Sunday, January 24, 2010

another new york sneak peak

Sat at a computer from 5pm til 5 this morning, head buzzy with digital signals, clunking along like a blind lady on illustrator. And now I'm calling the design part done. 11 designs, and I have till Thursday night to get them all printed. Sadly left 2 designs in the idea stage, exhausted from trying to force them to have lines that fit or designs that looked clean. We'll come back to them later. For now, I'm going to watch a movie, take a shower, spend a rainy Sunday living like a normal person who spends rainy Sundays being lazy. For now I'll pretend that I won't wander into my basement print shop and start working, as I've been accused before of being unable to sit still for long.

Friday, January 22, 2010

a preview...

Trying tonight to leave this print shop after about 10 hours. Will most likely go have a couple glasses of wine and retire to my home-based print shop. Who knows how to party? This girl. Not sure yet if I've set myself up for failure, or if this is what is known as being a go-getter, particularly since these two states of being are so closely intertwined. Luckily, I kinda get off on the rush of pressure that cramming too much work into too little time inspires. When I woke up this morning, I felt like my sleeping mind had been traveling down a long dream runway, and as soon as I was conscious, that plane took off. My brain was full of questions about how to do what I'm doing and even more ideas that I'm going to try like hell to ignore until after this trip. Why do ideas always rush in when they know there's just no room for them in the schedule?

Anyway, I'm still struggling with Illustrator, shoving round pegs into square holes, hitting them with mallets til they fit and the floor is covered with multi-colored splinters. But I thought I'd put one preview up. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun here, but since I may be the only one really looking at the pictures I post, it's not like I'm going to ruin the suspense for myself. (Don't worry Ben, I know you're looking.) The text curve isn't quite right yet, but it'll get there, and isn't the little guy cute? And grumpy? Like my cats after I push them over. But I digress. And need wine. More previews to come, and stories of selling cards to famous and glamorous people in New York.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the race to new york

So, in a little less than 2 weeks, I'll be headed to New York to work a booth at the New York Gift Show for my day-job employer, Blue Barnhouse. I've done this once before, (you can actually read about this trip in a guest blog on Blogdammit! the Blue Barnhouse blog). The last trip was fun, as New York is a fantastic place to visit. I feel all lit up with big city energy when I'm there and can't really get enough of hearing different languages on the sidewalks and being able to eat and drink at anytime of the night or day. I live someplace "peaceful" now, which I guess suits some folks. Chicago kinda wrecked me for appreciation of the quiet little places.

Anyway, I know the show itself will once again overflow with the tacky and I do hope to find something new in the neon stream of awful, but our booth will be a safe haven and this time round, it seems I'll be trying to hawk some of my own wares! Together with my good friend Ben McLeod, card ideas have been flowing mightily, but only time will tell, (time and aderol consumption) if I get everything done in time. Join me in this amazing race to the New York Gift Show! Actually, I guess you can't join me unless you want to come to Asheville, North Carolina and help me print late into the night, so join me in spirit.

I will be featuring some of the results of this endeavor over the next couple of weeks, some printed with handset type in my basement, others with the aid of this 21st-century letterpress, the computer. Today, take a gander at a party invitation that started as just playing with some funky borders in my basement. The colors on the actual invite look a whole lot brighter, but I'm still learning how to scan and move images around to make them look good online. Feel free to give me some pointers if you know any!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a playtime print

Another thing I've printed since July, and trying to keep up my rate of blogging, even if it is only one sentence long. Ok, it's two sentences.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lady Pilot is scrappy as hell.

Yesterday, I said that "tomorrow" I'd post some pictures. and here I'm about to do it, by golly. Quite proud that I'm following that resolution, at least twice. Since July, I've printed many things, even a job for a client I didn't know socially, which was exciting. I've even managed to get some of what I've printed into a book on letterpress that will be published by Mark Batty sometime this spring.

While some of my printing has involved planning, measuring margins, choosing type and paper carefully, most of what I've printed has been done on scrap, often in the middle of the night or after hours of staring at my basement printshop til some idea demanded or at least quietly requested my attention. Don't ask me what the creative process is, I'm still definitely figuring it out and much of my basement time is spent trying to understand just what my aesthetic is, or wants to be. I see so many printed things that inspire me but feel like what I want things to look like is still mysterious, something of an adventure as I watch things come together. It's like I'm giving myself a class in letterpress where sometimes I'm the teacher and other times I'm the student. Well, most of the time I'm a student, with many teachers - books of old posters and websites by great printers, folks I work with and artists I admire. When you're playing with type that's decades old at the youngest and a press made nearly a century ago, everything you make feels steeped in history and the actions of others.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

back at it. i swear.

This is the first year, in the 37 I've spent on the planet, that I actually wrote down New Years' resolutions. Not that I'll follow them, but I wrote them down.

To put this in perspective, I write things down constantly. I'm an obsessive list-maker - books I wanna read, movies I wanna see, daily to-do lists that include things like "take a shower" so I can cross something off at the end of the day. So, in reality, writing resolutions is not such a big thing. Just another list.

I wrote resolutions because, to put it mildly, 2009 sucked. Big time. Without going through and major-world tragedies like hurricanes, or civil wars, or generational urban poverty, (all of which make my problems seem utterly banal and comparatively miniscule), 2009 was the worst year I've ever had. There were of course brighter glimmers, moments and people shining like disco-ball facets in a dark ballroom, but overall, I will shed no tears for the passing of 2009.

And now that you've heard the rather lengthy, meandering explanation - one of my resolutions was to write on this blog more often, or at least more than 5 times a year, my approximate 2009 rate. I find this no easy task, still feeling like a blog is so much shouting into space, or more jadedly, a narcistic exercise, like a 4-year-old barking, "look at me! look at me!" when what they've done is poop on a rock (see Paul Auster's stories of fatherhood), or stuck a piece of wood up their nose, (no offense to the astute 4-year-olds out there). But hell, it's a resolution.

I may say nothing of import in 2010, but by god, I'm gonna say it. If you choose to read after today, be forewarned...this blog will not make you rich, famous, or more attractive. It will not cure boils, bad breath, or baldness. It will not help you to "come to terms" with anything. However, this blog may be a tour-de-force, a good-natured romp, or a charming coming of age tale. It may become the tractor pull of blogs, spraying you with mud and grease as you grip the edge of your chair in suspense. So, fasten your seat belts folks, as I blog like never before. And happy new year, here's hoping 2010 banishes any bad taste left in your mouth by 2009 and builds on every bright moment of the past year.

Tomorrow: See some pictures of stuff I've actually printed since July!