Hit Record: On TV – A Piece of Art #Art Tuesdays

Hit Record: On TV – A Piece of Art #Art Tuesdays

Typically, I would not review a TV show on here, but since I have said this you must already know how great Hit Record: On TV must be. Should I even go on?

Of course, I will go on!

"Hit Record On TV" image, **The Gaff Blog does not own this image**
“Hit Record On TV” image, **The Gaff Blog does not own this image**

So hard not to explain my love for this wonderful show that Joseph Gordon Levitt plays such a pivotal part in.¬†I do not know how much of this show was Levitt’s¬†idea, but whoever created the concept for how it is put together is ingenious.

Basically, Hit Record: On TV is a skit show made entirely through collaboration with Levitt’s Hit Record community online.

My love for this show is undying. I finished the season almost in one day (8 episodes, 20 minutes each). Would have finished it in one day but I wanted to stretch it since each episode was so good.

I will admit I am a very emotional person, so I cried at least once per episode. The content is not entirely sappy but this show does get very real and discusses topics in a very beautiful way. Refreshing does not suffice as an explanation of its character/ personality. Extraordinary does not cut it either. It feels like a show that you have always wanted to watch, but always felt was there at the same time. In a way, the show feels like a friend that you missed for a long time and you see them again.

The first episode coincidentally: deals with the number one (1). All of the episodes have their own theme which is very fitting. Talking about the number one in the first episode is a very great introduction to the rest of the season. Most of the episodes start and end with about the same format. The last episode is a very great ending to the overall season as well.

One example of when I cried: the episode RE: Space. The opener to this episode is so heart-touching and warm. I will not give away anything else related to the rest of said episode to not ruin it. I did not know before googling that this show was shown on Pivot TV, which is a great network. But I saw this show entirely on Netflix.

Please give this show a chance, we do not get good quality content like this every day. Hit Record: On TV is truly a piece of art and I would not waste time writing this if I did not truly believe it.

Update 9.9.2017 Apparently this is no longer on Netflix, but watch on TV if you ever get the chance!

Art Tuesday – Art is Much Less Important than Life, But What a Poor Life Without it. How Have You Benefited from Art?

Art Tuesday – Art is Much Less Important than Life, But What a Poor Life Without it. How Have You Benefited from Art?

I have a poster in my room that reads:

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it. Robert Motherwell.


Quote by Robert Motherwell (on the left) Copyright MOMA or Museum of Modern Art. From their Abstract Expressionist New York Exhibit Oct 3,2010 - April 25, 2011; (On the right) Pablo Picasso's
I have always believed that art is an important piece of the puzzle¬†of life. Without art, I would not be complete. (Two of many posters/images on my wall)¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Quote by Robert Motherwell (on the left) Copyright MoMA or Museum of Modern Art. From their Abstract Expressionist New York Exhibit Oct 3,2010 – April 25, 2011; (On the right) Pablo Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” Also, purchased at the MoMA.

Art has been a major influence in my life in a lot of ways. Not simply visual art either. Artists (visual and musical), paintings, music, film (also directors and screenplay writers), animation, writers like Maya Angelou (bless her soul and her beautiful poetry), even some clothing designers (You go Diane Von Furstenberg!), have all inspired me in some way. Even to start writing this blog.

When I look at the walls in my room, it’s easy to see how art has been an inspiration to me, even though recently I have hit a bit of a wall with my creativity. I’ve always been willing to try new things when it comes to art, as far as exploration and discovery go (in one’s art that is). But it seems whenever people tell me that they do not like some of my work, I take it too harshly. Should I or shouldn’t I? Nevertheless, I still draw and paint to my heart’s desire.

(In order clockwise from the top left) Robert Motherwell's quote again; Also Picasso's
An extended view of the pictures on my wall ¬† (In order clockwise from the top left) Robert Motherwell’s quote again; Also Picasso’s “Girl Before A Mirror,” Andy Warhol’s “Chocolate Bunny which says: “I never met an animal I didn’t like;” Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” in a hardcover copy; Warhol’s Flowers in Red; Warhol’s Pop ¬†Art Print – Shoes which says: “It takes a lot of work to figure out how to look so good.” (**All Artworks showed in this image except Angelou’s bought from the MoMA. All rights reserved to original owners**) **Image by Nicole Oliva**

Until recently, I was not too good with words. Creating visual art was my sole escape. Keyword was. I still enjoy drawing and painting, reading, writing, going to museums whenever I can. However, life has caught up with me and has become more serious. I especially struggled after I was rejected from a film program I yearned to be a part of ever since I fell in love with film: the ultimate visual art in my opinion, because it encompasses all aspects of visual art, but also utilizes music and dialogue (in modern cinema of course).

