find what speaks to you: lessons learned in @Pier1.

Collage, Drawings, Writing

inspired by my #oneword2014, i recently committed to a new challenge: read 52 books in 52 weeks (otherwise known as #52in52.) in true sue form, i tweeted this earlier in the week:


despite new-challenge-excitement-jitters, i hit a bump in the road in the form of my first book, Bursts: The Hidden Patterns Behind Everything We Do. i started this book a few months ago, read about eighty pages and stopped. something just wasn’t grabbing my attention and i was struggling to power through. i was puzzled as to why i was having such a hard time doing something that i enjoyed spending time doing.


i figured out the answer over the holiday break. i ventured into Pier 1 Imports to partake in my normal after Christmas sales when i spotted one of the characters from their commercials. my mind immediately played their catchy jingle:

find what speaks to you.

i had an ah-ha moment. finding things that speak to me often lead to moments of reflection, revelation and most importantly, production. as Tim refers to in his post, it’s not the quotes or the catchy jingles. it’s beyond that. the book i attempted to read wasn’t inspiring to me at the time. overwhelmed with other projects, my focus was elsewhere. i was just looking to read the book because, honestly…i thought i should.

i restarted and finished the book in the first few days of the year…because i wanted to do it.

projects, relationships, jobs, life – they may not be inspiring every minute of every day. however, the importance of why you are taking action is. find your why – your real why – and your inspiration will follow.


perfectly imperfect.

Collage, Paintings, Writing

this one goes out to all the perfectionists out there.

i have never been the competitive type. there are half marathons medals hanging in my office, not for having the fastest time, but for race completion. i tend to be quick to reflect, not so much to judge. i have more faith in the journey more often than the destination.

i think some of those lessons came to at head during the creation of this piece:




see that piece of string wriggling its way under the purple paint? that little sucker mysteriously made its way onto my work the day after i left it in the studio room to dry. to say that i was aggravated was an understatement at the time; my artist (read: personal) development was in a state of flux and i was trying to control it all as best as i could. i had finally gotten some positive feedback about my work and then this happens. it set me off.

i clearly remember my professor coming over and asking why i looked like someone had just stolen my lunchbox. as i started to explain why, i pulled a typical-sue move and started to tear up. he looked at me, smiled, and simply said, “things happen, you just have to embrace it.”

as we move towards busy season this year, this statement resonates with me in so many ways, both personally and professionally. mistakes are okay, random strings in your painting do happen, and yeah, it is important to embrace it – and then let it go. (isn’t the best part of an embrace looking at the thing you care about after you let go anyway?)

here’s hoping that the next few months are ready for some up close and personal embracing.

march 2008
five inches by five inches
acrylic and mixed media on canvas

vulnerability & the in-betweens: the final edit.

Collage, iArt, Writing

birthdays are often a time for reflection.

one of my favorite parts of the day is around 8PM, i call my mom. we stay on the phone for a few minutes or so as she tells me the story of how i was born. we laugh, we cry, and we love.

birthdays are often a time for celebration.

i had the opportunity to set time aside to catch up with some of my closest girlfriends on saturday night. on monday, most of my family got a chance to sit and have dinner. Dan and i are going out to dinner tonight. i have gotten countless likes, messages, texts, emails, tweets & sweets – i am overwhelmed and incredibly grateful.


i am reflecting and celebrating in my own quiet way this year. true to my #oneword2013, i was able to #finish the piece i have been working on – just in time for my birthday. the secret of all secrets? this is the first large scale piece i’ve completed in two years. it’s the first piece that i have shared from beginning to end.


it certainly feels good to be back.

the in-betweens
3 ft x 3 ft
in progress – february 2013
acrylic & mediums on canvas

touch & go.

Collage, Paintings




my brother, sister and i used to play monopoly a good amount when we were younger. i played the role of the banker in almost every game. i am not really sure how that worked its way into this piece, but i guess that memory now has a colorful home.

sometimes, stream of consciousness in the creative process is just what the doctor ordered.

six inches x six inches
february 2008
acrylic, sharpie & tape on canvas

the sweetness.

Collage, Paintings




i was asked a question on friday that stuck with me the whole weekend – how does creating art make you feel? it was a simple question that i had trouble answering. after rummaging around my brain and my apartment, i finally found the answer.

cathartic release is a term i use frequently when discussing art. however, most of my artlove comes from getting lost in the process – setting up paints, pumping up the music, and ‘working’ on a piece for the next few hours. i recently finished this book by John Green and his quote, “i fell in love the way you fall asleep. slowly then all at once,” perfectly describes how i fell for creating.

i fell so hard, i even shared my dessert with this piece.

five inches x five inches
march 2008
mixed media & paint on canvas