what is your tongue?

What is it? What is it worth? Do you need it?

I cannot fathom the restraint and heartbreak of those who live in totalitarian governments, or the men and women confined to strict social conventions about gender a generation before mine… or my mother.
I cannot fathom that strength because even in my heart of hearts, I know I am not that destitute. I will have no men with guns at my door if I speak freely about my religious beliefs. I will not be incarcerated and subject to a life without human rights when I openly discuss and critique my government. I will not be assaulted without penalty, because I can go to the authorities.

But I still feel like the majority of my life where I consciously speak has consisted of biting my tongue. I can still loose my job if I have an outburst, I can loose the respect and support of my peers should I be too audacious, and I can still loose the people who would listen if I speak too brazenly. If I speak freely, people cease to listen.

Very few believed me that my father had been seriously hurt in a car accident… or that it effected him both in body and mind. Even fewer believed that I felt the need to step up my contributions to the family… or that I had any reason to. It was as if people assumed these circumstances are too implausible or so unlikely; as if what I said were a lie. For all the majority knew, it was. I was a hypochondriac. I must have been. I wanted attention, that was it.

Well of course I wanted attention! I needed to know that my narrative was not an anomaly, not some weird occurrence meant for an alternative universe.

In some alternative universe, I’m actually very stupid. So stupid that I do not realize the causes of my own discomfort, nor would I hold my tongue despite consequences. If I were lacking in faculties, would I then be able to identify that my happiness is a choice? Likely not. But why is that that in this universe, however that I am conscious of this life, that I recognize the capability of my choice of happiness is hindered by knowing that it is a choice?

Or is it because I am aware that my personal life is not jeopardized like most others that I feel silly, worse guilty, that somehow the stress of not having the permission to articulate my own experiences and my own feelings affects me so. Most times I can leave my feelings aside while I dive into work. I can usually immerse myself in art or art-like functions, some form or creativity or technical and tactile skill, and subconsciously and without inner discord, find my solution. No. I am simply stuck wondering, and not able to make much action because I am wondering and getting no answers.

And asking my questions aloud means I must first be brazen, blunt and honest… but that drives away any listeners.

The solution then is to be “diplomatic”. Find a way to allude someone to your entire circumstance, however that is also so cryptic. I find that when you make your feelings or your ideas even your experiences cryptic, they loose their credibility. Being cryptic while not speaking the entire truth because that truth is too unprofessional at the time and place of its release is then a lie.

When I bite my tongue; I am lying. When I describe in poetry, it’s cryptic and I am still lying. But when I am truly honest…
… this is when I cannot find the words.

By the times I find that I can speak freely, I am exhausted. By then that articulation is lost.

Is this why they say god gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason?

Why is it those who have truly lost their ability to speak freely are the ones who have the most beautiful things to say? When was the last time I had something truly beautiful to say? Am I just talking but not saying anything?

I must be blabbering.

 

 

Your tongue.

It moves more than any other muscle.

Muscles of your heart, at separate times, are relaxed.

But even when you rest, your tongue does not.

So why is the most powerful and most used muscle in our bodies feel so hindered? Why does everyone’s tongue feel tied?

Forget about censoring for a moment. Forget about licenses and forget about the repercussions of your free speech, and think about how often you hold your tongue.

Are we happier for it? or is it to our detriment?

Is it better to have spoken freely and pay the consequence or is it better to make peace with everyone and be quiet?

At times, no one can be silent. When we see others tortured and maimed, when we see segregation, when we see that things can be better, we cannot be silent. Being silent means giving permission. But when someone doesn’t want to hear that you honestly disapprove of their actions though you love them, we must bite our tongues.

When is it important to speak and when is it important to keep quiet?

When does biting your tongue mean you have bitten off your tongue?

When have you made it impossible for yourself to speak anymore?

Is what has me flustered and what has affected absolutely every waking hour truly that important? Is what I want to say a necessity?

I know I am not hard-done by. I know that the stress of my parents divorcing is nothing to living in Syria in this moment. I am not truly bound by law, yet, to keep quiet because of my anatomy assignment. I don’t need to watch my tongue.

