SHAPERS

SHAPERS / / MONTANA EYES

Over on swanky Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, there's a darling and intimate, sexy and wonderful eyeglass shop that's been in existence for just shy of a quarter of a century, holding strong throughout the street's many retail vicissitudes since 1994. That darling, sexy shop is none other than Montana Eyes, owned by Marla Cohn and managed full-time by her daughter, Rebecca Cohn. The vibe is generous and sweet and they have seriously INCREDIBLE frames for sunglasses or spectacles, crafted by designers all over the goddamn world. I can think of at least a handful of devoted clients (me and my husband included) who will go to no one else to find beautiful frames that actually complement your face and are a refreshing and resplendent departure from uninspired, fairly ubiquitous eyewear. Also, Montana Eyes is mega dog-friendly - they have an enormous terrier named Mia, who rules the Montana Eyes roost. 

We're obviously stoked they were willing to tackle our SHAPERS Q+A! Thank you, Rebecca + Marla! We adore you! xx - Rebecca

Rebecca + Marla - a dynamic duo like no other! 

Rebecca + Marla - a dynamic duo like no other! 

1 - How long have you been in the designer eyewear industry

I suppose you could say I was born into the industry. I’ve never remembered a time in my life there weren’t glasses all over the house. My mother Marla, the owner of Montana Eyes, has been in the optical industry since she was 18 years old. She opened the store twenty-three years ago, and though it’s gone through several changes; remodeling, new brands, and new neighbors, it has always been my second home.


You guys are one of the most dog-friendly spots in town, with glass jars of dog treats on the main table and oftentimes terrier Mia is in attendance. How did your rescue terrier find her way to you?

Well I think dogs and glasses have simply always made sense to us. My mom grew up with dogs, and we always had dogs. Mia finding her way into our family is sort of kismet. We had a dachshund for eighteen years named Elroy. Losing him was really tough, and it took my Mom several years to be ready for a new dog. My Mom had been in contact with a boutique/rescue up the street on Montana Avenue called Two Wag For, and they called us and said they had a puppy we should come meet. I went up the street and there I saw Mia - a small, awkwardly adorable black and white scruffy puppy. I called my mother and said something like, “You have to come see this angel”. The next day my Mom and I came to see Mia, and I kid you not when my mother picked Mia up, they hugged each other. I could cry talking about it, because it was kind of one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I wholeheartedly believe they are soul mates.

Oh, Mia. 

Oh, Mia. 


As one of the absolute BEST spots to get bitchin' glasses and shades, you have a fair amount of celebrities who frequent your shop and are wholly devoted to Montana Eyes. Can you share a few names or a fun anecdote about one of your fave famous clients?

I think one of the best parts about Montana Eyes is that we’ve created a safe environment for everyone to feel at home. My mother and I have never been name droppers and very often we have to hide how star struck we are. We treat all customers the same way, even when they are some of the most famous celebrities worldwide.

Party down at Montana Eyes! 

Party down at Montana Eyes! 


What is your favorite room in the house and what surprises would we find there?

My living room is very much my happy place. The space is eclectic with colorful desert tones. I have a very healthy cactus in a rust colored pot named Montana (clearly after the Avenue the store is located on), a record player and cabinet with an assortment of vinyl I’ve been collecting for years, vintage speakers and throw pillows I’ve picked up in Joshua Tree over several visits.

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What is your go-to album (or albums) to listen to while road tripping?

Lately I have fallen in love with a newer indie-rock band called Whitney. Their album "Light Upon the Lake" is sweet, peppy, and extremely easy to drive to. Perfect "drive-up-the-coast" music. 


Tortoise, plaid, or ombre?

Tortoise, always. Tortoise reminds me of my childhood and the retro styles I grew up seeing.


Name three of your favorite eyewear designers and use a single word to describe each.

Jacques Marie Mage- Strong
Theo- Architectural
Cutler and Gross- Nostalgic

Soft focus glamour and gorgeousness. 

Soft focus glamour and gorgeousness. 


What’s your favorite spot in California to daydream and reset your soul?

I love the newer Getty. I could spend an entire afternoon out there in the garden with my journal and Polaroid camera. It’s a quiet bubble above what feels like the world.

