A Little Spring Break

I was lucky this spring break: I got to spend some time in Portland, Oregon. On the way there, I had a layover in Los Angeles. Once back in my town, I went to my favorite coffee shop. Although I didn’t do nearly as much drawing as I’d have liked, it was a good break and I have these two sketches from the beginning of the week and the end.

one-line pen sketch


Pen Sketch

As always, excuse the poor quality of the image. I take these photos with my imperfect camera in my imperfectly lighted studio.

Getting Political

I would say that I’m about the most non-political person around. I really don’t like spending time on the news and I hate politics and greedy, power-hungry people. But it’s hard to ignore politics these days. My fear and outrage are strong enough that I thought I should do something through art. I didn’t really know what to do, so I just started with an image of a certain public figure that’s been in the news a lot.

Bumper Sticker Typography

This past week a friend said she’d like to print up some bumper stickers to hand out to friends. I volunteered to design it. Turns out, it was good typography practice. I had several different versions, but there was a clear winner in the end. Before designing my own, I never gave much thought to bumper sticker design. Now I’ll be able to appreciate their good design as well as their messages.

Typography graphic

I’ve been watching Graphic Design Tips & Tricks by John McWade on lynda.com. It’s pretty cool to hear him talk about what works and what doesn’t and why. Inspired by his video on just using typography, I made this for my daughter whose show choir, Amplitude, was going to their first competition this past weekend.

I printed it on card stock and stuck the postcard-sized message along with a personal note inside her shoe so she’d get it just before they performed. It looked so good, neither of my daughters guessed that I was the designer. They thought I just happened to find the perfect postcard in the store for the occasion!

Design Practice

For a little practice, I decided to design a new book cover for my all-time favorite book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Here’s what I came up with, after many ideas that quickly became too busy and complicated.

To be honest, I just changed it again after seeing how it looked on my blog. I’ve found that it’s very helpful to see it in different sizes and contexts.

More photo interpretation

I’m playing around a little more with interpreting the photos I’ve taken. It’s an interesting exercise in letting go of what you envisioned and just going with what you discover along the way. In art classes they always warned us away from working from photos, but I think there are some good things to learn from them.

This needs more work, but I have a goal of posting each Sunday night, so I will go with less than perfect tonight.

Black and White – back to basics

Sadly I’ve been neglecting my Wacom tablet. Part of the problem, I think, is that I was so jazzed about all the things Photoshop could do.

What is it that reminded me that limits are good? I believe it was Learning By Heart again. (Corita Kent and Jan Steward) A hundred ideas is just about as bad as no ideas at all. At least, this is true for me.

So, here I am, returning to some basics, working with the simplest of lines and shapes in black and white.

bw_expression-01

bw_expression-02

bw_expression_artboard-3

Video Intro/Outro

In my free moments at work, I thought it’d be fun to make a little video signature for videos we put together. I didn’t spend much time on font choice or color. Not even sure if my team would completely approve of the text (besides the actual name of the group).

 

Significant Object Project

I read a book (I forget which) a while ago about de-cluttering your house. The problem of objects with sentimental value was discussed and the author suggested taking a picture of them and then getting rid of them. (The ones you can, anyway.)

I liked the idea of having the picture, and I don’t know if it was my idea or the author’s to write the story of where the object came from and why it was significant, but I decided that that’s what I should do with the things in my house. Well, as good as the idea was, I didn’t do it. Then recently, I had a mini-revelation: I could draw the objects. That way, I get some drawing in and I have something to share with my children about the significance of the objects around us. (I have not gotten rid of any of them!)

I’ve just finished Object #13.

handmadebird steiffanimals