As the holiday season gets into full swing, I am once again finding it difficult not to feel pressured to go out and buy stuff….it’s what the holidays are about, right?! Thankfully last night I watched this video, The Story of Stuff, which helped cut through the holiday advertising assault and bring it all into perspective (each of us in the U.S. is targeted with more than 3,000 advertisements a day.)

This short video helps breakdown and explain exactly where the many things we use each day come from and makes it quite clear just how crazy and unsustainable it is that we keep buying more stuff we don’t need! 

"Over consumption impacts our mental and physical health. We have more stuff than ever before, but we’re also more stressed, less happy and working longer hours to pay for it all. We’re trashing the planet and overworking ourselves to buy stuff that is so toxic it contaminates our homes and bodies and, on top of everything, all this consuming isn’t even making us happy."

This year instead of continuing the cycle of consumerism that has hijacked our holidays, consider making friends and family homemade gifts, supporting a local artist or business or spend the time you would have spent out shopping for gifts- actually being together enjoying shared experiences. 

Together we can stop the cycle!

Happy Holidays!! 

Dear Friends, 
I hope you have weathered the storm. As the city begins to recover from the devastation of hurricane Sandy, there will continue to be great need for volunteers and funds to support relief efforts. Though this list is sure to grow in the coming days, here are a few organizations in the NYC area that are on the front lines helping with recovery efforts that could use your financial support today: 
Citymeals on Wheels: Delivers meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers
Food Bank NYC: Warehouses and distributes free food for over 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers each year.
NYC Mayor’s Fund : contributions will help support relief efforts in New York City 
Red Cross : Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. 
Brooklyn Community Foundation:in the process of working with local business and government to establish a charitable fund to benefit recovery efforts in Brooklyn.  
Masbia: Providing hot meals to evacuees at the Park Slope Armory Shelter 
RedHookRecovers: A community organized site that allows people to offer/request assistance. 
Red Hook Initiative: Need donations especially pre-prepared food (including food for children), candles, utensils such as spoons and bowls, jugs of water, flashlights, batteries, power strips, toiletries, papers towels, and paper for printing fliers.


[photo credit: BillSosin_City]

Dear Friends, 

I hope you have weathered the storm. As the city begins to recover from the devastation of hurricane Sandy, there will continue to be great need for volunteers and funds to support relief efforts. Though this list is sure to grow in the coming days, here are a few organizations in the NYC area that are on the front lines helping with recovery efforts that could use your financial support today: 

  • Citymeals on Wheels: Delivers meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers
  • Food Bank NYC: Warehouses and distributes free food for over 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers each year.
  • NYC Mayor’s Fund : contributions will help support relief efforts in New York City 
  • Red Cross : Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. 
  • Brooklyn Community Foundation:in the process of working with local business and government to establish a charitable fund to benefit recovery efforts in Brooklyn.  
  • Masbia: Providing hot meals to evacuees at the Park Slope Armory Shelter 
  • RedHookRecovers: A community organized site that allows people to offer/request assistance. 
  • Red Hook Initiative: Need donations especially pre-prepared food (including food for children), candles, utensils such as spoons and bowls, jugs of water, flashlights, batteries, power strips, toiletries, papers towels, and paper for printing fliers.


[photo credit: BillSosin_City]

FROM SPOILS TO SOILS! A few photos from a wonderful day collecting food scraps for compost at the greenmarket with GrowNYC.

Images from recent adventures hiking in Glacier National Park, Montana: August, 2012. By far, one of the most visually stunning places I have ever seen. 

Photographer Daniel Kukla's images reflect a curious sensitivity to the study of the natural world and serve as a beautiful testament to his background in biology. This is especially true with his most recent body of work, which was produced after spending a month in Joshua Tree, CA, hiking alone with a mirror and an artist easel. Kukla's Edge Effect is an exciting series of landscape photographs that challenge the viewer to consider not only the beauty they see in front of them, but the possibility, complexity and contrast in the things which are out of their line of vision. See Daniel Kukla's Edge Effect images here.

Photographer Daniel Kukla's images reflect a curious sensitivity to the study of the natural world and serve as a beautiful testament to his background in biology. This is especially true with his most recent body of work, which was produced after spending a month in Joshua Tree, CA, hiking alone with a mirror and an artist easel. Kukla's Edge Effect is an exciting series of landscape photographs that challenge the viewer to consider not only the beauty they see in front of them, but the possibility, complexity and contrast in the things which are out of their line of vision. See Daniel Kukla's Edge Effect images here.

I am enamored by this series of beautiful environmental performance art works that were produced by London based artist, Evewright’s along the British coastline. Would love to walk along one of these myself! 
An excerpt from Evewright’s website describes the piece:”A Walking Drawing is a large-scale drawing undertaken with a combination of freehand and mechanical tools on a vast landscape (canvas) of at least a quarter of a mile in the early hours of the morning. People of different ages, genders and cultures all dressed in black are then led onto the drawing and invited to walk its lines in various formats and patterns. The entire process is filmed and photographed.”

I am enamored by this series of beautiful environmental performance art works that were produced by London based artist, Evewright’s along the British coastline. Would love to walk along one of these myself!

