Aubree's Artworks

I think I have a new portfolio piece! 
Portrait of Pink, for Illustration Seminar class.

Thoughts on Greatness

What do I do with this life?

On the days when even my thoughts are routine and I do not wonder about much outside of my own habitat, my dreams seem so clear. They are only to finish school and settle down in one of these lovely cities with a family of my own. To create with my own fingers one beautiful thing after another. To grow bit by bit in my character. To serve the church in some way. To find little ways each day to celebrate and honor my Lord. 

Yet, sometimes I feel that in all reality, I have no idea what my dreams are, or should be. I fear that I’ll miss out on so much due to the decisions I make, and that settling down is actually settling, period. Should I do something bigger? And what does bigger even mean? Am I denying some potential greatness in me because I desire to stay in America instead of serve a third world country, or have a normal, steady job instead of aiming to make it as some famous artist? Should I live a life that people will write stories about and make into movies and be so inspired by? 

Am I using the short time I have on earth to its fullest extent?

The most frustrating thing is, I can’t know the vision God has for my life. I don’t even know my own potential, and all of my strengths and weaknesses. Our own hearts are very mysterious! But, I must know he does have the best vision. I suppose I’m somehow afraid that one less-than-perfect decision will bring my life to a more mediocre level, and God will be less and less pleased with me. I’m afraid of taking huge risks and going on huge adventures, yet I’m also afraid that I won’t take enough. 

I make God out to be so small.

There are people out there who are on a more physical battlefield. They are the Christians who are baptizing in countries where Christianity is shunned. They are the ones working in shelters for children with HIV and saving lives and making an impact on the entire world with their talents. They’re facing raw hardships like disease, prison and death. They are leading crowds. They are writing books and music and making movies for all to see. And these people amaze me. I want that, I want that, I want to be them.

Perhaps God has something like this in store for me. but I realize, I need to remember- while those people are out there doing great things, who’s going to stay here and do great things?

In a way, it almost seems like it would be easier for me to love people who are in dramatic circumstances. The documentary Blood Brother is one that makes me cry, because those dying children are so so beautiful. I’d want nothing more than to hug them, especially if they hugged back. I’d feel like I’d want to give up everything for them.

I in no way want to discredit the people who serve in this way-for it must be an entirely different sort of burden. They take on a beautiful task, and one that is needed so much in this world. God uses our individual gifts to move his kingdom in different ways.

But what seems much less appealing to me, and much more challenging to my heart, is getting my hands dirty in my relationships with other sinful people. The idea of vulnerability, loyalty, commitment, and forgiveness. Loving the people who are hard to love. Watching over the flock and taking other’s burdens upon myself. Denying my comfort to help someone. Take the phone call of someone who I just KNOW will want to vent to me for an hour without taking advice. Listening to people who bore me. Communicating in a healthy way with the people who share my space, my house. Submitting to leaders. Reaching out to people who aren’t sick, who aren’t poor, and who think they already have it all together. 

Those things frighten me to death, and they are also the things I believe God wants to use me for.

I believe there’s a shortage of people who are extremely excited about living this kind of life. We are all so caught up in our inadequacies and our less-than-greatnesses. When our schedule isn’t filled to the brim with “ministry work” we think we’re somehow failing God. When we aren’t called to be leaders or missionaries or adventurers, we think its because we have fallen short. 

But perhaps we are being ushered by our Lord to take on the greatest challenge of all.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Matthew 18: 21-22 NIV

Lightly

dear grace, if I never knew you
the moon would think me its stranded daughter
body aglow, yet mislaid in shame
I’d be buried far away from its lovely light
in the unnoticed corners of pirate maps
never knowing to befriend my own worth
I’d strive and bleed in vain
fear I’d not win over the “great jailer”
dear grace, its as if your truth longs to be known
more than justice, more than ideals,
longs to keep us from discrediting
our new infallible hearts
you remind me of swinging and flying
and running lightly with bare feet
you teach me to hope despite my weakness
consume and marry me to the light
dear grace, I do know
you’ll make my ending sweet.

Contradictions: A Rant

I often think about how there are too many contradictions in what the world tells us. The popular opinion honestly makes no sense. These are my questions.

So we’re supposed to:

“Live for the now”, but hope for better days and a brighter future?
Take whatever makes us happy, but give to those in need?
Hold ourselves to a moral structure, yet have no standard to construct from?
Preach about changing the world, but not change the way we live our own lives?
Vow complete commitment on our wedding day, but “consciously uncouple” when it gets hard?
Have heated discussions on racism, feminism and politics, but fail to love others and control our own anger?
Withhold from putting definitions on gender, but approve of “I identify as _”?
Respect our intricate bodies, but do whatever we want with them?
Believe in an absolute truth, but take no journey to find it?
Reject the idea of God, but assure the dying that they’re on their way to someplace better?
Have empathy and value every person, but kill in the context of war?
Believe that Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived, but only think about him on a couple holidays?
Have a life drenched with meaning, without knowing the meaning of life itself?
Live mediocre lives and hope that our children live better, only for them to continue the cycle?

If I have to depend on the wisdom of the world, I am lost. These scriptures are so valuable to me: “For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” -1 Corinthians 3:19. And, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” -1 Corinthians 1:18.

A film that my amazing and talented brother directed for a film school project. Our family all had roles in making this film as well as some friends. I had the privilege of working on production design- such a cool experience! Support him by checking out his channel and giving feedback in the comments section!

