My Watercolor Designs

I have always loved art and creating my own drawings and paintings. Until recently, I kept my work to myself, but I decided to put some of my creations for sale. I am an amateur, I focus on simple designs and have fun with it. But I thought it would be fun to document my journey here and see where it takes me.

Why did you start drawing?

I would not say that I draw, I think I mostly focus on painting right now. I have the most fun with that, and I have the least amount of pressure that way. I just paint what I want, when I want and it is a great hobby. It relaxes me and acts as a kind of meditation.

Where can I find your drawings?

I put a few of my designs up on Redbubble, you can check them out here. My designs vary, but most of them have to do with nature or the ocean. You can also find my designs by going on the Redbubble website and typing in: Made by Arianna.

I have my designs separated by Collections, so feel free to check them out by category. I add new designs weekly, and sometimes daily. I am always creating and sharing. I also uploaded some of my photographs from my trips to Hawaii and Italy. The photographs are available on some clothing and also on prints.

So..

If you decide to check out my designs, let me know what you think! You can leave it in a comments below, email me or contact me through the contact page on this website. You could also let me know on my instagram or follow my art’s instagram.

Calling all filmmakers!

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I enjoy writing and learning more about filmmakers. If you are a filmmaker yourself, or you know someone who is, keep reading!

I am an aspiring filmmaker, actor, and writer. I know how it feels to just be starting out and wanting people to watch your films, but not knowing how to get them out there and seen. That is why I enjoy writing about filmmakers. I wrote a few posts about upcoming filmmakers to help get the word out about their new films, projects, and contests they were in. They were successful, so I am looking for more creatives to write about. If you know a filmmaker that would want me to do a post on them, or review their film, let me know in the comments, or send me an email.

I do these posts to support creators because I think supporting one another is important. I also know firsthand that this can be a very hard time for creatives, so I want to do what I can to help. Here are some posts that I have written so far:

  1. Jes Vasquez a.k.a. ThisJes Films
  2. Brandon Rhiness from Hot Box (2019)
  3. Cosmin Zaharia from The Music Island (2020)
  4. Michael LiCastri from The Best Laid Plans (2019)

To learn more about me and my place in the film industry, feel free to check out the about me page on my blog.

I hope you have a great day.

Arianna 🙂

10 Gifs and Giggles ft. Barry

At a time like this, I think it is important to remember to smile. For your entertaining pleasure, I have put together 10 gifs from one of my favorite tv shows Barry. Although I did not make the gifs (I found them here), I did come up with the witty captions seen above the gifs. I hope you laugh and enjoy these gifs and giggles. Did you catch that pun? Let’s begin.

1. Me after I watch a terrible film.

2. How I feel after not leaving my house for 15 days.

3. When people say, “You could use this time to do something you have always wanted to do.”

4. On the first day of quarantine:

vs. on Day 14

5. Spending all day every day with the same people.

6. Me when I wake up and remember I cannot leave my house.

7. Me every 10 minutes.

8. My worst nightmare.

9. When you run out of toilet paper.

10. Me when someone asks how I am doing.

And finally, the funniest scene in ALL OF TELEVISION that will make absolutely no sense unless you have watched the show. (Watch it on HBO or Hulu)

Thank you for being here. I hope you stay healthy and safe.

-Arianna

P.S. Let me know if you liked this post. It is not something I usually do, but if you like them I will do them more often. They are fun and everyone needs a little reminder to laugh sometimes.

Timeline of Robert Pattinson

Edward from Twilight (2008), Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and now Batman. Pattinson has also been in smaller films that have strange characters that are just as intriguing and weird as they are thought-provoking. Today, let’s talk about Robert Pattinson and some films he has made during his career thus far.

Brilliant Actor

I want to start by saying that I think Pattinson is an incredible actor. There are not many actors that I watch and completely see them disappear in their roles. But Pattinson is one of them. He can do any accent, he changes his posture, his tone of voice, his facial movements, and it seems so natural. I think he is a cool dude with bountiful amounts of raw talent. On top of that, in interviews he is modest and rarely says anything nice about himself. Maybe that is the British in him, but his talent is hard to ignore. He even has a hard time explaining how exactly he acts, he just does it.

