Mortar board tells all.

In 2008, I moved to Brooklyn to attend Hunter College and study dance. A small U-haul truck loaded with a mattress, my clothes, various art supplies, and my cat served as a vessel for transition. It should have been the easiest move ever, considering the light load.

But why should it be easy? ;)

The ride from Rochester, NY to NYC only lasts about 6.5 hours, 7 maybe. I cannot even say how long it took me to reach my new home in Crown Heights that day. I've blocked the exact number of extra hours out, and so has my cat.
Lost on the NJ turnpike (I had driven to NYC a MILLION times, but on that hot August day in a non air conditioned truck...who knows.) a state cop asked me how I gained access to their parking lot, which is apparently secure. He was baffled, I was lost, Meara (the cat) was hot. Have you seen a cat pant? I didn't know my cat could pant until that day.

Finally, I arrive in Brooklyn, ready to meet my dear friends who were waiting to lend a hand in unpacking & welcome me into my new home.

Did you know that when you move into a new place, you should always check the city parade schedule? Now you do. If I never write anything of use to you again, please remember this one helpful tip. I never wish upon you a duplicate of the events that unfolded that day.

Obviously traffic was at a standstill, I was calling everyone apologizing for scheduling a move during the West Indian Day Parade which marched and danced and boomed right past my new building, and meara was still panting. I was blocks away from my moving party, and yet it took me hours to arrive.
My amazing friends never once became upset during the worst move. Ever.
Later, while snacking with my pal Tim over some tasty buss up shut roti, I began to slowly realize the new path my life was taking.

Moving to NYC is hard. I'm convinced everyone goes through a hazing period of some kind. Whether it is monetary circumstance or just getting the pace into your bones, it's just different here than other places. Which is just about the most arbitrary and true sentence I could have written.
Mine included: Trucking up the 59th street station escalator, which was broken, with a severe case of bronchitis my first winter here. I was slow, people yelled. I got some Jewish guy that lived in the neighborhood arrested for aggravated entry after he followed me into my building and asked if we could "make yoga". That thanksgiving there was a double homicide on the doorstep of my building. The kids in the building wrote 'bitch' on my door because I didn't want to buy their school chocolates. Oh well. The building got bed bugs which means I got bedbugs. Meara also had bedbugs. They spare no mammal. Gun shots in neighboring apartments became semi normal.

I mostly stayed at Hunter. I slept over there many nights. The seventh floor studio is very private. I don't think anyone knew, or at least they didn't say anything.

The 10 year old who owns these shades is cooler than me. Trust.
Eventually, I got the hang of things.
I moved to Bushwick. I broke up with a guy I was dating back in Rochester. I took some time off from school & worked, found stability, made a support network here, went to Australia, made new and awesome friends, danced a lot, cried a lot, sang a lot, and made some art. Then I went back in the fall of 2012 to finish what I came here to do and even jetted off to Argentina on a Gilman scholarship. Not bad.

I'm pretty proud of what I've made of myself so far. I'm not rich, I don't have letters to follow my name, and I haven't even seen my name in lights, but I have learned huge important lessons that may not have come my way until much later had I chosen a different path. Who knows?

I earned what I have with the support of my parents, my school, and my friends. I am lucky. Very lucky.

I love Brooklyn. I don't know if NYC is my home forever, but I am glad that my dream of living here is now made true. I always knew I would move here, and I will continue to travel and launch into new phases.

I am more myself now than I ever have felt. Finally.

I welcome the changes that are coming, and I thank all the people and opportunities along the way.


You can teach yourself this skill, but it's hard. I recommend a professional. Me! ;)

Hey! One thousand page views this month people! Not a lot for Sir Internet, but I am impressed...

I don't care if those views are accidental page hits or not. Pretty neat that someone, even a robot, is clicking around.

In celebration of this, I give you something I was already making anyways:


Some trunks are bigger than others.

Taking orders, so let me know what color and you too can have a lovely cute, completely unpredictable elephant. Ellie Fant. Elli Phunk. Ello Font.

Unpredictable because I have no clue how each one is going to turn out. Ever.

But seriously, if you want one, ping me.




I have never had a coach before. Well, maybe once, in t-ball or when I learned to swim, but that does not count because I was not on a real team and the only thing that coach did was throw me in the deep end as I screamed and cried.

I was that kid. Oh well.

Regardless, I suppose I have been coming to terms with the idea that I can't do it all alone, and also, I don't want to! I LIKE having people around me, I ENJOY being in a class, and I LOVE discussing ideas out loud.

So I got a creative coach and there are group sessions and it is all hunky dory. Ah yes. 'Hunky dory'

Anyway, what I am realizing is that I kinda need to be a little bit of that jerk coach and throw myself in the deep end. Because for every compliment I receive about how much someone liked my piece or whatever, I always secretly think to myself, 'thank you but you haven't seen what I can

And what kind of shit is that? What am I waiting for? Have I seen what I can really do?

Ugh. Just do it already. I know I'm not alone in this. Most artists will relate to this at some point.

Sometimes I think about how this blog is mostly quite personal and doesnt really touch on issues other than, well...me. But something about taking this time to write it out, post it publically (for, like, the two people who read this-Hi Dad!) to see, and thus take some sort of tangible responsibility for what I write and think and say feels necessary.

(Side note - My need for permission has really got to go. It seriously hasn't ever been productive.)

I pulled a card from the Artist Way card deck while at the group meeting. I'm on my ipad, so linking to the author is not gonna happen. Google it-worth it, I promise you.

Anyway-my card was Strength, and this is what it told me

"As you learn to recognize, nurture, and protect your inner artist, you will be able to move beyond pain and creative constriction. You will learn ways to recognize & resolve fear, remove emotional scar tissue, & strengthen your confidence. Damaging old ideas about creativity will be explored and discarded."

That is one hell of a fortune cookie.

I think a lot of art comes from pain, and perhaps can even be born out of emotional scar tissue. Then again, I've been wrong before.

I suppose what all the words I wrote tonight really come down to is this:
I want to spend more time doing what it is that I do.

Dance. Create. Teach.

More of this.