Follow HollieGeorginaOsborne on WordPress.com

Final Major Project Reflection

When starting my final major project I had so many yet so few ideas all filling my head at once. I am always most inspired ay colour, usually fashion/era but this time I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone and use this final project to discover something new about myself as a designer. The theme for my project was loosely inspired by my dissertation, which I thoroughly enjoyed writing and researching so I really wanted to try and bring something over and express parts of my dissertation visually as well as bringing in many other new aspects. The part of my dissertation that I wanted to interoperate most was the theme of powerful women, or more so women being powerful but at this stage of my project I was finding it difficult to combine this with something more and apply it to my textile design.

I don’t remember at exactly which point I decided to research erotica and use this in my designs but as soon as I did my work just seemed to unfold more naturally, research became more interesting and I began unfolding a world or artists and designers that’s I had never seen before. I have always chosen to embrace sexuality and have never been embarrassed of naked bodies, sex or all the bits in between, in fact I have been told that I can be a little crude. During the very early stages of my research and development I thought about how some people think that I am too forward or open and I came to the conclusion that this may be because nudity, sex and expressing yourself sexually is something that is rarely seen on a day to day basis, the reason being that society has deemed this as rude and unsuitable, leading to some very embarrassed and sexually unaware people! For these reasons and more I chose to research and design all things erotic and have (I hope) successfully created a collection of designs that can be used/displayed in the home that promote sexuality and do so without being explicit.

Firstly I chose my colour pallet, this would be key for getting the correct balance of sexual imagery and home friendly designs so using WGSN I created a pallet of colours predicted for S/S 2016. I then started to get together a body of drawings and research, I did start my research by looking at both men and women’s bits, in the hope of not being sexist but throughout the early to mid-stages of my project I decided that it would be much more difficult to successfully target the appropriate audience while trying to incorporate both male and female parts, so with this in mind my work took a more female inspired turn.

Many of the drawings used for my designs were from pornographic images, which made for very interesting research. By using very explicit images and softening them with continuous line drawings and splashes of colour I began to create a more society-friendly collection of imagery.  I concentrated on genitalia, nipples and masturbation, getting a collection of drawings and marks that I would then use to turn into repeat designs digitally. I was nervous of creating my collection entirely digital because this is something that I have done relatively little of in past projects, I tend to be more hands on when designing but I found that by using Photoshop and Illustrator I could turn my base images more simply and efficiently into repeat designs than if I were trying to do this by other methods, screen printing for example.

A big part of my research was body casting, inspired by artist Jamie McCartney I decided vagina and nipple casting was a great way to really get in touch with my theme. Although this started off slow, the outcome was more than I could have hoped for! Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of casting, from researching the process, to finding models to actually casting, my call out for models caught a lot of attention which resulted in me and my work being published in several paper articles! I could be happier with this, I learned something new, very much enjoyed it and got recognised for it. Body casting as well as erotic themed design I believe is something I will continue to do as I take my next steps as a designer, it something that has been more inspiring than I could have every imagined and I realise now that there are so many avenues that work if this nature can take. I have received approving messages for various artists around Europe, including a few messages passed back and forth between Jamie McCartney and myself.

As the deadline neared I was pleased to step into the final stages of my project, getting to research into and experiment with different fabrics, although this was possibly one of the most difficult stages of the project. With fabric choice comes many potential issues, which I soon discovered. I had problems with my designs resulting in a few round of pre samples being ordered, not to mention my final samples being 3 days late! Through this I believe I have stayed true to my brief and created a delicate and beautiful collection of designs suitable for the bedroom (I do believe these deigns could be applied to many other areas though) which is inoffensive and would be a statement in the home.

Advertisements

Life Goals…

Cynthia Plaster Caster, what an inspiration! Starting in the 60s, Cynthia has been doing genital casts of big time celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix.

 

See her website for amazing images!


@ClubClitoris

The Vagina Illustrator Redefining Genital Beauty Standards

In a natural, un-edited state, female crotches are furry, lumpy and individual. Girls grow up fuelled by advertising and the media, told to wax, chop and conceal every flaw on their bodies or be shamed otherwise. Even into womanhood, our frames and fannies are analysed, scrutinised and objectified, and bushes remain “abnormal” while scalp-like, smooth porn star pussies prevail as status quo.

Still, kickass illustrator, Meredith White, is reevaluating beauty norms and wants to remind everyone (boys, girls, everyone included) that vaginas and vulvas come in all shapes and sizes. An arty antithesis to perceived perfection, the vulva extraordinaire illustrates female genitalia of all shapes, sizes and colours for her inclusive Instagram gang @clubclitoris.

(Illustrations: Meredith White)

Championing vulva-positivity through savvy sketches, her sassy rebellion is here to show you that, while every lady oyster is different, they’re worthy of an applause and absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. We caught up with the erogenous expert on all things pussy positivity.

Konbini: Can you tell me how you came to start illustrating vulvas and vaginas in all their different varieties for @ClubClitoris?

