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final stages and printing!

June 18, 2008 at 1:02 am

The “farmers’ markets / mercados de granjeros” poster is done!

I finished printing the morning of June 4th, wrapped the posters up in paper and then a couple of plastic bags, and biked them across town in the rain. I arrived at the Farm Fresh offices with dry posters and wet everything else. By now, they are up around town (at least, so I’ve heard, since I’ve been away!) and the farmers’ markets have actually begun, so go check them out if you’re in RI… or go visit your local farmer & help them pull up some weeds! with all the rain, they will need the help.

last steps, from ink drawings on transparency to printed color stages, follow.


upcoming, rapidly

May 15, 2008 at 1:29 am

Farmers’ Markets poster: It’s further along now than it was in this picture. The Farm Fresh folks liked the layouts they saw yesterday! I am pretty psyched about it, though it promises to be a pain to align… It might be done this weekend, more likely early next week.

New Urban Arts: Come to the giant Art Party this Friday, May 16th, 6-8 pm. I’m currently helping students finish three complicated print projects. Hopefully they will all get done in time!

also, a page I am psyched about finally exists at the “cooperative (not collective)” shared server-space linkage-nexus, or whatever that kind of thing is called. it features a bunch of NUA-related collaborative web projects (and a sweet multi-colored transparent gif): cooperativenotcollective.org!!!

Print Series print #2: “private/shared”: long overdue update coming soon (also early next week) with images of drawings. thanks for your patience.

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]


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.

farmers’ markets poster progress

March 29, 2008 at 9:32 am

From sketch

…. to full-size mockup with letters!

There’s actually way more done than this by now, these pictures are from last Monday night (March 24). The letters are totally hand-drawn, no tracing! but I used a computer to print out sample text to get the letters to fit more-or-less right in their space, and to get the kerning (the spacing between each letter) roughly in place. After I had figured out most of the letterforms (drawing them as I went along in the “Providence & Pawtucket” text at the top), I started adjusting the kerning on the paper as I drew… since the computer kerning wasn’t always right. The tall letters, diagonal slant, and tight fit of the central text made it necessary to really adjust each space by eye, squinting at the negative space between the letters, trying to feel out how much breathing room they have… sketching, looking, erasing, redrawing the letter a 16th or a 32nd of an inch over — etc. It sounds maddening, right? but I have done it so many times now that I have a feel for it, and I haven’t done it in a while, so it was relaxing, falling back into old ways, an understandable task.

I’m going to try to post images of this project through to its completion — I’ve mostly put up process work so far, and if you’ve read some of the earlier posts, you may be wondering, “does anything ever get finished?” It does, but I think that after I’m done with things, I’m less excited about them than I am in the middle of the process. Also, since most of them are posters, or multiples of some kind, people see the final product… but the process tends to go unseen…

secret door work & livelihood update:

I occasionally do some screenprinting work for a local offset printer, Black Cat Graphics. They call me when they need a light-colored ink printed on dark-colored envelopes — the one thing their processes and techniques can’t pull off. (The jobs tend to be really fancy wedding invitations designed by a swanky place in New York… but luckily all only one color.) Right now, I’m in the middle of trying to be super hard-working and organized to get the second series print (about private space & shared space) done for my show in May. It’s been going well so far, even though there have been some major exceptions of space-out time — mostly I’ve been very productive & pretty organized and staying focused and on-task.

Black Cat called me up at the beginning of the week to ask if I wanted to do a large screenprinting job — more than twice as many things as I’ve printed for them before, more than twice as much money. The envelope printing will be demanding, but straightforward — lots of small details and fine lines, but I’ve ironed out (most of) those kinks in the last couple of jobs I have done for them. (Part of the reason I like working for BC is that J—, the proprietor, is as picky about quality & detail as I am, maybe more so…) It will take some time, because of the large number of pulls, and that will be time taken away from me getting the print done… it might even mean it’s not totally ready…so I initially was going to say no. I realized that, though, having the extra money will mean that I won’t have to be stressed out about money by the time of the show itself, and that I won’t be worrying about whether I sell anything or how much I sell, won’t have to let money affect how I approach the whole situation — at least not any more than it already affects any situation… So, seen in the light of that trade-off, absolutely worth it. I decided to take on the job…

and. . . I’ve definitely hung up half-finished work before . . .

sketch barf

February 26, 2008 at 4:01 am

small drawings in preparation for a poster

If you fold a piece of 11×17 inch paper in quarters, and then rip it along the folds, then fold each one of those pieces into quarters and rip those along the folds…. you have 16 small pieces of paper, each with the same proportions as the original sheet, that are about 2.75″ x 4.25″…

… and are perfect for spitting out multiple tryouts of ideas for 11″x17″ poster layouts. As you can see, some ideas are good, some are less good… but you would never get there without drawing them all out.

This work was done at the same time as looking on flickr for tomato- & farm-based images. I’m only beginning to comprehend the wealth of photo reference that lives on the internet… it engenders a different kind of browsing than looking through old National Geographics (my previous main photo reference source), but is equally intriguing, though less moldy, and the colors might not be quite as beautiful… (NB. If you have a child, and a tomato garden… the picture you are about to take of him or her picking a tomato in the garden — it’s already been taken.)

Poster: for Farm Fresh RI, the group that organizes farmers’ markets and other local food initiatives.

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