Pinetoppers. After a recording session for Johhny's band at Stax Records, Otis was allowed to stay after which gave him the chance to record his first hit single "These Arms of Mine". Redding recorded his first full album in 1962, his popularity skyrocketed because his singing style influenced, by gospel, was so clearly able to carry emotions across his music and into the hearts of anyone who listens. Otis had an untimely death at the age of 26 cutting his career short, but he has and still is gaining major accolades, like induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, for his accomplishments in the music industry. Redding is most known for his songs "(Sitting on) The Dock by the Bay", "Respect" later performed by Aretha Franklin, and "Try a Little Tenderness". People from my generation (millennial) may recognize Otis' voice from samples of his music used by current artists like Kanye, Jay-Z, Travis Scott and Quavo.  I picked him as an artist to share, because many people my age don't delve back into the history of music and the influence the musicians of the 50's and 60's have on the current sound of pop music. Redding's music is timeless and has a touching quality that transcends and genres and ages.

This is Otis Redding's own website where you can read about his history and musical accomplishments. This specific link is to his foundation that supports the education of children through support of humanities and the arts.

Live performance of Otis Redding's hit song "Try a Little Tenderness". 

NPR host Scott Simon is joined by Jonathan Gould to discuss Gould's biography of the late singer and how he came to be such a legend.

In Gambino We Trust

Childish Forever for In Gambino We Trust

"I'm here for a good not a long time" - Donald Glover

Why do I love Childish Gambino? 

It's rather a simplistic reason, and that is I find his lyrics incredibly ingenious. I've always love puns, double entendre, euphemisms, just the pure talent that already goes into crafting a song, but then to elevate it further with having humor, whilst also talking about real issues that he and many other individuals faced growing up. Particularly in his first album Camp released back in 2011, his song That Power he speaks about being mixed race or a light skinned African-American who has difficulty identifying with both white and black peers, as well as the racism he face in general growing up Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Lovin' white dudes who call me white and then try to hate
When I wasn’t white enough to use your pool when I was eight
Stone Mountain, you raised me well
I’m stared at by Confederates, but hard as hell
Tight jeans, penny loafers, but I still drink a four dime
Staying on my me shit, but hated on by both sides
I’m just a kid who blowing up with my father’s name
And every black "you're not black enough"
Is a white "you're all the same" 

That Power - Camp

A New Hope for a Star

Donald Glover didn't always start off a musician though, he career was originally in acting particular the show most notable Community, in which he played the character Troy, his acting career soared although once his alternate persona of Childish Gambino was released. In fact it isn't uncommon nowadays to see musician merging into the acting world an vice versa. His show Atlanta received tremendous admiration for the topics of socio-economics of a struggling individual trying to make it in the world with a family.  In part because of his music career he was offered roles such as Lando Calrissian in the Solo: A Star Wars Story and a cameo Spider-Man: Homecoming all could attributed yet again to his ever growing stardom from his music he produced and the fans that followed him religiously.  

Growing up from Being Childish 

That's right, Donald Glover announced back in 2017 that upon finishing last project he'd be no longer producing music as Childish Gambino, because he wished to return back to focusing on acting.  In his song We Ain't Them from his album Royalty back in 2012, he makes a reference on how even his family views his life decision regarding his career choices that are often seen as very lucrative and yet he walks away from them, but to Donald Glover it's not about the money, it's about sending a message. That message although seen as cliche is often the hardest one to live out, and that do what you love, and if they can pay you to do it even better, but never settle for a paycheck. Money comes and goes, but happiness should never be a commodity we monetize. Growing up my dad always told me and my siblings that we can do whatever we want in life as long as it puts food on the table. Often we are told what message of be whoever you want as long as it's something seem a prestigious. That we require constant gratification from our peers. When we go on vacation we have to document every little bit because we have show all those on our social media how much fun we're having, but the truth of the matter is whilst we're taking all those photos, you're often missing out on life around you. The fact that Facebook analytics shows that most individuals wait for peak times to post their content between 12pm-4pm when they expect the most amount of users are online as to hope to receive mass amounts of likes and comments shows that we online live to please others, and forget to live for ourselves.  Donald Glover was not about that lifestyle in fact when I attended his last concert in Canada back in December he asked his audience to turn off their phone and not video record, because he wanted this experience to be something intimate. To just be something that remained between him and us, and not the world. He asked that his fans not commoditize this memory, because he felt if you wanted something like that then just go buy his music online and listen to it at home. "This was Church" is how he put it at his concert. He wished to give us a genuinely unique performance that no else that didn't attend would ever see. For the us, ones who made the effort to come and attend despite the original show being reschedule to a later date due to an injury he had over the summer. 

