I mentioned last week that I was asked to participate in the launch of We Are The Contributors, a creative community and publication created by Melanie Bielhe and Sandra Harris. Well, today I'm going to give you a glimpse into my creative process for the still life I created. I haven't shared much about my profession on the blog but what better time than now, right? First off, a little background on how I became involved in the project. I've been a huge fan of Melanie's blog Inward Facing Girl for some time and earlier this year hired Melanie for a much needed creative coaching session. I was stuck in a rut and boy, did that session get the ball rolling. Fast-forward to October when I finally got to meet my creative savior in person at Camp Mighty and the rest is history.
When the email from Melanie and Sandra hit my inbox I knew it had to be something fabulous and, of course, it was. The invite to the project outlined the mission. Would I be interested in creating an artwork as a tribute to The 100th Armory Show going on in New York? With a degree in Art History, this was an easy answer: hell yes I would! Let's just say my reply back included a few too many exclamation points due to excitement. You could say I exercised my inner Elaine Benes. Now that I was committed, what on earth was I going to make? I had 30 days until deadline which meant I would worry and dabble in self-doubt for the majority of it. I did know I wanted to use my photo styling and design skills but lately I've been fascinated with photography. Normally, my role on set is directing the shoot sure as hell not taking the photos. Well, eff it. This time I would jump in head first and get myself behind the lens. Again, panic mode came into play but luckily my support team was there to kick me back into the ring. That's what friends and family are for right? I started doing my crazy brainstorming method of mind-mapping, collecting images for prop inspiration and last but not least, talking Sam's ear off. I had selected my muse: Edvard Munch's Madonna. It was the perfect excuse to tap into my dark side but add some pop culture. In my mind it would be a commentary to today's society inundating us Madonnas with constant distractions, a variety of opinions and massive amounts of consumer objects. The goal was to make this chaos beautiful. So with that in mind, I set out with my prop list and went to shopping...um, I mean to work. Most items I had in my private collection but I needed candles, skulls and ink asap. I found my desired objects at Michael's, Saturday by Kate Spade (isn't that HOLLA iphone case excellent?), Wacko Bookstore, Sephora and The 99 Cent Store. My prop closet provided the rest: custom made Bourbon and Goose flask by my good friend Anne of Give Studio, handmade God's Eye from the Camp Berrini trip, La Perla that I scored 1o years ago at Sak's (on sale of course) and painted gold leaves from my favorite place Griffith Park.
Next came styling the set and adding the illustration piece for the woman's form. Kind of hard to do when you have 3 pets running around your makeshift photo studio. Let's just say there was a lot of glitter spilled that day and Willie Nelson licked about every paint stroke I put down. Needless to say, I was having the time of my life being creative again. My creative hiatus was officially over. I felt like Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give when she cries her way through an emotional breakthrough. Being back in my element had reignited faith in my creative self. Thank you Sandra and Melanie! 2 lattes later and my natural lighting almost gone, it was time to edit with the help of good ol' photoshop. No crazy retouching here people. Just cleaning up traces of little paw prints and massive glitter explosions. Hours later, I was done. Not by choice as Sam had to pull me away from the computer.
Voila! My piece, Lady M, was ready to be sent to the dynamic duo for review. Next came the hard part: waiting to see what feedback Melanie and Sandra would have. It was the weekend but I swear I must have checked my email every 5 minutes. Thankfully Melanie's reply back was quick and it was all positive. I could now chill out but then a new waiting game began: seeing what everyone else had created. There were nine other contributors and everyone was being pretty quiet on what they were producing. This just added to the excitement. December 2nd couldn't come quick enough in my eyes but when it did, my pinterest feed was on fire. I these gorgeous pieces in my feed and then quickly jumped over to the site. This first group of contributors produced a complete variety of work—all different styles, and mediums. Some of the contributors I already had been following, like Danielle Krysa, The Jealous Curator and Alicia Caravolo but now I could add a few more awesome artists to my list. This mix of handlettering, illustration, photography, watercolor and collage has me feeling completely blessed to be part of this inaugural first-time participation. Now enough of my blabbering, go see the work for yourself and better yet, get involved! This is a creative community that you should be a part of. Exercise that creative bone and see what emotional breakthrough you have. I'm telling you, art therapy works and you'll come out of it with a new creative community.