rabbit and the wolf

cheeky.

Posted in Art, painting, photography by hanaelena on January 22, 2011

The newest cublet in the pack!

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butterflies and stuff

Posted in fashion, photography by hanaelena on January 15, 2011

Because it’s not every day your littlest sister turns eighteen!

iikoy romance is born playsuit and super tired Topshop boots that I can’t bring myself to retire. My birthday bunny wears equally tired boots and a blue shirt that I made her. Happy birthday, little animal.

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ellipsis of meaning

Posted in core posts, fashion, photography by hanaelena on June 7, 2010

We finished the shirts, hand made by me and hand painted by my bunny Ciella.

I guess this signifies some kind of reflection? For me, it all comes down to something my lecturer said this semester- that “cool” is an ellipsis of meaning, evading capture so that we can produce something new in the world. Information, designed to resist information. I think this is quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever heard, no pun intended.  That’s what I’ve loved about this project, and blogging as a platform for expression- there’s no specified end, no designated moment where you’ve “finished” or succeeded. When you can’t define what you’re aspiring to achieve, there’s both the motivation to continue and the freedom to clarify your conception of design, participation and pretty much everything. Essentially, continuing that online conversation and reaching out to those other inspirational online bodies provides us with so much more than we even need to continue the production of content that will in turn inspire others. And that’s pretty incredible.

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somebody’s been knocking, better keep it down

Posted in core posts, photography by hanaelena on June 7, 2010

More from David Ellwand, and a shout out to my wonderful friend Will from House of Kay. Here’s chairs for your preying mantis to sit on.

He can move to these pretty ones when he has invertebrate friends over. 

  And totally offer them tea out of acorn cups.

Anthropod nonsense aside, he’s taking the same class as me, and I’ve never even commented on his blog. Why is there something so forward about commenting? And why is it easier to link than respond? 

I’ve occasionally found new blogs with really accessible, evocative content. With no comments. Hence the ‘new blog’ part. But as enjoyable as I find them, there’s no way I’m going to be the first to comment on anything. Because what is there to say? I like the material, I have nothing constructive to offer and there’s probably no way the author’s written something I disagree with, otherwise I wouldn’t be viewing the blog.

Citizen journalism blogs are the places you’d go to participate in public debate. Or maybe something about celebrity weight watching- The Skinny Website, anyone? People love calling the hideously successful hideous- but a fashion blog doesn’t usually spark riotous conflict. If you’re lucky and popular, a couple of people might tell you that they like your dress, followed with one of those somewhat desperate “now check out my blog kthxbye” sentences down near the bottom of the comment box. 

I hate to quote replicate, but what the hell, everybody-else-in-class-is-doing-it. It goes something like this. “Blogs create communities of like-minded people. Debates happen within homogeneous webclouds … Most bloggers would admit that it is not their aim to foster public debate…The chance that someone will respond to it is almost zero. Herein is the limit of blogging”- Geert Lovink. I’d argue that this isn’t a limit. Who ever said the purpose of a blog was to incite public discussion? Couldn’t it be equally important to establish a blog to reach out to said like minded audience, as did Jane Aldridge when she began Sea of Shoes to begin an online connection with the fashion world outside Texas? Zero comments doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing good to offer. (Well, I’d really hope not.) The fact is that it’s intimidating, being a reader without an virtual profile or blog to hide behind when you comment. Even with a blog. It’s that whole, “why would anyone care what I have to say” inertia I keep coming back to. If we feel like we ever do (have something to say, that is) we can always go find an unlimited homogenous web cloud. Or something.

things have gotten closer to the sun

Posted in Art, core posts, photography by hanaelena on June 7, 2010

 

I don’t own these images, they’re by the phenomenal photographer David Ellwand. There’s something kind of itchy about posting content that doesn’t belong to you. It’s not like you can put it back where it belongs or anything.

Anyway, the images are copyrighted  by David Ellwand and, like I said, I don’t own them. This means I can’t touch them. I can’t edit them, crop them, use them, reprint them. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to post them here, which I guess means I’m not supposed to. The choice to copyright rather than license your artistic projects (sound, images, text) under Creative Commons is something that I’ve heard people call selfish and, with the proliferation of text and images on the internet, wholly redundant.   

Marc Garcelon wrote in this really good article that I’m sure I’ll finish one day, that Creative Commons “represents an attempt to roll back the intellectual property approach to copyright in order to facilitate more open access to creative works… the Creative Commons project remains of interest to citizenry that needs open access to information in order to make informed decisions.” This all sounds fantastically fair and socially forward. Why not share? As long as others don’t financially profit from our work, it’s okay to inspire other creative works and offer everyone a slice of your artistic anima, right? Nuh-uh. 

