My mind was blown by the YoGoGirls when I saw this image of a super strong woman doing a handstand while balancing a bicycle on her legs. I felt inspired. I needed to see more and I had a lot of questions.
For example, did someone place the bike on her legs, or did she lift that thing up there by herself?
Did she get bike grease all over her legs?
And did someone help her “dismount”?
How long did she hold this pose for the camera?
Were there any unfortunate moments where the bicycle went crashing to the floor?
I’d love to see the outtakes of these images.
The YoGoGirls describe themselves as, “Designers, photographers, cyclists, triathletes, yogis & fun-havers!” They are my kindred spirits. I am inspired by their strength, eye for design, and cleverly ripped/re-purposed clothing. Below I will post some of my favorites from their Instagram account (they also have a blog here) and weave in my own “core strength” videos for a powerhouse stream of inspiration.
Trail cameras are great because you never know what type of photos you’ll end up with (if any). We strapped ours to a tree for a few weeks in hopes of seeing a mountain lion but the results were mostly pine trees swaying and deer grazing. Still, the surprise element is exciting and it feels like developing film.
Donald showed me how to use masks in Photoshop to create some entertaining results. Below are a few of our collaborations and some pleasant surprises captured by the Bushnell trail and game camera. I call this series, “If M.I.A. Made a Music Video in the Colorado Wilderness.”
Please disregard the inaccurate date and time stamp on these photos. They were shot this Spring in Colorado (2015).
The photo below shows why I never wear headphones when out in public and especially not while I’m deep in the woods. I love to work out to music (especially listening to M.I.A.), but I prefer to know what’s going on around me when I’m outside. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
And below is an outtake (taken with an iPhone, not with the Bushnell camera) showing some of the props that I brought with me for this project. I jogged ~ 3.5 miles up a mountain with 1,800+ elevation gain and a day-pack full of non-essentials (including lipstick + gold hoop earrings).
More to come because this was a really fun project and the fawns should be showing up in the mountains any day now…
*Note* No animals were injured during this photo shoot, however, I fell a few times while jumping around trying to activate the camera sensor.
While wandering through Estes Park, Colorado on Earth Day I was reminded that there are creatures on this planet that are still wild and free. They are masters of camouflage that have no regard for human guard rails or the “flow of traffic.” Every day is Earth Day in the wilderness.
I say—> it’s okay to play with your food as long as you eat it after the fun is over.
If I were the little sister to one of the world’s most famous pop stars what would I do to stand out?
I would do what Solange Knowles is doing- her own thing! The shadow of big sis Beyonce does not fall upon this singer, DJ, dancer and street style star. In late 2013 Solange was named Art Director and Creative Consultant for Puma. In her role, Solange not only co-designed two lines of colorful sneakers for the brand, but also art directed their campaigns. I absolutely love the art direction for Puma’s “Girls of Blaze” and “Wild Wonders” campaigns. The set design is clean and simple allowing for the color and product to tell the story. The models look like they were just interrupted from practicing their handstands and planks and stopped briefly to let the photographer snap a photo. The images are fresh, energetic and make me feel like putting on my MAC Lady Danger lipstick, Essie Tart Deco nail polish and Pumas right this second for a 12 minute AMRAP workout!
Here are a few of my favorite images/videos from Puma’s “Girls of Blaze” and “Wild Wonders” campaigns:
Solange created an early buzz about the new Puma sneaker line by releasing this sexy photo below on her instagram account.
If you have a blog you get to see a very basic analysis of your stats. You can see what posts and images are most popular, which countries your viewers live in and you can also see what keyword searches guide them to your site. To my surprise there are a LOT of people who search the term, “Irish Afro.” I did a silly post over three years ago about brushing out my hair titled Irish Afro and it has an unusually high rating. Based on the stats the citizens of Brazil and Italy are keenly interested in Irish Afros. Obrigado + grazie! Initially I suspected that some of these viewers must be in search of a green, curly afro wig for St. Patrick’s Day, but they search this term throughout the year so there is a sincere curiosity about Irish Afros.
The people have spoken and the numbers don’t lie, so I’m creating Irish Afro Part Two (cuid a dó) on their behalf. My hair has grown longer and I’m still entertained by brushing it out from time to time and documenting the weird and wonderful sculptural effects that happen. These photos are for all the Irish-Afro-loving people out there. I also post odd hairstyles more often on my instagram account (@plyometrics).
While most media tells us otherwise, I say don’t be afraid of your raw, natural state. There are people out there who appreciate it and support you.
There is a photo of my dad that shows where I get my Irish Afro but unfortunately no one in my family can find this photograph. He showed up to my Holy Communion with a gigantic afro and we were all amazed because we had not seen it before and didn’t even know that his hair could do that. Everyone in my family is on the lookout for this photograph now and once it is found it will be posted here.
