Customization

I don’t fit the mold and I’m proud of that. But if there is one setback that just might convince me to do so, it’s the inability of others to comprehend that. Not only is my appearance uncommon and sometimes a little direct, I behave differently than what expectations demand, too. About half a dozen times throughout my life, I’ve had the privilege to hear, “When I first saw you I thought, Wow steer clear of that one. But you’re actually rather nice.”

When my old shrink asked me about it, I told him that it works as a filter. It keeps the shallow at bay, those who can only see skin-deep beauty have no business near me. Only those open to the personality of someone they already guessed is one way or another, I would accept in my circle. It’s a problem that solves itself. The therapist noted that I might, in my defensive means, actually offend those of the first category. I responded with a thin smile and a sincere, “Good.”

I’m an anarchist, but I pay a rent.
I have a mohawk, but I don’t even listen to punk music.
My whole posture might say, “what the fuck you looking at” but I really wouldn’t mind talking to you.

At 24, why do I still cut my hair like this? I’m not really sure, other than that’s just how I feel. It was the first thing I did when my long hair had to go as I enlisted, and somehow I haven’t grown out of it, still. Today I’m much less about defense or offense, as much as just being myself. And people don’t seem to get that. Speaking of which, guess fucking what:

It’s impolite to stare.

I don’t like it anymore than that kid with deformed hands. Just because I chose for it, doesn’t mean I chose for your dumb looks. I used to counter with a sharp glare and enjoy the uneasiness it brought them, but that happens to be something I’ve grown out of. I just look the other way now and hope they get the point, which obviously they don’t.

There’s no point to my looks any more than there’s a point to my lifestyle. I do what I feel like, and I look how I feel like. It’s eccentric, but I’m hoping it simply shows a non-generic character. It’s important to me, it’s not an active attempt to look mean or offensive. Your handbag happens to offend me, do I stare like cattle? I didn’t think so.

I’ve begun ornamenting the blandest of my shirts with custom stencils. So far it’s gone no further than monotone gargoyles and monkeys on my company shirts (since I think we, the employees, are a mix of both) but I am thrilled with the results. The final test will be to see how washing machine resistant the images will be.
I use a specialized medium to make acrylic paint stick to fibers, but I’m still not sure just how effective it is and to be honest, I’ve been cutting corners here and there. The chemicals are activated by heat so the shirts are supposed to be ironed afterwards. It is also possible to toss the shirts into the dryer for 45 minutes on the highest setting. So what do I do? I just drape them over my trash bin and put my electric heating on it full blast. The window is open and it’s still like a fucking sauna in here. Nakedness omg.

I’m working on an extremely low budget here, but I think it actually has potential. I can pretty much take any stencil and shirt, and voila: creativity ensues. I want to take this further, and start with multiple “layers” so I can get multicolored images. If my “capoeirista” work (which admittedly isn’t mine) works on a tester, my uniform is going to get a thorough makeover.

Let me repeat that: Any stencil. Onto any piece of clothing. Your own body as your canvas. Can you guess how excited I am about this? I’m not just talking about generic Banksy work (because let’s be honest, Banksy has become generic by now thanks to the shzemillion copycats) but slogans, statements, jokes inside or out, fucking advertisement.

Situations have context. People, including me, adopt different definitions depending on circumstances. A guy with a helmet climbing scaffolding is a worker; the same guy with “PAY PEANUTS / GET MONKEYS” plastered across the back is… something else.
Context can be taken elsewhere, and synthesized.
My other car is a Ferrari.
If you can read this, the bitch fell off.
If you can read this, the asshole won’t let me drive.
<- I fuck her.
All examples of context fitted onto an otherwise plain situation. And this is just text in a poor attempt at being funny.

The gargoyles are just the start. I want to find things and show them to the world, so they too will see the the joke, the beauty, or simply the story behind a previously uninteresting image.

 

If fact, for the ones who happen to be reading this, I could use some input, some general ideas. Got any? Hand ‘em over and don’t make any fuss.

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2 responses

  1. Nath-en-J

    keep it simple. just write about ur feelings and what\’s happening instead of being phylosophical

    29 September 2009 at 16:35

  2. Maarten

    Those happen to be my feelings.

    1 October 2009 at 16:45

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