That Look (Your Wardrobe)

I’m a little bit nervous to write about this topic.

Mostly because I think that fashion is a personal choice. However, I am also terrified at the prospect of being overwhelmed with the paper cuts of the world, AKA all of the little trappings that go with life, and so I’m constantly thinking about ways to limit the amount of stupid minutia I spend my personal time on. Attire definitely factors into this. While you may think fashion’s your friend, my friends, fashion is danger.

I’d rather be posing a threat. If you know what I mean.

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Now let’s get into the thick of the hair gel. I think that setting up your personal style is important. You’ll never struggle with an outfit to wear or have a personal crisis before attending a beach themed cocktail party again if you consider the following key points.

How To Dress Like An Artist

Now you could go for the classic artist look, and dress comfortably, you probably would. Because the truth is, if you are an artist, you are very likely already doing something like that and it’s worked for you when it comes to your work. After all, your career is a messy one, full of emotions and material. There are definitely important considerations of practicality, creativity, common stereotypes, and professionalism at stake here.

Let’s start by addressing practical elements of wardrobe. No matter your personal tastes when you are out and about, when you are in the studio, rehearsal or on set, you need to dress comfortably so that you can get the work done. That means having the right clothes for the job. Clothes should fit your body, but not get in the way. And they definitely should not be clothes you want to keep in pristine shape – think thrift shops, especially if you are just starting out and operating on a limited budget.

Now if you are done for the day, you get to take your creativity with you.

That means you should do whatever you can come up with a wardrobe that highlights your personal interests without becoming a dumping ground. I highly recommend starting with the basics and building outwards from there. Get some plain white t-shirts/blouses, and a couple of pairs of black jeans. Jeans can be worn with almost any combination of tops, jackets, and shoes, and if you stick with black, they can almost double as dress pants without anyone knowing.

You can also invest in blue, grey, and black t-shirts, but you don’t need more than a pair of each of these. Then get some henley shirts, v-neck sweaters, cardigans, and some button down shirts. All of these should stay inside that tight-knit wheelhouse of colour. Remember, you are trying to build a base to work from, and because of the choices made you can turn these outfits into casual, semi-formal or dress outfits fairly easily. You should also get a dinner jacket, a quality leather jacket and a nice winter jacket, that way you are covered for all of the seasons. Shoes should be black, brown, white or grey – stick to common styles like heels, flats, sneakers, and desert boots. Noticing a pattern here? Keep it simple and you’ll see where creativity can start to come in.

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If you learn to sew your own clothes, you create some character pieces to inject into the mix, and accessorize your existing wardrobe. That means buttons, pins, and screen-printed graphics.

After you get used to the idea of pairing clothes you can begin the process of introducing some more unusual colours back into the mix, and leverage them for when you attending networking events. Before you know it you’ll be adding in cool jewellery and styling your hair in a way that actually makes sense with your unique tastes. The reason why creative people wear black is usually because they want to keep attention off of themselves and on their art, but if your aesthetic brand is on point, you won’t run into that issue any more.

I promise. Well, I have a theory at the very least.

Tim!

 

What’s In A Name? (Defining The Term Artist)

The visual arts are probably the most complicated of the creative fields to pin down. I mention this because it can take many forms from two-dimensional examples of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography, to three-dimensional with ceramics, sculpture, video, and filmmaking, with fashion, crafts, design, and architecture existing in both realms.

Then you have your visual arts which also exist as theatre – performing arts and conceptual art.

You see dear readers, there was a time when the term artist represented fine art only (painting, sculpture, and printmaking) and anyone interested in handicraft or applied art was considered a craftsperson but not an artist.

This distinction existed until the 20th century, and it has taken over a century for it shift so that artist and art applies to multiple disciplines. Which can lead to some strange conversations among artists, with elitism still on the minds of fine artists and prejudice existing in all camps.

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As a graduate of a fine arts program myself, I’ve witnessed the distinction that professors, graduate students, and art historians make between fine art and other arts. What is even more difficult to swallow is that all the while that the older forms have a history and perception of “artist as genius” to them, the modern world laughs at the usefulness of such a profession.

There is a social stigma that if you are an artist you are naive, irresponsible and very likely financially poor. Morally too in some cases.

This conveniently happened around the same time that the “artist as genius” phase fizzled out, and the definition of artist began to broaden. As fine art became a commodity which had to be traded and in demand to gain recognition, it fit in very nicely with the already established forms of craft and applied arts (design, fashion, architecture) which business owners would pay for and have direct input in the results.

So where does timotheories fit into this landscape you may ask? I say why not both? Why can’t we elevate all art into a realm of marketable worth as well as recognizing the unique qualities required to create any sort of work, whether it be fine art, craft, theatre, or applied art.

I have this theory you see, that we’ve moved out of a post-modern mindset (one of deconstructing everything around us to see how it works and showcase intellectual superiority) to an age of modern craft. All artists need to become experts in their chosen form(s), and learn the proper marketing skills, finance skills, and communication skils in order to share their work with the world around them.

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timotheories supports the rights of artists to be successful at the profession of creating social value and entertainment for all people, and getting paid to do it.

I personally have always been driven by a myriad of artistic vehicles, so I can’t even favour one over the other because I don’t want to. I love drawing, painting, sculpture, filmmaking, writing, and performance art all the same. And I know that dabbling in photography, printmaking, design, and craft are ways that I express my ideas and creative ability just as well.

So for the sake of furthering the ambitious nature of this blog, I’m going to start sharing my own artwork with you, my friends, so showcase what I’m creating, receive critique, sell my work, and especially provide some insight into the entire art-making process.

Expect some cool collages in the coming weeks and if you’re lucky a powerful painting or two!

And in case you’ve been following the March schedule and noticed a couple of things out of order, I haven’t released the Paige Knickle interview yet, and that’s my bad. Due to some communication issues, the interview isn’t quite ready yet, so I’m going to publish Cross Talk Ep.3 next Sunday as planned, and then the interview will be ready for the 27th. We’ll have to bump the routines of famous creatives to April.

But I bet the wait’ll be worth it.

And that’s all he wrote. Please leave comments, follow/subscribe, and check in tomorrow evening for a Melodic Monday post.

Tim!

I Am an Art-bitch (Latitude 53)

I’ve written about the band CSS once already in recent months, as an opener to a Melodic Monday entry on Grimes, in fact. But because this is a music reference, I’m okay to play like a broken record and write about this week’s Timely Thursday entry on timotheories with a repetitive start.

Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) is a rock group from São Paulo, Brazil. The band came together in 2003, which was the year I entered into university for my undergrad BFA in art and design. For the next few years, I became accustomed to their new rave sound. This is back when there was a bar called HALO in the downtown core of Edmonton.

A long time ago, in an Edmonton far, far away, for you younger readers.

Anyways, CSS had this great little ditty called Art-bitch (chorus to follow), and when my graduating class was putting together their final submissions to the exhibition and supplemental catalogue, I witnessed several lyrics come together in the titles of some of my friends final pieces. Titles like Art-bitch, Art-lick, and Art-hole.

Lick lick lick my art-tit
Lick lick lick my art-tit
Suck suck suck my art-hole
Suck suck suck my art-hole

I ain’t no art-ist
I am an art-bitch
I sell my panties to the men i eat
I have no port-fo-lee-o
Cuz i only show
Where there’s free al-co-hol

This is significant because a band like CSS represents an aesthetic gone by, and fashion is often closely associated with visual arts. For instance, new rave took elements from both new wave and rave to produce a fashion look (and sound) that incorporates fluorescent clothing, and similar visual accessories, ie glowsticks. It even had a shelf life, much like fashion, because by the time it got really popular in mid-2008 it kinda just died right then and there. The use of synthetic music combined with apathy and anarchism made it perfect for artists to capitalize on.

And this is totally applicable to the memories I associate with a key group of friends at that time, many of whom continued on their art journey almost immediately after university and are now making waves all over the world, but in totally different ways then they did a decade ago, kinda.

One of those friends now works at Latitude 53, the same one who organizes Manhunt-Edmonton.

Incidentally, I went to see an art opening at his invitation back in January. It was for students of the UofA at Latitude 53 and called Bridging Encounters. This is where I heard Grimes new album blasting away, that’s right, Art Angels was playing in the background. Yes! I thought, this means that the revolving aesthetic is still alive and well.

Which is why I’ve spent all this back story building up to an event that is happening this saturday and which I’m pretty excited about. Latitude regularly hosts exhibitions of two kinds. In their main space artists and curators can submit proposals twice a year, which are reviewed and then selected by a board. A second option exists in the ProjEX Room, where artists and groups can submit work that is midway through it’s process; allowing the audience to contribute in the research and development.

