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drawing some things

April 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

Spring is almost here (though for some reason snow is still falling on our heads occasionally?!)… so now that it’s time to ride bikes and go outside a lot, I find myself working on three poster commissions. I was not really accepting poster commissions for a while, but these are all a) awesome, b) meaningful within my community, and c) planned *way* in advance, so they meet the criteria!

Here is the initial pencil sketch for the 2011 Plant Sale poster, from sometime last week:

and where the drawing stood, pretty much done, in its full-scale version last night a couple of nights ago:

I figured out the secret to doing these things fast: if you choose a plant whose elements are relatively larger, they take up more space on the page, and you have to draw exponentially fewer of them! As opposed to the snap peas or cherry tomatoes of the two previous years’ posters… Strategy, Cozzens, strategy.

I traded some prints to Shawn G. for a new camera with the capacity to shoot time-lapse stuff, so here’s a first experimental video in that vein. What is mostly noticeable from this is a) how many times I erase and re-draw things just to move them over a sixteenth of an inch, and b) how jankily I hold my pencil! Look at that squinched-up finger, eek. Other things that might be of interest to fellow nerds are the development of the tiny serifs as I draw the word “Plant”, figuring out the angle of the letter A and its cross-bar, and re-drawing the S over & over again to make it curve around the curve of the banner…..

The pencil is a 2mm H lead (I know, pretty soft) in a Staedtler Mars 780 architect’s lead-holder; the eraser is a Sanford Peel-off Magic Rub #1960: new indispensable tool, crucial for erasing on vellum, excellent on everything else as well. Periodic pauses denote sharpening of the pencil.

I’m also drawing a cool cutaway building, secret-headquarters-style, for a punk show on April 28th (yeah, way in advance!). I was working on it yesterday last week at “drawing day” at Ada Books, in the storefront window next to Tom Bubul‘s feet:

The tools here are: a regular pencil (B, really soft!), the trusty Peel-Off Magic Rub, Olfa knife for sharpening, and COFFEE.

The bands are: Grass Widow, Broken Water, Songs For Moms, Jacob The Terrible, and Static Era a.k.a. Natalja Kent‘s New America (that last link is slightly NSFW, sorry…). This show is gonna rule. April 28th. Thursday nite. BLDG 16. Don’t skip it…

I have a couple of small handmade books, including my hand-printed-&-bound calendar/planners from 2004-2006 (memories!), in the Magic Child Repository, a group show at Craftland that opens on Thursday, April 7th! Curated by Art Middleton of Tiny Hawks, Arcing, and other local awesomeness.

Okay I think that’s it for now. See you at a dance party or a show or a coffee shop or in my (or possibly your) kitchen in the near future!

reading: Loose Space: Possibility & Diversity in Urban Life, ed. Karen A. Franck & Quentin Stevens; The Screwball Asses, by Guy Hocquenghem; Lyonel Feininger’s collected comic strips from 1906…


  1. Holy hell that video is awesome! That level of precision and attention to detail is why you are the best!

    Comment by Robin — April 4, 2011 @ 11:37 pm
  2. You know me and tiny serifs. Mind if I repost on FB?

    Comment by mark sawtelle — April 5, 2011 @ 1:17 am
  3. thanks so much, I’m glad you both like it. totally re-post! I wasn’t sure if it was too meticulous/nerdy or not… but recently I’ve been all about “making a decision to just be confident that something will be good” and running with that. !!

    Robin, it was sooo goooood to talk to you! Mark, will I see you on Thursday at the Craftland/Magic Child Repository opening??

    Comment by jean — April 5, 2011 @ 3:24 am
  4. Don’t think I’m going to make it to Craftland. This has been a bad week for family health, though we’re doing a bit better.

    Comment by mark sawtelle — April 5, 2011 @ 7:20 pm
  5. […] hand-drawn by Ian Cozzens of Secret Door Projects, who has produced posters for the last two sales. Click here to read Ian’s blog entry about the creative process, see a preview of the poster, and watch […]

    Pingback by Ready, Set, Grow | From Seed to Fruit — April 20, 2011 @ 2:15 pm
  6. wow…just catching up! love the video. i’m not sure if that was a “first try” with the new camera or not, but it turned out great! love seeing the “behind the scenes” of your process.

    Comment by eric — May 10, 2011 @ 5:48 pm
  7. thanks a lot, eric! that was definitely a first try — I would like to find a way to control/stabilize the exposure, having the light levels change around a lot is slightly annoying… (also I am drawing at the kitchen table, not where I usually draw, and I am clearly casting a shadow on the paper — my desk has more direct lighting…) but overall I am pretty satisfied. there’s more of this kind of documentation coming up, I think — it’ll involve taping the camera to the underside of my bed-loft, above my desk…

    Mark, I hope things are well/better… my wishes for good health for your family!

    Comment by jean — May 13, 2011 @ 3:06 am

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