You get something, I get something.  I’ll buy your therapy.

Dish out your self-portrait. Be creative + crafty or dangerous + sharp.  Be you.  Exaggerate. Pour out some paint, throw in some mud, use your fingers, and make a mess!

Why should you waste time with chunks of crayon, erasers, and glue sticks?

Therapy.  It feels really good.  And who isn’t a tad narcissistic these days?  Check out my mermaid waves. Also, I’ll include a link to your website if you want some attention.

Other than a free therapy session (unleash your inner tarantula or unicorn), I buy you a drink. Since I can’t and won’t take you out for a drink, I’ll send you a drink via snail mail.  (Spend it on cotton swabs or jelly beans if you don’t drink alcohol.)

I get the doodle, and you get the drink.  Win-win-WIN.  There are stipulations, of course.  And I don’t just give drinks away.  Effort is necessary.

Here’s what you get when you give:

Share a self-portrait with your story, and you’ll be savoring a delicious PBR in no time. $3

→Bacon beer in your belly.  Submit a diorama with the story, and you will taste the meat in no time.  Cheers.  $5

→If you are eco-friendly and apply organic materials to the caricature (with story), then salt up the arm, a tequila shot is on the way.  Tequila! $7

→Ambitious and dangerous?  Two drawings with two stories = One delicious dirty martini.  Encourage a friend to play! $9

→Delight your friends.  Collect 5 self-portraits + stories.  Send.  Celebrate with a round of shots.  $21

It’s easy to submit.  Fill out the form.

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The end of “nice”

May 27, 2010

Cheers to the wild Self.  Imbibe.  Whatever you do this weekend, do not “be nice”.

Side note: My week felt like this frizzle of a doll.

“I’ll tell you right now, the doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious.  If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door.  If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door.  If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.

…The early training to ‘be nice’ causes women to override their intuitions.  In that sense, they are actually purposefully taught to submit to the predator.  Imagine a wolf mother teaching her young to ‘be nice’ in the face of an angry ferret or a wily diamondback rattler.”

-Clarissa Pinkola Estés, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves

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Art by Melissa Garrett (daughter) from Bristol, Tennessee

“My name is Melissa. I have always felt like I was born in the wrong area.

I feel that I would better ‘fit in’ in a large metropolitan area, such as New York or LA. However, I went to a very rural high school in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. It was not out of the ordinary for the students of my high school to wear their overalls and roper boots to school, fully adorned in the cow and horse manure from working on their families’ farms early that morning.

Agriculture and Horticulture were the most popular areas of study at my high school. Old pick-up trucks with a dead deer in the back from the owner’s most recent hunting trip were plenteous. I, on the other hand, did not find this aspect of my area’s culture attractive in the least bit.

Each morning when I got ready for school, unlike the others, I did not think of what would be most comfortable to wear that day. I focused on what was stylish and appealing. I spent much of my time with my fashion magazines. My dream job is to be a fashion stylist of the stars (although I am currently in college to become a nurse).

As my picture describes, I treated the halls of my school like a run-way, modeling the fashionable looks that I put together. I did stand-out from the ‘norm’ of my peers, but I didn’t mind. I love expressing myself through style.”

-Melissa Garrett, 20-years-old

Art by Barbie Garrett (mother) from Bristol, Tennessee

“This is a self-portrait reflecting my vision of who I am.  As I was having fun drawing, I was reflecting that this is not how others see me, I think. I started to send a picture of just two green eyes on a white background.  I see myself that way sometimes, on the outside looking in.  And invisible.

This reflects the parts of me I enjoy.  I purposely left out my family, even though that is so much of who I am.  And, I purposely left out my faith, which is also much of who I am.  This is just a simple ‘look at me’.

I spend much of my time out on the porch, working on my laptop in my porch swing.  I am a freelance writer, and this is a lot of who I am. I am the Social Media Examiner for the Knoxville Examiner. I write about many different topics, but it is often cooking and crafts. I am a kitchen gadget addict:  I have 3 bread machines and 3 rice cookers.

I am a church organist and a former piano teacher.  I do a lot of things, but I usually do them on the front porch in my porch swing.

Obviously, I am a philosopher, and not an artist!”

Barbie Garrett, 50-years-old

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Photo Credit: Anastasia Photography

Danielle LaPorte intrigues me.  I’ve dived into her spiritual and creative abyss on White Hot Truth.  After meeting her in person, I realized that the lady really can start a Fire … one with inextinguishable flames.

Danielle’s new Fire Starter Sessions, a digital experience for people with the entrepreneurial spirit, releases worldwide on May 12th.  The e-book combines logic with mojo, uniting your brand, vision, and soul along the way.

Inspired by both Danielle and this fiery project, I immediately wanted the scoop on her life as a kid.  Childhood tells all.  Danielle was playful enough to share her memories, from the days of magic and BIG HAIR, with me.

KZ:  What was the first childhood experience that showed a glimmer of your entrepreneurial grace?

DL: Grade 8. I was class President. I lobbied to, for the first time in elementary school history, change a nominal fee for parents to enter our school carnival. “Can’t fight change … or kids” was my platform.

KZ:  Who and/or what did you want to be when you were little?  Any particular heroes at age 8?

DL: My Grade 2 Journal reads:  I want to be Wonder Woman (loved those bullet proof bangles and her rad invisible plane), a Social Worker, a Disco Dancer, and a Poet.  I’m all of those things today.  My airplane is the internet.

KZ:  What was your biggest challenge growing up?

DL: Getting in trouble for leading the pack.

KZ:  What would 8-year-old Danielle say about you if she saw you now?

DL: You’re super smart.  And your heart is pretty, I like your heart a lot.  How come you don’t have a house in Morocco yet?  You really should dance more. Wanna put on some makeup?

KZ:  What was your favorite place to spend time as a kid?

DL: The wheat field behind our house.  I lived on a farm.  Being an only child, I spent hours and hours alone, walking on the railway tracks, thinking I could talk to hawks and fairies. Writing poetry. Looking for signs. Magic signs.

KZ:  Describe your family’s home dynamic.

DL: Instant gratification and pretty happy getting by.

KZ:  Best memory from childhood?

DL: In the Canadian Parliament they have “Pages” who are like errand kids on the senate floor. It’s a very competitive and prestigious little gig, and I managed to land myself a term as a Page when I was twelve. I wanted that so bad that I tired to sweat blood when I prayed at night. Getting it was a total rush.

I also have a lot of great memories of laughing with my mom and dad in the car and in the kitchen.  Always at the expense of each other.

KZ:  How would your classmates describe you in high school? What was your passion?

DL: Unique. Creative. Bossy. Very Big Hair.  My passion: Figuring out how to get the hell out of my town. Big Hair.

Art by Danielle LaPorte

*** Moving forward a few decades …

KZ:  Describe 80-year-old Danielle.

DL: Satiated.

KZ:  What will change when you’re approaching 80?  What will stay the same?

DL: Well, my boobs will be in their own province by then.  Sigh.  I’ll still be spouting off what I think I know. Evoking the truth. Avoiding cooking.

KZ:  What will you have conquered by then that you haven’t yet?

DL: My fear of not reaching my full potential.

KZ:  What style and business mantra will you rock in the rocking chair?

DL: Everything is progress.  This I know.

Thank you for your time, Danielle!

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Spring break rat

April 27, 2010

“I consider myself to be part of the rat race, however; I am a spring break rat. I went on said break in 1985 and never made it back. I stopped in Denmark, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Greece, France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Holland, Belgium, Eastern Block, Thailand, Malaysia and Ecuador (painting along the way) only to discover that a party is a party is a party.  Twenty-two years later I returned to my home base in Houston and decided to go on back to school.  I will complete my masters degree at retirement age.
So where ever you are, whatever you do – accept the rat race but live up to your own rodent identity.”
-Art and story by Kirstin Baldwin from Houston, Texas


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Falling tide

April 22, 2010

In ’05, I finally removed myself from a relationship that was becoming increasingly restrictive. That night I moved into my studio and felt so many emotions I didn’t know where to start.

So of course I started painting.

The image is called “Swift current on a falling tide”

Being a west coast girl, I see life in coastal metaphors.  I was finally in motion, moving fast into a new phase of my life.

The falling tide refers to the fact that as the tide goes out hidden rocks appear and have to be navigated.

The mask is actually lifted from another painting of mine, but seemed appropriate in that I had put down the perfect woman and wife image and was willing to be messily, grandly, scatteredly, creatively, myself once more.

What a wonderful night that was!

I painted all night and into the dawn and then slept on my studio couch till noon and got up to paint again.

-Art and story by Corinne Paquette-Parker


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Eggs: sunny-side up

April 8, 2010

This adventurous couple brightens my day every time I receive a new creative self-portrait from Miss Rose.  Always clever and always playful.  Keep ’em coming!

Check out previous self-portraits from Miss Rose and her partner in crime, NTAG.

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