Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Design Nugget - Mistake Yourself

I was reading through an old Comm Arts this week in search of web inspiration, and stumbled across this article. It's not often that I take the time to read too many articles (I know, SHOCKER, I would rather look at the pictures)...and it's really ironic that this is the one that I happened to read.

This is one of the best articles I've ever read when it comes to creative inspiration and the creative process. I am a classic example of what she talks about when she says, "When you get good at something, you repeat it." It's one of the reasons I am SO GLAD to be working at an agency and not at home, BY MYSELF. It's so easy just to do what you know, or tweak what you know, to make it look good for the next project or the next client.

I love what she says about not wanting to think outside the box, but to trip over the box because of something random she's intentionally done to lead her there. I love that! And it's so true! My best things have come because of a letter I've accidentally typed that suddenly turns into a beautiful graphic element...or a button I've accidentally pushed in a program that causes the most unexpected effect...or even conversations, catalogs, commercials, etc.

I'm not quite sure exactly how to apply this little nugget to my life and my work quite yet – but I am glad to at least be aware of it, and to be actively trying to make mistakes and to veer away from what I know.

And We're Back!!

You know it's been a long time since you've posted when your URL doesn't automatically come up when you start typing it in your browser. (*sigh) I guess the holidays will do that to you. I absolutely checked out this Christmas...from everything. I wasn't even checking emails...and I get them on my phone! Pathetic, maybe, but also SO wonderful.

Awhile back, I mentioned that I would be posting some of the Best/Worst Inventions Ever. Since I haven't posted once since then, I figured it was about time–and so here are two of the Best Inventions Ever:

1. Dunkin Donuts Coffee
2. Fingerless Mittens

DD's newest location (that I'm aware of) is about 2 blocks from our house, also conveniently on our way to the train station. (I should also mention that almost simultaneously a Papa John's also opened on the same corner...) This is going to do a lot for my outlook this winter. If you haven't tried their coffee yet, you must. It is simply the Best. Ever. (Aside from Ugly Mug...we're talking on-the-go-immediate-satisfaction-coffee-stop-coffee here.)

(On a design note: how LONG has Dunkin Donuts had their logo? While watching one of the best-ever, must-see-every-year Christmas movies, "While You Were Sleeping," I noticed that despite the dreadfully outdated and oversized clothes, the DD packaging looks nearly identical! And I still love it! Hey, if it's not broke, don't fix it.)

The fingerless mittens are courtesy of my sister and J.Crew. I must say, they make it quite a bit easier to operate a phone or an ipod on the train or on the go...while not having to remove your entire glove.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sew Crafty!

If you haven't discovered designmom, well, you probably should. It's not just about design. In fact, it's very little about design...she's very well-rounded in her exploration of crafts, projects, kids, clothes, cards, decorating, design, etc.

Today's post was so good I had to share it with everyone (assuming that most of you don't read designmom) have to check out Spoonflower. You can upload your own design and have custom fabric printed - $18/yard and no minimum! My friend Keri does textile design and I've always been envious. Now I can try it out...How fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Design Nugget - MAYA

After a lengthy hiatus from TV/Cable, it was decided this summer that it should be reinstated for football season (which has now turned into basketball season...). There are three things that affect me in a most positive way as a result of this decision: 1) HGTV, 2) What Not to Wear and 3) Project Runway. Numbers 1&2 are ongoing privileges, and even though the most recent season for #3 is long gone, I can't wait for the next one.

This season, one of the more difficult (albeit talented, of course) participants had been called out at several points throughout the season, saying that her designs were quite similar to several big-name designers (i.e. Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, etc.). Her retort was that she never looked at other designers' lines. In the season finale, the judges challenged her back by saying that she really needed to be aware of other designers and what they were doing, because even if she came up with the most creative idea on the planet, if someone else has already done it (or something similar), then it's suddenly not so creative in the eyes of everyone else.

