Stiletto Heights

I am Jennifer Gordon- a mixed media collage artist and comic writer living in Columbus OH, with my fiance and love- Keith. I specialize in paintings, ACEOS, journals, art boxes and more. I am always available for commissions! Visit my etsy shop at:

Friday, May 18, 2007


oh good morning my lovely readers...

I am in a bad mood today, well not bad, really, just anxious, nervous, and raw.....

You see, I have been tense this week due to issues with the mean cheese and other "real life" I have been pouring myself into my art making and that has been a wonderful place to be.

I am very protective of my art, what I do, how I do it, why I do it...when approached by a publisher once who wanted to feature my techniques in a book, I was in all honesty not too keen on that idea. I am kicking myself now....but that is not point.

I have had a wonderful "honeymoon" period on etsy, yes...etsy is filled with collage artists but it seemed that I was the only one using a lot of fashion imagery....that is not really the case anymore.

I see it starting to creep in...starting to become a "trend", I fear with every ounce of my soul that fashion imagery will soon become the new "put a bird on it" trend (have you noticed, everything has birds on it?).

Even a few months ago while in the bookstore I was flipping through Somerset Studio magazine and noticed an article on how to use fashion images in your collage work, I almost went so far as to buy it, before I thought better of it...I did not want a magazine to start shaping what I do....

does this make sense? I mean, I know there are just gobs of people who use fashion imagery, I know I am not unique or one of a kind....

But I am me....and my work is such a part of me...It just feels strange to look at other people's work (in real life, online, or in a magazine) and, that looks like something I did.

I am all over the place today....I think my main point is, I don't want to be just another collage artist in a crowd, with everyone's things looking the same, you know?

SO I won't be....As my brain and my body almost feel like they are going into Fight or Flight mode....and I can either run away or fight...and seeing as how much I love this, well you know, I'm going to fight.

Not to sound like a bad Karate instructor....but I need to "take it to the next level", I need to push myself, as right now I feel like I could be left behind.

When talking to my bubs about this, he is wonderful, right there on my side, his punk rock nature letting me know that copy cats are just that, copy cats, and that I have something that none of them do....I have myself. He let me vent, he listened to my insecurities, he cheered me on...and I saw in his eyes and heard in his words, that he was right there with me.

I am not going to censor what I do, for fear of using the same images or themes, I will not change who I am or what I want to do...not for fear of someone else...

Hell, I survived competitive bitches in professional theater, where there was always someone younger, prettier, thinner, and maybe even more talented than you always lurking behind you waiting to stab you in the back.

Art is my job, but it's also my passion and my life.

wow........ok that was long and rambling, and bitchy and insecure and all of the things that I sometimes don't like a bout myself, but here they are now being published on the internet.

thank you for reading them, thank you for taking the time to not only support me and my work, but also to support my tirades.

ok, I really need to get going now and start to prepare the house for the arrival of the mean cheese this weekend.

The image shown today is a new collage I listed in my shop last night, called "There Ghosts Often Wandered There"

thanks again for reading this, have a happy weekend!!!!!


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Blogger Beej said...

Thinking of you and the cheese...

Also - I think you just need a montage scene with you training to "level up" your fashion collage!

9:07 AM  
Blogger stilettoheights said...

lol, I do need one, It would consist of me carrying around a ton of fashion magazines, and wiping sweat off my brow as I clip images.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Beej said...

You and your bubs would have a paint/glue fight, there would be art that didn't come out right (a growing pile on the floor), and eventually, the ultimate in fashion collage art would be produced and you'd win the contest that saved the youth center, or something like it.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear stilettoheights -

Your work is GORGEOUS and UNIQUE. You have proven that on etsy. People will stop by your site and see how many sales you have accomplished, and yes they will try to imitate you but they will never emulate all that you are.

It's not just your art, it's the whole package and essence of Stiletto Heights. You also happen to know fashion and love it, I can imagine other people are just going in blindly. I want to buy from an artist who is passionate about their subject. You have a great customer base already, fight the good fight, you WILL emerge victorious.

OMG, Birds, Owls, Fashion, all such a trend now. When the trend stops some people remain above it, I think you would fit that bill since it has always been who you are.

Anyway, if you want I will only sell Vogues to you, ha.


xoxo, Jody

9:44 AM  
Blogger stilettoheights said... you can sell vogues to anyone, just let me know when you list them, as I you know, I am insanely loyal to you you are like my favorite drug dealer

9:46 AM  
Blogger Crafty Aspirations said...

Gotta say that I think it would be hard for folks to come close to what you're doing. Its not just the fashion imagery - I'm always really taken by the colors and especially the titles. They're so dreamlike.

And if I magically found extra dollars in my wallet I would be scooping up your "Seeing dandelions, I Would Always Think of Her." So pretty!

9:51 AM  
Blogger said...

First of all, you have awesome hair, so who cares bout anything else after that, right? Love the pic below!

But really, let me tell you a story. Ahhhheeemmm. Okay, ready.

When I was 17 I started promoting my jewelry-making and painting, I got a business license and all that jazz. I went to gem shows. The whole bit. I come from a horrid small town, where people really do think they live in Hollywood. And they act as such. Fake everything, which is their perogative, but they also think, if you do something they can do it too. If I pasted a squirrel on my butt-cheek they did too. If I wore 42 scrunchies in my ponytail they did too. Sooo, when I started with the "artist" thing, as I did not know I was being an "artist," I was just doing what my heart loved - they did it too. I was having huge jewelry shows at 24, and they tried too, having them on the same day, so noone would come to mine. And guess what, everyone and their mother decided to be jewelry makers too. I wanted to give up. I hade spent thousands. I was sick of it all. I was living in Tucson, but still people were lurking on my website from my town. Seeing what I was up too. And, doin' the same. But, I never gave up. I just kept marching along doing my own thing. I was there first. People already knew to buy from me. They came to me, even the mother-in-law of one of the girls who was now making jewelry, came over to me to secretly purchase a piece. I would kick and scream and freak out and be so angry. But, it has been going on for 14 years. And, they still do it. Whatever I do, some of them try to do too. It is sick. I have moved, I am over them. I don't care what they do because I refuse to let them in my little bubble around me of happiness. I was doing what I loved. And, that is the difference. It can come from your heart, or from your desire to copy. Period. I am rambling. But, you just keep on doing what you are doing, you can grow you can stay the same, but don't ever stop. You were there first. I know exactly how you feel. But, you have a following, and don't let them in your lovely pink shiny bubble around you. You do what you do because you love it. Period.

I love you for saying 31-derful. I wish I had known that on my birthday. I have to make up for a few months.

ps: we all grow from challenges. Sometimes, our paths are about to unfold in huge ways, but little things have to happen to push us to that next intersection...You know? Look at this as a little push. I am so glad you are like that, that you refuse to give up and instead want to take it to the next level!!! You are amazing!!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Catherine Marissa said...

Copycats lack originality, passion, and creativity. You will continue to create new work that is different and inspired and they will always be a few steps behind you watching what you do but never reaching your level.


10:50 AM  
Blogger Karen Beth said...

You, my dear, ARE the original. People may imitate your work (Why wouldn't they? It is fabulous and some people can't come up with their own style.) but yours is the original. People have imitated artists throughout history. Picasso. Money. Pollack. But, no one wants the imitations. Everyone wants the real thing. And so it will be with your work. I've seen pieces on Etsy that strongly resemble your work. All it does it increase my loyalty to and love for your enchanting pieces. No one can do what you do. People can try and let them. But, no one can make a piece into what you make it, even if they were to take all of the exact same elements that you put into a piece. Do what you do, dear. It is your passion and your life. Be confident in that.

No one really wants a knock-off Balenciaga bag. They REALLY want an original. So it is with your work. Keep it reasonable and diverse like you do now and people can have the real thing. Nothing to worry about.

You are fab and always will be.

Kiss, kiss...

Karen Beth :)

11:40 AM  
Blogger molly said... least you were the first and the innovator!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Rafe Totengco said...

You can't help but look at other people's work, we live in a very competitive era. I like to see other people's work because it challenges me to differentiate myself even more even though at the end of the day, a tote is a tote is tote. At the end of the day, as long as you are true to who you are, other people will see it. You can't help similarities, great minds think alike at least that's what I say to myself instead of getting annoyed by it.

12:19 PM  
Blogger gilfling said...

Darling Jenn - I can only agree with everyone else here as they have all said it so much better than I ever could.

.....But....your passion and your love for your art shows - it is 'all you' comes from your heart and that is clear to see for anyone who is an admirer of your work (and goodness aren't there alot who are!!!) Your style is uniquely your own and always will be. I do think though that as painful and as frustrating as it is, these little heel biters can also push us do greater and greater things (Oh listen to me talk as if I would ever have copycats ha ha!!) I think you having the attitude of 'fight' is a really positive thing - it will push you forward, challenge you to do more and more - and after all, these little nippers will never be more than that. Snapping at your feet, trying to catch up but never able to!!! Ha I like that analogy.

Love to you my dear - you are a talent, and that is all there is to it!


2:17 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

haha! beej- montage scene!

Well, I was about to write basically what everyone has written and then I wrote something that sounded a little like I was threatening the copycats, so I am going to take a deep breath and say that you are fabulous and of course people want to copy you! Your buyers know the real thing and new buyers will too.

(okay, here I am repeating what everyone else said) We love you! Don't despair!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

(Sorry I'm late!)

First off, you are a true, talented original. Not to repeat what everyone else is saying, but hey: it's true.

Now: the worst thing you can do, I believe, is intellectualize what you're doing too much when it comes to art. So much of the creative process is instinctual and even inexplicable, and I know you and I share many of the same self-doubts and neuroses (it's why we get along so well!), which can get in the way of that process and cripple us.

