This fall, Mica Hendricks‘ “Collaborations” post went viral, making the rounds on social media, blogs, and even the Huffington Post. For those living under a rock (or social media-challenged), Mica shared her artistic collaboration… with her 4-year-old. Having one of those myself, I commiserated with her not wanting to share her good sketch pad and artwork with some know-it-all tot:
In a very serious tone, she looked at me and said, “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.”
Yeah. I’ve heard that before. As a parent, you have to walk the walk. As a designer, you have deadlines. And clients. And your own damn good ideas. However, sometimes that little voice (familiar in your own words) sends a double-dog-dare your way. In Mica’s case, the challenge opened a door to a new way of working and thinking. The great thing about what she did, and what I try to do myself, is to be open to the imagination of these little people. They have good ideas we can take advantage of nurture:
And from it all, here are the lessons I learned: to try not to be so rigid. Yes, some things (like my new sketchbook) are sacred, but if you let go of those chains, new and wonderful things can happen. Those things you hold so dear cannot change and grow and expand unless you loosen your grip on them a little. In sharing my artwork and allowing our daughter to be an equal in our collaborations, I helped solidify her confidence, which is way more precious than any doodle I could have done. In her mind, her contributions were as valid as mine (and in truth, they really were). Most importantly, I learned that if you have a preconceived notion of how something should be, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE DISAPPOINTED. Instead, just go with it, just ACCEPT it, because usually something even more wonderful will come out of it.
The project has inspired many, with contests and charity sales furthering the good karma. I love the special limited-edition print available in the most recent The Working Proofnewsletter. (If you don’t subscribe to TWP, get on it. One weekly email introducing you to new and favorite artists with limited edition prints that benefit a range of charities. Get art & help a cause. Win-win.)
“Peacock Girl” features mama Mica’s head and daughter Myla’s dreamed-up peacock body, with a little polishing from mom’s pencils and paints. Mica chose to have TWP donate to Puppies Behind Bars (15% of gross sales!), a program where inmates train puppies to become service dogs for law enforcement as well as for the disabled. C’mon, who doesn’t love puppies? Read her interview here and grab a print for the precocious kid in your life.
Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop has decided to “get wise” in her daily, educational Instagram posts. After succumbing to the very real issue of “mom brain” (view her original post here), she started 2013 with a personal mission to reclaim her sanity. “[T]hose chubby miracles are actually tiny burglars that loot 7 percent of your brain. Maybe forever!” as she puts it. So far she has tackled subjects from plants and paints to TV shows and candy. I personally tune in every day, often sharing with my husband, to exercise my own fragmented mind. He’s partial the eloquent grammar lessons, and I’m quite inspired by the artwork itself. Her watercolor and ink drawings, as well as her paper cuts, are spontaneous and whimsical.
Christine is a mom and successful business owner (Yellow Owl recently collaborated with Schoolhouse Electric and was just featured in the NY Times today!) whose daily discipline of educational fodder should inspire mothers, new and old, to learn something new every day… and names of super heroes and Strawberry Shortcake’s friends do not count (anyone else’s toddlers know how to navigate Netflix?). Start following her posts on Instagram or Twitter and get smart. Now.
Happy spring! Despite the cold here in the mid-Atlantic, I’m getting good vibes from the budding flowers about and the crop of fresh music being released. I long for warmer weather to roll my car windows down and blast the stereo while singing the wrong lyrics. Yes, I’m “that” annoying car… only now I have a carseat in the back and test the limits of my child’s eardrums. Bad parenting, yes, but whatever makes mama happy makes for a happy family unit, eh? However, compared to last year’s toe-tapping beats, the early spring musical offerings seem to be coming in a little more casual and free-flowing, with simple acoustics and honest lyrics. Here’s are a few fave new tunes to hum while we wait for longer sunshine and greener pastures:
Have you ever let yourself fall into a moment, suddenly with an acute perception of what’s around you? Or perhaps just found yourself there, staring at something you’ve looked at every day but never really seen? Whoa… heavy, right? The Jealous Curator‘s carefully crafted “Beautifully Boring” show at the Tanner Hill Gallery in Chattanooga, TN, celebrates artists who make the most of the seemingly mundane. Holly Farrell, Leah Giberson, Samantha French, and Mark Bradley Shoup each contribute far-from-boring works that give life to various places and things. Catch the show if you’re in town, or browse their works online… then see what “boring” catches your eye around your house or outdoors.
Take 6 minutes and 42 seconds out of your day to be inspired by these industrial artists / restauranteurs / punk rockers whose high-low design innovations are inciting greatness and mayhem all at once.
While trolling through one of the blackest holes on the internet (that would be amazon.com), I came upon the work of Lilli Carré, a young cartoonist with hauntingly beautiful work. I originally judged her books by their covers (rightfully so, pretty as they are) and tagged a few for Lucy. Then I found my way over to her site, where I soon realized this ain’t no literature for youths. Well, not yet, anyway…
Excerpt from “Tales of Woodsman Pete”
While I’ll hold off on sarcastic comics for the tween age, I myself was inspired by her work, including her “moving drawings” and the Eyeworks Festival she co-directs with Alexander Stewart, exploring old and new forms of experimental animation. Check out her site, tumblr, and/or blog for more, because this artist is on the rise, kids.
I’ve heard this song somewhere in the universe lately (probably on XPN) but my husband found this rad video to make me need it on my top 10 playlist. Butch Walker & the Black Widows’ “Synthesizers” is just a feel-good, let-go-of-your-cares tune about moving through the motions of hard times and changes these days. Who better to illustrate care-free than Mr. McConaughey “alter-ego,” David Wooderson? The video also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the cult film “Dazed & Confused” in all its glory. So… you’re welcome. Enjoy.
Etsy find of the day: Artist Lauren King breathes life into vintage photographs by extending them with graphite on paper beyond the border. The sweet details of the desert landscape are carried on just far enough to portray a simple, yet dynamic, scene.
I’ve overwhelmed thinking of the year ahead so instead I’ll try to appreciate the year that has passed – adventures had, lessons learned, and accomplishments made. 2011 was a year of personal development for me, including my first solo trip (3 weeks in beautiful Scandinavia!), a new business venture (check out my latest – and favorite – project here), and I became an aunt (the easiest accomplishment ever). I could not have made it to 2012 without my ridiculously supportive husband and the never-ending energy of my toddler. So thank you, family!
What about the resolutions, you say? Can you really ever say, “I’m not making any resolutions this year”? It’s a new year, and everyone must have a few things they want to do differently, but I just want to survive. After looking back on last year’s resolutions – which I barely accomplished #1 and fell way short on the others, I think I’ll just try my best to get through 2012. I’ll be completing my degree (thesis – ugh) and getting my 2yr-old ready for nursery school (which includes a big girl bed and potty-training – UGH). So, yeah, 2012 will be a grin-and-bear-it sort of year, but I love a challenge.
For now, enjoy the View above! Typographic ice sculptures from Nicole Dextras :
“The Ice Typography series consists of three-dimensional words fabricated in ice placed outdoors that speak to how the viewer’s gaze frames and informs the landscape. The installations have varied from 8-foot high ice letters on the Yukon River to 18-inch high letters set in downtown Toronto. When the ice texts are installed on site, the temperature determines how long it will take for them to change state from solid to liquid. This phase of transition becomes symbolic of the interconnectedness of language and culture to the land as they are affected by time and by a constant shifting and transforming nature.” via LPP