Tag Archives: life

official wedding artist

last month two of my dear friends, eitan and joanna, were married.  their wedding was a completely epic weekend event that really exemplified  the idea of a community coming together to make something happen.  but months and months before this monumental weekend i started working on wedding artwork!  they asked me to create their wedding invitations and it sort of evolved from there, and i started considering myself the official wedding artist.  the first thing i created was their save the date cards.  the three of us sat down to get an idea of what they liked and talk about some imagery, then joanna sent me examples of things she liked.  then i disregarded every bit of imagery that we had discussed and drew a picture of them.  well they are both very kind and patient people and were happy with the save the date card.

save the date card

when it came time for the discussion of the invite i had to remind myself that this invite was about them and what they wanted, not about me!!!  so many conversations later we decided upon some imagery, fonts, paper  and colors and the drawing for the invite was created.  joanna helped me print the invites.  if anyone is interested the save the date cards were drawn in pen, scanned and then just photocopied on to recycled cardstock, with 4-up on a page.  the invites were letterpress printed from a photopolymer plate, that was created off of a drawing, the text was also printed from a photopolymer plate.  then the pond lily was hand colored with watercolor paint.  the response cards were also drawn in pen, laid out on the computer and digitally printed.

wedding invite and response card

along with the invite was a hand drawn map of how to get to the location that the wedding was held, and a small card announcing the brunch that would be held the day after the wedding.  the last printed piece was a schedule of events for the day of the wedding and the ceremony.  once again these were drawn in pen, and digitally printed.

front of the schedule

back of schedule

i stuck to all of my deadlines and everything was finished on time.  a lot of people came to the wedding a day or two early to help set up and prepare, myself included.  i was immediately put to work on writing out chalkboards.  for two days i wrote out many chalkboards, none of which i have pictures of, but they turned out lovely.  one of the best things is that we decided to barter for payment.  for invites and all the other drawings eitan, with the help of my patrick, made us a dining room table!!!!  it is beautiful, and i sit at it as i type this.  the table is a farm table that is made from reclaimed pine, from a house torn down in detroit, with cedar legs.  we all thought we got the better end of the bargain, so i will take  that as a good barter.  congratulations eitan and joanna!!!!!


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Filed under arty stuff, commission, drawing, printing

7 years and some change

this picture was taken a little over 7 years ago.  it was taken in maryland, outside of the house i grew up in, on the morning we were leaving to move to detroit.  i was 24, patrick was 26, we had only been dating for 10 months, and we had quit smoking 4 months previously, after 10 years of the habit.  we had hardly any money, knew one person in detroit that we had only met once and had housing set up that we had never seen.  lots of people i meet ask me how patrick and i ended up in detroit and this is essentially the story i tell them.

we had both been living on the eastern shore of maryland, where i was born and raised, and patrick moved to at the tender age of 5.  patrick was working on an organic farm, i was working as a graphic designer at a newspaper.  we met in july of 2002, started dating in august, moved in together by november, quit smoking in february and decided to move to detroit in may.  patrick was interested in working in urban ag and i wanted a change.  we originally wanted to move to new york city, but after an interview and overview of the new york restoration project patrick wasn’t really into what they were doing, so detroit was the other option.  we set out for a visit in late march.  a visit that almost didn’t happen.  the person who was setting up a tour for us never called to confirm we had a place to stay or we could have a tour, so we gave her until 9pm on the day before to call, otherwise we were going to take a road trip to asheville, nc.  she called at 8:59pm.  so we set out for detroit, got a whirlwind tour, stayed at the bogg’s center, drove through the city gaping at all the abandoned houses, then headed back to maryland.  we decided not to talk about it on the ride home, and just take it all in, but at some point in ohio we decided we were moving.  the wheel was set in motion and we just followed the path at that point, no freaking out, too much to do.  quit jobs, tell parents, find housing, clean house, rent uhaul, pack up shit, have parties, spackle walls, clean more of house, leave.  both of our parents came to help us pack, i remember patrick’s mom cleaning out our disgusting refrigerator, that sure is love.  and then we set out for our new home.  it was a really long u-haul ride, 12 hours and I-75 was closed downriver, so we were re-routed through the city.  that could have been the end of our relationship, as stressful as it was, but i didn’t try to help get us there, as i am a directional amnesic.  i do remember us eating almost an entire tub of peanut butter filled pretzels on our way there.  we finally find our house, and it is huge!!!  we just started giggling.  for about a month before we left i was obsessing over a shower curtain.  in situations of large-scale change my ocd gets the best of me and i worry endlessly over small details because my brain can’t cope with the big picture.  so i was really worried about not having a shower curtain and talked about it endlessly, and when we got there the bathroom had a shower with doors, so there was no need for a curtain.

