Monday, December 14, 2015

Kardtects Creator Jenny Kile Talking Towers and Cards on Candid Conversations


The record breaking tower

When I was a kid I often built towers out of playing cards. It was fun seeing how high I could get before the whole thing collapsed. Interestingly enough there are cards made specifically for building towers. Jenny Kile the head of a company called Kardtects used her companies cards to build a tower which set a new worlds record for the tallest free standing card tower built with playing cards.

Jenny welcome to Candid Conversations

Jenny K.: Glad to be here, Cliff. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk about the many fantastic things happening with Kardtects (card architects). 


Cliff T.: This sounds so cool. From what I read in your press release it took you something like 11 hours to build the tower. Normal time to do this is apparently 80 hours! What made the job easier, let me guess the cards, right?

Jenny K.: Yes. You’re right. It’s our exclusively designed building cards. They are unique in texture, thickness, size, and design, and so building with Kardtects Building Cards is a lot easier and faster than building with the ordinary, smaller and more slippery playing cards. Building the impressive 26 foot tower proved this point quite well. I will be building another tower, higher, in the months to come.

But I should say, I only build towers to demonstrate the vast possibilities of what others can do with the cards. My favorite structures are actually the Castles, Egyptian Temples, Pyramids, Jungle Huts, Snakes, (one square) Garages, Roads, etc. built by children (and adults). It’s wonderful to see the Kardtects cards being played with across the country. Some awesome card houses are being constructed. Some one level, some higher. All are great!
 


Cliff T.: Kardtects is the company behind this, and I am assuming you’re the gal at the helm of the good ship Kardtects. Was the creation of the company based on past experience building with cards?

Jenny K.: It is all lollipops and fun here. Although I played with a similar type ‘card’ when I was younger, these were not officially meant for building. They were old file cards with tabs used in a business my Dad worked for and were being thrown out (Computers were taking their place).

Instead of making it to the trash, however, these cards were brought home by my Dad for my brothers, sisters, and I to play with. We used them to build ‘card’ towers, fortresses, and other card structures from them. They were an absolute joy. Even though they were pink.

I then later brought out from storage those same cards that I played with for my own children to play with. I watched them build and enjoy them as much as I had.

I decided I wanted to share the activity of card building with everyone. My Dad’s cards made it so much easier to build a card house. And so, yes, from years of card building experience with various types of cards, I believe Kardtects has been able to fine-tune, further develop, and has perfected the ultimate building card for all to build with.


Cliff T.: So what is the secret if there is any to building a card tower?

Jenny K.: You know, that is one of the most spectacular things about Kardtects. Although there are a few simple key steps to learn for better and more secure building, I believe anyone can build a card house with Kardtects cards. There isn’t any secret. If you can lean one card against another, follow the tips on how to build the ‘Kardtects Square’, then you can become a Master Kardtect (card architect). Kardtects has many videos on site showing these steps and what to build.

Cliff T.: 11 hours is still a bit of time to build, would you suggest that a person take breaks during the building process? And did you do that or did you just plow on and build the tower?

Jenny K.: Because building an almost 27 foot tower of freestanding building cards requires a location which allows a Master Kardtect to build that high, and in my case, a scissor lift to be driven on the floor to get me to that height, I’m not suggesting everyone do that.

And although I did just build right through the entire 11 hours without food, water, or restroom breaks (kidding), a six foot tower takes only about 10 minutes to build once a Master Kardtect, and maybe only a chair to stand on, so that is what kind of tower I suggest building.

I suggest first Mastering the Build of the Square. Which is leaning two cards together, adding the third, and then completing the square with the fourth. On this Square Foundation, add the roof. A Kardtect can then decide to go wider or higher by doing the same; Lean cards against others, add roofs, and it is amazing to see what can be built! It really is that simple! AND FUN! Again, videos are on site and YouTube. And we continue to update and offer more.


Cliff T.: I also noticed in the press release that you sell card building sets. That sounds like fun. Can you describe the sets?

Jenny K.: Currently, we offer three different sets. A Castle building set, a Desert/Egyptian building set, and a Jungle set. These have different artistic designs. So when you build a card structure with the castle set, it can look like a castle. With the Desert Set, you might choose to build a pyramid.