SHAPERS / / / JESS RONA

If you've never witnessed the glory and gorgeousness that is a well-coiffed, slow-mo Los Angeles pooch on the grooming table of Jess Rona, your life needs a dose of this magic right now. Justin Bieber, Kurt Vile, Britney Spears, Billy Joel, Beyonce, Simon and Garfunkel, Bowie, and a boatload of obscure LA-based indie pop bands, provide the soundtrack to 20-second videos of Rona's canine clients being blown out, lathered up, or just throwing some serious shade to the camera. As an actress, writer, singer, and super funny woman, Jess is on Funny or Die on the regular, currently is putting together a photography book, writing a pilot somewhat based on her life in LA as a dog groomer, and has, along the way, amassed a staggering 106,000 followers on her @jessronagrooming Instagram

Needless to say, we were stoked to have her on board for a SHAPERS Q+A interview! Thanks so much, Jess! You're pretty awesome. 

xx - Rebecca

Your personality and humor definitely shine through in your videos and you brilliantly capture the quirkiness of each dog’s personality with your chosen musical accompaniment. As an actor and comedian who now has a thriving dog grooming business and over 100,000 followers on Instagram, do you find your creative pursuits overlap and if so, how?

Wow what a great question! Yes! It's happening more now than it ever has. I recently got to teach Eric Stonestreet how to groom a dog, I made a video for The Standard Hotel, directed a music video for Tegan and Sara (which was the coolest thing I've ever done), I did a segment for Groomer to Groomer TV making a grooming demo, and I'm working on an original pilot with my creative partner Sammi Cohen about a groomer (if you're a fancy person reading this, buy my pilot and throw money at me so I can make it thanks!)

I watched your hilarious “Love Song” video featuring you and Jason Ritter and laughed out loud at your psuedo homage to the film “Misery.” Tell us a little bit about making this video.

I asked Sammi Cohen if she'd want to direct another music video with me (she also co-directed my first video "Oh Shit We Forgot About Jess Rona" with Milana Vayntrub). She story-boarded it out, came up with the concept and made it happen. We took over my friend's house for the day, and secretly filmed a few scenes in Griffith Park. I was in full make up with a basket of apples among the hikers who were staring at me. It was a lot of fun. We had a look-out in case the ranger came. But it went smoothly! I asked Jason Ritter on a whim thinking he'd be too busy (he's good buddies with my husband Eric Edelstein) and he actually said yes. It was amazing to work with him. His expressions in the video are priceless. He definitely makes the video.


What kind of surprises has this business brought you, personally and professionally?

The whole instagram success is a surprise. People's reaction to me when they meet me is a surprise and I don't quite know how to handle it. I had a girl grab my arm and cry when she found out I was the one who made these videos. 

I only started making the videos cause I was going stir crazy in my garage. I needed to create, I needed an outlet. My friends were out auditioning all the time, booking jobs and traveling and I was antsy. I kept my grooming a secret for a long time because I only wanted to be known as an actress. Now I'm known as a bunch of different things (actress, comedian, groomer, director, musician, hottest girl on the planet) and I'm embracing it. 

 

If you could have breakfast with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And what would you order? 

This question is TOO HARD. I have so many that come to mind. (Larry David, Allison Jones, Katherine Hahn,Tony Robbins, Lena Dunham, Oprah, Jill Soloway, Obama, Bette Midler, Pema Chodron! - you ask the best questions by the way.) 

I'm gonna say Julia Louis-Dreyfus because I recently had a vivid dream about her where she was on a huge [cruise line size] boat and I was in the ocean and she saved me. I feel like we're going to work together one day.  

I would order my go-to breakky: Eggs over easy on a bed of breakfast potatoes with avocado, sautéed greens and carmelized onions, and coffee with homemade almond milk. 

Describe in one word each of these dog breeds:

Pug: Snorty
Bichon: Poofy
Jack Russell Terrier: Spazzy
German Shepherd: Sniffy
Standard Poodle: Elegant
English Bulldog: Stinky
If you put all those words together, 
you'll have the name of my next book. (jk!)

Are you a morning person or a night owl? 
I'm a night owl, but my schedule makes me a morning person.


What's currently on your bedside table?
A lamp, ear plugs, phone charger, candle.


Favorite song to get down to? "Helpless" by Poindexter off the Kitsuné America album. 
Favorite song to cry with? "In my Life" The Beatles
Favorite song to relax with? "Oh Honey" by Delegation
(These are just ones I picked because I have 100 favorites per question)

*Lily Spindle’s SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.

 

 

 

 

SHAPERS / / / SUDSOURCE

You know we love our local creators and doers and dreamers. Throw in these nitty gritty details - smart women with big brains and hearts on a mission to change the world and WE'RE IN. ( Also, in full disclosure, creams and soaps and serums made organically and sustainably and smelling scrumptious? They get me EVERY DAMN TIME.)

At a recent Artists and Fleas market on Abbot Kinney, I wandered into the SudSource booth with a friend (and my Jack Russell, Fred). Owners/founders Kathleen O'Clock and Julianne Reynolds were lovely and helpful and I instantly adored their philosophy - curb waste and protect the environment while choosing and using non-toxic, totally sustainable body, hair, and skin care products. Refill and reuse and repeat. They'll also deliver TO YOUR DOOR. Could Sephora ever make that claim?

So, while this SHAPERS feature isn't about photography, furniture, timeless design or bitchin' textiles, it is about honoring our creative do-gooder neighbors, the future of our precious environment, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Kathleen has a short-legged adorable Bassett Hound muttlet named Fiona (see pics below), adopted through Los Angeles' Much Love Animal Rescue in 2005. Yep, we're big fans! Thanks for tackling this SHAPERS Q+A solo, Kathleen, (while Julianne is on summer vacay).

xx - Rebecca 

Could you tell us a bit about your shared vision for Sudsource? How long have you known each other/how did you meet? 

We’re both passionate about Nature, and we’re concerned about the health of our environment and eco-systems given their importance for our collective wellbeing. As a society we’re finally waking up to the fact that our convenience model for consumer goods isn’t sustainable. Sudsource was created to offer an alternative to the “single-use packaging” model in the body care market. Our vision is to grow the business so it’s available in as many communities as possible across the country, and continue to spread the word about the budding Zero Waste movement we see as the New Way (which is really the Old Way) of buying products.

Kathleen and Julianne with Sudsource customer (  @iquittrash on Instagram), a fellow woman on a mission to reduce waste. She brought her own glass containers to the market to fill to the brim with her favorite Sudsource products!!

Kathleen and Julianne with Sudsource customer (@iquittrash on Instagram), a fellow woman on a mission to reduce waste. She brought her own glass containers to the market to fill to the brim with her favorite Sudsource products!!

We met 18 years ago in an acting class in NYC. We became friends and remained in touch over the years. We reconnected in the 2004 when we found ourselves both living in Los Angeles. For the following 10 years Julianne was busy travelling and building her career as a filmmaker through her company Romanski Films, while I worked in the Entertainment industry in Post Production. In 2010 after having my first child I was ready for a career change. During the first weeks home with my newborn, I had an epiphany about packaging waste looking at all the plastic bottles in our bathroom. After 4 years of R+D and a surprise second child, I founded Sudsource Fall of 2014. When Julianne returned from her travels she was excited about Sudsource and its mission to reduce waste, so we combined our strengths and launched sales April 2015.


What was the hardest part of your first year of business and what did it teach you about your vision and/or longevity as a company? 

The first year was about connecting with our community and finding out what’s important to them. The hardest part has been making adjustments and absorbing the inevitable losses and hard lessons of starting a business. What I’ve learned through this process is that there’s a lot of support for the Refill model; the primary issue for customers is convenience. We’re working on getting our pumps and bulk jars into stores so customers can get refills at their convenience. In the meantime, we offer local delivery within 30 miles of Los Angeles as an option.

The quiet and peaceful Venice-based Sudsource office, complete with a relaxed Fiona stretched out on the floo r. 

The quiet and peaceful Venice-based Sudsource office, complete with a relaxed Fiona stretched out on the floor. 

What's your favorite LA/Westside activity to help you to relax or rejuvenate? 

I get a massage whenever I can; I love going to Exhale in Santa Monica. I also train with ComplEATFitness in Marina Del Rey once a week.


Bestselling Sudsource product or scent?

Our best seller is the Face Cleansing Oil. It’s the only product we have with essential oils in the formula (geranium, lavender, and pink grapefruit). It smells wonderful and the feedback we’ve had is that it’s done wonders for people’s skin.


