medium /// news

amy sherald

Oh, the paintings of Baltimore based painter Amy Sherald. I love her work, and guess who else does? Michelle Obama. Yes! On October 13th, it was announced that the former first lady has chosen Amy to paint her official portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery! Amazing, and literally the perfect choice. I cannot wait to see the final painting. Can. Not. Wait.

ps. President Obama made a wonderful choice too… Kehinde Wiley will be painting Barack’s portrait!


finally! a little…

Ok, there is soooo much I want to tell you … but I’m only allowed to give you a few little tidbits today. So, let me catch you up on what’s going on at the moment. The book is set to be released in the Spring of 2014. All of the writing/editing is completely finished, and the final manuscript is now in the hands of the lovely folks at Chronicle Books in San Francisco. Pretty much everything is ready to go to print… except the cover. The amazing design team is working with one of my favorite artists {who happens to be featured in the book}, Toronto based painter/designer Amanda Happé:

Gratitude? Yes. My world is filled with gratitude right now! Note: Just to be clear, this painting is NOT the cover… but it’s similar in it’s Amanda Happé-ness. I just saw her preliminary sketches a few days ago, and they ROCK! I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such a talented artist doing a custom piece for this project. When this is over, I’m totally going to buy that painting and hang it in my living room. I will then sit underneath it while I hold my book. Yes. That is exactly what I will do.

Ok. This info about the front cover was the first little tidbit. Now, flip it over… you will never believe the amazing group of people who reviewed the book, and then wrote endorsement blurbs that will appear on the back. Ready?

Holy SHIT. I’m sorry for the cursing, but I feel it’s necessary. I still cannot believe these people took time out of their busy lives to read the book, let alone sit down to write the nicest reviews EVER. I was really nervous to reach out to all of them, but I fueled up on caffeine, gave myself a pep talk, and sent out the emails. And they all said yes, immediately. CRAZY.

Jerry frickin’ Saltz? {Yes, that is now how I refer to him at all times, because am still in disbelief that he said ‘yes’!}. I have to tell you, writing to the Senior Art Critic at New York Magazine is terrifying. What if he wrote me back and criticized me!? Um, hello, art school nightmare! Well he didn’t, thank goodness. He was hilarious, open, and generous {ok, he dished it out a tiny bit, but I totally handled it. Must have been the caffeine.}

Brené Brown. For real. Have you seen her TED Talk on shame and vulnerability? So, so good. And maybe you’d like to see what she and Oprah chatted about. Yes. Oprah. Without giving away too much, this book talks a lot about the insecurities that artists face every day – so who better to review the book than someone with a PhD in vulnerability, right?

And then there’s Faythe Levine. She is sort of a creative hero of mine. She owns an art gallery, is an artist herself, and she directs amazing documentaries that take a beautiful look at art in America {If you haven’t seen Handmade Nation, or Sign Painters… well, you should!}. I am thrilled to have an amazing working artist review a book about amazing working artists. It just makes sense.

Now, the final bit for the back cover. My bio photo. Ugh. I tried to use my Polaroid over the face shot that I use for most things, but my editor {the amazing Kate Woodrow}, wouldn’t let me do that. So, I called this guy:

Jeff Topham is an amazing photographer, writer, and film maker. I actually wrote about one of his film projects, Liberia ’77, in 2010. If you ever have a chance to watch it, please do. It’s ah-mazing. Anywho, not only is Jeff all of these things, he’s also one of my childhood friends, so when I had to do the dreaded “head shot” I knew he was my man. I call the photo above “You better not make me look like an idiot, or I’ll tell your mom what you did at that party in 10th grade.” Well, we had a few stops and starts, but he got the shot:

Yes! Done. I will now use this shot forever. Thanks Jeff! xo {ps. I won’t tell your mom anything!}

Ok, so that’s all I can tell you so far… basically now you know what’s happening on the front and back, and as Spring 2014 approaches I’ll let you know what’s going on the inside of this fantastic cover! Thank you again to Amanda, Jerry, Brené, Faythe, Jeff, Kate and all of the other crazy amazing people at Chronicle… not to mention the 50 contemporary artists featured in the book! You’ve all made my dream a reality.

