Welcome to the new / slightly improved chesleymccarty.com, which can also now be found as thetangledtomato.com! I've spent the past couple of months tweaking, thinking, sketching and testing and landed on a Squarespace setup that allows me to document projects completed during my time at Tulane School of Architecture as well as make room for new projects in this next chapter of my life. This blog will host a variety of content related to lettering and paper crafts, editorial and graphic design, product reviews, as well as architectural, interior, and urban design. If you are someone that is particular about the pen you are using, the space where you are working, the food that you eat and the objects that you invest in, then I hope that you will find some comfort and inspiration among these pages.
Here you can find my blog, which will begin to cover a range of topics on editorial design, architectural branding, lettering, and graphic design, as well as city guides, interior design, and restaurant recommendations. My most recent projects are documented in the project gallery, including my Masters thesis project titled "Gastronomic Architecture: Recipes for a New Architectural Cuisine" as well as the branding package that I helped with for Crawfest, Tulane's largest annual, student-run event. The collection illustrates a vast range of work from architecture school, and I attribute my current passion and drive to the variety of projects and professors I had an opportunity to work with these past five years.
I also welcome you to check out my lettering services; whether you are looking for a small print to give as a gift or keep in your home, some chalkboard lettering or signage for an upcoming event, or would like help addressing envelopes, I would love to help you complete the look of your special occasion with lettering. You can see some of my previous work here, such as "The New Orleans City Guide" and "The Krewe of Costello Restaurant Guide" that I made for New Orleans wedding. I enjoy combining research and data with the rawness and charm of lettering, and in the coming months, I will have prints, city guides, and stationery available for sale in my Etsy shop (coming soon!).
So why the name The Tangled Tomato? The name was born a couple of years ago, during some time spent farming in South Carolina. At the time, I didn't expect that the name would grow to represent my upbringing, who I am, and how I continue to process the world around me. I am someone that is wildly curious, driven, and passionate about multiple disciplines; I keep running lists of all of the projects I dream of completing one day, the places I want to see, explore, and understand, recipes to cook and quotes to letter. More often than not, this passion can overwhelm me, and I become tangled in the stress of making productive progress on all of my dreams, instead of committing to the small baby steps each day that are required to achieve them. In a world that requires discipline and focus in order to reach your goals, where everyone seems to need a strong sense of personal brand, I am still at a loss for what mine is exactly. The name The Tangled Tomato manifests my passion for good food, lettering, design, health and wellness, exploration, adventure, architecture and graphic design, and the many other passions that have yet to carve out a home in my heart. It is my hope that through this blog, I can begin to share some of my own knowledge and experience in these disciplines while also building connections with others that share my interests; for right now, I hope that the blog serves as the creative outlet I need to start making true progress, instead of more scrambled lists. The blog also serves as a dependable, public structure for organizing my own thoughts and endeavors, for putting my words into tangible action; whether that is through a simple post sharing some restaurants in the city that I admire, a lettered quote that I've held near to my heart for the week, or my strategy for planning a trip to a new place, this is a platform for holding myself accountable, and hopefully inspiring others to join me in doing the same.
There is something about starting a blog that feels kind of terrifying and intimidating. It is easy to compare yourself to other women and creatives that seem to have it all figured out, and to feel as though your opinion isn't valid or needed. I recently graduated college and began my first job in Washington DC, and now, more than ever, I am looking for those that are sharing my experience in this vulnerable moment of transition. Is it normal to feel confused, and frustrated, stimulated and also lost, all at once? What exactly am I supposed to feel as a 23 year old in a brand new city? It took a bit to work up the courage to feel compelled to share my thoughts, and I think that comfort will come with practice.
I hope that you will take a look around and let me know what you think! Feel free to subscribe to the newsletter for shop and blog updates, or to contact me if you would like to work on a lettering project together. Hears to creating, chasing dreams, and taking big scary leaps!