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I'm painting queer folks on skateboards
on a Sunday
The most important day of the year, every year, is when I can feel the warmer outside air trickling indoors. It’s become a habit of mine, as spring begins and summer approaches, to dawdle near any open window I can find, sometimes jamming my arm out into open air all the way up to the elbow (if there’s no screen… if there is a screen I undoubtedly press my entire palm into it). I love it. I want the summer fist of heat to hit every inch of bare skin I can muster.
When it’s been this long since seeing the sun, I’m so desperate that I’d take part in a little bit of perineum sunning. I’d take sunburn on my butthole over February and March every day. “But Liah, no one said that that’s the only other option,” you say. BUT IF IT WAS, I WOULD DO IT.
above: the inside cover of my new sketchbook. nothing feels better than building this first spread.
I can’t tell if I’ve missed the first warm day this year or if it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’s the rain, unavoidable in a city where I can just run from my car into a store or back into the house. I’ve been in New York since 2016, and I still feel cooped up when it rains more than I ever did in the woods in New Jersey. The rain also keeps me from opening the windows. If there’s warm air trying to get in, I won’t find out.
The forecast calls for light rain today, but it feels heavy. I’ve been carrying some grief around since December, and lately, it hits me in the gut a few times a day. This week, I will apply for my student teaching placements, which I accidentally left until the last minute (show me a public college with a website with straightforward information, and I will kiss you on the lips). I want to be excited, but mostly I’m ready for the unpaid portion of my career to be over. I have to figure out how to pay my rent while training 40 hours a week for four months. I’m grumpy about it! Can you tell by the tone of this newsletter that I’m grumpy?
above: graffiti I saw in line at CVS while I was waiting for my zoloft prescription
I’m working really hard to reframe my negative feelings right now, as I know it’s primarily seasonal depression. If I push through, I can at least get some good good vitamin D this week or the next or the one after (not on my butthole, that was probably a joke). I don’t believe in positivity all the time, but damb, do I try to talk myself into feeling a little bit better. Yesterday, I had to coax myself into dropping a box off at the post office by picking up a donut and a latte. Today, I’m writing out this email, and afterward, I get to throw my coffee in the microwave. If this, then that. That mantra is getting me through to the sun coming back.
If this, then that.
If this, then that.
If this, then that.
You’re reading this newsletter from the future. Today I am at the Trans Art Bazaar at House of Yes, selling handmade earrings and doing live paintings of folks on skateboards. Are you in NYC? Stop by!
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Two weekends from now, I’ll be doing a two-day beginner tattoo intensive (for which I got the one scholarship spot!). That’s a thing that’s getting me through.
Other things that are getting me through:
The first year-of-me playlist that I made at seventeen. When I rediscovered my old Spotify account and this playlist at 22, I started making a playlist of my favorite songs to document each year of my life.
Lifetime Movie Club. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
I’ve officially decided that I want my graduate degree in Creative Writing (graduate degrees are required within the first 5 years of New York City teaching certifications to keep your cert), and I’m pumped. Creative Writing was my first artistic love, so it feels like pulling something pushed deep inside of me back out again.
xoxo liah bean