December 18, 2011

I am so glad, fortunate, and thankful I am not alone this Christmas!

This time last year, I remember I was sitting in my New York apartment....  and I was hating it.  My career was in full forward momentum and I needed to be in the city right up until Christmas. I had everything I needed except for one big problem.  I was REALLY lonely. New York City can be a really lonely place despite how many people live there-especially around the holidays. Seeing all the happy couples at the Rockefeller Center ice skating and buying Christmas trees together made me feel worse.  The earliest I could get home to Minnesota was Christmas morning.  My best friend Aimee flew out and stayed with me for a few days the week before Christmas which helped me feel better for the time she was there.  The day she left, I felt even more depressed and alone than before.  I spent Christmas Eve at a church in Union Square all by myself and just wanted it to be over.  I cried. I missed my father. That was not fun.  I was the Scrooge- depressed and angry.

This wasn't the only time I have felt lonely.  I would say that one of the hardest parts of my job (and most models will agree) is feeling lonely. When you're moving around so much, it's hard to even know what a stable home feels like.  I call hotels my "home".  And just as fast as I make new and close friends, I know I have to say good-bye to them for an indefinite amount of time.  While it is a fantastic job to get paid to travel  and stay at some of the most beautiful places on earth, the beauty of those places is slightly diminished without someone to share those memories with.  Lets face it, having a glass of wine and watching a spectacular sunset isn't the same when you're doing it all by yourself repeatedly! Sharing it on Facebook helps, sure.  But still, at the end of the day, I know I am lucky to have a fun and amazing job and I am in no way complaining about my sacrifices I  make for it. I wouldn't do this if I didn't think the rewards would outweigh the sacrifices.

Even though I was lonely on Christmas Eve last year, a situation occurred that morning which suddenly made me stop feeling so bad for myself.  There was a homeless man sitting on the cold sidewalk outside my NY apartment who was holding a sign that said "Alone and have no family. Cold and hungry." It was almost like a sign (no pun intended) meant for me to see.  It was a humbling moment for me.  I was fully experiencing the alone part , but at least I did have a family and I definitely wasn't cold and hungry! I couldn't fix the "alone" part for him, but could help with the "cold and hungry" part and bought him hot breakfast and coffee immediately. Then I thought of the hundreds of other homeless people that were like him.  That very moment I stopped feeling bad for myself.  This was when I realized I should spend my Christmas Eve helping the less fortunate.

I am humbled by many others who have felt a greater amount of loneliness and sacrifice around the holidays- specifically those who have served our country and couldn't be home with their families.  Some people don't even have a family to go home to.   The fact that I do have a family, a warm place to sleep, safety and people who love me makes me a lucky girl.  There is nothing more I need this Christmas.

I hope everyone reading this takes a moment to appreciate their family and friends and the simple things that we sometimes take for granted.  It's important.  Be appreciative of your job, your health, friends and (if you're like me) it could simply be a warm cup of coffee that some people won't have this Christmas. That's the overall message I hope to send to you today.

This year I'm being sure to spend Christmas with everyone I love! I am in Minneapolis for Christmas Eve and Ohio Christmas Day.  Safe travels to anyone else flying and have a wonderful holiday!

December 8, 2011

Art Basel in Miami and how I got seriously inspired for my own show!

I am waking up in Miami this morning with the usual cup of coffee, but something is different. I have a whole new outlook on my career as a model and artist. I am reflecting on the important personal growth I have gained from working and traveling as a model and the great people who challenge and encourage me each day. But after last weekend, the creative side of my brain has been "switched on" (as Ryan Estis would say). Last weekend kick started something I never imagined would happen... let me explain.

Last weekend was Art Basel in Miami. For those of you who aren't familiar with what Art Basel is, it's one of the biggest global art fairs featuring top galleries, artists and serious art collectors.  People who come here come to buy art and be a part of a week long cultural experience... For me, it wasn't just being around the artwork and artists that made the experience what it was... it's the people I was spending time with at Art Basel. I draw serious inspiration from others who are motivated and are making their ideas happen.  One person's idea feeds another person's idea and it's like a chain reaction... and when you get a solid team of people with their own unique ideas to bring together, anything is totally possible!  
Inside the convention center at Art Basel... a very small sampling.

Artists generally are not good business people (myself included).  This weekend, however, I met an artist at Basel named Peter Tunney who didn't fit that mold.  Peter is a master at self promotion, story telling and making you believe you HAD to own a piece of his art... for $100,000.  When you bought one of his paintings, you were essentially paying for the "experience" of being around him and his fabulous stories. Once you bought a painting, he could sell you matching book for only $1,000 more (what's $1,000 when you've already spend $100,000 anyways!)  Peter then personalizes that book to make it part of your "experience" with him and then you go home talking about him to all your friends. This is what separates a nobody artist from a somebody artist. Peter is genius...Not only did he give me one of his books, he signed it, took polaroids of me that he rubber cemented into it, drew all over it and made me have a personal attachment to it... now I am a lifelong fan, I will blog about it, tell my friends about him and so on... 
The "Peter Tunney Experience" I was talking about.  How can I NOT love a book when my polaroid is collaged into it?

I can make art, but I have always been lacking a team of people to truly help me launch it into the world.  I truly do need the help of others to help me promote my artwork and handle the details.  Unless I have a deadline I am held accountable to, I don't finish things. These are places I need a solid team to help me in the area I know I hate to admit, but I lack.  Plus, in the past three years, I have been so happily busy modeling I haven't had time to focus on an art show.  But this past weekend, that all changed. I found my "team" and they have committed me to an art show that I could never dreamed I could do myself.  Spring 2012,  it's on. My biggest show will be launched in NYC.  Wait... what?!  I can hardly believe the words myself.  I've never felt more motivated to make this an incredible experience for everyone who comes.  I can't wait to get back to Minnesota this weekend and start working on my new pieces!

It's amazing how meeting just the right people can change your life in a weekend. 
My team- I couldn't do this art show in NYC without them! Two highly motivated people I'm lucky to have in my life. 

December 5, 2011

Kardashian Kollection for Sears...

In the last few days, I have been noticing Kardashian Kollection ads with my friend Megan and popping up all over!  I was half asleep on a plane the other morning when the man sitting next to me was looking at a two-page spread in the New York Times (below).  That woke me up! A part of me wanted to ask him if I could buy his paper off of him right then and there, but I opted to say nothing and go buy my own copy at the nearest Hudson News when I landed.  I have a feeling he was most interested in the lingerie shot of Megan in the bottom right corner though.

New York Times
LA Times
In Touch too? I guess this is the best way to be involved in a tabloid magazine.
It's not just me who enjoys blogging about this... Kim K is on top of it too.  

The best part of all this? I just got confirmation today that I will be back in Chicago next week shooting the Kardashian sisters line for Sears!  I'm super excited about this since the KK has become one of my absolute favorite brands to shoot for.  The line is doing so well and I am so proud to be a part of it!  Plus, I love when Preston and Fatima make me over as the blonde Kardashian.  Can't wait to be back with my photo team!

The Kim K inspired dress which I love... Photo courtesy of