Monday, January 16, 2012

Colour, design, content, inspiration!

I have been in the mood for watching films lately and tend to watch the same one twice over a weekend in order to get as much out of what I am watching as possible.  It is amazing how much more you pick up when watching something the second time.  So, with this in mind, I watched The Devil Wears Prada Saturday evening and again late this afternoon.  I have watched the movie a few times prior to this and enjoyed it immensely, but when I watched it Saturday evening, I watched it and saw it through another pair of eyes.

For those of you not familiar with the film, Meryl Streep (Miranda Priestly) plays the role of the editor of a fashion magazine, a dragon lady who instills fear into her staff.  The film has Anne Hathaway cast as the new assistant, Andrea, clueless about fashion as well as how to deal with such an ogre of a boss.  When "Andrea" breaks down and vents to the gentleman who pulls fashions together for the magazine, she is chided and told that it is very apparent that her heart is not in the job, one that a million other girls would kill to have.  Andrea gets it at this point, she has to put effort into the job in order to achieve success even though she does not truly understand at that point how fashion relates to so many other aspects of life.the

You may wonder why this film captured my attention this weekend.  I had to give that some thought as well.  I found myself thinking a lot about colour this week and for some reason a particular scene in this film came to mind.  This would be the scene in which Miranda makes Andrea aware of how showcasing a certain colour in the Runway Magazine can lead to fashion houses designing lines using that particular colour which in turn leads to designers creating off the rack fashions for department stores.  These fashions are purchased, worn, end up in second hand shoppes where those not willing to spend top dollar for fashion typically buy their clothing.  Case in fact, in the film at least, Andrea is wearing a bulky cerulean blue pullover with a less than currently fashionable plaid skirt.  Fashion does bring certain colours to the forefront each season and I started to think about whether or not artists carry this into their designs.  Are mixed media artists, or let us just say, visual artists, influenced by colours that are deemed fashionable?  Do we gravitate towards particular designs in our work, certain textures we see in the fashion world or for that matter, certain content?

Fashion is something that is not truthfully a big part of my life.  I wear affordable clothing, much of it previously owned.  The colours range from various shades of blue, some grey, and some plum.  I have two dresses, one a little black, suitable for warmer temperatures, the other, a dress using multiple tones of dusty pink along with a bit of purple.  Neither of these dresses are runway suitable, but they are easily tossed on and turn me from dressed to tidy up the flat or shop to dressed for an appointment where I need to look somewhat professional.  The colours mentioned here are not colours I use when painting, making mixed media pieces or even when playing around with coloured pencils or markers in the assortment of journals on my table.  When painting, I love to play with textures, shapes, but the content is something that I decide on without paying attention to what is being shown in publications whether they be artistic or fashion related in nature.

I see some mixed media magazines showing artwork involving somewhat moon faced individuals, some wearing various types of head wear.  Some are dancing in fields of flowers, some are suspended on the page with various elements of their lives floating around them and others are involved in different activities.  These may be trendy right now, but truthfully, not something that calls out to me.  I do want to start drawing human figures in my pieces, they may well be involved in some type of activity, which at this point, I have not decided upon, but the figures themselves are likely to be creations from my own crazy little world which leans to enjoying the type of figures found in anime.  Exaggerated in their physical stature to some degree, these figures appeal to me with their physical prowess evident, their hair featuring longish flowing locks and their fashion sense culled from Victorian and Edwardian eras but thrown full force into this millenium.

What appeals to you when you are creating?  Do you know why?  I am not sure that I can answer why, but I do know what I am hoping to put to page when I start drawing and am willing to practise diligently when I put my mind to it.  But, I am open to trying new techniques, pushing my boundaries and moving into uncharted territories when it comes to being an artist.  I stand by my wild use of colour and will continue to use up all the brightly coloured paints and coloured pencils found in the many bins in my storage room.  Colour, design and content are all subject to my current frame of mind and what appeals to me when I dive into the studio.  Every artist deserves to make these choices and have fun with them.  It is fun to see what is fashionable and perhaps even to partake of the madness on occasion. But, I want to be true to myself and make art that has meaning to me even if it might not make sense to others.    Every artist has this entitlement and should take liberties to make their art in their own way. 

Going back to The Devil Wears Prada, I still feel inspired by that film.  Andrea finds her way back to working for a newspaper and writing, knowing that whilst she learned a lot when working in the Runway Offices, she learned even more about herself and what had true meaning in her life.  We should all be so lucky to have a boss like Miranda who drives the meaning home, that being true to oneself is one of the most important lessons in life.  A lesson, that when one thinks about it, even Miranda has to respect.

As always, I would love to hear what you have to think about what I have written.  What film has inspired you artistically or otherwise?  Share your thoughts with all of us as we would love to hear what you have to say.

Have a wonderful week!  Rutheemac




Cate Thomassen -shardArtist said...

Thank you for sharing this Ruthee. It's been fun seeing you push your boundaries and I've enjoyed seeing you work in different media with varied subject matter. I agree that we need to create art that speaks to us. I think if we're truly engaged in what we're doing it's more likely to engage others as well. Btw, I'd love to see more images of your work in your blog. Just sayin.


Ruthee said...

Thanks Cate! There will be more pictures here and once I update the online gallery. I need to upload pictures to my new computer once I get more snapped of things being worked on at this time. Loving what I see of your work too! Especially the fountain, which is beyond gorgeous. :)