Category Archives: Suzy Mae

≈NEW≈ Only Ok in LA Postcard Packs

Aug 8, 2016

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Wow. It’s been five years in the city of angels.  Since 2011, I’ve been documenting overheard (and personally generated) snippets of LA life.  Five sun-kissed years since I found myself texting, “Tanning session ran over.  Will be late for Katsuya,” and thinking, “I’ll have to choose between my therapist or my personal trainer.”

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I arrived in Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon.  Portland people tried to dampen my enthusiasm for LA, but I’d been California dreaming.  In my art studio, an inscrutable paper map of LA hung on the wall for a year.  I was determined to move to LA by my 30th.  Each day I’d stare at the streets, confounded by the lack of grids and the vast spread of neighborhoods.  Silver Lake got decorated with unicorns, magic sparkles, and hearts.


I’d read in a late-90’s Seventeen that Beck lived in Silver Lake.  Fifteen with no car, before smartphones and rideshares, I plotted a skeezy runaway hitch hike from Las Vegas to the supercool post-grunge home of weirdo art musicians.  A Big Life Thing in the form of Parental Death happened, and I didn’t get to LA for another couple of years.  A few friends from the music scene and I would hit 18+ Santa Monica clubs to dance all night, then stay in some cousin’s Echo Park living room.  From Portland, business trips took me to LA often, doing research projects for Nike and Levi’s.

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It’s been five years of learning the city, meeting the people that make up its creative demographic, and honing the Only OK aesthetic.  Cluelessly entitled, art-damaged, super-sensitive and forever at the whim of someone more famous, the Only OK voice speaks for the millions of people who move here to be “in the industry,” whether they find raging, rich-kid success, or move back home.

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With the Only OK in LA postcard series, Angelenos can either celebrate their insularity, or shake their heads in shame.  The shoots are done in my living room, using my friends as models, then all the illustrations are painstakingly done by me.  Currently on the second run of postcard designs, I could go on forever.  In the works:  an adult coloring book…

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Part therapy, part observation, part obsessive art project, Only OK in LA tweets are the most fun I can have while eavesdropping.  My goal is to continue expanding the Only OK voice, including more perspectives from across the city.  Packs can be acquired in my li’l zine shop, or at the Los Angeles County Store.



Wildness Collective will read to you

Aug 8, 2016

Don’t fear the feels.

That’s the motto of Wildness Collective, a writing group I’m a part of.  We meet weekly and share our work, grouped around a common theme.  Part of the intent is to push each other, to to go the places we normally avoid, to become better, more honest writers.   Don’t fear the feels.


Our first reading was held recently, in the beautiful Show + Tell space, run by Mara Mehdy.  Wild Gold, we called it.  The Pretty Creatures ran the photobooth.


Bringing people into our community was the goal.  In the name of abundance, we went overboard with the beer, wine, popcorn and sparkles.  We invited new people to read, welcomed curious wanderers off the Little Tokyo streets, and created beautiful banners with our motto:  Share your wildness.  Don’t fear the feels.


Each reader gave a wonderful performance.  Sarah Elaine White started with arresting, flowing poetry.  Grace Duong followed with her charming children’s book.  Shawn McClellan read an excerpt from his radical in-progress novel.  Chelsea Naftelberg read two beautifully expressive pieces.  Claire Finucane shared a short surrealist piece.  I read my specialty, horror fiction.


Wildness Collective is continuing to thrive.  Follow our Instagram, where we post quotes from every reader each week.  We have another reading on the horizon, and continue welcoming new writers to our group.  Interested?  Email me!



p.s.  Super special thanks to Brian Frisk and Clark Canez for playing bouncer!

Literary Identity Packs

Jul 7, 2016

My bookshelves overflow, filled with compelling information about the world. Art. History. Sociology. Comics. Curated over years of working in bookstores, and then the ability to expense books for work, quite the weird-girl library has accumulated. But, a twist, I am determined to escape my hoarder lady destiny, and am forcing myself to part ways with some of my faves. To make this fun and lessen the pain, I’ve carved them into Identity Packs, $15 for each one. You pay shipping. Email with your fave.

suzy mae


Disaffected Young Urbanite Pack

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Sickened by the masses’ acceptance of humanity, you know better, trusting your intrepid sense of integrity to lead you astray from the lie society wants you to lead. Considering a move to Vegas (The History of Vegas, stories by Jodi Angel), Hunter S Thompson book in your pack (Generation of Swine, Gonzo Papers vol 2), you play an LP from the raw, angry years of Sonic Youth (Alabama Wildman, poems by Thurston Moore) on your iPhone. No one understands the life of a Gen X libertarian (Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me, a decade of political comics by Peter Bagge)—this world is yours to decipher alone.






Eager Entry Level Millennial Pack

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You did it! Went out and got a college degree and a job. But the world is not like college. Ideology is not enough (More Than Good Intentions, by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel). Your boss won’t negotiate deliveries of late work. No one respects your demands for fair trade coffee in the cafeteria, and you’re pretty sure that joke you made at the copier came off racist. (If You Have To Cry, Go Outside, by Kelly Cutrone.) You just wanted to impress everyone at the office with your quick wit, sensitive and respectful political correctness, and knowledge of 15th Century Fashion Design. What you’re quickly realizing is that people just want you to get the job done (How to Be Useful, by Megan Hustad).