Each Master set includes enough Kardtects Building Cards to build an impressive structure. The cards are powered by imagination and so what one builds is limitless. The building sets offer this unending fun.


Cliff T.: As you mentioned what goes up has to come down, how did you get the tower down and in the sets themselves are there any special cards for the knocking down the tower?

Jenny K.: Destructions inspire new Creations. Within each set are included ‘Destroyers’. These are cardboard Disks with various Destroyers (characters) printer on them. After a card house is built, a Kardtect throws his ‘Destroyers’ at his structure to knock it down. He then builds again. Kardtects is fun from beginning to end, and the fun never stops.

The large towers, however, are built quite strong. Numerous Disks, and a bit of time, is needed to knock them down. So Kardtects loves to have fun with these Knock Downs in a different way. Sometimes we ask a child to punch through it, sometimes they run through it, and sometimes a Godzilla like monster comes and destroys it. It’s always exciting. Here’s a video of a 40 second destruction by ‘the Monster’ (we cut out the small child crying at the end…we got a little carried away and were a bit ‘too monstery’ after the tower came down. Hey, we live and learn. The Kardtects Monster is calmer, friendlier now.)


Other destruction videos are online.

Cliff T.: Do you and Kardtects design your own cards and sets and how long have you been in the business of creating cards for building with?

Jenny K.: Kardtects has been in business for just over a year. I have seen wonderful enthusiasm towards the building cards and what kids can do with them. The business continues to expand, but as of now, I am the one who has designed and created the cards (with support from family and friends).

Cliff T.: How long does a design take to create and put out on the market?

Jenny K.: There are lots of considerations to take into account when creating artistic prints for the cards. And then there are many other small details that make a huge difference to the end product. Other themes and specialties are in the making and testing. But once the various characteristics are all worked through, it’s just a matter of getting them produced. This doesn’t take too long.

Kardtects has a remarkable team to work with. Artists from around the world helped create the ‘Destroyers’(characters on the Disks), and several others have assisted in other elements. This team is bringing card building to all and it is proving to be an extremely fulfilling endeavor. More so each day.

Kardtects gets to see smiles on kid’s faces who have just built their first card house! At first they might have thought it was something they couldn’t do, but by following the tips, they can easily accomplish it. This builds confidence. And so Kardtects is inspired by the fact that Building builds values and a sense of real achievement for a child. This is heartwarming for me. I love that a simple product ‘BUILDS’ so much! It’s just wonderful.


Cliff T.: This sounds like a job that is a lot of fun. Jenny thanks for doing a Candid Conversation.

Jenny K.: Thank you. I always love talking about the cards because they are something I hold dear and know how much fun they can be. I still enjoy them. So go ahead, and become a Master Kardtect today! Build a card house!

Jenny Kile head of Kardtects a company that creates and sells playing cards specifically for building towers and card houses wrote to us from Wilkes Barre PA.

For more information about the company please visit http://kardtects.com


To see some of the videos they have visit

Youtube:



Note: generally speaking pictures are not posted on Candid Conversations as the blog is generally treated like a radio interview only we do it online.  That said on special occasions you may begin to see photos appear.  These will usually be for promotional value only and are posted with permissions from the creator.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Fix is IN! A Candid Conversation About Game Fixing in Pro Sports with Brian Tuohy


Everyone who watches a game, Football, Baseball, Hockey etc., wants to think that the teams are equally matched or slightly mismatched and that the playing fields are level. But, what if they are not? Is it possible to have games already decided before they were played and what if the answer is YES.

Brian Tuohy has written about this very subject and he joins me via email to take a look at this question. Brian thanks for taking time to talk about this very interesting subject.

Brian T.: No problem. Thanks for including me.

Cliff T.: Off the hop, got to ask the question are games fixed? If so what is the percentage or is that a, shall we say, well kept secret?

Brian T.: Well, I believe games are fixed for two reasons. The first is what most people think of when it comes to fixing: for gambling purposes. For example, to beat the point spread. The other way I believe games are fixed is by the leagues themselves. They manipulate their own games for better TV ratings, greater fan interest, and more profit.

