Thursday, 29 October 2009

Eolo Perfido: Personal Projects

French born photographer Eolo Perfido has a rather impressive portfolio of imagery, including high profile advertising campaigns for the likes of Pepsi.  However, for me, the creative soul of a person is expressed through personal projects not directed advertising campaigns.

It appeals to that ethereal mood I mentioned in my last post.  Striking and sometimes surreal each of his persoanl images seem to tell a story.  I love it.  Now based in the very beautiful Rome he can't be short of inspiration, which has got to help with his oh so perfect advertising imagery.

Check him out.  You won't regret it.


Inspiration is the source of all creativity in my mind.  Something sparks/clicks/pops in you head, triggered by a sense.  You see something in a magazine, you read something in a book, your friend tells you a story... The other day someone told me my blog had kind of inspired them to write their own.  Kind of or not I though this was lovely.  It did make me wonder however where my sources of inspiration have disappeared.

Whilst at university I was led by trend books, my tutors, my course peers.  Now I have friends that mostly have no knowledge of fashion...though one of them said the other day that we call subconsicously walk north westerly and in an area (not actually north west compass wise) and that's why fashion stores are laid out how they are.  He seemed baffled I didn't know this...I assured him I did not study retail.

Anyway...the point of the story is that I miss that kind of creative inspiration.  I need Viewpoint in my particular this is what I miss...for reasons like this:

Long live Future wonder I was so stressed when I was interviewed by Christopher Sanderson (Future Lab's co founder) at Graduate Fashion Week for the Strategic Marketing award.  I have other images, many others, but these in particular give across a current mood of mine.  Whimsical, wishful, I just need a project to focus these.  Suggestions on a postcard.

Monday, 26 October 2009

I'm employed...wooo hooo

This is obviously a regular topic of mine but it is one that currently seems to baffle everyone.  A friend of mine wrote as her Facebook status the other day: "I'm employed!!! Wooo hooo!! :)"  Everyone that read this was of course over the moon and asked what job in the police she had this was her aim.  Rather than replying that she had got Christmas work in a department store she merely said she had only got a temporary post and was still pursuing the police full time.

Now, she should not be ashamed of something she was so excited about.  Indeed, at the moment having any kind of job is marvellous.  People don't seem to understand that though.  Graduates feel they have almost failed, despite not actually standing a chance, whilst non-graduates feel sympathy for those poor 'young ones' wasting the talents that have got them into so much debt.

I can't lie, sometimes I wonder why I am not doing what I dreamt of.  Or in fact why what I dreamt of doesn't necesarily seem like the right thing for me any more.  When in the midst of those dark moments I have a little moto "at least I'm employed".  Doesn't sound like much but hundreds of gradutes have gone back to bar jobs, work in Topshop/River Island/Debenhams or do as I have and relish an opportunity thrown out by family/friends/acquaintances.  After all, it's better than nothing.

I do have something to dream about though...I am going to meet Peter Ruis from John Lewis and Fred Uribe-Mosquera from Burberry next month.  God bless Graduate Fashion Week.  After all, blogs don't pay the rent...not even Sophie Power's amazing Trendspiration.  She was invited to London Fashion Week as a guest of Canon and could only make one day as she had to work...typical!

Masks are the way forward...

My wonderful flatmate at university was scared of masks...well IS scared of masks.  In first year Halloween came and she refused to leave her bedroom just in case.  Good job as one of the boys we lived with decided to prance around in a Michael Jackson mask...not good.  Needless to say, when we became all girls we didn't wear masks so she could at least partake in the getting ready.

Well now she doesn't live with us I am relishing in the idea of a mask, something that has never appealed before.  Whislt I want to go masquerade (though my costume may never which case I'm going to be a doll) I couldn't help but be inspired by The Cool Hunter's 'Creative Halloween' article.

From simple cardboard cut outs to 3D masterpieces... My idea of a mask has been well and truely put to shame.  The green one is my favourite, it has a Wicked Witch of the West feel to it, though the lightning bolt concept is sheer genius.  Maybe I should bugger off the masquerade idea and get inspired with weather...I could make a cloud outfit right?

