Vows of Love

  1. I promise to not be so harsh on you. I know sometimes I go blind to your efforts and how much you’re trying day to day. You deserve some good love at the end of the day and not a reproval look across the mirror.
  2. I promise to love you how you are, love handles, insecurities, dark circles under the eyes, frizzy hair on winter and spontaneous tears every time you watch movies in airplanes included. You’re great just like that and I couldn’t be happier to share my whole life with someone else rather than you.
  3. I promise to let you choose more often. To stop pushing society’s point of view, the pressure to make money or the fear of failure on every step of the way.
  4. I promise to let you follow your heart and together find/be with that who deserves our craziness. We’re happy enough both together but I’ve noticed you like holding hands, cuddling and breakfasts in couple on weekend mornings… So let’s share that with the right person.
  5. I promise to stop judging you for your bad days, weeks or months. You can’t always be all smiles and that is okay.
  6. I promise to let you stay in more often. No need to go out to that dinner if you don’t feel like it or to clubbing on a Saturday night. Some time with a book and a cup of tea is much needed every once in a while.
  7. I promise to stop making you remember the past. You’ve made such a good job moving on, sorry for sometimes just bringing it all up and making you a ball of tears and nostalgia.
  8. I promise to try to push you out of your pride/ego a bit more often. Come on, send that message, give that call, make that person cookies or just go out for a coffee… Let’s not lose great company to great pride, giving the first step says nothing but good things of you.
  9. I promise to let you sing your lungs out to Adele or T. Swift on a blue Tuesday night without judging you. No questions asked, no reasons needed. Just let it all out.
  10. I promise to do more stupid decisions… That you might regret later. Living is not only about the home runs but also about the striked and fouls, we might learn something at the end or just wake up with a huge moral hangover.
  11. I promise to let you wander around without destination. Travel, discover, make friends that will last for a day but that will give you dope life advice. Fly away and leave, go to a new place, repeat. Be free.
  12. I promise to take care of your heart. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that and still I know how you hand it out to those that look in the need of some love. How many times did it end up broken or messed up? And how many rejected? I know you regret none but it’s time to start living a bit less recklessly.
  13. I promise to fill your life with verses, music and colors. Feed your mind and soul, give you tunes to dance at random moments when you think no one’s dancing and enough material to turn over a grey day to a parade.
  14. I promise to go to the gym a bit more often, not so much about appearance but to keep you healthy and pumped up for whatever challenge pops up into your brain next.
  15. I also promise to eat healthier…. But also never forget to treat yourself every once or twice in a while.

    I guess you figured out to whom this love vows are, and I feel it’s so important to sometimes remember to be nice to yourself. Throughout many ups anf downs I’ve found out we can be our own worst enemy and it’s so terrible to have someone dragging you down all day, every day. No, no, no… 

    Probably I could think of more but I’m on s bus on my way to the south and I’m getting a bit dizy from staring at the screen… Shame on me making myself dizzy. 

    16. I promise to be more conscious about my car sickness in long rides.

    Have a beautiful weekend and treat yo’self. I for sure will!!! 


    Be Nice to Your(self) Art

    As you may notice I’m not writing much lately and here between us I must confess I’m not painting much either. Partly is due to that I’m a bit busy and heavily tired in the nights due to Dragon Boat training (my inspiration comes late at night and lately by 11:30pm I’m already sleeping). I believed these two were the only reasons but after having some time to think and analyze what was going on I got to another conclusion.

    Some months ago I had the opportunity to participate in my first exhibition here in Taiwan. I have to say it was an honor and a great opportunity to meet two great artists but it also changed me for bad (and now for good)… Let me explain myself better:

    The month before this event I spent several sleepless nights preparing some paintings to show in the exhibition. I didn’t have much done that I could consider “exhibition worth it” (first mistake right here) so there was lots of work to do. I love to do small scale drawings and paintings, as a matter of fact most of my works are the size of a notebook page… well most of my works are in one of the thousand sketchbooks I love to collect. The thing is that when I thought of something “exhibition worth it” I thought of BIG canvas and fancy acrylics, not all those sketchbook pages filled with colors of any source (including coffee stains, pens I asked from anyone sitting close enough to me during lectures, pencils I randomly found in my bookbag , etc)

    So… sleepless nights, acrylics, canvas, blah blah… after all these the big day came and I was so nervous. Somehow I felt I, as an artist, was not worth it for any of this. I looked at the paintings hanging there and thought of a better shade of purple for the petals of the tulip, wanted to grab a marker and finish the details of one of the leaves in a better way, and regretted adding ink to the face of the girl… People came and congratulated me about such great works and while I was smiling, deep inside me I just wanted to run away and go back to my room and read a nice book and drink a cup of tea.

    How could I feel in such way in such a big day? How could I be so ungrateful?

