One in 2000: Izzy Greer ’14

Jeremy Markson/Staff photographer.
Jeremy Markson/Staff photographer.

When Izzy Greer ’14 graduates in June (and embarks on a year-long cross-country roadtrip selling candles), the campus will lose a great deal of energy and spunk. The studio art and history double major from California not only has brought the liberal arts experience to a whole new level, merging her fields of study in her final senior art portfolio and her history thesis, but has also found many meaningful friendships and zany adventures during her time here, from surviving Hoxsey to sleep emailing her  professors. 

It’s not too soon before you graduate. What are your plans for this summer? 

My summer plans and my plans for next year post-grad kind of go together. The mom of my boyfriend Mericos [Rhodes ’14] started off making glass candles called “Glassybabys.” It is like this small handblown glass candle business in Seattle. So, starting with the summer, we are going to drive around the country, live in a camper, promoting the business and selling these Glassybabys. Three months we will be in this camper, all over the place.

What drew you to this instead of other, more classic post-grad jobs or opportunities? 

I don’t know what I really want to do. And at the time when I was supposed to be looking for a job, it felt like it was go finance or go teach, and neither of those is what I really want to do. I am an art person, and I wanted to do something creative, but I didn’t know how to get into that. Then Mericos started talking about doing this thing, and I was like, oh, that’s a weird idea and kind of brushed it off. It sort of became more real, and now is the time to go for an adventure. That’s how I billed it to my parents. So they are being nice and supportive.

How exactly do you go about promoting the candles? 

We are going to be setting up these meetings with Glassybaby customers around the country and have little sell parties at their houses. We will have meetings with donors. One of Glassybaby’s big things is that they give 10 percent of sales to charities around the country, usually cancer related. So we will be meeting with a lot of these charities and a lot of the partners and promoting it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you know, stuff we know how to do.

Do you have a senior project or portfolio you are working on? 

I am working on my senior show. I am doing big oil portraits. Well, I am also writing a history thesis on Holocaust survivors who are artists, and I did it on three women. They are all artists, so my portraits focus on these three women. One is my grandma. She is originally from Poland and she was my first art teacher. Although the thesis and the senior show are technically separate, I am kind of pushing them together. For me, it meant a lot that they were the same topic. 

What other art have you done during your time here?

I also do illustrations of children’s books, semi-not-successfully. Well, the company, I mean. It is called Lucky Penny Press. It [publishes] online children’s books. It’s an app for your iPad or iPhone. There is text, audio and then pictures that I do. 

What are the names of these books? 

There is one called Songs of the Sandman. There is Ridgy and the Shackleford Horses. There is one about a sunflower. There is one about cats of the Colosseum that is coming out. 

We will for sure look for that. What is the process of illustrating? Do you have to meet or compromise with any picky authors? 

Some of the authors don’t really care and leave it up to me. The Sandman author is kind of like this crazy poet, super hippy-dippy with a lot of strong opinions about what the sandman looks like, what cute kids look like and what cute kids don’t look like. And he had very strong opinions, so each picture was done over, like, three times because he was so particular. The others didn’t really care that much. 

Where do you live on campus this year? 

Hoxsey Street. It’s fun. There is a lot of commotion. There are nine girls, plus a couple live-in boyfriends. It’s a very cramped place. It’s also kind of falling apart. Oh my god, the walls. We have had people go through walls. It’s not a good place. It needs to be torn down and redone. Other than that, it is great. 

How is it being a witness to all that goes on there during the weekends? 

Oh, it’s awesome. I feel so privileged. We just find great stuff, especially after Halloween. Right now there are golf clubs from Beer Olympics. So much weird stuff. My favorite thing that we found, when we were dusting off the cushions of our couches that are utterly broken, I can’t remember what the title was, but it was a book about pregnancy. I don’t think someone brought that to a party, but it was just shoved under the couch, and our current theory is that is was from a previous 71 resident. 

How did the hole in the wall happen? 

So there is a space between the walls, and I didn’t see it but apparently the person just went through the first layer and occupied the between layer for a while. My friend was in her room, really sick, on the other side of the wall when everything just fell off of her bedside wall, and she was terrified. 

And how did your landlord react to this? 

She was fine with it. You know, there should be more to a wall than two pieces of wood. People need walls, I don’t know. She has asked us to keep our socializing to a minimum, but she can try.

As a studio art major, are there any really risqué, avant-garde art projects you have witnessed over the years? And have you done any yourself? 

There was this one with a guy named Izzy pulsating in glow-in-the-dark paint naked on the floor. Do not confuse that Izzy with this Izzy. I did something, though, that kind of pissed off my art professor. I was getting really frustrated and was trying to make some abstract art, so I put an ass print on one of my paintings. And he looked at it in our tutorial and was like, “Is that…?” and I was like, yup. And then we had to discuss the meanings of putting your ass print on your art. It was pure frustration. That was very risqué for me. 

Any other funny stories with professors in your four years here? 

I sleep emailed my thesis advisor once. I don’t know how. I sometimes sleep text or sleep email. I emailed him about my yoga mat at like 3 a.m. He never mentioned it. We are tight, and he just never mentioned it. He probably thought I was drunk, but I was just asleep. 

Are you sure it wasn’t someone playing a trick on you? 

Yeah, because it wasn’t interesting enough to be a trick. It was like, “Hey Professor, can you get my yoga mat and put it in your office?” It was very weird, and if someone was playing a trick they would come up with something better. I sleep text and drunk text a lot. I was also asked to go home once during the senior art show, because it takes place during and after Beach Party. So I showed up and was like, swaying. And my professor was like, “Izzy, how are you doing and do you want to go home?” Not a proud moment, looking back. 

On a more responsible note, do you have a campus job? 

I have the silliest job. It’s a great job for me. I put in DVDs for the history department for all their classes in the library. I go, I check out the movie, I put it in, I’m like, “Enjoy your movie, class” and then leave. When it’s done I take it out and peace. So the history department has done well for me.

To nominate someone for One in 2000, email Molly Bodurtha at mib1 or Zoe Harvan at zeh1 briefly explaining why you think he or she should be featured.