Tools & Talismans #54 — Alexandra Franzen

In order to write, I need to have "something" to write about. An experience. A memory. An adventure. You know: some kind of story!

If I stay holed up in my apartment, glued to my computer screen all day long, I really don't have very many interesting stories to tell. So at least once a week, I try to pry myself out of my introvert-shell, hurl myself out into the world, interact with people and see what unfolds.

Recently, I booked a night at a local hotel — totally spontaneously — and then I texted my boyfriend and told him to meet me there at a specific time. I instructed him to meet me in the lobby and pretend like we'd never met before. He complied. Let's just say, it turned into a very memorable night!

After creating a playful experience — like the "hotel mystery night" that I just described — I always feel recharged, alive, and full of ideas that I want to pour into various creative projects. That's why I chose these somewhat unconventional "talismans" for your project: 5 special items from a very special night!

These 5 items, to me, represent a spirit of playfulness, spontaneity, and sensuality. Having them surrounding me reminds me to embody all of those qualities, too. (We have a bottle of Prosecco chilling in the fridge, pretty much at all times. You never know when you might need to pop the cork and celebrate!)

Alexandra Franzen, writer.


Tools & Talismans is a personal painting project where I document {in watercolor} the tools and talismans of 100 different women — creators and healers, thinkers and makers, wordsmiths and visionaries. Join me for a year of Tools & Talismans — I'll be sharing a new painting with you every Wednesday.

I'd love to talk about creating illustrations for you! Do you have a project that needs some illustration? Think my work might be a good fit? Get in touch, I'd love to talk about your project with you!