medium /// text-based




“make waves instead of going with the flow”

I am so excited for you to listen to this episode! It is filled to the brim with hilarious stories, inspiring advice, and of course, a lengthy discussion about pizza. I’m talking to Ohio based artist, illustrator, writer, speaker, podcaster, father, vivid dreamer, Boyz II Men fan club president, and former sandwich artist, Andy J. Miller aka Andy J. Pizza. Listen right up there under the surfer dude, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, these are the gorgeous, and totally inspiring, illustrations Andy does for each of his ‘Creative Pep Talk’ podcast episodes:

YES to alllllll of that! Oh, and speaking of creative pep talks, this is Andy’s most recent book filled with beautifully rendered advice from 50 amazing artists:

This is the book that features quotes from Oliver Jeffers, Lisa Congdon and Stefan Sagmeister… jealous? Yes, yes I am. {although Stefan really did kiss me – here’s a link to the proof}

Oh, and look at this! The first book(s) he did with Chronicle. The Indie Rock Coloring Book, and Indie Rock Poster Book:

So fun! And, oh yeah, he also has a day job… here are some of Andy’s gorgeous pieces he’s done for clients:

Ok, he did NOT tell me he’s done work for Nutella … I wonder if he gets a discount? I would have let them pay me in jars of that goodness!

And, obviously, after hearing Andy’s energetic and hilarious voice, you need to see him in action. Here he is in his new found happy place… on stage, talking all things creativity:

So funny! Also, I need that coffee mug to go with all of that Nutella I’m lining up for.

And finally, this was an illustration Andy did for Mental Floss Magazine, but I like to imagine this is what he looks like during one of his crazy, vivid dreams:

That could actually be my dream if that grey thing is in fact a SNAKE!? I cannot express how much I wish there was an illustration of Andy with the guys from Boyz II Men … now that would have made my year! Thank you so much to Andy for being such an open, hilarious, inspiring book; thank you to Saatchi Art for not only supporting this episode, but for supporting the podcast AND my weekly e-newsletter since they both began; and you know it, HUGE thanks to you for listening. I’m taking next week off to be with my little family, but there will be a new episode on the first Saturday in January. Happy Holidays!

Other links:

  1. The Thread House (Andy’s wife’s shop)
  2. Creative Pep Talk Podcast
  3. Andy on Instagram

 





natalie baxter

What do you do when your artwork causes crazy people to come out of the woodwork? Turn their horrible online comments into soft sculptures, of course! Oh, how I love this new series, titled ALT CAPS, by New York based artist Natalie Baxter. I had her on the podcast last January to talk about her droopy Warm Guns and tassel-covered Bloated Flags, and she admitted both series get some pretty nasty comments from time to time. Well, instead of allowing those rude words to stop her, Natalie decided to spend a good part of 2017 turning those trolly words into a whole new series … brilliant and hilarious. Mic drop.

ps. Natalie is another of the contemporary artists featured in my upcoming book. Seriously, with work like this, how could she not be!?





niad : “i heart art”

Have you heard of NIAD? I just learned about them this past June when I was in San Francisco, and I was instantly in love. Here’s the description from their site:

NIAD Art Center’s visual art program promotes meaningful independent living by artists with disabilities—while its artists create remarkable contemporary art. In a unique open studio environment, and with the guidance of qualified staff, NIAD artists acquire new skills in artistic practice and in independent living. {located in Richmond California, Bay Area}

So exciting and inspiring! When they asked if I’d put together an online exhibit during the first week of October, obviously I jumped at the chance. My collection is titled “I Heart Art”, because I do, and isn’t that what it’s really all about? The images above are just a handful of the pieces in the show, and one of the works has already sold… because I bought it! Yes, the lovely lady at the top of the post is a piece by Jonathan Velazquez and it’s currently hanging in my living room. Get over there and buy a very affordable piece from one of these amazing artists… like this one, titled “David Bowie and His Cat”, by Ann Meade

{Artists shown above: Jonathan Velazquez, Sarah Malpass, Carlos Fernandez, Phyllis Carr, Jeremy Burleson, Mimi Englin, Adonia Douglas, Sarah Malpass – again!, Ann Meade}




“that night in toronto” {art show}

Oh, where do I begin? This show is so important to me. It’s an ode to a Canadian great – singer songwriter and front man of The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie. If you’re Canadian you know all about The Hip. For those of you who don’t, they are an iconic band that so many of us know and love. Gord is a musical genius, and sadly was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer last year. You could hear a nation gasp when that news was made public. I wanted to do something, but what? An art show, of course. Here is the curatorial statement for the show that opens THIS SATURDAY, JULY 8th at Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto {4-7pm}

“That Night In Toronto” 

Poetry. That is the best way to describe any and all lyrics written by Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip. From “wheat kings and pretty things”, to “musical chairs, double dares, memorized stairs” the words from these generation defining songs strike a chord in, well, anyone who has ever heard them.  As a curator, and artist, I want to honor this poetry the only way I know how – visually. I asked ten Canadian artists to create original work inspired by their favourite Tragically Hip lyrics. FYI, it was very difficult to choose, which is why some artists have more than one piece in the show! Originally, I was going to assign bits of Hip poetry to each of them, but every artist came back with stories of their favorite songs – memories from road trips, University, concerts, breakups, dance floors, house parties and the list goes on. The paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages, paper-cut pieces they’ve created are beyond what I ever could have imagined. Stunning artwork, each with the magical power to conjure up a song.

This show is a heartfelt tribute from one group of Canadian artists to another – and simply our way of saying, “Hey man, thanks”

ps. Twenty per cent of sales will be donated to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research via Sunnybrook Hospital. 

If you can come, please do. I will be there with bells on, or at least a Hip t-shirt. Mayberry is just across the street from the AGO {324 Dundas Street West}. Send your RSVP to toronto@mayberryfineart.com – see you soon!

Artists {in order shown} : Annyen Lam, Ben Skinner, Meghan Hildebrand, Danielle Krysa {me!}, Sara Genn, Sean William Randall, Don Proch, Jay Dart, Brandy Masch, Sarah Gee Miller





lisa anne auerbach

Yep, 2008… isn’t it a little more than insane that all of these absolutely fantastic skirt & sweater sets apply perfectly TODAY. This is the work of LA based artist Lisa Anne Auerbach. She continues to use knitting and text to put her messages into the world, but when I stumbled across these pieces I didn’t realize they weren’t brand new work until I saw that final piece above. She created them just before Barack Obama was elected, way back in 2008. Remember that? Ah, good times.

via Little Paper Planes blog





hannah ruth hughes

hannahruthhughes

“Confessions” is a fibre-based series by American artist Hannah Ruth Hughes. I loved the type and textures immediately, and when I dug a little deeper I discovered this:

“Each piece represents a confession from an acquaintance. We each shared a confession with each other. Their confession has been scrambled by alphabetization. The now illegible text creates a barrier between the person’s secret and the viewer.”

I WANT TO KNOW ALL OF  THE SECRETS!





scott albrecht

scottalbrecht_work

Oh my … they’re like artsy word puzzles for your eyes! Can you read them? All of these messages – some on paper, others made with wood – are the latest work from Brooklyn based artist Scott Albrecht. If you happen to be in LA you can see this work in an upcoming show, titled New Translations. It opens on November 19th at Subliminal Projects in Los Angeles and runs until January 7, 2017. RSVP for the November 19th opening reception right here.

ps. I had to share this little sneak peek into Scott’s process:

scottalbrecht_inprogress





wayne white in nyc

waynewhite_nyc1
waynewhite_nyc2

Ok, it’s no secret how much I love LA-based, Tennessee-born Wayne White. If you heard the podcast episode I did with him last December you’ll definitely know! Well, I didn’t think it was possible for me to love him more, but that was before he got strapped to a truck and played his banjo through the streets of New York. Now that’s how you open a show! This gorgeous work is showing right now at Joshua Liner Gallery … but it comes down this Saturday, October 8th, so get over there RIGHT NOW!

ps. Here’s the video of Wayne strapped to said truck, created by the talented folks at Dress Code





meg hitchcock

meghitchcock

Oh my. This is the insanely detailed and thoughtful work of Brooklyn based artist Meg Hitchcock. Most of her work combines different religious texts, but I just had to include that first stunning piece which is made up of excerpts from her grandmother’s diary and letters cut from the Kama Sutra. Amazing! Here are Meg’s words about this beautiful work:

“In my text drawings I examine and dissect the word of God. I deconstruct a sacred text by cutting its individual letters, and reassemble them to form a passage from another holy book. The Koran is transformed into the Bible, the Bible into the Bhagavad Gita, and so on. I discourage a literal reading of the text by eliminating punctuation and spacing; a sentence from one text merges with a passage from another. By bringing together the sacred writings of diverse religions, I undermine their authority and speak to the common thread that weaves through all scripture.”

Beautiful. What a different world it would be if we could all just appreciate the common threads that connect us.

{A few of Meg’s pieces are currently showing in “Summer Breeze” at Margaret Thatcher Gallery in New York – 539 West 23rd Street – until the end of this week.}





thomas gromas

thomasgromas

Big layered text sculptures… yes… pinch me, I must be dreaming! This is the work of Belgian artist Thomas Gromas. I absolutely love these pieces, not only because they’re beautifully made, but they also come with a message that’s good for all of us to remember:

“…we’re always missing out on something, there’s always something we’re wishing for, we’re always looking for more. There is always a better place, a better thing. These are the themes I pursue; the fake reality , the manipulated environment, the artificial life … The repetition of words/text is a way to emphasize the idea behind it. It reflects the need we have of always wanting more and never being satisfied.”

Yeah. Why do we do that?

{via, and available on, Saatchi Art}