Archive of ‘Personal’ category

Vibrant Autumn

In recent months, I’ve felt myself become disillusioned with the Sci\ART system, at least as it is practiced today. There are a couple of reasons for this.

1. My issues with the two main schools of thought.

The two branches of Sci\ART that are the most widespread, with the most analysts, are True Colour International and 12 Blueprints. I have issues with both, although these issues are different. I wrote about it before, but I simply don’t like the results True Colour gets. They drape a lot of Softs, and I think that the look they go for is flattening and graying. They make a lot of fuss about redraping former 12 Blueprints analysts and clients, and I don’t see an improvement. I don’t look at a TCI client and go, “Wow, this woman looks fabulous.” I see someone who now blends into the background.

I tend to prefer the way 12 Blueprints/Your Natural Design clients look, but the intertwining of this branch of analysts and the Best Dressed Kibbe knockoff system means that I can’t support them, either. My feelings on this subject are well known, but suffice to say, there are so many 12BP analysts that are now offering typing in this system that I feel I can no longer endorse it. I take Kibbe’s legacy very seriously; his system totally upends conventional wisdom and is so honoring of individual beauty, and he is such a wonderful and generous person to boot. The Best Dressed system undoes what it great about Kibbe.

2. The palettes feel limiting.

Despite the fact that Zyla gives you a limited color palette, many people who come from Sci\ART still feel liberated when they get their color palette. He gives people colors that are great for them, but may fall into various Sci\ART seasons. Sci\ART palettes can begin to feel a little confining, in my opinion. You need to hit all three markers of hue, chroma, and value, and then soemtimes it feels like your season is a compromise, which I will explain in a bit.

The wrong way to solve the latter problem, in my opinion, is to further limit your palette and make it more specific, like the systems do that have 16 or more seasons. I find that they are often redundant, further limiting your Sci\ART palette over adding new options. In recent months, I have actually begun to favor a four-season approach, which would have shocked me of a couple of a years ago. I’ve been using my T3 palette from DYT, actually.

After reading Tina’s blog post on her House of Colour experience, I feel like I’ve found my solution. House of Colour drapes you into one of four seasons, and then further refines it into a subseason, but you can use all of the colors of the main season–the subseason just has your bests.

On the Kettlewell (which I think is close to House of Colour), I found a blog post that has a Vibrant Autumn, which I think best describes me. I put myself into Dark Autumn from Sci\ART because it’s the brightest Autumn, and less because it’s the darkest. The coolest colors in DA are not my best, for sure. I stock my wardrobe with colors that are bright, but still have that muted/dirty autumnal quality.

kettlewell_vibrantautumn
(source)

These are the kind of colors you’ll mainly find in my wardrobe, and the ones I get compliments on. From the descriptions on the site, it sounds like I could be their Soft Autumn (which is far less Soft than a Sci\ART Soft Autumn), since people frequently think I’m a Summer until they see how much cool colors drain me, but I think these colors are truly the best from the Autumn family for me. The Dark/Blue Autumn in Kettlewell and House of Colour is very cool, to my eye–I know we have had some people in the Dark Autumn group on Facebook who come from this methodology, and the colors they can wear are far cooler.

As I write this, I realize that the approach is very similar to what Kibbe does. He has one palette for each of the four seasons, but then the way you use the palette varies. So like with style in general, maybe once again it is Kibbe who holds the key to what works for me.

Have you looked at House of Colour at all? What do you think about what is basically a four-season approach versus Sci\ART?

February 2018 Style Update: Tawny Spring?!

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So a little over a year ago, I started moving away from the edgy looks of my 20s and began transitioning into style that was influenced by the late 50s/early 60s and French New Wave cinema. Since this has also coincided with a major move and weight loss, my wardrobe is almost entirely different than it was at the time I wrote that post. Anyway, as you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, Zyla is a system that I cycle in and out of every few months. I’m interested in his work and would love to see him, but unlike Kibbe, there isn’t an archetype that resonates with me right out of the box. And because the recommendations vary so much from individual to individual within an archetype, unless there is one where the narrow view presented in the book fits you very well, there are a number of places where you could potentially land.

