AGE OF GRACE | Eva Zeisel

Eva-Zeisel-AGE-OF-GRACE-Besotted

I have my file which is called To Do. I have my plans. I have my clients. I am doing my work like I always did. 

Eva Zeisel during her Ted Talk at the age of 94.

Age is a funny little number. I’ve met people in their 20’s who are already set in their ways, and people in their 80’s who belly laugh every single day. I’m a firm believer that it’s important to find people who are vibrant and happily productive in their later years to look to as beacons of hope that our own later years aren’t predestined to be spent watching game shows and eating soup.

Eva Zeisel worked well into her final 105th year. She began as a potter’s apprentice at the age of 18, and built one of the most impressive industrial design careers of the modern era. She was endlessly inspired by beauty and playful creative discovery, and I can’t imagine a better way to claim your vitality and remain ageless, than by dreaming up and creating beauty to share with others. Eva’s most iconic and recognizable works are her pottery and ceramic designs, but she continually explored new design mediums – even more so as she grew older.

In the spirit of it’s never too late, I thought it would be fun to show you a small sampling of Eva’s projects in her 90’s and 100’s – I find her incredibly inspiring and hope you do too!

94 yrs old: gives Ted Talk on the Playful Search for Beauty

96 yrs old : designs pens & desk accessories for Acme Studios

102 yrs old: designs hand blown glass vases for Gumps

102 yrs old : began a collaboration to design rugs for The Rug Company

104 yrs old: Creates silkscreens in collaboration with KleinReid

 

*Dinnerware set above available at DWR.

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Age of Grace | Cindy Joseph

Age of Grace | Cindy Joseph via Besotted Blog

How about celebrating your age and wearing it proudly? How about being an example for younger women and taking on a positive, happy, healthy attitude towards yourself and aging? Would we have benefited witnessing women older than ourselves celebrating themselves? How about celebrating your age and wearing it proudly? How about being an example for younger women and taking on a positive, happy, healthy attitude towards yourself and aging? Would we have benefited witnessing women older than ourselves celebrating themselves?

I only recently discovered model/entrepreneur Cindy Joseph, but I was instantly intrigued. Joseph was discovered at age 49 on the streets of NY by famed fashion photographer Steven Miesel, after which he cast her in a Dolce & Gabbana campaign and her modeling career took off from there! I love stories of people getting ‘discovered’, but to start your modeling career at 49? Amazing. Joseph has become part of the ‘pro-age’ movement a play on the ‘anti-age’ phraseology so common in the media and consumer beauty marketing and recently has become a cosmetic entrepreneur with a ‘less is more’ approach to makeup. I liked her makeup tips for ‘boomers’ (her cosmetic company is called ‘boom’), but I feel like these tips work for anyone that has started to notice there makeup routine is not working the same as it was at 30, 40, etc.

1. Use cream-based, not powder-based cosmetics on your face. Powder adds texture to skin that already has developed texture.

2. A good rule of thumb for lipstick is to find a tone that matches the inner lip or gums.

3. Women older than 50 tend to lose definition in their eyebrows. Just go with that. Don’t recreate the brows you had in your 20s.

4. This is a hard one, but do not wear any eye shadow at all (and especially no contour eye shadow in the crease because it gives the appearance of deepening the crease). A little bit of mascara is OK.

5. Tinted moisturizers don’t work. If you’re going to use a foundation to even out skin tone, find one that gives coverage but doesn’t add texture. Be willing to spend money on a foundation and take your time to experiment and find the exact right shade. Matching your skin tone exactly is critical.

You can read more about Cindy Joseph here, here and here!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Age of Grace | Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin Age of Grace via Besotted Blog

I think one does feel more liberated and independent when one gets older. More honest and open with yourself and others

It seems to me that there are more and more women that are appearing in the media that are beautiful, intelligent, dynamic and ageless. Last week marked a month until a very big birthday for me. If I had to wrap my mind around the number I would probably be hiding under the covers, huddled in the fetal position, rocking slowly and mumbling nonsensically. Part of birthday’s and aging, at least for me is evaluating what I have accomplished thus far and although I am a natural optimist, I do find myself feeling like I have come up short and should have a lot more to show for all my hard work. The clock feels like it’s ticking rapidly (think time bomb) and I feel like I need to do X, Y, Z before the uhm end. I know dramatic, right? But that’s my truth right now, I suppose in a way, it is what keeps me motivated and  striving for more and by ‘more’ I don’t mean ‘things’, but experiences. After all, you cannot take the Rolls Royce or mansion with you.

