Max Schreck on the set of Nosferatu in 1922.

it's never too late to start something new.

Today I walked to Lawrence Market to meet up with a few old co-workers for lunch. I really like walking because it gives me time to think, people watch, and catch up on podcasts. During the trip, a quiet but powerful idea gathered in my mind: "If you had no major barriers in time and finances, how would you like to spend your time?" I surprised myself when I immediately answered, "writing".

Writing has in some way, always been a part of my life. As a shy and sensitive child, I felt more at ease expressing myself on paper than in person. I wrote pages and pages of poetry and prose as a teenager. In university, I think my energy was drained from four years of research essays. It's been playing a supporting role in creating marketing materials, presentation decks, or creative briefs in the last five years, but I'd hardly consider that good practice.

About two months ago, I felt that I was in a creative slump with quite a few of my projects. I wasn't inspired by my daily work. I decided to take a creative writing class through Toronto District School Board, held every Tuesday from 6:30-9:30pm. This small move changed everything for me.

I've never thought about writing as something that defined me, or something that I was particularly good at. I've certainly never thought about it as a career option, or as a source of income. Since my class ended, I have begun working on a professional writing portfolio. I have hopes of someday completing a series of short stories, and maybe even a novel. It's never too late to start something new. I found a hidden well of passion for writing that must have been hiding there all along. I'm looking forward to exploring it could take me next.

art crushes of the week.

Every week I collect some images that serve as research for my own art practice. I have plans to continue a painting series I started last spring and these artists are very inspiring.

Leonora Leary

Matt Lee

ariel justine kellett. 2015.

ideas, content creation, and maker culture.

I have been "creating content" for most of my life.

It began with basic images - stick figures and landscapes, and over time, evolved into many forms of painting, sculpture and photography that have kept me exploring. Not much has changed here; it's rare for me to be seen without a notebook or a camera on hand, because I'm haunted by the thought of forgetting a great idea. Part of my blog is dedicated to the work I put out, but I'm also sharing what I see. I'm consistently amazed at how much inspiration one can amass if they simply spend time out in the world.

I've also been writing for as far back as I can remember. I recently stumbled upon a detailed collection of poetry and character studies that were the product of my elementary and high school years. When I was eleven, I was thinking about what kind of characters interested me. Now, at twenty seven, I am in the process of completing a series of short stories that, in part, grew out of my interest in unique characters and the kinds of stories they could tell.

Humans are natural storytellers, compelled throughout history to share ideas, to communicate something about our complicated inner lives with the rest of the world. I often speak with colleagues and peers of mine about what it means to be creative. I find we all have one thing in common - the persistent, clawing, insatiable need to make something. 

I hope I never lose my passion for ideas. Art can be self-serving, but it can also build communities. I have the ability to change minds, inspire something new, and to make other people feel less alone. I want to live my life immersed in the process of creation, no matter what form I choose.

love and physics.

1. Quantum entanglement is the theory that two particles can be intimately linked to each other even if separated by billion of light-years of space, and a change in one will affect the other. 

2. Synchronicity was first explained by psychiatrist Carl Jung. He posited that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship, yet seem to be meaningfully related. Jung felt the principle gave conclusive evidence for his concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious.

I have always thought that these theories are pretty romantic, even for a cynic like me. The longer I live, and the more relationships I form, the harder I find it to believe that true coincidences exist. I have always felt an indescribable force that both pushes and pulls against us.

connections. photos by ariel justine kellett. 2016.

perspectives. photos by ariel justine kellett. 2016.

twin peaks continued.

Exciting news for anyone who is a fan of the Twin Peaks. Mark Frost (one of the two original creators of the show) announced that he will be releasing a book called The Secret History of Twin Peaksdetailing the lives of the main characters since the last episode aired 25 years ago. It will also feature over one hundred illustrations and photographs.

The book is currently available for pre-order through Amazon Canada, and will be released on October 18, 2016.

