cool creatives from around the web

 

 

Here’s some people who intrigue and inspire me. They might do the same for you.

Natasha Wescoat

Natasha’s bio describes her as a “self-taught artist who is a force of nature” and I believe it. She’s a savvy artist-entrepreneur I discovered when I was just becoming interested in artist-entrepreneurs.

She not only cut out the middleman and seized control of her destiny, she takes out the elitist vibe that so often infuses the very idea of Art by offering her work at warm, friendly, accessible prices. She reminds me a little of the innovative art dealer Edith Gregor Halpert, subject of the bio THE GIRL WITH THE GALLERY, who believed in art for the people (and was herself a force of nature).

I bought a piece from Natasha as a gift for one of my closest friends after she had her first baby, and it’s possibly my favorite gift I’ve ever given. I like her art – it’s kind of got this dreamy pop art deco primitive surrealist thing going on, if you know what I mean (and if you don’t, that’s okay, because I’m not sure I do either).

And I like her, even though I don’t know her and have met her only passingly at a tech thing in LA. I just bought this piece for myself, titled VIRGO, from her Sirens series, because I am one (a Virgo, not a Siren, although sometimes I do try).

Electric Literature

This literary journal is the bomb. And I love their website because it’s fun (‘cause, you know, ‘fun’ and ‘literary journal’ are so often used in the same sentence). They have animations. They have Youtube videos involving gunplay (“Let’s shoot some books.”) They have a blog featuring lines like

It was a reading, a listening, a cartoon-watching event rolled up into one uber-intimate media presentation that made a few people tear up.

These people are smart, literary and cheeky.

I like that.

The Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows Guy

I don’t know who this dude is. I’m not sure I want to know. Some mysterious force compels me to post this here.

See if you can decipher these complex and challenging lyrics.

Kristin McCloy

True story. Many, many years ago – I do not wish to say how many – I read a book called VELOCITY, in which a young woman grieves the loss of her mother and takes up with a biker named Jesse who is not, shall we say, husband material.

I loved this book. I wanted to write one just like it. The sex scenes are elegant and awesome. Then, somehow I lost the novel – and I mean truly lost it – I couldn’t remember the author’s name and couldn’t track it down.

Now and again over the years, I would remember the book and take to the Internet and again fail to find it, until I wondered if I was remembering the title correctly.

Then, only recently, a stranger left a comment on my blog in which she casually mentioned that, many years ago, she came out with this book called VELOCITY. And btw, she’s a fan of the blog. I promptly emailed her because how cool is that? I acquired a used hardcover copy of the stupidly out-of-print VELOCITY and bought her other two books as well (SOME GIRLS and HOLLYWOOD SAVAGE).

So there’s a lesson here, people. I may not know what it is, exactly, but somewhere in here there’s a lesson.

nerve.com

I enjoy Nerve.com — “the center of the Internet for sex, love and culture” — partly because they run pieces like The Third Annual Nerve Awards for Love & Sex on Film. Love and sex and movies. It’s kind of like a holy trinity. Throw in some Belgian chocolate and you’re good.

Abby Kerr and Tara Mohr

There’s a rising wave of smart young online female entrepreneurs, and one of the smartest is ‘brand editor’ Abby Kerr. I discovered Abby’s work through a Google group – her ‘this is what you get when you give me your email address’ newsletter series on niche branding is well-informed and well-written. When I noticed that she was retweeting my blog posts, we made contact.

Tara Sophia Mohr is a poet and Huffington Post blogger who coaches women on how to play big. I like that. She did the talk show circuit when one of her posts – 10 Rules for Brilliant Women, in which she urges women to “clear a path by walking it, boldly” – went viral. In her bio she writes this:

When I was fourteen years old, I listened to my high school English teacher explain that our class would read a variety of books centered around the theme “Coming of Age.” The teacher passed out a list of the books we would read over the course of the year: Black Boy, A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, and others.

