June 27, 2016

Art Fart: The Art of Collaboration

Competition doesn't come very naturally to me. I was never a sports person - I hated being pushed to compete and WIN. I liked gymnastics - competing with only myself to do a better cartwheel than before. But I quit when the gym coaches insisted, at the ripe age of 6, that I start competing. Of course, it feels good to win, but I was a sensitive child and never liked the way people got mean when they were stressed to win. I remember my cousins having snow ball fights, playing man hunt, soccer, badminton, and having everyone get mad at me when I missed the ball or let down the team. I could never handle it.

Now as a grown up, I can certainly handle it. I've been known to get pretty competitive myself when I play cards against my fella or during a family game of Taboo. But there's a part of me that still doesn't love it. The same goes for the art world, which I'm sure we can all imagine or know is very competitive. And I haaaaaaate that about it. I want to collaborate, to work together, to support each other, to be friends (lol). Of course I'm not alone in this, but my overwhelming feeling is that the art world sees collaboration as a vehicle for personal success - work with someone who will help elevate you, as opposed to a pure enjoyment of the process of working together.

Maybe I'm wrong? Maybe this is just my experience. Maybe it's the art scene in my city?

I recently had a contrasting experience. I collaborated with my friend, Hannah Spector, who I met when we were both living in Paris. We were introduced by a mutual friend and later adventured to a Mexican Wrestling bar together. That's the extent of how we know each other, but we've kept in touch (thanks, internet) and both like collage and word-y things. We decided to collaborate and sent each other packages of cut up bits, papers, materials, for the other person to put together and compose. This was my result! Something more abstract than my usual, but I love it and had so much fun with this collaboration. It was such a delight to open up the package that Hannah had sent me and find an explosion of googly eyes and a parking ticket, among other things.

This is the kind of art I want to be doing. I want to work with others, I want to build community, I want art making to be more than just about me, sitting at a desk, doing my thing. Is this a bit idealistic? Maybe. I'll figure that out as I go, I suppose!

What is your experience with competitiveness vs. collaboration in the art world?

June 23, 2016

Creative Crush: Mark Bath

I am thrilled to be featuring the work of one of my former classmates, the very talented illustrator and printmaker, Mark Bath. I remember sitting in one of the classes I had with him and seeing his work for the first time and thinking: damn. Intimidating and inspiring! Mark's art is so technically pleasing and thematically intriguing and 100% the kind of work I'm into.
Also, Boobs. Ya know I love me some boobs.
I also love the creepiness contrasting with the whimsy of this above piece, titled "Crabwise", and I really dig what Mark has to say about it on his website:

"The image is about dislocation, and the unusual "dance" (that of a crab; left to right; never going forward) required of an individual who feels alienated from a beautiful place because of particular interests and sexual orientation."

It's hard not to appreciate a beautifully composed piece that also conveys a strong and unique message. Here are a few more pieces of Mark's that I have always been into:

Be sure to take a look at Mark's portfolio website to take a peek at his other beautiful work!


June 9, 2016

Thrifty Outfit .o6

I've been feeling very fashion-inspired as of late and I realized I haven't posted an outfit in forever! Summer always makes it easier to break out the camera and enjoy the outdoors without covering my outfit up with a big ol' parka. We'll blame it on winter, because it's always easiest to blame the weather ;)

Sweater: Thrifted | Shirt: Souvenir from Chicago | Pants: Wilfred, Thrifted | Shoes: Sperry Top-siders | Bracelet: Vintage Gift
Total Thrift Tally: 3/5!

Did I ever share about my trip to Chicago back in March? What a fantastic city. I loved the architecture, I loved the Art Institute, I loved the food. Just thinking about the deep dish pizza makes my tummy rumble! I definitely didn't go for long enough and plan to go back some day for a while longer so I can explore more.

Right now I am working very part time as I am applying to some Masters programs - whaaaat. This is a pretty big deal as it is a huge commitment on many levels. Since graduating from my Bachelor's degree and trying on many part-time hats, I've come to realize that my work with seniors and art is what I want to pursue as a career. But I'm going to need some learning and some credentials to really do that! So I'm looking at some research based, academic programs which are not what I ever imagined myself doing. AH! Time to read up, do my research, prepare myself, and cross my fingers for an acceptance! Wish me luck!

What have you been up to lately?

June 2, 2016

Natural Body Products: Gypsy Scents Deodorant

Guys! I am so thrilled. Remember in my 5 Happy Things post, I promised I'd share about my happy deodorant discovery? Well, today I am making good on that promise.

Deodorant has been a pretty persistent problem for me since I started my all-natural product shift, and it's one of the most important ones too! Most of the deodorants/antiperspirants on the shelves in stores are so bad for you. Aluminum has been linked with breast cancer and Alzheimers (though this has not been conclusively proven, as far as I can tell), and even the simple act of blocking your pores from sweating sounds like a really bad idea when you step back and think about it.

It's been a bit tough though, since most of the all-natural deodorants I've tried so far have a) made me need to re-apply throughout the day to keep back the stink b) required me to rub it in to my armpits with my fingers to actually get it to smooth out c) given me some super itchy pits or d) forced me to avoid white shirts at all cost for fear of yellow stains. So, all-natural? Yes. Practical? No. After over a year of trying out different brands, I was thrilled when I came across Gypsy Scents at a market I was participating in as well, and that I tried out a small sample size of her deodorant. Because guess what? IT WORKS.

I can go a full day with out any stink, I've worn white shirts without it staining, and I don't have to rub it in with my hands. And this particular scent, Lavender, is absolutely my favourite! I just love it! And Kimi, the mind and hands behind Gypsy Scents, is such a lovely soul - we arranged a drop-off date since she would be traveling through the area and was so accommodating and lovely to speak to. Thanks Kimi!

It does need a bit of a rub with the deodorant stick itself to get absorbed on my pits, and I do find that I have to clean up the edges of the stick when I'm done to make sure I don't waste any of the deodorant that goes to the sides, but that's not all that different from any other type of deodorant - and it's worth it for a product that works!

You can check out what other scents and products Kimi makes on the Gypsy Scents Website

(Disclaimer: I am NOT being compensated for this post. I really like this product and simply want to share for any of you who are interested and who are looking for functional, all-natural body product alternatives.)