I was chatting with friends at polo a few weeks back and two of them, almost simultaneously said, “I could see Kat Von D in your hats.”
My reaction was “Really? Wow.” I’d never seen LA Ink but I’ve seen many photos of her-and I love her look. She’s absolutely stunning. “Too bad she has no idea who I am,” I sighed, defeated, ready to move onto another topic but my friend persisted, “No, ding-dong, just send her a hat.”
This sentence rolled around in my head for a while and set into motion a brainstorm which gave birth to my newest project, an interactive “piece” I am calling Twenty for Twenty.
I began by simply imagining that Kat had put an order in for a custom hat and said, “Beth just make it me. However you see me.” I went with my heart and created the hat you see pictured in this post. As I worked on it, I took a moment to really explore this feeling coursing through me, this in-the-zone elatedness I get when I’m not even thinking about my work but just letting my hands and eyes do all the talking. I began to embrace this feeling of following my heart and creating something wonderful even though nobody asked for it. There was no demand. Not yet.
That didn’t seem to matter to me at the time. I just focused on custom work and how right it feels. I thrive on connecting with (nice, good) people and creating for them. It just feels right.
After I finished Kat’s hat, I was re-reading segments of an online book called “The Art of Earning” by Tara Gentile. Toward the end there is a passage which inspired me to turn this good feeling about custom pieces and reaching out to people into a project. I decided to come up with a list of twenty individuals whom I’ve never met but have been inspired by in some capacity or another. Some of them I’m just a plain fan of. I would reach out to each of these people and make a connection through my work. Like good old-fashioned fan mail!
This ties in to my love affair with the postal service. Anyone who knows me well has received a note from me at some point in our friendship. I love sending thank you notes. At times when we are more organised, my mister and the kiddies and I would create our own holiday greeting cards to mail out each year. I’m a sucker for that tangible piece of “hello” from the mailbox. Like a long, convoluted paper-cup-telephone on a string.
I complied my list of twenty, and began the process of reaching out to them. Some are more accessible than others (twitter is amazing for this), and some might never happen. It’s hard to tell (any of you guys tight with Gwen Stefani’s team?) But the responses I’ve gotten so far have been overwhelmingly positive and I’m so very excited to reveal more names (and why I’m inspired by them) in future posts. I’m hoping that by following through with this brainchild, I can not only get more of my product on more people’s bodies (I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a hint of self-promotion in this) and gain some exposure, but also to fully express the gratitude I feel towards individuals whom I am happy to know exist in this sometimes glum and banal planet. Also, I want to remind people how rewarding it is to receive a gift in the post, a piece of art that someone spent hours of their own life to make.
And that, my friends, is that. I’m tapping into something deeper than taxidermy and hats, so bear with me as I explore this. I’d love to know your thoughts.
For now, here is Kat’s hat.
I used one of my gifted vintage bases and spent oodles of time fastening the perfect chicken wing and feathers/pelt to it.
Inspired by her military meets goth meets doll type style, I used an vintage Trifari gold tasseled baton brooch and tied it all together with some chains and such.
Up next: My larger than life and circus inspired piece for The Fashion Turd!