{If you’re still reading, thanks for paying attention all the way through this very long post. This book has been a huge part of my life for the past year and a half and I just have to tell you about it, whether you want to know or not! Ok. I’m done now. Happy weekend!}

jealous on jack!

There are a lot of fun perks that come with having a blog, and this is definitely one of them! Jack Cards {via Sarah Bryden-Brown of Blogstar} asked a few bloggers to design a card for them. I jumped on the chance, as did Melanie from Inward Facing Girl, and Amy from Old Sweet Song.

For my card, I used one of my mixed media pieces {and then added a pink birthday hat}, and voila… a birthday card! We held a contest for people to come up with a message for the inside of the card, and there were sooo many amazing entries! Here’s the winning message:

Ha! I love it! As it happens, the chosen message was written by design blogger, Victoria Smith of!!! Yep, she’s a style maven AND the queen of one-liners! I think it’s a pretty hilarious/weird addition to an already pretty hilarious/weird image.

All three of our cards go on sale today {mine // Melanie’s // Amy’s}…YAY! Thanks Jack, and thanks to Sarah for inviting us to be part of this!

jealous at chronicle

When I was in San Francisco, for GIRL CRUSH with Lisa Congdon, I also had a chance to visit with the crew at Chronicle Books. I’d met one of their editors {the lovely Kate Woodrow to be exact!} in January at Alt Summit. She came to my panel on the first day, and the next day I went to hear her speak… on a panel that just happened to be called, From Blog to Book. Can you guess where I’m going with this?

Yep, it’s true… The Jealous Curator is going from blog to book! Seriously. I am working on a book that will be published by Chronicle?! I have to tell you, this is at the very top of my life list, and I am beyond thrilled that I get to cross it off! I can’t believe that I’m going to be along side all of these gorgeous art books on Chronicle’s shelves – I own half of them, and have written about the others. I can’t tell you exactly what my book is about just yet, but as we move the process, I’ll tell you as much as I can {ooh, mysterious!}

I just wanted to take a second to say thank you to Chronicle for believing in me, and even more so… thanks to all of you for actually reading every day. If someone had told me this was going to happen, three years ago when I started my blog, I wouldn’t have believed it. I feel very, very blessed.

Ok… I guess I better start writing! Wish me luck!

{1. Little Paper Planes 2. Obsessive Consumption 3. Stencil 201 4. The Exquisite Book 5. Paper Cutting 6. 100 GIRLS ON CHEAP PAPER}

GIRL CRUSH minneapolis ~ sold out!

Thanks to some amazing people, we were able to lower the price from $275 to $175… and the workshop is now sold out!

First of all, Jennifer Davis is not only an insanely talented artist, she’s also unbelievably generous. She has donated so many fantastic things for the gift bags… art supplies {for our afternoon art project!}, one of her zines, a set of mini prints, a giclee print… and the list goes on. Not only that, but she’s going to raffle off an original piece to one very lucky tea party attendee {I’m secretly hoping it’s me, although I’m sure that wouldn’t be seen as ethical}. The generosity doesn’t end there though – Carolyn Payne, the executive director at sooVAC has offered her space to us, and is working like a mad woman to get us a few sponsors… sponsors like Common Roots Catering who will be providing breakfast treats {along with much needed coffee & tea!}, and Chowgirls Killer Catering who will be donating lunch… and all of it looks DELICIOUS! We’d also like to thank Hang It, for giving coupons to all of the attendees… so that you can frame those lovely prints donated by Jennifer! And, thank you to Vandalia Street Press who will popping a few pretty printed things into our gift bags as well! We’ll be announcing the sponsor for our tea party sweets very soon. See? So much love in Minneapolis! Can. Not. Wait.

money. let’s talk about it, girls.

I love this work by Hanna von Goeler, and it just so happens to be a perfect intro into this bit of news I have for you.

