Monday, November 30, 2009

The Illustrabet: Alphastration # 3

Check out the latest installment.

I'm making 26 of these, so please help me spread the hype by participating!

1. Click on the image below to open the full sized version.
2. Look at the image to find the illustrated representation for every letter in the alphabet.
3. *Comment with what you've found
4. Pass this entry along to a friend.
5. Wait for the answer key to be posted.
6. Repeat with the next alphastration.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Illustrasbet: Answer Key for Alphastration #2

Here it is, folks!

Alphastration no. 3 is currently in the works.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Illustrabet: Alphastration #2

I present to you the latest alphastration in the Illustrabet series!

1. Click on the image below to open the full sized version.
2. Look at the image to find the illustrated representation for every letter in the alphabet.
3. *Comment with what you've found
4. Pass this entry along to a friend.
5. Wait for the answer key to be posted.
6. Repeat with the next alphastration.

Illustrabet Answer Key!

Well folks,

There were plenty of great interpretations of the previously posted alphastration, and I appreciate the creative responses. While there are certainly no wrong answers, I've gone ahead and posted the key below. Feel free to click on the image to see just exactly what I was going for.

Below are my answers (and some interpretations).

A: Apple
B: Barf
C: Carp
D: Dirt (Diamond)
E: Elf (Entwine)
F: Flag (Footprint)
G: Gopher (Gorilla)
H: Hand (Hat)
I: Indie-Kid
L: Lizard
M: Monk (Man)
N: Needle
O: Ohm
P: Panini
Q: Question/Question Mark
R: Rattlesnake (Reminders)
S: Salad (Snake)
T: Tack (Tattoo)
U: Umbrella
V: Vest
W: Waspa
X: Xerox
Y: Yeti (Yarn)
Z: Zeta Frat Guy (Z-Man)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Illustrabet Project!


So, as an exercise I decided to illustrate each letter of the alphabet in my sketchbook today. It all started with the personified apple character in the middle of the illustration, and I was going to continue page by page, creating individual drawings per letter. However, recalling a few inspirational sources like Highlights Kids magazine that used to hypnotize me at the dentist's office, I wondered what I could dream up, quasi-cohesively on one page.

I've decided to make it a bit of a game for folks to find each letter's illustrated representation. All letters are represented as nouns in this "alphastration" and I invite you all to take a gander and point out what element represents each letter respectively. Feel free to click on the image for a full-sized version. I'll post the "answer key" in a day or two.

Extra points for creative interpretation.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fun! With Stop Motion!

After dreaming about doing a stop motion animation film for quite some time, I finally decided to pick up the pace. I downed a jar of the mediocre picante sauce and got to work on a 2-D stop motion animated/time elapsed drawing video. Many thanks to my lovely partner for showing me the works of William Kentridge and motivating me to do the damn thang.


A Tribute to the Cranberries

I'm up super early this Sunday morning, so I figured why not ponder the idea of making an entry (un)de(a)dicated to being a morning zombie.

Here's my tribute to the cranberries:

and their bombs, and their bombs,
and their bombs, and there braums
zombie doodoo, zombie doo doo!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Art of Skateboarding is Next Saturday!

Alright folks, Cara and I will both have decks available for purchase in this charity auction hosted by the Dallas Nomads. From what I've seen, this should be a ridiculous display of the diverse creative talent we have roaming the streets of this here metroplex.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Get Out Your Pen Lanyards! I'm a Ghostwriter!

I've posted this in a few other places, but I wanted to share the book that I co-wrote for my company, Priceless Legacy. You can check out about 80% of Your Priceless Legacy: A Story That Must Be Told, right here!

Heck, you can even buy the book by clicking on this link.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Artshoot By Cara Michelle Smith!

Last night in the studio, Cara, equipped with her badass lighting system and her even more badass photog-skillz shot some of my work right in the face! Take a gander:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skatebeard Sale!

You know what? It's about time I did this...

It's a Good Ol' Fashioned Skatebeard Sale!

By popular demand (at least two people and one Silky Terrier have expressed interest), I'm making my Skatebeards available for sale in the following ways:

Pre-Made Skatebeard: *$35.00
(usually with acrylic paint and some mixed media)
Recycled Deck Skatebeard: *$25.00 with a donated skate deck
(Same materials, but I recycle your deck.)

16"X 24" Original Illustration with Skatebeard Interchangability Action! (Comes with 1 Skatebeard)
*$150.00 without deck donation / *$140.00 with deck donation

*Prices are currently set at a discounted rate

Email me at for more info!

(Photocred: Roderick Pena)

Monday, September 14, 2009

I can stand the rain!

It's been a boiling hot minute since I've made any updates to this here blog, but I've been busy, I promise! This past weekend, the fine folks at Art Love Magic gave me the opportunity to show my work and do my thang in an artist tent for the DART Green Line grand opening ceremony.

Alongside my homies, C. Kirk, Hal Samples, Frank Campagna, The Traveling Man Robot and many, many more, I set up in the rain and got soaked for about 6 hours. I wasn't about to let the biblical downpour or the lack of easels dampen my day, so I proceeded to use a bit of rope and a dangerously flimsy chair to hang my work and a few of my skatebeards. Here's proof:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ye Olde Artist Statement gets a Facelift!

In preparation for a show at the Magnolia, the one and only Scott Horn requested a bio and an artist's statement. For the first time in a long while, I decided to sit down and update my creative purpose. And I feel refreshed because of it. 

Check it out:

Academically immersed in theories on race and culture, I am inspired by the prospect of communicating and learning from the diverse human experience. Characterized by figures with gaping mouths and textural formations, “Out of the Woodwork and Beyond” is a series dedicated to the notion of revelations through refreshed perspectives. 
By creating palatable scenes with inquisitive creatures, holes, layered wood, mirrors and fiber, I aim to elicit a desire to further explore and engage with each composition. Through a hodgepodge of materials and techniques, I hope to offer the viewer an accessible opportunity to discover diversity. Ideally, this temptation to feel and further investigate the terrain of the art can be applied to our relationships with one another. 

Like the pale figures seen in this series, when we are confronted with the infinite array of components that influence our respective identities, we often stir with confusion and fear of change. However, when we proactively discover various vantage points, we invigorate a consciousness with the capacity to understand. 

We awaken, bright-eyed and bushy-bearded, ready to impact others with the beauty of individuality.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Will Be Here

tonight. Here are a few photos from dropoff day. Sorry about the blurriness.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I promise. It's been total blog fail lately, but things have settled down some after a move, a joint show, a job change, etc. and I'm back in action! If for nothing else, I'll be retroactively posting a few things to document them on the interwebs. 

As for now, the big item on my agenda is the DIAC's I AM HERE show (as noted in the sweet graphic below).

Cara and I are exhibiting next to one another to represent the KUNST! revolution up at Dbros Addison and beyond. Come on by the SouthSide on Lamar to check out 6 pieces by us and a ton of other work by a mixed bag of great talent from Big D.

I also wanted to express infinite gratitude to my homies Dylan Hollingsworth and Zach Saucedo for reaching out and inviting us to show at this event. Much appreciation, fellas.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thank You, Betsy Lewis!

