Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why Did I Start SpyGirl?

"Why did you start blogging?"
On the eve of International Fake Journal Month, now is a good time to answer this question.
SpyGirl from the start has been a fun, creative outlet.
I found my cartoonish avatar under a bush in March 2010. Click here to see what I did for my first posts.
Things were slow that first year, due to health complications.

In 2011, I did another fake journal, and that's when I became a "real" fashion blogger.
I started following fashion and style blogs regularly, I joined IFB, I paid more attention to trends, I started taking outfit photos.
Also in 2011, I got the urge to fashion sketch again (had stopped after freelancing at Mattel dried up in 1999) and started experimenting with different techniques. My Fashion Icon series is one completely digital approach that I'm happy with, but involves a lot of work.
Recently, I've come up with a half analog, half digital hybrid that I really enjoy.

The 2013 Fake Journal, "The Digital Catwalk" shall commence tomorrow, April 1st.
It's going to be a blast!

Some background:
I completed the rigorous BFA Fashion Design program at OTIS in 87 and was immediately hired by the department chair, Rosemary Brantley, as a design assistant for her company in downtown LA. After two years, I moved on to designing Barbie Dolls at Mattel. Four years at Mattel totally burned me out on fashion design and I quit to return to my original creative passion: fine art.
I quickly became uncomfortable with my lack of funds and started doing various freelance gigs, including a part-time return to Mattel. OTIS then beckoned with a teaching position in Digital Design in the Fashion Dept, where I ended up in charge of my area through 2005.
I continue to teach Digital Design for Fashion and Textiles in the CE Department at OTIS. My primary day job is designing prints for mass-market loungewear and underwear.
I am still doing fine art (I will never give that up again) and am looking forward to a figurative workshop this summer with Rebecca Campbell.

At 56, I can say: I love what I'm doing.
"Why did I start blogging?" For fun!
Why did YOU start blogging?

Inspired by (but too late to include) IFB Project #87: Why Did You Start Your Blog?

Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday since I'm no shrinking violet. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Foot Fetish Friday: Fluevog

Fluevog Chunky Retro Sandal
Sonnie's  So Pasadena
These are so over the top crazy.
Designed in the 90s
Look like the 70s
Comfortable too.

Time for another shoe sketch! Friday crept up on me like a stealthy cat.

I love these sandals. They have been sitting on the speakers in my hallway, waiting to get repaired. They have been there a REALLY LONG TIME! They have a minor problem - the rubber soles have come partly unglued, so they flap around (trip and fall waiting to happen). I even got some strong shoe glue from a student (two years ago?) who was also taking a shoe design class. Not doing so well on the DIY shoe repair, SpyGirl.
styled with my CMYK Happy Socks (this style no longer available)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Live Sketching at a Photo Shoot

Kelly, Gina, Kelsi
I brought a ginormous apple pie, grapes, and my sketchbook.
I came home with about 30 fashion sketches.

The photoshoot for the ASOS Marketplace LA Fashion Council Le Shoppe was a lot of fun.
I will post more about it sometime soon...  [and will link up Le Shoppe when it goes live next week] LINK [link not working until new merch gets added]

Gotta go to the day job and work on some mens boxer prints right now. Sometimes I'm frustrated by the constraints of my economic situation.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hanging Day at TAG Gallery

I'm a member of TAG Gallery, a co-op gallery jointly owned and operated by 42 artists. Unlike a typical commercial gallery, we are individually responsible for mounting our exhibitions. Ellen is our member who is an ace at installation, and is usually around to help everyone, but she was on vacation in Hawaii. Severo was working his day job, and could only help me on his lunch break. I decided to forge ahead on my own, since I didn't have that many pieces.

Here's how Sunday, Hanging Day, went.

First of all, I had to frame four things -- not my idea of a good time.
I usually use professional framers, but I went DIY with Aaron Brothers frames, since these were small prints.
This is Commute Home and its 11x14" frame
Next, I had to go spelunking in my art storage room in the garage to find some pieces.
The gravel pit oil painting diptych was easy to find and easy to retrieve.
I never did locate print #1 of Commuter Quilt. Thank goodness the service bureau convinced me to print two. And that I bought two dowels. Otherwise... a meltdown may have occurred! [Still wondering where it is].
Another potential problem was what faced me when I got to the gallery: nine pedestals arranged around the perimeter.  Grrrr.
Fortunately, they were much lighter than they looked and it was easy to shove them into the middle of the room.
(Elyse, a co-exhibitor, needed them for her sculptures in another part of the gallery).
Getting things arranged
Stopping for an outfit shot
Hello math problem!
Middles of all pieces 62" from floor.
Add 1/2 of width, minus where the hanging wire hits.
Extra credit: get it in the middle between the two pastels.

