Bore No More!

I’ve always been a bit more artistic than the average Joe. I’m sure no Picasso, but the concept of art has always been in my favor. This is what has helped me to take steps to figuring out what I want to do in the future. My somewhat decent drawings and pretty good abstract paintings have helped me conclude that graphic design fulfills my interests, at least for now. But at times, even I feel like I can’t hit that artist note that some projects demand. That’s why I’ve found this blog post Five Must-Have Free Visual Marketing Tools by Jess Ostroff to be quite useful.

The tools she gives had me playing around for at least 15 minutes because they are so basic yet very helpful for those who don’t have extravagant programs to make cool art or for other tools that may help in the graphic design world. Canva, Picmonkey, Skitch, and Recite This. These are great websites that I’m so happy to have discovered, especially since they are free. These websites have more to do with creating and editing pictures.

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Here’s an example of what I made in about 5 minutes on Canva.

Canva was by far my favorite because I was able to create a graphic completely free with nothing but the program. I didn’t have to upload any pictures, or pay. Of course there are a lot of options to buy certain graphics but you also have the option where you can upload something of your own. Find this website alone was completely helpful along with the others.

The websites DataHero and WhatTheFont also are huge bonus’ to the graphic design world. DataHero was fun to play around with and see different data I found. As for WhatTheFont would come in handy in those instances where you fall in love with a font and you have no idea what it’s called or how to get it.

These tools are great for not only beginners, but anyone since they are so easy and seem to create high quality product. Since I’m barely getting my foot in the door with graphic design, these websites seem like they are just what I need to become successful. These programs create tools that produce eye-catching results and that’s important in the fast paced, competitive, world of graphic design.

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What’s So Special About Music?

We all have those songs that we listen to when we’re sad, that only amplify the pain and somehow comfort us in a way no person can. But we also have those songs that we listen to when we’re driving with our friends and it seems like life couldn’t get any better. What’s so special about that? It’s the fact that music can have this impact on our lives. It can bring emotional comfort or pain, which can correspond to physical responses such as crying, smiling, laughter, and dancing.

In the video above, a mothers child reacts to her singing with tears. Although the baby can’t express in words what she is feeling, the music has caused an emotional and physical response. It’s amazing to think about how a combination of music notes and words can cause such an emotional response from our brain.

This video is more humorous and I found myself smiling and laughing when listening to the song they made up. It may not have a deep emotional meaning but it’s a song that can make you laugh for a second and forget something bad that might be going on in your life.

The point is that music is a way to express yourself wether you make the music or not. It’s an escape. The first video was an example of the deep emotional connection our brains have with music and the second video was and example of the lighter, humorous ways that music affects us. Both consume your mind so that you’re focused mostly on the music and how you feel when listening to it, wether your body’s response was voluntary or involuntary.

Music is also universal. A song will always affect someone, even by simply not liking the song or not. Our emotional state also has to do with how our brains respond to this music. If you listen to a sad song when you’re sad, you’ll be more likely to feel the emotions of the song and maybe even cry. If you’re in a happy state and a sad song comes on, it can often trigger something emotional or your response is that you don’t relate to the song at the moment and you listen to happier music. Overall, music has a really complex relationship with our brain that’s so intriguing to test out.

Music suggestion of the week: This week, try paying more attention to how you feel when listening to music, and the type of music you listen to in different environments. If you’re feeling sad, or more mellow, try listening to Lana Del Rey or Sam Smith. Even if you’re happy, listen to this music and observe how it affects your mood.

Is Taylor Swift Finally Showing Her True Colors?

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Oh Taylor, what have you done now. Well, That’s what most people are thinking after seeing her most recent music video for the song Blank Space. As with every other song she puts out, she’s gotten a lot of criticism over this video because of the nature of it. It starts out with her and her boyfriend in a great relationship then takes a turn for the worse when it seems like he’s texting another girl. She basically goes psycho ex-girlfriend, dropping his phone in a fountain, hitting his car with a golf club, going around his house slashing paintings.. you know, the usual.

What Taylor gets criticized most for are her songs about ex-lovers and this video seems to add more fuel to this fire. People have been commenting how extreme her actions are in the video and how it shows her true nature of being crazy. I, on the other hand, detest to everything said about her. I understand that she’s famous and that it is inevitable that she’ll be criticized but it’s insane that she gets condemned for every little thing she does.

This video is not only funny, but also captures how crazy girls really can be. It’s relatable; the over exaggerating of her actions are make it real. Carrie Underwood has a song called Before He Cheats that says “I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires, maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.” I don’t think the moral of the song is that much different from Taylor’s, yet she gets slammed for hers. People just take advantage of the fact that so many are already judging her and they hop on the bandwagon as well.

I really admire the fact that she’s started to branch out and not care what people think. This music video displays that entirely. Along with her song and video for Shake It Off, which has gotten just as much criticism for absurd things, she’s showing her confidence and that’s really important to not only the fans but herself. I think by standing up for herself and continuing to do work that shows she’s not afraid of the criticism, it really creates a deeper relationship with her fans and her music. I just feel so bad for her because the judgement she gets is so ridiculous. Personally, I love her even more for being herself, and I know others appreciate her more as well.

Music suggestion of the week: Her new album 1989 is AMAZING. Unfortunately, it’s been impossible to find a decent version of any song that wasn’t muted or corrupt on youtube because of copy write issues, so I recommend just splurging and buying her whole album. It’s definitely worth it!