As for how many games are fixed, there’s no way of telling. Most American sports fans don’t even believe it’s possible for a game to be fixed at the pro level, whether it’s by gamblers or by the league. But if you look elsewhere in the world, match fixing is rampant in soccer, tennis, cricket, and rugby. To know that World Cup soccer games – literally, the most watched sporting event on Earth – has had matches fixed during the tournament, and yet to claim that something like an NBA game can’t be fixed is na├»ve to say the least. But to the question at hand, I don’t believe every game is fixed, but more games are tampered with than people would expect.
 


Cliff T.: From what I seen on your site promoting your latest book Season of Abyss the amount of money in illegal betting is huge, something like 80 BILLION. That is staggering? And if I am not mistaken that is just for Football. What about say Hockey Baseball and Basketball?

Brian T.: No one can really say how much money is wagered illegally on sports in the US. It’s mostly controlled by organized crime, and the FBI believes it to be the mob’s top money maker. Estimates range from $80 billion to $500 billion bet illegally each year. Las Vegas claims it is responsible for one to three percent of all sports wagering in the US, and they booked approximately $4 billion in bets in 2014. If they are correct in their estimations, then the illegal sports gambling industry is pushing the higher end of that range. The NFL is the wagering favorite for most people, and likely accounts for over half of all bets made (well over $1 billion a week illegally bet on the NFL). From there, for the pro sports, the NBA, MLB, and NHL would follow in that order popularity-wise. 


Cliff T.: In a nutshell what you are saying here is that sports is merely a business and that the notion of equal is simply a lie and that above and under the table the fix is in to ensure that big money players get a return on investments, both legal and an illegal is that a fair statement?

Brian T.: Some people believe that the leagues work in conjunction with the sports gambling world and manipulate games accordingly. I haven’t seen direct evidence of that, but have heard plenty of rumors along those lines.

But professional sports is certainly a business. A multi-billion dollar industry operating under the guise of “sports” when it’s admittedly “entertainment.” Many other multi-billion dollar companies – from Disney to General Electric to McDonalds to Nike and so on – profit off of sports’ back. And if you are to believe all of them, despite the leagues having the legal ability to manipulate their own games to make them more compelling for fans, they refuse to do so. Why? They claim it’s to maintain their “integrity.” Supposedly then, they leave their businesses completely up to chance. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe in coincidence, especially when billions of dollars are in play.


The smart business decision for the leagues, the TV networks, and their advertisers would be to alter the games as needed, to create story lines and star athletes in order to drive fans to the stadiums and their televisions in order to profit off of them.

Cliff T.: How long has this been going on for, or do you have an idea?

Brian T.: Game fixing in the US dates back to at least the 1850s, when baseball players were known to fix games for gamblers. It’s never left our sports, be it in boxing, horse racing, baseball, football, basketball – nearly every sport has seen a fixing/gambling scandal occur at some point in time.

As for this notion of a league fixing its own, I think the first good example of this was Super Bowl III in which the NY Jets upset the Baltimore Colts. This was an outcome the league needed to have. With the AFL and NFL merging at the time (they were two rival leagues in the 1960s), the owners knew that NFL fans (which outnumbered AFL fans about three to one) weren’t accepting of the AFL’s talent level. And the Packers blowing out the AFL’s best in the first two Super Bowls proved this point. Super Bowl III looked to have a similar outcome pending as the Colts were one of the best teams the NFL has ever seen (even up to present day). So I think the league fixed the game, had the Colts take a dive, and legitimized the AFL and the merger in the process. That business decision made the league the multi-billion dollar monster it is today. Yet fans are supposed to believe it just “happened” and all the benefits that came out of that outcome were mere “luck.”


Cliff T.: What I found very interesting is that there is no law against fixing games. In essence all the major leagues can legally fix a game, if they want to. What should the fan take from this?

Brian T.: They should look at the games they watch in a completely different fashion. Most don’t believe this to be true, but there is no law preventing a league from fixing its own game. The Sports Bribery Act of 1964 forbids a gambler/mobster from bribing a player, coach, or referee from altering the outcome of a game, but if a league (the employer) tells a referee (its employee) to favor one team/player over another and that changes the course of the game, it’s not bribery. Therefore, it’s not a crime. And this sort of action doesn’t even constitute fraud, for buying a ticket to a game merely entitles a person to see such an event. It doesn’t mean the stated rules must be followed or players have to perform up to a certain level. You bought a ticket to see an NBA game, they provided you with such a contest, and therefore the contract has been fulfilled. It really is just entertainment, and must be viewed as such. Nothing more.