I looked at the list and saw: all the books were about boys coming of age. All were written by men. I knew, from my own experience, that the story of girls coming of age was very different from that of boys. I understood we’d only be learning only half the story of “coming of age” if we only read books by men and about boys….

…I [am] following a calling that continues to be at the heart of my work: to restore women’s voices where they are missing, to amplify women’s impact in the world – both for the wellbeing of women and for the wellbeing of our civilization.

I like that too. I’ve been following Tara for a while now, and so when she showed up on Abby Kerr’s blog so Abby could interview her about ‘voice’ – well, hey, two for the price of one. Except it’s free. Very cool.

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler, author of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES isn’t afraid of saying the words that you’re not supposed to say in polite company – or, really, at all. Well, fuck that. Having spoken with women all over the world, having created a rehabilitative and educational community in the Congo for female survivors of the worst sexual violence that you can (not) imagine – at a time when no one wanted to speak words like Congo or rape – Eve writes one of the most powerful blog posts I’ve ever encountered, called ‘Over It’. And she uses the word rape. Repeatedly.

….I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.

No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.

I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters — film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes — while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

Susannah Conway

If you want to learn how to take cool photographs – so you can use them in your blog, for example – you could do a lot worse than Susannah Conway’s ‘photo meditations’ online course. I’d been eying it – and Susannah’s blog – for months before I finally jumped in.

My favorite part is when Susannah takes us through a weekly slideshow in which she analyzes the photographs that she likes and teaches us why she likes them. She knows her stuff, plus she has that cool British accent that conveys added authority (why is that?).

Susannah interviewed me for her ‘How I Write’ series, in which I followed the formidable Danielle LaPorte. Since I’m a fangirl of Danielle – her blog was one of the blogs that showed me a way in to blogging – I was, shall we say, pleased.

And finally, I liked Caitlin Flanagan’s piece on Joan Didion that ran in The Atlantic. I have started to suspect that I like reading about Joan Didion more than I like reading Didion herself, and Flanagan has done nothing to disabuse me of this notion:

Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair. “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold,” Thompson wrote. “All I ever did to that apartment was hang fifty yards of yellow theatrical silk across the bedroom windows, because I had some idea that the gold light would make me feel better,” Didion wrote. To not understand the way that those two statements would reverberate in the minds of, respectively, young men and young women is to not know very much at all about those types of creatures. Thompson’s work was illustrated by Ralph Steadman’s grotesque ink blots, and early Didion by the ravishing photographs of the mysterious girl-woman: sitting barelegged on a stone balustrade; posing behind the wheel of her yellow Corvette; wearing an elegant silk gown and staring off into space, all alone in a chic living room.

Didion’s genius is that she understands what it is to be a girl on the cusp of womanhood, in that fragile, fleeting, emotional time that she explored in a way no one else ever has.

I love that line “….a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them.”

It makes me think of Muriel Rukeyser’s line: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”

Yes, please. More of that.

Feb 3, 2012
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5 comments · Add Yours

You are welcome for the unicorn song that will never leave your mind. Ever…

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LOVE Andrew with his triangle eyebrows and pink fuzzy unicorns!! Thanks so much for that!

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Posts like this remind me why I follow your blog. I love these personal recommendations from someone I trust (possibly admire). And because you always say something I can relate to.

When I was six my mother was taking a college literature class and would kill two birds by reading her assignments to me. The words of a hundred short stories were deposited in my subconscious without the benefit of the titles or authors by which I might have retrieved them.

They have been my mother’s sleeper cell of generous strangers. At unpredictable moments I have been reading a story it seemed I already knew when I realize I’d heard it before, in a familiar voice, as I watched through the window our trees shed their useless leaves, and my mother did her homework.

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@Elizabeth @David Niall Wilson He’s great. I looked up some of his other Youtube videos and I am a fan. I love a dude who can crack me up. :)

@Siddhartha Herdegen Thank you for that gorgeous comment. “sleeper cell of generous strangers”. love.

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SONGS TO WEAR PANTS TO! I loves him :D

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