Murphy’s Law – Happy and I know it

Local blogger Joel Murphy, creator of blog Hobotrashcan (thanks for putting me on Amanda L.) shares why we should respect Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and I couldn’t agree more! A song like this doesn’t come along too often; I mean a song that no matter how often it’s played does not make you want to throw a molotov cocktail at the radio or your smart phone. Thanks to Joel for keeping it real and to Pharrell for creating some beautiful music. Enjoy my friends!

Murphy’s Law – Happy and I know it

TV ONE’s Unsung Taught Me I Love Disco!

I love love love TV One because of Unsung. Yes I said it, I sweat TV One HARD because that show is introducing me to artists whose music I’ve heard as the background soundtrack to my life. Recently I can’t get enough of Nile Rodgers and Chic. Before that Unsung episode aired I couldn’t even tell you Nile Rodgers’ name but apparently I’ve loved his music all these years. Oh yeah, I had no idea that he and his Chic partner Bernard Edwards produced Diana Ross’ iconic “Upside Down” and Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” Thanks to Spotify I’ve been gulping down those funky baselines and disco-infused jams. I’ve been revisiting “My Forbidden Lover” and “I Want Your Love.” I need to hit up some of the B-side stuff. I was the tender age of four when “My Forbidden Lover” was released in 1979. This song makes me want to put on makeup: cat eyes and a bold lip, slide a feathered roach clip into my wavy locs, throw on some fitted jeans, and a shoulders-out flowy shirt with some tall black skates with hot pink laces and wheels. I’m definitely having a skate party for my 40th; I got two more years to plan. I want lights out with a spinning disco ball. The music will be disco, eighties pop and hip-hop. I need to start looking for a DJ now! Anyone have recommendations? I wish I was in LA, I know Frane could deliver. THIS.IS.HAPPENING.

Listen to “My Forbidden Lover” and “We Are Family” 

Googling Black Book Arts as Inspiration for My Book Arts Final

So tonight I’m hunkering down in an attempt to come up with an idea for my book arts class final. I’m to use a piece of my own writing; I plan to use my as-yet-to-be submitted-for-publishing piece about hair, “Getting Caught in the Rain.” Then I am to choose either a traditional or non-traditional form to create a series of 3 identical books. While I’m pretty traditional when it comes to purchasing and reading books, my instinct is to ‘try something different!’ 

Looking for inspiration I Googled ‘black book arts’ and pulled up a few random books but the more pc-inspired search, ‘african-american book arts’ yielded an interesting exhibit that was erected back in 2007 at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I’m so sad I couldn’t go see this for myself especially since per this article it was the first exhibition of all African-American book artists! Check out this article and some gallery pics of “We, Too, Are Book Artists” I am especially intrigued by the Nelson Mandela book “In the Event Anyone Disappears” by artist Bisa Washington ; a close second is the colorful accordion book, “A Week in the Life of a Black Woman Artist” by Dindga McCannon. *link at bottom

I am inspired although I’m still not sure how to execute my vision. The arc of my hair story addresses my childhood desire to be white and have straight hair and my eventual acceptance of my natural locks. Here’s an excerpt from the beginning:

“I used to lust after white girl hair: bouncy and shiny, bone straight or lustrous curls, anything long would do. As a little black girl attending private Catholic schools, I was the speck of pepper in a sea of salt. Surrounded by girls with hair drastically different than my own vertically challenged tightly coiled locks, I longed for what I could never have.  I’d sit behind Jennifer (there was always a Jennifer) and watch as she twirled a straight chestnut lock around her finger. She’d do this over and over again; I’d get lost in the texture of the hair and the way it behaved, falling just right, back into place. My hair, on the other hand, had to be heated to straighten, would stick out if twirled, and never followed my orders to fall back into the fold. My attempts to wrap my hair around my finger left me smoothing and re-smoothing the same stubborn patch in vain.”

Hmmm, I’m really trying to think outside the box here. I know I want to include my favorite Turkish fold, it creates a pop-up effect like so:

Here is a pic from my book arts mid-term, designed utilizing Toure’s short story “The Steviewondermobile” excerpted from his book The Portable Promised Land.

Above is what the page looked like before I added the Turkish fold seen in the first pic.

I absolutely adore collage and Turkish folds, both must be elements in my book final…if at all possible. Although I’m wondering about using ‘hair grease’ containers and having a pull accordion with text or adding a hot comb element like getting some towel-like textured cloth with striped burn marks from the comb or maybe that could be an image for the cover…hmmmm!!! 

HELP! If you have any ideas please share.

Link to “We, Too, Are Book Artists”: