output :: tabula rasa (fresh slate)

it’s time. album two needs to be written. the first published work is often written over many years or decades before there is a public persona + an audience to receive it. with the second work there’s less time + more expectations.

towards the end of my fall tour for album one i decided i need to start searching for a theme to wrap my writing around for album two. i journaled + brainstormed on themes. i wrongly thought i need to do a lot of reading + exploring at the library to find this theme. in my mind i was putting together a stack of books by my women:

patti smith • simone weil • sylvia plath • georgia o’keefe • zaha hadid • elizabeth gilbert • virginia woolfe • simone de beauvoir • yayoi kusama

the more i think about it, the more i am reminded of this lesson i’ve learned many times, in life + in art : planning a concrete structure before making stuff gives me stiff results. jumping into the unknown, making that first + second + tenth stroke without a plan opens me up in a different chamber of the universe that buzzes differently than the creative space i’ve boxed myself in. there’s good foreign power there. the milk is richer. i have to tell my controlling self to take the day off so i can start making FIRST, and trust that the theme will reveal itself later. TABULA RASA :: FRESH SLATE. but wait do i even need a theme? whatever. fresh slate. fresh slate.

the romantic grain in me still wants a stack of books by these women around. not to use as a launching point anymore, but to dip into from time to time and REVEL IN THE SOFTNESS OF THEIR HARD-HITTING MINDS. for bonus courage. to keep opening the door to the unknown everyday for a bowl of rich milk. 

women like us don't get baby showers

^ analogue + digital fertility collage from my mossbüch

I've finished making a record + a visual world to go with it. After years of building, it’s physically in my hands now. The process came with both morning sickness + motherhood glow.

When I came near completion, I was invited to a couple of baby showers (the human version) and felt a little overlooked as someone who's birthing something all consuming, over years of my life, and not getting acknowledgement or a party to go along with it, thrown by the women in my life. 
But this is part of the picture, when your lifestyle is on the foreign side to convention. You live + work more on the solitary side, and have to be your own source of acknowledgement and approval most of the time. Your bio family can’t give that to you, because there is no mothering that is physically visible to them. No growing belly as proof of life.

I love mothers + babies, and seeing them together. But I've never felt a gravitation towards that kind of motherhood myself. My feelings squeeze me over different things. This style of creation is not superior or inferior. It’s just a different chemical wiring altogether.

With these observations, I will throw a ‘baby’ shower next time a woman in my life is birthing something from seed to a realized form. You’ve finished a collection of paintings, written a book, finished an album or film? Call me. I will throw you a party.

postkartes :: aquarelle series

i drew + designed some postkartes to write on + send you guys from tour. if you want, you can request one here

i just finished writing 40 postkartes on my porch. will be writing more + more this week to send them to those of you who asked for one while my kickstarter for Aquarelle was running.

in the process of making these, i learned how to use illustrator and designed my own font (which is displayed on the back of each postkarte). 

fotos below.

AIR MAIL

XX,

M

omniflux playlist 003

^ collage from my mossbüch

"Love, love is a verb. Love is a doing word" - Teardrop x Massive Attack

love loves summer and summer loves love. i made a playlist of love songs for your summer 2018 love fest, whomever it's with. big time love for self-love and strolling solo too.

enjoy! 

Aquarelle release date :: 18july2018

physically holding it in my hands now. i set its release date to my favorite lady, elizabeth gilbert's birthday: 18july. she's written two of my all time favorite books: signature of all things (epic wonderful fiction!) + big magic. big magic is nonfiction, and was the nudge i needed to stop obsessing + finish this body of work. 

i fucking love this record. can't wait for you to hear it and maybe love it too. you can order it now here 

:: the vinyl comes with a digital download code ::

North America Tour

I'm leaving for tour in about a month. Trying to hike+sing everyday to build my stamina. Also finishing the show visuals now, before i can start rehearsing the music.

I will be opening for OhGr (Skinny Puppy) + Lead into Gold. Great people that I'm excited to share the tour with.

This is my first tour as Omniflux. I'm really looking forward to performing Aquarelle live. See you out there! For tickets click here

foto x milo decruz

capitalism dressed up as wellness

^ collage from my mossbüch

why is most of the content lifestyle bloggers + people with giant wellness empires post is dressed up ads for countless brands that are subliminally sprinkled in their picture-perfect kitchens + beauty cabinets? products that are supposed to aid in your ‘wellness’ and help you ‘live your best life’. i understand their business model is to be sponsored by said brands, but to package it as wellness is sneaky + toxic. another big contribution to addict everyone to shop online everyday for more things that they absolutely do not need, and seek ways to fill their ever expanding emptiness...all for the purpose of more beauty + youth. this crazy dependence to stuff that’s supposed to make us well is the opposite of wellness. we click on the ‘skip ad’ button when we see advertisement that shows up on our screens the traditional way, but these wellness accounts are gorgeous and curated so beautifully that we ourselves go to them willingly, for ‘inspiration’. we follow them so we won’t miss their ads on our feed. it’s a big lie and i hate the whole thing.

'just do it' vs. 'just be'

^ analogue + digital collage from my mossbüch

this Camus passage changed my life. when i read it, a seed was planted and i eventually took the clean + digestible 'just do it' nike slogan that so many of us unconsciously live by, and morphed it into my own motto: 'just be'.

"Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but 'steal' some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be." -Albert Camu

my body + nerves prefer this way of being. because it takes the result out of the equation, i don't grip everything tight to control the bends of the day's processes.

this perspective also helps me get up early in the morning. makes me not accost my nerves to kick into high functioning gear straight out of bed. i remind myself that all i will do when i get up is to just be: make matcha, mist my plants, just look at things. whatever it means to just be. this state doesn't feel like a total kick in the pants when i'm deciding between getting up + snoozing.

most 'success' habits promote getting amped up and launching into turbo mode, but i think we all make better decisions and do more when we're calm. 'just be' does just that.

omniflux playlist 002

^ collage from my mossbüch 

 

i grew up in iran where almost all western music is illegal. you can maybe get your hands on some bootleg tapes, but concerts are definitely out of question. the symphony is alive + well though and i went to many classical concerts as a child. years later, i've made a circle back.

been harrrrd core enjoying classical music in the morning as the sun comes up in my studio while writing or drawing. sets a romantic sort of tone and i take my work more seriously somehow with this type of sound in the background. better focus. listen to it on my walks too. intense love! 

i made a playlist of some of the pieces i revisit most. 

enjoy!

 

Aquarelle album cover

this is the Aquarelle album cover.

i wrote this album about a series of characters who generate structures to force inhuman systems to crack + crumble. this through their sharp care for honest expression, and a matured distaste for settling + lingering within socially assigned boxes. outside society, outside of lines. like watercolor...Aquarelle.

you can call this anarchy, honesty, or whatever you want.

sculpture by me, made of metal + clay. photo by Paul Barker.

if you wish to order this album along with limited edition visual packages, you can do so for another few weeks on my kickstarter campaign here

x, Mahsa

 

 

rilke + the prophet on pain

years ago, i went through a transition that came with a good bit of pain + discomfort. the kind that makes you want to either busy yourself with something obsessive or stay submerged in a brimming pot of a really good time. temporary relief, via whatever distraction.

i was lucky to come across Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet in that same time period. that book taught me the importance of sitting with pain, which was a new concept to me at the time. it taught me to not engage with distractions when the thick of the discomfort had me at my squirmiest. taught me to pay attention to my pain and the thoughts + feelings that surround it, and endure the pain. that's when growth happens. but you have to be paying attention to get to grow. otherwise you won't pick up the actual benefits of pain.

i found almost the same advice recently in The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran - this quote from the chapter On Pain: "much of your pain is self-chosen. it is the bitter potion by which the physician in you heals your sick self. trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility."

i need reminders of this big lesson all the time. 

^ original analogue collage from my mossbüch

willow water

^ analogue collage from my mossbüch

i'm running some plant experiments at home + in the process went down this rabbit hole that led me to one of my favorite discoveries of late. i'll skip the rabbit hole bit and tell you what i found at the bottom. the latest bottom anyway :: willow tree magic.

no wonder squirrels don’t get headaches: in 5th century B.C., the Greek physician, Hippocrates, wrote that chewing bark of a willow tree could relieve pain + fever. 

german pain management: in 1829, the effective ingredient, salicin, was successfully isolated from willow bark. end of the 19th century, the Bayer company in Germany trademarked a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid, calling it “aspirin”.

native americans go + help everything thrive: Native Americans used willow bark for toothaches + applied it to the source of other pains. But they also recognized that you can actually grow a whole new willow tree by taking a stem and sticking it in moist soil. the hormones in willows cause rapid rooting, and they discovered these same hormones could induce rooting in other plants, too. to harness this power, they made a tonic called “WILLOW WATER"

willow water recipe: gather 2 cups of pencil-thin willow branches. cut to 1-3 inch lengths. steep twigs in a half-gallon of boiling water overnight. pour the water on newly planted trees. or soak cuttings you wish to root, overnight. etc, etc - store left over water in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

worth a mention: willow is often planted next to ponds + in standing water for its water-cleaning properties. 

video premiere :: lawless flawless

here's the release of my first video from aquarelle.
i've wanted to learn animation for years and like most things i figured out how to make it happen by doing it. happiness, really, comes from problem solving. and that's what crafting this video was for me: problem solving. and happiness. hope you enjoy this video + song.

i have a kickstarter campaign to bring the manufacturing of this album to fruition. if you wish to be part of this effort and in exchange receive music + art by me, here's the campaign link: aquarelle . thank you for your support! 💋

polaroids: stills from the lawless flawless video

no ruz

my brother's friend had a microscope when i was growing up. we would peel onion skins and whatever we could gather from the kitchen + garden and take turns looking at each slice on a slide. i still think about those images from time to time.

i was gifted a book of botanical wall charts recently. the microscopic illustrations in it are reopening the same awe i felt looking through that microscope ages ago. funny how life makes these circles for us, especially if we're paying attention. i sense a big body of work around the corner, inspired by the link formed between this book and that tiny detail in my childhood. 

i made my first said inspired piece this morning as the sun was rising, leading up to the spring equinox. silent hours staring closely at fertility, renewal, hope...a No Ruz "new day", as called in persian celebrations of the new year. 

collage :: double fertilization of lilium martagon

^ digital collage of the original mossbüch page

productivity tricks = entertainment

 ^drawing + collage i made in my mossbüch

^drawing + collage i made in my mossbüch

study to death what tools + tactics highly functioning creators use. what life hacks + daily rituals they practice. read about optimum ways to design your work space: standing desk vs treadmill desk vs under-water-on-the-back-of-a-whale desk...

if you've noticed, there's a huge industry that's been brewing on high heat for the past few years all about productivity tricks, what things you can buy and what habits you can inhabit just to get you to sit down and make something. hours + hours of your week go into eagerly learning about how your favorite people come to make the things they do. pumped with hope you set up plans to utilize these new tactics into your day tomorrow. on + on, you pile tricks on top of each other.

i've only started to really see the negative effects of my participation in this industry recently and i'm horrified to discover that it's just entertainment masked as education + self-improvement. another elaborate way to put off actual work that our hands + mind are already capable of. another way to hide and not make. it's definitely a shiny light to run to when you want to escape work that you fear might end up in failure. we trick ourselves to procrastinate in such sneaky ways.

the time we dedicate to learning what other people's practices look like, is time we're not building a practice of our own. the trust we're putting in other people's way of producing work we admire, is trust we're not putting in ourselves to draw a path of our own.

sum :: post death

i was lucky to get to read some great books last year. this was/is one of my favorites. i'm a slow reader, but read this in one day. the rhythm + language is so ultra awesome that i was pacing around, reading most of it out loud...i think my body wanted to soak it up with more senses. couldn't eat it up fast enough. time very well spent. 

extremely creative book. 40 think pieces: each one a very short fictional fable about humans, post death. the structure of this book alone makes me want to write. take one concept and keep turning it. 

talisman

IMG_9922 talisman.jpg

i like ceremonies. especially home-made ones that are my own and not handed down by some club.

this year i wanted to have a new years eve ceremony. i thought it would be nice to build a small talisman to carry around that represents something i want to remember throughout the year. 

what i want to remember: as much as there is noise + resistance against good work everywhere around us, there is as much open space to walk through and engage with something true + exciting in 5...4...3...2...1 seconds. to remember and catch those moments when someone is gossiping at me and walk away into clean + open space. not endure people bombarding me with their dirty habits, out of politeness. clean air to flourish. 

 original sketch before building

original sketch before building

i got to build clay talismans on new years eve with the dearest people in my life. i don't know anyone else's meaning for their talismans. beautiful art objects nevertheless. i broke mine a few weeks ago. broke it 3 times in one day in fact. what's up with that? so i made a new one today. this time with black clay. it will go places in my wallet. pocket. around my neck. and i'll breathe clean air.