A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

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This past year, I was lucky enough to spend time with and get to know an all around amazing lady, Shana Draugelis. Not only is she stunning and full of life and a kick-ass mom (to two of my favorite kids ever)but she happens to have one of the BEST style blogs out there: The Mom Edit (previously called Ain’t No Mom Jeans).  Needless to say, I was a bit in awe and intimidated. I mean, check her out:

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yeah….how can you not??

 She had seen a little bit of my artsy stuff and approached me with an idea for for her blog.  Her readers were wanting her to come up with an essential starter wardrobe and she wanted me to illustrate the pieces for her. She gave me the list of items she wanted included and over the next several (SEVERAL) months I spent drawing, and painting and throwing away and starting over and just being my typical self (lacking confidence that my pieces were good enough). But every time I sent her anything she was her usual positive self and quickly way-laid any of my fears. So the following is what she put up on her website which is her wardrobe pieces, illustrated by myself!
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In typical fashion,  I couldn’t let myself look at the final product on her blog for a bit- I was worried of it not doing justice to her blog but when I saw her recently she told me that her readers loved it and I was blown away by the nice things that were said. I have never done anything like this project before, but it was so much fun and I would love to continue doing more pieces like this. Shana asked if I ever thought about fashion blogging (lord knows clothes are my favorite creative outlet hahaha!) and I would love to incorporate more of that into this blog….I don’t have that model-esque body like Shana at The Mom Edit, but this year of 30 is all about loving me for me.   Yeah girl! Here are a few more of the pics I stole from her website and how she created specific outfits for different events:
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A Creative Style Meets Art Collaboration: A Season-Less Starter Wardrobe

 

 

 

all art was done by Jessica Ross Sheffield.
If you are interested in me creating something for you, I would love to! Email me at: forourcity@gmail.com

my favorite colorful summer fashion finds!

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I know it’s almost July, so this is a little late but I’ve been saving so many pictures onto my laptop of things I want to wear this summer that I have to do something with them so here they are! Tah-dah! As you can tell, I haven’t quite got this phtoto editing thing down yet…I was inspired by my amazingly creative friend’s blog: http://www.MeganTillotson.com. Seriously, if you have a second checkout her blog Yours Ever where
she blogs her delicious recipes, fantastic art and fashion inspiration, and fun DIY projects.

This summer I have been doing a lot of painting using watercolors (mostly birds and feathers)  I don’t know if it’s the lightness of the watercolors or the bright colors I’ve been drawn to while painting that fits perfectly with all things summer. Here are a few of my watercolors from the last few days just to show you the mood I’ve been in lately!

And THEN, I found this beautiful Tracy Reese dress that reminded me of a watercolor painting of a summer sunset and the rest is history. I love summer because one of my favorite things to do is traveling.  Maybe I am sad since I am not traveling anywhere very exciting this summer; which for me translates as: requiring a passport, becoming uncomfortably sunburnt, spending a week packing my bag, and stuffing myself to an uncomfortable level with food in the name of vacation! Viva la vacation!
So for me, my summer traveling essentials are as follows: a sturdy leather satchel, comfortable walking sandals, a camera and a journal (or in this case watercolor kit!)

So in my dream world, this is what you see me in as we rode past each others on our bikes in Paris.

1. Quay Oh Mi Half Round Glasses found at Asos Online for approximately $50.00
2. Plenty by Tracy Reese Riveting Reflections Dress sold at mod cloth for $248.00
3. Minox Classic Digital Mini Camera sold at Urban Outfitters for $250.00
4. Sasha Toe Loop Sandals sold at Anthropologie for $88.00
5. Kate Spade New York Pueblo Tile iPhone 5 Case at Piperlime for $40.00
6. Stingray Crescent Necklace at Anthropologie for $88.00
7. Cambridge Satchel Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Yellow at mod cloth $164.99
8. Watercolor Postcards, A Portable Studio at Anthropologie for 18.95

In reality,  you can find me browsing the thrift stores looking for anything resembling the above items in the slightest and that don’t smell like moth balls.

