Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eirian Chapman (Illustrator and Designer)

I find the most gorgeous things on, and today is no exception. Lucky for me, it helped me discover Eirian Chapman's portfolio site. Her illustrations are absolutely lovely, and there is an effortless sense of whimsy that radiates from them. A little bit of awesome always brightens my day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Into the Wild: The Longing for a Transcendent Experience

Movie #2: Into the Wild

My interest in it:
Christopher McCandless took on the alias of Alexander Supertramp to leave behind a of formulated, static life of consumption. In an effort to reject all societal norms and live a spiritual life of solitude, he embraced the unforgiving wilderness of Alaska. McCandless, who died during this great adventure, has been described by some as a fearless hero and by others as an ignorant, stubborn kid.

As quoted by an Alaskan Park Ranger:
"When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn't even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate."

I can't help but be enchanted by his utopian vision of life in the raw environment of Alaska. What do our worldly goods do for us, ultimately? Finding myself in the solitary confinement of the woods often makes me realize my worth again. I rediscover why I live each day. A sense of enlightenment rushes through me, as if I have never truly been alive before.

There is something true, something turbulent and reckless about the risk that McCandless took. He made the ultimate sacrifice of struggling for survival and trusting his instincts in a world beyond that of manipulation and competition.

Towards the end of his journey, McCandless ripped out a meaningful piece of literature from the memoir Education of a Wandering Man. On that page was an excerpt from a poem, "Wise Men in Their Bad Hours" by Robinson Jeffers.

It reads:
Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made
Something more equal to centuries
Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness.
The mountains are dead stone, the people
Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness,
The mountains are not softened or troubled
And a few dead men's thoughts have the same temper.

This raw, unwavering outlook on life is something I yearn for sometimes. Why can we not see the simple fascinations that surround us? Do we tear our spirits apart in preparation for a futile existence?

I leave you with a quote from McCandless, words of a man longing for a tangible transcendent experience.

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and convervatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun."
–Alexander Supertramp

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

In times of epic boredom, I find myself watching, reading, searching, listening, living, and loving so many things. I believe in the power of excess inspiration. It is my true pleasure to drag you along on my quest for awesome-ness, and I'm starting with movies and continuing with music, books, articles, art, etc. I invite (and strongly urge) you to join me and share your discoveries via the comments option. What am I waiting for? Get excited...

Movie Clip #1:
Across the Universe, "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
Click here to view

This movie/musical's artistic grandness and witty humor are in (a positive) competition with the intense musical scenes. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" delivers a gritty, intoxicating political history lesson by personifying American allegorical figures and by incorporating visual chaos. This is repetition in its finest form, folks.

Kick-Ass Lines:
"I'm a cross-dressing, homosexual pacifist with a spot on my lung."
Response to above: "As long as you don't have flat feet."

"Learn French or die!"

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where I've Been

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged for quite some time* now. My life has been drastically changing for the better, and I've been practicing my renewed joy for life and all things creative. Where have I been?

Since my last blog post, I have:
1. Gotten a new (amazing) job working at an art museum.

2. Flown on an airplane for the first time in my entire life.

3. Visited my friend Jessi (@ The Design Slice) in Chicago.

4. Done a ton of vintage/thrift shopping. Yay for $6 dresses!

5. Gone to 3 apple orchards, 1 in Iowa (for my brother's 21st birthday) and 2 in Minnesota.

6. Discovered my love for music again.

7. Gotten in my first car accident.

8. Made new friends.

9. Watched 7 seasons of The X-Files.

10. Eaten at several delicious Mpls restaurants.

11. Realized I'd like to dabble in fine art and collaging in my free time.

12. Watched as a co-worker made her dream of opening a restaurant come true.

13. Watched Don pursue school (again) while working 1 full-time job and 2 part-time jobs.

14. Decided (for sure) to get a tattoo in memory of my dad.

15. Revisited the idea of taking guitar lessons and learning left-handed so I can use my dad's guitar.

16. Become conscious of how my lack of exercise will affect my body long-term.

17. Tried to reduce my $5 coffee intake by grinding my own beans and taking coffee to work.

18. Truly started to feel like Minneapolis is my home now.

19. Felt happier than I have in a very long time.

20. Eaten a ton of soup.

I've also been pondering the future of my blog and the direction I'd like it to take. Now that my life is more stable and I have time for creative ventures, I'd like to share them with you. After what has seemed like a brutal 2 years, I'm eager and ready to explore again.

* = Yeah, I know. Sorry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MOBA (The Museum of Bad Art)

In my lifetime, I don't know how many times people have explained their lack of creativity to me. My response never wavers. I believe that every person is creative and original, and with proper training can create beautiful work. But what is beautiful, really? Who decides what is aesthetically pleasing and what is not? 

Recently I came across the website for MOBA, the Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts. According to their site, it is "dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory." If you don't have the energy to hop on over to Massachusetts, the collection is online and in book form. Plus, they send out newsletters to interested parties. 

It's strange how compelling this "bad art" truly is. Each piece was made with a specific intention, a hidden meaning and an artist's hand. I'm not sure I believe in the criticism of such a subjective medium to this degree, but that's the fun of it, right? During college I learned the benefit of critiques, but at some point you have to listen to your inner voice when creating a meaningful piece.

What do you think?