Seeing my dad’s afro that day made an impression on me at a subconscious level. He was a man who worked with his hands (carpenter, electrician) and I remember asking him once if I would have hands as big and strong as his. He smiled and said they’d be strong, but maybe not as big and callused. I never got the chance to ask him if my afro would be as big and fluffy as his but years later I discovered that it certainly is.
My interest in creating poofy hairstyles started not too long after that. I’m sure I made my mom take this photo above because I was proud of my hairstyle.
Years later I’m still experimenting with the volume potential of my hair, even if it’s just for a few minutes to snap a funny photo.
No hairspray involved here, this is just from brushing it in an upward motion (above).
This style is staying in place with one tiny clip in the back, again, no hairspray used here.
Full brush out.
My nephews found this character in one of their books and said it reminded them of me. The resemblance is striking.
In motion on a no-brush day.
My hair usually gets pinned up later in the day because it’s so heavy.
No brushing, natural Irish Afro, air-dried.
Brushed and coaxed into a beehive style, only one tiny clip used to keep the volume in place.
Me as a quail. Morning hair.
Helmet head. Medusa-like.
Regular curly style, no brushing. If you’re in the San Diego area and have unruly, curly hair I HIGHLY recommend going to a stylist in Encinitas named Ashley Michael. Find out more about her here. She doesn’t have curly hair herself, but trust me, she totally gets it and that’s crucial! I’m in another state now, but the next time I’m in Encinitas, CA I’m booking an appointment with Ashley.
Channeling Lily Munster and the Bride of Frankenstein first thing in the morning.
Up-do at work.
Post-yoga, rogue curl.
Rare moment of total control, I use Tigi Bed Head hair stick for smooth finger waves and set it with small clips until it dries (then remove the clips).
Morning hair, floating braid, channeling Pippi Longstocking.
Workout style. I twisted the bottom half until it created one singular tornado curl and stayed in place. The top half is not pinned, it’s just doing some type of flip/float on my head.
Another rogue curl.
A word of caution if you have a thing for Irish Afros, and this comes from another ginger who has a most amazing Irish Afro, Luke Kelly from the Dubliners: “beware of the pretty colleens!”
If you have even .001% Irish in you I bet you know the chorus to the song below. Sing along and check out the guy at 3:22 holding 4+ beers! He probably ordered four beers for himself so that he didn’t have to wait in line again.
Here’s another great Luke Kelly/Dubliners song and his Irish Afro is in excellent form in this video.
I hope that I meet Luke Kelly in heaven so that we can take a photo standing next to each other with our Irish Afros. I’ll offer to be his backup singer. Our fans would pay to see the hair, but stay to hear the music. I hope that his hair is as magnificent as it is in this last video (progressively larger):
I came across an issue of National Geographic from September 1954 and I was impressed by the magazine ads and articles that incorporated hand drawn illustrations. They’re so detailed and the artists must have spent many late nights trying to work with unrealistic deadlines. There are ways to create shortcuts when drawing, but overall it’s a labor of love and will always take longer than planned.
Check out artist Walter A. Weber’s snake illustrations below. Amazing! How wonderful that he could spend a lifetime drawing animals- his passion since he was a kid in the early 1900’s.
Seeing these illustrations got me thinking about how “easy” it is to illustrate now. You just need to know how to use a computer and have a very basic understanding of composition and design. Raw talent helps, too, but it’s not essential with all the editing software out there now. When I first encountered the Adobe Creative Suite I really disliked it. It felt like cheating and made the little art club that I was in feel like it suddenly had way too many members. But I learned to embrace the technology and see how it could provide new areas to explore. I still prefer to draw with my hands but I’ve taken a particular liking to Adobe Illustrator because I figured out that I can do in seconds what would have taken hours to do the old-fashioned way. Illustrator is the one program that still makes me feel like I’m involved in an artistic project. I get so involved that I forget that I’m clicking away at a computer.
One of my favorite features in Illustrator is “Image Trace.” You can pull a photo into the program and after playing around with the Image Trace settings you’ll have an image that resembles a paint-by-number, watercolor, or graphic logo in seconds. Then you can ungroup all of the traced sections and play with the image as if it were a puzzle of color. The National Geographic illustrators from way back would lose their minds if they saw how easy it is now.
I pulled a bunch of vintage inspired images below and created various effects using Image Trace. I included some detail shots to show the amazing color separations close up. I enjoy zooming in and out to see the effects and deconstructing the original image. The series of images below will either make you want to learn how to use Illustrator or perhaps go for a bike ride instead.
I lust after this white vintage Peugeot bicycle with rainbow stripes. A friend of mine had one years ago and I fell in love with her bike instantly. I was so envious. I have to find one someday. Playing with the image of this bicycle in Illustrator makes it feel like it’s sorta mine for a few minutes.
I do. I love white nail polish. It makes me look tan.