On Resolutions and Living Up to 16 Year Old Me’s Expectations

I have many “new year’s resolutions” this year and one of them, which is one I’ve had every since graduating high school basically, is to make more art. It’s pretty simple, but also pretty hard to achieve at times between work and excuses and shit. So maybe one of my resolutions is really “no excuses”. I’ve been implementing that in my health since September this past year and I’ve seen my clothes fitting me better, people complimenting me on “looking good”, PANTS FALLING OFF MY ASS AT WORK, ya know, the usual.

Next month it’ll be 3 years since I graduated college and I’m having a quarter life crisis here because I’m not where 16 year old me imagined I would be at this point in my life. Like, let me get real candid here, okay? I’m a peon working in retail making less than $10 an hour with fluctuating weekly hours and a schedule that changes week to week (but seems to be “closing” for the past 5 weeks straight). I have healthcare through my parents which is a godsend, but pretty soon that’s gonna expire once I turn 26 or something like that.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a boo-hoo me post. Despite not being the successful fashion designer I imagine myself to be (yet), I recognize that it’s not just my locale and surroundings that have to do with that, which I often blame. (Because what grows in Detroit if you don’t water it yourself, know what I mean? This isn’t the hub for fashion. This is the MOTOR CITY. ) I am to blame for my “lack of success” in that I haven’t been practicing my craft nearly as often I should post-grad. I recognize that I should be practicing every day, no excuses.

So here’s to trying.


Y’all remember my Society6 shop I opened up almost a year ago? I decided I’d test my digital design skills out and put some new stuff up. This after I got an email that I got paid because someone loved my Rebel Alliance print so much, they bought a hoodie with it (AND 2 PEOPLE BOUGHT PHONE CASES WITH IT TOO!) and I thought to myself “I need to offer more variety”.


So I did what any self-respecting artist would do. I threw my design cap on and went to work. I consider myself a pretty kickass “amateur” photographer, so combining photography from my expansive archives with my love of profanity and ironically amusing quotes thrown on unsuspecting floral backgrounds, I’ve begun curating a small typography collection that you can own on numerous items from notecards, t-shirts, tapestries, clocks, phone cases and more for all you “fuck” and “shit” lovers out other.


And there’s more to come. Because who doesn’t need some “Thug Life” pillows in their life, honestly?


BTW, for those of you interested in purchasing anything, here’s a promo link! Free worldwide shipping + 20% off Throw Blankets and Pillows through February 7th. You’re welcome.



Gummy Bears

I’m heading out a little later to hang up a bunch of my art at a gallery (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so I thought I’d share one of the pieces that’ll be displayed. Last time I did an art show, this was the only piece that sold. There’s just something about these gummy bears that people love. I ain’t complainin’.

Lens: 85mm NIKKOR AF-S Micro
F-stop: f/3.8
Exposure: 1/80
ISO: 250

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram @lovelikeangels for more photography and my Society6 shop for watercolor art.


Spike Art

This week on Vivography I’ve got some product/art photography to share!

I discovered this really cool local artist, Gino Torelli of Spike Art, this past winter, who makes figurines out of railroad spikes and other sweet pieces using donated and scrap steel. After promising to come back and interview him, I let a few months slip by and then I saw his business card in my purse a couple weeks ago and I headed over to the Rust Belt Market the next day.

And good thing I did, because I found out it was his second-to-last weekend at RBM!


First things first, he’s an artist out of the countryside of Michigan who uses railroad spikes because he believes they look like people. And they do! They look like little people with hats on, which is awesome for scenes where the figurines are doing things like golfing.



If I’m reading my scratchy notes correctly, the first figurine he ever made was a weight lifter, for his son. Afterward, he made a football player and began numbering his pieces. Each and every piece, whether it’s a spike figurine or an awesome R2D2, is numbered and signed. If it’s not numbered or signed, it’s not an original Spike Art piece.




