21 June 2010

Queering the Colors

The first thing I wanted to do with this re-working of the John Alexander and Thomas Roberts print was to "queer" the colors. A friend on Flickr commented that she thought the red (pink) and blue I used on the first version spoke of gender, which I can see. But to me it read as all-American, red white and blue.

It made me think about what "queer" colors would be. I used to be assistant art director at a weekly magazine called PC Week and the editors there consistently vetoed any graphics that didn't use "business colors." Business colors consisted of dark to medium blues, dark or teal greens, deep indigo, and reds if they were deep and cranberry. All pastels were refused as were lavender, orange, pink and yellowish greens. To me the term "business colors" was always code for "manly colors" and I figured that pastels, lavender, orange, pink and yellowish greens were "queer colors."

So I'm going queer with these colors. I started with a lavender tinted blue under the cloud:


Added some pink and orange:


And then laid down a yellow-green background:


I think this looks pretty queer so far.


Anonymous said...

Too funny.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Color can change everything, it is so amazing. LOL these are colors I use for rabbits too, rabbits don't like business colors. Looking forward to seeing the next step/final print.

Kim Rosen said...

I agree and I'm loving it! What's not to love about queer colors :)

starkeyart said...

Your post makes me laugh. I read it after the "not meant to be inflammatory" Baren Forum post. Anyone who comes from a commercial art background will totally understand what you are saying about color association. Color schemes are called strong and bold (manly colors) or feminine and girly, or juvenile or retro or, sorry to say I have heard it said many times, gay. And girly colors are totally different than feminine or gay colors. When I used to do beverage labels I was often told to use urban colors which I thought of as a nice word for the client to use so they wouldn't sound racist. My favorite, though, has to be sexy. We use it all the time in architecture but it's used more for how things play together than any specific color. Mint green by itself might be called gay but put it with brown and it is sexy. No, wait, that was last year.

I guess my point is that colors can be a lot of things and they are called a lot of things, especially by people who are not artists, and they do have connotations associated with them. In the end it's just how they work together that matters, and I think your queer colors are working great for this print. It's sexy.

Phare-Camp said...

remember the purple Tele-Tubby brouhaha?

Ellen Shipley said...

Love what starkeyart said. And don't forget colors work differently with different colors. So many variables. I'm liking the new colorway. I'll be curious to see how it ends up.

Annie B said...

Thank you all so much for adding your voices to this topic and for making me laugh.

Miss said...

Read this after Baren Forum comment too. FUNNY!!!