Julie the Tattoo Lady

My Sketch Steve's Coloring/IllustrationEric's Arm











For whatever reason this year so far I am not into painting. AT ALL. Like, I have ZERO desire to paint thus far in 2014. I did the video game marathon for and finished three paintings during the marathon. I owe at least seven donators paintings. I'm sorry, I promise you don't want me to shit the paintings out - they won't be good. Patience for good paintings please! The only other semi-creative thing I did so far in 2014 was a face painting gig and while that was fun and landed me a couple free sessions with my trainer (we bartered!), it also lead to me being harassed for a few days by some random guy who I met while giving OkCupid a try. Let me tell you that was a mistake. OkCupid is not good. Granted I instigated this 100%. This guy I was chatting with worked at the venue I was painting faces at. So because I am good with faces (pun intended), someone said his name, and I had his picture to reference I figured it out. I messaged him saying "At this face painting gig at Branches, think you work here maybe....????" I was correct, he messaged me back later. I said something about it seemed like he was in charge and telling people what to do. He told me "Oh yeah, you want a job? I can tell you what to do." Think you can guess where it went from there? If you guessed that he later told me he had a dream where I was using a strap on on him, then you are correct. If you didn't guess that, well thank for being a decent human being. That is why we are friends.

I totally digressed on that. But at the same time maybe that's why I am not currently inspired by art, because I'm dealing with THAT. I think God punished me for OkCupid because the following week I got a ridiculous sinus infection and then the medicine I was on gave me dizzy spells and could have potentially caused me to have "feelings that others can hear your thoughts or control your behavior". So you know, normal side effects. Also, I deactivated my account really, really quickly.

So anyway, I helped to designed a tattoo for my friend Eric along with our friend Steve Boldt of Steve Boldt Design - website here. One day Eric asked me to sketch a tattoo for him called Time Traveling Rock Stars. As I'm putting this out to the Internets I will provide no further description, but if we do it right it's going to be awesome. As Eric was checking in on the status of that he asked if I would also draw a picture of a shark eating a cheeseburger. To be honest I just thought Eric was interested in me drawing a picture of a shark eating a cheeseburger for him, which I was totally up for. A couple texts later I realized it was also a tattoo and decided that was bit easier than the more involved Time Traveling Rock Stars so I dove right into the shark (I wanted to say dove into the water because of the shark but I didn't think that made sense).

The following Saturday was Steve's birthday. We were out in Asbury and I brought two sketches for Eric. He picked one of the two I brought, turned to Steve and said "Hey Steve, you up for coloring this?" Steve said yes, Eric took the sketch and my part in this tattoo was done.

Three days later I was at work and I received a text from Steve. It was a picture of his coloring/illustration/graphic design awesomeness of my sketch with the text "How's this? Not bad for 30 minutes". At this point in life I knew Steve did Graphic Design, but it is one thing knowing what a friend does and another thing seeing what a friend does. I was straight up blown away by how talented he is. It was even more impressive to me that he took something I drew and made it better in a way that I will never be capable of doing. I've tried graphic design through photoshop, with a tablet, etc... I SUCK. It does not make sense to my brain. But it makes sense to his and he is awesome at it.

Steve sent it to Eric. Eric loved it. Eric made an appointment with his tattoo artist and this past Saturday Eric got it tattooed on his body.

At the completion of this, I have now upped the ante on art. Now I have had a part in something that is on someone's body forever! Pretty sweet. Pretty cool to collaborate too. I know my limitations as an artist. Other friends who are artists can help me take my art somewhere I can't. So here's hoping that in the wake of helping to design a tattoo and ending my string of terrible, uninspiring, not sure I can really call it dating, "dating" interludes, I can get some inspiration back in my life and get creating.

In the words of Andy Dufrense get busy living, or get busy dying... FOR ART! (I added the last part btdubs). Happy Monday everyone.



