March 29, 2011

the first time i went to courtney’s house i was 19 and i thought she was the coolest “adult” ever: she had a garden (that was growing!), an impressively minimal living room (perfectly neat furniture!) and a whole dinner cooking on the stove (in a clean kitchen!). while everyone else i knew was sleeping without sheets or sharing a bathroom with 6 other people, courtney was painting, taking walks with her dog, and driving around in this awesome old volvo. what a role model! our lives were vaguely intertwined with mutual friends, but when she hired me to work at souchi, the connection was solidified. we brainstormed all kinds of bizarre ideas at work, bopping around to beirut and hall & oates, always dreaming bigger and better and goofier. some people you just know you’ll work with again in another lifetime, so when i moved to sf, it wasn’t the end of CP and RG. when i decided to launch BIG THINGS last summer, naturally i called my redheaded friend up, who happened to have started her own design/branding company. perfect! i always wanted to hawk nutfangs and courtney wanted to make me some awesome backgrounds, and so our relationship was reborn!

since then she has been a HUGE source of inspiration and ideas for this website. not only is she a design wizard, a small-business wizard, a food wizard, a color wizard, a shape wizard, and a painting wizard, she is above all, an idea-wizard. they never stop flowing and crazily enough, most of them actually happen! she just moved into a new studio in portland to work on her paintings and so much more is in the works for her, including lots of nutty projects with me! see more of her art-work at and design-work at and don’t forget her creation, the ultimate king of freedom: NUTFANG.

Name: CP
Age: BIG 33
Hometown: Detroit area | Michigan

Where are you right now? How’d you get there? Portland OREGON, I drove here from Nashville TN… and I drove there from Arizona (I love the SW and feel like I belong there…) All this time I have been messing with paints and cameras and pencils and wooden shapes and gardens and…  I just rented a new studio last month and fixed it up… it is in SE PORTLAND near the tracks.

Where are you going?
I am going to the studio… trying to work for myself… on both design work and ARTWORK which has been hidden in my basement studio for many years now… where I would work at every chance – I have myself a “public” studio now and I think I can start to approach getting my work into the big fat world.  I think I am a loner… I like solitude… but I have to show my favorite work to someone other than my dog.

What will you be doing when you get there?
working! working on what I think is my most important thing to work on.

Who/what/where was the inspiration that lead you in this direction? It was a tuesday afternoon and I wanted to spend it researching and making work that I care about… and sitting in the sun while I do it…

Tell me more about the space! Do you share it? Any pet-friends or visitors? What kind of flowers are you going to put in there!?
I love the building where I am renting space, it has a good feel about it that I loved the first time I visited… There are a few amazing woodworkers and furniture designers/dealers… jewelry designers, all on my floor… so nice to be around all the mid-century design of “the good mod”  and I share my space with a college friend who is launching her line BOET.  Oh and.. My favorite flower bouquet right now is my orange and pink jar of colored pencils.

How are you feeling? Are you excited? Nervous? Terrified? Thrilled?
I am always nervous a little bit, I am a sensitive person… to my surroundings and all things sensory….the other side of nervous is excited, I love things… but I always want to go work on my stuff – the best way to process and take cover.  Our world is a little bit terrifying though… so now what.
What do you like to think about when you are painting? Whoa, that is BIG! I think about a lot and a little… I try to just think about the paint itself (the color, the opacity, the way it sits) and the integrity of the shape on the surface – and try to keep and/or find the “glow” in the work.  Thinking too much seems to get dangerous and kill my work –  I try to keep the thinking while working on paintings very quiet and straight forward. In my drawings and sketchbooks more thinking comes in because I am processing things more directly with a pencil and often I think about arguments between things, oppositions, fits, situational things, numbers/geometry, framing a shape, structures and so forth … and I think about how much I love Gary Numan’s music and how I need more of it and more like it.

What do you like to think about when you are not painting?
Gardens and food and home and positive business practices, I am feeling pretty upset about how irresponsible so many businesses are.

What kind of design work have you been doing? Any special clients that we should be keeping our eyes on? Honestly, my favorite design work at this time is on my own space and projects… I am so excited to get to do some of this type of work for my own projects at last…watch out for Nutfang advertisements and BOX OF CONTENTS coming soon…  also, there is this cool company called Big Things that is pretty exciting to work with.

What kind of expectations do you have?
I expect to have to “work it” and hope not to worry too hard about making enough money… I expect to have a few Tuesdays of pure bliss.
Are you scared of anything? Oh Yes.
What’s the worst thing that could happen? The best? I don’t think in terms of worst and best,  and I really don’t have that vision right now… the words in my head are more along the lines of “nutfang time,” or “colored pencil lines,” or “great looking print job.” I want to love my time and I know how to do that.

How do you think Portland responds to your work? Are people receptive or are deer and birds still ruling the art  world?
I really don’t know the answer to this… we should ask around.  You know the actual live birds here in Portland are incredible, there are so many beautiful REAL LIVE birds here.

Do you watch Portlandia??????
I dont have a TV – duh!

What is your favorite shape? That is impossible to answer… I like weathered rock shapes, wedges, rectangles and half circles and humps.

What are you taking with you/leaving behind?
I hope I take with me the structure and professional respect and leave behind the passive freak out.

What did your friends say when you told them?

I am.


the bomb diggity
Serial Cultura fall 09!
west side story

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  1. portland, here we come! | BIG THINGS on July 28, 2011 at 2:37 am

    [...] can’t wait to be on the road on our third annual road trip! can’t wait to see courtney and caitlin and meet all kinds of new friends! can’t wait to set up our lemonade stand/pop-up [...]

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