Category Archives: art

B&W day


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well, you are.

I will always have a sweet spot for Katie Daisy art. I need to buy some when I get more wall space.

My free internet isn’t working and I am devastated. At least it happened while I am simultaneously a slacker blogger. It’s cool though, because I don’t want to waste your time telling you about haircuts (which I’m getting tonight) or friends coming to visit me (which Laura is from Kansas City in a few days) or what food I’m going to eat (Kate is making quinoa veggie chili tonight).

I just don’t have much to say so I suppose I’ll skedaddle.

Oh yes, quitting this Thursday: exercise. Just kidding…

This week is nail fidgeting. You know, messing with the cuticles and chipping off polish. Boring lady stuff like that. I made very few goals for the year. One of them being the book (just to do it and maybe at least get it printed from Blurb). One was/is to do a mural (something possibly in the works). One was to run a half marathon. Boom. Done last March.

The one I was most apprehensive about from the beginning?Biting nails.


Do you do goals for the year? Do you follow through? How are they going? We still have a few months. You can do it!

Life is beautiful

I think I’ve posted about Ben Giles art before. I saw it floating around on my internet rounds yesterday and couldn’t help but share.

I got to see Kinsey and Stephen last night. Here is a picture of them. Kinsey said they have all kinds of hole in the wall places in London, but what she can’t have is Chili’s. Technically I can’t say she’s wrong. We caught up for several hours and talked about college uni, art, politics, and Shiloh Pitt.

Kinsey rolls her cigarettes. She has an Iowa tattoo on the inside of her arm. She went to a rave once…with glow sticks. While she hasn’t acquired an accent, she does say, “brilliant” and “yes, of course, love.” Good enough for me. Did I nod in agreement when she talked about high fashion and “all that Adderall in the design college”? Absolutely! Did I have any idea what she was talking about? Of course not!

We went through every single page of my book and she gave me a thoughtful critique. I listened to her and Stephen’s mashup music. She showed me her prints. We did a pretty good job of squeezing two years into that Dallas suburb for a night. A brilliant artist and friend this one is.

Visual Poetry

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”
— St Augustine

*images by Christoffer Relander via Graphic Exchange

Dale Frank

Dale Frank’s color inspires me. I’m starting to put together a pin board with color palettes for my book. I’ll post a link when I have more than two to show off. Check out more of Frank’s work here.

via But Does it Float


Taking car in to get a quote on some maintenance issues. I’m going to try to barter design services. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? Also, I have been obsessed with this Maya Angelou prank SNL sketch — how did I miss it the first time around?

pattern by Andy Gilmore and paintings by Jennifer Mehigan (if you can’t read my tablet cursive). 

p.s. I started redesigning the blog. It’s just getting started, and I’m going to be busy… so this may seem like an empty promise in two months…but I promise that what I’m seeing in Photoshop is 10x more breathable.

How and why I wrote the book

I finally get to talk about I’d Rather be Short. Openly! It’s not a yeah-but-don’t-tell-anyone-else-yet sort of thing. A lot has happened in the last three months. There has been scheming. Late nights. Too many emails. Twitter explosions. Contracts. And more claw hands than ever before. I’ll start at the beginning.

I had this idea to do a series on the perks of being short. A) I needed to tell myself that it is okay to be a LITTLE different. B) I wanted to empower others to do the same. C) Since I’m always the shortest friend, I am always the one to get the wonky NPR articles on shortness. I knew there wasn’t much out there because I would have gotten it as a link or gift, so I D) capitalized on it.

I had the idea a year and a half ago. I casually mentioned it to some friends (silly short perks plus illustrations). I put it off for the whole year because I didn’t know where to start.  I always wanted it to be a book in the back of my mind, but I was very careful not to say that out loud. Around New Years, I reflected on goals and what I wanted to make happen for 2012. I made fewer, but bigger goals: run half marathon, write and illustrate this book (published or not), paint a mural and stop biting nails.

