Monday, March 9, 2015


Genesis, January 2015
polyester, muslin, paracord, panty hose, piping, plastic wrap

______My final drawing class was presented with a most excellent opportunity this semester where we were able to work with composer Anthony Braxton by responding to his works and having it shown next to his illustrative music compositions in a gallery off campus. The composition I received was an hour long symphony of an exciting women making the most fantastically wacky sounds with her voice and some crazy saxophones. Braxton's approach to making music is pretty abstract with a grounding in tradition, so I tried to respond accordingly.

______We ended up in a magazine, too, so that's snazzy.


______I'm not going to explain anything but I will neither confirm nor deny the reference to eggs in this piece. You take that as what you want. My apologies in advance for the short post (you will be compensated with a fortune cookie with an ambiguous fortune this week, but only if you purchase the fortune cookie yourself), but I've gotta run around in a crazy-looking kimono I constructed that's connected to another kimono by a rope that measures somewhere around two-hundred and sixty feet. In public. And hopefully not trip people with my rope.

______Godspeed, my stylish comrades.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Maybe It's Her, Maybe It's Her Cape Thing


______I've been having a rough time getting anything posted on here, haven't I? I promise you all that I'm not belly-flopping on my magic carpet and sliding away from the blogosphere anytime soon; rather, it's my final semester of college and I'm managing 18 hours along with a part-time illustration job, AKA a poop-ton of art-making. Yeah, you heard that right. I said poop-ton. On the internet. Sue me.

______I can say with confidence I won't be posting as many outfits as I do art things, but I'm not leaving, oh no. I'm not leaving until scientists stop arguing about whether or not Pluto is a planet, until the bonds between a goat and his half-gnawed can are broken, or until my butter melts in a freezer. All of which will just never happen due to the laws of nature, the laws of stuff, and the indisputable law of things and stuff. Butter just doesn't melt in a freezer, ya'll. Try it sometime, but make sure you have an adult who remembers the phone number for 911 nearby.


_____Generally, I don't even realize the state of my ghastly Art major appearance, especially when my fellow art friends appear just as wonderfully mucky (no offense, guys). I'm unable to dress like a frilly fairy princess during the week and even into the weekends: paint-enshrouded leggings with snippets of fabric stuck on them and a sweatshirt with tea stains are my go-to items. My chin is never not streaked with paint (a murky green on most days, though I have no idea why) and the cuticles on my fingers are eternally tinted a sooty grey from lithography ink, giving them a post-apocolytpic, zombie look. Ultra stylin' and in season for Spring 2015, for sure.

_____I wear my skin and garments proudly with lipstick so it seems like I'm somewhat considering my appearance. I cackle in a witch-like manner at the fact that I'll still get catcalled when I walk home at night wearing this. Do you even see me? I am terrifying and you are just ridiculous.

_____In addition to my eclectic choice of skin smudges, I wear the same Palladium boots everyday: a traditional beige combat-style boot.
_____Someone once commented, "They have that authentic worn look!" Oh, honey. Oh no. They were not purchased in such a disjointed state. They were initially nice-looking, yes, but were purchased with the knowledge they would become a visual timeline for the art things I was to make my final semester of college. If they are authentic as you so say, then these boots are "authenticity" at its prime, with scuffs borne from dragging my ankles across the floor, ink and paint stains mingling in the best and most ugly manner on the sides, and white gesso spotting the laces like white freckles.

_____Nope. Not authentic at all. They're definitely just covered in art crap.


Stay brave and free of dust mites out there, friends!

LOTR-esque cape thing: Urban Outtfitters
Skirt: Charlotte Russe
Leopard tights: idk man (similar)
Tassel loafers: Jeffrey Campbell
Gold bangle: Lulus
Chain bracelet: Charming Charlie (similar)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fairytale Narratives

When Fact and Fable Collide
48"x48" oil on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______Grocery shopping and driving have so many connections they probably met on eHarmony and dated a few times. When you're shopping for your canned foods, baked goods, and raw fruits and veggies, you want to push your cart at a constant speed, yield at intersections, and drive on the proper side of the isle, which could essentially be considered two-lanes sized for two carts to pass side by side, sans yellow stripe. You also don't want to shop under the influence, or the grocery shop cops will swoop down from the tops of shelves, place little yellow wheel clamps on your cart, and force you to use a shopping basket for the rest of your food-buying excursion.

