Category Archives: Art

I’m still in awe over this set of images from the FSA, capturing early America (1939-1941). I can only speak for myself, but seeing them instantly takes me to a place of questioning what it must have been like to live that life, to stand in that exact spot and not even be capable of imagining all the things that would come after you- of all the things you were making possible by merely working hard every day. And of course there’s that profound connectedness I always feel when I look at images/movies/hear songs so old and they seem to fit right in today’s world (of course, with minor adjustments). It constantly reminds me of how much has changed, and yet so much is still the same. (Above, homesteaders in New Mexico. 1941)

Children gathering potatoes. Aroostook, Maine. 1940.

Chopping cotton, White Plains, Green County Georgia. 1941.

Barker at the grounds at the state fair. Rutland, Vermont, September 1941.

Couples at square dance. McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 or 1940.

Garden adjacent to the dugout home of Jack Whinery, homesteader. Pie Town, New Mexico, September 1940.

Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, Chicago and Northwest Railway Company. Clinton, Iowa, April 1943.

Welder making boilers for a ship, Combustion Engineering Company. Chattanooga, Tennessee, June 1942.

All of the photos (and many more) can be found here.


Everything’s Coming Up Seven

I’m sure you’re all sick and tired of hearing about how awesome my friends are, but really? I can’t keep this to myself. So I wanted to spotlight a friend and his most recent creative endeavor.

When I first met Jon, he was drinking contraband whisky at the OSU Battle of the Bands back in 2004 with a mohawk and a sleeveless t-shirt, dancing to the massive guitar riffs at a Stairway Denied show (also good friends, nowadays but complete strangers back then). We’ve since graduated from OSU’s Graphic Design program, went all but separate ways and seen each other a handful of times since. He can be found in Portland’s bars and backyards, PBR in hand and a big grin on his face- recounting his most recent antics, on the brink of both offending the entire crowd and winning them over at the same time.

He’s held a variety of jobs, just as many of us artistic, never-fit-in-anywhere types do. But it would seem as though this is his baby. He founded the company with a good friend of his and based its identity around everything they really stood by- “Design, motorcycles, fashion, community, cycling, solidarity, tattoos, art, music, and friendship,” to quote their website and founding story. They operate the site, the blog (which is consistently updated with images, music, playlists, and other news about the company), and they most recently participated in Food Wars 3, a community benefit that provided 9,000 cans of food for locals.

(Below, founders Jonny and Mitch)

I can’t express how important it is for the “haves” to help the “have-nots” and how admirable it is to see individuals our age attempting to change the world, on any scale. It’s crucial.  (That’s just my little soapbox.)

So here’s where you come in: head on over to their shop. Peruse the selection. I imagine you’ll find something you like, it’s not hard. The stuff is catchy and of course well designed (read the back story and you’ll know why). It’s all printed on American Apparel stock, so you know it’s comfy. And they have been known to run specials from time to time (black Friday they ran a really nice one and will often do custom orders for weird sizes or color requests that aren’t available on the site). I have been eyeing the bomber for quite some time (I just love gold screen print). Who knows, my sugar daddy just may find cause to gift me one.

(Ain’t that a thing of beauty?)

Their initial run of shirts have sold like hotcakes, from what I hear. Promotion has begun for their second set of designs and you can see the sneak peeks on the blog. Hopefully those will hit the shop soon.

Support a local business founded by good people.

(All images copyright Come Up Seven clothing company.)

Hoorah! We’re Saaaaaved!

Did you hear? The Impossible Project debuted their first ever instant film! Initially I imagined all of my potential income being blown on this stuff, but after seeing the video and examples, I’m a bit skeptical.

I’ll admit to being a little underwhelmed by the quality of the examples. Make no mistake, it’s quite the undertaking. But everything they’ve shown so far seems to be lacking in contrast and definition in a way that the old Polaroid never was.

I also don’t really agree with the practice of not defining ISO’s and other features of the film. I don’t think people are inspired to be more creative when the film doesn’t have a speed indicated or light sensitivity, especially when it all appears over/under exposed. It’s actually a bit of a disappointment. I really hope they continue to make improvements and introduce a new line of color films, as well.

Images credited to the Impossible Project website.