I’ve generally gone back and forth between a handful of Autumn archetype and a handful of Spring archetypes. I’m back to thinking that I would likely be Spring, specifically Tawny, as recently there was a consult writeup that I read where the image he was giving is something that would suit me well. I played around and created another palette for myself:

Essence, Romantic, Dramatic, Energy, Tranquil/First Base, Second Base, Third Base

Essence, Romantic, Dramatic, Energy, Tranquil/First Base, Second Base, Third Base

I’ve also picked up some items recently that I think suit this Tawny vibe well.

The first is this Botkier bag. It’s a small crossbody, which is something that I was liking, and I was glad to find a brand that suited my style as well as Rebecca Minkoff does, but without that Scientology connection.

I love the yellow, and I also appreciate how they have matched silver hardware to the cool colorways and gold hardware to the warm. You may also have noticed that I included the large version in my Vivacious post.

I’ve never been one for button up shirts. David Kibbe is the one that pointed out that they are just somehow incompatible with my personality, and he’s right. That’s why I’ve had my eye on this shirt from J.Crew for a while, but it used to only come in blue and black pinstripes. When I saw that they had an olive for spring, I bought it immediately.

And lastly, I have been in love with the idea of a camel-colored wool coat for a while, but it had to be just the right one. The right shade of camel, a warmer and richer golden brown. And it had to have a straight cut. I finally found one, although sadly few colors and sizes remain. I’m very happy to have picked mine up and at the price I did, which was around $120.

Cocoon Coat in Italian Stadium-Cloth Wool, J.Crew, was $350, now $226.99

Cocoon Coat in Italian Stadium-Cloth Wool, J.Crew, was $350, now $226.99

So these are the key pieces I’ve added to my wardrobe lately. What have you gotten for yourself lately?

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Mid-Fall Haul

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I haven’t had as much time to think about style systems as I would like, but I have done a fair amount of shopping, both out of necessity and out of the fact that I get so many tempting emails every day advertising some kind of deal. I am currently in the middle of a weight loss journey, and I have lost around 20 pounds so far–which means that my old clothes don’t really fit anymore, obviously, so I have had to get some new things.

First, let’s look at what I’ve gotten from Boden. Boden is a brand that really speaks to the aesthetic that has appealed to me for the last six months or so–50s/60s gamine. I have managed to find several things there with the specific collar I love–rolled boatneck.

This is a dress I have been eyeing for a long time, and I love this purple. I finally broke down and ordered it when I got a notification that Boden was having a 20% off sale. I haven’t received it yet, but I have another similar dress from Boden, and I find this sort of structured shape to be very flattering on me. This is a dress that I got for Level Two occasions (you can read about the Three Levels of Dress in my workbook), and it is definitely an area of my wardrobe where I have long been lacking.

I bought this at the same time as the dress above. As you can see, it has the collar I keep on talking about. I almost got the ivory instead of the yellow because it is just so Breakfast at Tiffany’s casual:

audrey_sweater
(Source)

…But I already have a top in this color that is similar, which I’ll get to shortly. Yellow is what I would choose for my Zyla tranquil, and I love a yellow sweater/sweatshirt in winter.

I also had exactly zero pants in my wardrobe that weren’t jeans or leggings.

So I got these, and I’m on the fence about how they look on me. I was going to wear them with the top I mentioned above, the one kind of like Audrey’s, and I just didn’t like the combination. I do love the color, though–a beautiful T3 peacock.

The top is from Banana Republic. It’s something I see as my answer to the button-down shirt because, as much as I love a crisp white shirt on Audrey, as David Kibbe, genius that he is, astutely pointed out, that’s not really “me.” And he’s right–every time I’ve bought a long-sleeved button down, it has just sat in my closet, unworn. This shirt I feel like I should have sized down a little, maybe, but I’ll see how it looks with other pants.

Then I just happened to be in JCrew one day and saw this on the new arrivals rack.

Leopard is like catnip to me (sorry). So of course I had to buy this, and I’ve worn it a lot. I really hate the way JCrew styled it here, though–I think the collared shirt underneath detracts from the boatneck.

Lastly, I really like Target’s A New Day line, and I basically jumped into the car as soon as I saw that this jacket existed.

I think that every Autumn Gamine needs this jacket. It’s so cute! I don’t know if you can really see it in the picture, but it actually has gold threads running through it.

