Friday, August 1, 2014

The Prestige

Harness: Hopeless Lingerie
Eyeliner: Lime Crime's Lunar Sea
Wig (modified): eBay (Dammit, wigs are hard.)
Top: eBay
Headpiece: Casstronaut
A few 8x12 prints from this set are available on my Etsy! Get 'em here.

I've been really attracted to white lately. If you couldn't tell from the photos above. But it's hard to pull off the sleeker more avant garde look that I like so much with white. It's difficult to find anything white with great lines that doesn't shoot ribbons and bows out of my butt. So I'll be on the hunt for non frilly white things for awhile and I'll let you know what I come up with. I have a great head start with an amazingly simple and elegant harness from Hopeless Lingerie. I wear it over/under anything. It adds an interesting touch to simple outfits!

Fun fact: these photos were shot in my master bathroom. In front of my shower curtain. On the floor. Glamorous, right?

I also want to take a moment to talk about The Prestige. If you've never seen the film, watch it. It's amazing.
I watched it last night and it was very reminiscent to the experiences I've had with fellow artists and things I've pulled off in my own career. I bring this up because I don't want people to get the impression from myself or from other artists that they can't accomplish what we as artists are doing because they don't have x or y. Because they don't have money or time or a studio. Those photos up there, they're an illusion. I created a scene, a performance, made you think it was something, and then put it up here on this blog. It's not easy to do, but you may be surprised. I basically did it with a bunch of crap.

Here's the reveal despite its anticlimactic nature:
I don't have a photo tripod anymore so I had to precariously prop my camera up on the shoe vertically on my horizontal only video tripod.
I was too lazy to set up my studio lights and they also don't fit in my narrow bathroom, so I opened the blinds in my bedroom to let the light in and then closed the bathroom door slightly to diffuse some of the light.
I didn't have anyone helping me, so I had to use an air freshener spray can to set my focus.
And because I don't have a remote control for my camera (I just keep forgetting to buy one and I guess I like making things too hard for myself) I had to get out of position to push the shutter to turn the ten second timer on. For all... 80 shots that I took for this set.
I used my thirty dollar shower curtain as a backdrop. My toilet is directly to the right of me. Ha.
Now, it was a tedious task, but all of this probably only took me an hour or so to do. After I was done I took off that silly wig and walked outside to check the mail.

George Méliès was a master at this. He made everything with paint, wood and cardboard, a camera that he built, and some willing actors. The illusion in this video is not only the changing size editing trick, but also the entire set it's filmed on. That's all painted, guys.

Now, I'm not saying artists are trying to lie to you like a magician would. I'm just saying things may not be what they appear to be. I realize this is pretty obvious information, but you never know who is out there with potential spilling over but stifles it due to doubts or trivial obstacles like equipment or time. You can make anything you want if you don't limit yourself. Don't wait until you have this or that. Art comes from your head and you already have one of those. Try now and if it doesn't work, then try getting what you need to make it work. Then do it again and make it better. Granted, the set up there could have been much better. But I'm not going to wait around for stuff to get better. I'm going to do stuff to try to make myself get better.

I was reading something from Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities recently that is somewhat related;

"Why enthrone the myth of the perfect, infallible superhuman if it's always more beautiful to know that the humanity that creates beauty is the same fallible species that can create horror or misery? Bach, when explaining his genius, used to modestly say that he just worked harder and that all you have to do is press the pedals on the keyboard and the notes play themselves. Here you have one of the greatest geniuses ever and yet this was a guy that had personal flaws of one kind or another and who created in the face of self-doubt and adversity. I always say it's more interesting to think that the pyramids were built not by aliens but by people. People go, 'Oh, they're extraordinary things. They were built by aliens.' No, the extraordinary thing is that they were built by people. Normal people."


  1. This is a fantastic reminder on what holds many of us (myself more than I'd like to admit) back from making the art we'd like to. That halo effect had me wondering - how'd she do that? Linking The Prestige to Melies is a bit brilliant. Thank you for the inspiration.

  2. This is a good one!! Lots of great information and advice!

  3. Art is like magic, I keep saying that to people. You don't have to have fancy things to create great results. I feel you on the self-timer btw, I do have a really cheap remote off ebay but when shooting anything other than head shots it doesn't really help.


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