Currently Browsing

This entry is being resurrected, after it disappeared during what may quite possibly be described as the worst crash in the entire history of any Mac Product I’ve ever owned. I take that back. When my hard drive failed the day before a deadline and I had to have it completely replaced, that was the true catastrophe. Saturday was just short of that, as what I have only been able to describe as a grey and pink and green striped screen of death popped up, my music skipped incessantly and I let out a blue streak so vivid my dear sweet grandmother would- well, she’d probably offer me a Bloody Mary. So without further ado, the rather pointless entry I was writing when everything went…rainbow:

It’s been a busy week. The short of it: I got a job! The long of it? I traveled back and forth to Albany three times (twice in the same day, Thursday), which is more mileage than my car has seen in the last six months. I really pushed myself toward the end of last week and threw out applications to virtually anything I could see myself doing. Luckily, I received an answer and went through the entire process with a place I can really see myself doing alright with. It isn’t a Graphic Design firm, by any means. But it is a place where I can put to use my computer knowledge, my ability to solve problems creatively, and as an added bonus my fluency with Spanish. I lucked out. Come Monday, I’ll be a working stiff, just like the rest of you. I kid.

Now, because of all this I haven’t really kept up my end of a secret bargain I made with all of you. I really wanted to push myself and at least write a little something every day of this week. What a disappointment I’ve been! So here’s a little bit of what’s got my mind turning and whirling at the moment.

>>The death of Papa Soul: For some people, this is old news (it happened in October, but we just found out). But Matt and I were just talking about him and the almost mesmerizing performance he gave last year at Bomb’s. He also ran his own soul food kitchen down in Eugene. We kept saying we’d go, see a show, and have some scrumptous food. And never did. The restaurant is still open, but we’re sad to know we’ll never see him play again. Rest in peace, Papa Soul.

>>The Sneeze: This blog, I stumbled on and I don’t remember how but it keeps me laughing. Entries of note include this, this, and this, this- an account of true love. Note: not for those afraid of little-kid-grossness, or other slimy things, or awkward situations.

>>Real Simple’s 9 Practices of Motivated People: There are some good ideas in here, including always maintaining a belief that you can. Positive energy is a force to be reckoned with and negative energy can really bring everything to a screeching halt. Check em all out.

>>The Art of the Title Sequence: I think we tend to overlook the creative and well thought out typography of movie title sequences. This site doesn’t necessarily focus on the typography, so much as the entire sequence and what goes into creating interest within the viewer without giving too much away. But there are some sweet little typographic bits, as well as some atrocities. It’s all quite intriguing.

>>50 Steps to Simple Happiness: I’m not one to prescribe to health mantras or jump from life-trend to fit-fad. But I do thin it’s important to take time out and focus on what makes you a better, happier person. In doing so, I’ve found you have to pull bits and pieces from a bunch of places and theories. This list helped me recall some of the things I’ve discovered in the past, but gotten too busy and let fall by the wayside. And any list that advises me to eat dark chocolate every day is getting bookmarked, logged, recorded, and grocery-shopped for. Check and check.

And there you have it. Thoroughly unimpressed, aren’t you? I have no idea where I was going with that entry.

Where do I sign up to join this cult?

But seriously.


I mean, for real.

The only information I could find on this is here.


NLMH is a collaborative art installation and fashion performance exposing the life and culture of a future thinking, back-to-the-land, uptopian, artist commune residing in rural Wisconsin.  The opening performance will be an exploration into this community’s spiritual rituals, relationship with the soil and stars, and the necessary tasks for sustainable life.  Pioneers of gyroscopic technology, the New Land of Milk and Honey will elaborate on the everyday practical applications of the Segway. NLMH will open at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis on February 20th, 2010 and will feature artists Brett Smith, Erin Smith, Adrian Freeman, Ann Marie Delathouder Freeman and myself.”

Perusing The New York Public Library Archives

I’ve been wasting quite a bit of time lately browsing the archives recently posted by the New York Public Library. I guess you can’t consider it a waste when it reflects so vividly the origins from whence we all come. More than anything, the nature of these photographs strike me because they are so matter of fact, such a direct depiction of every day life at a crucial point in the forming of our country. The one’s I’ve posted below all come from the Farm Security Administration Collection, spanning 1935 to 1944. There is a heat and vitality to the people they contain, in spite of the reality of their struggles.  You can find the New York Public Library Archives here.


“Constellations” by Jean Philippe Bretin. Prints available here, seemingly quite affordable.