Crisis

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2011 by AlienFox

I have discovered the secret to living happy. But last week, I was ready to kill myself. Over the last few weeks, I had something of a very quiet crisis. It’s ended now and I feel able to talk about it.

I lost my magic. Let me explain. When I was younger, there was magic in the world for me. I was about ten, shopping with my dad and I saw this woman with long orange hair, thick black eyeliner and most beautiful black lace top I’d never imagined. That was magic for ten-year-old Foxy and I wanted to know more. Years later, with my own coloured hair and lace, I visited London and found a million shops and pubs and people and clothes and art and sounds and noises I’d never seen or heard before. That was magic for sixteen-year-old Foxy and I wanted to be part of it. Forward in time again, with my coloured hair and thick black eyeliner; what was once so enigmatic and mysterious, now dutiful and part of normality.

Normality, perhaps, but it branched off into lots of different directions I could explore. Each one has, at one point, been significant parts of my life – each one, flavoured with its own meaning, it’s individual power, influence – both positive and negative, possessed by a seductive or emotive quality which, at the time I held important to me. Sex, women, men, music, sculpture, drugs, gender, self-harm, pornography, alcohol, violence, film, demos, religion. There must be more, but what’s important is that all of these things I have explored and some of them I feel I have even *completely* explored to the point of exhaustion, at which I stopped anything to do with it because there was simply nothing else to discover there. No more magic.

I became interested in politics. Actually, I believe that if you have any interest in the human world around you, from what’s happening in the Middle East, to what day your bins are emptied, you are interested in politics. I don’t understand the economy or the language used to describe different political ideas and sometimes I find it pretty confusing all round. But what led to my crisis recently was through the current political issues – I was aware of this feeling of utter lack of control at the world immediately around me. I became conscious of how I was no less of a slave to a machine than the banker next to me, or the old woman in the wheelchair being pushed past me on the street.

I was suddenly overwhelmed by the total absence of meaning that my life had.

I live in a world where, right from the moment you’re able to walk, you are controlled by someone or you are at the mercy of another person’s power. When you’re in school, you not only have to contend with teachers, but you must be subjected to those peers who are stronger or older or more popular. If you go to university, you’re in thousands of pounds’ worth of debt. When you get a job, you have a manager to who you are automatically subservient. You are shell-shocked by adverts, on the sides of buses, in magazines, on your phone, in shop windows, in music videos you watch on youtube of the most anti-establishment bands to have existed. You’re sedated by gossip columns and fashion advice, hooked on the garish pornography of scandals and whatever’s the trendiest witch-hunt of the week. If you get paid monthly, you immediately look at the calendar and divide the month up into weekends, then work out how much money you can spend buying all those things you’ve been told you’re nothing without, to keep up with the latest fashion in order to not feel ugly, to get the new iPhone, to own all those things that have been put in place as distractions to keep you from learning that you’re actually a valuable and beautiful human being, just the fucking same as the next person. And ultimately, you work out how much you have left on a saturday night to blow on your release of choice, or a reward for being a good citizen, for keeping your job, for getting married, for having babies, for being subservient, for forgetting that you have a brain in your head and eyes connected to it, which have taken millions of years to evolve, only to end up pointed at shit like The X Factor.

When I consider all this, I wonder about that lady with the orange hair and black lace top from when I was ten. That magic I felt seems so distant and faint that it may as well have not happened at all.

I once used to point and shout at people who didn’t vote. “If you don’t exercise your democratic right, you have no business complaining later on!” But now, I would not judge you so quickly for not voting. In fact, I will not vote next election – and if I do, I will not value my vote very much. Any more than I will value the choice I have of one hair product over another, or the upgrade option from Orange offering me a free ‘shiny new phone’.

My hair dye will still be black – ‘multi-faceted’ or ‘extra-intense’ hold no meaning for me – it’s all the same, just a different price and a different name. I will still use my phone to speak to my friends and listen to music and check Facebook. Whether it’s a Samsung or a Blackberry or an iPhone, it will still break down, get lost and have signal issues and eat up battery and cost me money.

It’s all the same. And when I started really looking, I mean REALLY looking and thinking, I thought I realised the truth: that there is only the illusion of choice, that you actually have no choice. I ACTUALLY HAVE NOICE CHOICE. Unless you go and live in a cave somewhere, you need to buy food, you need money, you need a job, you need to be controlled in some way. That is the vulgarity of modern-day Western living. When I looked hard enough at it, I started to feel like I was losing my grip on everything – what kind of a world is this and do I want to be a part of it? If you look closely, you start to go mad at the discovery of this illusion. The revelation can drive some people to do drastic things.

