A Little Bit About...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Won Year

Well it's been a year, so let me try and summarize.

On the health and well-being category:

First off my dad is cancer-free, last time we checked, so that's good. That's the best thing that's happened.

I successfully trained for and completed a marathon last March. I averaged about 11 minutes/mile, which was a little over my goal of averaging 10 minutes/mile, but considering how hilly the course was, I will take it. After checking that off my list, I quickly decided to never run that far again. As a professional hairstylist, being on my feet all day is part of my job, and since my feet are destined for awfulness even on their own, I decided it wasn't worth risking injury. My ankles and knees took a serious beating throughout the whole ordeal, and for some reason I could not avoid getting blisters to save my life. I had blisters on top of blisters on top of blisters. At any rate, as amazing as it feels to create and accomplish tangible, physical goals, I decided the cons outweighed the pros and to never marathon again.

So I ditched running, and started swimming and weight lifting. A couple times a week in the summer a few friends and I would meet up at Barton Springs for an early swim. There is no better way to wake up, I assure you! I toyed with the idea of training for a triathlon and even trained for a few months, but life got in the way and I had to put it on hold. I'm ready to pick the torch back up though, think I might start with The Rookie Tri.

Since the beginning of the year I've started taking boxing classes at my local YMCA, as well as really focusing on weight training. I feel like I'm in much better shape than I did when I was training for the half-marathon, leading me to believe a diverse workout is key to being toned overall.

Probably the biggest change in my health this past year has been my diet. I've discovered the Paleo Diet, which has changed my life. There are a million blogs and websites out there dedicated to the Paleo Diet, so you can do your own research, but I'll say this much: it has cleared up my rosacea, something I did not know was even possible, as well as melted fat off my body in places I've never been able to lose much, all while maintaining muscle and gaining a sense of clarity in my brain. My allergies were practically nonexistent this year (if you live in Austin, you know what a big statement that is!), I really cannot say enough good things about it. I highly recommend reading into it if you're interested, or go on trial and just eat paleo every other day for a while, that's what I did. It's improbable to think you can change your entire attitude towards eating overnight, so I definitely suggest looking into it before jumping in. It is not a fad diet, it's a philosophy.

I could go on and on about that forever, but I'll save it for later.

On art and design:

I've cut my hours back at Birds to make time for my apprenticeship at Noah Marion Quality Goods. I've actually just recently debuted my new design, The Barber's Pouch.

Naturally, as a hairstylist this seemed like an obvious crossover. It's comfy, snug, stays in place, right on your hip. Holds up to five alligator clips, two shears and a handful of combs. The bottom is a button snap, to keep hair from collecting inside. Made of vegetable tan leather, will age beautifully over time. As a hairstylist, I see this as an investment in your career.

Working for Noah has been challenging and rewarding, it is always fun to learn a new medium. I am learning how to add a third dimension to the way I draw.

Wallet design. (I'm too into zigzags right now)
I was only mildly satisfied with this one, there are a few glitches I'm working out.

I'm excited to learn more in the arena of accessory design. It's a whole new avenue, but it seems like the natural progression for me.

Always more to learn, as always.

As for illustration, I've just completed an illustration for my friend's online magazine, CAP. I believe the article is about Tesla being a rock star.

I've also been working with a local hair product company VERB, which has been a lot of fun. Nothing yet to show in picture form, but they are fun people to work with and I'm excited to watch them grow.

On everything else:

I guess I've just been living. My thoughts are positive and I think my life reflects that. I try to work all the time. I don't want any day to feel wasted, I never want to feel like I didn't do everything I could to make my life awesome. When I take stock of what I have, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude towards the world around me. I feel blessed, really.

I will try to not go a whole year without between this and the next entry. But who knows, life may get in the way again.

So here's an illustration I did for CAP Magazine based out of my very own Austin, Texas.

I noticed I hadn't updated my blog in almost a year. But if you are interested in commissioning an illustration out of me, just email me at erin.baird@verbproducts.com

I will try to update more this year! This I promise you.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I've had a series of long days

I need to write this shit down. I am going to describe my weekend in detail, because I can't make this shit up.