Artist Spotlight: Natalie Jean Bauer

by Natalie Jean Bauer 
This “Artist Spotlight” post idea came to me one night when I was thinking of how so many of my friends are talented artists and besides that, they are all also pretty hilarious. This is my little way of exposing the world (or a few hundred people a month) to the amazing-ness that they bring to my world and how happy they make me. And hopefully share that with someone else! So, I came up with some questions (some I borrowed from other art blogs) and asked my friend Natalie if she would let me interview her and post some of her artwork on my blog. Natalie is one of the most humble artists (and also one of the funniest) that I know. I have (selfishly) asked her when she is planning on making prints of her artwork and selling them, so I can buy one…but not yet. I’m wearing you down Natalie! So, hopefully you get some enjoyment out of this post AND…
if YOU or anyone you know wants to be featured in an “Artist Spotlight” post, then email me at forourcity@gmail.com. Send me a couple pieces of your artwork (whether its music, paintings, photography, dancing, stand up comedy..it all works for me!) and answer the questions. I will feature you in the next post! 

 Who are you and what do you do?

I am Natalie Jean Bauer.  I try to paint, draw, and write as often as my big dumb brain will allow.
Describe yourself in five words:
Usually really terrible at this.
Do you have a favorite piece of yours?  If so, why is it your favorite?

No favorites, really.  They are all a labor of love and yet I am my own worst critic.  The entire process of creating anything has always been essential for me, but the second I finish a piece (be it a painting, story, comic, whatever) I still notice every rough edge, every single area that shows room for improvement.  This is good in that it always drives me to further develop whatever skills I may possess, but awful when it comes to confidence in my own abilities.  I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to shut this off.  I am ruthless and insatiable.
Any tips or inspiring words for other artists?

Find it in yourself.  Keep fumbling and learning and don’t lose heart.  Surround yourself with books and songs that make you want to scream and explode into a million stupid pieces because of how good they are.  Pile more love and effort on literally everything you’re doing.

 Can we find you anywhere on the world wide web?


Art-wise?  Besides Facebook, not really.  I don’t have a personal website, at least not yet.  I’ve always been intensely private and enjoyed my anonymity.  A bit selfish, probably, but so often I anticipate being critiqued in a way I won’t recover from.  I don’t handle rejection well despite all the practice I’ve had.
What is your favorite:
Color?  The particular shade of green usually limited to chalkboards; grey in the beard of a young man.
Animal?  My dog, Roxy Carmichael, is the obvious answer here.  She has the personality of Gilda Radner, the heart of Gandhi, and the eyes of everyone you’ve ever loved.
Movie?  “Santa Sangre” has been in heavy rotation for me lately.  Otherwise, Martin Short’s “Clifford” never fails to improve my mood.
Book?  I just re-read Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves” for maybe the fifth time and it is always such a task but so beautiful and worthwhile.
What work do you most enjoy doing?

Honestly, it depends on my mood and focus.  It all comes in waves; I’ll sometimes go weeks where I mainly focus on writing and finishing a story and not pick up a brush or pencil at all.  But then before I even know it, the opposite becomes true:  I’ll slave over new paintings or comics before I become conscious of the fact that I haven’t written anything in months.  It’s bizarre.  My Moleskines are erratic at best.

Name something you love, and why?


I love The Voyager Golden Record.  It’s this gold-plated record that was sent into space on The Voyager so that if any aliens ever found it, they could listen to this record and know what Earth was like.  The record had an introduction, greetings in fifty-five languages, and the sounds of our planet — a whale song, crickets, the sound of an earthquake, a volcano, thunder, laughter, footsteps, wind, water, a kiss, a wild dog, heartbeats I think.  It had twenty-seven songs on it from all over the world, including Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chuck Berry, and Louis Armstrong.  At the end of the record there were brainwaves.  The wife of one of the men in charge of the record got hooked up to a machine and her brainwaves were turned into sound.  She thought all about the earth and the life on it, poverty, suffering, and some history she could remember.  At the end, she decided to make a personal statement.  The very last thing she wanted her brainwaves to send out there, the very last thing on this golden record that we sent into space for aliens to find and learn and judge about us, was what it felt like to fall in love.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

