right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

hourly comics day, somewhat later

April 4, 2015 at 4:06 am

I haven’t written/posted here in a long time, yikes. Here are the “hourly” comics I made back in early February, to try to kick it off again. FEATURING: the official dirtiest apron in the world* (which I drew as completely clean), John Cage chance composition processes, canceled plans, Scøtt’s pink camo bandana, a delicious frittata, crippling trans body feelings, leftover lentils, weird sleep schedules, and my bike parked atop a snowbank (and this was only the beginning of the epic snowfalls that kept us all imprisoned this Feb & March!).

These comics were drawn directly ink-on-paper, no pencils, with some truly unacceptable lines razored out & replaced with another piece of paper. Slight photoshop, mostly to correct for the way that ink-warped photocopy paper scans on a crummy scanner. The one “error” that I would fix in hindsight is to change Jacob’s narrative in comic 9 from “and then… [RIFF]” to “and then… [YARN]”: Jacob can occasionally be heard riffing, but more frequently (and more accurately, in this instance) he will have a yarn to share with you.

James Kuo made hourly comics as well on the same day: here you can find a literal alternate viewpoint on some of these same happenings, some introspection & some intense blanked-out conversation, and — dare I say it? — a cute drawing of me. ;)

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hourly02sm

hourly03sm

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hourly06sm

hourly07sm

hourly08sm

hourly09sm

hourly10sm

hourly11sm

hourly12sm

hourly13sm

hourly14sm

hourly15sm

hourly16sm

For long-time readers of this blog, some sad news (and part of why I haven’t posted stuff here in a while, I guess) is that my sweet cat Buio, of whom you’ve seen lots of pictures here in the past many years, died on November 17th from kidney cancer… which is why he doesn’t appear in this comic. Tiger, who provides the comic relief above, is chilling with us for a while cause he needed a place to stay for a bit… He’s a fine cat, a high-quality purrer, but not a true friend to me like the Boo was… I miss that guy a lot!


*n.b. my apron did actually win the only Dirty Apron Contest that I have ever heard of… and I’m still using (and continuing to dirty) it so I can only assume that it has kept its top-apron status. ???

pushing & trouble — conversation on creative practice with CJ Jimenez & Beth Nixon

April 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm

This coming Monday, April 28th, from 7pm to around 9, I’ll be part of a broad-ranging conversation at New Urban Arts with CJ Jimenez, facilitated by Beth Nixon, one of the current NUA Mentor Fellows.

Here in an authentic multi-dimensional Providence context is the multi-dimensional poster made by Andrew Oesch (unfortunately the other two conversations already happened, sorry for not posting this earlier! TIME! augh!):

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… and here’s the event on Facebook if you wanna “share” it.

This is the seventh (I think?) year of having these series of “conversations on creative practice” at NUA — I’m really honored to be asked to be part of one. Based on the preliminary discussion that Beth & CJ & I had, a) there is a lot to talk about, and b) we will be getting pretty real? or at least I aspire to that (as always, but especially in this context). Come even if you’ll be late, you can jump into the conversation at any point… it’s free & there will be snacks… Okay! See you there I hope!

Among some likely subjects: non-documented actions/interactions as art, racism / white supremacy, dog walking, political art, narrative & text, tumblr, invisibility, bodies, the possible scope of our actions as humans…. and more? I’ve known CJ for a long time through various connections (if you go back far enough in this bloggy, you can find a picture of CJ helping Emmy Bright print a poster for one of the earlier iterations of the “conversations” series), & I keep being amazed at how New Urban Arts has created these connections which extend over time and allow me to keep understanding new things about people I first met when they were teenagers… and to grow and learn alongside of them. Yikes!


Other things that have been happening:

— with the organizational help of a friend who is good at the organizing & prioritizing things, I am *finishing* lots of projects to get ready for the RISD Alumni Spring Art Sale, Saturday May 3rd! 6 more days to get ready! lots to do! gettin it all done hopefully… Jess X. Chen & I are sharing a table, & we’re near other friends — come say hi at the corner of Benefit & Waterman Sts from 10-4 next Saturday!