Gino is big on humor, and many of his figurines definitely evoke this quality. He’s got pieces with the spikes on toilets, hookers on 8 mile, and even a pretty awesome Walking Dead themed collection. But even from the first time we spoke, he was very clear that he’s into humor and not perversion. He has declined to make figurines that would be deemed perverted, stating that he doesn’t want to put his name to something that would be distasteful. It’s all about tasteful humor at Spike Art. Strippers and 8 mile hookers is as raunchy as it gets!


And speaking about special pieces, aside from the railroad spike figurines, he also does special bigger pieces. My personal favorites are the R2D2’s and a particular life-size violin he made from a thick steel door. I also recall seeing the twin towers, a stingray, a guitar, and a Spartan in a chariot. Gino also told me he makes model trains that sell pretty well to train collectors, but he prefers to make and sell the spike figurines because they’re less time to make and sell quicker than specialty pieces, which are always going to be more time to make and more expensive. As he put it, it takes a special customer to walk in and say “yes, I want that $800 piece of steel.”


So if you’re ever in the Michigan area and attending any kind of art show or fair, make sure you look for Spike Art! There are some truly incredible pieces to check out.


P.S. I need that R2D2 and violin.

P.P.S. If you want to get in touch with Gino or check out his website, click here: spikeartinc.com

P.P.P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Instagram @lovelikeangels for more photography and my Society6 shop for watercolor art.

My Society6 Store

I thought I’d share something a little different this week.

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on traditional art, especially watercolors. And in doing so, I officially opened up a Society6 shop with various prints, ranging from sweet nerdy galaxy pieces, to cutesy fine art pieces. The awesome thing about Society6, of course, is that they don’t just sell prints. They also sell phone cases, skins, totes, mugs, pillows, clocks, tapestries, bedspreads, and much more. So the opportunity to sell a design increases with the amount of choices you give your customers.

You can check out my shop by clicking here: society6.com/lovelikeangels

And because this is a visual blog, check out some of the options below!

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Detroit Grooming Company: Part III

I had a really hard time choosing this last photo. But ultimately, I feel like this embodies the old world aesthetic of DGC.

The mirror perfectly frames this shot and gives the viewer a better idea of the company, in my opinion. In case you haven’t grasped it by now, they’re all about being local, handmade, embracing that rustic hardworking appeal of Detroit and turning out quality products. I really liked the old school shaving applicators, as they reminded me of being a little kid again and playing around my dad’s and grandpa’s, pretending I was shaving too. That’s the thing about this classic, old school stuff – it evokes memories you might have forgotten and brings a genuine smile to your face.

One of the other things I enjoyed about their booth at DIY was that they really paid attention to making their displays look vintagey, organic, and rustic, and it played up their products really well. (+10 points, guys)

You can have awesome stuff, but if you don’t display your products right, you’re missing half the equation for success. True story. Trust me, I went to school for this.

Don’t forget to hit them up on social media. Website, Facebook, Instagram << click ’em!

And that’s it for the mini series folks! Hope you enjoyed it and thank you again, Detroit Grooming Company, for allowing me to photograph your merch and sending so many viewers to my blog, that WordPress specially notified me of a boost in views. #yousdabest


Detroit Grooming Company: Part II

I had to photograph the beard oil. Obviously.

Not only is “beard oil” something that sounds fun to say, but the packaging and individually wax sealed bottles are really aesthetically pleasing and the first thing I noticed when I stopped by the DGC booth.

Also, I can vouch for the scents being sweetly satisfying. They have four, Corktown, Downtown, Mackinac, Orchard Lake, named after locations in Detroit and Michigan, and they each have unique fragrances. I really liked Orchard Lake (orange + vanilla) and Corktown (cedarwood + vanilla + tobacco) which if I remember correctly, reminded me of my favorite Restoration Hardware scent, Belgian Linen.

If I had a beardo boyfriend, I’d make him use this stuff. Honestly.

As a reminder, hit them up on their website, Facebook, and Instagram by clicking each here.