Outfits Photoshoot

Thursday, August 26, 2010

So, after a period of intense quiet around the blog, I have decided to resurface in pictures. In the next three days, I am going to overhaul my life once again and move back to NYC for the school year. Over the summer, I have completed many an interesting project, but I have realized that I much rather having a schedule to my days. So, in preparation both for the new school year and for my return to necessitated organization, my friend and I undertook a speedy outfits photoshoot!

I got the idea from the blog Already Pretty where some users were discussing how to utilize their "closet orphans" and feel inspired by your clothes even when you're on a lean budget. This vastly appeals to me as a broke college student. So, when my style-conscious (and photographically inclined) friend visited me this past week, I decided that we had to do this. I tore up my closet just two days ago and, with all the fury of a passing hurricane, my bedroom became a whirlwind of forgotten jackets, worn-out skirts, and ignored jewelry items. As I sat amidst the tossed open drawers and empty hangers, I was forced then to think where to begin.

The final verdict was to go in series; working with one category (dresses, skirts, jackets...) and one piece of clothing, I would combine it with shirts, accessories, and shoes. I started out thinking I would put together two outfits for each item of clothing but, as I realized what a large undertaking my closet was, it became more and more simplified. In the finished product, there are photographs of one-item outfits with no accessories just waiting to be put together alongside multi-layered masterpieces. But the most interesting - and rewarding - part of this project was the ability to visualize what was in my closet. After going through the photographs (we got a little camera-happy and ended up with about 400+ pictures to sort through) and making an Excel inventory (which appealed to my slight OCD nature), I finally was aware of the volume of things I have. It scared me! After reading about people limiting their items to a small bundle, I saw both my own consumerism and selfishness. I felt really fortunate and humbled by the idea that I had this much of a stash, albeit collected over the years. I hope that this understanding will teach me not to get frustrated when I feel I "don't have anything to wear." Just seeing those options on a page is daunting!

This photoshoot was also therapeutic besides that initial shock. It was like making a Polyvore of my personal closet, rather than focusing on wishing. And it made my creative side come out because, when I have this amount of time to look over the outfits, it becomes easier to pair them up and make interesting choices (especially those pictured above!) And, the most important result of this mixing and matching, this inventory taking, was to make me feel really beautiful. Weaving through my closet, I got to know how my body looks in the clothes I put on it - it showed how versatile my form could be! I think that when I just threw on clothes to get through the day, I ignored the fact that they were there also to make me feel good. On occasion I would look fantastic, but many days it was just an average standard. Sometimes even boring. So this project let me explore my body through the wardrobe (and have a record for when I get stuck on outfit ideas!)

I suggest that, if you have a weekend of free time or just want to play with some little-used pieces in your closet, that you take some time to do your own outfits photoshoot. I used my friend and a tripod, but if you have a point-and-click camera and a secure place to seat it, you can do this project. It is a true creative experience!

Check out some more posts featuring my photography and guest photography.

Artistic Update: J's Extemporaneous Speaking Project

Sunday, August 1, 2010

For the last month at my ZAPP internship, I have been working on a final project that took me to a different place than all my usual artistic routes.
So I decided to combine two things that I have little experience in: extemporaneous speaking and comic drawing! Each week of the month, I spoke into a microphone for 20 minutes and then made a comic mini-zine based on the results. My mini-zines were one page designs, folded up from an 11x17 piece of paper. In the last few days, I finally realized that I had to present my work in some way, so I frantically went to Kinkos (now FedEx) and copied many of the little booklets. I was cutting and folding for hours! And now, since I have finished my work at ZAPP for this summer, I have time to scan and put up my work online.
In retrospect, this project brought up a lot of my insecurities about public speaking - when I am speaking to an audience of my peers or friends, it's natural that I will make stories and speak casually, but when I am just talking aloud to a quiet room, I get nervous. But I was surprised at how creative I was in talking about certain subjects with no prior planning. It was therapeutic in some ways to let those opinions out so that I could work through them without being challenged.
And the drawing was excellent! I have always felt inadequate in my drawing abilities (though I found some amazing drawings in my closet from when I was in middle school - who knew?). Yet, since this was a completely personal project, I did not feel pressured to draw "well" or measure up to my clearly talented illustrating peers. It was exciting to explore this new avenue of art, and I expect to continue with it.
My mini-zine consists of a little booklet that is folded, so if you want to get your own copy, please shoot me an email at jordanalam@gmail.com! I think that it looks much better when you can flip the pages after listening to the segment.

There are going to be a lot of links below, first to my DeviantArt account for the mini-zine scans (which are cut off in some places, but definitely readable) and second to my SoundCloud account for the sound files.

In Transition (mini-zine)

On Dreams (mini-zine)

Body/Self-Image (mini-zine)

Memory (mini-zine)

Recordings (in accordance with each zine)

You can buy my zines on Etsy.
This zine series is one of many - check out The Bearniverse and RBW Zine for more zine fun!