Tonya Clay Fine Art                       

Costume, Set and Character Design

​  Click on each image to see more photographs from each series represented above 

This project is ongoing and represents Tonya Clay Fine Art fashion design, set and character development. They are created with respect to composition, light, color scheme, texture, space and the visual and personal perspective of the viewer.  All of these elements serve to convey the appropriate context for characters whose inner personality is revealed through evolving generations of development. Each character is an aspect of the multi-dimensional human personality.

My characters change over time ultimately revealing each character’s personality, in the context of their respective narratives. Set designs are built or found as related to the characters and their visual stories.

My fashion designs are true reflections of the personality of the character. This project means to reject the implied restrictions of socially imposed “appropriate” dress code and popular personality.

The images represent personality in pure form.  Their purpose is to inspire the freedom of lifestyle and self-expression of every viewer by example.

In the case of this particular work in series, there is an underlying subtext documenting the specific experience of self-representation of the black woman. The idea of black woman has historically been systematically subjected to degrading stereotypes, particularly in Western culture, and engendered by institutionalized racism. This project represents the woman of color breaking free of perceived expectations of appearance, behavior and purpose, showing a true black female self. This idea is offered as a personal revelation to the viewer as I, Tonya Clay Fine Art, share aspects of my own inner self as artist designer, and the black Native African American model.

Working with various photographers to document the projects, the photos are taken with consideration of the scene and set dynamics, lighting and space in order to effect the surrealistic quality of the resulting images without editing out of camera. The images in this project series document what was actually seen, with the control of light and exposure in camera at the time the photographs are taken. Subject and set are not retouched.