How to Catch a Counterfeit (or how to focus on what matters)

Back when I started working in manufacturing, I had a boss who would ask our team: “How do you catch a counterfeit?” The answer? “Study the real.” There are infinite variables, infinite ways for a person to create a counterfeit. If you try to become an “expert” of the counterfeits, you’re wasting your time. You could … Continue reading How to Catch a Counterfeit (or how to focus on what matters)

The competition for our attention. The fight for our love.

Comparison is a blessing and a curse, depending on how we use it. Comparisons help us understand context. They give us familiarity, which is vital for connection. The same things can be used to drive disconnection. But if we are rational beings, then tell me. Why do we believe that businesses can be scalable, but compassion cannot? … Continue reading The competition for our attention. The fight for our love.

What a year of “underemployment” looks like

It’s taken me waaaay too long to finally put this information together, but since a lot of people have asked, here’s what one year of “underemployment” looks like since I quit my corporate job, the good, bad, and ugly, followed by what’s happened since. For those of you who don’t want the details, there’s a … Continue reading What a year of “underemployment” looks like

The challenge of staying bold without being ignorant

It was 1991. I was three years old. My dad was in Seattle and my mom would be alone with me that winter. The road was covered with ice on her morning drive, and when she parked her car to drop me off at preschool, she was scared to get out and walk with me … Continue reading The challenge of staying bold without being ignorant

True leaders are teachers

We need to be teachers. Whenever we learn something new, we should immediately ask, “How can we share this?” Our greatest asset as human beings is our ability to actively, purposefully teach one another.  While our chimpanzee friends are wasting time waiting for a chance encounter and observation between one chimp fishing for termites and another … Continue reading True leaders are teachers

What the seasons teach us about change

Fall. This is the season when the trees undress and the people cover up. Once again, the seasons teach us how shared conditions lead living things to change in different ways. They illustrate how things being opposites do not equal one positive and one negative, but both necessary and synchronized adjustments. I have lost a couple … Continue reading What the seasons teach us about change

A Response to the Rape on the Madison Bike Path

This is in response to the rape that happened on the Madison bike path, which is now one of four attempted attacks since July. To my friends in Madison–and those who do not live here but have friends here–SHARE this. Share this. Share this. A smart and informed community has the opportunity to be a … Continue reading A Response to the Rape on the Madison Bike Path

A challenge to my community: speak up for what you care about

It’s not a loud voice, but it’s an extremely prevalent one in our culture. I have friends who choose not to talk about things like politics on Facebook or at work, because the wrong person might see, because that coworker or that family member or old friend might disagree. And as someone who’s been there, as someone who … Continue reading A challenge to my community: speak up for what you care about

How do we define true human progress?

August 29th was the one-year anniversary of me leaving my corporate job. I left to pursue my artwork. On a deeper level, I left to make myself better and more purposeful in any of the work that I do, philosophically and values-wise. I didn’t believe that a traditional job could teach me these things as … Continue reading How do we define true human progress?

To my friend who lost her daughter and what you taught me about love

Sunday, July 12th, was a picturesque, idyllic day. It started with a promising fourth (?) date. We made breakfast in the morning, then walked around Madison’s Art Fair on the Square. Then I spent the afternoon with friends, picking raspberries, playing with fat farm cats, joking, drinking beer, having dinner, trying not to lose focus on the … Continue reading To my friend who lost her daughter and what you taught me about love

To the man who attacked me, here’s how my week went

Painting studies, pain aux raisins, and reading under the trees and a summer breeze. On Monday, a man with a knife attacked me in my neighborhood. On Tuesday, I talked details on one of the coolest projects anyone has ever asked me to be a part of. On Wednesday, I got pain aux raisins over … Continue reading To the man who attacked me, here’s how my week went

Learning to See: Reception

Art is nothing without dialogue. At the end of the day, I am little more than the applicator of colors on paper. So it is both humbling and special to see that something as basic as a set of pictures on a wall is enough to draw people together. We humans are peculiar and endearing like that. For … Continue reading Learning to See: Reception

Preview of Solo Show at Ploch Art Gallery

I have been back in the States now for two weeks, and my first bit of business has been preparing for a solo show at Ploch Art Gallery at Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here is a preview of the show and a few of the new pieces, many from my art … Continue reading Preview of Solo Show at Ploch Art Gallery

What Feral Dogs Can Teach Us About Humanity

Stray dogs overrun the cities and towns of South America. Their presence is so normal that when I asked a local about them, he answered my question with a question, “Are there not stray dogs in the US?” “Yes, but we have shelters for them. You almost never see them in the streets.” He was … Continue reading What Feral Dogs Can Teach Us About Humanity

What does the existence of 5 Chilean Pesos suggest about wealth?

Contemplate this for a moment: 10,000 Chilean pesos is the equivalent of $16.30 US Dollars. Over the course of my voyage in Chile, I have acquired many 5 peso coins, or $0.0082. I have heard of the existence of a 1 peso coin as well. What does it tell us about value, to know that in … Continue reading What does the existence of 5 Chilean Pesos suggest about wealth?

Like the Grown-Ups (v2)

Estoy estancada. I’m stuck. I’ve used up most of my paper, but am dissatisfied with my drawings here in Castro, Chiloé. The setting is tranquil. I am restless. On the bright side, I’m writing a lot every day, and really loving this seaside city. Each day the beauties and peculiarities of this place seep a … Continue reading Like the Grown-Ups (v2)

Like the Grown-Ups

Like any common over-analyzer, I’ve twisted my head these last few weeks over the significance vs. coincidence of things. Looking at things from my own perspective, there has to be a reason for it all. There must be something I’m supposed to discover here, and each little gift the world gives me is like a … Continue reading Like the Grown-Ups

Photos from the show at Proyecto’Ace and some thoughts from Chiloé

It’s hard to believe I arrived in South America almost two months ago. I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime compressed into three weeks here in Patagonia. After being on the road and multiple long bus rides, I have now what feels like a gargantuan amount of time–ten whole days–in a remote, tranquil studio with … Continue reading Photos from the show at Proyecto’Ace and some thoughts from Chiloé

Querido Pajarito: Dear Baby Bird

I’m sitting in a Refugio in El Bolsón. Checkout was technically an hour ago. There’s a beautiful, new city to explore. And yet, and yet. I arrived here late at night on March 3rd, after a 20 hour bus ride from El Chaltén, and almost immediately met four Argentinian travelers, also all strangers before this night, … Continue reading Querido Pajarito: Dear Baby Bird