Gala Darling the De-luxe Blogger

Gala is a delectable dame with an even more amazing (if that’s possible) message! She’s a fashion icon, blogger and international playgirl. We happen to live by the same sort of mantras and for the same purposes so it happened that we instantly clicked and that she would love to chill with Miseducated and let us in on her own creativity and inspirations in life. Come along for the ride!

gala3s

Where do you get your clothing inspiration?gala3s
It comes to me from all kinds of places. Haute couture, street fashion, movie stars & guttersnipes all provide their own unique perspectives & I love to put them all together in a big mish-mash. I have to say though, I don’t often imitate things I’ve seen — the majority of my looks, for better or for ill, are things that come from my imagination, or just from standing in front of my closet & pairing things up.

I think the best looks are unpredictable & a little bit “off” — I don’t relish being appropriate or fitting in. Actually, this morning my boyfriend & I went out for brunch & when he saw what I was wearing, he just laughed — a headband with a huge flower & some netting on top, a shredded black knit sweater, a leather miniskirt, engineer boots & a hooded black faux fur coat. All to go out & eat strawberry pancakes. But I think life is for living, & if you don’t dress up, you’re missing out!

Any cute and quick DIY tips for readers?
I’m not a big DIY’er, actually. I have never been very “crafty”, I don’t know how to knit & I don’t make doilies or tea-cozies or mittens for dogs. I’m just not very clever that way & a lot of people are, so I would prefer to pay them to do a good job! If I DIY anything, it’s really simple — like I’ll take a Hallmark bow (the kind you would put on a gift) & stick it to a headband, or wear pearls around my ankles or something. I like doing the kind of thing that takes three seconds & doesn’t require much more than a safety pin or some double-sided tape…

Where do you find inspirations from the world around? What really inspires you to work?
A. I have always been compelled to write, which I guess makes me lucky. I know a lot of people want to be writers but can’t seem to muster the enthusiasm to carry on — I really think you either HAVE TO write or you don’t, & if you don’t HAVE TO, you’ll never really improve. Even when I was a kid I wrote all the time, I would write short stories on my lunch-breaks when I worked at awful jobs (like selling advertising for newspapers or when I sold home loans & term deposits in a bank), I always have paper on me so I can make notes when I’m in Wholefoods or whatever. So the compulsion, the need, the madness, that’s what inspires me to work. Even if I shut down my website tomorrow, I’d still be writing. I do it for the love, not because I need to make a buck. I think that makes all the difference.

Do you carry your work into your home (can we see???)? Do you find it creeping into other endeavors you take on?
Absolutely. This probably sounds super-pretentious but I think people’s lives are their art. You know, even if you’re a rad sculptress or an incredible mechanic, the WAY you live your life is still the most defining thing about you. I like to bring beauty into everything I do, because that’s how I am, I am obsessed with love & beauty & deliciousness, so yes, it more than creeps in!

gala3s

When moving somewhere new, what’s the first place you have to set up?
Funny you should say that because I just moved in with my boyfriend! The first things I set up anywhere are always my work space & my wardrobe. They are kind of one & the same a lot of the time. My new office also has my huge closet in it, & all my accessories, etc., merchandised like mad & displayed all over the place. I have my favourite pair of shoes (Alexander McQueen) on the windowsill, a purple glitter skull wearing sequinned Mickey Mouse ears on my desk & two bulletin boards propped against the wall waiting for pictures, clippings, photobooth strips.

Your favorite 3 stops:
New York City is my #1 lover. No other city even comes close. But I love Paris, Los Angeles, Austin, Las Vegas, Berlin & Amsterdam a whole lot too. Sorry, I can’t boil it down to 3 & I refuse to cut the others out!

What scent of incense would you prefer in your home? (feel free to create-your-own)
I used to burn Nag Champa obsessively when I lived in New Zealand & I still like the smell of it, but these days I am more into scented candles & essential oils. I really love jasmine, vanilla, rose & ylang ylang.

What hobby are you into lately?
Getting cozy with my lover, RSVP’ing to ridiculous events & taking my partner-in-crime/photographer with me, & thinking about interior design constantly.

What is your lifestyle mantra?
More magic all the time.

