SNAGnext

Using Your Authentic Voice to Ignite Your Business - experience it for yourself!

me and SNAGnext coordinator Alaina Clarke after my presentation

me and SNAGnext coordinator Alaina Clarke after my presentation

It's been a month since the SNAGnext 2016 conference: An Interchange and Exchange on the Many Facets of Making a Living in the Field in Asheville, NC and it seems now like a magical dream I had and am still processing. There are few places in the world where I've felt an immediate connection, like a coming home, and Asheville found a cozy place in my heart. There are few conferences where I've felt a sense of community fostered, the atmosphere laid back, where even the coordinating team seemed at ease -  and this one hit the mark, lucky for me I was a part of it!

Right out of the gate I was one of the first presenters of the conference, speaking on the topic of FINDING YOUR VOICE, my talk titled, "Are We Having Fun Yet? Using Your Authentic Voice to Ignite Your Business". I love giving biz tips to others in my field and using my enthusiasm to get people amped up! I had a small window of 15 minutes to present, so it was short, sweet and had sticking power as over the course of the conference a continuous stream of attendees connected with me to express their appreciation for my talk. "You should consider giving TEDtalks", one artist exclaimed. Huh... Maybe I should! 

Let's say all of those bits of gratitude led me to record my talk with the slides, now accessible to the world on Youtube as you can experience for yourself here below. Enjoy and please share with others.

Tribute to David Bowie: The Making of my Lazarus

You might say I became Bowie-obsessed after his passing this January 11, 2016 - I was intrigued and haunted by his newly released album, Black Star (released on his birthday Jan 8th), referred to as his "swan song" to the world. Hungry to understand his discography in relation to his biography, I managed to get my hands on as many magazines as possible that ran articles on his life (quite the stack, my fav being the Rolling Stones special edition). Prior to Jan 11th I had only really known of songs from Ziggy Stardust and Hunky Dory, the early years, mostly via Seu Jorge's music covers from Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Vigilant Citizen says it best about Bowie: "Throughout the decades, Bowie migrated from one musical genre to another, and even from one persona to another, but a constant remained: He was surrounded by an otherworldly aura."

I quickly became a non-stop Bowie album listener, working at the bench or on the computer, riding the bus; 28 original albums to peruse, compare, reflect on. Social media was flooded for weeks with an outpouring of love for the rock icon and how he made a lasting impact on people's lives. Archive photos, in memorium artworks, music and drag show tributes, and even handmade dolls (I am a proud owner of a Life on Mars Bowie doll by A Little Vintage Doll who sits at the helm of my inspiration wall). Even more to my surprise was learning that within the last few years, his life was being celebrated -- a major touring art exhibition "David Bowie IS", an off-Broadway musical "Lazarus" which he scored, a coffee table art book "The Rise of David Bowie" photography by Mick Rock.

Even now, 5 months later, people are still making discoveries about his work (secret image revealed on Black star vinyl). What seems different to me about this star's passing from others is how respectful the media has been towards his legacy; no petty gossip or banter or unearthing of ugly secrets. 

Needless to say, my spirit was itching to create my own tribute to Major Tom, and with that wish the universe provided not one, but two fantastic exhibition opportunities for 2016: "Exhibition in Motion" in Asheville, NC during SNAGnext 2016 - a live jewelry runway show including a print catalog; "Signs of Life" -- an annual collaborative print journal between jewelry artists and writers produced by Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, culminating in a gallery exhibition.

And so began my journey creating "Lazarus: A Tribute to the Life of David Bowie", calling forth my fashion design skills of yore to pattern, construct and merge together the Bowie icons of the cosmos. Read more about Lazarus here.