Severo arrived at the perfect time!
Lunch break with awesome sandwiches!
We got everything up, saving the hardest for last
Done! So happy it's all up!
Selfie with Commuter Quilt and matching iPhone case
The show opens tomorrow, March 26 at 11am. It runs until April 20th.
The reception will be in two weeks, April 6, 5-8pm.
TAG Gallery 
Bergamot Station,
2525 Michigan Ave, Bldg D3, Santa Monica, CA  90404

Joining up with Patti's Visible Monday, the fun place to be!

Note: I received the 10% artist discount for the phone case. It retails for $35 + shipping.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Foot Fetish Friday: Witch Shoes

"Witch" shoes
1979 (?)  Roxy's (?), Thayer St, Providence, RI
I wore these shoes A LOT in the 80s
In one of my "pound the pavement" trips to NYC I lost one of the heel taps. I wore that heel down 1/2". A great shoe repair guy sawed off the other side to match. Now 1" [height] wide base kitten heels.
They're really beat up, but oh so comfortable

Yesssss, my pretty...
I still have my 80s Witch shoes (cue scary Margaret Hamilton cackle).
I did indeed get them at Roxy Deluxe.
I have since found out that the family moved the business from Providence to North Hollywood and now they rent costumes for film and television. It's a small world, my friends.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Album Cover Outfit

I was inspired by an album cover today!

Escape to Paradox Island, by Martin, Luther, Lennon (1999)
has a simple, eye-popping design using magenta and cyan, with some white text.

The inside is equally well executed:
"Armageddon surfer girl, rock on..."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rings on Her Fingers... GIVEAWAY [CLOSED]

I wear 10 silver rings on my left hand.
I used to wear a bunch on my right hand, but can't anymore because of a medical condition (sad face).
The oldest, the plain one at the top of my pinkie, I got sometime in high school; the newest, the Navajo double ring on my index finger, at Idyllwild Arts when I was up there at summer art camp in 2007.

I'm trying a new giveaway service called Gumball. They choose the item, I get a widget for SpyGirl.
I thought this cocktail ring was a good item to start with!
Good luck!


Monday, March 18, 2013

"Anne the SpyGirl" Shop on Society6

I've opened a shop exclusively for my fashion sketches on Society6
[earlier iteration of sketch]
ISM Mode F/W13 Plaid Top
direct link to sketch on Society6 
A widget is now stationed on the sidebar, for your shopping convenience.

For anyone curious about starting their own business selling digital prints, I'm really pleased with the quality and service of Society6. I set up my fine art prints shop there in 2010.

I like the fact that you can add what profit you'd like to make on your work for the prints on paper.
[now you know my markups]

They also offer pieces framed, which I haven't yet sampled. (Almost did for my upcoming show, but then decided I didn't like the framing options). They fulfill the order and payments are through PayPal.

Sizing is dependent upon the size of your original jpg. If you're particular about color matching and output dimensions, then this wouldn't be a good place to use as a service bureau. I've had some "interesting" size issues happen -- especially with a cupcake image that I had to shrink and reorder because the first version was scary big (cupcakes the size of cauliflower heads? No thank you).
Other drawbacks are: not knowing who buys your work, canvas print prices are not adjustable (this one really irks me), and the paper is super heavy and rolled (how it comes for the printing process) so it's impossible to "float" your image when framing.

They keep adding new substrates and products that they print -- the latest is pillows.
I just ordered an iPhone case and I'll tell you what I think when I get it (soon I hope).
The site also has a whole "social" aspect, with "Loves" and "Follows" and all that.

Note: I was not compensated by Society6 for this post.
But if you buy art from me over there, then I will certainly make some money!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

EPIC LA Eco Fashion Show. part 2

Echo Park Independent Co-op [EPIC] hosted a fashion show on 3/14 featuring SOLDAT, ISM Mode, Hovey Lee and PERI
In Part 1, I was positioned along a display wall...

I was in the middle of drawing this girl in the crowd:
"Excuse me, but you're going to have to move. You're too colorful."
And so I was relocated from my excellent spot near the model platform to an area near some clothing racks where I could see the models for a minute or two as they posed. I was so rattled that I left my "camera" (phone) on a shelf and couldn't retrieve it until after the show. The sketching suffered. I did what I could [apologies to Hovey Lee -- I didn't realize what your segment was showcasing until after your scene was over]:
ISM Mode
I could rant on and on, I'm still very annoyed. However, I will be gracious and act like a lady.
It was unfortunate, my creativity was hampered -- but the show wasn't "about" me, was it. I understand.
Next time, I will dress "more professionally" and wear Suzy Menkes Black.*
And if I'm STILL asked to move, I will know that it's for other, uglier reasons.

