Have you seen Grayson’s Art Club?
if you haven’t, it’s worth catching up.
if you have… then you’ll know he invites anyone and everyone to submit their artworks on each theme. Well, I decided to finally be one of those people!
I looked it up, and classic me, I’d already missed THREE submission dates by the time I looked. But there were three more, one was the next day at midnight, so I decided YES, I’ll give it a jolly good go. The theme/prompt was ‘Dreams’, and I had no idea what to do… and certainly didn’t plan to spend quite so much time on the artwork as I did.
MUCHA LOVE FOR ALPHONSE!
I adore Mucha! I think I adopted my love of Mucha from my mum and eldest sister, who introduced his work to our home, and I gradually caught the bug. In 2017, my boyfriend (at the time) took me to Prague for my birthday, so I got to visit all the wonderful museums and see Mucha’s work, as well as explore the city and architecture steeped in Art Nouveau beauty (and he got lots of beer). Since then, I’ve seen more exhibitions of his work, dressed up as his girls, and even decorated our home bar inspired by his style. I’d written in my journal about starting a Mucha project recently, I had an idea to possibly start offering to make Mucha inspired custom portraits for people … I made a one for my sister in 2019 – but she doesn’t like having her image online, so I can’t show you the work – we’d taken photos in dress-up at the Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth (2015) when she’d come to see me at uni. I managed to manipulate this phone snap into something fairly impressive as a Christmas gift – with gold leaf of course!
So when I started thinking and journaling on the prompt of DREAMS for this challenge, a Mucha style unconsciously flowed from my pen. I also thought about dreams in the sense of ambitions and realised hopes/goals. And maybe as vain as it sounds, I thought about myself.
THE ONE DAY MAKE
So, I had one day to complete this as yet undecided artwork and submit it (with accompanying short video, photos and blurb) by midnight … I’d woken up late, had webinars to attend, my printer was on the blink and I still only had the dodgy batch of cyanotype sensitiser in the lab –
WHAT COULD GO WRONG!??!!
Well, I spent five hours on the digital aspect of the work – that’s five long hours of fiddling around on photoshop, working in the fastest & choppiest way I could (so imagine how long it would take if I needed it to be neat!?)… leaving a grand total of 5 hours to print the negative, expose the cyanotype, then process, soak and dry it, before adding gold leaf, filming a hello message, writting a blurb and photographing it + upload time. Needless to say it was within a half hour of the deadline that I finally saw the “thank you for your submission” message.
I spend a jolly long time making these videos as well – so I’m going to let them do the talking from now.
The first is the five hours, sped up to fit in just over 76 seconds of dialogue cut from my video to Grayson.
The second is clips I shot throughout the evening, gradually freaking out a little more about my lack of time and preparedness….
Annoyingly, somewhere in the last month Squarespace decided that it will only accept YouTube or Vimeo videos on the blogs of it’s users, so I’ve had to try and up my game a little to make my ramblings YouTube worthy: filming in landscape mode like an adult (but with portrait aspects in mind) and actually talking to the camera – it was all an effort. But with practice, it’ll be like second-nature in no time.
(editing out all the umms, yawns, nonsensical rants and tired pauses)
I also had some webinars to attend, so imagine editing several layers of your own voice, on a glitchy web-hosted (free) version of a video editing software while also listening to several women talk about how they’ve totally got their shit together… nightmare!
FINDING MY VOICE
Okay – for those of you who know me well, you know I am certainly not afraid of a selfie, but that I hate public speaking or talking on camera … WELL, last year I swore to Pioneering Your Life that I would overcome my fears, and over the last few weeks I finally have!! I think this whole piece is sort of a big HOORAH for all the things I’ve learnt in therapy & coaching and life in the last two years, so fucking huge thanks everyone* who’s held my hand / given me a kick up the arse / challenged my thinking / had my heart / listened / helped me stand alone / walked with me during this time.
& A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO CHLOE – for leading her cyanotype workshops & teaching this amazing craft in London (when allowed), I attended one three years ago in Kingston and just look what happened!
* there’s a little handful of people who I love SO SO SO much, that don’t like having their photos/names shared online, so I can’t list them, but you know who you are! You’ve been there for me through thick and thin, been a shoulder to cry on, a brain to pick, and a voice of reason to my erratic thoughts…
Please do pop onto my YouTube channel & hit subscribe
I’m sure there will end up being lots more videos soon!
I am currently filming for the next Grayson’s Art Club prompt of “WORK” which is focused on my granny’s art career, which is intrinsically linked to my own.