Tuesday, December 25, 2012


This is just a short message to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope you have a wonderful and Happy New Year:)  

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for going on this journey with me and your support, I am sincerely grateful.  

Mental health, mental illness, stigma, global dysfunction is NOT A TREND.  
ACTION is needed.  I hope to keep trying to make a difference in the New Year:)

Lots of Love,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

日本昔話/Japanese Fables: 三枚のお札/THREE FORTUNES


三枚のお札/Three Fortunes

This piece is a diptych that measures 40 in x 60 in in total.  Created with Japanese hand made paper, Japanese hand made paper design cut out (all one continuous piece), acrylic paint, clay, fabric (from old yukata/cotton kimono), collage transfers (three good luck fortunes I kept from my trip to Japan), and drift wood from Lake Ontario (that I picked up many years back).

I recently wrote a blog post about the SENSATION OF LOSING ONESELF IN THE MOMENT which can be read here if you haven't yet: http://beingmariet.blogspot.ca/2012/11/sensation-of-losing-oneself-in-moment.html this was the piece I was creating at that time.

Here is a closer look at the unpainted clay flea (that sits in the upper left hand corner of the completed piece).

I don't stick to conventional 'techniques' or tools taught are 'supposed to' be used for art in the studio; imagination and creation has no boundaries for me and this art piece is no exception.  A face brush that wasn't used and sat in the drawer came in handy, as well as pigments created for make up artistry to mention a few.

For further details here is a video I created on my Youtube channel BeingMarieT, please excuse the 'blah' face:)

For more videos please subscribe to my Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeingMarieT?feature=watch  and if you do not have a youtube account that's okay as I will be posting relevant videos on this blog, and you can see them here.  

Thank you,




Aside from the project I am working on I have created these smaller, casual pieces for fun:)



Stay warm and safe during the holiday season:)

Sending lots of JOY,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Extras; making art on the side.

A few things I have been working on:


Complete piece.

As I was rummaging around I found a face brush I hadn't used, so I made it into a tool; I liked the effect it created!

Creating art aside from the main project I am working on.  Sometimes I just need to express myself in a scaled down casual manner, for fun.

This time of year around the holidays can be quite hectic and overwhelming, please take care and stay warm:)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Recently I have done two videos on the topic of pharmaceuticals and out of the many ideas here are two I believe could help and make a difference for the better through technology.  

I believe this is something specialized and not something one person, let alone an artist without any coding/start up experience can do on her own, so I've decided to put it out there for those who possibly do have these connections/powers/companies/expertise/funds/etc.  

I am sure this is not something new, as everything seems to have already been done but it is just something that has been on my mind and have come across many times over, and I have not encountered.  

Closely related, though on a physical/medical sense, is a link to a company's article here: http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/advancing-the-future-of-healthcare-frog-s-connected-care-solution.html  About managing patients medical symptoms.

This link, a company in the UK, in efforts to make medicines safer: http://yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/  

Isn't there a way to create something that is global, all languages, connects to individual's location, shareable with medical health professionals, pharmacists, etc. simple, and user friendly?  Yes, it would be a HUGE project, but worth it in the end.  

There are probably a lot of red tape in terms of partnering, doing business with pharmaceutical companies/medical databases/corporate giants/ etc; but I'm speaking about something for the improvement of daily lives of people.  Can be as simple as: Q: 'How are you feeling?' A: a)SHIT b)so-so c)sunny disposition.  

I don't link all the videos I put up on my Youtube channel here in my blog, so if you are interested to keep track of videos I put up, please do subscribe to my BeingMarieT Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeingMarieT 

To keep up to date with my blog posts please subscribe to e-mail notices on the right hand side.

I am working on new pieces which I will write about after this post, as well as my new website flip that will have art/mental health/blog/info/in English and Japanese all in one location; more organized and user friendly:)

Thank you so much for your time, and interest, I am so grateful!!!  


Monday, December 3, 2012

Pharmaceuticals: Medication Withdrawal

Although there is/are warnings, precautions, and awareness of the side effects that come with starting medications, people tend to be uninformed and/or forget the withdrawal effects and symptoms that come with tapering off or stopping medications.