That reminds me - I sent a long text message to my mom and pop
I got the same speech when I left 30 Rock
My mom like "Why you wanna leave a good job?"
My dad like "Do your thing, boy, don't stop"

We Ain't Them - Royalty

Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur 

The artist I have chosen is Rupi Kaur. I am extremely inspired by her poetry and every time I read her books I feel as though she is taking the words from my mouth that I didn’t even know I wanted to say. She is only 26 years old and is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She was 22 when she published her first book of poetry, Milk and Honey, in 2014. Since then she has published one other book called The Sun and Her Flowers in 2017. Kaur travels all over the world and reads the poems from her books to huge audiences. Milk and Honey is about surviving sexual assault and her very personal life story as a 21-year-old. There are four sections in Milk and Honey: “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”. Each page of her books contains a poem and on most of the pages there are also sketches that she hand-drew to match the poem on that page. In both of her books everything is lowercase, which is a style I find really neat and I usually tend to text in all lowercase. She is inspiring young girls and women to love themselves and break down the walls society puts up. 

As a 21-year-old I am blown away by her accomplishments at such a young age. I find her so inspiring because she was able to turn the trauma and darkest times of her life into something so beautiful, and she is sharing her struggle and healing process with the rest of the world so they also hopefully find healing and strength by seeing the example she sets. She is a feminist and most of her poems are empowering women to love themselves. I want to heal from my own struggles by making art and creating something beautiful from the pain I have experienced just like she has, and that is why I chose to write a blog post about Rupi Kaur. I hope everyone will take some time and check out her poems and see how talented she is. 

This is Rupi Kaur's website that gives a brief description of who she is. There are also other tabs that give more information about her books and her story as a poet. Under the art direction tab, you can find some of the photography photos she has directed and taken that is incredible. 

This is Rupi Kaur's Instagram where she posts pictures of her poems, and also beautiful self-portraits that many amazing photographers have taken.

This is a Ted Talk that Rupi Kaur did and it is called I'm Taking My Body Back. In this Ted Talk she uses poetry and narrative to tell her story and her journey as a poet. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Oliver Tree


Oliver Tree is a young hip hop artist out of California who is bringing a new perspective to rap. I have seen him live twice in Seattle and listened to his music for a little over a year. He seems to create music that he loves and doesn't give much credence to the opinion of anyone else. With an over the top personality and outfit choices he makes this crystal clear to any nay sayers. With his against the grain model of creating art he has found a fringe fan base. His current tour "Ugly is Beautiful" has proven this. Oliver self booked a full nation wide tour and has sold out almost every venue. Recently having been to the Seattle show at the Crocodile it wasn't hard to see why. When he performs he draws the entire crowd in and has the entire venue screaming his songs. Much of his music finds its theme in something of realism which is why I think he will be greatly successful and his music is so profound. In the world of rap today there are millions of artists who are creating music talking about how they live lives much like that of the genres for fathers in NWA and Wu Tang. The sad truth tho is that the majority of these rappers are nothing more than 15 year old kids smoking weed and skipping out on class. They know nothing of killing or fighting for their lives against the police or other gangs. Yet in their raps they claim to do all that and more. Oliver knows who he is and what he does shows that in a beautiful way. One of his Songs "All That" speaks to the way that most of the people in the music world are claiming to be so much than they truly are. He makes a proposition to them to 'stop acting like your all that and go fuck yourself'. This is where as an outcast I think many people latch on to him because often when looking from the outside in it is so easy to see the amount of lies most people especially those who carry fame or power live by. If your someone like Oliver that can be an extremely angering thing because you are putting your most vulnerable self out but only receiving lies in response. I hope that you all like Mr. Tree as much as I do and thank you for reading my post!

