100 Day Project: 1-11

Last week, I went through a little bit of a meltdown when at 1 A.M. I tore bunch of pages of my drawing copy in rage, threw them all over my room and furiously went back to my painting which was the cause. I wasn’t getting it right, far from it… it was so so wrong. It looked ugly and I can’t paint, why do I even try?

This is an usual occurrence. Output don’t match up to my expectations. I get crazy. I deduce I can’t obviously continue with my pitiful results. This has been happening of late. Lack of practice will do that to you. Knowing the logical thing, even in an illogical state of mind, I decided to start a 100 day project, my second attempt at it. My first 100 day project was a life-changing experience. It taught me little things about technique, wonders of daily practice, and bigger lessons about focusing on process over product. But it has been a year since the last 100 day project. I thought I would be able to practice, and for sometime I did keep to it. But changes, primarily getting a full-time job in a new city, deviated me. I continued to paint on and off, but there was a marked difference in quality, which can only be improved by practice. Hence, another 100 day project.

This time round, the goal is to become well averse in the technique of wet on wet. As always it will be fashion illustration, subject matter being photographs of latest collection that catches my eyes. Bil Donovan, a personal hero, is the inspiration (last time it was Michael Ward). His work is majestic and looks so effortless. And that is the key word here. Effortlessness. Ironically, requiring a lot of effort. To be able to control the brush, the ink and the colors while manipulating space – making less more. So the aim of the project apart from the main goal is to loosen up my movement while painting, bringing a fluidity. Being confident with the brush enough to not use a pencil. Using a pencil was like safety net, it can be redone. But when you are only using the brush, every stroke counts, making you conscious of your action and its impact. So if you fuck up, you have to cover it up or start again. Which is excruciating in its own way, but that’s the process. Wet on wet technique is achieved best when done quickly, devoid of details playing up bigger aspect that makes a visual attractive. The fundamentals essentially – shape, color, form, movement. So its very much back to basics.

IMG_20170609_201054_009Day 1 – Rosie Assoulin Resort 2018

Day 1 had to start with Rosie Assoulin. Her clothes are painfully pretty but not in a way that alienates you. Its kooky pretty. I don’t lust it, but it would be magical to own a Rosie Assoulin. Her collection uses shapes and color so beautifully the movement makes for incredible visuals. I am not too crazy about how this turned out on day 11, but day 1 sure was fun (which is the point).

IMG_20170610_203349_051Day 2 – Elizabeth Kennedy Resort 2018

I made a mess again. I thrashed my room. I started with a different visual reference, hated how it turned out the first time, hated it the second time and the third time. Changed the reference image again, hated all the attempts again. There were paper in crumpled up balls and bits everywhere. I was also shaking a little at how bad it was. The third reference image was of a simple shimmering gown. I won’t say this is great, but the simplicity of capturing the areas of shadow was little satisfying.

IMG_20170611_232331_082Day 3 – Altuzarra Resort 2018

Beautiful gown, also a beautiful collection. Second reference image. Initially I wanted to go with something more graphic, but I just couldn’t put it together well. I turned to this more romantic dress. This wasn’t my first choice only because I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the details. But wet on wet is not about details, so I had a little fun with the freedom to not be too true to the visual.

IMG_20170612_220938_480Day 4 – Adam Lippes Resort 2018

By day 4, this was my favourite. I liked the composition. I focused more on the girls and their bodies and faces. The clothes were simple yet striking, so that helped plenty. Also darker the brown on the skin, the better the clothes look to me.

IMG_20170613_214507_627Day 5 – Stella McCartney Resort 2018

Confession – very high when I did this. This coat is brilliant on so many accounts. I might redo this again. Using natural hair brushes, ink instead of watercolor and a brain not swimming in weed.

IMG_20170615_000938_349Day 6 – Stella McCartney Resort 2018

It was fun just playing with primary colors for this one. But I didn’t pay attention to any of the fundamentals. I abhor it.

