Less Envy, More Fanmail: GEMMA CORRELL

on music, sadness, and dreams where all your teeth fall out

Gemma Correll is an illustrator who does lovely narrative pieces on her “boring life”. Her site also features typography, drawings of pugs, patterns, prints, and a link to her Etsy. We both like coffee so I’d like to believe that if we’d met, we’d be good friends.

Everything, after the jump.

Hi Gemma! Could you suggest a song that you can safely assume I’ve never heard before, but would not be able to live without once I heard it?

Hm, it would probably be something by Jeffrey Lewis. I like my music to have a narrative to it, so I love artists like Regina Spektor and Belle & Sebastian. Jeff Lewis makes comics and writes songs about his life. I think that’s why I’m drawn to him, since I tend to illustrate the mundane things that happen to me in my boring life in my diaries and zines. “The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane” would be a good song to start off with.

And on a completely related note, what do you do when you’re sad and you have no access to a pen and paper? What induces your emotional sugar highs? And how would you interpret a dream where all your teeth fall out?

When I’m sad I usually draw, so being sad with no access to pen & paper makes for very bad times… The next best thing would to be to have some downtime, to read a newspaper or magazine and have a huge mug of decent coffee next to me. Preferably some cake too.
I do get super-hyper when I come up with an idea that I really like, or draw something good (which doesn’t happen often). I think being an artist actually induces a kind of manic-depression in which you’re flung into some terrible lows when things aren’t going well, and these lows are kind of hard to get out of. But then when something works, or goes well, you can be thrown into this eurphoric state all day where you’re super-productive and still buzzing when (and if) you eventually decide to go to bed.

The Greeks say that teeth falling out in a dream means that a friend or relative is sick or dying. My interpretation would be more along the lines of; it means you’re afraid of losing something, or someone. or maybe you’re just worried about your teeth falling out because you drank too much soda.

Eek, I rambled a bit, sorry.

The Art of Seduction and the Bullshit Game

Let’s offend as many people as we can with one post, that’s my life’s mission.

I’m at home on a Saturday, a Saturday for which I initially had BIG plans like rooftop parties with expats (you say expat, I say future husband. whut whut in the butt?) and book launches featuring my sister.

But that didn’t happen, so I’m at home after a long tiring day of driving to my friends house and then back to mine. Tired. I’m home tired watching a documentary about werewolves because I seriously believe I should arm myself with knowledge. About werewolves. Knowledge about werewolves, that’s what I need in case I’m ever in danger of a werewolf attack. I don’t know anything about werewolves, but I know about wolves, being a single girl who goes on the occasional date. Burn. Damn wolves.

Dating is familiar territory. And by dating I don’t mean dating as a stage of courtship because in this case the two are practically mutually exclusive. Usually it’s just a blink from being friends with someone–friends who do coffee and watch movies then go to their respective homes and talk a lot–to being the devoted girlfriend. That stupid shit you see in movies, with the flowers and the gifts of pastry and other random stuff to impress my mom, is practically alien territory. I feel like a martian when observing courtship rituals. So this is how you human beings go about it? Interesting. Sure, I’ve received flowers, and I still have them, but was it as a function of courtship? I’m not sure. I’m not even sure why I’m even analyzing this.

Here’s a picture of Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Just because.

I can’t really complain because it’s not easy to complain about something that’s outside of your experience and yet you’ve done okay without for so long. While I wasn’t courted in the conventional sense, I still spent the last 7 years or so of my life in and out of long-term relationships. That’s still more than I can say for a lot of girls my age.

It’s the “my age” part that clinches the whole courtship statement. Both the “my age” and the “age” part, because at a certain age, we stop behaving like pubescent teens at a soiree and start diving in as “adults”. Adults–we would like to believe–cut the bullshit. Adults have been burned and hold back because they are aware not only of the stakes, but of the impact when it all turns to shit. Adults are supposed to be smart and pragmatic. Problem is the tendency to mistake “smart” and “pragmatic” for mentally stunted and emotionally unavailable. Safe isn’t just a way to play it, it becomes the only way to play it. “I never said that,” is a standard answer when one never says anything, until it becomes the only thing one is capable of saying.

Adulthood does horrible, horrible things to romance because romance does not feed on adulthood, romance feeds on youthful idealism, naivete even. And that’s what makes it so wonderful.

Why does 24 suddenly feel like a bad time to start dating? Why are we talking about our disillusion over what should be a pleasant dinner? I’m not even expecting romance anymore, screw that; maybe it’s too much to expect romance. I’ll settle for pleasant and polite, but pleasant and polite are other things that seem like too much to expect in this day and age (yeah, you see what I did there with the “age” thing? Awesome desu). It’s sickening really. Nice going team internet, now people are inundated with useless information, and “what to expect on a date” can be googled. So can “the art of seduction”. So can “things women do to manipulate you into getting what they want”. Let’s cut the courtship crap and go straight for what we came for, shall we? If it’s a game, winning is a matter of skill, skill is a matter of development.

Seriously though, it’s no one’s game to win. And the only skill you’re sure to develop is in the art of being an asshole.

Less Envy, More Fanmail: JEFFREY BROWN

on music, favorite flavors of ice cream, and dreams where teeth fall out

I first came across Jeffrey Brown’s work in a volume of McSweeney’s that was devoted entirely to comics. Between pages and pages of neat lines and heavily conceptualized artwork by Chris Ware, Tomine, and David Heatley (other really awesome guys you should check out if you’re into graphic novels) were a few excerpts from Minisulk in Brown’s crude signature style and I instantly fell in love. This was around three years ago, I think. Since then I’ve accumulated most of his work and sent him fanmail twice (because I’m a dork that way).

After the jump is his reply from the second time.

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Less Envy, More Fanmail: CHAD KOURI

I emailed Chad Kouri of Long Live Analog about his internal soundtrack because I like picking at the brains of people whose work I admire, and he does amazing collages which become studies for amazing graphic design work. Funny thing is you do hear Parker and Coltrane play in your head as you go through his collages, most of which involve the juxtaposition of postwar American pop-culture imagery in a way that exposes the subtexts and darker undertones. Think of how your mind’s eye arrives at a Weegee photograph by marathoning Leave it to Beaver.

However, most of the collages still retain a sense of whimsy and leave out the blatant cynicism, making evident the kind of influence that jazz holds on Kouri’s work.
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