A few weeks back, Betsy Lewis of KERA (Dallas' own PBS/NPR media affiliate) stopped by my garage to shoot some video footage of my creative space. Today, at around 4:00 PM my eyes bulged out of my skull and my heart filled with excitement (could have been the Dunn Bros. dark roast coffee) when the lovely Ms. Lewis sent me a text message notifying me that the video was live on the Art and Seek blog.

Dedicated to cultural advocacy in North Texas, KERA and Art and Seek are strong community pillars, ornately decorated by the local arts scene. Thanks to folks like Betsy Lewis, this mission can be witnessed day in and day out on Channel 13, 90.1 FM, and She and the rest of our wonderful public broadcasting staff are taking to the streets, galleries, theaters and lecture halls to ensure cultural awareness in our neck of the woods.

For the love of brevity, I appreciate that.

For the love of North Texas (and maybe for the sake of my ego), check out Betsy's post and see my mug in video form right here.

P.S. I had been slacking on submitting the information for our upcoming Dunn Bros. Teeth and Tongue closing reception / art show roundup to the Art and Seek events calendar, but someone went above and beyond by creating this event for us. Thanks for picking up my slack.

Steal These Images!

Then place them wherever you please.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

Verses from The Vernal Equinox

In an attempt to uniquely and fancily celebrate the arrival of the allergy filled spring season, my friends and I put together a Vernal Equinox party this weekend. With hostess skills shining brightly, a well dressed Faye organized a wine contest and a spring, poetry and wine related trivia quiz. To ensure commitment to the "finer things" theme, we requested that our guests bring either a bottle of wine or an original poem. Donning fancier than normal clothing, we participated in these activities and ended up collectively consuming about 10 bottles of wine when all was said and done. 

Needless to say, every single moment of the evening was absurd. Jon's poem entailed hilarious personalized quatrains written to Zac, Nick and myself. Calling for a toast our ludicrous creation, Nick's piece probably should have been read to preface our folly. 

Originally written on 4 old business cards and 2.5 wide sticky notes, my poem was only slightly offensive. In honor of les printemps, I present my nonsense in a more archival format...

After months and months of shivering, 
delivering frigid turds from a frosty colored manhole
I now wake up with aqueous transmissions,
ubiquitously flowing to and fro.
Oh, what a delight that I might not have to thaw my bowls,
as spring has come 
and defrosted my belly's food crumb.

Spring was near, now she is here. 
Hear! Hear!

Hear what? 
We have nothing to hear but hear itself. 
Hear the swallow sing songs of how he shat on an elf. 
Flowers are blooming and Christmas is over. 
I only wish I didn't eat this poisonous clover. 
We've done daylight savings time, 
but I can barely breathe, much less pantomime.

Oh, these pants of mine, these pants of mine.
I must unzip these pants of mine (unzips pants)
Whether it's the warmer weather
or this lac-ed plant feather
This is where I draw the line.
As pollens fill the air 
like microscopic dragons in a boundless lair
I and my allergies agree to sneeze. 
Away! Damned poisons of St. Patrick, I expell thee.
Out!  Green rot, I beseech ye.

Spring was near, spring is here.
Hear! Hear! 

Listen to the buzz of bees and burgeoning leaves.

Spring was near, spring is here. 

Hear! Hear! Hear! Hear!
Here, here. Her ear is swollen, swollen shut.
Mother nature is an ungodly slut.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

skatebearding with dylan hollingsworth.

Today, my homie Dylan Hollingsworth and I set out to bring the skatebearded creatures from my latest series to life. I'm about to head down to Kettle Art where Dylan and I both have pieces up for the Birds vs. Skulls show tonight, so this is just a sneak peek at what went down today. Garage sales, flour paste, and grape drank was involved, so prepare yourselves. Also, this is just a quick note to say thank you for doing what you do, Dylan. You inspire me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

birds vs. skulls vs. beards vs. birdskulls vs. blogs

I've completely slacked lately on updating ye olde blog, and I've justified it (in my own head) by considering my recent twitter activity to be condensed alternatives. For that, I apologize. The good news is that I've been busy working on new art, art projects and working from my new editorial post at work. (You might notice an AP style implementation occurring here. <---particularly here...single spaces after periods.)

Cara and I are in the midst of working on the closing reception for the current Dunn Bros installation. We haven't consumed our whiskey quota just yet, but there's no need to fret. We'll do our damndest to make APRIL 4th (PUT THIS DATE IN YOUR CALENDAR) an asskicktacular event for the ages. Although this is the same night as the second day for the Deep Ellum Arts festival, there's no reason why you can't do both.

Speaking of Deep Ellum, I've been working like a crazy ass on new work for Kettle Art's Birds vs. Skulls show coming up this saturday. My neighbor was gracious enough to lend me some air-hardening sculpting material, so I decided to experiment with these pieces.

Check out the work in progress.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Suck at Music...But MC MOLEMAN is Wicked!

My roommates think I've officially gone insane after this weekend. Since around Wednesday last week I had been working on what I originally intended to be a Countryesque musical sequel to "Molemen Have Hearts, Too." I was inspired to continue using the "Chuck the Mole" character I created for Mission #1 in Operation Unicrog, and I figured his hickish qualities would translate beautifully in to music for Mission #3 (Create a song/rap and make a music video).

Alas, my complete lack of musical talent and experience got the best of me and I made the mistake of writing the song and recording it, without any natural rhythmic ability mind you, before my friends (real musicians) could work on it. Despite the efforts of my talented homies, Zac Cadwalader of Halcyon Nights and Amber Farris of Somebody's Darling, I had laid such a poor foundation that the project was doomed from the get-go.

I resolved to come back to the Countryesque style at a later time so I wouldn't muddy my friends' names with the horrifying pile of antimusic I made and turned to Garageband loops to change the project's direction.

And that should explain what you are about to see below.

Be on the lookout for a fuller, bigger and better production in the near future.

Special thanks to:

Amber, Zac, Jon, Faye and Matt for your guidance, time, support, and acting skillz.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

hushaboo to you, too!

hushabirthday to you
hushabirthday to you
hushabirthday, dear iris
hushabirthday to you

Despite the album title, hushaboo, there will neither be hushing nor booing at my good friend, Iris Leu's CD release party. The show kicks off at 8PM with DJ Pendergrassin', then Giggle Party, and finally, Iris gives us a gift on her birthday!

This is certainly a nice and humble gesture, but I say we pitch in and give her a gift by picking up a copy of her new album.

If you can't make it out to snag one of her CDs tonight, you can check it out on the interwebs:

Find Iris on...

If you like what you hear, you'll definitely enjoy meeting the lovely Ms. Leu tonight at Live at Mokah or electronically right hurr.

See you tonight!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet Dylan Hollingsworth.

I had heard and read his name hundreds of times. His lenskillz struck me personally when he shot my good friend, Sally Glass and captured her playful, carefree but not careless sensibility with his camera. Until Art Conspiracy IV, Dylan was only a legendary friend of a friend whom I had yet to meet. I assumed I would, at some point shyly introduce myself and awkwardly express my respect for his work. However, thanks to namebadges and Dylan's committment to finding

truth in himself and through others, he shouted my name as we crossed paths in that art-filled West Dallas Warehouse. To my surprise, he recognized my name. We talked about our mutual friend, showed each other our respective Art-Con works, discussed the grandeur of the event, and promised to keep up with one another electronically. Since then, we've both held up our ends of the bargain, sharing whatever inspiration, motivation, and creative opportunities we have with one another. As of late, Cara and I were lucky enough to hang 4 Hollingsworth prints north of LBJ for our first Dunn Bros. Art Show. Furthermore the customers in this coffee shop are lucky to have Dylan's work as more than just a backdrop for latte sipping and wifi surfing.

