Moleskine Portraits Featured Artist: Amanda Stern and Nathan Sensel – Words and Pictures

moleskine portraitsOn the evening of Monday, January 30th in New York City, Moleskine is hosting a special event – Moleskine Portraits, an evening of interactive portraits-making.

Moleskine Portraits explores the many ways to capture a portrait using Moleskine objects. Text-portraits, sound-portraits, taste-portraits, photo-portraits, and more. Over the next few weeks, we will feature artists and designer who are contributing work to this one-night only experience.

View the featured Artist and designer who are contributing work to this one-night only experience.
The previous featured Artists
Phillip Stearns
Brian Quinn

Amanda Stern – Author and Host of Happy Ending
Nathan Sensel – Artist and Arts-educator

Amanda SternNathan SenselWho are you and what do you do?
AS – I am Amanda Stern. Some close friends call me, “Frankie,” others just point and say, “You.” I’m a novelist and the founder of The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series, a show I produce and host at Joe’s Pub in NYC. My first novel is called “The Long Haul,” and was published by Soft Skull Press. I’ve written 11 books for kids and young adults (published by Penguin and Hyperion, respectively) and published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in a bunch of places including The Believer, The New York Times, Post Road, Five Chapters and Spinning Jenny.  I am hoping to finish my next novel before I qualify for AARP.

NS – My name is Nate and I’m an artist and educator. I dig art museums and am constantly trying to find new ways to get people involved in talking about and making art. I’ve been leading drop-in drawing workshops at the Brooklyn Museum on Thursday nights called “New Ways of Seeing ” — they have a crazy awesome collection there. At the Whitney Museum this month, I’m teaching kids to cast small skulls out of sugar. I work with teenagers to write about art through an organization called High 5 Tickets to the Arts and I’m at MoMA almost everyday talking with people about portraits, abstractions, revolutions  and curry.

Are Moleskine notebooks a part of your life and creative process? If so, how do you fit them in?
AS – Hell, yes. Short of eating off them, I use Moleskine for nearly everything. I have a thin one devoted to scenes and ideas for my second novel. I have another that’s just TO DO lists. I have one for my calendar and another for story ideas. I have light brown ones, black ones, red ones, uppers, downers – oh sorry, wrong list – I also have a Moleskine laptop case because I have Moleskine Hoarding Disorder.

NS – I love the smooth, heavy-weight paper in the classic hard-bound notebooks. I host figure drawing sessions at my studio in Brooklyn once a month and have a stack of these notebooks filled with drawings.

– You are presenting a project at Moleskine Portraits in NYC on January 30th…what is it about?
AS – Nate Sensel and I have put together an interactive portrait workshop that works for a handful of people and a mass of people.  It has to do with one’s then and one’s now, and identifying the patterns that make us ourselves. We’re incorporating word stamps, writing and sketching.

NS – It’s really about YOU. Our project will get participants making portraits of themselves through time with words.  Who were you in the past? Who are you now? And what moments were turning points in your life?

– If you collaborated with someone on your project, how did your collaboration work?
AS – Perfectly, thank you. Nate Sensel and I work really well together. It could be in part because we work in different, yet complementarymediums, but also because he’s very down to earth and not bossy, unlike his collaborative partner.

NS – I’m rather lucky to work with Amanda — she is smart, funny and only a little bit bossy.

– What inspires you?     
AS – New ideas, collaborations, making something from nothing, being shown new ways of seeing, great conversation, a long walk alone, a few songs, eavesdropping and people watching.

NS – Other people inspire me. The natural world has it’s place, but I need to hear what people are thinking. I feel most inspired when I think someone has been completely open and honest in their work.

– Do you prefer plain, ruled, or squared paper?
AS – Ruled. Always and only. If that makes me a Rulist, so be it.

NS – Plain. No fuss.

Moleskine Portraits, Monday, January 30th 2012, 6-9pm, Exit Art, New York
Free with RSVP: