Monday revisions

Sunshiny pattern, Q, Cassetti, 2010, digitalSausage fest was good. The shirts were a hit. Pink tees were declared as “awesome”. The gang loved the lake, loved the water, loved the “chilling”, There was a lot of eating by all. It was fun and civilized at the same time. Even the parking worked out. All the leftover corn was devoured today for lunch. Sausage will be devoured tomorrow.

Speaking of corn, Shady Grove, stellar dog and my lady in waiting, has discovered corncobs. They are equal to her favorite toy and chewie (pinecones…the more sap the better). Its a little undoing to see her wandering around with a corncob sticking out of her black mouth…When will this stop?

Ordered a pair of white glasses from, a California based concern that sells prescription glasses from $8.00 to $35.00.  Some hilarious frames (argyle anyone?). It will be good to have some glasses for fun…and maybe an extra pair of long glasses for fun and entertainment. There are jewels, patterned side bars and lots of color in the frames and of course, in the glass…perhaps some yellow glasses with purple lenses? Lime green frames, pink lenses? Or super round, Philip Johnson memorial glasses? At these prices,fun seems to be an option in eyewear. Wait wait…there are stripes and leopard skin ones? Wow.

Met with my friend on his special project. We are trying to nail this brand down for his new project. Went through the sketch process and we will see where it goes. Still wiggly. I wish I could psych this one out…it just seems to be a moving point. This should be easier… though, I must admit, the stuff that has been generated has legs beyond this project. There should be an easier path to this. Need to keep going.

It looks like a downpour. Rob has a meeting. I have petfood to buy. Kitty is out and about. Alex is on deck with me. We need to get ice as the damned fridge is down for the count again. Urg.

24 hours and counting

Lubok Shout, Q. Cassetti,2010 pen and ink, digital, Grassroots eve. Tburg’s alternative Christmas! The music is ramping up. The tents are being pitched. The crowd at Gimme! Coffee has some new faces. Rabbit Run is filling up with the future campers patiently waiting in line to get in. Rob is mustering the teen forces to work more. They limply complain but follow. New friends await.  For Rob, the thrill of working with an onsite sawyer—creating slabs of wood to spec. It was like heaven to get what you want, when you want it, accurately. Old technology is wonderful.

And Rob performed magic at the end of the workday by buying the ultimate deal ($9. for a box of 30 iced cream sandwiches at the Byrne) and tossing them to the workers, moms, kids. The candy man! He was thrilled to delight the crowd in such a simple way.

So the riches abound. The Tburg Farmers Market has music, then the Rongo with the Zydeco Trail Riders. After that, Preston Frank down on the Commons. And then, the All American Helldrivers at Barangus to close out the night. Ramped and amped.

I will be shooting pictures all weekend. That is my fun project.

The rooster is a new approach with illustrator brushes and big thick markers. QUUUUIIICCCK. Will be doing some more animals just to learn this approach. Maybe a chinese zodiac? Lots of animals there.

Rob visited wonderful Joe Seppi, owner of Pioneer Printing in Interlaken, and a lead type, letterpress afficianado. I am so taken with Joe’s work (and prices) that I am seriously thinking of doing a single letterpress holiday card. Elegant and many of my illustrations will work for that type of thing. Same for Valentine. I bought a stack of Cranes cards with matching envelopes that he could imprint the address/and the card. Come to think of it, if I do that, I could have them set up type for the message and change it out and offer it to my friend with just a slug change. Could be soooo easy. There’s a thought.

Doing a little more validation searching for my big client. Interesting 4 hour meeting yesterday. I managed to chop up our content and detail it with sketches to drag the monster consulting firm to better understanding the thinking we need to see. This consultant is treating this work topically not fully understanding or searching for the scope of the work and making uneducated dictates ie ” you may not use red”. Huh? Why not? Maybe we need to find the right red? Right?