He has been in so many films, played so many diverse characters, that I think it is hard for him to be type-cast now. Pattinson worked hard for that. After Twilight it would have been easy for him to take up roles in the newest blockbuster, but he went on his own route, and I admire that.

Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2005)

As someone who grew up watching the Harry Potter films, I remember Cedric Diggory as someone who thought he was too cool for Potter. But, Harry always responded to Diggory’s comments by being mature and taking the upper hand. The world of Hogwarts seems like its own entity in itself, which is why when I think of Cedric, I think of Cedric and I do not even think of Pattinson. But I think Robert played this role well. His unfortunate ending was indeed very sad and heart-breaking.

Twilight (2008)

I know I could not write this post without discussing Twilight. I was a fan of this genre: the whole vampire, werewolf world. But I have to say, I was Team Jacob. Yeah, I was not Team Edward. This was a big thing back when those films came out. I remember getting into debates about this with my friends. Who should Bella end up with? Jacob, of course. I even had a Jacob bookmark with a wolf charm on it and a poster and I drew a picture of Taylor Launter for my art project in the 7th grade. Yes, that was me. Also, please appreciate how I made the picture for this post an apple because of the apple scene in the Twilight. Now, we can move on, just as Pattinson did.

Remember Me (2010)

I have not watched this film in a long time, but Pattinson’s performance holds its own. Every film I have seen Pattinson in, somehow he always steals the scenes. He does not need to be a lead actor, yet somehow his performance always drives me to stare in his direction. He is a natural actor and tells stories in ways that engage the audience and make them stay invigorated with his character.

This is one of the intense scenes from the film that I remember vividly:

from MovieClips, YouTube

Water for Elephants (2011)

This brilliant film stars Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, as well as Christoph Waltz. This is one of my favorite films of Pattinson’s. I like the character he plays, he is very likable. But I also enjoy the story as a whole and how it is predictable, yet unpredictable. If I were to summarize this film, it would sound cliche, yet somehow watching it, it does not seem cliche at all. The acting is captivating and you just get immersed in the story, more specifically, in the world of the circus.

from 20th Century Studios, YouTube

Cosmopolis (2012) and Map to the Stars (2014)

I lumped these films together because they both gave me similar feelings: feelings of unease. I could not finish watching Map to the Stars because it made me uncomfortable and made my stomach feel sick. This may sound dramatic, but if you have seen these films, you might understand what I am talking about.

Both of these films are by the same director, so I think my feeling has to do with his directing style, as well as the focus topics of his films. They make me feel uncomfortable and weird, they make me not feel right. But maybe that is the purpose of them. This opinion has little to do with the acting and most to do with the topics and the way emotions are dealt with in the films.

The Rover (2014)

I just watched this film the other day and I did not enjoy it. For the majority of the film, the audience is left in the dark on the major plot point. Then in the end, when the audience learns this hidden plot point, there is not much excitement and not much happens.

I think this film could have been shorter and included a turning event that could have excited the story mid-film to get the audience more engaged. These changes would have made the viewers care more about the characters and would have added some much needed suspense. None of this is Pattinson’s fault. He plays his character well, I just wish the story was more eventful and had more meaning for the audience to identify.

Good Time (2017)

from the Late Late Show with Stephen Colbert, YouTube

Crazy, crazy, crazy. So much happening all of the time, from start to finish. Watch the trailer and you might understand what I mean. Pattinson is nearly unrecognizable in this role. The directors, the Safdie brothers (Josh and Benny) make this film intense and a constant juggling of emotions, action and movement.

At first I could not watch this film because it made me feel so nervous just watching it. Eventually I worked up the courage to watch it all the way through, and I loved it. So good, such good acting. I do not want to say too much or give too much away, but you should watch this film. You may see a side of Pattinson that you have not seen before. And his hair is brilliant. And blonde. Very blonde.