Now that my credit card has been locked in a safe, I’m working on putting together head to toes and figuring out how to make sure that I don’t lose the important elements of my personal style by going too far in this vintage-inspired direction. I need to retain my wild side, too.

What have you picked up this fall (or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)?

Fantastical Beauty: Iris

As I mentioned, I had placed an order with Kati at Fantastical Beauty. I commissioned a guide for the Iris subtype as an early birthday present for myself. I had written about Iris and why it appeals to me a couple of months ago. Once subtype commissions opened up, I knew that they wouldn’t be available for very long, so I decided to just eat the cost and commission it on my own.

In commissioning Iris, I wasn’t looking for something that perfectly fit the style I already have. When I saw on her Facebook page that Iris would pull from Dragon Princess as an influence, if anything, I knew that it wouldn’t be 100% in line with my tastes and what I already do–and that’s exactly what i wanted. I wanted something that would expand my vision for myself. When I got the Wood Puck guide, it appealed to me, but it didn’t offer me anything new. It contained what I was doing before I ever discovered Kibbe or color analysis.

So I wanted something different, something that would help me stretch my boundaries. I am in love with the story of Iris how Kati sees it, and the color scheme, especially, resonates with me (Iris is the rainbow, so I think you can infer what her colors look like!). Being a bold and bright communicator is as close as you can get to my own mythology.

I think I will still attempt a pure Iris look, mixing it with Cat. But to make it seem more manageable to me, I would like to bring in some different elements, too. To that end, Kati posted the video on Fae and its subtypes a couple of days ago:

Fae was one of the first Fantastical Beauty types I considered, and while my s-curve is on the subtle/moderate line, I don’t think that my face is linear–more balanced/full. The lines of the recs do fit pretty well, but it’s mostly not anything that I can’t get from my Animal Familiar. The imagery of Fae and playing tricks didn’t seem right for me either.,

Puck is a subtype found in all three linear face types. I knew all about Wood Puck from the guide, obviously, but I knew very little about Puck in Fae. Here are the notes I took:

-Artistic, firecracker
-Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
-Spunky Cupid
-High energy
-Romantic in a sassy/spunky way
-Romantic in a bright way, intensity
-Mischievous
-Lives in the clouds; appearing and disappearing world
-Wings/ability to fly through magic

I found a lot of common ground between Iris and Fae Puck. Both are winged beings living in the clouds, bold and intense, acting as a kind of intermediary between the gods and man. A Midsummer Night’s Dream uses an Ancient Greek setting. In some versions of the myths, Iris is actually Eros’s (Cupid’s) mother. I see a real through line from Iris to Fae Puck, even if it’s not official.

While we don’t have a guide for Fae Puck and we won’t for a while, I can see how adding a little Puck influence can bring Iris to something that suits me perfectly. Short hair, oversized sunglasses, and small touches of sass are just some examples things that Iris is really lacking and a Fae subtype could provide. I think the core would still be Angel/Iris–“duality” and “messenger” are really my key ideas, but I think maybe even a Fae lean would provide the little extra sass and whimsy I need.

Have Kati’s subtype videos given you any clarity on your place in her system?

What I Got at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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Yesterday I went to the first day of early access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and as you can imagine, it was a madhouse. I picked up three things, but I only got one of them while I was physically in the store.

After wandering through the little walled-off sections of clothes, I went to the accessories section, where I found these sunglasses. I needed sunglasses that I could wear when I had my contacts in, since my sunglasses have prescription lenses, and these looked good on me.

They are my answer to Audrey’s sunglasses in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

maxresdefault

There was a dress that I had seen in the presale catalog that I had really wanted, but the catalog had mentioned a “Rust” colorway and the store only had Blue/Gray, plus they didn’t have my size. I was sad, but I knew I could get it on the site. But the site was so overloaded that they gave everyone 10X THE NORDSTROM POINTS if they made a purchase yesterday, so it basically took me all day, and Rust was nowhere to be found, even online. I guess that the production of Rust didn’t work out, but I liked the dress enough to buy it, even if it’s not exactly in my season. Rust may appear in the future, but $50 was too big of a discount to pass up.