Only there’s more.

The illusion of choice only works in the world around you – and I think that’s where most people stop. I think they see the sign in front of them which says “STOP: CERTAIN DEATH” and either turn and jump into passing traffic, or, worse perhaps, hover in the zone where they can see the sign, but haven’t quite hit it yet, so let’s settle here forever where it’s comfortable and there’s no danger. But actually, if you keep on going – and this is what saved me last week- you’ll realised that it’s actually just something someone put there once to scare people. And because people fear the unknown, because humans beings have been conditioned, through evolution or some other means, to be shit-scared of being shit-scared. It’s one self-sucking cycle and it pisses everyone off. The only thing is, I think, that people often just get pissed off and then have a beer, or watch TV, or have a wank and then go to bed and forget about it until the next day when you’re pissed off again.

I’m always hesitant about posting conclusions. Mainly because, there never are any and I have to often make them up or at least make what I’m saying SOUND like it has some sort of point. But this time, there is a very definite conclusion for me. Like I said, last week, I was feeling very sedate and uncommunicative, nauseous about the world and its passage around. And now today, I feel renewed – the magic is back, but it’s coming from different places, people and activities. There is a very definite conclusion to this period of sadness – and it’s a happy one. There are now suddenly some very concrete answers to some of the most difficult questions I have been asking for most of my life.

And I’m not going to go through what I’ve done to set about making my life better – like I wouldn’t tell you how to style your hair so you feel more confident, or how to fuck to achieve a better orgasm, or what to eat or drink in order to maintain a healthy body. What’s working for me right now, will not work for you. You might not be able to do it or even want to.

But okay, example time: a few weeks ago, I removed someone from my life because they made me feel bad about myself and I couldn’t trust them any more; I don’t have the energy for people like that and I don’t have the time to sit and work things out when the possible positive future with someone is outweighed by the definite negative present.

That might seem harsh. It is. I’m a harsh person sometimes. And not everyone can be like that, so I would never share any of my personal story over the last fortnight (unless you’re interested, in which case – pint?) and proclaim that this the only way to live. I would, however, go so far as to end on this next bit, which certainly would move me in one way or another.

So.

Imagine you’re you. Not a hard thing to do. You are you, as you are now, right here, right now, reading this. Where I am, it’s about eight o’clock in the evening and I’ve been at my day job all day – in a moment I’m going to go and draw some designs for a piece of commissioned work and have a cup of tea. What about yourself? What have you been up to today? Perhaps you’ve been to work or college. Maybe you’re at one of the many anti-capitalist occupations around the world. You might have done any number of things, spoken to a hundred people today in various different ways. Think about everything you did from the moment you got up to the second where you clicked this link and started reading.

Now sirens are going off somewhere. What the fuck? You click on a news website and your heart stops for a second. Breaking news: Some far-flung country has launched nuclear missiles at another; a bigger country has retaliated – another has taken sides and launched theirs, and another, and another. In no more than thirty minutes, everything you ever touched will cease to exist. Every human being on Earth, your entire society and race is about to end and you will never be able to do anything, say anything, create anything ever again.

Now think about your last day on Earth again. Are you proud of that day? Is the last 24 hours something you could sit back and think about just before the end and say “You know what, I made the most of everything. I did my best today and I lived up to MY potential and played by MY rules. I didn’t hurt anybody and I did everything I was able to do.”

If you are unable to say that at the end of every day, it is my sincere and heartfelt belief that you should change that. I’m not saying that you need to try and change the world, or live in some flowery, naive state of self-deluded perfection. We’re not gods; we’re not perfect; we’re certainly not going to hit 100% every single day of our lives.

But I’m saying that one day will be your last. You won’t have another chance.

One day will be MY last. I won’t have another chance.

For the first time in my life, ever ever ever ever, I completely understand that now. And this is how I’m going to live until that day.

I just thought I’d share. I hope you take something from this.

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The Revenge Project.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2011 by AlienFox

Oh, blog, I have forsaken you for so long. Frankly, I haven’t had time to talk about what I’ve been doing because I’ve been too busy doing it! But here’s a run-down.

The studio is done, finished, decorated and suitably attired with golden ornaments, creations stacked floor to ceiling, all the materials I will ever need. I feel so at home there. There’s no internet, which is, for now at least, great. There are no distractions; though I get many visitors and I love that. Friends just ding the buzzer and come in for coffee while I get on and make stuff. I haven’t felt this content in a long time.

Here’s a before and after:

Like I said, I have been busy. I haven’t stopped for months. I now consider waking up at 8am a ‘lie in’. I’m still working at the shop, which is all lovely. But the amount of work I have been doing, well, see for yourself:

The Revenge Project is go. Working on a narrative of obsession, possession, jealousy, anger and all those other things, I have so far produced two full photoshoots.

The Revenge Project 1: Seance:

The Revenge Project 2: Possession:

I am very grateful to Darren, Anna, Ty, Zach and Andy who modeled for me.

The Revenge Project 3, I can reveal now, is entitled ‘Exorcism’. It will begin now and the images will be released soon.

The Revenge Project is very important to me. Not only is it my first self-directed, self-initiated and self-realised project, but it is of such psychological significance (try saying that after a margarita) that I feel I should explain what it’s all about. And I will. But in another entry.

Friends, colleagues and fellow artists are always telling me I need to big myself up more. I used to feel a twinge of unease about this, because sometimes I read what people write about themselves and just want to gag them with barbed wire. Self-aggrandisement is a major turn off. That said I must add at this point that for The Revenge Project I designed and made all the costumes, did all the make up and, given that I haven’t really ever seriously picked up a camera before, I don’t think the photography turned out too badly either! Ego-wank over – ugh, I feel tainted.

So let me move on and re-introdue you to the magical Leigh De Vries, with whom I have had the pleasure of working before. Click the link and acquaint yourself – careerwise, this woman will rule the world with a feathered sweep of her tongue. But on a personal level, I have never before been subject to so much unconditional encouragement about my work. So Leigh commissioned a crow-feather headdress from me and she came all the way down from Sheffield in her spaceship for a photoshoot at The White Room Studio in her new AlienFox headgear.

Here’s what we did:

In just two months, I have had 210 ‘likes’ on my Facebook page. That’s good enough for me, so I have decided that a proper website will be up and running at the beginning of next year. In addition to all the interest, it seems all my noise attracted the attention of a very old friend I used to speak to on IRC, Danielle, who wrote this very flattering blog entry about my work. Thank you!

I really wish I could talk more about who’s expressed interest in working with me, but until the deals are signed and done and we’ve all had a big orgy together, I refuse to be so unprofessional. You’ll just have to hold onto your gussets for the time being. There are exciting things on the horizon.

So a few updates before I go: I’ll be selling new AlienFox Designs Revenge Accessories at The Alternative Christmas Fair in Plymouth on December 11th (starts at 1pm). I’ll have things like fascinators, gloves, armwarmers and collars all doen in the Revenge Project style.

I also now have a price list for many of the headdresses and costumery. It can be found here.

I am, of course, forever in debt to my parents who have put up with my running from place to place like a ravenous peacock, hardly seeing them and being exhausted all the time. That goes for my friends too, some of whom I haven’t seen in weeks, because if I stop to look down, I’m scared I might just panic and fall over. I know you all appreciate how busy I am right now, so I just wanted to say a very quick: ‘LET’S ALL MEET UP AND GET COMPLETELY FUCKED’ soon.

Also, to one special person: “Hello, Clarice.”

That’s all for now. Expect another blog entry very soon – I promise not to leave it so long next time.

Foxy x

If this is a Top Secret Naval Camp, then I’m Lord Nelson.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 29, 2011 by AlienFox

I’ve just come back from my new studio. I’ve been decorating. The landlady said “Just do whatever you like, honey”. She doesn’t know me very well yet.

It’s going to look like Tim Burton and David Lynch have spit-roasted each member of Gwar up against the walls. When I’m painting, my mind wanders and tonight I found myself thinking about when I was a kid. It’s no exaggeration to say that if somebody had come up to me when I was ten and said “One day, you will be a lanky faggot and you will have your own studio, be making costumes and art and creating all sorts of wonderful stuff”, I believe I would have laughed in their face. Of course, that never happened, though the old man across the road once asked me if I could keep a secret*.

When I was a kid, I was told I was wrong about a lot of things. I used to swap my bike with my neighbour’s daughter’s pram. I used to spend hours drawing pictures of fucked-up animals and writing stories about the Devil taking over the world (when my teacher told me “and Foxy, when we do creative writing today, yours is to contain not one single drop of blood” – so I wrote about an army of living plants who strangled their victims with their roots). I then went onto discovering how make-up and high heels and big hair made me feel. Then I discovered men. Then I discovered various other things and I was told “Noooo, men don’t do THAT.” And “Nooo, NORMAL people don’t [insert current insanity here].”

I went through a brief period of trying to ‘correct’ myself, but, it lasted about as long as an AnalCunt song. My true nature would always burst through. People ask when I ‘came out’ and my reply is often that I was never in. People ask how I manage to look so ‘outrageous’ and my reply is always that it really could be no other way. There is no managing, there is no coming out. I’ve not always been true to my nature in the past: it takes a lot of courage to be yourself in this world, even though it shouldn’t. But now I could live no other way.


(Above. Still from my short film Tesseract, which you can watch here: Part One, Part Two. The person in the still is the gorgeous Kat Marsh, who is firstly a very good friend of mine and secondly a very good musician – listen to her here)

So to suddenly be surrounded by things I have made, while decorating my own space, answering the phone to pick up emails about commissioned work… it feels quite surreal. But I’m likening it to a cool metaphor I heard once about the Roadrunner cartoons. When Wile E. Coyote is chasing the Roadrunner, he invariably runs off a cliff, while Roadrunner stands to the side, looking like a smug feathery fucker. And Roadrunner always falls down the canyon to his doom… but he never falls until, in true Loonie Tunes style, he looks down.

So I came to the conclusion that the trick is to never look down. Or, in this case, never look back. I was a wrong child, a fucked-up teenager and I was bloody good at it all. And now I’ve run off the edge of my cliff, I think I’ll carry on running until I get to the other side, flag down a car, drag the driver out and go find that smug little Roadrunner and run the fucker over.

Which is all code for: I am very happy for once in my life and you are all invited to the party. 😀

–Foxy

*I couldn’t. He’s in jail now.

The proof of the pumpkin is in the squeezing.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2011 by AlienFox

You’ll have to forgive the fact that my first entry will be rather brief. You see, I just painted my nails with that new Barry M crackling stuff (white over black) and my fingers aren’t as dextrous as usual. I absent-mindedly scratch my ass earlier and now one of my nails resembles a sort of roadkill magpie.

Right, where was I? What was I doing? Who am I? (If you ever wake up with me one morning, that’s what you’ll hear – and chances are you will at some point, because I’m very cheap and easy). My name is Foxy and I run AlienFox Designs, which can be found by clicking this link


(Photo from the Creaming Demon shoot. Headdress and styling by me; the model is me too; photography by my good friend Joshua.)

What do I do? I make headdresses, collars and other accoutrements for your body, often crafted from leather, PVC, suede, foam, feathers, all shaped with my signature crystalline, tentacular aesthetics, emblazoned with diamontes and skulls, veiny patterns of fluorescence, echoes of primitivism and reptilian creatures. Aside from ‘making stuff’, I create short films, I host burlesque shows and I walk up to men in the street who I think are pretty and ask them if they’ll let me turn them into feral creatures with my costumery and then make videos or take pictures of them. Often, they foolishly say yes and you will see the photos here.

I can’t remember precisely how it all started, but I know how I want it to end. I’ll be using this blog to talk about current and future projects – though you will appreciate that I like to keep a certain amount of mystique and, in certain cases, I will be bound by contractual and collaborative obligations to shut the fuck up sometimes, no matter how excited I am. So you might find that I end up talking about other stuff too. Stuff like chocolate and men.

This video is a sneaky look at a collaborative project between myself and Rosalind Chad of Visual Provocateur. I came up with the idea of what the hell would happen if the human race had evolved from birds, or reptile or sea creatures; I then created appropriate costumes, grabbed the most beautiful men I knew and with Ros’s fantastic photography, we hit her White Room Studio and have started shooting. I can’t wait to show you our results.

So, welcome to AlienFox Designs. I’ll leave you to have a little look around. I’ll start work on a website when I’m not as busy (so sometime in 2015 then). But for now, I’d better go sort out poor old smeared Barry.


(Victoriana Beak Masks, made by me. Stay tuned to find out what these were used for.)