Sometimes I catch myself having the Kenley mindset, "Oh, I don't want to look at other people's work...I don't want it to affect my originality." Hearing the judges comments brought back a memory from college when I started making my HoneyB cards. Everyone seemed to love the different "girl" designs I was doing...and I did, too...until I walked into every store and saw multiple cards with the same idea! Suddenly I didn't feel too great about my cards. And one of the big reasons I haven't pursued the whole card business thing is from that point on I became very convicted that if I was going to do cards, I better be darn sure that they are the best cards out there. And I wasn't convinced they were...

So how does this apply to me today? Well I also started thinking that I don't know too much about design in an academic sense. I mean, if someone asked me today who my favorite designer is, what am I going to say? Jessica Baer? Tommy Torres? Eh - probably not going to cut it! So I started thinking that I need to expand my mind a bit and do some research on some people who had a hand in shaping design - both presently and historically. Not only to expand my knowledge, but also to expand my skills! It's been on my list of "to do's" for weeks now to go to the library and get some books. Right. I'll sqeeze that in between too-busy-to-go-to-the-gym and how-many-inches-of-dust-are-on-the-shelf. So I've just been scouring magazines and books around the office as much as possible.

Enter Jessica and the introduction of Raymond Loewy's MAYA principle. Most Advanced Yet Acceptable.

According to Loewy, "The adult public's taste is not necessarily ready to accept the logical solutions to their requirements if the solution implies too vast a departure from what they have been conditioned to accepting as the norm."

Brilliant! I encounter this principle nearly every day while I work...however, I'm not always willing to bend to the "YA" part of "MAYA." Or sometimes I give up on wanting to do any "MA" and resort to only "YA." It's good to remember that when all is said and done, you can spend a million hours doing the coolest most complex design, and the client will probably still go back to the little sketch he did for you on a napkin.

I love how this principle has changed my thinking behind my projects the past few days. I'm also starting to think about the other areas of my life that it might apply...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Copy Cat

Downtown San Luis Obispo used to be one of my favorite places to shop.
Unfortunately, many of the cute out of the way boutiques seem to be
closing! There are fewer and fewer each time I visit. There was one
little paper shop I found that I wished I could pack up in a little
box, though. I was going through some pictures from our trip and came
across this one of some little paper flowers that I fell in love with
at that shop. I took the picture thinking, "these are so cute...and
they would be so easy to make myself!" And now I am doubly frustrated
that I did not pay the $2.75 for at least one to use as a template.
What are the stems made out of? How are they connected? What materials
were used in the center? Arg. I'll never find the time to scour
Lincoln Park or Old Town to find something similar. Everyone thinks
I'm crafty like a fox, but really I'm just a hopeless copy cat.

Friday, November 28, 2008


400 steps to the top of Moro Rock brought us to this...on my way down
I overheard a girl tell her mom, "mountains are one thing, but this is
like Heaven!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

A walk in the clouds

Our hike took us to Moro rock. I really can't explain how beautiful
this view was. We were completely above the clouds. (the white you see
is clouds, not snow)


Sequoia National Park

Today we drove up North to Sequoia National Park. It was absolutely
magnificent. The trees and the mountains were stunning. On our way up
I was so excited because this was a "once in a lifetime opportunity,"
but it wasn't - because I'll be back. My kids will have to see this

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Yes, our day has truly revolved around food. After a lovely walk on
Rodeo drive, we met up with Brittany at Pinkberry in Westwood. I've
been looking forward to Pinkberry for at least a year...and I was not
disappointed. I would definitely have it brought in if I was in jail.

Roscoe's Chicken n Waffles

Continuing our food diary...lunch took us to Roscoe's Chicken n
Waffles. A true LA experience. Sweet and greasy...a delicious yet
slightly sickening combination. The only thing missing was Brittany
and a Snoop Dog sighting.

