- ABOUT US
All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
By Karlie Tipton
November 14, 2011
I’ve never been concerned with being cool. Back in high school, I was always the girl who told other students to be quiet when the teacher left the room because I was trying to read. Lunch was a time to get a few chapters in, not to gossip about boys. I wasn’t concerned with my appearance until I became an editorial assistant (at a real office!), and it showed. I’ve been okay with that—until now.
On Saturday, November 5, I was a little overwhelmed when I walked into the Farmers Public Market in Oklahoma City. The Girlie Show was brimming with booths of all colors, handmade knickknacks for every purpose, and women—and the men they allowed to accompany them—who were all way cooler than I could ever be. It wasn’t just the pink hair and tattoos that made me feel out of my element: It was the creative energy that pulsated from these female artists. I lost count of how many times a painting, like the bizarre mixed-media art by Tessa Raven Hancock of Ada, stopped me in my tracks. I probably spent half an hour poring over the intricate metalwork of Tulsa artist Nikki Halgren’s jewelry. I’ve always thought of myself as a secure individual, but being surrounded by so much talent, I wanted to be like these artists, to be the embodiment of—please forgive the term—girl power. I wanted to do more than dabble in oils and hide the results before anyone could look. I wanted to have the guts to put my art—and myself—out there to be judged, and to be admired.
And that’s when I realized: Thousands of people do see my words, my art, every two months. I may not have piercings in odd places or purple hair—anymore—but I put myself out there every day. I take the constructive criticism I’m given by my editors and colleagues and try to improve my craft. I may only fit a very loose definition of the word “cool,” but that’s fine by me.