Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ever Present, Ever Demanding

Leo

______I've always wondered how much less complicated life would be if art wasn't a part of it.

______If creating something wasn't constantly plaguing my mind. If I wasn't drawn in by the way a color engaged another color and the relationship they produced. If I wasn't seduced by the alluring sheen of fabrics and the way they shift and change like oceans' tides, always the same material but infinite in their potential. If I lived my life as someone who never dabbled in anything pertaining to the arts ever.

______But I know I could never be that. I know if I didn't produce something substantial at the end of each day, I'd feel as accomplished as the lone yellow Skittle that everyone probably has wedged between the two seats of their couch cushions. Whether through writing, photography, or textiles, I have this desperate, clawing, grasping at the air need to create.

Leo
Leo

______The want to make is subtle most days, vaguely present on the mind, but more overwhelming and needy on others. You'll be in prime blogging mode when it creaks open the door and slides in.

______"Hey, babe," it whispers huskily, leaning against the door frame. Personified, it's a male model balancing a silver platter of assorted chocolates in one hand and a golden retriever puppy in the other. You can't help but have your attention taken by its presence (mostly because of the dog, let's be honest here).

______"How 'bout you and I spend the evening together," it coaxes in that same nuanced voice. I'm trying to write, you think, but it carries on: "And the next evening. And the next one. And every hour of your existence while we're at it. Also if you don't give me all the attention in the world, I'll probably kill you and your family and stuff."

______And of course you don't say no to a man with a six-pack, a soft dog, and chocolates. Especially if he threatens to kill you. I mean, uh, you don't say no to art.

______It's a metaphor. Shut up. I'm not lonely.

______So you sigh, close your laptop, and get to work. Because if you don't, you'll probably die. Honest!

LeoLeo

______Art is romantic but it's exhausting. It's always begging for attention, always demanding more out of you, always leering over your shoulders and whispering sweet nothings into your ear. It reminds you that if you're not climbing up and pushing conceptual and aesthetic boundaries, you're at a standstill. It makes you push the limits of the grid you've created for yourself, pave new territories, tap into unknown areas that walk the line of those familiar to you, make everything grander, better, more efficient, more pleasing to the eyes. And accomplishing the aforementioned requires feeding your soul at all times. It requires thinking, double-thinking, over-thinking, thinking to the nth degree. And it asks that you absorb as much information as possible, whether art related or that peculiar interest you have in the history of rug weaving. Because everything is important and everything is necessary in some way.

______Because everything pertains to you and you are the only vessel which can spur your creations.

Leo
Leo

______Art is a greedy thing.

______It makes you feel whole and gives you purpose, but it also drains you and reminds you of the less-than-emphasized role it plays in our culture. There are ups and downs to devoting so much energy to creating, but you can't imagine your life without it. You bawl over the tiniest of art-related decisions, over starting new projects, over wondering where the hell creating these things is taking you in life, over what color fabric to pick next. For god's sake, it's just fabric, you think. But it's important somehow.

______You have mini existentialist crises that make you question why, why, why am I making this. Why am I still doing this? What is the purpose of all of this? And then when you try to quit thinking about it, you feel a certain guilt. There's so much work to do, your mind nags. There's always something to be done. It requires silence, patience, a sharp dedication. Though there's a dreamy air to it, it's as much of a grind as anyone else's job. Why worry about death when you can worry about art?

______I guess I've been working at balancing art and everyday life, but at this point in my experiences, I believe the two are attempting to merge into a single entity. Like art and my life are engaged but unsure if it's too soon to share an apartment. Ugh, just get it together, you two.

______What keeps you up at night?

Dress: KnowStyle (similar)
Boots: Korks
Socks: F21
Necklace: Nasty Gal
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Chain Bracelet: Charming Charlie (similar)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

(Not) Clueless

Plaid

______"Hey, Ali. Hot Topic called. They want their stuff back!"

______Yeah, yeah: I look like a middler schooler who had ten minutes to put together an outfit using items only sold in Hot Topic. In the 90s. In the dark. Wearing a blindfold with the knowledge that my dog was being held hostage in a foreign country. A foreign country whose population favored cats over dogs. Where dogs received less pets than cats. Less. Pets. Than. Cats.

______I know. The horror.

______...I was that middle schooler, though. I remember the days of pink and black striped tube socks, converses with apathetic AFI lyrics scrawled in Sharpie on the rubber parts, and neon jelly bracelets stacked up my wrists. I also had like zero friends at that time and watched a lot of Inuyasha. Those were dark, dark days, ones which were recorded in too many embarrassing diary entries, but going through these faux-punk-rock phases are what makes us who we are in the now.

Plaid
Plaid
PlaidPlaid

______Now that I'm all graduated, if anyone has tips on functioning as a REAL LIVE ADULT (all caps necessary), I'd love them. From what I hear, it's all about pretending to know what you're doing, pontificating with friends about interior decorating over wine and cheese from time to time, and buying off-brand everything. Oh! And baking cookies for neighbors if you have new neighbors. You've gotta be polite, right? I can incorporate all those things into my new adult life, plus I can start carrying a monocle and whipping it out while saying "quite, quite / very indeed so / lovely, really / biscuits and tax exemptions" when I need to converse with another so-called adult.

______I do hope you're all having a fabulous end of the week, and forgive me for my awkwardly spaced, awkwardly written posts as I get back into the swing of blogging. I'll have plenty of stories and the like to tell as I remember how to ride this rodeo. Yee haw and stuff, dudes! Have a good weekend!

Plaid

Top: ASOS
Skirt: beat up a scotsman and stole it (along with his lunch money) (similar)
Socks: ASOS (similar)
Choker: Nasty Gal
Oxfords: Jeffrey Campbell

Monday, June 8, 2015

I-I-I-I'm Stayin' Alive

milk

______I promise you all I haven't fallen off the face of the earth like a gob of queso falls from a tortilla chip, just as I promise I haven't been taken hostage by a vicious band of time traveling bards. I have merely remained hidden these past few months. Unbeknownst to you, I've been observing everything from behind a very suspicious looking bush. I waddle around on concrete shaking my plastic leaves obnoxiously so everybody knows I'm not a real bush rooted to the earth, but I still inhabit the bush because pretending to be a bush makes you laugh at yourself for hours.

______And you guys know how I love poking fun at myself; that way, you guys can't do it. Because I know you would. BIG JERKS. I bet you all flick ladybugs for fun.

______Besides, if I was taken hostage by time traveling bards, I'd probably join them in their fifteenth century shenanegins. I've always wanted to sharpen my lute skills, become infected with the incurable plague, and be discriminated against since I'm a woman. At heart, I always knew I was a peasant wench.

Sheer

______My final semester as an undergraduate was the busiest of all with 18 hours of classes and a part-time illustration job. It was a persevering trial where I was included in three shows (one which was an exhibition in a space an undergraduate has never shown before), received a handsome $15,000 fellowship that will allow me to pursue my textile-based art for another year or so (holy potbelly pigs on a plane, batman!), tried to understand my own art and practice through the longest artist statement I've ever written, exchanged names with a range of vibrant people, and performed all those other daily mundane tasks that sap precious minutes away, like exercising and remembering to eat.

such peptomilk

______I'm in no way complaining because being busy is my jam and biscuits, yo.

______It was a nice, productive sort of drowning… like drowning in chocolate milk, and everything around you is so tasty you can't complain. And sometimes opportunistic marshmallows float by and other times obstacles present themselves, like wasps that are still alive are veering toward you on their backs, barely a threat but still terrifying and always looming. And your professors are wearing floaties or lounging on inner tubes and pull you up when your arms need a rest and you need a pep talk, but soon after you willingly dump yourself back in to the chocolate milk. You know you've gotta swim hard since they're always watching.

______Always watching. They could be in a plastic bush watching you slurp down that tea in the art quad. Shake shake. What's that? Oh shit, it's your professor wearing a bush! GET BACK TO WORK, PEASANT STUDENT.

______And then, just like that, graduation smacks you in the face like a drunk guy's sweaty manboob in a mosh pit. And now I've finally begun working on art with the money I've received from the Windgate Fellowship. Basically with that, I was given 15k to better my textile craft-based work, which I've put aside for delicious pricy fabrics and embellishments, two sewing workshops, and renting a studio space.

______So... that's where I've been. I'll be back and frequent as ever on here! Thanks for sticking with me, you guys. You're cooler than cool. You're ice cold. Aw-right-aw-right-aw-right-aw-right.

______Here's to the next year! (I say as I clink my apple juice-filled wine glass to my laptop screen)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Genesis

Genesis
Genesis, January 2015
polyester, muslin, paracord, panty hose, piping, plastic wrap
9'x8'x12.5'

______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.

Genesis1Genesis2Genesis5

______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.

Genesis7Genesis11Braxton1UABraxtonAUABraxtonPerformance2

Monday, February 2, 2015

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

AA4

______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.

A3A2
A6

_____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.

A7A1

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)