There are few things easier that allowing yourself to get caught in the rhythm of the day-to-day. The city beeps and the earth sighs day into night into day again. Before you know it a month has gone by, but have you experienced it? This is one of the daily struggles as an artist; to not get tripped up by the trappings of the “big picture” and see deeper beauty in everyday.
I was talking with a friend yesterday about how we New Yorkers have a tendency to look past things, sometimes both little and big. A classic example is when I was walking around my old neighborhood and thought to myself, “why the heck is it so crowded?!” I was next to the Empire State Building. That may seem like a BIG thing to miss but if you never look up, you would never know that building was any different than the thousands of others you are surrounded with. Unexpected wonders can be found everyday if you just take the time to look. Whether it’s hidden in a dark corner of a forest or painted on a crumbling brick wall in East Harlem.
I guess I’m writing this as a challenge to myself and encouragement to others, to see the beautiful details in your daily life. Whether it’s little birds bathing in an open fire hydrant or the way the sunset reflects off of glass. Our schedules may be full but what makes our experiences full are these tiny pleasures that can be drawn on for comfort or inspiration. This is my long winded way of saying, stop and smell the roses, my friends.
Every month, when I release these calendars for everyone’s desktop, I end up rambling about something like the weather or how fast the year is going… Yep, I thought about all of those things when I realized it was October. Maybe I should just say, “Have a great month, all!” and just leave it at that?
Do any of you remember my list of goals I put together a while ago? Well, here is a step towards accomplishing one of them: creating my own textile designs and fashion pieces! I feel like a kid the night before summer camp starts; I’m just so excited to roll these out. Recently, the fabrics with my patterns were delivered, so of course I had to share it with all of you. Next step will be lots of sewing and then a fashion shoot! So stay tuned. There may be a chance to pre-order coming soon.
The geometric graffiti-inspired work of Brooklynite Morgan Blair is jaw-dropping. It’s fresh yet I’m still having flashbacks to the roller rink I skated back in the 90′s. Plus, you all know I am a sucker for color that pops, well these colors explode! I want to jump into one of her paintings and play around in it like a ball-pit… is that weird to say?
IT’S SEPTEMBER! That’s right, it’s the best month ever and I’m not just saying that because it’s my birthday month. It’s the best of both seasons, a bit of summer and a pitch of autumn. What could be better?
“Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” -Lilo & Stitch
I’ve been rather quiet this month, but never fear, I haven’t been far away. In fact, I’ve been right here. Matt just received his doctorate from NYU, so obviously I’ve been celebrating and surrounded by family. While it’s been a lot of fun, I’m sure you understand it hasn’t left much time for blogging. I can’t complain though. Without my family I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Living in NYC, you see the richest people and the poorest. What I think about when I see either is simply ‘what a difference family makes.’ Because lets be honest, there would be no way I could live in NYC without the support of my family, not just emotionally but financially as well. It’s not like they’re paying my rent for me but they help me, without question, whenever I am in a pitch. And there have been times that I know, without them, it could be me out on the street.
Emotionally, they’ve been invaluable too. My first New York show this year was just a small little event, but my family treated it like it was a retrospective at the MOMA. They came from 4 different states to show their support. I couldn’t even begin to express how awesome that made me feel. When you choose an unconventional career such as “artist,” you almost expect others to express a desire for you to “grow-up” and “grow-out of it and get a real job.” My family has never done that to me. Whenever I think of giving up, I remember how much they believe in me.
So I would like to take this moment to thank my family for all they have done for me over the years. Whether it’s hanging up my middle school painting in your home to simply asking me about my art. I love each of you.
Can you believe it’s August already? Summer is just flying by, so be sure you make the most of it. Every little minute. Oh and enjoy this new desktop calendar so you can keep track of each special day.
Etsy is always so full of hidden gems, like these paintings by Atlanta-based artist Jenny Andrews-Anderson. They are so fantastic I can barely handle it. Plus with names like “The Chickens Have Escaped” and “Don Draper is a Complicated Man,” you know the artist has a great personality to boot. I love it when artist have fun and these pieces look like a blast.
“The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.” –Ellie Rodriguez
As I write this, there is a furry head on my lap and good man beside me. It’s the little moments like this that make me feel lucky to have a place where I can be surrounded by love. I’m often guilty of railing against the idea of “growing up” but one of the things that has brought me the most joy in my adult life is turning whatever space I am given into a home. It’s easier now more than ever, with a loving partner and rambunctious pooch. How can you not feel that warmth, snuggled up on the couch with two of you favorite beings. There are other things too, though. Little things that take a space from “just a place to crash for the night” to a place where you live your life.
Art is one of the most important ways you can transform a space into your own. As renter, I always find it difficult to stare at those blank white walls knowing I can’t paint them. After all, white walls are for art galleries so why not turn your walls into just that: a curated space to show your aesthetic and personality. My walls are eclectic. There are piece by friends from art school that I traded for, gorgeous high quality prints and kooky etsy finds. Matt picked a funny little print of a bear riding a bike with a human arm in its mouth. Unique pieces like that say a lot about us and the space we call home.
For me no place can be called home if it doesn’t have books. Books are friends and paperback memories that look back at you from their nook on the shelf in a way that no e-reader can. Books have presence, weight and their design can be a work of art in itself. To me a good book collection says, “Don’t worry if you are stuck inside for awhile. I will keep you company.” Which is why Matt and I have a bookcase overflowing with books and we have no intent on stopping.
Most importantly, though, I find that no home is complete without a place to be creative. For me that is my studio space and it reflects either the chaos or order in my mind. I don’t know about you but I need a spot in my life where I can sit down and let whatever insanity is inside my head tumble out onto the paper in away that looks beautiful. Especially after not having that, and just working where ever I could, it really makes a difference. It’s almost like having a home within your home. And while I believe art can be made anywhere, it’s so nice to be comfortable in a space that allows you to explore yourself and the world around you– two decidedly uncomfortable tasks.
At the core of all of this is love. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that. Whether it’s the people or the things you fill your home with, be sure it brings you joy and you will have a home you will be happy to come home to. What, for you, makes a house or apartment into a home?