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So NOT Another Mundane Memoir (Both Heartfelt & Hot!!)

Published May 1, 2017 by glgiles

My Review of “So L.A.:  A Hollywood Memoir” by Staci Layne Wilson

So LA Cover

 

Back of So LA

 

Right from the onset, Wilson reveals that she was “born in Hollywood to a rock star dad and a pinup model mom.” If anyone deserves the title of ‘Hollywood Royalty,’ then she most certainly does!

I had the good fortune of ‘cyber meeting’ Staci way back when MySpace was stylized just that way:  MySpace. Even before it changed to Myspace. I think it must’ve been circa 2005, as I don’t think Staci even had her trademark look blue-streak hair yet (Hmmm…I wonder where Blue Streak Productions got its ‘roots?!’). Speaking of hair, that’s what drew me to her  MySpace page, initially. Well, that and her wonderful sense of humor! She had a profile picture up on MySpace of her long locks (a la Cousin Itt, with her back to the camera) and the caption “Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” That still makes me smile even as I write this.

Her knowledge of ‘Old Hollywood’ is extensive (perhaps par for the course with her Hollywood Royalty Roots). Yet, it’s not just the famous names she honors that makes this memoir a captivating read, it is the city of Los Angeles itself. She breathes life into the buildings and landscapes of old and new with her detailed and richly layered insider knowledge.

Though she’s definitely the product of her parents’ journeys, she also, quite remarkably, forged her own more darkly delightful artistic paths while at the same time rescuing horses, rats, cats, ferrets, et cetera. But, that doesn’t mean her own journey was easy. It wasn’t. In fact, she struggled both emotionally and monetarily for years, but she overcame all with a non-judgmental attitude, even against those who’d caused her so much pain.

Her creativity is boundless, and in a society where much art has become homogenized from fear of social media backlash, etc., hers stands out for both its perfection and almost resistance to the mundane tide. I admire the hell outta that!

 

G.L. Giles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bridged”

Published December 29, 2016 by glgiles

Goddess Be with Ye, 2016! (A year of challenges with lots of brilliant artists of many kinds passing, et cetera. Yet, it was also a year of wonderful new beginnings for me~~~)

Hel-o, 2017! (Speaking of Goddesses, I have been fond of the Norse Hel for some time) So looking forward to you, New Year~~~

 

 

bridged-2016

***I have titled this piece I painted “Bridged.” It is symbolic of bridging the old year with the new, etc.~~~

***2017 is also the year that my fun-filled ‘gap years’ come to a close, as I am excited to be inspired again creatively, so 2017 will (hopefully) be the year that the fictional world inside my head is successfully bridged by real world publication again.

***In addition, there are also plenty of hilarious high jinks already ensuing with me playing around on the illustrating side of things thanks to my new iPad Pro (I so dig it!)

Love, Light & Darkness,

GL Giles

 

So much fun being interviewed by the lovely ladies of the “Killer Queens” podcast!

Published October 20, 2015 by glgiles

You can listen to it here.

Interview with an Exceedingly Accomplished Artist: Laurie Lee Brom!

Published August 9, 2014 by glgiles

LaurieBromSavanah

Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, SC, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low Country and rich gullah culture stirring her imagination. She studied illustration at Parsons School of Design in NYC. After a long sabbatical spent raising two boys she returned to the inspiration that first stirred her imagination and paints a spooky brand of imaginative realism. She regularly shows at Roq la Rue gallery in her current home of Seattle, WA.

Q. What subject matter most piques your interest these days? And, does that translate into your artwork?

A. I seem to always be stuck in the past! History really piques my interest. It’s not that I kid myself into thinking times were better then, but I tend to spend a good bit of time surrounding myself with things that have had past lives with previous owners. Often when I paint I look at things in my studio and come up with a story about it, and often incorporate stuff I’ve found into my work. That and nature are my two biggest inspirations. We recently moved to what feels like the country (but really isn’t), abutting a forested wilderness. The flora and fauna, the changing of seasons, my soul really feeds on it.

Q. Mine, too. Switching gears, how did you hear about the ‘Baby Tattooville Event’ and will you be attending this year? When and where is it held?

A. Bob Self (owner of Baby Tattoo publishing) runs the event with his wife, Rani, and they invite a bunch of artists as guests and sell just 50 tickets to people who spend the long weekend together as an immersive experience. http://www.babytattooville.com/home.html We’re really excited about participating in it!

