Life is most fun when you are doing things you love and trying things that scare you. This spring I am attempting to fill my time with all of the things that keep me happy and inspired, only taking on new projects that I feel truly passionate about. Obviously we all have to do things we don’t want to do which is a huge part of being a student and human being. I totally get that. But it is so easy to get stuck doing things you used to enjoy without fully realizing that they just aren’t doing it for you anymore. I’ve been returning to some of my past passions and trying out a lot of new ones and it’s keeping me super busy! Here are a couple things I’ve been working on
1. I got the official go-ahead on the Media Production Independent Study I’ve been planning which means that I am finally able to get started! I am reading this awesome book on Appropriation Art and am getting super pumped for my first project. I am exploring exploitation in appropriation through four hands-on production projects and I think it’s going to be really cool. (More on this later…)
2. I’ve also been going to a bunch of lectures and speaker series offered on campus. I always hear about the incredible people coming to speak but it is all-too-rare for me to make it to the events themselves. This is one of my huge goals the semester and so far it’s been pretty inspiring. Just yesterday I heard a talk from the brilliant Peggy Phelan on digital self-portraits and earlier in the week the Guerrilla Girls gave a lecture on their particular brand of art activism. So cool!
3. I’ve been trying to get as much Vitamin D as possible. I love the Southern California weather and am making pool time a priority. It does wonders for my mental health and is an excellent indulgence.
4. Our local chapter of I AM THAT GIRL had our first event last week and it was a raging success. It was a TEDx style student speaker series where students shared what they are passionate about and answered the question “Where Do We Go From Here?” I was filming the event which was a fun challenge and offered a unique perspective. We had a packed house and were even featured in The Scripps Voice.
5. I’m redecorating my room a little bit which has been fun. I have way too much wall space in this tiny room and finding creative ways to break up the space has been a neat little side project. I’m not sure I’ll ever actually be done tweaking things and moving things around…
6. IT IS OFFICIALLY 100 DAYS UNTILL GRADUATION! I am a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee at Scripps and have been working hard to make this event happen. It was a little bit of a frustrating process but I am relieved to say that everything came together and we all had a lot of fun. Let the countdown begin…
My friends and I have dubbed this year as the “Year of Adventure.” It will be that last time all three of us are living in the same place and we are determined to make the most of it. The result of this declaration is that we have been going into the city more often and trying lots of new things: art shows, science museums, concerts, comedy festivals, networking events, bowling! You name it, we’ve done it. So last weekend we went to a live taping of the “Doug Loves Movies” podcast at the Nerdmelt showroom. My friend Martha is obsessed with Doug Benson (and Scott Aukerman who made a surprise appearance.) I was just along for the ride.
The venue was awesome. A comic book store / comedy stage with really good vibes. As expected, the taping was super fun and I even got picked to participate! Anyone who listens to the show knows that audience members make “nametags” (movie posters altered with some sort of pun) and then the celebrity contestants pick someone to play for. It’s really fun for anyone who likes to goof around on Photoshop as much as I do. The night before, Martha and I popped open a bottle of wine in the computer lab and cranked out these kooky movie poster masterpieces. Don’t I make a great Angelina Jolie?
It was a blast! I think the podcast is on itunes, if anyone wants to hear them talk about my poster and do hilarious movie trivia. They even call my friend Alexandra a shithead. It’s incredible!
Last night I was fortunate enough to listen to Patricia Graham speak about Japanese art and aesthetics. She is absolutely brilliant and it was really neat to hear her opinions on design and discussions of her new book. I have studied Japan a little in my Art History coursework, focusing almost entirely on the Gutai collective and Shiraga Kazao. So I was almost entirely ignorant of Graham’s particular interest, namely the universal Japanese aesthetic and how it permeates every aspect of craft and creation. Japanese art has a distinct look to it. But so does Japanese architecture, product design, furniture, fashion, and performance. It isn’t just sculpture or painting or calligraphy, it’s everything. That distinctly Japanese visual style.
All too often in Art History, we focus in on one particular artist, medium, or movement. We get so caught up in the tiny details and nuances of a particular work that we forget where it fits in the larger cultural framework. This lecture really helped me refocus my attention on the big picture.
I have officially completed my first week back in California after spending almost a month on vacation visiting my family for the holidays. It feels incredible to be back in action and tackling all of the things I want to accomplish in the new year. I am making goals and chasing after them with fervor. And it feels good. Taking the leap, jumping into the unknown, and getting ready for the next adventure. Who knows what wonderful things will happen in the next 12 months? Who knows where I’ll be a year from now? (If anyone can tell me, that would be great because I really have no idea…) All I know, is that wherever I end up, I want to bring this fearless adventurous attitude and dive head-first into anything and everything I do. Bring it on!