That’s where the exhibition, The Menagerie, comes in. Edmonton visual artist Lisa Jones will be hosting an artist talk on her work this Saturday at 2PM at Latitude 53.

It’s exciting because she is a painter, who is exploring aspects of her physical self and identity through an analogy of the circus! It promises to be a good one! The Facebook event is here, and the Latitude 53 link is here. Address is 10242 106 St NW.

What do you think dear readers? Any fond memories of your art past? Any triggers? Please leave some comments and of course subscribe if you haven’t already to say updated on timely events in my journey and local events!

Tim!

Old School (timotheories presents: Cross Talk)

Do you ever look at all of people who wear shirts with the statement “old school” emblazoned across the front, and shake your head?

I remember a stretch of time when it was a very popular type of slang, especially with people in my generation. It was used to refer to gaming, music, and fashion especially. But pretty much anything that came from another era was subject to the old school moniker when brought up in conversation.

There was even a movie about this idea. And it was conveniently called Old School. At the time that this movie came out, I had just turned 18 years old. And in a fury of wanting to be an adult, participate in adult culture and do adult things, I went to see Old School in the theatre.

At the time, I thought I had hit comedy gold. It was quotable, it was rude, it had nudity, and I was finally part of a club I had wished I was a part of for years. 18 year old Tim was stupid, and I hated his motivations.

Hate is a strong word, and I really really really dislike using it. But it’s true.

I wanted to like old school things, and convey my taste, my wisdom, and my virtue. And I thought that watching a movie about men in their 40s who go back to college to start a fraternity, get drunk and sleep with coeds, was a pathway to this wisdom.

Appropriating without contributing, participating without earning anything.

Hence, I dislike the term “old school.” But that’s just the surface reason, let’s go deeper.

It also seemed to me to be a lazy way of contributing to a conversation without actually offering anything up. Equivalent to when people throw the word fuck around haphazardly or follow every other sentence with it.

The height of the “old school” slang for me was in 2003, when trucker hats were cool.

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But Coolio and LL Cool J were not. Cry me a river right?

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Sorry I thought of a quip and wanted to share it.

Anyway, as I mentioned, 2003 was a fun time. With lots of gentrification and appropriation going on in popular culture. We were just starting to define this trend and eventually landed the plane with a term called the hipster.

In this period of time, everyone wanted to address this overwhelming issue of postmodernism embodied in fashion. The hipsters took from every era possible and somehow managed to upset every niche culture in the process.

It was a fashionable form of nihilism and it stuck around for a quite a while.

Nihilism, subversion, and anti-establishment anti-hero types have always existed, but we needed to re-define and send this out into the world ourselves.

And because of the post-modernist movement, hipsterdom moved with the contemporary ideas of the day.

But as we hit the 2010’s, hipsters and attacking everything became faux pas. Or at least I stopped worrying about it myself. You see, I realized, and I think most artists are started to as well, that we need to move past post-modernism if we really want to create anything worthwhile.

Sure it can be fun to deconstruct something and take details away from it, but real joy can only be found in embracing and sharing your vision with the world.

Which is why I think that modern craft is the next big thing in the art world, in the arts, and in popular culture. You see, I have this theory. My theory is that every generation needs to separate itself from the one previous, but because life works in cycles, and we reference what comes before us, children are often the spiritual successors of their grandparents ideas and belief systems.

My parents (and the parents of all generation x and generation y kids) represent ideas of deconstruction, excess, and dichotomies that exist in the  extreme. That’s not to say that they are extremists, but it was a period of carving out and making broad strokes to deal with the world. In anticipation of globalization, the internet, and major issues of human rights.

I think that the next generations focus will be on nuanced issues, on craft, on communication, and on socialization. This is why more and more people are turning to small businesses again, why artwork is becoming about skillfulness again, and why we are tackling social media.

I’m going to end today’s post by offering a promise to you dear readers.

A promise in anticipation of a new year and new challenges! Next year, I am going to unveil a new component of the timotheories mantle called Cross Talk. On Cross Talk, myself and my co-host will be addressing themes we see in film (and eventually other realms)and using those themes to offer you up much needed insights.

It can be a lot of fun to learn about production details, fan theories, and celebrity gossip, but that is not the intent of Cross Talk. Cross Talk promises to be the kind of discussion you would have in a bar or on a couch with your close friends about a topic and provide you with a fresh perspective on a universal storytelling medium!

So stay tuned because we aren’t going to appropriate we are going to celebrate and bring something new to the table!

And that’s all of the theories I have today.

Tim!