Q. Awesome! Please tell readers about ‘Boxes of Death’ (traveling art show). Will you be contributing to the show?

A. Boxes of Death is something I was chomping at the bit to do because it was pretty far out of my comfort zone. Each artist is given a little coffin to paint. The show tours like a pop up event, I think, down the West Coast with stops in Seattle, Portland, San Fransisco and LA. At first I thought I’d do something over the top and flowery, but then I settled on the idea of the duality of the cat. Lover and killer, adored and feared. The cat in mine has been lovingly arranged by his owner and the little critters are dancing on his grave on the sides of the box. It’s an issue close to home for me! http://www.boxesofdeath.com/

Q. With 7 cats as anipals, I love that you settled on that! Is Brom contributing to the ‘Boxes of Death’ show?

A. Nope. No Brom in this show, though it does seem right up his alley! He’s busy writing.

LaurieBromSnakeWhisper

Q. Now for a fun question: What’s your fondest memory of the Lowcountry?

A. Oh man is that a tough question! I could never choose just one, especially having grown up there and returned many times as an adult. One would be a moonlight swim with my cousins on Isle of Palms. The water was filled with marine phosphorescence. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. But I loved living somewhere so full of history and SO many ghost stories! All of which seem perfectly believable in the context of Charleston. I miss the smell of pluffmud, the dripping Spanish moss, the cemeteries and churches, gaslamps, that stuff gets into your soul and doesn’t let go no matter how long you live away from it.

LaurieBromSwampBride

Q. This Charlestonian couldn’t agree more! So, what else is in the pipeline heading into 2015?

A. Well, I have several group shows lined up including the annual Women Painting Women held at the Principle Gallery in Charleston. Super excited to have a piece heading there! I also have one going to the Copro Gallery in LA next month, Babytatooville in October and then I’m taking some time and coming up with a new body of work.

Q. Where can readers go to connect with you and your darkly delightful work?

A. I’m finally on Instagram and am just getting that going http://instagram.com/laurieleebrom, on facebook https://www.facebook.com/lauriebrom and I have prints for sale on my website http://www.laurieleebrom.com/

LaurieBromMothToAFlame2

Interview with Tracey Edges, Radio Host at Siren 107.3 FM!

Published January 14, 2014 by glgiles

To say that Tracey Edges is a multifaceted artist is truly an understatement, for she is a visual artist, writer and has her own radio show at Siren 107.3 FM! She vividly explains how her visual artwork will oftentimes organically flow into her pieces of written work at her blog with, “I am a fine artist who primarily paints. My work is based upon the reality of my external experiences. I then abstract this reality to varying degrees. As an Artist I continuously observe and these observations sometimes materialize into the written word. This blog is a mixture of my personal reality and my imagination…” (http://www.traceyedges.blogspot.co.uk/).

Tracey Edges

GL: So great to be ‘e-viewing’ (e-mail interviewing) you, Tracey!

TE: It is lovely to be e-viewed, thank you!

GL: Please tell readers about your ‘Sunday Girl’ show at Siren 107.3 FM.

TE: Sunday Girl is 2 very packed hours where I feature an eclectic range of music from any decade, any genre, right up to the latest in the charts. I also make sure I play lots of indie artists as I love to promote them and get their great music ‘out there’. I have an Artist of the Week, where I play two tracks and inform my listeners about the Artist. I also have a Book of the Week feature and The Sunday Girl Triple Play which are three back to back tracks with some connection. As I make up the connection it can either be quite obvious – such as the colour ‘blue’ or be a bit weird – such as ‘songs with titles I particularly like’! I tend to think of the connection first and then try to find tracks to fit it. That can throw up tracks I’ve forgotten about or, alternatively, frustrate me when I don’t have suitable ones and have to think up something else. I also feature famous people who have birthdays on the day of the show and there is always the Quirky Question – just for a bit of fun! I work really hard at my research, listening to all the music and writing all the features so it is rather time consuming but I do love doing it so that makes it easier. Although an eclectic mix I try to make my playlist flow as much as possible and tie tracks in to the features or people mentioned. It is a privilege being trusted to have total control over a show. It is definitely my baby and I do my best to look after it and it is great to watch it grow!

GL: Does it air every Sunday morning between 9-11 a.m.? It’s based out of the UK, so when and how can USA listeners tune in?

