Mechanical Animals

Who doesn’t love paper dolls? They hold a certain nostalgia that most older childhood toys possess. I remember playing with a magnetic cardboard doll set that my mother had when she was a little girl. The charm and delight in these toys are in part, based on the materials used, as well as the simple movements the dolls can make. This site shows dolls from various makers. Though there are no DIY instructions, one can imagine how they are constructed, and these are good examples for inspiration!

Mechanical-animals-01_rect540

Originality and Ownership of Design

How can one claim a design is truly theirs? Through one of the appropriation links I posted awhile ago, I found a story regarding Urban Outfitters stealing a design from a designer with an etsy shop.

I immediately felt horrible for this designer and outraged that such a blatant copy of their work would be used for profit in a major corporation.

Then, I found this post from regretsy that  made me wonder, a) who is the original designer really is, and b) what the hell originality means any more.

Make Your Own Beads

I have two methods to share for making your own beads. This only begs the question: Paper or plastic?

1. Paper.

D.I.Y. Paper Beads

This method involves rolling paper to form the shape of the bead. Pro: Incredibly inexpensive, can use patterned paper. Con: Susceptible to wear and tear, especially water damage, unless they are carefully coated.

2. Plastic… if you can call it that. More like cornstarch.

Make Cornstarch Beads

This method involves creating  dough to shape the beads from. Pro: Relatively inexpensive, greater shape possibilities, create own colours. Con: Patterning requires own designs, harder to get even bead shapes, results are not as immediate (must bake or let harden).

Either way, I will be trying out both methods!

Concept Development: Ernesto Neto

Today I gave my first Pecha Kucha, which was terrifying since I, like many people, do not like to public speaking or conducting presentations. The good parts about this presentation were: a) it couldn’t be more than 6 min, 40 sec, b) it was quick-paced, c) had a laid-back style, d) the audience was ideal for the presented subjects, and e) the subject matter itself was interesting.

Anyhoo, I choose to focus my presentation on Ernesto Neto.

Need I say more?

The Jealous Curator

Is there a better name than that? I’m jealous that I didn’t come up with that. (har har)

No, seriously. The Jealous Curator is easily among the top of my recent discoveries. I added it through Flipboard, another recent discovery that I will also discuss.

The tagline for The Jealous Curator explains the concept of the blog in a nutshell: “A collection of artwork that inspires & depresses me. I know it’s good when I’m left thinking DAMN I WISH I THOUGHT OF THAT.”

I can relate to this. There is so much work out there that I wish I had done myself. What’s the next best thing? Talk about it, write about it, show it, etc. Maybe criticism and curatorial studies is a good fit for me afterall.

Getting back to the point… the blog provides an excellent go-to centre for keeping in touch with contemporary artists and their practices. Expect me to post links to specific entries, because they are too cool to not share. For instance, this one of Anne Lindberg has me wondering how the weather is in Nebraska right now.

Moving along to FLIPBOARD…

This is a must-have app for iPhones. It’s a great way to get facebook updates, alongside blog and news updates as well. This app introduced me to sites like The Jealous Curator, and allows me to stay current with websites I’m already familiar with, such as Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge. Plus, the simple layout and user-friendly functions are incredibly refreshing. Huzzah!

Concept Development: Conceptual Formal Distinctions and Appropriation

Lynne has given me feedback on my project 3 proposal, stating that she likes the tactile approach I plan to take with the assignment, though she is worried that the items will all feel the same.

Good point.

I was questioning whether or not to do this in the first place. It seems a little obvious and overdone.

Time to get back to the drawing board!

About appropriation… we talked about this crazy, little word in class yesterday. And oddly enough, my friend Mel and I discussed this word last Friday.

We came to the conclusion that the line of right or wrong is so grey that can never be defined.

This leads to my next puzzle: creating a design around Navajo Blankets for my surface design class. Yikes. This is a delicate area. Here are some articles on how Urban Outfitters crossed the line…

Navajo Nation Sues Urban Outfitters Over The 'Navajo Hipster Panty'

Jezebel: Navajo Nation Sues Urban Outfitters Over The “Navajo Hipster Panty”

Native Appropriations: Urban Outfitters is Obsessed with Navajos

and this one is kind of goofy:

The Globe and Mail: Urban Outfitters’ “Navajo hipster panty” enrages Native Americans

This is what is written in bold at the end of the article: “Would you wear faux-Navajo or is there something left to be said for authenticity?”

Um… “faux-Navajo?” I think that is a poor description. There is a large difference between something that uses the name “Navajo” illegally vs. something that is a copy of a Navajo design vs. something that is Navajo inspired. (And sometimes items can fall under more than one of those categories.) The safest bet for designers and retailers: inspiration only.