3 things you can’t live without right now:
1. My boyfriend, known colloquially as The Dish. He is such great company, he’s totally authentic & he is so effing cute, I want to jump his bones all the time!
2. My new-to-me vintage faux fur coat. It is big & fluffy & the perfect length. I wear it almost every day & cannot get enough of it.
3. My Moleskine daily planner. I am a total organization geek. It is incurable but I love it.

What are your next plans and goals? Give us an indirect sneak peek, if you’d like!
Oh but that would be telling! Sorry, I can’t. Suffice to say, you will not be disappointed!

What’s so great about today? .. and what do you do to prepare for tomorrow? How do you make sure each day counts?
Strawberry pancakes with my boyfriend; rad conversations; The Dish singing songs he makes up about me; cuddling with the dog; organizing my office even more; planning my social calendar for the next week (photoshoots & fashion shows & working out at the haunted mansion), etc. etc. etc.

Tomorrow I’m going to sit at my brand new desk & listen to some good tunes & write, write, write. I will probably make a coffee run in the morning & then hole up & be as productive as possible!

I make sure each day counts by always focusing on the positive. It’s really easy to get bogged down when you’re thinking about a bill that needs to be paid, or the argument you had with your friend, or the jeans that don’t fit, or whatever — life is full of challenges but you get what you focus on. So keep your eyes to the skies, be grateful for what you have, express love in as many ways as you can, & work to create a life that makes you truly happy.

Do you find your work taking time away from other hobbies and interests? Or is it your all-consuming passion?
I used to talk about how I worked 24/7, & I still do, but it is much more intense now. I used to have time to go shopping all the time, or kick back & read a book, or whatever — that kind of thing is pretty rare these days. I’ve taken on more obligations & while I love them, it certainly does suck up my free time. It has always been this way though, just to a lesser degree. Thankfully it IS my all-consuming passion & there aren’t many things I would rather be doing!

How do you prefer your environment to look?
Colourful, exciting, invigorating. Actually “colourful” might be a misnomer. I like a simple, clean palette (like black & white) with bright pops of colour — does that count as colourful? I don’t know. Aaaaanyway, my room has white walls (which I love) & I bought an indigo desk to go in the middle. I want to paint one wall with blackboard paint — maybe in vertical stripes? — & there are going to be sparkly or high-gloss accoutrements everywhere. I love a simple or plain canvas with ornate madness placed among it. That is so my style.

Favorite music? and Why?
If I had to break it down, I’d say I listen to 60% hip-hop, 40% “other” — the other being a mix of electronic, singer-songwriter, indie rock, & uh, the unclassifiable! I love to mix it up, it’s not unusual for me to jump from Mobb Deep to Bauhaus to Tom Waits to The Legendary Pink Dots to Big L, & my iTunes is almost always on random. Hip-hop is really one of my one true loves, though — I find it hard to articulate how much I adore it.

Are you Miseducated? What makes you Miseducated? <3
Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths. I do what I feel on my own timeframe, & I am so much happier because of it!

Yes, absolutely! I’m miseducated because I don’t do what other people tell me to do, & I don’t follow conventional paths.

gala3s

.. and just in case you’re wondering, yes, her blog (iCiNG) is just as delectable as she is.

Living like a 5-year-old

When I was five years old, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have stated, very specifically, that I was going to be a pony rider in the circus. Apparently, riding horseback in a tutu with a tent full of people watching was my greatest aspiration. Nowadays, you’ll find me working odd jobs waiting tables, organizing office files, and ringing up sale items to pay my rent, but in my heart, I’m still a performer. True, my dreams have moved beyond the circus saddle to in front of a movie camera, but actresses love their audience too. There are those who find my aspirations foolish, childish, and unrealistic; naysayers who feel it’s time for me to grow up and settle for something more sensible. So far, I’ve refused.

Why is it that we are expected, even encouraged, to have ridiculous ambitions in childhood, but realistic goals as adults? Let’s find ways to keep the magic within us alive even as we grow older. To find out how, I set out to discover what we can learn from the dream jobs of our five-year old selves. Through discussions with friends and family, I’ve compiled a few themes within common childhood dreams and ways to never let go of them.