Meredith White: My love for illustrating vaginas started as a sassy rebellion. For years, I openly rejected my anatomy, hoping for a different body (vagina included), and I knew it was time to fight back. I wanted to explore such a personal, ostracised topic and created the zine JUICES: A Vagina Celebration.

By posting the vagina illustrations on @clubclitoris, I discovered other women felt the same (what’s up, ladies!). Slowly but surely, women have started embracing their wildly different figures, and I love creating illustrations that support and emphasise that goal.

How do you feel about pop culture, advertising and porn’s very restricted view of female genitalia?

Unfortunately, our culture flourishes on female insecurity – the media promotes thin models and celebrities as beautiful instead of promoting all body types as beautiful, while pornography reinforces the scary concept that women (and their vaginas) are sexual objects.

And women constantly compare their bodies to that unrealistic “standard”. For centuries, this culture has treated the natural vagina as if it’s something to be ashamed of and abused, and biased views fuel that fire.

“Your vagina is normal, natural, and gorgeous, regardless of what the media tells you”

 

How and why would you like to redefine that?

I illustrate vaginas in their unedited form and every illustration is referenced from a real woman. Every hair, labia wrinkle, dimple, and freckle is included in my drawings (and they’re honestly the best part). Lady friend! Your vagina is normal, natural, and gorgeous, regardless of what the media tells you. You can’t keep a good vulva down!

(Illustrations: Meredith White)

Why is it so important to make sure women and girls are comfortable with their own anatomy?

Because so many women are not. The freedom to love your body without being humiliated, hating yourself, or feeling “less than” is a basic human right.

How does it make you feel that grooming, shaving and labiaplasty surgeries are all such common beautifying regimes? 

I believe women should do whatever helps them love their bodies, but shaving and labia surgery are far from necessary, ladies! What’s so wrong with hair? Male body hair is “manly” so why isn’t female body hair “feminine”?

Why does every woman grow leg, arm, facial, and pubic hair? Because it’s natural! And so are prominent labia. Society and advertising have taken naturalism from women in an attempt to sell razors, shaving cream, and surgical treatments. Companies profit off of constant insecurities, not confidence, and I say fuck that! Shout out to all the hairy babes and labia lovers, your body is damn beautiful.

You Instagrammed a private message you received with someone asking you which ‘vajina’ was yours, do you get that a lot?

Yes, it’s so goofy! These dudes perceive vaginas as sexual objects instead of a natural part of the female anatomy (and this concept isn’t anything new. It’s something that advertising and pornography have fed us for centuries). And of course, unwarranted questions about my vagina are always awkward, sorry guy!

So are you going to turn Club Clitoris into an actual club? I want to join!

I see Club Clitoris as a group of badass babes popping their bubblegum in the haters’ faces with confidence and self-love unaffected by negative social norms; badass babes who can fearlessly be themselves – body hair, stretch marks, and cellulite included – with massive support from their fellow ladies! It’s not an official club, but hopefully some day.

Check out more of Meredith White’s work and join @clubclitoris, boys and girls.

 


Sh! Womens Erotic Emporuim

Sh! is a female orientated sex shop located in Hoxton, London, it sells high class, quality sex toys and gives off a great attitude! With it’s ‘Men only allowed of accompanied by a woman’ rule, women no longer need to feel overpowered by walls laced with porn or toys that are aimed to pleasure men.

This shop relates to my collection for so many reasons, Ky, the founder of Sh! opened the store after an unsuccessful day of dildo shopping, after realising that a sexually liberated woman could go shopping to a sex store without having to go to sleazy male run stores with blacked out windows she decided in 1992 to make a change for the better.

Sh! was the first ever sex shop for women and the first boutique-style erotic shop. The fact that the shop is  subtle, boutique-like and very erotic in a non offending creates a perfect link to my collection, my erotic-chic designs featuring pastel pinks, purples and blues would fit in beautifully.

I am disappointed that I only discovered this store recently as I would have liked to send an invitation to my graduate show to the women of Sh! The invited from the school went out 2 weeks ago but I don’t see any harm in contacting now, I plan on emailing them and hopefully inviting in person when I visit the McCartney exhibition.

I would love a visit from Sh! because my collection is made up of delicately explicit motifs, which I have drawn, painted or printed myself, then used to create repeat patterns for wallpaper… Perfect for a store just like this. I understand that the use of fannys and masturbating women will be sought out by a relatively niche market (which will probably be mostly women) but can perfectly envision my  wallpaper as a feature wall, featuring shelves proudly displaying beautiful, colourful dildos and toys 🙂


Voyeur Collection, Ann Summers

So I found a collection that is a perfect example of the type of thing I am trying to achieve with my final collection. Ann Summers sold a collection called Voyeur, is was a delicate, French inspired design that was use on underwear, toiletry bags, sleep wear and wallpaper. The subtly sexy part about this collection is using voyeurism,  from a distance the design looks like a classy wallpaper, but up close you see that the images used are erotic and include pictures of penis’ and sex scenes. My collection wont be inspired by French or romantic images, but I would like the same theme of it being discretely erotic.

