Music is breath


Music has always been the one constant in my life. It has been the soundtrack to my joys, my fears, comforted me in every emotion, and spoken my words when I could not. I am always seeking out new music and am so overjoyed when I find something new. Playing for Change isn’t new to me, I have been following them since they started on their Songs Around the World journey and what they bring together never ceases to amaze me.

Most people don’t know this about me, but I grew up with my mother’s love of Africa. (photo: My mother with us at Animal Kingdom dancing to live African music two days before she had surgery.) African culture, art, pattern. I think it is why I am so drawn to black and white, high contrast art, pattern, and texture. It is where my love of elephants comes from as well.

It may also have influenced that I have the heart and hands of a drummer. Though not what I would consider well, I played doumbek, djembe, and other hand drums for years. I cannot imagine my life without music, sound, rhythm, beat, percussion, the sounds of feet dancing in dirt, the sounds of nature’s heartbeat on the wind. Music of all varieties speaks to me and influences my creative force daily.

Africa has been speaking to me lately. Elephant keeps popping up as well as tribal patterns. (photo: a lovely gift from a watercolor artist I met recently, check her out here) It keeps me focused on my own personal strength and power as an individual, reminds me of my connection to the Sacred Feminine, and that with that power comes a duty to be compassionate. Compassion has also come up in that I recently reworked my logo. Moon Rabbit is compassion in Japanese culture.

A while ago, in response to some very disturbing discussions in the news about hunting elephants, I created this paper doll in protest. You can download a copy and print it out (I use 110# cardstock) for personal use! Feel free to share it*, just make sure to link to this blog post and not the PDF. Enjoy!

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*All downloads are protected under copyright and are not to be duplicated in whole or in part without written permission from Renmeleon aka Ana Maria Selvaggio. If you share it, please link to my  and not to the PDF. Thank you!

If you are a teacher and would like a custom doll for your classroom, please contact me. I’d love to make something for you!

Staring it down

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My paperwork in for graduation in a few weeks, I am looking toward my 2nd Masters. My highly coveted Game Art Masters is still not on the horizon, but I know the skills I need to hone, so I’ve made a decision: Public Relations MFA.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Growing up, I was very shy when I wasn’t on my own terms. Most people that know me will laugh, but it is still true. I can be loud and out there when I am passionate about something, when I know my topic, but ask me to speak in front of a crowd and I’m a wreck. I’ve had several opportunities to sing in front of large groups in the past. It took me years to qwell my nerves, but I was never successful in getting rid of it completely, though, and would invariably fall apart once I was off stage. Acting too. In hindsight, I was proud of myself for being “brave”, but it definitely didn’t feel like it at the time.

My hope for this degree program is that I’ll find some kind of method along the way that will allow me to overcome what holds me back. I feel a bit like I am throwing myself to the wolves.

Thankfully, I happen to like wolves.

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Photo Credit: Steering for North via Compfight cc

Moon Rabbit, as “whiskers” for Illustration Friday

This is an image I am working on for the Art for Cures Etsy shops. He is a sketch in blue pencil currently, but dreams of being real.

I will have him inked tonight most likely and posted this weekend. Check out the shops page (link above) to rummage around in our shops. I am also going to update this blog post with more about the folklore and mythos of Moon Rabbit. For now, though, enjoy!

Illustration Friday | Tree

My graduate certificate and Art for Cures have kept me really busy, like 24/7 busy, but I didn’t want to miss out on submitting to Illustration Friday again so I pulled an older piece that I had done. Enjoy!

 

072309 Dryad

My life has a soundtrack

I cannot live without music. I am very eclectic in my taste in tunes, just as in every other category, so I will listen to just about any kind of music depending on my mood. I keep a notebook of the songs I like, and any time I write there is music playing. In fact, if you look through any of my writing, you will often find songs titles jotted in analog margins or notated digitally.

CONNECTED

Over the years, I have progressed from LPs to 45s to cassettes to CDs and,  more recently, to internet radio.

When Pandora first emerged I geeked out. The idea of being able to create my own radio stations and share my music, even with the occasional ad, was fabulous. There were a few copycats showed up not long after that, but it wasn’t till my husband started using Grooveshark that I took notice.

