Saturday, May 5, 2007

If Orangello were Pink

Beach Bunnies

We were all girls plus one boy between the ages of 4 and 22 playing with a Strawberry Shortcake kit at Thanksgiving on the beach. This is the kind of things that come out of real creativity.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Crystal Dreams

Because I played Crono Trigger last night, and fell asleep and drept about crystals, this is the picture I made this morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

making and listening

Ariana is amazing. That is why she has the superpower of 'knitpod.'

Monday, April 9, 2007

listening and making

As a kid me and my dad went camping every summer in Maine. I think he chose to go there, cos it wasn't ordinary. We'd set up tent for two weeks, and each couple of days, new travellers pitched next to us. One time two bikers, in their 50s, parked overnight. The woman had a sticker that said 'Flush Rush,'(a statement against conservative talkshow host Rush Limbaugh), and the other in full leather chaps, was a Republican.

WBEZ public radio from Chicago has a radio show called This American Life. They pick a theme, like, 'hatching a plan', and tell stories about from rooming in Iraq gone wrong, to a kid who turned his life's passion into inventing a time machine to meed his dead father. These stories are bizzare and familiar. I think that if I could pitch a tent infinately in American campgrounds, this is the collection of stories I might hear.

I recommend turning your favorite room into a craft bunker, listening to this show, and seeing what amazing projects come about.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Why Stencil?

I definitely like stenciling as a project. It’s pretty lo-fi, and crafts an engagement between the public and their environment, even if just for a moment. Like any art or project, it can also help people think, and reflect. I like it especially in this time where the commons are being slurped up by advertisers and other private interests, reducing public forums of expression. Stenciling can take back. As Norman Mailer said, “your presence on their presence, hanging your alias on their scene.”

Roadsworths’s stencils appeared in Montreal about four years ago. His work became highly recognized, for anybody walking around the Plateau or McGill ghetto saw his working recurrently. Me and my friends would take each other on guided tours to our favorite pieces, showing off a new stencil we discovered, introducing each other to new nooks in the city. I doubt we were alone in doing this. With plants weaving around street stop lines, owls resting on lamppost shadows, and my favorite, huge zippers pulling through roadways, his creative juxtapositions reminded us of the irony in urban living, and reacquainted us with our city. (to see more of his work, see the links at the bottom of this post)

his work also really made me think,
I could do that.

But, while I never got my shit together,

My friendartist Lynn did.

Having been a fan of Hip Hop for a million years, she saw how graffiti and stenciling were a common medium for urban artists, but also realized that this was a big bad boys club. Not only were the artists often boys, the Hip Hop artists being portrayed were boys too. Being a feminist, she totally got high on the idea of promoting female MCs who are desperately underrepresented, underrated and under promoted in Hip Hop. She went on a herstory mission, and researched into Hip Hop. What she found was a great history of female hip hoppers, ones she remembered growing up who and are rarely spoken of these days, except by serious heads.

Lynn began her process by finding iconic photos of these women, and using Photoshop and her artistic sense, developed these photos into stencils. She pursued this even further, pushing these images to the public scene a little further, organizing an exhibit of her work. Nowadays, she’s stenciling to deal with her anxiety toward the ultimate urban bird, the pigeon, lining them on her bedroom wall. Lynn’s also been using her stencil-talent to promote her pet project, Literacy Through Hip-Hop Montreal, stenciling Skratch Bastid and DJ Static who DJed at the LTHH launch.

So I felt totally inspired, if not a bit intimidated by these artists work. I definitely dig using art for political ends, and it seems that stenciling is a great medium. Think, bringing the domestic to the public! Make the invisible visible! Feminist-izing the masculinist city! But…with Roadsworth’s arrest to keep me in check, I don’t think I’m yet daring enough to take it to the street, but I am still excited about having a creative reflection of my values sprayed before me.

So, I set forth on my mission to create a stencil--- uhh, again.

Okay, after 3 years of procrastination and half-assed attempts at making stencils myself, getting tripped up by the sometimes often new-user-not-friendly Photoshop, I felt a little pathetic.

Looking up stenciling, and first place I found Stencil Revolution. And with the tag, “Collectively Recontructing the Urban Landscape”, I knew I found a kindred spirit. If you look up their tutorials, you’ll find a few great how-to’s. Fortunately for me, I have access to Photoshop. For those than don’t there is a clone program available for free from GIMP (link below). And on Instructables
there is a similar tutorial as to the one on Stencil Revolution. (Unfortunately, the steps aren’t always clear, and the tools aren’t immediately evident in the program. Ex: to find the contrast, go to Tool>Colour Tool>Contrast Brightness…I’d suggest reading the Stencil Revolution instructions, and then visiting instructables)

While the instructions on Stencil Revolution seem as clearly laid out, I wondered if its really so easy for an amateur. So next up, I begin my quest to make my very first stencil!

Roadsworth Links:

Stencil Revolution:


GIMP free software: