Miss Polly Rae is a singer and dancer based in the United Kingdom and is one of the leading figures on the Neo-burlesque scene.
I went to a burlesque/cabaret show this weekend called “Between The Sheets”, which was a completely new experience for me, and I wasn’t disappointed! I expected something raunchy and intimidating, to leave afterwards feeling like a bit of a pervert, but actually the 90 minute show was hilarious and I found myself being able to appreciate the pure meticulous skill and humour of each of the entertainers involved - singers, dancers, acrobats and fire performers. It was a real inspiration in so many different ways, seeing the beautifully made up women, the costumes and the stage production, as well as the feeling of pure exhilaration when i left the show.
It was refreshing to be reminded of what it is to be a ‘real woman’, who accepts themself and their body for what it is, knows the importance of humour and how beauty is subjective and shouldn’t be replicated. As Dita von Teese said, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
With this in mind, I thought back to the old films I’d watch when I was very small, featuring Mae West, who I’ve began to use as a starting point for a series of experimental portrait miniatures, along with what I consider as other “glamour” icons.
Some bits and bobs from the past few weeks - excuse terrible phone camera quality!
I found these great paperback editions of some Bronte and Austen novels at a bookstore in town today. They have these really cool watercolor covers, and they’re just really pretty!
More beautiful illustrated covers! I love the combination of figurative “fashion” illustration with the abstracted lines and silhouettes, although these designs would probably only appeal to one sort of audience who’d buy them as a personal trinket, rather than your typical teenage lad or lass that’s probably studying one of the books in their dreary A-level English class.
Part 1 of illustrations by Santiago Caruso for “The Bloody Countess.”
Santiago Caruso : The Spectral House / Ink and scratching over paper / 32 cm x 24 cm / 2013
In line with my dissertation research, I’ve been looking into other creative who work along gothic/supernatural/fantasy themes and have recently discovered the beautifully grotesque artwork of Santiago Caruso. I love the darkness of his work, both in atmosphere and content.
Santiago Caruso, The Abyss
Directed by Diego Maclean. Poem by Billy Collins.
I was reminded recently in a conversation with my dear jonhallsillustration of this short which I fell in love with a few years ago. There’s something about the way people illustrate or paint moving water that really fascinates me, possibly because I’m aware from my own experience, of the Moving Image GIFs below, that it’s quite difficult to capture bubbles and ripples in an effective way.
Anyway, I find this brilliantly done. Another short that I discovered was the ever developing, on-going illustrated ’Johnny Cash Project’ - which you can watch here: http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/#/explore/TopRated
Hard Cover with Dust Jacket by Rein van Looij
full size (1431 x 2146)
I’ve been re-reading an old favourite and found this lovely book cover from the 50’s, so I’m feeling inspired to start designing covers for some other favourites of mine this Summer!
My book cover for this years Penguin Design Awards
They’re not perfect, but here are my four GIFs for the Moving Image brief! I’m quite pleased with these despite their obvious flaws, they’re naive stylistically but I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with GIFs this year. With more practice over Summer I think I could create some interesting narratives for future briefs.