Years and years ago when I was going through the trial and error phase of finding the cocktail of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds that would work specifically for me, I unknowingly stopped taking my Effexor (anti-depressant) cold turkey.  BAD IDEA!  The symptoms of getting off Effexor was/is so horrible I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemies.  Later on I discovered the one line warning saying, come off medication only under supervision.  I didn't know it was so dangerous.  And back then I wasn't connected to the internet as I am now, there were only one or two forums that actually spoke of the effects of withdrawal, and I was completely taken by surprise as none of the experts or professionals told me of these consequences.  

The higher the dosage, and the longer you are on a medication the more serious and severe the withdrawal effects will probably be.  But this is only in my experience and I am not a medical professional, so if you are going through similar situations please do go seek advice from your doctors and health care professionals.  

I recently experienced withdrawal symptoms from decreasing 0.5 mgs of my Ativan, granted my body is sensitive and I have been on my medication for over 10 years.  

Slowly does it; for me with the Effexor XR, it was a few milligram decreases a month, over a few years, with the support and management closely supervised by my GP, psychiatrist, therapist, and pharmacist.  I stopped decreasing and I have been on a stable dosage now for over a year.  

This is a video I created in hopes to make aware, and precaution others who may be experiencing similar effects or are thinking of starting or coming off medications.  

Thank you so much for reading and watching.  My Youtube channel is BeingMarieT and to keep up to date with video posts, please go to my channel and press the SUBSCRIBE button.  LINK: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeingMarieT/featured

If you are interested, I am also on Twitter: BeingMarieT and other social media.  

Have a wonderful Monday!!!



Monday, November 26, 2012

Sensation of Losing Oneself in the Moment.

Have you ever experienced a moment in time where you lose all sense of time, of thought, of all that we are trying to conform; COMPLETE EXUBERANCE, FREEDOM, GALUMPHING ENERGY OF EXPRESSION THAT RADIATES I AM ALIVE!?  

Galumphing: page 42-3 of Kay Redfield Jamison's book EXUBERANCE; The Passion For Life, describes it beautifully, I LOVE this book, I've read it many times over.

Today I had these moments of pure "I am definitely IN my painting".  It is a sensation I hope everyone experiences once in their life.  Wether it is losing yourself at work crunching numbers, running back and forth from here to there, while dancing in a crowded club with music coursing through the cells of your body, standing on a stage performing your heart out, sewing to your hearts content, creating music, singing your soul out in the comfort of your bathroom, ripping seams as you design the next fashion item, hiking through lush forests, swimming with wild dolphins, editing, enveloped in the smells of the dark room, whatever your passion may be, true enjoyment of BEING, these moments are treasures!  

I just couldn't keep from relaying this message.  The brush couldn't translate the expression I needed and wanted to share in my painting, this resulted in taking the bristles within my hands, in between fingers, dripping with paint, splattering the surface of my canvas as if the paint were an extension of my body's movement.  I finally felt satisfied and elated!    

To get to this point can be challenging especially with all the distractions of the modern world.  I find the practice of being in the studio and 'losing myself', a state of targeted concentration, a meditative experience.  If only I can remain in this state at all times, but then I guess those moments wouldn't be as special.  

Forever grateful,

On the wall in my studio; positive affirmation to self:)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Anti Bullying Awareness Videos

I created 2 videos for my Youtube channel BeingMarieT this week in support of anti-bullying week.  One is in English and the other in Japanese.  Bullying seems to be an escalating issue and I thought I would share my experience with my viewers in hopes to create discussion and increase awareness.

Bullying, and my experience in English:

ストップいじめ!私の経験。(in Japanese)


Friday, November 9, 2012

Deep in Thought, and lots of books!

Here is a recent video I posted onto my Youtube channel about books related to Japanese mental health, as well as other books of interest, and a casual description of what my new project is about (@6:30 in clip).

