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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

Red Velvet lip stain from LimeCrime.

(Special thanks to Francesca and Abbey for taking many of the photos for this post)

On Friday, I hung out with a few friends at a Halloween-themed event. Two of them went as Kiki and her pet cat Jiji from the Miyazaki film KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE, and another went as the Mills College student newspaper wearing a sandwich board with the newest The Campanil print issue on it.

I went as a hipster using clothes from my closet (a pair of studded jean shorts, black tights) and making my own hipster accessories out of paper, such as a fake camera, mustache-on-a-stick, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can. Photos in a bit.

I also made my own skull cutout muscle tee out of an old T-shirt. I used this really helpful DIY video as a reference on cutting off the sleeves:

I noticed that most photos of muscle tees/skull cutout shirts used monochromatic black, gray, or white shirts. I had a pale yellow T-shirt on hand and thought it would be pretty cool to do a pastel coloring instead. It really made my light blue bra stand out.

Spooooky.

Spooooky.

I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

I drew the image with a Sharpie pen. Then I used a canvas board to stretch out the shirt so I could cut out the shape better.

Here are some photos of my costume from that night:

Human and cat.

Human and cat.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

I love this jacket. I wear it everywhere now. It just so happened to fit with the hipster theme.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.

Many thanks to Ari who provided the strings for me to tape onto the camera to use as straps.

Posing~

Posing~

Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.

Thanks to Francesca for lending me her brown color pencil to use a stick for the mustache.

Cheese!

Cheese!

A fun thing to do as a hipster is to tell people “I’m not a hipster” with a disgusted expression on your face.

Happy Halloween!

EDIT. Something That Only Interests Me: here’s a photo of the other accessories I wore with the costume. I got the pearl studded headband and dark green laced heels from my Asia trip during the summer; I happened to already have the two bracelets (a skull one to match the skull shirt!) from previous adventures in online shopping.

I later changed out of the shoes into a pair of comfier boots.

shoes-jewelry

Related posts:

1. #Crafty: I Made a Fake Vintage Camera Out of Paper
2. #Crafty: More Hipster Paper Accessories (Mustache, Pabst Blue Ribbon Can)
3. #Crafty: My Halloween Costume as a Hipster

Please don’t use my images without permission.

If you’ve read my previous post, you’d know that I’ve been making paper accessories for my Halloween costume as a hipster. I already created a fake vintage camera so here are images of the paper Pabst Blue Ribbon beer can I made:

markers

I cut out the shape of a can (rather comically large) using paper from my sketchbook. Since there is a lack of a color printer nearby, I decided to sketch out the design myself. First, with a pencil and eraser using this PBR image. Then colored in some parts like the red slash and gray ribbon border with color pencils so I could see if it looked right.

Including the mustache (which will be explained towards the end of the post).

Including the mustache (which will be explained towards the end of the post).

Then outlined and colored everything in with Sharpie ultra fine point pens, specifically red, blue, and black. I decided to ink the ribbon with black so it’d pop better. If I didn’t have horrendous cursive handwriting, I wouldn’t’ve written the paragraph at the bottom of the can in print. Then, since I liked the cartoony outline of the can from the Google Image, I added those in too.

The cutout.

The cutout.

To make it sturdier, I traced out the beer can on the CalArts paper I’ve also used for the fake camera (but you can use a manila folder), cut it out, then masking-taped it over carefully.

Psst: that’s my cheap way of laminating something.

Masking-tape gets a little tricky around those kinds of edges, I recommend folding down what you can then cutting off the uggo tape extras. Kind of like you would to get that grand, old school bowl-cut haircut.

Masking-tape gets a little tricky around those kinds of edges, I recommend folding down what you can then cutting off the uggo tape extras. Kind of like you would to get that grand, old school bowl-cut haircut.

You like?

You like?

I also made a fake mustache inspired by the mustache-on-a-sticks I’ve seen in countless wedding photo booth pictures.

I cut one half of a mustache out of whatever was left of the CalArts paper, then traced the cutout on the paper again to make its twin. I did this so I could have equal-sized parts. Using Scotch tape, I connected the two parts and colored the tape with a black fine-point Sharpie. I then decided to cover most of the space in more tape so the mustache can have this cool zig-zaggy, matte texture to it.