By investing time, concentration, and seeking depth in his subjects, he crafts surrealism with reality for his viewers to ponder and take second, third, and fourth looks. I am proud to share wall space with such an amazing friend and photographer.

Meet Dylan Hollingsworth. You will be happy.

Name: Dylan Hollingsworth
Additional Website / Blog:

Are you a practicing artist?
I am a photographer focused on but not limited to conceptual, raw, editorial and oddity photography. Some assembly required and life's readymades.

What is your primary artistic medium?

What do you dabble in (artistically)?

Where do you live (generally, not creepily)?
Vickery and Greenville

Aside from your studio, what physical, local space inspires you the most?
South Dallas, West Dallas and Space Studios. Also, anywhere where the struggle (actually being fought) is in full effect.

What is your favorite part of town?
Wherever i am i look for whats right, not whats wrong... and i find it.

Norm had Cheers. The gang on Saved by the Bell had The Maxx. Where would you be considered a "regular?"
lots of people know me and lots of people love me but i nevertheless seem to be a loner.

What is your (Alcoholic) Beverage of Choice?
Allergic to alcohol.

What is your (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) beverage of choice?

What would your last supper consist of?
Hunan chicken or some dirty south soul food. Greens, cabbage, cornbread etc...

What 3 famous artists (visual artists, actors, directors, writers, musicians etc.), dead or alive, inspire you the most?
Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers.
Godspeed You Black Emperor
Michel Gondry

What 3 almost famous people, artists or non-artists, dead or alive inspire you the most?
William Eggelston
Richard Avedon
Deb With Glamour Shots by Deb

Name 3 bands/musicians that you dig immensely:
Tiny Tim
Broken Social Scene
Sam Cooke

Name 3 movies that you dig immensely:
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Young Frankenstein

What book(s) are you currently reading?
Alcoholics Anonymous

Do you work a "regular" 9-5 job?
Freelance baby!

How long have you lived where you live now?
I have been in this house for 1 year.

At what time of the day do you feel most creative?

In a haiku, please describe a memory from your childhood.
I'll learn these 2 things,
They are quite contrasty things,
Then i'll learn new things.

Anything else you would like to add?
Everything i ever needed to know and possess i continue to find innately inside of me. If i am willing to look, see truth and engage in removing what is covering up my true self and my potential, i find it everytime. And i get to share it with you.

Are you a Texan?
Hell Yes.

What are 3 things that you love (or miss) about Texas?
When people say in rural ares, "Aint that some shit?"
Country girls with sassy mouths and cut off shorts.

Name 3 authors that you dig immensely:
John Kennedy Toole
Shel Silverstein
Bill Wilson

When and why did you decide to become an artist? (Submitted by Iris Leu )
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. i thought i would share it and perspectives that realization brought to me, wih you.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? (Submitted by Iris Leu )
shooting photography. helping others. loving every minute of it.

What would you like written on your epitaph? (Submitted by Iris Leu )
you will be happy.

What are 3 questions that you would like answered by the next person who takes this survey?
What hurt the most?
What helped the most?
What keeps you warm at night?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

For the Love of Kettle: A Video Recap.

Below is a short montage I put together this morning from the, apparently limited footage I shot last night at Kettle Art's "For the Love of Kettle" group show.

In case you're wondering what went down, here's the skinny:
50 artists were given 2 8"X10" panels to create original work to be sold at $50 to benefit Kettle Art, a well-loved art space in Dallas, Texas.

Last night, on 02.21.09, hundreds of friends, family members, and local arts advocates passed through the threshold of "the little gallery that could." Walls quickly filled with red "sold" dots, proving (to me, at least) that our community does indeed respect, need, and appreciate local efforts to cultivate visual art.

I appreciate what this gallery has done for me, personally, but in a much larger scope, Kettle Art is a cultural mecca for Dallasites, whether they know it or not. Consistently challenging local artists to push their creative envelopes and providing a venue for visual (and occasionally other forms of) expression, the little gallery that could is showing this city that it can.

I humbly thank each and every person who came out to contribute to and support the art scene in big D last night.

Now peep this:

Also, be sure to check out Crazy Picture Guy's FREE Flickr set from the show right HURR.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Inside the Artist Studio from KERA - Erica Felicella

The staff at KERA's Art and Seek is certanily taking advantage of new media lately...and it's the good "taking advantage of," not the GHB kind.

The latest in their endeavors to nourish and expose local cultural efforts is a video/interview with photographer, Eric Felicella in her Oak Cliff studio. Betsy Lewis of KERA has been dropping by various artists' studios for the past few weeks now, seeking art and artfully capturing artists seeking inspiration.

You can take a gander at the video right Hurr!

If you're intrigued enough, you can swing on by Kettle Art this Saturday to purchase an original piece from Erica and about 49 other artists hanging their work on the walls For the Love of Kettle.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Operation Unicrog - Mission #2

Mission complete!
Mission Description: Model something you wouldn't normally wear in various places.

Learn more at

Do it for the Love of Kettle! (Opens this Saturday)

Buy a piece of wood from the little gallery that could.

Kettle Art Gallery has become an icon in Deep Ellum, standing strong as a beacon of hope and a venue for creative culture in big D. Each and every person who considers him/herself a contributor to or a patron of the arts (Visual, Musical and otherwise) in Dallas benefits from having a place like this. This Saturday, you can show your support by stopping by Kettle Art to admire and/or purchase original 8"X10" works from over 50 local artists. At 50 bones a piece with proceeds going towards funding the gallery upkeep and maintenance costs, this show is a veritable bargain-bin.

You can check out work from (but not limited to) the following local talent:
Erica Felicella, Tyson Summers, Frank Campagna, Richard Ross, Sergio Garcia, Amber Campagna, Havi Frost, Tony Bones, George Fowler, Cathey Miller, Jayme Nourallah and MORE.

Do it. For the Love of Kettle!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

a video thank you.

This past Saturday night was nothing short of amazing. Cara and I were (and still are) floored by the artists, the musicians, and the support that showed up at Dunn Bros. for the "Valentine's Day Is..." Art Show and Extravaganza.

Here's a look at what went down...If you weren't able to make it out on Saturday, you can still check out the work (minus the music and the stench of baking soda, vinegar, ranch, ketchup, mustard, and squeezy juice drinks from the breakup box).

Swing on down (or up) to Dunn Bros. Coffee Shop in Addison any time during regular business hours for a cup of coffee, free wi-fi and some great art.

Dunn Bros. is located at 3725 Beltline Road, Addison, TX 75001

The music for this montage comes from the one and only Iris Leu, who just happens to have her new album, "Hushaboo" on pre-sale at!

