I’ve been staring at this beautiful painting by Jonas Wood and I’ve fallen for it so hard that it’s now permanently sitting on my second monitor. It’s got everything I love, from the bold colors, details and textures, to wonky perspective, symbolism and naturalism all working at once. Real succulents to the left of me, paintings of potted plants on the right, it’s feeling pretty good. I don’t think I’ve /ever/ posted someone else’s art on my blog, and that gave me pause and I wondered why. So for a new challenge, I want to reflect on all the stuff I’m currently enjoying, reading and listening to.
My (digital) bookshelf is a pretty good representation of the mix of things I’m currently obsessing over. It’s gotten very girly and very business-oriented.
– Design is a Job has been a fantastic read, revealing why I enjoy designing because it’s problem solving, it’s being the one showing the work to the client, and taking control of your career knowing that the work you take on defines you. Make the world better with the work you take on!
– I’m making my way through the Anais Nin diaries, she’s jetsetting between NYC, San Francisco and Mexico in the late fourties/ early fifties. In volume four she goes to the ballet with my grandfather, Carter Harman, and they compose some music together. I’m thrilled to see his name on the page, a little window into his bohemian post-war pre-family days, and I want to turn it into a book or comic one day.
– I didn’t think I was going to read Not That Kind of Girl, but after getting absolutely floored by this last season of GIRLS and the crazy evolution of the writing, it became a necessary read. I’m now convinced that Lena’s one of the best storytellers of our generation.
– #Girlboss — another “girl” book! I just finished it this morning, and Sophia tells a story that’s empowering and bad ass. While we’re not going to start our own empires through eBay, there’s a strong correlation between following your gut, working hard at your passion, paying attention to details and doing it better than the rest.
One of the side-effects of reading #girlboss was visiting Nasty Gal every chapter to analyze all the points she makes on styling, branding and design and how that reflects on the current site. I’ve never shopped at Nasty Gal, and I’m currently practicing Sophia’s mindset of putting your money in your savings account and not on your feet, but I had a lot of fun going through the site and finding things to put in my digital wardrobe.
Sophia has amazing taste. Her models are well-styled, every thumbnail reads quickly, and she knows how to make people want things. That’s a killer brand.
I’ve also been getting obsessed with the podcast “Being Boss” and it’s become my motivating companion for all my days I’m working alone in the studio. I met Kathleen at Designer Vaca last year, and I was blown away by her upbeat inspired talks about building your perfect day. She’s a professional motivator for a reason. This amazing podcast lets you have your own personal Kathleen pep-talk all the time! Two of my favorites have been “How To Do Like a Boss” and “Your Website Is Your Most Valuable Employee”. So far this podcast has caused me to schedule out yoga classes like they’re important meetings on my calendar (causing me to find an amazing new yoga studio) and launch my first digital product!
Yes! I just released Fox Head Stew #1, the first 40 pages of the comic I first put out in 2012. It’s had a windy road, but basically, the book has been unavailable for the past few years, and I haven’t known how to re-release it. Luckily, I’ve been building out some e-commerce sites over at We Are Branch, and realized how incredibly easy it is to make digital products available these days. After spending many hours re-building the book from scratch and optimizing the art, I released the first issue on Gumroad last Friday.
Buy Fox Head Stew #1!
Just one last thing, here’s T&Lo’s countdown to Mad Men. I cannot wait.