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Month: April, 2012

Life Rules And Then You Die…..

Heavy zones lately , constant stream of screenprinting various 2d projects (46 colour triptych almost done) and scrounging for materials that can be suitable for the new series of sculptures the beau and I have in the works for our upcoming shows in western Canada.

Our pal clued us into the Montreal Mega Reuse Centre (totally bonkers , in case you had any doubts) so we took a lil’ trip to see we could grip and use as materials.


The owls are not what they seem.

I can’t stop thinking about this giant spool or rope , no breakthrough yet though.

This guy came home with us.

So did Mister Naked No-Hands.

Our studio makes zero sense right now.

Last weekend , on my way to gallery-hop. Vintage top as a hand-me-down from my pal Jasa , blazer from Cheap Opulance, tights sales bin at Simons , special shoes from Birmingham, AL Salvation Army. They were 20$ , expensive for a thrift but too cool to pass up.Shorts are cut-offs from cords the boyfriend bought at Salvation Army , when he needed to wear white pants as part of a choir , I made the necklace , I made the the beads.

Holt Renfrew sweater , scored at Salvation Army on Notre Dame 6 years ago , scarf from a clothing swap, jeans from the devil. mask , still has it’s tag from the Value Village in Red Deer. AB , 1.50$.

Both blazer and skirt from Cheap Opulance aka my fairy godmother , sweater was gripped at the Gap I think in 2006 so I’d have something “normal” to wear to Xmas dinner at the outlaws’. It was on sale for 25$. I think it’s one of the only times I bought a new sweater. I made the friendship necklaces , shoes were from Payless in 2010. Lips in OCC Safety Orange omg it’s on sale for 8$!

I don’t have access to the backyard , just the alley but the yard of my apartment is a mudflat filled with litter and a cap for a pickup truck. none of my neighbors have a pickup, the cap’s been there since the summer.

My neighborhoodis, in one word, trashy.I call it anti-gentrification insurance.


Scrounging As Lifestyle & Who’s Idea of Success Are We Talkin’ About?

Last week I headed down to Cheap Thrills , a pile of old records in my bag (goodbye mid-90’s post rock phase) in order to pull together enough coin to grip a couple Voivod tickets for me and the beau. A few days latter our comped tickets to the museum fundraiser arrived. My first though was what the heck am I going to wear to either of these events? The second was how the heck am I , as a total scrounger who is a bit of an art world n00b going to fit in amongst the wealthy fundraiser crowd? One word , awkwardly.

According to a survey from the Quebec Gov. that I didn’t fill out because it was too complicated and confusing , most visual artists in Quebec live below the poverty line with median yearly wages being around 10 000 for women and 13 000 for men. I wish I hadn’t thrown it in the recycling as despite opacity of the questions , there were some interesting stats. Anyway , my point is most professional visual artists in Quebec are scroungers, in fact are poor according to our own government’s income statistics.

Most professional artists in the province are poor. And art patrons and non-artist art professionals tend to not be . And so we dance around it and try to pretend the imbalance isn’t there.

I don’t know any artist who will call themselves poor. “Broke” is generally the key word , as if it’s just a temporary condition , ’cause we all hope it is. We are the outliers , not the statistics. Right?

Success is just around the corner and all this scrounging and making do is akin getting a degree in resourcefulness. Something like that. I’m so glad I’m resourceful and can do large scale projects on a shoestring. Right?

The main reason I’m returning to school this fall is for accreditation to help me (hopefully) land some arts related job in order to better support myself and my practice. I’m over the ups and downs of freelancing. Making things costs money , bigger things cost more than small ones. Reality , yeah , it’s ok. It’s weird though because whenever I mention returning to school friends and acquaintances often try to convince me not to. “But you are so successful” they’ll say before maybe mentioning a coffee table book me and the beau have some prints in , or a group show we were in 2 years ago or that fact that someone else they know has seen our work at some point , somewhere.

Hearing this told to me so many times has me wondering how low the bar is for “success” as an artist? Without the ability to cover basic expenses much of the time or to fund large scale projects , without institutional support , critical recognition or regular paid work all while working sometimes 60 hours a week, I wonder if they would be willing to take on that definition of success for themselves?

In an era saturated by social networking, user-created content , and book bound and printed cheaply in China how does having one’s work seen or name know in a non-critical context count for anything?

