February 24, 2011

Photo Dump

I don't have anything wordy to say, just a lot of photo updates on my own doll.

Other sketches coming soon.

On my way!

Scared to bits (not really)

Look how sassy! 11-12" tall.

I'm glad I made a small version
of this one, I know what needs
to be worked on when I go to final.

Like I've said. I was generous

This is one of the boxes that will have an
enlarged vintage ad mounted inside it and
hung behind the dolls.

My awesome boyfriend constructed these in and hour

Ignore the messy garage!

February 19, 2011

Progress, it's possible!

So I started today by blocking access to Facebook from my computer. I feel weird because checking my Facebook page a couple times a day, and wasting time on it, is usually in my schedule. And now I'm not allowed to access it until 8 p.m. 
Adjusting my schedule always makes me feel a little out of sorts. But I've accomplished a lot of work today and I would have been distracted by Facebook had I not blocked access.

I have a general layout of the three body shapes that I've chosen to start work on before mid terms. If you've sent me images, or I've talked to you about modeling, I probably won't be able to get to you and your images until some time in March (I haven't made my March calendar up yet).

I had narrowed down my choices from the plethora of photos I'd taken, but still couldn't decide what pose to use for the two other shapes (I'd already decided which photo of mine to use, even if it took two hours of my life away). I'm glad my mentor convinced me that rough sketches were the way to go with the remaining two or three photos because I can see which pose is actually going to highlight the bodies and I wouldn't have been able to tell had I just picked a photo and went with it.

I have always hated thumbnails and rough sketches. I want to get right to the business of working on a piece. I think this is why I love watching other artists' processes because I just have no patience to do it myself. Well, mostly. Documenting my process helps me slow down a bit.

Anyway. On with the process porn. I'm just posting the  process sketches and final ink version of my own doll today. When I get the go-ahead on the other dolls, I'll post the final painted version of my doll and the sketches of the other bodies. Did that make any sense? It will, promise.

I'm pretty proud about how accurate I got
with such a rough sketch. Go me!

Rough sketch and doll layout.

Sketchy doll parts.

Starting to ink the face. Arty!

Sneak peak of my "setup".


While I was inking the final mockup, I realized I was REALLY generous with my body. I mean, damn! I look amazing. I argued in my head whether it was the fact that, yes, indeed, I was amazing, or that I had taken liberties (as artists sometimes are wont to do). I think it's a little of both. Acceptance of my body is starting to develop, and I may have trimmed a few curves and rolls while I was working on the doll layout. I just know now what to keep an eye on when I go to enlarge it and work on the final.

February 13, 2011

Not Fat Enough

It's whispered in hushed tones, it's laughed about in school yards. Adults taunt and mock each other about it.

It's FAT.

While I'm not wholly focused on FA (Fat Acceptance for those in the know), I can only really speak from this side of the coin because I've spent the last 7 or so years as the person you see before you. I've never been skinny, per se. My average weight in high school was 150 pounds. I think that's a lovely weight. Even then I was teased for being fat. I just wasn't good enough.

High School 1994

Fast forward to who I am today. Probably 100 pounds heavier, for whatever reasons, my lifestyle changed. I'm not going to live in the past that created how I look today, only work to make myself better from the inside out. And heaven knows, I need to be a lot healthier. Inside and out.

On the same token, for the past several years, while watching absurd diet commercials and collecting images of insanely stupid weight loss ads, I found women who were like me. Who thought society was a bit daft when it came to size acceptance.  I started reading blogs about FA and commenting and talking to other women. But never really felt accepted in the movement. Yeah, I'm used to being "the fat friend" and being teased about my looks. But I've also been told "you're not THAT fat" or "You're not like me". While I've gained a bit in the last two years, I'm still way above what society deems appropriate.
What's wrong with me? 


I was being the victim of what some of these women were accusing other people of being. I was being ignored and looked down upon because I wasn't a size 24, 26 or larger. I wasn't fat enough. Although, I don't participate in these discussions as much as I'd love to (and should), I still see it.

Jenn of today with an insanely adorable baby pigmy goat.

Look ladies. We've had a pretty tough climb to get where we're at today. As women, we still have a bit of mud to trudge through. The last thing we need is to be hateful to each other based on our size. Whether we're too skinny, too fat, not skinny enough, or not fat enough. I've been shamed, I've been bullied, I've been humiliated. Just like a lot of you! It's ridiculous to ridicule me because you think I can't sympathize with you!

Recently I made sort of a ranty comment on a link to a blog post about the author accepting her body at her size that a friend of mine posted on Facebook  (I'll pat myself on the shoulder for my self-righteous attitude right now though). There were some comments made about how the author didn't look "fat" and it chapped my pasty hide.
"Is there a chart where someone can show me what fat looks like? You're not fat if you're over a certain size? Under a certain size?If you compare her to say, what the media says we should look like, yeah, she's fat. If she self-identifies as fat, good for her."
I don't have a lot to follow that up with, but it annoys me that someone's credibility has to relate to how big (or not) their ass is. Take me at my word, not my pant size!

On to the creative crap!

