Wednesday 16 December 2015

How Curious

Has it really been over a month since I updated this blog?! Well if you've ever truly exhausted every pointless avenue on the internet and just have to know what I'm doing, you can find more frequent updates on Instagram and at the Facebook page. ;)

I've been busy on commission after commission (this time of year is always my busiest), so... no new witch character for Good Witches Bad Witches yet. Sorry! As you see, the others wait impatiently. I'll make her when I return form Blighty in mid Jan.

In Tall Tales Productions news, I had a book signing at the weekend from the collaborative Alice in Wonderland art show 'Curiouser & Curiouser'. You may recall the miniature Mad Hatter scene here.

You can pick up a copy of this gorgeous book from the Center Stage Gallery gift shop in Burbank, California. Or find one at their online shop here.

Also, my piece was written about last week in Print Magazine - article here. You can find most of my magazine / book appearances here at the press page on my website.

Book Signing for 'Curiouser & Curiouser'

Including talented artists Casey Robin, Alishea Gibson, Nic Gregory, David DePasquale and many more.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Remember What the Dormouse Said

First, I have to assume everyone is familiar with the psychedelic rock song 'White Rabbit' by Jefferson Airplane. If you're not then I'm glad to be the one to introduce you to it. I've loved this since I was little(r). Listen to it on YouTube here.

Yesterday was opening night for the Alice in Wonderland exhibition - 'Curiouser & Curiouser' hosted by the Creative Talent Network and held at Center Stage Gallery, Burbank. It honoured Lewis Carroll and the 150th anniversary of him writing 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.'

Here are some photos of the event last night. It was a fantastic exhibition with some exceptionally talented artists taking part, including the lovely and talented Casey Robin (her site is here). They served tea sandwiches and 'eat me' cookies alongside drinks. How fabulous is that?! There will be a book signing before the exhibition closes and I'll share photos of that here on this blog.

See the design process of my miniature model piece (the Mad Hatter's Tea Party) in previous blog post here, and the 'making of' photos here.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Halloween LA Style!

You've heard me say it again and again, if you really LOVE Halloween, then you truly need to experience it LA style!

Halloween has been my favourite time of year since I can remember. My parents threw huge Halloween parties at our house in Oxfordshire which we'd decorate to high heaven and low hell and my dad would be Dracula. I absolutely loved it because for this short time life became a film set - all the props and decorations came out, everything was in disguise, everything was Gothic and exciting. I was mesmerized by it all.

For someone like me (someone that loves make-believe, horror, costume, props etc) then I really don't think there's a better place to be living than LA when Halloween descends. I don't have an update from my work world today, but I wanted to give a shout-out to LA and share some snaps from where I live (Los Feliz) in the week leading up to yesterday. The above photo is one I took 2 weeks ago on Hollywood Blvd of this group of gorgeous witches.

Earlier in October I went to the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd to see 'Hocus Pocus' and afterwards browse their gallery of props and costumes from this movie.

I celebrated Halloween dressed (well kinda ish) as Queen Boadicea and went to a party where I met the best Sanderson Sisters short of the actresses (last photo), and also went to the Hollywood Bowl to see 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' with live orchestra and Danny Elfman singing along. He even got his guitar out at the end and did an Oingo Boingo number.

Finished the night at my local tiki bar - Tiki Ti where shrunken heads adorned the bar and just as at the bowl, everyone was in full costume.

My costume. This is taken from my Instagram account where I applied the 'rise' filter and it looks oh so much better!

These photos show my local diner where the Grim Reaper looms over the entrance in the fabulous October heat. Fred 62, Los Feliz. Next up, one of my favourite cafe's in my area. The counter was filled with their own candy, chocolate skull lollipops, Hallloween cookies... The Alcove, Los Feliz.

At the Hollywood Bowl! (First photo not mine)

Having a Zombie at the bar at Tiki Ti, Los Feliz.

The best Sanderson sisters ever! Photo taken at a party in Los Feliz!

Friday 30 October 2015

Bottoms Up

I rarely write about anything that isn't film / sculpture / art / miniature related, but that's going to change a little here and there. This post is a response to butt implants specifically. There's art in here too (I drew my second ever cartoon) so hopefully it will hold your attention for about a minute!

I sketched this out yesterday and used Photoshop to add colour. It was an idea I came up with whilst being blasted with media images of various celebrated women who have had butt implants and who influence millions of women with their (celebrated) bodies. Examples here, here and here...

Click to enlarge.

My point being, it disappoints me that years roll on and women still put their energy and focus into looking the way they think will garner attention from men, getting their self-worth from men's approval. The hot issue in this post is butt implants. In the US there was a 98% increase in butt implant procedures since 2014 (a staggering 75,591 butt implants were performed worldwide in 2011 alone). It's yet another body part women feel pressured to address, and here I'd thought that making your arse look bigger had finally died out with the Edwardians.

I champion all women. I am not attacking women who go under the knife to gain these kinds of curves and I am certainly not attacking women born with curves. I am not body-shaming. Rather, I ask the question - couldn't we women do better by investing energy somewhere other than worrying about and changing the way we look?

Dr Caroline Heldman says it so much better (please do watch her Ted Talk here). 