Grooveshark has had its fair share of issues, but has still provided us with hours of listening for free. Unlike Pandora, though, it doesn’t suggest new music based on what our likes and dislikes are.  That is something that has introduced us to some incredible music we would never have found otherwise, like Beats Antique.

PLAYLISTS

Anything listed below that has an actual song title next to it is on my current playlist. I may like some, all or none of the artist other than the ones listed, but I’ll leave that up to you to investigate.

Soundtrack: The Secret Life of Arrietty – Arrietty’s Song, Our House Below, Spiller, Sho’s Waltz, An Uneasy Feeling, The Wild Waltz
Soundtrack: Ghost n the Shell: Standalone Project – Lithium Flower, Run Rabbit Junk, Inner Universe
Soundtrack: Record of Lodoss Wars – Niji

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
the MYST series (Myst, Riven, Exile)

Newsboys – I Am Second, Shine
Rob Dugan – Clubbed to Death (Matrix)
RJD2
Linkin Park – Burn It Down
Depeche Mode – Lie to Me
Ellie Goulding – Lights, Human
Hilary Grist – Right for You, City of Green and Blue
Onra – Last Tango in Saigon
Alex Clare – Too Close
Katy Perry – Wide Awake, Firework
Willow Smith – I Am Me
Prodigy – Firestarter, Breathe (my web design music)
Beats Antique
Rammstein – Feuer Frei!, Du Hast

…and too many to list from a list that is constantly growing.

Bucket Lists and Dreams to Goals

I thought it appropriate when I titled this post that I had accidentally capped “GO” in Goals. I mean, isn’t that the point of goals, to GO? Go forward. Go toward. Just GO.

No Dust Under My Feet

I’ve had this list (below) posted to my About page forever. Inspired by the movie, The Bucket List, a bucket list is basically a list of all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”.

I have been really blessed in my life, but there are still a few things I’d love to do, most of which involve traveling. I add to this from time to time, because my goals change and grow as I do.

In Totally Random Order

  • Cure my body of systemic Lymphedema.
    (won my disability case 1019/12, started MLD therapy 2016, no cure yet)
  • Graduate with a Masters degree.
    Graduated Full Sail 1026/12 with my Creative Writing MFA.
  • Graduate with a Graduate Certificate in using current tech for education.
    Graduated Full Sail 03/13 with my grad cert in Instructional Design & Technology.
  • Register my thesis, Stalemate, with the Writers Guild.
    (WIP but 2017)
  • Publish The Owl & the Mermaid.
    (WIP but 2017)
  • Spend the day with an elephant.
  • Improve my blogging.
  • Have my own gallery showing.
  • Travel to Portugal and get a personal tour from friends.
  • Travel to Sweden and get a personal tour from friends.
  • Curate an exhibition.
  • Take a ride on the Orient Express.
  • Spend two weeks in London with my family and go on the Harry Potter tour amongst other things.
  • Take my husband/family to Rome, Italy for two weeks.
  • Take my family to New York City to visit friends and get hot dogs at Gray’s Papaya [ link2 ].
  • Take my family to Oahu, Hawaii and show them around my favorite places like the Polynesian Cultural Center, Byodo-in Temple, and Hanauma Bay.

 

Let the wordiness begin!

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter,
so I wrote a long one instead.”
– Mark Twain

Well, it’s that time of year again. No, it’s after Halloween and Christmas, thankfully, is still a few weeks away. Nope, it’s write-till-you-drop month. That’s right, it’s November – National Novel Writing Month AND National Blog Post Month.

But I Already Have Too Much To Do

Any serious writer knows that you have to make writing a daily practice. Daily. I cannot stress that enough. Writing requires effort, and good writing even more so.

I write all the time. Cheap, quad notebooks and my black, fine point .5mm gel pens are always with me. I make lists, doodle, jot down notes for story ideas, and sometimes pen a few serious pages of plot. But even I get caught up in the day-to-day and have to remind myself to get a word down at times.

Day One is my eight-ball in the corner pocket. I schedule it to pop up around lunchtime and make myself write a few words, even if it is crap, just to make it a habit. I don’t allow myself to skip or dismiss it, which takes discipline, even as simple as that sounds.

Connect With Me

http://nanowrimo.org/en/participants/renmeleon

Also, if you are a Full Sail University student, drop me a note as I am looking into setting up a virtual classroom writers group if there is enough interest.