But why do I feel that I am constantly biting my tongue?

I cannot imagine the strength needed to live a life where you cannot speak freely because the hurt I feel from my own lack of utterance just now in the minutia of my stresses is overwhelming.

If we were meant to listen more than we were to speak, why is our feeling that we need to speak and speak often so predominant in our lives? It must be a choice like happiness; we must choose to listen more than speak.

If people listened, then cryptic descriptions would not be necessary. If we listened, maybe when one does speak, they are not at a loss to try and find again that singular moment of clarity and articulation. Maybe if we listened before we spoke, which is opposite of our actions currently, then maybe we would not all feel that our tongues are overvalued or undervalued. We wouldn’t have to lie to tell a truth. We would simply speak and be at peace if others could just listen.

Is what I wanted to say so important? What was it that I wanted to say? It was something about their divorce, my lack of art supplies to keep myself occupied, that the only art I can do without the intention of selling it is writing and even that has it’s very sparse time… is it that trying to get away has taken over even necessary functions like keeping composure and being professional? It was something to the effect that I am frustrated. I am deeply, immensely, overwhelmingly frustrated. And maybe a bit helpless. I’m waiting to hear back from someone to see if moving out is going to happen sooner or later… maybe my reasons for wanting to move out are silly. No. No they can’t be because I know that staying where I am now affects me. It affected me four years ago, it affects me now. I wanted to say something that would more or less come across like I was throwing my own family under the bus for my frustrations though it is more about my reactions than their decisions… or their reactions to decisions.

I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m exhausted, I’m almost melancholy, and trying so hard to count my blessings without loosing them to being affected. What is happening in the grand scheme of things is not that big, it is not life threatening, it is not going to end the world or leave me helpless… I do live in Canada and that’s a blessing on its own.

But it affects my health, my sleep, my breath, even the way I look into someone’s eyes.

But it’s really not that bad.

I don’t know if I made myself feel better than it’s not all that bad or if I made myself feel even more of a fool because I feel so hurt.

What is your tongue? We hardly know when to speak, or how to speak or care if it is important. How much is your tongue worth? I think at least in a few moments in life, we all have instances when we cannot speak freely and we feel such an agonizing debate in ourselves. Do you need your tongue? People have a voice without a tongue, and those people when given the moment to use their voice, use that temporary moment to say such permanent things.

I still don’t know if I feel silly and guilty, or if I feel enlightened.

I have to figure out what I have to do with my tongue.

hmm.

– I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

Feast or Famine

I love how in life one minute you can be looking desperately for work, and the next is almost over whelming. One minute I wonder just how I am going to get to my goals and next I am making even bigger and more grand goals. One minute to the next, and you have to change your plans just that quickly.


So last I updated I had told you about my participation in Art Ce Soir as a Part of the City of Barrie’s Culture Days. And I am so thankful to my models who made this happen and thankful for the good reception. So I continued to nurture the idea of the garbage bag dresses and the theme “hear/speak/see no evil”, though as a pamphlet for the event came out, part of my own artist statement was written for me. The end of this game of cat and mouse to find a statement was that the garbage bag dresses were representations of the big box stores; their rehashing of old materials and shoddy workmanship produced en masse and the need for local businesses that are more conscious of materials used, using scraps if needed, and genuine fine work. Those garbage bag dresses were to become the new standard should the public not make a collective effort to buy local. The theme, though not at the forefront, still represented the ignorance regarding the economic choice.

Things that I’m glad I did and will repeat next year;

1 – had models armed with a script for when people asked, and cue cards to hand out!

2 – had the fittings just over a week before the event (significantly less stressful)

3 – had amazing models (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!)

4- forget the makeup, have them do it. maybe another year but for the more random, the less makeup is better

5 – told my models they were free to go … right before the weather became horrendous. damn good timing.

 

Things that I will consider for next year;

1 – a proper time slot and runway show

2 – a better dressing/prepping station (Thank you Alana for letting me use the dressing room at your business, “Awkward Stage”)

3 – weather… in general..

 

Things that I will change for next year;

1 – Making thicker and better coats for models. The garbage bags were great insulators however the models still needed more to keep warm, especially after the rain started.

2 – A run through; it will also encourage the models to spread out and mingle. The models were a great way to set the atmosphere and I will make that an even bigger presence next year.

3 – Making myself an outfit to mingle with models. I had about a month to throw things together so for future reference, I will make one for me!

All in all I thought myself relatively prepared which was wonderful. I had about two months notice of my acceptance for this event and worse yet, I was constantly waiting for funds to come in. They never did… so I grab the cheapest materials I could – garbage bags and leftover thread! Tada! I won’t lie, I was bloody exhausted!

Art Ce Soir was successful! Please visit the Lakshore Mews website to see the listings, and of course the local businesses that make everything happen (right hand side of the page).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just as fast as Art Ce Soir approached, as did my employment with Dotti Potts. Thanks to Megan at Le Petite Chapeau in the Lakeshore Mews, I heard that Sandra and Gavin could use a spare set of hands in their studio for the upcoming season. Tired of my survival job in the mall already, I quickly sent off an email with my resume and CV. Apparently I had perfect timing as they needed someone pronto and had me interviewed on the 19th. The interview went so well I’ve been offered a full time position, we even got a grant for my training there! I am still timid that I may not be a part of the cohesive unit; and I’m pretty sure it’s a silly fear but a real one none the less. Everyone has habits or ways of moving in a studio, like a dance. Everyone has dance steps and it’s important you can find people with similar dance moves so that you all work together. But so far, it has been amazing! Within one day of working there my mood lifted! Gavin was showing me how to mix one of their glazes as he poured some slip into molds and I suppose I already had a bounce in my step. I smiled ear to ear when he asked if I was happy to get back to being messy. Towards the end of the day it hit me, I raised my head and smiled again. “I’m am being paid, in a full time job, to do this!” I could have bounced to Toronto and back I was so happy. At 5, Sandra and I were trying to finish up with decals and loading the small kiln for firing said decals. My mother was curious where I was working so her and my father came to give me a ride home and saw Sandra and I in the studio muddling away. My mother said she could see me light up again – they both mentioned my mood. Though I was almost irritated on the ride home … I didn’t realize how hungry and tired I was until I was pulled out of the studio.

The second day was as packed as the first; Sandra and Gavin were packing for a show and that does take an entire day. It was probably a good thing much production wasn’t done… I was so tired and so hungry it was distracting. Luckily with this new income, I don’t think it will be an issue again in the future. I have a long weekend off… wait a minute… OH MY GOD! I’m free one a weekend!? When did this happen? I have a LIFE?! whoa…. I can have a life with this job… yay!

You either feast or famine and now that the famine is over, I have a bizarre coming up that i need to get ready for and now I can afford frames for prints! I also need to buy two large canvases so that I can donate them for a silent auction! I’m also thinking of more jewelry designs for Dotti Potts that I ought to get done now so we have time to put it together and have it ready for the catalogue in the new year, I have some ideas floating around for next year’s Art Ce Soir and it will be a year-long project…

 

I’m being paid for making art… yay!

Getting My Act Together

Hey Guys, Hows it goin’?

So! I’m actually doing what I said I would do – I’m talking about my new series and plans for the event “Art Ce Soir II”!

So Art Ce Soir II is an annual event hosted by the Lakeshore Mews in association with the Local Businesses Association in Barrie. The event, on September 29th 2pm til 2am on September 30th, is a gathering of local art vendors, performances and art installations held on Fred Grant Square. The focuses are to celebrate local established and upcoming artists and highlighting local businesses that make the City of Barrie what it is.

My proposal, that I was flabbergasted to see accepted, was to have live models meandering and posing about the square. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing quite like stress and pressure to deliver – and so withing 24 hours I had figured the basics of my theme and costume designs and even had some models! Since I was unsure of the conservative or liberal standing of the event, I could not address things such as the ownership of women’s bodies, social conventions of beauty being broken by age and physical requirements nor religion’s baring on women in the western world, I thought of the book, “The Meaning of Flowers” or the idea of “Hear No Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil”. Though the idea is relatively conservative and vague, it could be extended to the hardships forced upon women (since I have all female models and basing their dresses off of previous designs in high fashion) or the lack of government responsibility or lack of public outcry for controlling our non-renewable resources (using garbage bags and plastic in these designs). In keeping my theme vague, I in fact found a way to broaden a discussion upon all the issues I feel need greater commentary or at least a larger movement to see resolutions within society. After all, I make art to promote conversations. (Ah! See! A golden thread! I have had the hardest time nailing down an artist’s statement and here I see the very basis! I do love blogging!)

Here are my designs thus far, awaiting approval from Lakeshore Mews – All work copyright Elizabeth Hoskin, 2012

Not the only Series I have been working on either! Out of absolute boredom and made with an a wrist aching to do more, I had begun an experiment that I am most pleased in, however, critique would be appreciated! My series, “Unnaturally Thrown” is an experiment to see if I could work with anatomy from memory whilst contorting the form. I have used watercolours and graphite on watercolour paper.

 

Art Ce Soir !

http://www.lakeshoremews.com/2012/08/art-ce-soir-ii-is-in-full-swing.html

 

Thank you all!

 

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

 

Just as one gets cozy, WHAM!

Alright, New Content! and withing a week! What is going on!?

Well, I had the first day of my new job this week, which consisted of filling out the appropriate paperwork, learning basic functions and trying on the bathing suits so that I can assist customers better; I assumed life was going to be slow for the next bit. What wonders emails are nowadays; one of my proposals I sent to the Lakeshore Mews for their Art Ce Soir II event this September was accepted. But it was not the proposal to install my work in storefront windows, nor was it the proposal to busk; selling portraits on the spot. It was my proposal to have live models walking around in costumes I make… I will have to make… in roughly a month. CRAP! I am so thankful to be accepted but CRAP!

So I believe I have models in order! (memo to me: start message board so everyone is on the same page! emails!) And I just need to finalize my drawings! And need to set up a meeting with mews. I also need to set up my printer and scanner for you guys to see my business… so this is just turning into a to-do-list…

If that weren’t enough, I am still waiting to hear from the Maclaren Art Centre if I may have been accepted for any of their positions that I have applied for – I really really really really hope so! Even if all I get is a gallery attendant position, my life would be made! (please, please, please, please! I’m going to work at the art gallery! I’m going to work at the art gallery!).

At least I have a job. I have some funds to actually achieve this astronomical goal! Well, will have funds. This new job is alright, of course, I am prohibited from posting anything that may force a poor appearance upon the company and so I will refrain from mentioning who they are by name. However, I am now working at a swimsuit store owned by a french lingerie company within the mall and I will say, the team appears to be super sweet! And I’m eyeballin’ the cute baristo at starbucks. So life is good at the mall and I was saved from having to work as a waitress at the chinese buffet restaurant down the street. In fact, an hour after the first shift is when I received a phone call and job offer from the store! I was thrilled. I am thrilled. I don’t know who in the hell chooses unemployment because I’m already pulling my hair out from lack of finances and I was bored.
I was becoming very bored. And then I made goals like this blog, and another to have new content every week. And new content on my youtube channel every week to compliment my makeup blog! And do daily instagrams of my makeup and daily tips! So please, support me there to!
instagram;

elizabethhoskin

twitter;

ElizabethHoskin

lipstick and gin beauty blog;

http://lipstickandgin.wordpress.com/
youtube channel;

broadcastpirate

 

holy crap, let’s get this ball running!

After I started into my fit from the email and repeatedly saying “crap. crap crap CRAP! crap” to myself, my father reminded me … “you’re not in your element when you don’t have something big to accomplish”. He’s right. I can’t do with being bored. I’m not happy unless life is absolute bedlam. Alright, let’s see if I can get myself together for this! Wish me luck!

 

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam

 

(crap, crap, crap, CRAP! crap!)

I’m Carmen SanDiego, Guess Where I am!

