Good News: after almost 3 months of drowning in fairy tales, I have sent 2 versions (all white and integrated) out to Spoonflower! Remember - you’re reading this once a week, but I’m working on this for hours every day, and oh dear god I never want to read another fairy tale.
But here’s what we’ve got: the first version…
I sharpened the center, using a Photoshop edging tool, and slightly blurred and darkened the outer figures. The new lace edge has been carefully blended with the outer figures, as you can see in this detail (below):
…and re-did- Snow White - again, and changed one elf (below):
And the integrated version (below):
Same sharp center, slightly blurred outer figures, and lace border. I added a banner to the figures on the bottom, which you may be able to read in the next 2 details:
“THE HANDSOME PRINCE RESCUED HER & TOOK HER TO HIS CASTLE &
THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER”
That, and “you’ll get your reward in heaven” are the two biggest fairy tales.
At this point, I’ve done so many different versions of these both that I can’t remember what I’ve changed and what I haven’t. I do like the way three of the woman along the bottom are now looking up at you, with realistic, non-picture-book faces, as if to suggest that not all of them buy into the story.
Good thing I sent them out, because, looking at them as I blog this, I can see more changes that would make it better…but it’s time to leave them, and take a breather: no post for the next 2 weeks, while I clear my head. Then comes the third, not-quite-fairy-tale version.
Contact me at Dianesavona@aol.com
About that first all-white version: it is not going to be trashed. I have a plan: I’m going to print it out and sew it, AND the second version, AND a third version which is still percolating in my mind. All three will be displayed as a triptych. I think. It should only take a few years to sew them all…..
But on that second version - I can’t integrate the center and just leave the outer ring totally segregated. The spinners and weavers on the edge have to be redone as well. Google Images has a wealth of Medieval prints showing (white) women spinning (with their distaffs, below,) weaving and sewing:
But dear god it is not easy to find vintage images of any other racial/ethnic women similarly employed! I’ve read that DNA search sites, like 23 and Me, have mostly European genes in their files, making it difficult for non-Europeans to get accurate information. Apparently it’s the same with Google. I found a few photos in a digital historic archive (below):
I looked for images by African-American artists like Roamare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence:
A Pinterest site had vintage photos of African American women in Victorian dress(below):
By combining them with images of sewing machine & looms (below):
I was able to create a few useful images (below):
A side note: Some of you may be asking “why don’t you just draw the images you need?” Ah, well….I can’t really draw. Sure, I draw well enough to make lines indicating an oak leaf vs a maple leaf, but nothing with any style or beauty. All of my art is created by collaging other people’s images (or objects). I have no sense of color, either………OK, back to today’s post:
Then, deep down in a rabbit-hole of a Google search, I discovered the Singer Sewing Machine Trading Cards. Printed in the 1880’s, these cards show women from around the world, in traditional dress, using Singer machines:
And, yes, some of them are awfully patriarchal (below):
But they have images from all over the world - sometimes 2 from the same country! Lots of European countries, China, Ceylon, Japan, Mexico, Burma……not ONE from all of South America, and - from the entire continent of Africa - they have..(wait for it):
ZULULAND?? Zu-lu-land? really? That’s it??
But given enough time and Photoshop, I now have a new line of textile workers across the bottom of the design (below):
For me, a frustrating lack of image diversity is merely an obstacle in achieving my art. I can’t fully appreciate how disheartening this Google Invisibility must be for non-Caucasians. What must it feel like for a Latino mother, helping her child on a school project, to say “No, you can’t search food/dress/job/etc. like the other kids in your class - you have to type in ‘Latino” first, to find the pictures of people who look like us”
Next week, Part 10 of this never-ending saga. As always, I’d love to read what you think - firstname.lastname@example.org
I did find some African-American Rapunzels…
,,,,but decided to have the woman be a bigger character than her hair….
The warrior women of Wakanda! with braids!
Her armored clothing in now printed with Adinkra symbols.
This Cinderella (below) was copied almost exactly from a library book, and I brightened the castle in back of her. Then I switched to a different Juniper Tree stepmother, moved the banner and added a boy in a wheelchair to the Pied Piper group.
Oh, this Persian Sleeping Beauty is so much better than the other one!
So….here’s the new center:
Maybe…possibly…it’s finished? yeah, right…
I’d love to read your thoughts on this - email@example.com