Society of Illustrators Los Angeles: Illustration West 50, Accepted!

I was delighted to see that no, I hadn’t missed this one…and that the pieces above and to the right have been accepted into the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles Illustration West 50 Show. The portrait is of Domenic Labino for the Corning Museum of Glass’ Masters of Studio Glass Exhibition for Labino. Top beehive is a personal image. The Wheatman is from my Greenman series. The image to the right is from my Ganga Devi inspired whimsical illustrations (yay!).

I am delighted with this selection as it is a push to keep going. Each of these images talk to a different hand I have been working on, and two of them representative of two of my little imaginary worlds I find myself floating in.

Thank you Society of Illustrators LA and the judges that selected these images. You make today an even sunnier one!

Advent Day Five


Scherinschnitte 8, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above,1986


Saturday thoughts

Daughters, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and ink manipulated in Adobe Photoshop CS5End of the week, beginning of the long weekend. Did an quick logo exploration for a new client yesterday. A program logotype which was amusing and fruitful. The other new client job met the deadline, and I guess we will hear about the next steps early next week—or at least that is what I hope. You never know how timely the information will be.

We went to Felicias last night to celebrate the end of the week. Long John and the Tights were playing with all sorts of musicians swapping in and out during their sets. There was such happiness in the music, the conviviality of the musicians and the basket of bread that Stefan Senders had for sale in his linen lined basket. We had such fun with Kitty and Alex…and wit and gossip. We are so lucky to have such a fun family. The light was magical…rich and deep. I cannot wait to see what the camera has yielded.

Tonight’s music is Billy Eli at the Rongo: 9:30PM-12:30AM
Billy Eli celebrates Eric Aceto’s birthday with Djug Django, Southern Tears & the Flying Aceto Brothers celebrates Eric Aceto’s birthday with Djug Django, Southern Tears & the Flying Aceto Brothers -
So, Alex and Rob and I will stroll over to hear the wild music and catch some of the Billy Eli magic (as well as all the wonder the Acetos bring). Need to charge the camera for this evening!

David planted my cherry trees! They are so glorious in their perfection…small, but hardy. We have put cages around them to give them a chance against the critters. We have put a mesh fabric over all the tasty bits (tree peonies,hosta and others) to see if that will keep the deer away. But as you know, the deer are persistent. Not smart…but they keep at it. Diligent and persistent.

What with all the rain and cool humid days, the raspberries and sour cherries this season will be remarkable. Thing of all the things we can make! Ball Diamond Road in a month or so! Wahoo!

Speaking of making, I just made up a vat of fresh salsa for Alex and his band friends who are making music all day in the living room. We have just Alex this weekend as the Dancing Princess has gone off to Vermont for the Brattleboro, “Dawn Dance”. We got her to the bus this morning…with great pride in our hearts that our girl was confidently moving forward, bags packed, ticket in hand ready for fun.

Onward to sketches and ideating. I have lots to think about!

American Illustration (A129) accepted work:

Just got these three images into American Illustration 29. The top is Krampus from my advent calendar project, and the other two were part of Hartford MFA thesis project on valentines.

From AI 29's Facebook page:
Congratulations to our AI29 Selected winners ! From an impressive 8.033 pictures, the jury selected only 388 images by a majority vote or better to appear in American Illustration 29, representing the best images from 2009. A slide presentation announcing the winning images will be sent to all entrants and our member list of over 30.000 creative professionals in May.

Tuesday grey day

Winter Solstice, Q. Cassetti, 2010Geekin', oh girl. I have been working on more of these Home Sweet Home pictures and have begun to shorten tasks, work with the marvelous blob brush (shift + b) which fills well combined with the multiply transparency feature. I admit, they are not speedy...but quicker than in Photoshop. Working with these images forces me to think about color (I am using Kuler palettes, saving them, amending them and keeping that color biga going). And, some aspects of these illustrations work better than others as well (from a design standpoint)--so I keep learning as I go.

And then, there is the cmyk, rgb crossover which is always perplexing. When the list of all the tricky things that makes the work work...then, it will be time to hang up the boxing gloves. Ah well.