Art is my escape from reality because art does not force you to have an impression or experience you do not wish to have. Certainly, artists have intentions for their work when they create them. But experiencing art encompasses everything you have ever seen. Depending on your point of view, you will see something different from how I do. Also, creating art is a unique experience in itself as well. People have tried to describe the process of creating art. But it is not the same for everyone.

Pablo Picasso's
Pablo Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” **Image taken by Nicole Oliva. Artwork purchased from the MoMA or Museum of Modern Art in NYC.**

To me, “Girl Before a Mirror,” connects with my insecure side. When I look into it, I see myself looking into the mirror and think about how I pick apart myself and my flaws. But it is fair to say that this was not even close to what Pablo Picasso was thinking while creating this piece. Or while deciding on which colors to use, the shape of the woman’s breasts and hips, etc. He may have simply been fascinated with a woman’s habit of peering into a mirror. Picasso had more than a few women in his life. In the past, when I read about Picasso’s life and accomplishments I was fascinated about how he lived. He and the people he lived amongst revolutionized cubism during their own lifetime. Imagine doing that during your time alive? One could only hope to accomplish as much or even half of what Picasso did during his own lifetime. To be so successful, that your grandchildren do not have to work. If you do not believe me, google his grandchildren. He probably made most of his wealth¬†after he died, and sure, he had his flaws, but can you say you are perfect?

** Original Artworks Created by and Image by Nicole Oliva** (Top left) Self-portrait 2013;  (Top right) A Still Life 2013; (Bottom right) Two Hands 2013 (Blown up version of the image on the bottom left) All original  works shown here were created for a drawing class.
Drawings by yours truly   **Original Artworks Created by Nicole Oliva and Image by Nicole Oliva** (Top left) Self-portrait 2013; (Top right) A Still Life 2013; (Bottom right) Two Hands 2013 (Blown up version of the image on the bottom left) All original works that are shown here were created for a drawing class.

Does Art Imitate Life or Does Life Imitate Art?


I do not think I could give a definite answer to that question but in my opinion, my art reflects my life. Sure, I have tried to redo some Picasso pieces. So in that literal way, I replicated art and was influenced by it. But I have always been an observer. Not necessarily a follower. Following this line of thought, some people may entirely imitate art, but the ones who revolutionize, their art imitates life. Not the other way around.

I believe all great art imitates life. Even abstract art. Abstract art in itself is a complex puzzle not meant to be solved. Just like life. Why are we here? I do not have an answer to that question either. Are we here to live and then die? What should be we do while on this Earth? What if we all have a purpose that is meant to be fulfilled? Have I fulfilled that purpose yet?

More pictures on my wall lol. Pictures of Lady Gaga **Image by Nicole Oliva** Original images taken from a magazine. Copyright goes to original owners or photographers.
More pictures on my wall lol. Pictures of Lady Gaga **Image by Nicole Oliva** Original images taken from a magazine. Copyright goes to original owners or photographers.

If you read through older posts on the Gaff Blog, you’ll see one post that¬†mentions Lady Gaga, who is another great influence¬†in¬†my life. Say what you will about her. But her music, whether she was high while writing it or even making the beats certainly imitates her life. From Bad Kids¬†to So Happy I Could Die, to Monster, if you dig deep into her lyrics, you can see the real her. Even Poker Face is apparently about her hiding a bisexual fantasy from her lover. The rawness of her music is what always attracted me to her as an artist. Also, her love of playing piano always inspires me to bring an aspect of what¬†I love into my future work and career. Although her taste for leather repulsed¬†me during my vegetarian phase, I accepted her for her flaws. Some may think¬†she has more than others. But again, we’re all imperfect. Artists may¬†simply be ¬†more attuned to accepting their flaws.

To end this post, I will say that art has continued to be an immensely beneficial¬†aspect of my life. If art has not benefitted you in any way, I suggest checking again. On your walls, on your clothes, maybe some place that I wouldn’t even think of. But find what makes you happy and pursue that, whatever way you can.

Last image from my wall.       Quote by Diane Von Furstenberg
Last image from my wall. ¬† ¬† ¬†Quote by Diane Von Furstenberg. “Be yourself and enjoy it! Live healthy and love your body! Your confidence is your real beauty.” **Image by Nicole Oliva**

For more information on Robert Motherwell and his artwork, visit http://artsy.net/artist/robert-motherwell

#ArtTuesdays – 10 Problems of an Introvert (As Told by an Actual Introvert)

#ArtTuesdays – 10 Problems of an Introvert (As Told by an Actual Introvert)

To introduce the topic I will say that today’s Art Tuesday will discuss being an introvert.

When I was 17 or 18 years old, I wrote “Problems of An Introvert¬†about myself, and my personal problems to let off some steam. Problems of An Introvert¬†is not about all introverts, it is about this introvert, writing this post¬†aka me ūüėõ ( and if you can read my horrid hand writing the subheading is: AKA Shy Kid, also referring to me) Thus, I apologize for my ignorance or anything that is outright false because while it has only been a couple of years ( I am 21 years old now) I have learned a lot since then. I am not the only introvert on the planet. And I will address now that although my first and second problem noted discuss shyness which¬†is a major misconception of being introverteda lot of people assume that all introverts are shy. I personally happen to be a shy introvert. ¬†However, this is certainly not true for all introverted people.¬†

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Problems of an Introvert Page 1 Written by Nicole Oliva (written when I was 17 or 18) read full post for details.

 Problems of an Introvert page one: (I am writing them over in case people cannot read my chicken scratch lol)

1. The obvious being shy

2. Overcoming the shyness.

Since one and two both discuss shyness I will talk about them in conjunction. When I was younger, I was very confused and did not know myself as well. So yes, I was shy. But, I also was simply less comfortable with myself and my introvertedness so I did not know how to make myself happy. I did not realize that I needed some rest time in between seeing people. My family did not necessarily respect privacy when I was younger and so I was always with someone on my back, not letting me be me. Knowing myself a lot better now and learning to deal with my introvertedness (not my shyness) has in turn made me understand how to live better and to deal with everyone a lot better. I was and am still shy when I first meet people. I will never run up to anyone and start an off-the-cuff conversation about foolish things. But I realize that everyone is not trying to trigger my anxiety. Just everyone is different and that is ok. There are more people like me. Introverts generally act the way I do. Yes, we’ll talk to you. But actually engage us in conversation one-on-one and we’ll be your best friend. We cannot handle all of the pressure of large crowds or a cafeteria like setting. It’s too much for our brains to take in. We prefer laid-back settings to talk and get to know people. Occasionally I will go to a party. But I’m probably the first to leave or I will be making myself comfortable in a quiet corner or nook ūüėõ

Introverts do not thrive on human interaction the way extroverts do. For an introvert, hanging out with people can be compared to working out. The more people we hang out with, the more our brain works to process everything and keep up. Throw some loud music and a crowd and we’re basically running a marathon. Speaking of marathons. Not saying an introvert wouldn’t do one. But they might need a day or two to rest from running and people after they go through with it.

For a better interpretation of what being introverted means I suggest “How To Love Your Introvert” by Kevin Yang a Button Poetry video on Youtube.

3. People assuming you want to be alone (in some cases, but 8 out or 10 times totally wrong, and actually the opposite),

Yes, introverts need off time to recharge (for lack of a better term) but that does not mean we need to be home alone all of the time. Introverts are not necessarily lazy, or incapable home bodies. However, as said we prefer cool, laid-back settings. Most parties are not laid-back. So fix the setting of your party before you invite your favorite introvert.

4. Assholes that take advantage of them (most introverts are nice, but maybe not in a smiley kind of way. I myself do things for people to show them I care/like them as a person)

Listen, stop telling to me to smile on first sight of my face. I do not live to please everyone. Nor do I need to smile all day to prove that I am happy. Did you ever think to ask if someone is happy before assuming they are miserable because they do not have a smile pasted on their face? Well maybe now you should. That’s all I will say about this.

If you want a laugh check out my post on button poetry which has two Youtube videos related to this specific problem ūüôā

https://wordpress.com/post/87935754/132/

5. Personally, I am a perfectionist. I hate confrontation. I’m picky. I don’t like talking about my feelings, however I am very emotional/sentimental. I’m good at criticizing but I can’t take criticism from other people. I get into a vicious cycle of unhappiness and can’t get out (frequently)¬†

This problem may simply be my own personal one. But I am not discussing how I am actually feeling when you ask me how I am. And even when I do say something other than good and fine, people seem to think that’s weird or do not actually engage me anyhow. So sorry for not following your stupid routine but I do have feelings that you do not need to hear about, nor do you actually care.

