imaginary somewhere

imaginary somewhere

by ani castillo

I want to feel good things





It’s been around a year since I started doing my cartoon, Imaginary Friend.

At the moment, I consider it to be my little baby,  my art project and my way of expressing a handful of the never ending stream of thoughts that go through my head. My way of sharing some of the things that I experience.

I’ve always considered that never ending stream of thoughts to be a pain in the butt. (Even more because most of them are gloomy and worrisome!)

Professionals call it anxiety.

It doesn’t matter, at least for now I’ve been catching them like butterflies and pinning them down to a piece of paper so I can see them a little bit more clearly.

I guess professionals would call this therapy?






Cancion del momento: Wicked Games cover by Pipilotti Rist




I love Pipilotti Rist *_*

(I even met her in person in Guadalajara!, I was so happy)



The sun shines nicely through our windows









Pupa y Lavinia #381







Paul Oceans

I was 18, had quit art school and started a new university program where I felt a little bit out of my element.

Then I met this guy, his name was Paul Oceans.

He wasn’t in my class, he was a couple semesters ahead of me (mature! experienced!)

He was completely bald and had the greenest biggest eyes I had ever seen (interesting! hot!)

He wore those big thick glasses that everybody wears now but at the time he was the only person I ever saw wearing them (brave! original!)


By now you probably know; I started developing a little bit of a crush on him.

But at the time my crushes weren’t the peachy dreamy kind, no.


They were more like full blown burning passions. The dramatic kind!

Where the body physically suffers from the consuming blazing flames of all those feelings!!



And although falling in love so stupidly could sound like a big waste of time, the teenager me used that kind of energy to fuel my creativity.

I wrote a lot, painted a lot, sketched a lot, took a lot of pictures, made shortfilms…

(Paul Oceans made an appearance on those pieces more times that I would like to admit though!)


We used to talk about things that just got me so excited.

He knew about all independent movies and music and art and he enjoying discussing his theories about the human soul and the reason for our existence on earth (that kind of stuff I like,  fun and sexy I know!)

He used to bring hot chocolate to school and shared with me on a couple occasions.

Everything was so magical and awesome!!!


Just one little problem…


not even a problem really…


it all depends on the perspective.

He was very very short.


Like, extremely short.

Shorter than most guys I know, actually. Maybe the shortest.

(and as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’m probably the tallest Mexican girl that ever existed).

And since I lacked the confidence to imagine a future where I would take romantic walks with my tiny husband or where I would have to bend almost all the way to the level of my bellybutton in order to kiss him, well, I just ignored those feelings and kept doing my thing.

* I know there are happy couples on earth with a short guy and a tall girl but at the time I was so self conscious and uncomfortable with the basics of being me that I’m convinced I wasn’t ready to add another layer of mundane discomfort to my daily existence *

One day after a long break from school, I saw him walking towards me, first thing in the morning, he seemed all fresh and happy. My heart started racing and my ears got really hot.

He told me he had something for me and took my hand with his little hand.

He dropped some tiny circles, they looked like translucent paper.

At first I had no idea what they were.

Then he told me he had been playing his bass (musician!) a lot during the break so he developed blisters on all his fingers.





Then they fell and he let them dry out.



for me.

Words (or drawings) would never be able to explain the feelings going through my body on that chilly morning.

I felt this obsessive infatuation with the guy and here he was, giving me actual pieces of his little body!!!

I didn’t know how to react, should I put them in my pocket? should I just eat them and then we would be together forever???  FOREVER???!!!!!

Then I looked at him, didn’t want to look like I loved him or anything. I gave them back and said “eeeeww!”

Weakness. Betrayal to one’s self, sometimes it happens!





I didn’t see too much of him after that. Some weeks later I went out with my BFF from school, Elsa.

She’s cool and brave and awesome!