American Spending A Semester In Europe Pack

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Western Europe is so vast and diverse, you’re thankful for any guidance and history you can get (Western Europe travel guide). You’re dying to see the real life sites of history class (Sources of World History). But straight up facts can get dull on long train rides (World War Z, by Max Brooks). Thankfully, beer is cheap.


Budding Cult Leader Pack

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Wise, cunning, and ecstatically psychopathic (Valis, by Phillip K Dick), you’ve tried Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnessing, and Chaos Magic. You even went to University of Phoenix for psychology (Rebel With A Cause, by John Sperling)! None of them truly know how to place their callused fingers on the pulse of a malleable lamb and press… press just softly enough to restrict the blood flow to the brain and lead followers deep into an unrecoverable void (Stephen Lives! Ann Puryear’s delusional tale of finding her son’s ghost after his tragic suicide)… But you’ve got the answer! Just a few more notations to make in your handmade goat leather journal (Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, by Ori Brafman and Ron Brafman). See you at the public library!



Graphic Novel Nerd Pack

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Nothing jerks your emotions like the blend of line and copy. Comics are your heart, your lifeline to the touching and sentimental (Empire State, by Jason Shiga.) Even profanity can be sweet in comics (Palookaville; Sticky-Icky-Icky). Great issues of importance and meaning can be illustrated poetically (The Three Paradoxes, by Paul Hornschmier; Other Lives by Peter Bagge). But your favorite is when words and illustration combine to form something uniquely graphic and expressively original (1-800-MICE, by Matthew Thurber).



Person On The Brink Of An Existential Realization Pack

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Life is fucked-up. You know this, deep in your soul, but are overcome with a nagging suspicion that there is more—there is meaning, and all pain has a purpose. But what about those occasions when it doesn’t (A Slow Death: 83 Days of Radiation Sickness, by Iwanami Shoten)? And when our perversions and preferences subvert the animal intent of sex, not to mention the social mores that bind us (Sexology, Kinky and Kooky Excerpts from America’s First Sex Magazine)? It sometimes feels meaningless—but with a glimmer of hope (X’ed Out, by Charles Burns).



Women’s Studies Major With An Undying Passion For Learning Pack

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“What are you going to use that for?” they asked. “You gonna run a lesbian bookstore?” they joked (Will Work For Drugs, by Lydia Lunch). It was never a choice made to make money (Women’s Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness? by Jane Ussher). It was not a career path. For you, it was a basic block to life (Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex), to becoming the person you are today (Stories In The Worst Way, by Gary Lutz). It was a journey of realization and growth (In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate). You wouldn’t be this passionate, driven, articulate or wise if you’d majored in Business.



First-Time Creative Director Pack

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Over the cutting board table, defending your serifs and unexpected colorways late into the night, you battled your way through three different bosses, two alcoholic strategists—one a secret cokehead– and a nightmare client who uttered nothing but uninspired mandates (Advertising For People Who Don’t Like Advertising, by Kesselscramer). Now, you’re a creative director with no idea what the hell you’re doing (Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure And Others Don’t). You need inspiration. To learn from those who came before you (The Creative Process, Ilustrated: How Big Ideas Are Born). And most important, how to win this pitch on Friday (The Genius Machine: The 11 Steps That Turn Raw Ideas Into Briliance.)



Hyper Nostalgic Hipster Pack

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Remember when moustaches were cooler than beards? When American Apparel from head-to-toe meant you were a model (Do’s & Don’ts: 10 Years of Vice Magazine’s Street Fashion Critiques)? That time when overlit photography against a white background was fresh? (The Vice Guide To Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll) Man, maybe you remember when street art went legit (Graffiti L.A, by Steve Grody). Or further back, when the 90’s weren’t even nostalgic and still had their 70’s tinged hooks in the beginnings of the 2000’s (Pad: The Guide To Ultra-Living, by Matt Maranian). The 70’s man! The decade that spawned the 80’s (Retro Hell, by the editors of ben is dead magazine)! But everything comes back around again… you and your terrycloth shorts will be ready.




Silver Lake Tinder Date Conversation Pack

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You have no idea who this person is—but they’re hot, and odds are they’re somewhat literate and sufficiently philosophical, so the correct mix of knowledge and wit will send them home with you tonight. You need to be sarcastic and wry (Unpublished, Unknown, Unbelievable, a compilation by McSweeney’s). It would help to toss out an acclaimed fiction book you’ve been reading (Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart). If a more intense conversation begins, throwing out existential assumptions can set you up as a lonely genius (The Mystery of Consciousness, John R. Earle). Maybe throw out a little knowledge you picked up in UCB 401 Advanced (Improv Wisdom, by Patricia Ryan Madson). But above all, be sexy (How To Think More About Sex, by Alain De Botton).