11.06.2012

perhaps I post something useful


STOP THE PRESSES! I really want to share this post here today, but I also need to let the cat out of the bag. The big (to me) news I was talking about the other day here is that I'm going to Altitude Design Summit! And not only am I going, I'm a speaker! And not only am I speaking, but I am speaking on a panel I proposed back in June and totally forgot about until I got the email from ALT last week. I'm not sure I'm allowed to share the name of it or not, so I'll wait to hear about that, but for now, the list of speakers is here, and our bios are here (scroll WAY down on that one). 

Coincidentally, the very lady that I'm talking about in this post is also speaking at the conference. And I know my day with her last spring has almost everything to do with how I ended up scheduled to speak at ALT, instead of just reading the post-ALT posts and wishing I had been there. So, read on.


I've mentioned from time to time here that last March I attended a workshop called Girl Crush. The workshop is the brainchild of someone I admire very much, Danielle Krysa of the enviable blog The Jealous Curator. The day was hosted at the studio of illustrator and fine artist Lisa Congdon, and it was a game changer for me. I am happy to call both of these ladies friends now, as we have shared an awful lot since March. Actually, I came away with many new friends that day. I sometimes joke with people about that weekend that "you have to spend money to make money" (I'm not making any money, but you know what I mean). You have to pay to play. That sounds crass. But I paid to attend that workshop, listened to everyone's stories, strongly agreed with Danielle's artistic-block-busting techniques, heard Lisa's process of becoming the very talented artist she is today, and it all really stuck with me. And now I have this awesome circle of ladies to bounce things off of from time to time, which is SO valuable.

I wanted to share something I learned from Danielle that day. I hope she doesn't mind, because her idea is pretty darn clever and I think you might like it. 

She handed out old books to all of us, books she had spent a dollar or two on at a thrift shop. I got a book called American Cooking. It features absolutely unappetizing recipes like this:


She handed out the books as a way to become unstuck. Her idea is to paint over the pages to create a new surface to work on, one that is imperfect already, so that it lessens the feeling of preciousness. It's okay to put your pencil down and start moving it around, because this is just an old cookbook with painted-over recipes. What's there to screw up? 


I finally got around to pulling my cookbook out the other day when I realized I had no active sketchbook going at the moment. I started working on my costume for my new act, which will be very fluffy, and almost all paper, so also very flammable, AND inconvenient to transport, hooray! I couldn't wait for the paint to dry, so I used the inside of the back cover of the book. I think Danielle's idea is really great. Not only is there a feeling of freedom sketching on these messy pages, but there is the tactile thing too, of drawing over paint over old print, which sometimes can add depth to your sketch without even trying.



I ended up using the first page I whited-out with paint to sketch out color blocking for a new order of piñata eggs I'm doing. I am up to my ears in all things tissue and crepe paper for the next two weeks, by the way.


I've since then painted a few more pages white and am working out some choreography all over them. I love this book, it's going to hold some meaningful stuff, even if that stuff never sees the light of day.

While I'm talking about Girl Crush, we've had a few group reunions since March. We had a great one two Sundays ago at the gorgeous forest home of stylist and super-talented jewelry maker Kelli Ronci. There were irons in the fire, big ideas to share, trips to recount and changes afoot. So lucky to have these ladies (and some who couldn't make it last week) in my life. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet them all!

Last Friday some of us met up again at Lisa's opening at Rare Device called This is My World. Beautiful stuff, huh? To take it full circle, Lisa spoke last year at ALT (as did Danielle), and again, her story and Danielle's workshop are really what opened so much of my "put it out there" attitude. Pretty cool. I'm already planting seeds in my mind for next year. I'm a firm believer that planting seeds makes things happen. Firm.














9 comments:

  1. dang girl! every time i think: "oooh, i've got a few minutes before heading to work, i wonder what's up at the corner?" there is a new and most exciting post to read! great news today— i've heard about ALT from so many places, must learn more. big congrats for planting those seeds and making them grow. LOVE LOVE your sketchbook and the idea from Danielle! your drawings are gorgeous and those eggs are way styley in hip minimalist white NY apt. kind of way. i look forward to hearing more about your talk topic at ALT. happy election day... x

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    1. Thank you, Nicky! Do you know what? In my bio for ALT I have something about "envy-free inspiration". I got that from the email you sent me last month. When I read your words it really sharpened my focus. I am mostly here to talk about myself (hahahaha, it's true) but if someone else feels like they want to get up and do because I get up and do, without feeling bad about it, that's totally awesome. So, thank you!

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  2. congratulations!!! SO exciting! can't wait to hear the details.
    xob

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    1. Thank you, Bridget, one of my Girl Crush confidantes!

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    1. OH MY WORD!!!! THAT SUMMIT? Wow! I was just checking out the bios and saw that Jasmine Star will be there! I have been following her story and gawking at her work since forever! I cannot believe you'll be there! Oh my word! Oh my word! If you see her... I.. I don't know... I'd ask you to go and give her a HUGE hug from me .. but considering she doesn't know me,.. that would probably be creepy. So ... enjoy for me! And CONGRATULATIONS times a hundred!

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    2. THANK YOU, LT!!!! I am going to try my hardest to give her that hug, or tell her about you or something like that. I actually don't know about her, but when I get a second to breath late next week (MY PLATE IS TOO FULL RIGHT NOW!) I am going to read about all of the speakers and get to know about them, as well as catch up on your blog (and others) which I have had NO time to read. xoxoxoxo

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  4. yay! your cookbook looks AMAZING!!! i'm so happy you're using it, and i am beyond proud & excited for you re: speaking at alt! can't wait to see your lovely face! xoxo

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    1. You know how I feel about you, lady! Can't wait to see you, too! xoxoxoxo

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