Blog postings to the contrary, my post-employment life has not been comprised entirely of strippers and boobie mushings. In addition to writing, I am also pursuing art in a variety of ways. It’s been a long time coming.
I was always interested in making things. I remember crafting several issues of an activities magazine for my friends when I was ten. Without being taught, I grasped some basics of book binding and used needle and thread to sew pieces of paper together into neat little booklets. Years later, when I worked in book production, it astounded me to look back at what I accomplished as a child. Then again, as a child I didn’t have to put up with the editors, designers and authors who slowed down the process (ooh snap, just kidding y’all).
I filled my childhood with little projects like that (and still managed to watch hours of Duck Tales and Dark Shadows). But it wasn’t until Halloween of 2006 that I realized other people cared about the things I made. That was the year I created a paper doll costume by pleating 11 x 17 sheets of printer paper into a skirt, constructing a top with functional tab closures and, of course, completing the look with accessories like a daisy chain necklace and a clutch purse. Everything was made out of paper with dotted lines markered on for emphasis. I even taped red circles onto my cheeks for blush. Hey, even a doll needs makeup sometimes!
I became famous! Well, at least I became known for more than my partying style at work parties (ahem). Months after the office Halloween party, strangers would approach me to ask about the costume and offer me candy. Wisely I did not accept candy from the strangers. But the insides of their vans were nice.
Hoping to take my art education to the next level, I have been helping to make costumes for the Hudson River Pageant (they’re asking me to march in the parade, any readers want to put this to a vote?) and volunteering on an art installation underneath the Williamsburg Bridge (yes, strangers with vans are involved, why do you ask?). It is amazing to work with seasoned artists on projects of a much grander scale than anything I’ve done on my own.
It’s not all installation work. I recently began interning for a chic indie designer to learn about fashion PR and marketing. And to interpret the designer’s adorably dense French accent into business English. The poor French. They ‘ave no H’s. It’s a national shortage.
My personal projects have continued in the form of mobiles and paper crafts. The first two mobiles I made were for friends who were hosting alien life forms having new babies.
Now that I’m out of pregnant friends (unless you know something I don’t know), I am designing a new mobile to sell on Etsy. The new one will have an aquatic theme, inspired by these beautiful swatches I obtained illegally (yes yes, the strangers with the van thing again). Here is a preview.
I have not given up my love of paper either. Recently, a good friend’s mother taught me a simple basket weaving technique. I got so excited with the little basket I made that I started making flowers and leaves and tendrils! Soon I will write up instructions and provide pictures of the process to a talented designer friend for her blog, so keep an eye out for that if you would like to make your own.