Open Eyes

7:52 AM

I have always had a wide variety of interests and projects, and haven’t really been able (or perhaps willing) to hone them down. Fashion or Film? Not to mention any number of side hobbies at a given time. Many of my choices have panned out naturally: certain skills asserted themselves, projects came and went, or I chose not to choose and squeezed it all in. But with a more established career and my time opening back up during this phase of life, I’ve let go of that pressure on myself to hone in and opened myself up to new mediums and endeavors again. I toured the Thailand Creative and Design Center in Chiang Mai with Tory a month or two ago, and after that I knew I wanted to spend one solid afternoon there before the baby comes, just pulling books off the shelf and then paging through or digging into whichever ones caught my interest. 

Today was the day, and it fed my soul just like I guessed it would. I used to do something similar at my college library back in those days - you got to check them out but you had to really dig for the interesting books. This place is like a condensed library with all the good stuff, all design, art, culture, visual, related. Overwhelming and inspiring. For the first half hour or so, I let myself just pull books, bringing them back to my nest on a perfect-for-pregnancy bean bag chair when they got too heavy to hold. I spent the next four hours just absorbing - flipping pages, noting things to look up again later or photographing things that caught my eye.

Here are my inspiration sources, notes and links:

Journalism as if the planet mattered, Kunda Dixit
-     Note to self: Check this out from the library on kindle

Collage: Contemporary artists hunt and gather, cut and paste, mash up and transform

101 Famous Poems
-      Check this out on kindle

Magic of the 60’s
  • Hub of history = Haight Ashbury, San Francisco
  • Emerging counterculture
  • LSD was legal at first?
  • The San Francisco Oracle newspaper
  • Book Conclusion [emphasis mine]: “The sixties is a good place in history for us to check out. The general populace then was feeling what many are feeling now: tremendously powerless, engulfed in apathy as we grappled with the monster we had created in Vietnam. Our leaders seemed heedless of our wishes and it took a new generation of young people to show us how corrupted our values had become, and how we could speak out, demonstrate against iniquities… and be heard! The magic of the sixties lay in the power and energy generated by this new generation – a positive power that surged through the world like electrical current, affecting not only the United States and its policies, but Europe, and finally piercing the Iron Curtain.
      Now, as perhaps never in the years since the sixties, we need to look back for solutions to present problems. We need to shake off our cloaks of powerlessness and apathy. The sixties seem particularly fit for the task. It was magic, and it all really happened!”
      – Gene Anthony, Magic of the Sixties

Ultimate Crochet Bible
-     Refer to YouTube instead

Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology

Visual Delights:
Late 60’s Fashion Style
Mail Me Art: Going Postal with the World’s Best Illustrators and Designers

Tory drove us home on the scooter and unexpectedly, my eyes were open in a way that I rarely experience so naturally. I was seeing color pairings in ordinary scenes, patterns of repetition in city life, and charming moments of humanness pop out so strikingly as we flew by. When I have been reading a lot of fiction, this kind of thing happens to my brain, but it’s descriptive, not visual. My thoughts will come in flowery, detailed language and everything feels sweeter. Occasionally in my work, my eye for beauty gets stuck on, seeing everything in the world through a lens as a shot to be captured whether or not I still have my camera with me. But usually when I am working, I am trying to sort and shape the documentary storyline while getting a good shot so my mind is split between the visual part and the contextual and the magic is lost. 
So this openness was a totally unexpected result of my afternoon of special research. I anticipated that it would inspire me and give me lots of takeaways to revisit later but the effect it had on the visual part of my brain was a complete, fantastic surprise. How beautiful, that what we feed ourselves can change our mental patterns? I don't think I need to go to TCDC every day to turn this on but I'm excited to cultivate more of this daily - I imagine it would have a big impact on my work and my life if my eyes were open like this more often.

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  1. I feel like my brain craves inspiration and stretching like this. What a fun category of work you found. Thanks for taking the time to share links and insights!

    1. Hi Laura, feel free to email me any inspirations you find in your days as well!


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