Dear “True Love”

Dear “True Love”

It’s in that awkward stage between dreaming of knights in shining armor and seeking a real companion that I’ve learned what you’re supposed to look like. Certainly I’ve tread those shallow waters of getting sucked into sad, beautiful eyes and practically swinging on flattery. I could write a book called “romance and all of its lies”. No, no, you are not outward beauty or charm. I think there might be a scripture on that…

At one time I thought you were the boy who gathered all of my secrets like a jar collection and fiddled with my heart. I believed you were the one who dissected me and told me what I should have already known; that I was beautiful, and interesting, and valuable. And sometimes I thought you were something deep and lost that I was supposed to fix. That wasn’t you. You are not pride. I should not look for you brooding in a corner, all wrapped up in your own ideas.

For a while I thought you were to be a kind of savior. That’s what they conclude in movies, right? That we have only lived a full life if we’ve found our “true love”. Or at least, most of our problems would be gone. Long story short, I got to know my creator, and he’s like Batman, Yoda, and the Doctor combined times a jazillion when it comes to saving people. I am already saved. I am already loved. And it’s true that my God is the ultimate picture of what you look like. So, as I speak of you being a human on this earth, you are not my savior.

In fact, I’ve narrowed you down quite a bit. You are not fear. You are not the nice guy who can’t bring himself to clarify that he just wants to be friends. You’re not even the one who’s smitten by me, yet waits around too long to make a decision. You don’t fail to protect my heart. On a more reassuring note, you are not always popular. You don’t have to be outspoken, comedic, admired by all the crowd. You don’t need to have dollar bills catching the wind everywhere you go. You don’t have it all together. You are never perfect, and I don’t expect you to be.

I’ve learned a bit of what you are.

You are a gem, a treasure I get to uncover. You are strength of heart, beauty of mind, a different way of seeing the world. True love, you are the one who looks at me genuinely, and speaks honestly. You are not my savior, but my partner-in-crime. You gather my secrets and whisper them to God. You are humble. You are quirks that I’m I’m both in love with and annoyed by. You are a best friend. Someone to laugh with (if not at). You are silly memories, awkward moments, times when there’s nothing to say. You are the epitome of a good book alongside hot chai. You are home. You see enough of my heart to pardon my poor social skills. You are the one who fearlessly chases after me and who’s in the business of being a bit risky. You are in love with the ultimate true love, God. And you remind me of why this letter all points back to Him.

I have so much more to learn about you, and I really can’t wait. Really really. I wonder if I’ve met you, know you, or if I’m still waiting to find you. I wonder if I am, or will, be, all of these things to you.

Until I figure it out,
Me.

Twins

(song lyrics based on a very morbid Grimm’s tale, “The Juniper Tree”. I have no shame.)

seven years grew you and I
that juniper strained to the sky
oh sister dear with all your grace
she loved you more and cursed my face

one quiet day in noontide heat
she said the chest held something sweet
but as I bent over to check
she closed the lid right on my neck

gather my bones they’re so haunted and blue
wrap me in branches I’ll wait here for you

oooh
oooh

a crimson scarf tied round my spine
she sat me up like all was fine
oh sister dear don’t kiss my head
or you shall learn that I am dead

gather my bones they’re so haunted and blue
wrap me in branches I’ll wait here for you

gather my bones they’re so haunted and blue
wrap me in branches I’ll wait here for you

oooh
oooh

little 3-hr project - to do an editorial illustration that goes with an article we read about sleep.

little 3-hr project - to do an editorial illustration that goes with an article we read about sleep.

Quick matchbox design for Illustration.

…OMGOSH I DREW THE RIGHT HAND TWICE
Whatever I still like it.

Quick matchbox design for Illustration.

…OMGOSH I DREW THE RIGHT HAND TWICE
Whatever I still like it.

Threads

I hope you find it nice sir, you have the title
of one who strolls along my dreaming
from time to time, though my mind
barely memorized your mystics
and that obscure, caffeinated temperament
sad heart, blind life.
I’ve always felt our souls the same
mine light, yours dark but not to blame
for cutting between the threads we shared
two years, yes, I owe you them
and I’ve always cared.

I hope perhaps I’ll find you when I wed
hug my old friend, save the last thread

I’d tell you my ribs were crushed down
from loving your sad heart
I thought love was supposed to drive out fear
but it drove me into ditches and nervousness and I’m so,
so sorry
to think this excuse for a poem will suffice.

I miss our talks, but I know they weren’t nice.

Moments

There are moments that act like poetry, whose providence first captures me unaware, then at sight of its face, sinking my anchor deep enough to keep me stuck in all of the meaning and beauty, just for a time, until my sails beg to turn their faces. It requires no witnesses but my subconscious, shyly nudging me to memorize the moment, like with tears as my brother departs for another hard month, or as my mother offers to hear my heart. As I let my eyes abstract the candlelight when I am deep in prayer. As I feel companionless and without virtue. As I lose a friend. But it also nudges me with joy, at times springing out of nothing but small epiphanies, like kisses from God, patiently revealing my story. Those days I go without laughing uphold even more the moments I nearly suffocate myself with it. Held even higher: the moment I realize someone speaks not to my face, but to my soul. Finally, there are moments that are unremarkable, lost to my page-turner days and busy feet, yet I become aware of its strange value. Walking that block to the bus stop for millionth time. Laying wide-eyed at night, guessing how many layers of paint stick to the walls of this old apartment. Noticing beauty in someone I never thought much of. Noticing the moon in the midst of everything. That is probably my favorite.

Finally finished with my Croquet Ball poster.  Lots of color changes…hopefully they work okay!  Gouache and colored pencil.