I’m with Ellwand, illegal reproduction or not. Being a photographer, I think I’d cry if someone took one of my images and turned it into something I found offensive or not conducive with the inspiration behind the original work. I’d love it if someone edited my images in a way that evoked new ideas for me, or influenced me expressively, but there’s equal chance I’d hate what they did, and I’m not sure I’m ready to take that chance. People like David work so hard on what they do, are so good at what they do, and make enough money to be able to put a creative full stop on those images I posted above. I wouldn’t even dream to think I’d ever get as successful as him, but the principles still apply.

This is where accurate knowledge of copyright and Creative Commons licensing would become helpful. It’s another thing altogether for somebody to say, reblog you, or copy and paste those images into something else. To link you or whatever. But it’s just hard to know exactly how far somebody can take your work with one of those licenses… Creative Commons with no derivative works wouldn’t suck, for example. But until we let go of our intellectual (superiority) property, it’s just easier, and safer, to copyright. As long as I’ve done it right. Cue panic.

wild analysis

Posted in Art, core posts, photography by hanaelena on June 6, 2010

Spent the afternoon jumping in a Max suit for my sister’s art project. I made it for a camping trip last year. There’s something so narcissistic about posting pics of just yourself… then again, blogging is narcissism in itself. I have to get past the fact that I don’t think anyone cares at all what I say or do, otherwise WHAT’S THE POINT?

I guess part of this, kind of, fear of blogging- or at least fear that people you know will consider you rendered an exhibitionist- is why unobtrusive web design is so important to me. If it’s clean, streamlined and minimal, then the focus shifts from the physicality of the page to the actual content. But more so, simple design provides less of an opportunity for other people to judge you. 

Clarity of composition is the first thing most users will subconsciously recognise. The current impulse for unadorned, streamlined web pages  is, I believe, our preemptive antidote to the sheer amount of stuff we’ve accumulated in cyberspace. But it’s also very clearly linked to our distain for the amateur, and a way to differentiate a new generation of users from professional web designers- we’re not professionals, but a lot of us have the skill set to do what they do. This is our way of showing we don’t care, that it’s all immaterial anyway. So, like, yeah.

Blogger and artist Tom Moody responded to Vernacular Web in this way: “I wonder if there are class elements at work, too. In America poor people often have yards full of junk and the rich aspire to the “spare artist loft” look. Amateurs can’t hire their own CSS designers and end up filling their pages… A website with money backing hires an “interior decorator” whose first instinct is to get rid of all the junk.” These days the homepages he’s referring to would be blogs and social networking profiles, but it’s essentially the same deal. Except now, we’re designing for the first set of internet natives. For the record, CSS isn’t hard. I was going to code the aesthetics of my own blog before I rebelled against- well- colour, headers and unnecessary visual clutter because I didn’t want anyone to think I was trying too hard. Herein lies the minimalist impulse. Online reality is no longer that postmodern space where people could redefine art and taste by .gifs of dancing kitties and screechy .midi files, and we can’t express ourselves socially and visually without being judged with the markers of taste, money and distinction, if we ever could. So, nominal graphics to me mean both a blank canvas and a really scathing “whatever” to people who deem themselves worthy of judging amateur graphic design as valid or not. Wolf out.

I’m up in the woods

Posted in fashion by hanaelena on June 5, 2010

Who knew House of Harlow made such beautiful things?

These shoes make me want to build a teepee.

You can get them online at Kitson.

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…or I’ll blow your house in

Posted in Art, core posts by hanaelena on June 5, 2010

Quick pics from a night of artistic collaboration with my inspiration Ciella… I’m excited to post the final products soon! 

Meet the newest member of the family.

I’m supposed to profile a couple of sites relevant to the content I post here. That being said, I find it so difficult to limit the sources of my creative stimulus to just two. It’s equally difficult to define, exactly, the niche I’m expected to fill, as I discussed earlier. I’d love to forge some sort of hybrid like these wonderfully inspiring girls here:

Rumi. Rumi heads the amazing fashiontoast, a daily style blog of sorts- she posts her own daily outfit combinations, evocative photos she takes herself, and mood boards from collections that influence her approach to fashion. Through her efforts she’s also snagged a job designing for RVCA and has been featured in a ton of magazines. Oh, and to top it off she also models. Her style methodology speaks to so many people that she has thousands of followers and hundreds of comments per post… But what I love most about ms. Rumi is that she lets the pictures speak for themselves. There’s never too many words and she chooses the most effective images rather than post a whole lot that look exactly the same. This is what I’d like to do, except for the whole part where you can’t exactly assess a net communications class project based on fashion pics. Angry wolf face. 