Favorite summer reading book?
I’m loving “But What If We’re Wrong?” by Chuck Klosterman right now.


Your 3 top tips on staying healthy and living well.

1. Exercise as often as possible, even if it’s just a short walk.
2. Make time to connect with friends and family.
3. Gratitude, the benefits are immeasurable.

Hi, Fiona. Adopt a shelter dog, people. They'll love you (and play ball with you) forever and ever. 

Hi, Fiona. Adopt a shelter dog, people. They'll love you (and play ball with you) forever and ever. 

Do you live by any particular motto or philosophy? Please share the details. 

I’m in the “We’re all in this together” camp. No matter what our backgrounds or where we come from, we all want and need the same things; this includes all living things and the natural world. The more we extend ourselves to each other, and help when/where needed, the better we all are. We’re all one, just love.

The Sudsource booth at local LA markets allows you to test out a full range of their products. You can also bring in your own glass containers and get refills of your favorites! 

The Sudsource booth at local LA markets allows you to test out a full range of their products. You can also bring in your own glass containers and get refills of your favorites! 


If you could have lunch with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And where would you dine?

The living Dalai Lama at Crossroads here in Los Angeles.


*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.

SHAPERS / / / GRAY MALIN

Top of Aspen Mountain.

Top of Aspen Mountain.

Few of us have the opportunity to get an extended, windowless aerial perspective on the world, to hover above its cacophony and bustle and, released from that ceaseless din, perceive the patterns and beauty the singular perspective of being aloft can offer. Los Angeles photographer Gray Malin, however, succeeds in both perceiving and capturing these uncommon, charming, and colorful perspectives on park loungers, beach lovers, ski disciples, city dwellers, and single swimmers. He does all this from the cockpit of a roving helicopter, no less. (sidenote: there are loads and loads of fun shots of his feet dangling from the door of a moving helicopter.)

Gray's high-contrast, vibrant photographs reflecting the unique beauty of New York, Australia, Bolivia, Italy, Greece, Namibia, Cape Town, Antarctica and then some, adorn the walls of countless designers and photography bon vivants (and his best-selling images are emblazoned on beach towels and umbrellas, bikinis, aprons, and Iphone cases, lest you prefer Gray Malin photos-to-go). 

We first stumbled upon his photography several months ago while attending an animal rescue gala here in Los Angeles, where one of Gray's photos was up for auction. We quickly joined his awe-inspiring Instagram following of 149,000 fans and are beyond thrilled he was willing to be featured in our Lily Spindle SHAPERS series!

xx - Rebecca + Deb


Your photography vibrates with color, joy, and life, whether it’s capturing the populous of Aspen mountain skiers or the understated humor in a pair of llamas adorned with balloons. Is your attitude relatively joyful when you’re capturing these images? And when you look at them later, framed and hung in new and different environs, what emotions do they conjure for you?

I definitely aspire to create artwork that evokes joy, so it’s accurate to say that my attitude while shooting is positive. I love seeing the work in it’s intended home, the walls of one’s home, so it’s always a happy moment to see it truly come to life in client’s homes.

Gray Malin + Stella, his beloved rescue dog.

Gray Malin + Stella, his beloved rescue dog.

You and your husband have a dog (of course). Can you tell us a bit about how she came to you - how old, name, et cetera? Is she a fabulous model for your photos?

We adopted Stella about 5 years ago, and she has been brought nothing but happiness to our home. And, yes! She’s a great little model. We’ve worked together a few times..haha!

Central Park Lawn. 

Central Park Lawn. 

Maroubra Bay Swimmers.

Maroubra Bay Swimmers.

Who are your three favorite photographers and could you describe each of their bodies of work using two adjectives for each?

1) Slim Aarons - Classic & Luxury

2) Cristo and Jeanne-Claude - Forward thinking and structural

3) David LaChapelle - Editorial Fine Art


If you could have breakfast with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And what would you order?

I’d love to meet Martha Stewart.  We’d share something delicious inspired by one of her recipes, perhaps a quiche and talk decor and entrepreneurship.

Carry-on Cocktail Sprinkle Kit? Get one  here .

Carry-on Cocktail Sprinkle Kit? Get one here.

Velvet or Mohair? Stripes or Polka Dots?
Velvet. Stripes.


Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Is there such a thing as a late morning person? I’d have to say I’m a bit more of a morning person, as I love to get in exercise before hitting the ground running for the work day.

