Monday, October 15, 2012

Creating for the Consumer - The Delicate Dance

Poe's The Telltale Heart

The Time of the Dastardly Deed: 1:00 am
The Black Heart
Creating original wearable art is like dancing the Tango - sometimes you're the aggressor, other times you're the aggressee. Your first decision is: Do I want to sell this piece or not. If the answer is "no", then go nuts. But if the answer is "yes", then you have to dance the delicate dance. You want to be true to your creative muse, but you have to take into account the sensibilities of your audience, so you first have to decide what your demographic is. I design for people who enjoy and appreciate works of art. I want to make my own statement, but I have to be careful about not saying it in a vulgar way.

 In these Book Bracelits it's important for me to visually express my love of these stories, the part of me that is attracted to Poe and Lovecraft. So how do you do gothic without going gruesome?

The Lantern with a Thin Gleam of Light
 The anatomically correct heart is an important part of my signature elements (remember the anatomically correct brain in the previous post?) Since I could make the heart black and colour the veins and arteries as they are coloured with latex rubber in the lab for students learning to dissect, it's realistic without being too realistic.

The watery blue eyeball, on the other hand, was gross! The very thought of it led to murder most foul! So the watery blue eyeball, per se, was a problem. The neat thing about being forced to rethink your ideas is that you often come up with an even better, a more creative idea. That's what happened here. How do you convey the image of a watery blue eyeball without making one? You "suggest" one!

I frequently encourage my students who take my abstract painting workshops to "suggest without defining". In so doing you often find your own personal marks. I followed my own advice.

The Watery Blue "Eye" ball

I love puns. In working out this problem, the solution became a visual pun, and I absolutely love it! To suggest its fragility I put it in a red (i.e. blood-soaked) hanky with the suggestion of lace pattern to re-inforce the idea of "delicate", yet be jarringly incongruous in the context of a severed eyeball.

The final piece represents the floorboards beneath which the perpetrator buried the victim.

Story told! THE END

The Floorboards


  1. You have such a unique way of thinking and I love it. I know I'm right brained, and I most definitely am creative, but I think that, sometimes, I still get stuck in the mundane old box they tell us to think outside of. Almost as if I'm fearful of leaving the safty of the box. It's encouraging to see the art others do. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's nice to know others out there struggle to get out of the "mundane old box" as well. It's so worth the effort when you do succeed, just like investing - the more risk you take, the more potential for great reward - or a big crash! The great thing about art is that even the crashes can lead to great discoveries. Keep pushing yourself. Don't carpet your "rut" as my favorite artist Mary would say.