So over the weekend my friend Lauren came down to see me. I love when my friends come down to see me, but I didn't get to take any time off of work and did not alter my workout routine because it's important to me to be properly trained for the half marathon in March. So this is my Saturday:

I wake up at 8am and head to the gym, where I run a solid eight miles. Saturdays are my long run days. I get in my car (whose check engine light has been on for a while [but really how seriously can you take those stupid lights?!]), and don't even make it out of the parking lot before it dies. A fellow gym member helps me get my car nice and situated safely in a parking spot. For some reason my car always breaks down when Lauren is in town, so she's used to this. I call her repeatedly but she's passed out, dead to the world. Oh well, I think, I'm no stranger to the bus. So in my SCAD hoodie and short running shorts, drenched in sweat, I head to the bus stop. My route lets me out in a "questionable" part of town where crackheads are known to linger. Not expecting to take the bus, I am weaponless. Yes, I usually carry a knife and pepper spray on me, but not today. Naturally, as soon as I get off the bus, some crackhead across the street starts yelling lewd things at me. I know I look extremely attractive in my running shorts and smell really great, but I do not appreciate someone offering to "slap that ass" under any circumstances. I keep my head low and walk fast, thinking he'll fuck off if I just ignore him. He is literally chasing me at this point, and I can hear him getting closer behind me. In this moment I was not afraid, but instead I felt a hot feeling in my stomach and I run through my options. I see some debris on the ground, consider chucking it at him. My friend Tasz lives around the corner, I consider running over to his house, but I'm not sure he's there. I'm thinking, I may actually have to defend myself in a few moments. Ahead of me I see a few mechanics standing outside their garage, so I make it a point to walk in between them even though it's out of the way, just so some other people can witness what is happening to me. Then, a magical angel man pulls his car over and asks me if I'm okay. I said I was fine, just being harassed a little too much is all. He gives me a can of pepper spray and says to be safe. I wave the pepper spray in the direction of the crackhead, so he knows to back down. He continues yelling, but finally recedes. About a hundred feet away from my front door, Lauren calls me. It's not even noon yet.

So after a long, tiring, but fun weekend with Lauren, I finally have to deal with my car situation on Monday morning. So I wake up at 8am once again to call the highest rated garage on yelp.com, they can get me in that afternoon and suggest a towing company. I call the tow truck people and tell them to meet me at my car in forty-five minutes, then I call a cab to come pick me up. It's 8am and my brain doesn't really start working until 11, so I'm trying to quickly get everything I need put into my backpack and cab it to the gym. I figure I'm already up, may as well get a workout in before work. I arrive at my car and am surprised to find out that it actually will turn on, however sputtering and dying every few minutes, but it's enough to get it to the nearest garage and save me the $85 to tow it. I quickly google "car repair" on my phone and find the nearest Auto Zone. That's right, Auto Zone, which as I quickly discover is NOT a garage, but a car parts store. Of course. Like I said, my brain is not awake yet. My car can barely go 15mph and is dying at every light. So naturally a police man pulls me over, to which I have to hastily explain I'm just trying to get to Auto Zone before it dies again. He offers to "escort me," sure whatever. Of course I instantly realize my mistake upon getting to Auto Zone. Frustrated, I park my car (at a downward angle) and try to find the nearest garage. Fortunately there is one around the corner! But now I can't get my car to start due to, that's right, the incline. Frustrated, I get out of my car and have to PUSH IT MYSELF up the small hill onto flatter parking lot ground, and my car finally starts. So finally, after all that, I bring my car, sputtering and dying to Klingemann Auto Repair, who I really need to give mad props to because they took care of me in a timely, professional, and affordable manner. Thanks, guys, really.

