Entries in around the world in a lifetime (30)

Sunday
Oct262014

Reckless Optimism!!

It’s been almost a year since my last update--and, to no one’s surprise, things are very different now. In all ridiculously good ways!!

 


I’m about to celebrate my one year at The Children’s Place which was one of the best moves I’ve made for myself, in terms of the job itself and my greater morale. I’m creative in a way that is fun and interesting every day. I get to make monkeys on skateboards and as many puns as I want for a living, guys! It’s something I don’t take advantage of--I know I’m lucky, and I acknowledge it about a hundred times a day.




On the total opposite end of the spectrum, I’m also about to celebrate a year of starting my daily(ish) type blog, dailyokstupid. It has an insanely big and beautiful following, and I’ve learned so much and gained several amazing opportunities since its launch. My downtime has been mostly dedicated to type, and I foresee a long relationship with typography in my future (longer than any OKCupid date, that’s for sure). Thank you for anyone who’s been following me along for the ride with this one--what a world we live in, hahaha!!











I got to see and do some amazing places and things with my friends this year--several trips to the Bay Area, a few comic cons (as both an artist and an attendee), DISNEY WORLD for a bachelorette party, Philly for the first time for a pal’s show--I feel so fortunate that, even though I didn’t get to go to all the places I would have liked, that I have the resources and time and freedom to go anywhere at all. I’m so inspired by the people I’ve met along the way, and all my dope artist friends who are just killin’ it right now in the art world of their choosing. These worlds exist for us to play in, and I’m widening my scope every day.

 




This year has been about the power of friends and family, about really celebrating the good and embracing the challenges. I knew that 2014 would be a good year, and it’s really just gone above and beyond my expectations. My 30th year on earth has been nothing but super damn rad!!!

Hannah Hart has a life motto which I have adopted, which is Practice Reckless Optimism. I carry this motto in my heart and it hasn’t led me astray once. There are still hardships; there are still failures. But it makes the successes all the more sweeter. There is a new day tomorrow!!

 

Friday
Nov152013

A Love Letter to The Bean

Getting this out there first: I've accepted and have begun a new job at The Children's Place! I have just finished my first week, and have felt very much at home and comfortable even though I've gotten lost in the building approximately 2000 times a day and it is a good fit for me! It was also a promotion for me as well, so hello career stairs ladder, it's time for some cardio, let me just climb up you a little bit, heyoooo!!

I had several pals come out to help me close out my 2+ years time at the Gap with beers and fried foods, and I might have applied 50 Hello Kitty temporary tattoos to my arm all at the same time. With any job, good or bad, the very best part for me has always been the people that you work with that go from people you have to see everyday to your very good friends, and I have been fortunate enough to have suckered quite a few of them into being my buddies!!
 

 

Between leaving my old job and starting my new gig, I had a week and some change to myself. I scored a cheap trip to Chicago and embarked on a mostly solo trip that was, in hindsight, quietly transformative.

This might have been inspired by a John Green + David Levithan novel but I was stoked about seeing the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millenium Park in person, known lovingly as The Bean.

This is going to sound crazy, and maybe it is, whatever, but I spent a REALLY LONG TIME just hanging out with the Bean, walking around it, walking under it, touching it, watching others interact with it, looking at it from every angle. There's a lot about it that just kind of blows my mind, and I don't think you can truly feel the gravity of its insane presence unless you're actually in front of it yourself.

The Bean is a contradiction. It is heavy and massive to behold, but it is also light, appears to be floating. You can reach out and touch it if you like, and it becomes real under your hand. It is cold to the touch, but it soaks up the warmth of the sun and catches its light. It is in its very nature, self-reflective; when you put your hand on it surface, it looks like you are supporting yourself, holding yourself up. Depending on where you stand, your reflection in the Bean is ever-changing and it is amazing to allow your eyes soak up these different versions of yourself. But, it's always just you. There were quite a number of people at the Bean when I was there, and it blows my fucking mind that each individual person is intearacting with the same piece of art, but is having an immediate and powerful and emotional, unique, experience of it.

Through this, I understood that this is how I feel about art-making on its most basic level. I have always known this, but I needed the Bean to help me collect my thoughts about it all and provide a foundation, a jumping off point from here on out to explore my personal point of view.

It's no secret that the past few months have been a bit...challenging here in Katietown. I feel like I've been stuck in a dark tunnel for a very long time, and to be honest, I think a part of me was lost somewhere between August and October. After a good deal of thought, on which I'll save you the details on that, haha, I realized that my confidence as both an artist and a person had been drained down to an almost empty puddle of self-doubt and anxiety. I think it's accurate to say that we don't know if these obstacles that we face are going to set us back a day or several years, but inevitably, when a part of yourself becomes lost somewhere down the line, it makes way for something else, something better. There is still space to occupy within.

Even now, looking through the photos of the Bean and the surrounding park areas, it stirs something in my heart that is so specific and broad, warm and cool, very little and very large. At one point, I sat on a picnic table in front of the Bean, and took a deep breath in, and then let it go. I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me; it was a sincere and definitive end, and a hopeful and equally definitive beginning. Where I will go next will always be a mystery, but the important part is those first steps forward, which I took the minute I said good-bye to the Bean and headed out of the park.

Thank you, friends, for being my source of light in these dark days. I'm learning to carry my own torch, and run with it too!!

 Next week, look for more of my Chicago adventures!! Like I said before, my friends I spent time with were at work during the days, so I had a lot of free time to myself where I basically did 2309482039x more things than I do on a normal day. And probably ate that much more as well!! Mmm!! Stay hungry, everybody.

