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Friday, October 29, 2010

Project: Runway and Michael Costello and me


Ok, so I didn't meet Michael Costello, but I would love it if I could talk to him. He struck me as being a very sweet person, but something about his experience reminded me of my life.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I love my parents. But they grew up in a different world, they grew up in the world of "college education is the ticket to permanent vocational security" and "work for the same company/organization for 20-30 years and then you retire on a nice pension". And, while my Mother's family has artists (like writers and musicians), she seems to have internalized my father's family's depression mentality (my father's sister, though she's artistic, was a school teacher -- the safe profession for women of her are -- her daughter and granddaughter have a cake decorating business and the cakes are gorgeous -- though if you've ever read my Bayit and Garden blog you know I wouldn't eat a bit if them)

I have been designing since my teens. I used to knit and crochet Barbie doll clothes and I would sell them at a local concession store. I've never actually learned how to sew and make patterns well, so most of my clothing designs (with the exception of a couple of sweaters I knitted and a couple of dresses someone made for me for my sister and brother's weddings) are on paper only (mind you, I never learned how to sketch well either, so I trace figures and draw the clothing on them). I did go to Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in "the city" (aka Manhattan) part time at nights for 3 years, but I learned more about jewelry designing (I can make some of my jewelry and I have made quite a few and even sold some, but most of my jewelry designs, which I DID learn how to render well -- I even developed my own method of designing on the computer -- like my fashion design, are only on paper -- or pixels). I did try learning "flat pattern design" (I tried twice) and draping, but I was so far behind after only a few weeks that I dropped the courses each time (I was more concerned about credits back then than learning).

But after 3 years and only 19 credits (6 of which were in science and astronomy), I left FIT and went to college full time, majoring in TV/Radio and nothing with art or drawing in it. And that was the end of my design career.

Part of this was because my parents never encouraged me (actually,for the most part, they discouraged me -- my Mom still says XX years later, that I should have worked for the government like she did -- despite my telling her that I actually tried getting a job with the government on numerous occasions). The first people in my life who have encouraged me are a friend (who sometimes works with me to get my business going) and my niece, who just started design school in Israel. For the past 20 or so years I have been working off and on as a freelance graphic designer and for the past 4 or so years I have been working on my Cafe Press, Zazzle and Printfection stores.

So my message to Michael: I love you. I love your work. I think you're very talented. Keep in mind, not every idea a designer has is great. We all have horrible designs in there somewhere. But if you listen to your voice (and, in your head now, I have a feeling you'll hear Tim Gunn's voice whenever you step back and look at your newest creation). I know I would love to see you in the future. If you have faith in yourself you WILL succeed. And, one favor if you ever do see this blog entry, leave me a comment.

(If you want to see some of my clothing sketches, you can see them here.)

Check out my other blogs:

Israel and it's Place in the World
Jewish Singles
Strong Jewish Women

Check out some of my squidoo lenses (articles):

Strong Biblical Women
Strong Biblical Women 2
Why Be Vegetarian
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 1
Vegetarianism: Getting Started 2
Why be Vegetarian?
Rosh Hashana
Quick Vegan Cooking
Creating new recipes from old
About the Jewish Calendar
Witches and Morality
Math Hints 1 -- Adding Fractions
Presidents1: George Washington

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