Today I got on instagram to look for love but not in the way you might think. No I wasn't looking to see if I had received any new love for a recent post, and no there was no goal to meet an instacrush. Today I decided to count how many hearts I had documented over the period of time since I have had instagram for the past six years. I thought for sure I had a bunch but after picking through each and taking out some questionable hearts like the inside of an apple, I narrowed it down to these eight hearts to share the love on this Valentine's Day. Of course, not all hearts are the same. Here is my ranking of the best heart for me from eight to the number one:
#8 Body Love
September 17, 2013 Post | Showing off my new bracelet from the Cooper-Young Festival, I doodled a little heart while waiting for my slow computer to open Photoshop at MIFA. I use to come home from school with imaginative, design doodles on my hand that my mom thought were meaningful symbols. She would nail me with questions like if they were anti-christ marks. Oh boy! My only hope is that I am still doing it when I am old in a nursing home where someone has the same perspectives as my mother and I make it into some outrageous documentary. I can be the episode called, "The Messenger on Death's Bed."
#7 Justin for Your Birthday
February 15, 2014 Post | Who doesn't want Justin for their birthday? This was for my roommate who's birthday was a day after Valentine's Day who also might just be his #1 fan. I remember I had less than a hour to build the cutout of Justin, sand his elbows and set this up for her to walk in to. Luckily I had a epic fail of building a durable cutout my Freshman year of college and by this point in my life knew the process like the taste of Chocolate Cake. It was a success, he started hanging out with her at home, work and around town and eventually started to tear our relationship apart like all new, mysterious boyfriends do. Can you find the hearts? There are two.
#6 Love a Give-a-Damn
February 13, 2014 Post | This was the Valentine I designed for MIFA's volunteers in 2014. Still one of my favorites from my time at MIFA. Maybe because it was the only project without the politices and ten cooks in the kitchen. I went with some knitting because it was something the senior citizens (MIFA demographic) and hipsters would both enjoy. Plus there is nothing better than creating something for a person who deserves a little love.
#5 A Honest Heart
March 3, 2016 Post | At this moment, eating a sandwich with soup at Highlands Cork & Coffee, I found a moment of calmness in my hectic life to make a big decision. I had a shower of bad things happen to me but I had no idea that the worse had not even began as I took another bite. Surrounded by horrible so-called art, I looked further to rest my eyes and saw this piece of fabric tied into a heart, blocking the light from blinding me more than the printed canvases on the wall. It was simple and felt honest, as if it might actually been created by mistake. This little heart captured a moment of time for me with enlightenment. I needed to start working towards balance in my life and learn to accept flow. There were things in my life that I did not like but ignoring those things did not make anything better, just like those pixelated canvas prints did not disappear from me trying to look past them. However, fuck 2016!
#4 Love, AKA Chocolate and Friends
February 14, 2013 Post | Ok so truths, I hate Valentine's Day. I purposely go into hermit mode regardless if I have a Valentine or not. The pressure of expressing love on-key for public display is scary and the expectation of others revealing their feelings is a setup for failure. This day just gives us another reason to spend money and give into cultural expectations. But when my friends decide to get together for to celebration of our love for one another and a dear friend's bday than it is a totally different ball game. Especially when everyone is expected to bring Chocolate! Those oatmeal chocolate cookies at the bottom left are mine, full of protein so we can stay strong out there. Don't give in! ;-)
#3 An Ugly Heart
March 1, 2016 Post | I ran into this heart walking into work from my car. Just a reminder that some hearts were meant to be lost.
#2 Happy Ever After
July 2, 2014 Post | Before I moved to Denver I went back to Middle TN to visit my family. My grandmother's birthday was coming up at the end of July so I spent a bit more time than usual with her. I didn't know that it would be one of the last times I would see her. While visiting, she showed me some old magazines that she had and after acknowledging my excitement over them, she gave me a few including this one covering Elizabeth Taylor's Love Story. I grew up on old classic flims like Gone with the Wind, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music with Ma. She had a small, white box tv in her room and we would eat peanut butter with crackers and watch about 30 minutes of a film before going to sleep while my grandfather watched sports in the living room in the late hours of the night. This is probably one of the reasons why I am still a sucker for romance, even though it makes me feel really uncomfortable.
#1 Real Love
July 19, 2016 Post | I use to go on walks at lunch while working in RiNo and find things. I am quite sure there is an artist that goes around making street art with found objects. I found a dirty t-shirt arranged with a cup as if it was the fluid pouring out, a barbie arm with someone's hoop earring & spit and a range of other things to keep me entertained on my walks like the weird loner kid at recess. On this particular day I had left a little early for my walk. I had made some bold moves in the previous weeks leading up to this walk and for the first time in a long time the tide had began to feel settled and I needed a moment for myself to enjoy this feeling of peace. It was perfect outside, a fresh coolness in the air with the sunlight dancing between the leaves above me. When I first came upon this heart in front of my favorite restaurants, The Populist, I thought it was another creation from someone, but after staring at it a bit longer I decided to believe this was the natural welting process forming into the symbol of love. I hope to remember this moment for a lifetime.