My project began with my David Yurman ring, which belongs to my mom. I wear this ring every day, so naturally, it follows me everywhere. I think of all the places I’ve been with this ring and the many experiences I’ve had over the years since I began wearing it in high school. With traveling being such a prominent aspect of my life, I associate this ring with the trips I’ve taken and how they have shaped me into who I am now, and who I am growing into. Most recently, I was in Europe over the winter, and I drew inspiration from the photos I took abroad. I looked for the commonalties between the pictures in the dark colors from the sky and the history behind the rich, storied architecture in the buildings.
From the photos, my idea for the project grew. I decided to make a collage, though I wasn’t sure how I would focus it. When I think of Europe, and France in particular, I think of my favorite movie, Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola. I reminisce about finding that movie in the Bookmarc store in Paris the first time I went with my mom at 15, buying it on iTunes, and taking turns watching on the iPad on the long flight back home. My idea for my collage grew out of the dreaminess of that movie, and I began to collect more imagery, such as movie stills and paintings of Marie Antoinette. I built my collage continuously, adding layer after layer in Photoshop and altering the different images in various ways. I wanted to ground the color of my collage in the muted grey tones of Paris in the winter, yet at the same time, I wanted pieces of vibrant colors to peek through. I liked Marie Antoinette’s rosy cheeks in one of the paintings I chose to use in my collage, so I interwove aspects of color into the piece. I wanted the overall collage to feel playful in a way. I think that being in Paris, even in the dreary winter, is so special and gives me such an overall feeling of life that I can’t fully explain. I feel so happy whenever I’m there, as if I’m at home in my own delusional Amélie fantasy. It can be raining and I’m beginning to get my jeans, wool sweater, and hair all wet as I juggle finding my way around while simultaneously carrying an umbrella in one hand, my phone in the other, and shopping bags in my arms, but I know that everything is just fine because I’m in Paris. It’s Paris! There’s such an air of class and luxury that gives me such a lust for life, and I wanted to transcend those feelings into my collage.