Young Irony

Hello again! It’s me bringing you your monthly update on things I have been making and doing. Various things are in the works, but my pet project of the moment is actually a brand new personal style blog! Young Irony is titled after my favorite chapter in my favorite book, This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and is basically a look into what I wear everyday. (Or most days. A girl has to have a lazy day every now and then.) Here’s a few snippets from it! Hope you enjoy!


Rust Dyeing

In between some freelance work and job applications, I have been working on a couple personal projects: sewing various things, attempting to bake some very sad macarons, scanning and editing recent photography, etc. And something I have been itching to try for a while is rust dyeing, so I set up a couple experiments just for fun! And I found out that rust dyeing is incredibly easy and interesting. See, I’ll show you.

Step 1: Wet fabric and wrap it around rusty objects (I found that steal wool yielded the best results). Douse it in some vinegar and let sit for 24+ hours. Make sure it stays warm and damp though for the quickest results.

Step 2: Unwrap, neutralize fabric in some salt water, rinse in some synthrapol and voila!

Step 3: And if you feel like being an overachiever, over dye your fabric in your dye of choice

I have some scrap yardage lying around, so I think I might play around with rust dyeing on a larger scale!

If there is one thing I have come to understand in my many years of art schooling, it’s that notebooks are pretty damn important. Full of sketches, doodles, words, etc., they hold all your ideas and dreams in a nice little bound package. Which is both cute and good for helping you communicate and work through your ideas.

In all honesty, I struggled with notebooks for a long time. This struggle can be traced back to 2 things. 1.) Each class had so many requirements as to what had to be in the notebook that often times keeping a notebook felt like a chore. A chore that was really easy to get behind on and then slap something together right before the due date. 2.) The perfectionist in me was afraid of messing up, of not creating a book that flowed from one page to the next and told a beautiful story. It wasn’t until my senior portfolio class that I really understood how I functioned in the realm of notebooks. Because in that year long class, we were only told to keep a notebook. No requirements. No guidelines. No rules. My notebook for that class actually ended up being mostly words. Which is very appropriate because at the time I was having a lot of conceptual ideas and trying to plan out my future… and also I am one of those people who makes lists.

The notebook I kept this summer during my internship at Lilly turned out almost completely opposite from my senior year notebook. Which is crazy interesting when I think about the type of work I was doing and my state of mind during those two different periods. And well… I’d like to share a few pages with you.

Recapping an entire summer’s worth of experiences in one post? Let’s do this. Essentially, this summer I had the wonderful opportunity to intern with Lilly Pulitzer’s print design team in King of Prussia, PA. I when I say wonderful, I am not exaggerating. Lilly is a relatively small, close knit company devoted to their brand, and that really shines through in the fun-loving, community-oriented atmosphere that permeates the Pink Palace. (Seriously. I worked in a pastel pink building. How cool is that?)

Immediately on the first day, I was thrown right into the mix, helping to finish up Summer 2012 artwork and send it out to vendors. From there we jumped right into concepting and designing for Fall 2012. The pace was fast, the work challenging, and I loved every minute of it. Whether we were hard at work or giggling around a table, there was not once a dull moment at Lilly. In between designing and cleaning prints, we took an inspiration trip to the local botanical gardens and sponsored a charity event with Oceana in the Hamptons. Okay… maaaaaybe those days spent cleaning prints for what seemed like forever were a little dull, but even those weren’t too bad.

When I wasn’t working on Summer and Fall artwork, the other interns and I were working on a collaborative project to design and market a proposed line of products for Spring 2013. With interns representing many different departments at Lilly, we had a lot of great minds from a variety of backgrounds each bringing a unique perspective. Large group projects are always challenge…. but we pulled it together and wowed our audience in our final presentation.One of the things I really appreciated was that in my 2 months there I was never just an intern. I was part of the team, working side by side with seasoned print designers. Because I got to work so closely with them, I really did learn a lot this summer. Now I understand better how products become reality. I know I can paint giant canvases with ease (one of mine even ended up in the Lilly store in Ardmore, PA!). Most importantly, I have learned to just do it, also known as confidence in your first attempt. I think that in coming out of art school many of us think too much about what we make. To the point where the focus is on whether or not what we are making is good/right/valuable/worthy of an A and not the actual product. I have learned the value of an idea and the importance of editing. Get your idea out there. Let people see it and give feedback. Adjust from there.

Now that I am home, job hunting and enjoying time with old friends. I have had the chance to gather my thoughts about this summer, as well as some of the things I’ve made. So, expect a few more posts along this same vein. :)


Well, hey there blog thing. Guess what? I stopped updating you. I know, I bet you are not surprised. I bet you are about fed up with my sporadic bouts of blogging. I bet you are sick of the excuses. But this time I have a really good one. I graduated college. I am done with school FOREVER. That’s got to at least count for something.

I also took some pictures recently. To give you SOMETHING to look at after so long. I was experimenting with double exposures, and instead of a neat little roll of nice double exposures, I ended up getting some crazy exposure mash up! But I think it looks pretty interesting. It’s like one of those Ispy books (remember those?!) in that the longer you look, the more you see.

I would like to invite everyone to check out my newly updated portfolio website! Now with new work and better copy! I’ll continue to update it as I continue to finish bits and pieces of my senior portfolio, but check it out and let me know what you think and any ways I can improve it.

Sometimes you go looking for wisdom and inspiration. Other times it just happens. Life is funny like that. This morning I stumbled upon this article “How to Steal like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)” by Austin Kleon, the same guy who does the newspaper blackout poetry. It echoes much of what I am feeling and hearing here now in the throes of graduating and preparing to go out there and be an artist in the “real” world.

Every professor I have had this year has told us to make the most of it. We will never again have so many eager people willing to give feedback on our work and brainstorm with us. This realization is incredibly disheartening because I have come to treasure and thrive on the community of artists I have around me. When I step outside it, creativity feels quiet and ostracized. While it’s still there,  it takes more effort to find and build up.

It’s important that I find my own internal drive. It’s important to be constantly making. It doesn’t matter if there is a grand purpose or concept or plan, make. This has been the mantra getting me through all the chaos of this year. If I focus on simply being busy and making something instead of the deadlines and requirements, I feel more serene. Some part of me knows that as long as I do, it will get done.

To quote Flaubert and Kleon’s article, “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” I have been wondering often what my life will be like post-graduation. I think as artists we are expected to be a good story, to live these zany, amazing lives. But that is an empty pursuit. In trying to be an artist or a story, you aren’t really one. To a certain degree I believe in fate and that we will all end up where we are supposed to, but I think that can only happen if we are open and accepting. If you are open to adventures and experiences, they will happen. It’s hard to see that now, with my whole life ahead of me, but it is a comforting thought.