ARTificial

The life and times of an evolving artist in the United States

This is the start of something epic

So I decided that I’m going to start posting lyrics that can explain a part of my life. I know I often post a lyric, but I think I’m going to start using lyrics to define certain aspects of my life. This is because music is a very real, and a very huge part of who I am. Music is something that means the world to me, so 99% of these lines will be musically driven. Every once in awhile though, we may throw a film reference or a quote from a personal hero. Let the insanity begin…

A LETTER TO MY MOM

So unfortunately my flowers didn’t arrive. I guess it’s proof that maybe technology is not as reliable as we all like to think it is. Being so far away has been so difficult for me. I know people think that with me almost being 30 that it should be fine and easy to be away from my mom. But it’s not. It seems like it gets harder every day. You’re not only my mom, you’re my best friend and have inspired me every day to be a stronger and a better person than I could ever even strive to be. You have taught me everything that I know to try to get through the day, but honestly… at the end of the day, as it turns to night, I can’t help but feel isolated and alone because I’m so far away from you. When I get all crazy inside, you are the one I call, and talk nonsense too. I know you think I’m crazy and neurotic and can’t control my own life, but even just knowing you’re at the other end of my phone brings me some sort of sanity. I feel as though people around me take their parents for granted. I would give anything to be able to drive 5 minutes down the road and eat dinner with you. Talk about stupid movies and books with you. Check out the latest gadgets Dad has bought you. All of it. I would love to be there with you.

I have been up all night (thank you chronic insomnia) listening to my records. My earliest memory of you and me involves this album…

I remember asking to listen to the Beatles nonstop, and this would be - 9 times out of 10 - the one that would get dropped on to the record player. I remember dancing and singing around the living room to these songs. I remember memorizing every lyric to every song on this album and being able to sing along with you at every note. And this album is what revolutionized my life. You introduced me to a band that has shaped not only my passion for music, but my cultural outlook on life and the drive that I have in life. I would be lost without these memories, and you gave them to me. There is nothing that makes me happier than putting these records on and remembering dancing around the house with Loni and making you smile. And what’s even crazier, is I remember one of the first times that I think I really impressed Dad was when I drew the portrait of John Lennon from this album. This album is a reflection of me and you and maybe that’s why I love it so much.

It’s truly amazing what music can stir within us, and every time I listen to this album I listen to my childhood with you. And it makes me so happy to know that I have the greatest mom on the planet. You let me grow up to just be me. And I might be crazy, and nerdy (so nerdy… it’s ridiculous) and overemotional and obsessed with music and art… but it’s me. And you showed me that it’s ok to be me. You’ve always been there to listen to me, to support me, to be that rock that will always love me no matter what happens. Thank you Mom. I can’t even begin to thank you for the wonderful things you’ve done for me. It kills me that I can’t be there with you today, but I hope you know that if I could be there… I would.

I love you.

Brandi

It is as though some old part of yourself wakes up in you, terrified, useless in the life you have, its skills and habits destructive but intact, and what is left of the present you, the person you have become, wilts and shrivels in sadness or despair: the person you have become is only a thin shell over this other, more electric and endangered self. The strongest, the least digested parts of your experience can rise up and put you back where you were when they occurred; all the rest of you stands back and weeps.

—  ― Peter Straub, The Throat

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. - The Beatles

As I pulled each album out of this vinyl boxset, I cried harder and harder. These men changed my life - this music is my life. I can’t even believe I own something so amazing as this box set.

I often say that I believe that music is the only thing that really gets me. And it’s true. My life is so integrated into music that without one the other stops. This passion started the first time I heard The Beatles on vinyl. My mother got me into them, and I feel blessed every time I hear one of their songs. I remember being as young as 6, and listening to “8 Days A Week” and dancing on the couch, bouncing onto the coffee table and singing at the top of my lungs. The lyrics were moving, the music itself was intense and touched every nerve in my body. I still get goosebumps when I listen to their albums.

Whenever anyone finds out my favorite band is The Beatles, they cringe. I get the same teasing every time I mention it. The fact that I enjoy classic rock above anything else seems to get people going. I was bullied about it growing up. I would be in the art room, drawing, and people would make comments about the t-shirts bearing John, Paul, George and Ringo. I couldn’t make very many real connections with people. Music inspired me, it inspired my art. I would take those songs, those lyrics that I would turn to on a bad day and break them down, explain them, for essays. I could close my eyes, and block out all of the bullying going on in my life, focus on art, focus on the music, and everything would be ok. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have friends. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t even discuss these amazing musicians with anyone other than Mom and Dad. All that mattered was the music I was engrossed in and the sketchbook in front of me.

Years pass, I stay the same. My passion for The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to grow. I embrace Kiss, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath. I continue my research with books - as the internet begins to develop, I start digging into forums and websites devoted to nothing by this music. I still remained the outcast all through college, all through my jobs. My best friend and her boyfriend reach out to me, and I have two more people exist who I can talk to about the things that really make me happy. Her boyfriend loves The Beatles too… we find out he’s more of a Paul fan while I’m in love with John Lennon. She introduces me to bands that are more modern. I try them out, and I love some of them. She helps to broaden my horizons on music and its great. I remain open minded to music, however, I always fall back on my boys.

I guess I just wanted to impart upon whoever reads this how important music is to my life. And that it grew inside of me by The Beatles. I find them more amazing everyday. No, they’re not just some boy band. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison are some of the best writers that have ever been. They wrote that music. They bled that music. As they learned and progressed through the industry, so did their writing. In a time when nobody was able to express even the simple notion of how good it is to hold somebody’s hand, they were able to do it. They are the voice to every emotion a person can feel.

I broke down and bought the re-release of their vinyl. I’ve been begging my mother for years to let me have hers. She has all their original releases, and I have been trying all these years to buy as many of their albums as I could. They’re a hard one to get your hands on unless you’ve got an enormous amount of money. I’ve got a pretty neat variety of vinyl, but would have killed to have gotten my hands on a complete collection. I was able to get the vinyl set for a ridiculously low amount of money due to some confusion and apology from Best Buy, and so, the FedEx guy dropped them off at my house tonight.

As I brought the box into my home, I started shaking. I opened the box and there was this beautiful box set before me. Each album I pulled out, I started crying harder and harder. This is what music should do. Music should move you to tears; it should touch you so deeply, that as you pull an album out of it’s set, you should shake and cry and be so happy that you’re speechless. Tears streaming down my face, I drank in everything I could.

My husband is in school right now, so I had no one to share this with and I’m ok with that. It was kind of neat to be able to have this unbelievable moment to myself that I can carry forever. Each album brought me that much more into tears, and it’s ok, because these four men changed my life. It was ok to love them. They shaped who I was. And I will cherish each one of these albums for the rest of my life. John, Paul, George and Ringo introduced me to music, to lyrics, to a way of life. I was never the same from the first note I heard. I’ve lost myself throughout the years in this music, and also been able to be reborn and find myself in the same moment. This is how it should be.

I wish that people cared as deeply as I do about music. This is about intensity, about love, about hate, about living and dying, about turning on a simple song to get lost and to truly live. I listen to the Beatles and I experience more than just enjoyment. I experience life. And the intensity of being able to have these albums here with me is more than I can even give to the public.

I did this pretty epic tattoo on a client. As I know that no one really follows my Flickr or my Tumblr I figured this was a good outlet to show off the work. Originally I posted this on Facebook, and the client got mad and asked me to take it down. Originally I didn’t want to as it’s great, and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. I feel like it’s a good piece of art that compliments her body.
But you can’t win as an artist I guess. Until people get over the stigmas of tattoos and their decisions, I guess I’ll just have to keep my artwork on sites that I know it can be appreciated.
I really hate that I have to censor my artwork. I’ve always been against that, but what can you do?

I did this pretty epic tattoo on a client. As I know that no one really follows my Flickr or my Tumblr I figured this was a good outlet to show off the work. Originally I posted this on Facebook, and the client got mad and asked me to take it down. Originally I didn’t want to as it’s great, and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. I feel like it’s a good piece of art that compliments her body.

But you can’t win as an artist I guess. Until people get over the stigmas of tattoos and their decisions, I guess I’ll just have to keep my artwork on sites that I know it can be appreciated.

I really hate that I have to censor my artwork. I’ve always been against that, but what can you do?