A loaf of Pain Levain is sitting on my little electric heater right by my right hand. I am going to give it one more rise than what is mentioned in the recipe. I was reading an interesting book about the Brother Juniper Bread Bakery in California, a wonderful philosophical / spiritual journey through bread...and he was talking about letting the dough have its time to grow and develop. He sprinkles in little bits of data and science (I think its all magic, to be honest) which is sticking to the inside of this head...and that you can continue to rise the bread a few times...but to watch it from going too far. The idea is to allow the yeast/sourdough to ferment to deepen the flavor. Makes sense to me.... We'll see. The proof is definitely in the pudding...or slice.

I am thrilled that I got my resume up here ( About Q.)...and that I have current shows, exhibitions etc up versus the time and trial to get my amended. I am going to transfer and to this page to let it all coexist. I am fiddling with galleries (the 2300˚ postcards under the Luckystone is an example of treatment). I originally kept the websites separate as it was preached at Syracuse that art directors/designers did not want to know if the illustrator was a designer and could handle type. I was fearsome about that, but now, I do not care. It is best for me to show my entire work as a whole versus a little bit here and a little bit there. Plus, I find the illustration work for myself. That's where I am happiest.

A mini pile of rush jobs have just popped up in my mailbox. Yeeesh.

More later, I hope.

I Love Fu

I Love Fu, Q. Cassetti, 2009, pen and ink/ digitalLife is good when you have a ten pound bag of flour in it. The possibilities are endless. I have two loaves in their new rising baskets on the second rise. A banana bread in the oven with a cake in the offing. We are having friends of K's for dinner, so we have happy gals with metabolisms coming over giving me the opportunity to crank out more recipes from the new "go to", the King Arthur Flour Baking Book. Nary a bum recipe yet.

Am drawing away. It was fun to have a pen in my hand as we watched the Olympics on tv. I am making more pine trees and houses. I came to the conclusion that I am doing these pictures as a way of exploring borders and frames around a central image. I am kind of done with that and am thinking about either getting back into the Garden of Eden work, or work on some egg-inspired art as it is such a huge symbol imbued with all sorts of imagery, meaning etc. Plus, it would be a fun lenten body of work with Easter being the end date. I enjoyed the whole process of the advent images as it had a start and end date-- a real live start and end date, that puts a bit of pressure on I chase things a bit faster and not get hung up on some thing.

I also want to make some pictures around the the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, a poem by Eugene Field. I was inspired by two amazingly whimsical and large ceramic renderings of these creatures (my the deep past, a friend had them in his NYC apartment...very Hilary Knight- esque). I have been inspired by them since--and will need to do something about that. Here's the poem:

The Duel
(The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat
 by Eugene Field
The gingham dog and the calico cat  
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
 The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
 Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
 (I wasn't there; I simply state
 What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went " Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Me-ow!"
The air was littered,an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
 While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
 Up with it hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
 (Now mind: I'm only telling you
 What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed,"Oh dear! What shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
 Employing every tooth and claw
 In the awfullest way you ever saw-
And oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
 (Don't fancy I exaggerate!
 I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole the pair away!
 But the truth about the cat and pup
 Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
 (The old Dutch clock, it told me so,
 And that is how I came to know.)

Good stuff, eh?

And now for the greetings of the day.

I heart Fu, I love You. Be my virtual valentines!



thoughts and ruminations.

Fraktur on the brain. Rob is goading me nicely to get going in figuring out these products for the Museum of Glass --and to get the team in place, the thinking in place and get going. He is right. Plus, it gives me some venues to push the illustration that are not traditional, are about me being an illustrator/designer, is about an alternative stream of income and could be a beneficial and fun thing to do. So where is the downside? A tad bit of risk...but nothing inconceivable.

The pix above is the second Fraktur inspired picture. I decided to get back into coloring these things just to see where it could go. So, this is where it is (not done) today...with more work tomorrow. My intent is to try to infuse more color in the work and though its not bad, to not keep the black work in a single color in every iteration. Bunny Carter cited my Indian Tiger as the only full color piece in my thesis which I thought was interesting. So, to that insight, I credit Bunny with the push (not even a tiny shove) to think more about the color, their relationships and how the image begins to change with more color added and not frames that are filled with color and the line work all the same. Seems richer...more dimensional. I think this may be criteria for the color for this next round of valentines. What do you think?