— Hand-drawn letters, they are everywhere:::

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…and I’ve been posting the cool ones that I see, as well as work in progress / neat buildings / interesting patterns / cats / etc. on instagram, I like its simple interface for whatever reason, follow if you want… most of those pictures get cross-posted to tumblr

— In other bloggy news, I’ve been keeping track of my favorite spring happening, the bright green blooming maple tree in our yard

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— Did I write anything yet about being a contributor to the 6th issue of Headmaster Magazine? Well dang, again, TIME!!! (Here’s the preview image I posted a couple months back, but all the contributors were still under wraps at that point, and I have yet to put together a full post on that project…) Also on May 3rd, from 9pm till late, Headmaster is having their Providence release party: “The Pawtucky Derby” (facebook event) at Machines With Magnets in P’tucket. Dancing, fun times, magazines, drinks, snacks? boys? (“men?”) okay! Headmaster (aka. Matthew & Jason) are the sweetest most tender fancy-art-magazine publishers everrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr <3 — Along with a bunch of other local artists, I'm working on a project for a show at Slater Mill, celebrating the Pawtucket strike of 1824, that will be opening in mid-May! More three-dimensional letters, coming up. I’ll post progress pictures along the way; here’s the space we’ll be working in:

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!!!

— found a use for old laser-printed offset plates! as the best, water-proof, re-usable sheets for masking off areas of silkscreens while printing. YES:

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interim photo post

December 5, 2013 at 5:33 am

Stuff is sad (understatement) cause two good people died recently — Providence artist & musician Joe Buzzell, who I knew glancingly from around town, whose art I admired, who I always wanted to collaborate on a project with — and writer & theorist José Esteban Muñoz, who I didn’t know, but whose writing really shaped the way I see the possibility latent in the world, the potential in queerness, the crucial importance of fighting towards utopia. I want to write more about it, but I’m really busy, aah…. so here are some pictures from the past recent times cause things are also beautiful and here we are, alive.

Building 16, now that it’s over it feels like a dream that we didn’t appreciate enough while we had it….

I built some shelves

and filled them up with stuff.

I have definitely done this in my time as a bike rider:

Epic two-day ink-sort-out, dealing with all the random ink containers (30+ ?) that had accumulated after rainbow rolls that I’d never “put away” properly, for maybe the past two years…?

There’s always a container into which I scrape all the gross crap that shouldn’t go back into the good ink but also shouldn’t go down the drain, just started a new one, here it is:

testing

In my friend’s secret repository of slightly water-damaged paper:

I acquired all this paper (the biggest sheets here are 40″x26″, the stack is about 1.5 feet tall) WHOOPS

This building is on Public St on the south side, go see it before they put walls on/in it & you can no longer witness this epic structural situation:

I picked up some old wooden casement windows out of the trash today for the first time in a long time. I kind of swore off doing that a while ago (it’s just too tempting, there are so many, and you (I) will never really do anything with them!). BUT today was a “save for some reason” day, except now I know the reason: saving a thing and appreciating its beauty, or planning to do a project with it, is a tiny promise against death, for a little while, completely ineffective, but hopeful in its own illogical way…

feelings of love, & fear

October 24, 2013 at 3:43 am

Last night & tonight I’ve been powering through the final incarnations of the project that I was making those three-dimensional letters for. Here’s the first one, the poster for my upcoming show (which will be printed by the URI printing services!):

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So I think it was worth many hours of adjusting objects tiny amounts while squinting through the viewfinder???!!! Big thanks to photographer Matthew Clowney for helping me out with photoshop adjusting some lighting levels, sharpening, and making the pencil text more legible! and also huge gratitude to Scott for putting up with a giant door/table, tripod, and light stand (a.k.a. a mic stand that he let me borrow) in the middle of our shared studio for 48 hours…

Tonight I’m feeling exhausted by computer work / sitting at the compy all day doing layout — last night I was feeling SUPER energized & in love with all the tools I use and even feeling psyched about the digital tools — camera and photoshop — which I always feel like I am just starting to learn how to use. So — that excitement continues, but is always ready to flop over into overwhelmed-ness by all the different things you can do with digital tools… sometimes it’s nice to have a tool that just does one thing?

Here are some moments in this process that I had never done before, and which felt pretttty confusing / scary at times:

… initial thoughts towards text arrangement…

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… got all the elements I had initially planned for in there, but it looks pretty barren & empty… hmm…

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… some of my tools were on the table, what if I start putting the tools in there too? oh, that’s better. okay…

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… at some point I realized I had to modify the chipboard holding up these little letters so that the light could shine through them…

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… which gives me a new understanding of the term “drop shadow”…

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… here’s the studio while I was shooting / adjusting / shooting / adjusting / etc. it really was pretty impossible to move around…

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… and then here’s the second setup, for the postcard design, on which photoshop / layout is almost done. this camera & object setup went a lot faster, unsurprisingly! you can see how chaotic the table had become…

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It was really fun to make a mess like this for the camera; it was crucial, I guess, to be doing it under time pressure so I had to bring it to a conclusion instead of fooling around; it made me want to be doing stop motion animation or something? or building dioramas of buildings to draw them? or just making lots more three dimensional letters? We’ll see… not right now, now I have to get the actual art ready for this show!


Here are some photos of the aftermath of the talk / presentation I did at the RISD Museum on Sunday:

A table of tools, including some of the drawings / watercolors I made of the Allens Ave warehouse demolition process this summer:

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Erik Dardan & Scott talk in the background of poster process material spanning 11 years:

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And this is for evidence of my “digital workflow” — scanning some of the three-dimensional letters to make them into the text for the back of the show postcard.

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This is my 2005 (!) powerbook, with the bottom third of the screen non-functional, but luckily still choogling along, since my newer computer can’t run the ol’ crappy scanner (and I do love this old compy). These moments of going back & forth between digital & physical, in somewhat (very?) inefficient ways, strike me as totally hilarious and also a nice hallmark of living in ‘the future’, the real future, which feels terrifyingly and authentically science-fictiony… There’s never a clean jump into the future, we’re always dragging our old rapidograph pens and film line cutters and proportional scales and rusty 1970s pickup trucks and ninety-year-old buildings and crappy scanners that haven’t completely broken yet into the future with us… And we’re using them right next to our unimaginably high-resolution digital capture devices, at the same moment as we check in with our constantly-interconnected, instantaneously-updated, internet personality profiles…


There’s one more spot left in my Transparent Colors & Hand-Cut Stencils advanced silkscreen class at AS220! Starts October 30th, the awesome Jen Hall will be the T.A! Come hang out with us & learn some intense / cool screenprinting techniques!

studio time

October 5, 2012 at 4:22 am

Radio silence here, due to mostly-quitting facebook (it was sucking all my life, time, & attention away?) and spending a lot of time taking care of long-procrastinated projects around the house & in the studio. Which has mostly meant cleanup & organization, sorting out things, taking action on random un-acted-on things, and building shelves. I probably haven’t talked about how much I like building shelves… more on that sometime soon, along with pictures of the shelves. (“It’s not hoarding if the stuff is on a shelf, right???”)

Now it’s back to art work, somewhat reluctantly. The studio is way way way more organized & more of an actual useful active work space than it’s been since we started renting it (SIX YEARS as of early September ’12!), so now I know how long it takes to have a functional studio space come together, for future reference. I find myself with a physical desire to keep organizing “just a little bit more”, to “really put things into place”, but I’m aware that organizing itself can be a procrastination tactic for me. I want to recognize the substantive value of “setting up” even in the absence of “actually playing” (as evidenced by the hours my childhood best friend Alyssa and I would spend “setting up” the My Little Ponies, in preparation for “playing with them” which never quite actually happened, the “setting up” was engaging enough in itself or maybe was really the whole point…). However, in my semi-grownup or at least no-longer-9-years-old life, I have stuff I want to make and this studio is a functional structure for letting that stuff happen, not an end in itself!

So this is what’s happening right now:

… getting ready to re-print these guys which have been my bread-n-butter in terms of what people want to spend money on around these parts; all five colors of the first printing are now pretty much all gone! Tuesday I got struck down by some sickness (cold & fever?), tried to fight it, Wednesday didn’t get much done besides a long bicycle errand, today gave in & spaced out & made good food & napped all day, taking care of the sickness which was making me immobile & useless… Then mixed some colors tonight, as seen in the photo. I’m trying to get just a couple of the second edition of these Industrial Trust Buildings printed before the RISD street art sale which is happening on Saturday October 6th, very very soon!

Also listening to a live Work/Death set consisting of Scott putting a bunch of random metal items on a crappy old turntable & recording its rotation. Ambient aluminum rustlings. Lovely.

thresholding

July 2, 2012 at 3:38 am

When you feel really like things are going to come apart into pieces, not in an epic explosive way but just in the way where you are not sure if you actually exist or why you are existing or what ground you are standing on at the moment (this could be a good or bad feeling, or in between), you do what is known as thresholding.

This is where you are feeling thresholdy (the feeling loosely noted above) and you go to a place that is a threshold in some way or another, some kind of amorphous/undefined/ambiguous area, a place in transition, a place with no boundary, a place that won’t be there tomorrow. The margins, the passageway between places, the bulldozed earth. GO BY YOURSELF. And then just spend some time there and walk where you feel like within/around that place. Maybe take a camera or drawing stuff because words are generally useless on the threshold, maybe take some food if you think to grab it on your way outta the house, but usually you are leaving the house (or wherever you are) in a rush because you are feeling fucking THRESHOLDY and in your room or trying to talk to your lovely housemate or in a public sociable space is NO PLACE TO BE when you need to be THRESHOLDING.

