“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. there is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
If you’ve ever traipsed across Orchard Road, you might have be lucky enough to encounter one of the seasonal artist windows over at Hermès, Liat Towers. In my opinion, they’re literal traffic-stoppers that just get better in time.
This season, the house gave French artist Lilian Daubisse creative carte blache and he decided to fashion a dreamscape entirely out of corrugated cardboard: think undulating vegetation, at once alien and artful. Inspired by Hermès’ annual theme of the year: In the Pursuit of Dreams, Daubisse discovered corrugated cardboard as a student and it has been his medium of choice ever since.
Visit Daydream Mirage up close, and you’ll discover the references to Pointillism and Aboriginal art. He creates all his pieces by entirely by hand and is drawn to cardboard as it doesn’t have the kind of link to history or ‘civilisation’ that a material like wood does. According to Daubisse who once worked in an archaeology office, it’s the unpainted colour of cardboard: warm and easily identifiable that makes it so relatable. And yet, his creations when viewed from afar don’t seem to be cardboard… until they are.
The unexpected beauty of his work makes sense when viewed in an Hermès context (the house likes to ‘ennoble’ materials, using straw and wicker for instance, in its furniture and bags).
A small group of us got a chance to spend time with Daubisse at Hermès Liat Towers where we had a great afternoon learning about his process and made cardboard necklaces (or in my case, a Christmas tree bunting) of our own! Don’t judge me, I’m not great with the arts and crafts…
It took us over an hour to create this, whereas the windows took the artist 7 months to create by hand, so let’s just say we’ll leave this to the professionals.
Be sure to take a gander at Lilian’s windows if you’re at Hermès Liat Towers – 541 Orchard Road, Singapore.
“The wild is an integral part of who are are as children. Without pausing to consider what or where or how, we gather herbs and flowers, old apples and rose hips, shiny pebbles and dead spiders, poems, tears and raindrops, putting each treasured thing into the cauldron of our souls. We stir our bucket of mud as if it were, every one, a bucket of chocolate cake to be mixed for the baking. Little witches, hag children, we dance our wildness, not afraid of knowing…”
– Emma Restall Orr
Take me back to when I could just conjure anything with my mind. When I could see through ant holes and whisper my secrets into the cracks of trees and transform shells into gold with my touch.
When every pond and rockpool was a portal.
Where ever creek would just come alive if I were slow and silent enough to let it.
But can I tell you a secret? As great as this season’s been, it hasn’t been without its challenges. For example, it’s getting exhausting watching people visiting our booths only to take pictures and “adapt” (to put it nicely) our handpainted props and VM for their campaigns and stores.
Those who blatantly stand infront of our booths to say, “See what they’ve did there? They’ve created height”, and after taking 30 pictures as if it were some styling workshop then ask, “Is it ok we take pictures?”
And to think that Einstein said the secret to creativity was knowing where to hide your sources.
An editor friend of ours whose work gets ahem, remixed all the time reminded us that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
We try so hard to remember Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on creativity, Big Magic which explains that sometimes someone isn’t copying you per se, it’s just merely multiple discovery. Meaning to say, a researcher in South Sudan could reach the same scientific findings as her counterpart in London at the same time. Nobody copied anybody. It was all coincidence.
Except sometimes you know it isn’t. And it sucks. And you just have to bear it and move on. Alors.
The beautiful thing about creativity though, is that you may copy someone, but you’ll never be able to replicate their process or intent.
But before we go to a bad place, time to log off, burn some sage/palo santo and de-internet…
The Etsy crew flew in from London and spent the better half of Saturday afternoon making candles with us at the Bloesem studios here in Singapore. Who doesn’t love shopping Etsy, poring over all the handmade items by ridiculously talented folk. It’s inspiring and encouraging to know that there’s a platform that actually values craft. Sometimes, I feel the most honest thing a person can do is work with their hands – be it illustrate a picture, fashion a vessel out of clay, make a beautiful necklace or hanging pendant to decorate the home with.
It was a lovely time of reconnecting with friends (shoutout to Leyna of Mondays Off on Haji where we’re stocked) as well as getting to know some of Singapore’s most creative makers and doers like Melly of Green Laundry and Jaim of The Paper Bunny who creates amazing stationery and does out of this world flatlays. I even was lucky enough to catch Edrick of Popaganda and Astrie of FP Juice on her way out. We laughed, we ate Popaganda popsticks and of course, we ogled at the absolutely charming back and white house that is the new Bloesem space.
I’m really excited to see what Etsy have in store for us here in the +65 and all the creative labels that can spring forth as a result. This is added incentive to #supportlocal! Mmerci to the Etsy crew as well as Irene, Zaara and Mei of Bloesem for the afternoon to remember!