Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Art & Poetry on Youtube: An Interview with CandySomething and MeowItsLucy

This week, I’m starting what I hope will be a monthly series where I interview some of the Wonderly ladies along with other youtubers to get to know a bit more about their process, and how they turn their ideas to reality. For the first week I interviewed Candice from CandySomething and Lucy from MeowItsLucy on the topic of art and poetry on youtube. These ladies had so much goodness to share I had to split the interview into two parts. So keep your eyes out for part 2 next week!

Q: So first up, can you just mention a bit about who you are, and what your youtube channel is?

Lucy: My name is Lucy and I am an eighteen year-old video-maker who resides in the south of England. I have two channels; one hosts vlogs whilst the other acts as my creative outlet. The creative channel can be found here: youtube.com/meowitslucy, and the vlog channel here:  youtube.com/teawiththreesugars.

Candice: Hello! I’m Candice and I live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am an English student and I’ve been making Youtube videos for nearly 3 years. My main Youtube channel is youtube.com/candysomething.

Q: What first inspired you to create and share poetry and/or art on youtube?

Lucy: Initially I began uploading vlogs to YouTube, but once my friends discovered them (and persistently reminded me of how embarrassing they were,) I vowed to only upload videos I was happy for everybody I knew to watch. Montages and experimentation with aesthetics and concepts became the focal point of my channel.

Candice: The videos of Youtubers like KickThePJ and Nanalew have always been favourites of mine; combining images, words and music to create something that’s like a little chunk of imagination, and that can mean different things to different people. I’ve always spent a great deal of time writing creatively, but it took a while for me to realise that I could use Youtube as a platform for this as opposed to just making vlogs that were terribly mediocre. 

Q: What comes first the video idea or the poem idea? And can you share a bit about you’re the process from idea to live on youtube?

Lucy: The poetry will always come before the video. I find it easier to start with a single idea and build around it - this could be a poem, song or image that I just can’t shake from my imagination.

Candice: The poem idea always comes first. In fact, in the last year or so, I’d say only about 1 in 30 of the poems I’ve written have ended up on Youtube. I’m always writing, but I have the capacity to write really awful poetry and I always doubt things I’ve written. The poetry videos are the scariest to upload and even when I get a really positive reaction, there’s always a voice in my head that says one day I’ll think it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written. 
Once I have the poem written and redrafted, and I’ve spent ages reading it aloud to get the spoken rhythm right, I’ll pull out what I think is the most important image and try to create the video around that. Usually it’s something pretty simple, which I think is the most effective. 

Q: Do you find it more or less difficult to share your artist videos (as opposed to vlogs)? Why?

Lucy: I find it much easier to share my creative videos because I put more work into them. I usually feel, as I’m sure many video-makers feel also, quite proud of my final product because I have tried my hardest to produce something exciting and professional. My vlogs require minimal effort in comparison.

Candice: I find it much more difficult to share poetry videos. Not even because I fear people not enjoying it, (there isn’t a Youtube troll in existence who could be as critical as I am of myself) but because writing is such a personal thing and once that snippet of yourself goes live, you can’t take it back. Uploading a vlog is like talking to a friend you haven’t seen in a little while. Uploading a poetry video is like talking to a psychiatrist. (I’m kidding. Kind of.)

Q. What is your favourite art and/or poetry video that you have made and why?

Lucy: My favourite video is Rain Smell; it was made in January 2012 when I was feeling quite vulnerable. Half of the video was filmed in the town my grandparents have never left which we visit every Christmas and the other half in my own home. The juxtaposition of these two settings is really personal to me. Plus I get naked.

Candice: ‘Fish Bowl’ is my current favourite. That one basically wrote itself and it has resonated with quite a few people. I also got to film lots of goldfish in a local pet shop and whilst there I met a lovely rabbit who I almost took home. 

Q: Do you have any advice to those trying to write poetry and/or create more artistic videos?

Lucy: Just. Keep. Making. Try and make something new every week and don’t feel pressured to make it perfect. See it as an experiment which will lead to better videos in the future. You are allowed to be inspired by other people! Don’t see it as ‘copying their work’.

Candice: Although uploading things that you’ve written/created is terrifying, just remember that ‘good’ is a matter of opinion. Lots of people might think you’re terrible, but one person might get more out of your words than… Shakespeare’s. 

Q: Can you recommend an art or poetry channel to check out?