Miss Led: Celebrating two years in Dreamland

iss Led, who I have recently wrote about, is celebrating two years of her fabulous Alice in Dreamland series of images.  Alice has often featured on walls within boutiques etc and she has now made it to print.  Following new interior successes a wall piece from D & Me boutique is now available for a limited time...You can purchase new, colourful Alice imagery at Miss Led's store or read more about it on her blog.

It's very psychadelic, reminding me very much of what the smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland might see.  There is something surreal yet lovely about Miss Led's Alice...

Alice in Dreamland for Meg Matthews, February 2009

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Anna Rusakova: My Moleskine

I discovered Ukranian illustrator Anna Rusakova on Behance and just fell in love with her sketchbook imagery.  Her portfolio of illustrations is brilliant but it was her "my moleskine" section that appealed to me most.  I loved seeing where and what had inspired her....from pressed flowers to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  It's like seeing into someones creative soul.

It is what I always say I will do but don't.  Gadgets now lead what I laptop and my iPhone would give you all the information you need about me...but there is something so distanced about that.  I long for the days that I would pick up a pencil and sit and draw...maybe if I'd carried on my illustrations would be better.

Rusakova's cute and quirky illustrations tap into everything from family trees to "small objects" where origami swans are contrasting with delicate sketchs of guns...

Here are some of her sketchbook images.  Be inspired...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

You've Changed...

The other day I gave a last attempt at making a university friend actually reply to my messages.  This may sound rather psychotic but it's pretty simple...things were weird with us when we left university and we buried our heads in the sand.  I didn't want to lose her forever for no bloody good reason.

Turns out she thought I'd changed when I thought she had... stress of university?  Addition of a new boyfriend taking up more time?  Maybe it was actual change?  The last worries me most because that we can't really fix.  They say a leapard can't change it's spots but I definitely believe they can evolve to look slightly different.  If this is the case maybe if/when we finally meet again it'll just be odd still.

God I hope not.  In my mind we'll go for buffalo chicken wings, a cocktail or maybe a strawberry milkshake...dependent on where we are.  A leapard can't change it's spots but with all this cosmetic surgery around I'm sure someone could.  If we can change maybe we can change back.  Maybe we'll evolve together to fit once more.

Relationships of all kinds are stressful but relationships with friends are the most important.  You don't break up with friends.  Maybe I should send her flowers and chocolates...boyfriends get away with that as apologies right?

I'm sorry if I changed, I didn't mean to, I still love always xxx

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Importance of Language

I am currently attempting to complete a rather tedious application form.  It has several rather annoying essay questions...annoying because whilst I could answer them very quickly they wouldn't be brilliant...they'd just be ok. OK isn't good at the minute...especially when this fellowship is pretty awesome.  One question though gave me A LOT to write...

"How much does it matter, if at all, that texting and twittering treat spelling convention with little respect?"

Well this of course raises many questions.  To me this is not just about the importance of spelling convention but of language as well.  The issue of whether newer forms of communication disrespect language and spelling convention is essentially a debate concerning whether or not spelling convention is needed if there is still a universal understanding of what the writer means.

In most modern day cases the shortening of words and use of “initialisms” is not because society wishes to alter or disrespect language but for speed and space saving.  Twitter and text messaging in particular limit the characters available and therefore the writer needs to condense where necessary to successfully give across their message.  Technological and social change inevitably can bring about language change.

There are individuals of course who change words such as maybe to ‘mebbe’ saving neither time or space.  For my own sanity I like to think it is purely to represent their accent or merely to show informality between friends.  It may just be because they think they are 'cool'.  Merely thinking this makes you extremely uncool.

I believe language is a beautiful thing and encourage new mediums that allow us to share and communicate.  I live in the hope that intellectual people will keep conventional spellings safe.  It's not just spelling but ensuring the ability for universal understanding and the prevention of annoyance.  After's common for us Brits to find American spellings frustrating....color?  No my dear friend it's colour.  It's called English for a reason...follow our lead.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Minjae Lee: Cool Hunted

I'm tired so I won't bore you but I needed to give Minjae Lee some attention.  I was so pleased to see his work has made it's way to The Cool Hunter.  Bravo.  You can't not like it.  Sure wish I'd liked Art class more at school.  Some teachers ruin all the fun...ruin my chances at creativity why don't you?!