What's currently on your bedside table?

A yummy smelling candle I got from Collette in Paris, while I was there for an event last spring.


What would we be surprised to know about your design proclivities?

Not sure if it’s much of a surprise, but I love fresh flowers. Whenever possible, I like to incorporate into decorating as they just add that extra pop of color and softness to a room.

Hamptons Lone Swimmer.

Hamptons Lone Swimmer.

La Dolce Vita; Positano.

La Dolce Vita; Positano.


Lily Spindle’s SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series. Enjoy!

SHAPERS /// VIVIENNE STRAUSS

Ned Evans, Rebecca Cox, Poe, Bright, Fred, and Lucie, as painted by the incomparable Vivienne Strauss.

Ned Evans, Rebecca Cox, Poe, Bright, Fred, and Lucie, as painted by the incomparable Vivienne Strauss.

I've known Vivienne Strauss for a number of years now, but we've never actually been in the same room at the same time. Or even the same city. We've never spoken on the phone or shaken hands with one another. But she's essentially become, over time, the best 21st century erudite pen pal I could ever have conjured --  I've mailed her used copies of books I've read and she promptly sent me a new copy of Melissa Bank's "The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing" because she was vaguely appalled I hadn't yet read it. We've discussed depression and creativity and self-publishing and Netflix shows like "Lilyhammer" (a must-see), the mutual loss of our mothers and the mutual love we have for animals. A few years ago, my husband and I commissioned Vivienne to create a painting of us, when we were two dogs lighter and one black cat heavier. We adore this piece (shown above) so damn much, it hangs over our front door, so we can see it every day upon leaving.

We're thrilled to feature the brilliant and sweet Vivienne Strauss in our SHAPERS series. (Thanks, Viv, for being game for it!)

            Sunday Night. ©Vivienne Strauss

            Sunday Night. ©Vivienne Strauss

You work in both oil + acrylic paint, watercolor, and create irreverent collages using vintage advertisements and curious images sliced from old books. How do these mediums differ in your personal experience of them?  

Over the years, my collage work has really become more and more sparse, I find that I keep cutting images down to the bare essentials and some collages are reduced to only two or three separate images. I try to include some humor in all of my work, often dark humor but collage is where I feel a bit more free to push things further. I usually get an idea and the idea itself forms in the medium with which I use to try and express it. When working in watercolor and ink, I am in a completely different mode and can't seem to stop adding more and more detail. With oil painting, it is difficult to leave alone - when I think it is finished, I generally move it out of sight when I'm no longer tempted to fix things. Flaws are what make work interesting. 

      Barbara in the Bedroom with Bobcats. ©Vivienne Strauss

      Barbara in the Bedroom with Bobcats. ©Vivienne Strauss

      Big Catch. ©Vivienne Strauss

      Big Catch. ©Vivienne Strauss

            Bath Time. ©Vivienne Strauss

            Bath Time. ©Vivienne Strauss

There is a decidedly literary bend to your artwork, a fragility and humor that reminds me of Lorrie Moore with a twist of Joan Didion’s hopelessness, using phrases like “it was as plain as a pig on a sofa,” borrowed from Flannery O’Connor, as a painting title. Do you find yourself thinking of stories, both real and imagined, while making your art? How would you say the storyteller/writer in you influences your art?  

I keep re-visiting the work of Flannery O'Connor though I think this year I read more of it all at one time than ever before and really became aware of the patterns in her work. I love when I discover a "new to me" author like Moore, read some of her work for the first time just last year and think I've read everything she's written so far. Now I have to be patient and wait for her to write something new. I try to capture in imagery, the moods I find in my reading, usually not with complete success but that is okay, I will just try again with the next piece. Often my work is a spinoff story that comes to me from something I've read, heard or seen in a movie. 

       It Was as Plain as a Pig on a Sofa. ©Vivienne Strauss

       It Was as Plain as a Pig on a Sofa. ©Vivienne Strauss

Jean Pierre-Melville. ©Vivienne Strauss

Jean Pierre-Melville. ©Vivienne Strauss

Speaking of literary - I recently visited a farm in Derry, New Hampshire where Robert Frost lived with his wife and family for ten years. The guide said something that really resonated with me - she said that while Frost was not a successful farmer, loved to chop wood, scythe the grass and write. That made so much sense to me - I get my best ideas when I'm on a long walk rather than when I'm sitting still trying to think of something fresh and new. Action begets action. You are making me want to read some Joan Didion - sounds right up my alley!