______That being said, don't even try to free the lobsters from their glass prison as you saunter by the ground meat. The grocery store cops will scoff and not be amused. Though the beady eyes of the lobsters glint preciously and plead, "SOS!" it's best to turn away and recall how their brains are but a bundle of nerves comparable to those of a cockroach.

Whisking Sugar Lumps 
48"x24" oil on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______Of course, while grocery shopping, you're always going to run into those grocery shop drivers. You know the ones. 

______The ones that take up a whole isle, probably rationalizing that it's an opportune time to tweet about how the Honey Bunches of Oats were moved two cereal brands over, and the struggle was so incredibly real, gosh dangit! And now the world has to know, or at least their twelve followers do, even though nine of them are spam accounts and one is a goat pun account that last updated two years ago.

______Then there are the ones who put their cart in front of the bagged spinach leaves you so desire, only to wander all the way over to another vegetable, leaving their cart, purse, and screaming child for you to frown at until their slow, soul crushing return. 

______Then there's the old couple that slowly surveys each piece of lettuce as if they are picking out a wedding gown. "Oh no," the boisterous little wife says, shaking her head and raising her frail hands in defense, shaking them like wheat crops being struck by Western wind. "These leaves are far too wilted. We need something sturdier, but not too crisp and white as those, nay!" The quiet husband nods in agreement. He knows by now not to argue with his marshmallow haired wife whose skin sags like the floppy lips of a dog. 

The Organisms Are Introduced to Cotton Candy
48"x24" oils on masonite panel, Fall 2014

______The robo-zoomer is what I could classify myself as: my movements are intentional and swift as I dexterously zoom from foodstuff A to foodstuff B, like a pirate sniffing gold on the seas. I have a robot-like stare that resembles that calculates the quickest path to my next target, considering the obstacles that are humans and cart road-blocks. I go in. I go out. I occasionally stop to sniff the packaged roses that sit conveniently by the chocolate-covered almonds.

______There's the gazer. They glaze their slitted eyes over the selection hundreds of times like a lecherous man surveying patrons at a gas station even though he or she shops there every week and that same product hasn't moved an inch. It's in the same spot. Really. Your canned mushrooms haven't grown wings and flown to another isle.

______The post-workout chick. She's got her ponytail streaming through a cap, her snazzy printed leggings hugging her perfect gluteus maximus, and her neon Nikes keeping up with her quick pace as she moves the cart with one hand, cradles a small child in the other, and still manages to pin her Otterbox-cased iPhone 6 to her ear and carry a conversation. This girl is going places.

______What kind of shoppers do you notice?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Interior Me

Interior Me
Interior Me
satin fabric, mulsin, panty hose, saran wrap, piping, paracord, ribbon
Drawing Concepts, December 2014

______I keep forgetting that I, Ali the ultra dweeb, am a blogger and must formulate a post every week. It slips my mind like a child slips on a slip n' slide, or rather an adult slips on a slip n' slide, because we all know those are hella fun and not just for tiny humans. Bad metaphors aside, this here was my final drawing project for the semester; it's definitely the most fulfilling thing I've produced conceptually and physically. It's a fabric-based installation piece made of multiple, modular units and various textiles and materials, plus some panty hoes and saran wrap. There was much cutting, gluing, pressing, and tying of fabrics, and I've discovered that I work better in tiny parts like this opposed to one giant overall piece. I mean, it is fairly large (see human for size reference below), but I was able to work in sections that broke down into even smaller sections so the creation of it was more digestible.

______There are 12 separate pieces to this (those flaps falling to the ground count for five) that separate. Having things in pieces that fold up easily makes it much more portable, too! Like a sandwich, or a dead bird you can shove into your pocket when you find it on the side of the road whilst biking.

______Am I the only one who does that?

Interior Me
Interior MeInterior MeInterior Me

______The imagery is based on the body, and though I could get more specific on what its about, I'm more interested in hearing what you guys see or think about it. I'm pretty pumped about this new direction I'm going in, and my professor said the same and that he would readily do what he could to help me get into an excellent grad school program in the future. So that's exciting! I should probably learn how to sew better though. I think that would help to work with fabric and all.

______I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and snacked on a many delicious thing. Eat, drink, and make yourselves sick on chocolate-covered everythings, my delightful little friends!