Breakfast and First Celebrity Siting

We had a delicious breakfast at King's Road with Josh and Brittany.
Highly recommend it. While we were there, Jane Lynch walked in and met
someone for breakfast. Not the flashiest celeb siting, but we'll take
it. Hard to see, but she's right behind Josh.

On an unrelated note, I still love California.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Here we cooooooo-ooome...

Could there be a better day to leave for California??

Thursday, November 20, 2008

na- na- na- na- na- now that that don’t kill me...

It just wasn't meant to be. Me and blogging, that is.

After my trial-by-error attempt to finally successfully blog via phone/email, I was all amped-up and wrote a new post on my way home tonight. Which never posted, never sent and I can't find anywhere.

However, it's Thursday night, and as the subject of my post revolved around it being Thursday night, I figured I should probably try my best to re-post what was lost.

Where was I? Yes, Thursday nights. I think that they might be my favorite night of the week. There is a great sense of anticipation as the week comes to an end. You can literally smell Friday. There is also a certain amount of freedom felt...You can endure anything for one day, so why not live it up on Thursday nights?

The real reason I love Thursday nights, though, is the OFFICE. I spend all week in anticipation. Of every one of those 22 minutes. I think this has been the best season of The Office ever so far. Bringing Holly to the show was one of the best moments of brilliance that has been derived thus far. I didn't think they would ever be able to bring in a new character that was better than Andy, but I was wrong. And who thought they could ever come up with an office romance better than (or at least on par with) Jim and Pam??

The best part about Holly is how she is just as dorky as Michael. I didn't realize how great it really was until I came across this picture of me and Gary from our trip to Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago. And then it struck me–does it GET any dorkier than this? MFEO.

So here's to another Thursday night...and hopefully many more dorky moments. (Fortunately, most of them have NOT been captured on film. However, someday You Tube will need to be exposed to some of Gary's Best Dance Moves Ever. Video camera for Christmas anyone?) SO glad I found this guy.

P.S. - For the record, it is now 8:30 and what is on the TV? Football...but that's another post...

Testing, testing

Having recently been called out (AGAIN) on my lack of blogging manners and respect for readers (where is Emily Post when I need her?? - no pun intended), I decided that it was time to figure out how to post from my phone. This is my test post to see if this works...this is for you, L&K!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Laura!

Awww...too bad I already bought your present!
Hopefully you'll have your own Very Useful Dog someday. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's in a Name?

Creative? Gutsy? or just plain Bizarre?
You decide.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Shedding some light on the situation

I've been meaning to start a series or list of best and worst inventions ever.

Today's Best Invention Ever goes to craigslist.

Yesterday I had some unexpected time in the afternoon, so I started cleaning up our infamous back room. While back there I came across a rug I purchased at the Crate and Barrel Outlet (something that you can expect to see in a future Best Inventions Ever post) quite a while ago.

I loved this rug, and got a super deal on it, but it shed red lint continuously. So it was just sitting in the back room...

Enter craigslist.
I posted the rug at 2:30, and 4 hours later it was not only gone, but I had some extra cash in my pocket!

Someone's also coming to look at a bench tomorrow that I posted at the same time.

Hmmm...what ELSE can I post? And what little gems are out there waiting for me to find?? The possibilites are endless...and exhilarating.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Service with a Smile

As I walked downstairs this morning, I had this nagging thought in my mind that my outfit wasn't quite right. So I asked Gary what he thought. Not only did he agree, he told me why it didn't work (in wonderful Clinton Kelly/Tim Gunn style), and I walked out the door a new woman. I so appreciate this about him. Among his many skills, he also has a nack for finding the best news nuggets. 

This is not the actual clip of the news report he saw last night, but it's definitely the same footage. Don't worry, it's on our DVR, too...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How to Fail a Test with Dignity

Forwarded emails have to be one of the worst inventions ever. However, there are those rare gems that make you giggle out loud at your desk. Somehow my friend Jules has exclusive access to these. She was so kind to send one on this week...

