Quite some time ago I picked up this vintage velvet blazer at Goodwill. Like many of the prized thrift store treasures I’ve acquired over the years, I enthusiastically ripped this item off the rack upon sight. I cackled with glee all the way home at the impossible steal I got it for and then regrettably stuffed it into the vault I call my closet. I’m ashamed to admit since that day I’ve only worn this jacket a total of two times. I look at these images now and try to reason, “Well, that last picture alone paid for it.”
To begin, I have to admit I’m a sucker for all things velvet. Pondering this now I can’t help but be reminded of an old, “Seinfeld,” episode where George states he wants to be, “ensconced in velvet.” I always laugh heartily at that line and then feel instantly guilty that I too suffer from such luxe longings. Looking through my wardrobe it's clear that I do have an addiction to this finer fabric. “How many velvet blazers does one need,” I wonder.
In my attempt to justify my, “Costanza worthy,” closet I would like to point out that my clothing collection serves a larger purpose than just vanity. In fact, I would argue it was the vintage blazer featured in the images above that allowed me to stumble upon quite possibly the grandest tree in town. At the time I was stalking around the park trying to find decent backgrounds for blog pictures when I came across a most impressive Cottonwood. It’s trunk was truly massive and I'm not embarrassed to reveal all I could think was, “Man, that bark is going to look fantastic with this blazer!” Honestly, I’m so pleased with the chameleon like effect the two textures had on one another. Leaving the park that day I got super stoked while dorking out about the juxtaposition between nature and wardrobe.
Usually this is how the creative process works for me. I've never been much of a planner. During college my Art professors would talk about the importance of sketching. Many of them stressed the value of prepping for a finished piece. I always struggled with this concept. I never seemed to know what I was going to create until it happened. I believe that’s why I became so obsessed with Abstract Expressionism. I could highly identify with the idea that one’s art revolved around the process of spontaneously executing a final product. As a result, there is no planning one's work. Keeping this in mind, the ritual of Abstract Expressionism is frequently frenzied, often emotional, and almost always random.
While I'll admit I do spend a fair amount of time planning the actual outfits I wear in my self-portraits, I want to state I usually have no idea what I’m going to do with them once I begin the creative process. Mostly I just wander around outside, trying not to slide down an ice hill in heels, in search of just the right background to compliment what I have on. After that all bets are off and the freak show Voguing begins. All I can say is, “Thank God for tripods and camera timers!" Self portraits are the only way I possess the gall to pull off the posing performances required to get an interesting shot. I would simply feel too ridiculous to do this in front of other individuals.
In closing, I want to mention something wise an artist friend of mine recently wrote on Instagram. While regarding one of his thrift store finds, he stated, “It’s not hoarding if you make stuff out of it.” I absolutely loved this sentiment. It reassured me that my thrifting obsession is simply part of my artistic process. From now on my sketchpad has a name, and that name is Goodwill! I believe my former Art professors would be proud.