Friday, February 12, 2016

#WIP: Pet Portrait Triptych

So, It's been a little while since I posted a work-in-progress shot, but I have been working away like a busy bee. Today I decided to share a couple photos of my latest pet portrait project. I've been commissioned to do a set of three portraits, and the cool thing about these is that they all have different color backgrounds. I think the colors look really nice together, O here's a photo below of the scheme:

Stay tuned to my Instagram (@Jonezee85) for more progress photos and other curiosities! Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Atlanta Spinstering: Daniel Lismore

Yesterday I had the privilege of seeing the new Daniel Lismore exhibition at the SCAD FASH Museum. Vogue calls him "England's most eccentric dresser," and the show definitely lives up to the description.

The configuration of the show reminded me a little of the Terracotta Army, with rows of tall mannequins facing the same direction, all outfitted in layers upon layers of texture. Of course, there are differences as well. For one, there are about one thousand percent more rhinestones in this exhibition.

So, let's talk about the mannequins themselves. The SCAD sculpture department made a cast of Lismore's face, and each mannequin in the show is disguised with one such mask, making them all models of Lismore himself. After the masks were made, Lismore, I'm told, painted all the makeup on them and added false eyelashes, piercings, lipstick, or whatever else he thought necessary to complete a look. The effect is really gripping, like an army of fabulous fashion clones.

The looks (re: outfits) in the show were almost beyond description. Each one is a confection of layers upon layers of fabric, constructed garments, trims, found objects, and jewelry. I felt like I could stand in front of each for hours and still not see every element on its own. There were combinations of high and low fashion (think Alexander McQueen mixed with H&M), non-clothing items (an actual lampshade hat), and high-end garments repurposed to look like something else (a pleated, perforated leather skirt worn around the neck as a collar).

I could go on forever trying to describe these things, but instead I'll share a few of the photos I took.

I liked the use of the rhinestone necklace as a beard. 
Closeup o the bodice of the above look. Open in a new window for a closer look. 

Silk fabric with Embroidered and 3-dimensional flowers

My favorite look in the show. Ostrich Feathers, Rhinestones, Seed Beads, Pleats, and spray painted armor, just to name a few elements. 

A Closer picture of the above look. 

Complex beaded fabric

An almost bridal look with frothy ruffles, clear icicle beads, a rhinestone necklace beard, and multiple tiaras. 

If you're interested in seeing more of Lismore's work as a designer, you should check out the line Sorapol, for which Lismore is the head designer and brand director. It's much more wearable than the above looks while still maintaining a sense of assemblage and creative draping and pattern making. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Audible Spinstering: Going Clear

You may have noticed that I've been on a bit of a Scientology kick lately. I started with Leah Remini's Troublemaker, followed by Jenna Miscavige Hill's Beyond Belief, and most recently I finished Lawrence Wright's Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.  Each book had it's upsides, but for the unincorporated lay person, I think Going Clear might be the most comprehensive look at Scientology of the three.

Today's Illustration is of filmmaker Paul Haggis. While Haggis did not write the book, the story of his experience with Scientology is prominently wrote throughout the pages. But, don't be fooled, there's a lot more to this book than just one celebrity's escape. The book offers an abridged history of Scientology and the life of L. Ron Hubbard, including footnotes where the story of an outsider differs from the official story given out by the Church of Scientology.

Now, I'm not going to give you any spoilers form this book because I think you should read it. It's crazy. The things L. Ron Hubbard did in his life and was able to get away with are astounding. And I'm not just talking about creating a religion. He did all sorts of things and made up all sorts of lies, making lots of money in the process. One that comes to mind is that he actually wrote a book entitled All About Radiation, though he was not particularly any sort of authority on the subject. But then, I suppose anyone can write a book if they're willing to publish it themselves.

Now, having a vague knowledge of Scientology, you might think, "how could anyone fall into this?" Well, I had the same questions, and that's why I read the books. I think there are several reasons, but one of them is that in the beginning the religion presents itself as a series of self-help classes. Who doesn't need a little self-help? Judging by the initial success of Dianetics, at least some of the techniques in Scientology might actually work.