Pattinson in Interviews:

I could not finish this post without urging you to watch an interview of Pattinson. You can read about him, but I think you need to see him talk to fully grasp his ability to act. Here are some interviews you might enjoy giving a watch:

from Elisabetta B, YouTube
from Vogue, YouTube

Summary

Dear Mr. Robert Pattinson,

Dude, you are awesome and weird, but in the best way possible. I think the films you do show your acting talent and allow you to explore your imagination and creativity. I think you took a unique path, instead of following the footsteps of someone else. And I think that is very noble. Maybe I am as weird as you, considering I am writing this as if you will ever read it.

Arianna

P.S. Let me know in the comments what you think of Pattinson being cast as the next Batman. I would love to read your thoughts! What is your favorite Pattinson film?

The Film that Changed my Life

I think it is common for filmmakers, directors and actors to have some films that are the inspiration for them to take up their careers in the industry. The film industry is a tough place, so it is unlikely you will end up here by accident. It will likely take years of hard, consistent work, so motivation is always appreciated.

Whether it is a specific actor’s performance, a story line or a directing style that introduces someone to their love of film, movies have the power to change the trajectory of lives. Today I talk about the film that changed my perspective on films and made me fall in love with movies, stories and see their incredible power to help.

The Story

I had to have this operation done on my toe, I won’t get into details because trust me, you don’t want to know. But little did I know this would change my life.

While I was recovering and had to lay down with my foot elevated, I had the chance to watch many, many films. Without this opportunity to watch so many films at once, I may have never realized the powerful ability to tell compelling, meaningful stories. Before this I was so used to watching the most recent blockbuster film and not much else. But now I had the chance to watch a lot of films, so I looked through my father’s collection of DVDs and took some that seemed interesting. One of those films was Defiance (2008). I can honestly say that this film was a clear turning point it my life.

Defiance (2008)

This story is about brotherhood, friendship and community. The movie follows three brothers as they try to escape the Nazi’s wrath on the Jews. Throughout the story, they meet so many people also trying to escape. Over time they meet more and more people and soon they have a small community that they are seemingly the leaders of.

After watching this film, I realized how powerful a movie’s message can be. Previously I had only watched happy films, that did not delve deep into emotion and hardship. But this film was something different, it made me think for myself, appreciate the life I have and evaluate how I go about my everyday life. It changed me. It encouraged me to watch more films that made me feel, instead of just films that made me watch, but not feel any true emotion.

On top of all of that, this film is based on a true story. Watch the film and realize how incredible that is. Here is the trailer.

Sum it up!

I have noticed that it is commonly the small things, the small choices, the small occurrences that change my life the most. I just decided to watch Defiance, probably because the cover of the DVD seemed interesting, or maybe because I thought one of the characters looked like someone I knew. But it turned out to be life-changing.

So many movies have changed my thought processes, changed the way I live my life, but I will get into that in another post. Today I just want to say not to underestimate the small decisions you make, they have the opportunity to make just as much a difference in your life as your big decisions.

Enjoy your day and maybe watch a film that you wouldn’t normally watch. You may be surprised. Or you just might turn to a whole new direction that you never thought of before. (One Direction? lol, I joke)

Arianna xx

Michael LiCastri, filmmaker

About Michael

Michael LiCastri is an actor, writer and director. He has created a wide variety of films that can be seen on his IMDb page. He also has his own production company called 1202 Productions and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Cinema Studies and a concentration in Screenwriting.

He founded his production company in 2012 and continues to build it to this day. Michael has held many hats, including producer, stand-up comedian and actor. He has worked in film, TV, and radio for over two decades.

LiCastri started acting at the age of 8 and has been working on the craft ever since. He has acted in plays across the Central Florida area and has directed and produced some as well. As a comedian, he has an album that was released last October 2019. He also regularly performs live around the Tampa Bay, Florida area.

