Lovely Fall Back

Here I am at the ultimate chic Maguire VW to have my car get a check up and lo and behold, there is this lovely computer room, free snacks, teevee, nice chairs, windows and not a cigarette butt in site. How remarkable. I am so impressed, I want to have my car serviced weekly. Maguire really is impressive.  No greasy vinyl chairs tucked between the humming soda machine and a stand ash tray with the battering ram sounds coming from the garage and the endless chat of the owner of the shop on the phone. Now its the car spa…blonde wood, free iced cream and teevee. Glorious.  And the folks are really really nice too. And, with the time I thought I would be dawdling, I can dawdle a bit with you.

I seem to be able to get through my lists these days—taking on more new stuff and being able to get through it without having to do nine or ten iterations on something really simple (like a two color mouse pad that was the recent project of note). We are getting the lineup of a lot of people who want to make their year-end bonuses by finally figuring out they need to get things done that they hadn’t thought about until now, and they need them figured out, designed and produced by December 1 so as to print and distribute by January 1. Screamers. And many of these folks are not our focus customers, so its a bit disconcerting as I really want to say no to quite a few of them as I do not want to have to work Thanksgiving and the day after on someone else’s lack of planning. Urg. Enough of my complaining.

Alex posted some music to the web yesterday—mashups that he created with some audio scrap and work of a rapper online. He is smiling and happy as he is getting some great response (including the rapper who saw a post on YouTube—and was psyched by the work). I need to get Reason, a software package for him for the holiday (along with their software that really allows you to untangle the layers of sound and pluck out snippets to work with. It is great to see him delight and have motivation around something he is getting recognition for. He is talking about how easy these mashups are and how he is done with it. So, both Rob and I are pushing for a body of work so he has an hour of original work to play with the incentive being an exclusive DJAQ (his DJ name) party/event. There is some interest in that…and if its so easy, 75 new mashups should be in the works. If John Thompson told me I would not be an illustrator until I did 500 illustrations, I would say the same around audio mashups. Then we can move on…But recognition for his work and the sheer joy in having others enjoy our work is something I want him to have more of. We all can relate to that (particularly those of us who blog and post our work). I hope there is more of this in the future.

I must admit, I love fall back as much as spring forward. I love the velvety darkness in the evening and being in our snuggly house with the woodstove fired up in the evening with tea and company. It is such marvelous sleeping weather, I am feeling much sunnier and revv’d up. Now, the sixty degree weather and chrome yellow leaves on the trees cannot hurt things either. But we have had a glorious fall—perfection—that to have it extend a bit further into November is something I do not take for granted.

Rob is working late tonight. Leah, Alex and I are going to pick up our two pig shares (1/2 pig each) to our delight. I think there might be some bacon for dinner. Yes!

And then more mailing list correction, amendments and changes.

A Labor Day Gumdrop!

A break from Fraktur. The images above are screen captures from the most inspired little film I saw last night. It is Nina Paley's autobiographical "Sita Sings the Blues", an interwoven story with interwoven techniques and voices (many very cute and funny) about a woman's break up with her husband after he is sent to India to pursue his career...and the story of Sita and Rama with a thick overlay of this boop boop da doop love sing/songs from Annette Hanshaw. It is a must see for all of my illustration friends as it charms with color, wit and the clever use of cut paper, shadow puppets (as the narrators), stock art and of course the drawn media. It makes a very strong vote for the world of vector and how lovely it can be. Plus, this is a rich and inspiring slice for all of us. The under 20 set here went wild. It is an inspired gumdrop personal to Nina Paley, a real star and creative who is the writer, creator, animator of this singular gem...We should expect to see more from this thoughtful, fun, visual artists...and I hope soon. You all know how I feel about Indian art, and this was such a unexpected gift delivered to us in a mention from the tuned in Mr. David Lucas, designer and astute observer of the world. Thank you David for this wonder! We are all beneficiaries of your suggestion!

If you go a bit deeper into the copyright issues surrounding this work which I will allow Wikipedia to explain clearly:

In the 1920s Annette Hanshaw recorded the songs that director Paley used in the film. These recordings were protected by state commerce and business laws passed at the time in the absence of applicable Federal laws and were never truly "public domain".[12] In addition, the musical composition itself, including aspects such as the lyrics to the songs, the musical notation, and products derived from using those things, is still under copyright.[13] In the case of this film, the syncing of the recording with the movie is the infringing act.
Without a distributor, Nina Paley was unable to pay the approximately $220,000 that the copyright holders originally demanded. Eventually, a fee of $50,000 was negotiated. Paley took out a loan to license the music in early 2009.[1]

Unorthodox distribution
Due to terms of the music license, one limited DVD pressing of 4,999 copies will be printed. The film was released for free download starting in early March, 2009 "at all resolutions, including broadcast-quality, HD, and film-quality image sequences", licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-alike 3.0 Unported license.[14] The freely downloaded files will count as "promotional copies" and will thus be exempt from payments to the copyright holders of the songs.[1]

The full film can also be viewed in low-resolution streaming video on the web site for WNET, a PBS member station in New York City. WNET broadcast the film on March 7, 2009.
Nina Paley plans to make money through voluntary payments, ancillary products, sponsorships, voluntary payments from public screenings, the aforementioned limited DVD sales, and possibly other methods.[1]
A cornerstone of the distribution model is the "creator-endorsed" logo, developed by Nina Paley in cooperation with Although anyone is free to distribute the film, distributors who do so while giving a part of the profits to the artist can get the artist's endorsement and use the "creator-endorsed" logo on their promotional materials.[15][16]

so you can download the film, watch it on YouTube
Not much labor for Labor Day. We are wrapping up the perishable foods and getting the wheels in motion for school. Rob is off to France, Amsterdam and Germany (a ten day trip) starting Wednesday. Alex is having a birthday "Sausage Fest" complete with tee shirts and games next Saturday. So, things are likely to be a bit more Tburg centric until R. comes back.