Some of you may be wondering the story behind how I became a designer. While the entire story would take too long to relay in one post, let's just say that chemistry is also one of the worst inventions ever. The pictures included in Jules' email sum my story up pretty well. These are the types of answers I would have given my right arm to have the courage to give on my Chemistry and Calculus tests back in my science-major days when my mind was just B-L-A-N-K.

Thanks, Jules, for reminding me how misdirected I was at that time. Also, my best regards to all of these students, each of whom have a bright shining future in art...or writing...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Useful Dog

This post is an addition to my sister's series of "useful dogs."
It is a video of my boss' neice. (Don't worry, she's FINE)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Growing Up

We're slowly replacing our hand-me-down and college furniture with our own "grown-up" pieces. Here are some pics of our latest! Forgive the lighting - I was too lazy to get out the camera.

BIG thanks to my mom for her help with the filing cabinets. If there's one thing we love, it's a good deal...and she definitely understands that.

We also finished painting the garage this weekend...meaning the end of our house painting project is in sight! I am continually in awe of the difference paint can make - on anything. But more on that later. I'm going to go add some decorations to our new desk.

Design Updates

Here are some fun projects I've been working on in my "spare" time.

Invitation for our local Young Life group fundraising banquet.

Bible Study book for a local church.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's most definitely Friday...

How can you not love Paper Source? I'm not sure what I get more excited about in the mail...InStyle, or the Paper Source catalog. It's a toss-up, and Paper Source definitely has an edge in that it doesn't come as frequently. One of the many things I love about Paper Source is their tagline: 

"Do something creative every day." 

My boss and I half-jokingly throw this one around...I say half because sometimes I wonder how different my life would look if I truly took this to heart. It's a little bit of a grey challenge, in that I get paid to be creative every day (how amazing is that??), so I'm talking about being creative outside of my work...

This week, I've found my extra-curricular creativity has revolved solely around food. And not in the gourmet, steaks-stuffed-with-gorgonzola-and-mushrooms-with-creme-brulee-for-dessert way.

One of the major challenges of working full-time in the city is finding times to get LIFE done. For example, if I don't go to the grocery store over the weekend, we usually end up eating like college students for the duration of the following week. As we spent a majority of last weekend trying to finish up our exterior house projects, the grocery store did not happen.

Enter creativity.

Monday night we had a meal that I had originally planned for the week before. Tuesday, a friend's daughter's breakfast inspired me away from cereal, and we had waffles and strawberries. Wednesday we had eggs combined with the leftover sausage from Monday night (as well as the leftover waffles). And last night we made chicken wraps out of a leftover chicken breast from the week before. (It should be noted that this was eaten at 9:15...after I came home from a meeting that I rushed out the door for and Gary had only had a protein shake after the gym...How would he eat without me? Another post for another time.) Our fridge and cupboards are very, very sad. We don't even have milk for cereal anymore!

Also speaking of sad, this morning I tried to apply my creativity to my outfit...thinking how I could make the best combination of clothes that would still enable me to wear my Rainbows. And I came downstairs wearing a tank top, cardigan and my jeans with a hole in the left leg. What can I say? Sometimes it's just too hard to be creative that early in the morning at the end of a long week.

And because of the time put into thinking about my non-creative outfit, I missed my train and forgot my mouse. And thus the title of this post.

As I was walking to my office thinking about how much I would kill to have thought to call in sick when the alarm went off for the fourth time, I saw a girl standing on the corner...similar to me - huge bag, coffee mug in hand - but wearing denim capris (notice I didn't say JEAN - they were very crisp and sharp, yet casual), a black hoodie (?? Who knew that could be cute?) a huge, caramel-colored European-style scarf, and FLIP FLOPS. And she looked casually amazing. I'm totally re-inspired. I can't wait for next Friday.

Monday, September 22, 2008


For those of you who like to be a little adventurous with your grocery shopping from time to time, please take heed that you might want to pour a few extra glasses of water when having Trader Joe's Chipotle Pepper Chicken Sausage. HOT! HOT! HOT!

On the other hand, I HIGHLY recommend the portobello mushroom raviolis. Delish!

It's here...

Today is the first day of fall. 

My husband informed me of this earlier today. Mainly because winter follows fall. This is a picture from last winter just to remind you how much he loves the season.

I, however, am determined to embrace the season.

How can you not love fall? The cool, crisp mornings just make me want to walk down the street with a pair of new tights, a scarf, pumpkin and hot drink in hand, with the Cranberries playing in the soundtrack of my mind. (Cue Meg Ryan)

Yes, the weather is amazing, but the following are a few of my absolute favorite parts of fall:

I become legitimately sad in January when the Super Bowl ads start and Sunday afternoon football comes to an end. There is nothing like a cool Sunday afternoon cuddled on the couch in a pile of blankets, still warm from a hot bowl of chili or tomato soup...and then waking up 2 hours later not having a clue what actually happened in the game. And the NAMES. OH the names. I could make a whole Fantasy Football team made up of the players whose parents were blessed with an extra dose of creativity. Jacksonville still remains the team as a whole that carries a majority of my favorite players. LaBrandon, I'm rooting for ya. The other wonderful thing about football season is the Sports Gal. Gary's favorite sports writer, Bill Simmons (a.k.a. The Sports Guy), gives a mini column to his wife every football season for her to place her picks for the season as well as a "rant" about anything she wishes. They are both truly brilliant writers, but I'm a little partial to the Gal.

Skinny jeans. 
This fall delight was brought to my attention by my friend Kelly. I wore mine last week and the first thing she said was, "Yes! When I see skinny jeans I just KNOW it's fall." Even though that was not the thought that crossed my mind when I was dressing that morning, she is totally right. And that made me start thinking about all of the wonderful fall fashion options. Scarves, boots, light jackets, tights, headbands (oh wait, I wear those all the time), cardigan sweaters (especially long ones), sweatshirts, puffy vests, layering...Ahhh...

Pumpkin Spice Latte.
You can say what you want about Starbucks coffee. I will probably agree with you. However, NOTHING beats the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I was so excited last year when Caribou came out with a "comparable" drink last year, and I could hardly finish it! (Disclaimer: Caribou still wins for overall best drink with the Light White Hazelnut Latte) For a season that is so accommodating for hot drinks, this is the defining drink of fall.

So now that you're in the mood, grab your camera, go for a walk and go capture a little bit of fall.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I received an enlightening email from my sister today:

"The reason no one follows your blog is because you never update it. I decided I would start reading along with your life too...but it hasn't changed in 3 weeks!"

Must be nice to be able to keep friends and family and miscellaneous strangers updated on a daily/hourly/minute-by-minute basis AND work at home AND get $40K+ in ad revenue each month. (*sigh*)

In the meantime, I'll try to keep my 4.5 readers (75% growth rate...pretty good!) updated on a more regular basis than every few weeks. Please don't be offended!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cookie Monster

We spent Memorial Day weekend on the road...partly in Cleveland (pictures to come), and partly in Buffalo, with Gary's cousin and his family. We were not able to stay in either place long enough.

Nearly 3 years ago this sweet girl was the flower girl in our wedding. Now she is practically a young lady. While the boys played with the whiffle ball and super soakers, I spent a fascinating afternoon with Polly Pocket and friends. (What happened to Barbie dolls? I was dying for some shoes that were bigger than a pencil eraser!)

Lovely Laura

This tribute is a little belated in that a) it took place in May, and 2) Laura technically graduated 6 months ago. Congratulations, Laura! Welcome to the world of salaries, taxes, insurance, vacation time and going to bed before 10 o'clock. We are so glad to have you with us!


What a wonderful way to end my last days of "freedom..."

