It’s been so brutally hot lately that I’ve found it extra challenging to look put together. Luckily I’m the proud owner of many floral jumpsuits and rompers that create a look with just one piece. My newest addition is this black and white beauty from, yes of course, Anthro.
You may say, “I just can’t wear jumpsuits”. Well, I defy you and say somewhere out there is the perfect one waiting for you to try it on. Just try it on. Come on, just try it on! It’s all about finding the right fit, the right pattern, the right silhouette. I’m really lucky that I can take on a variety of shapes, but for jumpsuits (and actually a lot of pieces), I’ve found that Petite sizing is the way to go. Anthro Petites is where I’ve found wide leg pants, jumpsuits, tank tops, and more, in sizes that feel much more tailored to my body.
My motto is, just give it a go. You’ll have some shopping trips where nothing works out and that’s totally normal, but don’t let it dishearten you and stunt your style. Cuts will vary between brands and between seasons, so never rule anything out for good. You never know, it might just be the solution to all your style woes someday.
Nothing really beats a little history to get you inspired. We had less than 24 hours to spend in Chicago, but the Art Institute was a must-see. We covered as much ground as we could in one afternoon, but I wish I could go back and give it the time it deserves. Every corner you turned, there was even more awe to be had. I’m so grateful that AIC allows you to take pictures, so I can always remember how beautiful the light was that day.
When I travel, I make it a point to find out where the locals have their coffee. Sometimes it’ll be a quaint little anonymous neighborhood cafe and other times it’ll be a nationally recognized coffee roaster. Of course with Chicago, it was the latter. I was lucky enough that Intelligentsia had a small locale nearby my downtown hotel, perfect for two visits in less than 24 hours.
I really enjoy the way Intelligentsia describes themselves and their various chosen headquarters:
Intelligentsia now has three cities it calls home: Chicago—a city that is brooding, practical and reluctantly beautiful; Los Angeles—a city that views creativity as a birthright, is immensely vast, decidedly impractical and equally messy and marvelous; and New York—a city of paradoxes, hulking but chock full of intimate corners, timeless but achingly current, polished but decaying, worldly yet oddly provincial, all crashing together in perfect cacophony (or is it harmony?).
Honestly, we love all of these places, but for very different reasons. Straight backed-Midwesterness gives us pragmatism and self-discipline, West Coast optimism leads us to believe anything is possible, and the dynamism of East Coast is an unending source of energy. This combination provides the fuel for what we love to do: sourcing, developing, roasting and delivering the best coffee in the world.
I’m far from being a coffee connoisseur, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. And if I were living in Chicago, I know that this would be one of my go-to spots. I had the chance to enjoy my two standards, latte in the morning and iced coffee in the afternoon. Also, croissant and an oatmeal raisin cookie – all good things in life, all good things from Intelligentsia.
“.. because they want to do that thing well and beautifully. and it’s not about quantity. It’s about taking pleasure in the perfection and beauty of the particular. I’m still learning now that it’s about good and maybe never done; that the joy and work ethic and virtuosity we bring to the particular can impart a singular type of enjoyment to those we give to and of course ourselves.
Make use of the fact that you don’t doubt yourself too much right now. As we get older, we get more realistic. And that includes about our own abilities or lack thereof. That realism does us no favors.
Just starting out, one of your biggest strengths is not knowing how things are supposed to be. You can compose freely because your mind isn’t cluttered with too many pieces and you don’t take for granted the way things are. The only way you know how to do things is your own way.”
Oh man. Atlanta summer is right at our feet. The daylight is so much longer yet the weeks feel like they are just melting away. The year is half over and I’m wondering where all that time went. I don’t write on here nearly as much as I used to, but I don’t have a single regret about how I’ve been spending my time over the past few weeks. I used to say things like “I don’t have any friends” and “I have no idea what I want to do”. I think I’m way past all that now.
And so, while I’m well aware that is a little bit of a cheat, I’d like to take a moment to share all the ways in which my life is beautiful.
It’s important that you take the time to pause and do the same. If you get wrapped up in all the things you do not have, you’ll miss out on appreciating all the things you do. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it can turn your perspective around. I’m very lucky to have these things and to have an avenue through which I can express myself. I never want to take it for granted.
An unconditional love. Yes, I’m a very independent and strong woman. So when I talk about this kind of love, it makes me feel a little dated and silly. But, I simply wouldn’t have gotten to this point without the support and guidance of someone who loves me like he does. Everything I feel like writing sounds very cliche in my head (he makes me feel safe, he’s my match, I can’t imagine life without him, et cetera). But.. they’re all true. Uhhhh… “You complete me.” [cries].
Laughter and lightness. If you’re in your mid to late 20s, then you know how difficult is is to make new friends. Extremely difficult. By some stroke of luck, I’ve managed to collect more friends than I can keep up with. Friends who understand me, who care about my day-to-day, who want to know what’s going on with me, who want to just sit around and spend their time with me. Seriously, just the sitting around and talking has improved my quality of life exponentially. The girls that I’ve been surrounding myself with are lovely, inspiring, and they brighten my days more than I thought possible.
The push. Being able to satisfy the irresistible urge to create is invaluable. Every week I find myself wanting to buy more and more canvases. I’ve become addicted to the start; the blank canvas that used to terrify me is now what I crave. I never know where it’s going to end up, but I no longer fear that it won’t be worthwhile. It always is.
While it’s tempting to spend all my free time exploring Atlanta, eating delicious food, and meeting cool artisans, I can’t forget my first and foremost number one priority – making artwork. It’s a constant struggle to juggle being a hard-working professional, a normal life-loving person, and an artist. Some days I prioritize better than others like last week when I updated my portfolio website:
Soon, I hope, all of this will be merged. My blog, my art, my career… it’ll all be one and the same. But until then I need to keep all these machines running individually, making sure that none of them die or grow stale.
Next thing on my plate is submitting to shows and perhaps securing an exhibition somewhere in Atlanta. Any suggestions?
Working in retail has taken me to a new level of loving clothing. Since I have so many options before me, I try to be very selective about what I welcome into my wardrobe. It has to be as wearable as it is remarkable. This Tracy Reese Petite Exclusive dress for Anthropologie is one such item, equal parts romantic and modern.
This piece is from a collection that she designed exclusively for the Petite Anthro customer, tailored to flatter her femininity in an artful way. The silhouette feels tailored for my frame (I happen to prefer petite sizes in general) and I can wear it casually just as easily as I can wear it formally.
I’m going to have to limit the number of times I wear it, to preserve its beautiful condition. Every time I wear it, I feel like a garden goddess.
Anything that makes you feel like a goddess, confident enough to pose for photos in the middle of your own neighborhood, is well worth having.
One of the many things that make my life worthwhile is the chance to connect with talented creative individuals who make the world look, sound, and feel more beautiful. Be it through canvas or song, creative expression is at the core of our humanity. So when I’m able to share my dedication and love for it with another person, there is an instant bond and understanding of spirit. This is what happened with me and Scarlett Hill.
They just get it. It’s not about a desire for fame or money (although some money would be nice). It’s about forging genuine connections and putting out more good into the world. Perhaps that sounds lofty for people like us – just starting out and trying to make a mark wherever we can – but it’s an aspiration I think we all could be more mindful of in the things we do. I’m honored that they gave me the opportunity to do this photo shoot for their album, Wildfire, coming out August 1st.
If I sat down and tried to count all the talented people that I’ve met in my life, my mind would probably implode. And yet still, I find more artists to admire, more hands to watch. As I move through different stages in my creative career, I find that there is always someone riding alongside me, just ahead of me, or right behind me. We’re all connected and relate to one another through some form of aspiration or insecurity. This instant bond over “figuring it out” is key to moving forward.
You may have noticed that some of these interviews are termed “creative maker” and some are termed “creative master”. What makes someone a master versus a maker? For me, these two terms are very fluid and subjective. I don’t know if any artists I could relate to consider themselves masters. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be moving forward. For me, a master is someone who is sure in their practice, sure in their voice, and sure in the goals they set before them. By now, all the Creative Makers I’ve featured are probably now Creative Masters.
I fell in love with Rachel’s forms before I met her in person. Over last year’s holiday season, I picked up a porcelain mug at Crafted Westside and my cabinet was then forever changed. It was smooth, elegant, and easy to hold, the perfect size. I had to have it. Not long after, I found out that Rachel was actually a mutual friend. It was then that I realized the universe was telling me that I had to meet this woman. Well.. I ended up meeting her and the time I spent with her was everything I anticipated it to be. When you connect with someone’s work, you are ultimately connecting with them as a person. So obviously, I knew I was going to like her.
Can you describe the earliest memory you have working with clay?
It was second grade–we had Art class once a week, on Friday afternoons. I sculpted a whale out of clay and, just as I was instructed, I hollowed out the inside so that be wouldn’t blow up in the kiln. After a long week of waiting, he emerged from the bisk with a giant crack extending in both directions from his blow hole. Mrs. Rosetti suggested that I fill in the crack with glaze. That seemed like a good idea, so I selected the glaze called “blue-speckled gray” because, naturally, that was the best fit for my whale. I kept filling and filling and filling that crack with the blue-speckled gray glaze but the crack just kept absorbing and absorbing and absorbing the glaze. I did the best I could and put it on the cart with the others. The next week, I met my freshly fired whale, who was now indeed a beautiful shade of blue-speckled gray, with a crack extending in both directions from his blow hole. To this day, he lives on a shelf in the closet of my old bedroom in my parents’ house.
What do you love about porcelain and why do you continue to work with it as your preferred medium?
So many things….it’s as though porcelain is this other material which lies somewhere between clay and glass. We treat it like clay when we manipulate it in its raw form, but when embraced by the fire, it begins to dance in the fluid realm of molten glass. And when it emerges, it contains luminescence. It is not transparent like glass, but it lets the light through and it glows. When vitrified, a sanded surface becomes as smooth as skin–such a pleasure to touch, to hold, to place to the lips and take a sip… In the process of slip casting, there is a certain predictability–when the porcelain is released from the mold, the form will be that of the hollow space of the mold. However, once turned over to the kiln, the porcelain may shift and transform in unexpected ways. It maintains mystery in that way. Porcelain also contains the paradox of extreme fragility and ultimate strength–it can be the finest teacup, locked safely in a cupboard, pulled out for only the most special occasion, and, if dropped, will shatter into a million pieces. It is also rugged and durable–a toilet that we sit on or floor tiles that we walk all over. And it is everything in between–it’s all in a matter of how we approach it, and what qualities we choose to expose.
Can you imagine what your life would be like if your job was to make and sell craft marshmallows?… I think it must involve a whole lot of s’mores and smiles (I obviously try to alliterate whenever the opportunity presents itself)! Aside from that though, Malvi Marshmallow Confections adds finesse to a treat we’ve always known to come out of a huge plastic bag. For the better portion of our lives, marshmallows have been a throwaway food relegated to act as a sugar filler, just a topping. Malvi, on the other hand, takes them to a level we’ve never been able to dream of.
Inspired by the wonderful simplicity of their flavor origins, I decided to doodle and paint around these little confections. I only wish the quality of these pictures was a little better! We’ve got chocolate mint, vanilla, and raspberry hibiscus…
If you haven’t gotten the chance to try this pillowy goodness.. get you some!