More often than not, I feel I have no truly creative ideas.  And everything I write, think, paint, or say has already been written, thought, painted, or said by many others.  And though I value the wonderful varied perspectives of people everywhere, it makes me feel like poo.  During a public internet meltdown of sorts, I had two people whose brains and artistic endeavors I admire impart two pieces of wisdom to me in such a way that it helped to hear at that precise moment.  The first was:  the truth is that all creativity amounts to in the first place is putting the basic stuff of existence into different patterns.  These patterns have personal meaning to us.  We ourselves constitute a changing pattern in relation to the rest of the universe.  Creativity is either infinite or ‘virtually infinite.’

The second was:  you just worry about making art because you’ll die if you don’t.

I try to remember both of these things in my worst moments of self-sabotage and doubt.


Name something you don’t love, and why?

I hate labels so much.  Here I am not referring to ethnic, racial, or other discriminatory and/or offensive tags (although OF COURSE I hate those, too).  Specifically I mean things such as price tags and the stickers on plastic bins that helpfully note “Sterilite Storage Bin.  For storage.  Store your shit up in this piece, mofo!”  I compulsively pick labels off of everything that is around for even a short time in my life.  This urge is slightly in opposition to my love of text — I like monograms, painting words on walls, having lots of chalkboards and papers and quotes and journals sitting around, just to put thoughts down on.  I guess it’s just that I want to control how many and what kinds of words and text are thrown at me in my home.  Everything outside is so coated in manipulative slogans and advertising (I mean seriously, you can’t even pee at a bar without forty flyers adding to the visual chaos) that I need to be able to look around my apartment without It’sallinside-Nobodydoesn’tlove-Refrescante-Eatfresh-Ownstheroad-Stayclosealittlelonger-Doubleyourpleasure-Choiceofthenew-Camitasmejors-Gentleman’sclub-Whatissexy-It’syourlife-Thenewalbum-Unböring-Unbroken-Undecided-Uncoordinated-Unlisted-Underground-Unrefined blazing across my retinas like Satan’s own stock ticker.

What couldn’t you do without?

It’s so clichéd of an answer, but there’s no way in hell I would have lasted this long without the people I am so blessed enough to call my friends.  I couldn’t have asked-begged-prayed-starved for better people to keep.

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 You’ve been selected to go on an all-expenses paid drinking binge with one famous artist, one famous writer, and one free choice.  Who would you choose?


Dead or alive?  I think this answer changes daily for me.  So today I would probably go with Odilon Redon because stylistically I have never wanted to emulate someone SO MUCH.  His paintings are pure magic.  Oscar Wilde, because deep-down I identify with the burned-out view and the scathing insight.  And the free choice…  I guess it’d be that neighbor dog with short legs who runs the way shrimp swim. I like when there’s a dog at a party so my social anxiety doesn’t run down my phone’s battery
Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?

Whose hair?  My own hair?  I think I’d sooner set myself on fire than lick a public ANYTHING, to be honest.  I probably ingest more than a handful of dog hair on a daily basis anyway, thanks to Roxy Carmichael’s proclivity for shedding.  I’m going with the hair.  I think I could better survive that from an emotional standpoint.


tattoos: i want them, i need them pt. 3

my forearm tattoo with the Native American symbol for rain clouds (which symbolizes continual growth and renewal) and “kenaz” which stands for inspiration and creativity)

I can always tell when I start to get an itch for another tattoo…last night I was up until 3am looking at pictures of tattoos on the internet.  I am in awe of some of these tattoo artists…especially the one’s who specialize in watercolor tattoos. I think it is hard enough to create a watercolor painting, but these tattoo artists who can make realistic looking watercolor tattoos have my upmost respect.  I don’t know anything about the art of tattooing, except that it looks extremely difficult and you can’t make any mistakes- so I can only imagine how difficult it must be to blend colors and to do shading on skin. I want to give credit to the artists who created these tattoos and tried to find out who did each tattoo…so I listed their names and their websites if possible. but there were a few that I couldn’t put a name to, so if you recognize it and who it belongs to please feel free to let me know!

