Monday, September 29, 2008
Designing Your Own World
I have said many times that artists create because they want to enhance the world in some way. But sometimes the well of inspiration runs dry. Other times we just don't know which direction to go in. In the back of our brains live ideas that never quite seem to make it to the forefront. We push them aside in favor of other ideas for various reasons, but they seem to live on...lurking in the murky depths of our minds.
I have had a million ideas lately and can't quite seem to bring a lot of them to fruition. I wasn't sure why until I had one of those wayward moments that brings clarity. Those moments always arrive in the most unexpected ways.
This particular moment arrived because I was watching TV. An ad came on for some show. (Don't ask me what it was, I don't remember.) But the ad wasn't what caught my attention, it was the song playing in the ad. I had to find out what it was so I googled the main phrase and found it. I went to Youtube and watched a live version of it. The song was both intriguing and disturbing with a touch of whimsy. But what really fascinated me were the two lovely young girls who sang it. They had quite a developed sense of style. One was reminiscent of a gypsy/hippy from the
60's and the other was almost flapperish. I sat watching in rapt fascination as they belted out the tune. These girls have fashioned themselves a world they want to live in. They didn't conform to the world around them. In no way were they Britney clones as so many young female singers are these days.
So I started thinking...if I were to fashion my own world, what would it be? I realized that if I can answer that question, I will also be answering the question of which direction I want to take my work in. If you have the luxury of creating your own world, you should be able to include all the things you love in it whether they make sense or not. You just have to have faith that it will all work together, and if there is one thing I am blessed with...it's a lot of faith in my own vision. I think I just needed to define it.
Last night I dozed off mentally building my world. The most important thing about my world is that it would be personal. While technology is a great thing it seems to be making our world rather impersonal. I would rather see people out in public tipping their hats and smiling and looking strangers in the eye rather than hooked into iPods and texting and chatting with someone far away on their cell phones completely oblivious to their surroundings and the people in it.
A personal world would also involve things that are crafted with beauty and function by people who are truly proud of what they create instead of mass produced on an assembly line by people who are just living for the paycheck and waiting for the weekend so they can escape their jobs.
I also like a world where people can express their style without labels or constraints of a modern time period, so the fashions would be a mix of anywhere from Elizabethan to Edwardian to the Roaring 20's to the 40's to ballet tu tu's to wearing beat up cowboy boot with a dainty nigtgown, with a touch of 80's and Venetian Mardi Gras thrown in. People would have grace naturally and apply it their everyday lives, but they wouldn't be perfect. That would be boring. Every once in a while a wild or just slightly wicked streak would take hold and get it's way.
I also like fancy things with flourishes. So everyday objects would be fanciful even in their practicality. Those extra little touches that make things just a bit...more. Just for fun I tossed in tall ships for travel dirigibles as a common mode of transportation because I have always had a secret desire to have one.
There would be gothic architecture, victorian manor's and thatched roof cottages. There would be paned window atriums and stained glass windows. I would have chandeliers in the bathroom, and angel wings attached to the clock face of Big Ben.
My world would be solid and grounded...but with an other worldly feel but never in a serious way. So there you have it! It may not make sense to you, but to me it tells me exactly where I need to go with my work. What would your world be like?
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