Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A common Influence... maybe: Robert Edmond Jones

Lately it has been difficult to come up with an artist that I would like to bring to light that I could find who has influenced other people. I actually have been cruzing the internet along with my wide range of reference books here in my mini library located in my office/studio space. Knowing that I was going out on a limb when I finally settled on someone, I felt that I really had nothing to loose since there was basically a 50/50 chance that someone might know him. So I settled on costume designer Robert Edmond Jones as my focus this time around.

Costume design by Robert Edmond Jones
For anyone familiar with American theater on Broadway during the 1920s-1940s probably would know the names of such productions as TheGreen Pastures (1930) and The Iceman Cometh (1946) but may not know that Robert Edmond Jones (1887-1954) was responsible for these. Though he attended Harvard University, he had done some studying abroad in Berlin, Germany with Deutsches Theater. Couple with several successful Broadway productions, Mr. Jones was also the production designer for some early Technicolor files like Becky Sharp (1935). It was thanks to his insight of mixing together his unique design elements with the storytelling so they worked as one cohesive unit instead of separate entities as they had been up to that point in the American drama scene.

It was difficult to tell as I went through gallery upon gallery of various costume and clothing designers if any of them were influenced by Mr. Jones or even had learned of him. It was perhaps the fact that I chose such an obscure individual who barely had much written about him. Maybe it was because his style fit so well with the time periods of each story he helped tell. All I can say is that when it came to figuring out what my next step would be, it was a large challenge. After a good 2 days of debating what I should do, I finally picked 5 designers and asked my question:

"With so many wonderful creations, I was curious if costume designer Robert
Edmond Jones was at any point your inspiration among your other sources
of ideas."

Moon (details) by lions-nd-yellocake
American traditional artist who focuses on mixed media pieces, Jennifer Weiler also does costume designs. Her unique pieces seem to be a beautiful marriage of not only various time periods but also of cultures which gives each garment a whimsical, almost fantastical feel to them.

"Thank you! Actually, I've never heard of Robert so now I'm curious as to who he is haha. Going to go Google him right now. Paul MurrayFrancis Bacon, and Alphonse Mucha are the artists I've been inspired by in the course of work. (:" ~Jennifer Weiler

Janey-jane.deviantart.com (United States)
Bias cut wedding gown by Janey-jane
A traditional media artist located in the US, Janey-jane focuses a lot of her work on fan-art genres but does her own flare towards fantasy. Even with this, she does do some costuming which ranges from Italian Renaissance to cosplay. Her attention to detail which is constantly shown in her drawings and paintings really come to life when put towards fabric. Much like Jennifer's response to my question, I really wasn't surprised when she revealed that she didn't know who Mr. Jones was.

"I had to google him so I have to admit that he wasn't, but I've been influenced by TONS of different artists, designers, graphic movements, etc. etc. I love pulling bits and pieces of influence from a bunch of different sources." ~Janey-jane

Victorian Plum Gown by Picklethis

Picklethis.deviantart.com (United States)
Founder and head designer of Pickle This! Clothing, Pickles Morgan's style is an interesting mesh of Steampunk and Gothic. Her gallery on dA displays the various creations she has done up to this point but of course also calls attention to her busy schedule. From the runway to Steampunk events, her work shows the time and commitment to quality. 
Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PickleThisDesigns#
(where you can send her messages inquiring about custom costumes) 

"Actually I have never heard of him but I looked him up and he is very talented. "

Unfortunately, this time around I only had the three responses thus far. This is perhaps due to the fact that those who I contacted have been extremely busy with private orders, school, work and just life in general. Of course as soon as I do receive word from the other artists, I will add their comments to this. In the meantime I would like to share the work of the other 2 artists so that you, the reader, can guess on their inspirational source.
Fabric Scribble by noodle-cup

An anonymous designer from Italy, Noodle-cup has several pieces in her collection which has a Victorian almost Steampunk feel to them. Though nearly all are in shades of black, blue and grey, her work is very reminiscent of stately women strolling along grand halls softly chatting among themselves behind lace fans.

Spring Fay by Lillyxandra

Perhaps a bit more well known within the deviantART community for her fantasy inspired pieces and accessories, JoEllen Elam's beautiful fairy costumes and amazing gowns are always a delight to see. Each piece has her full attention and doesn't skimp on the tiny details, giving the viewer something new to discover every time they look at the piece.

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