Art/Entertainment

Creativity is important to us as children. We want to color. We want to create. We want to let our imaginations run wild. Perhaps that’s why the vast majority of the people I asked remembered wanting to do something artistic or entertaining when they grew up. If we’d all had our way, today’s world would be filled with ballerinas, writers, artists, movie stars, and even a few ‘In Living Color’ Fly Girls. Maybe it was the glamour that attracted some, but I think most of us just wanted to express ourselves. That instinct doesn’t have to die with age. Ballerinas and fly girls can take a dance class or volunteer to teach dance to children. Writers can still express themselves in blogs or webzines dedicated to their subject of choice. As for the movie stars, there’s actually a lot more local film opportunity than you might know, find your way in and you can ham it up on your weekends off.

Caring/Helping

As selfish as some children may seem, there are quite a few of us that still care about the rest of the world, even at a young age. A large majority of former five-year olds that I talked to wanted to be veterinarians. As children, we sense the importance of having furry friends in our lives and want nothing more than to help them. Oftentimes this dream falls to the wayside later in life when the reality of a long veterinary education sets in. But fret not; you can still have a taste of your Dr. Doolittle dreams by volunteering at local shelters or adopting your own menagerie of pets. After all, adults need furry friends too.

Inspirational

For every dream that’s set aside, there’s another dream fulfilled. While my research revealed that perhaps superheroes and cowboys are aspirations best left in childhood, there are still several inspirational stories of those who are making their dreams a reality: lawyers just graduating from law school, writers working nightly on their novels, and animal lovers plugging through pre-vet exams. Anything is possible, if it’s what your heart truly wants.

Quick Tips for Making your Dreams a Reality

Be realistic about why you want what you want. Do you want the reality of your dream or the fantasy?
Don’t let television dictate what you think is real. Find out what the job is really like before deciding it’s your ideal.
Start small. No one makes a career happen overnight. Find ways to participate in your dream field, even if they’re not bringing in the big bucks.
Surround yourself with people that understand. You need support to follow your dreams. Nothing picks you up after failure like the voices of those who believe in you completely.
Never stop dreaming. Make a list of new and exciting dreams annually and don’t be afraid if your goals change, just always be honest about what you truly want. Follow your heart and you can do no wrong.

Who’s Famous? .. and Why?

fame the condition of being known and talked about by many people

With the trend in reality tv and reality celebrities, it’s not so hard to believe that fans went underground as well. You can find them all over social networking sites such as youtube devoting photo montages to their favorite indie fashion celebrities.

As often as you see these artists, fashion icons and bloggers names you often see a small, jealous collection of people often demanding to know exactly what they are famous for.

“People are very jealous of success and often aren’t pleased with their own so they’ll try to take others down to feel better about themselves.” – Audrey Kitching

Believe it or not, marketing yourself can be a beneficial career. Although you might not recognize that as celebrity status, excelling and becoming an icon in your career makes you famous within a certain network of people — sometimes even globally. Whether this does or does not involve Hollywood is usually merely based on approach, style, criteria, etc.

The point is, when you work for something you believe in and you happen to excel at it — who’s to argue why you deserve it? Everyone is going to have a different subjective opinion about who is really better at what — does it matter? We all have to be different because we all have to be ourselves.

If you are not sincere, people can sense it and they’ll pounce on you. Although all success attracts negative energy right along with the positive, having low integrity and being insincere, trying to be something you’re not, is very transparent. You must be honest, be true to yourself and be the person you really are inside to truly find happiness and success in life.

famous

Finding Amber Renee, Miseducated Herself

A few years ago Amber and I met online, she emailed me as soon as she saw my cartoon pop on tv. She wrote me to tell me she liked the fun and cuteness of my animation. We realized we like very similar things and quickly became good friends! She also sent me a link to this amazing community site she was working on called “Miseducated”. When I saw it I loved the design and colors soo much! It looks so delicious that I want to eat it. I began to find myself going there when I wanted to see something pretty, or learn about a cute Japanese fad. This site has a sprinkle of everything I love!!!! I knew I had to find out about the girl behind this amazing portal of cuteness……..