Mayday, Mayday..

20140617_194427Parade. Yes, a parade of mayday. Or as normal people refer to this band: Mayday Parade. They are my favorite set of 5 men put together to vocally, lyrically, and instrumentally create music that never fails to be exceptional. Yes, yes, they look like one of those typical “why are they so old and wearing tight pants” boy bands, but they aren’t. Mayday Parade have a song for everyone out there. Like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for lyrics, and they have songs that just hit the spot when you’re in certain moods. They also sound AMAZING acoustic, and who doesn’t love a good acoustic song? They’re mostly an alternative band with some pop punk covers (which are my favorite).

The talented men who make up this band are lead singer and piano player Derek Sanders, lead guitar Alex Garcia, bass Jeremy Lenzo, drum player Jake Bundrick, and rhythm guitar Brooks Betts. I’ve had the privilege of meeting these guys and they’re so down to earth it really makes me happy to enjoy their music so much.

Mayday Parade started in 2005, and let’s not kid ourselves, we’re old and that was a long time ago. It’s amazing how a band that’s not mainstream or on the radio can survive this long. It’s not only the support of true fans, like myself, but the artists themselves. It’s their music, lyrics, interactions, and themselves that have allowed them to come this far and it makes me happy that they are still able and motivated to keep making music.

Music suggestion of the week: Mayday Parade has a range of songs from slow and heartbreaking like Miserable at Best or Terrible Things to more upbeat songs like Ghost and Jamie All Over. My favorite songs by them are Three Cheers for Five Years, Hold Onto Me, and Stay.

I’m Glad I Didn’t Die Before I Heard You

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Bright Eyes

The first time I listened to Connor Obersts’ voice I knew there was something different about his music. I’ll cut to the chase, you can feel every emotion in his voice as his sings lyrics that pull at your heart strings in every direction. Although the songs he sings aren’t all meant to be sad, his voice has this somber feel to it. The music paired with his voice creates for more than just a song, but an experience. This is why I love Bright Eyes so much, because of all the feeling behind each song. What makes Bright Eyes different from other bands I’ve mentioned would have to be Obersts’ distinct vocals.

It’s not only the content of their songs that draw me in, but the experience of listening to their songs. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve layed in bed for a day or two listening to these songs embracing the sadness upon me at the time. But that is what is so great about this music, even the happiest of songs can feel so sad. Personally, I love the emotion of sadness. It’s such a powerful emotion and this music just goes so perfectly with it.

All their music has this raw sound which matches their raw metaphorical lyrics. Some of the songs are pretty weird saying things like “I was living in a devil town, I didn’t know it was a devil town… all my friends were vampires, I didn’t know they were vampires” from the song Devil Town. His songs are really interpretive but also straight to the point which I enjoy. Another song I like is At the Bottom of Everything, which is a song that tells a story for the first minute and a half then leads into the song. I find everything about Bright eyes intriguing, from the song concepts, to the instruments, and of course the vocals.

Music suggestion of the week: Along with the above songs, First Day of My Life has been featured on the radio, Landlock Blues, and Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and Be Loved) are some great songs with lyrics I love. A song that stuck with me through those tough times is Bowl of Oranges for some reason. I hope you enjoy them!

Son who? SONREAL.

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Thanks to social media, I was able to see such an amazing rapper and performer by the name of Sonreal this past Tuesday. Most people have never heard of him, heck there were only about 50 people at the concert, but let me say that this experience was one of the best I’ve ever had with an artist.

It all started Tuesday when my friend told me about a concert she was going to attend. I looked up who was performing and it was none other than Sonreal. I was devastated because I had class until 8 and I wouldn’t be able to scrape up the money for a ticket. So I, being the social media maniac I am, had to tweet about it, and of course mention him.

I had gotten to my drawing class when I recieved a notification from twitter. I glanced at it to see that Sonreal had favorited the tweet; Which wasn’t unlikely because he’s really interactive with his followers. But what came next made my whole entire week. I got a reply from him saying “Tweet me ur name, I’ll guest list you”.

Not only was that exciting, but his concert was phenomenal. Although there weren’t many people, he still gave his all and was really genuine about how thankful he is for our support and for the simple fact we were there to listen to him. He is one of the best performers I have ever gotten the privilege to meet. If that wasn’t enough, he gave everyone his new cd and hung out after the show to sign and meet everyone.

Naturally, I go and stand in line with my friends who were now in love with him just as much as me. I was hesitant to tell him thanks for getting me in to his show but I wasn’t sure if it was his people who did that for him. I told him how much his music has helped me recently and he asked my name for the autograph. Once I told him, he got super excited because he recognized my name and told me how happy he was that he got to meet me and he was glad I could make. It was AMAZING.

He is so down to earth and genuine that it only adds to how incredible his music is. I had first seen him over the summer when attending a Grieves concert and it was his performance, energy, and lyrics that had drawn me in. His music has so much meaning and sounds awesome. He’s become one of my favorite artists over such a little amount of time not only because of his music but because of his interactions with his fans.

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I thought it was really cool and a perfect example of how social media plays a role with businesses, even the music business. He gained two new fans (my friends) and only improved my relationship with him and his music. He has made such a huge impact on me that I’m sharing it with you today, which proves he’s doing something right.

Music suggestion of the week: Sonreal, of course. Listen for yourself: L.A., EpicUp Up Up, Honor Roll.