Trimmings and Cut-outs


I’ve been quietly working at the nook of my desk lately and it seems that my phone breaks are more frequent.

I knew this had to subside to not distract me from my work, and nonetheless, I did try to fast from social media and the internet during the night (I failed to do so by the way because of work, haha) so I started to listen to current news instead while brainstorming on small-scale experimentations *winks* (I’ll be updating soon on Pintura’t Pintig as a I finish my short course and work ❤ ). Starting a week ago, the things I have done had a collective culmination .

In my mind, my activities lately do have a lot in common: the act of trimming / cutting off something, addition, subtraction, juxtaposition and chaos in order in collage art, fashion production creation of mock-ups and cutting and pasting tags. 

In light of decreasing calorie-intake and increasing my sport activities and much more, in my personal journey, I am thankful to come across a specific Facebook post a few days ago. I realized, “Finally! I came across a pathway to a book that resonates to what I’ve been thinking of lately. Great.”.

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It was a post featuring an interview with Victoire Dauxerre, a former model on the rise, who was first scouted at 17 years old and was consumed by anorexia during her practice, but nonetheless had the career that overflowed with opportunities with international brands and magazines like Vogue, Chanel and Celine.

The video has tugged a string in my heart — one of the thoughts I had I didn’t know what to classify as. I felt comforted in the truth that I am not the only one battling with insecurity and negativity, but also triggered by myself to call out myself and start loving myself to the most as compared to the now.

In the light of the idea for the past days, I’m also simultaneously completing a short course and I have a certain assignment on Production Standards and been searching on different scales of clothing size, only to realize the connection and the topic coming full circle as  production clothing standards will affect and has affected people, like Victoire and people like me that are trying to refocus the lens towards slow progress on getting fit and eating healthier.

The reminder that Victoire stresses on is to respect and love the body and its needs and to not abuse it to the extent of losing sight of who you really are. 

My story: From early childhood, I have been bouncing from skinny body type with food withdrawals because of acidity and sensitivity of my stomach to food in the morning to curvy, on-the-way to obesity with hedonistic unhealthy food intake. I have also experienced unusual addition and subtraction of kilos in a matter of weeks. I knew for a fact that the numbers don’t lie. My wardrobe has gone from 19 / 20 to a 0 to a 4 and now, an 8-16 and confusingly varying. (Photo)

 As I began researching on the history of sizing, as told so, I stumble on “Vanity Sizing”, a so-called term for the changes and adjustments for metric system and standards, that are made strategize clothing standards to create positive emotional effect for the consumer because they are small, when they are really another size. In contrast of the marketing-wise idea, it make online shopping a hassle and sometimes faulty, because of the continuous adjustments that vary in style, brand and countries. Also, throughout the years and representation of high-fashion and good taste,  was rarely represented by “plus sizes” or “normal sizes” but rather by model-standard sizes to cut-costs versus availability, but still viewed as another category, almost derogatory which is we call “plus-size” area (as mentioned in TIME magazine’s article on The Bizarre History of Women’s Clothing Sizes ). The history of contrast of size 4 before and now, varies, as the body positivity movement is existent and as well as the focus on diversification of the term “beauty” around the world.

 My own self is finding the phase after reading the book and about the extremities of compromising marketing for true technicalities and for other aspects of image extremely disturbing. To find myself realizing the accumulations of my ideas towards negativity in body image while reading the articles and going back to my highlights of the book is hearing a little voice turned to an influential consciousness that was inside me, that I saw similar with Victoire’s account of her experience through “Size Zero: My life as a disappearing model”. Only now that I have read the book that I have once been enlightened about this topic I’ve been pushing on the back of my head.

(Photo)

I’ve been drowning myself in different kinds of art and inspiration, that I am subconsciously, probably trying to fit myself in a mold that I kept scrolling on, which is an inspiration board, hoping to achieve what I see and to achieve it in an easy way.  This wasn’t about bashing social media, models who are still models, the fashion industry or aspiring for something that you want—- it’s the feeling of emptiness: the feeling I want to express and stress on.

The feeling of emptiness in me starts to grow, and the feeling of worry comes right after— these feelings, in my view, have the ability and potential overshadow the great things coming my way lately and possibly, puncture my positivity bubble (which I know to be resilient) sometimes bursts and softens itself once in a while. The worry of disappoint oneself is sometimes a fear that restrains.

I’ve never been so constantly conscious about myself in a series of days and hours and when I felt I am doing it, or probably too conscious about something, it is creating another burden of my mind and heart. I’m still in the process of truly knowing where these thoughts and ideas come from and I have yet to know more things about myself.

For Victoire, thanks for sharing a truth and a feeling sometimes concealed in different situations, and in this case sharing it to people who experience the same, or in another way in different kinds of magnitudes.

On the lighter note, I’ve been endlessly flipping through the pages of Cut That Out, which is a collection of different artists talking about their collage work and inspirations. Definitely, since day 1 delving into collage, I was always astounded and so interested in the medium. Here are some favourites:

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Work by Linda Linko

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetWork by Kutsaa Saksi

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Speaking of cut-and-paste inspirations, join me at my first-ever Mixed Media Collage workshop with Marika Callangan of Woman, Create this coming June 24, Saturday at A SPACE, where I will be talking about sample works and my story, prompts for illustration and basic watercolor to compliment collage art.

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Get a slot by clicking this link.

What have you been cutting, trimming and pasting lately?

Love and light,

S.S.