LAURA JOHNSTON

•••••• artist ••••••

Tidbits (of Late)

Tidbits, Creative ProcessLaura JohnstonComment
"Bananapanada" - 4" spontaneous embroidery for a friend

"Bananapanada" - 4" spontaneous embroidery for a friend

I've got so much energy back and have been up to a lot lately, most of which I keep contained to Instagram. If you're into these little peeks at what's going on, follow me there! That'd be awesome.

Yesterday I wrecked myself* by deciding I just had to get this lingering urge to embroider something out of my system. I spent literally all day making that bananapanada, named such because when I showed my boyfriend he said, "Oh, that's cute! Is it a banana? Or an empanada?" I'm like, that's fair. Lol! Had I taken the time to sketch it out first it may not have turned out so fat, but sketching just isn't my bag most of the time. I like to get right into it.

*By 'wrecked myself' I mean I could barely walk this morning because my SI joint was so out of whack. It was all I could do to tear myself away from the embroidery for long enough to get a drink of water yesterday, and the sitting hunched over my project for however many hours sure didn't fair well for my body! Good news is that I'm feeling 80% better now.

Excuse my language but how this happened is honestly still a mystery to me. The paintbrush was INSIDE the inside of a pen?!

Excuse my language but how this happened is honestly still a mystery to me. The paintbrush was INSIDE the inside of a pen?!

LOOK AT THAT GNARLY INK BLOTCH ON MY MOUTH! Are we serious right now? That'll show me not to hold paintbrushes in my mouth. (Probably not.)

LOOK AT THAT GNARLY INK BLOTCH ON MY MOUTH! Are we serious right now? That'll show me not to hold paintbrushes in my mouth. (Probably not.)

Fast forward to a hilarious mishap from this morning. I was actually painting on the envelope of a letter to a friend, or preparing to paint, when I realized my left hand was wet and looked down to see what I thought was purple paint everywhere. Only I wasn't using purple paint. Two investigative seconds later and I realize this is not paint, but ink, because my paintbrush has somehow become lodged inside of the plastic inner part of a purple pen. HOW?! Ok, I understand that I may have set it into my utensils holder and it got stuck that way, but the mystery is that the only purple pen I can think of was fully housed in its pen shelter. With a clicky button end and side clip and the whole nine yards; there was no random ink cartridge of purple ink anywhere. What? Who is pranking me?!

So that was fun. I managed to nearly clear the ink off of my face but my hands are still a bit purple. Rather purple. I'll finish them up later.

I took these photos recently (with my iPhone) and I really want to go back to that spot + wander to others for a photo session with my actual camera, but I haven't done it yet. I really miss shooting so much sometimes, but it usually passes when I remember how cumbersome carrying a camera and equipment around is. Maybe this weekend?

Giant poster of a project that's been going on behind the scenes.

Giant poster of a project that's been going on behind the scenes.

See here! This poster is laying on a people-sized couch, for size reference. It's huge! This image comes from a collaboration I am doing with my friend Sarah, whom I know from my photography days when she was modeling. We talk nearly everyday now and earlier this year decided to embark on a project together that would inspire others to loosen up and laugh a little. Her photography + my painting = a collaboration of silly proportions. Our first finished piece (this image) was inspired by a poor roadkill stuffed Spongebob I passed on the highway one evening. There are more in the works, and each original is being created on an 11x14 photo print. 

Other bits:

My new cheetah painting from Kelzuki, surrounded by Mexican folk art and alebrijes in my kitchen.

My new cheetah painting from Kelzuki, surrounded by Mexican folk art and alebrijes in my kitchen.

A little water vessel I painted at SoFa Sketch night here in San Jose (hosted by Frances Marin) + a peek of mixed media pieces in the background.

A little water vessel I painted at SoFa Sketch night here in San Jose (hosted by Frances Marin) + a peek of mixed media pieces in the background.

My favorite tote (that Devon Sioui made!), rocking the Mickey yin-yang pin.

My favorite tote (that Devon Sioui made!), rocking the Mickey yin-yang pin.

Brothers! My new journal from Ashen Fire Originals matches the card pouch she made me previously. I love her work.

Brothers! My new journal from Ashen Fire Originals matches the card pouch she made me previously. I love her work.

Aforementioned mixed media pieces (in progress). These were started with scribbles I made one frustrated morning earlier this year.

Aforementioned mixed media pieces (in progress). These were started with scribbles I made one frustrated morning earlier this year.

My Disney pins + my corgi pin for le animalé! I love small awesomeness.

My Disney pins + my corgi pin for le animalé! I love small awesomeness.

And finally,

Pieces from a creative free-for-all session a couple of weeks ago with Lucia Dill.

Pieces from a creative free-for-all session a couple of weeks ago with Lucia Dill.

creative free-for-alls! This is something I've been back-burner wanting to do for a long, long time now. Since before I moved to California, and more strongly since I got to California. When I got here, I wanted to create some sort of creative meet-up where anyone interested could come hang out and make something, in a more organized way than just chillin' (although sometimes maybe just chillin'). I made some attempts, but my vision wasn't quite clear, and I could feel myself holding back. I feel much more clarity now! Creative free-for-alls are a fun way to bust creative block, let go, and tap into a child-like sense of creating without the nagging need to be in control, or to overthink things, or to know what's going to happen, etc. Now that I am feeling more in my body and have some energy back, I've gotten the ball rolling on this and it's been great so far. There is a lot for me to figure out and learn, of course. I love sharing projects and creative energy with other people, and encouraging them (and myself) to be in the moment and just enjoy the process. There will definitely be more development on this moving forward (and if you're in the bay area, feel free to get in touch about it!).

Mmk! That was a fun update. Now it's time for lunch before I get all hangry. I hope everyone has an awesome 4th of July weekend!