What do you do when all your art shows are cancelled, the client commissions have all but dried up and earnings from your work looks uncertain for the foreseeable future? You switch gears and create something that every single person has a need for right at the moment – masks. But, you do it YOUR way.
After many early prototypes, I came up with final patterns sized for a child, woman and man, compete with appropriate elastic lengths for the ear loops. After that was finalized, the sky was the limit for fabric prints, imagery, trims, embellishments etc. to create custom, one of a kind masks to keep people safe and to allow them the ability to still self-express as they saw fit. I posted the first few and waited to see what would happen. Success! People loved my masks as much as they loved my garments. One customer and loyal follower of my work told me it enabled her to have a Bombshell Revival piece for now in a practical and affordable way. She felt the mask she purchased was very much my esthetic and was proud to have a mask that was one of a kind and that no one else could buy just anywhere. It seemed I was on the right track.
I have received many compliments on the various designs I have come up with, the excellent and comfortable fit of the masks as well as the quality in the construction of them. I have also been told that wearing one of my masks is a bright spot for the wearer in an otherwise sometimes gloomy time. The comments I have received over and over are – if we have to wear them, we might as well enjoy it – and – I’m not adding to my wardrobe at the moment so this will be my new accessory to express myself.
I have had customers purchase masks for everyday wear, as gifts for others and for wearing to special events such as a wedding. My poppies line of masks was especially popular and all the monies earned from the sale of those masks were donated by me to The Royal Canadian Legion. Christmas 2020 was a busy time of year for me as the Christmas and angel themed masks I made flew off my work table, including needing to make more of certain designs that were in high demand. I have tried to come up with and produce new designs for every new season or holiday that we have experienced since the start of the pandemic to give myself a creative outlet as well as to provide people with a fresh spin on mask wearing.
I am glad that I decided to jump on the mask making bandwagon and take it in my own direction. It has kept me busy, kept my mind active and it has also given me much needed human connections and warm fuzzy feelings. I am not sure how many more of these I will want or need to make but am willing to keep imagining and creating as long as there is a demand and maybe most importantly, as long as it keeps giving people good vibes and something to smile about.