Tuesday, July 31, 2012

i did it

i finally did it. i submitted my project to the denver art museum's upcoming exhibit, open for design. i'm excited and i'm eager to see my idea as an exhibit at this prestigious showing for the public to see. 

this is new to me, and apart of me is nervous, but i know that it will not only enhance my portfolio and resumé, but my psyche as well. it's what i will need to move my work and my fine art skills forward in life and push me to create more, instead of the frustration and disappointment that normally surrounds me as an artist. the frustration that i typically feel on a daily basis.

I submitted my idea & sketch about how I would love to turn an old vacant dilapidated building or wall into a childrens mural of art! with donations from local art stores, craft stores or hardware stores for any kind of paint—from spray paint to tempera paint—children can paint whatever they want. even graffiti will be accepted & welcomed.

this mural will be one-of-a-kind and it'll brighten up any inner-city neighborhood, especially for children whose art classes or programs have been cut by the school district due to funding, this will give them the creative outlet they have been wanting for so long.

there's something so raw about freehand & graffiti art that I have always loved and admired, so including an art display of this magnitude, will increase their confidence and for that one moment in time, this glorious memory that will stay with them for the rest of their lives with give them pleasure.

illustration of an example of my submission

the idea of seeing inner-city children—or any child for that matter—painting abstract works of art, or even as a realistic point-of-view, would be a more pleasing visual than a blank canvas on a wall or building instead. it would bring color to the neighborhood and a little bit of pride for these children as they gaze upon their work for weeks, or months, to come.

as long as the wall or building remain vacant, they can start over with a simple white painted wall over the mural, maybe to include a whole new group of children to showcase their talents as well. another outlet where they can express their thoughts and inner-feelings within this neighborhood project.

as i enjoy this self-acclaimed greatness, i know my confidence will increase exponentially.

as this coming week approaches, i will be exhibiting my paintings at a restaurant for local artists to showcase their work, and although this is a simple display, it's meaningful to me regardless.

i will persevere through my insecurity and add another notch to my portfolio and my resumé to ensure my confidence will increase in time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

industrialize anything

even a boring lamp that you purchased from a furniture store. a lamp that was mass produced and will be displayed the same when you're visiting someone's home with the same lamp, can be altered to bring a new approach to a once dull design. 

now, this kind of lamp that i'm talking about—mine, for instance—is not exactly a popular style, per se, but this can probably work for any mainstream lamp as well, not just a modern one. it's whatever you choose and whatever you want to work with. either way, it's a unique twist to something simple and even characterless.

i've had these two identical lamps for several years now, and only came up with this idea a few months ago as i stared at them in hopes of replacing them, but one day as i was admiring these particular lamps, i was already contemplating a replacement of both. i wanted something different and i wanted it now! but how? money was tight and most floor lamp styles are expensive—well, at least the ones i wanted.

as i was watching my favorite design show, 9 by design (no longer in production on the bravo network) based on a couple with 7 children who live in NYC who routinely incorporate their design approach old—if not with recycled materials—with the new. a design technique i have adhered to for many years, so i thought it would be the perfect solution to a much needed change to my identical floor lamps—adding an inexpensive fix to my dilemma, by removing a few of the store-bought globes (if not all—depending on how your lamp is designed) and replacing with round bulbs or whatever you want instead. by replacing those boring overused white lightbulbs that are sold at your local grocery store or walmart, and are typically hidden in view, i knew by replacing these bulbs with clear ones instead, by purchasing the round circular ones added an even more industrial twist.

the style is different, and your own twist on a common floor lamp that is mass-produced elsewhere will create an unrivaled end result instead.

i love the final juxtaposition with my art and style of my loft, and of course, it works for me. it may not work with your design of floor lamp, but you can still change things up even with a different bulb, regardless if your lamp doesn't have a style of globe similar to my lamp that seems to work.

even though i wanted something a little more industrial, i still wanted to incorporate a little color to spice things up and also make it more unique to mimic the art and decor of my upstairs loft. as a result, i left a few globes of different colors on each lamp for a more accented style as opposed to a more plain method. not only does this add a unique flair to my lamp, it gives it an even more individual industrial look to give it that extra flair that it would need.

for my particular modern stye of lamp (shown above), with the funky personal bending of the "arms," i'm able to personalize it even more by bending them as shown, whereas each household that have purchased this exact lamp, would be unique, thus allowing me to parody the same idea to incorporate the industrial look, as well.

enjoy playing with your style whatever that may be and you can change things up in your home without spending a lot of money—if any—to embrace these changes.

be imaginative and innovative, and if you don't like it, then bring it back to its original design.

