artformes

9

supernatural out of context

The ice is a harsh and unforgiving mistress, even to its most ardent lovers.” 

WIP. I wanted a moment where Victor had to physically feel his limitations and loneliness with the ice. But I don’t know how to paint. @u@;;

she was the blush of the first morning i remembered how to breathe again, a patch of skin that was finally healing, a cut that froze over so it wouldn’t hurt anymore. i’m saying that she sewed up some part of me i forgot to take care of and the rest she held my hand for. a practiced artform. she taught me how to come together. a rearranging of puzzle pieces until i woke up and she was there and breathing in the sunlight and i was suddenly peacefully whole.

Femslash OTP Moodboards (2/?)

Betty Cooper x Veronica Lodge

“You firestar. Pool of moonburst.
You turned my skin to dust. Rawblade glasstooth girl.”

- Jeanann Verlee ‘Finally I Allow Him the Pen’

Vent art

I’m sorry if the imagery is disturbing…. I rarely publish things like these,ms paint kind of gave me chance to try turn the negative into actual (VERY)quick clean artform, to rely some message or emotion. Vent art is a great tool, it is personal and might be criptic, so people can find what they want in it, maybe bringing them some delight from their own pain? I don’t like to publish gore for the sake of it, nor spread sads, so whenever I do publish these for you to see - it’s only because I like how the art turned out and I want to share it with you. So hopefully I didn’t make anyone sad or worry, it’s simply artwork, part of me (maybe not that nice part but I’m also only human >.< ). So hope you can enjoy it without disgust or feeling bad from it or for me - no need to! I like this kind of aesthetic too! *EDIT* venting is great on paper! It works much better to release pressure.

Fashion Blogging ???

I find the concept of “fashion blogs” and “fashion bloggers” to represent a strange dichotomy. Look at the two ideas that combine to form this: Art is meant to be genuine, something that comes from a place of originality and spontaneity, whereas a “blogger” constitutes an intrinsically constructed persona. The two clearly oppose each other, so what is the motivation behind this phenomenon and what is its impact on fashion as an art and as a commercial industry?

In the year 2016, fashion blogs are used and tired. The heyday of fashion blogging was in the early-to-mid-2000s. Social media has taken over technology, and the instant gratification that it grants easily overshadows the labor involved in reading bona fide blogs. Fashion blogs once represented a microcosm of each respective fashion blogger’s life, whereas nowadays fashion “blogging” consists mainly of posting aesthetically pleasing images accompanied by little to no commentary. This fact in itself has several consequences on the “profession” (or hobby, or whatever you’d like to call it) of fashion blogging.

Because contemporary fashion blogging focuses far more on the visual component than written words, it takes very little talent or innovation to achieve and maintain success. Once upon a time, fashion bloggers were witty, clever, and could write whip-smart blog posts daily. Because it is now a game of aesthetics, successful fashion bloggers must be in possession of what the general public considers to be enviable qualities, most of which are physical. The most successful fashion bloggers can be judged as so based on their Instagram following. Many of these women have millions of followers and receive tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of likes on each of their pictures. How do they do this?

Very simply: by looking pretty and curating an aesthetically pleasing feed of media. Most popular fashion bloggers have Eurocentric features and slim, lengthy bodies that wear most clothing well. Many already slim and fit bloggers even resort to manipulating their bodies in pictures to further mirror a modelesque physicality and ideal. This is the most visually obvious difference between fashion bloggers of years past and those who achieve contemporary success.

This conveys a movement away from concrete, substantial material (the actual “blogging” aspect of blogging) and towards a visually-concentrated form of expression. That’s the paradox of the modern fashion blogger: they aren’t actually doing any blogging. For many contemporary fashion bloggers, their blog platform is secondary to their social media (which is, in most cases, Instagram).

In her essay Fashionable Personae, Monica Titton references fashion bloggers who achieved a pinnacle of success during the principal years of fashion blogging. Titon says that Susanna Lau, the popular blogger behind Style Bubble, “has become a veritable fashion celebrity and, as Pham notes, ‘not simply a global style icon but a model of exemplary neoliberal subjectivity’” (6). The same can not be said for her today. She continues to have a hearty online following, but her importance in the fashion industry had become secondary to social media celebrities and scandal-ridden stars such as the Kardashians. Even fashion bloggers with a less blog-oriented, more aesthetically-focused approach that works hand-in-hand with their classically “beautiful” features have overshadowed Lau. The fashion industry along with technology, celebrity culture, and the way in which we consume media, has changed immensely in even the year and a half since Titton published her essay. The importance of social media in the fashion industry continues to grow and meanwhile undercuts the practice of blogging.

The changes that have taken and continue to take place in the occupation of fashion blogging mirror those in the fashion industry as a whole. The quality of authenticity has, due in large part to what I have already expressed, declined in practice and importance. The presence of authenticity in the first place is an idea that can be argued. Titton discusses the “self displayed, constructed, and mediated” (7) “fashionable persona”. The construction of this persona is both created by and results in “a gradual blurring of the distinction between the bloggers’ factual, lived, and experienced biographies and their enactment and appropriation of fashion narratives” (11). They knowingly perpetuate a one-sided, self-gratifying “grass is greener” attitude. Fashion bloggers and internet personas in general don’t gather followings based on authenticity. Most people don’t want to follow the mundane daily goings on of a seemingly regular, almost too-relatable people. They would rather act as voyeurs to the enviable lives of idealized figures. There is something so self-indulgent in the act of peering into someone else’s superficially perfect reality and letting the resulting flood of jealousy overcome you.

Authenticity has never been a defining or present characteristic in fashion blogging. Titton concedes that “the authors of personal style blogs are engaged in a perpetual performance of self” (12). In most cases they do take what they possess inherently and spin a character, their “fashionable persona” from that. But then again, this constructed persona can be found in any user of social media. Though the authenticity of the fashion industry has declined as well, I believe that the diminishing authenticity in fashion blogging is mostly a reflection of the inherent lack of ability to be your authentic self on social media, as well as the fight for popularity on a paradoxically competitive platform (Instagram).

Social status is directly linked to fashion, both in regular society and in reference to celebrity culture: Fashion is linked to money and money is linked to status. More money equals higher fashion equals higher status (a formula that can be read forwards or backwards or upside down, etc). Celebrities are regarded as more refined and respected if they hold status as a fashion ambassador or favorite of the brand (sitting front row at shows, present in campaigns, wearing custom pieces to events, etc.). Fashion bloggers in particular have a difficult time achieving a high social status through efforts in the fashion industry. Perhaps it is because what many people see as a secondary profession or pastime (likely through the concept of the “style star,” an actor/singer/artist/etc.-cum-fashion icon) seemingly constitutes a fashion blogger’s entire life. Fashion bloggers may find success on social media, but the teenage girls who make up the majority of their online following are a stark contrast to the heavyweights of the fashion industry. Online following is of principal importance in the fashion industry nowadays, but those who  wield power more often grant exposure to“real” celebrities or beautiful spawn of celebrities past and present. In this sense as well we can see the obvious decline of the fashion blogger.

Fashion’s artistic value has declined, a fact which is reflected through the creation and popularity of the fashion blog. Artistic value declines as the art further caters to the general public. Fashion is far more concerned with commercial value versus artistic value. Everything must be monetized. In our capitalist society, nothing can exist without funding, art included. On one hand, it is a necessary evil, on the other, it degrades the art and makes the whole somewhat of a joke. But then again, this can be said for most creative mediums/industries.

Titton discusses the key to fashion blogging success through a paradoxical manner of self-branding, wherein bloggers must “capitalize their individuality” (19) and be “unique and at the same time similar to others” (18). This paradox allows them to successfully portray their narrative self and constructed persona as “a resource and a brand” (18). This motif of fabrication is reflected in the fashion industry. In a palpable sense, some labels use these bloggers and their followings for their own exposure, though they often employ more veritable celebrities. The narrative and persona that bloggers and internet celebrities construct for themselves cater to the general public, their following, and fashion labels that are eager to capitalize on this in any form they can. Usually the result is a mutualistic relationship between the label and the “persona,” where the label gifts free items to the “persona” and in return the “persona” indirectly advertises for them to their high follower count.

In a very pessimistic spirit, the fashion industry and blogging profession both serve as a microcosm for these trends that are present in many other facets of society and culture. Capitalism has never had a wider, more profound and sweeping impact than it does today. Money is at the forefront of everyone’s minds; nothing is able to operate without it.

I clearly have a pretty negative view on fashion blogging and the fashion industry as a whole. For every positive I can think of that stems from fashion blogging, I can come up with countless negatives to oppose it. Titton says that “teenage girls form their identity through their practices of fashion blogging,” and that this “helps them gain self-esteem and a positive self-image” (5). Because fashion is an artistic expression it does have the ability to provide a creative outlet for any person of nearly any background. Fashion blogging as a fun pastime is innocent enough. The second that a blogger looks to achieve success and capitalize on their platform, a million shallow and superficial issues come into play. And is the unavoidable, often accidental formation of a narrative harmful to young girls? Certainly, to a degree, but I suppose it is no more harmful than the persona constructed through other social media platforms.

My main caveat, I suppose, is the superficiality and ultimate unimportance of the fashion industry. Fashion blogs are one channel through which an active user can get involved in the industry. Should teenage girls focus their interests and energy on such a negative industry? Fashion as an artform cannot, in most cases, be separated from the industry created around it. Thus, any young person attempting to deeply involve themselves in the art will inevitably get caught up in the evils of the industry.

Fashion bloggers can often perpetuate a narrow ideal of beauty and, in effect, do what people have been criticizing models for for years; the difference being, models exist as they do, in most cases, naturally. Any manipulation is enacted later on, without their consideration or verbal consent. Fashion bloggers oftentimes manipulate the photos they post on social media themselves to appear more like fashion models. To the naive eye, these women are like models with means: beautiful, thin, well-dressed, and in possession of copious amounts of money and, sometimes, elite status and opportunities. “Staging the self” indeed.

Fashion blogging mirrors the growing trend of superficiality and fabrication running rife in all aspects of contemporary society. Fashion as both an artform and an industry is certainly guilty of this, though the repercussions are far less dire than those that arise in other, more important facets of society. At the end of the day I find myself reviling the industry and the concept of fashion blogging while still holding a strange appreciation for both as a means to study the trends present in society, humanity, and culture that are in a constant flux.

Well that settles it

I was flattered by your overwhelming response!!  I thought having taken a break for so long, a lot of you guys would’ve moved on, but no!  

Let this post be my official notification that I’m getting back into this strange and unique business.  Watch this space in the coming days for updates on my first new model, which is about 50% done so far.

Vague thoughts I want to fill you all in on:  I’m going to be doing a whole new how-to tutorial from the ground up. I’ll be documenting every stage of making this new model and giving all my advice and stuff I’ve learned in this tutorial.  It’ll be pay-what-you want, meaning you can get it for free or leave a tip if you’re feeling kindly.  I really want to share my knowledge and promote the development of this artform into something that can flourish.  The more indie makers the better IMO!!

Anyway, thank you all for your continued support.  Like I said, more info is gonna come in the next few days!!