medium /// books




art inc. (one for me, one for you!)

And the winner is…. KIRSTEN MORAN! Congratulations Kirsten! I’ll be in touch later today to get your mailing address.

Thanks to everyone that entered. It’s a really interesting/helpful read so if you’re looking for an new addition to your art library, I’d suggest buying a copy (it’s only $16.95)

Amen! Very smart words, from a very smart book, written by a very smart lady. Yes, as of today, Art Inc., by San Francisco based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon hits shelves! You guys… it’s so good! Basically it’s all about how to turn your art practice into a business. Lisa did it. Lots of other artists have done it. You can too. It’s a really easy read, with very helpful advice – and what I love so much is that it makes you realize that this “dream” is not ridiculous. At all. Lisa, and the full time studio artists interviewed in the book, break it down in chapters like “Promoting Your Work”, “Selling Your Art”, and “Illustration & Licensing”. They give real world advice/examples of how you can turn your “dream” into reality. And then of course, once you’re a raging success, you’ll need this chapter:

YES! So good, right? Oh, and speaking of good, this book even has it’s own trailer {you gotta love that!} featuring illustrations from the book, by Karolin Schnoor… have a look right here.

{Art, Inc is now available anywhere that books are sold, but if you’d like to buy it online, please visit Chronicle Books or Powell’s Books… you can also enter MY GIVE AWAY! [another one so soon? yep!] I’ve got one copy for me to read cover to cover, and one copy to give away, so leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name on Thursday August 14th at 8am PST… good luck!}





‘o’ is for oprah

A few weeks ago I put up a very vague ‘O’ post on my Facebook page. I had exciting news but couldn’t say much… until now:

Yep! My book, CREATIVE BLOCK, is mentioned in the current issue of O, The Oprah Magazine! It’s the “Breakthrough” issue, so I am ridiculously honored to have the book be included. Down the left hand side of page 100 you’ll find three of the unblocking projects – one by painter Martha Rich, another by multi-disciplinary artist Kelly Lynn Jones, and a road trip idea from photographer Jennifer Altman – they’re all such smart, creative women! Have a peek:

Amazing! But wait, that’s not all!!! They also asked me to come to LA and shoot a few segments for #OWNSHOW. Um … I SAID YES. I was so nervous. Excited, but yes, nervous. Luckily I didn’t have too much time to overthink it, because about a week later, I packed my suitcase and was on my way. It turns out, there was nothing to be worried about. I have never met a nicer group of people. So fun, so encouraging, and so professional… what else would you expect though, right?! I ended up shooting five segments with their lovely #OWNSHOW host, Danisha Danielle Hoston. Thanks goodness for Danisha – she instantly made me feel comfortable. Anyway, we talked about shame, inner-critics, blocks, and finding a way out of all of that. I think everything went pretty well … wanna see them? (they’re all less than five minutes each, I promise):

No.1  How Artists Handle Self-Doubt:


No.2  What Artists Know About Creative Blocks:


No.3  How Shame Stifles Creativity:


No.4  Three Ways to Find Inspiration:


No.5  A Simple Way to Free Your Mind:

Ahhh!!! Craziness. Thank you so much #OWNSHOW – I loved every minute of my time with you guys, especially drawing those flowers!

So, next stop? Super Soul Sunday with Oprah herself. Ok, that’s not actually happening (yet!) but I’m going to put it into the universe anyway, because, hey, you never know!





maira kalman & daniel handler

CONGRATULATIONS to Erika Rier… a copy of this lovely book is coming your way! {thanks to everyone that entered… and I hope that some of you made it to MoMA yesterday for the event on the lawn!}






I love this, probably because I love New York based artist/illustrator Maira Kalman so much, not to mention my love for vintage photographs of girls standing on lawns… oh, and would you look at that, that’s the name of the beautiful book that Maira Kalman and writer Daniel Handler {a.k.a. Lemony Snicket} created together! The first, very poetic, page reads:

One morning
we found some photographs.
One morning
these girls stood on lawns.
We looked at the pictures,
and we got to work.
There’s no use standing around.
You should do something.
This is the whole thing.

