Unearthing creative possibilities: Trish Roque's website, personal blog, & portfolio

Archive for 2006

Manifesting your potential

It’s very obvious to me when I’m not living up to my potential. I become irritable, restless, and easily bored. I start feeling like an automaton, reflexively reacting to the routines of my daily schedule. Day in day out every week every month every year.

Then one day it dawns on me that six years have flown by. And with it comes the sinking feeling that somehow I’ve missed my boat. Arggh!!

What did I do about it?

I googled for the answer. (Don’t you?)

I found a wonderful site called Manifest Your Potential, a site that offers a number of valuable tools to help the seeker find answers to their questions.

In the game of life, winning or losing is a matter of perspective

Much of their material is common sense to me. For instance, I believe in their premise that life does not have to be a game based on winning or losing. It’s about choosing to create your own destiny. It’s about deciding that you can be an active participant in your own life, that fate does not decide for you.

I chose to move to Santa Fe after college, just as I chose to move to the Bay Area six years ago. Of course, it helps to make informed choices, and a key ingredient to making smart choices for yourself is to KNOW yourself.

Self discovery. I’m a big fan.

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Giving thanks & goodbye Troquevision.com!

Alas, Thanksgiving is here, and though I am in a current state of busy-ness, I have to remember all the good things I’m thankful for.

For starters, I have a wonderful honey with whom I share a beautiful home in a very social neighborhood in Oakland. We have a house full of fur – er, critters who in their own unique ways, provide us with much entertainment.

Creative Path Studio was launched as a direct manifestation of my intention and desire to live an authentic and purpose-filled life. I’m still in the process of defining my purpose but I am getting closer.

Additionally, I’ve officially registered Creative Path Studio as a business in Alameda County. So far, the main focus of the business has been freelance design but I see myself branching out at some point.

Design design design!

I’ve been a bit negligent of my blog because of two freelance design projects that had deadlines this week. It was a bit of a challenge but I got them done. Well, I should clarify that they’re almost done.

One of the projects is Brock Art Studio, the website of my friend & artist, Jeff Brock.

This is a CSS-based table-less design, which may mean absolutely nothing to most people out there, but for web designers, CSS is THE standard for design.

Overall, I am happy with the site, but more importantly, so is Jeff. It’s a work in progress… (of course)

The Gallery at HawthorneJeff also happens to be married to one of my favorite people, Star Liana York, a Santa Fe based sculptor with whom I worked for when I lived in New Mexico. She is one of the most talented, nicest, down-to-earth people one could ever meet.

And yes, I also designed Star’s website. Star’s site happened to bring me the other project I’ve been working on, a site for a gallery using the same backend Masterpiece database that Star’s site uses.

The Gallery at Hawthorne contacted me through my link on Star’s website. After talking about their needs and wants for the project, I gave them an estimate, and well, the rest is history.

Again, this was a table-less design. Go CSS!!

Goodbye Troquevision.com!

It is the end of an era. This week, I let my troquevision.com hosting account expire. It was a good site, one that I used to experiment and learn about website design and development. As it was, the site was really just a web album for familly and friends to peruse through. Regardless, it was a fun place to explore.


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Self-portraits through the years

My recent self-portrait inspired me to pull out my past mirror-images, to see how my drawings have progressed (or not) through the years. It was also fun to flip through my old journals to find these drawings — ahh, nostalgia.

What I find most interesting about these portraits is that they all have features within the drawing that represent who I was at the time. I may have not caught the likeness of my image in some of these, but if anything, I caught the mood I was in — there is no denying that drawing and the marks made from the eye to the hand are in some way a direct representation of the person making those marks. Some of those marks show hesitation, doubt, certainty, and exploration. And always, there’s the line that searches for the likeness of the person being reflected back in the mirror.

There were some evenings when I should not have picked up the pen, and other times when my concentration was so focused that the marks looked as though they would tear through the paper.

These portraits are presented chronologically, beginning with December 1993. That was so very long ago… For posterity, I included my most recent portrait.

1993

1993 mirror image 1993 mirror image

1994: The darker, more somber days of charcoal.

1994 mirror image 1994 mirror image

94 mask

1995

1995 mirror image

1996

1996 image 1996 abstract image

1997: I cut my hair real short! (I do that occasionally!)

1997 image 1997 image

1997 image 1997 image

1998

1998 image 98 image

98 image

1999

1999 image

2000 – 2005: I did not draw, and I barely picked up my journal to write. Instead, I learned to make websites.

2006: Back to the drawing board! (Sorry, I couldn’t help it!)
2006 portrait

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My search for meaningful work

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for quite a while now but procrastination seemed easier. It’s a tough topic for me to write about because it’s a quest that I take to heart. The search gets tiring, and sometimes, I just don’t have the energy.

