I'm back from the trip to Paducah, via Chicago and via St.Louis. It was a bit hazy when we landed in Chicago, so this isn't the best skyline photo, but here it is, from the airplane window:
Driving out of St. Louis, I took a quick lap around the arch. One of these days I'll stop for a real visit, which I haven't done in about 20 years or so.
I did not win any prizes this year in Paducah, and I knew I wouldn't going into this show. Forget Me Knot, while it is pretty and has won other prizes, was not quite the level it needed to be to compete in this show. I still got dressed up, had fun, and caught up with many other artists, many of whom I only see once a year or so. Here I am, mugging for the camera:
I was also able to speak with Rami Kim. Rami is a wonderful artist, with 13 Best of Show wins and numerous other awards. This year in Paducah, she had her own fashion show, as the enterainment portion of the fashion show. She showed 20 ensembles, each one beautiful and distinctive. If you ever have a chance to see her work in person, you ought to do so. She also has two books published, Folded Fabric Elegance and Quilted Elegance.
I asked Rami what I could do to improve my garments. She has seen many of my garments and has judged them, too. She said to master what I do and to make it perfect. Excellent advice and something to strive for! The new mantra: make it perfect.
I own both of Rami's books, and looking through them was a real inspiration, but not in exactly the way you'd think. Some of the techniques presented in her books I have seen before, except for the unique Korean Chopkey techniques of 3-D folded fabric embellishments. While the pictures themselves are beautifully shot and the garments wonderful, that was only a small part of what inspired me. What inspired me was the fact that Rami was able to distill the essence of her own artwork into two books. If you look at all of her techniques, these are part of what makes her work unique and special. It really made me think. If I had to sit down and figure out what makes my work unique to me and list those techniques, what would they be? What makes my work different from other's people's work? I was able to figure out three or four major things that I would call my own.
From there I took one technique and asked myself, have I explored this technique to the fullest? What I could do with just this one technique? Within an hour, I had sketched four or five new ideas. In 20 minutes on one of plane rides, I was able to write out the instructions for construction for each technique. I found it very interesting that I was able to define what I do and build upon it so quickly. Maybe it was just a product of being away from home, studio and family, where I had time to think about these things. It was sort of refreshing in a way. Now I'm ready to get back into the studio and back to work!
Parting Shot: Jackpot! I stopped at a couple of vintage shops on my way out of St. Louis and I was able to pick up a couple of belts kits and covered button partial kits for real cheap. I also picked up a pair of yellow gloves, I'm hoping to use them with Garden Path.