I've been listening to podcasts lately about marketing one's art and trying to bolster one's career in art: Artbizcoach.com. Of course, these have a tendency to center on using different media to one's advantage, and it covers a lot of different things, but one of them that I listened to today talked about writing a better blog post.
Alyson Stanfied is the host, and I find her information really helpful. She says a blog needs to be either entertaining, informative, or inspiring to be effective.
I can totally see that. The best blogs that I have seen are really fun to read, and that's entertaining. They have video that you can click on and play, and some come with their own "soundtrack" of music that plays (annoying sometimes when you aren't expecting it). I am really liking Dudecraft a lot, simply because the stuff he posts is absolutely fascinating and beautiful--it's entertaining to say the least.
And Artbizcoach is, indeed, quite informative. I'm learning more and more every day regarding business practices and things I should be working on and developing. (It's a tad overwhelming, frankly...)
But I have yet to find something in my particular field that's pointedly inspirational. Don't get me wrong--there's a lot of beautiful stuff out there posted on blogs that is indeed inspiring, but since I have yet to find one that's about "wearable art" per se, it takes a bit of creativity to interpolate one medium to another... I guess my definition of what wearable art actually is sort of limits what I perceive as an "applicable" blog...
And that got me to thinking. What do I consider wearable art? I have seen photographs of fantastically beautiful clothing on couture runways that encompassed so much creativity it was startling. Exquisite attention to detail and almost limitless budgets can do that. But I don't consider that wearable art. It's simply not wearable. It's not practical. It's stunning and gorgeous, but if it can't be worn in an everyday context by the average person, the art aspect of it is forever lost because it's simply not feasible to wear. And art, my friends, requires a viewer to participate in the exchange to make it work... Making a statement that has any sort of impact/connection is pointless unless there's someone to actually hear it... Otherwise it's simply...well... art in a closet, sort of.
I've also seen a lot of clothing that is indeed wearable, but I wouldn't consider it artistic. When the advent of the term "wearable art" came into the foreground, it was the late 80's/early 90's. In my understanding, it seemed to be dominated by quilters and crafters that wanted to use the skills they had developed in a different medium and apply it to clothing. We ended up with a lot of crazy-quilt inspired clothing, a lot of Asian influenced cuts and shapes, and tons of silk and rayon dyed accessories and outfits. Today, it appears to have moved either into fiber arts or retro-modification (see this Wikipedia entry on the term). Either lots of wool, felting, and non-traditional materials, or taking a piece already assembled and torquing it with one's own personal preferences. The results usually end up eliciting a pseudo-nostalgia using random materials that conjure feelings of yesteryear.
People really really like nostalgia-infused pieces. Or at least stuff that looks like it's nostalgia-infused. Witness the entire scrapbooking movement. Or the drive for vintage looks.
Well, I'm not gonna do nostalgia-inspired pieces, nor reproductions of vintage attire. There's already enough of that out there. And I'm certainly not gonna be able to distinguish myself by manipulating my materials in an original manner that's never been done before... So I guess, part of my definition of wearable art isn't what it is, but what it isn't. I have yet to peg what I feel wearable art really is, I guess...
And I think that's what part of this blog is gonna be about. That's part of how it's gonna inspiring: The quest for a definition of wearable art. It's informative because I'm gonna try to make sure this stuff actually means something that you can use as I outline my business development. And it's entertaining simply to see what happens next in this topsy-turvy growth process. We'll see how it goes. Thoughts? Comments? Share!! : )
Until next time, here's a pic of what I'm working on now--my mom's suggestion for a coat. Size 18. I'll put more pics up when it's done!
Until then, live life with relish!