Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bloggie Gift

Today, I received a box in the mail, from the lovely Lecia.

She had NO idea how much I needed to win this dish towel giveaway...

Using carbon-dating techniques, the existing dish towels 
register as atleast 20 years old.
(The cloth baby burp rags shall go without mention.)

Blogging makes the world a MUCH better place.
 Thanks Lecia!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Alphabet Series: Cap A (again)

I couldn't resist another Alphabet "A."
1) Because it's a real-live honest-to-goodness slingshot.
2) Because it was lying on someone's lawn on my street.

Bread Thingies

I'm collecting these.
So if you have any, please save them for me?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art School Sketchbook: Dot Zero Catalog

Another project from portfolio class, senior year: 
Design a Catalog for an existing store.

I chose a shop that was in the Flatiron building on 23rd street: Dot Zero. 
It was a haven for designers, and featured objects 
that were clever in design, function & form.
Sadly, the shop no longer exists.

As usual... it all began in my head & was transcribed to the notebook.
First I designed a logo and established the look that I wanted.
Then I did a page map, almost identical to the map that I would do for any catalog today.
I collected images that I liked from existing catalogs & magazines, 
found dummy text & began to layout the book.

I went through the whole cut, paste, & line-up with a t-square thing 
that I explained in yesterday's post. I did the photostats, touched them up,
and prepared to bind the whole thing together.

Except I didn't actually know HOW to bind it together.
Here's where the whole media-workshop- 
collective creative thang came in handy...

A few desks down, Scott was happy to help me, by drawing me this faboo diagram, 
right here in my Art School Sketchbook.
Isn't he awesome?!
Thanks Scott, wherever you are!!!!

Here's the aging, falling apart, finished piece:

Where you see spots of color, 
it means that those items were cut out from 
sources & then glued down over the black & white photostat.
Like these teapots, which were carefully cut with a sharp xacto blade.

...and the beige blankie & picnic basket.

It's ironic that years later, I was hired to design and redesign 
some of the very magazines that I stole pictures from for these projects.

I am so freaking grateful to be able to make my living doing something that I love.
And the cherry on the top of my cake?
I can do it right here from my desk at home.
Life is good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Art School Sketchbook: Lipton Tea

I have been wanting to do this post for a long time...
Explaining how graphic design was done back in the stone age. 
(When I was in Art School.)

Our assignments, which seemed like impossible tasks at the time, 
were usually something like:
"Redesign the New York Times" or "Redesign the Lipton Tea Package."

Ideas came from inspiration. 
Inspiration came from images & color palettes that we've seen before, 
but hopefully redirected into a new purpose.
One of the biggest differences in how we worked back then, 
is that everything we did was out in the open. 
We worked at drafting tables in a huge media workshop. 
We saw what other designers were working on. 
There was a sense of collective creativity, that kept us going.
Today, the workshop is made of row after row of computers & dividers in a darkened room. 

Back to the drawing board...
We would carefully wax or spray mount whole fonts to the table,
and using a xacto blade, cut out each letter that we needed.
If you don't like the way a font looks, you save it for something else.
Art students are genius at recycling.

We also used alot of Letraset, and a thingie called a burnisher, 
which I posted about here, last year.
Using a T-square & triangle, we  carefully lined everything up on an illustration board.
Then we used a photostat machine (in a darkroom) to shoot this concoction onto smooth photo paper.
These darkrooms were also used for other endeavors, but that's for a later post ;-)

The photostat can then be used to make color copies with a copy machine. 
In 1986, copies were 10 cents each.
Dimes were collected & coveted.
We experimented with different papers and different colors 
to finally cut and glue everything into the final project.
Final projects were critiqued by the teacher and the entire class.
It's just as important to withstand the critique, as it is to create the project.
It prepares you for client relations in the real world.

I'm glad that I'm blogging about this for so many reasons...
As you can see, these old projects are falling apart, and soon will be reduced to dust.
Also, the feeling of collective creativity & community that I miss from the old media workshop at school...
I sometimes feel through YOU people, 
right here in bloggie-land.
And that's a really good thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eye is for Inspiration

I saw this eye-thing on Magpie, and was inspired to do it myself. 
It reminded me of a cover I designed for ARTnews in 1998.
It also reminded me that I need to tweeze :-)

What does your eye look like?

Monday, February 23, 2009

25 Things: Thing 4

When I was growing-up, my parents owned a small cosmetics 
manufacturing & packaging company in the East Village. 

They made specialty items in small batches, and filled them by hand.
My Dad would fill, and my Mom would artfully tie the gold cord & seal.

All 3 of us kids became experts at capping and labeling 
bottles both left & right-handed.
We can smell cucumber lotion or tea rose perfume from a mile away.
I wish I had saved more bottles.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good Knight

Sometimes, the Lady of the Lake allows the Good Knight to sleep with his sword.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Graphic Design: Signage 101

This is NOT a post about a squirrel...
 It's about how GOOD STRONG GRAPHIC DESIGN can make a difference.

The sign is cute, but it's a little too tame. 
Look how close you have to get to read it.

 Certainly had these well-written words been more visible,
It might have saved both a certain squirrel and a certain someone some unnecessary angst.

For example, the sign below... done boldly in 62pt. Helvetica Neuland Condensed, 
ALL CAPS would have prevented someone from offering their nuts to this guy.

See what I mean?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

M&D's Antique Roadshow

On a recent trip to my Mom's house, 
I found, appreciated or acquired the following items:

1970's brown & white Vera pillowcase. (acquired)

1950's wedding china. (appreciated)

1960's casual china dessert plates with built-in cup holder. 
(admired & fondly remembered.)

My first "digital" alarm clock/radio.
Sony Digimatic. (working condition.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

25 Things: Thing 3

Thing 3 about me... 
is that I'm not really sure if I'm a big cat,

or a bird of prey.

I am inexplicably drawn to both.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

FIRST Grade Homework Part 2

As if this wasn't hard enough... 
here's what was sent home today:
(click to zoom)
FIRST grade. wtf?!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

25 Things: Thing 2

For Halloween in 2004, I made the twins
"Thing 1 & Thing 2" costumes, ala Dr. Seuss.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mina Update

Hi Folks,
just a quick note to say that I had a nice 
visit with Mina this morning. 
She's been transfered to a local rehab facility, 
where she'll be for the next couple of weeks.  
She was sitting up & doing great!
Thanks for all of your kind words and messages. 
She is reading them all right now...

Art School Sketchbook: Napkin Art

I have alot of drawings on napkins from Art School. 
Because they were always around, and they were always free.
Free (or cheap) was key:
Gallery openings had free wine.
Happy hour had free food.
Museums were free on tuesday.
Lettuce & tomato sandwiches were only 40 cents.
Kraft Mac 'n Cheese: 4 for a dollar.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thing 1

I am not on facebook.
Between varmint-care, my business, my blog & my life, 
I just don't have the time, or the inclination.
But I'm intrigued by the "25 things list" that's been spreading on there like the flu.
So I thought I'd blog a list of things, 
that can be digested one at a time.
Like this....
Thing 1: I drink wheatgrass juice every morning.
What are your things?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Frost Dialogue

It was 4:30am. He said: I don't feel like posting my 25 things.
I said: You don't have to. But if I were listing your 25 things, they would be....
and we laughed quietly in bed.
Before the sun rose, he told me my 25 things.
And we laughed some more.
He put the coffee on. I sat down to work.
The frost began to melt.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Art School Sketchbook: Blue Notes

These notes (?) Were taken during one of my favorite classes: 
Ancient Civilizations of Antiquity.
On this particular day, we studied Constantine.