Of course, when you get deeper into the religion, there are some elements that are a little more, shall we say, far fetched than just self-help. One such practice which I think keeps people in the church is what they call "auditing." An auditing session is basically Scientology's version of Catholic confession, but there's the addition of a rudimentary lie detector, or "e-meter," as they call it. In auditing sessions, all admissions and confessions made are recorded in a person's "ethics file," or permanent record. If a person does not achieve the desired reaction from an e-meter in any given session, they might be asked to think of other things - perhaps even from past lives - to confess. In this way, a person's ethics file might contain all sorts of damning admissions that may or may not be true. So, leaving the church might endanger a person's reputation or even freedom.

Most shocking of all - in all three books I read - were the accounts of working in the Sea Org. The Sea Org is a cloistered church-service organization that houses its members and essentially controls their lives. The church dictates everything from their meals and housing to marital status and reproductive rights.

Though you may think I have summarized the entire book here in this post, there is so much more in Going Clear. If you like learning about this sort of thing, I highly recommend checking this one out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spinstergram: Valentines

I love making valentines. Each year I make all my valentines by hand, using whatever technique and media strike my fancy. For the past few years I've used some combination of watercolor and glitter, and this year I did the same. I also used come colored pens to add some contrast.

Last year, like a Christmas card, I sent a photo of my family - Miranda and me - inside the card. this year, I thought I'd spare everyone. Well, not everyone...a couple people (most of whom are relatives) did receive a photo, but that was the exception and not the rule. So, if you're receiving a valentine from me this year, then you don't have to try to figure out what to do with a photo of me and my dog. You're welcome. Even though I know you have a special album full of photos just of me. It's ok. We'll both pretend I don't know.

So, in case you're still looking to make a few valentines this year, I thought I'd share this image of a few of mine in case you need some ideas! If you're a little creatively challenged, don't worry. I have printables from past years. Just click that link.

Also, don't forget to get some Valentine's Day candy for your desk. It's just...really important. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Don't Forget To Mail!

Today's post is just a public service announcement for all you snail-mailing spinsters. I've mailed the first half of my valentines today, and I suggest you do the same. You may want to mail the rest tomorrow and Monday to make sure they get there on time! In the photo above you can see the special heart forever stamps I got at the post office. I bought forty, so I may mail forty valentines. We shall see!

I hope your Saturday is excellent! Make sure to send that mail!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Atlanta Spinstering: SCAD aTV Fest

While I was at SCAD giving the Illustrator workshop, I heard about SCAD Presents a TV Fest. I didn't even know it was going on, so I asked my host what it was. She explained that it was a series of presentations to do with the TV industry and that she did, in fact, have an extra ticket to hear "Miss J," (AKA J. Alexander) speak on Thursday. Of course I said yes!

So, if you're thinking "Miss J" sounds familiar, that's probably because you have, at some point, watched America's Next Top Model. Miss J. is the show's most outrageously dressed judge and advisor.

The presentation was in the form of an interview with J. Alexander and Sarah Collins, SCAD's Associate Chair of the Fashion Department. However, Miss J could basically have done standup if he'd wanted to.

The personality Miss J exhibits on America's Top Model is entertaining, but not nearly as entertaining and engaging as his personality in real life. He feeds off an audience like any good performer, and he is full of energy and hilarious stories. He even does accents and faces - the story about his meeting with Imelda Marcos was particularly funny.

While J. Alexander (real name Alexander Jenkins) had plenty of amazing advice for aspiring Fashion designers, stylists, and reality TV stars, I think I could have listened to him talk about anything. In fact, if he ever decides to do standup, I will try to get a ticket in the front row.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Atlanta Spinstering: Illustrator Workshop

Monday and Tuesday of this week I visited SCAD Atlanta to give a workshop on Flat Sketching in Adobe Illustrator. Anyone who's ever worked with me knows I love to sketch flats. That may seem unbelievable to a lot of fashion designers (some consider this grunt work), but I find flat sketching to be almost meditative.

The image above is of my light table and croqui I use to draw flats by hand. That was a small portion of the workshop as well, but since Adobe Illustrator flats are most common now, we spent most of our time on those.

Over the two days, I showed the students some shortcuts and special techniques I thought they'd find helpful. These included but were not limited to: adding distress texture to graphics, creating lace brushes, creating knit stitch fills, adding shading to your flats, and creating heather swatches.

Why am I telling you about this? I'm not really sure. It was fun for me, so I thought I'd share. However, over the two day stint, I put no less than three students to sleep. So maybe it's just me. Sorry, students!

Now, because I'm afraid you're falling asleep, I think I should end this post and make something more interesting for tomorrow. Until then, eat some valentine candy.