Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Thursday, December 31, 2015

From Tears to Hope

It has been about 2 years since I last cried. 

In February 2016, it will be 2 years since my mother's passing. Because of a promise that I had made to her and to myself, I have not cried. In a way, I have been suffering with depression during that time but I haven't told anyone about it. it is probably because of my mindset of so many people that I care about are having their own cases that they have been suffering from for much longer and on much more extreme ways that the last thing that they need is to hear of my troubles. So I've kept things locked up inside and forced myself to push forward. Sadly, my work has been affected. I would look at my paintings during this period and compare it to how my skill level was previously and I could see that the quality has dropped. Frustrated and angry at myself, I have lost count of how many pieces that I have discarded in the trash because what I was producing was no longer at the high level I was creating previously to my mother's death. This year has been especially difficult and at several points I have asked myself if I needed to just give up on everything that I had spent my entire life fighting to achieve. That's when a little voice in the back of my head suggested that it might be time to completely reinvent myself. 

The contents of 1 of 4 book cases
of my research books.
This one is my main one which is
located next to my desk.
About midway through the Autumn through a series of discussions with one of my best friends that I realized that unlike my past younger self, my work has no focus. Technically this was my fault because I had it in my mind for the longest time that to run my business, I needed to be as flexible as possible in order to have a little bit of something for everyone. What do I mean by having no focus? As a child, I have always been fascinated in studying various cultural beliefs. In high school, my AP Art Class (advance placement classes are designed to function as a college level class) had the requirement of having a theme which mine was female deities in various world religions. By college, I had expanded my research to include some of the darker aspects of religion and in the process started collecting books that varied from crystals to demonology and everything in between. It's a rather odd collection but one that I am rather proud of. As I went ahead and analyzed myself and my work, I realized that the pieces that I was always extremely proud of where those of some religious annotation or had reference to cultural beliefs. I concluded after much thought that what I needed to do was not just make a side project for myself, but completely start from scratch to make what I do into something that I could truly be proud of. 

For a lack of a better title, I thought that I would slowly ease my viewers and clientele into the transition that I was going through by calling the pieces that I was beginning to create by calling them part of an Altar Piece Project.  As I had explained to my Facebook followers, I realize that with so many having various beliefs and traditions that it is always difficult to find
'Sacred Vessel' by Dawn Star Wood
Created in 2013 before the conception of
the 'Altar Piece Project', is an
interpretation of Quan Yin.
something that may a good gift. With this project, I will be creating small altar piece art for various religions and beliefs. These small pieces of art are meant for personal sacred spaces. My goal is to have a little bit of as many religions as possible represented- from Christian and Pagan to Islamic and Judaism to Hinduism and Buddhism. What I hadn't had a chance to explain to anyone as of yet was that my ultimate goal is that this particular project, per-say, would be the stepping stone that will allow me to continue my research into various cultures and religion along with giving me a reason to travel more in order to establish connections with outside of my current web of resources.

As of this point, besides a small piece that I had done for myself, I have done 3 pieces so far (1 having already found a loving home). I am hoping that as I am able to continue forward with this that I will be able to create increasingly larger pieces that I will make available. I have been absolutely enjoying being able to research and learn more about the various deities and philosophies as I work on these pieces, learning about how they were originally supposed to be and seeing how over time due to region, outside influence and even changing opinion that these beings and thoughts were changed to what we know them as now. One thing I have noticed as I work and share my creations is that not only have I been receiving an incredible amount of positive feed back about the pieces  and the project but have taken note that each one seems to have been giving a sense of hope to those who have seen them. That has actually given me so much conformation that my decision to reinvent myself in this manner has been the correct thing to do. Here is what I have done up to this point:

Lady of Guadalupe (Virgin Mary)
Religion: Catholic (Mexico)
Watercolors, white acrylic and gold calligraphy paint on paper (5x7 inches)
I have never been much of a fan of the traditional depiction of the Lady of Guadalupe, the interpretation of the Virgin Mary that is commonly seen throughout Mexico. So I decided to keep the traditional roses and veil of stars that she is usually shown with and bring a different view of the serenity that she is said to have.