Looking through the images for my own doll image wasn't as Earth shattering as I was hoping it would be. Did I say hoping? Drama Queen. I was still slightly bothered to have to stare at my dimply buns for a long period of time.

I stared at my meaty nay, fat thighs for hours trying to decide which image I was going to use. I wasn't so traumatized by my arms which is weird because I don't wear tank tops or skimpy dresses just for that fact. It was my thighs. The main thing that I was focused on was to keep the negative self-talk to a minimum. I am not here for that, I'm here to make art!

The five faces of Jenn. (And her fat arms)

I'm not telling what image I used, you're just going to have to wait. And stare in amazement at my lovely arms!

I want to share my ROUGH sketches and mockups. Because that's what we're here for... the creative porn. (I wonder how this is going to show up in Google searches).

Doll roughs. Not meant to be a aesthetic reproduction of
the final. I blurred the names of my models (save for me)
to protect their privacy.

Just a quick and ugly idea of what I'm working on.

A rough idea of how they're going to be installed.
I'm hoping create a stand of some sort that's going to sit on the ground in front of the hanging vintage ads. This idea is far better than my original, where I had the dolls mounted inside the frames. This had my panel concerned that my idea wasn't very apparent.

Hard to tell, but I'm working things out visually. How
I'm going to mount the vintage ads, how I'm going to
display my dolls, what size wood to use.

That's about it for now. I promise the next update won't be so lengthy and opinionated. Ok, I can't promise.  But I hope that there is more art and less opinion.

But finally, I really want to thank the people who've offered to model for me. Even if I don't use you all, I'm so appreciative of the support that you've offered. It's hard to get people to allow themselves to be photographed, let alone in underwear or tight fitting clothes. Trust me, I  know!

February 5, 2011

I didn't think it would be so hard

My respect for plus-sized models has increased 1,000 percent. I love women that can come out and shout about how great they feel, no matter what size they are, and wear bikinis in public. Wear skimpy dresses and hold their heads up high, dimply butts smiling gloriously at the world.
I feel silly even admitting to this, but I am a coward. With a capital, illuminated C.

The last couple of posts, I excitedly boasted that I was going to take full-length photos of my body to include myself in my thesis final. I was excited and optimistic about this process. "This is what's going to make this project personal for me." I couldn't think of a better way to promote body happiness than to throw myself into the fire so to speak.

I subconsciously put it off for a while, procrastinating. I realize now, why.

I have a great setup. A trusty tripod, a neat-o remote for my camera and I had the bathroom all to myself. I really should jury-rigged some sort of lighting setup, but I just wanted to get it done.

You'd think that I was parading down Main street in my panties the way I hemmed and hawed getting the camera set up. But then I jumped in, empowered suddenly.

After a few minutes and about 5 images, I reviewed the images on the screen of my camera. I was mortified.

"Ok, I can do this!" and had some fun with it. I made goofy faces, did silly poses. No biggie. If I have fun with this, I can take great photos.

I finished up and took the camera to my computer to start uploading images. But I hesitated plugging it in. Realization hit me that I wasn't really ready to see them. From what I saw on my camera's screen, my double chin, my lumpy thighs, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

I sat in my chair and tears welled up in my eyes, painfully.

My boyfriend, who loves me unconditionally, lumpy thighs, double chin, flabby arms and all, looked up from his game curious as to why my mood went from bubbly to dark in the span of 20 minutes. There's nothing I can tell him that would be a significant reason for me to be so heartbroken like I am.

It wasn't the photos, per se. I know I'm fat. I see it in the mirror when I get around in the morning, I see it in my reflection when I pass a window. I see it in photos that I take with friends. I'm not ignorant of the fact that I have a fat ass. I think it was allowing myself to be vulnerable.

You're open and honest when you take photos in your underwear. You can't hide behind a baggy skirt, or a long shirt. You're THERE. I think when I see myself in the morning, I can't see past the bathroom counter which cuts my body off at the waist/crotch. I look at my hair and my face and go about my day.
I think the most honest thing that I learned today, was that I have not come as far as I thought. I'm not as "OK" with my body as I've tricked myself into thinking. This is why I cried, and this is why I'm still crying. I let myself down. I want to love me WHOLLY. Not partially.

I love me as an individual. I love that I like to watch people who are passionate about their lives, I love that I love animals, I love that I like to make funny noises and goof off and not act my age. I love that I'm compassionate and want people to like me. I love that I laugh at the ridiculous, I love my sense of humor. I love so much about me that I'm so disappointed that I don't love my body like EVERYONE SHOULD.

It'll come, I'm sure. I hope.
But right now, I'm devastated that I let myself down. I'm disappointed that I'm afraid to continue to sift through these images to find the right one to draw. But I'll stick my chin up and do it anyway. My mom wouldn't have it any other way.

You don't get to see the lower half.... YET!

February 3, 2011

Creative Stuff, coming to a screen near you

Hold on to your pants, boys and girls. New artwork (read:sketches) that pertain to my thesis are on their way.
I just finished shooting my first model and should be photographing myself in the next day or so. Which means mockups for my first couple dolls are on their way!