At 19 he's a genius.  There's something about his work that makes you look further.  One image shows a woman seemingly transformed and broken down, clouds revealed through her eyes and large, disgusting mouth...the McDonald's signs show who he's pointing the finger at...

I can't wait to see how his work will develop as his gets older.  After all, it's so dramatic already.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Disney Effect

Last night I went to see Disney on Ice Princess Wishes.  Yes, I am aware I'm 21.  Plenty of people my age are desperate for an excuse to go but I actually have one...three younger siblings.  I took my two sisters (leaving my brother at home because he just can't sit still) and we boarded one of four coaches (yes four...all just for one of 4 schools in the village) to Birmingham's NIA.

As soon as I stepped off the coach I knew I was in trouble.  The girls' eyes lit up and all they wanted was for me to buy them things.  Things that spin, things that glow, light up bunny ears...and then we got inside and it got worse.  After spending £45 on two cuddly toys and some candy floss (that was £6.50 and came with a crown complete with Minnie Mouse ears) the show started.

My sisters and I at Disney on Ice

Holly's eyes lit up.  At four she found it unbelievable to see all these magical Disney characters on ice.  In fact she actually asked me "is that really ice?"  Of course I assured her it was but she still asked me again... From Snow White to Mulan the princesses and their princes conquered evil and fell in love in their designated ten minutes each.

Holly loved it and refused to close her eyes when Cinderella (the last princess) came onto the stage, despite just admitting to wanting a nap.  I got cuddles and big smiles and about three times she told me she loved me.  I think she was happy I took her don't you?  She clung on to her Minnie Mouse cuddly toy, making her clap when we clapped, and kept that crown on the entire time as she sat good as gold.  In fact, on the coach she fell asleep in the crown, which slipped down over her eyes.  I had decided to wait for the others to get off first allowing my Mom time to arrive before waking Holly up, allowing every mother that got off the coach to see her asleep in her crown, everyone went "awwww" or smiled.  I had made Holly happy and she'd fallen asleep exhausted but with a big smile.

I thought about this though as my sisters slept on the coach and I began to worry about what Disney was actually teaching them.  I recalled a group on Facebook, Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations About Love.  This group currently has 128,025 members worldwide.  There's another more recent group called Disney Gave Me Unrealistic Expectations Of Men...they have over 9,000 members already!  This isn't an issue then just for me!  In fact my friend at university often commented on the fact that relationships don't happen like they do in the films, exclaiming one day: "I watched the Little Mermaid when I was at home, my mum got it me on DVD for Christmas, doesn't bloody happen like that does it?"

Well no, no it doesn't.  My mom, cute as a button, told me last night that I am her princess and that I will find my prince one day.  Well if they're only going to let me down I really don't mind waiting awhile.  Sadly I think we've lost Holly already...maybe I'll have to explain to her how things really are when she gets a bit older.  For the next ten years I'll let her dream.  Megan on the other hand, at 11, has a shock coming...

Holly, lost to the magic...

Thursday, 15 October 2009


I'm currently feeling like a bit of a failure.  By now I was supposed to be living a wonderful life in a new city with an amazing job, a lovely boyfriend and lots of fabulous friends.

Ok...I knew this wouldn't be the case.  I only left uni four months ago and for most of that time I've been working/travelling so really it's not like I've already failed.  The only thing is I, and many many other graduates I know, can barely even find jobs they want to apply for.  This is pure madness.  It makes you wonder whether or not you did something wrong.

I was reminded of a quote from Carl Jung: "Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and epecially on their children than the unlived life of the parent."  I fully relate to this quote because, whilst I love my dad, he is all about the grass is greener.  He was in his early 20's when he had me and has struggled for money for many years.  Recently his hours at work have been slashed from five days to two as the woman he replaced has returned from maternity leave.

We argue.  A lot.  We are just too similar and this is making my transition from university to consistant job seeker/dreamer even harder.  I am pleased to see my friends are in the same sorry state.  No, pleased isn't the right word....comforted?  Maybe.