If you’re going to ask me how I am, you can expect an answer other than good. Otherwise, do not bother me with your stupid small talk.

problems of an introvert part 1

6. I’m horrible at small talk. When people ask me simple questions I give simple answers. It’s always like “How are you?” or “What’s up?” And I’m like good or fine. Even if I’m having a horrible day.¬†

As an introvert, small talk never rubbed me the¬†right way. I never understood why people would ask me how I am doing if they did not actually care for a response beyond good or fine. Even when I say fine, people have literally said: “Just fine?” as if I’m lying or fine was not good enough for them. Apparently, I have to stroke everyone’s ego when I give my response. And god forbid I do not say “And you?” back to them right away. Got into an argument about this one. If I do not say it right away I was perhaps thinking, or you know do not actually care about you. Sorry for the honesty, but that’s the blunt truth motherfucker. Not everyone cares about you damn it. I’ll say it straight to your face.

7. I’m not very spontaneous. I usually like to have a routine or I start to feel/become restless.

 Again, I do not know if this specific trait is universal to introverts, but for myself personally, I have always needed something to do or I start cleaning like a crazy person because that was the only thing I could think to do. Plus it is productive. Did I mention the thing had to be productive? lol. My routine must be filled with things to do that are productive.

Either work,

Or cleaning the whole house.

Anchorman image - That escalated quickly. The gaff blog does not own this image
Anchorman image – That escalated quickly. The gaff blog does not own this image

8. At my worst (without personal time to recharge) I’m moody, lazy, apathetic, I procrastinate, so therefore, I’m also probably stressed out, and I keep to myself more.¬†

When people do not allow me the time I need to recharge I am the worst person on the planet. I insult everyone around me. I am irritable. I will criticize you until you are on the brink of cutting yourself. If you do not want this dragon lady version of me to come out. Please respect my time and allow me to do whatever the fuck I want by myself. And I will reemerge as the lovely lady people all know and love (I hope they like/love me XD lol.)

Also, personally I always procrastinate if I can, because I know I can get the job done just as well anyway. Any college student who writes long papers overnight can agree and sympathize ūüėÄ ! lol.

I got an A on a 10 page paper I wrote overnight. What about you? You planned yours out a week/month ahead of time? Aw that’s sweet hun lol. Get on my level XD.

9. If I do not automatically feel comfortable with people, then I do not hang out with them. So I’m kind of picky with friends too.¬†

I cannot claim this is a universal problem for introverts either, but I have always used my intuition when it comes to meeting new people especially people who could potentially become a friend. Which is why I also hate the typical small talk of people asking how I am doing. If you do not care for a real and honest response, then we probably will not be friends or even acquaintances in the future. I will be nothing except myself when talking to you. Do not expect lollipops and rainbows with me.

Problems of an introvert part 3 written by my 17 or 18 year old self.
Problems of an introvert part 3 written by my 17 or 18 year old self.

So the last page of Problems is just one. But it’s a major one that seems to be a problem with people’s perception of introverts or shy people who do not vomit everything they feel out:

10. Expressing feelings. 

Some introverts may seem cold or mean maybe even passive aggressive because they either have a hard time expressing their feelings or do not wish to share with everyone they ever meet.

I personally am so good at hiding how I am feeling, it’s definitely a problem because I end up holding things in and I may or may not end up blowing up on people if I reach a certain point.¬†

When I really like someone and reach a certain level of comfortability with them, my true colors come out.

So to explain this one, basically, getting to know an introvert is a process. You will not know everything about them, especially me, until you get to know them a lot better. I personally need to spend a lot of time with someone and possibly share a lot with them before considering them my best friend. One day at six flags is not necessarily making them my bestie. Speaking of that, I hate roller coasters. Do not assume everyone likes six flags ūüėõ

Everyone who likes six flags is already there. Go with them XD

To end this discussion, I share a self portrait of myself that I drew within the same time span that I wrote Problems of an Introvert

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Self Portrait of yours truly Nicole O. ūüôā I do positively own this image in my sketch pad. Anyone taking this image and using it elsewhere will suffer the consequences of having a beautiful self portrait of me ūüėõ lol.

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#ArtTuesday – Women and Girl’s Clothing Choices’ for Spring and Summer Months

#ArtTuesday – Women and Girl’s Clothing Choices’ for Spring and Summer Months

It seems as the spring has come, the questioning of what girls wear to keep themselves cool/i.e.: not sweaty, has risen.

As a woman who was bothered by these dress codes while I was in high school, it worries me that girls are bothered for what they wear to protect guys, instead of teaching guys how to control themselves.

