Friday, October 12, 2007

SUMMER PIERRE: THE ARTIST IN THE OFFICE

I discovered Summer Pierre through the 52 Projects website. Going to her blog, I saw that she was a singer and songwriter and that she had a great’ zine called The Artist in the Office. (I highly recommend buying The Artist for yourself and creative friends for the low low price of $10). Then I took note that she lived in Brooklyn and I thought “Hey, why not give her a call and see if we can meet in person?” She generously agreed to the meet-up so I went
out to Greenpoint one morning for tea. I present to you:

Ten Fun Facts About Summer Pierre

1. Summer is a transplant from Northern California – Palo Alto to be exact - and was raised in what she describes as a “post-countercultural lifestyle.” Her parents had been involved in the Haight-Ashbury scene and she spent the early years of her life on a commune. Pierre went to an alternative school in Menlo Park where artisty was encouraged. Put Summer in any situation as a young one and she’d start drawing.

2. Ten years ago, Summer moved to Boston and was part of the Harvard/Cambridge scene. During that time, she came out with her own album and toured both the west and east coasts. She describes her style as acoustic folk-rock.

3. Two years ago, Summer moved to New York. Whilst on her honeymoon this past August, she was visiting a small town museum in White Fish, Montana and got an idea for an illustration. Based on the info she collected about the town’s history, she would like to make a map of White Fish and send it to their chamber of commerce.

4. In addition to being a singer, songwriter, and illustrator, Summer works part time in an office setting. Since she is the author of the zine How to Be an Artist in the Office, I asked Summer how she personally goes about bringing her artist self into her workplace. She does stuff that breaks the routine and monotony without being disruptive. For example, she posts anonymous notes in between bathroom stalls and other secret places. She brings food anonymously and leaves it for people. She chalks messages on the way to work.

5. One of Summer’s proud accomplishments is her Great Gals Calendar which celebrates inspiring women. (Dolly Parton was featured in the 2005 edition. Yay Dolly!) Great Gals came out of Summer’s love of hand-making holiday gifts and it now has a sizable following! (Interesting side note: Summer’s college thesis was about women in rock!)

6. Summer sez: “The more permission you give yourself to do the things that delight you, your life goes through the roof. Start noticing what nurtures you.” What are some things that delight Summer? Watching movies alone, walking in Central Park, and going to the Algonquin Hotel to hang out in the lobby and write.

7. Summer has a wonderful honesty about her. For example, she shared the story of how she went to a week-long writing retreat led by one of the writers she most idolized. Her interactions with that person were not so pleasant, and Summer was crushed. However, it was a turning point in her life where she realized that everything she needed was in her – not out there.

8.Summer is currently working on a book with lots of illustration.

9. Summer creates one-page illustrated stories for Skirt! Magazine.

10. Her dream is to have a one woman show that includes music, art and writing.
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