Interior MeInterior Me

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tacky 70s Sofa Kimono

Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa

Autobiography of a Tacky 70s Sofa

______I knew I was different from the other sofas at an early age.

______I knew by the way the other sofas glanced warily at me, the way they regarded me with a keen but distant interest, and just by the strange way we locked eyes (and were able to lock eyes, being couches and all). I remember those uncomfortable whispers about me I received on the way to the bus by the parents of the other sofas.

______"Her fringes are so unkempt and distracting. I wonder if her parents realize that," a stunningly ornate couch once whispered to its couch-spouse. Her fabric shimmered ivory, and her husbands a was deep, velvety chocolate.
______"Quite," the husband replied, shivering his seat cushions as if the air had chilled him. "And that gaudy, patterned fabric... Did her parents adopt her from a thrift store?" The two sofas laughed to themselves, but it was more of a heinous squeaking that came from their aged coils.

______It was all seemingly true, what these parental couches described. My side skirts were fringed and free-flowing; theirs were pleated, tightly sewn, and barely dusting the floor. I knew by their preposterously high thread counts, the lack of severity in their patternings, and the assured stance of their square couch backings that they were, in a sense, set apart from me. I was covered in a garish array of blue and red diamond shapes, and my arms were formed from twisting, chipped wood that was otherwise a lackluster orange. My cushions sank low in the center, as if someone had sat there far too long. I looked loved, I convinced myself.

Becoming Tacky Sofa
Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa
Becoming Tacky Sofa

______As I grew, my features and social difficulties only continued to steepen. I was beginning to realize the hardships of being a tacky 70s sofa that my parents had exchanged quiet, concerned words about when I was younger. In middle school, I developed two pillows of velvet in the most jarring zebra pattern. A quilt with squares that seemed to be arranged by absolutely no mathematical formula (or sense, at that) was thrown over my shoulder upon graduating high school: a family tradition I could not avoid. I was quite the eclectic mixture of patterns. I was quite the hideous sofa.

______A day came in college when I was sipping tea (shush, don't ask how couches can do that) at my campus's local coffee shop. A stiff old couch pummeled in through the doors in a hurry, huffing and carrying a briefcase on his pale orange cushions. He stopped immediately at the sight of me and lowered his couch-glasses.

______This has happened before, I thought. Make it a little more obvious, why don't you, you old chesterfield. Outsiders often visited from out of town and guffawed at the sight of me and the extreme juxtaposition of me to my environment. I was especially disheveled today, for it was exam week: my fringes were tangled slightly and some coffee had stained my back padding a few days earlier.

______The pale orange couch grinned wildly, his cushions forming a deep "u." He scooted toward me. I remained calm as a couch, because you know, I was one.

Becoming Tacky SofaBecoming Tacky Sofa

______"You're it!" the man-couch exclaimed. His briefcase flapped slightly as he jumped in excitement. "You're exactly what we need!"

______The couch came closer, and I noticed that he, too, had fringes accenting him. I balanced my tea warily on one of my wooden arms, suddenly conscious of the scratches on them. He quieted down and calmly but expertly explained how he was curating actors for a low-cost horror movie, and how a scene required a specific couch to sit in the corner of a room and be lit from one side in with unsettling orange glow for an introductory shot. He told me my look was authentic, rumpled, and slightly funky, and fit that specificity like a key to a lock.

______I was wary of this pale orange couch, but exchanged numbers with him nonetheless. In just a few weeks, I was on set, filming, poised dramatically in a corner with a light burning so hot on my upholstery that cool shadows were cast beyond me, just as he had described to me before. The walls behind me were a muddy floral pattern, and I felt somewhat at home in that moment. After the first week of viewing of the show to the public, my phone erupted in call after call, and soon I moved from being a mere prop sofa to a stunt sofa to a main acting sofa in a full-blown Sofas of the Caribbean original film series. Little by little, I had climbed my ladder with my clunky wooden arms, and though it took a while, I soon felt I was the luckiest, happiest sofa in the world.

______And that is the story of how I became a famous tacky 70s sofa.

Becoming Tacky Sofa

______(for your information, yes, I am going crazy.)

Fringed kimono: Lotus Boutique (similar)
Polka dot dress: TJ Maxx (similar)
Socks: Target
Oxford heels: Jeffrey Campbell (similar)
Bow ring: Charming Charlie
Chain Bracelet: Charming Charlie
Necklace: Charming Charlie (similar)
Cuff + twisted bracelet: vintage