(Does it have to be said that a car can’t take you to the threshold? Get out & walk to find it, ride your bike but get off when you get there, you need to be moving slowly & feeling your feet on the ground.)

Do that for a while, look at everything, touch things, sit down, lie down, pick up things & put them back or put them in your pocket or put them where they should be. Watch the angles & proportions of the space change as you walk through it. Do something that is scary, climb up a thing, take off your shirt in the sunlight, test the rotted floor, be alone for a little bit longer. When you are done you are done, go back to where people are, or to the coffee shop, get warm, write in your notebook.

Nothing will be solved by doing this. But you do it anyway. Thresholding isn’t supposed to offer you anything, all it can do is echo your own internal threshold but be bigger than you at the same time, hold you within it… something like that… can’t analyze it too much, it’s a threshold…

oh cleanup

May 15, 2012 at 12:37 am

I realized my room/studio (where I draw) is messy to the point of being un-usable. As in, it’s hard to stay in there & I feel like all the piles are going to fall down on me when I try to work at the desk. Which is the drawing place, the place where it should be really enjoyable to spend time because drawing is the most fun part of my work… right? So why is this place the most intimidating / feels the most precarious of any place in my house??? And, even worse, how long has it felt this way without me articulating it as such?

No pictures, it’s too embarrassing / sensitive. Now I’m wrapped up in cleanup / hopeful paradigm shift for my workspace. And things unrelated to work are going great! Even this cleanup hopefully signals/echoes the start of some new times & a different relationship to the physical scenario around me… will check in in a day or two with cleanup update… if I don’t get buried under piles… !

alison is the coolest

January 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

I am super psyched about having an intern. Even if Alison & I weren’t getting anything done, it would be super helpful to me just to have to figure my schedule & projects out every day that we are going to meet up, and to be pushed to articulate & plan what I want to work on & what my next steps are. So that’s great in itself… BUT AND! we are getting a lot of stuff done, and working on projects together that I probably wouldn’t have had the impetus to work on on my own, and she’s also helping me with some stuff like studio organization and finishing the reprints of the “queers” posters

Also having another person around is great for me to be able to look at my process & see where I’m not so organized or putting things off to ill effect, and to be aware of how I’m focusing or failing to focus… Also Alison is good at seeing where distraction and chaos come into the space we’re working in, and good at saying “hey, let’s take steps to take this distraction away”… Which, sometimes, it’s hard for me to say about my own time/space… but when I’m working with somebody else, it legitimizes creating clear space for us to work in, and then gives me an example of how to create that space for myself in the future / when I’m working alone. Hmmm. The upshot is, Alison is great & I feel lucky to get to work with her!

Here is some of her work, just my snapshots of the slightly random selection that happened to be within thirty feet of my desk…

A poster she designed & printed for a show at Witch Club, the mill space she helped create & run this past summer & fall (a slightly mis-printed version, I believe):

A typography zine that she made this fall (cover & selections from internal pages):





She drew the fonts & letterforms for this poster collaboration with Julia Moses:

And this is the flyer she made for the dance party we had at the beginning of January:

She also does “non-poster” CMYK silkscreen work based on her photography… here’s her tumblr page… oh wait & did I mention she’s a radical femme, with at least one secret scheme up her sleeve, and an outspoken queer feminist at RISD (which is an institution that sometimes feels very lacking in queerness or feminism, & can be a difficult place to be either of those things)? Anyways, SO AWESOME.

Right now we’re collaborating on a poster for the *next* queer dance party (second Saturday in February, mark those calendars!).

Some thumbnails & sketches & color test & figuring out the action steps:

Drawing elements for the poster, being combined…

Combined sketch & beginning of letters (& look at that glossy black paper we are going to be attempting to print on, ha ha!):

Okay, well needless to say perhaps, I would most likely have not thought of using this color scheme or this kind of imagery if I were not working with Alison. But I’m generally excited these days about pushing myself in a different direction, or in a bunch of different directions… and I’m reminded again about how collaboration is super useful as a spur to get you to try things you’ve been nervous about tackling….. !

(more…)

I used to hate the color pink

January 11, 2012 at 6:01 am

A lot of things happened and now I am working on a bunch of projects at the same time as per usual, rolling forward with some experimental / totally new & unknown-territory stuff while I try to ACTUALLY finish long-unfinished things and push myself to work harder on comics (right now, in the form of lots of ink/brush/wash experimentation / practice / fooling around) and keep putting on events that help build the queer community in Providence (right now, a series of monthly queer dance parties in our basement, next one’s February 11th, mark those calendars (or contact me for details)!).

