• Posted 24th March 2014

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R29 recently posted an interview with Meaghan Murphy of Book/Shop Oakland (one of my favs) and two of her responses really resonated with me and my feelings towards printed literature and reading in general. You can read the full interview here.

What are your thoughts on the argument that print is dead?
“Print will never die, in my opinion. The books I collect don’t get turned into e-books, and, even if they did, I would never use a device to read them. There is a certain intimacy in the bends of the spine and the penciled notes I might jot in the columns of my books. I also wouldn’t be able to part with the stacks of books I have on every available surface in my home. Perhaps this is due to my inclination to collect things, but I find it so pleasing being able to pick a recipe out of an old book of Elizabeth David’s or select a book to send home with a dinner guest.
“I recently read an article about a new app that will allow you to read a novel in 80 minutes and, I’m sorry to say, I just don’t understand the appeal to this. Reading is about the luxury of slowing down for an hour and transporting yourself to another place and time. It is the best kind of escapism. I really have no interest in, or understanding of, anyone who sees reading as nothing more than a chore.”
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What is your philosophy when it comes to literature?
“The best kind of literature never stops revealing its secrets to you. Each time you open it, it will speak something different. My favorite books are the ones I read once a year or once every few years — not because of the pleasure in it, but because there is still more to learn.”

well said.
photography by ashley batz.


  • Posted 20th March 2014

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looking back through the pictures taken my first days in LA before starting school, i can definitely tell that they are photos one would take during their first experience. the things i chose to capture and was fascinated by, are things that after living there, even for a month, i know i didn’t think twice about. but at the time it was so important to capture every detail.
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i’ve been trying to come up with a daily/weekly project that I can try to do during my time back on the left coast.. i want to try to devote at least 10-30 minutes to something creative (leave it to me to try and create some kind of control over a situation that i’m supposed to be just going with the flow of) outside of the regular creative things i’ll be doing.. like perhaps i’ll leave out my paints and mix a new set of colors everyday or make mini collages or make a list of things to take a snapshot of, idk. i get bored easily so it needs to be interesting but simple.. or i’ll have to come up with a new ritual every 2-3 mos. (or weeks realistically) ha kinda defeats the whole point right?
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circa october 2008


  • Posted 18th March 2014

i really just can’t. literally everything about Nicole Coehn of sketch42‘s new living room is like instant O. All of my fantasy interior dreams shown in a series of photos. See them all here.


  • Posted 17th March 2014

This past friday was the release party for our final volume of FOUR. It was certainly a bittersweet evening but incredibly special nonetheless. I was overwhelmed and deeply humbled (and have been throughout the entire experience) by how much support and praise we’ve received from the city, across the country and throughout the world. I mean we don’t know what we’re doing; we’ve just been pulling together things we like and whatever phase we’d been going through at the time (hence “can i live?”), and hoping that people like it and aren’t offended. But just seeing how excited and grateful everyone (and this is a very diverse “everyone”) was to be involved was really affirming and somewhat emotional but (sigh) just something I can’t put into words.

I’ve always said the magazine was created to showcase the amazing creatives that live in and around Charlotte. We just wanted to create opportunities for people (like us) who needed an outlet to work on something beautiful that will be kept on a coffee table or bookshelf, not flipped through and thrown out after a couple days. and that’s happened! Everything I wanted and more happened and was successful. FOUR could have easily been a drop in the ocean of new publications started every year, but we were blessed and highly favored to have gained a supportive loyal diverse following that is saddened to see us take a hiatus.

One of the guys I talked to understood my reasoning for leaving and he brought up the fact that people get complacent in Charlotte because it isn’t that huge of a city so it’s easy to settle when you’re at the top because once you find your niche there’s no competition. So the work starts to slack and become less remarkable. I never want that to happen. I will never settle with being “amazing” by Charlotte standards because I know better. Take it to a big city and then tell me what you think. I need time to get re-inspired to the point where its just pouring out of my hands, not just going through the motions. I want to crave life and experiences again. So don’t worry… I have B I G secret plans in the works for when I return to charlotte; I’m coming back on my worst behavior. and I’m hoping that there will be some friendly competition by then…

Sidebar: I was especially happy about the fact my beau was there and able to really see what I do, because he (who does not work anywhere near the design field), like my parents don’t really get it. All they see is me neurotic, always working, always stressing, always on the computer, super critical and freaking out about things that would seem ridiculous to anyone other than a designer. So the fact he got to witness the final outcome and actually hear what people were saying and how touched they were by our work was truly amazing.

