Monthly Archives: October 2012

Work in progress

Here’s a the start of a piece I’m working on right now for screenprint.  I just thought that all the the tracing papers looked so beautiful scattered on top of each other. In the future I’d like to do some kind of transparency piece utilizing this concept of layers.  It’s so magical how some layers just fade away.

Closer look. For some reason, I drew this pattern by hand, tracing from a portrait I found of Madonna. But the picture really only had 2 good pattern sections to trace from, so I had to keep moving it around to complete it. I wanted the sketchy, hand drawn look, but the amount of time it took to complete this was probably not worth it.  Especially because I planned to make this a super super light peach that would blend into the background…. So essentially I could have done this on a computer and finished in a quarter of the time.


My first two layers printed.  Here’s that ghastly lime green that keeps popping up. I swear I will have that tub of lime green paint for the rest of my life. Anywaysssssss I’m trying to switch things up a bit, and try new color combos that I don’t necessarily think will work. The pink and salmon one is supposed to be my real piece, and then I’ve made a couple green ones and a couple mauve ones, which hopefully turn out cool.

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Finally! The finished product! This is a piece I made for my screenprinting class.  It’s meant to be a chaotic piece in which things look jumbled and messy and a little overwhelming. I came up with the phrase after being prompted with the word “Obsession.” It forced me to think about what I am obsessed with. Which is more an obsession with thoughts and letting myself have the same conversations in my head over and over, to the point that it consumes me.  This idea of perfection (personified by the flowers and the colors) and achieving perfection and greatness that overwhelms my mind (as exemplified by the intertwining ribbon and the spastic lines of color). And all of the text is drawn by hand, even though I probably could have done it on the computer. I wanted that human touch, and the ability to tweak the font to make it fit the piece better.

Courtney Larsen “Obsession” 12″x16″ screenprint

And then here is my second version. I really like it, but I don’t think it has the same finished quality as the purple, like it needs one more thing to make it look complete. I have an insane amount of lime green ink that I am now trying to use on every project in order to get rid of it. Turns out a little lime green goes a long way….

Courtney Larsen “Obsession” v.2 12″x16″ screenprint

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When the mind is gone…

My mind is a cluttery place, much like my car, my room, my studio, my life. And I can’t seem to do anything about it.  I feel like I’m sinking so many times.  I’m drowning in my excess and to do’s and my self-inflicted stress.  I want to be so good. I want to be the best. I want to be admired and loved and appreciated for my talent and my mind and my work. So much so that it consumes my entire life and mind. I don’t know how to relax. I guess I’ve known that for a while, but it hasn’t seemed so important before. I thought I was above relaxing. Like I have too much to do and accomplish- how can I take leisure time?  I shouldn’t even recognize that as legitimate concept.

It’s a terrible thing to stop trusting one’s self. It’s embarrassing to second guess your own decisions. To feel like you have no right to choose without consulting someone else first. I’m not sure when that happened to me, but I find myself currently in this state. I’m generally completely confident in myself, so it takes me by surprise when I hit these weird times of self-doubt and question. I think my worst fear is not living up to my potential. I have lofty expectations for myself, and it would be a shame to fall short. I feel as though I will fail if I do not spend every waking moment progressing and accomplishing things. It is a terrible way to live. I live with a constant nag in the back of my mind. No movie, television show, night out with friends is free from the incessant idea that I could be using that time to do something more productive.

I’m a compulsive comparer. I compare myself to others. I compare others to others. I compare others to myself. And because I do this, I feel that others are also so compulsively inclined, and feel this inherent need to be impressive in others’ eyes. A teacher once told me that people on average spend something like 80-90 percent of their time thinking about themselves and how they are perceived, and only the remaining percentage thinking of other people.  Which begs the question- Why do I put so much weight on trying to impress?  This also gets me thinking- what is my true motivation behind creating? I have lived long enough to realize that my mental health is directly correlated to how much time I spend creating. This took me a long time to realize, but it was refreshing when I finally figured it out. Now what I am still trying to understand is- What do I ultimately want out of creating? Do I want fame, recognition, money, acclaim, bigger and better opportunities, self-fulfillment? I’m not sure yet. But I do know that I am compulsively driven to keep myself busy. I almost feel guilty going home before 8pm. I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy…. It’s almost like I feel the need to be stressed in order to feel like I am accomplishing anything.  The need to feel stressed in order know that I am doing all that I can possibly handle in that moment.  Which is a stupid way to live. It is foolish to feel that I am falling short if I also happen to enjoy my allotted time on earth.  To feel guilty for having fun when I know a project is due. Then sometimes I wonder why I even make myself so busy. What good does it really do? What lasting impact will that have on my own life or the lives of others? I’m not really sure. I know the way I currently live is not conducive to allowing others into it. It sometimes feels like there is simply no room.

