Monday, October 12, 2015

Endings

Hi Friends,

I'm writing today to let you all know that The Otter Dance is officially ending. I started blogging when I moved to Minneapolis, MN two years ago and needed a creative outlet, but now it is time to close the doors on this blog. I have loved creating content and growing in my blogging/social media skills. I am also super thankful for all of you who have encouraged and supported me in this endeavor. However, this isn't the end of my blogging journey!  If you would like to follow my art, please check out my new blog at morganswank.com/blog.

Blogger Tricks

Friday, June 19, 2015

Guest Fashion: Checked Shirtdress






Mikala is back on the blog looking fine in her new shirtdress. She found this Gap number at one of my favorite consignment stores here in Minnesota. She paired it with white converse and her purse from SutiSana for a day out and about in Stillwater. We had an amazing lunch at the Dock Cafe and then spent some time browsing antique stores. It was so fun to be able to spend quality time with her. I'm excited that she and my mom will still be visiting for another week! Family time is the best time.

Hope you all are having a good summer! 


Monday, June 1, 2015

Green And Black




 Blazer: Vintage | Sweater: J.Crew | Skirt: Loft | Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Necklace: J.Crew | Bracelets: Kate Spade and Twisted Sisters Designs  | Watch: Swiss Army

 Today's outfit is an easy work combination. I love black on black, but sometimes you need a little pop. The green blazer is a fun and professional way to add color to business attire. For a couple other ways to wear a green blazer, check out here and here!

[ Photo Credit: Danielle Anderson Photography ]


Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day




Shirt: J.Crew Factory | Jeans: Target | Shoes: Converse | Bag: Self-made 

Happy Memorial Day! In honor of the holiday, today's outfit is all red, white, and blue! What I love about this shirt is that it is super comfortable, but looks way more put together than just a plain t-shirt. This outfit is a favorite for grabbing coffee, meeting friends, and running errands. For a less casual look with this shirt, check out this post from last fall. 

I want to also take a moment and thank all those who have served this country in the armed forces. I know that freedom is never free, and I will always be grateful to those who have sacrificially given their lives to protect and defend. Thank you.

[ Photo Credit: Danielle Anderson Photography ]


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 2015 Mood Board

mood board

On the blog today is what has been going on in my head regarding art/fashion/design for spring. 

Starting clockwise: The top left image really spoke to me with the beauty of neutral tones and geometric patterns. Both in interior decor and fashion, I've been more in tune to how small details can make something seemingly plain look beautiful and interesting.

The top right image is a beautiful painting that has really inspired me. Not that I'm going to change my entire illustration style, but I want to experiment with a few different styles and subject matters. I have been feeling stagnant and uninspired lately (see my Monday post on inspiration here), and I just need to try something new.

Bottom right is a beautiful floor (can I have that in my apartment, please?) with some white Birkenstocks. I am thinking of investing in another pair of Birkenstocks. Yes, people are saying they are so "out" and it is time to get over this footwear trend, but I don't really care. The pair I have now are incredibly comfortable and I happen to like they way they look. 

Bottom left is an example of Kintsugi (yes, it is also the title of Death Cab's new album). The definition is: (n.) (v.phr.) "to repair with gold"; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.  As a Christian, I find this to be the perfect metaphor for life. I want my life to be more beautiful after breaking, that the refining of difficulties and hardships will make me more than what I was at the start.

I hope you are having a wonderful, encouraging May. How do you feel about the board above? Anything inspiring you this month? 


Monday, May 18, 2015

3 Ways To Be Inspired


Today I wanted to talk a little about inspiration. Lately I’ve been in a bit of an inspiration slump. I feel like the past few months I’ve spent every spare moment on working on my website, networking, doing commission pieces, transitioning into a new job, etc. All of these things are great, but I am now tired. I think the stress of deadlines and mounting work has slowly depleted my inspiration bucket. Below are 3 things to do when your inspiration bucket is dry.

1. Give Yourself A Break

This is the hardest thing for me to do. I feel like I should be always doing something. I hold myself to an impossible standard with lofty goals, but I don’t give myself time to sit down, drink a beer, and watch a movie. Sometimes you just need to put down the pencil and walk away. The project will still be there tomorrow. Stepping away from work allows you to approach it later with a fresh perspective.

2. Do Something New 

Inspiration can strike when you get out of your box. Curate an adventurous spirit. Try a new restaurant! Visit a museum! Read a book! If you continue to do the same thing over and over you are never going to grow. Be passionately curious and a student of the world. Growing as a person makes you grow as an artist.

3. Talk With Other Creatives

Don’t live in your own artistic world, go join the artist community. Find other people who are also passionate to create and grow. It doesn’t matter if the community is local or online, find a group and become involved. Have real conversations and honestly share when you are feeling stuck or discouraged. Encouragement from peers can be the best thing for an empty inspiration bucket. 

I hope this post is encouraging to you! I’m now going to go and practice what I preach. Have a wonderful Monday!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Website and Blog News


Hello friends!

As some of you know, I now have a new website! Yay!!! It is amazing to have a lovely new home for my art. I am so excited to announce that the blog is also going to be transitioning!

A year and a half ago when I started The Otter Dance it was just a place for me to share random thoughts and life experiences. As the blog has evolved, it has moved into a more fashion focused space and I believe the current name doesn't reflect my mission.

In the near future you will be seeing my blog in a new layout and under my new URL. I will continue to share outfit posts, clothing thoughts, trends, my art, and anything else fashion or art related I can dream up.

I am excited for this evolving journey and I'm thankful that I can take it with you all! I appreciate all your support and encouragement as I pursue my dreams.

Morgan