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

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Final Stretch + Firmoo

Burgundy + Firmoo
Burgundy + Firmoo

______I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me.

______*swoops in from a rope that descends from the heavens, all whilst donning a black cape and mask that's rather reminiscent of Wesley's attire from The Princess Bride*

______You haven't. I don't plan on leaving the blog world until I'm the wrinkliest old lady in the universe, more wrinkly than an old man's butt cheeks covered in saran wrap. I hadn't realized the extent of my sparse posting until recently. When you're constantly getting fabric pieces, ink, and greasy oil paints all over your clothes, you don't really want to dress lovely, and that art-making flourishes profusely on the weekends, too! I never really want to write up a post unless I put my heart and soul into it. And those take a while to grow back once you harvest and concoct a post from them, you know.

______But in just a week, I shall be able to put my feet up, snuggle with my bearded dog, work on projects at my own pace, and bake a garbage truck-full of cookies. The amount of sugar and butter that will be consumed by the Hval family in the next few weeks will be as shameful as it will be awe-inspiring.

Burgundy + FirmooBurgundy + FirmooBurgundy + FirmooBurgundy + Firmoo

______Firmoo sent me over some spankin' new glasses that make me feel like the lovechild of a turtle and a well-traveled photographer, and I couldn't be happier. I find it incredible that I can receive glasses from online and see better with them compared to ones prepared in "real life." These don't give me that dizzying feeling that larger, rounder frames usually do; it's difficult for me to find those that don't make me feel like I'm a drunk goldfish looking through a twisting, warped world. It's a strange thing to try and describe, but imagine looking through a fisheye lens constantly. Some glasses do that, but these don't, which R00LZ.

______Yeah, I turned my O's into zeroes. That's how c00oo000ol people handle things and stuff in an adult-like manner.

______But yeah, These also came extremely quickly, which is always a plus. Firmoo hasn't disappointed yet! I hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit: decorating cookies, stringing lights about your homes, and sticking reindeer antlers on your car, even though you usually end up forgetting you ever did, rolling your window down, and losing one of them. Sad trumpet noise.

  Burgundy + Firmoo

Glasses: c/o Firmoo (exact here)
Top: Know Style (similar)
Skirt: Know Style (similar)
Booties: Kork-Ease (exact)
Tights: ASOS (similar)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Rise and Fall of Ionicus


______Many years ago, before the time of dinosaurs and instant oatmeal and the familiar word "hashtag," a being named Ionicus roamed this vast land. Ionicus was a strange crustacean-like creature that scuttled over and through the lava of ancient volcanos. It was blessed with hearty appendages that shot from its rocky body that was curled like two lovers entwined, two burritos gently eloping, two bendy straws bent to the max. Ionicus was seemingly indestructable, for nobody dared enter the lava realm in which it dwelled. The lava glowed a fierce red like the demonic eyes of a rogue chili pepper, and was hot as hot sauce at a strip club full of bearded men wearing kilts.

______Whew. Anyway, Ionicus could handle that heat. Ionicus had it going on.

______One day, the Overseer decreed that all the creatures within the land must meet yearly to discuss the annual budget, tax laws, and most importantly, the quality of styrofoam cups. Deperately wanting to discuss the matter of styrofoam cups (since they melted oh so quickly in the lava springs, and something more durable like stone or a metal encased in rubber would be more conducive to meal-time), all but two of the Ioinici left the mighty volcano to attend this meeting. Those two Ionici were fast asleep and dreaming heavily, and one knew better than to disturb a sleeping Ionicus.


______The Overseer seemed to be a pretty chill guy, becususe he wore slick leather pants and guy liner, and so the brave leader of the Ionici approached him with no fear that his cup-related request would be rejected. 

______"My dear Overseer," King Ionicus declared after clearing his throat, "It would greatly assist our future endeavors if thine outstanding creator could provide us with different cups, opposed to the styrofoam ones we currently utilize." The Overseer rotated his head, which was fairly difficult since the Overseer was actually a banana tree, and ruffled his banana leaves in response. King Ionius immediately bowed his allegiance. 

______"Are your styrofoam cups not appreciated by the Ionicus Clan?" The Overseer questioned in a voice that could frighten small children, or cause plants to stop growing and shrivel into the ground. 
______"O great and mighty Overseer, I am merely suggesting a change. It is not that--"
______"Silence," the guy liner-wearing banana tree bellowed. "I see what we have here. We have a little bitch here. Is that what we have here? A little bitch?"
______The Overseer waited impatiently. A banana fell from his tree. King Ionicus regarded the curved yellow object nervously, knowing that the only weakness to the Ionici was indeed such a fruit. It was a silly looking fruit, though, and perhaps he should not fear it, King Ionicus thought. Tempted as he was to make a dick joke, he kept his professional demeanor. 
______"I would like to propse-" the King began, but he was quickly cut off.
______"Silence, little B." The Overseer's voice was more shrill than Prince's when he made that sound when doves cry. "I have heard enough of this. What do you think this is? A democracy? Wrong. I am a banana tree, and the only one left in this land, which makes me like five hundred times cooler than you. That's like, ice cold, and means I rule you and stuff. Goodbye, Ionicus clan."


