Ohhhh the Scandalfrond...
This wallpaper has so much hidden in it.
On the visual level it's inspired by Arts & Crafts design and poisonous wallpapers of the late 19th century.
And then in the mental brain part I have like ten stories about it I could tell- some are personal, some are technical, some are conceptual.
Hard to keep it all straight and decide what to say first!
On the personal side, creating this paper was a road back to recovery after losing myself in an epic burnout from the textile manufacturing industry in early 2016.
It was a work environment where I gradually found myself working more and more overtime, trying harder and harder to "save the day", and didn't see the toll it was taking on me.
At any rate, that blew apart as these kind of situations always do and I wound up at my kitchen table drawing in pyjamas ( cute ones) because I couldn't wear real clothes as the waistbands and pokey parts made me break out in hives due to a stress induced autoimmune illness my body cooked up from this situation.
On top of that I was a bit of a wreck after all the yelling and such that went on at work.
I remember telling my mom on the phone that I got myself into this situation and I'm gonna draw my way out.
It's kind of audacious and also turned out to be true.
I still like that line. "I'm gonna draw my way out."
I do think the path forward is always found through creation, in any form.
(PICTURED: ORIGINAL DRAWINGS C. 2016 INK ON PAPER)
So yes, my current business was born at that kitchen table- right after I whipped up these drawings for a gallery show (Art + Bioethique at Espace Projet), I started to work on the Toile de Ville drawings which were a continuation of a Montreal toile I'd done in art school back in 2010. Using my last paper scraps, to boot!
I opened my store a year later but if you'd told me that then, I wouldn't have believed it.
It's a bit wild looking back.
Here's a video of the original finished work- each panel took about 12 hours to draw... I'm not sure I've drawn that much before or since, as far as consecutive hours clocked. It was madness!
The Art + Bioethique show was a collaboration with bioethics researchers at the Universite de Montreal- I spoke at the conference, and this work was also written about and published in the peer-reviewed journal Bioethique online. You can read the article here: Na-no-body- de l'oubli du corps sensible en nanomedicine
Na-no-body from Stephanie EM Coleman on Vimeo.
Anyway I'm so grateful I got to take that time, had the privilege to sit at a table and draw for months.
To obsess, to tweak endlessly, to really get to know what it felt like to return to the paper day in and day out and let it unfold.
Check out how the Scandalfrond unfolds (reverse hang repeat).
In the end, I choose screen printing and hand drawing not so randomly- the process itself of working with your hands with dignity, of getting away from phone & computer screens and dropping into flow- I believe these things help us to stay connected to ourselves and help you to get a grip when you no longer have a grip.
To get it together, as they say. To work through the pains and the heartbreaks. and yah, to obsess and tweak endlessly.
So thank you for lovin' on the Scandalfrond, her roots run deep!