Sunday, January 22, 2012

Folktales in the Snow: Stacey Rozich.

I first met local illustrator Stacey Rozich three years ago when she shared a tiny, cramped studio space in Pioneer Square’s 619 Western Ave building. Although she was only 21 at the time, her talent and motivation were clear, even to an onlooker like me. Since then, Stacey has been kicking ass: working for herself, showing numerous solo exhibits around the city, and even making her 3D debut in a Fleet Foxes music video.

Stacey has been a member of the Cairo family for a long time now: she designed a shirt pattern for Cairo moons and moons ago. [“Its very gratifying seeing someone wearing your work, as opposed seeing them put it in their bathroom.”]

Stacey and I spent one snowy afternoon drinking tea and talking about successful women we would trade lives with for a week (she picked Tina Fey), the best solo wintertime meal (“papardelle pasta with marinara sauce from scratch”), and our biggest splurges (“Shoes! I. Love. Shoes.”). 

Stacey's current inspiration: Doughnuts. 

With so much already under her belt, it’s hard to imagine what’s next for this unstoppable woman. Read our interview to find out her plans! (Hint: Something involving teatowels…)

Some photos from our shoot: 
(All vintage and jewelry sold AT CAIRO!)

Want more photos of Stacey? Click here!

Our interview: 

What is your approach to what you wear every day?
            My approach is to never be too comfortable. I don’t have a rain jacket or hiking boots or anything like that. I like to keep an element of professionalism when I dress. Seattle is obsessively casual, but I’m not like that, really. Sometimes I just want to wear a jean jacket and an old t-shirt, but I like to always keep it classy.

Do you have any favorite current style trends?
            I’m a big fan of classic cuts but with a twist—like neon with camel or something. I like to dress in things that are somewhat classic, so that I don’t look back in a few years and think, “what the hell was I thinking??” I try not to dip into too many trends. I guess that’s kind of safe, but I still like to play with cool things.

What was your worst job?
            Oh man. I worked at a pasta bar at Pike Place, and the boss was a total asshole. It really helped me learn how to deal with assholes, haha. Working with such an extremely masculine personality really helped me grow a thicker skin, learn how to throw someone else’s bullshit back at them. I also learned how to talk to anyone—a grandma, or a homeless person, or a bunch of college students.

What artists are inspiring you right now?
            I get a lot of my inspiration from past art styles. I check out BibliOdyssey a lot—it’s this giant digital image collection of artwork—everything form Japanese woodblock prints to Greek Orthodox iconography. Also artists like Marcel Dzama, Mark Warren-Jaques, and my friend Matthew Craven in New York. He’s always so innovative that he really drives me to keep my work fresh.

It looks like traditional art has really inspired your work.
            Yeah, I got started with Yugoslav folklore. The Federation of Yugoslavia has so many different cultures and different folklore, which is what really got me started. Then I started researching Russian and Bulgarian folklore, which spread to Scandanavian, and then all over the globe. I got into West African stories, then Native American cultures.  My art is sort of a hodgepodge of traditional folklore, but through my own lense, creating my own narrative.

When did you first get into illustration? When and where did it start? 
            I’ve been drawing forever. It’s such a cliché but its just one of those things. When you’re a kid you draw all the time, and dad recognized something more than a childhood pastime. He always told me to draw every day, and I did until high school. In high school I was a theater nerd, and did all the posters for plays, so I learned to create an image through communication. Also, I’ve wanted to be an animator my whole life. I loved cartoons my whole life. It was in high school that I decided I wanted something a little more streamlined, so I went into illustration.

How does your current environment inspire your work?
            I have such a strong support system, being from Seattle, that it’s easy to work and feel like I have a good support net behind me. I’m such a collector of things like masks and reference books, so I have a good collection of imagery to look into, which is a good cushion. That support can be nebulous at times, but very freeing.
What puts you in the zone to create?  What does that zone look like?
            Doughnuts! Haha, only joking. The time when all my pistons are firing is when I’m prepping for a show and I have a deadline looming. The first piece of the collection and the last piece are very different. My work has such minute detail, and in the first few pieces, I can see that my lines aren’t as straight, or the detailing isn’t as precise. The more I work on a collection, the more I can see in my art that I really get back into the swing of things. I get this amazing high—I know it sounds like an after-school special—but it’s this pride and satisfaction in my work, and having that moment where you know that you’re on the right track. That’s when I feel the most productive, and the most happy.
 What are you the most proud of?
           I am really proud of having as many shows under my belt as I do. Especially looking at where I was four years ago—a 20 year old art school drop out living in my parents basement—to working for myself and progressively doing bigger shows each year. Ultimately I know I’m doing the right thing and that I’m really lucky in opportunities that I’m getting. Oh, and doing the Fleet Foxes video was pretty cool, too.

