color me captivating

Inspired by…

A Blogger user since July of 2007, Ireland-based Kat of She’s in Vogue has served as a beacon of inspiration for me since I discovered her site this past month. With signature curly locks and a vintage appeal, her personal style is ladylike but experimental.  Though heavily laden with photos, her blog is filled to the brim with compelling content.  Kat has an intelligent voice and is culturally knowledgeable, drawing a connection between contemporary fashions, film, and art history.

Her own watercolor portraits are fluid and filled with character, showcasing her talent as an artist.  Her use of color, composition, line quality, and movement are all particularly fascinating to someone who is obsessed with fashion illustration.  These paintings are visible in Kat’s outfit posts; behind her, faces cover the walls and peer out into the lens alluringly.  She rarely blogs about her artwork, but I wouldn’t mind a whole website devoted solely to her masterpieces.  Kat’s portrayals of Jessica Stam, Audrey Hepburn, Sasha Pivovarova, Isabella Blow, and other renowned fashion figures motivate me to draw (and potentially paint, though I have little experience with painting) and try my hand at assorted mediums.

My drawing of Jana Knauerova was achieved with Prismacolor Premier markers, Tombow brush pens, and Portfolio Series oil pastels in a recycled hardcover Utrecht sketchbook.  I’m currently obsessed with the oatmeal-colored paper since you can use white in your design, which is an unexpected element when we’re all used to seeing white as a backdrop.

(Jessica Stam and Isabella Blow illustration photos, via She’s in Vogue)

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life etc.


For over a week now, I’ve been stuck.  Stuck stuck stuck.  I’m not sure if it was the break that did me in, the ten days of sweet freedom that felt merely like hours in retrospect.  Maybe it was my great uncle’s passing, as well as my high school classmate’s funeral/memorial, which promptly and solemnly ended my spring break.  It could just be laziness, restlessness, boredom, the longing for summer and endless days of warmth and sunshine.  My impulse buys and the dwindling money in my checking account have been troubling me; maybe my brain is soaked in regret and buyer’s remorse.  Maybe it’s a grand combination of all those things that has left me feeling worse than down in the dumps.

Regardless of whatever it is that has been weighing down on me, it has not ceased in days.  I have been unable to focus in class, and I am procrastinating worse than usual; I feel unable to perform simple assignments that would usually be challenging but now feel impossible.  I am lethargic and find it tiring to do simple tasks like put on makeup.  It even feels strenuous to think of what I should post on this here blog.

I apologize if this is utterly depressing and uninteresting to read.   But maybe I’m suffering from a lack of inspiration, which sometimes happens.  I am constantly reading magazines, looking at art and fashion books, perusing blogs and websites, and online window shopping.  I attempt to inundate my artistic meter with infinite inspiration, so that it will compel me to write, draw, paint, and read more.  Every once in awhile, though, I come to a point where I am just not inspired.  I will look at pictures and photos of things that I find inspiring, but it doesn’t ignite the same spark that it usually would.  When I get inspired, I accomplish things and subsequently feel proud of myself.  Maybe I’m just not feeling accomplished these days, and have no high from such a feat.

No matter how long I write and write, the answer may not come out.  I’m not even sure if this blog is the right place for me to be putting all of this information; I could be writing in my little orange diary, which I have not touched for months and months.  Aside from the fact that typing is easier, I want to figure out what this blog is all about.  No, I don’t have it all thought out and organized in my mind.  I am continuously attempting to figure out what I want to do here.  I used to have an old blog, called Romance in the Stars, where I uploaded inspiring photoshoots and spreads and editorials.  It was more of a visual blog than a writing blog; I occasionally posted a movie review or my thoughts on a dress or a recent acquisition, but nothing too detailed.  With Mode and the Like, I want to push myself.  I want to write about everything, and also include inspiring photos and things.  I want this blog to be creative, beautiful, insightful, informative, and inspiring to others.  Is this too high a goal to aim for?

I’ve been analyzing each fashion blog I come across, where pretty, skinny girls with thousands of followers show photos of themselves in stylish outfits and write about their existences.  I look and dream, wishing I could be like them.  Sure, I am as vain as the next person, yet I am self-conscious, shy, and hard on myself.  Do I need to be overconfident to be a successful fashion blogger?  Do I need to curl my eyelashes and wear high heels everywhere, toting my SLR camera and incessantly asking my friends or boyfriend to snap me in a natural pose?  Do I need to lose forty pounds and eat nothing and go to parties every weekend and drink until all I see is black?

I’m just a nineteen-year-old with a laptop and a shopping addiction.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  I just know what I want to do.  I want to present to the world a new appreciation for culture, fashion, music, art, film, literature and poetry.  I can’t affect people’s tastes; I can’t stop them from listening to Justin Bieber and watching Jersey Shore and shopping at Ed Hardy.  All I can do with this blog is show my view of the world, my likes, my dislikes; I can attempt to justify why something is good, or why it is not good.

Hopefully I can find my way out of this rut, and start to feel good about my life again.  Maybe it will take exploration of my misty San Francisco, or maybe it will just take intensive self-exploration.  Perhaps I need to get out and see the world.  The solution to my problem of creativity sucked dry could be in the view from the Legion of Honor, up on that big ol’ hill that looks over the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay, where you feel like you’re on top of the world and you can do and see anything.  Maybe it’s in the Legion of Honor itself, or the SFMOMA, or the de Young Musem.  Or maybe all it will take is a simple photo, a model dressed in a lavishly-styled outfit, pursing her lips and fluttering her eyes at the camera.  Until that time when I discover what it is that I’ve lost, I will drift along with the hope that the missing puzzle piece will find me. xx

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