Category Archives: Female Archetype Project

Focusing on Art!

It has been a crazy spring and summer, and I have been both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by all that has been going on.  I have been working on more of the Female Archetype Project which will be soon transforming into the Human Archetype Project as I begin to incorporate male archetypes.  I have been feeling pulled in a million directions while trying to do research for the book writing aspect of the project, focus on my own spiritual journey, pay bills, work with clients and all of the million day-to-day things which come up constantly.  Mind you, I’m not complaining, being busy is a good thing… But it has also caused me to reassess my life, my goals and my focus.

Bearing in mind that I love working with my clients, creating art with and for them, I have decided that I will be severely limiting the commissions I take on going forward.  I will no longer be creating more standard portraiture, but will be only taking on commissions that go along with my painterly style.  I will only be taking 6 more portrait commissions this year and only 12 a year hereafter.  I will still be taking business and actors headshots and taking occasional model development sessions, as they do not take the same amount of creative energy in post-processing and act as a left-brain balance to my personal work.

So, that being said, if you are interested in commissioning a portrait, now is the time to start the process! Email info@artanddiscord.com or use the form on the Contact page to get in touch and we can start planning!

And, to wrap up this blog post, here’s some eye-candy… One of my recent additions to the Archetype Project: “Great Mother, Babalon” with beautiful Aepril Schaile.  I have two more images I am working on for this trilogy and I can’t wait to be able to share them all soon!

 

 

Babalon

 

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Why you shouldn’t count chickens…

It has been a crazy past few weeks since my last post, and I am glad to finally be sharing a bit of it with you.

So, firstly, it does appear that I was perhaps counting my chickens a bit early in my last post as the job that I thought that I was mostly guaranteed, did end up falling through. I am sad that I will not be joining a company that I respect, but I am also trying to see it as a positive opportunity to reassess what I’m doing.  Though I am still looking for a full-time position to help pay my bills, I feel that I need to reassess my art business and how I can make more of a living through my creative endeavors.  I am so grateful for all of the people that support me and my art and my heart sings with joy every time a comment is left on an image on social media or I get a message from someone that I’ve never met saying how much they love my work and look forward to seeing it online.

I have thought many times about starting a Kickstarter campaign or doing something similar on one of those crowdfunding type sites and I’ve always hesitated because it focuses too much on just accomplishing a single goal. However my work is continual and the projects that I’m working on intertwine in so many ways but can also be quite separate that I think it would be very hard to set a useful or understandable goal.

It was brought to my attention that there is a new platform which has recently started and which has some pretty amazing artists already using great effect, including musician and writer Amanda Palmer who had also successfully used Kickstarter to produce an album when she left her record label.  I was intrigued because it has a very different, but perhaps more traditional mindset in supporting the arts.

The platform is called Patreon and the principle is that artists generally tend to produce continually and often are hindered by finances from producing as much as they would like. Traditional patrons of artists and musicians would offer them a monthly stipend in order to have access to the artist in ways that others would not. They would benefit from the artists work either directly or by association and the artist would produce work for them and also be able to create the works that they themselves were passionate about.  Patreon takes this concept and modernizes it. Patrons can donate per creation or monthly amounts as low as one dollar and will have access to the artist in different ways, from the viewing of exclusive content, gifts of prints or postcards, video content, behind the scenes, tutorials, and so much more, with each artist creating their own set of rewards and offering different types of access based on the amount of financial support.

So, after doing my own research, I’ve decided to give this idea a shot. My social media content and all the images I create will still be available to see for free. However, because I know a lot of people that enjoy seeing my work can’t necessarily afford to buy it and can’t necessarily afford to hire me to create work for them, I want to offer a different way for people who enjoy my work and feel that it adds something to their own lives, their own way to be a part of how I create and offer them a way to help me create more.

I’ve been in the middle of this Archetype Project for the last year, and I thought when I began it last January that I would be much further along by now. My end goal is to create a book with at least 25 images and hopefully to be able to coordinate a gallery show of all of the images. The main problem that I have run into, however, was that I wasn’t getting enough paying clients or prints sales to buy supplies for all the wardrobe, sets and props I make. I couldn’t afford the insurance that would give me access to locations that require it, and I couldn’t afford to rent lighting and lenses that would take the work to the next level.  It has slowed down the process which has been incredibly frustrating;  I have concepts swirling in my mind and no way to bring them to life to the degree that they deserve.