I don’t have a stick on hand so I’ll likely pluck one of those coffee stirrers from a cafe and tape/glue one on.

I’ll post pictures of my hipster outfit later this weekend, which I threw together with existing clothes from my closet. Take in mind, I did not have time to get a fake pair of glasses so I’ll be a non-glasses-wearing hipster this year — I know, very edgy.

Related posts:

1. #Crafty: I Made a Fake Vintage Camera Out of Paper
2. #Crafty: More Hipster Paper Accessories (Mustache, Pabst Blue Ribbon Can)
3. #Crafty: My Halloween Costume as a Hipster

Please don’t use my images without permission.

Or better known as “Melodie has too much time on her hands.”

As part of my Halloween costume (hipster), I decided to make a few accessories out of paper such as a fake vintage camera.

I used paper from the black-colored cover pages of a CalArts booklet. I don’t have anything against CalArts, I just needed a material that wasn’t cardboard and I happened to have their booklet. The ideal kind of paper should be sturdier than copy paper and construction paper; think: manila folder.

photo 1

Decided to cut out that awkward rectangle platform halfway through.

Decided to cut out that awkward rectangle platform halfway through.

Since there isn’t a DIY/how-to on fake camera-making (I know right!), I was really following after Google Images for “vintage camera.”

The pieces of an average vintage camera are made up of rectangles, cylinders, and trapezoids so it was fairly easy for me to figure out which pieces to cut. If you need some assistance, you can search through Google Images on “how to make a cylinder out of paper” for the lens and shutter-speed dial, and “how to make a box out of paper“.

Then I Scotch-taped all the pieces together and since Scotch tape looks too shiny against black paper, I colored all the tape with with a black Sharpie pen (acrylic paint would’ve warped the shape of paper and taken longer to dry) which gave it a matte texture. I recommend using Sharpies that are “fine point” or thicker; you’ll be taking forever with “ultra fine point.”

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Related posts:

1. #Crafty: I Made a Fake Vintage Camera Out of Paper
2. #Crafty: More Hipster Paper Accessories (Mustache, Pabst Blue Ribbon Can)
3. #Crafty: My Halloween Costume as a Hipster

Please don’t use my images without permission.

Q: Oh my gosh, Melodie, you’ve been updating so much this week.
A: Mostly to avoid working on my current projects…
Q: What’s this one about?
A: This post is a compilation of paintings I made during two semesters’ worth of advanced painting classes. And with short blurbs explaining the assignments and my process. There’ll be more detailed posts for a couple of them soon. I don’t know when but soon, which, all things considered, probably means next year.

I already posted about three other projects made during the same year: here, here, and here.

Q: Okay. So about this Q&A format…
A: God, you people don’t appreciate anything.

– – –

FALL 2013

Taught by Hung Liu. Her website: http://www.kelliu.com/
TA: David Mohr (who also assisted the Spring 2014 class)

A Model, 2013, acrylic paint.

A Model, 2013, acrylic paint.

Two Models, 2013, acrylic paint.

Two Models, 2013, acrylic paint.

We had three nude models come into class for us to paint after. I’ve always liked using bright, unnatural colors for figure painting; it’s much more interesting to me that way. My humans almost never have actual skin tone colors haha.

Larded with Sweet Flowers, 2013, acrylic paint.

Larded with Sweet Flowers, 2013, acrylic paint.

My most favorite painting so far. There’s a more in-depth story to this that I’ll try to get to another time. Basically, the assignment asked us to paint our interpretation of an old well-known painting. I chose Sir John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and, after doing a little research into Hamlet, swallowed my Ophelia with all the flowers mentioned in the poem: “rosemary, pansies, fennel, columbine and rue.”

In contrast to Millais’ Ophelia’s serene, almost sexual expression, my Ophelia is basically dead. The pale and blue-tinged signs of decay were placed in sharp contrast with the colorful blooming flowers growing over and even from her still, lifeless body. Her dark hair are rendered to look a lot like gnarling tree branches, her pale, delicate hands like flower petals curling into themselves.

I still consider this a work in progress and will someday return to finish it.

One Girl at the Club (working title), triptych, 2013, acrylic paint.

One Girl at the Club (working title), triptych, 2013, acrylic paint.

Closeup.

Closeup.

I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t remember the specifics of this assignment but I think it might be mixed media?