Having settled that, I take a cab back to the gym for a much-deserved workout. I hit the showers and quickly realize in my haste to get all my shit together, I had forgotten my towel at home. Oh well, I think, there's no going back now, I have to be ready for work within the hour. So I unload my stupidly expensive shampoo and conditioner in the stall (I'm a hairstylist, shampoo is an investment), and once I'm done, I am trying to dry off like a dog, just shaking water off parts of my body best I can. It didn't work so great. I had to slither into my clothes, everything sticking to me. Possibly one of the grossest feelings in the world. My outfit is...okay. Not the best, but not bad for being thrown together at 8am.

I had spent too much on cab fair already, so I decided to bus it to work. After figuring out what route I needed to take, I calculate I have juuuuuust enough time for breakfast at Taco Cabana. I inhaled my food, thinking if I throw this up it would be almost whole. But I dash out the door and walk hastily to...the wrong fucking bus stop. THE HELL?! I realize my mistake instantly, the stop I need to be at is just down the street, and if I book it, well, I just might make it! But no. It was like a scene from a terribly scripted romantic comedy. I was running, arms flailing, just as the bus pulled away. Frustrated, I call my boyfriend and yell at him for no reason. This proves to solve nothing at all, so I call the cab company for the third time that day (not even noon yet). I was at a weird intersection, apparently, because after fifteen frustrating minutes, the cab has not arrived. I call again, they said they sent a cab but "couldn't find the address" (HELLO, GOOGLE MAPS, COME ON), so they send another cab. Twenty minutes pass. I am getting dangerously close to being late to work. I call the cab company again, and once again they admit their driver could not find my location so they send another cab. I mean come on, how hard is it to find "across the street from the YMCA"?!

So the cab FINALLY shows up, I am only slightly late to work, and a coworker was nice enough to give me a ride home after work. So this weekend my faith in humanity was tested, and it came out positive. Between the man who helped me move my car, the guy who gave me pepper spray, the amazing mechanics of Klingemann, Lauren carting me around, my coworker giving me a ride, hell, even my boyfriend for letting me yell at him and being understanding enough to not hold it against me, all these acts of kindness far outweigh the shit storm that tried to ruin my weekend.

You know what the real kicker is, though? I left my fucking expensive ass shampoo at the gym.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

October is, hands-down, my favorite month of the year. I love carving pumpkins, using the guts to make pumpkin bread with and toasting the seeds. I love making costumes and dressing up. I have not painted anything new this month because I focused mostly on my costume. Geeky, sure, but what can I say, I love Halloween.

This year I dressed up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.

Total cost: $18

Last year I was Patty Mayonnaise and I have no pictures to show for it.

Halloween 2009 I was the Smoke Monster from Lost.

See the resemblance?!

This one was expensive. I spent like $50 on supplies.
That is the last time I am a TV character. Especially one so dorky.

Halloween 2008 was the year of Tammy Faye Baker.

Zero dollars. I was surprised and shocked at the amount of people who didn't know who Tammy Fay was, especially considering I was living in the south at the time.

Halloween 2007 was the infamous Rubik's Cube costume:

Zero dollars. This one was a big hit.

2006 I was a wacky flailing arm inflatable tube guy. No pictures.

2005 I was Cindy Lauper and Marla Singer. There are pictures, somewhere, but I have no idea where to find them.

Before that I don't remember. I'm pretty sure I was Catwoman like 5 years in a row as a child.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Old Pieces, New Photography

I started these pieces last year and reworked them incorporating techniques I have developed in the past year as a result of these pieces. What started out as an experiment has developed a concrete process that I utilize with every piece, now. All as a result of experimentation. I've even standardized my post-painting process; photographing them and posting them on my blog. As per usual, mad props to my buddy Josh Verduzco" for the help with the photography. We swap photos for haircuts. Never underestimate the power of bartering your skills!

Moving Forward


I have other old pieces that are photographed better, now available to view on my Flickr site, but these were the only ones I reworked. Moving Forward is now available for purchase at the Austin Art Garage, located on South Lamar. I'm pretty excited, it's a really rad, lowbrow gallery.

On that note, my other photographer buddy Evan Prince recently took a few photos of me, The Fox, and Shirley.

The Fox behind me, and my other mode of transportation even further behind me (the Focus is a road warrior. Ten more years!)

Me and Shirley. She's a beast.

