I joined a challenge this past month, using the Sktchy app to draw30 faces in 30 days! Every day I was emailed a prompt and a reference photo to draw. It started out rough, I had to knock the rust off, but got better as I went along.
I am excited to be a chosen artist for the newest series of typographic posters for Avondale Type Company, based in Chicago. The ATC Artist Series III is an illustrated exploration of the alphabet, highlighting illustrators and designers from around the world. Now in it’s 3rd year, the artist series boasts over 50 of the worlds leading illustrators from over 15 countries.
Spruts Nuts just launched a complete rebrand. I was excited to work closely with them to create an identity and packaging that reflected the quality of the product inside. To replace their typeset logo, I hand-lettered a custom logo for them for a handcrafted look—not slick and machined—to reflect their approach to creating their small-batch, sprouted nuts.
This month I took a break from my regular programming to attend a workshop on Blackletter from the Chicago Calligraphy Collective. Our über-talented instructor was Luca Barcellona from Milan.
The GDUSA magazines American Graphic Design Awards issue (Nov/Dec 2016) included a nice surprise for me. When I opened it up, my Bowie illustration was featured full page as the opening spread. My invitation suite was selected to be in the invitation category, but I was unaware that is would get featured like this!
Here is the entire invitation suite. Envelopes, RSVP card and the invite folded up and the flat invite inside and outside so you can see the full fold-out poster.
Paper marbling is the practice of floating ink on the surface of water, making a design, and creating a print by laying a piece of paper on the water. I decided to take a workshop last month at the Japanese Cultural Center in Chicago to learn the process of Suminagashi.
I completed a 4-day intensive calligraphy workshop with Julian Waters through Chicago Calligraphy Collective. It was a joy to learn the blackletter styles of textura and fraktur. I much prefer the Fraktur because of the movement and the contrast of strokes, where textura is more rigid and upright with strong verticals. Here are a few of the practice sheets I made during class.
SUMMER IN THE CITY
Thanks to a grant from DCASE (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events) in Chicago, I was able to take a 4-day workshop taught by the super-talented Ken Barber (@typelettering) in Cooper Union, New York City this summer. The class, Advanced Techniques in Script Lettering, covered drawing script letters in Spencerian Lettering, Italian, English Roundhand, and more. We even spent one whole day practicing flourishing.
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
A field trip to Herb Lubalin Center for Study of Design and Typography meant seeing page after page of lettering from Tom Carnase and Tony DiSpigna. It was enlightening. Being in NYC was a bonus because I visited the Whitney Museum, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and Guggenheim Museum.
Just walking around so many neighborhoods I found wonderful gargoyles high atop buildings, hand painted signage on little shops, and lots of street art. My hotel was next to Little Italy and Chinatown so nightly walks were filled with great food (pasta, cannoli and gelato!) and great sights. Little Italy is where I found my favorite mural of the trip, painted by Ron English, shown below. It has 5 storey tall "Terrortots". I was lucky enough to find a pop up shop of English's work in Chelsea.
As a bonus, I got to have a lovely dinner and drinks in Chelsea with three beautiful women from the East Coast. I met Rozina, Melody and Molly on my trip to Iceland this March with Onward Travel and it was great to catch up and relax in a completely different locale—NYC is a fabulous location, but I do miss the geothermal pools.
I hope I can take another workshop at Type@Cooper in the future. It really pushed my work by focusing on the details, consistency and letter shapes. Here's to more lettering in the next year!
This summer release of a limited edition flavor, Passion Fruit Lemonade, from Mike's Hard Lemonade features my illustration on the can! I was thrilled they they wanted to purchase my work and that it will be available all over the nation at select locations.
I never went to camp as a child, but this summer I decided to travel to Los Angeles to attend an intensive weekend called PaperCamp. It was attended by 40 business owners all seeking information about the paper goods industry. About trade shows, booths, wholesale, sales reps, product lines, and so much detailed information from retailers and successful designers, it was exciting and enlightening. Being around people that were in the same boat as I (or in a bigger boat, but headed the same direction) helped me to believe I can do this.
My goals for 2016 are focused on getting ramped up to offer paper goods wholesale. I have a lot to do, but at least now I know what this is. It's nice not being clueless!
I also went to another Camp this month! A local event sponsored by HOW Magazine. Creative Bootcamp by Stefan Mumaw is a book I have seen around but never read. Stefan led a full day of creativity exercises which were fun and quite a workout. I usually dread working on teams, but everyone there (a nice small group of 18) was equally devoted to accomplishing tasks while honoring others contributions. It was collaboration at its finest. Stefan's presentation style was engaging and anecdotal, but we were seriously focused on fun. Oh and I won both prizes that day with partners. I won his other book by working on a team of talented designers to create a catapult out of dollar store junk. Our design shot the farthest! (Thanks Alexandra and Kim! We rock.)
I would recommend his book, Creative BootCamp. In fact I am reading it now. I am to the part where I have to spend a few minutes every day on a creative task. A nice way to start the day!
Creativity is a muscle that has to be exercised. If you don't use it, you lose it.
Finally, this week I got my Uppercase Magazine in the mail and was excited to see one of my lettering designs in print. Issue 27 is all about illustrators. Right there on the Trend pages was a basketball I painted with custom lettering. I love this magazine, so I am gobsmacked to be in it.