I ran the half marathon in March and after the race I had some sort of post-running depression. Besides the fact that this race was over (it was a HUGE deal that I was able to run that, by the way), I also got to see far away friends, go to Mardi Gras, and SXSW in the month or two before. I felt like all of these monumental things were over at the same time and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I decided to do a marathon of drawings starting in April. In April I would do 30 IRBS illustrations. I only got 15 done, but I worked really hard on them. Though the first few really sucked, I knew it was better to start somewhere then than start somewhere later. At the end of the month I figured out the style that I liked. I didn’t reach the goal, but I got started.

When April was over, I knew I had enough material to submit to literary agents. This is mostly because of my friend Chad. He already knew about the business. I confided in him what I wanted to do and he got on board. We spent three hours writing a cover letter, bio and summary to send to agents (mostly I spent a couple of weeks refining which drawings to send off, proofread work and research the agents that were the best fit for my project. Finally I submitted. I sent the email out and hoped I would hear back from somebody in a few weeks. Anybody.

The next morning I got an email from Laurie. She loved it. I told her that I needed a couple of weeks to think about it and send it to more agents before deciding on who I wanted to represent me. I talked to several in the next 10 days and had some offers. My problem was now “which agent do I choose??!!” (A champagne problem, if you will). I talked to Matt in Austin and he gave me lots of good advice. I started a Twitter account, @idratherbeshort.

I told Laurie that I wanted to work with her, and I haven’t looked back. We spent three weeks writing the proposal and sent it off to 12 publishers. A week later we had an offer. There were rejections but there was also interest. Last week (while in Chicago), the book went to auction and I had several bids. I went with Plume and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What are the chances that I would get the wonderful news when I was with my family. I’m only seeing them twice this year, and I got to be with them on Navy Pier while I talked to Laurie and reported my decisions immediately after making them. I couldn’t release any information about the publisher until Tuesday morning, which is when I posted it on all my social media outlets. God has blessed me. He’s given me hands to draw with and people to tell me that I should keep going.

I was hoping to write this in two paragraphs. Ha! I will have so much more to say as I think of it now until November. Or Fall of next year. Or whenever I want to write more. I hope none of this sounds braggy. It has been a really amazing opportunity. I hope that this give you hope to pursue that nagging dream you tucked away.

Lesson summary:

1. Go! Don’t wait a second longer! Just start.

2. Be protective of your dreams. It’s necessary to share them with others, but don’t do it until you’re ready. We are all naturally self-indulgent. Don’t expect anyone to be over the moon for what you’ve been stewing over for weeks. Also, watch this three minute Ted Talk about why we shouldn’t be loose with sharing our goals.

3. Become a little delusional for a little while. In the back of my head I always knew this was going to turn out well. I don’t know what gave me that odd confidence, but for some reason, I would work until 2 or 3 AM. Just to do some silly IRBS blog post for like 100 readers. That is crazy, but crazy was necessary.

4. Run a really long race that you will probably hate. It gave me a renewed sense of “Yes I can!” It gave me structure and discipline, which was just what I needed to begin this new endeavor.

photo via Fred One Litch

(the roundabout way) AKA pre-order proof AKA piggyback on old blog post

I think this may be the silliest way to get this done, but I got it done. I couldn’t figure out how else to link a photo of this receipt of the pre-order… can’t wait for the book! Ordered it an hour after the blog post was published.

There. I said it.

via type toy

Edible walls? Kind of…just didn’t want to say “murals” 3x in this post

Whoa. Check out these sugar murals from Shelly Miller. This Montreal-based artist has her work exhibited all over Canada as well as India and Brazil. It’s fun seeing beautiful murals from non-traditional media. I hope this blows up like Dana Tanamachi’s chalk lettering.

via honestly wtf

neon love

I really dig these neon signs by Lee Jung. Check more out here.

Can we just talk about El Lissitzky for a second?

