Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Direction

Ok, so I think I'm going to start a new blog. Yes I know, I've barely started this one, but I'm working things out. My motivation behind it is this, I applied for a job as a writer for a beauty blog, and then devoted many hours to thinking how wonderful it would be if it worked out and how good I would be at it. It's frustrating when you're unemployed and there is no way you can convince people to give you work, you're powerless. The best you can do is write a great cover letter, make sure you're resume looks good, and then wish, hope, and pray.

At this point I'm sick of the whole wishing and praying thing, I want to be more pro-active. I'm confident that I would be a great beauty blogger. So why the hell shouldn't I just take the reins and do it my darn self? Specifically I'm going to write about beauty as it relates to art, and how both of those things effect all of us and each other. And I'm sure there will be some superfluous posts about nail polish and hair products too. Should I get the writing gig, I will happily cede my beauty expertise to them.

I know there are a gazillion beauty blogs out there, but I don't care. I want this to be an open discussion of how we feel about beauty in ourselves, in others, and in art. How we perceive what is beautiful and what influences the way we see ourselves. I think it's an important conversation to start, even if only me and my mom are listening right now.

Now I just have to come up with a name...

Friday, May 14, 2010

I heart Lisa Frank

Recently, while eating dinner with parents one night and discussing what the hell I'm going to do with my life. I casually joked "My goal is to be the next Lisa Frank", chuckling to myself, I soon realized they were staring at me blankly. Well, apparently the magical wonder of Lisa Frank somehow flew over the heads of my parents generation. Maybe they chose to block out the rainbow horses and angel kitties, or write them off as teenybopper stuff, which is easy to do. I however still get a rush of excitement when I see Lisa Frank products, I mean come on, look at this, that's just fun.

I still get just as happy seeing this now as I did at my 3rd grade book fair when I bought a Lisa Frank folder and a poster of a dolphin jumping through intergalactic oceans (sorry mom, I guess I should have used that money to buy books).

I don't think any of my professors in art school would have appreciated me citing her as an inspiration though. But then again, they didn't particularly appreciate anything that was overtly feminine, or so I felt, but more on that another time.

I have a preference for the animals over her new line of "girls" which look a lot like Bratz dolls, am I right? I don't find them nearly as interesting or appealing as her older characters.

There was (is) something so sweet and fun about rainbow animals with wings, flying around being cute, but also cool, at least for the 9 year old me it was. My point is that this is illustration, and it was nice to see this woman who obviously built an empire based on work she loved doing. Now we have licensed characters from shows and movies, and sanrio and Disney Princesses will always be around, but I miss Lisa Frank. I haven't really seen anyone else like her around, not in as big a way as she was.

Whether you like her stuff or think it is saccharine and seizure inducing, you have to admit that she created her own world, did what she liked, and was really successful at it. Wikipedia calls her a "pop artist", which seems an appropriate title, they also say you can see her headquarters from a plane because it's decorated with rainbows, stars, and hearts, how amazing is that?

I had to do a piece about "teens" a while back, of course, it's really based on my own experience as a teenager in the 90s. Even though Lisa Frank skews younger, I found myself thinking about her when I started working on the piece. In some ways she sort of bridges the gap between childhood and adolescence. When I was 15 even though I tried to deny it, I still loved rainbows and unicorns, and you know what? I still do! Here is how that piece turned out:

I'm happy with it, I think it really encapsulates my own teen years. From Manic Panic to baby hair clips.

Here's one more Lisa, for the road:


Lisa Frank hot air Balloon! What?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

No more lazy blogging

So I attempted to blog, wrote three posts, and then got lazy. I've decided I don't really care if anyone is listening, but for my own sanity i am going to try posting at least every other day. Even if I only end up posting about my cats or my curtains or something, I am going to do it. I'm coming up on almost a year of unemployment and I spend way too much time being frustrated and confused, so at least this way maybe I will feel like I accomplished something.

I think sometimes we forget that one of the worst parts of being unemployed (aside from having very little income) is that it makes you feel completely worthless. I'm really never bored, I always find a lot to do, things I never had time for before, but no matter what I am doing I always feel like it's not enough. Maybe it's the loss of that job title, or the ability to answer the question "what do you do for a living?" without having to give a long explanation, a defense of exactly what you do with your time. So how do I spend my time? Well, I read other people's blogs a lot, I paint, draw, cook, run errands, dance around, and of course apply for jobs. Anyway, enough talking, here are some pictures, which I guess is the whole point:

Yes, I like both mermaids and astrology, and I am a Capricorn, so yeah I guess that explains this drawing. It might be fun to be a whole series with all the signs of the zodiac.