Some of her best nuggets of wisdom in the above talk were...
With pictures of objectified women everywhere, "we women are being sold this idea - that this is how we get our value ...we see male attention as the Holy Grail of our existence. "

"We raise our little boys to view their bodies as tools to master their environment, we raise our little girls to view their bodies as projects to constantly be improved. What if women started to view their bodies as tools to master their environment? As tools to get you from one place to the next, as these amazing vehicles for moving through the world in a new way. "

She talks about the negative effects of self-objectification and habitual body-monitoring (which western women engage in every 30 seconds) and points out that it "takes up more mental space that could be better used completing math tests, completing your homework.... " and also that "it lowers political efficacy and the belief that you have a voice in politics, and it lowers the ability to get along with other women.  "

She concludes with this powerful thought.
"I'd like you to imagine a world where girls and women don't spend an hour every morning putting on their makeup and doing their hair.
I'd like you to imagine a world where women are valued for what they say and what they do rather than the way they look.
I would like you to imagine a world where instead of spending time on dress and appearance, we actually direct our energies to dealing with serious problems like human trafficking, sexualized violence, homophobia, poverty, hunger. "

Worth thinking about, isn't it?

In other news, I am working on my next character for 'Good Witches Bad Witches' (bit slowly as I've had other things to juggle) and she'll be up here soon.  kim kardashian butt implants ass coco ass

Sunday 25 October 2015

Which Witch Won?

You know how I love to have fan involvement, getting feedback for character design on 'Good Witches Bad Witches' etc. It's great! I encourage your comments here and on the Facebook page and Instagram. I read them all.

Well 2 weeks ago I asked which witch should be next and got so many responses! I said I'd make whichever witch got the most votes, and now the results are in and I'll start on her tomorrow!

Scroll past these previous witches from around the world, and then look at the results below to see which witch won your vote!

English witch (see more here)

Scottish witch (see more here)

Welsh witch (see more here)

Irish witch (see more here)

French witch (see more here)

German witch (see more here)

Italian witch (see more here)

American (Texan) witch (see more here)

The results: - 

Dutch / Netherlands 18 votes ... the WINNER. This will be the next witch made.
Russian 17 votes
Indian 16 votes
Australian 16 votes
Polish 12 votes
Greek 12 votes
Canadian 9 votes
Spanish 9 votes
African 8 votes
Norwegian 8 votes
Swedish 7 votes
Japanese 6 votes
Chinese 5 votes
Asian 5 votes
Mexican 4 votes
Haiti 3 votes
Portuguese 3 votes
American (Pacific Northwest) 3 votes
Swiss 2 votes
Finn 2 votes
Romanian (Transylvanian) 2 votes
Denmark 2 votes
Scottish 2 votes .................already made this witch! 
Hungarian 2 votes
Belgian 2 votes
Italian 2 votes .................already made this witch! 
Kiwi 2 votes
German 1 vote .................already made this witch! 
American (Massachusetts) 1 vote
American (Alaskan) 1 vote
American (Wisconsin) 1 vote
Welsh 1 vote .................already made this witch! 
Turkish 1 vote
Czech 1 vote
Jamaican 1 vote
French 1 vote .................already made this witch! 
Argentinian 1 vote
Bangladeshi 1 vote
Austrian 1 vote
Brazilian 1 vote

So, a huge thank you to you all for participating with your vote comments at the Facebook and Instagram pages. It's great to know that you care about the project 'Good Witches Bad Witches'!

The next with will be Dutch, as per your votes. Stay tuned...!

Thursday 22 October 2015

Trick or Trick...

If you send your children off trick-or-treating and they call on the address of a witch, then you'd better be wary of who is being tricked. These children in Texas didn't fare so well.

Here's a promotional image from the in-development film 'Good Witches Bad Witches'! It's almost Halloween so it seemed appropriate!

Also, I know how people who enjoy my work like to see how things are made, so you can see some work-in-progress photos below. You may have noticed I don't post as many work-in-progress photos as I used to, but this is simply because I am holding back some content for the book. Still, there's plenty to see and don't forget you can see more on these other platforms -
the website, Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter.

For more photos of this Texan witch, see the last post all about her here.

Friday 9 October 2015

Old World, New World

We have a meeting of worlds today - I finished my latest witch for 'Good Witches Bad Witches' and she joins the others - last photo below. She is American (Texan, specifically) and I really hope I've done her justice!

She stands at 5.5 inches tall and is a little more portly than I intended. She wears denim, a plaid shirt, cowboy boots, and a western style witch's hat. Her familiar is an armadillo (see, that's why I wanted to do Texas!) Incidentally, there will be three American witches eventually, as I didn't feel that one is enough to represent the vast United States. Also, I carved out her miniature Jack O' Lantern and put an LED light inside so that it glows under her warty chin.

A note to my American friends...
If you follow this blog, specifically the project 'Good Witches Bad Witches' (which is being developed as a film based on my books), you'll see that I am creating my characters based on all sorts of stereotypes and that they come in all sorts of funny shapes and sizes. I am creating this world and these characters because I love the subject matter (I even wrote a book called 'The Witch's Day" when I was 6 years old and got a little write-up in the paper). I mean to entertain and certainly in no way offend, so please take this character in the spirit in which it is intended, take a look at my other witches, and if you have any feedback please do leave a comment (they're never censored here) or email me. I'd love to hear from you! :)

See my work in progress below and a final shot of some of my European witches and the American (Texan).

Don't forget to follow my progress on Instagram, Facebook and find out more about me (Caroline McFarlane-Watts) and Tall Tales Productions at the website here.

stop-motion film, Disney Pixar film, Tim Burton stop-motion film, Laika in development, Laika Studios, Aardman
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