Part of my booth at Flatstock, SXSW in Austin, TX 2008, photo courtesy of Hero Design Studio
Sooooo, if you are a keen reader of this blog, you’ll notice that it’s been a few days since I’ve written a new post. Apologies about that. It’s not for lack of work or a spate of boredom though, trust me. This time of year, usually starting in mid-February right after the winter lulls, is what I like to call the “Pre-Flatstock Craze”. Just as new work starts rolling in as bands begin tour season, I’m starting to get ready for SXSW Flatstock by printing tons of new work, pulling, packing (safely! fingers crossed. yipe.) and shipping years worth of work down to Austin ahead of me. What is Flatstock you ask? Ahh yes. Let’s talk about that shall we?
Flatstock is an ongoing series of poster shows and events that happen at different music festivals throughout the year, starting with SXSW in Austin, TX In March, then during the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Il in July, followed by Seattle, WA over Labor Day weekend during Bumbershoot, and then in September in Hamburg, Germany. Flatstock is part convention, part exhibition, part show, and a lot of tell where the top currently working poster artists from all over the world converge to show and talk about their work. All of the poster artists and studios involved in a Flatstock show are members of the the American Poster Institute (API), which helps produce Flatstocks, but is also a guild of sorts for the gigposter art industry.
Look for more Flatstock info coming over the next month. If you are in Austin or heading down to SXSW, come by Flatstock and say hello to your favorite poster artists! We don’t bite, unless you have a tasty breakfast burrito, that is.
- Thursday March 19 from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.
- Friday March 20 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Saturday March 21 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Sunday March 22 from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Here is a list of exhibitors who will be selling their posters, prints, and talking with folks like you!
And here is a floorplan layout to help you find your must-see studios.
Rows of rock’n’Roll goodness at Flatstock in Austin, TX
mice playing ball
Continuing a “why not?” approach to working on small things in between other commissioned, rock poster, and other assorted “for a reason” sort of work, I’m trying to make quick time for doodles and sketches. I give myself a set amount of time and see what I can come up with. So, they are imperfect and flawed, unfinished. (Hint, look at the tails…)
Today’s is 3 mice, playing ball. Like the do. When you’re not watching. Against an old scanned zipatone background. Could be the basis for a future art print. Who knows!
Test Print 17
Well, after an extended season of printmaking and cleaning out screens, the new Test Print Crop is in. Yes, that’s right, after careful tending, printing, layering and ink mixing we have some rare results.
So rare, we also call ’em one-of-a-kinds, or monprints in the art & printers lingo.
I’ve got a few new test prints listed on my website, and even a few more over in my Etsy shop where I have a little more breathing room. (For now, although I am working on a new website re-design, yay!)
In screenprinting, there is always room for mistakes. Yeah, it’s totally awesome. One of the ways to combat a clogged screen or to test hand mixed colors is to use scrap sheets for “test prints”. What starts as a throwaway can sometimes magically transform into something really special looking, if the stars align just right. Due to their random nature, no 2 are exactly alike.
My test prints travel with me to and from the studio, some just a few times, others take a bit more coaxing to reveal their singular charms. Picking out which test prints have elements of which prints and posters is like a wicked final round of Family Feud. “Survery Says…Jucifer…”…DING! But soft! I’ve done the hard work for you and list many of the discernible titles for you, should you be so trivia-minded.
I’ve been been printing over & over on many of these prints for while now, and though I have just 6 listed on my website, and just 12 currently listed in my Etsy shop, there are more to come soon. Got a big ol’ fresh stack here, so keep a sharp eye out if you’re into monoprints & test prints like I am.
Test Print 12
Quickie post here to share a new interview with me by Amy from Bluebottle Art Gallery + Store. I don’t know that I could love the people at the Bluebottle any more. This month marks my first solo gallery show at Bluebottle, after a successful part in a holiday show in December of last year.
And now adding to their awesomeness, Amy, who is also a writer, asked the best questions I’ve ever been asked for this interview for the Bluebottle blog. Have a peek the Bluebottle blog called Art, Craft, & Design and also Amy’s website called Fairy Tale Factory, specializing in fairy tales and writing workshops and spread the magic. If you like process talk about design geekery, be sure to read interview is here.
Ms. Dearie rocks a Verve record cover like no other.
