Category Archives: College Times

Stories, adventures, and thoughts from my ever interesting college experience.

Relating to Robert Mangold

Currently in the Kemper Contemporary Art Museum in Kansas City, there is an exhibit called, “Deconstructing Robert Mangold.” Mangold is a minimalist artist who was very profound in the Modern Art movement. On display are 7 woodcut prints titled “untitled A-G”, along with pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition brings together a very wide range of conceptual pieces that form some sort of connection with Mangold’s seven prints.



untitled (A-G), 2000; from the portfolio of Robert Mangold Print

At a glance, these woodcuts are representations of geometric analysis’s, and no two prints are exactly alike in terms of structure. There are niches cut out of the prints that clash with the idea of artistic structural formulas. When walking around the gallery space, the viewer must interpret how the pieces made by generations of different artists relate to Mangold’s seven small prints.

Out of the many pieces in the gallery, there were three that stood out to me as truly relating to the inspiration for the collection, the first bring a piece called Murmur.


Murmur 2014, Cheonae Kim; acrylic and graphite on canvas

I was drawn to the piece mainly due to how busy it is; the shapes made by dozens of tiny squares create a piece that feels as though it is vibrating on the canvas. From far away, the lines seem crisp and perfectly straight, but when you get a closer look, you are able to tell how loosely Kim creates her abstract paintings. While this piece is almost overly simulating compared to the simplicity of Mangold’s prints, there is a connection between the use of loose, structural lines. The print series and the painting are both logical and playful at the same time; one invoking a simple whimsy in geometric shapes, and the other reminding the viewer of the popular game Tetris. 

The second piece that I feel connects with Mangold is Movement in White, Umber and Cobalt Blue. 


Movement in White, Umber, and Cobalt Blue 1950; John Marin

This piece is much different from Murmur in the sense that the overall subject matter is much looser. You don’t have to get close to the canvas to see how loosely Marin used his three colors to create the composition. What does tie this piece to Mangold’s is how even though the subject matter is more free form, there is still a sense of structural unity in the piece. The background is full of squares and crossing lines than create a subtle frame work that relates to Mangold’s structurally sound woodcuts. There is also a relation through the low key color choices of both artists. The colors are calm, yet are boldly added on top of the cream background, creating strong compositions.

The final piece that stuck out to me as truly connecting with the original seven is Study for Self Portrait. 


Study for Self Portrait, 1982, Francis Bacon; color lithograph

Out of all the other pieces in the exhibit, this seemed the most out of place at first glance. It is one of the only pieces with an organic form as the main subject of the work. But after studying it more carefully, the viewer can connect the geometric structure of the background to Mangold’s prints. There is also a square-like quality to the figure itself; it is closed off and could easily be broken down into a box-like form. The color choice also connects in the same way that Movement does, with the low key quality of the image really pushing out the idea of the form and lines, rather than making bold choices with color. The softness of the human figure also ties in with the rounded lines in Mangold’s prints, but doesn’t take away from the sharpness of the straight lines in the background.


Artists are constantly pulling inspiration from other artists. It’s not cheating to use an idea that dawns on you while looking at the art of someone that you admire. Art is constantly evolving, and with exhibits like this, we are able to understand how our work relates to our fellow peers and people we aspire to be like. “Deconstructing Robert Mangold” is an exhibit I will more definitely spend more time in during future visits so that I can better understand the art of inspiration that moves throughout the artistic community.



Until Next Time,





I’m back! Excuse the leave of absence; stick around for more future posts!

How to Feel a Little Bit Better in 1 Minute or Less

This past week and a half has been really weird. I’ve been lacking motivation and have been having some really weird moody spells. Sometimes, when I get down, I like to sit down and think about all the good things that I have going on. By having that list, I’m able to see how many awesome things are going on, and that often chases away some of my down-in-the-dumps thoughts.