What is my bliss?

Follow your blissI’ve been on this quest since the day I promised myself that I would not work just for money. I remember that evening quite well, even though it was over 20 years ago.

I was watching the PBS series on Joseph Campbell‘s The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers. I was in high school, maybe sixteen years old at the time.

I was completely drawn into the messages Joseph Campbell gleaned from decades of research on the various mythological stories of the hero and the hero’s journey. The one message (and he had many) that hit me in that space of absolute knowing power was this: Follow your bliss.

From that evening forward, I was determined to live my life with passion, to follow my bliss. What did not occur to me at the time was that finding my bliss was the first critical step. I assumed I knew what it was — that is, to be an artist.

I thought, “I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.”

–Joseph Campbell

I tried it and the rapture was, well, inconsistent…

After four years of college, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I followed what I though was my bliss for six years. I loved living in New Mexico – I loved the simplicity of my life, I loved the landscape, I loved the serenity I found, I loved the people I met. And most of the time, I loved making art. But I did not feel the rapture.

There were also times when I felt the rapture with other endeavors – for instance, when I hiked the wilderness with my canine companions. There was nothing that compared to the feeling of being atop that 12,000-feet high Mt. Baldy, just BEING with the mountain, the sky, the wind, the sun, and my dogs.

Yet it is important to note that following one’s bliss, as Campbell saw it, isn’t merely a matter of doing whatever you like, and certainly not doing simply as you are told. It is a matter of identifying that pursuit which you are truly passionate about and attempting to give yourself absolutely to it. In so doing, you will find your fullest potential and serve your community to the greatest possible extent.

–Joseph Campbell Foundation website

After determining that art-making was really not my life’s calling, I packed my Toyota, and at that point, my one dog Siwa (beautiful Smokie had passed away), and headed further west to California.

Getting lost and finding my way back

After arriving in the Bay Area, I found myself in a situation that I promised I would never put myself in – to take a job just for the money. I suppose I didn’t have a choice at the time, given that I had rent of $1,000 per month and credit card bills that funded my move. Regardless, I did not make it to a year at the job. I had to quit because the job was killing my spirit.

Forward to five years later, on the eve of my sixth anniversary in the Bay Area, and my search for meaningful work, my bliss, continues.

While I enjoy my current occupation of freelance designer and part-time webmaster at a university department, I KNOW that I do not feel the rapture. I continue to hike in the East Bay hills, and though these parks are quite beautiful and serene, I do not feel that same sense of BEING that I felt in the high mountains of Santa Fe. No rapture there.

However, these hills provide me with the quiet and solitude that I need to listen. It has been a challenging six years in the Bay Area, and only recently have I heard my inner voice again. I believe I am slowly finding my way back from being lost…

Continuing the search for meaningful work

I believe my story is more common than it is rare. It is the fortunate individual who knows from a very early age what his or her calling is. And I mean, truly knows — from the depths of their inner being. I can honestly say that I did not know what I would be when I grew up. Like many ten-year olds, I had a range of responses, from astronaut to pilot to veterinarian.

At 34, I continue my search.

While I don’t necessarily prescribe to Steve Pavlina’s method of finding my life purpose, I have recently been moved to tears by issues involving animals and wildlife. I felt that tug, that feeling in my gut that I’ve been called to action.

I am in the process of acting upon this feeling. I will share more once I see results.

Why not art?

I find it somewhat ironic that I’ve been enjoying my art class so much, yet, I do not feel that it is my bliss. For me, art-making is merely, for me.

I derive great pleasure in interacting with other sentient beings, preferably, the non-human kind (and I don’t mean computers!). I think it is my need for this interaction that prevents art-making from feeling blissful.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love animals. Perhaps I can turn that love into a life of following my bliss!

Critters Portrait

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My first self-portrait in six years

Self-portraitSherry, my drawing instructor, offered a very good critique of this portrait. My drawing hand, the hand that appears closer to the viewer, is smaller than the hand further back. That is not good foreshortening – however, to my defense, the smaller hand WAS my drawing hand. This meant I would draw, place my hand back on my leg and commit to memory what I saw, and draw again.

Sherry also picked up on the fact that I had no clue what the grades of graphite meant in terms of application. She gave me a lesson on graphite hardness and softness: B stands for softness – the higher the B grade, the softer the graphite, the more velvety, and the darker the effect. H stands for hardness – the higher the H grade, the harder the graphite and the lighter the effect will be.

So, I should have used a 6B on my hair, under my ear in the shadow – not continuously drawn over the area with the same hard graphite, producing a shiny effect instead of a velvet darkness. Very bad!

However, I had fun drawing, and ultimately, that’s what I care most about. This drawing was done with graphite pencils and sticks on 18″ x 24″ Basingwerk paper.

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