Current / Classic: Artist Happy Menocal

happy-menocal-portrait-photo-artist

Today we’re kicking off something new! In keeping with all things neo-traditional, I’ve decided to launch an interview series celebrating cool creatives and their current and classic favorites. First up? Brooklyn-based artist Happy Menocal (short for Harriet, amazing, right?). You’ve likely seen Happy’s fanciful illustrations featured in glamorous nuptials on Vogue.com or on the most stylish Stubbs & Wootton slippers. I met the in-demand artist years ago back in New York and was instantly charmed by her boundless creativity and cultural smarts. Happy’s art prints, stationery, and custom pet portraits rank high on my personal wish list. Want to know more? Check out Happy’s website, instagram, and of course, read on for the new/old staples she can’t live without!

happy-menocal-artist-illustrator

// TRAVEL DESTINATION
Current:
Just got back from Cuba (above, illustration by Happy)

Classic: The Everglades

// HOTEL
Current:
Le Citizen on Canal St. Martin in Paris. It’s like a funny little youth hostel for grownups – cheap, clever design, good neighborhood. I love a canal.
Classic: Deetjens in Big Sur (below, custom crest illustration by Happy)

happy-menocal-crest-badminton

// READ
Current:
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow. Actually listening on Audible, Doctorow reads it himself.

Classic: (Another audio thing — I mostly listen to books while I paint): Aleksander Hemon reads Nabokov’s short story Pnin, which later becomes the first chapter of the novel, for the New Yorker.

metropolitan-movie-illustration-walt-stillman

// FILM
Current:
White God (Ambivalent about this one, it’s just the most recent thing I watched. It’s worth seeing.)
Classic: Metropolitan (above)

// LIBATION
Current:
Campari & soda

Classic: Rum & Coke

frasier-tv-show

// TV SERIES
Current:
Election buildup is such a creepy carnival, but Face the Nation with John Dickerson on Sunday mornings is civilized and smart.
Classic: Frasier (above)

// BEAUTY PRODUCT
Current:
Lava soap

Classic: Lavender Oil

leonard-cohen-1974

// TUNES
Current:
Hinds “Bamboo”
Classic: Leonard Cohen (above)

11018476_1590662664482406_1522673014_n

// STYLE ICON
Current:
Duro Olowu
Classic: that little girl smoking a cig in the famous Mary Ellen Mark photo (above: Happy Menocal for Stubbs & Wootton)

jgmelon-new-york-burger-upper-east-side-restaurant

// RESTAURANT
Current:
Excited to try Babu Ji this week
Classic: JG Melon (above)

// HANDBAG
Current:
dirty white canvas tote
Classic: dirty white canvas tote 

sophie-buhai-barette

// JEWELS
Current:
coveting this silver Sophie Buhai barrette (above)
Classic: pearl studs given to me when I got my ears pierced at 13

// MUSEUM
Current:
auction houses!
Classic: Musée Delacroix in Paris 

// TRANSPORTATION
Current:
walk
Classic: walk

happy-menocal-artist-studio-painter-home

// COLOR
Current:
White & Cream, Pink & Lavender (above, some of Happy’s art supplies)
Classic: Red & Green, Terra Cotta, gosh all of them really

// DECOR
Current: I’m calling it “Pee Wee’s Tunisian Country House” (below, custom pet portrait by Happy)
Classic: Park Ave style galley kitchen with a black and white checker floor and and a swinging door with a porthole 

happy-menocal-artist-custom-pet-portrait-dog

Thanks for joining me, Happy! Stay tuned for a new Current/Classic interview next week (I have a feeling you’re going to LOVE it)!

(Photos of Happy and her studio by Carol Dronsfield)

8 comments on “Current / Classic: Artist Happy Menocal

  1. Nicole

    I too am a forever-fan of Frasier — Kelsey Grammer’s voice is so soothing — I often watch it on Netflix before bed. So many other fun things here; in particular, I love that barrette (and pearls always). Looking forward to reading the next installment of this interview series!

  2. Nora

    I love Frasier! I actually partially credit it with helping me through a really tough patch in my life. It was so good for takingy mind off of my woes at the time.

  3. Jenna

    This is a fun feature! But, I do want to add one comment, and I hope it will be taken in the spirit in which it is intended: the “little girl smoking a cigarette” photograph actually seems very sad…especially since Mary Ellen Mark specialized in photographing people in unfortunate circumstances, like prostitutes and the homeless. From what I’ve read about that particular photo, the two little girls in the photo had really rough childhoods and were in a school for troubled kids – in fact, the girl smoking grew up to be a drug addict and spent some time in prison before [thankfully!] getting clean. The point of Mark’s work is to make people feel uneasy in order to remind them of the suffering of other people around the world. Interesting choice for a style icon…seems to make light of their situation.

  4. Kirsty

    Love this post, I think this is going to be a great series, really original way of asking the questions, and I love finding new creatives/ artists ( …to stalk on Instagram ;) )

    On another note, your blog is killing it lately. I thought it was so sweet when someone commented that they wanted to see your top coffee table books and a couple of days later you did a post on them x

  5. Happy Menocal

    @Jenna,
    You’re totally right. I am aware of the story of the girl, Amanda, and of the tough and tragic context of the photo, and of much of Mark’s work in general. And I realize a questionnaire on a design blog is not the place to breezily introduce this kind of complexity without explaining myself! But my intentions were earnest and true: I admire the undeniable poise, attitude and beauty of that girl at that moment the photo was taken.
    Anyway, thank you for calling me out on that. I in no way meant to trivialize Amanda, nor to suggest ironic detachment. And thank you, Katie, again, for having me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *