Bright & Busy – Personal Style Evolution & Art Inspiration

I’ve been working on a lot of commission work lately, so the other night I took some time to work on updating my own denim jacket. A close friend sewed me a new patch and I had a couple vintage patches I’ve been sitting on for a few years (yikes!) that really needed a new home. I love that jacket. I bought it for maybe $10 at Avalon Exchange in Oakland (Pittsburgh, PA) in maybe 2004. Memory is fuzzy about the nitty gritty (pointless) details, but I remember picking it up and seeing the moon and star buttons like it was yesterday. I have such distinct memories of combing the racks of that store. I was in an intense Morrissey phase at the time (some things never change, just evolve a bit), so I was on an obsessive mission to find the perfect denim jacket.

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Mega babe inspiration.

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My own patch in the middle I’m pretty proud of. Still so much space to explore and fill on this thing.

I’ve always been more inspired by quirky and outcast men’s fashions than super girly style. Not to say I look at a beautiful feminine aesthetic and cringe, it just isn’t my go-to ensemble. The days I go super femme, I am not being completely honest with myself. I am open to experimentation, but I feel most comfortable in jackets, t-shirts, jeans, and flannel.

Another one of my clothing inspirations is Ryan Adams. Something about him feels like home. I cannot explain it, but he speaks to me on many levels. I’m pretty sure his influence on my life is painfully overplayed. I have the tattoos to prove it. Sorry, guys (no, I’m definitely not).

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Ry at Newport Folk Festival, 2014, repping Terminator and the Canadian tuxedo.

Speaking of Ryan Adams, he shares a birthday with the late, great Gram Parsons. I’m sitting here sipping a glass of Riesling listening to The Guilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers. Let’s talk about Mr. Parsons and the Nudie Suit and a style I’m in the mood of not only emulating, but creating and adapting to my own art style, as well.

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Gram in the Nudie Cohn original design.

These bright and bold designs have me so inspired, people. I’ve always had this style subconsciously on my radar, but, lately, I am particularly drawn to the vivid beauty. I’m not saying I want to start sewing polyester suits, but I am saying I want to start upcycling some thrifted and vintage pieces with lucid designs that scream: “I’M ALIVE, MOTHERFUCKER!” I’ve also just heard of Manuel Cuervas. I’m woefully behind, man.

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Manuel Cuevas suits

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Jack White in Manuel Cuevas garb.

When I was a kid, there were two things I always said I wanted to be when I grew up: a cartoonist and a fashion designer. Why not combine the two?

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Cats n’at

Ya know, I used to like Courage the Cowardly Dog…until my kid started watching it on Netflix. I’ve seen the episode where some apparition keeps saying “Return the slab!” about 4 million times. It’s on right now. Like, seriously, someone stab my ear canals, please.

Got a lot done around the house today. My front porch looks immaculate. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it does look pretty nice for the time being. Scrubbed some more on the back deck. Cicadas were dive bombing me the entire time. Once those fuckers have started mating, the males are particularly aggressive. Look, I am not a tree, and I am not your mate. I think you guys are cool. You don’t scare me, but back the shit off. Get away from my face.

I’ve started work on a new patch. A while back I made a patch called “Meow-issey” of Morrissey as a cat.

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I told myself I was going to start a series of musicians as cats. Because, why not? My newest venture is a Robert Smith cat patch. Will probably add a felt backing to it once it’s complete.

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I’ve had the striped fabric forever. But, recently my kid and I experimented with some tie dye, so I added the purple to mix it up a bit. I am pleased with myself for 1) delving a little deeper into full stitching…not just making outlines like I did when I first started embroidery. It’s cool to see how I’ve progressed; and 2) that I am sewing this new patch on a colored fabric instead of white or light colored. When I was just focused on the outline, it was kind of hard to do it on anything but a white background. Growth and stuff, man. I’m getting better.