Betsey Johnson Asymmetrical Dress, $104.90, $158 after sale

Betsey Johnson Asymmetrical Dress, $104.90, $158 after sale

I was a little concerned when I saw it in person because I wasn’t expecting it to be a knit and they are generally not my friends, but this one has enough construction and a thick enough material that it smooths over lumps and bumps anyway. I think it really fits the Cat recommendations and the puffed shoulder detail brings in that Angel quality.

The last thing I picked up I just ordered a little while ago, after deciding to browse the coats on the website on a whim. I didn’t really like any of the coats my store had in stock, but I saw that the one I liked the most actually came in a color that suited me. My store only had light gray, but the site also had a dark bluish green.

coat

Halogen Asymmetrical Zip Boiled Wool Blend Coat in Green Ponderosa, $129.90, after sale $199

This probably falls into my usual fashion habit of going too yang, but I really needed a wool coat because I donated all of my winter coats when I moved. I had black jacket in a similar style from Zara that I loved and wore for many years, so this seemed to be like a replacement for that. I think I will also buy a coat in a higher level of dress from Boden when all of their winter clothes come out and they send me an email with a discount code. But for now, this will be good for casual cooler fall/warmer winter days.

Have you gotten anything at the Nordstrom sale yet? Has anything caught your eye?

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Summer Makeup: RMS Lip2Cheek and NARS Tinted Moisturizer

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At this point, my collection of Dark Autumn makeup is fairly extensive. I can go into Sephora and leave emptyhanded, because I don’t feel like there’s anything I really need, save two products that had remained elusive for me–until now.

Back before I had discovered color analysis, and even into my color analysis explorations, when I thought I was a Light Spring, one of my favorite products was Benefit Posietint, a liquid lip and cheek stain in a light, clear, and warm pink. It was something I could just throw on when I wasn’t doing a full makeup look to add some color into my face without doing much work.

While makeup as a whole seems to have been tilted in the Autumn direction for a while now, this kind of product is still mainly found in Spring colors. I had no hope of finding anything to replace my beloved Posietint until I came across this post on one of my favorite makeup blogs, Killer Colours. A lip/cheek stain in a burnt plummy rose? Exactly what I’d been searching for.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Illusive is blendable and buildable, and comfortable to wear–unlike Posietint, it actually feels like a balm on the lips. This is the kind of color I like for daytime wear in summer–burnt rose/orange/red but sheer–and when winter comes, I’ll probably pick this up in Diabolique, which is Burgundy and ehading towards Dark Winter. (I think Soft Autumns might like Illusive as well.)

I still had to find the other product I had been searching for, however. I’m very pale, and there aren’t many foundation ranges that make a shade light enough for me, and this goes double for tinted moisturizers, where the sheer nature of the formulas allows brands to feel like they can release a very limited range of shade. I’ve had store employers swear up and down that a shade is very light and have it look okay in stores, only to come home and discover in normal lighting that I looked like I had applied self-tanner.inally,

So I went to Ulta and swatched every light shade of tinted moisturizer I had. Tarte, Urban Decay, Philosphy… No dice. Finally, I went to the teeny-tiny NARS display, hoping they’d decided to include the tinted moisturizer. NARS is one of the only brands that makes a good foundation for people who are very pale, yet more yellow than pink, so I was hopeful that their tinted moisturizer range would include a good shade for me. Funnily enough (probably just to me), I was too light for even Finland, which caused the self-tanner effect, but Terre Neuve was perfect, and my search was over.

rms_nars

I am very happy to have found products in these genres that actually work for my season and skin tone. And as much as I roll my eyes at the term, these products paired together create a great “no-makeup makeup” look.

What are your favorite summer makeup products? What makeup products have thus far eluded you in your season?

Fantastical Beauty: Style Personality Exercises #1 and #2

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Kati has started posting videos on Fantastical Beauty and other style-related topics to her YouTube channel. Two of the videos she’s posted so far are Style Personality exercises:

Since I’ve been deeply involved in my style personality crisis, despite having my own workbook to help me, I decided to do these to help jog my thought process. (I’ve also started a new pinboard, but that’s private for now.) The first exercise is a series a questions about your preferences to help you see patterns. I’m copying my answers here.

