Wednesday, July 31, 2013

art | morning sunflowers

Above is the preliminary sketch I sent over to Ryan and Jessica of the piece they asked me to do for their new home. They knew they wanted the subject matter to be sunflowers, but nothing really specific beyond that.

It's always a funny emotional process when I begin a commissioned piece. "This means something to them, but nothing to me." This is usually some variation of what I think to myself as I begin sketching the piece out.

However, as I spend time with the subject, I begin to feel a very strong emotional attachment to it. Every dab of paint, every mistake I feverishly brushed out, every line, every shadow is directly from my mind to the canvas. It's hard to not start feeling something for the creation that coming from somewhere inside of me.

Gross, right?

Anywho, here is the final piece! What do you think?

Monday, July 29, 2013


Yes, the title of this blog post is a reference to Taylor Swift. Misleading as it is, this post is NOT however about Taylor Swift. It's about one of my favorite colors - RED.

Red looks so intentional, doesn't it? Whether your putting it on your feet, or painting a room, red is just so confident. I've only done one red painting (this one), but I think I need to do another one.

I've shied away from it because it's hard to notice anything else when the color red is included. It's hard to balance it out with any other color, except white. But I'm beginning to think that's what so great about it.

I'll keep you posted about the subject matter of my next red painting, but meanwhile, does anyone else have any tips when decorating, wearing, using the color red?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bad art won't revive your soul

There are some articles, some quotes that you come across that stay with you forever. Of all the quotes I've written down in my journal, song lyrics that I've transcribed because they explain a particular emotion on a particular day, etc. etc., the following is one of the two or three that really stick with me:

"Bad art won't revive your soul." 

It's taken from this New York Time article.  In the article, Cintra Wilson perfectly explains why I seem cherish and lust over certain pieces of expensive art and expensive clothing without using the word "amazing" (Is there really a more overused, detestable word?).

I can kind of describe it as the same feeling when you see someone you know you're about to fall in love with - your heart starts to beat fast and you don't know why, you are inexplicably drawn to it, you need to know more about it, you need to know it's back story, where it came from, who made it and you can't stop thinking about it.

 If you have ever judged someone for investing in a beautiful handbag or a weird piece of "overpriced" art, I beg you to read this article. Oh! fine. Here are the best three paragraphs:

"There are light years of difference between serious designer clothing and the stuff we buy in malls, hence the vast differences in affordability. It’s the same gulf that resides between mayonnaisey hotel paintings that chimps could be trained to create with a spatula, and the stuff in the permanent collection at the Met. If you squint really hard, the high-end stuff and low-end stuff can look fairly similar, but the fundamental difference is in the artistic energy invested in the garment or the painting itself. Bad art won’t revive your soul.

I was in a vile mood when I walked into Oscar de la Renta, but hanging out in that little oasis was intoxicating enough to boost my spirit. There is such thought, feeling and desire to create beauty in these garments you can practically taste it.

You don’t have to own monstrously beautiful, prohibitively expensive Oscar de la Renta garments any more than you need to own a genuine Kandinsky. But your life can generally be improved just by knowing such gorgeous stuff exists. That Keats guy said it: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty — that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

mellow yellow

Currently listening to: Frou Frou
Currently painting: Flowers

(Check out a sneak peek video on my Instagram by clicking here)

Monday, July 22, 2013

summer reading

I swear once I get a real camera, I'll stop taking pictures of my shoes.

This summer has been a season of reading for me. Usually I go through spurts where I read two or three books in a row, and then don't touch another one for a few months. However, this summer I can't seem to get enough. It also doesn't hurt that it seems the more I read, the faster reader I become. (Right? That's a thing, isn't it? Or is that just in my head?)

Currently, I'm reading "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach. The reviews sing it's praises for the first two pages of the novel and the plot looked like a perfect summer read. I stumbled upon it because it was on one of the bookseller's "Ideal Bookshelf" along side Winnie The Pooh, which I throughly enjoyed, so I decided to give it a whirl!

