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Friday, June 3, 2016

A New Career

Copyright, Jim Lane
Castle in the Sky

I think I've mentioned it before, but when my wife and I were first married some 47 years ago, I was a freshman at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, majoring in art education. Now, as then, such majors are expected to sample the broadest possable list of course offerings. Future art teachers were expected to know a little about a lot of different art forms. One area of art which has always fascinated me is that of design. It never made much difference to me what I designed, I just like to design stuff--cars, houses, paintings, rooms, and a number of other items. One item I liked to design was clothes. In short order, I began to design outfits for my new wife. I was fortunate in that both she and (especially) her mother were experts of long standing at sewing. In short, I drew the dress, they improvised paper patterns, my wife and I selected colors and fabrics along with decorative details; then I watched as she and her mother worked their magic in makiing it all come together.  I probably designed eight to ten different outfits and I'm proud to say my wife wore them (at least once). Nothiing ever came of my daliance into fashion design. I moved on to become a painter, photographer, portrait artist, art instructor and writer.

Be one of the first to wear a Jim Lane.
Recently I came across a company named Vida which seeks out the work of painters like myself in order to use their images on various fairly simple fashion items--scarves, tops, t-shirts, handkerchiefs, and other items they handmake, market, and sell online. I'm proud to say that today I got word that my painting, Castle in the Sky (top) has been approved for use on several of their clothing items (above and below). Mark it as another milestone--I'm a fashion designer again. I don't pretend to be a Donatella Versace, Valentino Clemente, Ralph Loren, or any other big name who designs in the traditional sense. Perhaps a better term in my case would be "fashion decorator."
Same painting, different design
In the name of shameless self-promotion, I should also mention that has available the same image in women's silk scarves and men's handkerchiefs. Clothing sizes range from XS (extra small) to XL (extra large). This is only the beginning. I already have several other images to submit for still more wearable works of art from my collection of paintings, past and present.

Copyright Jim Lane, 1978
The Old Vincent Hotel,
1978, Jim Lane
Copyright, Jim Lane, 1972
Up a Tree,  1972, Jim Lane
Both of the paintings (above), as well as the one below, I've retrieved from the archives. I've come to the realization that not just any painting will make a good fashion statement. As one might notice, blue is a highly favored and flattering color color choice. Likewise selected images need to have large open or textured areas leading the eye to a center of interest. By the same token, those which don't, often allow for the possibility of the two different portions of the painting becoming the center of interest as with Castle in the Sky (top). Now if they'd just send over some live fashion models...

Copyright, Jim Lane, 1979
Icy Sunset, 1979, Jim Lane


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