Coats, Works in Progress

Stardust Coat: Part One

On to the next coat!

I am also working away on the personal statement to accompany these in my grad school applications, which is like moving mountains with my brain. I haven’t had to write an artist’s statement, or any sort of solid explication of my work and motivations, well, since graduating last time I guess. It was always my least favorite part, prone to causing tantrums and rage, but I’m all grown up now or something, so no stomping feet and crying. Ok maybe just a SMALL tantrum.

The next coat has been dubbed the Stardust Coat. It has occurred to me that all the ideas I have lined up so far are all inspired by books or characters in books, which, given how much the aforementioned personal statement talks about the importance of STORY in my work, seems appropriate.

Since the last one was all blacks, it seemed right to make this one of light tones. I was originally going to work in straight WHITE, but I found this pretty pearl-color upholstery velvet and had to get it. Guess all-white will have to wait.

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The Dream coat was worked in individual pieces, all the applique running vertical. I thought this time I’d try running some applique across the body. This is somewhat tricky, running cross-ways across curved seams, but I’m giving it a go. Here’s some layout experiments. I did this for about an hour in different combinations, then scrapped the whole thing.

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Eventually I settled on a few pieces of applique, with more focus on the stitching, trying some new things from the last one.

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Added in some hand-drawn elements on this one, too. These are the back pieces…
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…and a similar treatment to the front.

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Here’s the body so far. Back and sides are sewn together, with iridescent contrast panels in the back vent and box pleat. Pocket are installed, with contoured welts. The body stitching is done in either plain white or silver iridescent thread, and all the seams are top-stitched.

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Next up, the sleeves and hood attack!

xo

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Space Koyote

Space Koyote Art Hunt Endless Series: Dream

For the newest addition to my art hunt project, I thought it might be good to do a series. My dear friend and inspiration for this project, PonderMonster is doing a rainbow one, and how cool is THAT?

If you have read any of my recent posts, you know one of my biggest artistic/life inspirations has been Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Now I am a rabidly loyal Neil supporter and will love, or at least read, everything he does as a matter of principle, but this particular work stands out as massively, pinpointedly life-changing.

I wonder if Neil gets tired of people ranting about Sandman.

I hope not.

The series is a perfect storm of myth-blending, world-creating, vibrant characters and just a really compelling story. I discovered it through the first boy who ever really broke my heart. I wouldn’t even say he was my first boyfriend, because we only “dated” for a month or two, over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, but he was for sure my first heartbreak. He was an older man (a sophomore!); tall, dark and handsome, with flowing locks and long purple fingernails. Did I mention I was a bit of a gothy teenager?

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And this is AFTER I grew out the black hair. Pity.

 

We had a short and fairly awkward teenage love affair, followed by several years of flirtatious friendship, heartache, general teen angst, and, strangely, actual love and loyalty. I still consider him a dear friend. He swept me off my combat boots and broke my black, tender little heart, but we did have some grand fun.

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I know. Total dreamboat. What was a girl to do?

He introduced me to Twin Peaks, Ben and Jerry’s Cool Brittania (eaten by the pint, always keeping the top smooth and flat), Sisters of Mercy, and, of course, Sandman. I would spend hours reading them voraciously in his cave-like basement room, hiding from the sunlight (hissssss!) while he made mixtapes– it was a short but golden era.I was a mope-tastic gothy teen, awash in synthy bass-beats and my own gloomy importance, lost in the twilight netherworld of my  adolescence, and this, THIS was my goddamn bible.



All of this is to say that Sandman has deep personal resonance for me, that goes far beyond the actual work itself and plugs into a very specific time and place in my evolutionary continuum, and as such continues to form the base for a lot of inspiration and creative drive.

Clearly I must do a Sandman series of little art pieces. It is only right. You like how it took me this long to get to the point? You’ve been very patient; here’s some pictures.

Sketchy-pencil times. I decided to stick with the theme of the speech bubbles, so it seemed right to have my Endless with their sigils. Dream would like his hat back, please.

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I think there’s a hint of Le Petit Prince about him.

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Et finis.

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It seemed only appropriate to leave these around comic book stores, plus I was hoping that would up the chances of them being found by people who would get it/know the character/appreciate it. I guess I can’t expect EVERYONE to know the reference of a comic series from the early 90’s.

I dropped the first one in Berkeley at Fantastic Comics, hiding in the window ledge.

