I have been back on Perth for over a year now. I have been involved in the Artrage supermart in 2004 and 2005. In 2004 I put some of my books and stickers in I made in Finland :
This year I made some cards which are in the Supermart window
I have also worked on a new magazine called reAKT! Which will be launched on October 17th 2005. www.reakt.com.au
I've changed my name back to Jessica Brown because I got annoyed about having to spell Moisander all the time and pretending that I am Swedish, which I am not. My other sites are still up:
I am linked to various illustrator portfolios which is cute. I thought I would update my contact details.
Still hope to buy a printer to produce my designs and a better domain.
Make a better website. It's not astounding but better than it was before. Perhaps I am aiming too high. Pete Fowler and Nathan J have their own site but perhaps got some better nerd to make it. Still cannot fathom flash for my work.
I am interested in illustration now because at least it is visually appealing and has many adaptations. Making prints and stickers of your work is surprisingly satisfying.
However, for the 'pattern making' I was thinking more about home decore.
Finnish fabric design company Marimekko (www.marimekko.com) started out in the 60s with artists making bold colourful designs silkscreened onto cotton. They decided to put these designs into use as hardy but fun dresses. Marimekko literally means Mary's dress. Jackie Kennedy was photographed wearing one of these dresses and that sold the concept to the world. Originally Marimekko was cool, about artists, intellectuals, bold patterning and enthusiasm. Today it is a very timid brand. They have shops all over Finland that sell printed fabric by the metre, clothing related and unrelated to the fabric, purses, postcards, calendars, bags, napkins...Japanese/Finnish designer Fujiwo Ishimoto has attempted some playing with the 'digital' in his designs. As Marimekko is now printed digitally and not with silkscreens. But ultimately the customer base is built on the old favourites which are being re released in more up to date colours. I was interested in imagining what kind of fabric Marimekko could produce if it forged ahead into the future and attempted to pick up a younger clientele. I incorporated 3d elements that remind me of video games and wondered what kind of person would want these designs in their homes and how they would look incorporated into purses, skirts or tablecloths.
I made a lot of these designs and it was a good project to develop colour skills and try to utilise my feeble 3d modelling techniques. I would like to produce the designs but am trapped between cheap by the metre mass production (1000 metres of one kind) and prohibitively expensive small runs (100aus a metre). I have played with my Epson and had access to a large Epson printer which is capable of printing onto different materials. Ultimately I need one of these printers and an idea of how to sew. It is possible to buy Canon printer fabric and print A4 or A3 versions onto cotton through a smaller home printer.
Part of the interesting part of this project, is that although I see what I am doing as art or a painting, I really don't consider it an insult that my 'paintings' could be used as curtains or as a skirt. I'd rather they be used in any form that just staying packed in my harddrive.
My favourite artist Yayoi Kusama (www.yayoi-kusama.jp) is all about obliteration of self through patterning. When I am thinking about home decore, I am thinking about making reality almost like virtual reality, not just having a cool place to live. Yayoi creates patterns in her artwork because of a mental condition that gives her visions of infinitely repeated patterns that freak her out. She uses repeating patterns, often dots, mirrors and now large 3d forms patterned in the same way as the walls, floor and so forth. It is somehow like an acid flashback or something that makes you aware of the infinite and the fact that our 1,2,3 brains are really not up to the job of understanding the universe.
Women that I have grown up with made their homes or rooms like a virtual reality space that I could visit. There was the other world 'out there' but in the room that was heavily decorated another reality exists that can consume your whole vision of things. Living weirdness, installation, an alternative space. This has deeply affected my idea of 'home' which is a shifting illusion I create and recreate wherever I happen to be.
Spending my teenage years in Perth, Western Australia I was somewhat aberrant to the surfing, sporting culture that I simply did not understand or appreciate. I found refuge in my friend's reality. In a suburb that was so bland you could literally get lost among hundreds of brick homes and bike tracks, unable to distinguish your own home. In her room every surface was covered in pictures of bugs and strange diagrams from old science books. Fish tanks, plastic bugs and Vampira posters. Enid's room in 'Ghost World' is a fair approximation if you up the science and bugs. She knew all about different music, movies and she bought me a book on kinetic art. She showed me a video of Einsturzende Neubauten (www.neubauten.org) 'Interim lovers' when I was 14 and going through my 'German phase' (obsessive interest in SS history, spontaneously dressing like Marlene Dietrich and buying Nietzsche books). The music had a profound effect on me. There was a strange man with penetrating eyes who scared me. In my memory I saw this man in the video singing the song surrounded by sunflowers. I was confused when I saw the clip later, minus the sunflowers (and no I didn't mix it with Blume) In any case it didn't help me very much, neubauten is friendly but not sociable. Everyone else hated it. My sisters affectionately called it 'Einsturfuckingyukinstein'. My friend fostered other interests in me as well, primarily centered around bugs and Alice in Wonderland. Jan Svankmajer's films and William S. Burroughs books were an eye opener. The rest of my location was a sand land of suburbia and shopping malls, ugly gas stations and rednecks yelling obscenities in passing cars. 'Show us yer tits' being their stock favourite. This place was an island customized to fit our idiocy and oddness. It was created entirely through decore and the suspension of disbelief.