Quan Yin (Guanyin) 
Religion: Buddist 
Watercolors, and gold calligraphy paint on paper (5x7 inches)
Here is the second small piece in my Altar Piece project. Since there's so many variations of Quan Yin, I will probably visit her through out the project and also include her original male form which was more common before the 1200s. With this version, I wanted to keep to the traditional white gown she's usually in but with at least a little bit of texture but without realizing it leaned towards the version of her which was originally Princess Miaoshan.

Cernunnos (Horned God)
Religion: Celtic
Watercolors, white acrylic and gold calligraphy paint on paper (4x6 inches)
This time around I decided to go with something for the Horned Forest God, Cernunnos, of Celtic belief. I wanted to balance out the previous, rather feminine pieces I had been doing with something a bit masculine. Incorporating one of the better known metal reliefs of Cerunnos with an elk, I was aiming to have a feel of natural with some mystic tones.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Meeting of Artistic Minds: SoMK

It has been a long time coming but I'm thrilled to bring you all a new installment of 'Meeting of Artistic Minds'. In case some of you are unfamiliar with this little segment, MoAM takes a behind-the-scenes look of how artists come up with their material, thoughts on various things, and introduce people to their work. This time around, I have been able to contact the delightfully talented SoMK for a nice little Q and A session. From Illuminated paintings to hand crafted jewelry, I couldn't wait to hear her thoughts on things.

Orchar WarBird by SoMK
23.5 ct Gold leaf, Copper and Brass leaf on paper
1. As a creator of both hand crafted jewelry and illuminated paintings, what attracted you to either medium to cause you to focus on both?

I strongly believe that illuminated paintings and jewelry are 2 faces of the same coin. We deal with metal in both and some design researches end up in jewelry because the 3rd dimension just seems obvious, and sometimes not.. Actually, History shows us that for instance Renaissance italian enamelist/jewelers often doubled up as illuminators in between commissioned pieces.

One of my favourite illuminator, Nicola da Guardiagrele is especially renowned for his jewelry works. 
I'm not pretending to be at their level by far but this was of course a huge confirmation I was going the right way ;)

Roman de la Rose by SoMK
Based on a 1565 copy of the Roman de la Rose.
Gouaches and 23ct gold leaf on paper.
2. Who or what has been the greatest influence in your work?

Possibly the fact that I was a very lonely child (not sad, just very 'in my own world') and that precise and long works are soothing, like a hunt for something pure and absolute. I surely was influenced by my grand dad who combined scientific background with a very artistic fibre (he painted gorgeous watercolours), and by my mother who taught me to be independent and hard headed ;)

3. On the subject of your jewelry creations, it can be arguably suggested that your Lovecraftian pieces are perhaps some of your most popular among a great many of your viewers. If you chose another literary source of inspiration for a future collection of pieces, which would you like to explore?

Cthulhu Ring and Garnet
by SoMK
So many ! But I'm very worried about copyrights so I don't think I'll do a whole line this time. I will surely make a few 'hommage' pieces, be them paintings or jewelry or figurines around novels I loved (Elric, The Skaith trilogy - I'm a Leigh Brackett's fan, Katheryn Moore's, etc..) but I'll be mainly exploring my own little world.

Jewelry wise, I'll tackle Lovecraft 2.0. New designs, smaller sizes, weird metals. But my illuminated paintings idea list is way way bigger than my jewelry one.

4. With your illuminated paintings, you seem to balance between rather traditional imagery and pieces showing whimsy though subtle humor. Is there any particular scene or imagery that you favor more then another?

Hilarius peripatens by SoMK
Watercolours and 23.5 ct Gold leaf
Nope. I am actually working on bigger pieces, challenging ones, from my own small world and, in between, dealing with smaller funnier pieces helps to relax (and prevents mistakes!) So no, I don't prefer one over the other. They go together. The level of workmanship is the same but there is way less emotional pressure when you draw a MIB or a frolicking dinosaur X)

5. If there was another artist's work you enjoy, who's work would you like to have on the walls of your home or office?
Bronze Durrow Bracelet by SoMK
Based on illuminated borders from the Book of Durrow 

So many !!!! And I have to admit I have a collector streak in me as well so … myeah, I do buy small originals of people I adore like Stephanie Law, Aaron Jasinski, Daniel Maidman, Claudia Hahn or Niroot Puttapipat and many others…. and then some that I can't afford… yet. :p
Soon… sooooon!!!!