So, what’s new?
Well… I moved to a new city, took me two weeks to find a job and that job is… disheartening considering my qualifications. Worse, I haven’t been writing a whole hell of a lot so this is going to be rusty, and squeaky and more like another stream-of-consciousness posts.

Two weeks, almost to the day, I moved back down to southern Ontario. Two weeks I was unemployed and that was the longest time I have ever been unemployed so I felt my brain rotting for a short time. How bad was that? I have gone into watching toddlers and tiaras thoroughly… dear god, someone save me. These symptoms coupled with an environment where shit has hit the fan (I won’t elaborate on it much more and please don’t ask. I’ll disclose what I want when it feel it’s pertinent [if you know, please respect this post and do not disclose for me. thank you]).
Since moving in a fortnight ago, I have gone through copious collected boxes that have collected copious amounts of dust. First thing was to unpack what I could and determine what had to be put into the storage unit downstairs (since I am in an apartment building now). Dishes, kitchen aids, extras have all been sent to their dark, cool and dry resting places until I am well ahead of being just self-sustaining. The reason for me moving back in with parental units is that I am being offered a year or so to work and be rent-free to build finances and a reputation within Barrie. I need this time to at least get a hold on paying back my student loans… though I need a deferral because the move has truly damaged my accounts. If my credit card and debit card were people, I would be pulling them back from ledges to prevent their suicides. If they die on me, I’m in more trouble that I can handle. Yay post-student hell!

The next step for me was job hunting. Within three days of my homecoming, I was wondering the mall aimlessly and endlessly. Thoroughly scouring for potential jobs and possibly catching a line that was not seen by the general public. In fact, I am still waiting for calls from them but I could not afford to be jobless for more than a month. I wondered, applied, and remembered some key things. I was talking to a friend who was wondering how I was fortunate enough to pick up jobs as quickly as I had in the past.
Here’s some tips that even work when trying to impress someone in the art world;

-have a 15 -30 second selling line – “HI! I’m Elizabeth Hoskin, I just graduated from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. I just got in town last sunday and was wondering if you had a position open for me? I have had experience in [food/retail/commission] through [whatever place], as well as I have had some supervisor positions and been a key holder for others. I’m available any time.” i just nailed any preliminary questions as well as reminding them that I know my assets (key holder, supervisor/trusted position and experience in whatever).

-don’t be cocky, but walk in as if to say, “you want me to work for you” and be super friendly with it. Attitude and believing in yourself always get somewhere.

– best face, best hair, best clothes and best smile. Just put your best foot forward and be prepared. Make sure to pack a small brush, deodorant, dry shampoo/ baby powder, touch up makeup bag, minty fresh gum, bandages, and your datebook/phone with your resumes. I also would sneak a spray or two of perfumes from some stores. Look ready for anything, including booking an interview right then and there. Almost expect an interview on the spot – and use your 15-30 selling line.

– look appropriate… I don’t know why that one is so hard for other applicants. I had on, usually, a black, a-line or pencil skirt with a nice top. I know it’s hot out, but always have your bra-straps covered (I am the last person to care, first to notice as an interviewer). Keep your skirts around knee-length and shoes that are recognizable but comfy and avoid ones with bones, zombie, spikes or blood…that’s a hard rule for me to follow to. Also, and it saddens me to feel like having to remind other applicants that your belly showing at any time, or even your lower back is inappropriate. Think of when your school had a dress code. Follow that or even a bit more strict. There’s still ways to look fashion-forward, unique, vivacious and polished.