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Image shared via Facebook originally from Explore Talent. Questions whether the legitimacy of the girl who shared these fliers around her school. Of course she is right #respect #allwomen #allgirls **The Gaff Blog does not own this image**

The poster of this image on Facebook: Explore Talent – Acting and Modeling, questions if the girl was right with her reasoning for posting these fliers around her school. Well I say the girl is absolutely right.

Do not teach girls and women that their appearance is what matters most. In the long run, when you bother girls for not having shorts that¬†are a length that matches with the end of their finger tips not only are you singling them out, but also you are shaming them for their choice in what to wear. You are ruining an individual’s identity.

This is not to say that there is not such a thing as inappropriate dress. One should not wear anything similar to the size of a bathing suit to a school. That is logical. High school/ school in general is not a beach or your house. So bathing suits and slippers should stay in your house. And I understand if clothes are see-through or too short to cover ass cheeks. However, why is it a problem for people like myself to wear shorts to keep themselves cool?

I have been singled out in the past for this reason. My arms are a whole lot longer than most girls. I never pass the finger tip length test.

That test is bullshit

My sister works for Con Edison, and their dress code (along with the shoes they have to wear to protect themselves while on the job) is clearly told to every worker (and a uniform is given) before they begin their work when they are hired.

The same logic and reasoning should be applied to school, and anywhere else that enforces a dress code.

Even when a uniform is not handed out, if you need to make a diagram/picture of what is acceptable versus not acceptable then make it.

Decency is a thing. But do not demean a girl and her self-esteem for wearing shorts!

To end this Art Tuesday post, I say:

Respect girls and women for their choice of apparel to keep themselves cool in the spring and summer months, as long as it is suited for the environment that they are staying. While I understand that there are guidelines for certain workplaces, these rules should be stated outright to everyone including men and women.

I’ll let a post from Tumblr officially end this one ūüėõ

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When a girl walks in… RESPECT HER #respectgirls #respectwomen #respecteveryone #respecteverybody Found image via my facebook feed, post made through Tumblr **The Gaff Blog does not own this image**

***Update*** Found this picture on my instagram feed from a page called freethep (a group in the UK that supports making women’s sanitary napkins/pads/tampons free to all women). I thought it could not be more related to this post and the point I was asserting.

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**Image taken from instagram. The Gaff Blog does not own this image**

**The Gaff Blog Does Not Own Any Images Shared in This Post ** 

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Art Tuesdays – Yes, Comics Are Art

Art Tuesdays – Yes, Comics Are Art

For this lovely Art Tuesday, I want to talk about comics.

I am not sure why, but comics seem to have a really bad reputation for being stupid or sub-par to novels. This is not the case. Before I was introduced to comics, I though similarly. Sure, there are pictures. But comics are not like picture books for children (although I’m sure there are comics targeted to children). Majority of the time, the vocabulary in comics is on par with most higher level novels.

page out of harley quinn knockknockjokes1
Page Out of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson. All rights go to DC Comics.

This page comes out of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel, Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson and is released by DC Comics. I particularly love Harley comics because while they are a little nutty, due to the antics between Harley, Mr. J (Joker) and whoever else navigates around them, the content provided is always top-notch and Harley comics, among others, provide vocabulary that is better than your average boring newspaper or teen novel (not knocking the Hunger Games (which I love) or Twilight, but this, in my opinion, is better). Children, teens and even adults can read comics. Why not?

If you click and read this page, Harley is talking to Lewis about how he got involved with Mr. J and Lewis tells Harley to guess; the second panel from the top reads: Harley: “You wanted to be a clown, but you had to join the military to pay for clown school. During a routine invasion, you were exposed to an experimental nerve gas that left you allergic to grease paint. Embittered, you rejected all authority and turned to a life of crime. And I like to think you killed a man — it’s the romantic in me!” While Lewis’ story is not so melodramatic, Harley’s monologue about his back story is filled with depth, even though it still has a hint of nutcase in it. The addition of the nerve gas seems like the introduction of any super hero story. ‘They were harmed by xyz and came out better because of it…’ But I digress..

Not only are comics great because of their vocabulary, but they’re fun!

The colors, the characters, and the story lines are endless. Which make the opportunities for comics endless, which is probably what both DC and Marvel are looking forward too. (I do not play favorites, I like DC and MARVEL)

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Inside Cover of Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes Written by Karl Kesel All Rights For Ownership goes to DC Comics.

Here’s hoping DC does more with Harley than just comics and takes the cake from Marvel by producing a female led Harley flick.

While I hope for something unlikely to happen: Try a comic today! (:

It does not have to be Harley

Don’t knock it til you try it ūüėõ