Oliver Tree Music 
This is Oliver Tree's official website where you can find his tour dates, music, videos and merchandise. A quick scroll through the website gives a good view into the craziness that is Oliver tree.

Oliver Tree Instagram
I think Oliver's instagram is a very important part of his musical persona. He uploads super weird fun videos that make his relatable and also chooses not to follow anyone. He will also give fans the opportunity to push him to drop new music more quickly by asking for comment or share pledges. Additionally through all of the negative attention he has gotten for being to out there he has never backed off of this personality and you can see this through his page.

Oliver Tree Youtube Channel 
Finally I have posted this link to Oliver Tree's youtube channel. When listening to his music it is hard to completely understand Oliver's huge personality. I think that his music videos are a magnificent part of his creation of art and have played a big role in how successful he is. To truly understand Oliver tree music one must watch his music videos.

Thanks so much WWU art community.


Adison Olson



Lizzo, (Melissa Jefferson), is an American singer and rapper. The start of her music career started in 2013 when she released her first hip hop album, Lizzobangers, in 2013 but became a more popular star when she switched to pop and released her first EP, Coconut Oil, in 2016. When it comes to making feel-good music Lizzo really embodies that in the best way possible. Lizzo is able to expand her talent through many genres of music and still express a good and worthwhile message in all of her songs.  She really embraces being body positive and a good representative ally for the LGBTQ+ community. It's important that she can support these causes in an uplifting way because her message is getting through to the youth and empowering us. As an African American, plus size woman, Lizzo already has challenges to face in the music industry since she doesn't fit into the normal standards but she doesn't let that stop her. In fact she pushes the boundaries of this standard. At her live shows she has a group of backup dancers consisting of only plus size women known as, The Big Grrrls.  She even has a song titled Boys which switches her body positivity vibe from the women to the men. In this song she shows love to all types of men no matter their occupation, sexuality or body type. Lizzo makes music for the underdogs who feel unheard or are unconfident and her lyrics make them feel bold and inspired.

Who is Lizzo
In this interview Lizzo gives some detail into her influences and why she is able to make all kind of music. She also talks about why she feels it's so important that she shares her body positivity message with the world.

In this Billboard interview Lizzo shares some thought into her own sexuality and why that helped her become a positive ally. She also expresses how important it is for her to fight for the unheard and why.

Good as Hell
This is a YouTube link to the song that really helped Lizzo gain her fanbase today. Released in 2016, this song spews positive vibes and encourages people to love themselves and believe it'll get better.


Halsey is an American-born singer and songwriter who sings mostly about love and her personal life experiences. She is popular in the pop music scene and has won various music awards including iHeartRadio's Dance Song of the Year in 2017, Billboard's Top Dance/Electronic Song in 2017, and Outstanding Music Artist for the GLAAD media awards in 2018. Her music is fun to listen to and the lyrics she writes hold deep meanings that I think all members of her audience can relate to. Aside from my love for her music, I am in awe of her role as an activist for the LGBT+ community, sexual assault victims, and women's rights. Halsey has personally struggled with mental illness and sexual assault and has experienced the backlash that unfortunately comes with being a member of the LGBT+ community. She has demonstrated her support by marching alongside others at the 2018 Women's March and is not afraid to voice her strong opinions on social media, mainly Twitter. Some of my favorite songs by Halsey include Without Me, Bad at Love, and Eastside which features Khalid. The first few times I listen to her songs, I am initially drawn to the rhythm and sound of the song. Once I listen to her songs a few more times, I pay more attention to the lyrics and am able to appreciate the meaning behind them. I think it is important to recognize artists who are able to produce great sounding music that also delivers messages to the hearts of their audience members.

This is an article that was published in Rolling Stone magazine that discusses the various struggles Halsey has had to endure throughout her teenage years and the present. I think this article gives great insight to what experiences in Halsey's life have shaped her as a person and her music.

This article, published on Nylon's website, discusses a conflict between Buzzfeed and Halsey that resulted in Halsey calling out Buzzfeed for essentially denying her sexuality and judging her sexuality based off of how she dresses. 

I have attached a link to her Instagram page which tells a visual story of her life. It also provides a medium where Halsey can express her style and who she is. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Chang-Jin Lee

Chang-Jin Lee is a Korean-born visual artist and lives in New York City, her multicultural experiences and backgrounds have significantly provoke her interest in the diverse cultural and social issues in our current era. Her artworks mainly represent greater insights on identity, gender, nationalism, human trafficking, and religion. Her most recent artwork: COMFORT WOMEN WANTED to bring up the awareness of sexual violence against women during WWII, also illustrates the victimization that women continually suffer in terms of gender, ethnicity, politics and class oppression in the 21st century.

COMFORT WOMEN WANTED is an actual advertisement shown in Asian newspaper during WWII to recruit volunteer prostitutes; however, when there weren’t enough volunteer prostitutes; the Imperial Japanese Army would deceive or kidnapped young women from Korea, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Netherlands to force these women into sexual slavery system. Those women were teenagers, some were as young as 11 years old, and they were raped by between 10-100 soldiers a day in a military rape camp called “Comfort Stations”. In the “ Comfort Stations”, women were beaten, tortured, starved, and even killed. 

There are two reasons why I chose to share this particular issue COMFORT WOMEN WANTED by Chang-Jin Lee. Firstly, I found this project compelling because I learned about Comfort Women from my grandmother who was almost kidnapped by the military into the comfort stations; this event had significant impacts on the history of my country (Taiwan), yet it had been largely denied or forgotten. Secondly, I would also like to take this chance to raise the awareness of violence against women worldwide, both in the past and the present. Perhaps, by working together; we can establish a world where oppression is no longer exists.

Chang-Jin Lee
This is the artist's website, find out more about this project and her other artworks.

Comfort Women Wanted (Highly Recommended!)
This is a30 mins ish talk on the CONFORT WOMEN WANTED issue presented by Chang-Jin Lee at The Korea Society in 2013.

The History of "Comfort Women": A WWII Tragedy We Can't Forget
This is an article that further introduces and discusses the artwork.

Comfort Women Wanted: A Video Installation and Art Exhibition by Chang-Jin Lee, Review and Commentary by Douglas Harper
This article investigates the art exhibition in informative details, including images and transcript of an actual interview of comfort women survivors and WWII Imperial Japanese Soldiers.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is considered to be the most popular Russian composer in history and my favorite composer of piano compositions many of which I grew up learning. This is due to his most celebrated compositions for his ballets that include Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker all of which make up my all-time favorite pieces to play on the piano especially, Pas De Deux, a dance for the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Coqueluche. Tchaikovsky is a true inspiration as his collective body of work constitutes 169 pieces that include symphonies, operas, ballets, concertos, cantatas, and songs. His works are of great appeal for listeners as they are characterized by impressive harmonies, light melodies, picturesque orchestration, and have the ability of evoking a powerful emotional response as it does for me. 

Tchaikovsky lived a full life completely surrounded by his love for music, so much so that as a child he would complain that the music in his head kept him from sleep. This link details his life in stages and includes a list of his works. 

Tchaikovsky said, "Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music," and I couldn't agree more. This link includes a list of his works that can be clicked on to hear a sample in hopes that they will evoke the same emotional response for you all as they do for me. 

