You were born to make an amazing life

You were born to make an amazing life

You were born to make an amazing life

Not to sit around waiting for a change and making random posts on Instagram for insta-likes

You were born to feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks (face and ass if you can rock it)

You were born to conquer your fears not to become a victim to your anxieties

Don’t get me wrong

Fears, anxieties, depression, they’re all monsters that plague us.

But when you let yourself become a victim to your mind

Are you really living?

This isn’t a criticism. It’s a wake up call

Live your fucking dreams

And don’t apologize for occasionally having your head in the clouds

It’s what keeps us alive

Dreaming, hoping, loving those around us

Struggle shapes you

Don’t let it knock you too far down

You’re meant to rise back up as high mountains and show the world why you deserve your spot

Because you were born to make an amazing life

And I will keep believing this is true no matter how many bitter, miserable people attempt to bring me down and make me think I’m the one who’s naïve

Be the person of your dreams

I believe in you and I

N. Oliva

Expectations of the Sheep

Expectations of the Sheep

IMG_0874 (2)
“Drained” N. Oliva 12/2017

People think because a person has a degree that automatically they get to work a glamorous job and make stacks of money.

Sure the opportunities are out there, but what if that’s not what a person wants?

What if my goal is to work with a great team somewhere and be happy.

Of course, there are bills to pay but are we really living to work?

That’s not how I pictured my life going.

Maybe my goals are too picturesque or cliche. Not set in reality. But I don’t think it’s hard to find a nice group of people and make your job something more than that. Something you enjoy

Maybe my goals are too simple for the NYC grind and area.

Maybe my home will be somewhere out west or south or even another country.

I’m a firm believer that life is what you make it.

But what if the people around me truly are to blame for my negative outlook.

I’ve been patient for a while hoping that if I’m nice and do everything I need to do to keep the peace that maybe people would change.

Maybe they would appreciate the things that I do for them without them asking.

But these people never do.

These people are only happy when you’re doing everything they ask and nothing more. When you say what they want you to say and act like another one of the sheep like they do.

News flash

I never was a sheep and I never will be

I’m like a lotus flower wrapped in diamonds

Sculpted by the pressure and atmosphere around me

The dirt is more my friend and family than people related to me by blood at times

I know things could be so much worse

I know my life is great on the surface

I could not be living at all

I try my best to embrace each day that comes

But sometimes

Just sometimes

The thought of not waking up seems like a sweet release compared to living this life that I live

Where money has become more important to people than company

Maybe it’s time to stop being comfortable. To leave and find my tribe.

I may have lost my leaves. But trust me when I say

I will grow

And I will flourish again in the spring

I always do.

It’s in my nature

Forever blooming

dalai lama quote


N. Oliva

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

#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 😛 ( 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. 

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 😛

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 🙂

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 😀 ! 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 😛

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

Self Portrait of yours truly Nicole O. 🙂 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 😛 lol.

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