Category Archives: Iowa

art and nakedness and being straight

the next piece of art was done by a long lost friend of mine, ms. emily.

i knew emily back in the day where she was the coolest cat to roam the block. not that she’s not cool anymore, but we just sort of lost touch over the years. she moved out to seattle, i moved to des moines; she got even cooler, i kind of evened out…

…so naturally, when i found out she not only had moved back to iowa but also had an art show in iowa city, i wanted to go. i knew from the past that she was talented and it fit in with what i was trying to accomplish with my iowa art wall so it seemed like a natural fit. unfortunately (or maybe just lazily), i knew i wouldn’t be able to make the actual show, so i asked her to send me photographs of the pieces so i could pick one out.

she did.

surprise! they’re of boobies.

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2013-07-30 22.29.25

well done boobies, don’t get me wrong. artistic, well painted, and done in a way that would make me proudly display them on my wall. just such a shock when i opened up the first one because it was a) not what i was expecting and b) especially from someone who i had taught at church camp with. i mean, not that either of us probably come across as super religious now… maybe that was a moot point.

and yes, i realize this is coming across as super immature. just because we are straight women doesn’t mean we can’t draw and purchase naked women art without judgement.  and i did like a few of them that i was toying around with buying (see above); they were good. but, overall it boiled down to that they just really weren’t my cup of boobs tea. and then i found this one:

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…i absolutely LOVE this one.

i love its androgynousness. at first i thought it was another female photo until i looked a bit closer and realized it was a male. i love how the rest of them are fairly vertical or square and this one stands out. i’m usually not into water colors or nakedness, but i’m into both on this.

i had made a deal with emily that i could buy the piece on discount after the show, but immediately regretted my decision after i realized someone else could buy it during the month it was displayed. but i wanted the full commission to go to emily and not to the venue so i had to wait until the show was over… lucky for me it was one of the few that were still available. i snatched it up before anyone else had a chance (which was great timing on my part, because the person i showed them to tried to buy that one immediately after i put my money down). i even paid more than the asking price because i like it so much, so i should’ve just did that up front instead of waiting in suspense like an an idiot for a month.

emily still has a few pieces that are available- you can contact her at if you are interested. and you should be.

Emily's Art

lykken boom boom down

another artist that will be featured  on my “iowa” wall is my good friend shawn.

i didn’t commission shawn to do any specific piece for me because, frankly, he probably would’ve turned down the challenge anyway. not because he’s not a fantastic artist (he is) or that he doesn’t have the time (he does)… it, just simply put, is not his style.

shawn is one of my closest friends here in des moines, but he is a complicated person. some say he’s reclusive, some say he’s a bit of a jerk. but he’s neither. he’s just shawn.

194(categories shawn knows things about for trivia)

i seriously make fun of shawn (and his dreamy smirk) more than i do most people, and i’m glad he puts up with me for it. i’m also glad that he lets me have some of his experimental design/screen prints. i have quite a collection going, and each little piece will find a spot on my wall.

the first is this strange little cow that was screen printed onto cardboard at about 4×6″. i’m not sure how it came to be in my possession, but it’s been sitting at my work desk for a few years now. it makes me giggle for a few reasons- the first is that i work for a company that puts ingredients into feed for farm animals, and the cow is a nice little cartoony representation of that. the other reason it makes me giggle is because it’s a freakin’ funny looking cow.


the second piece i admittedly stole from him. both shawn and i (and a numerous amount of other talented artists) did posters for the ‘pour over poster show’ at mars cafe. the posters had to have some sort of a coffee theme. shawn’s was my favorite (maybe second favorite, curtis had a pretty fantastic one featuring the grim reaper), and i made sure to take one from him after the show was over. the poster was originally 12×19 but i cut it down to 11×17 so it would fit in a frame.


the last piece i butchered, which makes me a bit sad because it was only a 1/10 print run, but i needed a smaller size. and really, it’s all about me.

a four color screen print? the kid is nuts.


shawn also does web design, illustrations, and screen printing for his job. he does take on a few selective freelance projects, so if you like his style, hit him up at to talk biznis.


as some of you may know, i am moving to belgium next year for work. for those of you that don’t know, don’t feel bad. i mean, how could you have know? i haven’t updated this thing for nearly a year. but yes! it’s happening. living and loving abroad for at least two years starting january 2014.

the move is a little bittersweet for me. don’t get me wrong, i’m beyond excited for a new adventure. and as far as countries go, you really don’t get much better than belgium. for instance, most of the belgians i know can understand and flip sarcasm just as well as an american. and they do it in a secondary language (i’m sure they can do it in dutch too, but i wouldn’t understand). but that’s a huge thing. they speak english. they are known for chocolates, waffles, beers, bicycles… you know. the finer things in life.

and i’m attempting to learn dutch. i already drink a(n un)healthy amount of beer. i’m not too terribly worried about making friends. having said that and expressed my excitement, i must admit there is a bit of sadness as well.

you see, there is a part of me that will always love and have a loyalty to iowa. sure, our four seasons are brutal. we get mocked for having so much corn growing across this fine and flat state. outsiders don’t know the difference between iowa or idaho or ohio… but the people in iowa are wonderful. we have that “midwestern work ethic” which means we don’t stop until we get the job done and we get it done right. but we not only WORK hard, we play hard too. we are loyal. we’re nice. we’re a little backwards, not on the peak of fashion or the finest, but we are good people. and i will miss that.

so to bring a little bit of home with me overseas, i’m commissioning art off of some of the greatest artists/designers/inspirations i know… my friends. that way i have a constant reminder of people back home and i also get to display some damn good art while i’m at it.

the first piece of art i collected is a piece by my good friend Jon- the title of the piece is called ‘birth.’

i absolutely love it. i originally requested a painting from him about two years ago and jon gladly accepted the challenge. i told him i didn’t care what he painted, i just wanted something unique. i also told him there was no hurry or deadline on the piece, which i think he took to heart. the painting traveled with him for 2 years between three different apartments, and a multitude of people had the opportunity to see it in its different phases. it started out much like a skeleton head, then slowly turned into outlines of fish. then we watched in amazement as the fish became more detailed, and beautifully so. also, the piece is huge, like 27×39″, so i plan to have it be the center piece of my “iowa-inspired” wall in belgium.

birth by jon pearson

birth by jon pearson

fishy fishy2

i’ve known jon for about as long as i have been in des moines. one of my favorite things about this silly guy is that he just does not understand sarcasm. with me being one of the most sarcastic and flippant people i know, i’m not sure how our friendship budded the way it did, but i am so glad for it. he’s one of the most genuine people i know- he is always thinking, questioning, and pushing himself to be better. and throughout the years i think his art has really reflected this.


if you want to check out any of Jon’s other work, you can go to any of the following. he also does commission work (although if it’s anything like mine, it may take awhile). 😉

thanks again, jon! it will be the highlight of my des moines wall.