Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

Jenee Darden speaking at Creative Mornings I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book  and building my speaking career!  You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up.  You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in

Plus-Size, Extra Sexy Pinups and More from the Femme Cartel Art Party

Cheeky 2012 Miss March

The media tells us sexy comes in one size, skinny. But the media has it all wrong. Sexy comes in all shapes and sizes. Which is why I adore the "Cheeky" 2012 pinup calendar by artist Jen Oaks.   Her pictures are vintage pinup style, meets modern day cartoons meets endless curves. I met Jen Oaks at the Femme Cartel: Girly/Urban Art Party in Oakland. She was almost completely sold out of the 275 calendars she first printed this past fall.   Not bad for a first timer right?

Oaks told me she got the idea for "Cheeky" from a friend who wanted a centerfold of plus-sized women. Jen got to the drawing board. She comes up with the images by photographing people in sexy poses.  Then Jen creates the pinups based on the gestures of the models. 

Cheeky 2012 Miss November
Women like to feel sexy and be sexy.  Sometimes we're hard on ourselves because our bodies don't look how they’re “supposed to.”  I respect a woman who lives by her own rules.  I give Jen Oaks props for creating her vision of sexy, one that many men and women share.  If you're in Oakland, check out her art show at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records on Friday, Feb. 3rd . Order the 2012 "Cheeky" calendar from Etsy.

 Laura Gonzalez

This young woman's art packs serious emotion. I can feel whatever the subject is  going through. Her work looks so real I couldn't tell if I was looking at painting or a photo.  Support Lauren Gonzalez at or

"Secreto" by Lauren Gonzalez

Michelle Carnes

Oh my goodness, I am loving the energy from Carnes' use of color.  I sense the woman in the painting's  strength and mellowness. Isn't that an interesting blend? Support this artist at

Strong Color by Michelle Carnes

I can barely draw a stick figure.  And I won't torture you with my tree drawings that look more  like broccoli. The ladies I highlighted are amazing. What do you think of the art? Ping me if you bought any of the work from these talented women.



  1. I'm an artist (so to speak; I paint) and I completely respect the game.

    I am going to buy that calendar; us plus-size divas are not nearly represented enough in the media. Thanks for the links.

  2. Thanks Amaya. Don't play down your talent with the brush. You're an artist. :)


Post a Comment