We thought it would be apropos this week to feature women that are not only aging gracefully, but are kicking butt doing it. The gorgeous Linda Rodin featured, is 67 years old, she launched her beauty line only a mere 8 years ago and sold it to Estee Lauder recently if that isn’t a story to get you out of the, ‘I’m too old to…’ mentality I don’t know what will (hopefully more stories like this). We love Rodin’s super chic style (she was a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar at one time), it suits her perfectly, although both Michelle and I wouldn’t mind emulating some of her looks. In fact, there are legions of young women that love her style and want to be Ms. Rodin when they ‘grow up’. I say why wait? The time is now to pursue your goals + dreams, yes, right now! What will I be pursuing after this little motivational kick in the pants? I do have a lot lined up currently. I was feeling a little desperate, but desperate isn’t always a bad place to be, it can be exactly what you need. I love this quote by Tom Robbins:

In life you need either inspiration or desperation.
Well, I currently have the desperation bit covered, so this series will hopefully give myself (and hopefully you) some inspiration!
//RESOURCES//
Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

GESTURE DRAWING ASSIGNMENT

Cy-Twombly-property-of-Tate-Museum-UK

“Even a pancake has gesture. There is a gesture in the way a newspaper lies on the table or the way a curtain hangs.” Kimon Nicolaides

I’ve always admired those who could finesse delicate lines, controlled and concise with ease and grace. I am not one of those people, but I do subscribe to the idea that anyone can learn to draw. After all, drawing was a required school subject before cameras came around, and if kids from the 1800’s could learn to draw, so can we! Even if I never manage to draw an elegant line, I already know that looking for gesture helps me take better photos. What makes an image come alive? A line that pulls you in… the weight of a shadow, a suggestion of movement – that’s gesture!

Tristan and I are both wanting to work gesture drawing exercises in a bit more often, and there’s no more sure-fire way to get motivated than to ask others to join in. So…will you join us? Gesture drawing is meant to be a quick exercise, broad, loose, imperfect studies are the goal. What’s important is attempting to capture the essence of your subject: the movement, the weight, the energy. If you are brave and post your results on Instagram, feel free to tag us so we can take a look! #besottedblog

(ask yourself) “what is the subject doing?” Nathan Goldstein

Don’t know what to choose for your subject? You could take a page from Cy Twombly and attempt to capture the energy of the artist (that’s you!)  with an abstract approach!

A very special thank you to my brilliantly talented friend (and drawing teacher), Mary. She had this to say regarding the books she chose for you in the resources below:

“I have a great affection for The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaides. Sections 1 (Contour and Gesture), and 2 (The Comprehension of Gesture) are good introductions. The Art of Responsive Drawing by Nathan Goldstein I like too. The first chapter is Gestural Expression (which refers to Nicolaides).”

painting by Cy Twombly 

//RESOURCES//

The Natural Way to Draw

The Art of Responsive Drawing

Drawing paper sketchpad

Newsprint sketchpad (lots of room, inexpensive for guilt-free sketching).

Graphite pencil set

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Modern Calligrapher | Tara Spencer September Letters

Tara Spencer | September Letters Interview via Besottedblog.com

Tara Spencer of September Letters was recommended by photographer Meg Fish and I gasped with delight when I clicked over to view her work. I think it’s very fitting for this week’s gestural theme, as Spencer’s hand has a very loose and organic flow to it, it’s near impossible to replicate and it distinguishes her amongst the many talented lettering artists out there.

//SEPTEMBER LETTERS INTERVIEW//

Where are you located?

I am based in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. I love everything about the city – the overcast skies, the coffee culture, the mountains. We live two blocks from the sea and as a prairie girl, I’m constantly pinching myself.

How did you get started in lettering?

I wanted to address my own wedding invitations a couple years ago. My style has definitely changed since then, but I fell in love with the process. It’s such an unnecessary, time-consuming thing, and that appealed to me for some reason; it’s so different from most things we encounter day-to-day. I had a romanticized idea of what it might mean to be a calligrapher, but some of it did hold true. I love that a critical aspect of my work is going for long walks, dreaming up ideas. I love that I get to constantly evolve and recreate my aesthetic, and try to learn and improve.

What are some of your favorite supplies?

