Art Vs. Craft

On the final day of my drawing class, a classmate eagerly pursued me and asked, “Can I draw you in class today?”  He seemed intrigued as his eyes looked over my features, not that I got the sense he was necessarily pursuing me romantically.  Instead he seemed to be taking me on like a challenge, but I wasn’t sure what the challenge was.  “Sure,” I responded, shrugging my shoulders and not thinking much about it.  I didn’t think more on it as I concentrated on drawing another classmate, until I saw the final result.  It hit me hard.  It wasn’t that it was terrible.  It was that the drawing was so accurate my heart jumped.  I couldn’t believe how I looked.  He perfectly captured my large dark brown Italian pupils perched in the narrow Epicanthic folds of my eyelids.  I always thought I looked Mediterranean, but never Asian.  “I look Japanese,” I replied in shock.  He took this as an offense, but that wasn’t the problem.  It surprised me that someone could capture me so well.  Other students tried, and some were close, but none had drawings like this final result.  Continue Reading ›

The Resonating Note

Love.  Music.  Intrigue.  Imagine these three words with gondolas, rain, and risotto and you have the setting of my recent activities.  Since when did I head to Venice?  Since I began my work on the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company‘s world premiere of Appoggiatura.  In this brand new play written by three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee James Still, Helen, Chuck and Sylvie are touring Europe starting with Italy and are confronted by their relationships, past and present.  Tensions build as the characters run around Venice and search for each other, collide with visions of the past, and eventually find themselves amongst the directions, “A destra, a sinistra, dritto, dritto.”  Ready to join me in Venice?  Then come along as a take you through my style sets inspired by the costume designs of Appoggiatura Costume Designer Meghan Anderson Doyle. Continue Reading ›

Sustainable Fashion Challenge: Week 2

As the weekend comes to a close in Denver, Colorado, unfortunately I’m met with a chill as the clouds darken and snow creeps in. I’m sad to see the sunny days come to an end, but it leaves plenty of time for me to sew buttons and start replacing zippers or finish jewelry projects backstage in between costume changes. It’s Week #2 of Tortoise and Lady Grey’s 20-Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge, which means my commitment to mending and re-purposing finally has a time and place. Sewing squares together cut from leftover fabrics for donation blankets, however, hardly touches on what my activities with this challenge encompasses this week. Continue Reading ›

Crafting: The Lost Art

If you ever want to stop a conversation during a first date, the phrases “I want to be married next year with kids” or “My Ex (insert anything here)” will be sure to cut your evening short. When I mention phrases attached to my summer like “Artisan Sector” or “Handicraft Industry” most conversation stops and I’m met with furrowed brows and confused frowns. It’s not much better when I add “Social Innovation” or “Empowerment.”  When I mention I’m traveling to Peru to help local artisans sell their products in the world marketplace to change the fashion industry’s current practices and standards, people immediately jump to conclusions: “Is it like those companies that go to Ghana or something like that? Don’t they sell stuff at that store in the mall with rugs from Nepal? Or is that the stuff that they sell at foreign airports and markets? I got my mom a bracelet from one of those that says, “Korea.” Texting my mom on Hangouts I realize there’s plenty of icons to describe her as a nurse: a syringe, a bandaid, pills. There’s nothing to describe what I do. San emoticons and icons, I wonder how can I make a field like this important and applicable to those not in this world of Artisan Empowerment?

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Run by What???

Expecting a completely open summer and multiple options available for travel, May was a month I packed my bags to escape.  My first planned stop was home, the next one completely unknown.  With various ideas scattered across the globe, I’m not really certain where my pushpin will land on the map.  I wish to have a new adventure living amongst locals, immersed in their words and delicious aromas.  This could put me just about anywhere.  To my surprise, a volunteer opportunity to spend the summer in Piura, Peru with the company, Run by Rural, arrives in my e-mail inbox.  Hurrying to book tickets, pack my bags, and get vaccinations, a call to my grandma, Nonie, foreshadows my future misunderstandings in a new culture and country. Continue Reading ›