We were at a street music festival in Chapultepec. That was my favorite night of the year! they were bands playing all kinds of music genres on one of the nicest streets in Guadalajara, there were hundreds of people everywhere. We were drinking some caguamas out of styrofoam cups so nobody would notice. Mwahahaha. (legal age to start drinking in Mexico is 18. Which I think is a terrible idea!)

It was the first or second time I had beer so I was pretty out of sorts. But feeling spunky!

I suddenly saw Paul Oceans and decided I should declare my love. I’ll blame it on the beer.

I don’t remember what my words were, it was all pretty blurry but I remember he responded by saying something like I was too tall….




Me! Too Tall!! Sorry Paul Oceans!  my bad!

I looked down and noticed something about that was true.

He was standing on top of a step on top of the sidewalk just so we could have straight eye contact.

It totally made sense.


I was standing there trying to savor the scorching pain of rejection but couldn’t feel too much.

I blamed it on the beer…

Elsa and I walked away into the crowd and the darkness where I met the guy who would become my first serious boyfriend for the next couple of years, although I didn’t know that at the time.

Then we called my dad and faked being serious and sober when he came to pick us up with his truck.

The next morning I tried to feel sad in my room, I really gave it a go!

I was numb and didn’t have the beer to blame anymore, I listened to sad songs and everything, they didn’t work!

It was impossible to feel bad about anything. I found the whole situation kind of ridiculous and funny and nothing made me overly emotional about the outcome of this experiment.

In the next couple of days I developed this theory:


After all I wasn’t that much into Paul Oceans!

I just couldn’t deny I thoroughly enjoyed living through his chapter in the book of my life…














A hypothetical darker past

I just painted my fingernails black…


I listen to the Cure now, it HAD  to be done.



I’ve been wondering how my life would have been if I became one of those goth kids I saw hanging out outside of old buildings in Guadalajara. Maybe I would have made a good one!

I wonder if joining them back then would have made my teenage years a little better?

When I took a photography class in school I took pictures of some of them. They used to get together outside of the music school. They also used to scare me to be honest.




One thing is, most of us are not caucasian over there. We tend to be a little bit more of the colour of a beautiful piece of wood instead of the pale blank canvas that you seem to need in order to get the goth look. I remember seeing lots and lots and lots of make up. (that’s the problem with adopting stuff from another countries, you never know what things you won’t be able to apply in yours!)



I also remember seeing them in huge leather jackets and coats. But my city  is hot like 90% of the time! No amount of dark thoughts could dim the burning sun of Guadalajara in May.

So for those who were really committed to keep the look, they had to walk around all covered up in a colour that most of us avoid because of it’s heat absorbing properties.


Maybe I could have joined the punks instead! after all I was a vegetarian for 5 years (at the time, punks were the only vegetarians in my city)


but then, I don’t really like super loud music…

and they scared me too.

oh well…


Luckily, one day I did join one of those micro niches that people build around specific interests.


It was a very (very) different kind.


But I’ll leave that for another day, for today I’ll keep fantasizing about alternative pasts!



Dissintegrating and stuff





I grew up listening to Mexican pop music.

I LOVED it. I sang it and enjoyed and lived it and shared it with everyone in my beloved hometown. My memories are all bright and happy when I remember singing cumbias with my dad, Molotov  with my brothers and Jose Jose with my mom. I reveled with Gloria Trevi and felt all romantic with Luis Miguel.

Then in middle school, when everything turned dark, dramatic and lonely and tragic because I didn’t happen to ‘fit in’ (I’m a handful of inches taller than most any mexican girl), a sweet boy named Carlos introduced me to Nirvana. I remember all my anger and loneliness didn’t feel as terrible when I stayed curled up all afternoon listening to Nevermind on my walkman, deep inside the lower level of my bunk bed. I felt like my emotions were shared or understood or something. It all felt more manageable while the play button was pressed down.