In 2017, the show will also return for a limited series, written by Lynch and Frost and directed by Lynch. Most cast members will be reprising their roles, and some of my personal highlights include: Kyle MacLachlan as Agent Dale Cooper, Sherilynn Fenn as Audrey Horne, and David Lynch as Gordon Cole. I'm sad to hear that Michael Ontkean will not be returning to his role as Sheriff Harry S Truman, but Ontkean has since retired from acting.

The series is being shot continuously from a single, long shooting script, before being split into multiple episodes during the editing process. As of January 2016, they're already halfway through the shooting schedule so I'm looking forward to hearing about details as they are released.

don't sweat the small stuff.

This is an opinion: with everything we do in our daily lives, it is unlikely that we will remember more than 1% of it in 10 years time - a good reminder that most of the shit you're worrying about doesn't matter.

art crush of the day.

I recently started looking at the bizarre and cynical illustrations of JAIK PUPPYTEETH. You can follow him here. Warning: not for the easily offended or faint of heart.

russell's rules.

Originally appearing in the December 16, 1951 issue of the New York Times Magazine, Betrand Russell shared a list of 10 commandments at the end of the article "The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism" that I feel are relevant and insightful even now in 2016.

Russell: Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. 
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

This is a fact: your brain starts to deteriorate at 27.

positive thinking for cynics.

I read a blog post this morning about the negative affect that complaining has on your health and wellbeing. The article states that "synapses that fire together, wire together"- simply put, in the spaces between your synapses (the synaptic cleft) bridges begin to form that electrical signals can cross, carrying along relevant information in the form of a thought. 

The important part? Every time this process occurs, the synapses grow closer so as to form the shortest route, effectively strengthening that connection. This is a "microcosmic example of evolution, of adaptation... the brain is rewiring it's own circuitry, physically changing itself". Your thoughts actually change the physical shape of your brain - and as a result, change the physical construct of reality. 

The author goes on to discuss how repeating negative thoughts rewire our brains to be overall more negative. W
e as humans have the choice "between love and fear... the universe is chaotic, from unpreventable superstorms of wind and rain, to unpredictable car accidents or to the capricious whims of our peers whose personal truths even have the ability to emotionally damage or physically hurt others." 

I would describe myself as a cynic. My sense of humour has always been on the dark side and I do find myself feeling overwhelmed when I spend too much time thinking about the world around me. I'm anxious, a bit neurotic, and I tend to overwork myself in every project I take on. I am a complainer.

Scientists now know that stress can kill - elevated cortisol levels lead to a plethora of health challenges - and I feel the effects of that daily, and it's likely by own doing.
I'm learning as I get older that I have to learn to shift my perspective. By choosing each day to focus on the positive thoughts, I'm improving my life and the the energy I give off for those around me. This valuable lesson has been taught through Eastern philosophy since the beginning of time, and now science is proving that there's some real merit behind it.

painting series update.

Here are some details from my last painting series, Crisis. I'm hoping to build on these further in the early part of 2016.

crisis (details). ariel justine kellett. 2015.

the world is getting weirder.

This is a fact: More people died in 2015 from selfie-related injuries than from shark attacks.

art crushes of the week.

I'm always checking out new artists online and I like to share what find interesting or inspiring. These collected images help serve as my research when I begin a new painting.

This week I've looking at the works of Johan Van Mullem and Johan Barrios. I found both artists' work through BOOOOOOOM! While I never use figuration in my own work, I'm very drawn to these dark and obscured portraits.

Johan Van Mullem
Johan Barrios

strange landscapes.

The aerial photographs in Mishka Henner's series, Feedlots, are both beautiful and horrifying. The painterly photos, taken by sattelite in 2013 in Texas, show the toll that factory farming is taking on our planet. You can learn more about the series here.

digital worlds.

I've been thinking about how webcams and google maps/earth help us explore the world digitally. These screenshots were taken at sunrise from the Blackcomb Peak Cam located in Whistler, BC.