Monday, March 10, 2014

Sprung

Y'all know I'm good at this.

Hey babies-

I know this winter was live, but believe it or not, spring is just around the corner. No joke, it's gonna be all light nights, tank tops, tans, and, my personal fave...baseball (I mean, opening day is 3 weeks from today y'all)!!!


Os WIN.

Spring training game in Tampa, Os v Yakees...and another one in the WIN column for Buck and my boys

All that snow better melt by Wednesday!

Last week I got a bit of a spring preview  when I dipped out on the snow for warmer weather down south, and while there may still be a snowflake or two popping up on my iPhone, I've decided to take my brain full force into the new season.  I'm ready (and excited)to work out new ideas and see what the next few months have in store. 

Today's work features a whole different set up. Doing almost the whole job with my awesome new inks from @bill_stevenson ! #waverlycolorcompany

Next week, I get to cheat on the last few days of Baltimore winter with a trip out west to Los Angeles. This rendezvous will be more work than fun in the sun, but it's cool. Not only am I going to work with new west coast clients, but I am going to have the opportunity to share my paintings and a portrait lesson with an inner city school that currently doesn't have an art program. I'm pretty stoked.

My stylist is 5 years old. #pattern zzzz

My stylist is a five year old.

Doing pattern studies. Yum y um yum! #pattern #sketchbook

Sketch book and acrylic pattern study 

Spring shoe game.

In other studio news, I'm beginning a new body of work that brings some of my personal aesthetic into the formal elements of my portraits. In other words, my new paintings are going to be all about the patterns. I'm looking forward to working with brand new models and prints for days. If these paintings don't say sunny state of mind, I don't know what will.

Excellent photo shoot today getting ready for a new body of work. Looking forward to working with so many new babes when I get back from L.A.

Dominic poses for the first painting in the new series

Speaking of new paintings, it's about time I get to it. Before I go, remember, spring is the perfect excuse to refresh. It's time to shake of any residual winter whining and make things happen. We got this.

later daters,
-Fitz

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gurl, We Need To Catch Up

I'm in print yo! #illustration #fashionillustration #jshoes #lookbook

Hey Y'all-

I was getting ready to post some new illustrations and catch up a bit, and I realized there is so much we haven't talked about lately! There are new paintings in the works, travel, an out-of-state exhibit, getting  over this winter right, and some  new illustration work... I'm just gonna have to catch you up one thing at a time. 

Let's start with this. I know portraits are my thing, but recently I got to jump ship and do some fashion illustration for J Shoes. Don't get me wrong, I love painting all y'all's faces, but this was a nice change of pace. Check it.


cover
Great letter-pressed cover with stitched binding for the newest J Shoes product book

the brogue

production
And the same shoe in production...

new01
This illustration is based on a CAD drawing of a shoe that hasn't 
yet been produced

lace up01

derby

chukka


Anyhoo, it was great to switch things up for a minute. I also got to throw these together for a job that is still pending, so I'm not gonna get into this one too much...but I'm stoked on these. (And shout out to Bill Stevenson and Waverly Color Company for hooking me up with the inks!!!!)

Getting spacey. #illustration #ink #painting

This is a composite. The full paintings can be viewed on my flickr.

We should get together again soon. I'm really excited about things like new paintings, getting to wear a bikini under some palm trees last week, and going to work with some new clients in Los Angeles next week. I'll tell you guys about all that next time. Right now, I'm back to work and then heading to Har Mar Superstar and the Sneaks at Metro. I haven't been out in a crowd in a minute and it will be fun to see all my homies!

TTYL
xoxo,
-Fitz

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Response to "Baltimore City You're Breaking My Heart"

This morning upon my waking social media sweep, I noticed this article trending in my feeds, "Baltimore City, You're Breaking My Heart. This Is Why People Leave." It was often reposted by people who shared the author's sentiment, that Baltimore is a scary, scary place, and that all the people with promise in life are basically going to take their business elsewhere. 

And then one person in my feed called the author out on a certain level of bull. I started to leave my Facebook comment, like, "yeah, yeah, I know what you mean! I kind of hate this article! It's a a load of complaining without any solution except high tailing it out of dodge." 

And then I realized that I had more to say. 


I observed similar sentiments of fear and exclusion during the time when I worked in a certain Baltimore neighborhood. If someone appeared out of place the police were called. The neighborhood hosted its own night separate from Halloween so that the children could trick-or-treat with out the "big kids." I don't know about you, but I saw "big kids" as a euphemism for another "b" word.  


I understand wanting to preserve property values in neighborhoods that are surrounded by those that are not so savory. It is a constant struggle to keep a neighborhood in this city void of crime and litter while maintaining a certain standard of visual prestige. People have put endless time and money into the preservation of their homes and neighborhoods. That is commendable and I get it. 

But basically, it seems that this author, as with the residents of that particular "community", would be a-ok with crime and litter as long as none of it stumbles onto her block. It's why people move away instead of staying in a neighborhood and being one of the positive role models. Sure, no one likes the idea of robberies, murders, drug deals, trees full of plastic, streets full of discarded drug baggies, but if they had the ability to put all their money together and build a magical fence to isolate these things from their neighborhoods...boom! My bet is that they'd do it in a heartbeat. 

And then forget that these plagues exist. 

These plagues are for other people. These plagues are for poor people. The author is "tired of being surrounded by drug addicts." I'm sure there are drug addicts in her life whose problem she is unaware of. They have resources to mask their addictions outwardly. They are not poor. 

This is a city that needs integration, and productive members of society like the author to contribute her resources (time, knowledge, writing abilities, etc) back into her community instead of hiding from it. And by her community, I'm not just talking about  like-minded, college educated homeowners. I'm talking about all the people who are a part of the space that she complains about.

In the same breath, I also don't condone being naive. That would be straight stupid.  There are dangers out there. I'm a single woman who lives a block off of Greenmount, two blocks north of where the blue lights spot corners. My old apartment was robbed 3 times, once when I was home asleep. I don't walk at night with my phone out. I look up and down the street before I get out of my car. I've heard people on my street mention "catching bodies." I'm no longer a young, idealist art school kid. I'm 36 years old. I want to be safe too. I am not talking about being naive. 

I am talking about being a strong presence in one's neighborhood. I am talking about looking into the troubled neighborhoods surrounding one's own, and starting a dialogue on how the things that are good in one's own surroundings can trickle out

You've had a middle class upbringing,  bought a nice house in Baltimore, and you want to be surrounded by other mostly-white, educated, "non-scary" people with bank accounts and yoga matts. You want the people who are poor and addicted to drugs to be punished for their circumstances so that they can be put away and you don't have to see them. Sure, moving away in a self-righteous huff and puff may be the easy way out, but if your heart is really broken about the condition of your beloved city, stop complaining and do something about it. 


I love you,
-Fitz

ps. None of this is to say that the city and state officials are doing a good job with the state of crime in Baltimore. At all. But we are obviously doing it wrong.  It is free to adopt a vacant lot, there are tons of volunteer mentoring programs, etc. There are things that  each person who was lucky enough not to be born into that life can do to contribute.