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┬álucid┬ádesigns 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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The Consumption!

I thought it might be cool to start perhaps a weekly / bi- weekly / monthly?? (dunno, still sussing this out) blog post about the books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, music I’m obsessing over, etc. (you get the idea).

I have been doing a lot of podcast-listening these days. Perhaps it’s an escapist thing given the current fuckery of the world. Not perhaps. That’s definitely it. Especially given the nature of the media I am consuming on the daily. Aliens. Bigfoot. Skinwalkers. Werewolves. Witchcraft. Mothman. GIMME ALL THE CRYPTO.

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Example: A handsewn Mothman patch I sent to my friend Angela

Current podcasts in heavy rotation:

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I love this misfit podcast. Jessica Chobot and Andrew Bowser highjack a corner of Nerdist studios and talk about weird shit, current events, bodily functions, and Junior Mints. They are at times irreverent and aimless, but I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s refreshing to hear people sit around and bullshit about subjects that some people take far too seriously. It reminds me of my friends and I in high school and college lounging around and discussing theories and possibilities of the universe.

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Recent obsession

The above, Astonishing Legends, I have been binging for the past week. They just wrapped up a four-part series about the Mothman. They also introduced me to the stories of Skinwalker Ranch. I am really surprised I had never heard of this place and the lore surrounding it, but I am now on a mission to read all the books referenced throughout the episodes about it. Speaking of books, this podcast is really great at sprinkling in really great reading suggestions for all-things-weird-obsessed folks like myself. Do check them out. I am also planning to start donating to their Patreon page which can be found here.

Current books I have lined up are in the same ilk as the above mentioned content (all of which I bought recently at a book sale to benefit the Mt. Wood Cemetery in Wheeling, WV).

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Mt. Wood Cemetery photo from Facebook event page

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Love Stephen King and this is a classic I didn’t have. Finally gonna get to read The Mist!

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Alien abduction. Need I say more?

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My friend Matt spotted this one. This is the real deal, y’all. (see below)

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Just in case…

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Thank god. I’ve always wondered.

Cool. This was fun!