This is a beautiful watercolor tattoo by Ondrash out of the Czech Republic. 

This is another piece by Ondrash

AND four MORE by Ondrash! 

This one is by a tattoo artist based in Las Vegas, Holly Thomas. She currently works at Voodoo Tattoo studio located behind the Palms Casino.

                              
I love this tattoo…I like the simplicity and detail of this watercolor tattoo by Amanda Wachob. I love the splash of light blue and the black splashes dotting up behind the ear.  I would seriously consider getting a tattoo very similar to this but with a second bright color and only a few bits of black.

                   

Okay, so funny story about this tattoo. I randomly came across this tattoo last night (via http://blogs.discovermagazine.com) and recognized it right away as a inking of a neuron. And, not just any type of neuron, a hippocampal neuron. Those of you who know me or have read any of my other blog posts, might be asking yourselves how I would know something like this, since I am pretty clueless when it comes to all things math and science. Well, my husband is a neuroscientist who works with these exact types of neurons. In fact, I noticed a tracing of a neuron pinned up in his lab one day and commented how that would make an awesome tattoo. So, I  scrolled down to the comment section and the first comment was from Nelson Spruston who said: “Patrick, this is super cool. I think it’s a neuron I reconstructed years ago and published in a 2005 J. Physiology paper (Golding et al.). It’s a beautiful neuron and it looks great as a tattoo.” Who is he? And why does it matter? He happens to be the professor who runs the lab where my husband works. small world! And that’s my story. Yay.

               
I could not for the life of me find out who this tattoo belongs to or where it orginated. but I love it and it makes me want to add more simple lines to my tattoo.


While engaging in my endless online search of tattoos, I came across ALOT of feather and bird tattoos. This one stood out to me because of it’s vibrant colors. I am not sure who the tattoo artist for this feather was but I found it on fyeahtattoos.com

I wish I was cool enough to rock a tattoo like this one. (sigh). This one is by the tattoo artist Guy Le

Do you notice a pattern? I really like tattoos with simple lines. I found this one on http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.

Another cool idea that incorporates the simple lines but can convey a powerful message. This one also comes from http://rodeo.net/tattoologist/.


goodness. I will never be as cool as this chick. I don’t even have enough confidence to wear shorts in the summer let alone get a huge dream catcher tattoo down the side of my thigh.

Art lately.

 I saw something very similar to this on etsy and it inspired me. A friend has “commissioned” me to paint a large canvas for his new apartment and this was one of the sketches I was considering doing..later I added some sharp black lines. I really love making art with gemoetrical shapes.

 I found this in one of my old journals when I was looking for a password or something. I thought it would be a cool idea to do a gallery showing of artists’ journal pages. I would love to see something like that!

 This is my new chalkboard wall in my apartment (I hope my landlord hasn’t seen this!!) I had a quote by Emily Dickinson on the wall with some really bright framing shapes and colors and it was too much. Plus, I change my mind so often that this works perfectly for me! I can change it whenever I want. I try not to think of the hassle it will cause me when it’s time to move out! 

 glug glug.

 Okay, *le sigh* This is my latest project and has taken a considerable amount of time! A few weekends ago, my husband and I went to the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair, and I was feeling very inspired. One artist I particularly liked was Dolan Geiman. He did some beautiful and intricate artworks using magazine pages. I like the different textures and colors and a project like this is perfect for my OCD tendencies. I get to collect little scraps of paper and sort through old magazines cutting and gluing things for hours!

Okay, so..hahaha…As someone kindly pointed out to me: “isn’t it ‘Not all who WANDER are lost”? yup! It is! ah, well. I took things to a whole other level without even realizing it. Maybe my true calling is philosophy? No? okay…