I am going to contact Boxcar Press (a Syracuse Letterpress shop) to get prices on one and two color letterpress work as I am thinking of developing a series of different Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates (maybe later, a Bar /Bas Mitzva, a Confirmation one) to be illustrated and designed for the user to have a calligrapher (or me) fill in the name/etc. and be able to sell them through high end stationery and/or gift shops. With that may come Birth announcements, Marriage stationery/thank yous that match. Plus, with an affordable letterpress option, creating condolence cards (I have had requests) from some of the Memento Mori work and selling sets of 10 with (lined?) envelopes and or as one off.

Just got back from the Oral Surgeon's office in Corning with two high school near future patients. It was a great consultation with pictures/xrays, a full disclosure of process and medications, time frame and process. Now, all we need to do is schedule it.

So, must Hotdogs on the grill await.

Thought bubble

I woke up early, very early this morning and let the stream of images and ideas amuse me until it was time to crawl out and drink coffee at a more "civilized" time. Lots of good ideas I want to capture:

Memento Mori:

>Consider the gravestone shapes. Some of them are absolutely puritanical (just a rectangle of tremendous proportions), some are slightly embellished rectangles and others go for baroque. Instead of putting borders on an image, consider the image shape...and how does it go someplace from there.
>Note that when drawn with a point, a picture goes from nice to mean and scary. Good point. Stick with the points...unless its a cherub.
> Yesterday's fun with cut paper silhouettes manifested some cool stuff with drawn images. Work on that more. Do a spread of urns and a spread of either cherubs or winged skulls and see what happens. Could put the slash style on a better footing. More designed. Also, looks like some of the early Warhol advertising art. Look at that.
>Work on more hand lettering. This is the stuff that can be integrated into the drawings. Type for the copy.
> Excerpt blog for copy. Edit the crap out of it.
> Write a nice acknowledgment to the two people who were the impetus to this work. Write a nice dedication to the home team. Design it as a sticker to print on the epson and can be applied to the book.
>Work on line drawings of the willow. Marblehead cemetary had some nice references. Consider a willow spread with an urn knocked out of the pattern for copy. Could be pretty.
>Consider using the mighty epson for a book jacket cover (that folds all the way into the spine of the paperback book). Consider drawing some intense sharp shapes to make a pointy/scary pattern. Remember the ribbon idea (thread it through 2 slits made in the book jacket cover (as the paper folds into the book) on both covers, and run the loose ribbon between the book jacket cover and the cover. The ribbon is only to be seen at the side of the book. Keep the ribbon either black (grograin) or a metallic pewter to maintain the one color job-bed ness of the piece.

Valentine's day piece:

> Consider the square Lulu book.
> Consider a folded piece of output from the mighty epson inspired by the quicky done at SU for Whitney
>Consider selling it via Why wouldn't people be interested in custom valentines ($20-$25)/ Goes beyond flowers, shows some intelligence and an ability to use the web?
>Consider selling it on Esty.
>Send to customers.
>Consider the folded "ice cream cone" shape that then could be a japanese accordion book type of thing. Gluing a piece of duplex board to the top and bottom single "ice cream cone" shape...could be cute. Maybe overly cutsy.
> If its a book, what's the packaging? Can Lulu perfect bind a 24 pp. book? (they seem to work in signatures of 8 and 16).
Could I do a 32pp piece? (16 spreads?)
> Or do the book and repurpose the illustrations into a series of folding cards that are printed chez studio.

Other thoughts:

> These projects are going to generate a lot of art.
>Consider other uses for the art in addition to packaging the whole thing as a show (and having the pubs for sale along with giclees of the images (selected) from the show.
> What else?

Good thing this is a part time enterprise.

That's the dump. Gotta get to Tburg early cause I have a meeting exactly at nine. Looks like a beautiful day. School is a week away. Yipes!

Note: Willow Tree - Grief, death, earthly sorrow. Often carried at Masonic funerals, the willow is the tree of human sadness.
Interesting that the willow tree shown in the picture commemorates someone named Felix, which in latin means happy. If you didnt know it was a person, the juxaposition is good.