Posts tagged Collage
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. 




Solution Focused Experiments

Since being back off holiday I have been trying hard to focus on updating my website i.e. Changing the layout, I have mentioned this previously. Well it started off ok but my computer is so slow and then I managed to unlink products, so clicking through on a product took you elsewhere or the page was not available. It was so frustrating to the point of turmoil. My obsessive nature made me persist but my brain was on rapid shutdown. However being stubborn helped as I managed to sort most of it out, just a few tweaks here and there are outstanding. The main issue now is whether to publish it now or wait for the new photos? Dilemma. I will come to a decision at some point. 

In the mean time I have printed a couple more sweatshirts. Being back in the print studio was the tonic I needed and reaffirmed that I am much more practical minded rather than the sitting and staring at the computer kind. Need someone to do all of this 'stuff' for me at some point. It kills my creative thread. But at this stage of the game I need to just swallow the challenge and get over the hurdle. So balance is key. Do the not so 'fun' elements of the business first and rewards myself with the artistic outlet after. 


One off piece, which is being prepped for my label to be sewn in. 

I went to one of my favourite bookshops to see if they had American Vogue in stock yet. A rather ambitious hope. Obviously they didn't so I bought the UK issue instead and a thought struck me. How would they compare? Aside from volumn, that is the number of pages, I am wondering if one will differ significantly in terms of their representation of women of colour. Will one be more proportionate and equal than its counterpart? Time will tell but so far the British one is looking pretty promising.  

So my hope is that I will do a limited edition piece that will be an illustration of the women of colour shown from both magazines. I have a vision in my head I just need to get drawing and see what happens.  

I am also playing about with the mistakes that happen. With screen printing you can never fully control the output but that is the beauty of it I believe. Recently I accidentally forgot to stretch the sweatshirt properly so the print was disconnected at the bottom. At first I was annoyed with myself for rushing and not prepping properly but then it allowed me to think of a solution, which was to add a boarder. Hence the one off sweatshirt above. With a small print run this is ok and can allow for individual outcomes, maybe on a larger scale not so. We will see as it might be fun to have a small subsection that has more of an individual aesthetic to it especially for people who like one of a kind pieces. 

Another mistake that has got me thinking was a misprint on an off cut piece of sweatshirt jersey. I just sat looking at it and started to think about collage. Could it be layered up or would it be better as a single on the sweatshirt? I want to use different coloured threads too to offset the visual impact. We will see what the outcome is.  


Off centre - note to self, line up properly  


Relayer the pieces for a different collage effect? 


As a single centre placed image? Maybe too small? Could extend the lines like I did the painting for the exhibition? 


Who knows at this stage. I will experiment and see what strikes a cord.  

Anyway on with creating a collage and then some drawings for a possible t-shirt print or two. 


So Far...

Focus is key in business along with having a plan.  Being focused on creating a vision and how to achieve it has been at the forefront of my mind this week.  

The concepts I have - the creative world I would like to build, achieve, invite people into.  But the knowing how is the hurdle, having knowledge is power as they say and having the confidence to execute this vision is where I need to push myself.  Hence contacting a consultant.  

Like any artist, we suffer and question if what is being created is worth while.  But the desire to create is like oxygen, the outlet is needed, it is a requirement.  So therein lies the conflict.  Having a business and wanting to fulfil an ambition, to make it work is so important.  At this juncture having the confidence and knowledge is important in being able to fulfil all aspects.

So the research has started again.  Compiling lists of stylists, magazines, women of colour who are in the media world that I can contact who may be willing to help me raise the profile of the brand.  I have also spoken to my friend, who is a fantastic documentary film maker, about helping me create a short film to use as promotional material.  I need to put together a storyboard of locations and the way I want to convey the narrative.  The PR element is so important, which made me think about writing a synopsis of the brand and the ethos behind it, which engages people quickly.  This has been done and I am happy with the message it sends out.  It is clear and concise, hopefully people get on board with the idea.  The magazine I made has been doctored into a lookbook that still has my artistic touch on it in terms of it being mixed media and not just images.  I want everything to do with the brand to encapsulate my creativity, that is a hybrid of both the art and fashion world.  Hopefully I can print it out this week to proof it.  

I still have to action the photoshoot and contacting models who can participate in the shoot for me and getting a photographer of course.  My budget is zero so I am contemplating friends who may know people who could do it for free or at a lower cost.  Or if crowdfunding is an option to consider.  Either way I need to get on with this as a priority but so many things capture your attention.  I need to just have the confidence to get on with it instead of feeling overwhelmed, which is an easy default.

The most recent distraction has been an artist teacher exhibition I am a part of. Yesterday I completed painting one of the pieces I will include and today I framed both of them.  


The above piece is a play on the 'Abstract Asian' image, which was a screen print to begin with that I have collaged and painted onto to create a slightly different aesthetic.  I really like how it has come out and I might consider printing this onto t-shirts in the future.  

The images I create are not solely for one surface or specific medium.  I like to play with the different ways in which they can be used and challenge the space in which they can be shown or used.  This has always been part of my artistic practice and area of curiosity.   


The screen print above is a replica of the print that is on the t-shirts also entitled 'Abstract Asian'.  It has made me think about how the t-shirt could be framed and included as an art piece too.  But time is of the essence and I do not want to rush how this could work especially as I need to drop off the pieces at the gallery tomorrow.  

So now I just need to price up the work and label it correctly. 

Then back to the drawing board and list research.