Then my first boyfriend introduced me to Radiohead, Portishead and Frente. So I played that a lot. When we broke up I started researching music, national and international, and it turned out to be quite a big deal for me. Music propelled the next couple of chapters in my life, it inspired me to do things and meet people. It made me dream of a bigger world, it seriously made me feel better and brought me back to life! Thank you music thank you thank you thank you.

My cousins had cable TV so they got to know lots of north american stuff. I remember them talking a lot about The Cure but I never got to listen to them.

Until now!

I’ve been loving them so deeply. I’m so happy to finally have them hanging around with me in my living room. Their music changes the feeling of reality, I’m in so much love. If I was someone else who loved the Cure from before, I would be jealous of me hehe, discovering then right now has been just so awesome!!



Pupa & Lavinia #376 (to be published next friday)







Pupa & Lavinia #374 (Published in January, 2013)

A map of Canada


I illustrated a Canadian map for the Drake General Store a while ago. They made children’s blankets with it. They are super cuddly!

And speaking of Elodie, I waited and waited until she was big enough and I could have her modelling her blanket, but she doesn’t like that job too much (which I find weird, Umi LOVES having her picture taken!)






I’ve been trying to learn how to use flash, but I don’t understand it very well so I was trying to figure things out as I went.



But she was getting kind of uncomfortable…



That ball of yarn worked pretty well keeping her busy for a little while as I was really trying to figure out the flash thing… I was bouncing it from the ceiling because I’ve seen many people doing that, but the lighting was strange and dark at the bottom…



Then I just pointed the flash at Elodie and got the exposure a little bit more even but by then she was super angry and we had to end the photoshoot! :(

Oh well, at least I got to use my flash!, it was pretty exciting *_*

Aaah my sweet sweet Elodie, I love her so, despite her absolute lack of professionalism…





Sunday in the City



I present you with the first parallel parking job I ever did in the city. It may look like a lot of room to you, dear reader, but it is the tightest in between cars I’ve ever been. So proud!

I thought it would be better if I distorted the plates in the picture.

But then I thought it would be even better if I distort the whole car, talk about extreme safety!

Umi and I went to do Groceries at the Market for the first time.

It was awesome! we got a big fish from the fish monger, sandwich bread from the bakery, cheese from the cheese store, mexican sweet bread from Pancho’s, vegetables, fruit, tomatillos (!) BLUE CORN TORTILLAS (!!!!). Weeee!

Then we went to the art and fashion district, drank some juice and ate some of our Pancho’s bread.

The weather was abnormal and balmy, the sky was grey and overcast (my favorite) and everything looked kind of relaxed.

We came to our apartment, baked the fish with butter and garlic and made fish tacos with salsas and blue tortillas.

It was a lovely sunday!




Give me a T

Many major things have happened.

Good things really. Even though I’ve been finding it harder to take changes as easily as I used to, I’m always trying to hang onto the positive as hard as I can.

We’ve found our little family back in the City.


So many people, so many cars, so much noise, so many options, so much stimulation, so many possibilities.

We used to say ‘hi’ to everyone back in our little town. I’ve been saying ‘hi’ to people I pass by on the street but I think I must stop, I forgot nobody likes that over here hahaha. Today I’ve just been giving the tiniest of smiles and sometimes I nod a little and some people smiles and nods back. That’s good!

I miss our little town and I miss saying ‘hi’ to people I don’t know. I miss the cardinals, the monarch butterflies, the bunnies, the hawks and the eagles, and of course I miss our house.

After 3 years we lived there, I felt like it was starting to feel like a home. But hey, I’ve left Guadalajara, Vancouver, Windsor, Toronto, little town… I find that the more places I live in, the more places I’m gonna miss. It’s like loving people. Accumulation of objects of my affection. All of them deep inside my memory and my heart.

But now we’re together, the 4 of us, after a year of Justin coming by himself to the city for work.

4 of us = a family = a home; wherever we are.


Right? *_*



Pupa & Lavinia #360 (Published in October, 2012)





Canción del momento, Bennington by John Maus




OH CAUTION for the squirmish, He swears a little.