    To top all of this I received two comments from one person (someone I’m pretty sure has never even touched a paintbrush or combined two shades of oranges to reach THE color for the sunset) that just sunk me more into all this aggravating battle inside my head. Till today I’m not sure if it was the remarks on their own or the tone that human being used to make such remarks but ohh how they hurt…

    “You need to change your signature. Ericka Bastias is too long… think of Picasso for example… he’s just Picasso. There are just few exceptions like Pinto Rodezno here who can make it work” So… now even my “artistic name” was wrong. Thanks. First of all, is not even my artistic name, it’s just my name. I decided to sign every single piece of work: letters, poems, paintings with Ericka Bastias as a way of honoring my mother who was my first motivation to start painting. Second, I keep the Ericka because it has been the name I have heard all my life and in that way it can be clear that behind all that you see there’s a girl, woman, female. After signing more than 200 works with my name here comes a stranger telling me how not “artsy and professional” it is and how I’m of course not an exception that can make it work.

    This comment just made me feel uncomfortable, it didn’t really affect me because I have pretty clear reasons for my signature and I love them and it. But the next one did kill my soul a bit, not because it was a direct critic to my art but because it just pinpointed something I was lacking and something I’m probably still “lacking”

    “So… I just want to make sure because someone asked me and I didn’t know what to answer. What is your style? I just see so many things put up together… and I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like you have your own style.”

    Yeah, the person was actually right. If you saw my four works you saw pretty different things: small works, big works, pencil, acrylic, ink, flowers, faces and anatomy… there was even one CIRCULAR canva in all that space of squared pieces.

    I stare back blankly with no answer at all… and then just say “Well… I guess I’m still looking for it”

    After those two days I kept on thinking to myself “So what it’s your style?” “What do you like painting?” “WHO ARE YOU?” and I couldn’t really answer that. I went through all my sketchbooks and saw dark drawings with sad stories, colorful flowers and animals, love and loneliness, sharp details and crazy scribbles, drawings that took me minutes and others days…. such a mess.

    I felt lost and disappointed because at this point I thought I knew what I was going on about. What is my art? What am I trying to say to the world? 

    After thinking and thinking I convinced myself that: EUREKA! I have found it! I found my style and now I’m going to start a collection with it and some day show it… It was going quite well. I was using the ink I so much love and still implementing bright colors in the background, I was drawing women and some flowers too… Yes, this was it, this is me…

    Soon enough I was getting bored of having to follow this collection. I HAD to do at least eight of them and I HAD to do them in ink and I HAD to think of a color for their background and I HAD to look through thousands of women faces to get right some features. They were looking good but what was I saying through them? Was I sad? Was I happy? Had my heart just been broken? Or was I feeling empty? Because this was sure looking empty to me..

    And there I went again sitting with all my sketchbooks piled in front of me and I started browsing them again… I did found the same mess I found months ago but I also found something else: I found the time I failed my first quiz ever in my first week of university (with an 18 of 100 by the way, go big or go home they say), I found the time I stayed up until 4am because I wanted to do something nice before going to sleep one typical Tuesday night, I found my broken heart and myself completely in love, I also found one of the many times I recalled my mother because of a small thing and had no other way of getting it out than through art, and when I get bored in lectures and just run far far away without leaving my chair…

    I found myself in all these different faces with all these different feelings just trying to let it out and scream to the world “THIS IS WHO I AM” without being taken to the police because of disrupting public areas with my screams. I wanted to share a piece of me with everyone without needing to get a piece back.

    And that’s exactly who I am… a woman (I’m 21 now so I’m not consider a girl anymore in any country, damn it) who’s trying to just express herself without talking but still saying a lot. Someone who takes a notebook with her and closes herself up when surrounded by all this meaningless and empty noise. Someone who indeed is a mess and can’t define herself inside a “artistic style”.

    Art is something I do for myself. Art is the time I close up all my walls and at the same time let it all out to share with others. Art is all this tiny moments I want to remember forever. Art is all these persons, places and memories that have built me up and changed me. Art is… art is something way beyond what you can see in front of your eyes but what you get to feel through it and for it.

    So… if being an artist is about big canvas, having a proper signature and having a defined style… let me keep being a not-artist with all her sketches, her counless incomplete notebooks and way too many feelings to fit hanging in a fancy saloon.

    -Ericka Bastías.

    PS: To celebrate my own art freedom I bought myself two new black pens and two sketchbooks… 

    PPS: Even though this post might seem like the person who made those remarks is THE enemy… I must tell you that my biggest enemy was no one else but myself. These past months I must accept I was quite harsh on myself and this is something I know happens to a lot of us. So remember: be your best friend, you have to live with yourself… forever. 

    PPPS: Now it’s all about drinking tea and waiting for inspiration to take me back in its loving arms… 

    Nostalgia for Her

    28c4411cddb61af9740f61a11d6c60d6.jpgnostalgia (noun): a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

    I wake up at 4:00am in the morning by the voice of my elder sister, as soon as I see her red face and her puffy eyes I know something is wrong, very very wrong. Her lips open but words don’t come out right at the moment, I stare blankly and think about the worst… Thing is I was wrong, what came out of her mouth was THE worst. 

    “Mom is not with us anymore”

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    Share the Light

    65321202I’ve been quite busy lately. I’m finally sort of done with (almost) all of my tough courses in university so I got overexcited about having a tiny spec of free time and decided to join every possible extracurricular activity I had interest in. This took me back to my high school years when my mom would be exasperated by the amount of things I got myself into and would ask me “Do you really need to do all this!?” and I would go “But but… MOOOM”. The funny thing about now is that I have no one to keep track of my activities so I just went all out. For this same reason I have not found much time to paint or write blogs, though now I’m keeping a mini journal (nothing interesting really, just me babbling whatever is in my mind)

    Aside from the fact of trying to keep myself together during the week and enjoying  my (still sort of busy) weekends, everything has been sweet. All though now I understand one of the reasons my mom got so stressed about me and my everything activities… THEY-REQUIRE-SO-MUCH-MONEY. I’m literally broke as I can get right now… but it’s okay. Who needs money… haha… or stability, right?

    So now, let’s get down to what I was thinking to write about…

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    Mi Refugio – My Safe Haven

    (The entry in English is below.)

    ¡Hola a todos! Estoy de regreso por estos rumbos de escribir. Pensé que mi primera entrada iba a tratar sobre Colombia, magnífico país con el que inauguré mi verano este año… sin embargo algo pasó esta mañana que cambió mis planes. Antes de comenzar un anuncio muy importante: El blog será bilingüe. No, no significa que voy a escribir en Spaninglish a través de mis entradas, sino que escribiré la entrada tanto en inglés como en español. ¿Más trabajo? Si. Pero tomé esta decisión debido a que tengo lectores que no saben inglés y otros que no saben español… así que vale la pena el esfuerzo.

    Bueno, regresando al tema. Hace unas semanas retomé mi página de arte en Facebook: Ericka Bastias, con el propósito de trabajar caricaturas con mensajes. Contrario a lo que pensaba ha sido un éxito (yeay) y me siento muy motivada en mantener la página activa. Además de subir las caricaturas con una frase y una canción también paso muy pendiente de los comentarios para responder a la comunidad cualquier duda, halago, chiste, lo que sea que comenten. Esto casi siempre termina en ver como Filomena etiqueta a Isidro en un post romántico y se dicen cuanto se aman… y yo ahí leyendo. Pero a veces también tengo una muy bonita interacción con los que comentan. Hoy en la mañana me puse a revisar las notificaciones cuando vi un share de uno de mis posts favoritos hasta ahora:


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    And I Asked Myself WHY?

    Taiwan has been the best experience in my life until now. No doubt. Still I need to accept the journey has not been easy, it has actually been pretty hard. It has lots of ups and downs, and more than a 100 times I have wondered what the hell I am actually doing here… This post is about that: the answer to that question. Why being 14,000+ kms away from home is worth it every centimeter and how every misfortune and mishappening is nothing but a chance, a blessing, a new open door in disguise.

    乾杯 to Taiwan, to 蛋餅s and the minutes used in this post instead of studying!~


    SAL-LAX Flight 2013

    I left home 2 years, 8 months and 23 days ago. That day I was weeping my heart out, hugging my best friend while he was trying to calm me down by telling me I was going to be back home soon. SOON?! I would think, I am leaving for five years and cannot visit until 2 years later from today. TWO YEARS. At that moment in the airport I was questioning all the set of decisions taken in the past two months. The call in the cellphone telling me the great news about Taiwan and asking me right there in the spot “Do you accept this opportunity?” my shaking voice replying “Yes, yes… of course!” and from that point on it was all a serious rush of events. Documents, shopping, places I wanted to go, a series of farewells, overeating all the food I know I was going to miss (what I did not know was that I was going to miss plantain as soon as I sat down on my first flight… yeah, that was fast.)

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    Goodbye Aesthetics

    First of all, today I had this song in replay all day long. No real reason, it just happenned so it will be cool if you read the entry while listening to it!

    “Why did you stop painting pretty things?”

    When this question hit me a couple of days ago I actually wasn’t sure how to react. Of course my first instict was to feel offended. My drawings are like my babies, or a depiction of how I see the world and myself, therefore it felt as a critic towards myself rather than just to the ink and paper. I paused my drawing process (yes, I was drawing at that moment) and directed all my attention to this humanbeing, but before snapping out an ugly answer I took a second to think and asked back “What do you mean with pretty?”

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