Thursday, February 12, 2009



Today is the final drop-off day for artists participating in the "Valentine's Day Is..." Art Show and Extravaganza at Dunn Bros. Coffee in Addison, TX on 2/14/2009 We've got an amazing lineup for Saturday night and I'm proud to be on the same walls and in the same room as the following folks:

Musician, Iris Leu

Photographer, Dylan Hollingsworth

Visual Artist, "Maker of things", Tyson Summers

Photographer, Liss LaFleur

Photographer, Cara Smith

Musician, Nicholas Altobelli

Painter, Photographer, Sondra Beamon

Visual Artist, Corey Godfrey

Tattoo Artist, Johnny Cortez

Visual Artist, Wendy Moran

Musicians, Zac Cadwalader and Matt Amend

Come on out and meet these asskicktaculites!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love Songs @ Art Hotel

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it to the opening reception, as we're putting on our own V-Day show at Dunn Bros., but if you're downtown, check out some awesome new work at Art Hotel. For this show, cleverly called "Love Songs," each contributing artist was asked to create a piece of art based on a love song of his/her choosing. I knocked out a piece inspired by Iron and Wine's "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" with a cut on my arm and a dog-eared map to prove it.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some Nueva Work.

After slaving away with a shoddy circular saw, a roto-zip, and some hole saw bits throughout the week leading up to ArtLoveMagic's Underground show, I prepared a few smaller pieces to assemble live at the show. Check 'em out:



As a way of melding art with history and growing the Out of the Woodworks concept, both pieces are stuffed with pieces from Inauguration day newspaper. The piece on the bottom became a makeshift birthday gift for my 10 year old cousin, Jocelyn.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Reunited and It Feels So Good...

As I've mentioned before, I was part of a theatre troupe at UT called The Silk Mangos. As UT's first Asian American theatre troupe, we frequently addressed issues on race and identity in a multitude of performative mediums. Although there was a socio-political principle behind our work, we grew as artists with one another. Together, we wrote and performed original sketches and one acts for the sake of comedy, drama, social awareness, drama, improvisation, and experimentation. All in all, we just wanted to play in front of a live audience.

Semester after semester, rehearsal after rehearsal, show after show, road trip after road trip, drunken debacle after drunken debacle, these people were my family in college. Since taking our final bow (and weeping like school-girls, I might add), we've all gone our separate ways...New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Houston...

Despite the distance though, a few of us have found a way to rekindle the old flames and create a new environment of collective, creative growth through performance. Thanks to technology, I present to you, MISSION UNICROG (Half Unicorn, Half Frog).

For about a month, we've been emailing back and forth and contributing to an enormous google doc filled with "missions" for one another. For now, the participating UNICROG Agents will be assigned the same "mission" to carry out. We've created a youtube account and we will be video-documenting our respective interpretations of the mission.

This week's mission was:
"Create a character with a romantic problem and share it with the world on youtube."

Below is my way of saying "mission complete." Stay tuned to the UNICROG Youtube Channel for more reconnaissance work.

It feels good to be back together, guys.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meet Iris Leu.

The first time I saw Iris Leu perform, I wet myself. I had a lot of coffee to drink that day and her music tugged at my heart like no other live show I've seen. Situated just a few tables away from the stage at Opening Bell (then Standard & Pours), I was struck by the intimacy and the intensity of the performance. Emotions seem to pour over her keyboard and permeate every nook and cranny of any venue she plays, and this night was no exception.

Beyond performing, whether she knows this or not, Iris has consistently been a creative advocate of mine. Appearing at shows unexpectedly, and even early from time to time, she's always willing to support her fellow artist-kinfolk in big D, regardless of the medium. After only a few myspace exchanges and maybe (seriously, maybe) one real-life interaction, Iris entered my heart in a huge way when she drove down to Deep Ellum for one of my first art shows in Dallas.

I was unloading my car in preparation for my first live art show with artlovemagic and out came Iris from her car, offering to help me with a bag of tools. It's not that I expected her not to come, I certainly didn't expect to see her there, early, carrying a cordless drill for me. But that's just the type of selfless, supportive artist she is. Thanks for doing what you do, Iris. You keep my spirits high and my underwear soiled.

Meet Iris Leu

Name: Iris Leu
Additional Website / Blog:

1. Are you a practicing artist?
I make tunes that allow people to cry, and some that make you wanna dance.

2. What is your primary artistic medium?
Music performance, paper crumpling, and pressing/unpressing buttons on my recording gear.

3. What do you dabble in (artistically)?

4. Where do you live (generally, not creepily)?
Dallas, TX

5. Aside from your studio, what physical, local space inspires you the most?
I write plenty in the car, with everything/everybody being 30-mins away here in Dallas.
Scenic routes and store fonts really get me going.
Murray Street Coffee has great natural lighting.

6. What is your favorite part of town?
Deep Ellum + Lakewood + Oak Cliff and
the downtowns of each suburb and
indie coffee houses + public libraries.

7. Norm had Cheers. The gang on Saved by the Bell had The Maxx. Where would you be considered a "regular?"
Various locations of Panera Bread -
I'm the cheap customer that always gets a tall iced tea and hogs the wi-fi.

8. What is your (Alcoholic) Beverage of Choice?
I can't metabolize alcohol, boo!

9. What is your (non-alcoholic or alcoholic) beverage of choice?
Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea

10. What would your last supper consist of?
I'm a vegetarian, but my honest response would be, steak, medium well-done.

11. What 3 famous artists (visual artists, actors, directors, writers, musicians etc.), dead or alive, inspire you the most?
I try not to flirt with superlatives, but off the tip of my tongue:
1. John Steinbeck
2. Isaac Mizrahi
3. Hans Zimmer

12. What 3 almost famous people, artists or non-artists, dead or alive inspire you the most?
1. Laura Owens - painter who had a piece at the DMA this past summer.
2. With whomever I'm currently in love.
3. Rogan Gregory - clothing designer who revolves his business around his ethics.

13. Name 3 bands/musicians that you dig immensely:
I've been digging:
1. Zazie
2. Kings of Leon
3. Antony and the Johnsons

14. Name 3 movies that you dig immensely:
1. The Orphanage, and anything by Guillermo del Toro, really.
2. Speed Racer, visually stunning.
3. Ghostbusters

15. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

16. Do you work a "regular" 9-5 job?

17. How long have you lived where you live now?
About 1 year.

18. At what time of the day do you feel most creative?
After 7pm.

19. If you went to College, what was your major?

20. If you went to College, what was your minor?
No minor, but I'll use this space to say I wish I'd taken more electives, ie glass blowing or ceramics or more cello lessons.

21. In a haiku, please describe a memory from your childhood.
If you are one of
Fifty I kicked in the groin,
I am so sorry.

22. Anything else you would like to add?
I want to be as dashing and daring as Andrew. I think he's great and hope it's his year.

23. Are you a Texan?
Hell Yes.

24. What are 3 things that you love (or miss) about Texas?
1. Lamme's Candy
2. Old friends
3. New friends through old friends.

25. Name 3 authors that you dig immensely:
Besides Steinbeck,
1. W. Somerset Maugham
2. Marjane Satrapi, I highly recommend "Chicken with Plums."
3. JD Salinger

26. What are 3 questions that you would like answered by the next person who takes this survey?
1. When and why did you decide to become an artist?
2. What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
3. What would you like written on your epitaph?