Beyond the Archetype Project I am obsessed with creating images in the old methods, such as by using Wet Plate techniques to create tintypes and ambrotypes; I love my Polaroid and Holga and the images that film produces which require so little post-production; and I am starting to explore the realm of video to add another element to my creative madness.  All of these areas of my work would be able to expand as well.

So, what it comes down to, is that while I don’t need the best equipment, wardrobe, sets, locations, etc, even the wardrobe I rent, or thrift or create takes money, sets and props can be made inexpensively and items reused for different purposes again and again, but the base elements still cost.  I estimated that each Archetype image I create has cost me between $200 and $500, between all of these elements, and its not sustainable, which makes me fear for the future of the project and my work.  This is where Patreon and my patrons will come in.  By donating monthly, even just a dollar, it will help me to bring all of the parts of these images together so I can bring the idea to fruition.  The money will help me to pay for business costs, and studio rental, supplies and wardrobe, and, if there is enough, I will be able to pay the wonderful people that donate their time to help me bring these images to life, which would be the most wonderful thing I can imagine.

So, if you dig my work, if it brings any hint of enjoyment to your life, if you look forward to seeing new images pop up in your social media feed, then please consider a small donation through Patreon.  If all the people that love my work donated a dollar each month, I would be able to produce and share so much more!

That being said, of course, I will have some more time for commissions, so if that is something you are interested in, please email artanddiscordstudios (at) gmail.com

And to conclude, here is a fun spring-inspired beauty image I shot last month with the always amazing Lyndsay Simon from Makeup by Lyndsay, Nathan Prescott who can be found at Trephin Salon in Boston, and beautiful Salina Jade, who is represented by Maggie, Inc.

TWallDuggan-PastelBeauty-7

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Hard Decisions…

 

The last few weeks have been about making hard decisions.  Jae and I moved to Salem in the fall and it has been amazing living here… there is such a fantastic, supportive, creative community and we feel quite blessed to now be a part of it.  The flip side of this move is that our financial situation has changed a bit, and my business has suffered from the move.  After much thought and considering all my options, I’ve decided to go back into retail management.  April will most likely be my first month of working full time (not to count my chickens of course…)

Going back to work full time will definitely change how much time I can devote to my photography.  While I will still be taking select commissions for painterly portraits, model development sessions and head shots, I will probably have time for only a few sessions a month.  I will be focusing most of my creative energy on my conceptual Archetype Project and will be devoting the majority of my time to continue to develop this work.

I have a few amazing projects in the works, with some fantastic models, designers, hair stylists and makeup artists and I can’t wait to share in the coming months.  Thanks to everyone for your continuing support!!

I’m going to finish off this post with one of my favorite shots from a portrait session I did recently with Christopher Allen, from Manners Supply Co.

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Also posted in Fine Art, Portrait Tagged , , , , , , , |

A New Project and a Trip to Oregon!

So, it just occurred to me that we are already in the fourth month of 2014 and unfortunately I have been seriously neglecting my blog posting for the year, as this is my first post!   I will be better about posting going forward and can’t wait to share the work I’ve been doing as well as the amazing projects I’ve got lined up for the next couple of months!

I hope the year has been good to you thus far and that you are excited about the Spring, I know I have been seriously jonesing for this warm weather to arrive since my trip to Oregon at the end of February and I’m excited that the temperature is finally where it was while we were on the west coast!  We went out to Portland to visit some friends who moved there a few years ago who we’ve been promising to visit literally since they moved.  Jae did a bit of a guest spot at our friends Joe and Dominic’s tattoo studio, Dead Gods Tattoo and I planned a few photo shoots while we were out there so I could get a chance to work with some new faces on the west coast.

Now, I should go back a bit in time and explain how and why I organized the shoots that I did while I was in Portland…

In January, I decided that I really need to give myself a personal project for the year to allow myself to explore some creative concepts in the midst of the fashion, beauty and portraiture that I usually focus on, and I really wanted to work on getting a cohesive body of fine art work together.  I have a tendency to wander in my interests photographically, which allows me to explore a lot of outlets and ideas, but makes for a strange assortment of work in my portfolio.  I spent a few weeks pondering what makes me happy when creating fine art images and what concepts I fall back on again and again that I have a passion for creating.  I realized that my favorite images have a few things in common, which I should concentrate on: they have a painterly feel, they are inspired by classical paintings in lighting and posing- especially work created during the Italian Renaissance and the Dutch Golden Age, and they have a fantastical or supernatural subject matter.  Using these three ideas to focus my project, I finally decided on: The Female Archetype Project.  This project will explore female archetypes using images depicting mythological female characters throughout the world.  I am really excited to be able to revisit some of my studies from college comparing religions and various mythologies, comparing ideas and finding the concepts which seem to be universal.  My hope is to be able to put a book together with all the images as well as some explanations of the archetypes, sharing the research I’ll be doing into these concepts!

