“It was never a dress”

Why does the women’s bathroom sign have to have the woman wearing a dress? Why is there not another way to show the difference between a man and a woman? Which is why I love this campaign: “It was never a dress.” The campaign has been making its way around Facebook, but I had to see it show up a few times before anyone gave actual credit to the website and the company behind the campaign. Axosoft, a software company launched the site — this is an excerpt from the About page on their website:

“It Was Never a Dress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day. In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed. Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, It Was Never a Dress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women. When we see women differently… we see the world differently!”

This campaign is about seeing different ideas about women in new ways. How simple and yet impactful an image could be to turn a dress into a cape. For someone who grew up loving her Wonder Woman Underoos, I am just the kind of girl who sees the cape and not the dress. Of course, I am a summer dress wearing fiend. I will try to suck every possible moment of warmth out of the summer to wear a dress and sandals, or flip flops, but I am a cape flying girl first and foremost. With so few superheros for girls growing up, you latch on to one quickly, and mine had a cape!

Take a moment to explore the website. Click on the page for “Disruptions” and create your own version of “It was Never A Dress.” And, if you are feeling inspired share your story. They even have stickers and t-shirts and the proceeds go to “STEAM fields” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Please share “It Was Never A Dress” with others.

Young Entrepreneurs – Crafty Wonderland

I wrote yesterday about the artisan markets we went to over the weekend. A big one that happens twice a year in Portland is called Crafty Wonderland. As full, big, and overwhelming it is, I still love the inspiration I gain from interacting with artists and artisans at their finest.

This year they had almost an entire wall with kid entrepreneurs. As I began my venture into Crafty Wonderland I saw these kids (mostly girls) sitting at their tables, sketching, knitting, and painting while their finished products were up for sale. While we did not end up purchasing any of the kid products, I got a bit nostalgic and teary for these young artists. What courage they must have to get together enough art to sell, and set up a table in the Oregon Convention Center in a very large event room. I wish such events were available to me when I was a kid. I think it might have inspired a lot of ideas for me and encouraged me to continue to make art at such a young age.

Kids inspire me. They have had fewer opportunities for someone to tell them they are not good enough. Imagine what it must feel like to have a two-day event where individuals can purchase your works of art. Inspiring. If only we had the same untainted sense that kids have, maybe we would be more vulnerable to put our own artistic endeavors into the public eye.

Thank you, Portland kid artists for being bold and brave and putting yourselves out there. You inspired me this past weekend to continue to care less of what other people think, and to open the door to my studio, to paint and play, and be free.


What does your internal mirror say?

Tears in my eyes. This video has been going around Facebook. It is the Dove Campaign: “Real Beauty Sketches.” At first I hesitated to watch it because I have seen so many Dove commercials about women and beauty, but then I could not resist. Everyone (men and women) should watch this video. A sketch artist listens to a woman, and then draws how he hears her explain her face. The woman leaves the room and meets with another woman. The second woman comes into the room and describes the first woman to the sketch artist and he draws what she tells him. Later the first woman looks at both drawing renditions of her. There is a stark contrast. The one that she describes is usually not as attractive or thin as how the second woman described her. Interesting right?

We need to have more confidence in ourselves. We are beautiful. We are unique. We matter. At times I think that women were not trained or raised to brag about ourselves, we only learned to cut ourselves down. There were many years in my life that I was just that way. Later, when I found my voice in college, and I started to talk out loud and speak up, my confidence in who I am grew. I stopped caring what other individuals thought of me and my body. Remember we are each badass and beautiful women. Start telling the story of your gorgeous smile, laugh lines, bright eyes, and clear skin. You are perfect just the way you are right now. Bring that self in all you do.

“You are more beautiful than you think.”

The Infinite Uses of Creative Thought

Over the Labor Day weekend we were walking through the Annual Art in the Pearl festival in Portland and saw this quote on a nearby gallery window:

on a window in Portland…

It really resonates with me. “Inform and delight.” If you do not know Milton Glaser, you can check out his website. He is most known for creating the I (heart) NY slogan. I love this idea that art should: inform and delight. I can get behind that. We all have ways that we are creative in our lives. Do you ever wonder if you are an artist? Does being creative inspire you?

There are so many ways to be creative in this world. You can be a jeweler. A baker, a candlestick maker (just kidding – well I guess you could be). A designer, a cake maker, you can design fonts, or logos, or PowerPoints. You can design rugs, or blankets, or scarves. You can be a food photographer, or photograph people, or landscapes. You can be a painter (visual) or a house painter. You can be an architect, or a builder, or a landscape designer. You can be a product designer, or a graphic designer, or a product engineer. You can be a chef, or make pastries, or develop the grapes for a fine wine. You can design a website, or an app used by the multitudes. You can design furniture, or appliances, or cars. You can sew, or be a ceramist, or work with metals. Oh the mirad ways to be creative, and I have just named a few.

You can be a writer, or an editor, or a strategist. All require some effort of design.

Whatever role we fill each day, try starting your day using your creativity to “inform and delight.”

Dance Naked!!

Happy Monday to everyone! How was your weekend? There is sun here in Portland which is making me a bit giddy, maybe because my iPhone says rain for the rest of the week. I had a full weekend. We spent much of Saturday running errands around town and Sunday cleaning. Yes, cleaning again. Due to the rain and slightly warmer temperatures, our house became the home of ants in many of our rooms. We are used to it, we have lived here a few years, and they always come out in armies this time of year. It always gets old chasing them down. Ants are ants, I do not mind them, what I do mind is when they are crawling on my counters, or get anywhere near my bed. So after chasing them around the house, we usually always clean a ton, in hopes that they will not come back, and maybe just to clear our head of all the ants we have seen.

In honor of giddiness, sun, and that it is now April, I wanted to encourage you to: DANCE NAKED this week!

framed print on our wall

I love this print. I purchased it at the Lake Oswego Art Festival a few years back and framed it. For a long time it was over my desk and I would look at it while I worked. Now it is in our hallway. It reminds me to not work so hard, to get up and dance to music, to play, be free and have fun!  On occasion, I get right to the point and dance naked!

Go enjoy your day, be playful, and if you feel so inspired – then DANCE NAKED!