The Norm Can Conform

The opinions you never asked for on the subjects you’re not bothered about.

SASSICISM – A New Take on “Classicism” by Harry J Bartlett

The coronavirus lockdown may have drained the productivity of a lot of us – it certainly did me, but I managed to squeeze a few drops of creativity juice from my currently-barren artistic crop. However, with some sugar, spice, and everything nice, I managed to get one of my back-burned projects into full swing. I give you SASSICISM!

You can follow my @sassicism Instagram account to see my latest designs and soon I will be selling prints of my designs for you lucky lumps to buy!

The origin of sassicism

I originally started this project in December 2018 as part of an interview task for a PR job application. I had to create an Instagram account and content for a fictional makeup brand that was heavily inspired and influenced by drag queens. Naturally, I was all over this project like a fly on shit.

I wanted to showcase my PhotoShop skills and creativity so I decided to get creative with how I showcased the brand. The project started when I found old Renaissance paintings and decided to give them drag queen makeovers using mixed media, collage and digital painting techniques.

I created three portraits to demonstrate my skills and I have to say, I was quite pleased with the outcome. The pictures I found were different styles and moods so it allowed me to tailor a drag makeover based on each outfit, face shape and visual of the painting.

The original batch

Here are the before and afters of the original three portraits I did:

sassicism by Harry J Bartlett

sassicism by Harry J Bartlett

sassicism by Harry J Bartlett

Life in lockdown

During the first intense lockdown of the pandemic, I tried finding ways to stay creative when I wasn’t doing my food photography or working on other client work. I found the images on my harddrive and felt it was a project I should revisit. Honestly, I’m really glad I did because it helped me stay stimulated during a time when I was feeling as flat as a fart.

What is sassicism?

It took me a good while to come up with the phrase ‘sassicism‘. I had played around with a few ideas for the title of my project. Originally I was going to give a drag queen pun-name to a famous historical figure; ‘Madame de Pompa-whore‘ being the favourite. But in the end, I felt I needed something that was a bit aloof to just being a drag queen name. That’s how I ended with the term ‘sassicism‘ – a play on the word ‘classicism‘.

– the principles or styles characteristic of the literature and art of ancient Greece and Rome.
adherence to such principles.
– t
he classical style in literature and art, or adherence to its principles.
a Greek or Latin idiom or form, especially one used in some other language.

I decided to turn classicism into sassicism through my drag queen makeovers. I wanted to explore a range of styles from old school pageantry to modern-day club kids. I’m hoping to continue this project and try to turn sassicism into a full project.

The first batch of creations

Including my three original designs, I have completed 10 that have been printed on some lush recycled white paper and are ready for purchase now. I’ve printed them at an A3 size so they’re easy to frame and display. Here are the ones that are ready to buy (and if sales go well, I will get the next batch of designs printed as well):

Please note that the A3 prints are of the makeover only – they do not contain both the before and after picture – just the after. 

Don’t forget to follow @sassicism on Instagram to see teasers, inspirations and the end results.

Harry J Bartlett

Digital Content Creator, lover of fashion, drag queen connoisseur and all around phenomenal human being. If I had to describe myself in 3 words I would say; Gorgeous, Talented and Humble.

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