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Erin Bried
Erin Bried

New Magazine Wants To Show Young Girls They Can Do Anything

Erin Bried
Erin Bried

A new print magazine called Kazoo is uniting top female artists, chefs, writers, and scientists for a single purpose: to inspire young girls to be true to themselves. Kazoo Magazine is the creation of writer and editor Erin Bried, who is currently raising money for the magazine on Kickstarter. According to Bried, if funded, Kazoo will be published quarterly and feature sections on everything from art and science to emotions, citizenship, and critical thinking targeted to girls ages five to 10. 

Bried has already brought some truly impressive talent on board. MacArthur Genius Alison Bechdel, New York Times bestseller Lucy Knisley, artist Mickalene Thomas, James Beard-nominated chef Fany Gerson, Caldecott Honor winner Doreen Cronin, National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson, and cosmochemist Meenakshi Wadhwa have all promised to contribute to the nascent magazine. Each contributor is creating a unique written or artistic work just for Kazoo. Bechdel, for instance, is creating a drawing tutorial called “How to Draw a Cat”—her first original, full-length comic in a year. Gerson, meanwhile, is contributing a recipe for Mexican ice pops called paletas, while Cronin is submitting a short story. 

Bried told mental_floss that she was inspired to create Kazoo during a disappointing shopping trip with her daughter. "I started Kazoo because, after browsing the newsstand with my 5-year-old daughter one day, I was upset—and honestly—kind of angry at what I saw. I don’t think there was a single title for young girls that didn’t include a story on pretty hair,” she wrote in an email. “What’s more, every cover I saw featured a princess, a doll or a little girl wearing makeup. Since my daughter happens to prefer pirates to princesses, we left the store that day empty-handed.

Bried was frustrated with the limited (and limiting) print media available for young girls, and wanted to create something truly expansive, a publication that would show girls their options in life are unlimited. “This sort of messaging that we see in the media (and in the toy aisles)—that there’s only one right way for a girl to be—has real and negative consequences,” wrote Bried. “We’ve got to let our girls know that they have other options. They can be loud. They can be messy. They can be strong. They can be adventurous. They can be silly. They can be intellectually curious about science, art, engineering—anything. Everything! That’s why I wanted to create Kazoo.”

Interested in showing your support for Kazoo? Visit Bried's Kickstarter page.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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