What is next? Any other mediums you want to explore?
            Yes! Very much so. I have a good foundation in 2D world, and now I want to get more into the 3D. Seeing my work in Fleet Foxes video was so gratifying. I abandoned dreams of being an animator long ago, but it was so exciting to see my art come to life that I really think I would like to get more into video. The gals at Free Time Industries and I have a couple things that are in the pressure cooker, so I’m really excited to see how my work will translate into different mediums. Ultimately I would like to work with textiles for home, porcelain collections, and weaving would be really exciting.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve with your art?
           I would like to create a pretty cohesive brand with my work. To publish books is definitely a goal. I love to do gallery showings, so doing that would be cool, backed up with a more robust brand.

Is there someone or some company that you would want to work with?
          I would love to collaborate with a fashion brand. For starters, doing a capsule collection of clothes or a small house ware line. I think someone like Anthropologie would be pretty cool to work with. They know their audience really well and know what sells, and I think I could bring something to the table. I know my audience. I’m constantly receiving emails requesting things like bathing suits and tea towels.

What are some of your favorite trends in the art scene in Seattle right now?
         Being more of a part of the design community, I think I’m always excited to see what’s going on with Free Time Industries, The Adventure School, and Iacoli and McAllister. I like self-propelled small businesses. I feel more excited about that kind of thing, since I’m trying to create my own brand.

What is it like to be a woman artist?
          I really like it, actually. It’s interesting, I’ve been told that people can’t determine my gender from my work, which is a compliment to me. When they do find out I’m a young woman, sometimes it’s a shock at first, but I take it as kudos to me. I know there are a lot of women artists out there, but unfortunately it’s usually the men that get recognized.
I like getting to know a lot more women artists in the city—it lets us create a community—not that we have to be bound by our gender, but I think it unites us in a way. I know that I do anticipate discrimination in the future. I have shown at a few galleries in which I am the first ever woman to do a solo show. That is cool for me, but it definitely speaks to what can happen in the future.

Most exciting place work has let you travel to?
            I haven’t been able to travel that much yet. I’ve only gone to Portland for the Fleet Foxes video. Hopefully this year I will be showing in Chicago and New York. I have an insatiable need to travel right now. I’ve been telling galleries that I want to do an instillation—which is like catnip for curators—and that I will fly out for the show. It’s a way for me to travel and see the rest of the country… but soon it will be THE WORLD. Ha!

Can't wait to see what's next. Thanks Stacey!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Photos from EXPO 89 & video from Ilyas Ahmed

Robert Wolfe & his artwork above

Ilyas Ahmed


Devin of Flexions

someday we'll have our light back

Adam Forkner of White Rainbow & Purple & Green

Coastal Sightings and EXPO shirts (still a few left!).
Designed by Gabriel Stromberg

Pleasure Beauties

Grave Babies

Brian & Paul of Idle Times, check out Paul's podcast
"I can't believe I'm a Loser"  REAL good

One of the 20 events Shannon Perry participated in over
the weekend, seen here reading at Mixtape #4

Matt Lawson of Secret Colors & Stephanie
high fives, with O.C. Notes

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In Her Court: Getting to Know Elissa Ball.

Eaze, E-Ball, Ebb, Ebola--call her what you will, she will always be the effervescent and ever-buoyant ELISSA BALL. 

Elissa is a poet, a performer, a comic, and activist of many kinds. She is a regular contributor to arts and culture website Flavorpill, a soon-to-be-PUBLISHED poet, and even an ordained minister, if you are looking to get married and all.

She is also very active in the cyber community, and you can check out her hilarious tweets here. And some other nuggets here. Oh, and here

With more energy and enthusiasm than anyone I have ever met, this woman is bright, beautiful, and radical. And did I mention she is only 4'11?!

Here are some photos of Elissa/Kunt Kuntroll in Cairo duds! 
(see something you like? All clothes and accessories can be found in-store at Cairo!)

Here are more photos from our shoot!

You are writing a book of love poems. How would you describe love?
            Love is misunderstood. Folks tend to think of the Hollywood, “hetero-monogamous-Valentine’s-Day” type of love. The type of love that sustains human beings is a more universal love, whether it is from family or friends, or just being kind to people you don’t know. That’s the sort of love that saves people. Not jealousy fueled, possessive, bickering couple “love”…

Tell me about your poems. What inspires you?
            I draw a lot of inspiration from music—which is poetry I suppose. And of course other poets. Also larger-than-life figures in culture. On Facebook I have this album called Strong Female Leads, where I draw a lot of personality and essence from strong females. Like Mrs Flax from Mermaids—tap her energy when I need to create a poetry persona. The person in your poem is never really you, you know? —you’re inventing a voice and persona.

