Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Changing Gears

Among the projects I'm now working on is a performance of The Nutcracker which will be performed at a children's theater in Willimantic.

Here's some of my research:
Story synopsis:
and now for some visuals:

Coolest shot ever!!!

I'll need to do more research when it comes to the costume requirements of the different types of dance that will end up in the show. I've never danced, so I'm already at a bit of a disadvantage. But from what I can gather as long as the costume allows for a full range of motion, it should be ok.

Witchin' Hour

Say hello to the witch doctor's hut, design #1. I'm sure I will need to change things after the director has a chance to see it, and it could also use a little more dressing like voodoo dolls attached to the wall and dried palm leaves on the floor. (Also, I may need to make it shorter as the space we'll be filming in is a garage). But for now, this is the affordable hut. Dried plants will come out of the untamed part of my back yard, textured walls will be made from a mix of paint, sawdust and Elmer's glue on 1/4" AC plywood. Burlap's pretty darn easy to get a hold of as is twine and bottles full of "mysterious things." The stick roof will be tricky, I'm not at all sure how I'll be building that yet. But it'll look cool so, in the end, it'll be worth the extra effort.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Portfolio Site

I have finally managed to create a portfolio site for myself! unfortunately I can no longer log on for some reason to work on it.... So now I either have to figure out what I'm doing wrong or redo the site. FAIL.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And here we go!

Welcome to the more common pace of my life, crazy.

I start my newest job, props master for the opera "Sword," tomorrow at 11am. Which means I need to be working on props while working on the hut. Then it will transition to juggling the nutcracker with 2 scenic paint jobs.

I LOVE being busy!! Goodbye home improvement! Hello not sleeping!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Turns out the directors' for the film did some of their filming in Nigeria! LOL
Guess I was on-the-money with my research.

Also, I now have work hardcore crammed into now through the beginning of December. Witch Dr. Hut right now, co-scenic charge for Flea in Her Ear, scenic charge for Sword, and now costume design for a performance of The Nutcracker! And hopefully the run crew in Hartford I'm trying to get myself hired for in December will work out to. I know my resume is being forwarded to the costume shop, so cross you fingers!

Guess that means I really need to bang out that hut then... Let's Go!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

hunting the witch doctor

The following links and thoughts are related to the research I need to create a convincing witch doctor's hut. I believe that the film is looking to set the hut in the Caribbean. So, I need to learn more about what exactly "witch doctors" are. Find out more about the medicine they practice, their beliefs and symbols tied to their practices and of course the basics such as what types of buildings thy live in and what the environment looks like.

wiki-knowledge often a good starting place, it will give you the basic knowledge you need to get started-- never a totally accurate resource

This site, however is a little more promising.
This site starts to get into the history of Voodoo and how it was a religion brought overseas by the movement of Africans to America through the slave trade. She mentions that "Nigeria and Dahomey" are two of the most common locations they were brought from. So that means I'll be looking into their cultures for some aesthetic clues for the set.

Here is an image of the royal bini mask from Nigeria. A well recognized traditional mask.

 Here's a site with some interesting information about voodoo symbols:
The symbol on the left is supposedly for a demon/god named "Damballah-Wedo," no information on what this particular god is meant to do, but the design is nice, so I'll probably end up scribbling it on something. The symbol on the right is for "Legba." Quoted from the site, "Legba is the gatekeeper to the spirit world, known as Vilokan.Legba is also strongly associated with the sun and is seen as a life-giver [...]His association with creation, generation and life makes him a common lwa (spirit) to approach with matters of sex, and his position as a conduit of Bondye's will makes him a lwa of order and destiny.Finally, Legba is a lwa of the crossroads, and offerings are often made there for him. His symbol is the cross, which also symbolizes the intersection of material and spiritual worlds." Pretty cool, if you ask me :)

And now let's take a look at Nigerian and Dahomey huts: The first and second are my favorites.

Not a  bad start! But I'm going to hold off on doing too much more research until I get a chance to talk to the director. Who knows what they might actually be looking for.

Getting Started

Hello and welcome to my first attempt at blogging. :)

This blog's goal is to chronicle my adventures into the cut throat world of art and design. Including the random bits of information I gather to help me on my way. You see, dear reader, I am an aspiring artist. With goals scattered to every corner of the four winds... as far as the arts are concerned. I hope to become a production designer for feature films, a designer of costumes and scenery for theater and events, and to make my way as an artist and a writer. We'll see. At the moment I'm just another recent college graduate with a lot of dreams and now a blog. But today (at the tender hour of 2am) is the beginning of my adventure. I have successfully reached out into the questionable abyss of the online job hunt and finally got a bite from craigslist. A local independent film was searching for a set designer to create the exterior of a witch doctor's hut. All I know right now is that the hut will be set up in someone's garage and I have about three weeks to build it. Challenge? Yes. Aside from the time line faking a hut in a garage will be a bit more difficult than say, plopping it onto one of New England's elegant rock beaches. Although that pesky weather might be a bit of an issue out on the beach... Ah well, new job, new people, new opportunities!

Much love to any and all who stumble upon my little blog!
~ Jeanette

Ps. Thank you google for making this sooo easy to set up!!