March 26, 2009

Steve Bye Photography

This weekend, I had the pleasure of shooting with Steve Bye. He shot some very nice portraits. Check them out!

March 25, 2009

March 23, 2009

Welcome to my new Art Studio!

Exciting news! I've got my own studio space to paint/make stuff/create in! Well, it's more than a studio's a fabulous community of all sorts of creative people in a newly renovated building in Northeast Minneapolis (called the Mpls Photo Center). The studio is huge...two floors, two kitchens, lounges, tons of open room, print labs, classrooms, fabulous photography studios, gallery name it. This place is seriously awesome. This will be a great year.

Guitar Painting Project

Here are the pictures from the pin-up I painted on Chris's guitar. It turned out great! The guitar is on its way back to Taylor this week to be clear-coated and put together.

Chris Schauf of Catchpenny, holding the guitar when it was just finished.

The whole process was time-lapse video recorded...I can't wait to see it!

At the studio...with my painting mess.

When I first received the guitar from Taylor, it had been painted white and was unfinished. I transferred my original sketch onto the guitar using graphite pencil before I started painting.  Christian is going on tour to Iraq to perform for our soldiers, so he wanted an All-American pin-up saluting our soldiers.  

March 16, 2009

An interesting convo with Paul Isakson from Space 150... this is the future of ad.

A couple weeks ago, Paul Isakson from Space 150 came in as a guest speaker in my class with Tim Brunelle, Future of Advertising. We talked a lot about social media and user generated content and how it is essentially "the future of advertising". This is the kind of stuf that get me excited about my career. I emailed Paul after class, and I was happy to hear his reply. Read the conversation! Smart guy!

On Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 2:19 AM, Valerie Carpender wrote:
Hi Paul-
Thanks for taking the time to come into our Future of Ad class with Tim Brunelle. It was very interesting to hear your thoughts on social media. I always like to talk about social media and how is is fundamentally changing the way marketers and advertisers communicate to their audiences. My favorite part is when brands and/or agencies try so hard to be involved in these media outlets, but fail to understand that we [as consumers] can see right through their mostly self-beneficiary tactics and will reject their attempts- often times continuing to annoy the consumer.

Advertising [I believe] is now all about involving consumers in a relationship with a brand when they want, how they want and for a useful or beneficial reason. It's not about forcing a consumer to believe the brand's words. We're too smart. We will find out the real truth about a brand. "The Google", blogging and user generated content has given us the power of more knowledge than...anything tangible..and this has never happened in history! Do you agree?

Time for change in advertising! Exciting...

Thanks again, I appreciate your time and thought into our class.


Hi Valerie -

Thank you for taking time to write. Sorry for the long delay in responding. Things have been a little crazy at work and I fell way behind on email. I agree 110% with what you are saying. It's very in line with what I've been writing on my blog for some time and have been talking to all of our clients about.

All of this is why having smart ideas backed by great insights is more important now than ever before. If you don't understand what people want/need/crave/etc., figure it out. The thing that baffles me most with how most companies and agencies are looking at social media is at how they can use it to push their messages instead of seeing that it's a direct line of communication with people that can be used to get tons of insights from. There's no excuse for just doing what you (the brand) wants without knowing whether or not people even care. Not when you can get instant feedback from the people you want to reach the most at relatively low cost.

Anyway... you're clearly smart and get it. No need for me to prattle on about it. Ha.

Not sure if you have seen Razorfish's newest report. If not, you might like to take a peek at it:

Any time you want to chat, I'm more than happy to. I have endless passion and energy for this business. Especially the creative. It's what keeps me going.

And if you want to come talk to anyone at space, let me know.

Thanks again for your note,


PS - Took a look at some of your art on Flickr. Very nice work. I especially like the "Yellow" and "Blue Girl" pieces. If you have any shows coming up, please let me know.


paul isakson

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March 15, 2009

Clartity Coverdale Fury ... starting in May!

I have half of a semester of school left, and then it's time to be forced into the big scary world of finding a job as an Art Director in advertising- and I picked a great economic time to do it!

All jokes aside, I have one more feat to accomplish before I get my degree in hand, and that is to finish a 15 credit externship, which is essentially a full time job starting in May. Last week, I had a great and always humorous lunch meeting with Jac Coverdale: my mentor and Partner/ Creative Director at Clarity Coverdale Fury (CCF). The best part about our meeting is that he offered me the externship!

I am looking forward to starting in May and working alongside some great creative people and in an environment that I truly enjoy. My goal is to be a sponge and absorb everything I can.

I am looking forward to this. I can't wait to begin a professional career where I can use my creativity everyday and have the world see it.

March 12, 2009

Painting Projects

I've got to say that I am pretty excited about the project I am being commissioned to do...

This week, I'm going to be custom painting the guitar that will be used by Christian Schauf, the singer of the band CatchPenny. I'll be receiving an unfinished guitar from their sponsor, Taylor Guitars, for me to use as a blank canvas. We're going to try and do some filming of the process and I'll take some pictures to post.

