April 30, 2014

Sami Says!

Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week continues!  Today's special pick is a very important dose of Motivational Speakers, selected for you by my pal Sami Spoon!  It can be yours for just $12 now!

Sami is another awesome person I met through my 1000th sale blog giveaway.  She eventually connected me with Culture Vulture in Leeds, who became my first international wholesale customer!  She was also the one who spotted that some Chinese clothing companies had ripped off my drawing of Macho Man Randy Savage and put it on a shirt titled "Bob Dylan."  Which is horrible.  Yet hilarious.  I love knowing Sami will always weigh in on my latest drawing of weird food or melting eyeballs and totally be on the same page with me!  Plus, it is really fun to have long distance penpals to trade stuff with.  Sami has sent me the coolest jewelry treasures and I supply her with PopTart flavors which aren't available in the U.K.  Fwends Foreverrrrr!

Check out Sami's personal blog (enjoy her fun accessory finds and Black Milk leggings!) as well as her blog Yummy Unchi which is dedicated exclusively to Japanese snacks!!  (Unchi means poop, if you were wondering.) I will keep imagining what fun I would have with all these imaginary coworkers if we shared an office in real life, but we'll be back here tomorrow for you to meet someone else and find another print 50% off!  

April 29, 2014

Natalie's Pick! Bake & Destroy + Betty Turbo = The Stuff Internet Dreams Are Made Of

Couple of tough broads enjoying some Sizzle Pie

Today's featured imaginary coworker is Natalie of Bake and Destroy!  Natalie bought some art from my Etsy shop a few years back and we pretty much instantly bonded over wrestling, Rocky, and, of course, FOOD.  And swear words. The more I followed her blog and learned about SugarSlam, the wrestling themed baking competition she hosts, the more I grew to admire her.  She has been an AMAZINGLY GREAT supporter of my art and I was thrilled to work with her on illustrating her cookbook, "Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans" and other fun projects.  This lady makes me so grateful the internet exists so we can be pals.

We came up with this kitchen measurements print to go along with the cookbook when it came out.  This is Natalie's pick to add to the sale, so it'll be marked down to $12 for the rest of the week!  Pick one up to hang with all the rest of the wrestling art in your kitchen!  I also have my remaining stock of luchador tea towels already on sale, if you need more variations on the theme.

Check back tomorrow to find out what else will be added to the sale!  You'll find another gushy love letter to an internet babe and another print marked down!

April 28, 2014

Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week

Hello out there internetland!  This week is dedicated to you!  I love working from my home studio and being my own boss, but it can get a little lonely at times.  I don't know if I could do it without the internet!  I am so grateful for everyone who listens to my goofy ideas, gives me feedback, leaves comments, and helps me spread the word about my art and other related important messages.  I'm giving an extra shout out to a few folks this week, who I know would be my best work buddies if the whole internet counted as an office. Wait, who wants to be in an office?  The whole internet is a record store and it's the 90s forever.

I did not know that book was there. I thought I was super cool getting my
employee photo made in between the Beastie Boys and Beck.

My favorite part of working at a record store in olden times was the Staff Picks wall.  Someone who never made their identity known to me came in every week and bought what I recommended!  Such mystery!  It was like having superpowers.  So I'm putting up a Betty Turbo BFF Picks wall this week.  Each awesome lady is picking a print that's not already part of my Studio Sale and I'll put it on sale for 50% off!  The whole sale will continue through Friday, then I really gotta hustle and get serious with the packing.

Today's special friend is also having a BIRTHDAY today which makes her opinion extra important!  Anne and I became acquainted via this here blog back when I was doing a giveaway to celebrate my 1000th sale.  She is also the person responsible for introducing me to Rad and Hungry, which was the beginning of another beeeeautiful friendship!  Scope out more of Anne's excellent taste via the treasures she posts to her Tumblr

Anne's pick of the day is this illustrated quote from Henry Ward Beecher!  She says, "Aside from Beecher being just awesome in general, he recognized the necessity to embrace the better, weirder parts of being onself. This quote always reminds me to be me."  

There you have it folks!  This print will be 50% off, so pick one up if you need that reminder, and I hope you have an INSANEly wonderful week!  Don't forget to scope out the rest of the sale in my Etsy shop, and check back each day to see what other radness we'll add!

April 26, 2014

Rad Red Rhubarb

It's farmers market time again!  It was chilly out this morning, but I love the cold, and you know what else rocks a cold climate?  RHUBARB.  A glittering pile of rubies could not have looked more beautiful and radiant red to me today.  I remembered a lovely illustrated recipe I wanted to try, so I scooped up my treasure, and my dog and I baked this cake.

I am the girl whose suitcase has exceeded the weight limit because I filled it with rhubarb.

The inspiration is Rhubarb Strawberry Cake by Petra Hämmerleinova from They Draw and Cook. It's a very simple, biscuit-y kind of cake which is the perfect base for a pile of rhubarb and strawberries!  I love the recipe illustration, and regret I did not have a fancier tea set to serve my cake on!  If you try it  out yourself, don't miss Petra's note to toss the fruit in sugar, which got left out of the drawing.  See more of Petra's wonderful illustrations on her website!

