about gigi leonard, aka the scholar

Posted by the scholar on April 18th, 2007



how do you find a way to merge a bit of creative writing with finding cool stuff? is there one single place that you can archive all your original thoughts, stories, photos and work that other people make that excite and inspire you? can you express yourself through humor? can you share your innermost thoughts? can you be opinionated? can you cook this gumbo in the same cyberpot fresh everyday, and share it with all kinds of new and different people?

why, yes.

i frequently awake in the morning at my most exuberant, my mind filled with grand and wonderful things, that inevitably percolate into the universe, sometimes never to be seen again, as the day unfolds. evaporated. seriously, sometimes the ideas are good. i wanted one place to collect these thoughts and ideas of mine, as well as a place to showcase what other creative minds are dreaming of too.

i’m a taurus, so it’s only natural that for years i’ve been intrigued with finding unusual things for my home, and noteworthy personal accessories. i made a living out of going shopping for nearly a decade, and brought joy to a lot of people with my two shops, whimsy and piNk., that were located on southport avenue in chicago, back in the nineties. salad days they were. i had the luxury of surrounding myself with wonderful people, good times and some of the most gorgeous handmade objects ever made, every day. when the tides of the economy turned, i found myself undercapitalized and was forced to close, which affected me much more profoundly than i ever thought it could. there really was crushing sadness afterwards. for years.

i had carved an identity, in large part, out of that passion i had for hunting and pecking for beautiful handmade things. after the shops shut down, i struggled with what had happened, and kept those bittersweet feelings at bay, in part, by denying myself the pleasure of the chase. after years of slowly rebuilding that enthusiasm and fondness for art, design and well, life (which had always come naturally to me), i finally figured out a way to return to it, but not duplicate it. it took a long damn time. even as i write this now, i’m a little froggy thinking about it.

but this place, and my daily musings in it, is most therapeutic. even though i don’t have a shop anymore, i’m still able to stay in touch with those charming, fun and innovative things i love, and maybe bring some happiness to the people who view these pages too, by featuring a regularly updated sampling of extraordinary items. add together a nice sprinkling of humor, some handmade beauty and a few designy tidbits, et voila! a blog is born. thank you, interweb!

i love lumpy, handmade goods. i love slick, sleek stuff. pottery, glass, metal, mixed media. paintings. wood. original photography. poetry. art. design. short stories. illustration. style and substance. a wicked sense of humor. how exciting it is to merge these divergent tributaries into one ever-flowing, virtual river.

i’m a long-time urban resident, but oddly, most of the time my camera lens will be pointed toward simple things found in nature. or on whatever’s on the side of the road. because you never know what you might find. i hope, through this space, you are inspired by the simple, the opulent, the elegant and the rustic. like me.

i’m so lucky.

in flore. dulce et utile.