Archive | March 2012

Pucará: Vertical Five Faves





Pucará: First Five Faves





The GOOD 30-Day Challenge: Art Every Day


Today I will be teaching some of my fellow trainees how to make art out of things that some may consider trash (or recyclables). This afternoon we will be melting plastic bags to create a new plastic fabric in addition to weaving paper wrappers and making beads and origami out of magazines. Doing these projects makes me extremely happy but also makes me miss Starting Artists! I’ve been trying to keep up with making things – from teaching my host mom how to turn our teabag wrappers into bracelets to leading two charlas on how to make paper beads (see photos above) but it’s been a while since I’ve had enough time just to hang out and be creative.

That’s why I’m so happy that I recently found out about GOOD’s 30-Day Art Challenge. Paul and I are thinking of doing this challenge once we’re settled into our site so stay tuned!

These prompts remind me of one of my favorite artists, Miranda July, and her project: “Learning to Love You More” that was both a book and a website (now acquired by SF MoMA!). She is the screenwriter and director of the fabulously quirky film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, as well as a writer, a performance artist, and a musician.

Between 2002 and 2009, 8,000 people participated in the Learning to Love You More project, which included exhibitions, screenings and radio broadcasts all over the world. Check out Miranda July’s fantastic prompts on the Learning to Love You More website and see below for GOOD’s 30-Day Art Challenge (really 31 days).

Happy Arting, Mari


Art Every Day Tasks

Visit a museum or gallery

Take a street art walking tour

Take a photo

Research an artist

Create something handmade and give it to someone

Sign up for an art class

Create a floral or stone arrangement

Make a self-portrait

Doodle for 10 minutes straight

Frame something you have been meaning to frame

Sketch somebody and give them the picture

Create a font type for your name

Create a business card

Check out an art book at the library

Break something. (You have to destroy in order to create!)

Make a collage

Support the local arts scene by going to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit, etc.

Make a card for someone you love

Make an inspiration board (moodboard) for a future project

Draw some chalk art on the sidewalk

Make origami

Finger paint

Illustrate a song that inspires you

Add an art blog’s RSS feed to your reader

Draw the best part of today

Send a friend a link to your favorite artist’s work

Create a place in your home to store your creative supplies

Close your eyes and draw for five minutes

Draw yourself as a cartoon

Take your camera with you on a walk and document the experience

Create an artist’s workspace in your home

Omnibus 107 T-Shirt Design


We’ve been talking about printing up a t-shirt for our Training Class here in Ecuador (we’re Omnibus 107) so I decided to create a mock-up of a design. **Nikki** gave me the idea for the map (I think other Omnibuses have featured maps on their shirts) so I tried my hand at drawing Ecuador today with all of its 24 provinces. The final t-shirt would have each trainee’s name in the province of their site and the front would feature a version of the design I made for buttons I handed out during Staging.

We’ll see what the rest of the aspirantes says and then we’ll have to see which shop can print the final design.


I Heart Infographics


It’s no secret that I love infographics (see my Peace Corps Infographic here and a post about Occupy Design here). Not all infographics are created equal, unfortunately, but if you know where to look you can find some gems. In addition to my favorite place to find infographics: Good Magazine’s Transparency Site, I recently found a new source:

I’m thinking of creating some infographics about our time here in Ecuador inspired by the work of Daytum co-founder Nicholas Felton who is best known for chronically his life through Annual Reports (see my 1 Year Anniversary gift to Paul here).

I love infographics because at their best, not only are they are a visually engaging way to communicate data, infographics represent a mix between right-brain and left-brain skills. If you haven’t read Daniel Pink’s, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, you should. Really. Right away. I’ve been talking about the importance of fostering both right- and left-brain skills for years but Pink’s book makes the argument from the perspective of a left-brain person, which is especially valuable.

As our world turns more towards a synthesis of right- and left-brain communication, it is imperative that we prepare young minds in both of these approaches. At Starting Artists, I introduced my students to infographics in order for them to appreciate this  and create. Below, enjoy a few of my recent favorite infographics. Click on the image to go to the source.







The Tumbaco Index: Part II


# of days in Ecuador


# of nights slept outside of Tumbaco


# of dogs at host family’s house in Pucará


# of dogs currently barking in Tumbaco


# of novels Mari has read since arriving


# of Downton Abbey episodes watched


# of seasons of West Wing watched


# of ice cream cones Paul consumes per day


Most starches served in a single meal (potato, rice, pasta, & bread)


Average cost of daily lunch per person


Actual cost of 3 pieces of bread from the corner store


Cost of 3 pieces of bread at the same store taking into account the Gringo Tax


Cost of a bag of organic strawberries


Cost of bus ride to Training Center


Cost of 1 pair of ladies rubber boots


# of stores visited to cost compare rubber boots


% of waking hours Mari wore rubber boots on site visit


# of blog posts written since arrival in Ecuador


# of photos Mari has taken


# of videos Mari has made since arriving


Date of Swearing In Ceremony


Tumbaco: Next Five Faves





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