On Wednesdays, we look at artist/design statements or About pages and discuss the best vocabulary to describe the work. Today we’ll look at the About page of Liselore Frowijn, a Dutch fashion designer.
Here are two paragraphs of text from her About page, in italics.
As a designer, Frowijn feels the continuous drive to capture and retransmit the energy she gets from art, music, people, and different cultures. For her, fashion is the best medium to weave all these different threads together into one eclectic outcome. Fashion is her playing field, and her challenge is to discover the unexpected. Her designs walk the fine line between high and low culture, each new piece a living painting carefully constructed to achieve the perfect balance between aestheticism and imperfection.
Her designs are for women with a curious heart; explorers at the core, ambitious and independent. The concept of her second collection, S/S 15’s “Fracture Space” was the woman at one with herself. She moves elegantly and dynamically and lets no one interrupt her energy. She instinctively courts luxury, knowing it in its purest form. The core look of this collection centered on tweed biking jackets and polo shirts finished with sportswear piping. Frowijn combined her self-developed and hand-painted fabrics with outdoors materials, adding a touch of opulence with rich Italian jacquards. Frowijn presented this collection along with a new fragrance at SALON/BIG BANG ’14 at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. The collection campaign was shot by talented photographer Olya Oleinic.
Now my comments:
Unlike most of the About pages I look at, Frowijn’s has a LOT of information. It’s her entire bio and it’s very thorough. She talks about where she went to school, the places she interned and worked at, and she also describes all of her collections in detail. I’ve chosen one paragraph that describes her work in general, which is an important part of any About page or artist/design statement. I’ve also chosen a paragraph that describes one of her collections, so we can compare the two.
In the first paragraph, we learn about the designer’s motivation and inspiration. We also learn about what challenges her, and what her goals for her designs are, and what makes them unique. Notice that she is talking about her work in a general way here. This paragraph is not about one collection. It describes all of her work on all her collections. It’s general but also very descriptive. That’s the kind of writing you want to have in an artist/design statement or About page.
Now, let’s compare the second paragraph to the first one. In the second paragraph, Frowijn describes a specific collection. There are many details here, like the tweed biking jackets and polo shirts finished with sportswear piping, but they describe the style of this one collection only. They don’t tell us anything about the designer’s general style or approach like the first paragraph does. In my opinion, it is better to include this kind of information in the portfolio where you are describing individual pieces or projects in detail. The purpose of the About page is to give a general idea about the kind of work that the artist or designer does. Usually, this should only be a few paragraphs so that your reader can learn about you and then read more on your portfolio page if they want to continue.
Finally, let’s talk about the vocabulary this designer uses. In the first paragraph, she uses the analogy of weaving thread to describe the way she combines her inspirations to create new things. It’s a clever way to describe her process as a fashion designer. She uses the phrase eclectic outcome to mean a unique result that comes from many sources. She also refers to fashion as her playing field, which is a reference to sports. It means it’s her place to play and prove herself to be successful. She says that her designs walk the fine line between high and low culture, which means that they are not clearly one or the other, but a balanced mix of both. In this situation, high culture means the traditional or classic forms of art and design, and low culture is like pop culture – the things that are trendy or popular now but do not last.
It can be difficult to know how to describe your work in a way that other people will understand. A good language coach can help you to write an engaging About page as well as good descriptions of your pieces. This can really help your audience to understand your work on a website, seller’s page, or gallery exhibit.
At Artglish, we help artists and designers to write a statement or About page that best describes their work. We focus on choosing the best vocabulary and language to help you share your work with others. If you want to learn more, click here to join The Studio and try some free ways to improve your English, or check out our Lessons page.
I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today. They are in bold. If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words. You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.
To see the designer’s About page, click the link below: