This weekend, I visited the Getty Art Museum with two of my friends. 

I’ve experienced the museum once before with my art class during my senior year of high school. A lot of things in my life are different now compared to a year ago when I first went there. Although many of the art pieces are still there and remain unchanged, my experience was still as beautiful and memorable as the first time I visited the Getty.

The breath-taking view from atop the Getty.

I’ve always admired how beautiful the architecture of the museum itself is. Not only is the art that decorate its interior lovely, but the exterior & view is too.

The view plus a cute little cacti garden.

Additionally, the Getty has such beautiful gardens. Personally I love pretty gardens just as much as a nice art gallery.

One of the many beautiful flowers in the Getty’s garden.

My friends and I enjoying a walk in the garden.

A corridor inside of the museum.

Here are a few of my favorite paintings.

“Irises” by Van Gogh. The first painting I’ve seen by him in person.

A painting of Venice.

I was awestruck by the perfection of this painting. I can’t paint/draw landscape or architecture for the life of me, so I deeply envy the talent of this painter. I hope I can visit Venice one day.

This photo is actually a small part of a larger painting. 

I was astounded by the amount of detail that the artist was able to put in, so I zoomed into my favorite portion and took a picture. Not only are the details on the people’s faces exquisite, but the small flowers are so incredibly defined that I was immediately drawn into this part of the painting. I love painting flowers and I was definitely amazed by all the different elements that went into this piece of artwork.

Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to visit the Getty again this upcoming year with either my boyfriend or my parents. It’s always a nice reminder to enjoy the small details in life, and how that’s where the true beauty lies.

“Good Intentions”

Today in my visual arts 110 class, we watched snippets of a film called “Bomb It”. This movie takes the audience to various parts of the world and samples the local graffiti art. It features interviews from graffiti artists, discussing what their art means to them and the community. I thought it was fascinating how the meaning of graffiti varied from location to location. Personally, I’ve always had an appreciation for graffiti art. The complex style and bold colors are always eye-catching and more often than not possess a profound meaning behind them.

My personal favorite portion of the film was the part that focused on Tokyo and the graffiti artists residing there. The woman in particular caught my interest. She talked about finally realizing that her life’s calling was graffiti art at the age of 20. At first, hate and angst fueled her artistic drive. However, after surviving cancer and having a baby, she transformed her art themes to that of joy and happiness. As she talked about this, the film portrayed before and after photos of her art. The differences were very prominent. I felt very inspired by her life journey as both an artist and a human being. That being said, I enjoyed the small parts of the movie we watched in class immensely. I plan on watching the entire film sometime in the near future.

However, something really put me off during the class discussion. I noticed a common theme among our discussion group synopses. Virtually everyone who spoke about their views on graffiti stated that they support it as an art as long as the artist had “good intentions.” The reason that this put me off was this: art is not about having good intentions. It cannot be deemed as unworthy simply because it is not up to par with society’s standards of being for a good cause. Art is self-expression. It is pure, raw emotion. That is what makes it art. I think a lot of art is not drawn from a happy place inside of us. For instance, take that graffiti artist from Tokyo for example. Her art wasn’t any less beautiful when it was fueled by rage versus when it was fueled by happiness.

Sometimes, those feelings are what compose our passions.

“Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.” -Honore de Balzac

Waiting for normal

At the start of this semester, I knew I had to get my life together. I needed to be on top of each of my classes, do all my homework, be more organized and be a lot more punctual. I actually had confidence in myself to achieve these tasks because being a student and owning  up to things I need to improve on are basically the only things I’m actually decent at.

But as usual, things didn’t work out that way.

I should be at school. I should be doing schoolwork or anything productive for that matter. But today is one of those days where I wish things would just stop for a change. Right now I wish I could stop being overwhelmed by the bad in my life and focus on the potential for good.

Yet here I am, running away from my responsibilities again. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I ever do. Run away from my problems and my insecurities. I realize that we as human beings can never reach a guaranteed pinnacle of happiness. It’s always going to be up and down for us. That’s human right? I wonder how others deal with their downs. I often feel like I am unable to do that.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a tunnel of darkness. I’m trying to feel my way around for an exit but there isn’t one. I wonder if other people feel this way too sometimes. I wonder if that’s normal.

What is it like being in love?

I know a lot of people don’t believe in true love. What is that anyway? And what criteria does a relationship have to meet to be recognized as the true kind of love?

