Monday, January 28, 2013

Distractions Turning Into Inspiration.

When working on projects I get distracted at times, I think its because its loss of inspirational steam. It happens, but I usually get back on track or not, depends on the day. I usually listen to music to keep my steam going and tonight wasn't any different.

I was working on drawings for a project tonight and I got distracted into drawing something for myself for fun. Then I had a distraction from my distraction.

This video.

It is fortunate that my distraction from my distraction, inspired me on another aspect of the project I was previously working on tonight that I was distracted from. Interesting. Full Circle.

I think my current obsession with Oh Land, paid off tonight in more ways than good music.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy...

Here are just a few things in my life that are making me quite happy lately.

*Mad Men Season Six starting April 7! Oh yeah!!!  I'm hoping this new season has more Betty Draper.
Last season they stopped in 1967 and the costumes were very interesting. I can't wait to see what Costume Designer, Janie Bryant has in store.

* Essie Nail Color in "Play Date". I'm trying it out. I'm longing for Spring weather and this color makes me think of Spring.

* Zero Dark Thirty...the movie, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. This film is currently nominated for Best Picture for the Academy Awards. No, it literally doesn't make me happy, because it isn't a happy movie per se. However, I was just in awe of the body of work this film is and what Kathryn Bigelow did with the piece. I can't explain it in words what it is that moved me so much, but it was just a feeling or a stirring inside me that said, I wish more people would see this, it's important.
I think its an amazing and thought provoking film.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The River starts flowing...

Yesterday around 11a.m. I was driving to my job and listening to my Spotify playlist with "Soul Rebel" by Bob Marley & The Wailers ending and "Hurt So Good" by Susan Cadogan beginning (shameless song drop), when BAM an idea hit me. Ideas for costume designs for characters in the new play I'm working on. My ideas often happen like that, either in the shower getting ready for the day or when I'm driving somewhere listening to music. I revel in those idea moments hitting me like running into a brick wall, they put a huge smile on my face and I want to jump, but circumstances prevent me. (I can't jump in the shower or I'll hurt myself and in the car I'm strapped down by a seat belt.)

Anyway, the research and idea process are probably my favorite parts of the design process. For the past month I've read and re-read THE RIVER by Richard Montoya (several times), which is the new play I'm designing for Campo Santo with Intersection For The Arts, directed by Sean San Jose, that opens in April (78 days to be exact).

I've let the characters and their conversations speak to me and imagined this new world. I usually start to get images in my head and for this one it was a lot of color. The picture below is one of the many pictures I am using in my research and a smidgen of taste of what the show might be like. However, you will have to come see it for yourself.

I always seem to get a photo, a painting or some sort of art piece that becomes my starting point, where then I can springboard off and dive into creating the world of the play and the characters. This is when I start researching different types of clothing and people according to what I'm reading and who the characters are, what they do, how they behave, their personality. I think that's what I love best about designing costumes, figuring out a characters personality because each one is different and exciting.

So, this past Monday, we had our first production meeting and it was delightful, helpful and exciting talking about this world that Richard Montoya has made for us in his writing to put forth in real life. It's awesome hearing all the designers ideas of what they imagine for sets, lights and sound combined with my costume designs coming together in this pot to make this delicious dish of a play. This is one of the reasons I love working in theatre...

And of course, this meeting helped me to get ideas for a few characters that I had not fully fleshed out, which was my idea spark at the beginning of this post. A beautiful thing production meetings are.  

So...what next? Now comes another fun part...sketching these costumes out.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sketchbook Complete!

January 15, 2013 was a bit momentous for me. I finished my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project 2013 with Art House Co-op. January 15 was the due date or when the sketchbook had to be postmarked and I was able to finish and send it in that day. So now this year, my little Sketchbook will go on a national tour along with a few thousand other books and then eventually make its home in the Brooklyn Art Library.

It was my first time doing The Sketchbook Project. I've been wanting to do this project for about a year.
I've had the sketchbook since May, but it took me till finally November to finally start getting ideas and putting some sketches in it.

I've noticed that a lot of the sketchbooks from the past on the website have themes that tie the pages in the books. I have to say, I didn't have one and that's OK. I'm fine with it.  I also had a hard time deciding what to put in the book as well. I've never had a project like this as an artist, where I could do anything I want; it was a little daunting, but also a bit liberating.  So I followed that bit of advice for writers, "Write what you know" and substituted it with sketch what you know. I know how to draw costumes and that's what I did. I drew ideas for characters that came in my head, nothing spectacular, every day people is what I ended up drawing.

I enjoyed the project so much that I would like to do it next year, maybe next time with a theme.

I'm proud and glad I did it. I did this whole project to challenge me as an artist in order to see what do I like to draw for fun. Good question.  Apparently Art House Co-Op had that question along with some other ones like, What moves me? What type of emotion are you conveying with your book? What do you usually specialize in with your art? What's your artist statement? They even ask some of these questions when you're filling out your online profile to describe what type of sketchbook your book is.  Is it a journal? A sketchbook? A memoir? A comic, etc? I still haven't figured all of this out and I'm working on filling out that portion on my profile on the site...expect to see something in the next few days or weeks. *Crosses Fingers*
These are all very good questions that I've started questioning within myself with in the past year as an artist and a costume designer.  I guess its good to take a stand for your art and be concrete with what you do. I see theatre's with mission statements, even director's, I think its time for me to have one.

All in all, it dusted off the cobwebs and made me stretch my artistic muscles and I am forever grateful for this project and for making myself do it.  I guess I have some things to think over and figure out and I'm happy to do it.

*If you want to check out my sketchbook, pictures I took of my sketches and the digitizing of my sketches will be filtering in over the next few weeks. Enjoy! Courtney's Sketchbook Project Page