Illustration West 54 Accepted

Advent Calendar 2014 Holiday Leap Q. Cassetti, 2014 Adobe Illustrator 2014

Advent Calendar 2014
Holiday Leap
Q. Cassetti, 2014
Adobe Illustrator 2014

Christmas will always
be as long as we stand
heart to heart and
hand in hand.
--Dr. Seuss

Delighted that these deer have been accepted by the judges and jury of Illustration West 54, the annual show/competition sponsored by the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles. Thank you to the judges, board and staff of SOILA for their giving me the opportunity to share my work.

3x3 Professional Show Merit Winners.

This collection of five guys are from my annual (2012) Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent". They were, just today, accepted into the annual, juried competition that 3x3 Magazine has to celebrate illustration. They were accepted as a group. Hurray and Thank you to 3x3. It is wonderful to know that the freakish stuff that flows out of this brain onto digital paper has some bounce in the real world beyond the happy high (when I get the cogs and gears rolling) that this December project can give me. Double the holiday gifting for this girl. To see who else got in>>

Five Advent Guys from 2012 Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent", Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS%

Five Advent Guys from 2012 Advent Calendar project, "Gingerbread Advent", Q. Cassetti, 2012, Adobe Illustrator CS%




Did you or do you love jawbreakers? I used to. I would walk to and from school and was given a little allowance for making my bed and trying to be nice, and so once a week I would go to the Reynolds Street Market and buy a treat on the way home from school. The Reynolds Street Market was half way home on the longer but more neighborhoody walk home. It was one of those small, dark, neighborhood grocers that popped up next to a beauty salon or a dress shop in the middle of a residential area, offering the full range of food from bunny bread to milk, canned goods, and a butcher case. These grocers all worked on cash at the register and or handwritten bills which allowed a family to charge to their account. Very exotic to my thinking.

Reynolds Street also had a wonderful assortment of candy, penny candy, and promotional candy that whimsically appealed to me (and surprisingly, though I dont like to eat it, to me today for the sheer glory of its decorative quality, its design and packaging, for its humor and promised fun). Whoever was picking out the candy knew their audience--and had us in their thrall with candy cigarettes and pink gum cigars, lollipops and licorice, caramel bulllseyes with a chalky sugar center and turkish taffy which was advertised on teevee --encouraging kids to "smack it" before eating it.  How indulgent to have a little change and a load of choices all chocked with sugar, color and artificial flavor. One week it would be fireballs, another would be wax bottles with really gross and artificial syrupy brilliant liquid. Some weeks (around Halloween generally) wax teeth, wax lips and even wax fingernails. At one point, I was crazy into these packs of collectible cards with buttons that had Mad Magazine style illustrations of popular culture things or prepackaged food with a twist. I thought these buttons and cards were the hottest thing...and I, by having them, also was the hottest thing. Did I mention, no one else knew how cool I was? No...because I never shared this with anyone until today, with you.

Now, when it came to jawbreakers, Reynolds Street Market had the small ones in the mode of Fireballs (hot cinnamon jawbreakers), but they also had my favorite, the giant Jawbreaker. This baby was a bit less than 2" in diameter, like a golf ball--and one would hold it and lick it until it got big enough to fit in your mouth. The cool thing beyond it just being a big hunk of sugar was that it was layered in color, so as you ate it...or salivated on it or whatever, the temptation was great to pull it out of your mouth and observe the glory of the color change. Plus, if you are the talent I am, you would either drop it, roll it on your sweater, or gum it up in some way that it would be covered in dirt, hair or sweater wool before popping it back in your mouth. Oh, so lovely.

Now why all this talk about candy? Am I nostalgic for a time gone by? No. Another thing entirely. I subscribe to this wonderful email alert which is the Visual Thesaurus.

The Visual Thesaurus is a remarkable site which introduces new words (never can have enough words, right?) and displays them in a very interesting, visual, diagramatic way... which is inspiring to me from a design standpoint, but also is an interesting place to brainstorm ideas and words  (when I am helping someone name a product or service). Love this tool. Great timewaster. However, today was a glorious jawbreaker of a word:


Take that! Glorious Autochthonous (ah talk then oos). As the Visual Thesaurus neatly describes:

"No Place Like Home Word of the Day:

The adjective native serves many different purposes. Today's adjective autochthonous provides an opportunity to give one meaning of native a rest so you can employ a fifty dollar word in its place. Autochthonous is used to characterize rocks or organisms (including people) that are found in the place where they originated."

Don't you love it. LOVE autochthonous. And, had a sensational quote that captured it...that somehow prompts me to love folkloric art even more.

