wedding guest tree: ms. buryk and mr. borchert

this past weekend was the darling wedding of darling friends alexis buryk and scott borchert (see their spotlight in the ny times!). having been friends since our nyu days, alexis and i are now both about to gather our mfa's in writing from the school of the art institute of chicago. she is one of my dearest and closest and most wonderful friends, and i was honored not only to be a part of her wedding party, but also to be asked to create the wedding guest 'book'.

instead of a traditional page-turner, she and scott decided they'd rather be able to look at something that spoke to their wedding day in a very unique way, so they chose to present a tree that guests could fill in with thumbprint 'leaves' and a note for the couple. it turned out lovely, just like the day itself. congratulations scott and alexis, and may this tree be a constant reminder of the vast circle of supporters and loved ones who will honor your union every step of the way.

 

(ps. be on the lookout for new additions/sections to my jillyink etsy shop - coming soon!)

all those other words

 

i know i haven't updated in quite a while, but i have a pretty big-deal post for today.  for the past month and a half (and really, the last year), i've been working on an installation piece for an exhibition opening at the sullivan galleries in chicago this friday.  the piece, 'all those other words', is a 17 page story written non-chronologically that i laser cut into birch plywood and set behind stained wooden doors.  i cannot say how proud i am with how the piece turned out, how happy i am that it looks so beautiful and reads so well, how utterly relieved i am that it's finally up and i don't have to worry about little tiny screws or super glue or nail guns anymore.  enjoy the photos - hopefully i'll post more after the opening!

 

the books:

 

 

during installation:

 

 

all up on the wall:

 

 

just get through tomorrow

eeeeeeeesh i haven't been here in a while.  i'm so sorry!  what with getting writing pieces ready for the saic grad critique week and finishing final screenprinting projects, running the mothers' day 5k (i came in 255 out of nearly 2,000 runners!) in grant park and work, i've been up to my ears in busyness.. and business. some good news!  i've recently had two (two!) new purchases from my etsy shop, which i am incredibly excited about.  one of my lovely clients initially decided to purchase a custom initial stamp, however she's since chosen to go the return address stamp route, but i'd still like to show you my designs for the first:

it gives me incredibly joy to have make connections with wonderful people via the online handmade community, and i look forward to continue 'meeting' new people (and hopefully more people) as the summer approaches!

canopy

after one and a half weeks of frantic designing, printing, cutting while kneeled and hunched over on the floor (oh my back!), i finally, with the help of my dear roommate) put up my final project for my installation class this semester.  and it just so happened that we installed on the one, repeat: one, beautiful, sunny day that chicago's seen in the past month really.  it was truly a blessing, and it made the papercut installation sing with clarity, brilliance and full out shine.

i am now completely obsessed with cut paper projects, and will be experimenting with other materials as well, maybe forming language out of wire, or different forms of pellon, or really, whatever i can get my hands on.  thank you so much to everyone who's helped support me mentally and emotionally in this project - it really, the whole thing, has made me so happy.  and now i'm equally happy that it's done.

and in case you're interested, here's the text of the piece:

she does not see far.  the wind twists itself around and about her limbs, sends her hair into a fury, but she doesn't see far./she doesn't hear long.  the sounds of rays that creep within the cracks of her skin make no impression on her eardrums./she tries to follow the feel.  she touches the ends of things, gropes for a hanging-on of connection.  the mouth she has./she lets it all in, and washes it all out.  welcomes it in, and stands helpless as it all passes through.

follow the lines

some process photos that i promised - here's the first two panels of large-scale papercuts for my third installation. pre-cutting, here's what the scrolls of paper look like with the designs printed on them:

starting to cut:

the completed first panel:

and here's the final cutout of the second:

i'll just go ahead and let the pictures speak for themselves.  more to come!

reference

second installation project - i decided to blasphemously tear pages out of an old 1965 dictionary and infuse them with my own writing.  over the course of a week and a half, i painstakingly (and yes, at times, those late nights, hitting f3 and then shift+f over and over again was indeed painful) searched through roughly twenty documents of my own writing that i've produced since last fall for whatever recognizable words i found on each page.  once found within a piece of my writing, i'd hand-write the sentence that word was used in over its original definition.  thereby claiming its definition as my own.