Lucy: I am feeling so inspired by Casey Neistat’s videos at the moment, which are a sort of artistic-documentary hybrid (youtube.com/caseyneistat). I would also recommend EmilieOfNewGloom (youtube.com/EmilieOfNewGloom), and, if you like beautiful and creative fashion videos, Erica Fae’s channel is perfection (youtube.com/wallaceef).

Candice: Everyone should be subscribed to meowitslucy because she has wisdom beyond her years. I also have to recommend youtube.com/unsignedletters (Christina). Christina’s videos make my soul happy. 

Lucy & Candice:  Watsky!! youtube.com/gwatsky

A big thanks to both Candice and Lucy for being such lovely interviewees!

Interview can also be found on Wonderly.com

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rainbows & Geometry

Last week I was feeling a bit artsy and I decided that my walls were looking a little too bare, so I ran out and bought some art supplies. I didn't really have an idea in mind, I just knew I wanted something geometric. I can't quite say this piece is very original (triangles seem to be everywhere as of late) but I still like it quite a bit! And I think it looks really sweet with my flags hanging next to it!

It was actually just really nice to sit and paint for awhile. I find sometimes there is a bit of a disconnect between me and the project I'm working on when I sew by machine. It doesn't always feel as directly creative (but I don't have this feeling with hand sewing). So I was quite happy to feel a bit more connected to this project.

And now I think my walls look much more cheerful!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I am thankful for...
- Exciting plans for the next few weekends
- Trips to new Dutch cities
- Avocados
- Fresh flowers
- Candles, and paint and trying new art forms
- My bike

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless: Istanbul

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Top 5 Travel Items (For Backpaking)

Every month Wonderly, (the blog I contribute to on Tuesdays) has a different theme to encourage the different contributors. This months theme is 'curate', and I have interpreted this as a favourites list! With this in mind, I thought I'd come up with a list of my 5 favourite things I like to have when I go backpacking.

1. Toiletries Bags That can Fit Inside Each Other
Having an organized toiletries system for traveling has saved me lots of space in my backpack, and annoyance when looking for an item. I should point out that I rarely put my bag under the plane, so my toiletries bag is quite small. (The current rules state that you must have less than 1L total of liquids, and each individual item must be less than 100ml). Even with larger toiletries though, I would absolutely recommend getting a system where all of your smaller items (in their own bags) can fit into your main toiletries bag. I have my q-tips and cotton pads in the red case, and my tampons etc. in the small white case, and both of these fit easily in to my blue water resistant larger toiletries bag. When travelling out of a backpack, almost anything that can help to keep you organized will be something worth having!

2. Large Multi-Season Scarf
For the winter cold, or the cool summer evenings, I love having a big scarf along. You can use it as a shawl or a proper scarf depending on the weather or the look you are going for. They can also come in handy if you are on the beach and need to get some protection from the sun. Additionally, if you are planning to visit any Muslim or Sikh places of worship you will likely need something to cover your head. They can even be used as a pillow if you are in a bind! They’re just so very useful!

3. Ear plugs and Eye mask (A Perfect Pair!)
I used to think people who owned eye masks were a bit high-maintenance, but that was before I started staying in hostels. I often suffer from Canadian politeness, and don't want to turn off the lights in the hostel if people are still up (even if it's quite late). But having an eye mask and a pair of ear plugs, I can easily block out the light and noise of people still awake in the room. These two things have come in handy many-a-evening. For ear plus, I would recommend getting a pair of plastic ones from the drug store (should be less than $10). I find them to be more effective than the squishy disposable orange ones.

4. Head Lamp
If you are staying in a Hostel, having a head lamp is key! If someone else in the room wants to go to bed a bit early, generally that means the lights go out. If you want to read or write in a journal, having a head lamp makes it easy to do so without having to turn the lights on and bother the other people in the room. Another bonus with using a head lamp is that if you are staying on a bottom bunk you can wrap the head strap around the bunk above you to make the lamp hang down (I find this a bit more comfy then actually wearing it on my head).

5. Journal
As I mentioned above I like to write in a journal in the evenings. If you are like me, your memory isn't perfect, but you probably want to remember what you're doing when you travel. I have had so much fun going back to read some of my old travel journals! They can bring you right back to where you were. Whether it’s just a list of things you saw in the day, or a long entry about things you are learning about yourself that you don't want to forget, I highly recommend bringing a journal.

