Sunday, 27 July 2008

Another Design Idea

This is a more recent piece of Photoshop art that I have created based on a snowflake brush pattern I created. This pattern would make a great wood carved wall for inside the home or even an iron grill wall in the garden.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Nicacelly: Footloose & Sweatshop Free

Recently, I contacted one of my favorite fashion designers – Nicole Markoff, the genius behind the Nicacelly fashion label. I first heard of Nicacelly late 2007 when I watched a video interview on The Fempire and was instantly hooked by Nicole's funky take on clothing - it was both peasant and modern. As a result I can proudly say that I have my very own Nicacelly hoodie - which always causes a sensation whenever I wear it.

For those new to the label Nicacelly, you will find Nicole’s stance on the fashion industry to be both refreshing and delightful. It has been one of Nicole’s aims to avoid sweatshop production and to quote her “to not make redundant crap”. Following is an interview of Nicole “Nicacelly” Markoff. Enjoy the read and check out the links at the bottom…

What is the origin of the label name Nicacelly? 
The name Nicacelly started as a nickname for me by a close friend, but if divided up, it is my name combined with a great aunt's name that passed in the Holocaust. So I kept it for those two reasons, as well as the fact that it sounds kind of Italian, which people tend to gravitate towards, and has a tip-of-your-tongue kind of ring (NIK-A-SElly).

What is the Nicacelly motto? 
Remixed Fits and Fiber. I started out and will eventually return to making fiber into art, and clothing is the way to manifest those ideologies into products and bring the art into more of a public realm. I come from a youth culture (ages ago, now!) that reinterprets their world through taking bits of history and combining them with bits of the future, and v/v, hence the remix element.

Do you have a favourite piece in your current collection? If so please describe it. 
I started making jackets last season, and I can't help but be proud of the Pon jacket- it's my first collaborative endeavor with a small factory in northern Thailand, named after the woman who works with me over there, P'Pon. Each piece is handscreened, pockets have sweet lining, there is a picture lining in the back yoke, and it comes belted in leather with vintage box closures. Very eclectic and delicious, and the fit is sweet. For fall, I'm doing a reversable wrap blazer, which will feature handwoven fabrics from Issan province, naturally dyed. 

What piece in your wardrobe do you practically live in? 
Aside from my soon-reverb jackets, I am ashamed and proud to say that I live in American Apparel and vintage when I'm not wearing my own clothes. I rocked the boo neckline from my collection for a long time, and now since I'm working a lot and doing a lot of yoga, I feel like the most conscious choices that I can make are those that are second hand or domestically made or sweatshop-free. So I do that as much as possible.

The world is changing with consumers wanting to appear much more individual and unique – whether it be by wearing homemade designs, buying indie or vintage clothes. Do you see this trend continuing to grow in the future? 
I think that the indi aesthetic has a few more years in terms of trend. After that, people will be looking for more tailored looks and quality. I believe the mainstream has gotten incredibly casual, especially with the crazy interest in streetwear over the last few seasons. Moving forward, I think folks will desire to "find" designers as well as higher quality looks that are more product and less hype. I think I'm perched in there somewhere.

For better or for worse what directions do you see the fashion world taking? 
I don't really participate in the "fashion" world too much these days, but I think people are going to have to pair down their wardrobes as the economy and world changes. I think the green explosion is noble, and I look forward to see who stays afloat amidst it all and in its wake.

In your opinion what is the worst clothing trend you have seen worn on the streets in the past year? 
I'm not a huge fan of men in tight pants, but for some reason it compels me to take a closer look.

Out of all the places you have ever traveled to around the world, what has been your most favorite destination? Why? 
I'd have to say that still, to this day northern California really does it for me. For a long time I was jumping from here to there, all around, and attempting to live abroad. However, I've finally become comfortable in the place where I live and have made home. Knowing what the previous night's sky will yield the next day, and knowing which corner will bring the greatest gust of wind entices me to continue traveling local.

In your design work, describe the evolution that you have seen so far. 
Sometimes when you are in it, you can't see it from above. I've had a chance to look from above recently, and I think that when I started, I jammed as many images and flowers into one piece as I could muster. Now my tastes are simpler, and I think that most of my time will soon be spent focusing on fit and pattern, mixing the simple canvases into more evolved ones, and then hunting down the best and rarest fabrics that I can.

When planning a new range, what do you watch/read/listen to, to stimulate the creative juices in your mind?
It's always music and a reflection of what is going on in my internal world. Nicacelly has always been a dialogue in music and image, urbanity and country (as they are in most cases reliant upon each other for survival though they might deny that), hence the urban cottage aesthetic. I'm still negotiating that balance, and where it was blatantly obvious before in the final product, now it is more subtle and illustrates its meaning in the method. I try not to look too much at magazines, but rather what needs to be filled in terms of necessity (a warm hoodie that doesn't look like a hoodie, hence the bishop wrap hoodie from last season and we are carrying over to this one), and what meanings need to come to the fore (handmade fabrics, a true return to green life). So I just observe women, men, and their pets, in the park, in the woods, in the club, and try to create a pragmatic web.

Describe the tastiest breakfast you have ever had. 
Now you are talking my freakin' language! Here's my favorite home cooked brekkie: two sunny side ups on rye toast with herbs de provence and muenster cheese, roasted tomatoes with garlic and basil, vegetable hash (mushrooms, garlic, peppers, etc.), and chicken mango sausage. Sided with a huge glass of mate and another equally huge glass of fresh juice (canteloupe-plum-grapefruit), followed by a spliff and nap. that is true luxury.

What is the one question you have never been asked in an interview that you wish someone would ask?
You just did it- the breakfast question.

Sites that you can find Nicacelly at are as follows:
The Giant Peach
Nicacelly Blogspot

Nicacelly is also associated with such groups as:
Miss Crew
The Fempire

While you are at it take a peek at an excellent video interview of Nicole Markoff hosted by The Fempire.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Oh how I love, love, love the work of Catalina Estrada...

... Let me count the ways.

To me Catalina Estrada is the Queen of Illustration because of:
  • her bright use of colours
  • the minute details in each of her pictures
  • her intrepid imagination
  • and ability to get the job done

Herein are images of Catalina's illustrations in Paul Smith's Autumn/Winter 07 collection for Japan.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Cherry Pop

This is a picture that I created late last year. It started from a hand drawn sketch to paper, and later got enhanced in Photoshop. I like this picture because the red and green colouring, plus with the shape of the model it reminds me of two cherries still attached to the mini-wing-branch.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Retrospective Fashion

This illustration was something I did a couple of years ago. It was from one of my crazy fashion idea phases. I love going through those phases for any form of art. So many interesting ideas get put to paper, and this illustration was certainly no exception to the rule.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Cool Summer

This is one of my compositions in the past year. My favorite theme for the past few years has been a concept of paradise. Which has been very much Tiki inspired.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

It has been a long while...

... since my last blog entry. I didn't intend to be so lazy, but that's how it goes sometimes. I was low on ideas and had also been feeling tired in the evenings so I had to take a break from it.

So today I thought I would make up for the lack of blogs by sharing a video from Youtube that I came across a few months ago. It is old video footage of a rather sweet and bubbly Gwen Stefani, before the commercial success of No Doubt.  In case you haven't noticed I am a fan of Gwen Stefani, but more than that her work inspires me with my own art. So I guess it can be said that she is my current muse.

Enjoy the video...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A Boy and his Basket

Herein is a rough drawing I created a few months ago. I have finally decided to finish the illustration in Photoshop. The boy in the illustration is named Michael, and his pet kitten is called Plop. The idea behind this illustration is that they are flying into space to reach the stars and moon in their little basket. The boy is being adventurous and the kitten is an unwilling companion, so he is a bit scared.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

The Magic is in the Makeup...

... Gwen Stefani sang, and I believe she is right. This morning I found this lovely photo of myself when I was roughly three years of age. By the looks of things I got into my mum's makeup kit and was experimenting with the lipstick and eye shadow. Only the eye shadow seems to be no where near my eye lids. It must have been the beginning of the eighties punk rock chick. Or perhaps it was my clown phase.