This piece of art is actually a greeting card that I found in an adorable Seattle print shop. It was much too pretty to put in the mail, so I am framing it as a reminder to myself. Do something that scares you. Trust the universe that everything will work out. It’s kind of a brilliant philosophy.
My family KILLED IT on Christmas gifts this year. I must talk about myself a lot or something, because everyone knew just what to get me. My cousins bought me this gorgeous coffee table book on Erté and Art Deco. I’ve been speaking french all my life and am taking a class on early 20th century art movements, so this was absolutely perfect. So thoughtful! Plus, it’s full of gorgeous images and is super fun to read through.
My parents got me two books on Richard Prince which I have already been using for my research. I have been renewing them from the library over and over again because, like most art books, they’re super expensive. But now I have my very own copies that I get to keep forever! I have always been a sucker for big beautiful books. I guess that makes me kind of a nerd? Fine with it!
My sister bought me that gorgeous phone case with the swirling abstract pattern. I may have hinted earlier at how much I love Amy Sia’s products available on Society6 and she totally took the bait. It’s so pretty and I absolutely love it. The Holidays are great!
Before anyone calls me a spoiled brat, I am also pretty proud of the presents I gave my friends and loved ones this season. It’s all about showing people how much you love them and spreading the good vibes. I feel incredibly loved today. I hope everyone else out there feels the same.
I feel like I’m not allowed to call myself an adult until I can stop taking notes like a third grader. These are the notes from a recent session with my college’s CP&R office. I am trying to figure out what I need to do between now and graduation in order to NOT be broke and jobless. Take that, Art History Major! Anyway, I’ve been revamping my resume and stalking people on Linkedin, trying to make a plan for myself. But I’ve also been relaxing and enjoying my break like a normal person, I promise.
I bought this gorgeous printed blue tapestry at a thrift store yesterday and I am absolutely obsessed with it. Christmas is coming up quickly! (I should probably stop shopping for myself and start shopping for everyone else on my list…)
“Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down. And trust your instincts … good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends that you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourselves with.” —Michelle Obama
Amen to that. We have to seek out people who make us better, and avoid those that drag us down. My girl Michelle has got my back on this one.
The last few weeks of my semester have been crazy. I’ve been non stop go-go-go-ing and fighting hard to keep up with all of my work and all of my finals. I am proud to say that I have survived and have officially made it to winter break. But, before I fly home and leave California behind, I wanted to take a moment to think about how lucky I am to be learning and growing every day. I feel so unbelievably privileged to be studying what I love and working on projects that I care about. I feel like I am contributing something important, and that knowledge has been an incredible motivator. So before I go on vacation, here’s a little list of things to look forward to next semester:
- My Art History thesis! I wrote the first of three chapters this semester and it has gotten me so excited about writing the rest. I am looking at the re-photography of Richard Prince and using Lacan’s and Zizek’s theories to explore how the male gaze functions in his work. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Prince’s appropriation techniques, but was shocked by how few critics were addressing this issue of possessing women’s bodies. (So please bear with me if these posts discuss Prince a disproportionate amount. It’s basically on my brain constantly. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.)
- I have a new job next semester doing community outreach and content creation for The Campaign For Scripps College. I am obsessed with my school so having the opportunity to help further its development is a complete dream come true. We are entering phase two of the campaign, which means a bigger push on social media and more consistent updates on the microsite. I will be helping to devise and then implement an effective strategy for this. My goal is to make all of our community as thrilled and excited as I am about Scripps’ future. This is the most ambitious campaign in the history of the school and I am so jazzed to be a part of it!
- I AM THAT GIRL stuff has been heating up this semester and we have a couple of incredible videos planned for the Spring. Who knew when we started this chapter a couple months ago, how successful it would be?! Love these girls and this organization!
- This is not set in stone yet, but I may be doing a kick ass independent study next semester. If all goes according to plan, I will be making art and organizing an exhibition in The Motley next semester. Keep it on the DL for now, but hopefully there will be much more about this later. Fingers crossed!
- Last but not least, I have another new job next semester as a research assistant to Professor Mark Andrejevic. He taught my Media and Surveillance class this semester and is a complete genius. I am so excited to learn more from him and to further explore a really important aspect of digital media studies. Online privacy and data collection is a very real but rarely discussed part of using the internet. Most users don’t seem to understand or care how their personal information is being used. I am super proud to be working on a research project which explores these issues.
Lots of fun stuff in store for 2015! But first, it’s time for a much needed vacation!
Seattle, here I come!
(Image from the Scripps College photo archives)