How To Become Clutter Free

How To Become Clutter Free

“Being patient, forgiving, and methodical set me free.”

How I did it: I visualized what I wanted my ideal space to be like.  I started sharing my goal with others.  I gave away or sold things that I found distracting.   

Lessons & tips: Take the risk to give / sell the things that take your attention away from what your goals are.   

Resources: Charitable causes will take any belongings you may not want or need.  It’s satisfying to think that someone else may get use out of what one doesn’t need.

It took me 3 years.

It made me Focus.

Inspiring Installation by Pete Ippel Created for the Museum of Ventura County Dia de los Muertos Community Celebration

VENTURA, CA – October 26th, 2010 – November 5th, 2010 – Pete Ippel, known for his conceptual installation pieces, has created a specialized artwork for the annual community observance of the Day of the Dead.

Pete Ippel Dia de los Muertos Altar made of re-used plastic bags - The Museum of Ventura County

Delicate and Imposing Dia de los Muertos Altar made of re-used plastic bags created by Pete Ippel. Installation at The Museum of Ventura County.

In Ippel’s Dia de los Muertos altar he has explored the properties of polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. The annual production of this material according to a 2008 study by Piringer & Baner is approximately 80 million metric tons worldwide.

The 11 foot tall stitched work will move with air currents when the cascading waterfall of bones and spirits rustles as viewers walk through the gallery. The piece’s monumental scale contrasts with its near-weightless materials. By integrating reused plastic bags into the installation, Pete Ippel gives items headed to the landfill, or into the ocean, an afterlife.

In addition the re-purposing of discarded plastic bags raises awareness about the Great North Pacific garbage patch. – Where the volume of photo-degraded plastic particulate is grater than the number of plankton.

There’s trash heap the size of Texas, in the ocean, made of plastic.

When you leave the house, please remember to bring your own tote-bags.

Pete Ippel is an artist and record setting high jumper who employs an iterative process honed by experience in research, athletics, and art to present complex ideas in compelling ways. Mr. Ippel’s art is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally.

You can see Pete’s art on line at, or email for additional information.

Open Fashion T-Shirt Design for The Museum of Ventura County’s Day of the Dead Celebration

For the past few months, I’ve been working closely with the Museum of Ventura County to create a design for their Dia de Los Muertos event.

Museum Of Ventura County Dia De Los Muertos T-Shirt By Pete Ippel
In this wearable art, I have taken the traditional imagery of the calaca (Mexican skeleton) and given it a contemporary flavor. The interactive garment allows the wearer to take their celebration of El Dia De Los Muertos in a new direction.

Once the shirt has served it’s purpose as clothing, the wearer is encouraged to cut out the printed image and create a decoration for their own altar by simply attaching the arms and legs to the torso.

My design is intentionally open, so that the new collaborator can add their own decorations, flowers, or write directly on the printed cloth. By working together, we both realize our creative vision, celebrating the spirit of our ancestors and loved ones. Truly a move toward Open Fashion.

Simplicity In Design, Relaxation, And Decision Making

Jordan and Nicole vector drawing by Pete Ippel

Jordan and Nicole vector drawing by Pete Ippel

When I was in Europe in May I flew through London and got to visit with a very close friend of mine. Nicole and I met at Cornell, and we really hit it off athlete to athlete. She was studying in the hotel school and I was studying fine art. The ways in which we spent our time were very different besides our academic pursuits. She was in the pool practicing her water polo shots and defense while I was doing everything to run faster and jump higher at the track. Despite our disparate likes, both of us shared a love of sport.

While I was at school, she gave me “The Little Book of Olympic Inspiration”, what a thoughtful present it was. So many of the pages are dog-eared and offer up pearls of wisdom. A personal favorite is from Bobby Joe Borrow, a runner who struck gold in the 1956 Melbourne Games, “Whatever success I have had is due to being so perfectly relaxed that I can feel my jaw muscles wiggle.”

This resonated very much with me before I approached the bar to leap 2.15m in 2001…absolute calm and clarity led to a successful jump. This clarity wasn’t an instant type of thing that you can turn on and off. It is learned, practiced, and developed over long periods of time.

I’ve talked in the past about decision making and when to nuke ideas, I want to share a small excerpt from Daniel F. Chambliss, who is a sociology expert and also a coach.

Great accomplishments, we often assume, require heroic motivation: an intense desire to be the best, an inner strength beyond all measure, some special love of school, of family, of country. Some one of these, must, we think, drive the superlative athlete…In fact, world-class athletes get to the top level by making a thousand little decisions every morning and night.

If you make the right choice on each of these — decide to get up and go to practice, decide to work hard today, decide to volunteer to do an extra event to help your team — then others will save you ‘have’ dedication. But it is only the doing of those little things, all taken together, that makes that dedication. Great [athletes] aren’t made in the long run; they are made every day.

Jumping back to the summer of 2002, I can remember the best answer I ever heard to the question “What is an artist?” was from a 20 year old art student I was dating named Katie.

She simply replied, “Artists make decisions.”

That graceful answer has been with me for 8 years, I’ve never heard a better one…I’ve listened to many other people try to explain what an artist is, but it gets too complex and grandiose. Frequently people, including other artists, will lose their train of thought and become scattered in their definition.

Before I edited my artist statement for this year, it used to read “I’m in the business of communicating ideas. I solve problems. I think abstractly. I make decisions.” So applying Chambliss’ concept to an artistic career, one must make the same assumption — that an artist must, every day, make critical decisions that all add up to success…

So fast forward to 2010, presently Nicole is an water polo playing hospitality expert and will be marrying a British soccer fanatic in 2011. Clearly she’s been making the right decisions…Her club team the Otters has even competed (and won) against some national teams from eastern Europe. Recently I was asked to design their “save the date” card. I really enjoy looking at the happy couple in their respective sporting outfits in a simple red and black composition.

Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists

Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists: Pete Ippel

Introducing 11 Different, Unique, Original, Hypermodern Artists: Pete Ippel

Thank you to Stew Birbrower for creating the concept for this poster. Thank you to the GIMP for being rad and open source.

Check it out, I’m having an open house during Ventura Art Walk Saturday April 17th 1:00-9:00pm Sunday April 18th noon-5:00pm. Also I will be open for First Fridays Ventura, and for more info on where I live, Working Artists Ventura, check out the overview on WAV

This is a big weekend for me, and my MOM Diane Ippel is featured in the special dedication event for WAV.

The last time so many artists lived and worked in the same building was 100 years ago in Paris. That building was called La Rouche. This building is called WAV, Working Artists Ventura. Pete Ippel is one of 77 emerging artists from 21 countries with radically different styles. So the next time you want art, come to our house.

Contact Pete Ippel

175 S. Ventura Ave
Studio 213 North Building
Ventura, CA 93001

Dial 1 (234) Pete-Art to order your free educational report: 7 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE BUYING CONTEMPORARY ART.