During the autumn and winter I find myself doing a lot more transfers for the collage elements in my work, and I've come to call the designs I cut out of Japanese paper 'free association cutting' (as in free association writing); only recently have I discovered the significance of the design being one continuous line, all connected from one end to another.  This makes it difficult as I increase the size of my canvases, but I'm always learning new ways to improve upon the process.  

Anyways here is the video and I've got another planned about my very 'un'stereotypical academic experience and thoughts about school; this is something I struggle with even now, oh the conflict~

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope everyone is having a wonderful November!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Japan's Social Dysfunction and Upheaval

Diptych that I am working on based on the story: 三枚のお札 (san mai no ofuda), or three fortunes on paper... not sure how I will translate yet.

These are some of the reasons for Japan's social dysfunction; I will try to keep it brief as I could write a whole dissertation on this subject.

-Japan's main spiritual belief is in Shintoism which is roughly translated as 'spiritual path', where animals as well as other natural forces are 'kami' or the 'higher power' (God in Western terms), and they are worthy of human reverence.  Japan is absent of monotheism; unlike western cultures where a God and religion with universal principals exist.  Without this 'religion' there were no foundations for individuality, good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, evil, sacred, questioning, risk taking, personal empowerment or enlightenment.    
-The value and identity is in the group, or collective; this dependency protects against risk, but there is miscommunication in the passive, and introverted people.  Also supporting and maintaining the clan came before the search for individual identity.  
-1853 Commodore Perry opened up Japan to western influences, but the Japanese only took on certain features, failing to adopt the foundations of empowerment, individuation, or identity.  Japan only reformulated outside influences to conform to their local standards.  
-'I' in Japan is context dependent; for guidance they turn to the collective or everyone's opinion.  Belonging to the same social field are the major concerns. For example when introducing yourself at a business meeting, the company you work for is mentioned first, your role in the company, then your surname, and lastly your given name.
-There is always a split between 'public face' and 'true feelings'; in a way the Japanese grow up with multiple personalities.
-Lack of privacy; everyone is in ever body's business.  
-After WW2 there was a militaristic, machine/automated like effort to rebuild and industrialize.  Hard work, discipline, self denial, sacrifice, labor itself, unity of purpose, national growth became the religion of the whole.  Close knit, dependent, internal corporate systems proved to increase wealth.    
-The newer generations were raised in material affluence, unlike those who experienced deprivation during the war.
-1990s the bubble burst.  Unprepared for the chaos, (as Japan was materially growing, but not necessarily taking care of the foundations of true identity), the whole country had to face inability to adjust to new situations.
-The process from feudalism to modernity has been incomplete; like a sieve without foundations.  
-Japanese samurai ways haven't changed, only now they wear modern suits and ties; with all the change and upheaval people feel trapped, unable to speak their own mind, and tangled up in obligations of the new modernized world.  
-Japan never really took on Democracy as the west defines it, they were only forced to accept the Constitution (as they were told, never working on the fundamental beliefs and nature of the situation, its role in society and the self).
-Feudalism--->Industrialization--->War--->Reconstruction--->Bubble--->Crash, without experiencing revolutions, or enlightenment.
-Village societies in the Tokugawa Period were suspicious of outsiders.  Dependence and trust amongst the village kept up security.
-The Japanese are a very close to one another, but this can cause social blindness as it keeps them from developing trust, and looking outside of safe, known networks.
-So the people have never had a chance to really discover and find themselves or their identity; during the bubble, they were able to cover or distract with materials, but now as everything in the world is up in the air (so to speak) the Japanese people are struggling to find solid footing.  Never introduced or 'trained' to develop the self, or individual voice, they follow trends create more fetish based collectives (like otaku, humanizing cats, etc.), stick to what is socially acceptable, go along with what is already in place, never question, become more caught up in material things that come and go on the surface.  BUT this doesn't resolve or delve into the foundations of what is truly missing; accountability, acknowledgement, responsibility, patriotism, eagerness for self expression, acceptance of the rapidly changing world, taking risks, showing emotion, being assertive, having a voice and opinion, developing greater sense of individualism, empowerment, loosening social networks, and increasing general trust (within each individual, in the country, and outside influences that will further Japan's development and improvement).  
-This amount of repression obviously leads to frustration, isolation, lack of hope and direction, plummeting confidence, rising debts, cessation of development, and dysfunction.    
-The problem is, the major players like government, policy makers, huge corporations, education ministries, law, etc. the ones who have the power to make a difference are still in samurai garb under their fancy brand name suits and ties.  We are just continuing to drag our feet, which is ineffective!  

