One of the joys of writing a blog is the feeling of community. You get to meet some amazingly talented people, and reading about their passions inspires me to follow my own dreams. One of my blog friends, Resa McConaghy, whom I know as a designer of Art Gowns and a Photographer through her blogs, asked me if I would take part in an interview. I really enjoyed answering her questions and was thrilled with her blog post which you can read here: Soprano Charlotte Hoather An Art Gowns Interview
I asked Resa if she wouldn’t mind reciprocating so I could share a little about her with those of you who may not have come across her before. So here are my questions and I hope you find her answers as interested as I did.
When did you first start your blog and what got you into it?
I started my first blog about 8 years ago. I had decided I was going to be a writer. I did reviews about the goings-on and business reviews in my hood. Yes, I have written 5 screenplays and 1 novel. Things changed. That blog became my professional website. https://resamcconaghy.com Then I started my Art Gowns & GLAM blogs.
What is your absolute favourite costume you’ve ever created?
It is the hero costume for the Raven. You could say it is her Super Hero Outfit she wears when out doing her capers. It was a TV series I did, in 1999. It’s based on the movie, “Highlander”. Then there was a series “Highlander”. Then a spin off, “Highlander the Raven”. The Raven was played by Elizabeth Gracen (Miss America 1982)
The highlander is immortal. You can kill Raven, but she comes back to life. She is a thousand years old. I did a lot of FAB designs on that series, but the hero coat rules. See it at the beginning of the title sequence!
What is the most challenging thing to do in your work?
The most challenging thing about working in film is feeding the camera. We start out prepping the wants and needs of the director and producer(s). Then satisfying the lead actors with the designs is very important. Then shooting begins. The camera usually only stops on the weekends, but I keep working in a desperate attempt to get and stay ahead of the camera. There are slews of last-minute day players, extras, changing schedules & extra last-minute set requests. I might have an hour or minutes to come up with something. The biggest, costliest sin in film, is keeping the set waiting, not having what each camera needs when it is demanded. It’s very stressful, especially if one is bent on doing the best one can.
Do you ever make your partner’s stage wear?
When he performed a lot, I designed and made all of his stage and video performance costumes. Now, he composes, arranges and produces music for film and television. Lol, one of the Art Gowns, Lady Anne, is made from an old leather coat, and studded leather pants from those days. I dedicated Lady Anne to him.
I love your gowns and your photography site. What would you ideally like to be doing in the next couple of years if every wish could be granted?
Art Gowns being truly recognized, as being art, is my wish. Many like yourself get it. The art is partly in the craft. Art Gowns are made from up-cycled, repurposed, recycled, product out of scraps and time’s abandoned fads in fabrics.
Each gown is draped, and sewn by hand. I was working on a show of sorts, as I have a lot of drawings and 18 paintings of my Art Gowns that would be for sale. All of that is on hold.
What’s your favourite outfit for an artist you’ve designed ever, who wore it and where?
Outfits.. Again, I come to my film work. Helen Mirren portrayed Ayn Rand in “The Passion of Ayn Rand”. I had a lot of research material. Still, there was a lot of extrapolation required. Some of the outfits were styled from vintage pieces that worked for the character in the era. Others I designed, in that spirit. The clothes were built by the talented design room crew.
Vanessa Williams (Miss America 1984) played Hazel Scott, in SHOWTIME’s “Keep The Faith, Baby”. Hazel, a jazz pianist and singer, married Adam Clayton Powell Jr. He was the first African-American to be elected from Harlem, New York to Congress. Vanessa’s character was very glamorous. I designed gowns and many fabulous outfits for her & her character.
I love your second blog site graffitiluxandmurals.com what got you interested in wall murals have you ever been tempted to paint one?
When my mom was in her last days, she was in a nursing home in Winnipeg. I moved there for her last 3 months, to be near her. Her window had an odd view of a very old hotel’s parking lot. There was a mural of Charlie Chaplin on a wall. He had stayed there in his Vaudeville days. I took a few shots of it. Anyway, I would take breaks from visiting my mom, by taking walks around the home. There were scads of murals. I shot them all. They were a joyful distraction at a very hard time for me. Street Art helped me get through. It still helps me get through other trials of life. I would love to paint a mural of Art Gowns. However, so far I have only painted some street art poetry, by Charlie Zero on one of my doors. The city has painted over it every time.
I would encourage you to check out her blogs if you have not visited her sites before 🙂