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What is the 'inspiration'?

by Half-Lady Lisa

17 April 2017

There is a very thin line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘copy’ which many designers and designed firms like sneaking across the line. The ‘inspiration’ means—for example, you tell a kid ‘that woman is your mother then the kid responds with asking ‘and where is my father?’ As generally 'mother' and 'father' have their physical appearances completely different, this will be the inspiration when one thing inspires you to think about other things which they are not necessary to look the same. Copying is different when the creation of works aims to duplicate most parts of other designers’ ideas.

However, there is an exception that in some cases ‘copying’ can be a definition of inspiration. For example, a performer choreographs her dance by imitating the movements of lions. The two things: movements of lions and choreography are set in different categories as in fact lions don’t dance when they move. To adjust the lions' movements into human’s to create an impressive performing art uses a lot of effort. Therefore, the final production is considered the choreographer’s owned work of art. Lions' movements then become the inspiration.

A few days ago, someone bought me a magazine, the Marie Claire, April 2017 V.24 Issue 4, for Spring Fashion which the front-covered photo is shown above and on the left. The person who bought me the magazine truly believes that the design on the chest of the red dress on the magazine’s cover is the same as my glorious rays I put on one of my early-dated t-shirts’ designs at the very start of my sewing, shown above toward the right. I wear this t-shirt to take selfie photos and have posted them on a web site almost every month for years. There are hundreds of thousands of people have seen my t-shirt. Then I have worn and washed it, worn and washed until fabric is now worn out but couldn’t believe that someone likes it very much as to duplicate the design to put on the front magazine.

The similarities are obviously clear and easy enough for even 5 years old boys who are not interested in women’s fashion clothes to notice the likeness. At the center of each side of my glorious rays’ design, I use shiny golden studs to represent my small nipples as everyone can see that they are so shining and sparkling like two bright stars align on dark blue sky navigating all men's eyes to travel following her without getting lost to the wrong routes in the darkness. It is the same idea as the golden nipple-like shown on the magazine cover, except the work on the magazine is made of better quality of materials but mine, is made of low-cost materials I am able to find in the small town where I live and fit to my small-penny budget. The better quality of the embroidery of the dress on the magazine is the result of a working team; mine, is the work of one person. Each line of my rays’ design is intended to be unequal lengths and cover the entire cups on each side, the same as the red dress on the magazine, except there are more numbers of rays on the magazine which can be that the designer may want the rays more visible, or more people work-more job created, or otherwise the supermodel may have bigger cups than mine so there are plenty of spaces to add more rays; however, their adjustment isn’t unique enough (or not unique at all) to be considered a different design.

As I am curious to know who the designer is, I open the magazine and I find it on page 30, under the dress says—Gucci dress & harness—It surprises me very much. What I most surprise is that—normally happens in commonsense or easy to understand that inexperienced designers are likely to copy ideas from famous (or professional) designers. But this isn’t in my case. In my life, often happens opposite. It’s often that if I submit my works for a job, people always have questions in their minds and prejudice that I may not do all the works by myself or copy other people’s ideas. It might be that I don’t have a professional look to guarantee my works so no one trusts me. But believe me, professional designers and writers love my designs and writings. One thing Gucci has to keep in mind all the time: when business goes big and especially Gucci is a World-wide brand, they have a lot to lose but I have nothing to lose. I own many Gucci products and also used to buy Gucci wallets, hat and handbag for my relatives and family when I visit Thailand. I pay Gucci full prices they ask for but when they like my idea, they don’t pay for it. Now I begin to have more question marks: ‘What’s about other Gucci designs in the past, have they also copied ideas from other poor countries to build the successful brand while these designers in poor countries don’t know?’

This is not the first time. Long time ago, after graduated in architecture at a university in Thailand, I came to live in the US. After a short time living in the US, I went back home in Thailand then someone took me to see a place which was just opened for business. The person who took me to see was suspicious that the design of the place had been built based upon my Thesis I submitted to the university for my graduation. This place was build at the exact same location I choose for my Thesis, there were same functions which each part was laid out obviously based upon the same planning design on my Thesis. My design, I saw that day, successfully created a new environment for young people to hang out and make good business for the place.

Now, let look at the Gucci’s red dress on page 30 again; the full-long-dress picture is shown above. First, paying attention to the form of the red dress alone regardless on color and decorations, the form of the dress would give a sweet look or a princess-like for women, only the weird idea is that this princess has a sexually provocative design over her busty chest. Form of the dress that fits to the concept of my glorious rays should be a tight-fit dress and short so women would choose to wear it to nightclubs (drink and drunk) or a simple t-shirt (easy to wear to take it off on a quick-nightstand in someone’s bedroom) like I do. Next, in my opinion, the harness of the red dress is not necessary to be included as a part of the dress; actually it makes the dress worse. I believe that the use of harness, Gucci’s designer would intend to differentiate the designs. Normally, harness is a gay men’s item which gay men use harness for sexual purposes. I don’t believe that women would feel comfortable to wear the harness to party. The tiger printed on the lower part of the dress is another story. Every part of this red dress seems like they are designed by many designers who have conflicts over the conceptual ideas. All parts of the red dress can be separated into 3-4 different dresses rather than put them altogether on one dress. Copying focuses only outside looks without understanding indeed the concept.

