Posts by Jillian Shea

Grace Jones

Grace Jones Is Still Doing Whatever She Wants, and We Love Her for It

La Vie en Rose: Happy birthday to singer, model and actress Grace Jones. Here’s the question: What happens at Grace Jones’ 70th birthday party? Arriving nude to the party has already been checked off her list. Perhaps Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake will create a custom cape for her that somehow perfectly describes her no-nonsense feelings of age? Feelings which, not surprisingly, scoff at age altogether. As her 2015 memoir states, “There are more important        …read more

World Water Day

World Water Day Draws Attention to Our Most Valuable Resource

In honor of World Water Day, learn how to help preserve safe water for future generations. Although March 22 may not ring a bell as a significant date of celebration, it happens to impact every human on the planet: World Water Day. As part of the United Nations and Sustainable Development Goal 6, World Water Day focuses on “access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems...essential to human health and to        …read more

influential people pushing boundaries

Are You There God? It's Me, Gucci Mane

Two influential people pushing boundaries through art, Gucci Mane and Judy Blume have a lot in common (besides their February 12 birthday). It seems like a stretch that a children’s author who directly addressed the uncomfortable aspects of puberty and a rapper who helped invent trap music would have much in common, but you might be surprised… Introducing the Trap God and Judy the Great, two forces of nature born on February 12 (although 41        …read more

Madeline Stuart Rocks Down Syndrome Awareness, Launches Fashion Line

Madeline Stuart continues to storm the runway with a smile, inspiring diversity and Down syndrome awareness in the fashion world. When Australia-based model Madeline Stuart walks down the runway at New York Fashion Week, she doesn’t don a serious expression with a tailored walk. Instead, she celebrates. As she makes her way back up the runway, she holds out a hand for high fives. As a model and designer, Madeline Stuart promotes Down syndrome awareness        …read more


The Curious History of Kissing

Kissing tells us more about human evolution and relationships than you may have realized. To kiss is human. Nearly 90% of the world’s population accepts kissing as part of their cultural practice. And it’s not just intimacy we’re swapping. We also trade secrets about our genetic makeup that’s only available through close proximity to another face. Kissing is access to information we could not obtain from one another any other way. But what are the        …read more

Gary Larson

Gary Larson: Hater of Cartoons and Lover of Jazz

In celebration of Gary Larson on his birthday, August 14, take a deep, dark dive into the life of the beloved creator of ‘The Far Side’ cartoons. The Far Side. The recognizable rectangle cartoon that donned so many high school biology teachers’ doors and probably still does. In 2003 Gary Larson, the cartoon’s creator, told Time, “I’m not into cartoons. That’s the irony of it.” He’s said his true love is jazz guitar, but it was his cartoons that gained enormous        …read more

A Space for More Than Shhh! The Community Library of the Future

Is your community library adapting to a modern learning model? Here are 4 libraries leading the evolution. Back in 1600, when book lending libraries were starting to be established, there was no vision of the 2017 community library. There was no hint that technology might put the lives of physical, bound books at risk. No one in the 1600s could know people would one day sit in front of glowing screens in order to read poetry,        …read more

A Horse Was a Math Wiz: Clever Hans and Animal Intelligence

How one perceptive horse changed the understanding of animal intelligence forever. The human dream to observe animal intelligence finally came true in 1891. In Berlin, a retired math teacher communicated with a horse through a series of nods and hoof taps. Together, they proved to crowds of people that animal intelligence was no hoax. Human/animal conversations were no longer limited to stories, such as the Indian fable with intuitive talking fish or the biblical story        …read more

Lena Horne, the Woman Who Lived through Everything

Honoring the memory of Lena Horne, born June 30, 1917. Cab Calloway and Duke Ellington treated her like a little sister. She went on dog dates with Billie Holiday. In 1919, at two years old, she was named the youngest member of the NAACP. She was the first Black woman to front a big swing band full of white men. She sang “It Ain’t Easy Being Green” with Kermit the Frog. Lena Horne was a        …read more

Adobe MAX

Adobe VoCo Sounds Like Trouble, But Will It Be?

With a Jordan Peele voice-altering teaser, Adobe MAX introduced Adobe VoCo last fall. Could this experimental ‘Photoshop for audio’ lead to a less trustworthy world? Digital media editing has become so sophisticated that photographs are now questionable forms of evidence. The phrase “it’s just Photoshopped” makes every physical depiction of a real event questionable. Now it’s someone’s words that can’t be trusted. Introducing Adobe VoCo, an experimental voice manipulation feature that can alter a speaker’s words        …read more

Jin Shin Jyutsu

The Healing Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu

The ancient tradition of Jin Shin Jyutsu is an art still to be discovered in the Western world. Jin Shin Jyutsu® may not be a household name yet, but if we take a look back to 1979 when Jon Kabat-Zinn first brought mindfulness practices into the American mainstream, it wouldn’t be surprising if it started to increase in popularity. Kabat-Zinn brought new ideas like awareness of breathing and yoga poses to a part of the        …read more