27. Question Submitted by Sally Glass
What is one piece of artwork in existence (any type) over the entire span of time and space that you wish you had created (and why)?
Dvorak's New World Symphony. The melodic lifts take me to such heights no other work has ever shown me. It's my go-to when I can't sleep.

28.Question Submitted by Sally Glass
When in your life do you feel you create the most meaningful art?
I've just now reached a point where I feel I've mastered the formulas that go into songwriting for pop music, which is generally a symmetrical, motif repetitive, very selfless genre. I'm making more asymmetrical, more personal pieces these days, so the best is yet to come. Not sure if I answered this Q correctly. I'm trying to say that the best creative times come when the formulas are conquered and then tossed out the window.

28.Question Submitted by Sally Glass
Do you ever experience "writer's block", and if so, how do you deal with it?
"Writer's Block" usually manifests itself into eating lots of crap food, for me. So, exercise helps put me into a more creative and confident state of mind, which I need to craft tunes. Sorry there isn't a more romantic answer to it!

You can swing by the "Valentine's Day Is..." Art Show and Extravaganza at Dunn Bros. on February 14th to see Iris live and in concert. If you're interested in grabbing some of her music you can do that right HERE or you can head out to Live at Mokah in Deep Ellum on February 26th to celebrate the release of her new CD, Hushaboo.

Next up: Photographer, Dylan Hollingsworth.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Earbuds and Lyric Looking

I've given it some thought, and I'm pretty certain that the piece I'll be working on for Art Hotel's Love Song Show will be a visual tribute to Iron and Wine's "Flightless Bird, American Mouth." Each artist has been presented with the challenge of creating a representation of a cherished love song.

After playing Beatles album after Beatles album, some 80s love songs, and even some Reel Big Fish, I took a trip down to the garage with a beer, turned on my iPod and this song just felt right. The lyrics are weird as hell, but it just feels right, damnit!

Much respect to my homie, Shayne for inviting me out be a part of this exhibit. Art Hotel is a new exhibition space here in the, dare I say burgeoning Dallas art scene, and I am proud to be affiliated with such wonderful folks. Check it out at

Still Collecting Old Relationship Nostalgia for The Breakup Box

I'll be up at Dunn Bros. in Addison (Beltline and Marsh) from 5:30-7ish tomorrow THIS evening (02.04.09), collecting stuff for the Breakup Box. Please feel free to swing by the shop or email me at with any questions about this interactive event at "Valentine's Day Is..." See you soon!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Infinite Thanks from the Underground Beard Booth.

Last night was an amazing experience. Artlovemagic went big at the Underground Art Show at Janette Kennedy Gallery, drawing god knows how many people to this insane live art event. We filled the gallery itself and the better part of a major thoroughfare at SouthSide on Lamar with, well, art, love, and magic from all over the metroplex.

The idea of Underground as a "live art show" became especially real when a highly attractive woman, about my age came up and said something that hurled me into a state of improvisation. "I really like those skateboard beards. I kind of want to wear one around as a beard mask!" she exclaimed. I looked down at my cordless drill, a spare skateboard deck and a hole-saw bit and said to her, "Give me 10 minutes." I made an impromptu hole-sawing surface by turning a chair on its side and clamping the busted deck on two of its legs. Unfortunately, the drill battery was on its last leg and I had to borrow some electrical outlet real estate from Hal Samples, who was taking photos next to my booth. The young, attractive woman returned and asked, "how is the beard coming along." "Damnit! " I spazzed, and explained that I had to wait for my battery to charge. About 20 minutes later, the battery had enough juice to cut out a mouth and two holes for a rope that would secure the beard on her face. By this time, this was all to no avail, since she didn't come back by the table, but her comment and the fact that I had the right tools resulted in a new performative piece that I now want to include in exhibits henceforth.

I wrote on the beard, "Put me on." (Singing in my head A-ha's "Take on me"). I thought it would be a cute play on words and actions...(the idiom, "You're putting me on" + the action of actually putting my creation on). After doing this, I handed the "skatebeard" mask to my friend, Nick who asked "Can I add something?" "Sure," I replied. He wrote "Don't," thus the phrase "Don't put me on." We laughed and thought about the idea of people immediately wanting to do something when instructed not to. Then, apparently, he, being a clever wordsmith, crossed out the "Don't" that he added , and wrote "You're" and stuck a "tting" after "put," resulting in "Don't You're putting me on." I laughed my ass off, whipped out my drill, and put a screw in the wall to hang the recent creation. As I stepped back and saw the impromptu skatebeard mask and wordplay, I realized that I had just, by happenstance, created a collaborative piece of art with a friend and a complete stranger...and I'm realizing more and more that this type of playful interactivity plays a vital role in my whole process.

I want to thank each and every person who came out and supported this event, especially those who took the time to swing by the booth to check out the work and take a gander at my process. By talking with friends, family, and complete strangers about my work and the event itself, I find myself clarifying and sharpening the reason why I'm doing what I'm doing. I can't count the number of times I explained the concept behind the Out of The Woodworks series I am working on, and each time I found myself feeding off of the response from whomever I was yapping at. This process of engaging in a dialog (with fellow artists, friends, family, strangers) about one's own creation is the artist's challenge. Through this trial, both the spectator and the creator can begin to refine the art that they see and create.

You are my muse, my impetus, and my reason for creative evolution:

Nick Olsen
Skatebeard Mask lady
Jonathan Sham
Lisa Parker
Clayton Kemp
Jon Hendrix
Zac Cadwalader
Faye Scolnic
Desiree Eslami
Matt Amend
Cara Smith
Chris H.
Katie Joiner
Marina Stoynova
Adrian Ramirez
Blanca Chavez
Kris Capps
Jessyca Gonzalez
Caroline Casey
Dylan Hollingsworth
Kiki (AKA Roxanne, Deb)
Iris Leu
Sally Glass (in my heart and my noggin')
Tyson Summers
Mike Arreaga
Oscar Angulo
Fredo Salazar
Hal Samples
Justin Nygren
David Rodriguez
Michael Lagocki
Erin C.
Craig and LaTosha Hemphill
Sondra B.
Zoetina Veal
Michele C.
Meredith H.
Jay E.
Patti L.

If I left anybody off this list who came out last night, feel free to call me out.

Also, I'm a jackass and didn't have many printed materials with my contact info, so if you're reading this and you came with a friend, please feel free to pass it on.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bring 'em out, Bring 'em out!

This is my friendly reminder, regarding the happenin' happenings happening in downtown tonight. Time management skills are a plus this evening.

8PM - 12AM: Check out my work and get a glimpse at my process at the Underground art show at Janette Kennedy Gallery in the SouthSide on Lamar building. There IS an admission fee, but you can get in for half price if you email before 5PM today. He'll put you on a pre-sale list and you'll be golden.

9PM - 12AM: Head on over to The Whitney Gallery in Deep Ellum for KINK, an erotic art show, featuring work by many talented local artists including my good friend Corey Godfrey.

10PM - 2AM: Get your live music fix by going to the City Tavern on Main to listen to the always asskicktacular Somebody's Darling and their homies, Charlie Shafter and the Gnomes.

See you out there somewhere tonight!

The best part of waking up...

is folgers in your cup...and a little  AM Radiohead. I don't watch Saturday morning cartoons anymore, but this is a fine substitute.

Friday, January 30, 2009

This is Community.

This past Saturday, I asked fellow Dallas-based artist, Tyson Summers if he would be down to participate in the upcoming "Valentine's Day Is..." art show...After a few myspace messages back and forth, Tyson not only let me know that he would be down to contribute, but he whipped up this amazing illustration for publicity purposes. I have admittedly slacked on designing a flyer, and I am astounded, flattered, and humbled by this man's quickness to create.

As of late, I've been lucky enough to meet some artists in the metroplex that I only knew by name and electronically on myspace. I've quickly learned that the nature of our small but vibrant scene is extremely supportive, connected, and dedicated to the creative endeavor. Tyson and his contributions are living, breathing proof of a creative community willing to give time and consideration to other artists and feed off of collective energy.

Check out what he's up to at

I wanna see your face...

THIS SATURDAY (01.31.09) at Janette Kennedy Gallery for ArtLoveMagic's Underground show. Click here to get half off the admission price. If you're interested, I'll be making some smaller pieces right there on the spot that you can snag for under 40 bones. If that doesn't get your panties in a wad, then perhaps the opportunity to meet James O'Barr, creator of The Crow will make it worth your while.

and TONIGHT at Dunn Bros. Coffee in Addison from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. I'll be there collecting the crap from your old relationships that you want to forget about for The Breakup Box, an upcoming interactive piece.

And now...we dive into the past..."Funboy's Dead!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Adult Snow Day!

For the first time since college, Mother Nature threw me a bone and allowed me to escape the ho-hum of daily obligations...I took that bone and chewed on it for the better part of this morning.

Here is my adult snow day:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do you have any old relationship nostalgia?

Let us destroy it on Valentine's Day. Email me at or leave me a comment if you want us to make art out of that old shoebox of crap that you'd like to forget.


I guess this is growing up.

We're all feeling this now, in some way, shape or form. And it blows.

Thanks, Mike Judge, for helping us keep our sense(s) of humor.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Come on down to the SouthSide this weekend!

I've got 8 pieces up in this show and I'll be making some more financially responsible work for you to take home on-site THIS SATURDAY! There's an admission price at this one, so please visit to get tickets for HALF PRICE.

Much love and respect to the folks at Art Love Magic for putting this together and inviting me out to play. This is gonna be fun.

we're just getting started...

The Marble Arts collective is a small project that my friend and I have recently begun. We don't even have a proper mission statement up yet, but our goal with this effort is to eventually provide a collaborative network of support for arts funding in public schools. Regardless of how ill-formed our thesis may presently be, today we got the marble rolling...and here is the proof:

(Music by Sally Glizass)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

what's in my pants pockets - 01.25.09

(1) receipt from cuff and collar dry cleaning, (1) coupon printed with my receipt from tom thumb, (1) one dollar bill, (5) pennies, (1) tube of lip balm

Friday, January 23, 2009

What I Did on My Day Off...

Woke up (surprisingly early...9:15ish)
Got out of bed
Dragged comb across my head*
Deposited some cash monies at the bank
Grabbed a sausage biscuit from Mcdougals
Called my mom to see if she needed anything before her neck procedure today
Left a voicemail
Had the car washed and vacuumed
My mom called back
Talked about ongoing family stuff
Said I love you
Went to an undisclosed location and inquired how much an oil change would be
Immediately bolted because I was told it would "run me about $42.00 + taxes."
Said to myself audibly, while driving out of the parking lot, "42...American?!"
Remembered  and drove to another oil change place 
Had my oil changed and my fluids checked out for a much more reasonable price at SpeeDee Oi on Monfort
Bought a broom  at the Dollar Store 
Went to Asel Art Supply to purchase fiber paper
Popped in to Dunn Bros to refill my portable coffee mug
Went back to the apartment
Debated on going upstairs first or just going straight to the garage
Started to go in the garage, but realized I needed garbage bags
Went back upstairs  to grab them and changed in to filth-ready pants
Reorganized my garage for my own sanity and for Betsy 
Swept beer cans and sawdust with the new broom
Mom called...still high...asked me to pick her up and take her somewhere
Got ready to leave
Was informed by my Mom that my Grandmother hadn't left but was just in the bathroom
Worked on a last minute  piece  for the Underground show next  weekend
Betsy called 
Guided  her to my garage
We bantered
Proceeded to answer questions about my studio on camera for the Artist Studio Tour initiative on KERA's Art and Seek
Continued to work as Betsy filmed some more
Said goodbye to Betsy
Went back down to the garage and worked...for about 3 hours
Went back upstairs
Talked to Mom...she was sober again...recovering nicely
Grabbed a bite to eat
Posted Heidi's Interview
Went back down to the garage and worked...for another 3 hours
Finished the piece that hangs tomorrow
Wrote this blog
Going to the Londoner, apparently...

*Name the Beatles reference and I'll give you a drawring.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meet Heidi Childers.

Heidi can dance your face off.  Furthermore, she can choreograph your legs off.

I have had the pleasure of witnessing and experiencing both respectively.  Although we never did any terribly serious dancing with the Silk Mangos at UT, I along with my fellow cast-alum can testify that Heidi knows what she's doing with her body on stage (or up in the club with a bottle full of bub).  Since moving to Chicago and joining Culture Shock, a multidisciplinary dance troupe, Heidi hasn't lost a beat.  In fact, you can check out some of he backup work and her sweet manicure in Kid Sister's Pro Nails video here.

Throughout the years, Heidi has been a great friend, a creative partner, a neighbor, a motivator, a chicago tour guide, and a hip-hop head.  I owe her big time for introducing me to The Roots, Talib Kweli,  The Cool Kids, Common, and a slew of other acts.  

If you find yourself in Chi-town sometime soon, hop on the L and let her take you for  bike ride around her neighborhood.  Don't forget though, she has experience as a personal trainer, so be prepared to pedal fast.  

Meet sister from another mister.

Name: Heidi Childers

1. Are you a practicing artist?
(If yes, please describe your work in a sentence or two. If no, please describe your connection/interest in the arts community).
In a way, yes. I have the privilege of performing on a consistent basis with Culture Shock Chicago and on occasion with other various projects. I also use movement to make people cry in my personal training (haha).

2. What is your primary artistic medium?

3. What do you dabble in (artistically)?
Writing for my own sanity

4. Where do you live (generally, not creepily)?
Chicago, Illinois

5. Aside from your studio, what physical, local space inspires you the most?
Cyphers on the dance floor. I think the crowd, darkness, and in some cases mild to severe inebriation encourage people to let go of their bodies and do what feels natural. Dancers adapt so much to space, music, and audience that it never gets old.

6. What is your favorite part of town?
Wicker Park and surrounding neighborhoods. It's where I live and play. Unfortunately it's losing it's magic, slowly but surely, as the artists continue to move northwest into cheaper, less gentrified neighborhoods to escape the yuppies.

