52 weeks

Everything has already been done, but not by you // if you don't ask, you don't get by Chelsea Snow

Angst: a philosophical anxiety regarding the world or one's own personal freedom.

When I was an undergraduate student (100 years ago), I chose to not pursue a "creative" field, even though it was (in retrospect) pretty clearly my path. I studied art and philosophy, but I didn't make art or philosophy. I was convinced that everything had already been done before (at least everything worth doing), and that was a good reason to not even attempt to make anything new. 

The world we live in makes it nearly impossible not to see all the things people are making every minute of every day. NEW THINGS. The existentially angsty girl (that will always have a place in my heart) gets very agitated about this, and sometimes sorta takes over.

"FUCK, now I can't make that thing because that person already did."

As I continue to wake up and become a more conscious person, I find myself able to calmly say to that unfocused and fearful girl:

"Go back to bed, darling. Put your headphones back on. Scrawl in your journal. Smoke a cigarette. I'll handle this."

When I have my grownup goggles on, I see things differently. The new things that people make don't petrify me, they reflect back to me the quality of what I want to be contributing to the world. When I'm my best/highest self, I rejoice in the fact that someone else managed to find success doing the kind of work that I want to do. It affirms that there is in fact an audience. There is a need. There is a market. There is a reason.

Things that my adult self is excited about, and my adolescent self is rolling her eyes at: 

Grace Bonney's new book In the Company of Women: Inspiration & Advice from over 100 Makers Artists & Entrepreneurs. I haven't read the book yet (it's available for preorder) but...

These are the things that are exciting about this book: 

  1. It puts Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs into a category together. I believe in this.
  2. It's about women but more specifically: 60% of the people featured are women of color, queer women and women over the age of 60--people that are often underrepresented (or completely absent) from these kinds of discussions. I believe in this.
  3. It's going to be reallllly pretty bc design sponge. I believe in this.

I really want to write a book. One of the ideas I had was to make a book like this one. The fact that this already exists DOESN'T MEAN I SHOULDN'T STILL MAKE A BOOK.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is excited to announce the launch of “Make/Time” – a new podcast series created by CraftSchools.us. Hosted by Stuart Kestenbaum, the series explores fine craft, inspiration and the creative process through interviews with established craft artists from across the field. The first three interviews feature Tom Joyce, Tim McCreight and Sonya Clark. 

I've been wanting to start recording some of the conversations I have with artists and craftspeople about these very subjects, and maybe make a podcast out of it. The fact that this already exists DOESN'T MEAN I SHOULDN'T STILL MAKE A PODCAST.

Adam J. Kurtz is a NYC based artist and author of 1 Page at a Time and Pick Me Up.
His design and illustration is rooted in honesty, humor and a little darkness.

I've been working on being an artist and illustrator and writer of the very same variety. The fact that Adam J. Kurtz is already killing it DOESN'T MEAN I SHOULDN'T STILL MAKE THINGS BASED IN HONESTY, HUMOR AND A LITTLE DARKNESS.

I've never wanted to be in the Olympics. I don't even remember ever really watching the Olympics with any kind of regularity. Last week while at the beach, we watched a lot of swimming as a family. And you know what? Just because I will never be a professional swimmer does not mean I shouldn't get my butt to the pool because there are less than two weeks of Summer left before school starts. Byeee! 

In unrelated news, here's this week's truthbomb, brought to you by my friend  Michelle's  dad. Prints soon.

In unrelated news, here's this week's truthbomb, brought to you by my friend Michelle's dad. Prints soon.

Yeah, YOU GOT THIS by Chelsea Snow

Confession: I've been checking my social media notifications every 5 minutes for the past 72 hours. What used to be a couple-times-a-day task has now turned into a 24/7 dopamine drip. The reasons? A phenomenal public response to a project I worked on. It's been thrilling to watch a movement take shape around truly positive ideals. A movement that also has some pretty high profile names attached to it (me and Taylor Schilling mentioned in the same article? Hi.) Also I just googled myself. (No thrills there: turns out there are a LOT of Chelsea Snows out there, and some of them are doing very ridiculous things. No way I can compete with that.)