Happy Birthday Eric and Larissa is Super Cool

Similar to my previous entry "An Ode to Kelly", this is an Ode to Eric and Larissa. Another best thing to happen to me in 2013 is hanging with Larissa and Eric. I’d known them both for several years. Eric and I first met when Matt G, Pat, Matt, Paul and I were making Thesis back in 2008. Eric and his friend Ian came out to a shoot we were holding in my sister’s dorm on Livingston campus. We needed extras to film a party scene and they were helping us out. The partygoers needed to appear to be naturally talking in the background while Matt G was acting out a scene. Eric, Ian and I ended up having a conversation about pizza bagels – a very solid start to any friendship. I met Larissa shortly thereafter when she and Eric had just started dating at Eric’s birthday celebration at Captain Hook’s in Seaside. But this really was a friendship through our mutual friend Matt and it stayed that way for several years... until this summer!
This past June, I was recently and happily single and was looking for any friends who were just down to hang. I was over Matt’s house hanging with Holly, Matt G, Eric, and Jed playing videogames when Eric mentioned that his friends played volleyball every Sunday during the summer. He was throwing the invite out to us and I was psyched. However I wasn’t sure if it was thrown out to me individually or us as a group, still feeling out my new found re-emergence into friend world after the end of my relationship. My ex really didn’t like doing many things with my friends and I was trying to get back into the game... awkwardly I might add and worrying whether people liked me. Ridiculous, I know. Who doesn’t love me?
I should add that I LOVE volleyball. Love, love, love, love volleyball. Nothing better than diving for the ball and getting it over the net. In high school our gym teacher offered us two extra points to your overall grade if you bruised yourself playing volleyball and five extra points if you bloodied yourself. You better believe I got all seven of those points.
Matt and Holly couldn’t go the first week, so I didn’t go. I wanted to but I was feeling uncharacteristically shy and uncertain. The next week I wanted to go so I texted Eric and asked if I could come as my own independent unit. Eric said absolutely. After that I was a weekly regular. Larissa played volleyball too and I remember seeing her and wanting to be friends but feeling out of my element and just hoping she liked me. This volleyball thing was like eighth grade for me I swear. I just wanted the cool kids to like me.
Towards the end of the summer the turn out for Volleyball was lacking and Eric called it off. I was really bummed about this because it was a ton of fun and I didn’t want to stop hanging out with that crew. I guess I had made a good enough impression at that point though and I was invited to a wrestling match at Eric and Larissa’s and then many subsequent football Sundays. Then Larissa received a promotion at her job freeing up her weekends and the friendship started snowballing. I signed up to go on vacation with them the following summer. Larissa helped me make my ice cream cake for my birthday party and then let me drunk cuddle her when she slept over after my party. Eric and I planned a full day Lord of the Rings marathon. Larissa was my date to a holiday party. Eric agreed to read my screenplay and potentially help me make it. We pretty much locked this friendship in.
Now the reason for this Ode to Eric and Larissa: yesterday was Eric’s birthday. We celebrated at Captain Hook’s in Seaside again – bringing this whole thing full circle. Pumped about my new awesome friendships I wanted to do something nice for his birthday and I am poor. So what to do when you are poor? Exploit my talents and paint a sports insignia. Also stop buying so many damn beautiful dresses Julie! The painting cost me nothing but time and enabled me to waste several hours melting my brain in front of the TV. Like I say with most of my paintings because I am ever so modest, this one rules! I finished a week ago and literally all week I have been looking at in my room thinking how flipping great I am at painting. Like seriously, I am amazing. Everyone should be so lucky to win my friendship and get a painting!
Not to forget Larissa in this, I told her I would love to do something for her too. We agreed the Giants logo kind of sucked. She said maybe I could paint her some lemons on 4 by 4 inch canvases. I so graciously told her that I could literally “shit out” those paintings so I would do that anyway and to think of something better.
Larissa, I await your request!
Eric, happy birthday!

So glad we are friends guys!
Heart your friend, Julie


An Ode to Kelly

K.P.K. (Kelly) and Sweet D (Me)One of the best things to happen to me in 2013 was Kelly moved to Red Bank. I kind of already had decided we were going to be best friends and had put some good face time in with her family – I helped her out of a jam on her birthday with her mom and brother and I helped her move into her 3rd floor apartment on a day that was hot as balls in July without any AC with her dad. After that it didn’t take long for her and me to develop a co-dependent heterosexual relationship. We were so enamored with our friendship that we gave ourselves our own celebrity couple name: Jelly (Julie + Kelly). Brangelina got nothing on us!
This year was our first Jelly Christmas together. Naturally I wanted to do something special for her to celebrate the occasion. But what to do? I was going to frame a picture of me and her from my birthday (pictured below). That didn’t seem enough. I wanted to do something a bit more special for my fantastic lady.