I am always discovering new materials, and I don’t have much loyalty to anything in particular. I’m obsessed with exotic papers; there’s incredible options from Japan, India, and Italy, of course. I also love discovering artists a bit closer to home who are making handmade surfaces – Stef Marieh from SHare Studios makes some delicious deep blue sheets, and Signora e Mare’s delicate papers are a dream! Papeterie St-Armand makes really wonderful papers in Quebec as well. When I’m working on something to be digitized, I usually use bristol.

Higgins Eternal is a good solid black ink that everyone recommends, but I’ve moved to using a lot more Sumi ink of late.. I love its rich quality, and it seems to sit a bit better on handmade papers, without being absorbed. I also love J. Herbin inks, especially their gold. I haven’t gotten into a lot of brush-lettering, but I use Grumbacher brushes for my watercolor work. There’s a revolving door situation with my nibs (I’m pretty rough with them), but currently I’m liking a Brause 66EE nib. It’s very delicate and creates a beautiful fine line. Another two I keep coming back to are Hunt 56 School and Brause No. 65.

Can you name some of your inspirations?

My background is in contemporary art, and I did some studio painting and exhibiting for a short time. That’s still a part of who I want to be as an artist in the future, but I enjoy the tactile, artisanal nature of hand-lettering. It was a struggle to make that transition initially – to move from making ‘serious’ work, and needing a conceptual justification for what I was making, to doing something for the beauty and experience of it. Now I think the two complement each other.

I love reading as well, especially French thinkers like Sartre and Camus and more ancient art, like cave-paintings and Italian frescoes. I’m drawn to the flatness of medieval art, because it’s so different from how we portray the world. But as a calligrapher I’ve really come around to Cy Twombly; I never cared for the lettering in his paintings until I started with lettering myself, but now I go back to it for inspiration all the time. Julie Mehretu is another artist whose drawings have influenced me, and I’m also inspired by a lot of floral design and photography.

Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?

My art background has probably influenced my process quite a bit; I think of calligraphy in terms of color and composition a lot more than in strokes and letters. I’ll usually start with an idea for the flow of the page; my preparation sketches look a lot more like scribbles and waves and lines – I’m trying to think more about where I want a cluster, or where the letters should be more spread out..

I like to start with a mood-board as part of an initial project proposal, because it guides the process from start to finish. Then I tend to spend a lot of time alone or in cafes, sketching a lot and experimenting with styles. Most of it ends up in the trash, but I’ll cut up little pieces that I love (ask my husband, they’re everywhere…), and then I’ll be ready to actually put pen to paper. Other times, I’ll just sit down, and it will be right the first time – it really depends on the project.

Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?

I think the right answer here is to learn the basics – master the skills, and then learn to break them, and I’m definitely believer in that. For me though, I stumbled into it, and I’m just adding those foundational skills now. In a lot of ways, I think that’s kept my lettering fresh.

The best advice is probably just to have fun with it, and experiment with things that aren’t letters. Don’t just write the same words over and over – take a poem you love and use the shapes of the words to create a picture.

An awful exercise from back in art school is contour drawings. It’s the most agonizing thing, but it helps you appreciate lines for their own sake, and to realize how interesting they can be when you’re not controlling them too much. You take an object – maybe a flower or a piece of fabric,  – and then you draw as slowly as you possibly can, without ever looking down at the page. You focus only on the shapes and outlines of the object, and follow all its tiniest, most subtle changes without ever lifting your pen. When your eyes reach a darker area, you press down your nib, and lighten up for softer spots. You end up with a completely unrecognizable mess of wobbly lines.

Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?

There are associations in most cities that put on classes, and Iampeth has some incredible online resources for learning Spencerian, Copperplate, and others. They have great information about supplies, and really helpful articles about traditional calligraphy techniques.

Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?

I absolutely love working with brides; weddings are such beautiful, joyful times! At the moment, I’m enjoying all the brand work I’m doing from all over the world; from florists and photographers, to blogs and charcuterie, I love how much passion goes into creative businesses. It’s such an exciting process to take someone’s vision, and help shape and define it into something tangible.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

Maybe just to not rush through projects – look at things that inspire you and get your juices flowing before you begin. And don’t compare yourself to others! It’s exhausting and completely crippling!

Name one random talent you have that people may not know?

I already mentioned my painting, but maybe the fact that I’m into philosophy – I took it in my undergrad and the interest has really stuck.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Blog by Hello Monday Creative