IMG_20170615_225503_107Day 7 – Monique Lhullier Resort 2018

This collection is as pretty as this artwork is not. But brushwork got slightly better, especially the roses. Maybe only the roses.

IMG_20170616_223655_771Day 8 – Sachin & Babi Resort 2018

I loved how this turned out. I was incredibly relaxed when I did this, I payed attention to the movement, consistency of the colors and played up the light and shadow. It was Fun.

IMG_20170617_223844_469Day 9 – Carolina Herrera Resort 2018

I love this collection I made three sketches from it. I hate how the face turned out. It looks scary.

IMG_20170618_172416_930Day 10 – Carolina Herrera

Polka dots make for a good visual. Simple silhouette in a striking color or print is what I should focus on perhaps. Still trying to loosen up my brushwork.

IMG_20170619_221724_914Day 11 – Carolina Herrera

Definitely going for lesser details, but pretty surfaces on beautiful dresses are a weakness currently.

 

Objects for the Body

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To Rei Kawakubo, she isn’t the trailblazer revolutionary designer since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in the fashion industry. To her she is nothing but a business woman. One who started making clothes because she couldn’t find anything that she was looking for, went on to create a brand that since has changed not only how we view fashion, clothes and women with respect to each other but also changed how the industry approached doing business.

Looking at Kawakubo and her brand, Comme des Garcons’ legacy is almost overwhelming. Ever since the Met Gala for The Costume Institute’s Spring 2017 exhibition “Art of the In-Between” celebrating her work, I threw myself down the rabbit hole that is her work – pulling articles, interviews, past shows, what have you. I couldn’t stop, the more I read about her, the more information I wanted. In college, I barely knew of her work. I had come across it several times, but I didn’t know then how to appreciate her clothes. They weren’t wearable. They weren’t pretty. They definitely did not flatter the one wearing them. The clothes almost always devoured the wearer leaving only the impression of their outlandishness. I didn’t understand it. And that’s what precisely one of Kawakubo’s aims is. When her clothes translate their purpose easily to the outside world, be they critics or buyers or consumers, it irks her. She refused to include her Fall 2005 “Broken Bride” collection or Spring 2005 “Motorcycle Ballerinas” in the exhibition because she deemed it too “understandable”.  She doesn’t want to be understood. When understanding isn’t an option, all they do is stir up emotions. The clothes walking down the runway want to strike a chord deeper than merely understanding them cerebrally. Very few designers can move an audience to tears like in her Fall 2015 show titled “Ceremony of Separation”.

To me the appeal of Kawakubo is twofold. First and foremost, it’s her clothes.  What motivated her in 1969 hasn’t changed much from her motivation in 2017. Her drive to continue creating the new, approaching matters at hand in a new way, looking at things in a new way is primary. When I started to go through her old archives from the 90s and the 00s, it didn’t feel dated. Take a look at her Spring 2002 and you will find high street brands saturated with similar concepts that have trickled down from recent shows. Although they shocked the critics at the time by being nothing like anything that came before, her clothes from 30-20 years looks contemporary now. Her clothes, if I can call them that as she has stopped making clothes, still shock us, but they aren’t cheap thrills. She delves into concepts and gives it all she has to create masterpieces. Her Fall 2012 commonly known as her Paper Doll collection where she explored clothes in 2-dimension still remains an iconic piece of work of the 21st century. When she couldn’t fathom new silhouette, she created new bodies to drape dresses around, giving us the “Body meet Dress, Dress meets Body” of Fall 1997. She isn’t creating mere garments for popular consumption, not for the main Comme des Garcons line. She is creating what comes next, as she has always done. She is tuned with the future like no other. She creates what truly can be called “modern”.

