Saturday, 21 September 2019

2 artists in a bar and then one goes to space

While I was shooting this, the owner of the distillery behind me commented on how I must like their walls because he'd seen me there before. I laughed, yes, I do!

I was recently interviewed for a show called Two Artists Walk Into a Bar by Carol Mcquaid, a Canadian artist/traveler, a self-described nomad. (The link goes to the webcast; you can subscribe to her podcast as well.)

My first thought when she contacted me was, cool, I'm an artist! Then I thought, but am I really? Then I thought, yeah, yeah, I am! Sometimes it's hard to see yourself for the trees, know what I mean, when you just do what you do.

Before I lost my studio

So what does an artist look like? Pfft, that's an idiotic question. THIS is what an artist looks like, courtesy of the photo filter Noire. The netting on the hat would have to go though. I'd be wearing black sidezip capris and pointy-toe boots. Adding a filter to your life would, in some respects, be so much easier than actually living as an artist.

Mel as quintessential artist person, minus the ciggie and the Dali mustache

(Skip to later if you just want photos, and don't miss my space movie down there)

An artist looks like Salvadore Dali, except in my case minus the mustache. Or a sort of Audrey Hepburn in the 1957 movie Funny Face, her beatnik phase, when she was paired with Fred Astaire. Ugh, I didn't feel the magic but anyway. Often there's a cigarette, but I've used a pencil crayon in a holder instead.

A younger generation probably envisions something completely different having grown up without cursive writing or even the joys of cassette tape Walkmans. ("A walk what?")

And the artist is always starving. Let's just debunk that myth right now: junk food is the cheapest food around and it tastes reeeal good. Chips!
The starving artist is a terrible stereotype! Maybe it's time for resale royalty rights in North America, hmm? Like musicians and novelists, and actors/filmmakers get.

But seriously? What little there is left of the stereotype (style-wise at least) is crumbling - if this image was ever something beyond my own imagination in the first place - especially with new media, which is now old, which is exactly how I feel when I think about how quickly everything is changing. Keeping up is key to feeling young I think.

So back to the interview - Carol asked me where I envision myself in the future. I quickly replied: in a penthouse, living a life where I never have to vacuum again and have a personal chef to cook for me and a personal driver.

I reflected on that answer this week (I reflect on everything later and then freak out), and thought, hey, I must be living the high life already and not even know it because:
  1. My current home is really high up; 
  2. I could easily never vacuum again (some might argue it's already true);
  3. O usually cooks for me (he is afraid of starving if I do it, although I make a mean boiled egg);
  4. I have a personal driver but I kindly share space with others on the bus or I go driverless (Skytrain, no driver), or I do enjoy driving myself once in a while (if I'm not in tight leather pants). There's nothing more personal than being the actual person, is there?
Of course, that's about material wealth. What would I envision for me in the truly meaningful sense, although shelter, heat, and food are pretty meaningful. And a sanitation system.

As I said to Carol, I would be doing what I'm already doing but on a bigger scale - videos, or how about a real show or series or movies or a magazine or book, made with other creatives?!! I get dizzy thinking about it. "I'd conquer the world!," she yells from the prow of her private submarine. So that's my other answer to that question. Now, I sometimes feel like that prisoner in the movie Shawshank Redemption, digging his underground escape tunnel with a spoon, for freedom via a sewer pipe. Moving right along.

But again, isn't this kind of like my other penthouse answer? Am I living the dream already? Successful people in interviews often look back on their days before success and say, those were the best days of my life! Okay. I'm trying to get on board with that.

A famous TV series was once filming in a loft complex where O and I were living and they used our suite for a bit. The Big Star sauntered in during a break and said, "You know, this place reminds me of the good old days when I was a struggling actor in New York." How does one respond to that? - wow, you guys are in rough shape, and, hey, isn't it fun? And it was in fact a really nice loft. Everything is relative.

I thrive on the creative stuff I do and am grateful to be able to do it. And I have worked/played at it for a long time. I do or could do all those things I listed right now, but I grin considering the bigger picture, a bigger budget. Heh.

So I'm just putting all this out there as I ponder issues Carol and I discussed during the talk - what it is to be an artist, a model, the imposter syndrome, underwear, and more, for about an hour. It was very laid back and I enjoyed her company. So I invite you to have a listen HERE or via podcast, Two Artists Walk into a Bar. And/or catch some of the other artists she has interviewed. I've enjoyed so many of them.

And now some outfit photos because, you know, style and all. These are just a couple of the things I've worn since my last post.

I farked the jacket. I made it smaller by adding a front diagonal red zipper. You've maybe seen it before.

Vintage men's velvet blazer made in London and faux suede/velvet Parasuco pants. Suzanne clocked the blazer for me when we were at a Toronto thrift store.