He’s the man. El Lissitzky is my favorite Bauhaus Russian Constructivist. A Suprematist, but now I look like I’m trying too hard. I had a good talk/meeting/hang out with some local designers. I’m feeling inspired to push myself and see how hard I can fail. When Oded Ezer did a guest workshop for one of my old design classes, he told us that failing is really quite amazing. If we are failing at design, we are probably new to the method. If we are trying something new, then we are sitting in a terrific place. It gave me permission to be at peace with my shortcomings. How much braver would we eventually become if we surrounded ourselves with risk-takers? Since I was feeling nostalgic, I thought about El Lissitzky as well (researched him in college). His Prouns must have looked totally bogus at the time. Good thing his buddies pushed him to reach higher and dream bigger.

On another note, I have the most wonderful friends. Yesterday I felt so loved and overwhelmed with goodness. You know who you are.

If I get to create and share with the people I love, I have nothing to complain about.

Images via MOMA

Austin Renegade

I wasn’t going to go…but I had to. I am really inspired to have a booth of my own at Renegade in November or during the summer event next year. I think Chipper Things could do okay. It was fun seeing the cool kids like Jennie Claire, Lost Little Things, Satchel and Sage, Cake Spy and Ray Ray Mitrano.

Did you go to Renegade? What did you think?

A Beautiful Mess: The Contemporary Works of Erin Dobbins

What a lovely weekend. From top to bottom, it was a thrill. I went to two art shows, bought a fancy camera and painted by the river.

Erin Dobbins has been a great friend and I’m glad we’ve gotten so close this year. We play chess, go on walks, and kill it when it comes to heart to hearts.

Friday night was the Croft’s opening reception for A Beautiful Mess: The Contemporary Works of Erin Dobbins. Erin is a talented painter and writer (she’s never made a fuss about her writing, but it’s one of the things I most admire). Most of her artistic career has centered around the technical and intellectual approach to painting portraits. However, in the last six months, Erin has felt lead to take her art in a different direction. The entire collection is non-objective and focuses on the messy process versus a predictable result. It was a very vulnerable show for her, as I’m sure anyone who has let go of tradition can attest to.

Her paintings inspired me. If Erin could create beauty from chaos, then I could at least try to create beauty from nothing. Fight. Refine. React. Restore. I took my watercolors, oil pastels and a blanket to a lovely spot by the river. I don’t remember the last time I felt so peaceful. I was by myself and didn’t care about the time. I didn’t have an agenda. The sun was out, but the weather was nice. The breeze kept me cool. I was barefoot and got dirty. I didn’t know where to start, but the show inspired me to start somewhere. I shall title my piece, “An Awkward Encounter.”

*The show is on display at the Croft Art Gallery for the rest of the month (25th). They’re open Monday-Friday 11-5.

‘Have a Nice Day’ | Jennis Li Cheng Tiens

Check out Jennis Li Cheng Tiens’ flickr page for her ‘Have a Nice Day’ project. All images are composed digitally with found graphics from the web.

Found via Creature Comforts

Monday doneday

New Orleans pics coming soon. Tired. Sad we left Sarah in nola. Happy Monday. Love this weather. Too much king cake. Still think Courtney is winning. Loved this SNL sketch. Maddie on Things = new favorite animal blog. Going to brush teeth now. Goodnight.

image over herrr

Color lover

Been digging this palette lately. There; I said it.

via here, here and here. 

Murals are nice. Like senior pictures and hot air balloons.

Ever painted a mural? Any tips or ideas? I dare you to share.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

John Copeland

It was hard to choose just one. John Copeland is a brilliant artist based out of New York. His work is dark and it scares the dickens out of me, but there is something so riveting about it. His voice is his canvas and his canvas is loud. Not using his indoor canvas. The Life Magazine covers are my favorite [after these two] and they are certainly worth a gander. Rich color and texture. This isn’t a guy who spends his weeknights watching Jersey Shore reruns; but if he was, I can see how he got so inspired.

found via Yewknee

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