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:
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.
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.
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.
Leg 1. South Florida to Western North Carolina
Leg 2. North Carolina to California
Travelers: 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.
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.
The Grove iPhone case feature my "Feathers" design was highlighted in Werk magazine. It's an uber-cool publication for trendy Germans. Very nice!
T-shirts.com 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.
This week woot is having their Beach Bums sale, offering a special selection of shirts with summery themes. I have 3 designs up in the sale. Woot brought back 2 of my previously printed ones and contacted me for a brand new one as well. Click on each design for a link to the "buy it" page.
Classic and Si Turtles! were both printed before and both printed really well. The watercolors on Si Turtles! came out so nice. Sometimes I'm not completely sure whats going to happen when my watercolor based designs go to print. Since I don't usually have too much control on that end I just have to hope it'll all work out, and this one really did. All the blue shades blended together so well. Anyone looking for a design of mine, I recommend this one. And I got bleach all over my old one, so I'm personally glad to be able to get another.
Then there's the brand new one, What Lurks Beneath. I spend a lot of time in the ocean, and I love it, but I always have the feeling there might be something bad lurking around that I don't know about. I was surfing once and my friend said "We probably don't know half the stuff that's swimming underneath us." Probably true. I don't go looking for that stuff tho and so far it's never bothered me, so that's good.