Van Plating x Twenty Seven
I’m about to spill out my heart. Ready? Here I go!
I wanted to share a collection of imagery from my over-a-year-long collaboration, but I wanted to tell the story well too. Here it is. :)
Girl friendships have always been VERY hard on me. I remember first grade Jenna coming home and soooobbbing in my mom’s lap about friendships. Middle school remained tricky (is it not tricky for every girl?) and honestly high school still stings to think about.
One day, as a college student, this random woman I knew through mutual friends named Rachel said she really liked to get to know creatives in Lakeland and asked if I’d want to meet and talk about my dreams and what I do. At this time, Twenty Seven was an infant dream. I had done some markets, and was regularly making yarn wall hangings with my friend Shelby.
Rachel and I met because she wanted to know me. Have you ever had someone specifically want to know you? It’s rare and it’s a treasure. She asked to get lunch just because she knew I was an artist.
Suddenly, I was calling her when I had a hard time, we were sharing recommendations, clothes, coffee, and I was watching all FOUR of her babies weekly throughout college. I was crying in her kitchen - she was crying in her kitchen. We weren’t instantly side by side friends, and in a lot of ways that makes everything so much sweeter, we took a while to figure each other out - to apologize, to be messy friends together. But we stayed friends - and even grew closer. We are A LOT alike - which I think makes us a rare set. In fact, she’s one of my very best friends I’ve ever had.
She was one of the first people to ever buy from Twenty Seven - painted magnets that are still on their fridge, she frequently shows up with a tea for me randomly, has a closet of my t-shirts I’ve made, her little girls were my flower girls in the wedding, her and her husband Jack have showed up with vegan ice cream at our house randomly, she had Connor direct her music video, we are being entrusted with their sweet doggo, my drawing is TATTOOED on her skin, and we have been through a lot together now.
Rachel is a very talented musician. Like, she knows all the stuff and went to school for it, but was also in indie bands, toured, the whole shabang. Summer 2018 we spent a lot of time together and she started feeling the call to write music again. And one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever had is that I got to watch her album come together. We would sit, in a church sanctuary, light streaming through the stained glass. She would play the grand piano and work out melodies again and again. I would sit in a pew and draw for hours. And we weren’t necessarily working together - but we were just together. I learned every word to every song. I knew a lot of the ups and downs of the creative process for her. I drove her to the airport to head to LA and record these songs. And I made every piece of art, along with Scout our friends and photographer, to go along with her work. It’s her dream, but it’s become mine too. The songs are songs I need and do not grow tired of.
I am so endlessly excited to see what happens next for my friend. When filming the music video, I began bawling because it was the best thing in the world to watch a friends come alive when they are creating.
You must listen to those album and the songs that have been so important to me for so long. The album is available on all streaming platforms under “Van Plating.”
And for all updates you can follow her at @vanplating on Instagram.
And here is the AMAZING video my husband directed for her song “Too Late”