Plus, check out the hazy colours in the background of this photo. Talk about tripping the light fantastic.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Childhood Memories

A few months ago, my husband M-Boo was thinking about his childhood and how those early years provided him with some happy memories. He then asked me about the best years of my life. Like M-Boo I too felt that the early years of childhood were my nicest spent days.

Here is what I had to say:
The best years of my life!

I group my best years in two different groups. My best years were when I lived in Woomera (SA) and Amberley (QLD).

I lived at Woomera from about ages two to five. I then lived in Qld ages five to ten.

Great memories of my Woomera years:
- Fourth of July fireworks display with a rock band playing beneath.
- My pretty dresses with patterned fabrics and little belts that I got to wear.
- My first pair of roller skates. I taught myself to skate. My skates were specially made proper black skate boots – leather, metal, red rubber wheels. They had a particular smell which today’s inline skates do not have.
- Painting and making things.
- Playing with my one really good friend – Julianne Day.
- Kindergarten – making a paper plate Santa face, watching boiled Easter eggs being dyed, playing with water boat trough.
- Looking at the sky one night and being awed by my own smallness in such a large universe.

Great memories of Amberley:
- Riding my bicycle all over the street, and doing tricks like resting my feet on the handlebars.
- Saturday morning classes & roller disco at the skating rink. I had pink/white skates. I earned 3 skating stars.
- Spring/Summer BBQs with the other RAAF families. Playing tiggy and murder in the dark.
- Watching tv – Astroboy, Jem, Care Bears, Transformers, Punky Brewster, Voltron (The Lions), The Kids of Degrassi Street (precursor to the Degrassi Jnr High & Degrassi High series’).
- Arts and craft at school.
- My Jem paperdolls.
- Librarian reading to the class a new storybook.
- Tuckshop lunch – Shepherds Pie.
- Playing with my dolls by myself.
- Climbing trees.
- asking my parents to buy hot chips when we went shopping. Or stopping for a milkshake and scones for morning tea.
- Visiting my cousins – Alicia and Peter. I really liked their home and playing with them.
- Horse riding schools – I actually didn’t mind the smell of leather and horses.
- I had lots of fun playing with Lee, Alex and Dale Hanson (their mum babysat me).
- Playing dress ups – I had a box full of different costumes.
- Pretending to be horses with the other girls in the schoolyard.
- Pretending to be robots with the other boys in the schoolyard.
- Turning my bedroom into a safari set with my old bed sheets.
- Spending a day at the Wet’n’Wild each year – water slides, warm weather, and eating Pluto Puffs.
- Spinning in circles with other kids in the evening, till we collapse and watch the sky keep turning.
- Fantasising about being Jem/Jerrica.
- Playing with my remote control car.
- Setting up the Christmas tree.
- Opening Birthday & Christmas presents.
- Bicycle bouncing down the road when I hit a large stone.
- Brand new mini tent for Christmas – sleeping in the back yard for a few days.
- Spending summer days at the beach – using my boogie board. I was a water baby. Got burnt a few times, but it was for a good cause (having fun).
- Thursday dinner, twice a month, at the Sargeants Mess – all Sgts and their families were invited to the dinner. Curry was provided. Would run around with the other kids, some of whom were in my class. We played beyond exhaustion. We were so busy.
- Dad finds his train set and helps me set it up in my bedroom. I played with it for ages.
- Trying to make clothes for my dolls.
- Splashing around at the RAAF swimming pool.
- Friday night kids disco at the local hall.

So many nice things that make me feel better just thinking about it. I guess my Queensland years had more of an impact than those spent in SA.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


1. I created this image by making some folded paper cuttings.
2. I then scanned the newly created paper patterns into the computer.
3. And turned the patterns into paint brushes in the Photoshop program.
4. I was then able to play around with these new brushes on the page, having fun by changing the colours and size.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Party Under Wraps

This was a picture I created in Photoshop a few months ago. It is a continued variation of my paradise theme.