Sometimes, you have a creative idea that you just can’t let go of, no matter how many years pass. When I was a young, 30-something living in New York City, my emotional life was closer to that of an angsty teenage girl’s than a woman who had been on the planet for three decades.
I listened to Madonna’s Ray of Light incessantly, went for espresso immediately after working out, and usually came back to work after lunch with a bag or two from Urban Outfitters. And I wondered why my relationships never seemed to work out. I wondered this a lot. Like, for at least two hours each day.
I had studied film and video at the School of Visual Arts and was always doing wacky things, like making video wallpaper (before it was a “thing”) and cutting holes in dresses to house video monitors showing my work in the private areas of the forms. My video work always involved a lot of digital manipulation of existing historical footage, and I loved to retell the stories old commercials or news events were portraying by editing and colorizing video footage and making it my own.
So in my early 30s, in NYC, most likely listening to Madonna, I conceived what I considered, at the time, to be my masterpiece — Dear Lover wallpaper. I dreamed I would paper my house with cabbage roses and the opposite of love letters to all of my exes, explaining to them exactly why our relationships ended — in my words, not theirs.
Last week, I was able to realize that dream. I had shared my idea with Grace last month and she could not have been more supportive and encouraging. We joked that my middle name should be “Catharsis”, Cathy for short, because this project was more evidence of my need to release even after a period of years! So thanks to a box of old sketchbooks, photos, fake birds and a new box containing a crazy, immersive, creative station () from the “future is now” brain team at HP, I am opening my closet door each morning with a smile as I gaze at my recently papered door. I snicker remembering the Tom’s, Dick’s & Harry’s whom I left behind a long time ago. —Caitlin
This post is sponsored by , without whom I would not have been able to realize my cheeky, 15-year-old dream of creating my Dear Lover wallpaper. Your fantastical machine gave me some serious creative license, and I felt like a rocket scientist/artist using the touch screen interface and 3D scanner. I can’t wait for my next project! And, of course, a huge thanks to our D*S readers for supporting our sponsors like , who promote creativity in all ways, shapes and forms! #GoMakeThings #SproutByHP
Click through to read two of my Dear Lover letters and see the slideshow with details of the process and wallpaper!
Excerpts from Dear Lover wallpaper:
My Dearest Sascha,
Ah, what delicious fun we had!
Dawdling in Central Park, swinging in our happy hammock, singing Oasis songs as the roses bloomed in the garden next door. You, my six-foot-two songbird!
But darling, I have a confession to make…
Those lingering birthday dinners at Sakura were bittersweet for me. Every year, you’d order “my favorite,” but apparently you weren’t listening when I emphatically stated I didn’t care for sushi.
Thank you for teaching me to speak up!
To My Darling Timothy,
My world-traveling, very-handsome-in-a-suit fellow!
I felt so safe with you wandering the dirty streets in search of a fancy place to hang our hats. Sadly, my hero-worship turned to fear that night I traveled uptown to your corporate apartment during your break from Kazakhstan. As I exited the yellow cab, I saw your shadowy silhouette in the third-floor window peering down at me.
It was creepy, Tim. I suddenly felt like prey. It was at that moment I knew the end was only moments away.
I am, however, very grateful for the crash course in body language.