The #brandish series is about the tools that Albuquerque artists use to bring creative work into this world. It is about their most-leveraged tool—that tool without which the artist would not be able to do his or her specific batch of creativity. These are the tools they #brandish.
Here are a few of my favorites. The entire series is available at Pyragraph.
“I’m car-free. So as a freelance writer, I bike around everywhere, often to meet clients. And I want to look fancy. Sometimes biking and looking fancy is hard. But my secret is bike shorts. Under any skirt, dress, etc., bike shorts enable me to get around while still looking professional.” —Emily Hill | Freelance Writer
“I started getting lessons on dark rooms inside myself. When that light came on and I started reading the writing on the walls is when my point of view grew in awareness. Without my point of view evolving, there wouldn’t be a paintbrush, a camera, a grinder, willingness, acceptance. There wouldn’t be anything. I would just sit and stare and wonder.” —Rocky Norton | Artist
“I do all my designing on dress forms so I can visually see it before it comes to life. And all my dresses get named. They’re like my people. You work with and spend so much time with them that it’s like giving birth to this thing that then goes off into the world.” —Teresa Romero | Fashion Designer
“My notebook is the tool I brandish because it holds all the information I’m going to forget eventually. It’s tangible. I can always go back for names, numbers, addresses, locations, notes, drawings, measurements. It becomes an assistant. It holds the concrete evidence of conversations, meetings, and ideas that take form.” —Kevin Pierce | Production Designer
“Weather can have a beautiful impact on metal, which is my primary medium. Being from Oklahoma, I realized how big a role the weather plays in its culture, and I want to explore how different kinds of metal react in different ways to extreme weather, just like different people react in different ways to it.” —Leslie Martin | Sculptor
“I use Instagram to post pictures my audience can engage with and follow along the journey with me from beginning to end of each of my paintings. They’re in the city with me, right behind me, as the adventure unfolds.” —David Santiago | Painter
“Hair ties, clips, accoutrements. Keeping my hair out of my face helps to keep me focused on the creation process. Hair can be very distracting; it stops the flow of the body’s creation. Dancers use the body as the tool to communicate. If your hair is a distraction, it takes away from whatever you’re trying to express.” —Lisa Nevada | Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer
“Travel is a big part of my songwriting and touring processes. Over the last six years, I’ve stayed on 100-150 couches, and it’s people’s hospitality and awesomeness that keeps me going and circles back into the songwriting. A couch for me isn’t even the thing—it’s a person opening up their house, friendship, and space.” —Brett Randell | Songwriter
“I brandish costumes and makeup. I didn’t realize until the Lynette video got popular how much I rely on creating different characters to express myself or come up with funny ideas. I think since I was a little kid all I wanted to do was play dress up and I just do it as a grown up now, too.” —Lauren Poole | Actor and Comedian
“It’s my little friend, the cough drop. It gives me a little love before and after the show. I’ll do my warm-up and then I’ll throw a cough drop in and chill before we start, and when we’re done I put one in just to kind of sooth everything. I’d have a hard time living without it.” —Amanda Machon | Lead Vocalist of Red Light Cameras