Love love love,

Katie

 **This post is dedicated to Kevin, Iris, and Annie who have especially helped me learn to tend to heart and listen to it during this time, in different but equally meaningful and powerful ways. Thank you, all.**

Saturday
Oct192013

NYCC, for a minute

Now that I've managed to have three sicknesses at the same time, I am surprised I even made it to NYCC this year, even if it was just for a handful of hours. I managed to see some great friends, but if I missed you this year, I'm really sorry, but my stomach was eating itself and I had a fever of like 101 and my lymph nodes looked like baseballs, and you could probably catch me another, more healthier time! :3

Still, in spite of all that, it was a lot of fun! I tried to see and do as much as I could. The block this year featured some super badass artists, live art, and some pointedly terrible music, haha. All the booths were pretty impressive and overwhelming as usual (WIND WAKER HD TO MY WII U, PLZ), and I managed to get a few costume photos.

 

Me: May I take your picture??
Freakazoid Cosplayer: Yes, of course! Let me put down my bag--
Me: No, I think you should leave it on.
Freakazoid Cosplayer: Leave it on?
Me: Yes. Yes, good.


Wednesday
Sep182013

Let's make beautiful music!!

This started kind of one-dimensionally, but evolved into a much longer post than I had expected, a lot of thoughts in my brain space--if you'd like to read, please continue on, but if not, that's cool--just scroll on through some pictures of what I've been up to, and skip the interjections of my ramble, haha.

 

I'm going to be honest withchu all--there have been some dark days here in Katieland as of late. There are a lot of big changes and life events popping up in my life wherever I turn, and although you know I'm all for embracing change and evolution and understanding how the ebb and flow of relationships / events / my art / life choices, etc. contributes to my growth as a human...it has been very overwhelming, and I haven't stopped to catch my breath quite yet.

I will say that my art is taking an interesting turn, a more personal dedication and a commitment that I'm just discovering and with the help of my super rad friends I'm starting to refresh my approach and my investment in my personal creative identity.

I've also had some recent adventures as a means of escapism and also a means of re-connection, which has been a great breath of fresh air. I visited the city of Chicago proper for a weekend, hung out with friends I've never met and friends I haven't seen in a very long time. Sampled some delicious eats and drinks in the warm, steamy Chicago air whose sun was not put off by the tall buildings that surround me here in NYC.

The day I returned from Chicago I played assistant to my pal Kendra, painting a mural on the wall of the Nu Hotel in Brooklyn. It was a lot of fun, and although we work together, we've never really communicated with each other as artists outside of work and it was incredibly fulfilling and rad to talk about and create a process of working together that I enjoy with any artist I collaborate with. I also got us some bangin' coffees, I mean, who doesn't want me as their assistant??

 

My brother also visited for a few days; it was an incredible time! Mostly because of distance as well as our rough childhood/teenagerhood, my brother and I are not close at all and do not share any many interests, so I was a little afraid that he would be bored or we wouldn't have much to talk about, but I was luckily very wrong! 

One of my best friends Iris was in town on vacation the following weekend, but even though I had not had the time to really recover from the weekend with my brother, her presence has always been very calm and welcoming, and it was very therapeutic I think for both of us to be in the company of each other--nothing like being around people who really, truly understand you and can help you figure out things you don't even know about yourself! AND TO EAT EVERYTHING WITH EVER. 
 

 Luckily, partly to distract myself from some of the less awesome events of late but also to throw myself into a safe, risk-taking place  (if there ever is one), I've been pouring myself into various projects and collaborations that are going to be amazing!! When the going gets tough, the tough get going, as the saying goes. I live in the greatest, most excruciating, most heartbreaking, most move making, funniest, loudest, most thoughtful, most considerate, most beautiful city in the whole goddamn world. I don't understand how people are bored here--there is SO MUCH to be enthused about. How are people not enthusiastic about EVERYTHING?? People ask me sometimes why I'm so excited about every damn thing but for me, it's hard NOT to be.

I was at a doctor's office recently, getting a sonogram of my heart. The doctor made separate recordings of all the different valves of my heart and their individual sounds. I was watching my heart in real time, beating inside me. It is so damn humbling to know, really REALLY know that this little guy beating away, pumping blood through my body involuntarily to me, is what is keeping me alive and up and looking at you and things and breathing and being. He played the recordings back to me and I could hear all the valves at the same time, natural harmonization. My doctor said, "Ah, you hear that? Your heart may be broken, but it still makes beautiful music!"

Hello, life! I am here to make some disgustingly beautiful music!!!

Love love love,

Friday
Jul262013

Goin' (x2) back (x2) to Cali (x2)

Los Angeles this year was super rad, and I cannot express how thankful I am that I got to spend all the time that I did with my amazing, talented friends, old and new!! AX was fun this year and we took a lot of time outside the con to run around and eat everything we saw, as usual, THAT'S WHAT'S UP, LA!!!  For everyone who stopped on by to see us, bought something from us, or had a good ol' fashioned chit chat transaction, I am grateful you did that and we'll be back for more friendly hijinks next year!

Picspam, ahoy...

Photo credit props to Iris Chen and Nina Yap, who were both vigilant with their cameras while I sat around with my camera doing absolutely nothing, as usual. WORST PICTURE TAKER EVER.

Anyway, I MISS YOU CALIFORNIA AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL WEATHER I AM ROASTING IN MY APARTMENT RIGHT NOW AS IN MY SKIN IS PEELING OFF MAYBE. This is my last big trip for awhile; I can't wait to stay home and kick it with Joon and make some beautiful art!! I have two huge projects that are underway and some badass collaborations in the works. Every day I remind myself how gat damn lucky I am, I really, really am.

Kisses,
Katie