Whoa. I am sounding like a fogey.

monkeying around

click for enlargement>>

Click for another year>> I am now a year older today. We are going to the State Theater to see They Might Be Giants (a fluke,really, as I bought the tickets without registering the date). So, that is the fanfare.

The monkey keeps evolving for the wine project. His head is still evolving, but you can see something happening. I may do a little abstracted guy too.. who knows.

Holiday card was approved yesterday. Need to do brand new accurate art for it. The cool thing about this card is that it pushed me into learning a bit about Live Paint (one of the whizbang tools that are part of Adobe Illustrator). Like the negative snot that I am, I wrote it off like many of the "wild and crazy" filters that make your image seem oh so "digital". Turns out, its a great tool, a good time saver and allows lots of changing, lots of variation (to offer to clients) and gives you another work around to cutting and pasting shapes. Divine. I think I may change my name to reflect this conversion to align with Live Trace, Live Paint, Live Wire... at least when it comes to these new tricky helpers. And, I would not have even thought of it if I hadn't been in the presence of Jean Tuttle and Nancy Stahl who do not write off filters and new tools-- but try them and embrace them. I need to grow up and be cool like them....

Speaking of Jean>> Chad Grohman wrote a mini article/interview with Jean and posted it here!

Cracked open one of my Fraktur books yesterday to read a bit on the religious symbols that the author speculated on . It really isnt clear about the imagery in Fraktur whether it reflects a tradition (predominantly German) of religious art and symbols...or whether the imagery just is...and stands alone. Being a gorpy person who loves symbols, I of course, want to believe that this stuff is chock full of meaning, meaning inside of meaning, layer upon layer often not even understood by the artist/illustrator / scrivener--but because of the deep history and visual memory of these things-- they are embued with so much more. The author reminded his reader of the powwowing and folk cures and of the superstitions and beliefs of these people which we do know...and rolled his assumption that this stuff means stuff based on that as the foundation of that understanding and knowledge. I can make that leap of faith too. Not scientific-- but my gut says yes. I need to learn more about the Ephrata community as they are (to my thinking) the thought center for this type of American work. Their beliefs, their leader and his writings should illuminate this.

Sorry this is so fractured today...but thats kind of whats going on here. Hopefully, more least visuals.


When stuck, change channels. Use trace or change from bluepencil and ink to a trusty 3B pencil and a pink pearl. To confirm this sketch technique, I bought a can of Aqua net as I have $1.99 into the deal. The 3B is so friendly and gorgeous. It really doesnt like to be too sharp, slightly rounded but it will give you nice solids pretty quickly. Its a fast tool that if you don't watch it, it will fly off your page. it also does stuff that the fabulous Mr. Noodlers will not do beyond its expediency, it will chew up paper and do layouts that are rough and get the ideas going. So, I think this new/ old pal will be in this fist for a few days until I snap out of it...or maybe it even becomes part of the mix.

It's funny, this changeover, that is, from making digital pictures to making real live Q pictures that then is monkeyed in the computer (erased, colored). It is harder. My head hurts. It isn't as fluid, nor am I more confident in this arena. The design is harder, more critical. Overlaps and levels of interest are important. The relationships of objects have to have tension and work together. Much, much more complexity. Maybe more interest too? However, I am learning about levels of finish that I want to take things to. After spending around five hours on the newest Garden of Eden redo this weekend...taking the inked drawing into photoshop and erasing like crazy all the unfinished hangy things, sharpening up points, essentially drawing with the eraser and toggling to the brush if I miss. The piece still looks handdrawn, but its cleaner and sharper. My classmates and Mentor can tell me otherwise...wheither the level of finish is enough--but this is taking the work further in having to resolve the details.

Resolved the costs associated with Hartford and have a better idea of where we are next summer. So, going into 2009 knowing what better to expect than the open ended financial aspect of the program feeling like I am on a slippery slope without anything to hang on to. Phew.