You and your husband, the artist Matte Stephens, adopted a middle-aged mutt named Oliver several years ago and also have several cats.  Could you tell us a bit about your animals? 

Many animals have passed through our lives, I'm only going to mention those we have now. Oliver a 13 year old mix - Boston terrier/beagle/dachshund who came to live with us when he was 10. His personality is the best - super smart, rarely barks and gets along well with just about everyone though he is afraid of the wild turkeys I feed during the winter. Krasner, who was a stray kitten someone dumped off amongst a group of feral cats I used to feed in Birmingham. She appears rather innocent in this photo but she is always into something and is also very intelligent with a long attention span. She will watch a full-length movie as long as it is about birds or bears. Our other cat, Irving appears much more serious in his photo than he is in reality, he is actually one of the goofiest and lovable cats we've ever had.

Peterborough, New Hampshire may not be renowned for its mid-century modern architecture, but you happen to live in an incredible, spacious,1953-original home surrounded by acres of natural beauty and filled with George Nelson saucer pendants, Eames DCM chairs, and molded plywood tables. What do you love most about your home? Describe your home using five adjectives.

My favorite part of our home is that we live less than a mile from the center of town but have an endless parade of wild animals and birds through our back yard which backs up to both protected woodlands and marsh.  I'm drawn into my studio because it faces the backyard and woods from the creatures appear - bears, bobcats, fox, raccoons, etc. We are on a flyway as well and get a lot of migratory birds as well as our regulars. I rarely paint something that doesn't have at least one animal in it.

light
airy
serene
secluded
natural

The Strauss/Stephens house. photo credit: Matte Stephens

The Strauss/Stephens house. photo credit: Matte Stephens

Vivienne's studio. photo credit: Matte Stephens

Vivienne's studio. photo credit: Matte Stephens

If you could have breakfast with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And what would you order? 

This is a tough one. I am actually working on a graphic novel of all the famous people I've come into contact with, both directly and indirectly. Most encounters ended with me asking myself, "did I really say that?" Assuming that I wouldn't blurt out something I would regret later- After much consideration, I will go with someone recently deceased - Maggie Estep. Her death came as a great shock to me, mainly because she was such a voice of the 1990s for me. I'm not sure what Maggie would eat as her diet was much more restricted than mine is but I'll have a garlic bagel toasted with lox, cream cheese, capers, red onion and tomato with an Americano on the side.  Maggie Estep was irreverent, funny, deep and so talented.

      Withdrawn. ©Vivienne Strauss

      Withdrawn. ©Vivienne Strauss

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Most definitely a morning person. Not that I actually want to talk to anyone in the morning. I just love those hours before the rest of the world gets up and drag my coffee drinking out for as long as possible. 

What's currently on your bedside table? 

The Lunatic by Charles Simic
My Sand and Gravel by Paul Muldoon
Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami
Happily Ali After by Ali Wentworth
Wonderland by Joyce Carol Oates
In the Company of Crows and Ravens by John Marzluff & Tony Angell
The Poetry of Robert Frost
The Collected Short Stories of Patricia Highsmith (re-reading)

You love old films and it’s clear this adoration influences your character depictions within your paintings. Who are three of your favorite directors and/or favorite films you’ve watched over and over again? 

 I will stick to French films only here purely to keep this simpler...

I have recently discovered the work of Pierre Etaix and he is just brilliant! I especially love his short films and I am sure that they will influence some of my future work (already working on just a portrait of Monsieur Etaix). His humor helps balance out all the darker genres I am drawn to.  

            The Heist. ©Vivienne Strauss

            The Heist. ©Vivienne Strauss

Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Samourai, Le Doulos, Le Deuxieme Souffle
Louis Malle - Elevator to the Gallows, The Fire Within
Agnes Varda - Le Vagabond, Cleo from 5 to 7

I found myself lost for several hours here attempting to pare down to a few favorites and the list just goes on and on.

            Girls who like stripes and orange tabbies. ©Vivienne Strauss

            Girls who like stripes and orange tabbies. ©Vivienne Strauss

*Lily Spindle's SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series.