TE: Yes, it is 9-11am but UK time so GMT or BST(GMT+1) depending on the time of the year. You can listen direct from my show page on the radio station’s website: http://www.sirenonline.co.uk/section/shows/sunday-girl or via the free TuneIn or Radioplayer apps on any mobile device (or online). If within the Lincoln, England, area you can also listen in on 107.3FM

GL: Besides featuring cool bands and their music—like Blondie, Erasure, etc.—you also feature a Book of the Week and an Artist of the Week. How do you choose the featured book and the featured artist?

TE: Whether I am doing my Art, my writing or my radio show, I work in a very organic way this happens with the Artist and the Book features as well. Often people will message me on Facebook or Twitter and send me mp3s or books. I have accumulated both book and music mountains! I may have a book or track for months and then something will remind me of it and I will go in that direction. Sometimes it happens that, for example, a musician will send me tracks just as I am thinking about writing that week’s feature and, if I think they are good, I will go with them. I will often get my Kindle out for a flick-through to see what books I have on there. For any e-book Authors who think that a cover isn’t important – I beg to differ. A good, or intriguing, cover can get my attention and make me want to explore within the pages and possibly feature it. A bad cover will have the opposite effect. It’s the very same as to why one book displayed in a bookshop will shout to you and make you pick it up over its quieter neighbours. I also have two anthologies called Off The Record. The first one is based on Record titles and the second, movie titles. Each book contains brilliant stories from about 40 different Writers. I often will go and have a delve in those to choose someone to explore further. I have to admit to having a short story in At The Movies and it is called ‘Memento’. It is also on my short story blog and can be read here: http://bit.ly/1hTx3Od I have another blog which is a continuous story called PI GY. It explains what that means in the first part “The Beginning” which can be read here: http://bit.ly/19mi8WH These stories really need to be read in order. My first experience with Siren FM was when I recorded the first 8 episodes of PI GY for a radio series. That can be heard here: http://bit.ly/WnwZJO With typical Tracey-Timing, I had a really bad fluey cold when I recorded those and lots of coughing, croaking and sneezes had to be edited out!

GL: I love your organic and timely unfolding process, and I look forward to reading everything! Switching gears, have you ever had any negative feedback from your so-called “cringeworthy jokes?”

TE: No, I have been very lucky (or it may be due the permanent cotton wool stuffed into my ears so I don’t hear any!) It tends to be more cringeworthy connections, than jokes as I will often connect tracks to features and they can be rather eye-rolling/tenous ones!

GL: I love that you employ humor like that! Now, what kind of local events do you cover? I know that you’re a bit ‘canine-crazy’, like me, so are any of them animal adoption events?

TE: It tends to be events such as gigs/workshops/exhibitions and city-centre things to do. I did cover a request for people to take their animals to see how intelligent they were. The university (where Siren FM is based) was doing a research project about what dogs ‘read’ from their environment/your face etc. As much as I love ‘causes’ I try to keep the content light as it goes out on a Sunday morning. 2 of my 3 dogs are rescues and I feel very strongly about that issue. If I won the Euromillions I would love to open a rescue home for dogs.

GL: Awesome! I think I’d swim ‘across the pond’ to be able to hang out in a cool canine rescue home like that! I know that you’re also a great exhibiting artist. Where has your artwork been displayed? Which mediums do you work in?

TE: I have had work displayed in Galleries both locally and nationally and had several solo exhibitions. I have received fantastic feedback from them so that is definitely one achievement ticked off my bucket list from being young. My Grandfather was an Artist so I grew up with the smell of oil paint. I am far too impatient for oils though, even though I do like using them. I find I use a mixture of high quality heritage emulsion paints and acrylics plus whatever I feel is going to enhance a painting as I am doing it. I may suddenly start scribbling over the paint with pencil or throw ink at it. I just go with the flow and what feels right at that moment. I usually start off from an experience that I have photographed. I mess about with the photograph on my computer and take it away from the visual reality. I then use this photograph as a start to my painting. I always know where I am starting from but never how it is going to finish, or when – it may be in 5 minutes or 5 weeks. I am the same with my writing – I let the story unfold as I go along. I did an interview for Estuary Radio and a slideshow of a smaller exhibition – called Eclectic and this can be seen here: http://bit.ly/UwF1on

GL: Where can readers go to connect with you and your wonderful work?

