ECHO.

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Greetings from the far away land of procrastination, disarray, and kombucharitas. Of Orphan Black and camping, of stubbornness and self reflection. Of working a full time job and a lack of inspiration.

That’s all changing (check out the newest zine).

I’ve taken a giant step back from the land of blogging, as discussed in my previous entry (see also: Burn Your Blog). However, after my sort of hiatus, I’ve discovered that the Internet is an important tool. It allows me to reach out to people across the world and share my work with them. A bigger playground. A more profound audience. The opportunity to make network worldwide. An infinite source of information and inspiration (and distraction). I believe Hunter S. Thompson would have exploited the shit out of Twitter. Maybe Sylvia Plath would have had a dark, angst-ridden Tumblr. It seems sort of silly not to utilize such a powerful tool.

The trick is not spending several hours a day wasting time on dead-end websites (for example – Buzzfeed and Distractify). Getting lost in a “related video” blackhole. Clicking and double tapping. I don’t want to scroll through Tumblr looking at pictures of summits and valleys. I want to stand upon summits and picnic in valleys. I want to sketch the sunrise and spend the evening drinking coffee in a foreign place. I want to press more than a footprint into the sand. I don’t want my experiences to be washed away with the tide.

I’ve had a constant love-hate relationship with the Internet. That’s why I started my Analog project – to encourage intimate, tangible relationships. But I realize that I can’t run away from technology. And the point of the matter is that some people would rather exchange animated .gifs than hand written letters. Internet memes hold more weight than post cards. While I still strive to promote a more “old fashioned” way of communicating, I can’t deny the fact that it’s 2014 and people have the ability to transfer funds from their savings to checking account while going to the bathroom at a crowded bar. And if I don’t progress, I’m going to get left in the dust.

It’s not that I want to be another cog in the machine, but I want to be the wrench in the system. To have and maintain an Internet presence, to wrangle a few souls, and run away off the grid. To share the human experience. But – everything in moderation. The Internet will not be a vast part of my life. However, I’ll be using it as a sort of scrapbook. A platform to collect and document my experiences. My stories and photography.

That said – we’re going in a new direction. KateBerwanger.com recently launched and it will be the new home base. You have the option to read the blog, get in contact with me, and view my updated portfolio. My tumblr has been active for quite some time now, thanks to the queue. I still update Instagram. Now I’m going to put more effort (and a little more time) into my website.

TL;DR: I plan on getting back into the world of blogging. But only slightly. And just for now. I will be spending my time creating content for kateberwanger.com. The Radical Uprise will remain as (more or less) a dusty old filing cabinet. The content will remain, the URL will remain, but future musings can be found on the new site.

If you’re interested in learning more, please follow the new blog.

Until next time,

I remain,

Still blogging,

Kate.

burn your blog.

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As it stands, I don’t feel like blogging any more. Don’t fret. If this news comes as a shock to you, perhaps you should read my newest zine, burn your blog. However, I do feel like writing and sketching and connecting with people all over the world. I don’t want to lose that. And who knows – this could just be a phase. In six months time I may be back to Instagraming my every meal and writing three blog posts a week. Let us wait and find out.

I’ve attempted half a dozen snail mail projects. When I first began The Radical Uprise Zine, I offered subscription services (I also ended up losing a lot of money from them). Sometimes select zines could only be obtained through mail-order. The last failed project was The Paper Doll Army. I came to the conclusion that 2013 was full of many ideas, ranging from mediocre to great, poorly initiated.

The past few months I’ve been brainstorming on how to make a successful, tangible world of The Radical Uprise. That’s all I really want. An idea was born, but I’d like to receive feedback before I set the plan in full motion. A beta testing mode will take place. I’m looking for five to ten people who are interested in signing up for a monthly subscription. Lab rats, if you will. This subscription is a re-occuring monthly payment of $11USD through PayPal. You may cancel at any time, but the beta mode will last three months. Your subscription will be terminated after the three month period. 

I’m starting small. The cut-off is ten people. Once the limit is reached, I will kill the subscription link (humanely, of course). Without giving away too many details, your subscription will consist of three separate pieces of mail from me each month. I regret to inform you this offer is only available to US residents at the moment. Once we work out the kinks, I’ll expand it across the map. 