Emily McDowell Cards

Emily McDowell Cards Say Just the Right Freaking Thing

How one Emily McDowell card led to a whole lot of empathy around the world. You might be a new mom still figuring out breast pumping at the grocery store, or a sort-of girlfriend who doesn’t really have a definition for your budding relationship. Maybe you’re just really tired after a long day. In any case, there’s an Emily McDowell card just for you. Emily McDowell is best known for her series of Empathy Cards,        …read more

Earth Day

6 Ways to Practice Earth Day Every Day

In honor of Earth Day, here are 6 ways to be a hero to the planet. Gaylord Nelson would be proud of you for carrying that collapsible green bag on your keychain, don’t get me wrong. But the founder of Earth Day may also see our current social climate as eerily similar to that of the the 1970s. In fact, he’d probably expect even more out of people living today who can potentially influence others all        …read more

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin’s Advice to Artists with Autism

Temple Grandin, a leading autism expert, lends insight to artists on the spectrum. Many articles have detailed Temple Grandin’s astounding accomplishments. There’s even a movie depicting the amazing innovations she’s made in the cattle industry, creating more humane conditions around the United States. As a woman with autism, she found a way to tell cowboys to get on the ground and see from the eyes of a cow. She even helped McDonald’s reach new ethical standards, pushing        …read more

NYC artist

Life’s a Drag: An Interview with NYC Artist Michael Burk

NYC artist Michael Burk breaks down how to stay true to your creative self and make a living, too. I recently had the privilege of speaking with NYC artist, art director, photographer and overall creative guru Michael Burk. I’ve always turned to Michael for inspiration because he has an enviable knack for turning something mundane into something disgustingly beautiful. Most importantly, he has always been honest about his identity in his work. Now more than        …read more

Singles Day

Singles Day, the Original Anti-Valentine’s Day

Need an alternative to Valentine’s Day? The Chinese calendar offers Singles Day, involving shopping, partying with friends and eating fried dough. Who’s in? Yes, February 14 is the day single people inevitably get singled out. It even gets a bad rap for being SAD (Single Awareness Day) or a Hallmark holiday full of ooey-gooey sappy stuff only for couples. For everyone who feels doomed to eat ice cream and endorses being SAD, China suggests a        …read more


Rise, Disrupt, Connect: How 1 Billion Will Be Celebrating V-Day This Year

Get to know the history and progress of a global movement called V-Day. If you haven’t heard of V-Day, consider your notions of Valentine’s Day forever changed. V-Day is a global movement that started with the simple idea to start a conversation. For the past two decades years, that conversation has been the fuel for ending violence against women and girls (all who were assigned and/or identify as female) worldwide. While V-Day is technically on February        …read more


Scenography: Technology Learns to Dance

Popularized by reality television, scenography is an age-old art merging with sophisticated technology in a visual mind-stun. Were you there when America’s Got Talent encountered the scenography performance by Freckled Sky? Did you hear Heidi Klum let out a genuine “ooohh” as a surprising set of images hit the stage? Freckled Sky on America’s Got Talent / via NBC In Britain, performance groups Another Kind of Blue and Attraction brought audience members to tears. So a computer        …read more

We Have One Bold Woman to Thank for Our Thanksgiving Holiday

Despite current views on the Thanksgiving holiday, its origins have major importance today. These days, the Thanksgiving holiday is so loaded. There’s the dreaded dinner with the in-laws, anxiety over the true beginnings of the holiday being filled with prejudice and hate. There’s the commercialism that makes everyone feel like they must buy, buy, buy the day after Thanksgiving. But do you know about Sarah Josepha Hale? She didn’t want it this way. She spent her entire adult        …read more

land art

These Works of Land Art Are Made to Disappear

Slovenian artist Miha Brinovec discusses his works of land art, which slowly dissolve into nature. This art gallery is located at a nearby pond. It’s over the water; it’s in the trees. Nature art, or land art, is on display and it is not for sale. The exhibit won’t be there long, and you may never see it again. In fact, you probably won’t. Land art embraces impermanence; it’s not meant to last. Slovenian artist        …read more

feminist art

TITWRENCH: This Is What Feminist Art Looks Like

Experimental music festival pushes boundaries, amplifies marginalized voices in a genuine feminist art forum. The phrase “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” has never been more interesting and inclusive than right now. In this case, it’s “This Is What Feminist Art Looks Like,” and it comes in the form of a music festival nestled in Denver, Colorado, called TITWRENCH. TITWRENCH embodies a feminist art that so many books, movements and even T-shirts have been        …read more

Orlando nightlife

In Praise of Orlando Nightlife: The Dive Bar That Saved My Creative Soul

As we mourn the violence amid Orlando nightlife, I remember the goodness of Uncle Lou’s. In the wake of the horrid acts committed against a vibrant and beaming community celebrating Orlando nightlife, I must pay homage to what hateful acts aim to break down — unity amongst marginalized groups. I must mention a place that offers reprieve. It was the moment that we set a table on fire and chopped it into pieces with a        …read more