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 10.06.05 AM.png

"Folk Art grew from below. It was a spontaneous, autochthonous expression of the people, shaped by themselves, pretty much without the benefit of High Culture, to suit their own needs. Mass Culture is imposed from above. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen; its audiences are passive consumers, their participation limited to the choice between buying and not buying.... Folk Art was the people's own institution, their private little garden walled off from the great formal park of their masters' High Culture. But Mass Culture breaks down the wall, integrating the masses into a debased form of High Culture and thus becoming an instrument of political domination. "

Dwight MacDonald (1906–1982), U.S. journalist, critic. "A Theory of Mass Culture," Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America, eds. B. Rosenberg and D.M. White, Free Press (1959).

So there you have it. Whimsy. Candy and a brand new word that means local....native, vernacular. So you can have your local candy and sound smart saying it....Well, you know what I mean.

Off to the salt mines. Lets see if we have something to talk about tomorrow. I hope so.




Glamour Girl, Q. Cassetti 2013, Adobe IllustratorIt was a mild spring day yesterday, but this morning snaps us back into winter on the first of February. All of our mounds of velvety moss had seized up into bright green patches by the side of the house. Shady romped while Mr. White wriggled on the pavement with feline delight. Today we will be running for the radiators and prime spots under the stove. Its frosty and white.

Love Leif Peng. Love Leif Peng’s “Today’s Inspiration” illustration history blog which surfaces people, time, projects, trends of illustration. Leif recently interviewed my mentor, Murray about Herb Lubalin and more broadly, on the ’70s. Take a look. Murray and Leif surface some lovely things and trends highlighting the amazing PushPin Studios along with the work of John Alcorn (wooooooweeee!!)

More pictures of percieved glamour… Here is a vintage Barbie with the half frisbee eyelash shelves, pouty lips and the tiniest pre-surgical nose in the universe. Freakolicious! Isnt she horrifying? Not surprising, even in her updates, she continues to be horrifying though her nose gets a scootch bigger, and her body a bit less atomic…its still pretty unreal. Good thing Barbie never gets old, gets pregnant or has gall bladder surgery. Middle age Barbie goes to the PTA meeting?  Colonoscopy Barbie? And its also good that Barbie is independently wealthy, so Barbie working at the Grocery Store or Walmart is out of the question. If she does work, she is a Vet or owner of a candy store…but never a window clerk at the DMV…though I am sure she has some rocking denim studded number that would really make folks sit up and take notice.


Green Man 19, Q. Cassetti 2011, pen and inkKitty got the pleasure of travelling to NYC with Rob today. They will have 2 days and an overnight which is very exciting for both of them. She was all decked in her new look complete with her new “vintage” Dooney and Burke black and brown bag, her new oxfords and black pants, and stripes to complement the whole thing.

I got Alex to his running this a.m. and then back for Jacob. I managed to send the cooked down tomatoes through the food mill and am allowing it to set up and settle before I put it in plastic bags for the freeze. The chicken for Saturday is thawing so I can marinate in advance. Tonight blueberry cakes to be baked. Tomorrow a.m.—flower picking and great bowls of cherry tomatoes for a salad to be made for the crew. I need to buy corn from Rick up the hill as well as cantaloupe and other melons.  Thank goodness for the bounty of the wonderful produce we have right now. Makes the entertaining so much more pleasant.

So the prep begins. Alex and I are going to buy nuts and chips, dips and dots, cream cheese and butter, vinegar and dishwashing powder.  Bagels will need to be purchased closer to Sunday. I can do a mess of cutting and prepping in advance.

It was a big light show last night waking me up before the thunderboomers rolled down the lake. projected the storm to hit Sheldrake at exactly 3:24 a.m. and dang, it did. A bit torrential at times, but leaving us with a damp day. It’s a bit drizzly, so poor Alex may be running in the rain. He was so thoughtful about running in the rain, talking about how he settles into getting used to it and finding pleasure as you warm up in the cool rain. I love how Alex thinks—in a poetic, kind and very centered way. He and I had a nice chat together—and I must admit, I am looking forward to being a pair again with Kitty going back to school. I like us together when he doesn’t have to compete with the high jinx we gals get up to.

Today, I need to wrap up a few sketch projects, do a bit of image research and send some emails. The little Greek Owl to the left is some of the reference I am going to for my little Philomathic owl poster. I have always loved these little guys—their vacant look and all the tremendous detail in the wings and head. Yesterday’s image was the beginning of this little process—so you should see a few of these images before I settle on one. At least 8 of em just to get the look nailed…and giving me the lovely time of drawing with ink on my gorgeous new watercolor book.

I need to get going on making my virtual roladex to share at Sagamore and some writing (I was asked to help write as the requestor likes my “voice”). I cannot imagine anyone liking this shrill voice…but surprisingly, I am getting a handle on what I want to say—so it might not be as hard as I thought initially.