Friday, July 25, 2014

Rockin' Event Review: The Beatles in Minnesota

On July 24, 2014, I attended the The Beatles In MN - An Exclusive W Happening Event at the Foshay in Minneapolis.The event featured up-close photography from their concert on August 21, 1965 at the (Old) Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. This was their only stop in MN during that tour and it was believed that no up-close photos were taken of the show. As it turns out Bob Bonis, who was The Beatles US tour manager, had taken photos right on stage during the performance. They were packed away in his basement and lost to the music world for decades.

After 40 years these photos were rediscovered by his son. For the full story visit where you can see the photos and purchase limited edition, hand-numbered prints with a Certificate of Authenticity from The GRAMMY Museum®.

They had wonderful appetizers, cocktails, a DJ playing all The Beatles music, and the venue really complimented the subject matter. I really appreciated getting to see these lost pieces of rock & roll history! I was also really impressed by the composition of these stunning black and white photos. You would never know that Bob Bonis was jut a hobbyist photographer by the composition of the photos.

The Beatles impacted popular culture in a way no band ever has and their legacy will never be lost. Even Aerosmith has covered "Come Together" and were part of the innovative movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as the evil band of the future. I hope you stop on by and get your own glimpse of this British invasion. The photos will be on display till August 3rd. The exhibit begs you to grab a friend and 'come together right now... over me.'

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creatives That Rock: Brigette's Journey to New Lungs

Brigette McKern, has been a professional graphic designer since 2004 when she started with the Walt Disney Company, but she was designing even at 8 years old. "I used to design my own cereal box and can labels and tape them over the boxes and cans in the cupboards of our kitchen," she says. She is now using her creativity and her courage in amazing ways. She is documenting her journey, raising funds, and also raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis.

At 4 years old Brigette was diagnosed with the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis. This incurable disease causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. Her long term solution is a double lung transplant. She has been on the transplant waiting list now for two years. She has started a facebook page to tell her story. The facebook page "Brigette's Journey to New Lungs" documents her day to day challenges. Brigette used to try to hide her symptoms. She didn't want pity, or to be discounted because of her illness. Sharing her story has helped her feel much more confident about this difficult life journey.

She also finds comfort and stability in her artistic abilities. "One minute I may be creating a self-portrait expressing my current state of illness, and the next minute I'm illustrating a cupcake with a smiley face. Having a chronic illness made me feel like I didn't have absolute control of my life. But being creative is something that illness can't take from me and I can have complete control over," says Brigette.

This quirky illustration by Brigette is a self-portrait with her oxygen in tow.

She has also started a booster campaign selling shirts to help with medical expenses and to raise awareness. Her sense of humor really shines through in this design!

To support Brigette you can visit her booster page and purchase one of these rockin' shirts! You can also visit her CaringBridge site.

"I hope that my story inspires confidence and self esteem. We're all so hard on ourselves and see nothing but flaws when we turn inward. But what we think are flaws are things that make us who we are. It's a lifelong path, but a really wonderful one to take. And if your path also includes some bumps along the way, I hope that you are inspired to take things head-on with strength, and a little bit of humor too!"

Brigette has really opened my eyes to the struggle of having a chronic illness and has inspired me with her strength, talent, and openness. Her art, her spirit, and her tenacity is a force to be reckonned with! To quote Steven Tyler, "I have to get inspired by something that touches my soul, or rocks my soul."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Rockin' Event Review: Posters and Pints Charity

I attended Posters and Pints on Saturday, June 21 at the Uppercut Boxing Gym, and it was an amazing event! I don't know how to review an event featuring well designed posters supporting my beloved charity of Art Buddies without spending the whole time raving! So I am going to keep it short!

The event featured local breweries and local artist work with 30% of the proceeds going to support Art Buddies. The crowd was purchasing art and the whole event had a fun energy. They had two levels of tickets, with one featuring unlimited beer sampling and one for designated drivers at a reduced cost. Below are some pictures of the posters at the event.

Yes, I now own Meowpolis.

 CLICK HERE to visit their website and see all the talented artists that participated! If you missed out this year I highly recommend attending their next event. To paraphrase Steven Tyler, "You Won't Want to Miss a Thing!"

All artwork is copyright of the original artists and Posters and Pints.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Twenty-Some Things I Learned In My Twenty-Somethings: #5

7 to 2 in the morning is plenty of time to do damage

This is my favorite quote from Gary Vanerchuk. And I know from experience that it is pure gold.

If you don't completely enjoy your 9-5, remember you have time to do what you love. There is always time to work and make it happen. As Gary would say, "Stop watching F#cking Lost." 

Stop whining.
Stop saying it is too hard. 
Stop saying your don't have enough time.
Stop expecting everything to be handed to you.
Stop thinking you are the greatest and everyone knows that because of that one thing you once did. 

If you don't get what you want from 9-5 make it happen in the off hours. And yes, it is possible.

Gary V is an amazing marketer. He is all about working his competition into the ground. He has written some awesome books and here is the epic speech of his that this quote comes from. 

Gary V. and Steven Tyler are my two favorite east coast guys that live so authentically that there is no doubt about who they are. They work their @$$es off and they pursue what they are passionate about. And neither of them whine about not having enough time, needing down time, or that it is too hard.

PS- Gary, if you ever see this. I created the graphic in NY Jets colors. Because I know one day you will own the NY Jets.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Twenty-Some Things I Learned In My Twenty-Somethings: #4

Student Loans Are A BIG Problem

I didn't realize how much until it was WAY too late.

I always knew I would attend college. I was an active A student in high school and I knew exactly where I wanted to go to college. Due to a family emergency I had to change plans an attend another university last minute. This left me with almost no financial aid.

It is a family joke that my college fund was spent taking me to Disney when I was a toddler. True or not my parents didn't see any reason to save for me to go to college. And why should they have? When they got out of college they had just a tiny bit of debt between the two of them. Even my cousin who went to college a decade before only had about $10,000 worth of debt. There was no real precedent of what was going to happen to me and so many in my generation. All we knew was that we had to go to college to get a good job, and if we had to take out loans, so be it.

Well I am now done with college and have over $70k worth of student loans I am paying off. I pay more every month on my student loans than my cousins pay on their mortgage. This burden is far greater than I ever understood when I was signing my name on loan papers. Loans were the only way I knew to get that ever important diploma. Currently my generation is buying houses at a slower rate than any generation before. Not surprising when you consider how the money I pay on these loans could be put towards a down payment.

I am not the best with money and I am sure a business major would have done far better with understanding loans than I did. But I am not the only one stuck in this same trap. Congratulations to the class of 2014 in having the highest rate of student loan debt ever at $30K average!

Many students went to grad school because no internship would pay enough for those loans. So they just stayed in school to rack up more debt! 

So there it is. I am done complaining. As Steven Tyler would say, "I'm sick of your complainin' about how many bills."

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Twenty-Some Things I Learned In My Twenty-Somethings: #3

Collect Memories Not Stuff

I am a scrapbooker, and a collector of Disney art books, setlists, autographs, and art. And I do not live the minimalist lifestyle (I have 50+ pairs of shoes to prove it). However, most things I own have a memory attached to them. I have moved across the country six times now, and every time I move, I have to get rid of almost everything. This has shown me what is important and what is just stuff.

Everything I have ever owned to "Keep up with the Jone's" has never had any true emotional value. It is the items that remind me of a person, a place, or a memory, that I end up keeping. No matter what happens in your life, your memories can never be taken away. Collect those memories and clear the clutter. You will be a better person for it. The memories are all you can take with you. As Steven Tyler would say, "maybe tomorrow the good Lord will take you away."

UPDATE 6/3/14:

CLICK HERE to vote for this design on Threadless!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Twenty-Some Things I Learned In My Twenty-Somethings: #2

Surround Yourself with Inspiration

This simple idea is a foundation in my life that pushes me to do better. I have a few examples of this to share.

Which one of these motivates you to get up and try something new? Watching 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo' or 'Design on a Dime' that shows you how to update a room in your house inexpensively.

Which friend brings out the best in you? Friend A, that only calls you when they are having significant other troubles and/or needs a favor, or Friend B, who invites you to cool activities around the city.

Which item makes you happiest when you see it? A photo of you meeting your idol, or a bowl with decorative wicker balls.

You can see where I am going with this. The world around us has the power to engage us and lift us to new heights. From people to pictures, surrounding yourself with inspiration is a very powerful change you can make in your everyday life!

This is my favorite picture of all time. Steven Tyler and me in 2012. I keep copies EVERYWHERE! It not only makes me smile every time I see it but it reminds me that I can do anything.

You can guess the amount of decorative wicker balls I have in my house. I am guessing Steven doesn't have any either...