Undoubtedly I should have got out more and done more active things and appreciated my environment more. After the ejection of my drunk and deceptively harmless (he worked in advertising) father from our family unit, my mother moved us to an even more isolated suburb in the foothills of the Darling scarp. For some reason she took a liking to lattice that she wanted blue and cream. So we lived in a sole blue house amongst the brown fences and suped up cars and bikes in a ten fold more redneck stronghold. My mother compulsively decorated, creating 'spaces' for myself, my sisters and her. Loosely in an effort to stop us killing each other. My friends found it quite novel and would inspect all the changes and try out the 'spaces'. There were many phases that I can't completely remember, a farmyard animal kitchen phase springs to mind. Mostly all the 'spaces' were created with art prints and local artists work (Ross Miller, Rebecca Cool) and an abundance of plants. My mother created a wonderful garden full of fragrant plants. Which offset the not so appealing odours being omitted by our rottwielers.
I lived in this house while I studied at university in the art department. It was in a transitory phase from my German phase, which entailed 'expressive' charcoal drawings on all the walls and books on Marlene, to my increasing interest in 70s organic looking crafts, Japanese ceramics and textiles, Julia Kristeva books and onward to nature and paganism. In this time the house became increasingly latticed and painted blue and or cream. I bauked at painting the bricks cream on the external walls. There was a busstop in front of the house that was frequented occasionally by a bus that took an hour to get to Perth. My sister painted it as part of a community arts deal. She is part of a sea scape mission and painted it turquoise colours with some kind of scarab motif. She met a local at one point who told us our house was referred to as 'the blue house.' Later on I noticed that someone had scrawled onto the busstop 'lesbians live here.' When my Mum was selling the house she painted over the bus stop in the more regular olive green and brown colours embraced by the suburb, in an effort to normalize our corner. The cream of course put people off and I drove by the place some years after to see the garden had been ripped out, everything had been painted brown and it looked like we never lived there. In a way we never really did.
After I graduated, I married some form of Finnish elf boy and moved to Finland. What I missed most about not living in Australia was that I didn't see parrots everyday anymore. In the foothills I would see 28s dip and dive while I drove around with my rottwieler. There were often Galahs eating grass seeds on our verge, black cockatoos having feeding parties on pine trees and corellas squawking and bobbing upside down from power lines in some kind of mating display. You could sit outside on most nights and hear the insects and rednecks doing burnouts. Large bugs like a huge praying mantis would wander inside. I had to rescue them all from my sister who hated bugs and wanted me to kill them. This was sometimes quite technical as I also rescued poisonous spiders which can also be very beautiful (red back spider). In Australia there is life everywhere, all around you. In Finland with it's long dark frozen winters there is an absence of life and scent. The sun barely makes an appearance and the colour and light deprivation can have harrowing effects on your state of mind. I can see the need for colourful fabrics and designs all round your dank little apartments. Having a curtain the colour of a jungle and a bed spread of bright yellow can have a great effect in lifting one's spirits. Part of design is about being a wanker, but it also has a very friendly, embracing and uplifting side that is well worth the interest.
When I bought my first computer I started drawing birds into the computer with the mouse in the windows paint program. At first it was a bit tricky because the mouse is a bit haphazard, but after a bit I became quite good at it. Making pictures with lots of bright colours helped my winter blues and I couldn't stop making the pictures. I would print them out sometimes on the same day that I made them as stickers. I would show people the stickers and give them one that they picked out. It showed me what kind of knowledge people had of bird species, if any and I became much more knowledgeable and appreciative of birds by doing this project.
Later I started making backgrounds for the birds and think that Aboriginal Art is probably the greatest influence in making art about different species. Developing backgrounds led to making patterns. I started making illustrations recently of people. I am looking at artists like Moebius for inspiration. Seeing as most people have given up reading books regularly, creating visual stories and characters seems like a good way to show your work. The second booklet I am printing is made up of my early people illustrations and images from other artists from Australia and Finland whose work rarely sees the light of day. Some of the artists I know have a better style and originality than a lot of the more well paid illustrators, but have no sense of organization. The ones that succeed in advertising are relentless and highly competitive and show high quality, high resolution portfolios around everywhere. The level is set by sites like:
What is exciting about all this is that people can get involved in creating something and producing it in small runs to work with the 'customization' that people want now. Something different, something funny, something at least your friends will like. If you get your skills up you can produce your content, get it on your web shop and people, somewhere might find it and order it from you. Even if it is just one or two it's still worth it. This applies to comics, illustrations, art, design, fashion, music, anything you can make.
Lodown magazine has some good examples of these types of projects that centre around the skate scenet. www.lowdown.com. People making video, art and fasion: John Trippe fecalface.com, www.lowgallery.com, www.johntrippe.com, Kid Acne, Madison Dokebi.