Today, I decided to set a timer for a minute to see how many good things I could think of, as opposed to thinking about my soul-crushing homework. Here’s what I wrote:

Seven Brides Rehearsals

Hanging out with Suz

New Dresses

Finding a good new book

Finally getting my print right in photography

Rewatching the Clone Wars with Grant

Toby being home from the vet

Ice Cream

Starbucks Mornings

Jesus Time in the Morning

Carlos’s Backwards To-Do lists

In just 60 seconds, I was able to come up with 11 things that were positive in my life. While things on my list or your list might not make sense to other people, knowing for yourself that there is still light during icky times is really important. Give this a try yourself! You don’t even have to do it for a minute; try 30 seconds to get yourself started. Or, set more time aside to write down things that make you thankful to be alive 🙂

Now, I’m back to the constant battle of Abby vs. Homework. Hoping that the homework won’t beat me 😛

Until Next Time,


Lessons Learned from the Hardest Semester of my Life

Walking out of my math final at 2:43 Thursday afternoon was the best feeling in the entire world. This semester was by far the hardest semester of school I have ever stumbled through, and I feel as though I have learned a few things that might be able to help others who decide to make the journey through the insanity that is college.

1.Grades do not define who you are. 

Heaven’s sakes, everyone needs this hammered into their brain. You’ve probably heard this before, but the grade you get does not tell you whether or not you are smart. You can get a D on a test and still be a really intelligent human being. Yes, it can really suck (trust me I know), but that red mark isn’t a reflection of your intelligence.

download (4)


2. Avoid starting online classes during the week you need to save China.

In translation: try to avoid starting a class during a very busy week where you can’t focus very well on it. Lesson. Learned. Starting my online class the show week of Mulan was very crazy, and I am so very thankful for wonderful friends who put up with me that week while I was dying.


3. Let sleep happen.

There are some nights where it feels like you feel like you need to stay up till 3am studying, but there are times where you just have to let yourself catch some zzz’s. Yes, there will be late nights, but try not to let them happen too many nights in a row.


4. Literature teachers are really hard graders.

I’ve taken upper level classes before, but word of warning: if your English/literature/History teacher seems super chipper and really passionate, they will be the hardest graders EVER. Writing is kind of my thing when it comes to school work, so getting an 82% on my first essay was kind of a wake up call for me. Granted, it was still a decent grade, but I was not crazy about getting a “B” on a writing assignment.

giphy (5)


5. You can make the greatest friends by bonding over your suffering. 

Whether it’s the people at your work table in an art class or the girls in your row in math class, connecting with people who are on the same struggle bus as you can be crucial to making it through the semester. Don’t be afraid to talk to the people around you; you never know when you’ll be meeting someone who will help you through the craziest of times.

(I’m looking at you, Hailey and Emily ;D)




I am so extremely relieved to be done with this semester, but looking back at it, I am grateful for the many lessons I’ve learned over the course of it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to focus on the really important stuff: STAR WARS OPENS NEXT WEEK! Time to marathon!!!!!!


Until Next Week,



Five Things You Should Not to Say to an Art Major

There are certain things that you just shouldn’t say to a student pursuing an art degree. Whether they’re an Illustration major with a teaching minor or a Ceramics/Photography double major, there are a handful of phrases that will make any art major want to dump paint over your head.

(Disclaimer: This is a slightly angsty post due to the fact that I have two weeks to finish three paintings and two drawings for the semester XD)

5) You just sit around drawing all day, right?

Yeah, no. Different art classes require different things, but you are never just sitting around drawing the whole time. You move around. You confer with your fellow class mates. You make a pot of coffee. You go cut paper with the monster paper slicer. You spend 30 minutes mixing colors for your next layer of paint. You make another pot of coffee. And then you go off and solve 23 other problems that just popped up. There’s a lot more to being an art major than drawing all day.

4) I could do that and/or your major is so easy.

Some people walk into a museum, look at a piece of art work and say, “I could do that.” Everyone has the ability to do art, but not everyone chooses to be an artist. There is so much that goes into every piece of art, many of which you don’t notice when you are just looking at it. Just because we get to do a lot of fun stuff doesn’t mean that it’s easy.

3) Did you know you have paint/clay/ink/etc. on your ________

Yep. We tend to be messy. Sorry.

2) There are a million other people just like you.

This is just kind of an overall nasty thing to say to anyone. Don’t shoot down a person’s dreams. You might think that you’re helping someone by being realistic, but how would you feel if someone came and stomped all over your goals?

1) Have you thought about how you’re going to pay the bills?

Oi vey, this is the worst. Yes, the art world can be quite difficult to get ahead in, and at the beginning it can be hard to make money. You don’t go into art for the money, but in recent years, there have been a lot more opportunities for artists in the realm of business. For future reference, yes, it’s something that crosses our minds and haunts our dreams, but we’re gonna figure it out.



Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bang my head against the wall as I do math homework instead of drawing.


Until next time,





Thirty Years Was Long Enough

Crown. Taken.

 A little over a year ago, I was leaving Buffalo Wild Wings utterly crushed after they had lost the seventh game in the 2014 Series. I had needed to see them win. Last year was rough to say the least. A lot of things had happened in my personal life, and on top of all of that, my boys in blue lost the World Series. But a year later, there was an entirely different feeling in our family room as Wade Davis finished off the Mets. First World Series win for  this team in 30 years, and it was an awesome sight to see.


It’s amazing how something like baseball can bring an entire city together. For the past week, every where I’ve gone, the majority of people have been dressed in blue. You can strike up a conversation with just about anybody and end up high-fiving after discussing the latest game. This city has been brought closer together by our fellas who never gave up.


As I look back at last year and last night, I’m in awe of not just the World Series win, but by the unity of this team and their passion for the game. The Royals are a scrappy, confident, tight knit group that have set a high standard for MLB teams. Their sportsmanship is incredible, and the way that they play the game is amazing to witness. They are a a team that didn’t give up and rallied together to win a huge victory for their home town.


This passion that this baseball team has is the kind of passion I want to have throughout life; the kind of passion that makes you dig even deeper within yourself to win a victory. The attitude that this Midwest team has is a wonderful example for everyone of what it takes to be a champion, and it’s wonderful to see so many of the players giving glory to God through this win. So, thanks Royals, for bringing a lot of things full circle for me. I really appreciate it 🙂 Oh yeah, and getting me out of two tests tomorrow because campus is shut down tomorrow for the celebration. (Still have to take them Thursday, but at least I won’t be doing math while the parade is going on!)


Until Next Time,



Lord, Carry Me

Overall, life is wonderful right now. Compared to where I was at a year ago, it’s like I’m a whole different person. I have changed and grown and learned so much in this past year, and through ups and downs, I have come out stronger.

The last few days though, I have found myself constantly whispering, “Lord, please carry me.” Juggling school, work, Mulan and my spiritual life has been a struggle this past week especially. The biggest struggle has been with my math class; trying to figure out what the heck is going on in that 90 minutes has been a little rough the past five weeks. On top of that, tests freak me out. To put it this way, I would rather write a 15 page research paper than take a 15 question test, (and I know how long is takes to write 15 pages).

While I’ve been creating the habit of getting in my bible every morning, I’ve found it a lot easier to just talk to God. Through the day, I find myself thanking Him for little blessings, and asking for little  boosts of energy to get through the tasks at hand. It’s amazing how much He communicates with us through little whispers throughout day, whether it’s sending someone to say just the right thing or it’s finding 50 cents on the ground to help you pay for another cup of coffee. I’m learning more and more that God really is always there,we just have to put in the effort of building a relationship. And what’s really awesome is that He wants that relationship from all of us. He’s always ready to lift us up and carry us through situations in life, because He knows that we can’t make it through all alone. He’s already doing His part; we’re the ones who need to invest in growing a friendship with Him.

