Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A lightbulb. It has gone off.

I had a personal revelation of sorts today in regards to my creative process, and why and when I'm actually being creative instead of just copying history in appropriate ways and places. 

Since starting the programme here, I feel like I've been flailing around a bit trying to figure out what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.  (in regards to my actual work, not career path)  It's sooo easy just to stay in the historically-accurate-clothing comfort zone, but I didn't come all this way just to do what I already know.  Of course, leaving the comfort zone is much easier said than done, and for the last month or so I feel like I've been just spinning my wheels and not really getting anywhere.

Then today I began really thinking about projects and drawings I've done in the past where I feel like I was actually achieving a level of originality, and I realised that in all of those cases I was pretending the characters were all for a video game.  This seems rather strange considering how much of a gamer I am not... in fact the only video game I've ever played all the way through was Fable.  The first one.  When it first came out years ago. 

Here's a little compare and contrast...

This sketch is one I did a weeks or two ago of ideas for the main character's wedding scene.  Pretty much straight up historical.

Then this evening I decided to approach the same character's costume in the same scene with the 'Video Game as influenced by History' approach, and ended up with this:
Without color (and in a not-very-well-lit phone pic) it's hard to properly tell what it is I see in my head, but I think this is definitely an approach I should try out.  Whether it works well in the long run or not I have no idea, but for now it seems to be worth exploring.


  1. Dear Gwendolyn,
    Good for you; I am so happy for you! Both of your costume renderings are BEAUTIFUL (as is everything else you create) and I absolutely love the result of your new approach! Keep inspiring us
    Best wishes,
    Anneliese :)

  2. Gwendolyn, these drawings are so beautiful, you are so talented! It's Jill, I met you at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News awhile back. I'm excited about your course of study and I think the result of your 'video game through the lens of the history' approach is stunning. It reminds me of the kind of unexpected touches I see in Colleen Atwood's costumes and she is one of my favorites! Keep up the great work and keep us posted on it all! XO, Jill

    1. Thanks so much! Colleen Atwood is one of my favorite costume desighers, so that's a quite lovely compliment. And I remember chatting with you that day at the Mariners' Museum... I really enjoyed our conversation. :)

  3. Yay for introspection and self-realization! Also, I would totally play that video game.

  4. Critical, creative breakthroughs--lightbulbs--are great, no? Your sketch is stupendous!

  5. I think it's wonderful that you are expanding your art. Will your skill as a historical dressmaker combined with your creative mind, there is no end to what you can create