My art teacher didn’t believe in erasers. Mistakes were meant to happen. An extra line or misplaced eyelash was the destiny of the paper. It is the artist’s duty to transform the error into a masterpiece. My art teacher also didn’t believe in painting until you’ve fully understood the techniques of drawing. The relationship between pencil and paper must be nourished through practice and patience before one can confidently initiate the relationship between brush, paint and canvas. I started art classes at the age of 6 and I filled up almost 4 sketch books before moving on to the world of brush strokes and colour experimenting at the age of 8. My art teacher passed on his wisdom down to every student. It is his philosophies that account for my current love for art. For me, it is more than just a method of illustrating my talent, it is an outlet of self expression. I have learnt over the years how to incorporate my personality into my paintings, through vibrant colours, gracious female figures and abstract components. The juxtaposition of these visual aspects is what creates consistency among my most recent artworks. As an amateur artist, I continue to aspire to make a name for myself. It would be a dream come true to have an audience who could recognize the unique style and common theme in my pieces. After my very first vernissage (art exhibition) in December 2015 at Cafe Nostalgica on the University of Ottawa campus, I feel as if I am one step closer to realizing that dream. I certainly cannot fail to mention the impact my parents have unceasingly had since day one of my art career. It is their encouragement and appreciation for my hard work that has kept me wanting to pursue my passions rather than privately painting for family members and displaying my drawings in my dad’s home office. They never fail to inspire and strengthen my so called “gift”. From framing my first painted landscape at the age of 8, to driving 6 hours on icy highways from Toronto just to surprise me at my first vernissage in Ottawa, I am forever grateful for their unfathomable support and acts of love. For now, art remains a hobby. However, I do commissions on the side and am always open to paint & draw for anyone anytime. Feel free to contact me through email with artwork requests. Lastly, look out for my website launch this summer, which I will announce on my instagram.
The Lady in Red
My name is Tara Jam and music has had the greatest impact on my life. As a toddler, my father used to pay Beatles’ songs around the house and my sisters and I would dance on tables while singing along. Ever since those days, my father has always pushed me further into the music field because he saw potential. I self taught myself to play several instruments such as the guitar, the ukulele, the harp, and the piano. I play the flute and the picolo as well, but voice has always been my favourite. When I was six years old, I wrote my first song with the help of my father, and I decided to start fundraising concerts to raise money for different things such as orphans in Sierra Leone, malaria nets, school supplies in India, and to buy goats there too. I have been working with the Red Cross for many years now, and still volunteer at the “Get Out of the Cold” Program to help give the homeless a meal. I have almost completed my Conservatory Of Music for Opera, and I hope to pursue a career in the music production industry in the future or in concurrent education. It’s crazy to think that I went from dancing on the table singing “TWIST AND SHOUT, TWIST AND SHOUT” to writing two songs and having them published on iTunes. I wrote and composed two songs “Dependent” and “Safe To Stay” and I thankfully received so much support from family and friends. Song writing is a way for me to escape anything on my mind, and it’s mostly my excuse for not doing my homework. I don’t know where I would be today without music, because it gives me a purpose and allows me to express myself easily. I am a regular 18 year old, and I swear I would be nowhere without my family’s support. I hope one day I can spoil my parents the way they spoil me. Never take your family for granted, because at the end of the day they will be there for you more than anyone that comes into your life.
http://vsco.co/tarajam/grid/1 https://www.instagram.com/tara.jam/ https://www.youtube.com/user/tarajam101
You can also purchase her single “Dependent” on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/dependent-single/id958788960
My name is Roxana Jam and I’m a fifteen year old girl from Toronto. Every since I was little, my sisters and I were very adventurous and outgoing. The three of us started with gymnastics for a couple of years then moved on to a dance company for another three years. When I was seven years old, my dad decided for us to join the circus. No, not literally but go to a circus arts studio called Wonderful World of Circus. At first, I thought it was going to be a bunch of scary clowns with elephants tigers and seals juggling. But boy was I wrong! The first time I stepped foot into the gym, I was in awe. I was so in love with the place I invited all my cousins and family to come join me at the studio. This place had trampolines, trapeze, aerial silks, acrobatics, tightrope, you name it! I felt like I was in a indoor playground built just for me. I’ve now been training in circus arts for the past nine years, and to this day love learning new and never ending moves on aerial silks. I guess you can say aerial silks are my strength but I’m pretty comfortable with the other equipment such as aerial hoop, contortion, swinging trapeze, trampoline, rings, and aerial strap. I preform and teach for birthdays, shows and other events, and am now a staff. In other words, I get paid for something I love doing; teaching kids to have fun. The reason why I still do Circus arts is because it’s such a unique sport. Rather than competing, I’m performing. I’m flying through the air while striking poses and spiralling my body into and out of various positions. In gymnastics, I feel like there is more stress on you in competing. But it’s different when I preform… I feel free. I look at circus arts as I look at life. Go with the flow, be flexible, have fun and be prepared to fall.