As I type, a pile of homework is sitting in a stack right next to me, waiting to be completed, and I am again finding myself pleading with God to carry me through my final study time before the day is over. I am so thankful that my God is a God that is alive and active in my life, and that He is the one that will never, ever, ever leave me hanging 🙂

I hope to be back to regular blogging soon! Stay tuned for new updates 😀

Until next time,


Redoing Homework

I am now in full swing at school, which means homework. It’s not super terrible stuff, but my literature class takes a little bit more time than other classes have in the past. So, today, I did my homework in the office of the art lab, planning to print it out there so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it at home. Well, due to the the annoying fact that school computers are the not the most reliable machines to store homework on, when I went to the library to print it out, the file was gone. Nowhere to be found, even though I saved it three times. Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled.

Obviously, there’s a chance that I made a mistake when I was trying to save the file, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to me at school. Also,saving files is a habit now. I’ve been doing it since elementary school. It’s been engraved into my brain for the last ten years how to save a Word document, so I don’t know how I screwed it up on the computer at my college. Due to the file running away at school, I had to come home and redo the work, which was frustrating, since I had spent an hour and a half at school getting it done the first time. It’s done and printed out, ready for my class tomorrow morning, but as I reflect on the day, I have come to some conclusions.

My day was pretty swell up until 4:30 when the fiasco with my homework happened. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have two art classes, and it’s wonderful. I had worked on two projects that day in Design and Painting, and had gotten some really great feedback from my teachers.

After Paris

“After Paris” My line project for Design Project

Monocromatic Painting WIP

“Peach and Flower Still Life” WIP of my first oil painting

I let lost homework almost ruin my entire day. Something that took me only 30 minutes to redo almost messed up six hours of awesome studio time and meeting new people. Often times, I let little things screw up the good things that are going on in my life, and that’s something I’m working hard to fix.

Sometimes, things go wrong. It’s inevitable. But the way that we choose to handle those situations is up to us. God doesn’t ever give us anything that we can’t handle, and through the sucky times in life, He is always there to carry us through them. He cares about every part of our lives, and He wants to helps us through our trails, even if they are smaller ones, like having to redo homework. He doesn’t get mad when we get upset, in fact, those are the times when we can draw closer to Him.

So, what have I learned from today?

  1. I need to put a flash drive on my lanyard and use it all the time.
  2. I need to take my laptop with me to school to avoid the school PCs.
  3. Having to redo homework is not the end of the world (even though it really sucks)

Until next time,


Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.

Tips to Having Fun at Community College

I am have a lot of friends who are starting their first year of college, and instead of going off to a four year college, they are doing community college (which is honestly probably one of the best decisions that you can make when it comes to getting gen. eds out of the way without burning a huge hole in your pocket). Since I am going into my third year at my current school, I thought I would share a few things that I have picked up during my time at community college.

Join a club. They are so much fun. You make new friends, and often times, there is free food. (I hear that Art Club is lots of

Find out when there are events during the week. Most colleges have 3-5 activities per week, and often times, there is free food. (Are you seeing the theme?)

Do your homework. Now, this isn’t a fun activity, but by getting your homework done sooner rather than later, you will have more time to breathe and not feel like you are going to die. Also, this is a great time to eat food.

Play out on the lawn between classes. This might just be at my school, but every now and then, one of my friends will start a game of catch or hacky-sack out on the lawn in the middle of campus. These almost always lead to awesome conversations and/or everyone ending up cracking up because of how bad you all are at hacky-sack. (This is also an ideal time to eat food)

Talk to the humans around you. Seriously. Humans are the best! At college, you’re going to meet so many different kinds of people, so take advantage of this and make new friends. At community college, you will have a lot of opportunities to meet people who are older than you, and these can be the best people to have study groups with. Broaden your horizons and introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. You might find that you have a new person to eat food with!

