Posts tagged Art as a political and social tool
Consciously Creative x Brand Ethos

The creative process is so important when expressing my ideas which is magnified when coupled with the vision of the brand ethos.

There were so many important elements to consider. The visual aesthetic, developing my own artistic expression and creating a more sustainable approach to the production methods.

Here - Cover Girl

Here - Cover Girl

Arguably the first element was challenging myself to create more pieces that would enable more choice for the consumer but also communicate the message in a clearer way, which is why I incorporated more text in some of the pieces.

I wanted to draw the viewer in, to challenge their perception of what they were initially seeing and for them to exam in more depth the various layers of the narrative. What is this piece representing? What is it about? A bit like you would in an art gallery but here there is no synopsis of the work.

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This design was titled ‘Here - Cover Girl’, namely because my work is inspired by models from various ethic backgrounds within Vogue Magazine who rarely grace the covers in comparison to white models. There is definitely a shift in inclusivity and representation but there is still some work to do.

There are personal elements weaved within the piece too, specifically relating to box ticking and knowing how to identify when you come from an ethnic background.

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If you are or have read some my of blogs in the past you will be familiar with my family being rather unique with my mum and her siblings born from different ethnic backgrounds and adopted. Which added an additional layer or detachment from any cultural identity let alone ownership of their ethnic background.

This in turn created difficulties around how I identify, even to this day and navigate how people view me. Fortunately this brand has allowed me to talk about these experiences with other mixed race people and express them creatively. Thus expanding on the brand, the visual aesthetic and hopefully people will identify with the art work / fashion design and wear it to either symbolise their own support of the brand based on their own story or want to support the visibility of women of colour - or perhaps both.

Concrete Catwalks ~ When Art Meets Fashion

Designing the new collection is not only about creative expression but trying to use this platform to represent women ~ women of colour.

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The original images come from American Vogue, which I buy in September as it’s their major release for the up and coming seasons. The magazine is more like a book, full of advertisements by brands showcasing their latest products.

Love Inclusivity - pencil drawing with digital manipulation.

Love Inclusivity - pencil drawing with digital manipulation.

What has always struck me is the lack of diversity of women of colour in this publication, to be fair this is not the only one. Even though it is seemingly high on everyone’s agenda, there is still a clear lack of representation. It is improving but slowly.

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Flicking through the pages made me reflect on my own childhood and that of my mum and Aunty, who are both mixed race. They were adopted so any cultural alignment was severed so the only sources they could potentially align with were role models within the mass media. Sadly this was not the case. And made me think where are the role models now? Where can women of colour look? Where can they see someone similar in film, in magazines or on tv?

Girl with a Pom Pom Hat - mono print with acrylic paint.

Girl with a Pom Pom Hat - mono print with acrylic paint.

Now I am under no illusion, I know I am not able to change the world on this front. I am a solo person hoping to use my creativity to shed some light on this issue.

I hope my drawings and digital illustrations, that are printed onto t-shirts, allow this message to be communicated on the streets, creating a concrete catwalk if you like and not only held within the confines of a gallery. So the visual narrative is out there for everyone to see and support the visibility of women of colour.

Identity, Representation and Art

Starting this brand was motivated by a number of factors, namely representation. Having experimented with numerous mediums and multiple concepts I wanted to concentrate on one core value, which was diversity. 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Previously I have written about race, my identity and growing up in a world where there were very limited faces and more importantly role models I could align myself with.  One minute I did not fit, the next I did. It has always been confusing, the notion of identity. 

The disconnection from Indian culture that is part of my mums heritage, lost through her adoption has always resonated with me. It has been a productive catalyst inspiring my creativity. 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Art allows for a platform, a voice to be heard through visual expression and communication. Experimenting with my favourite media - collage, mixed media and print making has been both therapeutic and exciting conceptually.

Whilst there have been a variety experiments with other concepts such as capitalism and consumerism inspired by The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which I will write about at a later date. I knew I wanted to focus on this notion of diverse, identity representation and trying to create a space to express this. 

This led up lots and lots of different experiments before I had settled on the final design, which I had written about last week. Who knows if these will turn into something? 

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

The name of the original piece has always been called Abstract Asian, which is always close to my heart and will continue to be the most important imagery and is an avenue I wish to explore more.