You spend A LOT of time in coffee shops writing. Do you have a favorite?
            Yeah. Fuel in Montlake! They are the best!

Tell me about your hobbies in witchery, please. 
            Well, I read tarot and I work with crystals and sage and energy.

You got witchy on the I Can’t Believe I’m a Loser podcast…
Yeah! Paul wanted me on to get ‘woo-woo’. I’m heavy into ghosts and psychic phenomenon and dream symbolism. He said to bring my tarot cards and crystals and I was a little nervous. I really like reading for people. I usually do it for barter, like “buy me some ice cream and I’ll read your tarot”. I like being able to give people clarity when they feel like they really need it, like when they’ve lost a partner or lost a job or need some clarity on what to do in a situation. Feels good to use this hobby to help my community.

Tell me about your necklace, since you say it’s your favorite.
            Ah! It’s a pink Swiss Army Knife that my dad bought me when I was eight. He gave me the “knife safety talk” before he took it out of the box. But I like it because it has a Barbie pink plastic exterior with very powerful contents.

Tell me about your performance persona. 
            Sometimes I perform as Kunt Kuntroll. The spelling of the name is a play on sexist Internet trolls. (Someone who, for example, makes comments on an article just to be a bully.) It makes women feel like they can’t make comments online. And sometimes I perform as Elissa Ball if it’s a more button up, adult reading situation. I also alter my content depending on who I am performing as. Kunt Kuntroll is more radical and IN YOUR FACE.

Where are your favorite places to perform spoken word?
            Bellingham is reliably a super enthusiastic crowd. They are really receptive to whatever you offer them. Healthy Times! May it rest in peace. I also dig skuzzy bars.

Do you have any collections?
            I have a gem collection, I have a few records. AND GIRL, so many clothes. I have two garment racks, plus a closet. What I wear is kind of an artistic hobby- it’s a way I express myself, like with color therapy.

Where do you find inspiration for your ever insightful facebook updates?
            (giggle) I treat my Facebook page as a personal zine—I think it comes from years of making zines and just being a writer and cultivating a particular persona. I think of Facebook as a performance art as well. Even on days when I feel like shit, if I can come with one pun to share with the online world I feel satisfied. I know how much joy I take from other people’s content.

Where did you go to school?
            I went to both Fairhaven School and Evergreen State College. It’s where fairies and go to school! At least—that’s what it looks like.

Which action hero do you wish you were?
I feel like Kunt Kuntroll is my action hero persona. She is ready to take on whatever, without caring whether or not she gets called a c--t. When you call yourself that first, just put it out there, you take away power from sexist people (or trolls) who can't handle powerful women. 

What are you listening to right now?
Bruteheart, which reminds me a lot of Quixotic from Olympia. The old favorites like the Smiths, and the new Stickers EP! I am also really into Wild Flag. Its Carrie Brownstein’s (Sleater-Kinney, Portlandia, NPR) new project. I am really excited about this band. Carrie is definitely a Renaissance woman and totally limitless. 

What is most exciting for you in 2012?
My book, The Punks Are Writing Love Songs!  I feel like I've been in a relationship with the manuscript for 16 months. In that time, I've had to turn away hang-outs, wedding invitations, vacations, just to finish the book . . . and then revise, edit, and re-revise. 
I'm excited to have something solid in my hand that I can smell and touch and show to all those wonderful people I had to blow off in order to do my solitary writer grrrl thing. I can't wait to go, "Look! This is what I've been making with my laptop during those bazillion hours. I've been writing poems that, I hope, will make human beings feel less alone."

Tell me about the One Haiku A Day Project! Which was your favorite?
Here’s one:
Black Cape
Woman runs out of
the salon with foils in her
hair, pays her meter.

Want more? 
Elissa is MCing an alternative variety show that she put together at Columbia City Theater on JANUARY 26TH. "It's an anti-frat-boy variety show."
And on JANUARY 28TH she will transform into Kunt Kuntroll to perform at Hollow Earth with The Sissy Collective "a new group of performers that are radical and queer! Yeah! I will definitely be Kunt Kuntroll for that."   

Saturday, January 14, 2012


New jewelry for 2012...
Come in today and check them out in person. Also, fresh new vintage on the racks... waiting for you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Case Studies, at EXPO 89

Jesse Lortz as Case Studies.

Next Silkscreen Workshop is Tues. Jan. 31 at 7 pm

Make your own t-shirts, posters and more! $45 gets you this great workshop, teaching you the basics of silkscreening shirts and posters + 1 month's worth of 7 day a week access to our studio to create your very own goodies. Stop by or email alchemy.of.time (at) to reserve a spot!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

King Dude & Ensemble Economique at EXPO 89

We'll be posting a round-up of photos and videos from EXPO 89 all this week, thanks again for coming out, and making this one of our favorite events of the year!

