A couple of weeks ago I teamed up with Alysander De Djinn Photography and my gorgeous friend Jordan for a little creative play day - inspired by the delectable works of Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton. The shoot was a fun way for Alysander and I to work together, for me to finally get my amazing friend to model for me before she leaves the country indefinitely and to test out some ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while now.
I commenced work on a huge backdrop painting a week before the shoot - taking inspiration from elements of Del Kathryn Barton's amazing collection of work. Utilizing an old projector screen I happily scored in the local hard rubbish week I busied myself drawing, painting, styling and cutting a wig and making props up until 2am on Saturday morning when I realized I'd lost all sensitivity in the tip of my right thumb...which no, still hasn't returned!!!
To be frank it was an AWESOME day of shooting - one of those happy occasions where picking the final photos is almost impossible as there are just far too many you're in love with.... We're hoping to have the final photos ready, edited and printed to be exhibited at the RAW Melbourne: Revolution showcase on the 23rd April :) If you fancy popping along tickets are a mere $15 and available here: http://www.rawartists.org/elvisschmoulianoff
Ladies and Gentlemen and everyone in-between - I am proud to say that my first stop motion experiment is finally complete!! It has been a rather lengthier process than originally anticipated but well worth the journey as I have learned a considerable amount about makeup, photography, lighting, animating and editing along the way - lessons I very much intend on carrying forward into the next installment :)
Painted is in essence an experiment that I embarked on in how to best animate body art and an attempt at giving a creative medium that I adore it's own personality. Along the way the paint started to take on a life of it's own and proceeded to lead me on a little adventure that pays homage to the many amazing artists who have inspired me over the years. The first few sequences were roughly storyboarded and went through several major changes as I started to learn more about what I was doing - whereas the latter came from moments of inspiration and developed more organically in a spur-of-the-moment kind of way.
Though I originally had a very different idea for the audio I found that the tempo of Flow Motion by my lovely friend Square One helped to give the images momentum they needed to keep ticking over happily. In the end I got so used to using the track when I showed the unedited version to friends or family that it became entwined with what I was doing and it therefore seemed fitting to scrap my initial ideas and keep it with the final cut :)
The animation has been online for a week or so now and I'm happy to say that despite it being just a silly experiment I've had some lovely feedback - including some very kind words from two of the incredible artists whose work inspired it :D
Having spent the last few weeks in Sydney working with some amazing makeup artists on Unbroken - an amazing true story adapted for screen by the Coen Brothers and directed by Angelina Jolie - I am all set to return to the wonderful Metropolis of Melbourne for the Christmas season. I've made some wonderful new friends and caught up with some splendid people I knew already - without whom this last stretch would have been absolutely impossible!!! To say thank you to my amazing friend Charlotte I spent the last few days devising and painting props for a fun little shoot to turn her into the Statue of Liberty. This is the second in what may well become a little series of ideas aimed at transforming the hilly slopes of the human canvas into a flat surface through paint props and photography.... More to come soon!!!
Roll up roll up all ye who dare and meet Don Alacrán - the twisted skeleton ringmaster who
lured his crew to death & a pact with Santa Muerte that would keep them partying, performing and
guzzling tequila until the end of time....
Just before leaving England this summer I organized a video shoot with Happy Slap Boutique and Fresh Cut Media to showcase one of the characters from our Boomtown Fair venue: El Espectáculo Esqueleto!!!
Inspiration for the character was drawn from Day of the Dead iconography, entwined with circus and embellished with ideas that sprung from Joe Fur's amazing mural which appears in the background for sections of the video. The candles emenating from the skeletons' heads in Joe's art were of particular inspiration so I endeavored to incorporate this element into the character through the costume. I spent a couple of days embellishing and decorating a top hat and constructing a pair of epaullets from various materials that could be attached to the shoulders adding a stronger silhouette to Don Alacrans painted jacket. All were topped with an array of candles which were detailed with paint and lit for sections of the filiming.
Due to time restrains with the location there wasn't as long as I'd have liked to do the painting but Grace McComisky, Tash Hobbs and I did what we could in the time allowed before our amazing actor Jason Wilkinson and his insanely expressive face dove into the depths of the character. Our new friend Pieter Snyman of Fresh Cut Media filmed (and subsequently edited) the video while the amazing Scott Salt got handy with his camera and produced some beautiful on set photographs.
Massive thanks go out to everyone involved including Balkan Beat Box for allowing us the use of their track (which can be downloaded for free here), to Mike Freear for finding and editing the track for us, to Markus for letting us use the location in the Coronet Theater, and to Dan for all of his help and directive input :D You're all amazing and thank you for helping bring Alacrán to life!
