I spent quite a productive day in the studio working on various things and my mind wandered, as it often does, to thinking about various studio “uniforms”. I am going to generalize here, so don’t take offence if you are such an artist, for I am one too.
A painter can wear their hair how they want (for the most part) and regular clothes with a neat smock that has a lot of character, added to from each painting I am sure. They hold a pallet with various globs of colored paint, a long-handled brush extending from their fingers and perhaps a second in their hair, or tucked behind an ear. A steamstress can wear just about anything to sit down and sew. Perhaps something colorful with a really stylish pair of glasses and a pin cushion littered with shiny colored pins and a measuring tape draped around their neck like a scarf. A photographer comes to mind as the most stylish to me. Your camera is part of your outfit so why wouldn’t you also accessorize with sweet jewelery and classy scarf? To me, they always look like someone out of a J.Crew Catalogue and I am slightly jealous of that to be quite honest! It makes sense if you are shooting for a wedding, engagement session, family, portraits, scenery, etc. to dress up and look great. It would not be appropriate to show up to shoot a wedding in what I wear to the studio!
When I plan for a day in the studio I think comfort and easy cleaning. This usually makes me turn to old field hockey practice clothes and flip-flops. My hair is pulled back, out of my face and my rings are moved to the chain around my neck and tucked behind my shirt. I am basically preparing to be messy and play in the mud. I am sure my childhood gave my parents some indication of my future career, they just didn’t realize I was serious about playing in the mud. When I am done in the studio I am generally covered in clay, and find more of it even after I clean up! It is inevitable, really. Your hands are covered in clay and if you scratch your arm, or your face, or grab a tool, a trail is left behind. The other VERY important part of my “uniform” is a bottle of lotion! After I clean up, I grease up my hands – clay can really do a number on the skin! Sometimes I think about how nice it would be to look stylish at work and snap away at the camera or sew really beautiful clothes, but I wouldn’t trade it for my clay or all of the laundry I end up with!