I went for a different color layout than I've done before this week. After mixing all the different images around I realized I liked it best when the similar tones were stacked on top of each other. There are elements of growth and solidarity this week which speaks closely with how my actual experience was while in Northern California this week.
It's only fitting to write about Shattered Blue in this post because I spent the week on Lauren (Bird) Horowitz's book tour in the Menlo Park area of California. I'll go into detail about that great experience in my Atelier post. Our main girl Noa is a poet in high school and her sister has just passed away; her family isn't doing all that well and she has to return to her boarding school. While there she meets a new student who she's drawn to and soon finds that there's a parallel magical world and Earth is a prison for those who break the laws in Aurora.
My favorite aspect about Noa is that she's a poet and that her poetry is throughout the book. I learned first hand from Bird that her publisher told her YA audiences won't read a book with poems but Bird didn't think that was true so she didn't remove them, which I am very grateful for. They bring a weight to the novel that is otherwise missing in a lot of YA fiction. My favorite poem is The Lost Girls written by Noa in an English class where they had to riff off of an existing fairy tale, in this case it's Peter Pan:
The Lost Girls
"Nomad girls are Lost Ones too,
With leaves at foot and crown;
They too seek shelter in the tress,
Drink Red and Gold and Brown.
Their circlets made of steam and rain,
Their lashes powdered ash,
They're firelight, they're fox's kill,
They're blood and sweat and scratch.
Lost Boys fly forever, and crow the rising sun.
They play all day in Neverland, their laughter mermaid-spun.
But Lost Girls live underground:
They steal from hole to hole.
They drink the shadows, wear the night,
And paint their cheeks with coal.
And when the wind turns colder,
They split a doe and climb inside.
Still-warm sinew wraps their hands,
Dead muscle soaks the light.
You'll never tell what's girl, what's beast,
Once bloody fur's been trussed-
So think your happy thoughts, Lost Boy,
Wish on your Fairy Dust.”
There are some major plot twists that make the read really exciting. I also appreciate Horowitz showing the range of a teenager who is dealing with grief, relearning her world and who can love more than one person.
Oh yes, it was Sucker Punch time. I saw this movie in theaters and have watched it probably once a year since then. I had a movie night with some girlfriends before leaving for California and made some booze infused punch (because I am nothing if not a sucker for a good theme... and puns) for the glorious experience. Is it the best movie on the planet? No. Is it a fun watch with cool characters, great costumes, two sub worlds, good graphics and great music? Yes. Yes, it is. I love the cinematic opening sequence and basically everything that comes after. It's one of those movies that after you get to the end for the first time you're like, "efff, I HAVE to re-watch that. That was cray".
Did a lot of driving this week and man oh man does the radio love Hands To Myself by Selena Gomez. Now call me crazy, but I gotta say I really hear the opening of Where Is My Mind by the Pixies (which also has a cool remix in Sucker Punch) during the chorus. Have a listen to both, but if I had any DJ capabilities I'd totally do a mix of these two songs.
Alrighty here's what I got to do this week outside of my Portland studio. I had the awesome opportunity to go with Bird on her book tour for Shattered Blue. During the week we visited 5 high/middle schools and did between 1-3 talks at each school. During the talks Bird explained her book, but more importantly, she talked about what inspired her to be a writer. We basically wanted to let these kids know they can be artists- it takes work and you have to learn to balance being sensitive to tap into your creativeness with being a warrior who will stand up for your work, but it's an amazing path to take. We also got to describe our collaborative process in creating the Capsule Collection inspired by pieces from her book.
At the start of our collab I was emailed segments from her book explaining the Talisman and the Lovers Ring. I initially tried to do exactly what was described, but thankfully Bird was awesome and told me to interpret them how I wanted to, even if it was different than what she'd written. She trusted my artistic ability and gave me a creative freedom I didn't expect. I went through a few rounds of trying different ideas, like using actual horse hair in the Lovers Ring (terrible outcome), to get to the final versions. I didn't expect to go on her book tour months later but I am so thankful for the opportunity. If I even convinced one kid they can be an artist, or at least continue to study/practice art in someway, then I'm a happy camper.
I was crazy nervous to do these talks- high schoolers are possibly the most terrifying age of humans. There's so much weird pressure at that age from every side- friends, parents, teachers, ~* the future *~, etc- that I figured they wouldn't care about hearing from us. Luckily I was wrong, and all of the kids ended up being really cool even though most of the school visits were mandatory attendance; we did do two "attend if you want" talks and those were special since those kids really wanted to be there. They got to ask us questions and talk with us after as Bird signed books and I showed them the jewelry up close. It was an amazing experience that we hope to do again in either (or both hopefully) LA and Portland.