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this is why people use computers for this kind of stuff

May 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm

The text layout for the bottom of the farmers’ markets poster, as I draw it four times:

[initial sketch layout]

[refined]


A month later: whoops, there are five more markets that need to go on the poster!

[not so good, markets are too small, layout is all choppy… but hey, rounded corners!]

[more unified, slightly larger boxes, better spaces for other information. I’ve already started inking & cutting out the rubylith, so this, with minor changes, is what I’m going with…]

Yes. I could do this on the computer (I have in the past, and I obviously do a lot of other stuff on the computer). There’s no real reason not to, besides the fact that I like holding a pencil more than a mouse . . . and there’s some sneaking suspicion that by going through these paper revisions, erasing and re-drawing, things end up better in the end. I can’t prove that, and there’s no doubt that graphics programs can also give you the same amount of gritty feedback, and offer extended possibilities for equivalent richness and complexity, as well as the ability to be more flexible in adjusting things, so I’m not really putting it out there as a position or a statement. At the end of this process, though, I’m sure that working on it by hand adds something undefinable to the final object — the mark of my hand? the wobble of the lead or the pen or the knife blade? an element of messiness that a computer can emulate, but never quite match?



Somewhat relatedly, here’s a link to Jo Dery’s website, which I think is newly present on the internet. She’s a printmaker, comic- & zine-maker, and animator/filmmaker from Providence. She works in sketchbooks, on paper, on film as well as digitally, and, um, all the results are amazing.

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