we came for a year to do americorps internships with the detroit agriculture network, and have now stayed for 7.  that first year was hard, but really fun.  patrick and i didn’t start making friends until we had been in the city for about 7 or 8 months so we spent a lot of time with each other.  but i look back at those times and think of how much fun we had, and how much time we had to get to know each other and the city.  we spent our days off exploring parts of the city or state we hadn’t been to.  we took day trips to delray, flint, hamtramck, anywhere we could explore.  i also think of how much i have changed and grown in the past seven years.  i have become an adult and live a life that leaves a lingering smile on my face.  i think being in detroit has made me realize that living your life is not about what you started with, where you come from, or how much money and material possessions you have but what you make of it.  the past two years i have taken a step back from community and working on projects with others.  i needed some time to rejuvenate myself after feeling burnt out and disillusioned.  i started doing things out of obligation not love .  i finally am starting to feel ready to jump in the deep end again, but this time armed with more knowledge and an open mind.  i have seen the city change so much in the past seven years.  after having the social forum here it has really made me reflect on all the wonderful work that is happening in this city and how much work there is still to do.  i never thought that i would have been here this long.  when we moved i expected my mom to be really emotional, and when she wasn’t i asked her why, she said she was just pretending i was going to college and that i would be back.  so did i.

but 7 years later, i am 31, patrick is 33, we have been together for almost 8 years, he is working a job that he loves and challenges him all the time, i don’t make much money but i get to tell people i am a beekeeper and an artist, we have lots of friends we love, a great community, 7 years of living smoke free, and one nice looking rust bucket of a truck.  all in all we are happy.  who knows what the next seven years will hold, but hopefully they will be as much of an adventure as the past seven.


Filed under detroit

its been a while eh?

so i realize that it has been quite some time since i have posted anything.  this is mostly because i haven’t made any new artwork in a while.  so i will just give an update on this one and maybe a picture of the bees, who are busily pulling in any pollen they can find.  last week i finished one job, so now i am down to two, and have some breathing room.  in fact i have been taking it easy for the past few days.  no alarm clock, no agenda, nothing.  although i still find myself reasonably busy.  i have also been applying for artist residencies, which has ended in a rejection thus far.  i find that as much as i try to convince myself that i don’t care one way or the other, the rejection still hurts.  i am sure it always will from what i can tell.  gardening on the other hand has not rejected me.  i have been spending hours planning my garden map, trying to fit in all of the seeds i purchased.  it is quite complicated and has no logical rotation, but i have been enjoying myself quite a bit.  it has been a bit of a sad week or so.  last monday marked the two year anniversary or our friend dave’s death.  he has been weighing heavily on my mind as of late.  patrick wrote a really touching post about dave here.  his loss still feels heavy in this community.  in celebration of his life, on the anniversary of his death we pruned fruit trees in the neighborhood.  a number of the folks who live in the house that dave owned joined us.  that evening we went over to the house for a potluck.  i wasn’t going to go because being at that house is still really hard for me, but i am glad i did.  it seemed to heal a small hole in my heart seeing how much work they have done on the house, and how they have come together to keep dave’s amazing vision going. he was a flame that burned too bright for too short of a time.  yesterday our friend mick passed away.  mick was an activist in detroit for the past 40 odd years.  when i lived at the trumbullplex he and his wife sherry lived on the block behind the house, and were the paternal and maternal figures to the residents of the house.  mick was a musician, an artist, a poet and a carpenter.  he was a quietly larger than life figure with deep roots in detroit’s activist community.  he had a construction accident a couple months ago, and never really recovered.  he will also be missed greatly.  i found out this morning as last night we were very kindly invited to a passover seder dinner at our friend’s parents house.  it was my first seder dinner and i had a really nice time.  the stories were really interesting, the food was outstanding as were the thirty or so people attending.  this time of year seems to echo the cycle of life, death and rebirth.  i can only hope towards the rebirth of life in spring to help wash the bitter taste of loss from our mouths.

bees pulling in pollen

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