A little over half way through the article, this link details Tchaikovsky's musical style detailing harmony, rhythm, structure, and repetition. 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Keith Haring

Keith Haring has been one of my favorite artists since I had a piece of his work hanging in my room since I was 4 years old. Haring started off as a street artist in New York City, and got arrested numerous times for his vandalism. However, people really enjoyed his work anyways. My mom grew up in New York, and would constantly see his work in the subways, alleys, on billboards, and all over town. His work portrayed social and political themes in colorful and black and white, simple outlined cartoon-like drawings. His artwork started becoming extremely popular, and people started contacting him and asking to buy his work. Long story short, Haring started having his own solo exhibitions and became extremely rich and famous. He was known for being openly gay, something which was more difficult to be in his day and age. He eventually died of AIDS at the young age of 31. However, his work lives on forever. What I really love about Haring and his work is the simplicity of it. It is simply outlines of people, babies, spaceships, and more, but also has a deeper meaning. I love the colors he uses and how they all look good together; I would call it "organized chaos". The people seem to be dancing throughout each other and overall having a good time! Over this winter break, I was lucky enough to get to go to New York and see some of his original work. My family and I saw his work in the MOMA, as well as in a small, independent art store. However, the smallest piece of artwork was priced at $40,000. After this trip, I got one of his dancing figures tattoo'd on my ankle because I love his work so much!
This first website is called the Haring Foundation, and is Keith Haring's official website. It gives information on when and where he grew up, and a more in-depth explanation of how he got started with his artwork, including his schooling. There is also an extensive section that Keith Haring wrote about himself before he died, which is really interesting, called "In His Own Words". There is also a blog section which includes quotes from Keith Haring himself. This website also includes his upcoming exhibitions, as well as all of his past exhibitions. 
This is another informative website about Haring. It gives a good description of the type of artwork he did, as well as a lot of the meaning behind it. It gives really good analysis of several of his most famous pieces, and what they were influenced by according to the time of his life he made them in.
This article is called "10 Facts You Didn't Know about Keith Haring", and it is exactly that! It includes cool facts about him, his life, and his artwork. My favorite fact on here is that the Guinness Book of World Record's biggest puzzle in the world is actually a puzzle of Keith Haring's art called Double Retrospective, which happens to be the piece of his work I had hanging in my room when i was younger!

Kacey Musgraves DNC 108

This is Kacey Musgraves official website, you can buy tickets to her concert, listen to her music, buy her merchandise and hear about her story. I thought it was a good chose because it is a personal website, created by her and her team.
This is the link to Kacey Musgraves YouTube channel, which contains all of her songs. I think that her songs speak more to who she is as a person than any other media outlets. Her songs are her stories and who she is/ how she is represented.
This is a link to a GQ story on Kacey Musgraves gutsy country album. Country is very traditional, and Kacey Musgraves is less than tradition and speaks exactly what is on her mind, which is something I respect.
I am choosing to write about Kacey Musgraves, who is a country artist that just won a Grammy for album of the year. Kacey is a strong, independent woman in a cutthroat, traditional and male dominated genre of music. She sings about breaking the mold and doing what you want. I have major respect for Kacey as an artist and what she stands for, she is the kind of person I want to be. Kacey Musgraves is gutsy, speaks up for what is right and is an inspiration for all kinds of people, not just the typical honky-tonk country music listener. I wanted to share Kacey Musgraves because she has beautiful music that breaks the mold of country music and what most people think of when they say they don’t like country.

Martha Graham

Martha Graham is one of the most revolutionary dancers of all time. Modern dance would not be where it is today without her work. I took a dance history class last summer, and was immediately awestruck by Graham when introduced to her work. As a dancer, I find her dance style to be very compelling. Her dance style challenges the norms of ballet as being the only "true" form of dance. She believed that the human body did not reach its full potential in ballet. Thus, she created her own version of dance that created shapes not often found in dance at the time. She also utilized stretchy robes to further distort the shape of the body. She also challenges gender norms in dance, where we often see females as the main character within a story. Her work brings me joy, and often touches on different themes that are not usually presented in older forms of dance. Sometimes her dance is not pleasing to the eye in certain ways. I think that many people should be inspired by her work, just as much as she inspires me.