One of my long-standing favorite sounds, let alone singers, Blossom Dearie passed away at her home in New York City on February 7, 2009, at the age of 82. She defined artistry and singular vision with her voice that sounds like no other. Described as distinctive, unique, child-like, innocent (though lyrics like “I’m an evil, evil woman, but I want to do a man some good” prove that adjective false), and heart-felt, it is impossible to describe her sound or her appeal across generations or genres. She played out regularly until 2006, with critics and reviews saying that her voice and performances were undiminished by her age.
Anyone who grew up watching Saturday morning television in the 1970s through the mid 1980s in the US will instantly know her by the song titles: “Unpack Your Adjectives”, “Mother Necessity” and the hauntingly beautiful: “Figure Eight” from the kickass Schoolhouse Rock series of animated educational films. Most of the original music for the Schoolhouse Rock shorts were composed & also performed by Dearie’s friend Bob Dorough, whose voice is as familiar & recognizable as the perfect male reflection of Blossom Dearie’s own style and phrasing.
Sweet without ever being sacharine, everyone could use a little Blossom Dearie in their lives. A very nice and descriptive discography is here.
Even though you were born in New York, Rhode Island Is Famous For You, and we will miss you. A few of my favorites are listed below:
I Won’t Dance
It Might As Well Be Spring (en français)
Rhode Island Is Famous For You
Definitely received a great gift around Hanukkah-Christmas here, (we celebrate it all baby!) in the form of a magical little graphics tablet. The Wacom Bamboo to be more precise. It’s a lower-end piece of awesome that I’ve really been enjoying getting to play with around here this winter.
My George Washington All The Presidents Men Show print was the first thing that I worked on with it, and since they I’ve been having the itch to draw and sketch things nearly every day, though not every day has ended with me actually getting time to draw with it. Most unfortunately.
So, for no good reason at all, I’ve been thinking about posting up unfinished work, mocks, comps, sketches and the like here on my blog rather than my website where I feel like things ought to be slightly more pro and complete. This is the first installment of Unfinished Work, today I present: Doodles. 2 of ’em!
Sometimes I just like parts of things, and this is part of a suit that’s part of a man, completely unfinished. I did surprise myself with the late 70s /early 80s dry cleaner poster sort of vibe with this one. Unexpected, but that’s sort of the fun of doodling, ain’t it?
WE DO SUITS. Coming from the past to a dry cleaner near you.
This one below is an unused sketch from an illustration for a book cover design. I like things that are tumbled on top of each other, transparency, patterns, and layers. I wanted nature, here represented as a forest, to be as tall and thick as city overloaded with skyscrapers and buildings, each being imposing in their own way.
Forest, City, naught in between.
When I first came across this great little book The Police Cloud by illustrator Christoph Niemann, I was cracking up at my computer. Yes, really. I know, that’s a tad embarrassing.
And yet since then I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this book’s title, story and overall look. The story is adorable, sweet and funny, the illustrations are top notch and a really interesting mix of simple and expressive. I mean come on, look at him! Fwuffy lil copper cloud who just wants to help people and do right for a living. So awesome.
The Police Cloud website is also worth checking out too, with a nice little set of animations and sample pages from the book, which is available at Amazon.com.
Yup. Chicks dig the Superbowl too.
Especially when you’re a chick in Pittsburgh. It’s the water here. No offense, Cardinals, but we really want this one. We need to bring home the Six Pack. Blitz for the Six. Win one for the Other Thumb. We win & we set the standing NFL record for the winningest team in history.
For a town that was on the brink of collapse just a few decades ago, The Pittsburgh Steelers are a symbol of endurance and perseverance. Triumph over adversity and plain all around awesome to have in the city. In this city there is no room for pretense or high-falutin’ anything. Even without the steel mills that built not only this city, but much of the country, this town is nothing but honest and practical. There is something super cool about Pittsburgh that way and it’s a part of the Steelers as a team too. Owned by the Rooney family since 1933, there is no need for showboating or cheerleaders for the team. Just straight, old-fashioned, tough and technically thrilling football.
Whether or not that is a chunk of what draws people from every possible demographic and cross-demographic to be crazy insane hardcore Steeler fans? I dunno. All I do know is that from the oldest Grandmas to the tiniest little emo-boys, there’s gonna be a lot of screaming at TVs tonight and a lot of hoarse, blown out voices tomorrow. Chicks & dudes all.
The Pittsburgh Polka
The Pop Rocks rockin’ it
And, because he is my favorite player to watch, ever Hines Ward two way. Hightlights and the famous one shoe touchdown catch. Ninja!