So this project. I was approached by Wildfang after having met with their creative director and sharing my fangirl-level desire to work with them on a project. They were developing a collaboration with the million-strong girl-power organization I Am That Girl. The two teams joined forces and came up with the idea to launch a line of limited-edition illustrated enamel pins each inspired by an outstanding woman's very own example of a "you got this" moment. My role would be to take the ideas given by said outstanding women and illustrate them into tiny, colorful little images. 

I seriously can not decide which one is my favorite, but that RIOT MEOW one (made for Pussy Riot!) killllls me. You can buy them  here  or at Wildfang stores!

I seriously can not decide which one is my favorite, but that RIOT MEOW one (made for Pussy Riot!) killllls me. You can buy them here or at Wildfang stores!

(c) 2016 Wildfang

(c) 2016 Wildfang

As you may or may not know, "you got this" is one of my favorite 3-word pep talks. So when they explained this project to me, I had that tingly deja-vu feeling, and was like "fuck yep."

Kittens got this , sharpie on vintage log slice art, 2014.

Kittens got this, sharpie on vintage log slice art, 2014.

The project launched on on Friday, and that day I woke up to a text from my dear friend Molly (the awesome person responsible for connecting me to Wildfang to begin with) with a link to this Huffington Post article. Then a few hours later two more links to Bustle and InStyle. It's amazing what a good PR person can do. But it's even more amazing what a truly great project can do. 

When I was a kid (going into 7th grade) I attended a day-long girls' self-esteem workshop. It was a hotel ballroom type affair, with trays of cold cuts and all the country time lemonade you could drink. I believe it was called "Express Yourself," their logo a lavender butterfly.

I got a free ticket to this event because my mom's store provided some of the clothes for the fashion show (and I got to model them, every girls' dream). I didn't know anyone there (although I would later), and felt very out of place. The kids at my school definitely did NOT get invited to posh shit like this. I wish I had a photo to share but I don't, so just picture me in an oversized jumper with a dropped hemline, a turtleneck, white keds and bobby socks, and a pretty fucked up perm.

So I am an impostor at a self-esteem workshop. I remember being asked to write down my favorite thing about myself. I stared at the blank sheet of paper, stared at the pencil in my hands. I didn't know the answer. I was just a kid--a tomboy for the most part--who was still years away from puberty, but becoming aware that it was a thing I needed to be concerned about. I wrote down "my fingernails" because I was staring at my fingernails, and when I read it aloud, the lady gave me a disapproving, pitying look. I remember having my "colors" done, and learning that I was a winter, not a fall like I had hoped. I remember leaving that workshop feeling like a pile of shit. Not empowered. No self-esteem. I left wondering what was wrong with me. 

That was 1988. Fast forward to 2016. Imagine being a girl right now. Imagine a world where you can go and find a community that believes this: 

I have a brilliant heart and a beautiful mind. I am me, a perfectly flawed, beautyFULL work in progress. I promise to lift other girls up, have their backs, and make it safe for them to be exactly who they are. I'm on a mission to raise the standards for how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves, and how we treat the world. Every time I look in the mirror I’ll remind myself that I’m not alone, that I’m beautiful, that my voice matters, and that I am enough. (from iamthatgirl.com)

And then imagine another world where you can buy clothes that aren't oversized jumpers with dropped hemlines (or worse, the shitty sexualized clothing that girls are sold these days). Imagine a world where feminist isn't a bad word. A world where short hair is chic and nobody tells you what color palette you should stick with--cuz this girl is clearly a winter, and she is rocking some serious earth tones:

(from  Wildfang.com )

Imagine a world where a woman is about to become president of the United States.

So yeah, I'm proud of this. It feels good to work with rad people (seriously, the most fun, kind, professional, smart, creative people) on a rad project. It feels good to watch it explode. (Speaking of which: BUY SOME PINS!) Now excuse me while I check my Instagram...

Prints here.

Prints here.