A friend said today: "I was thinking yesterday whilst taking out my failure to get a job out on the treadmill how you could do an 'unemployed graduates' gym class where the instructer shouts things like "you should have worked harder/applied EARLIER/done more extra curricular!!"  This is a fair point.  In fact maybe I should turn to excercise as a way to work out my frustration.  I believe my dad's girlfriend has recently moved her treadmill into our shed.  I could definitely work up enough of a sweat to not notice the cold...I'm just not much of a runner.

It's a sorry state of affairs.  All I know is I don't want to get to my 40's and wish I'd travelled/had children/not had children so early/got the career I wanted/lived abroad.... God know's what!  I figure rather than worrying about what my failure will do to my future, and how it will effect Lily (the daughter I really have no plan's to have...if caught though that's the bame of choice...) or indeed my career.  Most importantly myself.

Needless to say I found a more encouraging quote: "Don't be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterwards carefully avoid."

Thank you Keats, I'm hoping you'll inspire me and also the people reading this.  Maybe we can be failures together then?

I bloody love Darren Firth

I look at the work of lots of illustrators.  Not only because it interests me but because it became a habit.  Illustration was a key part of my work at uni.  Whilst I can dabble on Photoshop as well as the next person in my class (but never as well as Sophie Power...the girl's a genius with a mouse) I loved creating something from scratch.  I rarely do this on my own, I usually adapt photograhs/sketches etc into illustrations.

It doesn't matter what work I find though I bloody love Darren Firth.  His work stands out time and time again.  If you don't know who this man his just look at some of this...

...these pictures of from the book Fashion Identity, which I love.  It's not a new book, it was released in 2007, you can keep updated with him though on his website "Keep Me Sane".  I was surprised to see many other pieces of work that are more stereotypically commerical/professional.  It reminded me what the real world is like and the fact that because you're a designer (of any kind!) does not mean you always get to be extremely creative.

I think maybe I should start getting involved with design again.  I'm looking for a new creative project.  Other than my writing that is, as my 'book' is 5000 frivilous and probably rubbish words to the trained eye.  Maybe I should make Katie read them.  After all...I MAY have almost finished the first chapter.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

An inability to sew equals an inability to make do and mend...naturally

The 'new' big thing...also known as the thing that has been around for Make Do and Mend.  I saw 'new' because now people are cashing in on it.  Vogue's latest November issue, focusing entirely on their monthly feature 'More Dash than Cash', discusses heavily the trend for knitting, quilting, making our own and customising/altering what we already have.

Several features particularly interested me.  Firstly, the use of updating Victorian patterns using modern fabrics and methods or simply updating the look with accessories.  I constantly turn to history for inspiration.  As do other people...whether it be in the form of film, music, photography or fashion.

Secondly, I was interested to see the use of domestic household objects to create clothing.  Clothing in this case is used fairly loosely.  Whilst this was obviously to highlight the creativty that can come from spending nothing or very little I don't see myself going out in an outfit made of yellow rubber gloves any time soon.  This is less fashion statement and more fashion victim in my option.  Conceptually though it was quite interesting to me.  Read the issue and you'll see some outfits actually aren't that obviously made of these materials.  As I have taken poor quality pictures with my phone to allow me instant access I figured the more obvious the better.  Check out Vogue TV for a good flick through the pages or, better yet, splash out and purchase a copy.  Stereotypical or not...I love Vogue.

It's not just Vogue tapping into this trend though.  Brands such as Cath Kidston are in on it too.  Sew, the follow up to her book Made, is to be released on October 16th.  "Cath Kidston has now put together a treasure trove of fabulous simple projects for stitchers to get their needles into - bags, clothes, soft toys - and all designed to be made with her popular printed fabrics."  Clever, clever Cath Kidston...showing us how wonderful things look in your fabrics.  Not as if you're getting money from the book and the subsequent fabric purchased?  Of course not.  Genius.

