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June 30, 2012

Light and space must contribute

I just love this Coffeeklatch interview answer. Couldn't agree more.
How important is light when you work?
Light and space are very important. More than that: they have to contribute. Everything must be practical. I think it is important that everything is on wheels. I paint on the table, but also on the wall and on the floor and it is important that my materials are within reach and that I don’t have anything in my way. I can be quite a maniac when I’m working and throw lots of things around me. But I also clean up regularly!
And this QA felt especially true to hardworking, earned success and ambition. It's good to remember not to be picky.
As a painter you’ve come a long way. You make a living out of painting and that is truly exceptional.
I live from what I paint. I bought this house with the money I earned by selling paintings. I originate from a workin class family and when I started on a freelance basis, I said to myself, mantra-wise: “I live from painting!” In the beginning I accepted all jobs that involved drawing and painting, often very applied work. I’ve learned a lot from this, both artistically and professionally. Since I've opened my exhibition space, I don't need to do that anymore.

quotes via Coffeeklatch interview of Piet Raemdonck

June 29, 2012

Bart en Pieter

A gorgeous space, designed and belonging to two Dutch landscape architects, as interviewed by people-in-space blog CoffeeKlatch. I google-translated the page from Dutch to English and in its technical flaws the story reads even more poetic and raw. Phrases like "belly of the whale" and "enjoy the beauty that the tree bestows" and "Our work only gets better with time, because nature do her work." Their palpable respect for Mama N is admirable.

These are just a few of the photos from the interview; take a gander for yourself here. I realized later that CoffeeKlatch offers an English version of their site, with perfect grammar and very good writing at that. I stand strong with this blog and all that it represents... "chit chats [...] [with] creative entrepreneurs in their homes or daily working enviornments"... where have you been all my life?

June 28, 2012

Summer Dates

Summertime is the new cool, my friends. Let's celebrate this season with every chance we get! I'm off to Chicago this weekend for some 90 degree weather, a wedding and explore-time with my husband and his brother. Ta!

June 27, 2012

In Aanmaak Workspace

This 7-per workingspace in Antwerp Belgium just opened a last month, and seeing it reminded me of the colors in Amélieone of my favorite movies of all time. It has just the right clash of modernity vs antique and  all pockets of seating make great opportunities for a collaborative mess. Imperfect, spacious and bright. Exactly how I imagine workspaces should be. 

Who are they? From their tumblr:
A group of seven people between the age of 22 and 26. We found this great place about six months ago. We are a group of architects, jewellery, fashion and webdesigners. We will try to post all our new work on this blog. We also want to be a platform for other young talent. We will give events and expositions. 
all photos from inaanmaak

June 26, 2012

Any Meal

The concept of photographer Collin Hughes' blog is so true. Eating with good company is one of my choice ways to stay in the present. His portfolio work is also full oin intensity in ten cities.

Photos by Collin Hughes at Any Meal

The Winsome Brave

Wish I'd been able to see Winsome Brave's Nomadic Hanging Stone installation at 2 Cooper Square, The Future Perfect's Off-site. They're a multi-disciplinary design shop in Brooklyn. I do love rocks, but love seeing people doing killer work more.

Photos from their blog

June 22, 2012

Positive Influences

From an early age, we're taught that there is a formula to having an identity, and it usually involves knowing exactly what you like. If you have a favorite color, a best friend, one food you could eat forever, top five songs, and heroes, you're all set. You've successfully been admitted into society.

Struggling with the answers to these questions for almost three decades, I'm slowly  starting to feel like things are clicking. If life were a science experiment, I feel like I've made my hypothesis, done a ton of research, and now I'm starting to make conclusions. To be honest, it feels really satisfying. Like I am not at a disadvantage, or that I can look at others and not feel that pang of jealousy. I got my own thing going on.

I still think it's funny to ask a 13 year old who their biggest influence is, because pretty much everyone is an influence at that age. And I think influences are mostly recognized in hindsight, long after we realize how much of a personal impact they actually had on our lives. But when we do finally realize, let's be thankful. It's all part of our story.