Second, it’s Rei Kawakubo herself. Her clothes, shrouded in mystery as they are, are still open to interpretation. But Rei herself is an enigma. A titan of the fashion industry, having erected an empire independently, a figure revered and worshipped, but what do we know about her? She doesn’t explain her work, she stopped taking a bow at the end of her shows, her interviews come across as short, dry and deadpan. There isn’t another figure of her stature that comes across as guarded as her. To me, she feels like the quintessential Japanese. No pomp and show, her work creates the noise on their own without a peep from her. To me, she’s also a BAMF, a punk BAMF. There is a “fuck you” in her work that you can’t miss. She doesn’t do anything according to the establishment. Whether it is her clothes rebelling against the beauty standards or her brand refusing to associate itself with a celebrity in the name of having a face, or just her refusing to talk about her design process, she never did anything to compromise her own vision and truth.  That’s rare. That’s legendary.

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Photograph Courtesy: The New York Times

Unedited

I haven’t been able to write. Somewhere during the end of 2015, I couldn’t stand what I was writing. I was taking a moment of sadness and spinning away with it. I was sick of being sad and writing about sad. I was sick of the aura of sadness that enveloped me. I needed to go a different way. I started painting again. It was the therapy I needed. The colors, the brush, the wet color on the brush sliding on a paper making a happy picture. Anything you put on paper with color is happy. I needed happy. It worked. I got out of my funk, got a job, got my perspective back, got over. I kept painting almost on a daily basis for the rest of 2016. Things changed with the passage of time and I have a painting for almost all of the days. Painting that makes me happy, even though I might have cried on the day. Maybe that’s why I stopped writing. My writing made me sad, and I didn’t want to be sad.
But here we are. This is 9th April, 2017. A lot has changed since the beginning of the year. The change doesn’t matter. Change messes me up, it has always messed me up. On 9th April, 2017 I know it will eventually work itself out like it did so many times before. But what bothers me about the past few months is that I have stopped communicating. With myself. Or with anybody else who matter. The saddest moment had been crying on the bathroom floor wanting to tell anybody who cares how wrong and shitty and bad it is but also wanting to tell nobody. What would they even tell me that they haven’t told me before?
It will be okay. I know.
Be strong. I know.
Focus on your work. I know.
You are luckier than you think. I know.
Instead of reaching out, I cried harder because I felt I hadn’t made a friend I would want to go to at 2 AM knowing that they would comfort me. I was under the impression I did and I no longer had them around. Looping back to square one and crying harder. At moments of despair such as these, I always think of killing myself. Which makes me cry more because it’s a cop out and all the faces I would hurt immensely float around in my head. A lot of things makes me cry when I am crying on the bathroom floor at 2 AM. I don’t know how to continue on with this thread of thought.
I will start anew. Things are looking up. I still have difficulty facing a Sunday. For some odd reason, Sunday depresses me the most. But as I said, it’s looking up. I am smiling more. I am reading up on things I love. I have the inner unrest to do something with my time again. All good, healthy, happy things.
I want to write again. About thoughts that pop up in my head. About things I love with passion. About people I meet. Books I read. Days I live. Maybe a sad story or two. Balanced with a happy painting.

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Oops! I did it again!

I lost my phone. I lost my fourth phone. I lost my fourth phone in the last four years. It’s a certifiable tradition now. I lost one in 2011, then in 2012, 2013 and now in 2014. And I have no clue how either. One moment it’s there, next moment poof! But if I were to be honest here, I am not even fazed by it. I am surprised I stuck with it for like a year. The way I keep it, dropping it every which way and forgetting about it in shops, library, canteen, labs, classrooms. I mean you’d expect me to know the use of pockets, but nope. But people are generally sweet enough to return it to me. It is a Nokia 100.

So I don’t judge them for not trying to make a sell off it. But the worst part is telling my parents.

“So Mum, I don’t call you ever, but I lost my phone again. Pay for the next one, could ya?”

When I broke the news this time I could feel the wafts of disappointment floating in and this time my mum did the whole “being-irresponsible-is-not-very-adult-like” routine. It was brutal. And I so don’t want to face my brother. He’d be all smug. I hate smug. Smugness is the worst. Don’t you think smugness is the worst?

