Showing posts with label keith haring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label keith haring. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DIY: A Keith Haring Inspired Pleather Ensemble

What I've got for y'all today is an ensemble brought to you by the exquisite fabric known as pleather. Which I have decided can only be pronounced as "plehh-thahh" in a deep and gravely Barry White voice, preferably followed by a "baby". As in, "I wanna wrap you in plehh-thahh, baby, plehh-thahhhhh." And just who doesn't want be draped from head-to-toe in leather fauxness with Barry White at their beck and call, hmmm? 

Little known fact: pleather actually comes from the rare and annoying creature known as Twilight Sparkle. Hence the smell of plastic and rainbows shot from unicorn anus. 

So I got this idea to draw all over my clothing from one of my fave artist blogs Alisa Burke. Y'all. I totally hate it when chics say the have a "girl crush" so, well, lemme just put it this way: I totes have the lady hots for Alisa. She's like a Super Crafty Genius. Sometimes, I visit her site and I'm all "GAH! She's done it AGAIN!" and commence shaking my fists at the heavens wondering why some folks be all touched with the crafty-gene and I ended up with hammerhead toes. HAMMERHEAD TOES, Y'ALL (and, to that freaky-deaky person who keeps messaging me about wanting to see more pictures of my feet, STOP. It's not gonna happen, 'kay?). Life just ain't fair, y'all.
As soon as I saw Alisa's jacket, the idea of doing the same with a Keith Haring theme popped into my head (along with "squirrel!" and "unicorn anus!" but that's pretty normal). I scoured the interwebs for super cheap plehh-thahhh (see, I told you, I can't say it any other way. Bet you won't be able to either after this post) and found that Forever21 had this circle skirt on the cheap. Not wanting to pay shipping costs, I decided to venture to the mall (anyone else abhor the mall? Gah, I feel like I'm stepping back into a 1990's time machine each time I enter one. Orange Julius, anyone?) and scooped one up.
I gotta tell ya, the last time I wore a plehh-thahh skirt it was my 11th birthday, I was in 6th grade and we were bringin' the house down at Chuck-e-Cheese. I tried my hardest to find a photo from the occasion but, alas, I think I may have taken one look at it, thought, "OMG, why am I wearing maroon pinstripe pleather?!" and tossed it. Sorry, y'all!

After my shopping fun at the mall, I popped over to the craft store and scooped up a coupla of Sharpie oil-based pens. I also picked up a couple of terrible fabric makers which sucked unicorn anus. Thusly, I don't recommend them. 
Once I got home, I did a quick search for Keith Haring/black and white and this is what popped up. I loved it so much (look at the scissor people, people!) I decided it would be the perfect inspiration. 
I began by sketching out my Haring-inspired designs in chalk but that proved to be too time-consuming and did a number on the tip of the Sharpie. Since Harings designs are pretty simple, I decided to just let it goooo and draw 'em with reckless abandon. 

Are y'all fans of Keith Haring? I feel like he was such a revolutionary artist not necessarily because of his style but because of the boundaries that his artwork removed. In the 1980's his graffiti artwork could be seen by anyone who happened by it, not just those "in the art world". He removed the mystic of the artist by working out in the open on grimy subway walls in his cartoonish hand. Not only that, but his artwork brought to light issues that were close to Haring's heart: AIDS awareness, sexuality, apartheid and war. Dude was Banksy before Banksy. Suddenly art became by the people and for the people, thanks to Keith Haring.
Once I was finished with the plehh-thahh skirt, I decided a biker jacket was needed to top it all off. Barry White insisted. 
Gotta tell ya, I've been wanting a vintage biker jacket for ages. However they cost exactly One Million Dollars and, despite my ginormous art teacherin' paycheck, I just ain't got that kinda dough. So a plehh-thahh biker from Forever21 it 'twas (dude. Do you know how awkward it is to shop in a place called Forever21 when you are really Forever 39?).
For this jacket, I really wanted to stress Harings more popular images like the people holding the heart, the barking dogs, the radiant baby and the cartoon face on the television. Other than that, I had seriously no plan at all, didn't draw in chalk or nuthin. I just went at it. 

