August 31, 2010

Artist's Block

If you could take a stroll inside my brain at this very moment, you would find yourself stranded in the middle of a barren sandy dessert that stretches for miles in every direction. Heat waves ricochet off the sand and slaps you in the face. If you look up, all you'll see is endless stretches of clear blue skies. If you look down, you will only find the dusty tops of your worn beaten shoes. If you squint, you think you see shapes and colors forming in the distance. But if you strain to focus your eyes, the mirage disappears.

Yep. I've got nothin for ya.

August 27, 2010

Great Heights

I love challenges. No. I'm lying. I love the idea of challenges...especially art challenges. About a month ago, I decided I would enter the Society6 Locals Only collaboration show. The theme of the show is to submit a piece reflecting your interpretation of your city/home. Right up my alley, right?! I figured it would be a great exercise to flex my creativity muscles. I was all fired up to go.

But, of course, my creative juices dried up as soon as I hit the "apply" button and I sat there staring at a blank sheet of watercolor paper for days. And then, I forgot...and forgot some more... Until I looked at my calendar and realized the deadline was in 4 days!!! [dun dun dunnnnnn]

So, I pulled myself together and picked my brains.

What better way to show off the city I love than to draw all the local places I love! Not satisfied with simply drawing Houston*, I decided I would showcase my favorite little Houston nook: the fantastic Houston Heights!!!

I chose to include a small sampling of my favorite Heights spots.

A. Mam's House of Ice - Wedding cake snocone with cream. You will thank me.
B. Heights Neighborhood Library - I love the idea of libraries. But I fear library books. I have the-last-person-who-checked-out-this-book-surely-read-it-in-the-can-and-there's-no-way-I'm-touching-this-borrowed-book-phobia. This phobia also reared it's ugly head when I had to buy used college textbooks. [shudders]
C. Carter & Cooley's - Little known fact. Lisa's favorite food? Sandwiches. If Lisa had to pick just one type of sandwich? Chicken salad. Carter & Cooley's chicken salad tastes like the kind Mama Chow used to make.
D. Dacapo's - Strawberry cream cake. You will love me.
E. Mango Beach - Mango smoothie. You will ask me for my hand in marriage.
F. First Saturday Arts Market - Look for the sea of white tent tops. Then look underneath that sea and you'll find a school** of talented local artists and crafters. This little market has a special place in my heart because it's lovely curator [shoutout to Mr. Mitch!] gave me my first real art pat on the first art thumbs first art high five...I could go on.
G. Antidote - Where else can you get coffee AND beer?! As an avid coffee drinker and a nonbeer appreciator, I FINALLY found a spot where my hops-loving friends and I can agree to congregate.
H. Gallery M Squared - It's just a neato art deco structure.
I. Houston skyline - Been there, done that, seen it before. Now, let the great Heights begin!!!

*Houston's a great city. Houston's my home. Space center, Galleria, Water wall, stadiums, museums, towers. With a city so big, there's always new things to be discovered. It's fantastic. paper's only so big and I need focus. =P
**You see how I continued my aquatic theme there? Eh? Ehhhhh? ;)

August 16, 2010

Arrgg Matey

Andrew has been using Urban Outfitters as my benchmark of success ever since I told him about the handful of Etsy illustrators who found their works getting picked up by the giant hipster retailer.*

So imagine my delight and wonderment when I received an email from Society6 that two of my prints were accepted by Urban Outfitters into their Print Shop collaboration!

Ok, so you can't exactly stroll into a brick and mortar Urban Outfitters, saunter to the home department and pick up a Lisa Chow illustration.

Buuut, you CAN use the interweb to navigate on over to the Urban Outfitters website, click on their Apartment category, scroll down to the Print shop, enter the Print Shop splash page, be transported to the Society6/Urban Outfitters collaboration page, index over to pages 8 and 9 of 9 pages worth of prints and find...LISA CHOW PRINTS via Urban Outfitters!**

And to help illustrate this exciting new way to purchase your very own Lisa Chow art, I have included..........a treasure map!!!


