Lately I've been working on some drawings for my friend Donia Khalifa who has started a boutique astrology business called Astrological Amaranth. Donia is an absolute sponge for information. She is com/passionate, interested, patient, genuine, and the list of adjective goes on, so I have no doubt that AsAm will be great. To be honest, I was pretty skeptical of astrology in any context until Donia started educating me and I became fully spooked by the accuracy of information she was able to relay about myself and loved ones. If anything, to the skeptical mind—in her words—"Astrology is a way to be able to better respect people—to be aware of their innate nature." Cool, I think I like it. No harm done. No lobotomies administered.

My next task is to create illustrations for the 4 elements. Here's water.

And below is its process video for educational purposes I guess, but I don't really know what I'm doing to be honest so letting yourself be educated is really at your own risk... Are you sick if these time-lapses yet?—'cause I certainly am. I promise, there is only one more coming up for the foreseeable future. I think it takes longer to edit and upload stuff than it does to even make the silly illustration. I also notice I waste a ton of time trying out colors when really I just am starting to prefer everything simple.

Medium: pencil, watercolor, and digital

Drawing time: several hours, including snacks

Photoshopping time: I think another several hours, also including snacks. I'm fairly sure there's also a middle section missing when the phone rang and I stopped recording and then forgot to start for a while. Oopsies.

Music: "Mammals vs. Reptiles" by Caribou 

Lastly—Notes on journal keeping—Does that makes this a meta-journal? Oh geez.

My journals are rat's nests. My handwriting varies wildly depending on my mood and how much time I have to write. Sometimes things are not chronological, and my sketches are never finished and like a 5 year old made while half watching TV. For these reasons I find them embarassing, sometimes even to myself. By the time I was sixteen I had acculated hundreds of journal and sketchbook pages. They overflowed and I had to fasten them with enormous rubber bands to keep them shut. After my high school boyfriend went rummaging in one, quite univited, I decided I'd never let my privacy become compromised again. I burned my life's collection of journals in my mom's crock pot in the backyard (boy, was she pleased)—but true to OCD form, not before scanning every page and hiding them deep in the crevices of my hard drive. I like to think that was the first step of my "going digital." For whatever reason, every year I still feel like I go through growing pains with my journals. I keep less and less stuff, and always feel the need to free myself of old creations so I can make new ones. I pulled them all out from my dresser drawer, presumably to trash them when I read the following on the first page of a journal from 2005 when I lived on Sullivan Street: "Dear journal: never again will I throw you on the ground and burn you to protect my privacy from the world. Throw you down and burn you like I didn't love every fiber of you." —well, damn you, former self. So I paused, and started reading through old entries from a year ago, 2 years ago, 3 years ago, 8 years ago. It's amazing how well we know ourselves but don't give ourselves credit for in the moment. Reading back I already knew the answers to so many things that I continued to struggle with for years after writing. Moral of the story: trust thyself, I suppose. And keep those ugly journals to help you remember.