I love Miseducated.net. It’s like the stylish 1960’s blended with Japanese cuteness!! What inspired you to start this?
Well once upon a time in 1996 I decided I just had to make a website or I would burst.. I studied web design, learned html and used MS Paint to create the first version of Miseducated. Since then it got sillier and sillier, more whimsy nonsense and inspiration by the gallon! It seemed only natural to share it with other artists and produce a collected blogzine of deliciousness on this world wide web.

How did you get into graphic design?
Oh.. I’d say it happened when I was a young girl who sketched doodles all day, I could never stop creating these whimsical worlds on paper!

Not only are you a designer but you are also an illustrator! What do you look for, for inspiration when drawing?
Vintage children’s books and Japan of course! I’m always obsessing over something… whether it psychedelic 60s art or 1750s French decor. I’m inspired by the world around me and the people I meet everyday — most of my art is based on icing explosions from my brain.

What are your favorite subjects to Illustrate?
Anything cute, psychadelic, fantasy or covered in sugar!

As a professional designer what kinds of jobs do you normally do?
All sorts of jobs. I dabble in everything so I often get asked to do nearly everything. In college I specialized in print design, magazine layout design and photography, today I usually bring in the bucks with web design and illustration. I sell my original artworks as well when I’m not moving across the country.

You have a very definitive style. What are your biggest inspirations?
Sweets, animals and wonderland! I’ve got this little world I’ve created in my mind which I’m always trying to translate onto paper.

Who is your favorite Japanese character? Why?
MOMO BEAR. A pink bear by Sony. Next to Hello Kitty of course. I grew up watching vintage Sanrio movies so nothing really surpases the magic, wonder and happiness that Sanrio provides.

I have to ask, What was your favorite cartoon show growing up?
Minnie Mouse! When I was really young, I often tried to dress like her and even made ears out of paper plates — haha. You can’t imagine my delight when I found gemed & decorated decora-style Minnie ear headband in Tokyo’s Disneyland! I felt like a new woman. haha

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Daquiri Ice from Baskin Robbins! Or Lollipop Candy from Baskin Robbins in Japan. :9

I know you love Japan. What other cities do you love to visit?
I’ve lived near Chicago my whole life so that’s a big one, I haven’t been to NYC since the black out (ha!), I’ve only been to Paris in the winter but still fell in love, Toronto is one of my favorite cities ever and I adore exploring L.A. with my very best friend and partner in crime. I love cities so I’d love to visit absolutely any city — they’re generally stuffed with art, culture and delicious food. I think the view of city lights at night is one of the most beautiful sites to be seen, it’s a nature that we built with designs made by women and men.

Your fashion sense is also super cute! How would you describe it?
How funny! and my father always commented ‘I don’t think that matches..’ I always mixed and matched everything I liked, colors, styles, decades and cultures — I wear whatever I like and it’s OFTEN a joke with my friends that I always find the ugliest thing in the store! However when I put it together I feel it’s an artwork on my body — it just seems to come together!

If you are not designing, making content for Miseducated or taking great photos on the Amcam, what else are you passionate about?
Traveling, combing thrift stores and boutiques for amazing things that I cannot live without, relaxing with my husband, diy-ing and having fun with the people I love. I adore dressing up and going out, perhaps a little too much.

If you could make any dessert what would it be?
Creme Brulee because it is the best dessert ever and I do actually own a little torch for desserts — haha.

If you ever feel blue, what’s the first thing you do to get you back on track to your sunny self?
I battle the blues quite often! I just try to see it as a problem that I need to sort out.. the anxiety might be coming from an unsuspecting source and rather than surpress it I like to realize it and move on to focus on my work, family and friends.

Favorite music and why?
Dance music; although I generally just listen to my favorites David Bowie, Veruca Salt, No Doubt and Kissy Sell Out.

If you could have a pet that is a mythical creature what would you have?
This has been my dream forever, a Mogwai (aka Gizmo from Gremlins) — haha.

In the future what do you think is in store for Miseducated?
To be honest, I’m really excited that it’s growing more everyday and I adore all of the amazing people I meet because of it — I see very great things happening as more and more get on board with the Miseducated way of life! I cannot thank everyone who visits, comments, emails us — every single word is appreciated and adored! Live inspired.