But tell me, do we really, essentially need phones? Hercules didn’t. Hagar the Horrible didn’t. Gandhi didn’t. My grandma didn’t. And she’s been alive for all this year. See, I have a solid case here. I don’t need one either. I could drop off the face of the earth and no one could ever trace me. They will only have ever heard of me.There will be sightings reported. I could be like an enigma of the mystical. The girl without a phone. Not talking to her besties every minute of the day. Not posting selfies. Is it a coincidence or an enigma of the mystical??
But I need it to wake me up in time. Or wake me up in time to snooze the alarm.

Does anyone remember a time when at the core phones were just a device to talk to people who are miles away? I do. Because I had a Nokia 100.

And contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t black and white.

But they have gone all smart and shit with their apps and stuff. Which people use to crush candies. So, there are tough times ahead. I have to try to save up for something other than clothes. I’ll get by, I am kinda like a super ninja samurai futuristic barbarian. I do need some telekinetic powers, but we can’t all be perfect.

Video time!! Video time!! AKA buying time to come up with something other than posting videos

Beautiful, beautiful poetry, those words touched me.

White people dancing to Indian music and not as a part of a Bollywood movie *awesomeness*

“What you gonna do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy” – that is dumb.

Remember the magic words: Please,Thank You and Step off Bitch. Now you can thank me for wasting precious time of your life.

It’s Diwali. Be Happy.

ImageAfter spending two cracker free Diwali years (because I am a pretentious ass trying to save the environment -_-.. big whoop!) this year I could not squash away my inner child anymore. Let’s face it, that’s healthy for no one. So I did what 5 year old me would be proud of! Lit candles around the entire house, ate bunch of sweets, did not care about what I wore but what I burst and spend an evening with family and argued on far-off topics like a real family after a really long time. Best Diwali ever!

Photo courtesy : Farheen Islam

My Basket Of Inspiration

The “Blogs I Follow” widget on my blog is utterly useless because it only shows the blogs I follow on WordPress which is basically zero. So I will be listing out the blogs that I love to go through everyday of my morose life and which actually inspired me to start blogging in the first place.

  • Delightfully Tacky: The blog features the life and time of Elizabeth, an Alaskan girl living in Tacoma.Though not a fashion blogger, I love her quirky style and her pictures are always beautiful with the most beautiful settings ever. And her writing is exactly what I like best, spur of the moment thoughts.

[ Visit Delightfully Tacky at http://www.delightfully-tacky.com/]

  • Thought Catalog: This is the only blog I follow through WordPress. Which I discovered JUST NOW! Anywho! It is an amalgamation of articles written by various people at different point of day. So whenever you log on to it, chances are you will find something new to read, which is the best thing that has happened me because the obvious, I love reading. It has everything from humor to serious discussion to pansy, sad stuff. You name it. And their About page is one of the best I have read so far. They truly are supporting the future journalism.

[ Visit Thought Catalog at http://thoughtcatalog.com/]

  • Stuff No One Told Me: The guy draws cartoons and comics his day to day life. Can IT get more awesome and cute???

[ Visit Stuff No One Told Me at http://www.snotm.com/]

  • Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind: I discovered this blog after reading the book May I Hebb Your Attention, Pliss by the blogger, Arnab Ray. And in his randomness, he is unabashedly sarcastic, self-deprecating and pretty political with amazing knowledge of C grade Bollywood flicks. And I am always game for some observational humor. Isn’t that the best? .

[ Visit Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind at http://greatbong.net/]

  • College Fashion: Just for my daily dose of style info. And they just don’t cover the ramp fashion, they derive fun ideas from books, shows, songs, characters, individuals, basically anything that intrigues them. And their Hautelinks every Friday is how I keep myself updated on lots of things and it has become my window to the internet world.

[ I will not share this link. Go find them yourself.]

P.S. This article really got me thinking whether Facebook is really sexist and I have also come across really offensive  pages on women which I have duly reported but they haven’t seem to be taken down. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/does-facebook-hate-all-women-or-just-feminists/ and while you are there, do visit http://www.agirlsguidetotakingovertheworld.co.uk/, especially go through their albums.