I was so excited when amazing Toronto-based illustrator Clara Bee Lavery asked if I wanted to do a portrait exchange with her, and even more excited to actually get the results in the mail! My portrait of Clara Bee is above, her portrait of me (as a sexy lumberjack, no less) is below! It’s kind of like we actually get to hang out…
This has been a good month for art–so many of my dear friends are gearing up for exciting summer projects and producing amazing pieces that will look so good hanging on your wall. If you have some cash left over after contributing to my donation drive, or you don’t really want to support my work but are looking for someone else to throw some bucks at, Elle Perez is producing beautiful photography and selling prints to pay their MFA position placeholder at Yale (YALE!). Also, photographer and printmaker Amy June Breesman is graduating and being thrust into the wide world and also making some gorgeous pieces that would look so good in your life.
Hope wherever you are is warm and sunny, and that we can collectively emerge like a 17 year cicada brood and fly into people’s hair.
I just got back from a week in Tennessee and Kentucky, which I wrote a little bit about at Lazy Femme. From an art perspective, it was amazing having a weekend at Ida with some of my greatest heroes and buds, feeling inspired and challenged to push harder and try new things. I’m mostly going to be sketching for the next month, flexing my watercolor and life drawing muscles to build up to a couple of new projects.
The other night I watched an entire season of Game of Thrones while filling my sketchbook with those swirly things. I used to fill notebooks with those things during class. Call it meditation.
I’ve also been making a lot of friendship bracelets which I suppose I’ll post about soon enough.
My favorite thing about zinefests is meeting people, and seeing people that I only see once or twice a year. Highlights include a beautiful reunion with Robyn of Not Yr Cister Press at Quimby’s bookstore, marked consipicuously by a photobooth session and intense discussion about the unlimited potential of yet-unwritten werewolf novels, every moment spent with my beautiful host Jami Sailor, the joy of seeing masses of familiar faces at Friday night’s reading or scurrying past my grumpy self at the expo on Saturday, watching Buffy with new friends and kittens, eating pizza for every meal and doing dramatic readings of zines that give props to Seventeen magazine for being racially diverse (that’s probably why I puked). I also had the chance to re-meet the fabulous Edie Fake (Gaylord Phoenix) and restock Quimby’s with my zines, so if you live in Chicago and didn’t make it to the Fest or couldn’t find me in the epic fuckery, they have some Sassyfrass, both issues of Femme a Barbe, and my new zine with Jami, Archiving the Underground.
After the reading on Friday I stood outside with Emilija (Ship of Fools), shivering in the stupid-cold Chicago spring, and I felt giddy with excitement at the ways in which our lives are changing and growing, at the moments we share with people we almost never see, that we know only through the mail. During the expo on Saturday, I laughed at the “Full Page Fuckery” and “Straight White Dude Zine” buttons Jami and LB made, and got to sit next to Georgi, who I met at the Milwaukee Zinefest this fall. I fell in love with Kathee’s zine Lake Effect and almost fell over laughing when someone pulled a zine that will teach you the lyrics to “On the first day of bleeding (my true love gave to me)” which, yes, is about menstruation and sung to the tune of “On the First Day of Christmas” from Jami’s zinester librarian tour fundraiser zine grab box.
Also you can watch the raw mostly-audio footage of our first ever “Archiving the Underground” workshop here, thanks to Amy Leigh of twelve-oh-two.
Soundtrack to this post provided by Dalice Malice:
Because it’s important to talk about having fun too,
Today my buddy Foster came and hung out with me, and in addition to some funfetti cake, we made some deep fried okra with the okra I got at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative community garden. Of course, I accidentally deleted all the action shots of Foster, but like the narcissist I am, here is a picture of me frying okra that Foster took:
We couldn’t find buttermilk at the grocery store so we made some by adding some lemon juice to milk and letting it sit for a couple minutes. Then we chopped up the okra and stuck it in the buttermilk, and then rolled the pieces in cornmeal flavored with salt, and fried it in vegetable oil. You can also make a soymilk version for vegans. It is the shit.
Today also involved DIY haircuts, glitter glue, book sharing, and some high fives, so you know, success.