Thursday, May 31, 2012

State of Project Minima - The First Year

Yes, a year has gone by since I decided to launch Project Minima and I'm still as involved as ever.  Let's look back and see if I accomplished my original goals and what other doors have opened along the way.  hmmm.
illustration by Clare Owen.

Well, the main goal I had written on Day One was: "...everything works, everything looks good, it all fits and I like it."  I would say I have achieved that - although in ways that I had not envisioned at the time.  In terms of my starting with the clothes list, I have favored the "play with to be altered" item rather than the "give away the not wanted."  The significant refinement came for me in my second post when I decided to go on a shopping free ban for the year.  I haven't bought a single item of apparel (new or used) in all that time.  This allowed my creativity to flourish -

 both in putting together outfits to wear, and in refashioned my clothes or making new ones from my fabric stash.  I also had a shopping ban on fabric due to my huge stash of it and sewing notions.  I even played with redoing my shoes!  It was all so empowering.



I saw how much I had used shopping as a leisure (and mindless) activity.  And how I didn't need anything in terms of clothing (I mean I wasn't going to starve).  And I loved rehabbing my clothes and not using patterns.  It was way more creative to work with what I had and see where I could take it, step by step.  More like art-making, less like paint-by-numbers, if you get my drift.  I started dressing more creatively, more interestingly - in terms of colors, textures, shapes, patterns.  Like art-making.  I had more fun with it.

One of the most amazing things (really) was I began taking pictures of myself wearing the clothes I put together.  A friend called them my clothes collages and that's how I thought of it too.  I really didn't think of these as pictures of me, but as pictures of my clothes put together and I was the one wearing them.  And I took them like I take pictures of my artwork, then like I play with artwork, so they're evolving in their own way - and that might be interesting to see as time goes on...  As soon as I started posting these pix in April 2012, I began getting comments which was another interesting phenomenon.  I began sharing them with Patti on Visible Mondays at Not Dead Yet Style and I was off.  From there I found myself on the Style Crone's Blogs We Like and then the Citizen Rosebud's 40+ Bloggers.  I was in full community and enjoying the diversity. 

Hey, initially I wasn't even going to take pictures of the clothes at all, even on their own.  Just a post and an art image that seemed relevant.  But friends said I just had to do that.  I thought it would be boring to see a shirt laying on a bed or hanging on a hanger.  But that was me, then. I first branched out with Refashion Co-op learning to share what I rehabbed within that community twice a month.  I learned what people were interested in (and not).

This last quarter I've completed 20 items, making a grand total of 114 pieces in one year.  That breaks down to a little over 2 per week.  Cool.  The other major accomplishment this quarter was the reorganization of my studio - dressing room - supply room - enclosed porch.  Hallelujah.

Oh, and least we forget here - speaking of rehabbing - I'm back on the wagon with exercising!  Proving my commitment to the coach/owner of the fitness center down the block, I've been doing my program there 4 times a week going on my second week now. We'll see what she has in store for me in terms of employment opportunities in my time of need, so to speak.

And I don't want to stop now, I've added another year to my commitment to Project Minima.  I may lift my shopping free ban from time to time.  I have had a desire to buy bright colored sox...but maybe I can just make them or do without!

Cheers,
pao

8 comments:

  1. I'm SO GLAD you started taking self portraits! LOVE THEM!!! (To such a degree that I want to sketch you for my Fashion Icon series)
    Clothing as art - I am so there with you. Your refashionings have been a huge inspiration. I'm still at the "sorting things into piles" stage. Soon, however... Snip, snip + sew, sew!

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  2. Hey Anne,
    You were one of the first people to comment on my clothes collage page when I started in April and I was so thrilled!

    Wow, your Fashion Icon series - what an honor. Is that like what was in your Sketchbook Project 2012? That was so cool, man.

    Well didn't you already sew a dress and scarf out of your own artwork from fabric you had printed with it?! (did I say that right...?)

    Cheers to art and clothes and sewing!

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  3. Congratulations Pat. What a wonderful batch of accomplishments! Thanks for being an inspiration with what you create and how you show up in the world. You give us all more permission to play.

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    1. Thanks Tisa, to one who knows all about the creative process and how to rock it!

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  4. Very impressive goal and achievement! Your persistence amazes me.

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    1. Well Ms Judith, your grace and charm, whilst not foregoing persistence, has become my gold standard.

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  5. And thank you so much for the mention!

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    1. Oh I was soooo honored when I found my blog listed on your site. I remember when I was way too intimidated to comment on yours...and I couldn't believe it when I saw you had said something on one of my posts. Seems like ages ago now. smile.

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