Cath Kidston actually featured in the Daily Mail's supplement this weekend, giving basic outlines that most likely feature in this book.  They are good.  Simple yet the point that I thought maybe even I could manage it.  The problem is though that I can't really sew.  In fact, today at work whilst using the overlocker I pretty much managed to terrorise a piece of organza.  The poor thing was haggered and frayed by the end.  The lovely Becky, my mentor, merely laughed and (as it was the end of my working day) sent me home.  Maybe she won't be as pleased to have me 9-5 from tomorrow when she realises that I probably won't get any better any time soon.

My sewing machine skills are lacking merely, I believe, because of my impatience.  When I sew I am either like a snail or so fast I nearly cut my finger off.  Becky is convinced this is going to happen and watches through the gaps between her fingers...which are over her eyes whenever it gets close.  I need to get some extra control skills so I can find that middle ground.  That is the plan.  Then...sadly for you all...I'll buy some fabric off cuts and you'll all get quilts/pillows for Christmas.  And then your birthdays also.  Sadly for my aunty I'll be needing my sewing machine back...yes Aunty Anne I know you've had it for about four years but it's time it comes home.  Though god knows where I'll put it...maybe I could just come to yours and use it?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Christmas?! Let's not forget Halloween!

Today an Airwick advert told me it's never too early to think about Christmas and that I should buy their new mulled wine fragrance to get in the mood.  NO!  It was barely September when I first heard mention of Christmas and I don't want to be a grouch but six weeks prior is surely as much time as people need?!  Especially when, in my few, Halloween is a perfectly good holiday that doesn't get noticed at all because of when it is!

We make time for silly days like Mothers and Fathers Day, which as far as I'm concerned have no meaning.  I'm pretty sure parents would be happier if they were appreciated because they actually were appreciated, rather than because Hallmark says so.  Halloween on the other hand has true meaning.  All Hallows Eve originated fromt he Celts who celebrated 'Samhain', when it was believed that ghosts of the dead returned to earth.  Druids (celtic priests) believed their presence made it easier to predict the future and so this was a tradition.

Nowadays we obviously treat it differently, in fact in the UK it's a pretty none holiday.  Until I went to university...if you go out on Halloween not dressed up then you were odd.  I love it.  Always have.  The whole concept, not just dressing up, but I do love to get in disguise and get the chance to be slightly more extrovert than normal.  I scour vintage shops and ebay to make my own costumes rather than buying them and the last two years were my favourite costumes.

My White Rabbit (from Alice in Wonderland) and ringmaster costumes

Needless to say, I was rather upset when I found out that none of my friends at home have made plans and if they have they're running away to stay with uni friends.  Boo!  I am currently attempting to find something to do but I would like to wear my vintage white gloves (again...they are now a staple) and maybe a mask.  I'm thinking an old fashioned style dress but short....masquerade for the new age.  I've got some inspiration from films...

...what do you think?  For now I'll relive some old Halloween's and dream of the day I have the money to put on a proper masquerade ball.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Welcome back Gossip Girl

I can't even deny it...when I realised the new series of Gossip Girl was on ITV today I was overjoyed.  In's on right now (in a break) and I'm enjoying it with a packet of Jammie Dodgers.  Not exactly Upper East side?  With great drama, beautiful people and the fact it's on about four times a week there's no reason to miss it.  Check out the trailer...

Friday, 9 October 2009

Lily Allen goes all country at Chanel

Paris Fashion Week has always appealed to me but the buzz about Chanel's latest show is making me wish I was there more than ever.  I've been reading about it everywhere!  Garance Dore was there and labelled it the 'Supershow' describing it as a cross between a rock concert, a mass, a play, a party and...of course...a catwalk show.

Set as a barn, with people in the front row from Anna Wintour to Prince (yes, the Prince!) the glitterati watched as in addition to models appearances were made by Karl Lagerfeld an Lily Allen, who rose from the floor to perform.  Some how I can't help but think she performed Not Fair and that it was her video, decked out all country, that drew the attention of Chanel's creatives.  (See the video below to see what I mean)  I must say I do love that epitomises the relationships of some girls I know.  I am lucky to not be one of those girls.

I can't do justice to this story as well as others...I wasn't there.  Read Garance Dore's account and look at some of her pictures.  I've picked the best for you here....