Just me, thinking about my bikes.

You can see more on his tumblr. He makes me look good.

And since we're going balls-deep with the images here, I'll go ahead and toss in some recent graphic design freelance I just completed:

Any excuse to use neon is a good one.

I hope I crashed your computer with all that overwhelming amount of amazing content I just dumped on you. Ya welcome, internet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family, pt. II

I've had this feeling brewing inside of me for a while. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I have not been quite myself since my father's diagnosis, and I knew that, but I wasn't really sure why.

My father is doing well, by the way, he is undergoing chemotherapy and just had his eighth treatment. Aside from all the crappy side effects, he is in great spirits, and my family continues to be of great support to him. My father has always been my pillar of strength, but right now we have to be strong for him. It is a strange thing, to suddenly realize your parents are mortals, and that one day, as much as we don't want to accept it, we will have to experience their departure. I know it's morbid, and not a good way to think in times like these, but in private, sometimes, it's all I can think about. "What the fuck will I do when he's gone?" I am positive that that day is nowhere near today, and that he has many days ahead that are bright and wonderful. He will live to see my children born, to watch them grow up, and to be a grandpa again. I am sure of it. He is kicking cancer's ass.

But I've had this feeling, underneath all these waves and waves of optimism. I could not define this feeling of dread that did not wash over me so much as it brewed deep down inside of me, far below the calm surface waters of my soul. I'd been thinking a lot about my legacy, versus his. My father moved from Alabama to Oklahoma to build his own life, to start his own family and create an empire that has supported us, up until this very day.

Our family then:

This was before my brother came along and ruined everything (just kidding Clint I love you!!!!!).

Our family now:

I can't believe the most recent picture of us all together was two years ago, but anyway...

My dad created a life that put all three of us through college. Something to be admired. This is why I gave Dad my Stole of Appreciation after graduation:

Not to downplay the significant role my mother played during school, as she made my life much, much easier by covering cost of rent, books, supplies, etc.

I guess with all this stewing inside me, I finally had a word to put to this feeling that had been developing for months: disappointment. I've been disappointed in myself and the state of my life, because if, god forbid, something ever does happen to my father or mother, I want to have accomplished so much more than I have before they pass on. I really want nothing more than to make them proud. I graduated college two years ago (TWO YEARS AGO?!?!), and still have not landed a job in my field. Although, I can offset some of this blame to our really crappy economy, which is a very real thing and has affected everyone I know that I went to school with. In fact, I really don't know many people that I graduated with who have landed jobs in their field, and a lot of them still live at home with their parents (ain't no shame in it). But nonetheless, it has affected me in a very real, very personal way. It's made me question my talent, my worth. Some days, it was hard to even get out of bed, wondering, what is the point? The point of a lot of days were to just muddle through to get to the next one, and spend as little money as possible. College taught me a thing or two about survival on a tight budget, and I can always manage, but I am tired of just managing. I am 27 years old and I'm ready to thrive.

So I've done the only thing I know to do, which is to apply, apply, apply. Write cover letters like it's my job and send my resume out to anyone that will listen. The thing is, even though I have a fancy art school degree from a fancy art school, my degree is kind of bullshit (sorry SCAD) because they did not teach us any computer programs. The only reason I know Photoshop as well as I do is because I taught myself. So, I am having to teach myself other programs in high demand, like Illustrator and In Design. I am on the upswing, now, but I was having a little bit of a quarter-life meltdown for a few weeks there. I really do try as hard as I can to stay positive, because I believe attitude is everything, but it is very hard for something like this to not shake a person.

This year has been a rough one, I won't lie. Moving to a new city, my father's diagnosis, plus that bike wreck I still deal with physically (my shoulder has not been the same since), and the job market on the fritz...it hasn't been easy. But I always have my family to support me, they are a great resource to me for sure. My father getting diagnosed was like putting glasses on, it made me that more acutely aware of all the imperfections in my own life. The new city high has long since worn off, and now I'm just trying to figure out how I can start building my own empire.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kitty + Deer

Full resolution available here.