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Here’s a little treat: 9 songs that make me think of love, organised and presented to you on an AI painting of a compact disc.
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I got my caricature done at the race track when I was around 11. I got to pick from different pre-drawn bodies doing different poses, and the artist told me he would just draw my face on whichever body I chose. I spent a while deciding between being drawn as a salsa dancer or a skateboarder. I only ever said I liked skateboarding to seem cool, but deep down I knew I didn’t have any interest in it (only when I played Tony Hawk’s Underground on PS2).
Now, a caricature of me dancing the salsa leans on a shelf in my parent’s laundry room. I never liked the way I was drawn because the artist accentuated the dimple in my chin and the bulbousness of my nose. Looking at it now, I like that he noticed my dimple because I think it’s cute and special. It is like I have two mini chins that are cuddled up beside each other. Maybe that would make a cute valentine’s day card.
When I first met Lauren in around 2015, they would post photos of the portraits they made of their friends and family on Instagram and I always wanted them to make one of me. Any fear I have of someone drawing my face again gets washed away when I think of Lauren drawing me. She’s expert at capturing everyone’s features while still honouring her cute and sweet drawing style.
Lauren’s unique for keeping a consistent playfulness to their art. They use a mix of pencil crayon, pigment liner, water colour, highlighters and stickers for their portraits. I honestly think their use of stickers and intuitive doodles is what brings every piece together. If Lauren ever got an MRI, the technicians would see doodles and stickers in her brain and they’d be like, “I wonder if she’d be down to draw us after this?”
Last year for Valentine’s Day, the staff at Riley Grae set up a hand-drawn portrait booth in our change room. Folks paid online for a portrait, got a COIN at the front desk, and popped the COIN in the portrait booth when it was their turn. After 35 minutes, they had the sweetest drawing.
We’re doing the same thing again this year, and if each slot fills up, Lauren will be doing 60 portraits in 13 days.
“I’m anticipating hand cramps, fun and whimsy,” said Lauren.
Lauren’s also doing an evening pop-up at Low Life Barrel House ON Valentine’s Day so if you want to get your portrait done or you want to ask her to be your Valentine, you know where to find her.
You don't have to have a honey or a bunny, either. You can go alone, with a parent, a sibling, a friend, your mentor - you could even go with an enemy (maybe it would be good for the both of you?). It's truly a privilege to love, be loved, and celebrate love; however, we want you to know that the booth is not limited to couples. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be centred around romance because there are so many kinds of love we see and feel every day.
Valentine's could be for the love you feel when you take your first sip of coffee in the morning. It could be the love you feel when you sit down on your couch with that coffee and do a word search from the newspaper. It could be for when you brush your cat and it looks so pretty and fluffy after. Maybe it could be for the love you feel when you cook a nice meal and share it with someone you care about. There are a lot of pleasurable feelings we don't put words on, and maybe I will start celebrating some of those feelings on Valentine's.
The first feeling I will celebrate this Valentine's Day is Cuppajoeandtoast-iness (happiness from drinking coffee and eating peanut butter toast in the morning). Maybe that isn't relatable to everyone, so feel free to come up with your own words for your own special lovey feelings.
⋆ ˚｡⋆୨୧˚ RING A DING DING KNOCK KNOCK
Oh, what is that ring-a-dinging and knocking at my door? Hello?
Huh? What is this?
Wow, a love letter ! Maybe I should open it up and see what it says?
Oh, wow, what a super weird and romantic letter! Valentine's is so special. We are so honoured you asked, sweet admirer, and we are so sorry about your bum bum. We think you need a bandage or stitches, maybe? We can't help you with that, though, so we think you should call the hospital. We're glad your letter arrived just in time for this month's blog post, though.
With that being said, Riley Grae would love to be everyone's Valentine's this year. If you're reading this, we hope to see you around the store this month because we have lots of special products in that we think you'll love.
Take care and come get a portrait!