Zanita.  Aussie model Zanita doesn’t limit herself- she posts outfits, writes, and photographs other models- ‘trials’ them- for an agency. She also gets a lot of support in fashion editing and photographing, and was recently able to put together an entire shoot for an online magazine. I love that her blog not only features herself but her model friends and her work behind the camera as well as in front. It adds another dimension to her influence and style.

What I haven’t really found is the amalgamation of dressmaking, photography and fashion editing in any of the blogs I follow religiously. I know that Alix from The Cherry Blossom Girl posted clothes she’d made herself for a while, but I haven’t seen an original creation in a post from her for ages. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places?

I don’t think it’s necessarily even about fashioning a blog that can be defined as harking to a particular genre… though I’m probably undermining the entire class assignment by saying do. Sure, it’s important to create some sort of a framework and build within that. But how small of a niche do we really need? With a fashion blog, there’s so much you can do. Daily style, analysis of new designer collections, couture, street style, reviews of retailers, both online and physical, individual designs and creations… the list goes on. And we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves to sub categories unless we really want to. Because what’s great about blogging is that it’s sharing a slice of your creative psyche, and if what you have to deliver resonates with consumers, why restrict yourself when you could have so much more to offer?

you gotta watch out them cats don’t get the little rabbits.

Posted in core posts, photography, Uncategorized by hanaelena on June 3, 2010

Because a guy got to sometimes.

Lennie breathed hard. “You just try to let ’em get the rabbits. I’ll break their god damn necks. I’ll… I’ll smash ’em with a stick.” He subsided, grumbling to himself, threatening the future cats which might disturb the future rabbits.

My sister does have a history of inadvertently killing rabbits, but she didn’t kill this one. We found it when we went to make a bed in the grass and it reminded me so much of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Because we could live offa the fatta the lan’, and feed the rabbits alfalfa every day, right? 

Lia’s wearing… not much really. Handmade sleeping t-shirt and little toy monster by moi, thrifted cut off leggings. 

This is a blog for a class that I’m pretty sure I’m failing, since I’m supposed to analyse something… critically… and then something else, as opposed to posting random pictures I like taking. We’re basically told, when starting a blog, to pick a niche. A specific area that interests you and that you’re equipped to write about within the genre you’ve chosen. They tell us this because there’s this concept of the long tail. The way I understand it is, our internet culture is shifting away from a relatively small number of hits in the area of the mainstream market at the head of the curve, toward many niches in the tail.

Sometimes people see this as a negative thing, and that’s pretty interesting. They see it, in terms of commerce and internet traffic, as market dominance by faceless corporate companies who build these massive metaphorical internet walls and prevent us all from entering, let alone profiting. 

But it’s actually overwhelmingly positive. A niche can open up floods of creativity from the young, the amateur, the ill-equipped and the shy. We want to settle down into cute cubby holes in internet land, rather than go knock on the door of the king’s castle and demand to be let in. You can’t do that without resources, knights, or endless amounts of money and determination. And when we do settle into our cubby holes, we can own the space. We become better at what we do, because we have the time to hone our skills by focussing critically on one area, instead of frantically trying to cover all cultural bases like fashion, music, art and performance. You’re in a better position to provide your readers with what they appreciate. So it’s not about those companies who dominate a certain market, it’s about you, working within the scope of an area you love, being inspired and inspiring others. 

It’s not about pioneering, it’s about adapting, and then making what you’ve been given work for you. 

RIP Pancakes.

Cos you make me feel

Posted in core posts, fashion, photography by hanaelena on June 3, 2010


So it turns out that scampering around in impractical fur hats is probably way more fun than it looks. As much as I tried to shoot hybrid inscrutable/angry portraits, we lapsed back into our usual vaguely amused introspection pretty quickly… emotional walls are hard to convey when there’s passers by walking their dogs and totally judging your red velvet dress. Still, my logic tells me I’d have wasted my day had I not dressed up and run around nonsensically taking photos in a public paddock, so that’s comforting.

Rae is wearing an Urban Outfitters romper and Topshop boots… My brown boots are We Who See. I made the hats and the red dress. The blankets are from my mother’s hugely inspiring vintage collection… I’m torn between the need to cut them up and sew them into clothes, and snuggle them on public transport.