That really is the whole thing, isn’t it… LOVE! On Sunday, June 1 at MoMA {who actually published this little gem}, Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler will celebrate their new book, Girls Standing on Lawns, with a garden party featuring 1930s-style Parisian jazz from the Hot Club of Flatbush. From 3-5 p.m. in The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. {Free with Museum admission}

ps. I have a copy of this book for myself, and… I have one to give away! Leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name on Monday morning at 8am PST. Good luck!

………………….





a lovely letter

When Kate Woodrow, an editor at Chronicle Books, approached me about writing a book, one of the first questions she asked me was “Why do you want to do this? What do you want to get out of it?” My answer was pretty simple. I told her that I wanted to write about blocks, and inner-critics, insecurities… and of course a way to break through all of those things. I said, “If I can make just one person feel better, less alone, not so creatively broken, I would consider this project a huge success.” And yesterday, I got this letter {that made me cry – twice} from a woman named Claire. I asked her if I could share this letter with you, and she said yes:

“I am writing to thank you for the most amazing book I have ever read… next to the Velveteen Rabbit and the Secret Garden.

About 14 years ago when I was at college studying art, I had just passed my driving test and went to a job interview at a newspaper for some work experience. All my work was in the car, portfolios, sketch books and exam certificates – I wanted to get it right. My work was deeply personal and I was very proud of it, it was who I was. Anyway I went for the interview and then went on a date, the first in two years. I went back to the car park to get my car… no car… it had been stolen with all my work in it… NOOOOOOOOOO! The car was eventually recovered a week later, but no work in the car. Everything I had produced in ten years was just gone. After that I could not make anything. I couldn’t paint, think, draw nothing would come. Then eventually I had my son, and needed to work for myself. My art qualifications were my main qualifications, so I started doing commercial work, and slowly my soul felt like it was being hoovered of all creativity. I just produced work that thought would sell and could not produce anything personal or anything I felt proud of… or that I felt was valid.

So, that has been me for the last 14 years… sad but true… anyhow,  just after Christmas I got really sick and have been in bed pretty much since then. I had an enormous amount of time to think about stuff, and my artistic practice, and what that means… and slowly my brain started to remember that girl who produced work with passion and vigour with no thought for what anyone would think of it. I made because I had to. I had to get it out… and then I saw your book. I have followed your blog for ages, moved by all the work on there. Then your book arrived, and I cannot thank you enough, and all the artists in it, for their honesty and candour. It has moved me and shaken my stuck little world, and today for the first time in 14 years, I made some work… which i am proud of. It is just the start, but it is a start. I have quit all the commercial work and I feel like my block is over. I can make work that is personal, that matters, that I believe in… because I have to… otherwise it’s just half a life.

I just wanted to say that your book has given me a great gift and has really aided my journey back to my brushes. I was on that path and your book has given me some more courage and tools… thank you… seems small, but it has meant more than I can explain.” ~ Claire

Thank you so much, Claire. This means more than I can explain. I think what moves me so much about this is that I feel like this is my story too, which makes you start to realize that there are lots of stories like this out there. When you’re in it, you feel like you’re the only one who has ever felt like this… until you share your story and suddenly you realize that you’re not alone at all. Having blocks just means you’re part of a very elite, creative club! You can’t have a creative block if you’re not a creative person, right? I’m so glad to be in this club with Claire, and all of you.