some of the pages went faster than others.  some strangely had no words that i could use, and so in those cases, i made up definitions for certain words.  or i would find interesting connections between the words that just so happened to be situated near each other.  or i experimented with hand-lettering of certain letters, words, images, etc.

the wallpapering itself took no time, but the entire project, layered together and spread out over the expanse of a wall in my studio, sparked such an interesting conversation about authorship, overload of information, hierarchy of text, positive vs negative space, and so many other things.  i truly enjoyed putting this together, and if given the opportunity, would absolutely cover an entire room like this.  i mean, why not?  now i know how to make my own glue.

sonnets upon sonnets

 

almost everyone has some sort of relationship with shakespeare. whether it be that awkward memory of having to memorize shylock's speech in freshman english, or finding that one line in that one sonnet that just so happens to speak to whatever is going on in your life, there's no doubt that for most of us, ole billy has struck some sort of chord.

for my first project in my art installation class, i decided to play around with accumulation and dismantling - in this case, the accumulation of text and chalk, the dismantling of shakespeare's sonnets as well as the concept of what it means to be a book, a collection.

it's incredibly interesting to see what happens when you start to layer words and sentences on top of each other. the negative space becomes positive, the blackboard starts to resemble a white notebook page, and the sonnets themselves become almost completely illegible (although that could also have something to do with the nature of my handwriting). i had such fun putting this together, and i definitely foresee more chalkboard art in my future.

what's your favorite sonnet? i'll always be partial to 116.

a new venture

good evening from the midwest!

so here i am in this lovely little city called chicago.  i've been tapping into my writer mind quite a bit (which makes sense, seeing as i'm here to, well, get a degree in writing), and just suddenly realized (with the help of a few persistent friends back east - you're right, you're right) that i haven't been on here in a while.  the truth is, i haven't been producing very much visual work of late, my time being taken up with story crafting and yoga practicing and lululemon lululemoning.  BUT.  i got a nice surprise in the mail the other day (ok, the other week - man time flies by in graduate school).  this past summer, for a few of my recently wedded friends, i designed custom made return address stamps as part of their gifts.  handwritten and consisting of their new names, these stamps were so much fun to create, and to see in their finished state.  so how lovely was it to receive a thank you note with the inked product on the back?  well, it was very lovely, thank you.

i'm thinking of producing these regularly, so if you know of anyone who would like a custom stamp, please forward the message on!  oh, and happy autumn - the past few weeks has been full of pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread... with pumpkin carving to come this weekend.

cheers,

jilly

the joy of posting

good morning glory, today i'm filled with thoughts of that all-important and sometimes hard-to-do part of maintaining relationships: keeping in touch.  i just recently found out some wonderful news... i was accepted into one of the mfa in illustration programs i applied to earlier this year (!).  still waiting to hear back from the other two, but i'm both incredibly relieved and excited at the prospect of starting along this new journey in a world more suited to creative and artistic ventures.  of course, this means that i may be very far away from my loved ones, family and friends, so what better way to assure constant updates and daily gossip than to invest in some beautiful letter-writing materials? 

lovely design has some gorgeous paper products, and right now i'm absolutely falling in love with their address file - all those gorgeously different cuts of paper combined with the warm wooden base would certainly make me want to flip through it on a daily basis.  wish list!

{images by lovely design}

new year, new post

snowy day in massachusetts oh dear dear dear.  i can't believe i've let it go so long without posting anything, and so for the very few of you who read this from time to time (or who just accidentally click on the link in my gmail status every so often), i apologize profusely.  i could blame any number of factors: the endless holiday parties; the trips to chicago, massachusetts, and, um, manhattan; finishing and panicking about grad school applications; general laziness; etc.  the truth is, i've been a horrible and non-diligent blogger.  but, as the expired calendar hanging on my wall has been reminding me for the past few days, it is indeed a new year, and so what better time to begin anew than now?