Find this post also on the Wonderly Blog!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

 This week I'm thankful for..
- Quick reply's on Couch Surfing!
- Becoming better at capture this year (Alone or otherwise, I am determined to take pictures and make vlogs!!)
- Having some down time
- Getting a new role at work!
- Things starting to come together for my Moms visit! :)
- My Mom is visiting!!
- Getting back into my groove

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I'm thankful for...
- supportive sisters
- learning
- confidence
- trips to see old friends!
- new (fun) challenges!
- being busy, busy, busy, in the best way

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Plan for Youtube

So, if you've been reading here for a while, you know I like goal setting, plans, and just structure in general. And although I have lots of structure here, my youtube channel was starting to feel like a bit of a hot mess. I would post nothing for 3 weeks and then post 3 videos in one week... not really my favourite set up. So I've finally made a plan! And I thought I should let you in on it too!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless: Pretend Pets

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The European Reality

For a lot of North Americans, especially young North Americans, the idea of living in Europe is a huge dream. I too, was one of these North Americans, but in fall of 2012 I was given a chance to make this dream a reality when I got a job at hotel in rural Holland. Although it wasn't even remotely related to what I studied in school (engineering) I decided to take the job, because, well, when else was I going to get a chance to live in Europe for a year!?

I've been here now for 4 months now, and I can say with certainty that coming here was the right decision and an amazing opportunity, but I can also say with certainty that the European dream and the European reality are two very different things.

I feel like the way North Americans envision Europe often ignores reality. People tend to think of it as a place that is generally void of sadness and a place that is beautiful and magical at all times.

I know for myself, when I was living in Canada I would often talk about Europe as a mystery land where everything is just better, because, well, it’s Europe for crying out loud?! They have CASTLES!! And PROPORTIONAL VOTING?! And did I mention the CASTLES?! And HAVE YOU HEARD HOW THEY TALK?! …. But none of those things take away from the fact that at the end of the day, Europe is just another place in the world filled with people trying to figure this all out.

When you live somewhere, it stops being just a picturesque fantasy land, and becomes an actual place. An actual place with people, and problems and beautiful castles, and ugly sidewalks, and all the other things in between that make it so much more than a good postcard.

I’m writing about this now, because I've had a lot of people tell me how jealous they are of me. I've been that person before too. Friends travel, and I see their pictures from my boring old bedroom and think, “I should be there, I need to be there, that is where life is!” But the pictures aren't really the reality. The reality is me, literally scrubbing toilets as a housekeeper and having approximately two friends. Am I still happy I came here, absolutely! Am I still so sooo grateful for this opportunity, of course! But when you see people “living the dream” in Europe, try and imagine the situation more complexly. Remember that in-between the pictures they are sharing, they are probably working a job that is really hard, really tiring and has really shitty pay.

Europe is absolutely amazing, for a ton of different reasons. But is it the Holy Grail, where problems don’t exist, and everything is perfect all the time, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but sadly no.
You can also find this post on the Wonderly Blog

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dutch Lessons - Acountability

Hey Blog... did you know you were holding me accountable last month to keep at my Dutch studies? Well, you were, and you know what? You really helped!

For my March Goals, I said that I wanted to work on my Dutch every weekday, AND that I had to share my success/failure here at the end of the month. I have actually said that I wanted to work on my Dutch every weekday for the last three months, and although I've done okay (I guestimate an average 3 times per week) I have not made the "every weekday" goal a reality. So in March  I knew I needed something more, and I figured sharing my results might be the kick in the pants I needed to get studying.

"I can speak Dutch" (from Valentinavinapuspita)

I am very happy to report that I did way better then any month previous to this. I recorded my practices on my calender after each study session, and at the end of the month I had 2 perfect weeks and 3 weeks where I practiced 4 out of the 5 week days! That is a heck of a lot better then I've done in previous months, and now I've got a whole new month to aim for even more perfect weeks!

Binnenkort zal ik in staat zijn om deze blog te schrijven in het nederlands! (Soon I will be able to write this blog in dutch!) Ha! Just kidding, I used google translate.... turns out learning to construct a grammatically correct sentence in a new language takes forever! But I'm workin' on it!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Something Sunday: Update

Hello there blog readers!

I've been having lots of fun with Something Sundays so far this year, but I've also had a whole new range of commitments come up over the past 3 months. A few weeks ago I started blogging weekly over at the Wonderly Blog, and I've also made a commitment to make 1 Youtube video per week! With both of these weekly commitments, the fact that I try and post on here Monday-Friday, AND the fact that I have a full time job, I've become a little over-committed.