* But it’s romantic swearing aaaaaawwww *


Pupa & Lavinia #354 (Published on august 2012)


The road of aching bones


Yesterday Umi woke me up in the middle of the night.

I got all grumpy because it was the first time in a while that Elodie was letting me sleep.

She told me her legs hurt, she’s been having growing pains for like a year, the poor thing.

I asked her what did she wanted me to do, she asked me to rub her legs for her…

I started rubbing her legs still half asleep, and then I realized I haven’t touched her legs in a while, they are so long!, they used to fit in my palm, now I had to move my hands up and down for quite a while.

I realized how after Elodie was born 9 months ago I haven’t been hugging and touching Umi as much. I felt like her legs were way longer since the last time I rubbed them for her. It made me feel super guilty (For some reason guilt is a feeling I started to know really well once I became a mom)



There are cliches that are more like an Universal Truth than an empty cliche. When people say children grow so fast, they do mean it.



Last night I couldn’t stop thinking about this pictures of Umi when she was 5 days old. In one of them I’m holding her tiny foot, only 4 years ago.






Those were the days when she didn’t need to ask me to rub her legs because she was adhered to me day after day and I rubbed her and hugged her and kissed her and sang to her all day long..

We’ll never go back to Umi’s baby days, but I seriously don’t want to let another millimeter of her bones grow without my hands noticing…



Time to neglect Elodie!!!


Haha, just kidding, but seriously, I never thought being a mom would be such an intense and complex emotional journey…




Sweet potato from the sky

I had a dream last night about an enormous explosion in the sky. Something big happened, like the sun crashed with the moon and there was this awful super loud sound that made us all crazy terrified. I remember the sensation of my chest burning with that feeling of deadly danger.

Then from the sky they fell some huge chunks of sweet potato.

They fell on everyone’s roof. Big pieces of warm sweet potato, all nice and roasted from their contact with the sun.

We all ate it pretty happily and had some relieved nervous laughs. When we couldn’t eat more we brought some home to put in the fridge, relaxed a bit and were so glad that the explosion in the sky wasn’t “something more serious”

We’ve lived without a TV for the past 5 years, I don’t read the newspaper. I wonder where those worries about the end of the world keep coming from.

A Wolf and a Friend





I always thought that you get to the age when you understand what’s important in life (things like: people, nature, love, experiences and relationships)

I assumed we all get to the same conclusions because, wouldn’t that be so easy and wonderful? we would all become such good friends, all of us, members of the human specie…

But I think I got to the age when I finally understood that we are all walking very different paths, and that maybe if I get very lucky, I’ll find a couple people whose paths intersect with mine at points significant enough that we can form an important connection. I also learned that some paths just aren’t meant to intersect, and that’s not as terrible as it may have seemed when I was in middle school!

I had my birthday last week and this time I  feel like a different person, like if I just began appreciating life and all its contents. Like if I just began appreciating MY life.

I’ve always been so scared of getting old, but I absolutely take pleasure in those bits of serenity and wisdom I feel now in my ripe old age haha





Drawing in the garden…


… after singing in the garden, reading in the garden, munching on kale from the garden and listening to Neil Young in the garden…

All of that in one morning before it got too too hot.

One day I want to become one of those outdoorsy girls and, what better place to start than our beloved little garden?

Baby steps!

















That kind of loneliness




Sometimes I’m convinced that all of us humans share certain kind of perpetual loneliness.

The kind that stays inside even when we are in the middle of a crowd. The kind that never goes away, despite receiving copious doses of love, company or admiration. The one that follows us to every corner of the world.

But sometimes I think that this kind of loneliness is not as much as a hole or as an absence, as it sounds. Maybe it is just a room reserved to be full of one’s self… and some rooms are bigger than others.

Or maybe it’s just a gap that we’re supposed to feel and get the urge to fill up with each other.

And I believe it’s then, while opening and trying, that we end up having the most meaningful moments of our lives, almost by accident…