Thursday, January 5

When [Art Work] Meets [Mind Work]

A new project I am starting is a daily "Art & Mind Work" set goal. These sets are unplanned Art & Expression sets, meaning that I do not begin creating them with any preselected items or ideas, I just begin a random search in the Polyvore data-base of items, using any words that come to me. When I find an image that speaks to me, I start by looking at it and thinking of how it can be used. From that point I just build around the original image, layering over it or behind it, and just 'playing' for lack of a better word. I let the set build almost as a sculptor would chip away at a piece of marble, letting the hidden creation reveal itself. It sounds odd to some people I am sure, but it is how my process works.

That is the Art Work component of the set. The Mind Work component for me comes second. After the image is complete, I look for something that it is saying to me, I make the mental leap to a slogan or saying of my own. This can appear as a Word Art expression in the set, or merely as the title of the set. Then I do the heavy work, mentally speaking, by expressing something personal from my own perspective, very subjectively in the set description. Here is an example of what I mean.

This is the image that inspired an entire set. It is entitled Early Snow and is by artist Nene Thomas.

And this is the [Art Work] Meets [Mind Work] set that I created. It is titled They Lie. The description accompanying the set follows below.

They Lie! [A Writing On Personal Pain and How To Move On]

They Lie! [A Writing On Personal Pain and How To Move On]

They say time heals all wounds, that time is the cure to a broken heart or a broken past. Time adds distance, but not closure or healing, nor does it make the pain go away. What it does is give us the time to care for the wound, to acknowledge it, to incorporate the event into the person we are as a result of it. Time alone heals nothing, that is the lie. Some wounds can never be healed, and even those that can are not miraculously cured by time alone. Time gives us a chance to go through the stages of grief, to reflect on the injury, and to look within and without for the tools that allow us to survive. Time lets us find the resources, the people, the help we need to move on. Sometimes moving on is all that can be done. Let us not wallow in our misery, let us not over indulge our role as victim. Let us take our collective experiences, both good and bad, and let them create the person we are meant to be. We are women after all, we are the shepherds of our society, we are nothing if not strong and capable of things beyond our comprehension.

~ Lisa Ann Magerman, RN, BScN
Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Again, this is an example of my collage doll creations from Polyvore, and the words sort of emerge from the final image, which I never plan ahead. I start with a single image I like, in this case the woman's face, and then I build around that. If you follow the link to the set, you will see that this image actually contains 46 separate elements.

A detailed description of my process follows:

I cut the face and some of the hair out of the original image. I built her hair from many wisps and curls available. Next it was her collar, as I was left with no neck and a very angular jaw. The poncho style sweater was a great solution, but required some cuts and edits to make it work with the angle of the head. The jeans and boots came next, I choose the pants, then looked for boots in positions that would look like they belonged. The tee-shirt underneath, allowed me to connect the top and bottom halves of the "doll" and gave me some arms to work with. I then searched out and added the hands, filled in the sleeves, and sat back and noted the posture that was created.

Each "doll" has a different personality, in this case I felt serene pain. When I found the background image with the couple in the far distance, I decided it was perfect for not only the way the woman was dressed, but also the mood. Then I wanted to add to the image, to work on connecting the background and the doll, to add special effects like shine or fog. I found a great fog filter to place over the whole image to make the doll and the background look more harmonious.

I was randomly looking for things to add to the image, like the fences I placed on the path, and came across the watch. Putting the watch in her hand made me think of time and pain... so naturally (for me at least)the saying "Time Heals All Wounds" came to mind. The next step was just thinking about that saying, did it ring true to me? Do I believe it? From that came the words, the text I placed on the image, and then the entire "mini-rant" or thought blurb that followed. Sometimes these things are personal to me, something I am feeling or going through. Other times they are just my feelings about an issue or trend, something political, or something that I have read.

Hope you don't mind my sharing this process, I am personally fascinated by the way people come up with some of the brilliant sets they do, and wonder not only how they did what they did within the confines of the Polyvore set creator, but also where the inspiration comes from. Feel free to look at more of my work on my Polyvore profile.

Monday, January 2

Oh You Beautiful Doll!

I am addicted to doll making lately, creating Art & Expression sets on Polyvore primarily featuring a "doll", or a hand built figure. You can start with an idea, or just by looking through the dozens of "Tubes Femme" or models on the Polyvore site. Get inspired by a face, a dress, a pair of shoes, a setting, and start building. Choose the head and cut it out of the background, find the torso, and then the arms that work together. It is like cutting images out of magazines, as many of us did as children, and putting together a person from all those cut bits.

It's hard to explain unless you can see it, and looking at the amazing sets created by the many Poly-Doll Creators o the site is a great start. Ultimately, we all develop our own methods of making dolls and art sets, or a variety of methods that work for us. The key is to keep playing, keep striving to make that work of art that wows us and inspires others. Here are more of my recent "Dolls", many created to be added to my new Polyvore Group "The Doll House", a new community for "Doll"-makers on Polyvore, or all skill levels, meant to showcase this highly creative and inspiring art form. It is nice to see that recent changes to Polyvore have allowed the "Art & Expression" sets to once again share in the spotlight, something that I have been missing for so very long.

Pretty Parlour Tricks

She was the kind of Girl....

When the party is over....

Happy New Year To You!

She of the Daisy Chain

A Suitcase Full of Steam Punk

Double The Trouble TWINS

On Point In A Teacup

Welcome to "The Doll House"