eleven heavy things

Last year, I had the pleasure of checking out Miranda July's Eleven Heavy Things exhibit in Union Square Park with my friends Joyce and Vivian. I don't usually pass up an opportunity to climb on expensive objects, so interactive art is one of my favorite things, and this particular exhibit got bonus points for sprinkles of Ms. July's sense of humor thrown into the mix!

I came across my photos from that day and decided to share them here, because we're always up for a little Miranda July! I just wish I had taken a bunch more and maybe stolen a statue to keep as my own.

These things wobbled around at different degrees depending on how guilty you are, so Joyce was genuinely trying to keep her balance. She musta done something awful to be guiltier than that troublemaker, Vivian.


une fille, un style

Am the only person super bummed about hot it is this summer? It seems like an endless cycle...complain about the cold in February, it gets warm, life is great, suddenly it's too hot and can't cool back down soon enough. I was so bummed the humidity today that I actually went thrifting for some sweaters in early anticipating of fall. Sadly I didn't really come across any good ones. My logic (though somewhat flawed...) is that no one else is looking for sweaters right now, so I'll find all the best ones but the sweater section at my local thrift store was very pared down. 

Speaking of great sweaters, I was especially fond of the fuzzy sweaters in  this week's Une Fille, Un Style about Marine Fourie. Last winter I really, really wanted a fuzzy sweater but was never able to track one down that wasn't obscenely priced. 



(all images from vogue.fr)

Lizzy Stewart

For us to say that we only love Lizzy's Stewart's illustrations and zines would be the biggest understatement of the decade. We're kind of in luff^100000000 with her...that doesn't really make sense but neither does our obsession. Seeing her new projects pop up on her blog always inspire me to pick up a pencil and spend hours in my sketchbook, it's the kind of work I would love to be doing. Not only do I admire her style, but the narrative and imagination behind each new project. Recently Lizzy finished up a zine of her take on her favorite pieces of artwork which I'm *hoping* she restocks soon (I'm not being very subtle with my hints in case she's reading) because I can't wait to buy it. 

Lizzy was nice enough to answer a few questions for us about the tricky nature of inspiration, her creative process, and self-publishing. You can find more about her and her work on her website, blog & purchase her work from her etsy shop.

Where do you draw your inspiration? Are there any artists, illustrators, or films in particular that have influenced your work?
Honestly? I sort of hate this question. Eeek! Sorry. I just can pin it down that easily! I wish I could say that a certain book always inspires me or a film or something. But inspiration can be erratic and unreliable, at least for me. It crops up in unexpected places and often at the most inconvenient times. I'll spend weeks stabbing at my page with a pencil, not knowing what to draw and then go out for coffee and see someone wearing a peculiar hat and suddenly i'll know what i'm meant to be drawing (that's fictional by the way. I've, thus far, never been inspired by a hat. But you get the gist.) Saying that watching the older Woody Allen movies always makes me want to write, seeing the textiles at the Victoria & Albert museums makes me wish I could design fabrics and I will forever be sad that I cannot write a song as perfect as 'No Children' by the Mountain Goats (nor can I write an imperfect song either).

Can you elaborate on your creative process from the idea of a project to the final piece?
I tend to carry an idea in my pocket for a while before I start drawing. I mull it over for a while, write it down in my notebook. Try and work it all out in my hear first. I'm not very good at doing roughs and plans so just thinking about it for a while stops me ploughing in and making a mess. After that I tend to start drawing. Sometimes a piece exists solely as drawings and sometimes I'll scan it and work on it in photoshop.  

How do you come up with your ideas for zines? Do you usually have a narrative you’d like to get across, or do you see them as a way to challenge yourself to create? 
I like zines to have some kind of tangible thread holding them together. Zines are, of course, ephemeral by nature. It's rare that you return to a zine again and again, unlike a book. So I want to make that first visit as involving as possible. I'll work from a quote or with a narrative and try and make something complete. Mostly I have a phrase or a mood that I've been thinking about for a while and thats where it starts.  I like to work quickly on zines. They're not the focus of my work really so it's fun just to get them out quickly, make sure they feel urgent and immediate. 

Can you tell us a bit about how you organized larger scale projects, like We Are the Friction, and get people from all over with different creative backgrounds involved?   
I run Sing Statistics with my boyfriend Jez. We started it when were both back in Uni and initially we were just going to publish our own projects. Quickly we became aware that it'd be much more fun to make books with people we admire and respect so we published We Are the Friction with twelve writers and twelve illustrators we really liked. It was fun. Mostly we found that folk are lovely and generous with their time and talent. We were very fortunate to get the people we asked involved with little to no experience behind. Our more recent publication (published this month) is reverence library which includes writers and illustrators again but working from non-fiction themes. It can be hard wrangling work around the deadlines but so far its been more or less straightforward. We just want to make beautiful books with good people. 