I posit that a level of awareness of one’s creative work outside of one’s imediate social circle is simply the starting point rather than an end in itself.

No sads , just working towards a better situation because if where I’m at now is supposed to be “success” than I can’t imagine why anyone would even consider being an artist. I certainly wouldn’t.

As a teenager I got tattooed and it said : “Turn delusion into affluence” , we’ll see.

Lately I’m helping a friend get organized , bartending parties , screenprinting for another artist, doing the Etsy hustle to get these new sculptures made. Got a lead on a part time job fit for a scrounger?

Georges. The 2nd laziest cat in the world.

Jolicoeur metro station.
Shoes , Steve Madden Girl (that line tends towards veganess) gripped at winners 30$ , socks bought at the St Laurent street fair more than 10 years ago , probably cheap. Tights , Winners , 4$.

Poly dress gripped from Frip-Prix , 6$ , bought it on my birthday because it was a work day. Cardi , Salvation Army in suburban Calgary , 4$. OCC lip tar in Butch. Noise disks all over the floor.

Studio is full of sun and I’m stunned about the unfurling of the short-leg. Shorts from Cheap Opulance , thanks Sarah for the swap. Blouse from Frip-Prix 5$ , Cardi found on the beach in the summer of ’10 while at an artist’s residency , tights the Gap , on sale for 3.78$ (boxing day) , vegan Docs.

I thought this outfit was pretty tame for me but it elicited a lot of comments from teens on the metro (negative) and randos in the produce aisle (positive) so I guess the lesson is , yellow.
Gap coat from Goodwill in Mississauga , half off day so 5$. Rayon blouse from Frip-Prix , 5$ . Braided chain necklace , Value Village in Red Deer Alberta , 1$. Skirt Salvation Army downtown , 3$ , same Gap tights as above. Stupid facial expression , me after too much coffee and too much screenprinting , free. OCC lip tar in Pretty Boy.

Know who is not a scrounger? Ashely Judd. Hey essay has been going around the internet so perhaps you already read it but just in case.
“Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women.”

Y B Normal?

Never too old to play dress-up. Photos by Tyr Jami , styling & projections by Zuzu Knew.

There they all , next to the urinal. Just a few ladies hanging out on a Wednesday night.

Thrifting As Refusal

Last week I posted a link about how fucked up the politics of the CEO of Urban Outfitters is (he also owns Anthropologie & Free People). More here. Richard Hayne is a far right , homophobic , anti-choice scumbag who donates to Rick Santorum’s campaign and he makes ALL OF HIS MONEY SELLING COOL TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME.

Do you feel gross yet, cause I do. I’ve only shopped at Urban Outfitters maybe a half dozen times in the past decade (usually on boxing day, hi I’m a scrounger) but knowing my money went to this prick , no matter how small an amount makes me want to fucking vomit.

So I was thinking, since finding this out , “where the fuck will I buy high waisted skinny jeans?” And you know what? Chain stores pretty much all suck. Whether is creepy CEOs or exploitive labour practices overseas , if you are shopping at a mall or high street you generally have to throw you ethics aside momentarily.

So thrifting becomes not only a way to get sick deals and unique clothing , but also a way to refuse to let your/our/my money support injustice. A refusal to condone.

Now don’ get me wrong , I’m not naive and I don’t see buying second hand as revolutionary act or anything but it *is* a way to keep money out of the hands of folks like Richard Hayne and clothes out of landfills. While that’s far from everything , it *is* something. Right?

Beyond that it’s a refusal of buying “cool” and instead scrounging it , making it , building it , finding it , swapping it and defining it on a personal level.

I’ll still go to the mall , and so will you and him and her cause no wants wants second hand underwear (unless they do?) and sometimes you need something NOW. I guess the thing is being mindful on where we shop. Money is political power.

We live in a stupid world where we have very little control or say in what happens or how things get done or made. It’s frustrating.

Refusal is one way to grip a tiny thread of control. Find more ways to hack life and maybe you can weave a blanket to hide under.

My pal Sarah at Cheap Opulance has a good article on her take on thrifting that you should totally read.

And now that you are ready to never step inside UO again , A Pair And A Spare has a thrifting lesson for us all.