I'm not saying you shouldn't think about what you're doing, but there's a happy balance. I haven't discovered what it is, but for the sake of argument, let's say it's like 70% indefinable somethin'-somethin', and 25% intellectual thought. The other 5% is reserved for thinking about snacks.

Love you, innovator! Have a good weekend!

4:35 PM  
Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

I love what so many have said.In fact ,Vanessa gets my blogspot,soundbite of the week for"...pasted a squirrel on my buttcheek,they did too. HAHAHAHAHA !!!! For whatever reason,I was one of those girls folks copied,back in Hischool and College.Not something tangible but my style and any funny phrase I happened to turn.It got to the point where,while walkin in a toy story with a friend we came up with silly phrases just to see if the copycats would follow us,sure enough,BobO the bopbag clown,or BBtBBC became the new "thats the bomb" phrase! I know it doesn't help,but your an innovator now,and thats (kinda flattering).

6:21 PM  
Blogger artandghosts said...

Jenn, you will NEVER be just another collage artist in the crowd!
your love for what you do is the very reason why - this always exceeds trends and fads.

i love those receding ladies. so worthy of dreams!

keep doing what you do best xxx

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful piece! I love it! Looks like their floating in air. :)
Thanks for sharing!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

love this post. and your art.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I don't know what to say ... except that your work is stunning and unique, as so many others have said.

Unfortunately it's impossible to get your work "out there" to be seen and appreciated by a wider audience than your nearest and dearest, without opening yourself up to the possibility of copying :-(

I find your work incredibly inspiring, but I'm very conscious that I don't want to copy your style. It's yours. Speaking as someone who's just starting down the artistic trail, there are so many sources of inspiration and it's all too easy to end up replicating other people's work, whether consciously or not. I think it's something we all need to be very conscious of all the time. Having said that though, your style is so unique that it's pretty hard to believe that anyone is copying by accident.

I'm sorry - this must be really hard. But please don't give up!

10:39 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

keep on keepin on chicky. Anxiety and frustration and bring out the big nasties within us all... thank you for sharing them, it made me feel better about my own anxiety and insecurities! You would is an amazing reflection of you regardless of what other art is out there and we are all very lucky to have you share it with us!


9:28 AM  
Blogger Chickenbells said...

OH...I just love your work! I am in awe of what you do, and instead of trying to copy it, I am inspired to stretch in my own way...and try my own thing. If I want something "like yours" you'd better believe I'm gonna get it from you!

I have a "friend" in town (and like Ms. V up there...we live in the same state, perhaps it runs in AZ?) But, when I opened my resale store...she went around telling everyone she could do it better. It took her 4 tries, and then taking my longtime employee as a partner to be open longer than a year...she sold her shop...mine is going strong at 12 years. She read my blog...she started one. While it irks me to no end at some point, I realize that she really admires me (she tells me when we talk) and I guess imitation is the sincerest for of flattery...but it can still piss one off...AND make them stretch to their limits...

I for one, am excited to see what else you have up your sleeve!

12:09 PM  
Blogger Rachelle said...

Beej's comment has me laughing my ass off. And your work, your spirit cannot be reproduced!

7:18 PM  
Blogger The Boob Lady said...

Good for you Jenn! Bow down to noone. I love your work!

11:21 PM  
Blogger Gypsy Purple said...

You are a unique person and your art will always be as unique as you....just stay true to who you are and what comes out of your heart and inspirations and it will always be a success....

1:47 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Well, you are the only one I know who uses this technique, which means if that if I ever see someone else's work in this style, I'd say something like "That's so StilettoHeights" just to let them know that I'm on to their copying ways. But subtly.

10:40 AM  
Blogger KSV said...

Ok, first of all, you are not insecure. Second, you are a wonderful artist. I know your immediate reaction is to feel anxious or a little angry that your art work is being copied, BUT imitation is the fondest form of flattery. Perhaps you should accept this as a challenge to wow your fans, patrons, and admirers with the next level of wonderment that you and I and everyone else in etsy/blog/art world know you can create!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Daniel Sanger said...

you're stuff is great - and you so stand out from the crowd! Your work is highly interesting and original! keep it up:)

9:12 PM  
Blogger Izabella said...

I swear we must have been separated at birth! it seems as though every time I come over to visit, you & I are going through the same things~ girl! your art is oh so original, and beautiful~ how you create your pieces are mysterious to me, I have stared at your art card a million times~

your art will always be original, and dayz like the one you were having are little growth spurts to keep you inspired to keep pressing on~

missed you while I have been away~ xo!! Bella

11:37 AM  
Blogger alexgirl said...

You are most definitely an OG--Original Ganster (gangstress?).
I totally understand what you're talking about though: the stress, nerves, anxiety. I feel that way often. It comes and goes. But don't lose sight of your truly unique style (i LOVE your stuff!).

11:57 PM  
Blogger Ming_the_Merciless said...

I'm late in getting my support in, but hang in there. You are an original artist and you will evolve to a higher style before those copy-cats even get their foot in the door.

Keep working, keep looking for inspirations, keep trying something new, keep evolving.

12:50 PM  

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