So, as most of you know {I hope!} the Girl Crush workshops + tea parties are underway! San Fransisco {with Lisa Congdon} happened last Saturday, Seattle {with Tif Fussell} in May is almost full… but the rest only have two or three sign-ups. I did a little survey and realized that $275 was just too much money for most people in this economy. In San Francisco I used almost all of the money to put the event together {there was a little bit left over, and since I never intended these workshops as a way for me to make money, I am donating it to Southern Exposure, an arts center in San Fransisco that supports emerging artists.} Most of the money went into the tea party part of the event {which was amazingly delicious!!}, but after talking with all of the women that attended, the most important part of the day was actually meeting each other, hearing Lisa Congdon’s story/experiences, and breaking through a bunch of our insecurities/artist blocks. And so, I’m going to lower the price in all of the cities. YAY! My plan was to make them the same price in every city {seems fair, right?}, but the price will be determined by the sponsors we are able to get in each city. I didn’t go the sponsorhip route in San Francisco, but should have. I’m going to work more closely with the host artist/venue to see what we can do about having a lovely tea party {it still has to be fancy – pizza and plastic cups just won’t cut it I’m afraid!}, at a lower cost to you.

Here’s the thing {heart currently on sleeve}, I just really want these workshops to happen. San Fransisco was amazing! All of us got so much out of it, including a whole bunch of new friends/creative cheerleaders… who doesn’t need a few more of those in their life, right? Right!

Anyway, thank you for listening… I hate talking about money! As I work with each city, I’ll let you know what the prices have been changed to, and exactly what you’ll be getting at each workshop. Stay tuned! xo

alt summit 2012

Well, I’m back from Salt Lake City. I am exhausted, inspired, overwhelmed, and I have pretty much completely lost my voice from laughing/talking all day and all night at this year’s Alt Summit. If you weren’t there, I’ll give you a quick rundown… on the very first day of the conference, I was lucky enough to speak on a panel about “Successful Collaborations” with these lovely ladies:

As you can see, as soon as I was finished talking {first day, first panel, first speaker!? Yes, it was nerve-wracking!}, I got myself a giant cup of coffee and spent the next two days learning all sorts of things, from all sorts of amazing people. My favorite talk was from the keynote speaker on Friday… Ben Silberman, the creator of Pinterest. He was funny, humble, and well, totally and completely inspiring!

So, so good! {look how big that lunch crowd is – that tiny white dot in front of the black screen is Ben!} Now, if you’ve never been to Alt, you should know that you’ll learn an insane amount of information about being a blogger, but you’ll also learn how to look fabulous. All the time. Apparently everyone {including me} got the memo that this year, was in fact…

Buns, shoes, accessories, vintage dresses, stripy tights. Yep, the Sartorialist should show up to next year’s event… he’d have an abundance of material to shoot! Speaking of photos, on the final night, the third floor of the hotel was taken over by a whole bunch of fantastic mini-parties put on by some of Alt’s very generous sponsors! I think almost all of them had a photo booth… so, my super-cute roomie {Kathleen, of Jeremy & Kathleen} and I hit as many as we could:

What a couple of weirdos. I’m not sure why we’re attempting the ‘sexy pout’ in every shot… oh well, we had fun! And then I lost my voice ; )

If you were there, I hope you had an amazing time. I highly recommend the Alt experience to anyone who is interested in the world of blogging… and photo booths.

{All of these images are from Alt’s Flickr stream. Thank you to the fantastic photographers that documented the past crazy few days for us!}


I’m about to get on a plane to Salt Lake City, because I’m lucky enough to be speaking at Alt Summit tomorrow! While I’m there I’ll be making a little announcement… but I wanted you to know about it first! I’m kicking off a new project in 2012. What is it? Well, it’s called…

Ta-dah! Yep, that’s what’s happening, and here’s why:

The idea for these workshops came out of a couple of things. First, I wrote a post last year called jealous & alone, and the response was unbelievable! I wanted to jump right out of the blog world and actually meet everyone that commented, and keep the honest/inspiring conversation going. Second, I started a series on called ‘girl crush’, which is all about celebrating amazing women artists. In one of those posts, I made a joke about hosting a girl crush tea party with American artist Alyson Fox – and then a whole bunch of people emailed me saying that they would love to attend a girl crush tea party… so we’re doing it! In fact, I’ve got the table set for four of them in 2012! Listen to the amazing women artists who will be our hosts… Lisa Congdon in San Francisco this March; Samantha French in New York this April; Lisa Golightly {aka Kiki & Polly} in Portland this June; and of course, Alyson Fox in Austin this September. Yep, one day workshops filled with inspiration, art, fancy sandwiches, and pretty cakes… in the real world! For more information {details, how to register, etc} check out my girl crush page {which is also in the right hand nav} or head straight to my shop to sign up. I’m so excited about this little adventure, and I hope you’ll be part of it! Ok, now I have to get myself to the airport! Bye bye… I’ll be back with new posts on Monday {but on twitter, reporting from Alt, from now til then!}

~ danielle xo

happy new year!

