Author: Katie Seibert

My spirit animal is a house cat.

Ghosts

This painting is made of memories. It is the third in a series of…I am not sure how many yet. I do know there will be more. This one is key because it got me out of my slump and I think I can carry the momentum into others. I painted it coming off of a delirious start to 2015 and I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. Mostly, I am pleased by how accurately it expresses me and the time I spent in Dublin.

This was done in long binges but it was well worth it.

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“…she sleepily saw me to the bus this morning and I got on with my giant bags covered in mist and somehow managed not to cry.”

The Birth and Death of the Day

 

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I had no intentions of ever writing about this painting. In fact, I’m not sure I even wanted to show anyone. I certainly won’t be adding this link to my facebook. No way. I thought the post about Genevieve’s painting would be the most personal entry I’d ever publish but I was wrong.

I met Lauren last October while I was making my way back from traveling. I was coming down from the highest week of my life in Dublin with my dear friend Clementine. Stopping in Maryland to visit family that I hadn’t seen in ages seemed like a good idea. So I camped out in Silver Spring with my aunt and uncle and during my stay I made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. One of those old friends introduced me to Lauren; a shy but genuine person who shared my love for coffee and music.

Incidentally, Lauren and I grew up 13 miles apart from one another, but never met. And then she lived in Pacifica and worked less than a mile from my apartment a few years ago. Her best friend even attended the art institute two blocks from my old office building in the Financial District, and still we never met until now.

Our friendship, romance, whatever developed quickly and intensely an the inspiration for this painting accumulated over 7 minutes and 49 seconds.

“I feel like I just fell in and out of love.” I said. She stared at me wide eyed as we drove down windy back roads at night.

After that we wavered between agony and bliss and by the time March came around we had been through enough to last a lifetime. I had lived and died a thousand times and it was time to record all of this in the only way that I truly find satisfying.

This painting consumed me. When I finished it I sobbed. At the time it was the only thing I had and it was the only thing that made me feel close to her. At the time I finished it, we were over. But what I had to show for it was this: everything to nothing, confusing happiness, and agony, and bliss.

 

I am a Genius

I have known Keith since high school marching band. Though we weren’t really close back then, the marching band bond never really goes away. A couple years after we graduated, I was fortunate enough to be seated next to Keith at a mutual friend’s wedding. Loads of beer and ice cream (and maybe a photo booth moment) later, we were friends. Now, whether it is over email, or bumping EDM, we have remained close.

I had planned on painting shoes for him for a while. Ever since that one party we went to where I borrowed his leather chucks because I didn’t want to get mine dirty (oh yes, a key ingredient to my friendship with anyone is the ability to share clothes and shoes). And it has had to take a back-seat to other projects and financial hardship. I deeply regret missing his birthday, but I am happy to say that I have finally managed to get them done.

I usually paint on Vans because they offer more surface area and I don’t have to deal with as much disrupting detail. However, I decided to make an exception for Keith because Vans aren’t really his style and the customer is usually right. The thing is, whenever I paint shoes I buy them white because, duh. Canvas. My only issue with white converse is that they also come with white soles. And stupid red lines (I’m sorry but it’s true).

I really wanted to do something awesome, something that he would like and I decided that was completely dependent on having black-soled shoes. The problem is, white canvas and black soles don’t exist.

Now for the genius part…

Bleach. I didn’t know how it would look, but I decided I was going to try. I bought black shoes (all black) and bleached them. Fortunately the bleach doesn’t affect the rubber so all I had to do was spray them a bunch of times and let them dry overnight. I originally intended to cover all of the canvas with paint, but the resulting color was actually kind of cool so I kept it for contrast.

The final product:

 

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P.S. he loved them

The Traveling Artist

After a surprise two-and-a-half month vacation, this is what I have to show for myself.

I broke my ankle the day before I was supposed to fly back from Baltimore and the aftermath was depressing. I needed surgery and I was immobile for weeks and weeks. Not only that, but large amounts of time were spent utterly useless on pain killers. However, I was determined not to let this become a total loss. My immobility left me with not much else to do except for draw and write. Painting had to take a back seat, but my pen and ink skills took a turn for the better (in my opinion).

I’ll be honest, I was fighting depression every step of the way here. But I was determined to make something of this experience. I was confronted with crippling debt from medical bills and being out of work for months and it put a lot of pressure on me. Even my grandma called me out on my life choices.

“Katie, you have a degree from UCLA. Why are you working a minimum wage job?”

Good point, Memine. I hear ya.

The thing is, it was a gut check. I didn’t want to sell out for a desk job just yet. I’ve never really given this art thing a shot. I’ve thought about it. Sure, I made this website, but I’ve never REALLY tried to make something of all of this (dare I say….talent?) so I spent my bed-ridden days and nights drawing and thinking and drawing some more. And this is what I came up with:

So without further delay… here is the product of my environment over the past 77 days.

Lots and lots of coffee mugs:

 

And cross-hatching mountain ranges…

 

And drawing Minions…

Dave

Dave

Minion

Minion

 

Among other things…

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This is me, once again  in my element. It’s good to be back.

Lines & Words & Art &…

 

I am a poet and this is my thesis.

I am a poet and this is my thesis.

I started a project several weeks ago titled “Lines and Words”

This project began as a way to help with my inability to finish a sketchbook, or at least come remotely close to filling most of the pages. I think it is because when I get a sketchbook, it is often a representation of a chapter in my life, or in my creative development. All too often, the chapter closes itself before I can use all of the pages, and then I am left with this book that just doesn’t “feel right” and yet, I am pressured to not waste any of it.

My solution to this was to start buying sketchbooks with fewer pages, be less selective about what I put in them, and abandon all constraints of chronological order. So, I would fill pages at random. Sometimes with quotes..sometimes with things I love…

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This worked like a charm. I filled two books in almost two months. Although, the back story here is a little bit juicier than I am letting on. Basically, I went through a lot emotionally toward the end of February, all through March, and April especially. It would seem that I couldn’t produce fast enough. I managed to crank out one of my large-scale pieces, as well as countless drawings and I even became a poet a few times. Ugh. I know.

 

I am literally the worst.

I am literally the worst.

When I combined simplistic lines with song lyrics, or my own words, or crude drawings, I discovered something new.

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I took a poem, a song, a mash-up of song lyrics I made into a poem, and made these. They are on 11″ x 14″ sheets and I can basically do this with anything. Any size (reasonably) and any number of words, although for paper this size pieces that are 225-270 words seem to work best. I am going to work on a set of greeting cards too.

This is perfect for people with a lot of feelings…I mean like SO MANY feelings. I’ll be bed-ridden mostly waiting for my new robot ankle to heal so please let me know if you’re interested.

 

 

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I can’t really do this justice right now (or maybe ever). There is so much to this story that will probably never be told here. The short version is that this past October, I met one of the best people in the entire world. (I am actually not being hyperbolic here, this completely 100% true).

Largely because of her, Maryland was amazing. Of course, at the time I met her I was still a wayward traveler with no job (read: money) so our fun was pretty low key. Still, it was an amazing time and I will never forget it.

Of course, now that I am no longer dying and I have a job, I decided to surprise her for her birthday when she came out to visit me last week. Obviously any prospective California resident is not complete without their very own custom pair of slip-on Vans.

In fact, I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed into SoCal unless you have at least one pair of Vans and at least 4 tank tops and 8 pairs of sunglasses. Pretty sure.

Welcome to the left-coast, Shakenbake. California, let’s be havin’ ya

Second Date Painting

SS Commission

 

I met Sarah one time in North Park and we became immediate friends. We hit it off so well in fact, that while I was in San Francisco she commissioned a painting from me, which I then brought with me down to San Diego to give to her. This was the second time we had ever met each other in person.

“Wow. I love it.”

“Yay! I’m glad because it went in a completely different direction than what I had planned.”

“No, it’s great.”

*relief*

As I gave it a second look, with her in the room this time, I realized that the painting had turned out more aggressive than I had originally planned. However, it was uncanny how much the painting fit her. Despite her pink hoodie and unicorn shirt, Sarah has a very dominating personality. I cannot stress enough how positive it is. I mean, I’m a fan of strong independent women in general, and she is definitely one of those. It makes sense that a painting that started out as a pretty picture of a sun (maybe) turned into a twisted, blazing, inferno. The creepiest part though, is how this managed to happen, despite the fact that we had only spent hours together in person before.

In any case, this was probably one of the most pleasant client interactions ever. I gave her a painting, she gave me money, and cookies, and another canvas. I look forward to making more art for her. As far as patrons go, she’s a keeper.