Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a taste of things to come

i hope this says 1960's sci fi to you. because the halloween party is this weekend and we've been busting out command centers and lunar landscapes and paper mache planets like crazy for a little less than a month now. with barbarella as our guide. it will be crazy to see it finally all together come saturday...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

three things i've been inspired by from the past few days (clockwise from left)

this sweet mural (?) at the herring run branch of enoch pratt
the color combo of these three exercise journals at avam
all the work on the great white wall in the gateway
(done in an art therapy class at a place for developmentally disabled adults. the alligator is my favorite.)

calling cards (part two)

we critiqued our calling cards in letterpress today, which means i got the ones that claire made for me! such a fun little swap. grid. yellow. lowercase letters. italics. i'm happy.

here are my inspirational pictures that i passed on to claire as she was designing them. these were definitely just the tip of the iceburg of a pretty full folder on my desktop, but totally a top ten for the moment. (or eleven.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

dear mayor dixon,

i got a call today from carey early today saying that it was the day to tackle the zine. he's been putting in the hours and energy working on this idea for a while now, and i've just been helping out as possible... but it's been so awesome to see this go from an anything-is-possible grant proposal for a zine workshop in pimlico to a totally solid and cohesive concept in a truly organic way. we led a workshop once a week last semester, and by the start of the summer he saw that it was time to pause and change directions. carey started asking the kids what they wanted to see happen, and what they really wanted was a playground in their neighborhood. (the notorious pall mall apartments had recently been demolished across the street, leaving an open space perfect for such a possibility.) since then, there's been a bit of a struggle to force it to fit into a zine and be wrapped up with a shiny bow, but tonight i think we hit the nail on the head. words, image and placement just started to flow. we really didn't need to do more than just work with what the kids had already done (they wrote a giant letter together to mayor sheila dixon and took photos of the space over the summer) and try to tell their story through 12 pages and design.

i can't wait to show the finished pages and product (eventually there will be 10,000 copies made to be distributed.) this kind of stuff is when design really feels good. thanks carey. and thanks kids.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

sometimes i have a shy bladder.

talking about post secret is like talking about banksy. they're both brilliant, and you know that, but the fact that everyone else has caught up to you in that realization makes them automatically less brilliant. same with some people and music. it's all about being the first person to find them. so when fall out boy sells out or they start playing death cab on the oc, your best bet is to start to dismiss them completely. (i still listen to both. but nothing post-cork tree and this new twilight partnership makes me a little nauseous.)

so where does that put a new york times #1 best seller and someone able to fill up an entire floor of the visionary museum with people for a lecture?

if you haven't heard about the post secret phenomenon yet, all you have to do is scroll through a page or two of this blog to get yourself acquainted with the concept. (i like how the creator, frank warren, put it today: that there was obviously something already there that he just happened to tap into the right way at the right time.) there are hundreds of these postcards posted. and he gets 10,000 a week. delivered to his house. those numbers speak for themselves. there is definitely power to what he has been able to facilitate. so in honor of the secret sharing and purging that was encouraged at the lecture earlier today, i put one of my own as this post title. it's totally true! so there. (what a relief to share with the world...)

letterpress is a lot of work

but these babies are finally done! the assignment was to make postcards baltimore related... i had to go with sports. the stadium images are photo transfers (my thumbs were raw from all that rubbing...) and then the print is using the wonderous photo polymer. one lesson learned after a day in dolphin: never guillotine a fresh stack of prints. even if you think they're dry. bad idea.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2 am and 2 lbs of craft jewels

always a good time. i think it might be full already, but if not...
free trip to the visionary museum this sunday at noon!
you know the drill. just sign up in front of student activities.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

hammer time

matt mcnary from hammerpress visted mica today, sharing work, wisdom, and being our tim gunn for a hammerpress inspired workshop in class. the prints hammerpress makes are pretty awesome. and after attempting to channel their aesthetic during the workshop, i have an even bigger appreciation for the forethought that goes into how they select type, assemble all that ornamentation, and layer color. plus a surge of inspiration and motivation for our next letterpress project (a postcard about baltimore)

here are some of my favorites from their website:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the one that got on the air

i should preface this by admitting that i am not a die hard this american life fan. i have not listened to every episode. (although i do have my favorites...) and i wasn't completely heartbroken when word got out that ira glass would be at mica, but the tickets would be insanely expensive. still, i certainly get the power of it all. and when i snuck into falvey hall last night (thank you, ann south) and all of the lights went pitch black and you could only hear his voice across the speakers, i got serious chills. he shared stories with us in person as he has been doing for so many years on npr. yes, the lights did eventually go on (he said he would have done the entire talk in the dark if mica and wypr had let him) to reveal him perched comfortably behind a table of electronics, chatting it up like we were all at one huge dinner table, and orchestrating each sound clip and interview with the fluidity of a conductor.

the only flaw of the night? that i didn't have something to write with. so i can't remember his gems word for word, but his advice for undergrads stuck with me. he said he wished that someone had told him when he was 20 years old just how hard it is to find a good idea. (amen to that.) he said he remembers looking around when he was in school and every artist/writer seemed to have a surplus of brilliant ideas. they appeared to be coming out of nowhere with great ease. he wished someone would have told him that the good ideas don't just come to you. you have to work for them. really work. you have to commit to research and constantly surround yourself with other good ideas. and hope for a little bit of luck. in the end, the numbers come out to about 50% searching (for an idea) and 50% working (on the idea.) when they look for stories to pursue for this american life, there are at least three they completely scrap for every one that gets on the air.

some tangents....

andy showed me this video afterward about ira's take on the creative process:

and interestingly enough, jackie had just sent me a link the day before to an excerpt from chuck klosterman's new book (something about dinosaurs...) where ira gets some shout outs amid some really relevant and intriguing thoughts about interviewing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

calling cards

our first official letterpress assignment was to make calling cards. one catch. they couldn't be for ourselves. (drats!) but i actually turned into a really fun way to work on something. we all paired up with someone in the class who we didn't already know, and who we weren't a lot alike. (which was determined by an enneagram test our teacher had us take.) i got paired up with a girl named claire. and it didn't take long in our designer to client/client to designer relationship to find common ground. (mustard yellow! and an aversion to capital letters.) she had the brilliant suggestion to send each other some pictures that inspire us. (favorites from the beloved folder pretty much every artist has on their desktop for dumping the things that catch our eye on the web.) here's the assortment she gave me:

funny how just a few pictures can say so much about a person's aesthetic. (claire also hinted at a growing obsession with old wallpaper patterns... which is where the border pattern on the card above comes from.)

Friday, October 9, 2009

color theory with kindegarteners

is the best. (the big kids were off taking a test today...) i can't not keep sharing these power project lessons. especially if color and squares are involved. i'm just having too much fun.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

stuff in the sky

surrealism? maybe? yet another photoimaging assignment.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

this is so my new favorite website

i'll admit. i get stuck on sites like the satorialist or garance dore a lot. and often when i should be doing something more productive that perusing pictures of adorable outfits. but it's just so much fun. a good go-to when there's a few minutes to spare and a computer nearby. this one, the uniform project, is especially smart and resourceful. if this girl can come up with 365 completely different looks with that one dress (which she is already well on her way to doing...) and raise money for something important to her (education in india) i'm sold. come make me an outfit from my closet, please.

Friday, October 2, 2009

mike perry would be proud

i continue to be amazed by the kids at the power project. we did more hand lettering this week, this time making an alphabet with everyone contributing a letter. they caught right on, and had so much fun with it. check out more pictures of their awesome alphabet on the power project gd blog we started to document the lessons.