Meet the Model: Ali

DSC_8763.jpgMeet the model: Ali teaches art to kids ages 4-10 at the Arts Council of Southern Indiana & prior to that she was a propogation house manager for a farm in California that fed 70 families & raised goats & chickens. She has also harvested bananas on a 2 acre farm in Hawaii. Ali now lives in New Albany, Indiana where she is opening an art education center called Point of Creation. The studio will be open to all ages & provide classes in fine art drawing, loom weaving, nature mandalas, & healing arts. Ali was so much fun to shoot these kimonos with!!!

Etsy Shop

Meet the Model: Courtney

DSC_8517.jpgMeet the model: Courtney is an art teacher who spends the majority of her time planning & creating lessons for her middle school art classes in Oldham County. When she’s not teaching she loves to paint portraits. Her style is psychedelic and colorful with a twist of dark comedy. You can see her work on her Instagram page, along with her beautiful self-portraits, poetic quotes, & hilarious classroom art.

Etsy Shop

Meet the Model: Sydney

cropped-dsc_8450.jpgMeet the model: Sydney is a Kentuckian who spent some time in Colorado working with WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) where she fed chickens & even helped build a yurt. Now, back in Louisville, she hopes to continue living off the grid as consciously as possible while confronting all the societal ‘norms.’
With a degree in Public Relations & a minor in Environmental Studies, Sydney plans to continue alternative living projects, and possibly travel to India with her boyfriend.
Her view on fashion & stereotypes: “I think I’m pretty androgynous. I think that stereotypes often go hand & hand with our relationship to earth. I’d like to challenge the typically negative stereotype of dreads with the conscious but classy efforts I put out.”

Etsy Shop

Meet the Model: Maya

cropped-dsc_8699.jpg

Meet the model: Maya is a Louisville native & millennial who co-founded StoryWood Bowties, a Louisville fashion business that salvages historic wood to offer people unique accessories w/ stories behind them. With a brand new studio space & a partnership with the head of UofL’s History Department, she’s excited to take the business to the next level.
Maya experienced hardship early in life by having to watch three of her siblings go through heroin addiction. At the same time, she feels fortunate to be blessed with a non-addictive personality.
After meeting her husband Maya became a Muslim and found hope in the Islam faith: “The more I learned about Islam the more beautiful it became to me and started speaking to my heart.”
Aside from expanding StoryWood Bowties, Maya’s future dreams are to travel the world & eventually start a family.

Etsy shop

Finding Gratitude in Politically Turbulent Times

Now, more than ever it is clear that if you are a person who cares about equal rights for all human beings, environmental sustainability, & women’s right to make choices about their bodies without the interference of politicians’ religious agendas you are up against a rigid, bullying (and I think outdated!) mentality.

Michelle Obama’s words “When they go low we go high” really saved me recently.  In the midst of this new political climate I found myself in a heightened fight or flight state, watching news in horror, reactively reading articles & unfollowing people on Facebook, catching the buzz of fear in conversations. When you’re being reactive it’s easy to go low.  

But then I stopped and asked myself, what if I chose to be proactive- to go high?  What would that look like?

  1.  I started checking the websites of activist organizations each morning instead of news.  I have found them to be great sources of encouragement, including info & updates/ current happenings with a more uplifting/ mobilizing message and less fear-mongering than mainstream news.  (ACLU, NextGen, WomensMarch, 100DaysofAction, Stand With Standing Rock just to name a few!)
  2. I am paying more attention & visiting the websites of leaders & celebs who care about the same causes I do- like Gloria Steinem (her website has a wealth of information! (www.gloriasteinem.com), Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore and Leonardo DiCaprio (who is making documentaries traveling around the world & interviewing scientists to greater understand climate change)
  3. All the uplifting news sites out there that are filled with positive, inspiring stories- (check out upliftconnect.com & the good news network)
  4. Getting to march in the women’s movement on Jan. 21st that was the largest protest in WORLD HISTORY.
  5. The steady and growing momentum of the movement which stands for love/ diversity/ inclusion/ equality- seeing men, women, kids, families, the elderly, people from all different countries & walks of life come together to stand for unity & equality.
  6. The mayor of my city, who declared Louisville a compassionate city & held a peaceful protest & resistance to the banning of immigrants which was attended by thousands.
  7. Getting invited & participating in postcard parties w/ friends, writing postcards to my senators- something I never would have done before!
  8. The fact that I can still love family members & coworkers who have different views.  & not think any less of them as people.  Choosing instead to focus on inclusion, what makes us the same- not what divides us.  (Ex:  You might know a Trump supporter and they may be passionate about their views.  Instead of focusing on how different your views are, focus on the fact that you both share the quality of passion.  Acknowledge it, like eating different meals but sitting at the same table.)
  9. The Obama Foundation!   Google it now. It’s informative, uplifting, inspiring, and a place you can go to get filled with hope.
  10. Michelle Obama’s quote, of course which will stay with me forever!

 

Ok- so there you have it!  Thanks for reading.  What have you found to be thankful for in the changing political climate?

10 Things to be Grateful for when you’re a Broke Creative

So you’re broke, eh?  Well, welcome to the club!  This morning fresh out of my yoga routine I watched my inner thoughts churn away:  You need to get a serger!  You need better equipment- a rotary cutter, a sleeve board, a cutting mat, measuring tools.  How are you gonna pay for professional photography?  Pay models?  You need more MONEY…aaaaaaaaaaaagh!

The tool that will serve you best when your thoughts reach this frenzy is to shift back into gratitude.  Do you have enough food to last you till next paycheck?   Do you have a place to stay & a warm bed to sleep in?   Do you have family & friends?  Can you work with what materials you DO have & keep it simple?  Can you Just focus on today? 

Here is a list of 10 things you can be thankful for even if you’re a financially struggling creative:

  1. Mother Nature is always there for you & she inspires!
    • walk/ hike
    • watch the sunset/ sunrise
    • breathe in the cool morning air like Henry David Thoreau
    • play in the snow
    • make a nature mandala (inspiration)
  2. Family & Friends don’t cost a thing- call them, share a meal, hang out.
  3. Time- it’s hugely valuable.  Think about how you’re using it & be thankful cause one day you might not have as much time. Time is freedom.
  4. Your Mind- Take advantage of it & explore deep states of meditation/ yoga, inner peace.
  5. Your health & self-care- Focus on it.  Be lovingly aware of your body/ movement/ breath.  Exercise- do jumping jacks in your room or run up & down stairs.  Give your body good stretching.
  6. Your local library- treat yourself to some free books, music, or movies!
  7. The internet (if you don’t have it use the library)- Soak up thousands of free articles & podcasts- look at this as an opportunity to study/ learn/ gather information.
  8. Free music on Spotify/ Pandora.
  9. Free live music at coffee shops, free or donation only events, volunteer opportunities, & free creative gatherings (drumming/ full moon/ meditation/ artists groups) in your city.  Is it in walking distance?  Could you ride the bus?
  10. Your creativity
    • go to a local park, art gallery, or simply around the block & take pics of random things w/ your phone.  If you don’t have a phone bring a journal & write about what you see.  Or just take it all in.
    • Play dress up w/ the clothes you already have- see how creative you can get.
    • Try a refashioning project- upcycle something old into something new (just type in “DIY” on Pinterest for a wealth of inspiration!)
    •  Make a Spotify playlist with a fun theme
    • Try writing a short story w/ a writing prompt
    • Draw images w/ a pencil & notepad

And there you have it!  All it takes is a little imagination.  And most importantly, go easy on yourself & do what you can TODAY.  What inventive things do you come up with to do when you’re broke?  What do you find to be thankful for?