Feels like Fall

Green Man 15, Q. Cassetti, 2011, pen and inkSummer is winding down. Fall is on the horizon. I feel it. It’s not just the weather, it’s going from those indolent days to those that are jammed packed with my own work, other people’s work and needs and then those of the locals who have work and needs. So, I watch these last golden days of summer and reflect on the time, the people and the feeling of those rich days in anticipation and apprehension of the future.

Rob left way too early this morning to catch a plane to spend a day and night in New York on a project. Kitty had a fun day at Petrune modeling clothes for the Etsy website. I will link as soon as it or some of it posts. Alex had meetings and gatherings with friends—playing and listening to music with others. Its great that there is more to do than slothful behavior in the t.v. room. I tidied up some ends, directed few things, made a phone call or three, and started the beginning of a true fall activity, the making of restoration soup.

Restoration soup is soup that is compiled of leftovers that is magically bound by tomatoes and any sort of starch (leftover/ preferably pasta with pesto). All the random little single servings of leftover vegetables are mixed in. Some beans. The odd ear of corn, shucked. Italian Seasoning in the winter. Fresh basil as we speak. Sometimes it goes by Recycled Soup. Others, Garbage Soup. With leftover chicken from the grill, and the random leftover link of sausage I have a terrific starting point for that. Regardless of what goes it, it is surprising that it always turns out well…and is downed immediately while it is cleaning up the clutter in the refrigerator. I also have a pot of carrot soup going…for the ravenous at the lunch table (count ten)…that is on the menu for today’s entertainment and consumption. Kitty, my soup eater, practically dances in anticipation.

Speaking of sausage, Sausage Fest 2011 is planned for Saturday. Sausage Fest is an annual tradition for the Trumansburg Cross Country Team. We invite all the boys and cook sausage. There are tee shirts, games, swimming, and generally bro-ulation. Alex invites the team and many of the Cross Country alumni (that he has run with), so its very convivial and truly is an event that they all look forward to as part of the pre-season entertainment. I don’t know what it is about Cross Country, but it is a sport that is for many, more about the team than it is about the running. Sure, they all run and run hard…but its the cuddly boy thing too. They hug and support each other. It’s very cute and special.

I did something semi intelligent as well. I signed up for a few of the Entourage classes to be better at the Yearbook this year. This is the Last Year of Yearbook—and what with the chops I got with InDesign last year, and hitting the deadlines early, I think it will go swimmingly. Hopefully, we can figure out how to make the technology work so the students can engage more than just taking pictures and retouching them. We have a new powerhouse member of the team who will sell and advertise like no one’s business…so that will be good too. So my goals are—get the work done. Parse it out quickly. Sell the books like crazy. Do not have a big time burden at the end. Hand off the project to either a mom team, the PTA or let the school worry about it. No one seems to care until there are no more books to buy as they did not order them. Time to up the ante.

Good news. Rob has been asked to speak at the Sagamore Museumwise conference too in September. Maybe he can tag team with me? Maybe not. We will be going to Sagamore over a weekend, come back for the only home meet on a Tuesday and then drive back for the remainder of the week. Should be a wild one. It is so beautiful at that time of the year in the Adirondacks and the Museumwise people and participants are so lovely and charged up, that its a treat. I need to get some questions in to better understand my audience. Today.

I entered the current body of Green Men illustration on my Behance page (and Prosite page too)—and was made a featured portfolio on Behance, an editorial decision where they highlight the current images of interest. How nice is that? So I have been getting comments and insights from all over the world—and it is interesting to see what is coming out. Might I consider drawing a tarot deck? This mythological critter thing always has interesting legs. I am not “feeling” the topic as much as others, but it is good to have a process when it is not felt as much just to see if there can be success. Emotional engagement does not have to happen in order to make a picture. Yes, its is more of a personal boost, but certainly not imperative to design and make a good picture. This process has been more about design and figuring out how to do this sort of thing versus the man, the mission, the history, the entity of Green Man-ness.

Looking at the weekend, already!

Indian Garden, Q. Cassetti, 2011, sharpieToday is a brilliant, blue sky day with sun beaming down on the back forty, casting long purple shadows on the walnut trees that I can see from my perch.

Speaking of perch, Rob and Mandy put together the absolutely gorgeous Martha Stewart “Craft Room” flat flies from Home Depot’s Home Decorator site>> I got three, pale warm grey “three drawer flat files” (which are subdivided drawers that you can customize the compartment shape). I know I promoted this last week, but now that we have the real thing in hand, I am even more enthusiastic. The quality is beautiful though its like IKEA times ten to put together….but if you are looking to equip a studio or need flat files (the metal ones will really set you back a pretty penny)…and you can look real, and functional without it looking industrial. Take a look. I now have a real live orderly place to put my things and try to keep my work in some semblance of normalcy. I think, I hope, I am on the edge of knowing that life is going to be more sane with this.