Monday, July 23, 2012

graffiti for the soul

my favorite type of art is graffiti art. why? because there's something about its rawness that captures my interest as i'm in awe taking part in viewing one of these masterpieces. it's not the illegal aspect of graffiti that i like, but how these artists will go to such great lengths to create their art, even if it means stealing spray paint from their local hardware store.

i never knew that buying spray paint would be such a bone of contention until recently when i had to purchase a few cans myself, when they asked me to present my ID. apparently, you now need to be at least 18 years old to purchase spray paint. when did this start, and most importantly, why? right then and there it was clear to me how in this society, the public feels that graffii art has become problematic. 

do i think it has? no, i don't. now don't get me wrong, i realize there's a difference between vandalism, tagging and graffiiti. but as an artist, my point of view is that graffiti is actually art, not just  all the bright colors permeating throughout the piece that appears to be vandal and meaningless, but i love how the magnifying colors glows from afar. i love how their continuous use of color only brightens an area, not dulls it. whether it be a dilapidated wall, building, or even on the side of a train that travels through town heading its way to its next destination. i find it pleasing and i enjoy viewing it, if only for a brief amount of time.

but i realize i'm different because i've never really liked the 'fancy schmancy' type of art, but the rawness of street art as a whole. the kind of art that is displayed and for sale for an outrageous amount of money that not many people can afford, but as an artist myself, that has never been something i've enjoyed or even appreciated. i don't like that kind of art or its pretentious affluent perspective that permeates our souls—and our wallets—while we're viewing it at an overpriced art gallery. but for me, i prefer buying art off the street in NYC from a local artist who struggles through life and bills by selling their art on the street. as a struggling artist myself, i can easily appreciate their devotion to their craft and only wish i could financially support all of it.

one artist who became famous from this illegal street graffiiti was the late keith haring. haring was a master at his craft and never stopped regardless of it being illegal or not, because it was in him and he had to release his artisitic tendencies in order to persevere with what he believed in—street art. like most graffiti art, it brightened up a neighborhood with his dazzling colors and playful pop art designs. as you admire his style and his unique sense of playfulness, you can appreciate what he was trying to convey with his work. 

nyc subway - 1983

as you can appreciate his cause and what he was trying to do, it was obvious that for haring, awareness meant everything to him, so much that he was willing to risk getting arrested (which he did on a number of occasions) just so he can paint to generate interest and understanding for the world to see. that's what was important to him. 

growing up, haring was always inspired by other artists and began to draw what he enjoyed the most. in 1976, keith haring enrolled in the ivy school of professional art in pittsburgh to study commercial art, only to realize soon thereafter that becoming a graphic artist was not what he wanted to pursue, so after only two semesters, haring dropped out.

later that same year, haring enrolled in the school of visual arts (SVA) and moved to NYC where he soon touched upon a thriving art community—outside of the museum and gallery system, by producing his work in the downtown subway systems, streets, spaces in clubs and former dance halls. for haring, this was his calling. he quickly became part of the 1980s new york city street art culture.  

tribute mural 50th anniversary created by haring in 1982 on 
bowery & houston streets in downtown nyc

in 1980, haring found a unique opportunity that allowed him to communicate through a much wider audience when he noticed many unused advertising panels covered with black matte paper. for haring, this was the perfect medium for him to display and create his own style by using white chalk to cover the black paper as his means of communicating his work for the public to appreciate and enjoy—free art! between 1980 and 1985, haring produced hundreds of these public drawings, sometimes creating as many as forty "subway drawings" in a single day. these drawings quickly became familiar to new york commuters, who would often stop to engage the artist when they encountered him at work. 

it was during this time that haring's work quickly exploded onto the NYC art scene.

according to haring, the subway became a "laboratory" for working out his ideas and experimenting with simple lines. his famous sense of artistic style that he became famous for.

both sides of the crack is wack mural on the handball court walls, 
from the crack is wack playground created by keith haring in 1986

original haring artwork created on a vintage coca-cola sign, 1983

throughout haring's career, he devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages. between 1982 and 1989, he produced more than 50 public artworks, in dozens of cities around the world, many of which were created for charities, hospitals, children's day care centers and orphanages.

in 1989, a year after haring was diagnosed with AIDS, he established the keith haring foundation which provides funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children's programs. unfortunately on february 16, 1990, haring died from AIDS-related complications. 

