I Finally Caved

Like a lemming to a cliff.

I swore I would never join Twitter, but I have to admit, it’s the character limit that got me: anything that forces me to distill and edit can’t be a bad thing! So follow me at @BLCKSMTHdesign, or you can subscribe on Facebook. I’ll be exploring the “lighter side” of design. I’ll also talk about carving a new path for yourself with nothing but your wits.


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Sculpture by Lee Bontecou, the inspiration for my set design for Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”, coming April 2013 to Sacred Fools Theater

Wow, what a busy month August has been! If it felt like a permanent vacation before, it sure doesn’t now. I’m in the “building my portfolio” stage at the moment, so I’m taking on a lot of projects, but I’m also saying “no” to a few things that I wish I didn’t have to.

I’m usually not a fan of listing projects like this, it doesn’t sound very…humble. “Humblebrag, anyone?” But seriously, people have been asking a lot about what I have coming up, so for those who are curious, here’s the rundown of what I said “yes” to:

I’m going to Assistant-Direct The Coarse Acting Show, written by Michael Green, directed by Paul Plunkett (who also wrote a segment for this production), at Sacred Fools Theater. The theater is my homebase, and Paul is going to be great to work with.

A couple of my paintings are being carried at The Juicy Leaf in Venice, on Abbot-Kinney! The store is a gallery/gift-shop concept, that’s eclectic and sophisticated at the same time. The team there is enthusiastic and smart, and I’m happy to have my work shown there. Continue reading 0 to 60…

4 Things That Set My Brain On Fire, August

Sometimes my brain needs a jump-start. Here are a few things I checked out this week, to fan the flames of my imagination.

1. Made In LA at The Hammer Museum

Meg Cranston’s California (2006), photo by Jeff Sturges

This was pretty great. Made In LA is what it sounds like: a show of artists living in Los Angeles. There was some cool stuff, including Liz Glynn’s Anonymous Needs and Desires, an installation of a huge cabinet of brightly colored drawers, with cast-lead everyday objects that patrons could place in, take out, and manipulate however you want. Another highlight was the app for the show, the Soundmap. You turn it on your phone, drive around, and it plays music curated by local collective DUBLAB. But then you hit a “hotspot”, and an artist briefly interrupts to tell you something specific to that area of town that inspired them, or just a random observation. So cool!

Continue reading 4 Things That Set My Brain On Fire, August

Ghosts Over My Shoulder


photo by Shaela Cook

It was never a part of my plan, never something that even factored into my life-changing decision to “pursue my bliss”, to consider what people would think about the inherent uncertainty of the act. It never occurred to me to wonder if people would scoff, or mutter about the rashness of the decision…and I was startled when I, a person known for putting everything I do through the filter of “But what will other people think?“, realized I didn’t care about that. But it surprised me even more when I started wondering what, if anything, the people in my life who have passed would think of my decision, and of my art. What would my brother John, who passed away 20 years ago, think of all this? Continue reading Ghosts Over My Shoulder

Plumbing the Depths

He paused for a moment, hands poised above the keyboard, wondering if he was going to write another story about talking possums, or dumb but lovable deer. “Ah, f**k it,” he muttered, and started another story about a dyslexic lemur that just couldn’t catch a break.

Or maybe not. I started this blog to chronicle my big life decision to leave my retail career after 20 years, and only do doing things that fulfill me creatively and artistically. I know: BOR-ing! No one has ever had that impulse, right? Continue reading Plumbing the Depths

This ends badly.