miss liberty

when i wrote about my internship with brett, i neglected to say that i can see the statue of liberty on the way to and from brooklyn. the first time i saw it out his window was a real shocker--i remember just glancing out the window one day, and it was just...there!
view out the window (to the left of the pirate picture in the previous blog post)

for some reason, it resonated with me as some sort of piece (and peace) of home. or something. it was sort of shocking and comforting, somehow, to see that well-known monument i've known about since kindergarten, just chillin' there outside the window. [in real life you can see it much more clearly than in this photo! promise.] it has become my little ritual to look for it on the train to brooklyn, and my eyes automatically notice it while at brett's studio. i don't mind.

today [sat. june 26] i went with my roommates natasha and jodi, along with our friend jonathan, to visit miss liberty herself, along with ellis island. we didn't get tickets in time to actually go inside the statue, but it was okay; i felt it was worth my time--i spent really good quality time on both islands.

the four of us headed to battery park to catch the ferry. i loved being on a boat. all i could think about the whole time i was on the boat today (i believe that was 3 times) was this. natasha and i quoted thoroughly through much of our boat time. :]
fabulous roommate natasha on the boat headed to the island

the excitement grew as we neared the statue, and i realized she looked a lot smaller than i thought. it's interesting because usually things that look so small from a distance look bigger up close and personal, but it wasn't the case here. which i thought was kinda cool, because she can be a beacon to those far away but still small enough to be personable. at least, that's what my mind [which incidentally tends to characterize many inanimate objects, including shoes and chocolate milk] tells me and i'd like to believe it, thank you very much.

when we got to the island, here's what we saw:

roommate love!
and pretty skylines (with pretty roommates)!
i just kept looking at the statue. from the side, she has some very pleasant rhythms to her stance:

and i really started to just love her aesthetics, something i hadn't paid as much attention to when i'd see her in photos or from a distance. little things like her body type, how well drapery was designed, the actual design of the drapery, the weight of the stance, etc.

so, i decided to figure-draw the Lady. i started with a sketch, then inked part in. i looked kinda funny...but i wanted to get the angle right. so, here's what i looked like, and here's what the sketch looked like:
oh, that's jonathan on the right. and the statue on the far right...if you couldn't tell....
 and then got brave and tried some color. i'll post that later. too lazy to fish for the camera card now.

we walked around and found some statues. they were all sorts of wonderful. they depicted various historical figures (Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, Édouard René Lefèbvre de Laboulaye, Emma Lazarus and Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, to be exact. More about these in a later post. Hopefully.) along with plaques explaining their significance.

i don't even know how anyone could tell me and mr. hearst apart.

all in all, glad i got the opportunity. i still look at the statue when i travel to brooklyn, but now my thoughts are directed differently.

stay tuned for part II: ellis island.


where no intern has gone before

[this post was actually written close to the beginning of my internship. ironic that i'm nearing the end now....]

so. brett helquist is such a cool dude.

if you don't know what he's done, check out his website. he is most well-known for illustrating lemony snicket's 'the series of unfortunate events' books (which, he said, took him 8 years and is one of his favorite projects so far).

he's really down to earth, and easy to talk to. the first day, i was a bit nervous, not sure what to expect that first day as i arrived at his apartment. i got to the building, walked up the 3 flights of stairs, and rang the bell to his studio door. he answered, and we walked up two more flights of stairs to his studio. as i walked into the studio, the first sight surprised me. i didn't see paintbrushes and palates; i saw a slew of guitars and a music stand, all lined up. oh, it's a beautiful sight. brett loves music, and i do too. i knew right then we'd get along just fine.

more about that later.

it's so great, because he's let me do a lot of actual art-stuff (rather than typical intern-stuff). my first jobs consisted of: ripping paper, tracing his sketches onto said ripped paper, stretching that paper after he detailed the sketch and stapling it to frame.

apparently i did that all too fast, as he said he couldn't keep up with me. :) (*note: it isn't difficult to get ahead-- i'm not doing the hard part. he's the one actually creating the darn things.) BUT this is the cool part: he's up against a deadline and said that he's going to try something that he hasn't before: he said he'd let me do the underpaintings. (!) he helped me get set up with the paints and such, and i basically did a paint-by-numbers. he said, "congratulations, you've gone where no intern has gone before. i never let my interns get this far into my work." (!!) i was incredibly happy. not that i'm amazing or anything (and no, i'm not playing victim to false modesty. i'm a decent artist with skill but have more to go than i've come, and it's okay--i'm working at it)-- it's just that i was able to do this and he was already thinking of hiring someone to do his underpaintings, and as he said, "this is as good a time as any to try it out".

so. it's pretty much awesome. he said that i can look through any of his wide collection of art books (it's a great collection at that) or even play his guitars if i have down-time. he invited me to look over his shoulder and ask questions, because i'm here to learn. i thought that was cool.

he's also good about making me feel comfortable about doing the tasks. for example, last time he said "don't worry about it [doing the underpaintings] because if i were worried about it, i wouldn't let you do it."