YAY! Happy 2012!!!

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you all so much for being part of The Jealous Curator. February will be three years {crazy?!}, and it’s unbelievable how much I’ve learned because of you. The first very loud message from 2011 was this: we all have doubts, and artist blocks, and days when we wonder why we put ourselves through the creative process… but then we make things that we love, or find work by others that move us in some way, and it all becomes clear. We have to be artists, because it’s in us. Yep, I said us. That was lesson number two… none of us are alone in this {even if it feels like it sometimes}. Thank you so much for coming along on my little adventure… I can’t wait to see what kind of inspiration, creativity and excitement this new year will bring! Ok, now go make stuff so that I have something to be jealous of in 2012! xo

ps. I have a few very exciting projects {that I hope you’ll be part of!} to tell you about in the next couple of weeks… see, 2012 is already starting off with a bang!

{Sparkly image by Confetti System}

june 25th ~ 26th

Yay! I could not be more thrilled to have Canadian writer Mary-Jo Dionne as my very first weekend guest of the summer. The list of reasons to be jealous of her is much too long, so I’ll just give you the highlights: She’s an amazing writer {funny, thoughtful and insanely smart… the next Tina Fey, really}, she started a charity to protect the rights of doggies everywhere called The Fleas Knees, which she pours her heart and soul into {and in true Mary-Jo fashion, instead of a normal launch party for the line of t-shirts created to raise funds, she kicked the whole thing off at the Playboy Mansion?!?} Wait, there’s more! She has done stand-up comedy, she has her own radio show, she is a triathlete, she’s pretty… ok, you get the idea! Anyway, just when I thought she couldn’t be any more thoughtful or inspiring, she writes this:


I’m jealous of my city…

I believe it was writer Marianne Williamson who said, “It’s not to our discredit we have fallen. It’s to our credit we have fallen, … and gotten back up.” Whether I’m right or not about the author of that sentiment, this insight was also delivered by Lionel, the butler in the film Maid in Manhattan to Jennifer Lopez’s humiliated character, after she was exposed as – gasp – a chamber maid and not the millionaire she’d pretended to be. “What we do, Miss Ventura, is not what defines us,” Lionel said. “What defines us is how well we rise after falling.” From Greek mythology to Valerie Bertinelli’s career, nothing’s more inspiring than a resurrection.

On June 15th, my city – consistently depicted in glossy marketing materials as the Mecca for perfect-living – underwent a massive punch in the gut. In the wake of a disappointing Stanley Cup finish (for Vancouver, anyway), what started as a few chest-thumping twits snowballed into multiple chest-thumping twits and soon my streets were thick with flipped-cars, smashed store fronts, and pepper spray. As rioters put themselves – and others – in precarious situations, not the least of which included setting cop cars on fire, it was the prime location for a Darwin Awards convention.

But the following morning, something happened. Figuratively and literally, the city woke up. Hung-over not from alcohol – okay, there was that too, however allow me this metaphor – but from a reality check. Our city – consistently voted the #1 place in the world to live – could get ugly?! Like the prom queen who gets a zit, so too did we have to face a sizeable blemish.

What emerged was a new brand of expression. This wasn’t some multi-million dollar advertising campaign. No, this sprouted organically. As if decades of unexpressed loyalty had been sleeping in the soil and under the pounding of looters’ feet was finally ready to blossom. The air was thick not with pepper spray, but a renewed sense of civic commitment – indicated on murals that covered shattered windows. Whether art is “good” or “bad” is not relevant – so long as it tells the truth. And as far as I’m concerned, this new Vancouver – Vancouver 2.0 – tells the truth. It’s not about the pages of a shiny come-visit-us brochure. It’s about what happened on the night we fell. When our noses were pressed into the ground, and when the kicks just kept on coming, we made the decision to rise again.


Thanks Mary-Jo… so inspiring, yet again! xo