And the result is pretty busy, I gotta say. However, I kinda dig that it doesn't match the skirt. I like that the skirt has more negative space so you can see the images better. By the way, do you even know how stinkin' hot head-to-toe plehh-thahh is?! And by "hot" I don't mean "hawt", I mean butt-sweat hot. You can thank me for the visual imagery in the comments.
Once the temps dip a pinch, I think this will be so much fun to wear. I'm thinkin' I will get a lotta mileage outta that jacket.
OMG, I just realized, I look like The Fonz!
Who has two thumbs and loves plehh-thahh?! Eeehhhhhh. This guy.
Oh, Fonz. You so cray.
And with that, one more artist-inspired ensemble in the books! 

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

DIY: Batik Fabric, Keith Haring Style

Hey there, kids! When my students were working on figure drawing a couple weeks ago, I got the notion that I'd introduce Keith Haring as our next Artist of the Month (granted, the month is almost it looks like we'll be chatting about him next month, ahem). I've been wanting to do some batiking for a while...and the designs of Haring seemed like a good fit with this technique.
Have ya'll ever batiked fabric before? I have a love for all things textiles (except for big loom weaving. I had to do one big ole weaving on a loom for a textiles class in college. I warped that thing all wonky and my finished weaving looked like something my cat threw up. Stupid project brought my grade and GPA to a new low...that and the C- I got in...wait for it...karate). I was first introduced to batik in high school and I've played around with it on and off since then. Back then I created weird wall hangings (that have more than likely met their fate in the bottom of a trash can) but this time I decided to create fabric for a new dress!
Now in the past, I always drew my design on the fabric in pencil and then traced those lines in wax. The problem with that is the wax then seals in the pencil lines. I never liked being able to see those pencil lines in my finished piece. So I got the idea that I'd draw my design on paper, trace in sharpie, place that under my fabric and trace that in wax. I know, you'd think I woulda thought of that years ago. I've never been mistaken for a genius, ya'll. 
When I batik, I use a double broiler and a wax combo of paraffin wax (found at the grocery store in the area where they keep the canning supplies) and bee's wax (check your craft store). I forget why it's important to use a combo of both waxes but if you solely use one or the other it doesn't end well. I think it's because the paraffin is pretty flaky stuff that can crack off the fabric and defeat the purpose. So combining it with the bee's wax (which is expense and a pinch difficult to remove when used alone) helps. However, I could totally be making 100% of this up, so batikin' pros, I'm counting on ya'll to correct me in the comments.
In the kitchen, next to the double broiler, I laid down some cardboard, my Haring drawing and placed my fabric on top. From there I set about tracing my designs in wax. To apply the wax, I use an old bristle paint brush. I have one of those tjanting tools for applying the wax but I can't seem to work the thing. Any suggestions? I played around with it for a bit and just switched back to my paint brush. I figured if I didn't know how to pronounce the name of the tool, I had no right using it.
When you are batiking, you've gotta make sure that the wax doesn't just simply sit on top of the fabric but soaks all the way through. If it doesn't, it won't resist the dye.
Once I finished batiking about three yards of muslin (I know, it took foreverness!), I set about dying it. I'm a little bummed I didn't use a more concentrated dye so the color of the fabric is more charcoal gray than black. To remove the wax, I ran it under some super hot water in my sink which was a big, fat, hairy mistake. That simply spread the wax all over the fabric and coated the inside of my sink. I also tried just throwing it in the dryer on the hottest temp which seemed to only soften the wax momentarily. Finally I just ironed the wax out between sheets of newsprint paper. Which is what I shoulda done in the first place. But my laziness was flaring up so I attempted those other non-functional options first.
Oh! By the way, the way, the dye I use is Procion which can be purchased through Dharma. It's the very best dye ever and the folks at Dharma will answer your questions if you've got any. They also have killer dying directions on their website that tell you everything except to check for holes in your gloves before using them. Cuz if you don't, you might end up with a fuschia middle finger. That might be good info to include, Dharma. Just sayin.

The other piece of fabric I batiked and dyed was inspired by Haring's rather tribal looking doodles and designs. I love how vibrant this piece turned out...but I'm not sure I like how it looks with the gray batik. These two might not end up in the same ensemble...but whatever happens, I'll keep you posted. 

So now I'm on a batikin' kick. I've got several other things in my little head that I want to batik-ify. And, after seeing Phyl's post on an alternative batik method for kids, I really want to introduce this art to my students. Have ya'll tried batik with children? Did you use a traditional method or something more safe like Phyl? I'd love to hear your thoughts, ya'll!

Until then, have a great week!
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