Stephanie Leung and I are trying to get more serious about our collaboration pieces and efforts. Talks have been had, schedules been drawn up. Plans in the works. One thing we both love and talk about frequently is music. We both admire band posters and want to put our spin on the whole idea. Here’s a finished (or nearly finished atleast) one for M. Ward.
My relationship with Google Reader is a fickle one. On one hand, I am delighted by its service: it tracks all my blogs (including blogs of many family and friends) and alerts me immediately after they are updated. I have a terrible memory and love blogs, so Google Reader is really doing me a favor. Plus, having this while working at a desk is essential. The longer my blogreel grows, the less time spent idly browsing Facebook.
Since I started using Reader, though, it has become apparently what kind of material I prefer to read. A majority of my subscriptions are fashion blogs – more specifically the “what I wore” blogs. If you aren’t familiar with this format, most entries are of girls posting pictures of what they wear each day, some little quip about the outfit, and then where they got each piece.
My initial curiosity had the best of intentions. I have so many clothes as it is that I figured it would help me think about what I have and rework outfits. But, as the months have gone by, the opposite has happened. I have started lusting more and more of what these people are wearing. My online browsing/real life shopping has greatly increased. It perpetuates my need for new, shiny clothes. I find myself adding items to checkout, ready to pile the charges on my credit card.
It’s embarrassing, really. I should be using Google Reader for good, not feeding my need for spending. I should be looking to be come more informed about current events! Using it discover new artist or see what’s happening with the Orphan Works Bill! Instead, I wait in anticipation for My Style Pill to update.
It’s rather sad, really.
Non-sequitur: A couple in the apartment complex across the street is either fighting or having an extremely animated conversation. The man is half-naked as well. It’s times like this I need binoculars!
I have nothing new to show for myself lately, so I thought I’d go ahead and post the work on another artist that I like. I haven’t done that in a while!
I’m sure that Mike Perry is not new to anyone. If you haven’t heard his name, you have probably seen his work in some capacity. He is a man that wears many hats (but not those Dr. Suess hats – those things are hideous) – he’s an illustrator, art director, active gallery artist and typographer. He has done a large amount of work for Urban Outfitters.
I first caught glimpse of his work during my senior year at MICA and my thesis teacher, Whitney Sherman had his book entitled Hand Job, a catalouge of hand-drawn typography. I later came to find out that he is a midwesterner like me. He is from Kansas (I want to say that I one time read he was from Lawernce, but I am not positive) but is now a transplant of Brooklyn.
I also have his other book, which is called Over and Over, and has hand-drawn patterns. Both books include a bit of his work but also have a number of different artists that are working the old fashioned way.
I am probably getting a little ahead of myself. I should show his work:
His work always speaks the same language – similar themes- but he switches between markers, digital, screen printing and ink work. What makes me drool over this work are the shapes and the quirky world that has been created. It is definitly an unconvential world where things aren’t necessarily beautiful (fat hands and fingers, anthromorphized buildings) but his drawings are fun.
I find his work a little subversive (I like subversive). I think partly it’s because the current skate/graffiti culture has an aesthetic that is similar to Perry’s -colorful, loud, and overall a little strange (think of those patterned sweatshirts that have become popular over the past couple of years), and that subculture likes to rock the boat a bit, get themselves in trouble sometimes.
I don’t think that’s giving Mike Perry enough credit though. I tend to look at him in the same vein as Gary Panter (creative director for Pee Wee’s Playhouse), but I don’t know if that’s right, either!
It has been a week since I’ve been back from CA, and I figured I would post some pictures and write a little bit about my trip.
Overall, the trip was go, go, go. I flew into Oakland on Thursday around 1pm west coast time (after leaving Baltimore at 9am eastern time). I was promptly picked up by Steph, had lunch, and we set out on our drive:
(note the tattoo on her arm. So beautiful. Garfield?)
It took us approximately 9 hours to reach LA, bringing us in at 11pm that night. This was a drive down the 101 and a few stops. One of them was to eat dinner at Pismo Beach.
Once in LA, we spent all of Friday and part of Saturday there. Thursday night I collapsed upon our arrival since it was nearly 2am my time. I don’t usually stay up that late!
Steph and I went to Giant Robot and ate at gr/eatswhich is apart of Giant Robot. I wish I was hungrier when I was there. I just had the spring rolls and fries because Jess (our hostess in LA) made us a wonderfully big breakfast that morning. We also made it to GR2, which is the gallery space for Giant Robot. I love those places. I will always have a very soft spot in my heart for vinyl toys. I picked up a book at GR – the Moomins! If you are not familiar with the Moomins, I suggest you be. To describe them simply, they are the Finnish version of the Peanuts (based on their popularity and reverence for the characters), but have this wonderful world that’s full of quiet moments.
