Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt will be the first one to tell you that she’s easily distracted. Although she doesn’t have to tell you, just take a look at her blog. It’s filled with daily doodles of everything, as if she can’t resist drawing whatever is in right front of her. That’s pretty much true. While coming to terms with a daunting student loan, Bingaman-Burt started to pay more attention to her daily spending habits. Since 2006, she began drawing one of her purchases from each day – a $1.50 cup of coffee, $5.95 for a magazine or $36 for a haircut (she’s frugal, she lives in Portland). P.S. She paid off the loan in 2010.
“Measuring out our lives in shopping bags and nursing our psychic ills through retail therapy” (as Chicago Tribune writer Mary T. Schmich first put it in 1986) has never been so much fun to consider. And Bingaman-Burt’s lively take on consumerism is proving a rewarding business for Princeton Architectural Press, which has published two books documenting Bingaman-Burt’s work: Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? and What Did I Buy Today? (Our money is on a third book called What Did They Buy Today?, but who knows?) When not purchasing must-have Dot Pants ($50) and drawing some, Bingaman-Burt is teaching the art of graphic design at Portland State University.