In front of the red doors at Darling Foundry , hit that (free day , win at life!) and DHC to see some art. New art crush on Omer Fast. Wearing teal coat from Frip-Prix (10$) , cream blazer from Cheap Opulance , floral blouse Frip-Prix (4.99$), grey jean shorts covered in buttons are free Levi’s I got comped at CMJ 2008? I don’t remember what year , it’s a blur but I wore the jeans to death and after I could no longer patch the knees I cut them and covered them in buttons , mostly from thrift store button bags. Tights are from We Love Colors , they we kinda expensive at 10$ but I ought them in 06 and they still have some wear in ’em. No holes at all , it’s a miracle. I should really order tights from them next time I have money in the paypal. Very high quality. OCC lip tar in Reverb. Shoes were thrifted in Birmingham , AL. Close up? Sure. Bag was too expensive at (60$) at Little Burgandy. But it’s vegan and giant and orange and pockets! Yeah , I’m an asshole. Earrings H&M 2$. Bracelets are from Senegal except for this one that I hacked:
While in Brooklyn to play a gig? Have an art show? I don’t remember, anyway, some lady was having a garage sale and was selling some bangles and I was all “ohhh shiny” and she was all “take them for free” and I was all “yay I win at life” , anyway I was rough with this one and broke the weld. So I dug up some wire , 2 vintage rhinestone buttons scored in one of those thrift store button bags and some embroidery floss and made the broken cheap-o bangle be uhhhh something? I guess it sums up the concept of “scroungy glamour” pretty well. Grip something for free from a rando on the sidewalk, break up by being a spazz , then “fix” it with rhinestones and craft supplies so it looks glam but weird. Yup.

Like my kinda wonky tape manicure? Scotch tape means straight(ish) stripes. All colours are Barry M 3-free vegan nail paints.

Neon flowers

Old Montreal in the spring is where the lovers hang out. Like an Ashtray Heart.

Fake Flags of Fake Countries

So yesterday us and the intern drove out to Saint Jean to take down our show at Action Art Actuelle and after scrunbing pasted paper off the floor on my hands and knees for a few hours , I reckoned I deserved a lil’ treat. We tried to hit the local thrifty but it has a case of the Mondays and we closed so instead we high tailed it back to the city to hit Frip-Prix , aka my special zone.

See I’m on a mission for blouses. I recently got rid of 2 garbage bags full of band tshirts (talk about the end of an era), because there was a time when ultra tight tees were cool and that time overlapped with the time that I was super skinny. I guess it also overlapped with the time of weird bands touring lots and staying at my house and giving me shirts. For a while it seemed like the boy and I where running a hostel.

At the same time I’m getting into a more severe look and blouses with high waisted bottoms are kinda perfect.I mean I can’t exactly go into the world topless now can I? Brrrr.
I mostly scan for silk and/or insane patterns. (As a vegan , I’ll only wear wool or silk if it’s second hand.)
Anyway , I lucked out on some insanity , it’s like borders of imaginary flags.

Flag blouse , Frip_prix 4.99$ , leggings from Simons’ 20$ , Cape from Cheap Opulance and that red fringe is an acrylic botton up poncho I gripped at Jacinthe’s clothing swap. Lips , OCC lip tar in Safety Orange , this shade is discontinued but can be gripped at the link.
About that cape , it’s reversible & is the greatest coat ever. Plus last weekend i saw an old lady in the village wearing the same one. I love that I can wear ponchos under it without looking lumpy.


I guess it’s cause since I started selling shit on Etsy , I’ve been trolling around looking at stuff other people make but I’m been catching the bug and making a few things myself. I mean things that aren’t art. Anyway , I guess this is more assembling cause all I did to make this necklace was buy a strand of stone beads , restring them on some stainless steal beading wire and add a clasp. Gives me a new necklace for under 6$. Vintage tie dye tank full of holes swapped from my buddy Daniel , lips in OCC Pretty Boy.

Do You Like Fashion?

Manga underwear insanity.

Adding tons of Style DIYs and fashion stuff on my Pinterest. Crafts seem less shitty nowadays.

John Waters wants the anti-establishment to have a “look”.

Kids think you dress like a jerk?

And I’m getting my shit together to start my own vegan lipstick line. Reformulating my base to be nut/soy free to be more happy for people with allergies. Expect lots of neons.