Friday, July 12, 2019

Cayetana, Haggling & Mason London

Weekly Update 2019-25: Riot grrrl vibes from Philly-based Cayetana, the art of haggling at garage sales and the beautiful lens of people watching captured through the eyes of artist/designer Mason London aka Joe Prytherch.

A peek at Prytherch's daydream-like work.

Music: Cayetana
This instalment of Badass Women brings a full band of 'em: Philadephia's Cayetana channels original riot grrrl vibes in their all-female thrash rock, lo-fi setup. Kelly Olsen, Allegra Anka and Augusta Koch make empowering music on borrowed equipment and no formal training, using their love of music and life experiences to make some really authentic songs about love, heartbreak and lots of other things. They also have a great cover of New Order's Age of Consent.

My family had our garage sale this past weekend and it was an even bigger success than our last sale. All the money we raised will go toward Larissa's wedding fund, and it was so nice to spend time with family doing something we all love.

This past week was also the last class of my third semester with BrainStation, which is always my favourite. All the students really impressed me with how much effort they had put into their final projects. One of my students even posted her project online as an Instagram post. She used her amazing illustration skills to polish her UI to a very high degree.

June is scoliosis awareness month (and it has taken 25 days for me to work up the nerve to share this). Got Your Back is an app prototype I've been developing to help alleviate the physical and emotional challenges that scoliosis patients face. The patients that I interviewed for this project have shown themselves to be incredibly strong and optimistic individuals in the face of harsh circumstances. Many come through the other side of treatment with an admirable appreciation for the experiences they've gone through. I may do a more personal post on the topic before the month ends, but for now, shoutout to all the scoliosis warriors out there; it only gets better. // The app is still a work in progress. If you're an individual with scoliosis, know that you're amazing, and DM me if you would like to contribute to the research! ____________________________ #scoliosis #scoliosisawarenessmonth #scoliosiswarrior #scoliosisawareness #scoliosisart #curvygirlsscoliosis #cgscolimonth #art #characterdesign #digitaldrawing #illustration #uxdesign #uidesign #uxdesigner #uxdesignmastery #ux #userinterface #userexperience #prototype #graphic
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My goals this week mostly revolve around marking a ton of student work and making an appearance at BrainStation's summer social. I appreciate the ways they show how they care about their staff, even us part-time people. Plus, I don't get a lot of interaction time with other instructors, so that'll be cool.

Random Thought: Haggling
After a weekend full of strangers trying to devalue all my worldly possessions (aka a garage sale), I am left wondering about the psychology of shopping at garage sales and haggling as a life skill. For my family's sale this past weekend, our main goal in pricing our items was to find homes for them with people who could truly use them. We priced our items quite low, as in $1 for a frying pan, or $3 for a piece of framed art. Even Value Village's average prices are higher than this.

And yet, shoppers still felt the need to haggle. Garage sale culture in Toronto just does not seem to allow for prices to be so conceivably low that a shopper will feel satisfied without haggling. It's mind-boggling. Not to mention, on what was mostly an extremely chilled out weekend of sitting on my parents' driveway hanging out, a woman got into a very heated debate with our neighbour over a carpet she bought for like $10 or something. I guess garage sales bring out the best and worst in people?

In any case, if the spirit of the sale is to ensure items are rehomed with people who will actually use them, perhaps it doesn't make sense to price them so low. I don't think convincing someone to buy a $1 frying pan is actually a good thing if that pan ends up in a landfill without being used. Do (slightly) higher prices mean that buyers will feel more motivated to only buy what they need? Does that make it more challenging for people to responsibly rehome their unused possessions? Laughably, I struggle with these thoughts from time to time.

Inspiration: Mason London
There's nothing better than sitting in a cafe or on a subway train and noticing that someone near you is sketching strangers around them. I absolutely love to watch people draw, especially when they don't notice me watching them. It's definitely a window into the soul of a person, as well as just a cool way for me to compare my current experience to theirs (since I can see both their drawing and the subject matter).

Of course it's double-fun when I notice they're drawing me, though my ego isn't too big that I don't also love to watch them draw...whatever! The TTC has been showcasing subway/bus sketchings by its passengers instead of advertisements on some of their vehicles, which definitely exude a similar (if not watered-down) experience.

 I do enjoy seeing these on the subway, but their lack of payment to the artists is less than ideal.

Mason London (aka Joe Prytherch), a Loondon-based illustrator is creating his own spin on these transit-based sketches. It's a form of people watching through a lens that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about riding the bus. His gif loop for pianist and producer Kiefer is a dream to watch. Check it out:

I love the way the people sway back and forth, the little details, the whole thing is just super cute (as advertised). Here's another:

In addition to illustration, Prytherch does some kickass design work. I especially love the recipe book he designed and typeset for his friend's Chinese restaurant Bosslady.

People watching is such a constant source of inspiration for me, and it's wonderful to see an artist pay such true homage to his own experience of people watching. Joe's work is awesome, his website is definitely worth a look-through.

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