This year's Boomtown Fair was once again an undeniably epic weekend of magical mayhem which I again spent working with Happy Slap Boutique. This year we moved from the chill out field into the city's new Latin Quarter aptly named 'El Barrio Loco', an area with a "fearsome reputation as the most full on party in town." To merge in nicely with the Mexican theme we presented Él Espactaculo Esquelto'' - a Day of the Dead themed skeleton sideshow which culminated in our biggest ever bodypainting project on the Sunday where a multitude of Happy Slappers got involved to produced seven skeleton bodypaints! For this skeleton extravaganza I painted the wonderful Miss Lizzie West who also posed as my canvas at last year's Boomtown and did a wonderful job of modeling both the bodypainting and the Die de los Muertos wig I made earlier in the year. The day before I also collaborated with Grace McComisky on a skeleton mermaid bodypaint that was done as a live performance on the stage of our venue during the day, modelled by the wonderful Gemma Hayley Daubney. A HUGE thank you to Scott Salt for all of his amazing work behind the camera - you sir are a legend!
More photos of the wonderful weekend with Happy Slap Boutique at Kendall Calling, courtesy of the wonderful Mr Michael Marks :D
Summer in England means one thing above all else - madness, mayhem and serious creative indulgence with the one and only Happy Slap Boutique!! We started the season at Kendall Calling - a lovely little festival near the divinely lush lake district - where we spent an absolutely beautiful weekend fully embracing the horror genre to accommodate this years movie based fancy dress theme. My fairly obvious love of circus imagery was fully indulged over the course of the weekend and culminated in an evil clown bodypainting which my fantastic model Delia fully rocked on stage on the Sunday night. A huge huge thank you to the entire Happy Slap family - especially to one Mr Michael Marks who is without a doubt the most amazingly committed photographer I've ever worked with at a festival - absolute legend!!!!!
For more photos of the weekend, including some beauties of our performers in action check out Happy Slap Boutique, and I'll have more photos from Kendall and our skeleton extravaganza at Boomtown coming your way very very sooon....
Mexican art is AMAZING! Bold use of bright contrasting colours, striking patterns and an almost crude, cartoon-like quality work together to draw in and excite the eyes. After stocking up on some nice colourful palettes at the IMATS last weekend (massive thanks to the Face Paint Shop & Scotty's) I decided to put them to use on some Aztec inspired paintings. The first I did on my lovely friend Claire who runs Pixie Nomad's - using strong colours with emphasis on the golds and turquoises that featured so prominently in ancient Mexico. The second piece I did on myself for lack of a model - and is a recreation of an amazing turquoise Aztec mask that I came across in the British Museum a few years ago. It was a really fun painting to do and has inspired me to do a series following the same theme...watch this space!!
My favourite collaboration of the summer took place on the Sunday of Boomtown festival at Happy Slap Boutique. I teamed up with makeup artist Grace McComisky & visual artist Joe Furlonger who specialises in surreal cartoons & twisted illustration. Together we created a piece of live art/performance that focused around themes of body & pollution intermingled with natural elements - mirroring the festival environment. There's a very raw feeling to Boomtown that teeters on chaos & a post apocalyptic revelry swathed in a plethora of amazing artistic installations, sets & costumes - directly contrasting the natural beauty of the festival site with its green hills and lush patches of forest.
During the performance we bounced off each other to entwine elements of each others designs into our own - thus tying together the three artworks & resulting in some very stunning images taken by photographer Chris Little.
Thank you so much to everyone involved, especially our wonderful models Lizzie West & Delia Mur; it's always a pleasure working with you girls & there's nothing quite like seeing you bring our artwork to life.
For more photos of the collaboration please visit the Body Art Gallery.
The Sunday of Kendall Calling festival this year saw a live body art collaboration with Grace McComisky at the glorious Happy Slap Boutique. The festivals fancy dress theme was Fairy Tales & Comic Books so after some careful deliberation we decided to draw inspiration from Lewis Carroll's much loved book & each produce a body painting that followed an Alice In Wonderland Theme. In preparation we each dressed a wig - mine to a Queen of Hearts theme and Grace's a White Rabbit. I built a cage to structure the hair around which also allowed a hiding place for the battery pack of some small heart-shaped fairy lights which I wove into the hair. The Queens crown is made from a collage of playing cards and gold paint which I designed to be sewn into the wig so as not to fall out of place during performance. To tie our two paintings together we both drew from the same colour palette of black, white, red & gold - using them to create individual pieces of work in our own particular styles. I was painting on the wonderful Lizzie West who I can't thank enough for her patience and incredible discipline that day - it was not a warm one....
That night Lizze & Delia performed a spectacular burlesque reveal of the paintings on the Happy Slap Stage, to the booming beats of Mike Fear of Slamboree's DJ set. Visit the Body Art Gallery for more photos & a video of their performance.