I'm linking up with Patti's Visible Monday -- she appreciates a stand out look.

*I'm referencing this post by Suzy Menkes, "The Circus of Fashion"

EPIC LA Eco Fashion Show. part 1

Echo Park Independent Co-op [EPIC] hosted a fashion show on 3/14 featuring SOLDAT, ISM Mode, Hovey Lee and PERI.
There was also a subsequent Trunk show to benefit Somaly Mam, which I was unable to stay for.

Ruth was my +1, and she was a most vivid vision!
Here she is with Renee Hall, of Cottontails Inc
Then she struck some poses with Janet Tracy Keijser, of Indie Star Style
The crowd gathered by the runway in anticipation of the show...
We interrupt our coverage of the event to take a deep breath and have a cup of c/o tea
siptea was included in our goodie bag. I got oolong, Ruth got jasmine.
The full array of goodies:
Rabbit graphic bag from EPIC
Beauty Minerals from Akua Auset
Wooden ring from Holland Design Studio
SAFE copper chain bracelet
"I am bio-degradable" tee from PERI
Luna bar
Shampoolio product (lip balm, I think)
EPIC lip balm
siptea oolong
Discount cards from Radiant, ISM Mode, and Hovey Lee
A big "thank you" to all the companies that gifted us. You are very generous.
More about the runway show after a brief interruption... make that tomorrow...
I need to chill more so that I don't rant!

Don't you love EPIC's rabbit graphic
Owls are so 2010, foxes are so 2012...
I know it's The Year of the Snake, but I vote for the Rabbit as the next "It" animal!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Foot Fetish: Cow Print Slides

cow print slides
Summer 2000 Sacramento @ Macy's on sale while waiting for timing belt replace on van
These are my around the house shoes The fur has almost entirely worn off and rubber soles are cracked
I've sketched these shoes a bunch of times. I'm part of a sketching group started by Karen Winters (who was inspired by Danny Gregory) called EveryDay Matters. The group has a weekly challenge and the first on the archive list is "Draw a shoe" I always return to this pair, maybe because they have so much character.
here is a more recent iteration, done with the Brushes app on the iPad
They are beyond worn out at this point, so far gone that I've stopped wearing them, even as house slippers. Maybe they want to be sketched one more time before I toss them.
They also have sentimental value. I bought them on the road trip I took before I moved in with Severo. We drove up to Davis for a Cockeyed Ghost gig, then he returned south and I headed East. That was the I-80 trip, July 2000. I saw lots and lots of cornfields.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When Blogs Collide

I have a confession to make. Maybe you already know.

I write FIVE SIX blogs.
Not ALL THE TIME. Heavens, no.

"Why can't you combine them all into one?" you ask.
I don't know. Somehow, I need the separation. There are times, however, when my worlds collide. This morning (VERY EARLY this morning) I got to thinking about the shoe sketchbook that I started three years ago. I dutifully posted the sketches over on my sketch blog:
this is the second to last one as of today
Then, life interrupted my shoe sketching flow. (Hello cancer). OK, THAT'S been conquered.

There's a very dusty pair of rubber boots out on the back porch that I wanted to include in the book before they go in the rubbish. They recently resurfaced during a clean up session. Now that I'm sketching here, I'm going to repost the "In My Shoes" sketchbook and expand the entries with extra stuff.
"Foot Fetish" will be the series' title.
If you're seriously impatient, you can preview the entries over on the sketch blog. Then come back here.
Tomorrow, I'll start with the first page.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Figuring It Out As I Go

This year, I set an intention to sketch at fashion events. The two events hosted by the Los Angeles Fashion Council that I attended last week gave me a perfect opportunity to put intent into action. I've written about both already here and here, now I'll show you what I wore and what I drew with.
Wednesday night was an "on the way home from work" situation.
I chose the paisley shell because it has patch pockets.
That's why I took Elvis too. Well, that and Elvis has a built-in "wow" factor.
photos and "Food Fight" installation by Manny Castro
As soon as I got home, I wrote a list of supplies that I wanted to take the next day,
while my needs were still fresh in my mind:
I didn't have time to stop at an art supply store, so I "made do" with what I had on hand:
I created a figure template underlay to use as a framework to get the proportions right --
I just can't do it freehand
I put the same template into my iPad Brushes app and made a bunch of duplicates.
I ended up not using the iPad. Was happy sketching analog!
Day 2, ready to hit the I-10 to downtown -- Red Lips, people!!!
How the raw sketches look
Scanned sketch, added color in Illustrator
I'm happy with the direction these sketches are going. I like the loose "Mats Gustafson" look. [Look him up].
I've got many more to finish, and another event coming up next Thursday. WooHoo!

Checking in with Patti's Visible Monday. Click on over to see more Visibleness.