In which something-or-other starts, and there are rabbits*
*The bit with the rabbits is further down
So here we are then, I have finally got a name and a concept to start working with. I've been playing with some ideas for a while now, waiting for the tanks to refill after the huge creative burst that was our wedding.
One of my biggest drivers has been trying to get back into the workforce after a really short break, only to find that there just isn't anything out there in my size that doesn't evoke the term 'sack' and a sad, resigned expression.
What happened to big girls being beautiful? But surely, I hear you Wellingtonians say, there is an entire street full of plus-sized clothing in Central Wellington from which to choose (Featherston Street has a veritable cornucopia of designer plus-size stores). You must be able to find something to suit? Well, you'd think so - but actually, almost everything has a 'sameness' to it. All the bright colours are the same kind of bright, and the same shades. All the fabric patterns, from K-Mart to the designer stores, look like rejects from a discount store - too bold, too bright, unpleasant and unflattering designs and colourways.
There's the cheap and cheerful stuff from the Warehouse and similar chains, where you can get good basics, and horrifyingly unflattering sack-like 'feature pieces'.
There's the drapey-hidey-slightly-more-shaped stuff from Zebrano, at the top end.
In between, there's a lot of not-quite-fitting stuff, targeted at late middle-aged women who work in HR, leaving most of us younger women baffled, with our shopping bags filled with sadness and disappointment.
But we have to have something to wear for work, and we can't show up in pyjamas, so we are forced to buy what these stores offer - and we make it work.
But WHAT IF! What if we could find cool stuff, like slim girls can? What if there were cute outfits in flattering cuts, made of fun fabrics, and IN OUR SIZES? What if life didn't have to be an endless litany of hitching up ill-fitting pants, adjusting falling bra straps, adding another safety pin to keep blouses closed, and feeling like a second-rate citizen?
I know that many of my Phersu Dancing customers were pleasantly surprised when I was able to supply them with jewellery that actually suited a 'larger canvas'. I'm simply expanding on that concept with Copper Catkin - I'm designing fun things that I would like to wear, and working hard at finding local talent to help me get it out there to the masses.
So that's how I got to where I am today, in terms of launching Copper Catkin. More about the individual designs in future posts.
I'm excited to be working through my first revision of my first logo right as we speak - I will look at this process in another post.
Now, I said there would be rabbits.
So when I bought a house with my now-husband, I also became a step-mother - as well as my own two cats, Responsibility (Billie for short) and her daughter, Shasha, I am now Mum to a dog, Lizzie, another cat, Loki, several self-seeded chooks that came with the new house (and the occasional flock of wild turkeys!), and three rabbits - Winston, Usagi, and Probably Beatrice. The cats are easy - they do cat things. The dog is immensely hard work for me, and I have been focussing all my energy on learning how to be a good goggy parent.
I can't remember which of my rabbity friends ended up getting me into the Facebook group for Wellington rabbitry, but in no time, we were helping foster an adorable young bunny called Lily for Wellington Rabbit Rescue. As a foster-parent, I naturally became more interested in helping Wellington Rabbit Rescue raise funds to help cope with the influx of rabbits needing new forever homes, and here we are.
For more information about Wellington Rabbit Rescue, click here for their Facebook page, here for their Givealittle, and here for a recent article.
Here's a picture of Lily being an adorable little snuggler <3
Now, I'm a bit of a soft touch for fundraisers - I often end up donating more time and product than I really should - but it feels great to try and help.
I remember the awesome feeling of camaraderie being part of the FeltAid craft for Christchurch movement after the first earthquake, It was only a drop in the bucket, but my donated artwork helped contribute towards around $2,000 of funds raised and donated to the Red Cross, so it was a really good thing that we did.
So when they called for someone to help with fundraising, I knew this was something I could help with. I immediately started work on brainstorming some ideas around 'rabbit rescue'. My husband pointed me towards an online comic, Three Panel Soul, that he remembered from several years ago, which I used as inspiration (you can clearly see a couple of the poses were strongly modelled on this artist's work, as I came to grips with the medium, having never drawn 'action rabbits' before. i've posted the three relevant panels from his site below - this is not my work.
I'm now working on two more pages - humans love the rule of three, and they love having choices, We're considering doing the fundraising following a Kickstarter model, possibly via Kickstarter itself (just trying to interpret the rules).
Here are a couple of my storyboarding efforts for the next pieces. We have some kind of underwater lair, with a countdown going on, and a carrot rigged to explode (but we can't get the story detail into 3-4 panels, so we're rethinking it), and a band of robber-rabbits foiled by judicious application of hot sauce.
The hot sauce picture is probably my very favourite of all the pictures I have drawn for this project, particularly because I am now getting enough of an idea of dynamic rabbit poses to have composed it entirely myself, as well - the only inspiration was the Expendables 2, which really didn't have all that much too do with hot sauce - or rabbits - but definitely had a lot of action poses.
I'm also enjoying my underwater rabbits. I hope I can weave them into a narrative somehow.