7. Norm had Cheers. The gang on Saved by the Bell had The Maxx. Where would you be considered a "regular?"
I don't really have one. Times are hard, and money is not flowing like it used to. I can't just go anywhere and post up on a regular basis without the guilt of having to buy something. If I really had to choose, Funky Buddha Lounge and/or Butterfly Social Club feel the most comfortable. It's always free (for me)! And the gym. :)

8. What is your (alcoholic) beverage of choice?
beer or wine, depending on how fancy I feel

9. What is your (non-alcoholic) beverage of choice?
water or coffee, depending on the time of day

10. What would your last supper consist of?
a beautiful buffet of my mom's signature creations

11. What 3 famous artists (visual artists, actors, directors, writers, musicians etc.), dead or alive, inspire you the most?
In dance, Mia Michaels because she can rip my heart apart with her choreography and Bob Fosse because he could do so much with so little. In training and bodywork, Jillian Michaels cause she's a beast, does not care, and takes no BS!!

12. What 3 almost-famous people, artists or non-artists, dead or alive inspire you the most?
Jilly Meyers, who I've been following only recently, because she isn't afraid of being random for the sake of being random and doesn't seem jaded by the dance scene today. My mom isn't famous, but she's still my biggest motivation and inspiration. Most often, I'm inspired by ordinary people. I'm inspired by those who recognize what their bodies are capable of doing and do the best they can, whether we're talking about health or dance or movement or whatever.

13. Name 3 bands/musicians that you dig immensely:
I am so bad at this. It's hard to name only three. Adele makes me want to move and cry. The latest from The Foreign Exchange and Q-Tip has restored my faith in hip hop. And even if it's lame to say this, I'm a huge fan of my boyfriend, Just J. His storytelling ability is amazing, and seeing his process is rewarding and makes me respect him even more as an artist.

14. Name 3 movies that you dig immensely:
While there are many more than three, the first few that come to mind are Slumdog Millionaire, City of God, and Fight Club.

15. What book(s) are you currently reading?
The China Study, The Audacity of Hope, a cookbook on Clean Eating

16. Do you work a "regular" 9-5 job?
freelance 10-15 hrs a week at an ad agency

17. How long have you lived where you live?
2.5 years

18. At what time of the day do you feel most creative?
It varies, but normally evenings

19. If you went to college, what was your major?
Advertising Media

20. If you went to college, what was your minor?
Started on Asian American Studies and never finished

21. In a haiku, please describe a memory from childhood.
will you be my friend
no bro or sis to play with
let's ride bikes today

22. Are you a Texan?
Hell Yes.

23. What are 3 things that you love (or miss) about Texas?
relatively warm winters (as compared to Chicago), my family/friends, our unyielding pride for the Lone Star State

24. Anything else you would like to add?
Your body is capable of amazing things. Be good to it, and it will return the favor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meet Sally Glass.

Despite the fact that she's all the way in Israel, the woman you are about to meet is someone very near and dear to my heart. Thanks to the internets and her persistent effort to keep in touch, the physical distance from Sally Glass is a little easier to cope with. She's so well-loved around these parts, I'm surprised that nobody has formed a help group yet.

Before she set off to explore the world and kick its ass, Sally's flash could be seen at pretty much every DJ night, Dance Party and live show worth going to in big D. On your luckiest of nights, you might have caught her playing music at the Cavern, in Oak Cliff at Decorazon, or on your couch.

She's too humble to ever admit it, but Sally is a regular renaissance woman with a propensity to melt your face and heart with photos, words, music, hair and glasses. Having known Sally for quite a while now, I've had the pleasure of seeing these attributes evolve, ebb, and flow under her earnest command. Constantly testing her own character by travelling, writing, shooting, flailing her hair about wildly and the like, Sally has the gumption to question who she is--and witnessing her figure that out creatively is a sight to behold.

There's no official date quite yet, but you should prepare yourself for the welcome home party of a lifetime when she gets back. Until then, try and keep up with her relentless endeavor to discover, learn, create, and inspire.

Plus, it's her birthday today!

Meet Sally Glass.

Name: Sally Glass
Additional Website / Blog:

1. Are you a practicing artist?
(If yes, please describe your work in a sentence or two. If no, please describe your connection/interest in the arts community).
this is hard. i don't really consider myself an artist. but i don't know if that means anything. i take photos a lot. that drives me every day. i record songs sometimes. i write short stories sometimes. i started writing a film with my roommate and third-half in israel (not very much progress yet). i'm just out of my mind.

2. What is your primary artistic medium?
canon 30d, the spaces between my thoughts

3. What do you dabble in (artistically)?
jazz flute, homesickness, short story composition

4. Where do you live (generally, not creepily)?
shivat zion 3, ramla, israel

5. Aside from your studio, what physical, local space inspires you the most?
physically, this one cliff overlooking the mediterranean sea across the street from some friends' flat near natanya. sunset times at that location take me to another time and place. we play music together, make and eat food together. the people there are so generous and welcoming. it's like having a family. we call it 'the shoshana'.

6. What is your favorite part of town?
read above and below

7. Norm had Cheers. The gang on Saved by the Bell had The Maxx. Where would you be considered a "regular?"
an indian restaurant/bar/guesthouse called the sub kuch milega. it's like a second, comfortable home. the people there are so sweet and amazing and there's always someone to have a conversation with and unexpected wonderfulness to be had. we go there any day of the week, every week. it's also open 24 hours a day. perfection. we sleep there, eat there, drink there, fall in love there. that's the place.

8. What is your (alcoholic) beverage of choice?
guinness or scotch on the rocks

9. What is your (non-alcoholic) beverage of choice?
hot tea (chai, green, herbal, gay)

10. What would your last supper consist of?
Glass (i don't know why, but this filled in automatically. i'm leaving it.)

11. What 3 famous artists (visual artists, actors, directors, writers, musicians etc.), dead or alive, inspire you the most?
oh man. off the top of my head: miranda july is great. all of her work is so expository and fucking hilarious with no care for other's thoughts at all. i'm really inspired by sarah maple's art. it's so conceptually controversial, but execution-wise just so amazingly accessible and inclusive. like we're all in on the joke. also, bjork is someone that just blows me away. she doesn't give a fuck what other people think. her music is gorgeous and inventive in ways that i can't even imagine. and that eccentric voice. so strong and vulnerable. she's incredible. wow, all women. that's sweet.
12. What 3 almost-famous people, artists or non-artists, dead or alive inspire you the most?
so many people inspire me on a daily basis, but i have to include diane arbus in this category even though she's not really famous because i omitted her in the last category. the courage and passion she exhibited in her photography and her life is inspiring beyond measure. she went above and beyond, pushing her comfort level past the point of no return. just to get that shot. andrew tolentino and his diverse, wildly imaginative, just-do-it approach to every artistic endeavor he attempts. and they are infinite and injected with his passion and humor for life. aaaaaaaaaaaand also alli nicole mickens. she inspires me everyday to be a braver, kinder, happier, more loving human being.

13. Name 3 bands/musicians that you dig immensely:
goddamnit you know i can't do this:

current 3:
1) phosphorescent
2) neil young
3) joanna newsom

always 3:
1) elliott smith
2) radiohead
3) wilco
it's too hard.

14. Name 3 movies that you dig immensely:
ok top of my head:
1) darjeeling limited
2) me and you and everyone we know
3) eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
(i know, really common hipster selection but they're amazing.)

15. What book(s) are you currently reading?
book of short stories by roald dahl

16. Do you work a "regular" 9-5 job?
i don't remember the last time i worked a regular 9-5 job. that's the goal. i'm irregular.