I'm loving it so far and I don't even care that it's monopolizing my lunchtime trips to American Apparel.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

just do it

I give this advice to myself at least once a day. It can be scary. It can be impulsive. It can be, at times, even a bit self-destructive. But it can also push me to do things that would normally take a lot of courage. It immediately quiets those voices of self-doubt. It makes me trust my instinct. It's kind of crazy, but also kind of exciting.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

instagram stalker | @andyspade

I have a very long list of people that would be frightened if they knew how much I loved them. Celebrities, mostly. And I'm not talking about emotional love, I'm talking about the your-work-your-mind-your-creativity-your-clothes-your-outlook-gives-me-chills kind of love. On the top of that list currently is: Lena Dunham, the creator of Breaking Bad, and Andy Spade.

I fell into the wormhole of Google one day and found myself reading article after article on this man. It began with an interest in his wife, Kate Spade, but hearing he was actually the brain child behind the super successful fashion line. It ended with me scrolling through his instagram for about an hour and making plans to go visit his art gallery, Partners & Spade, next time I'm in New York.

Each of his pictures on Instagram is everything a really perfect piece of art should be. It made me look at mundane things around me in a completely different way. It made me figuratively smack myself on the head thinking "Wake up and realize the beauty in a couple of pieces of cantaloupe left in a stainless steel dish!" It's inspiring. Take a look.

All photo credit is to @andyspade

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

new site | mood board

Designing your own website is overwhelming to say the least. Figuring out your style, what you WANT to be vs. who you actually are, what kind of people you want to attract, all while leaving room for growth is a daunting task.

This blog has been a great way to see the reoccurring themes that I come back to again and again. It takes some time to see how to apply it to a singular, cohesive vision (especially when my tastes range from this to this). It has to send the correct message out to the world of who I am and what I do.

It's a lot of pressure, ok!?

So how do you get there?

Well with any creative project, I think it first begins with self-acceptance. As hokey as that sounds, there are many times I try to change my style, my design aesthetic, what I like and what I feel to try to fit in the mold of what is expected or what is generally "liked" by the most amount of people. But at the end of the day, you are you and you can't help what you like and who you are. Recognize that. Accept that. Move on.

The second is either starting a blog, or a Tumblr, or a Pinterest account, anywhere you can quickly and instinctively start editing what you like and what you don't. The "why" you like something comes later. If you haven't gotten on one of these platforms, I suggest you do! Immediately! Once you see a collection of your images or ideas over the course of a few months, it doesn't take long to start seeing patterns - color palettes, tones, moods, etc. that you are drawn to over and over again. Take all these patterns, mush them together as best you can, and start incorporating them into what you're creating. You'll see what works and what doesn't pretty quickly. It's a real eye-opener and really fun.

The last step I would say would be start living to your true potential. All those big ideas? All that time wishing you were one of your idols? Dude! Just start doing it. Start BEING that person you want to be. Like for me, I always wished I was the person that had time to eat breakfast, drink tea, and do a crossword puzzle by myself on a weekday morning. So one Tuesday, I got up early, made myself breakfast, drank tea, and attempted a crossword puzzle. It felt good! It felt authentic! It makes the content I produce and the life I'm living feel inherently aspirational, yet also attainable. Because I aspired, and then I attained! (On a Tuesday, no less.)

So, I'm still in the early stages of designing. As you can see it's a long process, especially when you're taking on the task of doing it alone. I don't mind the challenge, but if YOU have any words of advice, please leave a comment! I could use all the help I can get!

Monday, July 15, 2013

places to go | Roasting Plant

Perhaps I should just ignore the fact that I haven't blogged in a month and just get right into it. However, I have to tell you that it was a much needed break. I thought about subject matter and inspiration constantly, but it was kind of nice not feeling like I had to put something, ANYTHING, up on my blog just so there was a daily (or weekly) post. That being said, I always have a longing to share the things I love and the cool stuff I come across, so I've rekindled that old flame. It feels so good! Stay tuned for DAILY posts from here on out, until I get my REAL site up and running. More on that tomorrow.

Now, onto Roasting Plant. My sister took me downtown over the past weekend to show me how they turned the center of Detroit (Campus Martius, to be exact) into a full on beach scene. Totally committed to the theme, Campus Martius is filled with sand, lounge chairs, families, fountains, etc.

And perfectly, Roasting Plant fits right in. It's only location outside of New York, New York, it's a modern and refreshing place right across the street from the "beach"- an ideal place to get an iced latte for a relaxing afternoon in midtown Detroit. I recommend any of their espresso drinks. They come with a strong bite but the beans couldn't be fresher. The surge of energy will do you good. I promise.