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The Inside Scoop with Inslee Fariss

Inslee Fariss, Sozo's figurative featured artist, who has illustrated for the likes of Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, and Stuart Weitzman, spills on some of her favorite things. Join us Friday, March 27th from 5:30 - 8:30pm to meet Inslee and view her art at Sozo. 

Sozo: Go to wine or beer? 

Inslee: Wine - whatever my husband brings home from work! He’s director of retail for Manhattan Wine Company and is an expert in “mineraly french whites” in particular. My favorite beer is Colomba from Corsica. I discovered it on our honeymoon last May. Several of the paintings in the show were inspired by and named after various beaches we visited on our trip where we’d lounge around with our new favorite beer and I’d sketch sunbathers as figure studies. 

S: Tips for traveling? What one thing do you always make sure you have for the flight?

I: I am a nervous flier because my greatest fear is being trapped in the sky in a tin can without an activity! So I always travel with a sketchbook and a laptop for writing and drawing.  Best tip for traveling is pack lightly so you look really relaxed and easy going, and then figure out a sneaky way to slip more and more extra outfits into your husband/friend/travel companion’s luggage so you’re never caught in a new exciting place without the perfect outfit. 

S: Favorite writing pen? 

I: I just received a Sailor Chalana fountain pen as a Christmas gift and it is so beautiful and delicate and creates the thinnest, most graceful lines.

S: Workout? What gear must you always have/or be wearing? 

I: Yoga! I love Y2 Yoga when I’m in Charlotte and am a regular at a hot flow studio here in NYC. I’m becoming addicted to collecting crazy patterned leggings. Go to brands are Prism Sport and Jala Clothing right now. 

S: Latest greatest read?

I: The Goldfinch. It made me feel melancholy but made me fall more in love with New York. 

S: Sunscreen?

I: Yes please. And big floppy wide brimmed hats. and long flowy caftans and coverups. And big cheery striped sun-umbrellas. Basically stay inside. Sun is not your friend.

S: Lips?

I: I believe that lips should just be an extension of a perfectly kept complexion, there’s no need to accentuate with complicated colors. I only use Aquaphor on my lips to stay hydrated. 

S: Clothing or shoe line?

I: How much time do you have…? I’m a bit of a clothes horse. Just rediscovered how much I love a classic Jack Rogers sandal after partnering with them on a new illustration project to unveil this summer - stay tuned! And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I took the plunge on a pair of enormous platforms from Sigerson Morrison - all their new spring/summer pieces are must owns.

S: Signature jewelry piece?

I: Three solid brass bangles from a boutique in the West Village. I received one as a gift from my husband on three special occasions, our engagement date, the date of my confirmation in the church and the date of our wedding. The clang together musically while I work and remind me how lucky I am in love. 

S: What music do you listen to? Any certain genre while creating your art?

I: I love some good juicy old soul music or contemplative jazz while painting, or on a particularly perky Saturday am painting session, some throw back 90’s hiphop. Biggie’s top hits and painting nudes really goes hand in hand. 

S: Favorite coffee drink?

I: All of it. I love coffee. Just discovered the cortado - the smaller, lighter little sister of a cappuccino. 

S: Any superstitions?

I: Yes, but I’m too superstitious to tell you what they are. 

We can't wait to have Inslee at Sozo along with her beautiful nudes! 

Controlled Chaos

Today I cried in a cycle class and I couldn’t stop. I know, right? Not during a movie or a massage or savasana … but a high energy cycle class. A Jay Z remix is blasting and I'm sobbing. The huffing man beside me was probably like ‘it’s okay lady - you can turn down the torq … '

It started when my friend Jenny saw me walk in and asked, "are you okay?" That’s all it took. You know that feeling - your throat gets all tight and eyes swell with tears. I’m so thankful to have friends that know me so well … and just by peering into my eyes.

I know I’m not alone. This seems to happen about every mid-August to many mamas I know. Or who knows maybe we can blame it on the Supermoon or menopause?

Regardless, most of us are overloaded and overcommitted with back to classroom shopping, sending kids off to college for the first time, forms, physicals, school sign ups, football games, soccer games, carpool arrangements, committee commitments, "will you be a sunday school teacher?" And the list goes on.

On top of which, I'm watching my Daddy die a slow death thanks to alzheimers, a Mother in pain who’s ‘lost’ her husband of 61 years, a sister who has drifted away from me, a daughter learning to drive, boys that freely ‘fight’ and wrestle on the floor fighting over the remote and an art gallery that is taking off bigger than I ever dreamed.

I encourage all of you to surround yourself with those who lift you up - your yoga community, Red Hots Tennis team, bible study, prayer group, book club. Make a point to connect with those who will comfort you or call you out when needed.

When life is messy I remind myself to keep my eyes on the one who created me and my heart open to His plans for me. It’s the only place I’ve found that offers refueling when I’ve got nothing left in my tank. Oh, and of course … my realist rockstar husband who knows how to listen with his heart - and embrace me with his ‘I’ll protect you forever hug,' or even wipe the snot from my face. 

Controlled Chaos. That’s my target.

So with the chaotic end of the summer schedule, I’d like you to highlight stopping by for Claire Desjardins’ reception on Saturday, September 20th. Come meet her! Her bright, soothing colors will engage you and unfold an effervescent energy. And yes, she is ‘THE’ Anthropologie designer you’ve been hearing all about.

If you don’t see any art finds that soothe your soul, I'll meet you at Flywheel. Back right row. Bike #43 and #44.

I'll bring the hugs and tissues. 

Wine Club? Don’t even think about asking me to join.