Reasonable Doubt — Jay-Z
Saint Heron — Solange Knowles and Friends
G I R L – Pharrell Williams
Cupid Deluxe — Blood Orange

Photography captured by my lovely sister, Les Artise.


  • Posted 28th February 2014

The truly creative mind is inhumanly sensitive. To her a touch is a blow, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism, the overpowering necessity to create, create, create so that without the creating of music, poetry or books, her very breath is cut off from her. She must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency she is not really alive unless she is creating.

Pearl S. Buck

Update: I was recently featured in a video interview with Charlotte Creative — check it out here!


  • Posted 14th February 2014

Circa 2009, Romance by Chris Craymer is undoubtably one of my favorite photography books. “The 200 page book is a personal project which Chris [had] been working on for several years—an evocative series of photographs capturing moments which perfectly articulate the true meaning of romance. The couples featured in the book are sometimes models, sometimes not, but they are all real couples in varying stages of what Chris has described as “pre mortgage love.” The 130 images, some in color, some in black and white, still-life alongside lifestyle, are wistful, lustful, joyful, and most importantly playful—the light, witty touch being an important element in much of Chris’s work.”

I couldn’t think of a more fitting post for today. I just purchased the book a couple months ago and was kinda waiting around to share it. Although B and I have been together for years I feel like we’re still in this stage— and once we go past it I think this book will bring back those memories so we never forget.
Happy Valentine’s Day!


  • Posted 4th February 2014

Ahh the infamous Proust Questionnaire. This is one of my favorite interviews to read from others, it is far more interesting to me for some reason than a Q&A based on actual information about the person. I use it often in FOUR, but I’ve never answered it myself, so…

What is your name as you would like it to appear in the magazine?
Ciara Bird.

Where are you from and where are you now?
Los Angeles by way of Augusta, Georgia.. currently in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Your age.

What is your current state of mind?

Who are you and what would you like to be?
more artist, less designer.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
b—with warm sun, cool breeze and trails for hiking followed by an uninterrupted afternoon of painting, reading and leisure. essentially no feeling of “what am i supposed to be working on.”

What is your greatest fear?
“i want to be cured of a craving for something i cannot find and the shame of never finding it.”

Which living person do you most admire?
is it bad to say Beyonce? without going into depth i just feel like she sums up my ideal of imperfect womanhood perfectly in her own way; love, happiness, career, sexuality, classiness, motherhood, etc. yet she still comes off as humble.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
social anxiety. the glorification of busy.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
don’t tell me who you are, show me. less talk more do.

What is your greatest extravagance?
publications. the easiest way to collect the art i cannot afford.

What music are you listening to right now?
im not.

Name a special day for you.
may 5.

What is your favorite movie without naming it?
two women, one man. paint, spain and woody allen.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
i cannot.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
b. but also freedom, I’m learning that one doesn’t balance out the other.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
my faith.

Where and when did your parents first meet?
high school. toledo, ohio.

What would you do if you weren’t scared?
longterm travel.

What is your most treasured possession?
b. i can part with everything else.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
9-5 corporate design for an artist with no outlets.

Open a nearby book and copy the first line you like.
“Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.”

Where would you like to live?
west coast.

What is your most marked characteristic?
my smile.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
charm, conversation, and curiosity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
happiness, conversation and charisma.

What advice would you tell your 15 year old self?
don’t worry— your skin will clear up and your hair will look good.

What do you most value in your friends?
conversation, honesty and support.

Who is your favorite artist, writer, musician?
kelly wearstler, audrey niffenegger, j.k. rowling, maxwell, jhene aiko

What would be the title of your memoir?
bird & bee.

What is your motto?
it takes the same amount of energy to wish as it does to plan.


  • Posted 28th January 2014

I am completely besotted with the hollywood home of Nicole Simone captured by Natalie Joos on Tales of Endearment (my fav). So much good, visit her post for the complete tour.
I cannot wait to be back.


  • Posted 28th January 2014

yea so my plan to photograph and post about all of my favorite books and zines is already off track pretty much due to the ridiculous number I accumulated (on a regular basis) all at once. overwhelmed haha, but so good.


  • Posted 9th January 2014

i think too much. i think ahead. i think behind. i think sideways. i think it all. if it exists, i’ve fucking thought of it.
winona ryder

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