"Long ago before mankind was created the gods were present. They had a deep understanding of the entire universe and how it worked. One of the things that the gods loved the most was the knowledge of the arts. No one knows where they learned what they knew, but for thousands of years the gods found amusement in entertaining each other with the arts of singing, dancing, painting, sculpting, writing, instrument playing, and many more. Because some of the gods were better in certain areas than others they decided to call them “talents” and each god had their own that they were good at. Soon the gods got bored with each other and decided that they should have someone or something outside of themselves to entertain them. So it was decided to create a world submissive to theirs and fill it with lesser beings called humans. At first it was interesting to watch the humans toil the land on earth and try to figure out how to survive and flourish in the land. The gods found how sad and dull a world was with no love or hate, laughter or crying, or sadness or happiness in it; basically void of real life. It was then decided that they would share their talents with the humans to bring this life to the world. So the gods a part of each of their spirits and created a “pnévma” and called it a “muse”. They made the muse responsible for blessing each human child at birth with a talent. She is described as being enchanting to look at, but also frightening because of her expressionless face. This is because the muse cannot speak and she is blind so that her judgment on what talent to give someone is not jaded. She is draped in gold and white silk with golden jewelry adorned about her neck. Each part of her body that is gold represents where a talent is housed. She had gold on the crown of her head because that’s where all talents are cultivated and knowledge developed. Her hands are golden because they are used in the talent of painting, drawing, sculpting, and more. Her feet are golden because they are used in the talent of dance. Lastly her neck is golden because that is where the talent of singing and speech come from. Today people believe that your talent is something that you are just born with, but there are a few who still believe that the muse is who gives us our talents."
My design process started out with a more fairy or nymph like make up. Here are my first sketches:
But then I realized that we had to actually make the garment we wore so that changed my approach. I still wanted something that draped, but I didn't want to have to actually sew an entire dress. After doing some research online I came across the saree which is a style of dress and fabric draping within the Indian culture. I found this art of draping very elegant and beautiful. A saree is basically one piece of continuous fabric about 5 yards long. I used Youtube to find some instructional videos. It was here that I decided to make my own sari using some fabric and trim. Another element that affected my process was that in the story, the muse is blind. Because of this I decided to just make an elaborate mask. I felt that the element of being blind would translate better this way. I also came across a makeup palate that I absolutely fell in love with. The design pattern and colors for my mask were inspired by that. Here are a few pictures of what inspired the final product and pictures of the actual final piece.