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Randi Brookman Harris: Anatomy of a New York Times Magazine cover

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I’m enamored by my friend Randi Brookman Harris‘s work, she’s a prop stylist but also one of my favorite commercial artists working today. We have this up in our living room and I follow along closely with what she’s working on, seeing and living on Instagram. She’s definitely one of my favorite artists and I’m so happy to be pals with her too.

Sometimes the most complicated and well executed art looks the simplest at first glance. Here’s more info on Randi’s amazing work (above) that’s nominated for cover of the year by the Society of Publication Designers. I sure hope it wins.

Last summer, Randi got a call about styling the cover for The New York Times Magazine alongside her friend and frequent collaborator, photographer Johnny Miller. The cover story was about activists working to give women access to abortion pills at home. The Design Director, Gail Bichler, wanted to evoke that emotional feeling of receiving a package in the mail when readers opened up the Sunday paper with the magazine at its core.

 “In order to protect the actual packages of pills from being recognized and confiscated in international mail, I wasn’t allowed to see what they looked like. I searched out multitudes of envelopes and mailers: every size, color, and type available. I had Indian postmarks made into rubber stamps. I had a single pill blister-pack custom made on a vacu-form machine to spec — (the image of which ended up illustrating another story).

The deadline was also the thing, of course, and it had to be shot after-hours in Johnny’s studio since we were both booked on other jobs the day we had to shoot it. We were shooting till late. Snacks were purchased at the Duane Reade well past midnight: Bananas, Doritos, Twix & Twizzlers fueled variations. I dirtied the envelopes more, deepened creases, stamped and restamped the postmarks, smoothed out wrinkles…”

I love hearing the story behind the art work and Randi always has a good one.

 

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The story of their lives, through their jewelry

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I’ve mentioned Worn Stories here and possibly to everyone I know. It’s a favorite book I’ve picked up in the last 6 months. So when I saw this story on The Cut, it lured me right in.

Six Women Tell Their Life Story Through the Story of Their Jewelry. To me, these stories have so little to do with the aesthetics or fashion of an item but rather the personal and historical significance of an object imbued with meaning.  Think of how many things in our lives we ascribe meaning to. If you had to leave your home forever in the next 5 minutes think about what you would grab and what it means to you. Would anyone else think it’s important or is it only important because of the role it plays in your life or events that took place in your life that the object reminds you of?

 

 

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Seriously easy recipes + tips from friends who know

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I recently asked some friends to share some of their easy (5 ingredients or close to it) go-to recipes and tips. We all have kids and need fast easy dinners with a minimum of ingredients and prep work (stuff you can make ahead and keep in the fridge for an easy heat-up-serve meal). All comments from the last month (and specifically this crispy tofu post) got deleted during a blog renovation so feel free to leave a link or comment here with your tip or recipe and check out The Forest Feast, Sunday Suppers, Small Plates & Sweet Treats and Wild Apple Journal.

I have to start with the best suggestion of all from Gemma Burgess,  “I have this amazing recipe called “seamless.com” but it’s pretty complicated so maybe you guys should work up to it?”

And now for the rest:

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Rejection letters (to famous people)

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Esh, some of these hurt to read. Not from the perspective of the artist but from the writer of the rejection. Can you imagine listening to Madonna and turning her away from your record label and then seeing what became of her career? Or saying “no thank you” to Andy Warhol as he tries to gift one of his drawings to your museum. Ouch. I’m sure these letters stung for the recipients but they also must have motivated the artists to keep pushing through. To me that’s the common denominator when you read success stories in the arts: Talent and fortitude.

via Distractify

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