perhaps before we judge a graffiti work of art on public display, we should internalize what keith haring made aware to the public and what that message means, not just the outcome, but the communication that was meant to be interpreted.

keith, i will always miss your work, and your inspiration to all artists will carry on its legacy.

keith haring sculpture, 'three dancing figures' - san francisco, california 1989

keith haring — may 14, 1958–february 16, 1990

Friday, July 20, 2012

got milk?

in this case, no, i don't have milk, because for this particular project, i don't want, nor do i need milk. it's an idea that i accidentally came upon just from eating at our local hamburger spot.

about a month ago, my daughter decided that she wanted to get rid of her large dollhouse that was given to her by my parents at the age of 6. now that she's 12, it was time to move on as she will soon embark on her teen years. however, once we removed the dollhouse, nothing but an empty blank wall was now present, so we realized that coming up with an idea might be a challenging one. the next visualiztion in lieu of our typical painting or piece of art, was to replace that empty wall with shelving. we thought it'd be the perfect solution to replace that area with something where she can display her old dolls, but for other random items as well.

but money was tight for us, so typical shelving units were just too expensive to even consider, and of course, they also weren't modern enough than from what i typically love. since i have always had a fondness for modern and simple decor, one thing i have always adhered to for any sort of display, is the eclectic mix of recycled/pre-owned objects with a modern twist while sharing new objects in my home. i prefer it this way, because it's my way of incorporating the old with the new; a way of being resourceful of discarded items in our city. 

i've always loved this mix of decor and i find it important as a way to recycle materials throughout your home.

why not? why does everything have to be traditional and common? why not be creative and experimental and inventive instead?

for an inexpensive idea—or free for that matter, shhh!—that i came up with in lieu of regular shelving for her bedroom, but not just something creative and cool looking, but resourceful, because let's face it, isn't it about how 'cool' something looks, and not your quintessential piece of furniture that you see in most people's home?

for me, the answer is definitely! it's how i've always rolled when it comes to decorating my loft. even my paintings are more colorful and funky than the typical common art that you commonly see anywhere else.

lime green, anyone?

as i started my quest to get my project started, i knew it would be a challenge to 'find' what i needed to look for—milk crates! yup, you read this right—because i thought milk crates would be a perfect solution to a much complex situation—and of course, an inexpensive one as well.

since those cool bratz dolls that were so popular not too long ago are no longer in production, it was another fix where she could save them with hopes of turning them into collector's items in the future; perhaps an idea that she wanted for displaying them properly for her friends to see!

why not turn more milk crates into side tables as well? a perfect solution for a limited and sparse space, displaying one on each side.

with adding old style and pre-used milk crates to her bedroom, i realized how much i liked this idea for her small bedroom, so i also integrated the milk crates throughout my loft. why not?

our bedroom is also limited on space so adding an industrial-style shelving unit 
($80 at sam's club) with a few milk crates for added storage of sweaters & other winter items.

a perfect solution for a small space in our laundry area

although these particular locations where we utilized the pre-used milk crates was practical, i knew i wanted to add a little something newer and a lot more colorful to mimic our upstairs living area, so tossing in newer crates would be a little more fun than the plain black or blue crates that you would typically find at your local grocery store. what better way to make use of our much larger wasted space above our kitchen sink than fun colorful ones instead?

for some, this idea might not be an acceptable one, but that's ok, maybe it'll give you the inspiration you'll need to get started on an upcoming project, if not an unusual decorative idea throughout, because if not within your home, maybe just an idea overall.

even though money might not be a problem or a concern for you at this time, or maybe you just want to bring forth a different and unique perspective to your home, this pioneering approach that you won't normally see anywhere else, will generate a buzz as a result of this innovative verge, because i assure you, your friends WILL be impressed.

it's not just for college dorms anymore.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

my inner "tree"

ok, you're really gonna think i'm nuts here, but to be honest, i don't care. i need something unique and extremely different in my life, and what better way to do that is an innovative and imaginative christmas 'tree.' a ladder in lieu of a tree. let's just say, this past christmas was a challenging one. suffice it to say, i want to start fresh; start anew with the upcoming holiday.

although i am jewish, i have always incorporated a christmas tree in our home, but lighting a menorah has also become an annual ritual for my daughter and myself as well—she loves it, and loves to hold the shamash candle as she lights the candles each night. since my husband isn't jewish, every year since we have been married, we've also added a christmas tree to our home to constitute this tradition as well.

