Starting some sketches.

I got a crazy project. Kee RAY Zee…

monmartre_0511-01.jpg

The way it worked was I got an email from a man who I never had met—for a project I never ever would have thought would cross the transom of my office. But it did. And, I have rearranged my life to do the work. I negotiated a pretty impressive contract (in another language), figured out how to get paid, processes and tools to use to make the project flow be smoother….It is a bit stunning. I still have hair on my head, and can hold a pencil despite the backdraft…but truly it has given me life and a little more spirit than I have had in at least 4 years.

I cannot tell you about the work, but maybe a few snapshots from the sketches will humor you. Things to know are…1. be an expert or known for a subject matter and tag the crap out of the illustrations. 2. own that topic…so that when the topic is searched…your name and images come forth. Truly. That is how this client found me. And the nutty thing is, that it works that I am both a designer and an illustrator for this work—- the discipline and knowledge of how to be “in brand” is lapping over into the illustration work. The client has a very specific palette—very definitive signature elements that they love seeing it surface in the illustrations. That plug and play approach that branding has instilled in my thinking really makes that so easy—and fluid. And for that, I am grateful.

Spring is here. Mitchy is here (and you havent met him)—and life is continuing in a sweeter way. For that, I am thankful and so glad. I am back from a deep dark hole….and so pleased to be back.

Eye Candy du jour.

Here's a gumdrop for you. It's sweet. It's little. It's a treat.

As you know, I am a fan of the idea of an artist being able to "do a style" really well, and snapping it to a topic that is au courant--or nerdy. Preferably both. Remember the wonderful images created in the Lubok style by Andrey Kuznetsov? Here is his spiderman image to remind you, and a link to a great collection of images at Pagefiddler.

"SPIDERMAN. ONE HAND FOR EVERY BASIC NEED: GIRLS, BOOZE AND WHATEVER ELSE."

"SPIDERMAN. ONE HAND FOR EVERY BASIC NEED: GIRLS, BOOZE AND WHATEVER ELSE."

Good stuff? I love this. It refreshes the super hero (or any of the other topics) and brings it a whole different skew. Makes you think. And, its funny. What's  not to love? Okay, one more because I am feeling jolly. This one brings Avatar to light:

"PERKY LITTLE AVATARS!"

"PERKY LITTLE AVATARS!"

So in this tradition of funny reimagining of popular culture, these Ukrainian paintings by Sergei Iukhimov are stellar examples of the fusion of Russian Orthodox iconography and the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Okay. Enough already. The sun is shining and on a day like today, I can believe that happiness is around the corner and the possibilities have gone from zip to Huh...maybe there are some fun aspects of my life. Lets just say its a long climb out of the hole I have been in and a big dose of my dear pal, Prozac, is helping me to smell the peonies and think happy thoughts. Amen to drugs.

©Alexander Cassetti, 2016

©Alexander Cassetti, 2016

So much has happened. Alex Cassetti has graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Photography and won the Royal College of Art Scholarship which entitles him to a semester in England at RCA to continue post graduate studies. His work is remarkable (but I am his mom)...you make your own call>> and he is growing by leaps and bounds. Note to any parent who is worried about your child's future: do not even anticipate what the future will hold as it will be something you couldn't even imagine. Trust yourself. More importantly, trust the work you have done with your child and trust that person. It's hard. I know...but you just need to hang on and let time, maturity and the people your child connects with form the person you have raised. When we dropped Alex off at Hofstra the day one of his college experience, with his desire to be involved with music composition--there was no way that we could have even anticipated his explosion into photography, his interest in art and architecture, and his growth personally and spiritually to become the person we know today. No way. No how. And here we are. Formed by SVA. Formed by the remarkable Stephen Frailey, the sage Lyle Rexer and the generous Peter Macgill.  Formed by the University Studies Program at Hofstra. These men, and so many more people have pushed and pulled our boy to think big, work hard and grab it all. And our son, the one who has to work hard for everything-- is doing just that and is so appreciative of all that his community has done for him. Stunning. And it is adding up. I cannot wait for the next chapter.

Did I mention that the graduation was at Radio City Music Hall? Well it was...and it was a lulu complete with gigantic pictures of people from the graduating class (yes, Alex was one). Uncle Miltie (Milton Glaser) was in the house and his touch was there.  It was beautifully done from big projections to secondary screens, Push Pin inspired titles, and everything red/white/pink. The articulate and passionate Carrie Mae Weems spoke. There were selfies on stage. Hugs for everyone and to put a cherry on it, the organ was played and we all delighted in the festivities. It was PERFECT. It was a long day as we moved Alex out of his room/apartment the same day and drove home to Trumansburg. Rob is a saint.

Kitty is crazy busy throwing it all in at her job as a buyer at Eric Winterling working on some fabulous theatrical costume production projects I am not sure I can mention. Let's just say she is touching big big shows and getting some interesting exposure to some of the biggest costume designers out there (folks that get Tonys etc). And she is learning the business-- no magical unicorns and cups of tea. Hard work. Schlepping 4 irons and bolts of fabric. And the mechanics of the process. I cannot say how delighted I am that she is having this remarkable experience. She is also having a lot of fun with her friends--going places, doing things, dancing, experiencing NYC, doing the gallery/show thing. Another blessing. I am awed by her.

We have been to Lake Placid for the Museum Association of New York conference where I was blown away by Museum Hack (for another conversation) and by the beautiful little town of Lake Placid. It was a lovely time.

Work continues apace. Lots of very knit picky stuff. But its paying and I cannot complain. I wait for my mojo to come back with the anticipated happier Q. It will be a welcome change.

More later, my friends. Life is more interesting to me, so I have some great things to share with you beyond my dismay over the world and my disgust of Donald Trump. Later!

Advent 2015: Day One

Preface: Advent 2015 Starts Today!
I try to pick a theme that I stick to, or choose to derivate from and this year's theme is Birds, Bees and Big Green Trees. Some of them are Christmassy (sing the carols please) and others are just birds that I admire or think are funny. You can be the judge. Here we go!

Advent 2015: Day One: Christmas Goose   Q. Cassetti 2015

Advent 2015: Day One:
Christmas Goose

Q. Cassetti 2015