meet {so&so} monday

meet: SOPHIE BLACKALL, illustrator of missed connections


Sophie Blackall is an illustrator of sorts.  Originating from Sydney, Australia she now resides in the Big Apple–Brooklyn, to be exact.  Her whimsy drawings stem from a transparent charm that appear to speak volumes of her personality.  Though I’ve never met Ms. Blackall, I have stalked her Missed Connections project for the past couple of months.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  As a child, Blackall was aware of her lack of artistic talent.  She recalls one occasion, in particular, that brought about great frustration:

I remember having a dreadful tantrum when I couldn’t draw a deer that didn’t look like a plasticine dog.

Nonetheless, she kept at it, and clearly, it paid off.  Although, she would first have a string of peculiar careers in a shoe store, robot factory and as a magazine columnist, just to name a few.  Ultimately, her drawing skills came to fruition.  Blackall began illustrating for magazines and then went on to illustrate her first book, Ruby’s Wish.  In between the latter two accomplishments, she would have two personal accomplishments to add to her repertoire–children. At present, Blackall is gainfully employed as an illustrator for editorial magazines, part-time as a children’s book illustrator, and most recently, a project titled Missed Connections.  She describes her inspiration to capture these seemingly hopeless romantic postings on the somewhat controversial Craigslist:

A Missed Connection is a fleeting moment where people sensed an attraction but didn’t act on it; two people’s lives crisscrossing in a moment, sometimes they don’t even speak.  It’s a look, it’s a glance, it’s a smile, whatever it might be that make two people remember each other and wish that they could see each other again.

Blackall has since read thousands of Brooklyn’s Missed Connections, as well as the Village Voice and other message-in-a-bottle sites.  In March, she published a  blog to exhibit such pieces, and will typically update it once a week.  In case you were wondering, it takes about two hours of her time to illustrate these fleeting moments.  Her perspective makes one conscious that every passing glance is an unfinished story; whether we experience it ourselves or witness such an interaction in our daily commute. After browsing her pieces, one will surely be more cognizant of those serendipitous passings that we often think nothing of. Yet Craigslist is a butterfly net waiting to be cast out by those hopeless romantics who clearly did think something of it.  Blackall’s mission applies the butterfly metaphor further:

Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I’m trying to pin a few of them down.❞

Missed Connections:

blog here or a mini documentary here!

Sources: Continue reading

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Big Grizzly Bean Bag on Etsy

december 4, 1986

“The way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday

-paris hilton, socialite

At 12:38pm, yours truly will turn 23 years young.  I have to admit, I’ve been dreading this number for a while.  I mean, what’s there to gain–the eventful birthdays are 16, 18, and 21, so far at least.  Then I pushed the pause button.  I’m beginning to realize that I shouldn’t ask “What’s there to gain,” but rather, “What’s there to lose?!” I’m just getting started…

meet {so&so} monday

meet: KURT HALSEY, artist of little moments & simple thoughts

collage-kurthalsey

Kurt Halsey Fredericksen (better known as Kurt Halsey in the art community) was born on January 26, 1978 in the small town of Racine, Wisconsin.  As a youngster, Fredericksen developed his artistic personality and empathic storytelling approach by dabbling in cartoon imagery and four-panel drawings.  He was inspired by the comic strip “Calvin & Hobbes,” and had aspirations to one day become a newspaper cartoonist.  However, fate had other plans.  Fredericksen would later have a semester stint at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and then go on to graduate from Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting in 2000.  He explained his shift in mediums:

Paint on canvas- you can never go wrong with that. It has history and staying power.

With meager beginnings, his simple sketches and compelling paintings gathered an underground following and soon became an internet phenomenon.  Fans and critics alike were able to find some, if not all, of his pieces to capture a time, sense, or being that left an imprint on their life–be it fleeting, lasting, or tragically nonreciprocating.  Although Fredericksen is elusive, as are most artists; he has been featured in Herbivore Magazine, ISM Quarterly, and Hi-Fructose Magazine.  Thus, the latter affiliations support this artist’s identity as a proud vegan.  He often portrays animals, especially felines, with heart-aching cuteness, and at times, a touch of anthropomorphism.  Perhaps, most identifiable are the witty titles, empathic one-liners, and thought-provoking scribings on almost all of his pieces.  Fredericken enlightens fans of his style:

Influenced by my hopeless romantic and super sensitive mindset, I pay far too much attention to the little things in life and in the relationship between two people. In constant need of reassurance, explanation, closure, and attention, my paintings are made.❞

At present, Fredericksen resides in Portland, Oregon with his fiancé, June, and their cats.  He continues to create drawings and paintings, but has since expanded his repertoire to include calendars, embroideries and buttons.  His works can be found in art exhibitions across the country, and can be perused/purchased through his website, artstar, and every so often on ebay.

On a personal note, I discovered Fredericksen’s work in the early 2000’s.  Needless to say, the feelings of loneliness and nonreciprocated likings resonated with my middle-school self.  I would use the library computers to print out his pieces and plaster them inside of my locker, while most of my peers had teen heartthrobs in theirs.  Over the years, I have grown up, as have his pieces.  Below are a few of my Fredericksen favorites Continue reading

{let’s}

❝Let us read and let us dance — two amusements

that will never do any harm to the world.❞

Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), French philosopher

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{nail art}

festive nail art for thanksgiving!

feathers & polka dots – gobblegobble!

Polish & Lacquers:

  • OPI “Oh… To Be 25 Again!
  • Color Club: Art Club Series “Mint
  • Color Club: Art Club Series “Sky Blue
  • Color Club: Art Club Series “Lite Pink
  • Cina “Top Coat