Are You My Mother?

It should be noted that I am TAN in this picture.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Too late...Too late...

I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to my 3.5 readers. They include: my husband, our friends Adam and Tara (usually I would count a couple as 1, but I know that A & T read my blog separately, and they both have their own blogs), and the half point includes all of the people who I know have been to my site at least once (and probably only once): my sister, my boss, my friend Kathleen who's husband gave me such a hard time about my organic milk, etc. They've probably only been once since it's been exactly TWO MONTHS since my last post. Which leads me into my apology...

I'm sorry. There's not really a great excuse for my lack of blogging. Here's what happened from my point of view:

Exactly one day after my last post, my computer crashed and I accepted a full-time job. Within the next week, my computer had to be sent away, I went on vacation for a week and I started my new job. And as usual, life has just been absolutely out of control. That's all I've got.

There is a part of me that thinks blogging is narcissistic anyway - that I would actually think that people would be interested in reading about ME. I can hear my mother-in-law's voice in my head, "I'm sorry - did I look like I cared?" Then there's the other part of me that thinks about how much I love reading other people's blogs...and that's what's keeping me from shutting this thing down. If nothing else, hopefully this will serve as a vehicle to update friends and family on life.

So here's to my 3.5 readers - even if that's all that ever visit.

It's been so long since I've posted, I've decided go Sartorialist style and do several posts in order to sum up all that has happened in the past few months...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

That's What She Said

It's a general rule in my life that no matter how hard I try, I am almost consistently five minutes late for anything. Tonight was no exception.

I was racing to the gym, motivated to run only by the fact that I was going to watch The Office. I was already annoyed with myself that I was going to miss the first five minutes of the show, when in the span of the normally 7-8 minute drive there were TWO emergency vehicles, as well as a freight train. COME ON.

Three miles later I stepped off of the treadmill not only disappointed (AGAIN) with Michael and Co., but also reminded that I am once again one year older. Why does it matter when you enter your age into those little machines anyways? Do you burn calories at a different rate if you're in a certain age bracket?

Yes, it's true. Yesterday was my birthday. And while I had a mildly difficult and depressing workout tonight, yesterday was an absolutely fabulous day (as all birthdays should be).

Following a pedicure with my sister at Nail Envy, I came home to my husband cooking a steak dinner. It should be noted that the words "husband cooking" have never shown up in the same sentence in the duration of our marriage, other than eggs, toast and macaroni and cheese. He'll try to play it down if you ask him about it, but it truly was a fantastic meal. (The effort alone would have scored big points, but the meal really was delicious and very well thought out!)

(Note the Sparkling Grape Juice on the table...hmm...I'm pretty sure it was from Valentine's Day over a year ago...)

The kicker was the chocolate covered strawberries, bananas and oranges he HAND MADE for dessert. Does this man know me well or what??

You think that my night could have ended at this point on an all-time high, but check out my face in the picture below as I unwrapped my gift...

Wow. Didn't ask for it. Didn't expect it. I will reiterate, does this man know me well or what??

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Go Ahead...Make Yourself at Home

It's true...I think Spring has finally arrived!! And while most people are bursting with excitement to finally get outside for the first time in about six months, I found a little creature yesterday making itself right INSIDE my home. (I am currently watching his friend/second life crawling on the window screen...the LAST thing I need is an infestation of ladybugs!)

Some shots of spring:
(Note the lava rocks in the background. Yeah...those definitely need to go...)

There are several more that still have yet to bloom...I'm excited to see what other colors will pop up!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Go Orgo!

Today just seemed like a blogging kind of day. It's been raining all day, and the light just keeps getting greyer (is that a possible shade of light?) outside. I didn't even open the curtains in my house today, because I'd rather live in artificial light than have to look at the mess outside. (Can you tell the weather affects my mood?)

The other day I was at Target buying everything from sandwich baggies to a down comforter, and I decided to take a gamble and buy organic milk. The past few years my hubby has been the sole milk-guzzler, but since he's stopped having cereal in the mornings for breakfast, our milk consumption has drastically decreased.

You would think in this day in age where every time I go to buy milk or gas I might as well be buying myself a new pair of designer jeans that I would probably be excited to choose the cheapest milk in the smallest qty. possible (due to the 3 week old milk I found in the fridge before I went to the store) - but my curiosity won out and I went organic.

Within a week of buying the milk, every person who entered our house (without fail), somehow opened the fridge and ALL of them commented on the milk. Are you kidding me? It's not like we're growing our own vegetables or have our own cow...And since when is milk a topic of conversation? (My breastfeeding friends excepted)

The worst part is that they all asked questions I didn't know the answer to!

"What is it with everyone your age drinking organic milk?"
Um...I didn't know we's my first time...really...

"So what is better about organic milk? What makes it organic? How do you seriously keep a cow from eating grass that you don't know had some kind of chemical on it? What if..."'s better for you? (I should interject here that this was a series of questions offered by our friend Stan. I cut his list of questions much shorter than it actually was.)

"Does organic milk taste different?"
(Well, the answer to that one is NO...)

Considering none of my posts have actually reflected my work, I thought I'd give a few glimpses at some of the projects I've been working on...

This is a logo I worked on recently for a local dentist. Unfortunately, client privilege won out and the final logo looks nothing like this one, but this is the one he originally chose:
A brochure for Renovator Ministries:
I've been doing a lot of miscellaneous work...I'm loving the variety and the unique challenges each project brings...hope to post more soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pursuing Art

I was reading through the spring issue of "T" magazine (the new New York Times Style Magazine), and came across an interesting article about Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. In the article, she states,

"I don't consider myself an artist. I am pursuing art in order to correct the disability which began in my childhood."

The rest of the article went on to talk about her mental illness (or lack thereof, according to some)...but it was the first part of her quote that stood out to me.

How often have I been in a museum and wondered how a certain piece of art was considered "worthy" of display...or wondered, "What IS art?"

Following the quote from Kusama, the author of the article asked, "Is great art the conscious effort of brilliant minds, or is it an outpouring of freakish individuality?"

YES! I love that question. So often it feels funny to introduce myself as an I have to do something to earn that title or something. Where is the blend between "really knowing what I'm doing," and simply expressing myself? Why are some people's expressions considered better than others? Sometimes I think it is judged by the amount of "brilliance" or education or technique behind their work, sometimes I think it can be judged by the importance of what they are expressing.

The longer I do design, the more I realize how subjective art interesting to think about every "artist's" pursuit of it simply something that we can relate to or identify with that makes it aesthetically appropriate or "good" to us?

Thursday, March 6, 2008


There is a local ice cream shop that my husband and I like to go to. We have recently incorporated a game of chess into our routine of chocolate peanut butter and cookie dough, as several of the tables have chess boards and pieces. Neither of us are very good, which makes for a pretty good game, since it puts us at about the same level.

Earlier this week I was looking through my husband's pictures from his trip to California. Part of his trip included a visit to a friend who had a life-sized chess board. As I was looking at the pictures of the chess game, I thought they looked a little more artsy than the pictures he tends to take. When I asked him about it, he at first claimed that our friend Adam must have took them, but when he saw them, he said, "Oh, that's just showing checkmate." I was even more thrilled to think that he is subconsciously expressing his artsy side.

All that to say, chess is becoming one of my favorite games...

Monday, March 3, 2008

La Vie En Rose

Living in Chicago this time of year isn't exactly the most uplifting thing I can imagine. Today has been absolutely disgusting. Rain, snow, sleet - you name it, we had it. Just a big mess of grey dampness.

However, I looked out of the window and saw this amazing sunset. The picture hardly does the colors justice. Amazing how the most brilliant shades of purple, pink and orange could close a day absent of almost any color...