Back to School
Welcome to the Back to School edition! Even the mere mention of "back to school" still sends a shiver down my spine. The teenage years were not my favorite, but my enthusiasm for school truly ignited in art class.
I attended Catholic school—pre-K all the way to 12th grade—at the insistence of my parents, but the silver lining was the opportunity to go to art college. Everywhere else, I felt like an outsider, but when it came to art—whether creating it, observing it, or studying the works of others—I found my sense of belonging. Art was my sanctuary.
My artistic awakening began during the high school years. Recently, I revisited a few pieces from that period, and truly to my surprise, I was genuinely impressed. I expected high school art to make me cringe, but the passage of time has given me a lot of perspective, allowing me to appreciate the budding artist I once was. I thought it might be enjoyable to share some of my high school artwork with all of you here in this video slideshow:
Since my teenage years, I was drawn to fashion as a form of expression. As a kid, I would say that I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up. While I didn't have a complete grasp of what that profession truly entailed, I was inherently drawn to the idea. Although I ultimately decided to major in illustration, I chose the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to keep close to the fashion world. In NYC, 7th Avenue—also known as Fashion Ave—were super fun times in the late ‘90s. Still to this day, my dad enjoys reminding me about the time when my parents accompanied my first college visit to FIT. Their eyes widened in amazement when they spotted a student casually strolling around in a full-body fishnet outfit (and not much else). I cherish those days!
Attending FIT allowed me to fulfill another dream: living in Greenwich Village, which was exactly where I wanted to be at that time. Although I was initially on a waitlist for the dormitories, I ended up temporarily settling into women-owned, women-exclusive housing called the Katharine House for individuals aged 18-25, located on 13th Street in Manhattan. The Katharine House doesn’t even exist anymore! I didn’t understand the historical significance of the place until I found myself deep in a rabbit hole, searching for a single interior that reflected the room I once had, but the best I could do was draw my room from memory:
The room was exceptionally narrow; I could reach the opposite side from my twin bed. We had shared dormitory-style bathrooms, but each room had its own sink, providing a tiny bit of privacy. Surprisingly, no guests were allowed in your room, not just boys, but anyone—my own mother couldn't even come up. Additionally, there was a strict curfew, and if you missed it, they wouldn't allow you back in for the night. At the time it felt like a small price to pay for living in New York City at 18 years old.
In future newsletters, we'll delve into the artwork from my college years, which has so much to explore. To close out the “back to school” theme, I thought it'd be enjoyable to share some education-themed illustrations from more recent times:
My art mediums have evolved over the years. During college, I specialized in oil painting, creating monochromatic and moody pieces, often featuring an overly exorbitant amount of burnt sienna. Nowadays, I work primarily digital, with a preference for Procreate, Photoshop, and vibrant neon colors.
It’s time for a FREE GIFTS ALERT! Are you a subscriber?
This month’s free gift for subscribers includes Breakfast Club (digital) trading cards! What Breakfast Club archetype is closest to you? The Rebel, Princess, Brain, Athlete, Outcast. There are also the 12 Jungian archetypes if you wanna expand your search. Can you guess which one I most identified with in high school? It’s obvious, I know.
In classic GenX style, I indulged in a rewatch of some John Hughes movies for this special occasion. However, if you're seeking genuinely well-crafted, insightful, and deliciously obscure film discussions, I recommend visiting my friend Joe Dwyer’s Substack, The Left-Hand Path. His theme for September is also centered around Back to School with some fantastic insights. Highly rec!
Subscribe to receive your September gifts. New subscribers, check your welcome email. For current subscribers, you’ll receive an email code. [If you don’t see it, check your spam folder just in case].
What lies ahead? In these awe-inspiring photographs below, captured by my multi-talented friend, Karen Zacconi (a teacher, a baker, a mermaid costume maker!), my excitement is building as we approach our upcoming desert excursion later this month. I can hardly contain my anticipation for star gazing! This sentiment comes to you directly from my dim apartment in Brooklyn.
“The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.” ―Carl Sagan
October issue will drop later in the month with a fresh new Nosferatu short & Halloween goodies.
Thanks so much for your support. See you in October for some spooky fun 💀