One day at work Kelly put a baby picture of herself up at my desk (pictured below). I was looking at it and talking to Renee when it dawned on me. What is something special that I could do for my best friend Kelly? Well, duh! I could paint a celebrity couple painting of us!
So I got to work on it, covertly asking her random questions via text: What is your favorite color? Blue. What is your favorite outfit? Black jeans and a regular v neck shirt. I used knowledge I already had about her – she wears gold jewelry – and I started painting.
When I finally finished it up Sunday night, I was so excited to give it to her but knew I had to wait until our dinner date Thursday. This past Thursday we went to Goldie’s in Asbury and enjoyed a delightful Prix Fixe dinner and exchanged gifts. Kelly, knowing me so well, got me black nail polish and top coat, a jewelry dish for all my new rings (a dish I almost bought myself earlier from Anthropologie. She knows me well!) and a journal. The journal was by far my favorite present. Kelly told me she thought I should start keeping a journal because I have amazing stories. I had to agree with her on that – one day I’m sure my offspring will want to know about the shenanigans their mother got into in her youth.
Then I got to give her my present. I saved the painting for last – first giving her a Markel towel, then vitamin c packs because I don’t like when she is sick,  and then the framed picture of us. I was so excited for the painting. I think I was smiling like a total idiot as I handed it to her. She loved it. She didn’t think it was weird. It was a success!
As with all painting that I do, they require a write up. So this one is an ode to Kelly. I am very lucky to have her in my life and we will be friends forever. Also, she is an excellent wing lady.

Some of the reasons I like Kelly:

-       She’s allergic to Christmas Trees
-       She teaches me helpful life skills – how to season things and how to paint my nails so they don’t chip
-       She likes to dance
-       She knows how to cook
-       She is lactose intolerant so she will go to vegan restaurants with me
-       She encourages me to better myself
-       She is always down to party
-       She likes cuddling on the couch and watch movies
-       We can talk about anything

<------- This picture.


A Shure Wedding

The Parents of the BrideThe Bride and GroomThe Parents of the Groom










Today is a special day. Today my friends Gina and Joe are getting married. I couldn't be happier for them and to be a part of this day. I am the maid of honor - pretty pumped about that. I get to make a speech and I think it's a good one. I get to wear three inch hot pink heels and I think I can walk in them. I also got tapped by the bride and groom to complete three paintings - one of the bride and groom for the sweetheart table, and then one of the parents of the bride and one of the parents of the groom to be given as gifts.

I procrastinated like whoa on these and spent this past week leaving work and immediately going home and painting knowing I had a very specific deadline for their completion. In the end I was able to finish them in time and I think they came out super adorable.

Right now I'm currently sitting in the bridal suite with Gina and the bridesmaid waiting to go get our makeup and hair done. To get in the wedding spirit we are watching Mama. It's going to be an awesome day full of love, laughter, dancing, cute paintings and feral children.

Congratulation Gina and Joe!


A Better Picture of My New Painting

I wanted to share this picture of my most recent painting because it is much better quality and shows the colors much better then my previous posting of it. I also wanted to share what I named the painting: D.E.N.N.I.S.

Why did I name it this? Because it is the visual representation of what happens when some dude uses The D.E.N.N.I.S. System on me. For those of you who don't know what The D.E.N.N.I.S. System is please click on this link: Learn what The D.E.N.N.I.S. System is.

It threw myself a birthday party two weeks ago for turning 29. It was a great time. Pictures from the event can be seen here: My 29th Birthday. At the party I had several Jell-O shots and was in a great place both physically and spiritually, when all of the sudden I realized I had been D.E.N.N.I.S.ed. What this entails (if you haven't seen the episode or clicked on the link above) is the follow steps:

Demonstrate Value

Engage Physically

Nurture Dependence

Neglect Emotionally

Inspire Hope

Separate Entirely

So yeah, that happened to me, and all I can say is mark this down as another hilarious story in the life of me. I love It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so the fact that I got D.E.N.N.I.S.ed is kind of awesome. I'm currently trying to get an art show somewhere based on my "He's Just Not That Into Me" collection and I think this painting makes an incredibly hilarious addition to the collection and might just be one of my top five favorite paintings I have completed in my life. Now I can look forward to the next stages of the The D.E.N.N.I.S. System - Mac's Move in After Completion and Frank's SCRAPS - no acroym here, it is what it is. I'll keep you posted.

Next Up: The cutest darn paintings ever for Gina and Joe's wedding next Saturday, November 2nd. I'm Maid of Honor! What up!