Also I started a one-day-a-week coffee shop called “Coffee Club” in my friends’ office/gallery, partly as a way to have “a job”, and partly as a way of creating a warm creative community space where people can meet & be sociable through the winter months… come join us! Fridays, 186 Carpenter St. Providence, 12-8pm.

I should be writing about all this stuff as it happens, instead of doing giant summary posts three months apart, um well I’m a terrible blogger.

This (and the photo at the top) shows the beginning of an experimental project, which I’m working on with my truly awesome intern Alison Nitkiewicz, who is a printmaker, feminist, student, & part of my community of friends here in Providence. These giant sheets of bond paper, printed in various gradations of transparent ink, are collage material: they are going to go out into the world & be used to construct worlds.


[as seen with the toes of my boots; Alison, you were totally right about having some full sheets of each of these blues & not just printing them on the small paper!]


[as seen with Alison’s boots]

Pink & blue were just the first colors, there will be more, never fear, we’re not trying to stick to an essentialist binary here!

Also I haven’t really posted lots of pictures of friends on this website at all ever but here’s us dancing around in the kitchen to the music of the pop star who just had her baby the night/morning of our basement dance party… and yes, my housemate is holding the empty shells of 30 eggs… breakfast was delicious…

…and this is some beautiful people (there were more out of the frame of the picture and taking the picture) in the living room of our house the morning after the party, there was a sleepover…

…so maybe later I’ll write about what I’ve been thinking about regarding putting on events as an important path towards creating community, and how making social spaces is “real work” and totally meaningful, even though they are ephemeral and don’t fit into the standard definitions of what is productive… but I can’t write about that right now, there’s stuff to do!

I can say two words about pink, though, which is this: I used to hate it because I thought it would make me look girly and that people would categorize me with other girls if I wore it… now I like it, I think mostly because it reminds me to keep reclaiming things I am afraid of… and because it is super gay, and guess what?

so am I.

More soon!

leading with the edge

October 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Your long-absent correspondent is very much alive over here in Providence. Summer happened, I helped at my friends’ farm every weekend (except when I went traveling to the south for three weeks), I rode my bike a lot, I met and hung out with amazing people, had really good conversations, had some experiences that were pretty transformational, lived my life: it was totally wonderful.

Then it got chilly, then we had one final weekend of hot weather, now the temperature is dropping by 10 degrees every day and the Buio cat is curled up in a tight little ball & it looks like Fall is For Real. Which means that it’s not time to stop living life, or time to stop being wonderful: it’s just a time for doing work & getting serious & wearing sweaters & buckling down to the task(s) at hand. Also I’m broke so it’s convenient that now there is much less temptation to go on long bike rides or hang out on rooftops or talk late into the night next to bonfires…

I just put up a big re-organizational update to the main Secret Door Projects website.

I did most of the work on this re-organization back in February and March, to get to show some different priorities & new directions that my work has taken since 2007 when I first made the SDP website… so there are new sections for comics & zines, fonts I’ve drawn, a “practice & process” section grouping process work & creative practice stuff together… and also a thing with a little bit about my gender identity & the fact that my name is now Ian!

It took me so long to put this update up because I was attempting to write all my family members actual paper letters about my gender stuff & name shift. This was totally overwhelming (I have a lot of cousins & second cousins) & I ultimately realized I was being held back professionally & creatively by not being able to be out — as trans and as Ian — on facebook & on the internet. It surprised me how much I felt like I was existing as a partial person, not being able to be be consistent & public about my name & my gender & identity…

So… unsurprisingly maybe, my cousins, aunts, & uncles did not all get letters from me yet… but I went ahead and changed my name on facebook (personal page, art page) and put up the giant website update. To my family who may be reading this (and anybody else who is confused), I’m sorry for the lack of more personal communication… but I’ll see you soon & we can talk about it then. Real quick: I identify as a boy (also occasionally as a man!), I use “he” pronouns, my name is Ian Gilpin Cozzens, I’m a queer which means (among other things) that I’m not interested in assimilating to any idea of the ‘normal’ in the realms of desire or gender identity… and I love you.

xoxo

— ian c.


…from my travels…

oh also now that things are more consistent for me on the internet, you can probably expect more regular updates of this page here… and I’ll probably be writing about gender & identity & stuff too… we’ll see how it goes.

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