I don’t recall how I met, Jaclyn Dubois, aka “The Confetti Monster,” but I know it was her quirky and unique art that caught my eye. Since I first spotted her work, she has created several pieces for me. I am going to leave my introduction very brief and let this young lady’s brilliant perspective on this crazy world shine through in what she shared with me.
Jaci began with, “I was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, but lived an adventurous childhood in the dogwood trees of small town Bennettsville, South Carolina. My family has since relocated to Bradenton, Florida, where beach days are just a mile away and Disney World is for day-tripping. My current obsession is the oh-so-elusive idea to “life more simply”. I’ve accumulated so much clutter, both tangible and intangible, in my twenty-eight years: too much stuff to relax in my own home, too much money spent on things I don’t love, too much time wasted in worry and regret, too much energy consumed by fruitless fads and endeavors… I’ve so far to go in my quest for simplified living, but I’m learning so much about myself and my world along the way as I (try really really hard to) rid my life of anything that doesn’t make it more meaningful.”
The Confetti Monster currently masquerades by day as a teacher and at night a mother and Wes Anderson influenced renaissance woman.
The thing the Confetti Monster is most proud of is, “On March 11 of this year, I gave birth – a vaginal, natural (read: no meds) birth to not one baby, but TWO. This miraculous feat inspired me to stop squandering any energy hating my body and to be utterly in awe of it instead; it gifted me with two tiny, perfect humans, after all.”
Besides being super proud of her new babies, Jaci said, I’d love to promote the debut of two new blogs that I’ve been brewing in my head for quite some time now: The Momster Confessions and WE ARE ALL STORIES. The first was conceived of necessity to relieve my guilty new-mom conscience (motherhood is far more insane than I could have ever dreamed), the second as an outlet for all the little stories that make up my life – they’ve piled up in my chest but it’s time they were strewn about like confetti. WE ARE ALL STORIES is open to submissions as well, because, of course, we are all stories.”
When I asked Jaci why people should know about her she replied, “We don’t know each other, but I want to make your life happier. Whether that’s by inciting a giggle or by challenging your perspective, by making you something unique that you’ll love, by inspiring you with my learnings or my failures or even my quirks, I hope I leave you with something meaningful, I hope you feel like falling in love with your life all over again, the way we did so effortlessly when we were kids.”
She finished by sharing this quick story, which she said described her life, “While waiting next to my sister as she made her purchases at the local H&M, the clerk turned to me and told me to bust a move, which of course I did, in front of the rest of the checkout line. He laughed and said it made his day; it made mine, too.”
You can find all of Jaci’s awesome happiness online here:
For all her artistic masterpieces on Etsy, click here.
What advice would you give the teenage you?
Love your body – it’s going to do such amazing things. And don’t worry that no matter how much you plank/crunch/high knee, you’ll never achieve that chiseled ab look; you will still feel hella good about yourself, though, and isn’t that all that really matters?
What is one meal or food you could eat every day and not get tired of?
Ice cream in all its forms: cup, cone, soft serve, gourmet, gelato, frozen yogurt, popsicle, shaved ice, with toppings or without…
What is your favorite novel and what does it say about your mind?
Growing up, my favorite novel was Ella Enchanted, a young adult title that flips the traditional Cinderella story on its head. It’s everything a good book should be – clever and stirring and brave – and I don’t think I’ll ever read anything better than that because it made me want to write in a way that could change lives.
Who is your favorite artist and what does their work say about the way you think?
Frida Kahlo. If you’re unfamiliar with her biography, I recommend looking it up and allowing it to change your perspective, too. And then there’s her artwork, of course; it’s passion and it’s original and it’s courageous, just as she was. Plus, no one does a selfie like she could.
What is your favorite City?
Such a hard question because I fall in love with every city I stumble upon. If I really had to break it down, though, it’s a tie between New Orleans and London. NOLA is pure fun: music and carriage rides, ghost tours and cheeky shops, the best food you’ve ever eaten in your life. But then there’s London, everything I dreamed it would be: the quaint enchantment of Portabello Road, authentic no-fuckery pubs (or, during football games, just the opposite), history beneath each step and culture in every blink. The double deckers are pretty rad to see in person, too.
What is the number one thing on your bucket list?
That reminds me…I should probably make one of those…
If you could be any profession at all, what would it be?
Author. Not sure how or when I’ll get there, but let’s just say my sonnet game right now is pretty strong.
What is your favorite physical feature on your own body?
Probably my wrists: they’re small and dainty and wear my first two tattoos pretty well.
If you could afford any type of clothing, which fashion designer would you wear?
Betsey Johnson, hands down. Though I’m moving toward a more minimalist wardrobe currently, I’d still drown myself in a Betsey Johnson closet if I could afford it.
What is the most adventurous thing you ever did?
Probably diving with bull sharks while on a live-aboard dive trip to the Bahamas. It was terrifying and wonderful, one of my proudest, bravest memories.
Do you have any addictions or obsessions?
The list is endless: journaling, tattoos, chocolate, Instagram, minimalism, Tic-Tacs, music on repeat, ice cream, Wes Anderson, organization, fantasy, farmers markets, confetti, monsters…to name a few.
What is a question you would ask the next interviewee?
Is it possible to savor and truly be present for every moment of one’s life? If so, how?
Do you believe in Aliens?
I don’t not believe in them.
What has the greatest loss in your life been?
I broke up with my high school sweetheart at the end of senior year and we remained best friends our first year of college – until he started dating someone else and wouldn’t tell me he loved me anymore. That was my biggest heartbreak and my greatest loss. It also turned into my greatest gain: I won him back and now we’re happy crazy married with twins.
What makes you laugh?
I enjoy quirky, dry humor best. I also tend to think I’m pretty funny myself, but I’m sure my students beg to differ.
Three songs on your funeral playlist?
Elton John’s “Your Song”, Aaron Embry’s “The Raven’s Song”, “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and something by Lil Wayne or Fetty Wap (I know that’s four, but I want people to leave my funeral with a dope beat in their step).
Have you ever seen a ghost?
No but I believe in them so hardcore it’s ridiculous. I refuse to leave any city I vacation to without going on at least one ghost tour.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Harry Potter – but mostly the Harry Potter from the books, not the films. While I think the films are great, they can’t even touch the magic J.K. Rowling brewed on paper first.
Are you afraid of the dark? Why or why not?
Sometimes. Mostly because I’m afraid there are murderers or aliens in the shadows. But if I throw the covers over my head, I’m totally safe…right?
Do you think we should walk on the grass with our shoes?
What a beautiful question.
Do you ever talk to inanimate objects?
Probably more than I should. My husband thinks I talk too much in general though.
Who do you talk to on the phone the most?
What leading role in any movie or TV show would you want?
The flawed, cute, loveable and quirky/funny girl.
Are you afraid of dying? Why or why not?
I’m afraid I won’t have done enough or that I won’t leave a legacy.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Making life better.
What one subject would you add to high school curriculums?
LIFE. There’s so much kids don’t get from school: they learn to analyze poetry but not to evaluate a binding legal document, they memorize trig functions but don’t know how to balance a checkbook, they know the formula for writing a standardized test approved essay but can’t construct a proper email. There are plenty of teachers who build these kinds of skills into the curriculum of their own accord, like the pre-calc teacher I had in high school who forced us to memorize our social security numbers for every test (thank you, Ms. Klein!), but there are even more teachers who don’t instill real world application skills because it’s not in the given curriculum. And that’s a problem.
What is the cutest thing on the planet?
My babies. I mean, really – have you seen them?