The people who are developing mental illnesses are like gaskets or smaller eruptions that are raising red flags for the NEED for solid reform, change, and  identity!  And I haven't even gone into the details and individual disorders and how they are all related to the larger whole; it is all interconnected and affected.

The earth quake/tsunami/nuclear event has brought further development due to the large numbers affected; there has been a lot of reconstruction, technological advancements, humanitarian efforts, ideas, and support, but suicide numbers keep rising (or so I keep hearing).  Since there wasn't too much in terms of interpersonal support (therapy/counseling/groups/etc.) prior to the event, help and aid have been rapidly called to action.  But more often than not, the news is filled with the more technical developments, and reconstruction; I find myself asking, where is the emotional, psychological, mental health aspect?  As a whole they seem to be recovering, optimistic and taking one step at a time, but individually they still struggle with PTSD, loss, depression, anxiety, and host of other mental stresses.  Stigma is still high.  Maybe it is still too early and other survival necessities need to be met, unfortunately I don't live in Japan and can only speak from what I hear and read on the news through English and Japanese networks.

OMG, my heart rate goes up a notch as I am so passionate, interested,  have experienced and feel the emergence to the bone!  This situation in Japan can be a metaphor to my life and struggles with mental illnesses, or vice versa; to me this whole issue is crystal clear as visual imagery in my mind, as well as deep gut intuition.

Always thinking, up to something, with canine as my side kick:)
Okay, now let me sniff the development of this niche fragrance that I've just got a free sample of which I applied earlier today; ah, smells so good~  Thought process: I need to visit Japan, back pack the whole country speaking to people, document, and take it further as I make more progress.  That is after/simultaneously sending out e-newsletters, updating my website to newer website with more options, creating more art pieces, studying material, spreading the word, connecting ideas and projects for collaborations, contacting and meeting professionals, individuals and businesses.  Still a one man operation, that's okay, it will steadily progress, one step at a time... (tiny voice in the back of my mind 'seriously, you must be nuts, how is this possible' but ever overpowered by solid larger goals, and dreams to make a difference).

Work on paper, title: In Reach

Thank you for listening,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

人魚の歌: Ningyo no uta, MERMAID'S SONG

Alright, we're get'n back to business here!

Progression of piece MERMAID'S SONG, or NINGYO NO UTA (人魚の歌) as follows:

The HUGE box that the paper I ordered from PaperWoman: http://www.papernado.com had a warning that said 'beware of water damage' in Japanese.  Well, I ripped it out and was inspired to make it the starting point for my new project.

After layers of extremely thin unryu paper cut out into freehand designs which I dyed with acrylic pigments, I painted over top, and added whimsical elements. 

I like how my imagination unfolds, and unexpected elements like the paper air plane which does not exist in the original fable presents itself.   

I created the body out of clay, painted, added further elements like the three dimensional paper dyed, and sculpted into her hair and tail.

More detailed shot.

Here is a rough photo of the final piece: colors more saturated, added dimension, texture, scales cut individually, layers, finishes, and oh there is a moon in the background too.

The reasons I believe and think Japan's mental health system and society has become the way it has been/is will be what I hope to discuss in the next blog post.

Thank you so much for your time, and for the Canadians tuning in I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

INTENTIONS vs. PERCEPTIONS: challenging objectification of individuals in society.

This week started off with a serious hack/spam that threw off my Yahoo Mail account, and as I was trying to fix this problem Yahoo Mail suggested I upgrade, I did and it wiped everything off of my account including contacts/folders/messages/etc.  

