Many Voices.

Monday, March 12, 2018

In belated celebration of International Women's Day (but also because it's never the wrong time to recognize creative women), here are snippets from conversations with five inspiring artists I've been lucky enough to interview.

1) Arpana Rayamajhi, Jewelry Designer, New York City

Photo by Anna Rose

For The Weekender (translated to German): “I’ve always made things, and ultimately, the reason I do what I do hasn’t changed. It’s just that the language I use to talk about it has gotten a little more sophisticated. When I was younger, I would say, ‘I do this because I love it.’ Now it’s, ‘This is a medium for me to connect with myself and the world.’ In ten years it could be something completely different.”

2) Nicole Katz, Director of Paper Chase Press, Los Angeles

For Sight Unseen: "Being a manufacturer in California is important to us, now more than ever. We live in a state that’s approaching a $15 minimum wage, has some of the most stringent environmental and labor laws in the country, and supports a huge immigrant population—my family included. These are values we care about and that we live by."

3) Carla Fern√°ndez, Fashion Designer, Mexico City

Photo by Ana Hop 
For Freunde von Freunden: "We want to prevent the extinction of Mexican crafts. My clothing is very fashion-forward but if you look at how it’s made, you’ll understand that it has traditional roots. I’m always thinking, how can we allow these people, who do such amazing work with their hands, to keep their skills?

4) Megan Eaton Griswold, Owner of Little Moving Spaces, Jackson, WY

Photo by Jenny Pfeiffer
For Architectural Digest: "I wanted to make something small and affordable, yet give it a style we hadn’t seen in a yurt before." (Griswold on her Wyoming yurt, which boasts "the lattice structure and mobility of its traditional Mongolian counterpart, but also a porcelain stove, Michael Anastassiades lighting, and a kitchen built using 800 pounds of Carrara marble hauled in by sled on a trail she forged herself.")

5) Carly Jo Morgan, Furniture Designer, Los Angeles

Photo via the artist's website

For Sight Unseen: "I spent most of my life identifying more with men, which I grew to realize was more out of my own insecurities. Something has softened in me, especially since becoming a mother, and now strong, inspiring women are flowing into all aspects of my life. The sisterhood is deep."

Many thanks to these women, and all the many others I've had the pleasure of interviewing over the last few years—your stories continue to inspire me.

All Day Drifting.

Friday, March 9, 2018

I’ve been trying for weeks now to write something on the subject of paying attention (and trying, also, not to let those weeks turn into months). For that reason, I was all the more charmed to come across Accidental Haiku, a 2009 project by artist Lenka Clayton that’s a true testament to the value of looking closely.

Outlined here, the project features pages from an anonymous diary written in the 70s, in which Clayton found several instances of unintentional haiku (rules of the form include the “use of three [or fewer] lines of 17 or fewer syllables” and a seasonal reference).

This isn’t the first time something like this has caught my eye (see: the spines of booksGoogle autocomplete, Times Haiku), but I’m grateful for the timing of this particular find—and the happy reminder that there’s poetry to be found everywhere, even in basements that need cleaning, in trips to the hairdresser, in snow on just another winter day.

More art in the everyday:
-Leeks / love
-Coincidental captures 

See more from Lenka Clayton, here.

Moon Lists.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The holiday rush now behind me, I've realized that again, several weeks have passed in a flash. I spent most of the last four with my family in California, doing everything we typically do this time of year: watch home videos; rummage through boxes of old photos; indulge in our signature rotation of classic Christmas meals and my mom's virtuosic Japanese dinners, which feature dozens of familiar dishes she (and we) grew up eating. Around the holidays, as always, there's so much of the past present.

2017, as I mentioned here, passed in a blur. This year, I'm making it a goal to focus attention on paying attention—and I'm very happy to have found inspiration in Moon Lists, a site created by writer, editor, and fellow FvF contributor Leigh Patterson. Inspired by a project by photographer Sam Abell, Leigh asks three women every month to reflect on the past 30 days with a short series of questions.

I've particularly liked entries from other writers, like Stephanie Madewell, whose experience of nature last April was punctuated with birdsong:

"...the staccato hops of a woodpecker moving deliberately up and down the trunk of the cedar tree; a swallow flying across the sky, wings out, then in, a swift and joyful looping like writing in cursive with a calligrapher’s pen; the racket of wings from a pair of doves kicked up from the brush; songs and calls in the trees, more and more all the time."

Or Marion Seury of Paris, who stumbled on a breathtaking read in June:

"...someone forgot the book 'à ce soir' by writer/journalist laure adler at my place. she is a marguerite duras specialist and you can feel an influence on her writing i think. a very personal and emotional book. I read it straight. It shook my heart."

Or Su Wu of Mexico City, who received a thrilling call in May:

"I’m pregnant, my best friend said into the phone without hello, and I yelled, holy fuck, on the street in another country. Some guy turned, rushed over and asked, are you okay?, and it was a new kind of joy for me, a whole joy running headlong into kindness, and I said, I’m okay, and really, more than ever this month, I was."

Each year seems to pass quicker than the last. It's easy to forget what happened a week ago, or three months ago, or twelve. I don't like the idea of holding on to the past, but I do like the idea of finding ways to preserve the moments, images, tastes, sounds, smells, and interactions that are the tiles in a year's mosaic—and that make reflecting on the past an act of staying alert, awake, aware.

This makes me think of something my dad wrote the day after drinking a 75-year-old wine in honor of his 75th birthday: "It took me back. And forward."

Find all of Leigh Patterson's Moon Lists (including those excerpted above in their entirety), here. Photo by Emily Johnston.



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