Catchpenny will be going on an Iraq tour this month to play live shows for our hard working troops. What a great way to lift the spirits in such a difficult place to be right now. I am really proud to have my little part in this, and I am hoping Christian gets a lot of compliments on his guitar. And, I'm really proud of these guys- they're whole philosophy is right on. Check out their site, you'll see what I mean.

Above: The preliminary sketch of what I will be painting on the guitar. A 1950's inspired pin-up with a modern twist, and of course, a little flag.

March 9, 2009

Kyle Camerer Shoot

I just shot some great new stuff with Kyle Camerer this week. He is fantastic to work with. Check it.

If you like this, check out some more of his work at:

How the whole "modeling" thing started.

Above:  Venus Swimwear. They were my first photo shoot.

Above: Before I had many photos to show, my agency took these fancy Polaroids to show clients. I think I was... 19.

I used to (and still kind of do) make fun of people who thought they were narcissistic and self-absorbed enough to try and model. I mean really, it's a funny job! Getting paid for how you look?  So weird, and I certainly don't find myself that good looking.  Nonetheless, being a "model" has been and was the only way I would have ever experienced some of the most memorable opportunities in life.. like being on an airplane for the first time, walking red carpets and meeting people I otherwise wouldn't have in Minnesota (recently, John Travolta!)

I quit modeling when I decided to go back to school at MCAD and finish my degree. Now, I am almost done with shool and life is giving me the opportunity to revisit this old chapter of my life. I'm taking my chances and I am going to do what makes me happy- and make some $ to start paying back my student loans.

I figure I am not getting any younger. I had better get on this now. Sometimes you need to take those opportunities even if they seem outlandish.

Look what I made!

I have always loved to draw, paint, create, sculpt, build and make huge messes everywhere I make anything artistically. Currently, I am really into acrylic painting and have been selling quite a bit of work. I had my own solo art show in downtown Minneapolis for a month, and I have sold several pieces at the MCAD Art Sale the past couple years. I have also been commissioned to do a few freelance painting projects which I will post later. I think I might be onto something here...spread the word. This girl loves to paint.

Visit my Flickr site to see more paintings:

I have posted a small sampling on here.

March 8, 2009

Yes, I am a country girl, and have no shame in it.

Skipper and I at the State Championships. Gotta love the outfit!

Skipper and I.

Cutter and I at a show this summer.

I grew up on a small hobby farm in Forest Lake, MN where I have always had a ba-jillion animals. I am a complete horse freak, and have been in love with the giant monsters before I could walk. I have been riding and showing horses competitively since I was six years old and have ridden almost every riding event possible. I have shown high-stepping saddlebreds, barrel horses, dressage, team penning and some hunter/jumper. I currently ride my two American Quarter Horses, Glows Skipper (Skipper) and CBC it's Tradition (Cutter) in all-around riding events such as Hunt Seat, Western and Showmanship at Halter .

This past summer, I rode both of my horses in as many shows as I could all over Minnesota and Wisconsin. This past September, I qualified and rode my horse Skipper in six riding events at the
WSCA State Championships. To those of you who do have never seen a horse show, don't be alarmed by my super awesome red outfit. Those cool outfits are mandatory, and I everyone has one. I think it would be fun to meet a boyfriend's parents for dinner for the first time wearing that outfit for the first time to see what their reaction is. ;)

The Purpose of this Blog:

I consider myself a pretty lucky person who has been blessed with some pretty amazing things in my life. I am so happy about each day and the opportunities that life continually offers that I feel it is worth writing about. I want to tell the whole world. I want to inspire someone. I want to challenge you to make the most of your life's opportunities.

So, I will start by facing some of the things I am passionate about in life and tackling them head on all at once and write about it here, at my personal blog. I am going to set some goals for myself that some say are hard to achieve. By writing about my goals here, I am hoping to feel an even further sense of commitment to them. I would appreciate and encourage any advice, opinions, encouragement or even criticism. Yeah, that's right, even criticism. I can only benefit by listening to what others have to say.

So, here I go. I am putting it all out there for you.

This year, I am going to tackle the following goals and write about, photograph and track my progress. I think this will be interesting because, for my entire life, I have never given up on any of my goals and I enjoy a challenge. I am excited to make the following goals happen, one way or another. Watch me.

In no particular order:
Pick up my modeling career where I left it two years ago, but even better.
Graduate from MCAD and begin a professional career as an Art Director in Advertising.
Become a recognizable artist, and sell my paintings at shows and/or galleries.
Ride my horse in front of a large crowd at a spectator event.
Travel somewhere at least once a month.
Be on T.V.
Be in a magazine.
Be in a fashion show, or two, or three.
Place in the top five on my horse at the State Championships this year.
If the opportunity comes to relocate to L.A. or NYC, I am taking it.