One of my greatest assets, the one I truly value the most, is my imagination. It has always been there and there are days, when anxiety raises its head, when I think what will happen if it dries up. That pool of different worlds and ideas.
As I have grown in my creativeness. I have learnt that I am solely in control of that pool drying up. I sometimes test myself. Simple tests, nothing too serious. I look at something and whilst looking at it I ask myself, “How many ideas can you come up with looking at this?” It’s surprising how many ideas I get. What is most surprising is, when I am faced with pressure, I come up with ideas and as a result, I create.
Thursday 19th of March I was called into Mu Mu where I work as a drag artist only to be told that I was going to be laid off due to the pandemic, Covid-19, Corona Virus.
I have been resident Drag Queen for 7 years at Madame Mu Mu. Understandably this meant that as a hospitality venue they were stripping back their staff as much as possible. Entertainers, are always the first to go. I walked out with a slight sting in my eyes. I thought of all my friends and the people who were in the same position. What was I going to do?
My drag work, as I have mentioned before, supports my label financially. What did this mean for my label? Like everyone in this position, the questions flooded in. Luckily, the government support for people who had been forced to close due to this virus meant I would be getting 80% of my wage. Incredibly lucky, however, I was still saddened for the people who don’t have this option. So many of my friends who are creatives, what were they going to do? I said to myself that you have to create as much as you can.
The pressure is applied and as a result I cannot stop thinking of ideas. Then comes with it that one thing I hate, creative frustration. I have to be careful, financially, because I don’t know how long this is going to last for. So I have made a plan, I have put pen to paper.
I am a designer so this means, redesign your initial ideas to suit what you already have, fabric-wise, in stock. What can be re-merchandised and jigged to suit your next collection? Those pieces won’t sell now as everyone has tightened the purse strings. Then I thought to myself., is this extra time - another incredibly valuable asset - going to allow me to explore ideas you’ve had for a while? It will! Hooray, a positive!
On the 29th of March I was going to have my long hair shaved off and the hair donated to The Little Princess Trust. As a result, my drag aesthetic would be changing. If you are feeling like you are in a rut, then you have to explore deeper within you to get out of it. If doing something good comes out the wash, then great. The event has now been cancelled and my hair continues to grow but as soon as I am ready to reschedule it, I will be on it but for now, practice.
When I first started writing as a guest blogger for the wonderful Crystal Parade, I created a monthly schedule of what I would write about. This month, April, was going to be about makeup and including crystals within the overall look. It still is, but I have had to adapt the initial idea.
If I was writing to you with a shaved head, then I would be including images of the before and after, hair wise, and an extreme makeup look with crystals. It’s still that, minus the hair, thanks to wig caps and scarfs, but what I have done is got my Instagram following on @MadameMuMuOfficial to decide what I do.
I have found it a great way to keep in touch with people who have seen my show and at least bring some form of joy to their lives whilst we are all, hopefully, staying at home.
The first makeup look I did, I asked my followers to choose a crystal pack from Crystal Parade and from that I would do a look. They were marked 1, 2, 3, or All. Not surprisingly everyone chose ALL, so I went ahead and created the first look using the following packs from Crystal Parade, Preciosa Face and Body Crystals:
I wanted this look to be strange and, as I'm obsessed with mermaids and anything fantasy, I created it - making the fins and colouring them with the makeup pallet I would be using. I used left over liquid latex, tissue paper and mastix spirit gum to apply the crystals and fins to my face. I definitely wanted to reuse the crystals to get as much out of them as I can. You will see some returning from the forehead piece I made.
The second makeup look I created I was going to use other crystals from my stash but I also wanted to add pressure and challenge myself so I ask my followers to choose and throw into the mix, the beautiful and the ugly.
Choose 1,2, or 3 and a vast majority chose the beautiful, number 3, but I may do the ugly, number 2, when I can get my hands on more liquid latex. For now, it was to my studio to find fabric I could use to make these delicate fins. Reusing some crystals from the first look I set to work and created this:
For the third look I wanted to go from sea to land. I chose parrot wings as an image, again, willing to dive into my stash of crystals. I gave my followers the choice. 1,2, or 3 once again. Out of all the votes this was by far the closest but number 1 won. I am a big softie so I hid in the layer’s number 2 and 3. Again stuck in doors and with one follower mentioning the use of actual feathers, what was I going to do? Hello printer!
For now, this look is on printed paper but for the future as my drag aesthetic changes I will have the images printed onto a lightweight fabric. This way, they last longer and I can really get some use out of them and avoid them tearing when taking off. This is by far my most favourite look and as you’ll be able to see I have reused crystals from the above looks.
It has been incredibly enjoyable challenging myself creatively and adding to my life’s picture book more fantasy and art.
If you are struggling for things to do, take five and think, the creative juices will bubble and soon you’ll be boiling and getting them out there.
For now, goes as far as you can see and when you get there, you will see further.