Cliff T.: Knowing that a game can be fixed certainly does not make wanting to watch not to mention attend a game. Yet in many stadiums and arenas the seats are full. Is this because the fans are not aware of this or that fans just don't care.

Brian T.: It’s both. Fans don’t realize this is true, yet many don’t or won’t care once they learn this truth because sports is entertainment. It’s an escape from everyday life, much like other TV programs or movies are. And I don’t blame people for wanting to watch because it can be entertaining. I just want them to be educated of this reality, and not be suckers (or shills) for these businesses that call themselves “sports.”

Cliff T.: I'd put money down, bad pun, that you are not very welcome amongst those who are in the fixing games biz. What has been the reaction to your site and the books you have published.

Brian T.: 99.9 percent of the email I get from people is extremely positive. Most are happy to have found my work/research because they’ve had a similar thought/feeling but couldn’t find an outlet to confirm such suspicions. So the general public – at least those I hear from – are on my side. But the same can’t be said of the ESPNs of this world. I know I’ve been censored (what I call “censorship by omission”) because certain radio and TV shows (as well as some publications) refuse to have me on, or have asked me to be on, then later backed out, never to reschedule. If I can’t get publicity, then I can’t spread my message. Out of sight, out of mind.

Cliff T.: Why do you feel that it is important to share this stuff with the world, what do you want the sports world to do?

Brian T.: Well, asking for the sports world to admit to such things is a pipe dream. But, they kinda, sorta already do. Prior to and after each NFL game, they tell you, “The following is a presentation of the National Football League.” It’s just no one stops to think what’s meant by that statement, especially the word “presentation.” So my hope is just to stop fans from drinking this Kool-Aid, and look at sports rationally. Recognize them for the big businesses they are, and what that means. Be educated fans, and if you still decide to watch, fine. Just know what it is you’re watching.

Cliff T.: When you started to dig into this file were you surprised to see just how much, if I can use the word, corruption there is in sports? Or were you just like OK this is big, but never did I think this was huge?

Brian T.: I started this by accident. I was a sports fan growing up, but then I read two influential books: Interference by Dan Moldea and They Call It a Game by Bernie Parrish. I looked at sports differently since then, and started to see the corruption within the game. Once you see it, once you look for it, you can’t help but find it everywhere. The leagues outright lie to their fans, and instead of acting as a watchdog, the sports media world help them in this deception. The more I dug, the worse it got. That’s what led me to write my first book, The Fix Is In, and from there I just kept rolling. I never really meant to be a sports (corruption) writer, but since no one else will do the job, here I am.

Cliff T.: How do you go about getting the data, or is that one of those 007 secret things?

Brian T.: I did a lot of reading, and a lot of research. Much of this info was out there, it was just that no one bothered to stitch it all together. I also interviewed other experts. But the biggest thing I uncovered was the FBI’s investigations into game fixing on the gambling side of things. Through the Freedom of Information Act, I obtained every file the FBI had relating to game fixing. It amounted to over 400 files covering everything from college sports to the NFL, NBA, and MLB as well as horse racing and boxing. And what it showed was that when a league like the NFL claims to never have had a game fixed, it is glossing over a lot of information. The FBI had evidence that Hall of Fame NFL and NBA players were betting on their own respective sports and possibly fixing games. All of this formed the basis of my book Larceny Games.

Cliff T.: I could go on asking tons of questions, but I know you are one busy fella. That said I do want to thank you for dropping some knowledge on us with respect to this subject.

Brian T.: No problem. I’m always happy to discuss the subject. And people are always welcome to contact me through my website with their own questions or if they have information to share. Thanks!

Brian Tuohy, author and investigative reporter based out of Wisconsin. His website is a fascinating read. Visit at http://thefixisin.net/index.html and read for yourself what Brain has to say about sports betting and game fixing amongst other things.