KING DUDE & the best candles ever to grace Cairo:


Stephanie, Flexions, Erik Blood, and O.C. Notes at NEUMO'S, Tuesday the 10th

Super pals show coming up this Tuesday at Neumo's!  Check out newly minted Cairo Records label mates Stephanie and Flexions, with the always amazing O.C. Notes & Erik Blood.  Erik just finished recording Stephanie's first full length album One Glove, which will find it's release in late spring on Cairo Records.   See you on Tuesday, and until then, check out Flexions teaser here:

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Afternoon with BFF.

Cairo Superfriend Ben Friars Funkhouser is home on Winter Break! 

Ben is a Seattle native, currently studying at Reed College in Oregon. He has long been involved in the Seattle music scene (just ask Ari Spool) and is now making waves with his band Hausu down in Portland.  

Ben and I hung out at Cairo/Top Pot for about 5 hours, dug into just about every subject possible (Seattle urban hiking, African hip-hop, men dressing femme, color combinations with "mustard" yellow, all things Japanese, etc), played some serious dress up, and talked to a lot of strangers. 
Please note: Ben is down to get his ear pierced...anyone up for it? 

Thanks for the words Ben, you'll always be the coolest kid in town. 

Here are some photos from our afternoon: 


"More, you ask?"

Aaaand our interview: 

What are you studying in school?
Art history, I declare at the end of this year.

Tell me about your veganism.
It's over! Its still the right thing to do, but I’m currently not vegan.

What's been most inspiring for you as a musician?
I've been really into trap music—like Gucci Mane and Wacka Flocka and Lex Luger. I’ve read a ton of Japanese books and prose, which is reflected in a lot of Hausu’s lyrics. Also, like, early 2000’s lame alt-rock bands like Interpol and Oasis, and Felt and The Chameleons. Yeah, a lot of reading. And spending time alone in college. My friends are all working and have boyfriends and girlfriends, so I do a lot of stuff alone.

How many in the band are actually from Portland? What is Hausu bringing to Portland?
Zero. We come from Seattle, Austin, Albequerque, and Scottsdale. I think we are in a pretty respected position with musicians and avid showgoers in Portland, because we are a Reed [College] band, not a Portland band. I think Portlanders have an expectation of Reed kids—you know, we are all privileged and on drugs all the time. We but came out with a good attitude and are proficient with our instruments; or at least, more so than a lot of people in the underground scene. So, yeah.

Tell me about the band name "Hausu". 
Yeah, well, we are all big Japan nerds. We thought the name was cool and then we watched them movie—it’s really cold and heavy, but really beautiful. It’s a weird movie—but still has really great points of incredible beauty, in a sappy way. Plus violence. It was totally to our taste. We felt very boyish watching it. We are really boys--we boy out together.

What are the themes of the music?
Heat and cold. That sounds pretentious. Optimism and reflection. Also, figuring out why it is that we feel lonely and sad.

What is better or worse about the Portland music scene?
It exists! That’s really nice. It’s mostly in bars and clubs, which is really weird. Bands like us in Seattle would only play DIY spaces, but Hausu plays big clubs. You don’t have to be established in the hierarchy of bands to get big venues, because it’s so much smaller. Seattle has phenomenal bands and still have the right ideas on how to play, whereas Portland is supportive and nice, and you don’t need to know “the right people”. But there are NO all ages venues.

I’ve been to one of Hausu's shows at Reed, and you had some serious groupies.
Yeah, they are our friends mostly, and they are just proud of us. But also, Reed is a hard place to go to school. People that aren’t our friends come because its something to do, and they need some sort of catharsis from school.

What is the best part about Christmas break so far?
I have walked a ton, just alone, thinking and looking and seeing people. People can really relate to that Smiths song (There is a Light That Never Goes Out)—want to see people and lights and stuff, just like those Morrissey lyrics, you know? Walking alone is something I can actively do without being idle, but its also really refreshing.

What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a book of Naoya Shiga short stories, Michel Foucault, and Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. That’s it for now.

What fictional character most describes you to others?
Hm. I’m not inside my own head as that, but maybe a slightly matured Holden Caulfield? 

There was an article written about you a long time ago that described you as a Superfan. Are you still? 
(Groan) No. Not at all. I like a lot of bands. Intensely even. I loved The Pharmacy, mostly because they were my friends. But I’m not a superfan.

Also? Ben blogs A LOT. Stay posted for future shows!

Happy 2012. The End.