Each time I've been given a new lease on life (were it not for the hospital stays & crazy miracles, I'd think this was all just my perspective, but truly, I'm crazy-blessed to be here) there's been a new set of choices; points of vast clarity that that show up like backlit bullets on the walls of my home.
They answer: what would possibly be the best, juiciest, most delicious response to the gift of life? Photography is always a new choice on the list. Newly inspiring, an endless learning frontier, a chance to see my home, children & D fully for who they are, right in the moment. While this community so, so loves our art process classes, you can consistently find me in food styling, lighting, + nature photography workshops.
I've been resisting Photoshop for a decade, but coveting BlogShop's Photoshop Video class for months. Katrina Tan raved on-&-off for 6 hours during a private Photoshop soiree where she broke down the basics of magazine-style blog design for me. A wicked teacher herself, Blog Bling Kit creatrice & the brilliant eye behind Pugly Pixel, Katrina knew that Blog Shop classes, packed-to-the-gills with fashion, food & decor bloggers was just my style. Ummm. Totally.
I mean, look at the curriculum delivery - A font-pressed wooden usb packed with fashion, travel + derigible videos? SWOON.
The bags of super-sexy swag included hand-poured candles, a watch in my favorite shade of citron, hand-dyed cotton scarves + a gold-mirror iPhone case that turns neon pink as it gets scratched. Bring the crowds. (The point: Freak out your guests by making things special. Honor the pants off them.)
Angela met Bri at this loft when their boyfriends were in a band together, & the rock thread is echoed in every aspect of class. The super-fresh, super-clean & very LA-yummy lunch came from her wedding caterers. Everywhere you look the details are personal. And impeccable. Even the eco-paper plates were heavy, matte, & square with an ergonomic swell to remind you that you are learning from commercial art directors. No less. (Congruency + integrity is just plain pretty.)
I love commercial art directors. But sometimes they can be many. That's pronounced may-nee, as in, many kinds of manic-scary. Not so here. These two have totally different styles, Bri Emery, along with being the most photogenic person, ever, is effusive, visually dramatic, lovingly confident & playful. She knows exactly what she likes & shouts it out in a way that's reminiscent of sunflowers. And Angela Kohler is graphic, making it hard to focus because her beauty & gesture strikes a clear & precise pose. The longer you watch her, the more her star quality becomes about offering clarity & support.
My computer stopped working prior to class - 90,000 photos + 25,000 videos will do that. But I didn't even need it, because they lay everything out in a way that's totally organized, simple, & easy. I was quite sure Photoshop would kick my ass. Between Katrina, Bri & Angela, I got it now. (In the most hobby-like way.)
Good company meant sitting back-to-back with Marisa, of Creative Thursday. Her In the Fish Bowl videos used to give me heart palpitations, as she just smiled sweetly & pet her cat & trusted us to be kind. So easy to love, she is. I took her Painting-in-a-Day class at Squam a few years ago, too, and painted Happy Nest Point, a white-sand lake cove in many, many colors. It sits on D's dresser with our wedding photo.
(And have you seen her fabric? Right down there, on her skirt. Happy, cheerful bunnies. Little thriving artists, Marisa's gift to the world.)
And thriving for me is about time with my family. Feeding them well. And limitless freedom to learn.
First videos on the list: the Boys. Digging rivers in the yard. Throwing bowling pins into the trees, fishing off the dock. They've been at the lake for 15 days, and I miss them something mad, but join them for a month on Monday. Would you like to take a month off with your crew? Join Pixie & I for SouLstorm and we'll design your whole life around it. Be warned, though, that pretty much across the board, our ladies end up taking their whole lives off to do what and be with all that they love. xo, maya