Mainly for autobiographical purposes, I'll be sharing more influences here. I'm keeping an eye out for influences, both new and old, object or idea, person or place, so if anyone asks me who my heroes are, I'll be able to finally answer.

photos by milan via instagram

June 21, 2012

Michael Grayson

Just yesterday I discovered photographer Michael Grayson through the blog of Herriott Grace, and I'm in awe of the environments he's captured and the style in which he does it. I aim to live with such effortless beauty...

June 15, 2012

Sketchbook Project 2013

Jason and I just signed up to participate in the 2013 Sketchbook Project. I can't remember how I heard about it, but I saw the website and read the prompt and immediately thought it was an awesome idea. Basically, you sign up and pay a fee, and they send you a 32-page sketchbook for you to complete and send back by January 15, 2013 to be submitted to and permanently displayed at the Brooklyn Art Library. Pretty cool, right? 

Jason recently started drawing again, which I love, and it's been inspiring me to start painting and doing a little clay modeling– a project I'll share here soon– so I thought this project might be a good external motivation to commit ourselves to our craft. We both signed up that night and have already received our sketchbooks! 

Coincidentally, the project also does a national tour and they happened to be coming to Oakland for a few weeks. They'd rented out an abandoned warehouse right in the middle of Uptown Oakland and their closing show was tonight, so we checked it out right after work today. It was not what I expected!

They have you sign up for a "library card", which is a little business-sized card with a barcode that you scan in after inputting your info on a computer. Then, you go to one of two other computers where you scan your Library Card and and navigate through a fancy interface to choose what topic or category of sketchbook you're interested in "checking out". They actually confirm the name of the "author" of the book you're about to check out. I have no idea how they categorized and found the specific book, but there is a person manning the library with an iPhone, and as soon as you hit Submit, they get an alert and find the book for you, plus an extra one, and call your name. One minute tops and super high tech! 

As you can see in the photo below, there are double sided shelves of thousands of submitted sketchbooks from 83 countries worldwide. At first I thought it would be less cool to do a project with that many people, vs. a smaller sampling, but actually, the randomized system they've set up makes it so it feels like you have a good chance of being seen. We had a chance to peruse through 8 sketchbooks between the two of us, and were particularly pleased with some. Some from North Carolina, California, United Kingdom, London... all over! One of the two that I photographed had a theme of "treehouses" and was filled with double page spreads of beautiful line drawings of imaginary topiary homes and little people. Took me to a special place.

Sign up with us! Maybe someone out there will check out your sketchbook with mine.

June 14, 2012

Some things never change

We got married 9 months ago and how I feel is not dissimilar to a baby being born again. I feel like a different person, but in a good, natural, transformative way.

I like the idea that some things never change. I went back to my hometown, Davis, recently, and walked through downtown to pick up some supplies for a picnic. We walked past Silver Dragon Chinese Restaurant which we used to go as a family for Chinese. Of all the new Chinese spots that popped up over the years, I still argue this is the best spot in town, even though I haven't been in years. The tacky gumball machines are still in the same place. The same red leather booths made me think of the clear wonton broth and fluffy fried rice... my mouth watered at the thought. Of all the changes that happen as we leave our hometowns, make new friends and start new jobs, as we grow older and take things for granted, it's nice to be take a moment and remember a childhood that once was. That's what childhoods are for, right?

Last September I married the love of my life. Most recent photo of us above. We've grown together over the past five years, and more so than I'd imagined in the past nine months. After adjusting to being husband-and-wife (which I secretly hope never stops being a hot thing to say), we recently decided on a plan of action for the next year. A simple choice that we made in solidarity feels tangible and incredibly good.

No, it's not babies.

We're going to set our minds on traveling! Japan and Korea first, to visit our relatives, and then we have a Eurotrip and Australia on the list as well. We are super excited for this plan, and are set on making it work. I think I might add Malaysia/Vietnam/Thailand, after seeing some other people's photos on Instagram.

And that brings me to my last item, Instagram. I've been blogging profusely on Instagram. I heart IG so much it's annoying. If you'd like to take a look at my past year, my handle is @mrrrrrrp, or take a looksee here:

Til next time!