owl city: the making of all things bright and beautiful

The Owl City albums as cute girls

June (Of June) is a shy and reserved girl, inexperienced in life and innocent as few. She’s not very confident, but dreams big and longs to walk the streets of big cities and experiencing the world one day.

Mei (Mei-by I’m Dreaming) is also quite shy. She’s a daydreamer and a hopeless romantic. She would rather spent her days in her thoughts, than in reality amongst others. She’s often called ‘emo’ because of her sentimental and poetic nature, but does things her own way regardless of what others say.

Ocean (Ocean Eyes) is a peppy and much adored girl. She’s popular with many, though some may say she’s too weird and that they just can’t make sense of her. She’s smiles in the face of difficult times and tries to do the best she can in any situation.

Bo (another version of Beau, as in All Things Bright and Beautiful) is wise and sophisticated - she has her feets on the ground and she’s fond of nature. She’s deeply religious and looks at life as one big blessing. She finds joy in the simpler things - she’s constantly grateful for being alive. She likes thinking about the big questions in life.

Summer (The Midsummer Station) is dynamic, bold and daring. She’s confident in her ways, strongwilled and does what she pleases. Because of this, she’s often the target of criticism, but criticism doesn’t bother her. She’s a free, optimistic soul who loves to dance, sing as loud as she can and live her life to the fullest.

Greatly inspired by Rose’s idea!

ATTENTION ALL HOOT OWLS

If you are going to ANY of the remaining concerts on the Mobile Orchestra tour then please read this!

As you guys have probably heard or seen by now, Adam hasn’t really been his usual excited bubbly self while performing on this tour. But recently at the Chicago leg of the tour a group of people say on the floor during This Isn’t the End. And more and more people joined and say with them. Adam had his eyes closed and was so into the song refused to open them.

I think it would be amazing if at each of the rest of the concerts to have everyone sit on the floor during This Isn’t the End. It’s by far the most personal song, and it is one of Adam’s favorites. Of all the songs on the track list I truly believe that This Isn’t the End deserves the most respect, and what better way to do that by sitting on the floor, not saying a word or screaming along with the lyrics, just soaking in every note that Adam sings.

I get that some places might be cramped standing, but It’s just for one song and even if Adam has his eyes closed when it happens and doesn’t see it, he’ll know it happened.

Please try and spread this word around. I think it would be the most amazing thing if we could make this happen.

5

If life was a game, you would never play nice,
If love was a beam, you’d be blind in both eyes,
Put your sunglasses on, ‘cause you’re a Deer in the Headlights.

My rock candy passion is bittersweet
And armed to the teeth
‘Cause she would rather fall in chocolate
Than fall in love
Especially with me

Adam

A hero of mine once said of himself, “There is no old Adam Young, there is no new Adam Young, merely different colors and different brushstrokes over the same canvas.”

Adam Young, best known for his music project Owl City, wrote those words upon reaching a point in his career where he was creating music that was vastly different from what he had been previously known for, sonically, structurally, and lyrically. I feel his statement was important and relevant not only to artists, but any human being at all. An artist may transform, experiment, and expand their work all throughout their careers, just as a person changes, develops, and grows all throughout their lives.

With this piece, I thought of what it might mean not only to take Adam’s quote literally by means of a painting, but how I could portray the essence of the words. I considered how I respond emotionally to his body of work. When I hear music, I tend to associate different colors, forms, and scenes with what I hear, sometimes influenced by lyrics, but most often by melodies and sounds. I painted layers of colors associated with each phase of his work, using techniques to complement the phases; from fluid, bright colors for his experimental, surreal escapism, to simple, linear visuals and colors for his more polished, controlled, straightforward work.

The photo I worked from was one I took the first time I saw Owl City live; September 2012 at the 930 Club on the Midsummer Station world tour.  The fuzziness of the original photo that obscured Adam’s appearance was actually to my advantage for the painting, as it was not only easier to paint than an image with great detail, but, in my mind, went with the idea Adam expressed in his words, of not being rigidly defined by one thing or another.  Though a simple snapshot, the time of it holds personal significance.  I went to that concert in the beginning of a semester of college that would turn out to be an incredibly transforming and defining time in my life.  I happened to decide to take all art classes that semester, not being intentional at all about a theme, but trying to get requirements out of the way.  Having a full credit load of constant, hands on work started out extremely overwhelming and challenging.  It was this concert, though, that gave me a huge dose of inspiration for artwork, and motivation to rise to the occasion.  Though that semester did not cease to be challenging, the music of Adam Young definitely took the edge off the overwhelming nature of things by keeping me sane and happy, and providing me conceptual inspiration.  Though I didn’t know it at the beginning, I would find by the end of the semester that making art was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Though there were other influences and events that brought me to that particular realization, I always credit Adam’s work with giving me the endurance to press on to the arrival of that realization.  Therefore, I consider this painting to be first and foremost about Adam Young, but also, a little bit about myself.

(Adam’s blog can be followed on Tumblr at adamyoungofficial)

Happy Easter from a Hootowl!

Happy Resurrection Sunday, everyone! I hope you enjoy this day of rebirth and life anew! Here to celebrate are some of Adam’s song lyrics of his songs of his faith:

Angels
“Living close to the ground
Is seventh heaven ‘cuz there are angels all around
Among my frivolous thoughts
I believe there are beautiful things seen by the astronauts

The indications reveal
That few of us realize life is quite surreal
So if you’re dying to see
I guarantee there are angels around your vicinity

So if you’re dying to see
I guarantee there are angels around your vicinity


Beautiful Times
“I fought all through the night
Oh oh but I made it alive
The sun’s starting to rise
Oh oh these are beautiful times
This fight of my life is so hard
So hard
So hard
But I’m gonna survive
Oh oh these are beautiful times”


Embers
“So I’m fanning the flames to climb so high
'Cuz there’s no other way we can stay alive

'Cuz we’re burning bright
As we all unite
And when it’s all said and done
We’ll shine like the sun
So don’t let the fire die

And we’ll watch the sky
As it fills with light
And though the embers are new
Whatever you do
Just don’t let the fire die


Galaxies
“Dear God I was terribly lost
When the galaxies crossed
And the sun went dark
But Dear God You’re the only North Star
I would follow this far

Oh telescope
Keep an eye on my Only Hope
Lest I blink
And get swept off the narrow road
Hercules
You’ve got nothing to say to me
'Cuz you’re not the blinding light that I need
For He is the Saving Grace of the galaxies


Hospital Flowers
“The curtains decayed
The daylight poured in
I was never afraid
Of the Darkness again
My burns were third degree
But I’d been set free
'Cuz Grace had finally found its way
To me


How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (cover)
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch his treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to Glory

Behold the man upon the Cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

This I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom


In Christ Alone (cover)
In Christ alone
My hope is found
He is my light my strength my song

This cornerstone
This solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love
What depths of peace
When fears are stilled
When strivings cease

My comforter
My all-in-all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground
His body lay
Light of the World by Darkness slain

Then bursting forth
In glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as he stands
In victory
Sin’s curse has lost
Its grip on me

For I am His
And He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life
No fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me

From life’s first cry
To final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of Hell
No scheme of man
Can ever pluck
Me from His hand

'Til He returns
Or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

'Til He returns
Or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Kamikaze
My Captain on a snowy horse
Is coming back to take me home
I’m finally fighting back the terrible force
'Cuz I’m not afraid to die alone


Meteor Shower
I can finally see
That You’re right there beside me

I am not my own
For I have been made new
Please don’t let me go
I desperately need You

I am not my own
For I have been made new
Please don’t let me go
I desperately need You


Tidal Wave
Lift your arms
Only Heaven knows
That if danger grows
Then it’s safe to say
There’s a Bright Light up ahead and help is on the way

I forget the last time I felt brave
I just recall insecurity
'Cuz it came down like a tidal wave
And sorrow swept over me

Then I was given Grace and Love
I was blind but now I can see
'Cuz I found a new Hope from Above
And courage swept over me

It hurts just to wake up
Whenever you’re wearing thin
Alone on the outside
So tired of looking in

The end is uncertain
And I’ve never been so afraid
But I don’t need a telescope
To see that there’s Hope
And that makes me feel brave

Happy Easter, and God bless.