We also saw, later that night, Le monde du silenceat the Silent Movie Theatre in LA. The 1956 documentary detailed Jacques Cousteau and his crew’s adventures on the deep seas. The film was experience was interesting. On one hand, I viewed it as ridiculous. The way the members of the ship treated the ocean (ransacking coral, using dynamite to blow up fish, etc.) was appalling. Had this been filmed in present day, it would have been a mockumentary, since given what we know about the inhabitants of the ocean and our society’s attitude on preservation. On the other hand, it was a really interesting look into the 1950′s and 1960′s and to think that the documentary was probably groundbreaking at the time (it won an academy award for best documentary). It was also a big inspiration for Wes Anderson’s Life Aquatic, and you could see where he drew some elements of his movie from this film.
Saturday was spent getting brunch in Echo Park and looking around LA’s Chinatown before Steph and I hit the road.
Jess, our gracious hostess (who made some really great food) and me with my child-sized dress (notice how the top button is unbuttoned because it won’t fit).
Chinatown had some neat little galleries. We went in to one that I really enjoyed. The artist (who also works for the MTA in LA) made a collection of buildings shaped from dominoes, legos, marbles and any other materials. Some were ornate and some were simple. The buildings sat on the wall and the viewer was invited to take the small pieces (chess piece size) off the wall and place them on a large 3d map of Chinatown. The pieces could be placed anywhere, so it was re-imagining Chinatown. While this was all going on, a time-lapse video was being made to show the process of rebuilding part of the city.
At Giant Robot, Steph picked up Treeson, who became a mascot for the rest of the trip. Here he is, insuring our safe return back to NorCal. Driving back, we ended up taking the 101 again! (much to Jeremy Leung’s dismay) and stopped in Solvang, CA. This small town is near Santa Barabra and (we thought) right off the 101, so it would be an easy pit stop. The GPS ended up routing us through a national forest/senic byway, which, while nice, added approximately 45 minutes on to our trip.
Solvang was weird. It was a mix of Pleasantville, Gilmore Girl’s Stars Hollow, and a Thomas Kinkade painting (I actually think he paints pictures of this town). Solvang models its architecture and culture off the Danish, but it didn’t come across as all that Danish to me and left me with a weird feeling. There were no chain stores (not that I was complaining), but it just seemed to be in its own secluded world. Everything was so clean and neatly-kept that there must be some dark secret of that town!
Ended up getting to Oakland around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. I left at 12:20pm (barely making it on the first flight!) But, before I left, I got to see a mural Steph is working on.
Overall, a good trip. A lot of driving, a lot of time spent in traffic (and reaffirms that I could never live in LA), but it was nice to get out of Baltimore for a long weekend!
Fear not, blogosphere.
My blog might be a little lost, but not forgotten. I made a resolution to myself that I would blog more, and I can’t lose sight of that!
I have been busy recently. I was across the country in California for part of last week. An entry about that is to come; I took my digital camera, SLR camera, and my phone (with a camera), so I need to get those pictures loaded and together.
To throw those out there (all 7 – 10 of you) the proverbial bone, I will show you what I discovered on my way to meet a friend for lunch a couple of weeks ago:
I love the color of the diamonds – very vibrant and a nice burst of color. I’m not sure if you can tell what the environment is like around these pieces, but it’s sort of dilapidated and run down – boarded up buildings on a street that used to be so full of life. Howard street (where these particular pieces are located) used to have three large department stores and would be the route for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade every year. Now, it is an area often glazed over due to abandonment and crime. The Baltimore Downtown Partnership is working to make the area cleaner and safer, but this does not happen overnight. It’s an uphill battle.
There should be more murals in the city. What better way to give people something pleasant to look at (especially while riding the lightrail), give exposure to emerging artists and show that Baltimore actually cares about the arts (it’s getting better I think)?
This particular afternoon I am very full.
Lately, I have been making / eating delicious food. For lunch, I ate at Sofi’s Crepes at 333 N. Charles Street. I had the Thanksgiving Crepe, which I would recommend to anyone (especially my friend Sara. She loves Thanksgiving!). Turkey, cranberry sauce, and pesto mayo all wrapped nicely in a crepe. Very filling. Not an hour after lunch, I was given a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread by one of the residents at my work. She has made this before and it’s always such a treat!
It’s also Restaurant Week in Baltimore, and this means that some of the priciest restaurants in the city have prix fixe menus for $30.09 per person for dinner. I am participating in this. Tomorrow I am looking forward to enjoying Petit Louis with a handsome date, a nice dress on and a bottle of wine!