Brian wrote to us from Wisconsin

Monday, November 9, 2015

Shakespeare's Twelfth Night Gets Jazzy - A Candid Conversation With Becca Kidwell Explains


To say that I am well versed in the plays of Shakespeare would be a stretch, though I have read two books, MacBeth and the Merchant of Venice.

I do like it when I find some interesting twists on the norm. Like the one I found the other day. Imagine Twelfth Night a Shakespeare play done to a jazz theme. A very interesting twist on a classic and to speak more about this I am happy to welcome Becca Kidwell from Swiftly Tilted Theatre Inc., the company bringing this show to the stage in New York.

Cliff T.: Becca, a Shakespeare play done in a jazz bar setting that is very different indeed.
 

Becca K.: Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most musical plays; it had more songs in it because the new actor in Shakespeare’s company that played the Fool in many of his later plays had a musical background. Also, we are dealing with drowning in one of the first scenes of the play and that most of the characters are drowning in their own sorrows or passions or in drink and that a jazz bar is actually a logical choice for the show. 

Cliff T.: I Agree it is unique and very logical. As I mentioned I am not versed in Shakespeare. But from what I have read this is a story about love gone amiss, would that be accurate? Or to put it another way can you explain what Twelfth Night is about?  

Becca K.: Twelfth Night is about a group of relatively wealthy folks who spend their time longing after what they don’t have or what they’ve lost. The twins, Sebastian and Viola have lost their family and each other in a shipwreck and are really looking for life after their loss; they find love by accident. Sebastian is saved by the sailor Antonio and wanders around unsure of what his next move will be. Viola dresses up as a man and joins Orsino’s court as a servant. Orsino has seen a beautiful woman named Olivia whom he has never talked to himself, but he is lovesick for her and keeps sending his servants to court her, but she wants nothing to do with him. She falls for Viola (dressed as a man), and Olivia begins to pursue him (her). Toby, Olivia’s uncle, lives off of Olivia’s money and spends his time getting drunk and playing pranks on anyone he can. He has his friend, Andrew Aguecheek, court Olivia, but as the plot unfolds, it becomes evident is around largely for his bankroll for Toby. By the end of the play, all the lovers have found the partners they are meant to be with: Orisino with Viola, Olivia with Sebastian, Toby with Maria. Most of Toby’s pranks are unraveled and forgiven with the exception of the extremely cruel one played on Olivia’s Puritanical servant Malvolio, which more or less is forgiven in the text, but not in my production.  

Cliff T.: Can you explain why you decided not to forgive the prank in your production?

Becca K.: I have always thought it is an extremely cruel prank (they lock him away and make everyone thinks he's mad). They remember him as an afterthought. Malvolio is so uptight and thinks that he was more virtuous than everyone else that in my view, this prank would be the final straw. In his own way, he's going to drown himself in his own rage and look for ways to make others miserable.   

Cliff T.: I can see how this play could lend itself to a jazz theme given that many jazz tunes are about love lost. Yet this play is considered to be a comedy. In your adaptation of the play are you mixing humor with the theme of love gone wrong or are you planning on staying true to the original plot of the play? 

Becca K.: Shakespeare’s comedies actually tend to lend themselves to more dramatic—or at least melodramatic interpretations. (Much Ado About Nothing is one step away from being a tragedy, if the timing had been only moments off). These characters are highly choleric. Sebastian thinks Viola is dead and Viola thinks Sebastian is dead so they’re not too keen on carousing and partying, which is all the rest of the characters do. I’ve compared Orsino to Gatsby and Olivia to Daisy. These two characters love being in the depths of their own despair, which lends itself to comedy if you know they’re not going to have tragic endings. The other characters such as Toby, Maria, and Andrew provide the “low comedy” with the various pranks and drunken carousing.

Cliff T.: Ah I understand. What prompted the choice, why this play? What about the Twelfth Night caught your interest? And what kind of message do you want the audience to get and take away with them after they see the play?