This is now fixed, although I did have a few words to say about it; which I have expressed in a video prior to the Intentions vs. Perceptions.  It includes phrases like 'big sacks of cow sh...manure' 'fart-face!' and the like... if you are interested in seeing that I will put it below the actual video I am now posting.  

My Youtube Channel: BeingMarieT
-I started sharing this new material; latex as a fascinating textural medium from an artist perspective.  Also to bring awareness to the stereotypes and judgement placed upon it.  I thought it would be a great platform to challenge differences, preconceived notions, and views.  To be an example that anyone can wear latex, not linked to taboos, and of dark mysterious underground worlds.
-I don't go with the flock/herd/group/whatever you want to call it, I break boundaries and lead by example, try things my way, and see how it goes.
-Those were my intentions; but that which started out as the above has began evolving into this public perception/trend/brand that is a different animal in and of itself which I am not happy with.  
-Seeing the interaction and comments I've realized that what I have tried so hard to challenge; over objectification of people, image based society, false advertisement, photoshopped air brushed perfection representation of what one 'should' be, and its effect on youth and individuals, the consequences of materialism, surface focused, over sexualized everything----> I have become my own research subject, so to speak.  
-Someone who has personal experience with eating disorders, I can say for certain this is not what I set out to represent or do, I am not and do not support surface shallow instant gratification or present myself due to 'looks' 'image' or 'numbers'.  
-There is a difference between feeling 'sexy' and something being 'sexual'; I believe this gets mixed up A LOT.  Latex is not sexual in any way or form to me, there is no arousal as others may experience.  I do feel sexy when I do wear it, as I would when I decide to wear a pair of well fitting comfortable jeans!
-What am I doing? I am trying to refocus, my Youtube channel so I can have it the way I intended to, with the possibility of making a difference (even one viewer at a time).  NOT have useless comments about things based on careless image of assumption, being taken as a sexual object.  Thank you, if you think I look good in latex but it is never about the 'looks' people (to you maybe, but NOT TO ME).    
-Also to connect to the Japanese population I have began doing mental health videos in Japanese.

So here is the video: 
INTENTIONS vs. PERCEPTIONS: challenging objectification of individuals in society.  

This is the video I made right before this expressing my feelings on being hacked/spammed then deleted by Yahoo Mail, appropriately titled:

Multi tasking can be a pain in the butt as many times unexpected things arise, but oh well, find solution, fix problem, keep on moving forwards:)  

Thank you,

Monday, September 24, 2012


I am so sorry for all the trouble, but I have been spammed and hacked into my Yahoo Mail account this morning, and I have lost all data in my email account including e-mails, contact list, drafts, and all information.  

This truly drives me mad as it is such a pain, and makes my stomach drop. 

I truly apologize for any inconvenience!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Update: Project NIHON MUKASHIBANASHI/JAPANESE FABLES, Japan Mental Health/Illness/Stigma Awareness Movement

Long time no UPDATE!  I have not fallen off the face of the planet, I'm focusing my energy on many things at the moment, and my brain is working over time.


Here is what I have been up to:
-Doing extensive research and studying about the world of mental health/illness systems in Japan.
-Compiling a list of things I need to do in order to materialize my idea and movement.
-Working on art for this project which will become a conduit for discussion and beginning of movement.
-Trying to do videos on my Youtube channel in Japanese.
-Writing out project proposal and vision.
-Preparing myself for things to come.  

The project in rough:
日本昔話:Traditional Japanese Folk Tales
Creating contemporary works of art based on Japanese folk tales.  Re-conceptualizing the traditional stories into that which relate to modern societal issues, especially mental health/illness awareness and trying to decrease stigma associated.  
Japan today has one of the highest suicide rates of all modernized countries.  More than 660 suicides happen every single week, that is 94 persons per day (based on numbers in 2003, and those in the year alone increased by 7%).  It is 2012, and some major things have happened in Japan since then like the tsunami/nuclear plant disaster (as one example).  Japan is going through a major social and economic upheaval which is affecting every individual to the core.  
The government, major corporations, education system, bureaucracy, older cultural ways are just some of the main issues that are contributing to the continuation and increase in social disturbances, unhappiness, lack of hope, high rates of mental illnesses and suicides.  
To me it is a clear SOCIAL EMERGENCY!  It is evident but not many are stepping up, and even if they do there is always the reluctance and opposition to change from significant influential players, therefore not much movement.  
I believe the art will be the starting point opening up discussion, sharing and creating awareness.  
I've got my life's work cut out for me; things like this can not be precisely planned or charted, but I'm determined and committed for the long adventure and journey.


