Jules: Bonjour, indeed! It’s that time of the month again. We’re featuring a student of illustration today, this time the one and only Kali Ciesemier, whose classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art end THIS FRIDAY — and she graduates on May 19th! We happen to think that featuring her art work now is great timing, though we certainly thank her for taking the time to do so during a crazybusy time in her life. Graduation and all that. Yeesh. She’s probably scurrying around right now, doing a million things. Wait, I know she is. She told me so. So, thanks to Kali for taking the time to visit us this morning and show us some of her art work.
Pictured below is one savagely cool, terrifically tough rollerblader, “Betty Beatdown of the Charm City Roller Girls,” and below that is a hello from Kali and a bit more about her and her plans.
Kali: My name is Kali (short for Kathryn Alison) Ciesemier, and I was born and raised in the suburbs around Chicago. I love Chicago, but I jumped ship to study illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where I am about to graduate! Illustration requires a lot of work as a career path, but what makes me love it is the fact that it’s all about solving problems. You’re given an idea with certain guidelines and limitations (with the goal of making an appropriate, aesthetically-pleasing, and comprehensible piece of art) and you have to find the best way to do it. It’s a great challenge, every time!
I love all kinds of illustration, but vintage posters, hand lettering, and children’s books are all especially inspiring to me. One of my favorite books as a kid was Harold and the Purple Crayon, because the idea of being able to draw a whole world for yourself, and others, is really what creating art is all about. I love the humor and lightheartedness that you find in illustrations for kids, and I like to try and apply that same energy to all my work. I have even been working on writing a children’s book myself, but, man, is it hard! I have a lot of respect for all the authors and illustrators out there who make it happen every day.
As an almost-graduate, the world of Real Life is pretty big and a little intimidating, but I’m ready for it! I’ve done some work already, making illustrations for children’s magazines and posters for local venues in Baltimore, so I’d like to build on that and expand my work into even more magazines, books, comics, animation, or whatever else might come my way (especially in the children’s field)! Keep an eye peeled for Kali Ciesemier in the future, and I’ll do my best not to disappoint.
(If you’re interested in the present, take a look at my portfolio at www.ciesemier.com or peek in on my newest pieces and news bits at kalidraws.blogspot.com. I’d be pleased as pie to hear any comments, questions, critiques, or whatever else you’d like to say!)
Pictured here is, in Kali’s words, “a slightly ominous topiary collection . . . Part of a series of eccentric millionaires!” I don’t know about you, but I find the placement of the sun in this image both comforting and disturbing (both good things). That’s creepycrazygood.
Kali is also giving us a sneak peak below of a piece of art work that is not on her website and that she hasn’t posted about yet at her blog, Kali Ciesemier Draws Some Things. “I did a cover wrap-around for Cicada magazine (the 14+ magazine from the same publisher that does Cricket, Muse, Spider, etc.),” she told us, “and they told me that the theme was, ‘It’s an eye-opener and no mistake!’ which is apparently a line from The Lord of the Rings. I decided to go with a non-lord-of-the-rings inspired piece, but I still thought it’d be an eye-opener!”
We love sneak peeks. Thanks, Kali!
Kali’s web site has recently been updated, so go take a look at some of her other creations. Many thanks to Kali, and happy upcoming graduation to her! Oh, and she also told me that she recently drove up to New York to go to the Society of Illustrators’ student awards reception, since one of her pieces got in. She didn’t ask me to say that, but there, I said it, ’cause that’s pretty exciting. Let’s hope she’s not so modest that she’ll, I dunno, paint my face in one of those topiaries in her creepygood topiary image for bragging about her.
Best of luck to Kali! When she becomes obscenely famous one day for her artistic talents, we can say we saw her back in the day at 7-Imp.
As a reminder, our weekly 7 Kicks list is the meeting ground for listing Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week — whether book-related or not — that happened to you (as well as featuring new artists like Kali). You — yes, you reading now — are more than welcome to leave your kicks from the week, whether you’ve ever done so before or not.
1* Ooh, the art. I love Betty Beatdown. And the mysterious topiary-decapitating billionare. And I really love the French Cowboy, with his buddy the metal-head Yeti. I don’t know why, I just do. It speaks to me.
2* We’ve finally gotten around to watching Heroes on DVD. I tried to watch it when it first came on tv, but I missed an episode early on and got utterly lost. Now I can’t believe what I’ve been missing. We’re only on episode 8, and I know there’s no way the show can maintain this level of awesome for more than a season, but for now I’m totally in love with it - especially Hiro.