“A dance reveals the spirit of the country in which it takes root." This is Martha Graham's website that outlines her key successes and what she thought when creating this new dance style, a style that went against what was considered traditional.

"This was my way of paying homage to the contraction of Martha Graham" in the new video "APESHIT" by Beyoncé and Jay Z. This interview tells us of the impact Graham has on music videos and dance even today.

A modern dance approach to the already controversial The Rite of Spring, Graham and her dance company perform this interpretation on stage in Paris in 2018. It presents male dancers as the lead roles and adds a more modern twist on the original modern dance of its time in 1913.

John Mayer

John Mayer

John Mayer is the most talented and soul-connecting artist I know. Since I was a young boy I grew up listening to John Mayer not only because my parents always played his music, but because they could play 15 songs in a row and I'd have an overall positive reaction to all of them. The first CD I can remember holding is Room For Squares(2001), which was played on repeat in my mom's car because even if you weren't focusing on the brilliant lyrics of all 13 songs, the acoustics would put you at a place of ease. Years later Continuum(2009) came out which is arguably one of the best albums of all time, and an album I find myself constantly going back to. Mayer has been nominated for 19 Grammy awards, and taken home seven of them. Although this is a great accomplishment, Mayer stays humble and looks at awards as an opportunity to continue to create new pieces and connect with others. This last summer I took a trip to Eugene, OR to watch Mayer perform with Dead and Company, as Mayer played the roll of Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead. Mayer also has started his own talk show on Instagram live called "current mood," where he talks about what's been on his mind and invites other celebrities to join in and talk with. As someone who has worked on different types of music genres, created his own talk show, and has a cool style of fashion, John Mayer is a renaissance man. 

Short biography on John to hear his background and early career. Fun fact- John dropped out of Berkeley School of Music in his first year and began creating music. 

Although John has found success in certain styles and genres, he continues to explore new sounds and talents as he is not caught up on awards and accolades. 

More information and updates reguarding John Mayer's talk show on Instagram. 

Mari Andrew

 Ever since discovering Mari Andrew via Instagram one year ago, her artwork has truly helped to bring me comfort in times of sadness and guidance in times of confusion. Mari's work has helped me to further understand my social and emotional development, and to find inspiration in the world around me. I would describe Mari's illustrations as minimal, but with a lot of depth. I feel that every young adult could relate to Mari's work, which is why I thought she was definitely worth a share. 

Image result for mari andrew
  • https://www.bymariandrew.com/about
    • This is Mari's homepage that shares her creative journey and her compelling story, which tells about her experiences with grief and hardships.
  • https://www.businessinsider.com/mari-andrew-illustrator-truths-about-adulthood-2016-7
    • ""I was sort of depressed and found myself going home just to watch Netflix way more often," Andrew told Business Insider in an email. "I wanted a creative hobby, so I thought illustrating would be an easy, enjoyable way to document little moments from my day." I find Mari's creative journey to be inspirational because of how she turned to drawing has a creative outlet as well as a way to heal.
  • https://www.goodlifeproject.com/podcast/mari-andrew/
    • "Andrew doesn’t share her “shiny, happy, made-for-social-media life,” but rather invites you into her meandering and beautifully real mind, flush with everything from grief, heartbreak and career confusion to spiritual journeying, illness, love, friendship, and the pursuit of the perfect lipstick to create comics that speak to a wide audience."