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This one was the fastest turnaround yet– Suzageddon nabbed it in about 5 minutes. Awesome.

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The next two I took on an outing to the city. I went on a Wednesday, which seemed appropriate as it’s new comic day. It’s also when I had time. Art vigilantes lead strangely-scheduled lives. 

I ventured to one of my favorite SF shops, Isotope Comic Book Lounge, and enlisted the help of this dapper gentleman:

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If you haven’t met James Sime yet, you should. He agreed to help me in my schemes and I left the painting inside the front window with James as Gatekeeper.

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It was found later that evening by Gamoid–well done, sir.

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The last one has apparently disappeared into the ethers, as little left paintings are apparently wont to do. This round was 2 for 3 though, so that’s a step in the right direction. I may have made a bad decision in my hiding spot, but I couldn’t resist.

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City Lights Books is just so wonderful and I get swept up into a creative-romantic flurry every time I go in. I also was experimenting with leaving them inside, thinking that might make it easier for them to be found by the right people (book-loving beatniks vs. meth-head street-wanderers). It occurred to me later though that perhaps this was not wise, as people might think it was merchandise, or even if they didn’t, who’s going to want to slip something into their bag in a store? On the other hand, it’s a store that sells radical zines and Steal This Book, so come on now. Perhaps I should have asked permission of the shopkeepers, but that hardly seems very art-vigilante, plus I get nervous making a damn phone call, so can you imagine the anxiety of that conversation?

“Hi, can I leave a painting here”

“We don’t buy art”

“No I just want to leave it to give away”

“We’re not a gallery, dude.”

“No no I don’t want to SELL, it, I just want to hide it for someone to find.”

“What? Go away.”

Yeahhhh… that seemed too risky to my poor anxious soul, so I just left the thing. It seemed so cozy, hanging out by Patti Smith and Allie Brosh. Plus, I left it right by Neil’s Make Good Art. How’s that for an easter egg, people?

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Apparently not very good, since I never heard from it again, but I like to think it found a good home. Or maybe Jack Kerouac’s ghost took it.
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That’s it for this installment of art-hiding theater. Good night, and good luck. 
http://instagram.com/spacekoyote

 

 

 

 

 

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Coats

The Dream Coat: Part Four– Finished!

The beast has been vanquished, and the Dream coat is finally done! Overall I’m quite pleased with it. I learned a lot: messed some things up, asked and answered a lot of questions, and then made more questions. It’s very comfortable to wear and feels solid like armor with all that quilting. Dream armor. I hope it lives up to its inspiration. I wanted it to feel like a story; like every time you look at it you notice some new detail, some new secret.

Here’s a shot when it was still missing collar and sleeves. You can see some of the quilting of insanity.

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Detail shot. Note the pocket flaps– I think they turned out pretty nicely.

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I also inherited some wonderful brass buttons that seemed to have arrived just for this project.

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Here it is in all it’s glory:

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Sleeve detail. The two stripes are a bit of an artist’s mark– I thought I might make them a common thread (haha) on all the coats. They represent the old magpie rhyme:

One for sorrow,

Two for joy,

Three for a girl,

Four for a boy,

Five for silver,

Six for gold,

Seven for a secret,

Never to be told.

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Truth be told, I rather liked the secret-never-to-be-told, but seven was a bit more than I could deal with. So joy it is.

Back detail. I vented it in the shoulders and gave it a box pleat at the tail. I drafted both of these into the pattern and they were one of the toughest parts, having never done them before and adding them in– there was a lot of “what the hell am I doing… please please please don’t let me mess it up”  Hopefully the next ones will be a bit more graceful. Many thanks to all the wonderful bloggers out there whose tutorials, tips and tricks helped save my sanity on this.

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Some lining detail. You can see the top on my hem facing there because I fucked up. Pleat fail. Everything is ruined.

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The front facings are more simple and have silver flames and stars embroidered on. There’s a bit of ribbon piping between lining and facing as well.

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And here you can see the hidden inner pocket. Because pockets!

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Detail of the inner collar. The collar stands up, so this is rarely visible. It’s meant as a secret moment just for the wearer; something just for you. It’s a quote from Sandman and reads:

“Sometimes you wake up.

Sometimes the fall kills you.

And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”

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So it’s done. Sweet dreams.

xo

 

 

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