And here are some buildings in New York (I felt the need to lighten the mood a bit):


New Graduate Show at ASU- My poster design

For one of my classes we had a poster design competition for the upcoming New Grad Exhibition at ASU, and mine got chosen!  I spent WAAAAAAYYY too much time on this poster.  All the text is drawn by hand… I realize a computer probably could have done this, but it would lack the love.

It’s actually a combination of hand-drawn and digital work.  I drew all of the letters and border in graphite, then scanned it into my computer and inverted the colors.  I took a chalkboard image I found on google as the background, but as I messed around with the image, it turned out not to be quite chalkboard-y enough.  So I layered another, dirtier looking chalkboard image behind it and erased part of the image out using photoshop. Then it was just a matter of getting the text to be white enough to pop against the background.

Here is the finished product, and some of the before images:

Before photoshopping (you’ll notice I took out the “THE”, which I think was the right choice):

Detail of the beautiful swirly ribbon:

Here’s the link to the ASU Herberger Institute’s page with more details on the show, and dates and all that good stuff.  There are some really inspiring pieces of art, and impressive new graduate students.

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Ideal Studio Space

I’ve been thinking a lot about what my perfect studio space would be.  Here’s a little glimpse into my dream studio:


This apartment is only about $25 million.  I’m hoping to marry very, very rich….

But honestly, who does Not want to live in a clock that overlooks the city??  I would argue that $25 million is a reasonable price for living every child’s dream life. Seriously, this view is incredible.  I can only imagine all the genius ideas I would have here!


And I would definitely like wood floors in my studio, but I would be too afraid to ruin them with paint and charcoal and other various art supplies.  But apparently the world loves me, and has created ceramic tiles that look exactly like wood, without the constant worry of ruining them with art.

This studio is a WAY too clean for me, but I do like the soft white walls and the huge window.  Again with the wood floors. I would definitely ruin these within a month.

I’ve always wanted a house with a tree growing in the middle of it.  I feel like that would be so magical! It would be amazing to have a huge tree in the middle of my studio.  I could hang stuff off of it, and take really cool pictures in my studio, and breath really fresh air.

And of course, a chalk board wall, a la 500 Days of Summer.  I am so jealous of his room.

Take away the couch and dining table, and this would be perfect.  The windows, the high ceiling, the cement floor.  Actually, keep the couch… that way I can take naps.

The coolest book shelf:

I’ll probably have to have a real desk for all the important things I accomplish, so this one looks pretty great.  I love the inspiration wall and the overhead lighting.

Or this desk, but imagine that the wallpapered wall is chalkboard paint… ahhhh

And then this woman’s studio pretty much sums up exactly what I would want.  High, wood ceiling, beautifully lit, tons of storage, plants, and high tables.

I could also work somewhere like this, with the floor to ceiling window, the view!, the brick, the simplicity.  And this table is cool– it’s a giant post-it! Awesome concept, but I would probably never use it.  I don’t like to waste time with drawing on crappy paper.

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First Fridays

The beginning of the web.  The ladder was conveniently already there for me.

And here are the millions of bags of cobwebs I bought from Walmart.  I’m not normally a Walmart shopper. I don’t like it there.  I found it odd that the cashier DIDN’T question me at all…

And Here I am shamelessly self-promoting and chattin it up with some girls that seemed completely uninterested in talking to me:

Talkin to the nice guys at Tallcat.  Their website is launching soon, so they were out at First Fridays to get the word out.  I  actually met them a couple months ago while my design team and I were assembling Peritoneum on the lot on Roosevelt and 2nd street.  They were super helpful and even passed out some spider rings for me : )  They had some great music going, and a couple artists painting that night, so there ended up being a ton of people that night.

All in all, pretty successful night of trying to convince people to like me enough to visit my blog.


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