brett is one of the nicest people i know, but also very honest. i really appreciate both those aspects and i'm really so happy i have this internship! i know i'll learn so much.


behind the red door

editor's note: miss kwistin has limited access to internet for now (we shall forgo details at present) but she does feel bad her posts have been spotty. she has lots to say, and asks your forgiveness and cooperation as you continue to check back for her upcoming posts. she may or may not be typing this at the apple store using their computers right now. ;) 

i've started to do videos because they save time! i was going to edit this so it's not so long and boring, but didn't have time. so, you can skip it or enjoy the walk to work (from the bus) with me. :) 

my first week at society of illustrators had a learning curve for sure, and not only for my actual job description. i admit: i felt very out of my element those first few days. there are many things that separate me from the people i'm surrounded with there. however, now that i'm a few weeks into it, i see all the things that connect us together, and the other day i realized how much i like and truly enjoy all the people that i work with.

i made this closet beautiful.
it's pretty cool, you know, being thrown into a place that's completely new with people who live very different life styles from those you're generally around. if you're a boy, i imagine it's like calling a girl you like a whole bunch for a first date and just waiting those few eternal seconds while the phone slowly proceeds to that droning ring, until she finally picks up and you stumble through the words and wait for the response....and she finally says yes. (i don't really know...i'm not a boy. i just figure it's like this). or maybe it's kind of like that old feeling in the days of dodgeball, sitting there on the sidelines with sweaty palms, wondering if you'll get picked last and what you'll say and how people will see you----then finally breathing when you get picked at all. i'm not sure on that either; i always avoided dodgeball for that reason....

anyway, i guess it feels just like you're a girl from a town you've grown up in where you know a lot of people who all live the same way you do and you're comfortable with it and they like you and you like them and you like the place but you want to get out and experience new things and new environments that you can't possibly get in that one location and so you leave all on your own and you're kind of nervous but you decide that you'll take the risks and so you do it and it's hard and stressful and then you stop and realize that....hey. it's not so bad. in fact, you find you enjoy it.

i think it's kind of like that.

my first day there, another intern let me in because everyone else was in a meeting. so i sat in a chair, not knowing what to expect. later, a nice-looking boy came down (i later found out his name is alvy) and opened up the gallery that belongs to the society of illustrators: the museum of american illustration. the other intern told me i could look around (his name is jonny) so i did. come to find out, the student showcase was going! meaning, i had 7 friends from byu enter that showcase and i saw all their work in the actual gallery! it was a tender mercy and a sweet piece of home, as i saw each of them and remembered seeing the same work in the bfa studio where i spend most my time at school.

the work: anyway, my job at society consists of the typical intern-things--lots of odds and ends. things that need to be done but that no one has time for, but i'm so glad--i've learned so much!

annelle miller and i stacked all these:
they are the student show pieces!
never has any bin of artwork been
so cleanly stacked. it's incredibly hard.
a lot of it is manual labor...so far, i have: unpackaged artwork, carried big boxes up 4 flights of stairs (repeatedly), packaged artwork (including brown paper, bubble wrap, cardboard carrying case, AND handles. yes, handles for the carrying case), filed artwork, done data entry, resized images, color corrected images, cut labels, typed up name tags, transported artwork for shows, researched art supplies online and helped figure out budget for them, run to the post office to drop off a package, sat at the front desk and answered phones, and anything else that they might need. i really enjoy being around artwork from artists that i've studied so often. it's also really good to interact with bigger artists who come in every once in a while. 

sometimes it's ridiculous how much there is to do, and other times we get sent home early (i have yet to be sent home early though) because there's not much going on that really needs the presence of more than one intern.

the building is absolutely inspiring. it's pretty small, but 5 stories tall (and i'm constantly running up and down all those stories! the best part is the walls. on all the walls, there are originals of all the artists i've studied in the past few years in bethanne's history of american illustration classes! hopefully i can do another blog sometime about that specifically, but i'm talking guys like coles phillips, al hirschfeld, n.c. wyeth, and j.c. leyendecker. oh boy. (!)  i really feel fortunate that i took those classes from bethanne, because i feel like i can appreciate the atmosphere so much better! 

lunch is great; dave is the master chef dude and he fixes amazing meals daily. members of the society get to come in and eat in their dining room and bar for free, and so do the staff and interns! so i'm very well fed here. it's great. lunchtime has been a great way for me to get to know the other interns, the staff members, and occasionally some artists. i don't often get to bump into artists because the staff/interns have a separate table, but i've been fortunate a couple times. : )

this is at the opening of the earth show! "earth: fragile planet"

i also get to attend the events society holds, for free! this includes sketch nights and lectures, which is great! i attended the opening of the new show (after helping to get everything ready for it) so it was exciting to see the final product. it was out of my way to go, but i'm really glad i did. i enjoyed seeing everyone i knew there out of their normal element, and got to meet a couple of the artists. {off topic, why is this font so large?! it's driving me nuts and i have no time to deal with it now}
anyway. good times all the way around. i feel really fortunate to be getting all sorts of training! until next time ~