What do you like about independent publishing? Have you made any mistakes along the way that you have learned from?
It can be a headache. Logistically its waaaay beyond anything I was taught at art school. And financially its terrifying but at the end of it you have a book. And it has your name on it and you've inputted into how it looks and whats in it and thats a pretty awesome feeling. The first book we did (which just featured me and Jez) is one of my proudest achievements. I love it. It represents so much hard work and its totally ours. Its a great thing to do. As long as you do it for the right reasons. 

What projects do you have planned? Do you have any dream collaborations or projects (however unlikely!) that you would like to accomplish in the long-term?
There's always tonnes I want to do. Most of it will never happen. Some of it might one day. I'd like to draw pictures for a novelist. I like the idea of grown up picture books. Visual storytelling shouldn't just be for kids. Someone with rich narratives and a penchant for telling sad stories would be good please! I want to write a bit maybe, maybe go back to large-scale painting (which I used to do all the time). I don't know really. At the moment it feels like i'm in transition somehow; like my work is evolving a bit. I'm not sure where it will take me so i'm just sitting back and waiting to find out!
Thanks, Lizzy!


my favorite things this june

I might start doing roundups of the things I keep coming back to every month - albums, outfits, meals, etc., so here are my favorite things from the month of June!

These four pairs of shoes have been in heavy rotation. All second hand except the Converse, which have miraculously survived since high school thanks to a few trips through the washing machine.

My go-to outfit this month - Madewell jeans, APC long sleeved tee, and H&M cardigan, which was all in my budget thanks to super sales! The concept of cardigans in the summer is so weird to me, having grown up in Texas, but it's just been so cold and rainy here in Boston.

Newport Folk Festival outfit planning, because yes, I am that excited even though it's a month away! Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello, guys! Thrifted silk shirt, Urban Outfitters floral high waisted shorts, Rodarte for Opening Ceremony sunglasses that would not have been possible if I had not won a gift card from Ripped Knees (thanks, Ana!), and a flea market hat.

Non fashiony things:

I've been trying to stop drinking so much coffee, so instead I'm drinking tons of iced green tea with a little bit of agave to sweeten it. So good and way cheaper!

I got a Fujifilm Instax in May, and I've been using it tons - it's a really fun camera to grab shots of you and your friends hanging out without the guilt of a Polaroid film price tag.

Taking my sketchbook and iPod to the river is always a good way to cheer myself up after class (I'm taking Psychology of War & Peace right now...super interesting, but a major bummer), and I can't get enough of these albums right now: Panda Bear - Person Pitch, Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz, Beat Happening - Black Candy, and Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan.


twenty two

My friend Pam went to Goodwill on my birthday determined to buy me some records (and walked away with a Supremes album that I'm really excited to listen to!), but obviously, sometimes a trip to a thrift store yields unexpected treasures. That's how I ended up with what is probably the weirdest present I have ever received:

Yeah, It's a Playboy centerfold jigsaw puzzle from 1967. Miss October! So obviously our only option was to put that babe back together.

...except it was really hard because they didn't provide a picture of what it was supposed to look like and everything was flesh colored, so we kinda gave up.

But at least I got to spend the evening with some of my favorite people!

I also got some pretty rad cards, both digitally and on paper, which I will share with you because I simply cannot keep them to myself:

I can't remember the last time I turned a year older without a card that mentioned a "birthday bear", I just know I have an impressive archive! Sara's card this year will make a fantastic addition.

My delightful pal Maddy made this to let me know that I was being celebrated in Scotland.

This card came from my friend Alanna, who basically just cut out a bunch of kitty heads and glued them to printer paper (there are more on the other side). Good work, buddy! "All Friends Together" is a sentiment I can get behind. Especially if those friends in question are cats.


carlie armstrong of work.place

One of our favorite things is getting a behind-the-scenes look at creative work, so obviously we're in love with Portland photographer Carlie Armstrong's beautiful pictures at her website work.place, where she features an inside view at at the creative spaces of local artists, musicians, designers and craftspeople. 

Carlie answered a few questions for us about the project, her camera of choice, and Portland's tight-knit art scene. If her infectious enthusiasm for her work wasn't evident enough through her carefully shot photos, we're sure reading about work.place in her own words will make you want to check out your local art scene or at least grab a cup of coffee and work your way through her archives. 

Rachel Hays
Where did the concept behind work.place initially come from? And how did you get started?
The concept was originally born from a combination of intense curiosity and a desire to create something like Art21 for those in my own city, on a smaller and more accessible scale. I also really wanted to give a voice to those who have a less self-promoting heart, since soulful work is being made even behind the most secretive of doors.
Emily Counts
Is there any particular aspect of the creative process that is your favorite to capture?
I really love seeing some of the specific and unique materials people choose to use; for instance Evan B. Harris' antique acrylic paints and Emily Count's (real!) gold ceramic glaze. It is always really interesting to discover what certain people hold dear in that way - it gives a more complete context to me when I know the materials people are passionate about and choose time after time.
Timothy Adam Maynard
You take all the pictures for your website on a Twin Lens Reflex, which gives all your profiles a soft and consistent feel. Can you talk a little bit about how you decided on that particular camera? What other cameras have you used in the past or still use today?
I was originally interested in using a twin lens because they offer such a different experience than 35mm cameras, or even other medium format cameras can. Candid pictures aren't completely possible, and each photograph is slightly more difficult to focus and to take, which creates a stronger bond between the subject and photographer; something I felt was important for this particular project. In the past I have truly loved shooting 35mm. I had a trusty Canon Ae-1 which I am currently lending out and I recently started getting excited about 35mm again with the acquisition of a Leica which I feel beyond lucky to have.
Midori Hirose
Just from looking at the profiles you've done thus far, I get the feeling that Portland's creative scene has a very collaborative vibe. Do you think this holds true?
I think Portland is really unique and wonderful in that way, people are always open to the possibility of exchanging work and collaborating across mediums. It's been surprising to see how intensely that holds true, I recently photographed an amazing perfumer whose cards were printed by Keegan Meegan press and who had a series of fancy glass bottles hand-blown by Andy Paiko. It makes the world seem so small and harmonious!
Keegan Meegan Press and Bindery
Are there any other cities' or communities' creative scenes you'd like to get a chance to highlight in the future?
I would be lying if I said my curiosity ended here in Portland, but I think I am content for the time being exploring the bounty of magical artists this little city has to offer. I am really interested in finding art communities and skilled creators in relatively unknown places, as far as major cities are concerned. I have had a recurring feeling towards New Orleans, but I can't say what the future holds, nor limit myself to the possibilities hidden anywhere else.


Suprematism & Wishlist

Dream wishlist & a few pieces from my favorite art movement - minimalism at its best. 

Painterly Architectonic, 1917 by Lyubov Popova

Painterly Realism of a Boy with a Knapsack - Color Masses in the Fourth Dimension, 1915 by  Kazimir Malevich

Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918 by Kazimir Malevich

Suprematist Painting, 1916-17 by Kazimir Malevich

If you're unfamiliar or would like to become more acquainted with the movement, you can read more about it on the MOMA website

A Personal Note

This blog is definitely first and foremost about pretty things, but occasionally, life demands that we address real issues, so here's our attempt to use pretty things to do some good in the world.

Our lovely friend Asma has been very sick lately and due to the fucked up nature of healthcare in the United States, can’t get insurance because she really needs it. You can read a bit more about her situation and find out how to help her here.

Thanks to the kindness of friends, Asma has about half the money she needs to make a down payment on a necessary surgery, however she still needs about $800 more dollars just to make the down payment.

For the next week, the Ventricular Projects Etsy will donate $1 for every purchase and each dollar will be personally matched. You can also donate money directly to Asma through her PayPal acccount: mashakilmaker@yahoo.com.

I promise that this is 100% legitimate. If you don’t have money to spare, please reblog and get the message out!

Thank you,

Tricia and Carly


Flash Sale!

We've decided to have a little sale over at our Etsy shop!  Tilde Journal: Issue Two is half off (making it just $3) until June 25th!

This issue is printed in color and features 15 international contributors including the art and writing of  Kensey Crane, Rachel Thalia Fisher, Tricia Gilbride, Veronica Glab, Madeline Sherwood King, Caroline Knowles, Ena Kosovac, Vivian Lee, Caroline Liu, Lucy Meyle, Red Newsom, Katie Oldaker, Alisse Des Rosiers, Kerry Rychel, Jillian Thoman, Stephanie Turmelle, Hannah Weaver, Leanna Wright, and Maggie Zall. All copies come with a 4 by 6 furry friend print!      

While you're there, check out the prints we have available!

P.S. you can now like us on our brand new Facebook page!
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