On assignment for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine in December, I spent a day with LA textile designer Graham Keegan. He uses plants such as bougainvillea and sumac from the streets of his Silver Lake neighborhood to dye accessories and bulk yardage. I got to help him pick Peruvian pepper on Sunset Boulevard, brew the leaves into a dye bath, and block-print a scarf in two shades of olive.
I took all the photos for the article, too, which was a first for me. My story is in the July/August issue, but you can catch a sneak peek below.
My favorite thing about journalism (it ain’t the paychecks) is that it connects me with extraordinary people, like 17-year-old Hope Lennox. Throughout high school, the recent graduate of Atlanta’s Pace Academy blew off football games to stay home and make art, teaching herself to create realistic portraits in glitter. She developed a surprisingly sophisticated take on a medium associated with cheesy birthday cards. I’m sharing a few of her paintings here, and you can read all about Hope and her process in my profile for the Atlanta INtown paper.
I pestered Print magazine into letting me interview actor and artist Kevin Christy, best known lately for his role as Lester on Showtime’s Masters of Sex. Kevin’s double life fascinates me: He’s a commercial illustrator and fine artist who pays the bills with minor parts for TV and movies. Most freelance creatives have bread-and-butter side gigs, but how many film for Dude, Where’s My Car? in the morning and paint a portrait for the Atlantic in the afternoon?
His dual gigs have more in common than I first realized. Rob Clayton, Kevin’s former teacher at Art Center College of Design, put it like this: “Being a character actor is really similar to being an illustrator. Because you get known for a particular thing, people hire you for that thing, and if you get big enough, you’re allowed to change and develop a new thing.”
I think our talk revealed a few valuable lessons for artists and designers, and it’s also good for a few laughs (Kevin does stand-up comedy, too). Have a look on Print’s website and let me know what you think.
Local illustrator Sarah Neuburger’s latest print, titled “Atlanta’s Creative Class,” pays tribute to 50 women who write, photograph, stamp, style, and otherwise boost the arts and crafts scene in our fair Southern city. Yours truly is portrayed in the bottom row, third from the left. I’m honored to share this 12×16-inch stage with some of my closest friends, like Shannon Mulkey from the Indie Craft Experience, as well as talented ladies I’ve been admiring from afar for years. Read more about the project below!