Let me give more examples of how the inspiration can be created. I believe that the World still remembers the iconic picture of Princess Diana lonely sitting at Taj Mahal. The red of the jacket she wears that day depicts the romantic love she once had while the purple of her skirt tells the misery of her love. The colored choices of her wear make her stand out from the background’s colors of Taj Mahal. The location she chooses to sit fits her story. The day Taj Mahal was built when King lost his Queen but the day she sits there is opposite. It seems like she is telling that the person who is left there alone is now the Princess with the miss of her Prince. Only love couldn’t build Taj Mahal but the greatness of the monument is built on the grounds of the Love and the Loss: happiness that never fades out and grief that never has a day to heal. When your mind is frenzy, you would want to find a quiet place to sit alone, even for just a moment is worth and that the quietness of Taj Mahal lands her down smoothly, calm her craze. Coincidental ideas can happen when two people should have exact same story of life. More than creating just a piece of artwork, the inspiration builds an icon when the incident happens with no intention under extreme pressure within the artist’s life. Both happiness and misery are blended by themselves perfectly and naturally at balance. The inspiration is not a randomly selecting based upon what ideas designers like but it has a story compelling people. A story contains elements to form the compelled story which to give the exact same work all the elements can’t be reset otherwise.

Another example I can think about is when Chanel successfully leads women to wear pants: at that time there is no woman wear pants but today is opposite, it should be that there is no woman who never wears pants. At the young age, her father abandons her and her sister at a church then he never comes back to see her again and that convinces the young Chanel to think that father would love if Chanel was a ‘son’ rather than a daughter, and coincidentally as her nature Chanel should have a sign of crossdresser so she never feels embarrassed even being insulted dressing in men’s clothes—these spark a new fashion for women. Next, she uses the life that builds Chanel helps her lover to succeed. Her lover, a musician, at that time isn’t much successful in his works. By comparing to her life that brings her to success, Chanel knows, what causes the musician not to succeed is that his life entirely has enough on one side—the positive side: happiness gives soft feminine side but if there are used too much in creating works, the positive can become negative when it will give the weakness to his works. A family man with a wonderful family, Chanel believes that he has too many people: wife and kids, supporting him. What he is missing in his life is the negative side which will give aggression, craziness and muscular strength to his works but if the negative is used too much (or be used purely), the works of art can be extremely violent. Therefore, Chanel takes the musician and his family to live in her house. She has sexed with him until his wife finds out so she has to take all the kids move out with her. The musician expects to add more happiness to his life that Chanel would immediately replace herself in his wife’s position, however, she makes him a broken heart—and that the negative side places in his life; that how his music comes to success. A great artist happens when the positive and negative sides rise up to the peak points: happiness that never fades out and grief that never has a day to heal. At the peaks on both sides, life has come into the point that the artist can’t eliminate either one but has to let them collide (bang!) to become one. This is important that to pioneer a new concept or to lead the World to step into the next generation uses a lot more efforts than following the concept that somebody has successfully created. So, the story of life of a great artist has to be very intensive.

I also have more works to show. The two t-shirts above are some examples of my early-dated designs. I have worn them and washed them over and over until they are worn out but have no chance to introduce them until now. First t-shirt is called—‘Anti-Rape’ t-shirt; both hands are traced from my hand; everyone who sees loves it. The second one is called—‘Mrs. Hairy’. At the very start of my sewing, mistakenly the measurement of Mrs. Hairy’s long sleeves are around 1.5-2 inches short. I have never seen the photo for a long time until today, I have a chance to check out the photo again and find that the shortage seems to be perfect. It gives a different feeling to the t-shirt like I wear a kid’s clothes. Sometimes the perfection happens accidentally by things that designers blame themselves making mistakes. Not only I make my own clothes, I many times also take all the photos by myself. I set my camera to 15 seconds delay then run quickly to pose in front of the camera. I have to run back and forth many rounds until I get at least one satisfied photo. You may want to tell me that I pose better than many professional supermodels. I believe that Gucci will use my works as standard. Works from a working team should be many times better than mine.

I dare to put myself and my thoughts 100% into my works because I understand myself very well but Gucci doesn’t understand themselves. If you put all the works I have done on the same table: the green dress photo on the Thai Tranny Tales’s cover, the ‘Dark-Side of American Politics’ book, and all other books, cartoons and articles I wrote, clothes I make, etc. then you look at the name of the author/designer—‘Half-Lady Lisa’, you will see all of them are in the same theme. The name ‘Half-Lady’ can’t fit anyone’s works, except mine. My works are to bring the nastiness and ugliness of sexual content, weird and crazy stuffs, sarcasm to the pretension of society, taunting hypocrite, and defying society, to recreate them to be fun and adorable stories and a more-interesting new-conceptual wearable clothes. This is a new definition of ‘beauty’ derived from nastiness and ugliness. Because in my belief, the ‘beauty’ we have generally known will soon begin to give ‘boring’ inspirations. Fairly that ugliness sometimes should have equal opportunity as ‘beauty’ to give a perfect art. So, the question is: ‘how comes, the beautiful name like Gucci puts my ‘nasty’ concept into their work?’

I understand young generation well; sometimes they want to have crazy ideas. As we often hear people say—‘thinking outside the box’. If you can’t think outside the box, reviewing your life again: is that because you can't put your thoughts independent from the rules of society? You may like my crazy works but being embarrassed to get involved because you have too many people around you to care about: friends, family and face in society. But I can now ‘think outside the box’ because I have no family. That’s why I understand that having too many people around can be the factor of unsuccessful art creation. After breaking up with my family about two decades ago and decide not to contact each other since then, Thai Tranny Tales is born—with the craziness of life combining to the joy that still remains. After Thai Tranny Tales, all the books, cartoons, articles, clothes and other designs/ideas keep following and escalating. These ideas have been packed inside for a long time, with a wait for the intensification in life impulse these ideas to shine; the ideas keep coming up nonstop by themselves without any explanation. If you still have to search for an inspiration for your works, you don’t understand yourself yet. Arts have no concept, no school, no instructor, no right or wrong matter and no need for inspiration but Arts have a life. My entire life is the concept and inspiration for my works--and that I don't have to search for other ways.

© 2017, by ½ Lady Lisa. All Rights Reserved.