I'm thoroughly enjoying writing and sharing on the Life Behind the Brand blog. As with all new ventures you never quite know the direction things will take, and that's wonderful. I knew I wouldn't be writing purely about corsetry as the whole point is to give insight into my working life. So that includes business decisions and thoughts, self-doubts, experimental corsetry, and other creative endeavours (specifically, recently, photography).
So the blog isn't a basic "how to" of corsetmaking, it's best suited to those who approach their corsetry from a personal point of view. I think this is definitely reflected in the lovely subscribers I have so far, mostly ladies with very distinctive aesthetics and a lot of passion!
Something I've been saying since before I even began accepting orders as Sparklewren, is that the more we each specialise (the more we find our own authentic aesthetic and niche) the more interesting and broad the industry will be as a whole. And the less we will be competing with one another. Making that level of individuality financially viable is another matter, which I do go into on the blog every so often. But none-the-less, I still stand by the basic premise. With more and more people becoming interested in corsetry, the best way to keep it interesting (in my opinion) is to have an individual approach to it. And part of that is by letting your work be informed by other mediums, letting everything you encounter help develop your eye. Even the ugly things you see teach you about line and proportion!
Here's a behind-the-scenes teaser from the shoot we had last Sunday. I've a post on the private blog showing a few edits of this image, all part and parcel of playing and learning. Not a corset in sight! Just beautiful little Cassie Rae's face with Milton the Burmese python coiling around her... But truly, playing with something like this teaches me about corsetry in so much as it teaches me about visuals in general. Being forced to look more carefully is never a bad thing.
The patterning on Milton or the texture in Cassie's hair, they aren't a million miles away from what I do by layering lace of close-but-differing shades, in terms of subtlety (a colour version I did of this photo is actually more illustrative of the point, and can be seen on the private blog). ... Or distressing the raw edges of organza ruffles... The snake's highlights remind me that I usually prefer the soft sheen of pearls to the hard sparkle of crystals, and even Cassie's gold fingernails reminded me that when metallics are to be used it is best done with an underlying colour to give tone, so that the gold may crack and reveal what's beneath (eg: gold lace over black).
It seems silly that messing about with a photo, doing a drawing, or painting a wall(!), could enhance my work as a corsetmaker, but it can. So I am having much fun sharing that (and other topics) on the special blog with you.