And what else? I feel like I've dumped all the stuff from my purse onto the floor and am pulling bits out excitedly to show you. "Oh, look at this, and there's this, and oh, what about this...?!" - a toothpick with writing on it, a piece of forgotten chocolate, a pink tape measure.

I made this video too. As you may know, I recently put together my annual what-I-wore video (see sidebar), found a thread in there and pulled. This came out, especially with the music playing in my head, "Saving the World" by Aaron Kenny. The space photo is by Raphael Nogueira from O made the space ship; I made it fly. Heh.

I have more stuff to show you but I'll mercifully save it for another post. Till next time.

I hope you are all well, now moving into autumn here, spring for my friends down under. Hellooooo!! I've missed you all. Thanks so much for stopping by, especially if you've made it to the end of this post.

I'll link up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike when everyone is ready. And don't forget, for some of us it's almost time for pumpkin scones (even though they're often made from other gourds, still tasty). Hooray!!!

Edit: I also linked to Anne at Spy Girl. She has a great post with reselling tips by Suzanne.


  1. MEL!

    This is the best post! I'm grateful you took the time to write it!

    You made me think. And laugh. I may have even nodded sagely a few times.

    I'm glad that you acknowledge that you are an artist. We know it. Happy you do too.

  2. Of course you are a artist! A artist in the sincear sence of the word! Art!! You make art!! You are art!

  3. Your writing is as entertaining as your visual art. I love these wandering posts. You manage to capture what so many of us feel.

    I think that defining ourselves in any way makes us fearful. What if we don't live up to those expectations? Are we failures? I know that's why I often steer clear of definitions.

    I'm going to listen to your interview today as I measure and tag clothing for my show this weekend. I'm sure it'll put a smile on my face.


  4. Nancy took the words right out of my typing fingers. Of course you are an artist. What do you think you were doing in your studio? And how about your sketches? And the way you create outfits and fark clothes. You are an artist pur sang.
    One that obviously came from another galaxy, looking at the video.

  5. These are the voyages of the Starship Melanie. To seek out new art, new civilizations, and to boldly go where no blogger has ever gone before. Am listening to your podcast as I write this!

  6. I am always lustful when I see those fringed shoes - so fun! You continue to inspire - loved your video!

  7. The interview was great! "You tell other people how to see you by how you see yourself". Amen!

    Love the spacey video as well. Nice and gentle. Couldn't watch the What-I-wore. Too fast and flashy.

  8. Of course you are an artist - one of the best I have had the pleasure to know! You don't even need a Dali mustache, you are fabulous in every medium. Haha, I love the snark the Big Star threw at you - you'll get your chance to do the same (except you're much nicer). I'll listen to your interview tonight, a big treat for a Monday. Stay awesome, my friend, xox.


  9. You certainly are an artist in every sense, a true creative in so many mediums. Loved your video , spacey Mel. I will watch your interview later in the day as I have a neighbour with a jack hammer next door making concentrating on anything impossible. You are a star.

  10. Always so fun to swing in to your blog. Makes me miss the blogosphere! Keep creating, it's all art!

  11. You most definitely are an artist Mel. Your outfit is fabulous - I love the mix of prints and those amazing fringed shoes!

    Emma xxx

  12. Loved to hear your voice in that interview Mel, and that outfit for your visit to the Opera sounded fab. You're an absolute star my dear xxx

  13. hurrah for your artistic attitude!, you're always inspiring and Fabulous!. You made me think that I'm also 'living the high life already and not even know it', even if I have to vacuum once in a while (once in a blue moon actually). But Mr.A. cooks for me and I never drive as I take the bus or walk all the time. High Life!.
    And you are totally Gorgeous in your striped dress and 'farked' jacket (great idea to add a red zip!). And love you in velvet and coolness!!
    besos & Art!

  14. It's taken me a while to comment because, as I read, I felt like we walked together through a magnificent forest of artistic thoughts. The trees are purple. The path is pink. Crows are singing lullabies. Thank you for providing this space to listen and think and consider.

    You already know how much I loved your interview with Carol. Another moment that felt completely personal, like you and she had known each other forever. I enjoyed your answers then to her questions about being an artist and what you hope for going forward, and I admire your reflective answers here on the same subjects. It's all so complicated...or maybe we just make it complicated. Either way, thank you for being Mel always and forever. I'm not sure you know just how much you inspire my own journey. I should show you and tell you more often.


  15. Loved your interview and glad to find your blog. I started in fashion as an 8 year old seamstress, switched to art, then swung back to fashion after art school, left that industry behind and came back to art and making and fixing (farking?) clothes JUST FOR ME!!! I love clothes and until I heard your interview earlier today, felt slightly guilty about that. BUT NO MORE!! Thanks for your irreverence and positive spirit--made my day!


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