1. Favorite movie
Sunset Boulevard,
Sabrina, and Bonjour Tristesse

2. Favorite Book
Harriet the Spy/The Long Secret

3. Favorite Song
Confetti by Cold Cave

4. Favorite Animal
Cats and dogs

5. Favorite Style Icon
Audrey Hepburn, Jean Seberg, Edie Sedgwick

6. Favorite Cake
Funfetti with vanilla icing

7. Three Words That Describe Your Personality
Smart, creative, bossy

8. Three to Five Words That Describe What You Want to Communicate
Edgy, fun, youthful, smart, stylish

Then you are supposed to go back and add some adjectives for each of your answers and look for patterns. What I found is that I had a heavy 50s and 60s influence, with a playful tomboy/gamine slant, but also just a little bit of edge and darkness, which goes along with what I’ve been thinking. In recent years, I’ve really concentrated on this edgy and dark side, and ignored my love for vintage Gamine style. In high school, my style was heavily influenced by this and I wore a lot of nods to the 60s, especially.

The next exercise is to create a Polyvore set of statement pieces: a coat, a pair of shoes, a pair of pants, a statement necklace, and a blouse. When I was thinking about it, I realized that I don’t really like statement necklaces that much, so I chose a cuff, and then the kind of blouse I like is hard to find, so I chose a coat that I could wear indoors as part of an outfit instead.

statement


I don’t know how successful this Polyvore is at conveying this style idea, but it’s a process.

Have you attempted these personality style exercises?

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Fantastical Beauty: Iris Subtype

Watching Bonjour Tristesse led to a shift in how I see my style that I haven’t really fully reconciled yet. In conversations with other people, I’ve realized that I’ve been going too hard in the yang direction, and ignoring my yin. I’m not a Dramatic. I need both, in almost equal amounts, and it’s important to keep that in mind.

I connect with the Jungian archetype of Creator, so I downloaded the Mermaid guide. Some of it appealed to me, but “fun and frothy yet elusive” didn’t really seem to get to the core of who I am. The FB 9, I think, are supposed to really address something deep inside you. Nymph did to a point, with the emphasis on acquiring and dissemninating knowledge, and for a while, I thought Woodland Puck was it. It was a punky version of Nymph. But I still struggled because it seems like that’s what I was doing all along, but there were still pieces that weren’t being addressed. When I started considering Mermaid, I figured that maybe Sea Puck would be it. I concentrated on thinking about Kibbe and DYT, and let Fantastical Beauty go for a while.

A couple of days ago, Kati put up a video, and I hope it becomes a series. In the video, she makes a cocktail and then discusses Angel and its subtypes. (If you’re just interested in the Angel stuff, skip to around 8:30):

I realized that for me, words are the center of what guides me. Writing, translating, communication. Iris, a bolder, more aggressive Angel, with an emphasis on carrying messages, is something that connects to me on a deep level. (Skip to 12:00 in the video for Kati’s description of Iris.)

Iris
(Source)

I’ve even been cast as Iris in a play before, in a rainbow minidress sprayed with glitter.

I see Iris as something that helps to iron out the things I’ve been struggling with, style identity-wise, over the past few months. It’s a reminder to me to address the dark and light, the yin and yang, and to not go too far in either direction, while also remaining myself.

Animal Familiars

Kati has revamped her Fantastical Beauty system, replacing Base 5 (a yin/yang-based system with clear parallels to Kibbe Image IDs) with Animal Familiars, which plays the same role in her system as Base 5 did–accounting for things like height, scale, and line. I’m glad to see that Kati has moved away from something where you can make a one-to-one association with a Kibbe Image ID (i.e., Gamine Linear=Flamboyant Gamine), and has come up with something original that adds to your knowledge of yourself and the lines of your body and face.

The Animal Familiars are fairly straightforward, ranging from the tall and angular Hawk to the short and round Rabbit. Although there is some personalization possible, height isn’t really flexible, so you can immediately dismiss the ones that are out of your height range–I consider myself at 5’4″ to be on the shorter side of medium, so looking at the list, I decided I’d likely be found in either Cat, Ocelot, or Koala:

Cat
Medium-Short, medium-small build, full and sharp mix of features. Large eyes, full mouth, sloping nose, and always up to something.
Alyson Stoner, Claire Boucher, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan.

