Ten Lessons Learned from Costuming Cats, the Musical (Part Four)

Lesson Four: Darkness Conquers Light

So here's the deal. I had the unitards built. All of the legwarmers and gauntlets were in the works. Now came the fun part, right? Airbrushing the unitards should be easy. Not necessarily so.

First of all, all of the colors that I needed were not available in the same type of paint. I had opaque Paasche paints, transparent Golden paints, florescent paints (of which I can't remember the brand name), Apple fabric paints, and another brand of VERY thick fabric paints in metallic. I had to solve the problem of how each of these brands of paints would work with the airbrushing gun.

I spent hours upon hours diluting, mixing, and thickening. I was constantly spraying samples here and there in hidden places on different colors of spandex. Then the airbrush would get clogged and I would have to clean it. Then I would have to clean the paint nozzle. Then I would have to clean the entire airbrush system by taking it completely apart. It was a never-ending vicious cycle.

Jellylorum (right) comforts Gus (left), the theatre cat
Jellylorum (right) comforts Gus (left), the theatre cat

Once I got in a rhythm, though, it did go fairly quickly. And after three days, I learned that I achieved the best results in my airbrushing (no matter what brand of paint I used) when I started with the lighter colors and then airbrushed the darker colors over and around them.

4 out of 5 times, if I wanted a lighter color to show up over a darker color, it wouldn't. I did find that some of my metallic paints would cover up a darker color underneath But all in all, if I wanted something to be yellow with a black stripe, I had to paint in the yellow and the put the black on top. If I tried to do it the other way, the piece would be ruined. Or if not ruined, I would have to redesign what I had in mind for it.

This whole darkness covers light thing got me thinking in one of the early morning hours of airbrushing that led up to the first dress rehearsal... Is it that way in life, do we cover up our lighter, cheerier sides with dark sadness and depression. When somebody asks us how we're doing, do we reply, "I'm okay, I guess," in the hopes that they will ask what's wrong so that we can lay all of our burdens on them, spreading the negativity that we have in the world.

In airbrushing, yes, darkness does cover light. But remember, I did find some metallic colors that would cover up the dark spots. That's the way that I prefer to go through life. I try to keep any negativity in. I fail sometimes, yes. But when somebody asks me how I'm doing, I do my best to say, "Good," or better yet, "Great! How about you?" Even if I'm having to fake it for the day, it sure is nice to be able to spread a little positivity in the world. And besides that, if I'm metallic, I'm sparkly. And there is NEVER anything wrong with being sparkly here and there.

Be sure to check out my other hubs on Costuming Cats:

And coming soon...Lesson Five: Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

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