I'm trying to take some of my own advice, and limit the number of things I commit to each week, so I'm letting something Sundays take a break for a while.

Instead of weekly posts, I'm going to do a monthly post, on the last Sunday of each month, where I share my favourite thing I've made that month! I think it will be great! Stayed tuned for this months at the end of April, I have a feeling it's going to be a tutorial! :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Carly's Thankful For...

This week I am thankful for...
- Having strangers say nice things on this little blog right here!
- Getting a little bit better at editing videos each month
- The fact that I get to see Sean in less then 8 days! 
- And the fact that I get to see him in Istanbul
- Skype and Whatsapp connections
- The momentum of new ideas
- Sisters and girlfriends
-this thankful post
-is now a cute
- triangle

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paris Video!

I feel like my video making skills are still very much in the learning face, but I have to say, I am pretty dang proud of this one! I hope you like it too! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordless: Pine Needles and Birch

To find out about the start of this series, click here.
To see past wordless posts, click here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Feminism & How to be a Woman

Wait, come back! Don't stop reading! I know it's a word that might scare some of you, but I promise it's more than what you're thinking!

But really, that word is so loaded. In a lot of places, proclaiming you are a feminist almost directly results in being written off as a crazy lady with anger issues (well in North America at least, I have found the word to be much more understood in the UK and Europe).

It's odd, I think most of my friends and family knew I was a feminist before I did. I always ran from that label because, well, I just had no idea what it meant. I assumed (and I fear most people think this too) that it meant crazy man hater, and I didn't really want that type of label. But in the past year I've gained a lot more knowledge on the subject and I've realized I am (and have always been) a feminist. Of course I'm a feminist! How could I not have known sooner!? It's all rather mind boggling. However, even after discovering that in fact, I am a feminist, fear of being labeled a crazy man-hater has kept me rather shy to identify with that label. (Not shy about discussing the topics of feminism, come on now, I talk about them all the time! But I've been reluctant to say things such as "I'm a feminist"). 

Recently however, I read Caitlin Moran's book How to Be a Woman, and wow, was that a game changer! She explains it perfectly:

“What is feminism? Simply the belief that women should be as free as men, however nuts, dim, deluded, badly dressed, fat, receding, lazy, and smug they might be. Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.”

Of course I am!

As I mentioned above a big part of my issue with saying "I'm a feminist" had to do with all the misunderstandings of the word itself. And with all the confusion about the word and what it means, I rather enjoyed Ms. Morgans little rant about it:

“Because we need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist – and only 42% of British Women – I used to think, what do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue,’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF SURVEY?
These days, however, I am much calmer – since I realized that it’s technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn't even be allowed to have a debate on a woman’s place in society. You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor – biting down on a wooden spoon, so as not to disturb the men’s card game – before going back to hoeing the rutabaga field. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail* – giving daily wail against feminism – amuse me. They paid you £1,600, for that dear, I think. And I bet it’s going into your bank account, and not your husbands. The more women argue, loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges.”
*right-wing British news paper 

She is just hilarious and I love her use of caps lock and italics. I caught myself laughing out loud to many parts of this book! There are so many topics that she gave hilarious, yet thoughtful incite too. Tricky things like what to think of strip-clubs, flirting at work, female pop-stars, and motherhood. It was great to get a bit of guidance on these topics. Of course I didn't 100% agree with every little detail of the book, but overall I was damn impressed, and happy to have some thought out discussion on some tricky, and often ignored, topics.

So here's my declaration world, I Carly Friesen am a feminist. Do I think this epic declaration will change my life? Nope, because as it turns out, I've been one my whole life. (Literally. I recently found an old assignment from grade 6 titled "women's rights", I never even had a shot at being a misogynist.)

I'm curious, would you call yourself a feminist? Have you read How to Be a Woman? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts on this!

ps: If you're curious to learn about some amazing trail blazing American women pbs just published a brilliant documentary's on the topic, which (at the time of posting this) is streaming free online: Makers: Women Who Make America (Fingers crossed they make a project like this for Canadian women too!)
Find this post also on the Wonderly Blog!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Goals

Previous Months:

New to my blog and/or my Monthly Goals Project read this to find out more about the plan and the inspiration.