Inspired by: Les Misérables


Another month has flown by and I’ve got a new Inspired by for you!

Each month Riikka and I challenge each other to create something with a particular theme or thing in mind. This theme or thing can be anything and this month Riikka and I both watched the film Les Misérables.

I asked if we could use the film for Inspired by after Riikka had already seen it in a cinema. I watched the film at home, so I had the advantage of not only being able to notice details and making concious mental notes of them, but I also had the chance to jot things down and re-watch parts of the film.

I found that 50 minutes into the film I had more than enough notes and I stopped writing stuff down. It’s such a rich film: the visual aspects, the décor, the costumes, the songs, the story, the emotions… all sparking different ideas.

Being a colour lover, the first thing I noticed were of course the colours. The funny thing is that it strongly reminded me of the colours of the other films Riikka and I watched for Inspired by in the past: blue, red, yellow/gold, green. All toned down and grunged up, reminding me of Distress Inks.

Another thing that caught my eye: tile flooring. Apparently I’m drawn to flooring patterns, because this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned it in an Inspired by-episode. This film also was heavy on the uniforms, there was denim, distressed wood panelled walls, nature, cityscapes. There even was an elephant

The story of Les Misérables isn’t a happy story. It’s a story about life and death, opposites and rivals, hardship and not giving up, about faith, dreaming, hoping and of course about love.

I’m always looking for stories to tell and this film sparked some story-based ideas, but not the kind of stories that I would want to record on a scrapbook page. They felt like art journal-stories to me.

So my first idea was to make an art journal page. But then I re-watched part of the film and I got caught up on the denim and the almost bare wooden panels of the sewing atelier. And I thought of the denim sewing machine cover that I dream about making some day.

I didn’t have enough time to take on a project like that, but I suddenly felt I wanted to sew something. I rummaged through my fabric stash, found two scraps of denim and made this brooch, inspired by the cockade on Javert’s bicorne and Madame Thénardier’s dress (in the inn-scene):


When it was finished, I thought about how I would photograph it and I pinned it to my cardigan. I doubted if I would actually wear it and I thought of ways it could be part of something else. I finally dug up a burlap canvas (8 x 8″) and went to work on that.

I covered it with square pieces of paper with a wood panelled design in a pattern that was like the tiled flooring I had seen in the film. I covered that with gesso and spray inks and then completely forgot how I had planned to add the brooch to the canvas….

Instead I added embroidered and spray inked hand cut felt circles that I adhered to small circular scraps of denim, followed by more spray ink, oil pastel and Faber-Castell gelato.

I got so carried away that I even covered the wood panelled design of my paper and the burlap canvas… and ended up with this:


Hmmm… I didn’t exactly plan this and it turned out quite OK for something unplanned. But I think I need to permit myself to explore more of my Inspired by: Les Misérables ideas. I definitely want to revisit the tile flooring motive and use some of the colour combo’s I remember seeing!

But first I’m exited to see what Riikka has created with the same film in mind! You can find her Les Misérables project on her blog!

4 thoughts on “Inspired by: Les Misérables

  1. Wat geweldig dat je dit allemaal uit de film hebt gehaald! Ik heb hem gezien en nu je het zo beschrijft zeg ik: Ja! Had het zelf niet zo bedacht. Mooi!

Comments are closed.