Thank you so much SoMK for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer questions! If you want to see more of her work or follow her on social media, then I encourage you to do so.

Facebook: SoMK (Artist) 

deviantART: SoMK
Twitter: SoMK

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Humble Ballpoint Pen

Octopus by Ray Cicin
Original Photo Source - ThisColossal.com
Recently, through my wanderings of the internet, I came across an interesting artist spotlight posted up by ThisColossal.com. This particular feature gave people a glimpse into the intricate and beautiful work by artist Ray Cicin. Using discarded and used ballpoint pens, he created a massive octopus which captures the imagination. 

Work by Enam Bosokah
When I had originally spotted Ray's beautiful feature by Colossal, I couldn't help but remember how MyModernMet.com had featured the works of artists who have used a ballpoint pen- most notably Ghanan-based artist Enam Bosokah earlier this year in April 2015 and Portugal-based artist Samuel Silva back in August 2012. Both of these artists had been able to capture a fascinating amount of detail in their works from such an understated medium. Could these pieces be used as examples of not needing expensive supplies? That is completely possible. Personally I think that it also shows the public and potentially the established art world that, depending on the execution of unconventional mediums (in this case common office supplies), that you could create tantalizing works of art out of nearly anything. Of course, bare in mind, that there are perhaps several art critics out there that would disagree with me on this matter but I am just sharing my opinion.

Work by Samuel Silva

If you decide to look at other examples of works by artists who have used a ballpoint pen to create their pieces, you will be delighted and mesmerized by the variety. From insects to hyperealistic to fantasy, there seems to be no end to the amount of creativity that can be shown by using such an understated medium. Just looking around deviantArt, I was pleasantly surprised by the slowly growing collection of works. It was difficult to narrow down some examples of ballpoint pen art but here are my personal Top 3. 

'Eagle' by XRlS
XRlS.deviantart.com (Greece) - A traditional artist specializing in color pencil works, Greecian artist Christina Papagianni creates stunningly vivid works. Though she mostly focuses on color pencil, she does have a lovely example of ballpoint pen art within her collection of viewable work.
Facebook: Christina Papagianni Artist

'Adam Savage' by ArtisAllan
(Work in Progress)
ArtisAllan.deviantart.com (Ireland) - Self labeled French ballpoint pen artist Allan Barbeau currently residing in Ireland has a wonderful array of examples of both whimsy and hyperealism. As an illustrator and portrait painter, Allan's works are astoundingly detailed. Animals. People. Fantasy. His viewers are certainly in for a treat when viewing his works. 
Facebook: Allan's Ballpoint Pen Art

by Vũ Mạnh Hoà
vumanhhoa.deviantart.com (Vietnam) - With his works ranging from pencil, color pencil and ballpoint pen, Vũ Mạnh Hoà of Vietnam shows his viewers that his interests are also just as wide in variety. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Simple Red Cup

Starbucks Holiday Cup 2015
     I'm sure that by now, if you are on any form of social media, your screen is being spammed by articles of Starbucks choosing to have no decorations this year on their holiday cups. Of course this has been met with vocal anger from the small yet vocal section of the Christian community with cries of "Put Christ back into Christmas". I however am not one of those individuals but there are going to be some things that I'm going to say that will cause many people within my circle of friends and even perhaps my own family to flare their nostrils and perhaps even worse but it needs to be said. So brace yourselves for this. 

Image from a St. Lucia'd Day celebration
Original source: Quiet Time on Tumblr
     Yes it is true that Christmas is not celebrated by everyone and even when it is celebrated, there are a great many variations and traditions there of. Originally, the celebration was known as Yule and was meant to be a midwinter festival celebrated by native Germanic peoples. It was later Christianized  (late 590s A.D.) and called Christmastide with it's 12 day celebration then being converted to what we know now as the Advent Calendar. Even with the drastic change, some traditions are still maintained such as the decorating of a tree and the house, lighting of candles, and the giving of gifts. Also the traditions of the gift givers are different from culture to culture, thus the various versions of Santa Claus/St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Marzana, Sinterklaas and Swartz Pete just to name a few. Even the various 'traditional' foods that are typically served is different from country to country and even from era to era. 

First Night of Hanukkah (2014)
Original Source: McAdams Plumbing of
Broomfield, CO (USA)
     There are also other religious celebrations that occur around the same time of year, such as Hanukkah (Jewish), Bodhi Day (Buddhist), Pancha Ganapati (Hinduism), Yalda (Pagan), and Kwanzaa (Americas). With so many cultures and beliefs that use the month of December and just the winter solstice in general, the entire time is a non-stop celebration of life. So why should we celebrate just one? It's like a teacher having a favorite child in their class and ignores all of the rest of the student body. Eventually that teacher realizes that they have played favoritism for too long and decides to stop, which of course causes the now former favorite to complain to their parents. I know this is a horrible comparison but I'm sure you get the point. 

'Grey Starbucks Cup' by CreativeCarrah on deviantart

     Personally I'm not upset over the fact that the Starbucks cups are just a simple red cup. I will miss seeing the possible patterns that they come out with every year but I am not upset by the missing graphics.There is a reason for this though. I see them now as blank canvases for people to express themselves. The creativity that can be put onto a simple paper cup is astonishing and awe inspiring. So I will not see this as a banishment of merriment but instead an opportunity to see how people will express their creativity and thoughts on a simple inanimate object. Just thinking about all of the possibilities of what artists will come up with makes me so excited. Think of the various subject matters and themes that could be done on that simple red cup! It could even be non-holiday themed.

     I do realize that by this time, most of you will probably already yelled at me about how much I'm wrong, that I may go to hell, or how much I need prayer. You're welcomed to your opinion and of course I did warn you in the beginning that I will be stepping on a great many toes on this. I would normally offer an apology but in this case, I cannot say such a thing without it being a complete lie. However if you have been able to make it to the end of my
'Project Papercup 001' by Sweeter-then-reality on deviantart
argument with an open mind, I thank you for your time and wish you a blessed and joyful celebration of what ever you believe in or follow. I also urge you to be as creative as you can be and enjoy each day you can. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Calendar Page Blizzard

     The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of art and deadlines. Been feeling like either a free-ranged artist, roaming the massive fields of the art world while being stuck in a blizzard of calendar pages and clocks. So unfortunately my chances for announcements here and explaining in better detail has been rather limited due to my schedule currently and what free time I am able to muster is usually spent attempting to relax. With that said, I do have some interesting things happening. 

'Moving Waters' by Dawn Star Wood

     As some of you may know from keeping up with me on Facebook that I have recently been accepted again into the KVIE Art Auction. This will be the 8th consecutive year that I have had the pleasure of being selected as one of the participating Californian artists who are donating their work to raise money for public broadcasting. My piece for this year is actually a remake of a previous painting I had done back in 2009 that was based off of a photo I had taken which I wasn't completely satisfied with. With my style having changed a bit since then and my understanding for colors much more tuned, I went back and redid it. I was thrilled when I was informed that I would be participating once again in the event.

     For those not familiar with the KVIE Art Auction, the auction has been a yearly event for the last 34 years which allows artists from around California to being in their work. About 200 pieces are chosen to be entered then are juried by a handful of well respected artists within the community. These donated pieces of work are then auctioned off and all proceeds are to the KVIE public broadcasting station to help fund them and produce more educational programming. This year's juror line up are Marcy Friedman (figurative), Esteban Villa (contemporary), Maria Winkler (California's gold), Paul Kitagaki Jr. (photography), Stephanie Taylor (sculpture), and Kathleen Stock (landscape/still life). The curator of the show makes a point to put each piece into as many of the categories as possible to give each artist a chance to possibly get an award. If you're interested in bidding on work or finding out about how else you can help support KVIE, I strongly encourage you to visit their web page.As they take the time to review each piece of work created by local artists, you can review information of how you can bid on pieces along with what days, times and stations you can catch the auction live.

website: KVIE Art Auction Page
Dates: Preview Gala Sept. 14th
Art Auction Sept. 18th-20th

'Twinkle the Christmas Mouse'
by Talina Collier
Illustrated by Elizabeth Mueller
Colored by Dawn Star Wood
     I have also been recently added to the PDMI Publishing staff as an illustrator after the encouragement of my dear friend, author Etta Jean, after she had introduced the owner of the company to my work. The first project that they had me on was being the colorist for a children's book, Twinkle, the Christmas Mouse by Talina Collier and illustrated by Elizabeth Mueller. It was certainly an interesting first introduction to things but in the end, I reminded myself that it was much like any of the private commissions that I receive from customers. Since then, I have actually been approached to do possible cover art for a couple of books. Of course I can not really talk about them at the moment until everything goes through but when I am able to make announcements, I will be sharing with you all of the details of those projects.


'Shadow on the Sea'
by Etta Jean
     Most recently, Etta had approached me to work with her by creating a cover for her novela, Shadow on the Sea. The whole imagery that she was wanting was such a fantastical mash of imagery, in the beginning I was actually unsure if I would even be able to create what she was wanting. Luckily she did ask for the entire image to be a wrap around so I wasn't confined into attempting to create the entire piece into an 8"x10" type format, but still.. how in the world was I possibly going to pull this off? Seeing it as a challenge, I was determined to not let doubt ruin this chance for me and I went for it. To hear the squeals of an author as talented as her then discover from others who did the trial reading that what I had done was painted a scene in the book nearly exactly as to how she described- there really is no words for that feeling of relief and victory I felt at that moment. She and I may end up partnering up again sometime in the future but it depends on our schedules and what plans we have going on. She does have other works which you can check out and I highly recommend it. 

Website: Etta Jean Fantasy 
Facebook: Etta Jean 
Online Store: Etta Jean Fantasy Store

Cover art for 'Shadow on the Sea'
by Dawn Star Wood

Monday, April 20, 2015

Not Your Typical Hero

With the entertainment industry remaking and rebooting everything from super heroes to cult classics from my youth, I can't help but feel disappointed in Hollywood with their lack of originality. Then there is the fact that I'm finding myself disconnected from the rest of my geeky and nerdy peers. I watch how they are upset with how there is no Wonder Woman movie at the moment and their disappointment towards some other movie adaptations of comic and video game characters and can't help but think to myself that I really don't see what they do. Even as a child, I actually never liked comic book characters, or at least your standard fictional female personas. Not that there is anything wrong with the characters that people enjoy but I am not personally drawn to them. It's as if the writers at Marvel and DC, no disrespect to either company, are unable to find a balance in depicting a strong woman who may have a sensitive side. It's either one extreme or another then once the character has lost their appeal or the writers are not sure how to further develop them, they are killed off in some dramatic way. Of course the same is true with male characters as well. Even in other genres, I find the same problem so when I do finally find a character that I like, I discover that for the most part other people see them as an after thought.

With this in mind, I thought that perhaps it would be a good idea for me to explain who I see as my fictional female heroes. Of course I really don't have many but those who I can call heroes are dear to me. 

Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura
Star Trek 
Since I grew up with reruns of shows from the 60s and 70s, I would have to say that my first major fictional female would have to be Nichelle Nichols's character of Communications Officer Nyota Uhura. As a mixed ethnic child growing up, to see that there was not only a beautiful woman of color on my TV screen but knowing that she was in such a powerful position gave me hope for being destined for something better then a desk job. Why did I think that she had a more important job then captain or commander? It was because she was in charge of listening and giving information. Without that kind of flow of information, events that the Enterprise crew found themselves in could have easily been much worth then they were. 

Lysette Anthony as Princess Lyssa 
One of my favorite 1980s films, Krull was just loaded with strong male characters and typical cheesy affects that was common with low budget films of the time. However, though her appearance was minimal in the story, Princess Lyssa ( Lysette Anthony ) made me root for her through out the film. Sporting a massive amount of curly hair (I'm not ashamed that I was thrilled to see that there was someone with the same amount of poof that I had at the time), Lyssa was clever, quick witted, and did well to resist against great temptations, I remember telling her image on my TV screen to not give the evil force the power that she held. 

Michelle Pfeiffer as Isabeau

Another of my favorite 1980s films, I enjoyed the witty and clever thief Philippe but I found myself looking up to Michelle Pfeiffer's character Isabeau. Though not given that much screen time and was soft spoken for the most part, the gentle female character had a strength and determination that I greatly admired. To see her stick to what she believed in a lengthy dark time in her life to be rewarded in the end was uplifting to me and gave me hope that if I stuck to what I worked to do that I too would be successful. 

Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan
Star Trek - Next Generation
When my parents showed me Next Generation, I remember enjoying the various episodes and how the characters interacted with each other and evolved. Of course there was one character that I found myself drawn to who sadly, in my opinion, wasn't explored enough. Whoopi Goldberg's character of Guinan was mysterious, kind, and with a hint of a warrior's strength hidden behind a mother-like eye. The best way to describe why I looked up to her as a character was that she had the sense of a medicine woman or priestess. There was a feeling of awe when I would see her in an episode and wanted to learn more about her but her appearances were too few and her background was never explored. 

Xena: Warrior Princess
Renee O'Connor (left) as Gabrielle
Lucy Lawless (right) as Xena
Since her first appearance in the Hercules series, Xena (Lucy Lawless) was a captivating female character. Though her dark background, she was shown as a strong female character who worked at overcoming her past. Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor) was the perfect balance to Xena, being sweet, educated, and willing to learn how best to overcome her own difficulties. For a lack of a better comparison, Xena was the sword while Gabrielle was the sheath. While growing up, I looked forward to watching these two on a weekly basis. As the series progressed, it was always so fascinating to me to watch how the two characters evolved, dealt with heartache of loss, became closer, and showed that even in the darkest of times that the best way to get through it is with a friend willing to be by your side. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Personal Evolution

     Recently I started finding myself hitting a wall with my art. It's a frustrating feeling since I can tell that I have been evolving my style yet again but have been dealing with a thick cloud of uncertainty of what I should do, especially since I have been working on customer projects during this transition. What's worse is these walls I find myself up against have been occurring since the passing of loved ones and the temporary closure of the main gallery I was with (which I mentioned in my entry 2014 - The Year of Bad Dice Rolls ). Could all of this be connected or just a really strange coincidence? Not sure but saying that I want to scream and cry is an understatement. 

     Talking to some of my close friends about it, I realized that I have actually never done a piece of work just for myself. Nearly all of the work that I have done since high school, college and my professional art life has always been for other people. The only things that I can actually say I made for ME has been 3 things - a small mural on my bedroom door, and the 2 tattoos I currently have which both have stories behind them. It was then one of my friends suggested that I be selfish for a moment and do a painting for myself. I have to admit that the idea thrilled and scared me at the same time. What about the customer projects that I had lined up, including her own order? She told me not to worry since even I needed to do something for myself. After so many years of taking care of other people and making others smile when they were in a grey place, I actually found myself uncertain over putting myself first for once. 

     As I work on my personal project, which I will share in a later update once I'm finished, I found myself wondering about the personal works of other artists. Taking a look, I found a small handful of works and projects that grabbed my attention that I thought would be nice to share with you. Each one has powerful, personal stories behind them. 

PaperandDust.deviantart.com (Australia) 
Journal Project by PaperandDust
A traditional artist who mostly specializes in watercolors, Marni has a wonderfully colorful body of work which almost has a dreamscape quality. In 2011 she worked on a personal project which involved creating a creative and colorful collection of journals which she gave to her classmates when they neared their graduation in order for them to record the next chapter of their lives. A wonderfully thoughtful gesture which had a very personal touch. 

