Are you familiar with the Rorschach inkblot test? If not, I will summarize it in one sentence, which may not give justice to all its nuances but I’m trying not to lose my readers! This inkblot test was developed in the 1960s by Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach as a method for analyzing people’s thoughts based on what they said the inkblots looked like. I am intrigued by the idea of inkblots showing who we are and how our brains work. Then it struck me: inkblot cards would make a fun costume. I wondered what people would see in the blots. One man said he saw a teddy bear on one of the cards, and my friend Andrea saw a Chargers lightning bolt. (To which I replied, “But Andrea, you are a passionate Chargers fan. You’d see a bolt in anything!” She couldn’t deny it…)
Reading inkblots is a technique still used today. But to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if I buy into the notion that you can tell a lot about a person based on what they see in an inkblot. We humans are complex and I don’t think we can be boiled down to a few responses to shapes on cards. I’ve always hated being labeled. Nobody really fits neatly into one label or another. Yet something about these images and the idea that they can reveal your personality—it’s oddly fun to me. It reminds me a little of the costume I made about fortune cookies. I find it funny that our futures could be predicted by a few words inside a cookie or that our personalities can be summed up by a quick glance at an inkblot. But these concepts are ones that make for creative costumes…
In case anyone is wondering, I whipped up this costume for next to nothing. Sometimes I share this part as encouragement, because creating something cool does not need to cost much. Poke through your local thrift stores. Go to garage sales. Cut up empty cereal boxes to use as materials. For this costume, I already had paint, elastic and thread, so I all I need to buy was one thing:
Total cost: $1 (white bed sheet from a garage sale, which I cut into six squares for inkblots and a dress)
Here are the blots I created before attaching them to my dress. Five of the blots are my original designs, based on the splotchy, curvilinear shapes Rorschach used.
Card 1: This is the only blot I made as a copy of Rorschach’s inkblots.
How do you Rorschach?