Friday, June 11, 2010

Relishing Fairy Tales--An Artistic Journey Begins

So I've been pondering a series of projects for a while that involve fables and fairy tales.  I don't know why, but as I was working at the San Diego Opera this year, I was thinking quite existentially about careers, life, friends--you know the usual "what's it all about and what am I doing here" kind of thinking.  Still adjusting to not working as an instructor, I was really really struggling with how I defined myself--in other words, if I'm not a college professor what am I?

I got way way WAY too deep--started reading Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth and really going down a rabbit hole...

But it lead to some constructive and creative thinking.  And one of the ideas I thought about was creating high end attire for characters from fairy tales, and someday exhibiting them.  I was in the middle of my Elphaba and Glinda vests, and I thought--"Hm.  Maybe making clothing inspired by iconic figures is indeed something I can do..."  I was really enjoying working on those vests, and I was trying to continue that excitement.  I didn't want to just do costumes--I wanted to create Art (with a capital "A")!!

Yeah, it was an interesting couple of months.  Haha!

But I learned a lot about setting new goals for myself, and creating clothing that spoke to my skills and artistic bent.

And when my partner said to me last week to take that leap and start making attire that meant something to me so I could really let my creativity fly and end up with something really unique and interest generating and "sellable", I thought, "Hey!  I know what I want to do!"

And I came right back to that fairy tale idea.

So.  I went to the fabric store today.  With some of the money I got back on my taxes, I invested in some materials for the first in my "Relished Fairy Tales" Series.  "Little Red."  I thought out the design in my head, bought the fabric and trim, and came home to draw a little pic of what I had planned in Photoshop.

And here it is.  Tomorrow I take pics of the fabrics and post them, and then I'll try to document my process as much as I can.  I have plans for many more vests featuring most of the great female fairy tale icons--Sleeping Beauty, Rose Red, Snow White, Cinderella (before AND after)...  I'm having a blast researching fairy tales (have you seen Wikipedia's list??  Wow!), and I can't wait to really dive in...

So this is the first step.  Someday, I'll put them all in a gallery, or sell them, or something.  But for right now, I'm diving into making these the way only I can make them...

So Little Red is first.  The hood is velour--I'm planning on embellishing the hem edge with fabric paintings of roses and flowers.  I'm using the same pattern as the Elphaba and Glinda vests, without the collar.  I found some awesome embroidered organza that has a cross thread that's a bright blue, so it changes color from deep red depending on how you look at it or it catches the light.  I'm making the side panels out of that, alternating with an embroidered cranberry satin.  The front panels will be a luscious vanilla velour front with fake "laces"...  Oh, I have plans!!!  : )

But here's a pic that I whipped up!  Enjoy!  More to come!  : )

Until next time, Live Life with Relish!

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