Project 27 4.15.09 by Project-27
Project-27.deviantart.com (United States) 
Angela, a photographer from Alabama, has been doing a constant 365 project which she shares on her gallery. For those not familiar with the 365 project, it involves a self portrait of the person involved everyday for a year. Her most powerful image from her project back in 2009, in my opinion, has the simple title of Project 27 4.15.09. She gathered all of the photos she had taken during the year and included herself on top of the collage of images. It's certainly interesting seeing how she evolves with each day. 

k04sk.deviantart.com (United States) 
Finally Some Personal Time
by k04sk
Graphic artist Kalen has a great many works on display in his gallery. Specializing in concept work, the various environments he's created are so tantalizing that it's a shame they do not exist here in our plane. Hidden among his cornucopia of images is one titled Finally Some Personal Time which was done in 2011. He created it after moving to a new location and wanted to test his skills out at that point. I believe he achieved something magical. 

LilleahWest.deviantart.com (United States) 
A custom fursuit creator for customers attending various conventions, Lilleah did a large scale personal project in 2013 in honor of her sister. In the description of the image, she goes on to explain: 
My Sister's Wish
by Lilleah West

These color suits really really mean something special to us...
in July 2012 my sister, her boyfriend and her 4 dogs were all hit by a speeding drunk while in the crosswalk... only my sister survived.... 
She has been unable to walk since the incident.
In autumn we found out my sister would more than likely be unable to quadsuit at FC due to needing a bone graft operation in December... and her purple suit is the only 2 legged one she has...

This multi-suit personal project is something my sister has been wanting to see happen since she created the purple suit 3 years ago.
When I learned she still would be unable to walk/quadsuit come FC is when I began producing 8 fursuits in record time, all in just under 2 months. With sewing help from my niece and her two teenage furry friends I was able to make my sister's wish for this year's FC come true. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tiny Closet Masterpieces

Everyone can appreciate the skill and hard work that goes into costuming. With Cosplay season starting up once again, I am constantly delighted by my photographing buddies such as Hexlord of Black Rabbit Photography and several others sharing not only their own captures but those of their friends. With all of these beautiful creations happening, it made me want to highlight something on a bit smaller scale - costuming for BJDs. BJDs or Ball Jointed Dolls have their own circle of appreciators and range in size from 3 or 4 inches in height to about 18 inches in height. There are several companies where someone can order blank dolls from so that they can customize them themselves but there are a hand full of individuals who actually make the dolls completely from scratch. As beautiful as the process is, I will leave that for another day and feature the clothing of these tiny masterpieces.

"Untitled" by AyuAna

AyuAna.deviantart.com (Poland) 
Ayu & Ana Designs was created by two young ladies who joined forces to create lovely dresses for BJDs. Ranging from Lolita to historical recreations to pure fantasy, the pair make the garments and head dresses for these tiny dolls. In some of the descriptions for the photos of their work, they explain what they were aiming to do and what types of fabrics they used. 

Etsy: Ayu & Ana Designs 

"Vaffee new dress" by Aurikka
Aurikka.deviantart.com (Russia)
Ann has many unique creations displayed in her gallery. Using glass seed beads and an array of various fabrics, the clothing for her dolls are absolutely stunning. She makes sure that no detail on these tiny articles of clothing is overlooked which causes some stunning results. One such piece is a beaded dress for her doll Vaffee which shows intricate details. 

"Commission 117" by Mio27

mio27.deviantart.com (Poland) 
Mio's creations are a mix of traditional representations of Polish and medieval with some modern and fantasy pieces. Using soft cottons, delicate lace, flowing chiffon, and shimmering satin, all of the clothing that she creates has a skilled touch to them. She even adds to the beauty of some of the pieces by including embroidery to them. One such piece she has on view is Commission 117 which she states in the description took her 3 months to embroider. 

"BJD Kimono - Cho-Cho-San" by InarisansCrafts
InarisansCrafts.deviantart.com (Lithuania)
Unlike the above mentioned artisans, Zina creates breathtaking kimonos for her dolls. She not only aims to portray accurate representations of these traditional garments but uses authentic vintage Japanese fabrics to do so. Her gallery is full of beautiful examples of her work and would be difficult to choose if you decided to purchase something from her. 

Etsy: Inarisan's Crafts