An excerpt from Evewright’s website describes the piece:”A Walking Drawing is a large-scale drawing undertaken with a combination of freehand and mechanical tools on a vast landscape (canvas) of at least a quarter of a mile in the early hours of the morning. People of different ages, genders and cultures all dressed in black are then led onto the drawing and invited to walk its lines in various formats and patterns. The entire process is filmed and photographed.”

Of all the beautiful things I saw on my recent trip to Los Angeles, CA there was one primary thing that caught my eye as being very unique to the area: succulents. Being a girl who grew up in the mid-west, I was never exposed to such exotic looking plants and I was fascinated by them. I found myself frequently pulling the car over or exploring my way around the block just to look for the fat plants. Each one I saw had a distinct character; winding and wrapping up walls and often taking over the sidewalks. With each new patch I discovered it seemed as if there was a different variety and I found myself liking them all.

Now that I’ve returned to the east coast, the diversity of this family of plants has inspired my continued exploration. My goal is to bring a little L.A. back with me and attempt to start a succulent garden of my own here in Brooklyn. I’ll keep you posted on the results :). 

This weeks Treasures of New York featured my alma mater, Pratt Institute. Congrats to Channel 13 for producing a very well done documentary that captures the history, energy and spirit of a place very near to my heart. 

Thesis update…the writing continues!! Months have gone by, winter is turning into spring, and I’m still writing every day. Fortunately, the sun is shining through the windows and I’m quickly approaching the home stretch! Special thanks to my friends and family who have been patient and supportive…summer is just around the corner and I have a feeling its going to be wonderful :)

Thesis update…the writing continues!! Months have gone by, winter is turning into spring, and I’m still writing every day. Fortunately, the sun is shining through the windows and I’m quickly approaching the home stretch! Special thanks to my friends and family who have been patient and supportive…summer is just around the corner and I have a feeling its going to be wonderful :)

4 Year’s ago I STARTed ME UP

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People always say it, but the older I get, the more true it becomes: Time goes by incredibly fast.

Four years ago today, I began Startmeup. It began as a result of my annual new years resolution making in which I select one word to be my focus for the entire year. For 2008 my word was START and my goal was to spend the year focusing on things/ideas/projects/friendships/good habits to start. I decided 2008 was going to be a year to create positive action-based resolutions, instead of compile a laundry list of vices to quit.

Four years later, I’ve learned that through starting positive initiatives in areas of your life often causes those other less desirable things to become obsolete as result. (Example: START running- you may just decide to quit smoking after a few weeks, START cooking more meals at home- may result in spending less money.) STARTMEUP has continued to be a place to collect, document, and note some of those positive things that inspire, motivate, and drive me. It has also shown me that it is possible to start something, and if you enjoy doing it, years can go by without even noticing that you are still working on it.

I’m going to make a bold claim and say that last night I saw one of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen, Pina, which is playing at BAM in 3-D.

As someone who knows very little technically about dance- I have not been able to stop thinking about movement since I left the theater. Each shot of this movie was amazingly well art directed with an incredible use of light, space and color. The tribute performances to Pina, which take place all over the German city of Wuppertal, each feel meticulously contained but yet explode with energy.

More info about the talented late Pina Bausch here.

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Tumblr Artist Friends- I Need Your Help!

If you went to art school or studied some form of art in undergrad, I am seeking your brilliant insight and feedback! I am currently working on my Master’s thesis, which includes doing a study of the undergraduate art school educational experience: the good, the bad and the ugly.

In order to best capture solid data about what art school alumni really think about their art education I have compiled a short survey. The survey should only take you approx. 5 minutes to complete and your answers will be so helpful to the research!

TAKE SURVEY HERE!: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8YVVPRD

ADDED BONUS! If you complete the entire survey (please finish!) you have a chance to win a $100 gift-card to Amazon.com! (Who doesn’t love free money to get stuff)

I need as many people as possible to participate. So PLEASE REBLOG THIS POST!

Thank you so much for your help and constant inspiration!

xo: startmeup

Last year, I had the pleasure of hearing Hank Willis Thomas talk when he was a guest lecturer in one of my graduate school classes. Hank spoke about his illustrious body of work and most notably, shared with the class about his upcoming project, Question Bridge: Black Males. This multidimensional art project is phenomenal on so many levels, but the area I find especially interesting is how he has integrated social media, education, technology, and visitor participation into the work, therefore, exponentially expanding its reach far beyond the physical museum experience.

Question Bridge: Black Males is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum through June 3, 2012 as well as other museums across the country. I can’t wait to go experience it myself and recommend others to check it out as well. But if you can’t make it to the museum, there are plenty of ways to engage with this amazing project without even leaving your home More here.




I love the whimsy and humor of this London based guerrilla gardener who calls himself The Pothole Gardener. The images above are from a pothole garden inspired by the Royal Wedding. Check out more here.

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I love the whimsy and humor of this London based guerrilla gardener who calls himself The Pothole Gardener. The images above are from a pothole garden inspired by the Royal Wedding. Check out more here.

Tags: art

My friend, the talented Veng, is having a show in LA next month. If you are in the area, I recommend stopping by!
Opens Saturday Feb. 11th, 2012
Cave Gallery
1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice CA 90291

My friend, the talented Veng, is having a show in LA next month. If you are in the area, I recommend stopping by!

Opens Saturday Feb. 11th, 2012

Cave Gallery

1108 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice CA 90291

Tags: art