Monthly Archives: March 2015

Affirmation for Spring

Ocean Beach, photo by Mary Gow

Ocean Beach, photo by Mary Gow

Happy Vernal Equinox, Solar Eclipse, and New Moon! May you thrive with the new energy of this season.

This quote was handed to me and I feel inspired to share it. It reminds me of the power of choices we have every moment.

EVERYTHING YOU DO IS BASED ON THE CHOICES YOU MAKE.
IT’S NOT YOUR PARENTS,
YOUR PAST RELATIONSHIPS,
YOUR JOB,
THE ECONOMY,
THE WEATHER,
AN ARGUMENT
OR YOUR AGE
THAT IS TO BLAME.
YOU AND ONLY YOU
ARE RESPONSIBLE
FOR EVERY DECISION
AND CHOICE YOU MAKE.
PERIOD.

Cheers to your personal power.

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Filed under Inspiration

The Many Expressions of Amaroq de Quebrazas’ Magical Realism

Amaroq de Quebrazas, a San Francisco-based artist. Photo by Mary Gow.

Amaroq de Quebrazas, San Francisco-based artist. Photo by Mary Gow.

Psychology is her second language. Images are her first language.

She’s painted, drawn, and communicated via written stories since she was a child.

Amaroq de Quebrazas was born and raised in a working class Mexican household on the north side of the Bernal Heights, bordering the Mission district, in San Francisco. She’s lived the majority of her life in the city.

“I think and breathe in visual symbols – it’s my personal language. As symbols keep repeating, I figure out what personal growth message they have in store for me,” she said.

She creates graphic novels, screenplays, and paintings, using psychology and storytelling to get to the root causes of human behavior.

De Quebrazas hasn’t let rheumatoid arthritis deter her pursuits. Barney, her Samoyan/Shepherd service dog, helps her in and out of chairs, up and down stairs, and generally commands space for maneuvering in public spaces. 

“I write and paint almost daily. My art is ‘Latino Magic Realism’ style. My paintings tend to draw on themes from my subconscious. I also convert my old screenplays into graphic novels.”

She paints with her fingers while using a brush. She experiments with mixing media -charcoal and Conti crayon, watercolor and colored pencil sticks, acrylic and oil pastel on upholstery fabric making a kind of tapestry and gluing or sewing on bits of beads and scraps from old earrings.

A peek inside Amaroq's magical journal. Photo by Mary Gow.

A peek inside Amaroq’s magical journal. Photo by Mary Gow.

 

Poster Child for City College of San Francisco

“I am in the Disabled Student Program at City College of San Francisco and it has saved my life,” said de Quebrazas.

“Thanks to CCSF I attend and learn at my own pace in classes that are non-credit. For the first time in my life I can get an education. I have a history of doing poorly in school and the vast majority of credit classes are way too fast for me because of my severe dyslexia. In the Program teachers have helped me grow my own graphic novel business where I do all the art, writing and computer work. City College is the only place where I found a chance for a new life.”

She’s rewriting her graphic novel “The She Beast,” a fiction story based on real events. It is a dramatic tale about a tough, audacious and bold teen who’s half child, half woman, with a brazen personality and survival skills.  

You can see more of de Quebrazas’ magical work at Graphic Novels by Amaroq at https://sites.google.com/site/graphicnovelsbyamaroq/

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Filed under Creativity, Inspiration

The Enemy of Creativity

Glass Tile at Alcatraz photographed by Mary Gow

Glass Tile at Alcatraz photographed by Mary Gow

Purple Cow, The Dip and Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? – these are three of my favorite books written by Seth Godin. Each hits a significant tendency I have.

Purple Cow reminded me I won’t be memorable unless I can distinguish myself from others the way a purple cow stands out from the crowd. (Though it also reminded me of how I was teased in grade school about my last name that rhymes with “cow”).

The Dip goes through the creative cycle and gives tips on which ideas may be worth ditching
and which ones may be worth enduring the dip before the uptick.

Linchpin challenged me to think through what being an artist means in the deepest sense. And whenever I do something with the intention of giving it my absolute best it has a touch of being a true artist.

Recently Godin said something I want to share to remind me (and you) to move beyond lizard brain thoughts.

    The enemy of creativity…

    is fear.

    We’re all born creative, it takes a little while to become afraid.

    A surprising insight: an enemy of fear is creativity. Acting in a creative way generates action, and action persuades the fear to lighten up.

    -Seth Godin

Check out more wisdom at sethgodin.com.

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