-think ahead or look around first; you’re likely to be asked why you considered that store or establishment. You can fib here if you’re good at it. “I’ve been a customer for so long, why not work at a place i love as a customer?” or “I’m always in, and I love [a certain product/line/goal of the company and tell them something that you know about the company].” A lot of the time, you’re not fibbing. You’ll likely first go to the stores you like the most, first. After a while I applied at a children’s clothing store. My only real experience with kids are recent and the only thing about clothing that I know, is that kids grow out of them too damn quick. When I was asked why I considered them, I knew to mention that it seemed like all my girlfriends are becoming or are already mums and, even though I hope to work there, I would be shopping for my surrogate nieces and nephews constantly. It seems to be an exciting and fun place to work. I had an interview just a few days after with them and they asked for me to elaborate why I wanted to work there. I reiterated that kids were coming into the picture more and more often and since I have retail experience, it was logical to find a place that catered to both aspects – I made connections for them such as I used to sell makeup, but I can translate to selling clothes. It was also weird since I didn’t have kids so my experience with kids was also questioned – I did tell a bit of a personal anecdote that one friend was a room-mate with me shortly after her first child. My friend knew I was new to babies and sometimes “threw” her daughter into my arms to force me to get comfortable. Very quickly did her daughter found a place in my heart and had inspired me to become mommy one day. We had stayed good friends and it has been an experience to relearn the world through her daughters and the kids world in general. I mentioned I didn’t really grow up around a ton of kids or babies so my experience was recent, but very self-reflecting. The most fun part of that interview was the next rule.

-be prepared to be put on the spot. There’s always the hard questions you don’t expect or don’t remember to prepare for – and I’m not talking about the “if you were a tree, which tree would you be?”. I mean the “I’m going to give you a scenario, and you’re going to tell me how to handle it”. I can’t tell you how to answer those; if you’re goof in customer service, then you’re good. If you are not, then S.O.L. The best was at the children’s clothing store, the woman gave me a few minutes to browse a section of the store, to learn the stock and then she walked in as a customer and I had to help her. I’d like to think I nailed it until she became specific, like a coloured, girly dress. But I knew to point out current promotions, new stock and when she made a selection, helped pair it with other items like shoes that matched. Funniest thing was, I wanted her to do that. Nailed it. Lastly…

– Always have a question prepared from them, and phrase it in a way that you expect to be hired or hearing back from them soon. My favourite is “Should I be hired [remember, don’t be cocky, just confident], what is the biggest expectation/what would you like to see most out of me?”. It’s vague enough that you will get an answer. But there are others, including “How did you becoming a team member of [store]?”.
In one day of hunting I had two interviews for the next day and several prospects. I’m still waiting for second calls and other hiring but I cannot wait forever… hence why I am, at this current moment, going to work at a Chinese buffet restaurant. I have an Honours Degree, and I will be a waitress. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. My father happened to see a “Help Wanted” sign out in the front of the establishment down the street from us so I applied and was hired on the spot. Yay I will be earning some money, but I am waiting to hear back from something better. Even if it’s a lingerie store. I need a job that challenges me in another away besides solely testing my patience. At least, at the places I want the most, there is an element of personal assistance and confidence building. I will feel like I have a purpose even if the day is so busy I want to scream. I won’t feel brain-dead and watch much more of toddlers and tiaras or storage wars. Though I like storage wars – I like seeing what people keep away and forget they have. People are neat.

 

What else have I started since I got back down south? My goals?

I have a new android phone and so I have instagram! just look for elizabethhoskin and it’s linked to my twitter!

I do daily makeup looks and tips on instagram and I am looking to join gagillions of other people on youtube tutorials! Still need a better camera but I am likely to be doing it soon.

I have a reading list and goals – a book every two months. After new years, I hope to bump that to a book a month. I’m a slow reader but I love to dive into a good book. And it’s just better for mental health, imagination and for writing.

Art making! … has taken a hit. I had been without of materials and the other night, I had realized I was being so short and curt with people, that I started something completely new. When my scanner gets here I will post more! For now, browse my instagram! I will make more tonight!

I still want to post that critical response I had thought of in Thunder Bay. Will do soon and I hope to do that monthly with new articles and new artists.

 

I’m employed again, that’s what matters. In this economy I cannot wait and I seem to have beaten a number of people out of the water in getting a job within two weeks of landing. I can cast a net out for a better job after that. I applied at the MacLaren Art Centre and so I hope to hear back from them. I think I can survive working at the buffet if my life has purpose at an art gallery. Better things to come, just need to keep my chin up and keep making art.
Good to be back and more to come,

-I am Elizabeth Hoskin, and I am LovingBedlam