 

Now, back to Oregon!  

So, in preparation for my trip, I put out a casting call on Model Mayhem in hopes of finding a model or two I would be able to work with while I was out there.  Because I would be planning from across the country and had no contacts in the modeling world in Oregon, I figured it would be my best bet to plan to work on the Female Archetype Project while I was there, vs attempting to find a full team of hair/makeup/wardrobe for a fashion-based concept. After going back and forth with a few different models, I settled on three who were interested in creating some mythological figures, had great work in their portfolios already and were available on the day I would have a vehicle and would be able to drive to locations.  We started throwing around goddess ideas and decided on Oonagh, Queen of the Fairies (or Queen Mab or Titania) for Alley, Persephone for Mary and finally Morrigan for Shawna.  Because they were all from the Vancouver, WA area I decided that the hour-long drive to them made the most sense, since they were far more familiar with that area than the Portland area.

I was lucky that my friend Erica Templeman was interested in creating a dress for Oonagh because she loved the concept, and she made a gorgeous piece that really made the images perfect!  She also amazingly created the entire dress from entirely thrifted elements!!  I also made a couple of flower wreath headpieces to go with the concept, which brought the wardrobe together!  Mary and Shawna brought their own wardrobe and props and really went all out!  I was lucky that they were so passionate about their concepts and were dedicated to putting together the perfect pieces for their goddess characters.  Alley also found a hair stylist/ makeup artist to assist us with her slightly more complicated look, and it rounded out the team quite nicely.

I started the day meeting Alley at her place in Vancouver and getting her into her wardrobe after she had been getting her hair and makeup done for a couple hours.  I unfortunately got lost on the way and ended up being 30 minutes late, which did actually work out because they were just finishing up hair and makeup when I arrived.  We got Alley into her dress, jumped into the car and headed to the first location, a beautiful huge tree in the middle of a field.  We took some great photos of the dress (before we got it dirty) and makeup, as well as exploring a few ideas about what a fairy queen might be doing in a field.  We had a quick makeup change and headed to our second location, which was an amazingly beautiful forest down the road. The trees were HUGE and everything was green- covered in moss and lichen, a truly magical little world.  We tromped through the woods looking for the perfect setting for our queen and Alley led us to a beautiful tree which had fallen over, revealing the root system, which made a lovely throne.  With rain constantly threatening, we set up the lighting, and started shooting to get as much material to work with for composites, exploring different poses and positions.  We worked fairly quickly and got what we needed in about 30 minutes, which was amazing!

After dropping Alley back off, Jae and I headed to another location on the other side of Vancouver; a beautiful state forest abutting a lake.  As we waited for Mary and Shawna to arrive, it started pouring out.  I was determined that we would not call of the shoot, as long as the rain lightened up a little bit, we’d be able to stay and work through both concepts.  We did a bit of recon to see where on the main path would have the most coverage from the rain and also had interesting features and found a few places that I could see us working from.  Shawna and Mary arrived a little bit later and started getting into their wardrobe and makeup.  With everyone set to go, I loaded up on plastic trash bags to cover my lights and camera if necessary, grabbed our umbrellas and props and headed into the woods. It was definitely a tricky situation shooting in the rain, also having to move aside for the dozen or so people who passed us on the path while we were working.  But, we got both Shawna and Mary’s concepts completed and none of the equipment got wet!

 

Here are final images from all three shoots!

Alley:

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and the image created for the Female Archetype Project

TWallDuggan_Oonagh-1

Mary:
TWallDuggan_Mary-Persephone-1

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And the image for the Female Archetype Project

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And Finally, Shawna: 


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TWallDuggan_Shawna-Morrigan-2

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Thank you to everyone who was involved in making these amazing images: Alley Blom, Mary Ward, Shawna Colton, Brittany Nowers, and Erica Templeman as well as Joe for letting Jae and I crash at his place, and his lovely other half Jen who let us borrow her car, and of course my husband Jae who was my chauffeur and voice-activated light stand for the day!

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