The select few that do believe in it probably have a set image in their mind of what they think it ought to be like. Growing up, we have an ultimate idea of love and what it’s supposed to look like. We’re raised to aspire to a certain standard. Society has instilled this idea that if this isn’t what your love is like, then it isn’t love at all. You know what I’m talking about. The so-called “chemistry” between two people that appears to be so effortless and natural. They never fight, they just spend all their time relishing in “true love” and all the benefits it has to offer.

However, if you’ve been in love you know that that’s not reality. Fights happen often and when they’re bad… They’re bad. Things are almost never perfect and when it seems like they are, it doesn’t last for very long. Being in a relationship is never effortless. It takes hard work. I think that’s what a lot of people don’t understand.

I have to admit that in my generation it’s difficult to find people that have stable and long lasting relationships. I don’t know if it’s always been like this, but I feel like a majority of people don’t think they have to try anymore. They encounter one problem and they automatically think “this person isn’t right for me! This isn’t true love.” And just like that they end it without even trying to work through the problem together. They expect it to be perfect and that’s just not reality.

It’s literally ridiculous the amount of people who attempt to discourage me from pursuing what I think is real and true. Friends, family, people I look up to, and even strangers who don’t even know me at all. I have had teachers in high school tell me straight to my face that my relationship is definitely not going to last. “Friends” who think that they know more about my relationship than I do, regardless of the fact that I’m the one experiencing it and not them. That being said, I certainly value and take into consideration the opinions of my loved ones. However experiences like this make me realize the very fine line between being realistic and being cynical.

People automatically dislike me and everything about me without giving me a real chance. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing wrong… I already know that I’m not an especially likeable person in general. I’m not the charismatic and charming girl that everyone gravitates toward because she’s so lovable. I’m unbearably awkward. I have trouble speaking my mind. It’s always been difficult for me to open up to others. I understand if you dislike me because just like everyone else, I’m human and I have imperfections. However if there’s one thing I am most proud of in my life, it’s my relationship with my boyfriend. I know a lot of people won’t understand this so I’m going to try and come up with some sort of clever analogy. We’re like a marble statue. We started out as nothing special; just a chunk of stone. But over time we’ve both worked so hard as a team, putting in so much time and effort to shape what we are today. We’re hand-carved. There’s nothing like us in the world. We’re definitely still a work in progress, but just like a painting there’s a certain charm to the process.

Even so, people always have a distaste for us. I’m constantly trying to figure out why that is. Sometimes things might go a little out of control, but for the most part we keep our relationship between the two of us. And yet, people still judge us relentlessly. I’ve always been the type of person who feels as though they require the approval of others. I try so hard to satisfy others’ opinions of me and yet time after time I fail miserably. My relationship is no exception either.

Yes, we have problems. But those problems are so trivial compared to all the good things that have come from us being together. Affection, support, understanding, loyalty, honesty… And love. When I think about it, I don’t think I’ll ever understand why others choose to see the worst in us when it’s literally overflowing with good.

Maybe it’s because people judge based off of what they see. However, I think they should start practicing going off of what they feel more often. I constantly see couples that seem so happy and perfect. But is seeing really believing? Who knows what happens behind the scenes. I can’t judge them at all. I’m not in their relationship. Only they can experience that so I clearly don’t know. But what I know for sure is what I feel. I feel happy when I’m with him. Even if I’m not with him, just thinking about him brings a smile to my face. I feel so secure knowing that he’s my best friend and that he always has my back. He brings me comfort that nothing else does, even from over 1000 miles away. Sometimes I can’t help but gush about him to the people around me because he makes me so happy.

In a couple of months we will have been together for almost 3 years. I fully acknowledge that I have no idea what the future holds for us. We’re still young, inexperienced, and in comparison to this huge world full of wonders we know nothing. Regardless of these past three years, I still don’t know much about love. All I know is that I’m doing my best.

Some people may argue that time is not a factor in love, but I find it entirely relevant. Time and time again, our love has proved true to me. Although I’m constantly making a mess of things, he always forgives me in due time. We are definitely not perfect. But that’s what makes us real.



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Hello! My name is Hannah Mandias. I’m REALLY bad at bios.

I’m currently attending CalState Long Beach as a pre-marine biology major. I’m an avid lover of the ocean and all things artsy. Additionally, I always try my best to be an optimistic and loving person despite my distinct imperfections.

Although I’m a naturally shy person, I’m the kind of person who loves to listen to others and cherishes every friendship that they have. If you need a good friend or just someone to listen to you then hmu!