And now that we've admired how lovely it is, who's gonna come help me eat it??

April 23, 2014

Artists, Archives, Accumulation

Fresh off reading Rad and Hungry's "The Fine Line Between Hoarding and Collecting," I'm wondering, IS there a line to tread?  How is it possible?! I feel somewhere in between my dad's pack rat tendencies and my mom's whirl-through-the-house-and-throw-everything-out anti-clutter stance.  As an artist I treasure my (sometimes embarrassing) old work and my sketchbooks and journals to see how I've changed and evolved over the years.  And in the midst of our digital lives, I am clinging to correspondence on pieces of paper, as they become rare specimens!

Bus & train tickets from my year abroad and bundles of letters.

Beyond collections that can be clearly organized, how do you decide what to save?  I am so fascinated to learn how other people structure their archives, and their criteria for selecting which pieces of their life and work will be tucked away for the future.  I'm paring down my boxes and boxes now, preparing to move and ready to consolidate my holdings. I have recurring anxiety dreams about moving where I just have TOO MUCH STUFF and some of it just has to be abandoned.  So I get the urge to purge... and then I open up these boxes and I find amaaaazing things, and how could I possibly part with them?!

My family before I existed.

Is it weird to wonder if I should be saving things for someone other than myself?  I certainly hope nobody wants to read my private angsty journals, but what about art stuff? What if someone wants to study me?  I love the storytelling of seeing artists' notes and process and personal lives alongside their work... But does any artist actually decide while they are alive that anyone will give a shit about that stuff?  Maybe just a descendant I don't know yet!  I collect the work of my great-grandmother Agnes and every piece of it is solid gold to me.

A book cover and a magazine page with fashion illustrations, by Agnes Heisler Barton!

Is there joy to be found in discovering digital archives?  I just can't imagine putting a cd or flash drive in the computer and having the same wave of amazement as finding a box of real, actual photographs printed on paper.  But paper is unstable and takes up way more space.  Should we put a couple of really cool prints with every digital storage device we file away to make sure someone knows THERE IS JUICY STUFF IN HERE?  I've finally thrown out most of the garbage I made in art school. But I'm sure as shit not getting rid of childhood photos!

Tiny me in olden times.

I'm feeling very accomplished that I've consolidated and reduced my collection of important pieces of paper down to what can be crammed in two large plastic totes.  No more cardboard boxes or stray plastic folders labeled "stuff to keep."  But that only covers pieces of paper up to 2004, (when I graduated college), so everything newer than that is still the hot mess that fills the bookshelves of my studio.  I still don't have a plan!

How do YOU decide what to keep and what to toss?  If you make art, how much of your own work, sketchbooks, feedback, press clippings do you keep?  If you have offspring, how much of their schoolwork and tiny genius art projects do you keep?  Do you coordinate with the rest of your extended family on the state of your archives and who has access to photos and artifacts?  Do you save all correspondence, or only the greatest hits, or only from the people who wrote to you most?  Do you have any time periods in your life that take up more space in your archive storage than others?  What do you store digitally?  Do you keep things in a safe, or cardboard boxes, or giant tupperware? For whose future entertainment do you save things?  Tell me!  I'm so curious to hear what your systems are and how you decide what makes the cut.

April 20, 2014

Origin Story

"Weird and Wonderful Anchorage, Alaska" 

Holler if you love Anchorage! I've just submitted this map of my hometown to They Draw and Travel.  It has been really fun discussing it with all my Alaskan friends and encouraging the curiosity of those who have never visited! The concept for this challenge was to illustrate what's "creative and curious" about where you're from.  So these are things that stand out for me, but it's not intended to be a comprehensive or particularly utilitarian map.  It took me a long time to decide what the point of view of the map would be! Anchorage is much bigger than this, but I narrowed it down to this chunk based on the format size and a few things I especially wanted to mark by their physical location.  It ended up looking like this crazy sketchbook of a few landmarks and a lot of weird memories!

Special shout-outs to:
The Pack Rat Antiques, co-owned by my friend BreAnn who has a typewriter tattoo, and has written me millions of letters on typewriters, (and I still have them all), and commissioned some illustrations from me which she uses on shop gift certificates:

Available on fabric, wallpaper, and giftwrap from Spoonflower!

Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop, a delicious bakery owned by one of my high school math & science teachers and her family!  Last time I was there I ate an entire strawberry rhubarb galette myself because I figured that if it fit in my purse, it counted as a single serving.  Thank you, huge purse.

It's not really too huge but looks very majestic in the sunshine.

I drew heaps and heaps of images that didn't make the final edit! I finally concluded I'll just need to make this into a series of maps.  Possible additional Anchorage map themes: stories about my Dad, high school memories, weird tourist & celebrity incidents, places I remember from childhood that aren't there anymore, signs, all about Spenard... Such good potential for storytelling!  If you are from Anchorage I would love to hear your ideas about what YOU would put on a map!

Go visit my map, and scope out other amazing illustrated maps at They Draw and Travel!  

Update 4/21: They Draw and Travel use ImageKind to offer their maps as art prints or snazzy wrapped canvases and they've added this map by popular demand! You can order one HERE!