This creative field trip to The Museum of Neon Art has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SToKcoldbrew #CollectiveBias
Last weekend, the Mister and I took a creative play day on Sunday to visit the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, California. I had known about the museum for years when it was in a former location and I had been dying to visit MONA once they moved, but you know how it is … busy, busy, busy. But we finally got the chance to go and we made an art inspiration day out of it! My husband is an illustrator and I’m super proud of him. I like to brag because he’s currently storyboarding the new Hans Solo STAR WARS movie!!! He’s such a Star Wars geek and everyday I get to ask him what he drew at work and he gets to say, “Star Wars!” And I love taking photos everyday for either Food Network, other freelance clients, or this blog, so we decided to try a little photography vs. art drawing fun challenge. But to get started, we knew we were going to need some inspiration in a bottle: coffee. It’s way TOO hot in LA right now for hot coffee, so we stopped and picked up some SToK™ Cold Brew Iced Coffee. SToK™ is slow-brewed … like all the best ideas! It is pure coffee with no weird ingredients, made with an Arabica Blend. And what’s great about cold brew coffee is it’s a bit sweeter than regular hot brewed coffee, so less cream/sugar is needed. Also not needed? A hot coffee cup! We simply put the coffee in our cooler along with some cups and then we stopped at home for the Mister’s sketchbooks/pencils and my cameras before we hit the road with coffee in hand. We got to the Museum of Neon Art and I was surprised by all of the outdoor neon. A diving lady greets you atop the building and a sign for Clayton Plumbers is over the walkway. So we started outside and the Mister sketched Clayton Plumbers while I ran around shooting the diving lady, Clayton Plumbers, and the painted electrical box! Then we finished our coffees and went inside where we were greeted by Manny, Moe, and Jack! It was amazing how much neon was available to see even BEFORE paying for our entrance tickets! As we went inside, we passed by their electrical repair shop. And then you turn the corner and boom: lots and lots of neon! The first thing I saw was a worker installing the former Sun Lake Drugs sign. I had always meant to photograph that sign on Sunset Blvd while it was still a drugstore and I never got around to it. And I know better! Everyone is so quick to demolish or close the old shops and restaurants, so I know that if I want to see something or shoot something, I have to do it NOW! But I was happy to see Sun Lake Drugs saved and soon to be lit up in the MONA with a million other neat neon signs! It was fun to watch all of the other visitors snapping photos and interacting with the vintage neons! The older visitors took photos of the neon signs and the younger visitors took selfies WITH the neon signs. And I loved all the #SIGNGEEKS art hanging around the museum and saw several of my Instagram friends’ photos. I was totally inspired to get some of my Route 66 photos printed on canvas to hang in the new house. I realized that I really like to photograph neon signs outside and in their element and not inside a museum, but since this was an art challenge, I thought I would try playing with my camera and taking some different types of photos for me: close ups! And then it was really cool to see my husband drawing the neon. At one point, a couple teenagers stood in front of him and one of them apologized and said something like, “Oh hey, let’s move, he’s drawing the sign.” And so my husband of course replied, “Oh, no! I drew you into the sketch!” All in all, a fun and creative day! And now I can’t wait to hit the road again and photograph more vintage neon signs on the side of the road! I wonder if my husband is tired of pulling over every time we see a cool, old sign? If so, maybe I’ll just get him some more SToK™ Cold Brew Iced Coffee.