growing up, my father was catholic, so we all grew up celebrating both 'holidays' as a way to incorporate family time that will last a lifetime. it's something that was very dear to me, not because of the double round of gifts, but because it meant so much to my family to gather around and spend quality time with each other. i loved it, and i love it even more with my husband and my daughter.

because this past holiday season was a stressful one, i have decided to move forward with this holiday tradition and try something different. since i have been married, i left my menorah where it sits year-round—above the kitchen cabinets. 

until last year.

trust me, you will think i'm a lunatic with this new idea, but again, it's something i need to do within my heart and my soul in order to start fresh—a way to enjoy our family time together without the stress of money and instead, pure enjoyment, because let's face it, christmas trees have become extremely expensive over the years and what i have always believed, why bother? why would anyone spend so much money on a tree that will only be discarded 3 weeks later? i never understood this concept, especially since it's imperative that we buy a real one and not an artificial tree. while growing up, we always had an artificial one, and i always hated it.


i do, however, love the "twinkly" lights that permeate throughout my home, even decorated on our fireplace that typically aren't removed until february, or sometimes as long as march. i love them, and i love the bright glow that spread through the small square footage of our loft. it's what we've always done and most likely will always do.

that is one tradition that will never disappear.

in lieu of a traditional tree that has been in homes for decades, if not centuries, i give you, the christmas ladder! yes, i knew you'd think this idea was proposterus, but once you see the unique decor and the eclectic mix of lights and modern taste, i think you will approve. i assume if you're reading my blog, you will know that my taste is quite untraditional. 

so, what do you think? unique right? ok ok, i know you're laughing and i know you think i'm "out there," but like i said, i need to start fresh, and for me, this is the perfect start. i've discussed it (and showed pictures) with my family and thankfully they approve!

so here we go.

come december however, let's see if i still feel the same way, but i imagine i will still have the anticipation that i will be excited to execute—even my daughter tells me, "it's cool."

but i promise you this, once i decide to do it and decorate our home with lots and lots of "twinkly" lights, i will post pics here. at least so you can also think my christmas ladder will be 'cool.'

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

designing a submission of fear

where do i start? do i start with the details of my upcoming submission for DAM's (denver art museum) Open For Design exhibit, or just discuss my fear of proposing my work in general?

perhaps these are questions i must answer to myself as i attempt to try and include my work and my idea for this exhibit. i'm nervous, that much i admit, mainly because i haven't included my work or my ideas in any sort of exhibit since college. so where do i start? the idea is in my head, but can i execute it as i present it in two weeks for acceptance to such a public-driven museum, and not just your local small town art gallery, but a space of a much larger scale.

i know my idea is an extraordinary one, and i know my idea will 'knock their socks off,' but i'm scared, i really am. this much i will admit. i'm not afraid to come to terms with this, but i'll try, regardless. 

what do i have to lose? nothing.

with the recent passing of my father, i want to dedicate this to him because i know he would have been proud, so for me, it's something personal and i know in my heart, he would have approved. he would have even agreed with this idea running through my head. it means a lot to me, from someone who has incorporated an eclectic mix of pre-owned designs and decor in my home, to brand new. i believe in an idea that can help clean up our cities and our world while including local inner-city kids who don't have the privilege of creating art or learning about art as a whole.

as an artist myself, that breaks my heart.

when you have an idea but continue to struggle with how to engineer it and put it out there for the judges to see, will they 'get' what i'm trying to convey, as i stand there in a mirror of confusion. 

again, i have nothing to lose. i can only try and not give up. i will persevere.

i won't share my idea with you, not yet. perhaps afterwards when i've already proposed my design, then my visualization will be hashed out here and discussed freely. i will be excited to share it with you. that much i can guarantee.

but for now, be patient. submission date is july 28.

as i sit here shaking with anticipation, i know i have a lot of work ahead of me. i have started with images only, but haven't executed the 3D design which i will need to present to the judges. in my mind, i need to come up with materials and a decent design that i hope will be accepted into this exhibit. an exhibit that i know will impress the public. as i will move forward with my search for scraps and the like, i know i'll have a challenging road ahead of me. 

it will be a test to my art and design abilities, something i've always had anxiety for, this much is certain, but providing recycled materials will be key to my idea and my design. otherwise, it will be nothing shy of an oxymoron if i head to the store and purchase nothing but new materials, but sometimes we will need to create something that purchasing new is imperative to the overall design. how can i overcome this?

imagination will hopefully override the outcome of my anxiety.

i will sit here and still contemplate my execution of my submission, but i promise you this, i will do it, i will finish!