Discover more from The Blog of KSCHatch
For the Joy of It: Goblinecore Denim Vest
Reflections on making art for art’s sake
I am reclaiming the creative freedom of my childhood by making a point of creating art for the joy of it alone. As part of this practice I will share reflections on the growing Joy of It collection I started in 2022. My hope is that these reflections will inspire you to do things for the joy of it as well, as joy is a precious and unlimited feeling we could all use more of. Please leave a comment sharing anything you’ve been doing for the joy of it!
For the Joy of It, installation #2
I hadn’t been working on my own denim vest for long before I decided it was the kind of project I needed more of it in my life. When a dear friend I’ve known since I was fourteen, shared how much she was loving the images of my Punk Rakusu, I told her I’d happily do something similar for her. She immediately took me up on the offer, as she had been eyeing a denim vest from one of her favourite clothing stores.
“Let me know how much it will cost,” she texted to me, as we made plans to meet for me to collect the vest from her.
“Not a thing!” I told her. “The only condition is that you aren’t bothered about a timeline.”
Creating art for the joy of it is often about dropping expectations of deadlines. Adding a price tag to anything almost always makes my brain add a hard deadline to it. Time is money, as we are told. I’ve shared many times before that I am equally blessed and cursed by an inability to procrastinate. This often feels like a curse when it comes to art, as I can get so committed to meeting a deadline that the process of creating a piece feels like a chore to get through as quickly as possible. The result ends up being a simplified piece I’m not really happy with because it looks as rushed as it was.
When I embarked on this project I wanted to create something that spoke to the personality and style of someone I love; it couldn’t be rushed. The brief was our years of friendship and what I love about her style and fashion sense.
I sketched out a rough design featuring a cat skull and flowers and shared it with her for general approval. I made some adjustment to the flowers, so they included some of her favourites, and then jumped into transferring it to the vest.
As I got close to finishing what I’d initially designed, my gut told me this wasn’t enough. A lack of pressure to get it done meant I heeded this feeling. I took a few days to think about what else the vest needed, and voila! An idea came to me: Spiderwebs above the pockets on the front!
I was nearly finished the second web and still, the vest didn’t feel complete. I set it aside and that night, lying in bed,1 I knew what the final touch would be. The next day I ripped back some of the stitching so I could drop a line of spiderweb down to the pocket flap. I grabbed purple thread, my friend’s favourite colour, and add a little spider. As soon as I started the stitches, I knew it would be the finishing touch—this would mark the completion of this piece.
In the end, the entire project took me just about two months to complete. When I returned the finished vest to my friend, her joy was as absolute as my own. She took a bunch of photos the first time she wore it out in public, posting them to social media with the caption: “This is the most beautiful and personal gift I’ve ever been given.”
The sentiment was mutual. The opportunity to make something for a friend of twenty-two years, to have no deadline and no money involved in the process, was an equally beautiful gift.
Bonus for my inner-circle: I LOVED this project. I loved making my Punk Rakusu and I’ve loved working on a Punk Rakusu for my unicorn. It is such an honour and a delight to work on these projects and for now I am making an open offer to decorate a vest if you have one. Send me an email and we will figure it out. The only caveat is No Deadline.
The Blog of KSCHatch is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Why is it brains come up with brilliant ideas just when you’re trying to fall asleep?