since it's been so long, here's a quick update on what's been going on:

the holidays were absolutely wonderful.  spending an entire week at home with family and friends, hosting and attending parties and small dinners, shopping for last-minute gifts and finding spontaneous adventures in the wound-about back alleys of boston was truly the only way i could have wanted to escape work and any droplets of stress not yet wrung from the past year.  i love going home.  i love that my parents' fridge is always stocked with orange juice, half and half and about five different varieties of cheese.  our living room, with its wall of windows looking out across our backyard and the trees that line the stone wall where kasey (our late faithful and mangy and beautiful german-retriever dog) is buried, is admittedly a much more serene view than the projects that fill the windows looking out of my brooklyn apartment.  and there are always people about the house, engaged in various activities, talking to each other from across rooms or up stairs, preparing meals, wrapping gifts, annoying each other with the choice of television show until finally mum announces that it's dinner time.  there's really nowhere else i'd rather be, especially at the holidays.  our house glimmers, it sparkles, it glows from inside and out.  our big blue spruce, the pride of my father, done up with hundreds of colored twinkle lights, becomes a beacon of cheerfulness to all who drive up to our house between the months of november and march.  when i think of the home that i'll someday build with my own family, it's hard to stray any further from the example that's been set there.

applications are just about complete; as soon as my portfolio is tweaked a bit and recommendation letters are put in the mail, all i'll have left to do is wait and send positive energy out into the world until april 1st.  waiting is always the hardest part, but in the meantime i remain hopeful and more determined than ever to promote good change in my professional life.  well, in my personal life too.  it never hurts to try everything.

and speaking of professional and personal life melding, i've decided to apply for the yoga to the people teacher training program in february.  this is something i've been wanting to do for a long time, perhaps when i started practicing yoga there three years ago.  i'm incredibly excited for the opportunity to become more in tune with the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of this practice, and i know it will end up being an exhilarating and eye-opening experience.  hopefully you'll be reading more about the process come february when the training begins!

ok, i think that's enough for now.  i know everyone's been in a very reflective and reevaluating mood as of late, and so to prolong the trend, i'd like to offer up some resolutions, or general guidelines that i hope to keep in mind as 2010 moves ahead.  i will strive to seriously not sweat the small stuff (life is far too short for that).  i will take more initiative with my life and where i want it to head (no one else is going to do it for me).  i will cherish my family and friends, and will do whatever i can to come to their aid when called upon (i know that they would for me).  and lastly, i will have more fun, more laughter, more silliness and spontaneity in my life.  what's the point in going through the day-to-day if there's nothing enjoyable about it?  i refuse to be pulled down into the muck, and i hope that you all do too.

best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy 2010.  much more to come soon!

cheers,

jilly

mmmm september

copyright jillian schiavi 2009 it's been a bit of a long hiatus, and a bit of a whirlwind end-of-summer for me.  from trips home to massachusetts, to a gorgeous and adventurous week in san francisco for the outside lands music festival, to visiting philadelphia and celebrating the start of 'fall' with friends and cocktails, i feel like august existed as part of a month-long dream, from which i just woke up, and it's suddenly the middle of september.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i absolutely love this time of year.  when i was younger (who am i kidding, if i had reason to do it now, i would), i used to go crazy for school supplies.  color coordinated binders, folders, notebooks (3-subject, college-ruled, 5 star), mechanical pencils, black (never blue) ink pens, the list goes on.  there's something refreshing, settling and exciting all at the same time about starting a new school year, and i've recently felt myself missing that sensation.  maybe i should have taken my father's teasing about becoming a teacher more seriously... really though, i think this itch means that it's about time i went back to graduate school.

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

i've always felt that if i was going to invest more time (and more time spent paying back more loans) into another degree, it would be for something i'm really passionate about.  something that i may not have looked at as a 'serious' point of study, perhaps because it's not regarded as particularly practical or career-oriented.  something that i've always loved to do, that i keep coming back to subconsiously; something that i've continually tried to integrate into various areas of my life.  now, there are 3 things that fit that description: performance (acting), writing and illustration.  if i could find a way to include all three into my graduate studies (and post-graduate career path), i would be ecstatic.  if it was possible to include two of the three, i would be thrilled.  if i could only focus on one, i would be immensely happy. 

copyright jillian schiavi 2009

whatever i'm able to find (and this is if i even get accepted to program), i know that fine art and illustration will be the main emphasis.  i'm still putting my portfolio together, and these are a few pieces that i'll be including for admission.  any feedback or suggestions would be more than welcome, and thank you for coming along with me on this (slightly trepidatious) journey!

copyright jillian schiavi 2009