Lastly, Michael was a host for a popular radio show in the Orlando, Florida area from 2007-2011. Currently, he is working on a podcast, with Ross Alagna, that should be out soon.

Movie Talk

Michael has been apart of several short films, some of which have appeared at film festivals across the country. His first feature, The Best Laid Plans (2019) was acquired for distribution and released globally last year. It is now available to watch on Amazon Prime for free.

I had a chance to ask Michael a few questions about his career and his feature ilm. He told me that he is a fan of films by Kevin Smith and John Hughes, especially their early works. His film, The Best Laid Plans is inspired by their films.

He grew up acting, so making the journey into filmmaking was natural for him. He found his love for comedy in his teen years, then went on to film school and made ten short films.

In regards to his first feature film, he wrote the script because he was having a hard time finding work after he graduated from college in 2011. Although the script was finished in 2012, the movie was filmed later in his career. He told me that this question inspired much of his film, “What makes good people do bad things?” He chose to explore this question comedically because most films that encounter this question tend to be dramatic.

The Best Laid Plans (2019)

I had the chance to watch this film and enjoyed it. It is a nice combination of humor and great directing. As someone who has watched hundreds of films submitted to film festivals, this film stands out. The production quality is great and the film is peppered with unique, thoughtful jokes. Also, the characters are each interesting in their own regard.

The Best Laid Plans tells the story of a group of friends who desperately need money. This desperation causes them to come up with a plan that may or may not go as expected. This light-hearted film keeps your attention and keeps you guessing.

Watch his films:

You can check him out on IMDb, his Production company’s website or check out the last film he was a part of on IMDb or Amazon Prime. Here is also a link to Michael’s comedy album.

Thanks for reading,

Arianna

*All photos are provided by Michael LiCastri.

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What to know before you go to Italy

Before you go to Italy, you may be wondering what you should pack, what you should expect and what kind of food they will have. Keep reading to find out!

1. Dinner is late & long.

In Italy, people tend to take their time eating, unlike most Americans who rush through meals. Mealtime is meant to be spent with family and friends talking about their days. For this reason, most waiters won’t rush you to leave the restaurant and will let you take your time. It is is common to spend hours just talking, even after all of your food has been eaten.

2. The bread in Florence is bland.

Yes, Italy has great food and incredible bread. But, bread in Florence is not my favorite. The reason for this is the lack of salt. This ingredient has an important history in Florence and there is a historical explanation as to why there is no salt in the bread.

The bread tastes differently in different areas of Italy. Also, side note, bread costs extra and is not included in the meal. Most often waiters put bread on the table without you asking for it. Bread does not usually cost more than a few euros, but you can ask if you want to be sure.

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

3. Bring a scarf.

This is specifically for people who go to Italy during the summer. Many churches have rules that everyone needs to cover their shoulders and knees. You can use a scarf to tie around your shoulders or around your waist to cover your knees. Scarves are sold all around the cities, but it would be best to pack some clothing that already covers your shoulders and knees. Some churches even sell coverings for a few euros that are basically very thin fabric you wear like a robe, while you are in the church.

4. Restrooms are creative.

Restrooms can be complicated and have different locks than we are used to in the U.S. I know someone who got locked in a bathroom stall. Yes, really! But, don’t be scared. The locks on the bathroom stalls are creative, so pay attention how you shut the lock, so you know how to open it. I even went to a bathroom that had the hinge in the middle of a door, yup. Truth. The Italians are known for architecture and design. Their bathrooms are no exception.

5. Their rest stops are awesome.

The rest stops in Italy are not like the ones on the side of the road in the U.S. Italian rest stops have a wide variety of foods, both healthy and fried. A little of everything, not just greasy fast food like in the U.S. They even had vegan croissants at the rest stop! YES! Way to go Italians!

