My intention with this "project" was simple:
I'd always felt guilty every Christmas for failing to send cards out en masse. I've always hated the idea of purchasing something that a total stranger made, signing my name to it, and then mailing it to someone I care about. I've always felt it didn't suit me - and so I have never done it. So I wanted to change that this year.
I wanted to send something original. Something personalized - something created specifically with each recipient in mind. Something that was a part of my creative soul.
So, I decided to make an original template drawing for every friend of mine who requested one. Each image was drawn while I specifically focused on memories of each individual. I then sent them inside a Christmas card with something positive I remember about them.
The following images (organized alphabetically) were created and mailed during the Christmas 2016 season.
For all those friends below (whom I care very deeply about) who reached out to me, I hope you enjoy your miniature piece of art. I REALLY enjoyed making them for you.
I met Janel (and her daughter, Masha) in Chicago during the summer of 2016, and was impressed both by her intelligence and by her desire to live a natural, environmentally conscious lifestyle. I think, given adequate support, we could see her name atop some significant scientific/medical discovery at some point in the future.
I met McKenzie while enrolled in graduate school at the University of Utah. I was immediately drawn to her wonderful performing capability, as well as to the kindness of her soul. She was a significant member of my graduate thesis work overmachine, as well as my structured improvisation Nouveau Ma. We have been doing our best to send positive thoughts to each other ever sine.
My fondest memories of my eldest cousin were literally dominating the basketball courts at Carlyle lake in the summer (he had a hook shot that was almost unstoppable) and playing the board game Acquire during family functions. I've watched him mature into a strong and confident man, and I was overjoyed to attend his wedding this year.
My fondest memories of my youngest cousin Jared include, but are not limited to:
1) "Uh-oh!" (He was "pretending" to snip the tip of his nose off with scissors...and got a bit too close.)
2) Using my hands as a seat, "flying" him and his brother Jordan around their parents' house in Florida.
) Babysitting him once with my father and uncle...and then realizing that it had been a bit too long since we'd seen them. We found them both in the bathroom...naked, with an entire container of bubble bath filling the room.
I remember walking around the St. Clair Square Mall with Jordan on my shoulders. Every time he would see an African-American man, he would ask, "Is that Michael Jordan?"
I remember chasing him around an aerospace museum; seeing him during summer trips to Florida; having deep philosophical discussions about everything and nothing at all. He's one of the few people I know with whom I can literally be as weird as I want to be, and he'll get it.
I cast Nathan in my graduate thesis work overmachine without ever having met him in person (I was his assigned mentor, since it was my third year and his first.) That might sound strange to most of you - but sometimes, as with Nate, you just know that someone is worth getting to know - so you take the leap and enjoy the ride. His movement was so intricately wonderful, all I needed to do was create a space for him to work.
Nate is SUCH a beautiful mover, and such a wonderful, caring person. If you don't know Nate, and you have the opportunity to work with him creatively, by all means do so.
Have you ever met someone who continually surprised you with the depth of his intellect and perception? That person, for me, is Robert.
had the extreme pleasure to work with him on a number of occasions including my graduate thesis work overmachine, as well as my favorite tructured improvisation ever - for Frank. I appreciated his strength and the maturity of his process - and, on a humorous side note, I've never met a fucking DENSER man - talk about someone who is all muscle and apparently lead bones. :)
Lindsay Caddle LaPointe
Lindsay was my supervisor when I interned at Bates Dance Festival in 2015. I truly appreciated her sense of humor, quick wit, and depth of knowledge and experience in the realm of screen dance (dance for camera.) If only the festival had been longer - I might have begun to scratch the surface of what she could have shared.
I doubt there is an artist I've met who I have more respect for than my mother. When you think of what it takes to produce work the quality of hers...and then you consider the world in which she grew up in (where women are given fewer opportunities and less support)...not to mention the time and energy she put into my sister and I...I'm amazed she had the capacity to make a single sculpture at all, not to mention the hundreds of pieces she's made, all of which are stunning in their own way. I credit her for instilling in me my high standards for art and my capacity for critical thinking.
Mom, I still have no idea if this is a masculine or feminine drawing. You tell me. ;)
Susan (my sister) is literally my oldest friend. I've known her since I was 2 1/2 years old. I've been there with her for some great memories (as well as some bad ones.) Through that time, I've seen her grown from a fucking adorable little round-cheeked girl into a beautiful, intelligent, and strong woman.
ogether with her husband Neil, they have brought into my world the two greatest shining lights I've known in this life - Marisa and Max. I can only hope to be a good example for them as they grow and learn.
I met Mikey (briefly) during my last semester at SIUE - I was transferring to the University of Illinois, he was teaching a class as a finalist for their opening faculty position. I remember thinking at the time, "Well, it's a shame I'm going to miss out on this guy's classes." - but my mind had already made the decision to leave. When I graduated and returned to the area (at the time, needing a great deal of healing from a recent breakup), I asked him for the chance to audition for some kind of performing opportunity. He graciously allowed me to join his cast, and get to know him.
I've always admired his productivity, his appreciation for artistic community, and just how damned fun his work is.
I also met Emily at the University of Utah; while I never really got a chance to work with her there, I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know her better as a friend after graduation. I will always remember looking after Nina (her dog) for a bit a couple summers ago - an event that I still laugh about when I think about it.
Her dog had been previously attacked by a pit bull during a morning walk. As Nina was healing, and I was taking care of her, I still took her on her daily walks, head cone and all. One night, as I was almost back to my house, a different neighbor dog jumped the fence and charged at us. Acting purely on some kind of ancient instinct, I yanked Nina's leash, pulling her behind me, crouched down in a defensive posture, and emitted what could only be described as a "caveman grunt/yell." That dog stopped immediately in its tracks and sprinted straight back to its yard.