Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Protea



Heather of skinnylaminx is a constant source of inspiration. Not only does she produce elegant, witty work (see below), but conversations with her always feel like brainstorms. Recently she's gotten me thinking about South African design; more specifically, designing things that look South African. Not in a 'local is lekker' kind of way (I can't believe there isn't a Wiki entry for that phrase for me to link to!) or in a curio kind of way. Not in a tagged-on kind of way either; simply slapping some iconic South African images onto a surface doesn't count.

Growing up, I certainly didn't like anything that seemed too local. (Are all teenagers like that?) I thought proteas were exceptionally hideous flowers, springbucks just plain silly, and blue cranes... well, one pecked me on the head before I was old enough to defend myself. Some time in my late twenties I woke up and started to appreciate the things around me. It's taken a while, and I've had to shake a strange nostalgic phase as well, but I think I'm starting to be able to see what local is. Now I have to figure out how to translate that into drawings.

Heather doesn't just talk the talk. Some examples of her work that I think totally pull it off:

See more (lots more) on skinnylaminx, and in Heather's Etsy shop.

I'm working on a new linocut of something that might be a protea, hoping to print it tomorrow. The weather is terrible for linocutting and printing, cold and rainy, not at all the way it should be at this time of year. Apparently this means that it's brolly and sandal weather - very South African!

6 comments:

Heather Moore said...

Oh Jesse, thanks so much for that kind post! I was just the same as you when I was a kid. I even hated orange! I can't wait to see the spectacular things you come up with - that protea looks absolutely beautiful!

Cristina said...

Nice draw of the proteas flower, but i do have the same opinion as you when you were a tennager! The weather is horrible! I do think i'm not going to put away the winter clothes this year.

Sonya said...

I love the look of that protea, can't wait to see what form it takes on cloth.

Heloise Bottomley said...

I'd like to see the result of that print! Nip over to mine I decided to give "be the Blog" to Heather for all the reasons you mentioned in todays post (except you beat me to that post)

suzanne said...

Your protea print is going to be magnificent - like everyone else here I can't wait to see the finished product(s?)!
Proteas seem to be very popular flowers here in Amsterdam, particularly the quirky pincushion... which you gotta love!

Andrea said...

That first photo made my fingers itchy to carve! Can't wait to see the print.