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nikita Gill

Source: "The Room" by Nikita Gill - Under Creative Commons License

While exploring poetry, in a sense, you are exploring the writer’s soul.  With the chosen rhythm and structure, each poem is completely unique.  When reading poetry, it seems to have a way of releasing emotions within oneself that may have been suppressed for some time.  This also happens while the poetry is being written; it is a wonderful tool that can be used to help develop one’s self.  Both while writing and experiencing other’s work, we have the opportunity to learn, to possibly have our views on the world changed; poetry can make us think in ways we don’t normally think. 
Nikita Gill’s poetry has done all this for me and for many others.  As I have learned while reading through some of her interviews, she has a desire for her writing to help; it does.  I have found myself feeling understood when reading her poems and when I close her books, I am not haunted with the feeling of being alone.

I am raising a daughter, who is now four, and have struggled with the various gender norms that are pushed upon her; the same ones that were pushed upon me and because I didn’t accept my predetermined role, I was turned invisible.  Her poems help make me feel visible again and by reading them to my daughter, among other parenting techniques, I hope she never feels inferior and invisible; I hope one day, no one does.   

-Explains the success of empathetic writing and how she achieves this.

-Website gives a little background about Nikita Gill and briefly explains her reasoning for what she writes.

-Some of Nikita Gills poetry.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz is an american photographer who is celebrated for her works in engaging celebrity portraiture. Annie was born on October 2, 1949 in Waterbury, CT. She started her career as a commercial photographer at Rolling Stone magazine in the 70's. She is most famous for capturing the last image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono before his death in 1980. She then became the first woman to ever have an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. in 2008.

Annie Leibovitz 

This article talks about Annie's achievements and the beginning of her career.

Annie Leibovitz- Vanity Fair 

This article is about the beginning of Annie's career along with her contributions to charities and organizations.

Annie Leibovitz The Early Years, 1970 -1983: Archive project No.1

This article is about a project in Los Angeles that is dedicated to Annie's life. It goes in depth into her background and all of her
contributions to the world through her work. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Harry Styles

I have never related to someone's music like I do with Harry Styles. His self titled album released in May of 2017. Most people know of him through One Direction which was a pop boy band he was in. This album was very different and by different I mean not in the pop genre. It has a total 1970's rock vibe to it which I love. This just goes to show how great he really is from making pop songs for teens and switching to a whole new genre of rock succeeding just as well, if not better than he did with One Direction. Many of the songs on the album are about heartbreak such as Two Ghost being about two people once being in love but at the end they turn into ghost not knowing each other anymore and Sign of the Times being about the hard times people go through while knowing things will get better in the end. During the time his album came out, I was dealing with a bad breakup and I heard the album. I could't believe what I heard. His songs were almost identical to the situation I was in. They almost spoke to me in a way. I fell in love with his album and its currently one of my favorites ever. At that time I knew Harry Styles was much more than just boy band singer but a true artist. Even past his musical career he is a fashion icon and actor. This year he modeled for Gucci's 2019 campaign showing off some of the finest suits. At each of his concerts he would wear a crazy Gucci outfit showing off his style. Many people call some of his outfits very feminine at times, but he does not care what the people think and that in my opinion is what makes him a fashion icon. In 2017 he made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and did a phenomenal job. Christopher Nolan compared him to Heath Ledger's role as The Joker in The Dark Knight. What a great comparison and first film to be in. After all of this, I knew Harry Styles was much than just a singer in a boy band. But a true artist.


This article is an interview with Rolling Stone. It touches on his life now being a solo artists and his life in Los Angeles. They talk about him writing his album, his love life and his rise to fame through the X-Factor and One Direction. The article helps show who Harry is outside of just music.


This article is about his fashion and how towards the end of One Direction it really took off. It talks about how he will be the face of Gucci's tailoring campaign in 2019. From wearing Burberry to Saint Laurent to Gucci it shows his unique style within the fashion industry.  


This article shows how successful he is with doing rock music when that is not what he is accustomed to. He is known for his One Direction boy band pop music but quickly left that behind doing rock music with a total 70's vibe to it. With his debut song Sign of the Times reaching #1 on the charts it shows how successful he is in this new genre.