(note: I also had a great idea for a start up, in the medical field, as I thought this could possibly give increased funds to this movement as well as help the public population here in North America, but after lengthy research and thought I needed to decide what is/was of more importance and emergence.  I also believe there are efforts already in the works on a national scale for data/government/medical/professional fields (not necessarily user friendly or for public access).  The start up idea is something I would have found useful if it existed when I was falling through the cracks of the system while I was struggling with mental illnesses here, but again, I can not spread myself out thin; I need to do quality work with excellent results and utmost attention, in anything I strive towards.)

I also have a few things I would like to say about the direction of my Youtube videos, but that will come shortly.

Thank you so much for reading, and for your patience:)

Have a wonderful autumn,


Friday, August 17, 2012

Protecting Budding Ideas: Why I don't share projects prematurely.

Gary and I on the balcony: in the next clip he says hello in his Bond-esque accent.

We have been doing a little local traveling, these videos are another way to speak and share experiences with everyone.  

What have I been up to?  Art?  I have a large scale project idea which I am constantly brainstorming and solidifying an outline for, and when I have a creative idea, I tend to keep it to myself until I am truly ready to share.  

In the past I have shared projects prematurely and they never came into fruition due to a number of reasons:
-I wasn't ready.
-Too much outside input.
-They took my idea without me knowing.
-Trust is very important; these days it is hard to come by.
-Unbeknownst to the individual, they can be critical and shoot down an idea in its early stages, creating feelings of shame and embarrassment.  Then the negative cycle of self-doubt begins which is unhealthy.   
-Unorganized goals, needs and wants makes for impossible planning.
-I felt too exposed, and vulnerable.
-Unless you know your wants and needs there is no way to identify the values and motives of those you are sharing/working with.
-I can not be a good leader unless I have a good vision of the final product and its aims.

So I have learned to protect, keep near and dear, share with only those I can truly count on for healthy constructive criticism and support.  I tend to over analyze and plan for all outcomes and possibilities, embody the project as a whole, begin the process, get active, and sometimes be a little reclusive to hold my tongue and not share a project of which I am COMPLETELY EXCITED and PASSIONATE.  The importance of a bit of self/creative preservation:)

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  

On our short trip to Montreal Canada, on VIA Rail, Gary loving communicating in French while I remain hopeless when it comes to French pronunciation.    

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Exhibit Location Correction

TWIST GALLERY 1100 Queen St. West, Toronto, just west off Dovercourt.

Sorry about the misinformation, the flier and website design about the details are a bit confusing.  Thank you, and for any further information go to http://www.awolgallery.com/

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

VIDEOS: Art Progression, Outfit of the Day, Clover, Shoes, Fragrance, Underwear, and more Art!

Recent videos I have uploaded onto my Youtube channel BeingMarieT: http://www.youtube.com/user/beingmariet some are art related, others are not.  I hope you enjoy:)

Just a reminder: SQUARE FT. Art Exhibit @ AWOL Gallery: 76/78 Ossington Ave. Toronto: Aug. 4th -19th: more info here: http://www.awolgallery.com/
My three pieces will be available at a huge discount if you are interested!!!  You can purchase them at the gallery during the above dates, or contact them directly if you can't make it in person:)  (see one blog post prior for video of the pieces that will be at the show) 

Art Progression_2 experiment: start of new project

Outfit of the Day, Comfortable Shoes, Clover's Grillz

Fragrance Preferences and Vintage perfumes

When in Japan buy a Bra...

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, and have a wonderful Wednesday!!!