To all those going back to school this week, I wish you the very best of luck and I hope you have an incredible semester! Make sure that you sleep and feed yourself to keep your brain happy and ready to learn. Let me know if you have any other tips for having fun at school 🙂


Until next time,


A Toast to 2015/2016

Call me what you will, but I am so stoked for school to start again. It’s my high school senior/college sophomore year, and a lot is going to be happening over the next twelve months. So, I am proposing a toast to the 2015/2016 school year.

*To late night homework sessions and warm cups of coffee,

*To six hour days in the studio getting covered in charcoal and paint,

*To the last two math classes I will ever have to take in my whole life,

*To the study parties with peers in the Student Center, with Skittles positive reinforcement,

*To new YouTube projects and learning how to edit videos properly,

*To finishing a manuscript,

*To my possible last year of performing in four-six musicals a year,

*To my piano students, who I hope to continue to teach to the best of my abilities,

*To getting a solid portfolio together for college applications,

*To finishing my Associates Degree strong,

*To growing relationships with old friends,

*And to meeting incredible new friends along the way.

May this year be full of laughs, joy, learning, and growth.

Cheers 🙂

During the school year, I hope to be doing regular videos on my YouTube channel along with once a week blog posts here. Here’s a link to my channel if you are interested in behind the scenes rehearsal vlogs, book talks, and random thoughts from me:

I’m very excited to see how this year progresses!

Until Next Time,


When Did I Become An Adult?

Yeah yeah, I know I’m not technically an adult yet. I’m still months away from being 18, but as I was sitting at my desk today writing business emails and making a to-do list for the summer, I asked myself, “When did happen?”

This summer, I’ll be traveling and doing shows and having a lot of fun, but I’m also having to do “adult” things. I have my own business and I am responsible for the piano education of nine children. Like, there are five mothers paying me weekly to be a teacher. I am an officer in two clubs at my college, and over the summer I am trying to get stuff ready for August so that when said month does roll around, I won’t want to go crawl in a hole and cry because I’m so overwhelmed with stuff to do. At my wedding job, I have to take care of guests and drive home when I am very very tired. Oh, and that car I drive in. I have to buy gas for it so that it will take me places. Not to mention I’m putting away money for when I go to “actual” college.

But despite the sometimes stressful situations, I don’t think I’d want my life to be any different. I don’t want to change who I have become.

We live in a world today where it’s more acceptable for teenagers and young adults to do just enough for them to get by. It’s encouraged by our media culture to slack off and just party, because you’re only young once. To girls my age, the TV makes me feel like the most important thing for me to be is independent and powerful, just as long as I have an adoring boyfriend by my side. It’s become a norm to be average, and we often get stuck in this cycle of mediocrity and irresponsibly.

I’m extremely thankful that I have wonderful parents and mentors who have taught me what hard work looks like. I’m glad that I’m learning how to handle money and how to be a good employee now, because when the times comes for me to leave my childhood home, I want to be stable enough to not just survive in the “real world”, but to thrive. Schools aren’t preparing their students by teaching them basic life skills that they need to be a functioning member of society, and many adults are struggling because no one ever taught them. I feel that our culture is setting up students my age to believe that they can’t live up to their full potential because everything is too hard, or too scary, or too risky. We aren’t encouraged enough to step up and be more responsible for our own lives, and that’s messed up! God created us to glorify Him with every thing  that we are, but you can’t do that when you’re only living your life averagely.

This is not me calling out my friends who don’t have a job or are still living at home after college, but it is me encouraging you to stop living in a cycle of mediocrity. If you spend your time doing sports instead of working part time, be the person to lift your team up, even when you’re in a ten game losing streak. If you live with your parents while you’re in school, for heaven’s sakes, get off the XBOX and go do the dishes. If you have a crappy, part time job (one, I feel you), do that work to the best of your ability, and be the employee to go the extra mile (even if it does mean mopping up puke in the bathroom). There are always improvements that can be made in our lives, but when you are living everyday to the fullest, you are on the right track 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go put my soap box away and find my coloring book. Hey, there’s no rule saying that adults can’t color 😉

Until next time,