from Scherenschnitte. Q. Cassetti, 2011 pen and ink.Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I found that Communication Arts Magazine’s annual was due yesterday (though they have slacker time…) So, I got my collection of images together and hope that maybe this year, I can get something into that esteemed show/publication. There is American Illustration which I need to enter and maybe Spectrum this year. Spectrum is a show that is devoted to science fiction/ fantasy (read imaginary worlds and friends) which I have a bit of.

I am sort of charged up from the Society of Illustrators LA, Illustration West pieces…most particularly the crazy line piece (with the birds). That image (and many more) came from the work I did inspired by Ganga Devi, an Indian artist who continued the Mithali tradition of women painters/illustrators who created works for bridal chambers. This Madhubani work was specific insofar a topics, and the approach is very linear and colorful. However what Ganga Devi did was to go beyond that prescribed palette of content and started to interpret Hindu stories to finally depicting the images of her life and travels. Her illustrations of her cancer treatment and that of her visiting a city, riding in an elevator, riding on a bus and subway are sublime innocent refections of her world…and I was right there with her. Her use of line inspired me to go from images that were derived from Madhubani work to finally plying them to the crackpot stuff rattling around in my brain. So, refreshed, I think I may go back to that linear approach, switch out sketchbooks from watercolor paper to smooth and see what evolves.

Other news. I am possessed by coasters. Right…coasters. The lovely thick stock, letterpressed coasters. I am seriously thinking of getting some made for presents, to sell here in Itown and at Etsy, and just because, because. The world of coaster production is fascinating…and you can get anything from really cheap four color two sided coasters to the thick and chewy ones I love. So watch out. Coasters are coming on for 2012.

Here are some of the options I am looking at:

The Cranky Pressman (!)

Absorbent, Ink 

Norman’s Printery

Boxcar Press

Mercurio Brothers Printing (since 1946)

And then, there is my secret weapon, Pioneer Printing, Lodi, NY. I will price it out with him too. My guess is that he will want to involve foil stamping as well…But the Mercurio Brothers is simple in their presentation that they have not been tainted by good design. Fun fun fun.

I got my valentine off to the printer yesterday. Trying out a new online source that is affordable and happily offers all sorts of cool stock, foil stamping, die cutting and raised UV for a seriously nominal price. My programming as a designer illustrator is to stick to one or two color jobs, and never introduce anything like the aforementioned processes into a design as it is soo expensive to do. NOT NOW. Keep your pants on…things are going to get interesting (or at least, I hope).  That resource I will share …reluctantly, but we all need a new cool place to go and fantasize. DGI>> Their samples were delicious.