I’ve been meaning to share these photos with you for a very long time. I shot with photographer Edgar Wang in August, with every intention of getting them up on the blog as soon as possible. But then I didn’t know what to say. And then I went back to school. And then I sort of stopped doing anything that wasn’t class, homework, driving to an art modeling session, or sitting on someone’s model stand for three hours at a time.
But winter has a funny way of slowing down, especially at the very beginning of the year. January has been notoriously slow for me for years, thanks to being a full-time freelance artist. No one buys anything in January. No one goes to shows. We’ve all just spent all our money and burnt ourselves out on Capitalism during the holidays, and with nothing more to look forward to, to make heading out into cold weather bearable, we all just hunker down and hibernate.
I’ve taken to my various social media accounts a few times this winter to say basically the same thing. During this time of year, no matter how illogical it actually is, I always get that little anxious voice in the back of my head saying “You have no bookings this week. Clearly, you will NEVER WORK AGAIN.”
Um. No, little voice. I have four burlesque shows this month, and eight art sessions. I have my regular hours costuming and 8 whole days of U/RTA. I’m pretty sure I’m working more this January than any January in my entire life. Aside from the fact that, though I have bookings clear into April, but bafflingly ZERO things in March… I’m looking pretty solid for the beginning of the year. So kindly bugger off somewhere else.
I’m fighting that little voice. I’m fighting it by contacting every burlesque producer in Chicago, reminding them that I exist. I’m fighting it by making work, even if it’s just upgrading my own costumes for my own gratification. I’m fighting it by making this blog post.
We shot these photos on the campus of UIC, in a parking garage. Anyone who wants to be a photographer, but is worried about finding good locations… worry not. If you can take photos like these in a parking garage, you’ll be just fine.
I even got to play with the photographers’ Petzval lens. The Petzval lens is an art lens, a replica of a piece of 250 year old photography equipment. Modern photo lenses correct for optic aberrations created by using circular pieces of glass, but the Petzval lens embraces those same “flaws.” If you look at the photos above, taken with the lens, you can see the way the background swirls around me. It’s a beautiful effect. The Petzval lens was a limited edition item, and is no longer being manufactured, but it is one of the dearest (and most pointlessly expensive) things on my life’s wishlist.
Dress- Simplicity 4105, from 1952
Petticoat- Vintage- Gifted
Shoes- Rampage- similar
I never blogged about this dress when I was making it because… it’s the first of my yearly panic holiday dress projects. I mentioned it in this post, wherein I also mentioned that I decided, on a whim, to make a holiday dress on approximately December 21st, and then helpfully also decided to choose the pattern with 12 (or is it 16?) buttons and buttonholes. Don’t judge me. I almost did that again this year, before reminding myself that that was insane.
In any case, the dress was a surprisingly easy make, with only neckline and armhole facings, and the rest of the seams (aside from the hem) finished with bias binding. The buttons are deadstock vintage, from my favorite antique shop, and inspired the whole dress. I’d love to make another, as the pattern also comes with a short-sleeved option. The next one has to be done in some sort of lurid color combination though, because I love color.
Hopefully, the winter is treating your psyches a bit more kindly than it has been treating mine. Are you dreaming of summer yet?