Anyway, I was watching G-Dragon’s music video for his song CROOKED and was blown away by the aesthetics, facial expressions, and street fashion. So I took screenshots from the video to paint after and was focused on the idea of “one girl at the club.”

Taking away the neon lights and darkness that shrouded G-Dragon, I made the background a cloudy white and gray like she’s dancing in a fog. I also added in contemporary jewelry like body chains and cross earrings.

SPRING 2014

Taught by Michael Hall. His website: http://michaelhallstudio.net/

Carved Face, 2014, acrylic paint, 12" x 12".

Carved Face, 2014, acrylic paint, 12″ x 12″.

bye felicia, 2014, acrylic paint, 12" by 12".

bye felicia, 2014, acrylic paint, 12″ by 12″.

Two of the mini-projects we did in between the main ones. I think the first one was working with texture (I don’t remember!) and the second one was incorporating text.

For Carved Face, I first painted the face of a woman and then took an X-ACTO knife to cut away piece by piece until all was left was some interpretation of a woman.

For bye felicia, I used the popular slang phrase “bye felicia” that I kept seeing on Twitter. Reddit has an explanation for it. I surrounded it with flowers (this is becoming my signature theme) like sunflowers, bleeding hearts, and lavender; a pretense of sweetness for a phrase that actually means something really mean.

I distinctly remember while painting on the cursive words, my professor asked me “Who’s Felicia?” (lawl) I know quite a few people really liked this one and suggested I expand more on it but I’m not going to. After giving it a lot of thought, I feel like I would be appropriating an AAVE term so commonly used by the online Black community for my own benefit. It’s a cool concept but I won’t go there.

Social Media Girl (working title), 2014, acrylic paint, 30" by 40".

Social Media Girl (working title), 2014, acrylic paint, 30″ by 40″.

This was a very ambitious project that at first had me at odds with my professor who didn’t really understand where I was going with it — for a while, neither did I. I changed concepts halfway through and white gesso’d it over after springing out of bed with the new idea of a young woman taking a mirror selfie.

I have many photos detailing the excruciating step-by-step process it took to create the whole thing that I’ll share another time. I used the Instagram of a popular, curvaceous Bay Area glamor model for the pose and changed the hand position. Then I added in a ton of emoji characters from the texting app WeChat into the background as well as my own. I used acrylic pens to draw the outline, painted everything in color, outlined it again, added in red and cyan lines for a 3-D effect, then outlined it once more.

In total, I spent more than 14 hours in the studio that one weekend before displaying it to the class.

Text Bubbles, 2014, gesso and acrylic paint on wood panels. Thanks to Umit Yalcinalp for the photo!

Text Bubbles, 2014, gesso and acrylic paint on wood panels. Thanks to Umit Yalcinalp for the photo!

Close-up.

Close-up.

For the final project, I had the idea of creating text bubbles out of cardboard with funny messages on them. But as ever, my professor pushed me to cut the text bubbles out of wood panels because they would hold up better. Since I was very uncomfortable using the table saw, he helped me cut out all of them as well as the cleats (thank you!) which I sanded down and glued together. I painted them in various colors to emulate the colorful text bubbles you’d normally find on texting apps.

I tried, I did, to paint the messages in but ended up hating it. After emailing my professor a picture of the panels, he suggested I experiment with texture which I totally rolled with. That weekend I poured gobs of thick acrylic and gesso paint over the panels. With different sized brushes, I created swirls and bumps. It took about three days for them to dry (the big white one was a monster) and I had to repaint some of them when flies got themselves stuck to the wet spots.

With the promise of free coffee, my friend Emily Mibach helped me drill all the cleats onto the studio wall and we both hung them up before class.

Set-up of advanced painting showcase, before the tables were cleared away.

Set-up of advanced painting showcase, before the tables were cleared away.

Photographed by Umit Yalcinalp.

Photographed by Umit Yalcinalp.

These are photos of the advanced painting showcase my class threw for the Mills community. It meant a lot of me that this event happened because due to weird circumstances, I sadly couldn’t be a part of the annual senior art show so this was my only chance to display my artworks at school. My little corner was social media-themed; I even hung up my slightly modified Instagram as Art piece.

Many thanks to everyone who attended! It made me so happy and grateful when people showed up to surprise me all because I posted a small notice about it on Facebook. ❤