 

 


Fanny Casting

I can happily say I finally cast some fannys!! I absolutely loved it! Admittedly I was nervous, my first model is a friend from Newport University and she based a lot of her Fine Art degree work around erotica, so was not only understanding of the work I’m doing but completely supportive! It made for a very interesting afternoon, and I thoroughly enjoyed every stage of the process! Using Jamie McCartney’s Great Wall of Vagina page (and through a little trial and error) I have 4 beautiful vagina casts! One of them did break when trying to remove the plaster from the alginate, which I am gutted about because that particular model has a piercing and it looks fantastic in the cast!

This is something I will continue to do outside of my studies, I haven’t decorated any of them yet as I am concentrating on designs for my final collection, but A friend is opening a store in Cardiff and has asked for one to put on display 🙂


  
  
  


Life Drawing feat. Sex Workers

Lauren Zoe is taking life drawing to the next level, and I love it! Although the drive and meaning behind her work is slightly different to mine, I am so into what she is trying to do. It seems we have something in common, we are both final year Art & Design students, trying to make sex, erotica and our naked bodies more acceptable and remove the long standing taboo. I love the look of the work produced and this has inspired me to try a life drawing class (sadly it wont be one involving sex workers), Its been years since I tried life drawing and I know there is an evening class local!

Please give the article a read, its very powerful and I believe in supporting this beatiful, erotic art!

Meet the woman using art to demystify sex work

Lauren Zoe’s life drawing classes want participants to witness the sex acts as they happen

Being a sex worker has never been easy, but since the government introduced prohibitive anti-vulgarity laws in 2014, the problems associated with sex work have become much more acute. Pornography, prostitution and stripping remain stigmatised, while other forms of sex work – likesugar babies and escort services – barely register in the public consciousness.

Lauren Zoe is trying to change that. A final-year art student at Goldsmiths’ University – and vice president of Britain’s only student sex worker solidarity group – Lauren has just started running a series of all-female life-drawing classes that use sex workers as muses. She’s hoping to demystify sex work, pushing back against mainstream depictions of the profession. Most sex workers in Britain, she tells me, aren’t lavishly-paid call-girls or desperate women with no other option. I went to one of her classes to find out more.

There aren’t many events like this – what made you want to do this class?

Lauren Zoe: I’ve life-modelled predominantly for white male artists, and I didn’t have a great experience with it. I was sexually assaulted by an artist, and when I spoke to the police about it I was told that there was no point going through with it because I was naked. In my work with the Sex Worker Solidarity Society, I heard about similar experiences, and the idea for these classes developed from there. I’ve done various jobs, from certain types of sex work to life-modelling, being a secretary; all these jobs were performative and revolved around my femininity and sexuality. This idea that somebody being naked means they’re readily sexual for everyone else is an idea that needs to be undone, not just for sex-workers but in general.

“This idea that somebody being naked means they’re readily sexual for everyone else is an idea that needs to be undone” – Lauren Zoe

You say models shouldn’t necessarily be sexualised – how will that work in your class?

Lauren Zoe: Our models will be performing sexual acts, but the artists and the class members will not behave sexually towards those performers. There will be an understanding in the room that people can’t react sexually towards them. It will be still poses first, then either a striptease or a live cam show, and we’re deciding whether she’ll do some re-enactments of BDSM. That’d be quite a good variety of performances to experiment with.

What kind of performers have you got involved?

Lauren Zoe: Our first performer works as an escort, as a camgirl and as a pornstar. She does a lot of activism as well, she runs the SWSS. I like the idea of using people who won’t normally be used as life models… it’s kind of hard with the sex work performances, because I absolutely refuse to underpay a sex worker. That completely goes against what I’m trying to do. I’ll pay the performers as close as I can to the rate they would get for sex work.

Why is it so important for you that sex workers are paid a certain rate? Is it about legitimising it?

Lauren Zoe: It’s because it’s fair. I’m consuming their time that they could be using to work elsewhere. I don’t think any work should be cheapened for the sake of art. People see sex work either as something you do because you’re desperate or something you do because you’re greedy. They think it’s something they won’t do because of their values or morals. But shaming the worker for what they do and ignoring the difficulties workers face is a problem – it’s still work.

Has there been any negative feedback on it?

Lauren Zoe: Not on campus. But we do get people saying we shouldn’t be condoning sex work. A lot of those people aren’t based in the UK, so they come from countries where the politics surrounding sex work are different. We do like connecting with people abroad, and screen a lot of documentaries from other countries. But we do find that people from America, say, will inbox us and abuse us. But it doesn’t drag us down at all. The aim is to create an educational space where marginalised people can speak their minds. I think art should encourage that sort of personal development and self-expression. The class is intended for people who want to discuss their own experiences of gender, but also relax and have fun. It’ll be quite a diverse group.

Do you think the lack of funding for similar art shows a bit of a lack of care?

Lauren Zoe: I’d love it to be arts council-funded, but I don’t see that happening! I think the fact that it’s funded by individuals rather than supported by institutions shows a lack of respect. Even the SWSS shows have been funded through sex work, not via university funding. I think that spoke volumes.