17. How long have you lived where you live?
ramla, israel: almost 6 months

18. At what time of the day do you feel most creative?
the wee hours in the morning after lots and lots of tea

19. If you went to college, what was your major?

20. If you went to college, what was your minor?
driving to dallas

21. In a haiku, please describe a memory from childhood.
we hid in the shade
the leaves covered our faces
i have never left

22. Are you a Texan?
Hell Yes.

23. What are 3 things that you love (or miss) about Texas?
1) my family and friends
2) driving anywhere anytime to anything and having it be the time of my life
3) andrew tolentino
4) chicken tortilla soup from cantina laredo
5) seeing great bands/art all the time
6) playing music
(i get more than 3. i'm entitled because i've been gone a long time. i'll fight you.)

24. Name 3 authors that you dig immensely:
1) bob dylan
2) sylvia plath
3) dr. hunter s.

25. What are 3 questions that you would like answered by the next person who takes this survey?
1) what is one piece of artwork in existence (any type) over the entire span of time and space that you wish you had created (and why)?
2) when in your life do you feel you create the most meaningful art?
3) do you ever experience "writer's block", and if so, how do you deal with it?

26. Anything else you would like to add?
i like this feeling. and i even cheated.

Photo by: Dylan Hollingsworth

History Happens Today. Let's Talk.

I've been reluctant to publicly allude to, let alone blatantly express my enthusiasm for President Elect, Barack Obama--the man and the metaphor. I am neither fan of soapbox-standing nor bullhorn shouting, but I have this creative forum and consequently, a compulsion to reveal what inspires me, what angers me, what makes me tick.

I don't intend to pepper my little speck of cyberspace with politically biased rants or blind favoritism, but there are a few concepts and misconceptions about today and the next four years that I've chewed on for a while now. I don't mind savoring these thoughts, but I will no longer bite my tongue. Here, at the threshold of a new chapter in American History textbooks henceforth, I feel obligated to share my thoughts, at least up to this moment.

After Obama delivered his touching victory speech back in November, I experienced a bipolar episode of sorts. [Elation. Sadness. Fear. Fist-pumping enthusiasm. Fist-clenching frustration.] These antipodes swam and surfaced in me like emotional whales, each emerging with epic proportions greater than the last.

At first, the sensation was immediately gratifying and superficial, like a casual, non-betting sports fan's ephemeral ecstasy amidst a championship. But then it hit me. There he stood. There they stood. There I stood amongst a core group of friends in my apartment, welling with tears and goose-bumps, pondering the importance of what just happened for him, for them, for us. Throughout his campaign, Obama's name became synonomous (sometimes nauseatingly)with the words "Hope" and "Change." At this moment, Obama and his family stood as a living representation of those mantras. I dare anyone to contend that imagery of two Black girls embracing their Black President-elect father does not symbolize change. I dare anyone to rain on the parades of oppressed peoples who find, if nothing else hope in the concept of a person of color being elected as the President of the United States of America. Cheesiness be damned. There I stood, happily watching, if nothing else a more tangible platform for hope and change symbolically manifest itself on television.

Sadness. Fear.
As the camera panned away from the President-elect, a new angle revealed the bulletproof glass that protected his wife and children. I'm certain that this is a common practice, implemented in these circumstances, but I could not control the King-X-Bobby-John F-Kennedyan fear that raced through my brain. At the risk of coming across like a paranoid conspiracy theorist, I expressed concerns about the safety of the new first family and how this beacon of hope and change also serves as a target of hatred. After hearing about the young people in hate groups who were arrested in an alleged assassination plot, I was sickened with the thought that this election had already and would continue to to bring out the worst in people. While the case I'm referring to is an extreme one, there are more covert, every day pedigrees of this caricature. Operating in numbers, on bathroom stalls, at water coolers, and in chain e-mails, the casual cases of hate and ignorance pose the most dangerous threat.

Fist-pumping enthusiasm.
Shortly after the coverage shifted away from the intimate concession in Arizona and the political Lollapalooza in Chicago, we watched the world celebrate Obama's victory. From Africa to the UK, from France to Japan, throngs of spectators across the globe were captured on film celebrating the election results. I shared, witnessed and felt that elation in a cinematic fashion [see the end of Independence Day]. Obviously, the entire U.S., let alone the entire world was nowhere universal communion that day.
I flipped on the local news and watched dwindling gatherings for the opposing candidate fade early in the night while the parties in a Blue Dallas county went on until morning. This coverage, coupled with the HQ happenings and the worldwide press reminded me that this type of celebration simply could not have been achieved with another (M)WASPresident-elect.

The color-blind, "we're all one race, the human race" has never set well with me. Barack Obama is a person of color and we ought to be comfortable with acknowledging that. Today, Barack Obama will become our first Black President. To deny or ignore this fact is to neglect an undeniable element of his identity. If we choose to remove color from the situation, we must also forfeit the historical magnitude of this occasion. This is just not something that I'm willing to do.

I would much rather be accused of being quixotic, and embrace this as human triumph, as a definitive step in approaching equality.

Fist-clenching frustration. Rarely does an event occur with such universality that the entire facebook community has dedicated a status change to say something relevant. On this particular night, I decided to take a trip through the friends list to see what I could see. I expected to see an array of responses fitting neatly in to the categories of celebration or defeat. I was however, ill-prepared for a few comments that blew straight past the category of defeat and landed in some god-forsaken, irrational, ill-founded arena of delusional bitterness.

Amongst commentary about drinking Obama's Kool-Aid, new socialism, fear for our children, and cracks about buyer's remorse, the most poignant attack read, "Hitler gave great speeches too..." I was blind with rage.

At what point did eloquence and a commanding public speaking presence become grounds for suspicion? At what point did the ability move masses with words fall off the list of presidential qualifications? At what point and after how many mispronounced words by President Bush did we quarantine the well spoken by labeling them "possible wizard" or "snake-oil salesman?"

At some point towards the end, I understand that this was, to use the sports fan analogy again, like having one's team lose a championship game. Sometimes the 4th quarter trash-talk can be a bit sloppy at times--but we can learn a lot from the conclusion-jumping bruised ego here. From what I could glean, these incendiary remarks come from those who:
1. apparently make over $250K and have enough time to update their facebook statuses
2. have completely forgotten about that system of checks and balances.
3. have neglected the fact that Obama ran as a Democrat, not a Socialist.
4. have failed to understand the Socialism in its purest form.
5. have bookmarked Revelations 13:5.

I'm beginning to remember why I bit my tongue in the first place. It's tricky to preface a paragraph by writing, in bold, "Fist-clenching frustration" and not rant a little, but then I remember why I decided to share this in the first place.

Again, I'm not aiming to alienate or lose electronic friendships here, but I do want to be clear about the moments that shape me, the moments that we share as a society. In order to preserve and positively affect the platforms of hope and change that have become more evident than ever, I know that I should be vulnerable in this moment. No artist should have to justify his or her work, but explaining the impact of an event as momentous of this one is another thing. Regardless of party affiliation (or lack thereof), we will all have something to talk, celebrate, or bitch about why not embrace a guaranteed shared human experience and learn from a different perspective?

Today is bigger than me.

Today is history happening before our eyes.

Let's talk.

Image by: Shepard Fairey