The Art of Sticky Shaw

The first time we texted, Sticky Shaw was driving to Mammoth. The second time, he was there, on the mountain, taking a powder break and ready to talk. I didn’t know his real name (it might be Sticky Shaw after all) or much about him, I just found his work—a Berlin Fox stenciled into the sidewalk by Crab Cooker—and emailed him, curious to know more.

“You’re not the police, are you?” The Newport Beach native, who now creates from his home base in Santa Monica, asked when I called.

“No, just a writer.”


There’s street art that’s pretentious and neat, paid for by some municipality hoping to seem edgy and community bound, then there’s street art like Sticky Shaw’s variety. His art is like a neo-iconoclastic genre that skirts the conventional, punk rock and unhinged from predictability, messy and free. Continue reading “The Art of Sticky Shaw”

Night Flight of The Sheep

“ … and, should the symptoms of sleeplessness persist, a patient may attempt any number of psychologically soothing exercises … lulling the mind to a more restful state of being … the most popular and effective of these called ‘counting sheep,’ wherein the patient, with eyes closed, begins enumerating sheep as if the beasts were standing there in the wooly flesh … one … two … three … four …”

His name was Spaxtle, hers Yarpzeit, at least that’s the closest any language not woven from the sounds of light mixed with spit might come to a correct pronunciation. They’d just departed Barnard’s Galaxy after three space-time cubules—warped, of course—spent on the farthest ring of Zoupitess, (again, name simplified for the sake of primitive tongues). Though the trip had been everything you’d expect from a sunbath beneath distant stars, Spaxtle and Yarpzeit had failed to find the one thing promised to be lurking in the Zoupitess quiet: sleep. Continue reading “Night Flight of The Sheep”

Thank You WordPress

Just because you’re a needle in a haystack or a pea beneath a thick mattress doesn’t mean that needle-you won’t be found or pea-you can’t be felt. Here’s the proof: A few days ago I received a surprising email from Michelle, the self-proclaimed Chief Semicolon Advocate at WordPress; I use the site to host this very blog and Michelle’s email went something—OK exactly—like this: Continue reading “Thank You WordPress”

Imperial Ball: Johnny Depp + Alice Cooper Jam in Anaheim

There’s no right way to load up your tacos while sitting inside the courtyard of a boys’ Catholic high school in Anaheim, waiting for Johnny Depp and Alice Cooper to perform on a stage not more than 200 feet beyond. Some might argue charred onions are appropriate for the scenario, others fall easily into the Extra Jalapeños School of Thought. But really, any way you do it, you’re going to eat the tacos—hey, you’re hungry—and you’re going to feel kind of weird.

Such a disjointed scene unfurled before me not more than one week ago, at the Duesenberg Imperial Ball 2017, and the unusual setting wasn’t the only thing shrouded in a Tim Burton-esque cloud of mystery on that too-cold California night …  Continue reading “Imperial Ball: Johnny Depp + Alice Cooper Jam in Anaheim”

Brian A. Bernhard Goes Down the Rabbit Hole to Embrace the Weird

Pictured: Bernhard, Brian A. Without Limits Mural. A variety of paint media on concrete wall, 11’ X 15′.

It started with a tweet—him to me, me to him? Something in between? Who knows!—and ended with this: An exchange of ideas by two people who’ve never met before. But sometimes you just connect with someone across the strange expanse of Internet and don’t know why, and it’s a kind of kindred-spirit connection that while tenuous in its real-life existence, goes far beyond the retina-display surface of your laptop screen; the whole thing’s actually much stronger than you think.

Such was the case with Brian A. Bernhard, digital storyteller, visual mastermind and dexterous font-maker whose artistic mission is for us not to run from but to the weirdest places inside us all. Embrace the esoteric eccentricities, his art in unspoken prose and frenetic brushstrokes might explain, because it’s the curious and not the common that makes the world twist in the most extraordinary of ways.

The Top Ten Posts of 2016

On the eve eve of a brand-new year, I thought it might be kind of cool/sweet/fun/weird to take a look back at the top 10 posts on in 2016. (My conclusion after perusing the list: You guys are all about J.K. Rowling, Disney movies and food, so yes, I’m stoked we’re on the same page.)

Also before we dive into the posts, I just want to take a second and thank anyone and everyone who took the time to read my little words this year. Your support means everything to me; it keeps my pen moving across the page, my fingers clicking on the keyboard and my passion for writing alive. I do what I do because of you. End of story.

And now, here are the 10 most popular 2016 posts to scamper around the little word studio world in 2016:  Continue reading “The Top Ten Posts of 2016”

jenn gietzen: #artistgoals

[image c. kathryn mccrary photography]

jenn gietzen is about to become your new insta-bestie faster than you can say “taco tuesday with free sangria.” she’s the founder/artist behind write on! design, a full-service design studio in atlanta that churns out seriously awesome stuff. jenn has a self-proclaimed passion for hugging tightly and laughing loudly, and when she was little, wanted to grow up to be helen hunt in twister. today, with 25k+ devoted instagram fans who are obsessed with her art, i can safely say she’s accomplished way more than her onetime cyclone-chasing goal.

jenn was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about her design process, the importance of wine for creative inspiration—ok not a question, it’s a fact—the personal touches she infuses into her instagram captions and the difficulties of adulting on every day that ends in a ‘y’. also, she doesn’t use caps when she writes and because everything this girl touches is obviously deemed cool, neither will i. Continue reading “jenn gietzen: #artistgoals”

Artist Brett Reif Finds The Extraordinary In The Ordinary

Pictured: Mustard Kink // Brett Reif, 2016

Let me say this: Brett Reif is not just a Kansas City-based artist specializing in non-traditional wall work, sculpture and installation, as one might discern from a quick perusal of his biography. He’s a veritable modern-day artistic philosopher, wielding wisdom as he welds and shapes his characteristically evocative work.

Or perhaps his work shapes him. It’s hard to know, like an avante-garde chicken-or-egg scenario, whether the art has made Brett the sagacious sculptor he is today or vice versa. But why don’t you decide for yourself … 
Continue reading “Artist Brett Reif Finds The Extraordinary In The Ordinary”

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Reviewed

[Image via Netflix]


After what seems like an actual year of waiting, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life has finally made its caffeinated, fast-talking, pop-culture-referencing debut on Netflix. While the very first scene—Lorelai and Rory doing their back-and-forth thing beneath the town gazebo—felt more like a poorly choreographed and nervously performed opening to an off-off-Broadway play than it did a welcome back to Stars Hollow, we were welcomed back nonetheless, and that’s all that matters. Continue reading “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Reviewed”

Lehrerboys + Ron Eshel Collaboration Set to Familiar Words

[Image via]

I once wrote the Lehrerboys broke my heart and they’ve done it again. And I couldn’t be happier. Here’s the scoop …

A few weeks ago, I received an inquiry from Ron Eshel, photographer to big brands like Speedo, Mastercard, Reebok, and moment-capturer of human stars that shine widely—hello to a banana-tee-shirt-wearing Adrian Grenier—throughout the world or simply shine.

Ron wanted to know if he could use my words to accompany photographs he took of the Daniel and Jeremy Lehrer, comics who’ve quickly racked up a 30K+ following on Instagram as the eponymous @lehrerboys. The concept for Ron’s project? A series of images with a gritty, witty behind-the-scenes feel as outrageous as the brothers’ work itself.  Continue reading “Lehrerboys + Ron Eshel Collaboration Set to Familiar Words”