Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Soft focus

I spent some time a few weeks back thinking about artistic vision. In 200 words or less, I needed to convey my own vision and convince the folks at Alabama Chanin that I was worthy of a scholarship for their weekend workshop in May. I ultimately wasn't awarded a scholarship, but I feel like I gained some helpful insight in the process.

What I began to realize is that one of the gifts that artists share is that they see the world in soft focus. We can look at an item and see it not for what it is, but for what it can become. For example, I see the hidden beauty in old things. I look at old sweaters and see them not as moth-riddled garments, but as the perfect fabric for creating sculptural handbags and accessories.

I think that it's also important for we artists to use our soft focus throughout the creative process, and not just during the inspiration phase. Sometimes we start a project with the best of intentions, feeling that we have a clear vision for the final product. But then for some reason, we get stuck and the project stalls. Before we know it, months have passed and the project is still sitting there unfinished on our studio work table (or our dining room table, as the case may be).

Try applying your soft focus to a stuck project. Squint at it. Turn it upside down. Cut it up and turn it into something entirely different. The important thing is to do whatever it takes to see it in a new light. Then you'll be able to see it not for what it is (a stuck project), but for what it can become.

4 comments:

Steve Asbell said...

What a great way to describe an artistic vision! My definition of "soft focus" is more like that of taking inspiration from every part of life and channeling it into a more refined perspective as an artist. I can see why you've spent less time on the gardening front lately and understand completely since gardening is really just a creative outlet that inspires and relaxes. (I'm actually more of a wannabe fashion illustrator and designer personally.)
By they way, I love the anthro look too! Their visual merchandising always plays out like installation art and their clothing brings a touch of the runway to the home with a quirky twist.
You have a great blog and site, so I can't wait to see more.

kim taylor - - - the sassy crafter said...

Thank you, Steve! I like your description of culling inspiration from everywhere and then refining t into a cohesive vision by using your artistic lens. And if you like Anthro, check out this new site I just found that has a similar vibe: www.shopruche.com

erin said...

great post, kim! i love the personal touch. :) i'm also excited to see where you go next.

ashley lara said...

Hi Kim,
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Come back and visit anytime! If you like what you see, become a follower <3 I would love that!

xxxx ashleylara

http://vivalafashoin.blogspot.com

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