Blogging about talking about blogging in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Picture of downtown Tulsa next to a picture of Melanie Richards giggling in front of an illustrated background

Downtown Tulsa; me with the giggles at Hogan Assessments. Both photos by Crystal Walters.

Last week I spoke about blogging as part of the creative career/process, and now I’m blogging about it! How meta. A milestone that I was quite nervous about—my first time speaking publicly—turned out to be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.

I’d never been to Tulsa before, or anywhere near Oklahoma for that matter, and was excited to see a new city. I couldn’t have had better guides (Art Directors Club of Tulsa) to show me all the good stuff.

We toured the studios and met members of Fire Thief, Loose Leaf, and Rough House; popped into Circle Cinema; heard about the amazing things Tulsa Glassblowing School is doing for local youth; browsed locally-made and vintage curiosities at Dwelling Spaces; gawked at shmancy stonework downtown; shot a quick interview video at Hogan Assessments; and contemplated art at AHHA and 108 Contemporary.

Circular tapestry by Analise Stukenborg and weaving by Sarah Sullivan that looks vaguely like an American flag

Left: “Grace” by Analise Stukenborg, right: “New Country” by Sarah Sullivan

There was so much good art in both those galleries, but I was especially excited to see fiber art alive and well in the heartland. The show at 108 Contemporary included excellent weavings by Sarah Sullivan and Analise Stukenborg, and a giant knit mural by Romy Owens. Romy mocked up the mural digitally and then divvied up the panels for people to knit. It’s an impressive piece, both in concept and in scale. I feel fired up to start some new weaving ideas!

Romy Owens's knit mural landscape, from outside and inside the gallery

Romy Owens’s knit mural landscape, from outside and inside the gallery

Everything I ate in Tulsa was so delicious I’m still dreaming about it: coffee and breakfast tacos at Chimera; muffuletta and gumbo at Lassalle’s; chips, salsa, and guac at Rusty Crane (the kind I’ve been missing while living in Seattle); local sausage pie at East Village Bohemian Pizza that makes me kinda glad I’m no longer strictly vegetarian; and an excellent drink called “Wake up call” at Hodges Bend.

Oh yeah, and there was the speaking bit. Everyone I met from the ADC was so kind and friendly that by the end of the day the presentation felt a bit more like talking to friends. I shared my experiences with blogging and how that has unintentionally, surprisingly, shaped my entire design career thus far. I went over some of the many benefits of blogging as a part of the creative process, and talked about some of the more practical concerns too: pros and cons of different blogging services, scheduling, blog post topics, and $ opportunities. Everyone asked insightful questions that taught me a lot about what might not be apparent about my process from the outside.

If you went to the show and need a refresher on links, these are for you:

All in all, great experience. I’m so thankful to Paul Woodard, Crystal Walters, Robbie Edwards, Dan Van Buskirk, and the rest of ADC Tulsa for bringing me out to meet a new-to-me design scene. Yours is clearly a talented, tight-knit, supportive community, and I am so happy to have met you all! Please say hi if you are ever in Seattle, I know some of you will be!


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