Maybe this would work for Pisces?

My Fiance asked me, "Is she in a barrel or something?" To this I say, "She is the captain of her own barrel boat, shouldn't we all be?"

So, I am just going to post whatever I draw, or paint, or what comes to mind, I think that's the way to do it, that way I will keep producing instead of trying to make things perfect, which never works anyway.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bridal card boxes

So, I am getting married soon and have been bombarded with lots of wedding stuff. Centerpieces, favors, chair-covers, etc. I don't know about anyone else, but being proposed to didn't suddenly give me a love for crystals, white on white, and lace, which if you don't know is called "elegant". I like all those things in small doses, but I'm sick of them. For example, the Bridal card box. I am not trying to criticize or make fun of others design or taste, but I'm bored by stuff like this:

It's fine, it isn't bad, just kind of boring. Aren't weddings supposed to be big celebrations of love and life? I don't know why everything about weddings has to be so white, stark, and usually the same as everything else. There is nothing wrong with traditional, but the tradition of white for weddings, including the dress, really blew up after Victoria married Albert in a white gown in 1840, only 170 years ago, not that long. Before then the bride dressed in any color but black, really just whatever was her nicest dress (which usually wasn't white because if you only have one nice dress you don't want it to get dirty). Marriage has existed at least since Mesopotamia, within thousands of different traditions all of them rich in culture and beauty and meaning. It seems strange that we as Americans have made our own traditions based on the wedding of a foreign queen who wasn't exactly known for being the pinnacle of beauty.

That all being said, I am wearing a white wedding dress, purple shoes and veil though! The white wedding dress has endured as an American tradition. I just hope that we can break the tradition of generic weddings, and a wedding industry that promotes them. Your wedding should be a personal expression of you, the combination of both you and your future husband or wife's aesthetic sense and personal traditions or whatever just defines you! That's what I want for my wedding, thankfully I could do something about making my own card box at least (see below), and I hope that other people will want a more personal, fun, accessory for their wedding too! The amazing works of art that have become wedding cakes in the past few years are so beautiful and individual, it would be nice to see other parts of the wedding industry follow suit, start some new traditions!

Cats like them too:

It's hard to photograph your work with cats around, so darn curious.

I'll be posting this on as an example, and I have a few more boxes in the works. This one holds 100 envelopes, and is 100% customizable, for no more cost than one covered in white satin.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Joanna newsom

Joanna Newsom comes out with her third album today, Have One on Me. I'm posting it not only because I love her and her music, but because I LOVE the album cover, I can't wait to get the actual CDs (it's an epic three disks) so I can check out the packaging. It's a really pretty cover though, no?

If you haven't listened to her music yet, give her a try. Some people can't stand her voice and others love it. Her voice sounds very different on this album, it really reminds me of very early Kate Bush. Can't wait to see her perform next month at Town Hall!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The work of Ivan Bilibin

Part of the point of starting this blog is to post images of the things and people that I find influential. I'm starting with one of my favorite illustrators, Ivan Bilibin. Bilibin was a Russian Illustrator active in the late 18th century through the early 19th. Take a look.

Most of Bilibin's work comes from Russian Fairy tales. The image above is from Fenist the Falcon, here is another image from that story. This guy was like the Russian Mucha, awesome.

I love the way that he uses the decorative borders as small illustrations within the larger. This image comes from the story Marya Morevna, here Tsarevich Ivan and Marya Morevna are fleeing from Koshchei the Deathless. He creates such a sense of light in the background.

These two come from The Frog Princess, which features some of Russian folk tales most prominent characters, Prince Ivan, Baba-Yaga, and Vasilisa the Wise. I especially love the very goofy looking old Tsar, see the bottom image.

This is the title page from The White Duck, it looks so modern and the colors are just amazing.

I can't get enough of this guy. His details, design and colors are all just such eye candy. I definitely encourage you to check out more of his work. Also check back here soon for more fun stuff!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Greetings and salutations!

Hello world! I am now joining the wonderful world of blogging. I will be posting things I like, things I am working on, and I'm sure a variety of other things. Stay tuned.