Ocelot
Short-Medium, narrow build, mixed features with accent touches of sharp/angular. Sleek and sharp in a smaller package.
Kristen Stewart, Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Daniel Radcliffe.

Koala
Short-Medium, wide/full build, blunt features. Wide spaced features, straighter figure, mix of blunt/full features.
Melissa McCarthy, Lena Dunham, Mila Kunis, Johnny Galecki.

Looking at the rest of the characteristics, I don’t see myself as particularly narrow or wide/full. I feel like you get a different feeling from my face than either the sharp/angular/mix in Ocelot or the blunt/full in Koala. The full and sharp facial features and the build that is on the smaller side without being noticeably narrow seemed to describe me very well, so Cat was the obvious choice.

On Facebook, lots of us have been making collages. Collages are fun and so is discussing, but I really suggest narrowing the list down to which height description is realisitic for you, and then looking at the build and face descriptions. Still, though, when I made a collage, Cat seems like a good fit for me:

cat collag

Not that many materials are available yet–I can’t really do anything with the information that I am a Cat–but there is a Snake Guide, and a few Pinterest boards. Hopefully more guides and boards will be coming soon, though!

I’ve also been looking at the nine Fantastical Beauty types again, and have gotten the Mermaid guide, but that is a blog post for another day…

Have you looked at the Animal Familiars yet? Have you found yourself?

Style Transitions

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As I’ve been working on the mini “create your own archetype” workbook, I’ve been struggling a bit because I’ve realized I’m in a bit of a transitional phase with my own style. Ever since I saw Bonjour Tristesse, I’ve found myself drawn to more traditional Gamine looks. I’ve been looking at places I’ve eschewed for years, like JCrew. Since it’s an archetype workbook, it’s led me to wonder whether the Archetype I’ve been working with since I wrote the original workbook almost two years ago, “Grown-up Punk,” is going to continue to work for me.

I think we all go through these periods of transition with our style. Things that once felt authentic now feel off as we move through different stages in our lives. Perhaps this is what is happening to me right now.

Basically, I know that Flamboyant Gamine is where I want to stay, and I want to do it better. But I’m torn between combining that with Type 3 and trying to support my energy type, and taking it in a more vintage-inspired/classic direction. A leopard-print leather cuff isn’t necessarily going to go very well with cute Bonjour Tristesse-inspired outfits.

I don’t know which feels better to me right now. Type 3 is probably closer to the direction I’ve been moving in since I started this color and style journey–“grown-up punk,” edgy, supportive of who I am. But I also find myself drawn to this other side of FG, one that is less reliant on these aspects and is more of a timeless style. A friend’s husband, who is very perceptive about all things Kibbe, said I need to respect my yin more. I think this is true. I tend to forget that FG is almost half yin. I have probably gone too far in the “punk” direction at times. I don’t know if this is what is really expressing who I am anymore. I’m no longer in my twenties; I’m on the precipice of some major life changes.

There are two solutions I see. One is to utilize head-to-toe, and to just have separate outfits entirely. This way, I can experiment and see which feels authentic. Some days I can wear a lot of leather jewelry and leopard print and substance, and in others I can wear things that are more tailored and a little lighter in feel (always keeping FG in mind, though!). The other solution is to try to find a way to combine them in a way that doesn’t look disjointed.

One way to do this is to find pieces like these shoes, which do a good job of pulling these two style ideas together:

Campbell Fringed Heels

Campbell Fringed Heels, Boden, $200-$230

(Yes, I did buy these. They were expensive, but sometimes you see something and it sticks in your mind and you end up on the Boden website at 4am…)

Perhaps this is the key for me–a personal style that brings together the classic vintage gamine that inspires me while also retaining the elements that I need to feel true to myself. Will “Grown-up Punk” still be the archetype I’ll use to guide my fashion choices? I’m not sure yet, but luckily I’m in the middle of writing a new workbook that will help me explore this question in a deeper way… Regardless, now that I’ve sort of found my spot in systems (Zyla notwithstanding; I think I’ll have to see the man in person for that), apart from historical and theoretrical posts, my blog will move from working on finding my Syntax to working on refining my style.

Have you gotten to a similar transitional stage in your own style journey?

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