______The Overseer began to sing "Hips Don't Lie" as he shook his leafy body. With his booty poppin' game strong and his vocal game even stronger, all the bananas from his branches loosened and fell atop the Ionicus clan just the way a dump truck would dump rubbish. The Ionici screeched as the bananas made contact with their rocky bodies and disintegrated before the demented Overseer like those crumbly Nature Valley bars.  The area suddenly went quieter than a Calculus II classroom during a final exam, and the other creatures of the land quavered and immediately bowed to the Overseer, unquestionably submitting to his most mighty banana fruit power. 

______Meanwhile, back at the volcano, the two remaining Ionicus finally woke from their deep slumber. Many days passed, and they soon realized they were the only two left of their kind. Their culture lacked proper sex education, and too young to understand the art of reproduction on their own, the two stayed wonderful friends until their bearded, wisdom-filled rocking chair days. Eventually, the two Ioinici passed away, perfectly preserved as delicate little fossils in the volcano in which their clan once thrived.

______And thus is the tragic tale of the Ionicus Clan. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Enter: Calidus Fons Crustum

The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumAli18

_____I have realized for two plus weeks that I haven't blogged in two plus weeks. Every day, I woke up, and provocatively thought, "Ali! You puny fart! Go forth and blog. Make thyself a big, noticeable fart if you're gonna be a fart in the first place," yet every day I haven't been able to find a minute in my schedule to perform THE BLOGGING. In all caps. Because it's important.

_____I've been sacrificing sleep and whatever inconsequential amount of a social life I once had to the mighty art gods (their names are Tim and Tim-Tim, and they are animate representations of spaghetti and meatballs) but I have reaped rewards, so the sacrifices were necessary. I can stay sane as long as I eat healthy noms, get my daily bike ride in the morning, and hear positive words from professors on current projects. I've been more ambitious in what I'm doing and have been making my projects soar above and beyond what they used to, both conceptually and visually. I have willingly been researching my concepts in order to solidify them and it's been helping me immensely.

Ali17The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

_____This installation is based on actual events: this summer, picture-taking drones dropped into hot springs and lakes in Yellowstone National Park, and thus officials have banned them from all national parks. I conceived a fictional narrative where the eventual pollution of one of these hot springs, specifically the Grand Prismatic, would cause a change in its temperature and acid concentration, thus causing the prokaryotic organisms that thrive within to adapt over time.

_____The previous organism, which currently does exist in the Grand Prismatic, would develop into these fictional donut-shaped microorganisms, which I have so properly named Calidus Fons Crustum. They have a thicker cell wall and produce more offspring that have the potential to live than they would've pre-evolution. Hypothetically.

_____Calidus Fons Crustum translates from Latin to "hot spring pastry." I still try to have fun, you nerds.

The Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons CrustumThe Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

_____So my network here comprises of three elements: a satin fabric abstraction of the Grand Prismatic which dominates the central space, donuts borne from bubble wrap and panty hoes that swim out of said fabric and onto the walls, and diagrams that I rendered to resemble prints and field notes. Somehow I managed this in four weeks, but I must say I'm quite satisfied with this new language of fabrics and overall plumpness that I'm beginning to create for myself.

_____Hope you guys have a wonderful rest of your week! Thanks for sticking around like flys in a sticky trap even though my posts have been absolutely haphazard. I can't honestly say they'll get any better but donut worry too much about me. Ha. Hahaha. Hahhahh. Sigh.

The Mutation of Calidus Fons Crustum

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Baby's First Mosh Pit


______I went to my first real concert last Thursday night, you guys. Perhaps you've heard of AFI, short for A Fire Inside, also known as a metaphor for my middle school existence: composed of angst, sorrow, and studs, they owned the stage that night and the audience before them. I would have never expected them to come to a place near me, but lo and behold, they did. So I managed to get a dear friend of mine to abide me and we did jam like the jammiest of fruit concentrates. As we sang and  to all the familiar AFI tunes, the horrors of middle school flooding back into our thoughts, he suddenly asked, "You want to go up?" I wasn't sure what he meant, and then it clicked.


______Nodding then subsequently putting on a mask of urbane swag, I shout-asked a random fellow to my friend's right, "Can you help me up?"

______And within an instant, I was floating above a sea of undulating hands, unable to control the direction or velocity at which I was being transported. I was a helpless turtle on its back being guided solely by the black-clad human beings below me. My hands were scrunched in toward my core and flailing ever so slightly, and my mouth was most definitely producing screaming noises. I was just being so hardcore in that moment, you guys. Such. A. Punk.

______Take me to your leader, I thought, and as if the shaking bodies below me heard such thoughts, my being was slowly transported toward the stage, and closer, and closer... I saw a strobing blue light,  heads furnished with mowhawks, ears gaged with chrome, the lead singer's combat boots, and even gazed up for a short second to meet eyes with him for a bloody 1/60th of a second. The best 0.01666666 seconds of my life, naturally.

______I did the math for that fraction. Don't check it.

______Suddenly, my shoulders dropped and my body slanted at an angle toward the ground. As soon as I knew it, I was half-cradled, half-flopped in the muscly arms of a security guy who skillfully slipped me upright and onto my feet. It was plausible he had done this many times before.

______"You okay?" he asked with a half-laugh. I nodded, but apologized immediately for being in the empty lane between stage and crowd, and waddled back toward the chanting swarm of black-clad human beings with my tail between my legs. As quickly as possible, I integrated myself seamlessly into the dark blob of thrashing organic matter. Don't you just adore how I refer to people as thrashing organic matter? I do.


______When the moshing began, I did not know it had. I had always presumed that moshing was nothing more than highly intensified fist-pumping and jumping, much more energetic than the usual kinetic motion that reverberates through concert-goers' bodies. What happened was that all of a sudden, I realized that these turdbuckets next to me were shoving each other. Like, chill you guys. This is AFI. We are a chill folk: act like it.

______But then.
______But then.

______But then, a sweaty man with a ginger beard and a rubbery belly smacked into me. His momentum propelled me into one of the three long-haired Gothic Fabio-bros that had been swaying peacefully alongside my friend and I the entire concert. From there, Gothic Fabio One propelled me into Gothic Fabio Two with a hearty shove of both hands. I felt absolutely betrayed since we were all bros signing along and smiling and stabbing the air with our hands just a moment ago. Now, the brotherhood had been ruthlessly torn apart, like a piece of bread unable to be mended, and so tossing all logic aside, I shoved Gothic Fabio One back at his other two clones. They seemed unfazed and continued to shoulder into whoever they could.


______From there, I dashed away from the mad mosh-y merriment, dodging the wild Spartans about me like a football star and using my arms to bounce from one human to the next. I was a pinball in a game of flashing lights and shifting obstacles, and the floor was my beer-and-sweat-drenched battlefield. Taking care not to slip, I took refuge behind a chill couple in their mid-thirties who were surveying the situation with eyes saturated with wisdom and amusement.

______I was so not being hardcore in that moment, you guys.

______But it was no matter, because the evening was rad nonetheless, and I zipped back to the center of the floor when the moshing ceased. The presence of the lead singer (and love of my life), Davey Havok, gave off the presence that he presented in his videos, interviews, and tunes, but he performed above and beyond what I thought. He did all his jumps, hair flips, and sassy Davey-gestures were just the way I imagined in the flesh, if not better. I did fangirl. Hashtag no shame.

______What was your first concert experience like, if you had one? If not, what's your favorite steamed vegetable?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ow, My Bodily Insides

Hot Pink Paint Was on Sale
Florescent Pink Paint Was On Sale That Day
oils on masonite, September 2014

______As I typed this, I was voraciously consuming grilled chicken and lettuce in one of our campus's dining halls and simultaneously spilling meaty juices on my keyboard. Which was gross, but I've fully assimilated all elements of grossness and busyness into my jam-packed life this semester, and the proof of that is present in my surroundings: sketches and sketchbooks lay scattered across my bedroom floor like the carcasses of small rodents, my oversized painting shirt has officially stiffened and transformed from white to a hauntingly prismatic display of grey and yellow, and my backpack is stuffed with ziploc bags from hauling grapes and carrots and whatever else is portable-slash-edible to campus.

Hot Pink Paint Was on SaleHot Pink Paint Was on SaleHot Pink Paint Was on Sale

______Oh. So art. Here is my first painting of the semester on a 4-foot by 4-foot masonite panel. It's very pink and its title a very true story--hot pink paint was indeed on sale that day. It's also sort of always on sale since it's so bright and belligerent to the eyes. I believe that the addition of florescent pink blinded my professor, but sometimes you've just gotta push those limits and risk your professor's eyesight. He said that as it's been sitting in the back of the painting studio, he's grown to appreciate it a little more whenever he walks into the room. Excellent.

______I have much much more to show you in the future, but my goodness, I have been busier than a colony of ants after a stick of butter. Do ants favor butter? We're going to pretend they do, strictly for the metaphor. I've been more ambitious for many reasons this semester: lusting after a fellowship for which I was nominated, wanting to participate again in the end-of-the-year BFA exhibition, preparing my own solo exhibition, wanting to use my final year of undergrad studies to its fullest so I can evolve into an even better artist, and finally, desiring sweet, sweet revenge on the strange, chirping squirrels in the quad...

______Well, that last one didn't quite fit. But I still do want that revenge. Those chirping squirrels that sit in trees and mimic bird cries have gotta go down.

______Carry on, my buttery little ants.

oils on masonite, October 2014