3* Jules and I have been co-writing a bad poem together for Lynn E. Hazen’s Bad Poetry Friday series. It’s been forever since I’ve tried to write poetry, which always used to frustrate me because bad poetry was all I was capable of writing. Now that there’s a use for the skill, I’m having a blast.
4* After sunshine and 75-degree weather for the last couple of weeks, this past week we had a chilly spell - gray skies, occasional thunderstorms, with temps in the 50s. I love it. I need variety in my forecast.
5* So far, all the herbs we got on that Wine and Herb Fest tour last weekend are still alive. The cilantro keeps faking me out, going all wilty and then rallying at the last minute if I give it a little more water or whatever, which is totally stupid on its part since cilantro is my least-favorite herb ever - I think it tastes like feet. All this needy behavior makes me all the more likely to make a big batch of too-early-in-the-season salsa and call it a day. But all the others seem very happy.
6* At a departmental end-of-semester party, I saw two friends/coworkers perform: one sang an aria, and one played the cello. Both were outstanding, and I have a whole new layer of respect and awe for both of them.
7* B. and I checked out the Friends of the Library’s bi-annual booksale Saturday. We came out with our arms full of goodness. Shut up! It’s a disease, people. We can’t help it.
eisha: Speaking of kicks… Jules is having an actual sans-children date with her husband today, and may not get to post her seven before we go to press. See you in the comments, Jules!
Jules: I made it! I’m here. Stop the presses! No, seriously, I’m here three hours before posting, so I think I’ll be okay.
Eisha, I will now always think of you when I partake of cilantro, which I LOVE. Tastes like feet? If I were in fifth grade, I’d be compelled to ask: How do you know what feet taste like, dude? (And then I’d snort obnoxiously, ’cause, hey, I’m in fifth grade).
But that comment did make me laugh out loud.
Anyway, my kicks:
1). Getting that date today with my husband, all sans kids. It was nice to have a kid-free break, and we ate at my favorite restaurant in Nashville.
2). We came home with a new car, too (well, a new used one, a 2005 car). Whoa. This is a huge thing for us; with me not working full-time in order for one of us to be home with our girls, this is a daunting purchase, but we made it work and really needed a better, safer car for the whole fam damily (if you could see the car we were driving, you’d be laughing at my understatement here. That car was a lot like the one pictured here). We really were just looking but then came home with new wheels (or rizzi, as the cool kids say). Now, I have a CD player in my car and a radio that will actually cooperate. On the way home, I was all excited about being able to hear music on a car radio with volume control that ACTUALLY WORKS, and I caught U2 and “Angie” by The Rolling Stones and even “U Can’t Touch This,” and I turned it up really, REALLY loud (since I had no CDs with me). Admit it: You know you wanna turn MC Hammer up really loud when you’re alone in your car and you hear him. Even my husband was laughing at me (not with me), but then he had to admit that he was enjoying the groove.
My four-year-old has already named the car Swivvy.
3). I think I meant to mention this last week, but, well, I’m scatter-brained (I hate how sexist the phrase “Mommy Brain” sounds, but I’m here to say it’s an actual phenomenon): M.T. (I almost wrote MC again) Anderson wrote a great bad poem (speaking of Lynn Hazen, as Eisha did) over at her blog. As Eisha put it, we’re both in awe that he used the word “unipedal” — and as an end-rhyme, too.
4). Oh, and speaking of poetry again, this poem, which was emailed to me last month—as well as lots of other people—via The Borzoi Reader’s wonderful poem-a-day thingy. I love the very end of the poem, in particular, and love the question: What do you say when love comes to you and asks what you know? Don’t you wish you could indulge in questions like that when you meet someone — instead of small talk? I hate small talk.
5). I think I’m done. I actually had a not-so-glowing week, but I just needed a break from squabbling, wee sisters (my girls)—though don’tchaknow I love them so dearly—and I got one today, so that’s good. And who am I to whine when I have it good compared to a lot of people in this world? Anyway, I’ll close with this video I stumbled upon — in a very roundabout way. Ron Sexsmith looks very drunk and, with all due respect, the camera lingers entirely too long on his lugubrious look there — not to mention the end of the video will make you dizzy. But I like her voice (she’s Ane Brun, a Norwegian singer/songwriter); the melody, especially the chorus; and even those sweet lyrics. Oh and I wanna be one of those dancers in the back:
I am once again terribly behind on blog-reading, so—even though I hope to get caught up soon—I hope folks come to announce their kicks today. So, everybody — what are they? And how about that Kali? Good stuff, huh?