The Chashama Gala

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This was my first time ever attending the Chashama Gala, and it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before in person. So much craziness going on in every corner, but it was a lot of fun. I had four of my larger sculptures there for the night, and I am thankful that I was able to leave them in place so that I could walk around and take a look at everything. Most of the other artists were performers, so they didn’t have this luxury as I did. There was a BDS&M room, live music, live painters, dancers and a group of people from “Lust” who prepared sushi and placed it on naked people for guests to eat off of. It was a one night only event, so I had to wait for them to drop off my work in the morning. I hope to be chosen to participate next year as well!

My First Show in Chelsea!

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I had my first show in Chelsea, and it was actually for my video coverage and photos that I took during the Black Lives Matter protests. I was tired of hearing the rhetoric on the news and from people who have never dealt with police racially profiling them, so I decided to show the side of the demonstrations that the news wouldn’t cover; peace, love, art and positive thinking. Every time you would turn on the news at the time, you would see that same damn CVS on fire in Baltimore, and the coverage made it seem as if everyone were angry rioters and looters. That one incident shaped the whole narrative for people rightfully protesting police brutality, and it made people believe that everyone demonstrating had bad intentions. With my video, I showed many of the positive and uplifting speeches that was given, the locations of demonstrations and the creative and beautiful signs that people made for the protests.

A Riot Is the Language of the Unheard   -Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Eastern State Penitentiary, PA

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This weekend, I took a trip down to Philadelphia to check out an artist opportunity in their state prison. It has been out of commission since the seventies, and a non-profit took it over to allow people to take tours to learn more about it. In addition, the organization has been inviting artists to work on installations that deal with issues that are related to prison such as reform, life in prison and who is more likely to end up there. If an artist is chosen, they are given a stipend and a full prison cell to create their installation that will occupy the space for 2 years. This is by far, hands down, one of the creepiest places that I’ve ever visited, but I am will to accept the challenge if my proposal is chosen. Wish me luck!

More Experimenting

Art Dolls, Uncategorized, Work in Progress

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A cement sculpture that I colored with red acrylic paint. I’ve read in places that there are pigment dyes to color cement with, but I found them to be a bit expensive. I’m not sure if the paint that I used will break down the structure of the cement down the line, but I know that it didn’t hinder the cement curing process. I later added a layer of Bondo car body filler to test out the texture and see how it would perform outdoors. Seems to be fine so far and I love how smooth this stuff sands down. I will be posting more photos of my research as I find out more information!

Trying Out New Things

Art Dolls, Uncategorized, Work in Progress

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I have been on a quest lately to try out stronger, weatherproof materials that I will be able to handle without using special equipment. In this round, I have been playing with cement and mixing it in a metal pot. I put a thin coat over a clay figure that I created for the sake of experimenting. I like the rough texture of it, but I would like to be able to smooth it out a bit more than I already tried to do here. My next material will be stucco as I have been reading good things about it and how it’s a bit easier to work with.

Gearing Up For The New Year!

Publicity, Uncategorized, Work in Progress

I finally decided to get all my ducks in a row and create a press kit!  It’s so much easier to send one of these out than trying to track down of all the pieces such as the resume, bio and samples separately. It took me a while to decide what layout I would go with, but I decided to just keep it simple and clean with lots of white space as in my 4″x 5″ cards. Here’s a few of the pages that I’ve put together for it, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out!

Getting Closer…

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I have been doing some more work on the doll that I’m creating for Billy Black over the past few days. I was kind of stuck trying to figure out which face paint to put on him since he has so many different styles that he wears. I decided to use the one that he wore when I met him for our meeting since that seems to be the design that he wears more often. All I need to do now is work a bit more on his mustache and style his outfit, I’m getting a lot closer now.

Crazy Busy and Running Out of Time…

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I was off to what I thought would have been a slow time for me and I honestly was looking forward to taking a break, so I decided to stop applying to open calls and learn how to enjoy life and the fresh air. I Instead found myself juggling a Maker Faire workshop that I was asked to conduct at Barnes and Noble on the 7th of November, a group show at The House of Visual on the 13th, a commission that needs to be done by October 30th for a recording artist, an ongoing redesign project that I’m working on for the National Domestic Workers Organization and I still need to make my damn costume for Halloween! I’m very excited by all of this but this is ruining my plan to sleep more lol!

I was asked by the Community Business Manager of Barnes & Nobles who I met through a friend to participate in the mini Maker Faire workshop. I knew that he was a fan of my work but apparently his whole branch is as well, I’m looking forward to being at the event but I just wish I had more time to prepare for it. To make life a bit easier for myself, I’m going to rehash a workshop that I’ve done where I demonstrate how to start building a doll from scratch. I really need to finesse it since Margaret Honey who is the President of the NY Hall of Science is going to be there, so I better not screw it up!

The idea of the show at The House of Visual has been kicked around a few times by me, Cisco and Robert who are the founders of HOV previously, but we’ve yet to plan on a date. Since they are now mentoring a new artist who also makes dolls, it was the perfect time to have it. Thankfully with this show I will be able to bring work that I already have on hand and not create anything new.

The commission that I am working on is for an artist named Billy Black. He found me on Instagram through one of his friends and contacted me since he and his girlfriend loves dolls. I am currently making a doll of him so that he can present it on stage at his show on October 30th in Philly. I’m hoping on a bus to see the show and come back in the morning just in time for Halloween. Hopefully my costume will be past the initial sketch stage that I am in now…            Can you tell who it is? I’m definitely an 80’s baby lol!

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Rolling Full Steam ahead with my Etsy Shop!

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Well I have finally committed to adding new pieces to my Etsy shop each and every week. I have a good amount of work that is laying around for me to have a solo show and then some, it’s time for these babies to go! I now have 15 original one of a kind pieces up for grabs and more is on the way. Along with these new pieces, I have come up with a good way to create original stories for each one of them. I use a plot generator, all I need to do is pop in a few words to describe the characters and like magic, a wild and absurd story line is generated. I know it’s cheating, but I love seeing what this thing comes up with, the results are so crazy at times! Writing stories was another thing that held me back from listing my items, I wanted to hand craft each story to perfection which would result in me writing and editing drafts over and over again for each piece. As an extremely wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time fo that”!

Here’s one of my more successful stories that’s come out of the story generator, enjoy! Abigail, The Phantom Cat Lover

New items Coming to My Etsy store… Soon

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I have a load of new items that will be slowly trickling into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks. (I take a really long time to list items, they need to be properly photographed and documented). The influx of items is a result of an outdoor art show in The Bronx’s Little Italy area being a total washout! It was such a sad day, there was little to no foot traffic and there was at least one artist that I know of whose art was damaged by the rain. Thankfully there was a 99 cents store nearby where I was able to get a beach umbrella to shield the few pieces that I did choose to put out. No Melandollies were harmed in the making of that show. There may be a second or third date scheduled for it but in the mean time I’m putting my new pieces up for sale in my Etsy shop. Getting ready for the show made me realize a very important thing, I work much faster than I think I do. In about 3 months time, I cranked out 18 small wall pieces/ornaments, 9 dolls in frames, 2 busts and about 20 small people in bottles. There were plenty of late nights and events that I had to miss but in the end it made me realize my capabilities. At one time it would take me 3 months to create 2 dolls, boy have the tides turned! Well in the mean time, you can check out the few items that I currently have in my Etsy store.  I will keep you all posted when I add my new pieces to the shop, hang tight!