TL;DR: Beta testers needed for potential project. Purchase a monthly subscription for $11. Receive three pieces of mail per month. Ten people maximum, first come first served. US  residents only. 

Are you in? Click the link below.

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Shop-Purge : Post Card Sale on Etsy

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I had an intervention with myself and we’ve decided a shop purge was in order. It’s been yet another transformational time in my life and I’ve got to leave some baggage behind. I’m clearing out old art projects and hosting a store-wide sale. My baggage, your benefit. I have over fifteen post card designs in my shop at this time, so I am creating packs at an extremely discounted price. View the listing on Etsy (pairs quite nicely with the Mail Culture Button and Stationery Pack). I invite you to take advantage of this clearing-out sale while you can. The first handful of orders to come through will likely end up receiving an additional 5 post cards (or other various stationery). Stock up on cards to keep mail culture alive and well in 2014.

And, regarding mail culture – I’ve decided to put a hiatus on The Paper Doll Army. While I hope this project still continues to inspire people to write more letters, updates will cease until future notice. I will continue writing my own set of letters daily, at my own pace. I hope you do the same. Feel free to interact with each other on the Facebook page and find pen pals. Now get shopping.

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Here’s to Mail Culture.

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I was organizing my studio space and while I just recovered from Pack-Rat Rehab, there’s still heaps of stationery, scrap paper and stamps floating around in every drawer. After rekindling my relationship with my typewriter, I created a batch of collages pressed into one inch badges. Each badge is compiled of a hand-typed message, recycled wrapping paper and cut from a vintage stamp. I’m killing two birds with one stone and lightening my load of stationery while providing a great letter-writing kit for you. Each set includes:

  • Three one inch buttons.
  • Two post cards.
  • Two vintage stamps.
  • One DIY greeting card.

You can purchase the mini kit in the Etsy shop.

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Here’s to unposed photos.

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Caleb and I took a short trip to Portland followed by a drive up the Oregon coast. Nearly three hundred photos were captured on my Nikon. Upon reviewing the physical evidence of our trip (immediately after arriving home), I had a strange epiphany of sorts. While all photos provided documentation of our time away, my favorite photos were the ones some may consider to be “out-takes.” Blurry hands, awkward faces, people in their “natural environment.” Un-staged and unrehearsed. Unrefined and raw.

Since purchasing my Nikon, I have yet to edit a single photo. All photos are taken from my camera, imported into Picasa and uploaded to Flickr. I think the idea of “leaf-rubbing” a photo is divine –  taking what’s in front of me and pressing it onto paper (or in this case, onto a screen). Taking what is and preserving it for what it is – not trying to make it something it’s not. Editing is a great tool when it comes to selling people things, but I’m not trying to sell you anything. Editing is good for enhancing what’s already there. You can use it to alter images, removing blemishes for example. But I’m trying to document the world as I see it, to share with friends, family and my future self. These days I just want to capture things how they are – Blemishes and all. In one take.

Before the days of Instagram, I was obsessively taking photos of everything everywhere all the time. Most things in front of my lens were food related. Before taking a bite to enjoy my meal, I was arranging my food to make it more “photo-worthy.” It was a running joke for a while; I wouldn’t indulge before snapping a shot. Sometimes that meant turning the plate and changing the angle several times before picking up the fork. Thankfully those days are over, but that hasn’t stopped me from accruing several hundred photos within a week’s time.

We can put the blame on technology; If we were paying for each exposure, I’m sure the amount of “selfies” and portraits of food would dwindle. But we don’t, so they won’t. As a kid, I would purchase a roll a film when special occasions arose – the last day of school, family events, vacations, etc. I was allotted so many exposures, so I had to use them wisely. These days you can take fifty seven photos of yourself and sift through them seconds later, deleting ones where the light hits your nose in an unflattering manner.