Check out a video of Roxana performing! https://www.instagram.com/p/9pML-ssm9X9QBAPr0viviDW6AmEvh0P8t72Ak0/?taken-by=roxanajam
Poetry Slamming in Ottawa
A couple weeks ago I took part in a poetry slam at Capital Slam here in Canada’s capital …Ottawa! It was my second time performing at this slam or any slam in general for that matter. I saw some familiar faces and I knew the heat some of the performers were going to bring. For those of you who don’t know much about poetry slams, or have associated poetry events to those in films such as 22 Jump Street. A poetry slam is essentially a competition where poets get on a stage and perform their poems that are then judged. At Capital Slam there is a 3 minute time limit for poems, poems are judged by randomly selected members of the audience on a scale of 1-10 and there are 2 rounds. You can write about anything and perform however you like. I’ve been to quite a few poetry slams mostly in Toronto and I’m usually blown away by the talent and content of the poems. I would say the best poetry slam I’ve been to was for Unity Charity in Toronto a few years back. I was astonished by the age of most contestants, the delivery and style of poems , lyricism and ultimately the impact they had on me. For the longest time I’ve wanted to perform in competitions and even though I never did I thank Unity Charity for giving me a start in spoken word and for exposing me to the culture and letting me get of taste of the community I one day hope to be a part of. The poetry scene in Toronto is really bumping and since I’ve come to Ottawa, I’ve hoped to get connected with the poetry scene here. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to it and haven’t had much luck. Personally, from what I’ve seen there isn’t as large of a platform for this art form here… yet. I know there are events that take place around the city, I may be mistaken but it’s hard to find accurate information and details online regarding these events. I will continue to look around and update. If anyone out there knows of any poetry slams going on in the greater Ottawa area feel free to give me a shout!
Passion over progress
I’m titling this post passion over progress (or lack there of) to address how important it is to be more focused on your passion than on you’re progression in the passion.
Passion over progress Personally, I know I get more caught up in stressing about how I haven’t gotten better at writing and how so many poets are lyrically more skillful than I am. Usually what happens is that I don’t write anything for a long time because I’ve discouraged myself. Having more focus on progressing than actually catering to our passions deters and sets back the actual progression.
Do you ever feel like you’re in a standstill between giving up, doing nothing and moving forward. Lately, I’ve been in the middle and I’m coming to realize that this is where I’m most comfortable. Doing nothing doesn’t require much except accepting the side of guilt that comes along with it. I’m brave enough to start and decide not to give up but not quite brave enough to keep going, push through and progress.
It’s not your poems holding you back.
I think everyone comes to a point where they start to fall into the clichés. We all think we’re above them, that they’ll never affect us and that we don’t need anybody or any help. ( the “I can do bad all by myself” attitude). That’s a pretty unauthentic way to live but, there isn’t anybody that can stop you from feeling or thinking that way but you. You may have the high whiny nagging voice in your head saying I don’t have a talent, nobody will like me, I have no purpose, somebody out there is better than me at doing yada yada. But sure, why not think all of those things. Especially if you haven’t tried and especially because we have 9 lives to live and we have all the time in the world to wallow in our self-pity. Wrong “ain’t nobody got time for that”. I’m just tired of us individuals thinking we’re all original strugglers, like nobody before us was ever confused about life, or wondered of their purpose and talents, who failed, who cut themselves off from the world, became “cold-hearted”, who weren’t considered normal, who coloured outside of the box, who were ostracized, who were broke and tired. None one of those things matter in terms of you reaching success unless you make them matter. You can stay sad and broke all you like but until you find out that the real riches on this earth cannot be accessed through your bank account, you’re going to have a rough time finding the gold in your dirt.