Becca K.: My first reason was that I wanted a non-holiday play for the holidays. While the play is called Twelfth Night it is rarely played on or around this time. By it playing around Christmas and New Year’s, it has given me the opportunity to set the show between New Year’s Eve party and a Twelfth Night party (for US people, that is approximately the equivalent of Mardi Gras). I was looking to do a lighthearted piece after our production of Radiance, The Passion of Marie Curie by Alan Alda. I love Shakespeare and love sharing it with others. It’s fun and one of Shakepeare’s easier plays to understand, and I thought it would be a good place for our company to start with Shakespeare. I’m not really looking to send a “message,” but if I was to send one with this production it would be: to not take life to seriously and take time to enjoy all the little moments life provides. With the exception of the twins, everyone else’s misery in this play is mere hubris.    

Cliff T.: I also noticed that you are hosting some events, Twelfth Night Music Jam and a workshop. Both sound really interesting can you describe what people attending each will experience?   

Becca K.: The class will be an introduction/ re-introduction to Shakespeare using the text of Twelfth Night as its basis. This will hopefully add an additional level of appreciation for the production, which is why participants in the class get discounts on tickets and a copy of the text. At the music jam, they will hear the original jazz music composed for the show performed by the cast and composer in a small casual coffeehouse/bar atmosphere, QED Astoria. Additional music by Jenni Lark and Zac Pierce-Messick will also be performed. Both of these events should provide additional excitement to see the production.    

Cliff T.: Becca, how long have you been with Swiftly Tilted?

Becca K.: I created Swiftly Tilting Theatre Project, Inc. in 2013. I was a high school teacher encouraging students to go after their dreams, and I realized that I was not going after my dreams, directing theatre.    

Cliff T.: I know what you mean, I work in a call centre, not my dream but, doing interviews like this one is. Can you describe the mission of Swiftly Tilted?    

Becca K.: Our passion is To impact a small corner of the world and leave it a little better than before. To search for truth and to share love. To share our knowledge and skills in order to build a theatrical community, that provides affordable, quality, professional theatrical productions for the public through participation as artists, audiences, and students.    

Cliff T.: From the sound of it this is not just a job for you but a labor of love. How did you get involved in theatre and with Switly Tilted Inc.?

Becca. K: I wanted to be a theatre director since I was in high school, but took a long, circuitous path to end up working “in” theatre. I got my undergraduate degree in drama, but then I spent time in the business world, got my graduate degree in teaching, and taught high school for five years and starting the company. My husband and I moved to New York from Boston. He has been incredibly supportive of me getting the company going. I do not have a “day job”, but I really wouldn’t have the time or energy for one. This company takes my heart and soul into all of its work. 

Cliff T.: If I am not mistaken show times for the play run from December 27th to January 3rd. With a debut on the 24th, where and at what times are the performances going to be held at?

Becca K.: Due to the holidays, the schedule is somewhat irregular. The dates and times are: 12/24/2015 - 2:30pm – Preview, NO SHOW DECEMBER 25,12/26/2015 - 7:00pm, 12/27/2015 - 4:30pm,12/28/2015 - 7:30pm, NO SHOWS DECEMBER 29, 30, 31, 1/1/2016 - 7:30pm, 1/2/2016 - 7:00pm, and 1/3/2016 - 4:30pm. The performances are all held at The Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd St, Long Island City, NY. 

The Shakespeare class is being held on 12pm on 12/6/2015 and The Twelfth Night Debut Music Jam is being held at 7:30pm. Both of these events are being held at QED Astoria, 2716 23rd Ave, Astoria, NY.  Both of these locations are a short trip on the subway from Midtown Manhattan. 

Cliff T.: Excellent thank you so very much for taking time in your busy schedule to chat with me and my readers by email.

Becca K.: My pleasure. Thank you for your interest!

Becca Kidwell is the Director and the person who has adapted and directed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night a play that will be presented by Swiftly Tilted Project Inc.

As mentioned the play will be held at The Secret Theatre, 4402 23rd St, Long Island City, NY. For dates times and tickets visit http://swiftlytwelfth.brownpapertickets.com, or call 1-800-838-3006. 


BIO: Becca C (Rebecca Cecilia) Kidwell, Artistic Director is directing Twelfth Night, and directed Swiftly Tilting Theatre Project’s other productions: Radiance, The Passion of Marie Curie; Don’t Speak Cabaret; and Priscilla Dreams The Answer (staged reading). 

Some of her favorite directing projects are: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Julie Johnson, and Measure for Measure. She also sings in cabarets such as Seth’s Talent Show & Metropolitan Room’s Kiddie Kabaret. 

She is the author of Feeling Pain Is Normal: An Analysis of Parental Grief in Next To Normal and the original author and editor of The New England Theatre Geek Blog. She has a BA in Drama from The University of Georgia and a MAT in English Education from Boston University. http://beccackidwell.glump.net

To learn more about Switly Tilted Project inc. visit swiftlytiltingtheatre.org. Becca Kidwell wrote to us from New York, NY.







Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BBW Art, via Artist Ian Ianardo

BBW, it’s a term that has empowered many women it stands for Big Beautiful Women.  Most men with the exception of a few like me don’t openly identify as being interested in the larger sized women.  In society one is viewed as weird or kinky if they like women who are plus sized.  Often BBWs are linked to porn, which is to say the least unfair, absurd and honestly quite inaccurate. 

In my teen years I became aware that I was really interested in the fuller figure.  I also remember how hard it was for people to accept that I liked a woman who was plus sized.  There were a number of instances where I was thought to be some sort of weirdo.  As time has gone on I have openly asserted that there is nothing wrong with the idea of wanting a plus sized woman in fact I am married to one who has been my wife for 18 years.   
  
There is a lot of art depicting BBWs in a very positive way.  I found a really interesting site run by Ian Ianardo.  The site has dozens of drawings of BBWs, none are overtly pornographic, but many are cheeky and quite cute. 
  
Now just as another note Ianardo also does connect to sites that have plus sized clothing, but he is an artist at heart, Ian thanks for taking time out in your busy schedule to do a quick Candid Conversation 
  
Ian I.:  Pleased to meet you, Cliff. 
   
Cliff T.:  I have to say I am delighted to meet you.  Like you I believe in the concept of fat acceptance.  As stated on the site BBW art is a specialty, when did you begin to take interest in BBWS? 
   
Ian I.:  I've admired plus sized beauty since childhood, and that preference became stronger as an adult. I've since found that a lot of larger ladies have a very understanding and accepting nature. 
   
Cliff T.:  I see that you began posting your work in 2001.  What prompted the decision to begin putting your works online?     
   
Ian I.:  I had a career change and also first went online in year 2000.  I discovered the world of BBWs and size-acceptance and decided to set up in business as a portrait artist, using the internet for promotion. 
   
Cliff T.:  There are some really nice drawings on the site.  How did you go about selecting which works would be posted on the site?   
   
Ian I.:  Initially, I asked a few ladies who had a lot of photos online, if I could draw them, to build up a portfolio to show my work.  Then customers commissioned subsequent portraits.  I nearly always dreamed up the clothing for them. 
   
Cliff T.:  Are you planning to add more?   
   
Ian I.:  I rarely do customer portraits any more, but when I get the time, I like to add to the gallery in my own time. 
  
Cliff. T.:  What has been the reaction from BBWs and the public in general to your work?   

Ian I.:  It has been almost all positive, mostly from ladies who have found my art to be uplifting.  For that reason, I intend to keep the gallery on display, regardless of any new career path. 

Cliff T.:  As I mentioned in my intro a lot of people seem to think it odd, out of place to want to be with a plus sized woman.  Has there been some of that directed at you? 

Ian I.:  Some folk find it hard to grasp such a preference.  Some don't fully believe it. Others think I must be attracted to all large women, with no other criteria! My attraction has far more depth than that. 

Cliff T.:  Interesting, thanks for sharing that insight.  I could go on but I know you have a busy schedule to tackle.  In closing what would you want people visiting the site to understand or appreciate and if a BBW wants to be drawn how would she go about contacting you to be a model? 

Ian I.: I hope that those viewing my portraits will see more than just images of large ladies.  I try to convey confidence and character in each drawing, and maybe a little of myself shows as well.  A few ladies have commented that they can interpret my character too.  Time permitting, I can still do the occasional commissioned portrait for a fee, for any lady who is interested.  There's a page on my site for portrait fees/procedure. 

Excellent Ian, thanks so much for doing a Candid Conversation. 

Ian Ianardo, artist, specializing in BBW art wrote to us from the U.K.  To view the works go to www.ianardo.com.