Last week I spent a fun afternoon shooting some photos with a friend. Whenever I do this kind of thing I realize why in the real world it takes a whole team to make stuff like this happen. It's easy to make something, but then to style it, model it, photograph it, pose it - it's so much to think about. Too overwhelming!
Fortunately I had a really great model (who is also pretty good behind the camera too!) and it worked out great. I think we got some awesome shots. I did learn one little fix that might be worth sharing with anyone else that wants to do a photoshoot with a friend...
Here's what usually happens to me. I find a cute friend and say let's take photos. Sounds great, super fun, but then when the camera actually points at them, they get a little awkward and mumble "what do you want me to do?" I'm not much of a photographer so I have no clue how to say what they should do. I'm usually like, "Just look good, ok?"
So this time, we took turns being the model & photographer. When one person got tired posing we'd swap and put the other in front of the camera. It made things so much better! Nobody was stuck in one role, which can be really boring, and it didn't feel as silly to pose if the other person was going to have to do it too. So that's my tip for happy friend photo taking - get everyone involved in everything.
The Tribal Crossbody Bag
Surf Day Tote
I recently came across Pschh I Can Make That.com
, a craft blog where Abby Elaina & her husband make cute videos showing how to create designer inspired garments at a fraction of the price. It looked like so much fun I said to myself, "Pschh, I can do that too!"
And so I present my first attempt at sewing a garment. I make bags (and I make 'em good too!) but I hadn't tried clothing yet, and this seemed like a good way to give my usual "learn by doing" approach a try.
The inspiration garment was a baby doll dress
from Planet Blue that cost $110. I loved the style but it was a little too short, I didn't want the open back. I also wanted the hem short in the front, long in the back, instead of short on the sides. Ok, so I basically wanted a completely different
dress, but with a similar feeling. Oh and mine ended up getting buttons down the front of it too because I wanted to try doing buttonholes by hand.
I found some cheap quilting fabric with a similar dip dyed feeling (cheap seemed like a good idea since this was a first attempt) and I made my own pattern by tracing a shirt I already had. I went pretty good! The only snag was that the first version was WAY too big, so I ended up taking the whole thing apart, trimming it down and reassembling it.
I started working with canvas because I like it and it was the best material for my board bags. Since finishing the first board bag collection, I've kept on working with the same materials to come up with some new bags and purses.
Each one is decorated by hand with desert-inspired, tribal style design. I just love drawing on fabric. I've been playing around with different ink on fabric applications for awhile and it may be my favorite medium at this point. See more of these creations in my Etsy
Anyone who knows me knows I like to create. Even though drawing/art is my main thing, I take a lot of breaks from it to try other forms of creativity. It keeps my brain fresh. Working on the same thing too long tends to make it feel heavy, makes the project seem dull and its fun to try new things. That said, I'm SO excited to announce my latest project: Chapman Board Bags
I have a WWII army bag that I inherited from my grandfather and it's one of my most favorite things. When I take trips it gets stuffed full of supplies and gear and off it goes. It's been all over the place and gotten lots of abuse, but the worse it's treated, the better it looks. The only problem is, even tho it holds a lot, it's not big enough for my surfboard. So I decided to make a board bag in the same style as the army bag, something that had the same old school vibe, and was well made out of durable stuff.
My grandmother taught me how to sew, so I had a pretty good idea what I was doing. It turned out to be a lot of fun too, and I made a pile of them. They're available for sale on Etsy or through me directly. So far, each one is unique even tho they all share the same old school aesthetic.
Check them out at the website: ChapmanAtSea.com
and on Etsy. I love making these things and am super proud of them. I did a lot of research on the design, materials and sewing methods to make sure the quality would be awesome. Customs are available: customer orders, custom colors & sizes, all of it. Let me know what you want.
Silent Night is one of my most popular designs and now it's being produced in leather and bamboo by the nice people at Grove. Like all their cases, the iPad case is an eco-friendly, quality product. The bamboo feel great in your hands and even though it's really protective, it's not too heavy.
It comes in black and london tan leather. I've had the tan version for about 6 months and I'm very happy with it. The leather is that nice type kind that gets better with age.
Check it out here:http://www.grovemade.com/product/ipad-case/#silentnight-ipad-case
California. Why did it take me so long to go here? Should have been a long time ago because it was such a good time. Stunning scenery, cool people, diverse foods to try - loved it.
Basically went to LA, stayed in Marina del Rey. I did see the Hollywood stuff, but for the most part we kept to the beach. Surfed in Malibu, visited a favorite surf shop in Newport, just looked around and tried to get a feel for the place. It's so different than the east coast, but really good. I'll definitely be back.
Surfing in Malibu
The desert. What is there to say about it? It's stunning, inspiring and a whole pile of other descriptive words. I can't do it justice, so I'm going to post these photos and maybe they will do the job.
The Painted Dessert, AZ
The desert felt comfortable. I don't know if anyone else has these reactions to landscapes, but to me, some places feel like home and some don't. Example: The mountains of NC - to me they are uncomfortable. They're beautiful, but they're too jagged, the trees are too dense, the foliage is too saturated with green. It's not my thing.
So I was trying to figure out why the desert felt right, when it seems to be the exact opposite of my usual inspiration - the ocean and beach... I think it's because it's not the opposite, it's the same. The shapes of the desert are incredibly similar to the shapes underwater. The empty spaces there, with their curved elevations, look very much like the ocean floor. Driving by I saw plants that were the shapes of corals. There was a cactus that looked almost exactly like a gorgonian.
Petroglyph National Monument, NM
The Petrified Forest, AZ
And then there's the colors! The beautiful, pale, faded colors - exactly the shades that I like to work in. You have no clue how many times I've been told to abandon these colors and work with bright, vibrant ones in order to make people like my work better. I actually felt like nature had vindicated me for liking them, as if nature likes them too, but secretly keeps them all together, only here, for itself.
Creative wise, the dessert was the most inspiring thing on this trip by far. I think that when I finally finish with the traveling, it'll be a big part of what I do next.
So I was one day into a cross country road trip.
The most impressive thing about driving on a trip like this is that you get to see the landscape change. When you fly somewhere you just pickup at home and plop down where you're going, but you never get to see what the earth has to do to look the way it does there. Entering Oklahoma, I noticed the first of these changes. The land that is soft, hilly and green turns flat, harder and yellow. And it's windy. Very windy. This is also where I started to see the first bit of Native American themed stuff. I like that stuff, so I was excited. I looked out the window for buffalo the whole time, but the only one I saw was in a travel stop. He was kind of awesome tho.
In Oklahoma City we stopped and saw the bombing memorial. It was sad, of course, but worthwhile and Oklahoma City was actually very nice. The buildings downtown were beautiful in an old fashioned midwest way and everything was incredibly clean. So far, it was the best city we'd seen.
Somewhat unexpectedly, I had the chance to go on a major road trip. I love being on the road, but it's been awhile since I lived in my airstream, so I was psyched to have the chance to go.
This time I'd be heading out west, with a destination I'd spent a lot of time dreaming about, but had never been to before: California. I was ready. A new ocean to meet, some supposedly awesome surfing, and a chance to see with my own eyes things that are constantly referenced in movies and books.The Plan
Leg 1. South Florida to Western North Carolina
Leg 2. North Carolina to CaliforniaTravelers:
me, my husband Joe and his brother Shane.
The point of the trip was to take Shane's new car that was bought in NC, out to where he lives in Marina del Rey. Drive out, fly back.Day 1
We set off from outside of Asheville on route 40 early one morning in August. This day took us through Knoxville, Nashville, & Memphis. When you take this kind of trip, you get the chance to drive by all kinds of things that you've heard talked about throughout your life. It gives you a chance to be able to say "I've seen that" about a lot of stuff. So the plan was to stop and see all that kind of "stuff" whenever we came upon it.
In Nashville we stopped at a food truck
and walked around by the river. In Memphis we got some fried chicken and saw the Mississippi for the first time. Then we headed on west and saw the sun set as we drove through the Ozarks. All I could think of was being a kid and reading "Where the Red Fern Grows." I wished I could spend some time in those hills.
At this point the landscape, although beautiful, was still fairly familiar. The next day it would start to get interesting. That night we stopped along the Arkansas and Oklahoma border.
might be the biggest shirt site you've never heard of. At least I had never heard of them, and when I asked some of my artist pals about them, they had never heard of them either. And yet, when you visit their website, it's pretty impressive. They have a lot of shirts, almost anything you could ever want actually. Then there's the name, T-Shirts.com, which seems like the best possible and most obvious web address to go to for any shirt buying needs you may have.
A few months back they approached me to be part of a new concept they were launching - a section of their huge site devoted to individual artists. I was obviously excited and happy to be a part of it. On July 31 the artist section officially launched. To start off I've made the designs below available and I plan to add a lot more, so there should always be something new there. As time goes on there might even be some exclusives.
Aside from the new artist section, T-Shirts.com has a lot to offer. I personally love the vintage tees they have. Check out some of my picks of the best ones below. That NASA design is really calling to me right now, I may have to get myself one of those. To check out the quality of course.