TE: All of my work is in my photo albums on my Facebook profile which is: Tracey Edges. I have a page for my radio show: http://www.facebook.com/traceyedgespresenter and I have a woefully out of date website at: http://www.traceyedges.co.uk All my links can be found on my http://www.about.me/traceyedges page.

GL: What’s on the horizon for 2014?

TE: Firstly, to update my website! I also need to sort out my time management skills so that I have time to put into all 3 of my main projects: Art/Writing/Radio. I’ve tried to sideline one or two but I just can’t do it – I love doing them all and have wanted to do all since my schooldays. If anyone has a day-stretcher please let me borrow it. I wouldn’t sleep or eat if I didn’t have to. Lots of Art, Radio and Writing ahead – watch this space!

GL: Thanks so much, Tracey! Truly my pleasure!

TE: You are welcome and thank you very much for asking me.

Interview with Jamie Oliver (A.K.A. Khemical Komixz)

Published April 27, 2013 by glgiles

frank (2)

Jamie Oliver’s artwork has a cool ‘retro feel’ to it—reminiscent of old Harvey Comics and Rankin/Bass. Plus, Oliver has truly diverse taste in music:  from Frightwig to The Mantras to Anoushka Shankar. You can check out some of his artwork at http://www.cafepress.com/khemicalkomixz and http://khemicalkomixz.imagekind.com


Which pieces of your artwork would you describe as ‘textile art’? I know it’s oftentimes considered arts and crafts that employ plant and synthetic fibers to make practical or decorative things, but what is textile art to you?
 
My  signature pieces of textile artwork were definitely my silk paintings and my custom colors…to describe textile artwork, it’s like mastering using a 50-pound hammer to lightly tap something, and you must always remember you are working inside the fabric [rather] than on top of it or the bottom.

Which pieces, if any, that you’ve created represent the knowledge you picked up while taking your animation courses?
 
Two of the characters I have come up with.  At times, I do wish I had more of a Harvey Comics or Rankin/Bass style (of characters), but I have came to terms with finding my own style.

I love the variety of your artwork and the items it can be printed on at your
http://www.cafepress.com/khemicalkomixz site. It’s cool how your images can be printed on yoga mats, coasters, flasks, etcetera. Please tell readers about the various pieces you have there and what inspired them.

I love Cafepress, as it lets the indie artists sale their wares without the overhead of mixing inks. I also love the coasters and bags on there. My big inspiration was to give patrons the options to have my images on everyday items they normally use , and luckily, with print-on-demand, the product is always in stock.


By contrast, what does your
http://khemicalkomixz.imagekind.com site offer?

Imagekind offers more massive-size posters and prints. People really need to check them out and get familiar with the drop down bar menu that lets you select the size you can have things printed:  they’re as massive as three and a half feet by five feet. And, you get to chose the option of what grade canvas paper you choose. My enhanced matte and premium photo glossy prints that size retail for under a hundred dollars, if you buy [them] unframed. It’s amazing what print-on-demand offers these days.


You and I share a love of the music of Ravi Shankar which certainly lives on after his passing late last year. When did you first become a fan of his?

 
I became a devotee of Ravi at 15, and I was one of the early followers of his East Meets West record label. I’m a huge fan of Anoushka Shankar; she really does her own thing:  everything from blending different cultures of music to orchestras. And, I have always loved Norah Jones; she is amazing, and a great piano player. I truly enjoy a lot of piano and organ music.


Which other bands do you listen to on a regular basis? And, why?

I like my rockers! Looking forward to listening to Frightwig and a band out of Atlanta called The Rhythym Yard (also known as T.R.Y.); they are fronted by an amazing drummer, John McKnight. I am also into a great guitarist named Mike Martin. He has played in several different bands, and he’s an extremely talented guy, but knows how to have fun with it. I always dig what The Mantras are doing, too.


What’s in the pipeline for you for the rest of 2013 and into 2014?

Hopefully, over the next two years I will be doing more concept artwork along with being an art director along with producing digital multi media projects as well as organizing group projects. I’m by no means ready to become a ‘desk jockey’ or have people referring to me as ‘the boss’. My ego just doesn’t work that way in a work enviroment with other people. It’s a lot easier for everyone  involved when you have a concept and a budget to work with—[better] than randomly calling people saying what should we do. <hahaha>