Photo by Jakub Kapusnak on Unsplash

6. They dress nice.

I always dress very casual, but I did not realize how casual I dress until I went to Italy. Italians tend to dress nice, especially when compared to Americans. To put this into perspective, I did not see a single Italian wear sweatpants or a hoodie while I was in Italy and I was in Italy for 2 weeks. It was always very obvious who was American, just based on the clothes people were wearing. Americans can very easily be spotted in a crowd because of their baseball caps and simple t-shirts.

You can decide what to do with this information. You could decide to bring clothes that are dressier than what you would normally wear, or you could just embrace your Americaness and wear your normal clothes (which is what I did). But next time, I think I will try dressing a bit fancier, just a bit.

7. Hold your valuables close.

Stay aware of your surroundings. Stay aware of pickpockets. Hold your bags close to you at all times. If someone offers you a rose, beware they will probably want you to give them money for it, even if they say it’s for free. Also, if you take something for free, you may be followed until you give some money. Just keep these things in mind, don’t be too worried about it, it’s just something to think about and be aware of.

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

8. There are many regions of Italy.

Each region of the country is different. They are known for different foods, different landscapes, etc. For example, Capri and Pompeii are known for their lemons (they are the size of a grape fruit), while Tuscany is known for its wine. Therefore, I urge you not to make a judgement about the whole country if you have only been to a few places.

9. English is spoken.

Many places, especially in big cities, know English. But small towns are less likely to speak fluent English. Knowing a few words in Italian, or a few phrases, can be very helpful. Taking time to learn a little Italian before you go to Italy shows you are trying your best and not just assuming everyone there will know English.

10. Enjoy every minute of it.

Enjoy the food, the atmosphere, take it all in and try not to worry too much about getting that “perfect”picture. Be in the moment. That is the advice I would give. Think: 10 years from now, when you look back at this moment, will you want to remember taking a picture at the Trevi fountain, or actually looking at the water and the beautiful art?

Photo by Julien Tondu on Unsplash

That’s it!

So, that is what an American thought of Italy. Well, I am part Italian. I hope I helped you in some way. If you have any more questions, let me know in the comments and I will help in any way I can.

Have a great day filled with pasta and delicious vegetables!

Arianna xx

Motivation

What do you do when you reach a point during your day when you just want to curl up in bed and sleep. I mean sleep is good, but working towards your goals is also good.

I feel this.

Every so often, I get these tinges of doubt. I think deeply about what I am doing daily and why I am doing it. My long term goal is to work in the film industry, but right now I am learning, writing and reading all I can. Because I am in the infancy of my career, I think it is common to have these feelings of doubt.

I have this new-found-knowledge, but what do I do with it? It is not like I can just go on film sets and start directing. I need to work my way to that. I need to network, meet like-minded people, create my own team that supports one another. But what do I do until then?

Obviously, I will keep going and working towards my goals, but even when I do everything on my to-do list and more, I still feel like I am not doing enough. I work hard, but am I going anywhere? Is it worth it? Will I get burned out before I get where I want to go? Rest is important, but then I feel guilty if I sit down and am not doing anything.

What I think:

These are some of my thoughts. They push me around sometimes, but I shove them back. I end up remembering my goals, looking back at last month and seeing how much forward I have moved. It turns out that at the moment, my achievements may not look like much, but when I look back at them, I realize I have moved a mountain. Then I get temporarily proud of myself.

SOOO… I think that it is common to feel a little setback, feel like you are not moving forward. But despite how I may feel, I make sure to do something each day to bring me closer to my goals. If you do that every day for a year, imagine where you will be. A small step forward each day means you will eventually walk a mile. A small move forward is better than not trying and not moving at all.

Be kind to yourself and your small successes. I need to start doing that and I hope you will too.

Little talk…

Here is some motivation to making your goals a reality, and not just a little note on a piece of paper shoved in the back of your drawer. Motivation. Motivation. You can do this and you will. You will thank yourself in a year because you pushed through this hill and got over it. You got this.

Arianna xx

P.S. I listen to this song when I need some good sunshine. Maybe it will help you too.

from Hall and Oates YouTube
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