My uncurated life

My always-messy sewing table.

My apartment is always a mess. Surfaces are splattered with screenprinting ink. Many years ago, my apartment was showcased online, but I cleaned it for days before those photos were taken.

I live in a non-trendy neighborhood. I mean, it’s a really nice neighborhood with restaurants and cafes and a wine bar, but it’s not the kind of neighborhood that hipster trendsetters yearn to live in. Hipster trendsetters don’t want to live west of Stanyan and, well, I live west of Stanyan.

I drive a ’99 Honda Accord. I’d prefer something zippy and cute, but my car is reliable and paid for.

I’m not yet able to support myself through my art business. I do some mighty unglamorous consulting work to pay my bills.

After I pay my bills and my rent and put money aside for taxes, I might have something leftover for savings.

Since I’ve become a working artist. I can only afford to live in San Francisco because my apartment is rent controlled.

I love clothes. I don’t buy many nice ones these days because I largely work at home and because my clothes, like my apartment, usually end up splattered with screenprinting ink. Also, budget.

I can afford a nice meal out every once in a while, and usually just for special occasions. When I do go out, I tend to enjoy my food and friends rather than try to stage my food for Instagram.

I go for walks with Gus every morning. I usually don’t take my phone with me because (1) I like being offline for a bit, (2) I’m convinced I’ll get mugged if I walk around the park with my phone out, and (3) it’s nice to just experience being outside.

A lot of my friends are artists, but a lot of my friends are not. Some are scientists or sales people. Others work in communications. A couple are stay-at-home moms who don’t even have blogs.

I meet with my artist support group every month. Our meetings often take place at CPK where we eat pizza concocted in central kitchens, and drink carafes of supermarket wine, and talk for hours. It’s easily the most meaningful night of the month for me.

When I host dinner parties, my friends usually end up sitting on the floor or eating off a TV tray because my studio has taken over my dining room.

My life doesn’t look like a Pinterest board, my dinners don’t look like food porn, my outfits aren’t Instagrammed with nods to the places I bought them. I’m not interested in any of that. My life is uncurated – messy and unglossy and probably not hip – but that suits me just fine. I’m living it for me.


31 thoughts on “My uncurated life”

  1. I love reading your blog & hearing about your life. Good for you to be living it for you!!! It sounds amazing to me! Love your apt because I am a natural light & air type of person. But also because you have done wonders in creating a very special place. I think of you when I see purses, etc., with a graphic design & think to myself: Jen’s are better. :-) Wishing you much happiness in life! It was great to see a picture of you recently!

  2. “A couple are stay-at-home moms who don’t even have blogs.”
    Gasp! They don’t have blogs?! :)

    I really appreciated this counterpoint to all the designy/lifestyle/creative-life-as-perfect-life porn out there. Thank you for it!

  3. I just stumbled onto your blog through lisa congdon. Your life sounds pretty awesome and far more enviable and aspirational than many of the curated ones I see on blogs these days…

  4. Thanks for these words. Lately I’ve been feeling so much pressure to have the perfect home (artfully imperfect, of course), the perfect clothes (conforming to nonconformist fashion ideals, naturally) and thus the perfect life. I’ve come to realize the insanity of it all. Just another marketing ploy masquerading as hipness. Time to say no. No! Your words have reminded me that I am not alone in these feelings. Thanks!

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