Yearbook was great today. The team has figured out the software and they are absolutely diving into it. I need to work with Victor on the cover as he has some high expectations with gradients and masks and stuff. Will need to see what we can do.

Need to dive into the workload. There are some things to critique. Things to specify. Some calls to make. 

Looking for rain.

Looking at Roosters sketch, Q. Cassetti, 2010, digitalClient Holiday card still on the revision point. Worked on finalizing the tweaks to get completed by the end of the week. In that spirit, I created the Luckystone card and got it out to the insty-printer last night. Picked out some nice riblaid khaki colored envelopes that I need to order. Could be tan or a dirty green? Prices seem good. Maybe will get them imprinted with our address to make it seem a bit more pro. Next step, get the cranes cards to Interlaken to get the valentines day card done so we can stuff and finalize at the same time as Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, ordered three presents today for my nieces. Yay! I love working against the November 11th date to have all the holiday stuff done, wrapped and finalized (to be put in the mail) so that the month of December I have to make ancillary fun stuff, and to have the time to dig into whatever whimsey takes my fancy.

Working on revisions of the special project for a friend. Am working away on the logotypes and feel like there is a bit of breeze in this work.

Lots of local stuff. Need to layout the Tburg Farmers Market Thank you teeshirt and a totebag. Also, need to get my wits together for yearbook in advance. I have the Rick Smolen “Day in the Life” books from Alibris in hand as well as a few cameras I bought from Bargain Cell for the team. I will need to get a battery charger and some cards to let these little cameras go…I should try one out to know what sort of gift (?) I am extending to the group. This weekend definitely.

I hopefully will be working on the companion animal graphic work (two annual reports). Not huge projects nor huge budgets, but work is work— and we welcome it. Also have some work with Amy Brill>> a local fashion designer and creative person all round. I was doing a little branding for her…and now she needs a hangtag and something to wrap her fibers in for sale. Kitty did a little modelling for her…and the pictures are great.

Just finished the trilogy: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked Hornet’s Nests. I throughly enjoyed them…it was a mad trip, a wonderful ride from the first page of Dragon to the last page of Nest….an engrossing story in the spirit of the Hannibal Lechter stories…that is very scandinavian in style and spirit. So clean and bright with a really deep, dark slice. Summer reading extrordinaire. Recommended.

Work in progress

Making honey from past mistakes, work in progress, Q. Cassetti, 2010Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt a marvelous error;
That I had a beehive here inside my heart.
And the golden bees were making white combs
And sweet honey from my past mistakes.

-Antonio Machado

<<Illustration is a work in progress...not completed. I just wanted to see it/ share with you albeit incomplete.

I havent writting in a while as I have had a backlog of work to do...and finally, just finally I have crashed through all of that and I can sit back for a second before launching into the new pile of paying work and personal projects.

The Yearbook has gone to press. I love it when I can learn new things about software, design tricks to make more silk purses out of sows ears, and the figuring it out and surprising oneself when you use the tools and DO Figure it out. It turned out to be 135 pages of images out the ears (all submitted to me as RGB files that needed to be converted). I raided my own picture archive as well as hopping from facebook page to facebook page asking my new HS friends If I could use their images of prom, hanging out etc.and they all to a one were lovely and approved my request. This little exercise really pointed up how good cropping can make a photograph (even a bad one) and how the energy behind a school happens with photography, but not with the yearbook staff. This integration of resources (excited photographers, new media, photoshop and the Lulu book company) is where the real zing happens. And, with a bit of trepidation from former experiences, I was expecting to spend a ton of time futzing with the pdfs to make them right. Lulu got in front of that since my last big publishing, and created an add to InDesign and Acrobat with all their presets easy to access for the final pdf. So that was a snap. And despite my files being huge and having to learn how to use their recommended ftp program...it all went without a hitch. And...I saved the color pdf 3 times and saved one out entirely as a decolored pdf for the black and white (figured that one out) as well as enlarged the book for the softbound black and white (all within Adobe Acrobat in the advanced features!). I ordered 155 color hardbound books, 55 hardbound  black and white books and 35 black and white softbound books. And if we want to order more, no problem. I placed the order around 3 on Thursday and by 3 on Friday, the softbound black and white was finished and shipping. Where is the problem here? !

Kitty and Alex are on the Delaware River on a paddling trip. The weather has been like summer so I hope even if they take a splash, it will remain a fun trip for them. Rob and I had a fun night visiting at the Pourhouse. Bruce comes in today for two weeks. We are having some fun folks over to talk about their projects and ideas. Tomorrow we have Preston Frank and Zydeco dancing in the afternoon. Maybe some cooking. The bone processing has reached another level. Maybe make soup to take a chunk out of inventory.

Need to go. Projects to do, people to see.