I FEEL SO GRATEFUL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED me through this venture, especially when I am so penniless. My very talented cousin helped me conduct my first ever photo shoot with a real make-up artist and model (who is also my co-creator who was able to fill in last minute). It was an awesome experience to see how my work would be presented and expressed. It made everything seem more real. These photographs were so integral to be used for various applications to demonstrate purpose, poetry and most importantly, be a portfolio piece.
Shout out to Eric Tong Photography (the two black-and-white photos are courtesy of him as well) and Make-up Artist, Lennie Ede for lending me their amazing talents.
Update: See the completed photographs from the shoot here.
TODAY I HANDED IN THE FINAL DELIVERABLES required to complete my studio requirements for my BDES. It’s strange to think my 7 years of school have worked up to this point. However, there is little room to celebrate as everyone prepares for the undergraduate degree exhibition (May 5-19th). Unlike the rest of the show, the design majors at Emily Car University curates within its department and it’s always this mad scramble to make custom displays, format documents, print takeaways, etc. Despite my efforts to keep my 8×8′ space simple, I decided to make custom shelves to house my pieces. I’m kicking myself for the extra work, but I know it’ll look beautiful and clean. Thankfully, my dad is helping me build some smaller components which gives me more time to develop my supplementary pieces. It’s coming together.
My final maquette with exception to the tiny ipad which will be replaced be a monitor
Every student’s exhibition model laid on the floor plan for the curatorial committee
More Behind the Jump
FEW CHANGES WERE MADE TO PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER since the original iterations. I made the piece slightly larger and stitched a rib to allow for a better hood shape while also further referencing straight jacket sleeves. Of all the pieces made, this was the most painless.
PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER INITIALLY STARTED AS A COCOON called You Need a Hug. This concept gained no traction once I realized its limitations. Looking at the existing family of objects, I was missing a piece which reflected personal space and potential for empowerment. Drawing inspiration from straight jackets (feeling “crazy” or perceived to be so), this piece needed to address possibilities of control. Once I did my second Series of Screen for Interaction, everything fell into place. The brilliant thing about a voluminous scarf is that it can be worn so many different ways; this adaptability perfectly reflects the elusive states of depression, to feel withdrawn one moment and brave in another.
UPDATE: Click here to see Part 2 of the process
I WANTED SNAP OUT OF IT TO DO TOO MANY THINGS, I had to make some sacrifices to keep my sanity. My top priority was to have this as a transformative piece. It is a piece about the transitions and healing experienced with depression. The piece had to consciously reflect fragility and change through the crisp nature of the porcelain. It needed to be something to be broken down several times, so a large neck piece felt like an obvious route. Each time a piece is broken off, the piece can be restrung as a new piece.
WORKING TO THE FINAL PROTOTYPE OF CHIN UP, BUTTERCUP, there were many changes and challenges I faced. The consensus from the first semester was to exaggerate the “chin up” much more. I had played around with making the knit higher to cover the face and longer to become more layered (but this was too similar to the aesthetic of Pull Yourself Together).
Eventually I came around to making the “neck brace” element as a separate piece from the scarf as means of pushing the notion of disguise. The user would then be able to wear each piece separately or together. The brace portion is made from vegetable tan leather, molded to fit comfortably under the chin. It snaps together at the back; the tighter the snap, the more restrictive the head movement and higher the chin. I also decided to reduce the gauge of the knit to look more commonplace, but with metal toggles that reference something more medical.
BEATRICE THE BIOLOGIST • WHEN WE ARE HURTING
There’s something quite poetic about a biology-based comic addressing the human body and it’s varied means of healing. Our body’s acquire marks of history that can be considered evidence of living and experience. When I was a kid, I fell down a hill where the pavement below grated a crater into my left knee. Besides the pain, I remember well how long it took before I could take the bandages off (which is forever for a 9-year old). Three years later I tripped in the gravel field and the would opened up again. Although I felt like my body betrayed me, I knew I would heal.
The rate of healing is easier to gauge with a broken arm so maybe that is why we become more willing to allow our physical bodies to recover. Maybe the reason why mental health is so difficult to discuss is because we are used to seeing an end after the recovery. For many, this end is nonexistent. How can we openly talk or accept our conditions when the truth is so disturbingly unpredictable and uncertain.
Thank you Beatrice the Biologist (aka Katie McKissick) for reminding me that our expectations need to change about what healing truly means.
SNAP OUT OF IT GAVE ME THE MOST GRIEF because I had big ideas with dead ended outcomes. I definitely made the most prototypes for this concept, hoping that a miracle would happen and I would know which direction to move towards. This concept started as breakable jewelry that embraced the beauty in destruction. I kept thinking about breaking bones; relating physical pain with mental pain. The work was highly influenced by my Series of Screens for Interaction, where breaking was this act of catharsis. I tried to capture this with hidden layers of coloured porcelain slip, bone-like aesthetics, notions of medical bracelets (how you have to cut them to get them off), but I kept struggling with the result- once you break it, then what? Is there a way you can reattach it or does it just lay there in pieces? Can you give it to someone like a friendship bracelet? Too many questions to answer.
UPDATE: Click here to see Part 2 of the process
AN AMAZING TED TALKS WITH BRENÉ BROWN about empowerment through vulnerability and how you need to feel both ends of the spectrum in order to feel the whole.
And I know that vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.
…probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.
NOA ZILBERMAN • WRINKLES
By tracing the existing lines on her face, Israeli artist, Noa Zilberman, creates a collection of jewelry highlighting the beauty of the aging process instead of hiding it. This is very refreshing perspective on society’s unfortunate obsession with youth and beauty. What are commonly seen as imperfections are embraced and celebrated.