Need to resolve a few preliminary things to talk with my clients about tomorrow. Road warrior day tomorrow. Up at 4 a.m, to the airport by 5:30 a.m. Plane takes off at 6:30 a.m. and at Newark by 7:55 a.m. To the office by 9 a.m. Meetings et cetera until 4:30 p.m. and home by 10. Taking Mini Me to try it out along with a sketchbook to force me back to paper on a logotype I am working on. If the ole 3B comes out, I probably can get someplace faster than pushing the vectors around. Then, I can get back into the vectors and churn out 4-6 presentable ideas by Wednesday. We will see.

Halloween is Friday. No candy yet. Gotta get on that.

More later>>

what if?

Here's a thought, a thought from way back before these computer tools we have made things easier.
The time before fax machines, the time when photo repro blue, frisket, amberlith,cutting films all were status quo. They were getting one's chops the hard way. This was the time that there was much more craft in graphic design than there is now..What if I refined my sketches to the point that they were ready to go, but needing to be finally inked. And, as you know, taking them into illustrator freezes the spirit in them. So, what if I were to scan this illustration and change the coloration to photo blue (non-repro blue), blow the image up to 300% of final and output on the epson on enhanced matte paper. If this wouldn't do, we could try one of the watercolor papers primed for this. Then, to do the final, to work up all the line work and outline on the output ..keeping the big fields of black for the second scan (back into the computer) to add black for fill? Reduce it down and away you go. Keep it really high res for future use as one can always subtract pixels and make something smaller. It doesn't work the other way around.

This makes sense to me. I should give it a try.

sweet wireless companions

You know, this wireless thing is something great. It probably will kill us all as cell phones will give you brain cancer and I am sure sleeping with the windows open gives you pneunomia...but it will be great getting there. I am so thrilled and happy that I can live through this generation of people who started with jars of rubber cement and waxers--when fax machines were huge pieces of equipment that you wrapped the image around a glass cylinder and quickly snapped the door shut and spent the better part of 45 minutes sending a black and white piece of art or a typed paper to the typesetter. To now have computers--many and different, to have ipods and cellphones and all manners of communications from voice to IM to pdfs to all podcasts--and never have to cut apart words and wax them together with typos, or ink to perfection (never these hands) a perfect circle, or cut that orange frisket to make layers for the printer...when it is all clean and neat in the computer. So now there is more time for the real work of thinking ,designing, writing, blogging and playing scrabulous(against the robot that always wins).

I am moved to this mini declaration of digital love in the acquisition of a tiny scanner that is big enough to fit into a backpack for Hartford (and all of $135 from the only department store I support, Amazon) and the most fabulous of all---Apple's Time Capsule. Apple says:

Backing up is something we all know we should do, but often don’t. And while disaster is a great motivator, now it doesn’t have to be. Because with Time Capsule, the nagging need to back up has been replaced by automatic, constant protection. And even better, it all happens wirelessly, saving everything important, including your sanity.

Built for Time Machine.
Time Capsule includes a wireless 500GB or 1TB hard drive1 designed to work with Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard. Just set Time Capsule as the designated backup drive for Time Machine, and that’s it. Depending on how much data you have, your initial backup with Time Capsule could take overnight or longer. After it completes, only changed files are backed up — automatically, wirelessly, and in the background. So you never have to worry about backing up again.

Backup for everyone.
Have multiple Macs in your house? Time Capsule can back up and store files for each Leopard-based Mac on your wireless network. No longer do you have to attach an external drive to each Mac every time you want to back up. Time Capsule spares you the work.

Room for it all.
Time Capsule is your one place for backing up everything. Its massive 500GB or 1TB server-grade hard drive gives you all the capacity and safety you need. So whether you have 250 songs or 250,000 songs to back up, room is the last thing you’ll run out of. And considering all that storage and protection come packaged in a high-speed Wi-Fi base station starting at $299, data isn’t the only thing you’re saving.

A digital librarian saving ourselves from ourselves. Sweetness personified. I cannot wait to plug it in!
Have to sleep for excitement. More tomorrow!