*artwork by Rachel Castle





julia rothman… again

Gorgeous. This beautifully illustrated love letter to New York hits shelves TODAY! Hello NY is a gorgeous passion project by Julia Rothman… a talented designer, illustrator, and of course, New Yorker. She wrote a very honest, heart-felt post about the ups and downs of creating this book on her blog, Book By It’s Cover – give it a read, and then go pick up the book. I’m going to need a copy because I’m heading to New York {for the first time in my life… WHAT?!} in a few weeks for my NYC book event! Oh, and it just so happens that Julia is one of the artists interviewed in CREATIVE BLOCK! If she’s not too busy promoting this lovely piece of bounded art, she’ll be stopping by the CB party on April 2nd. I hope she has a pen ready to sign her lovely pages!

ps. there are still a handful of tickets available to the NY party, so if you want to come, grab your ticket here.





that time i went to PIXAR to talk about my book (?!)

So this was a crazy day. This is what I saw as I walked into the main doors at PIXAR last week… life-sized LEGO sculptures of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear and Woody… and a poster with my book on it. Mind. Blown. No time to think about it much though because my talk was starting in about ten minutes. As I was setting up, I was told that the last presenter hosted by PU {PIXAR University} had been JJ Abrams. Hm. No pressure. Quick, could I make one of the books explode or something!?

Alas, nothing exploded, but I did get all set up in a gorgeous theatre with a really, really big screen {of course, it’s PIXAR} and talked my little heart out. I told the story of how my blog was born {which included a cameo by my son, because if it weren’t for having him I never would have started this site}, and how the book came about. The main point of the talk though focused on the big lessons I learned while writing CREATIVE BLOCK. We covered blocks, inner critics, public critics, and then getting through all of that so that you can get back to the joy of making work… work that you’re really proud of! I have to admit. I was nervous. I was in a room full of creative geniuses and I was worried that they’d be like “Uh-huh. Yeah, we never get blocked, lady.” You never know?! But no. That was not the case, because as it turns out they were all human. I spoke for about forty minutes, followed by a Q&A. Everyone then went out into the lobby so I could sign a few books {sign books?!?! very surreal, I have to tell you!}. The feedback I got was amazing. AMAZING. I had no idea who was in this line up and as I asked each of them what they did at PIXAR and what kind of art they did on their own {because all of them had something going on the side} I felt like a total fan girl! I mentioned to two of the guys that my son’s favorite movie is UP… they both worked on it! A few people told me that while they’re very confident in what they create at work, they really miss drawing, or painting, or [enter medium here] but felt a bit blocked when it came to getting started again. Several of them said this book was coming at the perfect time for them… it almost made me tear up a tiny bit, but I held it together because I was pretty sure that JJ didn’t cry while he was there.

Lunch time! I had a giant celebratory cheeseburger, and more fries than one person should ever have, with my amazing PIXAR host, visual-effects expert / fine artist Vincent Serritella, and my good friend Cariann Nesler. She came along as my cheerleader/photographer/book seller/driver, thank goodness! Vincent gave us a tour of this insane campus, which included their current in-house art show. Yes, they curate shows using the personal work of their staff – how amazing is that! {that is a close-up of Vincent’s fabulous self-vandalized self-portrait below}. We met a few famous friends along the way, and then, after a lovely full afternoon, it was time to say bye bye…

*Leaving PIXAR. Thank you so much for having me, PIXAR! Hope to come back through those gates again soon.





a book, 5 years, a give-away & a challenge

Thank you all soooooo much for entering! The winner of today’s give-away is Erin Candela! I’ll pop it in the mail tomorrow, Erin!

But wait… I have to give more away, right?! Right! Stay tuned, as more give-aways are coming in the next month or two {ps. thank you for all of your support, lovely comments, and mostly, for actually wanting this book! I am totally and completely overwhelmed xo}

ps. A few of you asked how to get a copy if you don’t live in North America… it will be on shelves world-wide, but if you can’t find it in your area, you can also buy it through amazon.com or through chroniclebooks.com : )

A BOOK:

Boy oh boy, I love these artists so much! Gorgeous work, and such funny, smart, touching advice… I can’t believe that CREATIVE BLOCK is finally out in the world. Thank you so much to everyone that made it happen, and thank you so much to everyone who plans on reading it! xo {and a big thank you to Leslie Fandrich for these gorgeous photos!!!}

5 YEARS & A GIVE-AWAY:

So, tomorrow, February 22, will mark five years since I wrote my very first post on The Jealous Curator. It also just so happens that my very first book, CREATIVE BLOCK, hit shelves all over the world this past Tuesday… needless to say, it’s been quite a week over here! And so we have to celebrate, right? How about a give-away!? Leave a comment on this post, and on Monday at noon (PST) I’ll draw one name and send that person a signed copy of the book. Deal?

A CHALLENGE:

I’ve heard from quite a few people that they plan to go one by one through the creative “unblock” projects given by each of the 50 artists in the book. So fun! If you do one, snap photo of whatever you make, pop it up on twitter or instagram and hashtag it with #creativeUNblock … I’m going to keep an eye out for them, and then I’ll set up a Facebook album to share some of my favorites from each month. I can’t wait to see what you make!

ps. BOOK EVENTS: I’ll be in San Francisco on March 5, and LA on March 22 and NYC on April 2 {links on the left sidebar}. The book will be available to buy in SF and LA because the events are at stores, but the event in New York is not at a bookstore, and is limited to 100 people so we’re selling tickets to it… right here {the ticket is $25 and gets you a book, drinks, snacks, and a super fun evening!}. More info coming soon on the May 15 Vancouver event.





los angeles – march 22nd, 2014

LA, so I’m realllllly excited that Skylight Books asked me to come for a visit! On Saturday March 22, from 5-7pm, Skylight will be hosting a little Q&A/book release event, AND, I’m so thrilled to report that I won’t be there alone… two of the LA based artists from the book, Stephanie Vovas {Photography}, and Jenny Hart {Contemporary Embroidery/Drawing} will be there too!  We’re going to talk a little bit, answer a few questions, and then all three of us will have our pens ready if you’d like to have your book signed. Really it’s a just a chance to come to LA, get out from behind the computer and chat with people in person. I can’t wait… I hope you can come!

Where: Skylight Books /// 1818 N. Vermont Ave Los Angeles
When: Saturday March 22, 5- 6.30pm

Any questions, just give me a shout {or a leave a comment here}





hale güngör oppenheimer


I have to say, I don’t think these photos do this pop-up book, by Stockholm based artist Hale Güngör Oppenheimer, justice. I wish I could hold it, flip through it, have a really close look… which I’m quite sure would then inspire me to attempt my own little pop-up house! Thick white paper, found bits n’ pieces, paint and patterns. So creative, and oh so fun! {that washy water reflecting through the photographic jug on the last page… oh, so lovely!}

ps. this work will be in a show that opens on February 15th in Istanbul, at Pg Art Gallery





san francisco – march 5th, 2014

I cannot believe it’s finally 2014! I’m finally on my way to San Francisco {the home of Chronicle Books} for my very first book signing party! The incredibly generous and lovely Kelly Lynn Jones, who happens to be one of the fifty artists featured in the book, will be hosting at her shop, Little Paper Planes. Here’s everything you need to know:

WHEN: Wednesday March 5, 2014  from 7~9pm

WHERE: Little Paper Planes ~ 855 Valencia Street, San Francisco {no tickets needed, just come on over!}

WHAT: A chance to visit, sign a few books {some of the artists from the book will be there too}, have a glass of wine, eat fancy sweet things, and try one or two of the unblocking exercises from the book! If you don’t have a copy by then, Little Paper Planes will have them for sale.

I am sooooo excited and can’t wait to see lots of old friends, and meet lots of new ones. If you’re planning to come, could you leave a comment or send me a quick email… wondering how many bottles of wine/art supplies to get. You know, the important stuff!

ps. New York, you’re up next. Just working out a date in April!