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New year, new website, new art

I suppose I should start with an introduction. Hi! I'm Kurt Conley. I'm a writer and designer and super-queer fellow living in Chicago.

This is my first real attempt at a website/blog thingie. And I thought I'd use this as an opportunity to get some things out that have been on my mind.


Everyone is glad it's done. It started with the death of David Bowie and ended with George Michael and Carrie Fisher. Growing up in a small town in Northwest Pennsylvania, I looked to both Bowie and Fisher as examples on how to live my life. Bowie taught me how to be undefinable by normal standards. Fisher taught me how to be an unapologetic badass. Both of their deaths in particular hit me hard.

It's a strange feeling, isn't it? I'd never met either of them, and I'd wager not many of you did, either. But their mere presence on this planet affected me in such a way that I can't rightly describe.

So it make sense on top of the whole election and the horrors happening across the globe that we are all ready for a change. 2017 might just be a signifier of our time on Earth, but I know for me it's a call to action. To be involved, to make art.

And to remind myself when I feel like the world is a dark, dark place that, on a personal level, 2016 was an amazing year for me. I got married to my ridiculously wonderful and talented man, we bought a condo in one of my favorite neighborhoods, and I finished my first novel.


Speaking of which! I'm currently shopping my novel out to agents. (I intend to have a part of this website devoted to it) It's looking to be a long process, simply because that's the way it works. I've received my fair share of rejection letters so far, but most of them have been positive rejections.

A little about it: it's a contemporary fantasy about Oracles, snake goddesses, Titans, and the trickster Coyote (because why not).

Art! I've also been on an artistic kick that I haven't experienced in years. With the whole election madness, I had a difficult time finding inspiration; it all seemed dire. Which it kind of still is. But I'm not going to talk about politics for the most part. That's a guarantee from me to you!

One thing that did inspire me, however, is the Nasty Woman movement. I love that an offhand comment became a rallying cry for so many people, myself included.

So in addition to creating pieces reflecting the world of my novel (something I've been very lax on, I'll admit), I'm making a series of photomontages inspired by the Nasty Women of the world. The Dada/Surrealist collage movement has been particularly informative to this series.

I'm still in the early planning stages, but rest assured I'll be previewing some of these as soon as I can!

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