I’m sitting on the fence and I still haven’t made up my mind as to which side is greener. On one hand, it’s beautiful to have a physical memento of a moment captured in time. On the other hand, when you stop and pause to snap a photograph, you’re temporarily removing yourself from the situation. With most things, it comes down to moderation. I’m raising my glass to unposed photos – Nouns in their natural habitat. And what about self portraits? I’m not putting a personal ban on “selfies.” If I’m alone on a mountain top with a tripod and wireless remote, you’d better believe I’ll be standing in a Wonder Woman stance, smiling big and snapping a photo. However, from this day forward, I’d like to capture the world around me naturally and organically. Leaf-rubbings. 

Something I enjoy most is people watching (mainly because I enjoy sketching them). A few weeks ago I posted an Instagram photo of my POV from Starbucks; I was sat on a love seat across from two chairs. My friend Eric commented, “You are like a spider with an overstuffed leather web.” It’s true; I eat them up. Humans are interesting creatures. We live up to stigmas and stereotypes, but what I adore most about people is unfiltered circumstances. The way they interact with others. Body language. Furrowed brows in line at the post office, nervous tics walking down the sidewalk, poor postures resting in the book store – I think that is more beautiful than a perfectly posed photo and practiced facial expression. And that is the world I want to remember when sifting through photographs of my past. This is the world I want to capture and display on dusty shelves.

This site exists because readers like you choose to support it. If you found this article to be of interest, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavors. 

The Radical Uprise.

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First things first. Can I just say I’m happy to hear I’m not the only blogger who “doesn’t believe” in New Year’s Resolutions? I’m sure there’s a handful of us who don’t, but I enjoyed Aine’s Brooding Blogger not only because she’s a peach, but I can relate to this post 100%.  I could compose my own blog entry, weaving nouns and adjectives into a cozy knit article, but if you want to know my thoughts, simply read Aine’s because I’m paddling in the same boat. Upstream. As I proclaimed to her on Instagram, “Here’s to content!” to which she replied, “To content! …and no resolutions.” It’s been nearly a month since my last entry on this blog, but I’m cutting the ribbon, breaking ground and raising a glass to more content.

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The suit of stones has been making an appearance in recent tarot readings. Stones are associated with achievement, possessions, practical skills, worldly ambitions, being of the world. “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” / Henry David Thoreau. I read this suit as real, tangible manifestations. However, one is unable to achieve such without patience, perseverance and discipline. Here’s to branching out and creating a meaningful 2014. Here’s to more content. Here’s to changes.

The past few months have been a time of reflection. I decided to dig up my roots and dust off my given name. It still fits; imagine that. I posted to Instagram, “You can call me Kate. Maybe some day I’ll write a heartfelt zine exploring and explaining my reasons. Maybe I won’t. I’ve shed this skin and I’m tossing it to the wind. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. RIP @jettavegas.” It’s not a decision I made on a whim. People in “real life” have been incredibly accepting and supportive. I don’t think the folks on the Internet figured out I buried Jetta Vegas in the closet under faded handkerchiefs, dusty photographs and boxes of hand-writtens letters. At any rate, that’s not what this article about (I plan to write a zine about the switch, so keep your eyes peeled if you want the juicy details). Dear readers please take note – This bag of bones, formally know as Jetta Vegas, now wears the name “Kate.” And my name isn’t the only thing changing.

When I began The Radical Uprise, it revolved around one concept – a positive mental attitude. I consistently posted “Seven Ways to Kick this Week’s Ass.” Most of my articles were written with the intention to ignite. Inspire. The trouble I found is there is no one recipe to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. There is no one tonic which promises to cure all ailments. I came to the realization that my “words of wisdom” could become someone else’s recipe for disaster. While I have every intention of providing posts that motivate and inspire, they will wear a different suit. Skip the “self help” section, tilt your head to the right and drag your fingers across the memoirs. My experience. The world through my lens. That is all I can provide. I don’t have the answer, but I have the experience. And while my experience will differ from yours, I can only hope to inspire you through my journey. In the words of Alanis Morissette, “what it all comes down to is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet.” That said, The Radical Uprise will continue to be a hub for inspiration and motivation, but it will merge into more of a “lifestyle blog.” This is my radical uprise. I thank each of you for your incessant love and support over the past few years. Here’s to a fruitful 2014.

 

I’m off to spend the next two days driving around with my best friend and photographing the coast. Cheers.