*Such as The Black Apple and Berkley Illustrations. They are both full time illustrators/artists. Oh, how I envy thee.
**So I semi-sort of-kinda-in a way-via loophole made my way onto Urban Outfitters. Cause someone over at Urban had to have taken the time to view and liked my stuff enough to include it into their curated selection. Now, if only they would pick a few up to carry in their store. Hint hint. Hello?
***Where paradise awaits you.
****And promises of cupcakes. [Lies]
*****I spent way too much time on this post.

August 8, 2010

I'm Kind of a Big Deal*

"Chow. Lisa Chow. I do believe I'm on the list. I'm...kind of a big deal."
"Why yes, these are my designs and illustrations. Winter hand selected me to design her album art. Yes, Winter and I go very far back. Very far back indeed."
"Wait...what? No, of course I'm not working the merchandise table?! That would be ludicrous! Don't you know I'm a very important artist. Kind of a big deal...hand selected by Winter..."
"See? I told you I know Winter! Proof! PROOF!"**
"No, I do not know the man who heckled*** Robert Ellis. He was not standing next to me. Nor is his name Andrew. Nor am I married to him."
"No, those are not my friends leering at the lead singer of Finnegan. No, they do not think she is the first woman they've seen in a long time who can pull off short hair. No, they do not wonder what their children would look like."
"No, I didn't throw a giant popcorn kernel**** at Winter while she was performing onstage. Really, there's no need to escort us out. We'll behave. I'll be good. Scouts honor."

*A very loose transcript of what conspired the night of Winter Wallace's CD release party. Some truth. Some fiction. But one very real strange little artist plus friends.
**Winter chooses sophisticated red wine. Lisa has friend bring her giant latte.
***WHO DOES THAT?! To be fair...Andrew wasn't trying to be rude. Andrew was trying to be funny. Funny fail.
****Giant popcorn kernel is actually...a sculpture?...that was suspended from the ceiling. I craved popcorn all night. And I don't even like popcorn.

August 2, 2010

White Night

Once a year, us crazy Houstonians don thin layers of white linen, stroll down crowded sidewalks and cracked streets, zigzag our way through the Heights corridors in the sweltering heat for...basically...a giant block party chock full of music, shopping, art, snacks and BOOZE*.

Last year, yours truly participated in this annual event by setting up a little table (while the sun was still out) underneath a little white tent (which allowed for zero air circulation) wearing her little white outfit (at least sweat isn't too visible on white clothing) and confined to her little 10'x10' space (which made it very easy for the mosquitoes to find me, leave to recruit friends and then come back with backup to feast on this stupid Texan sitting outside at night under a spotlight lamp in the dead of summer).

The sunglasses conceal the sweat tears running down my face.

Don't get me wrong. I love White Linen Night and I love every single person who took the time to cast pitiful glances at the pile of sweaty mush that I surely became. But, I lived. I learned. And this year, I vacate that little tent corner to someone braver, more durable and better armed with mosquito repellent. This year, Lisa Chow takes her art to Zelko Bistro and Dessert Shoppe! {confetti cannons boom, horns blare, hands go in the air}

City Love pieces and merchandise at Dessert Shoppe

So, if you count yourself amongst the swarms of crazy Houstonians** who will be walking the streets*** on August 7th between the hours of 6-10pm, stop by Zelko Bistro and/or Dessert Shoppe to view some of my super awesome artwork and to chow**** on some super terrific food/desserts. I wouldn't send you to an eatery simply because my art's up there*****. But the husband and I have actually dined at Zelko's and Dessert Shoppe prior to any art dealings and we are big fans of the food. Mmmm...the meatloaf. Mmmm...the white & choco layer cake. {salivates}

Newer pieces will be on display at Zelko Bistro

I'll be present at Dessert Shoppe for most of the night. But if you swing by Zelko's, tell them Lisa sent ya.****** And then bring me meatloaf. C'mon! Throw an artist a meatloaf!

Tons o' merchandise to sell! Get it while it's hot.

*You must be slightly inebriated to voluntarily spend hours outside in Houston in August. Although, I'm not much of a drinker. I'm just that crazy.
**Count me in.
***I really couldn't help myself. You street walker, you.
****Again. I can't help myself. Get it? Chow? Lisa Chow? I crack myself up.
*****Who am I kidding? I totally would.
******Just for kicks. This actually wouldn't benefit you in any way. But if it does, let me know!