Friday, November 28, 2008

Plugging Away & My Day Job

I am switching gears tonight and working on woodcut prints. I tried this method prior to the last show-- where I amass a pile of screen prints and then focus only on woodcuts, and it worked really well. The hope is that I make around 200 5x7 prints between today and tomorrow. Those sold the best at my last show, and I'm thinking this next one will be very similar.

I have one more day off to really pump them out, and then back to the day job for another 40 hours. For those of you who don't know me very well, I am very fortunate to have a really wonderful and creative day job, so you won't hear too many complaints from me on that end.

In addition to spending the last few months selling prints in shows and online, I also work as a sign designer for Trader Joe's. If you're wondering what that entails, its probably a safe bet that you haven't been in the store. Trader Joe's is a kind of wacky gourmet grocery chain-- there's around 300 stores in the US, most of them around metropolitan areas. Each store keeps a small staff of local artists on who make every single sign in the store by hand. In addition we've worked a lot on the visual merchandising end this year-- giving the store an entire new look with a community theme and creating and working within cohesive brands and images for events. Right now we're about to hang huge hand-made ornaments from the ceiling for the holidays. Here's the theme introduction to our Thanksgiving-- its the first thing you'll notice as you walk in:

This setup is a collaboration between myself and Adam, by colleage and creamate. For those following along at home, a creamate is a soul mate in the creative realm, and yes, I just made it up. I will post more about Adam and his many amazing talents later. We spent around 4 hours at 4 thrift stores putting this look together. The shadow boxes are made with black foam board and old wood frames and they're so perfect that we're going to recycle them as gift boxes for our Christmas display.

All right, I'm fresh out of stalling material-- time to get to printing!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Print Preview (Shadow Art Fair Edition)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had lots of wonderful traditional food and am fueled up and ready to print like mad over the next two days.

Here is my very first edition of Print Preview! These are two recent prints I will be selling at the Shadow Art Fair next weekend. The top is based on Hazelnuts-- I am drawn toward botanical images with winter leanings this year. Michigan is a gray haze of short days and long nights right now, but you can catch glimpses of beauty in the plant skeletons that remain and in seasonal cuisine. I'm sure hazelnuts are tasty all year round, but they'll always be a Christmastime food to me.

The bottom is a reprint. I have touched on this design (Appalachia) several times and wanted to again make it in green on green. The design is slightly altered this time-- I think it looks a bit more like paperclips. Mmmm... I love brown and green together. I visited the Blue Ridge Mountains with some friends many springs ago, and fell in love with the hills of greenery.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Launch the Blog!

Here's the deal with the blog.

First off, the title comes from a lovely little saying by John Cage:

"Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there is only make."

I'm slowly starting to realize that even if I don't like what I make it served to teach me something about design, technique, process or myself. This philosophy appeals to me for two reasons. One, it values work. Somewhere deep in the family tree I inherited a really insane work ethic, so giving persistence value strikes a chord with that part of me. It also allows me to give myself a break and look at my work more like a process in a continuum than on a piece by piece basis.

So that's the story there. I'd like to accomplish a few things with this blog:
1) Process Posts: I would like to explain how the work I sell is made-- and maybe even teach a person or two how to do it themselves.
2) Print Previews: I would like a place to share work that is not currently for sale on Etsy because its out of print or hot off the presses.
3) Design/Inspiration: I pour through the internet looking for visual bits to jump start my creative juices all the time. I'd like a virtual filing cabinet.
4) Reviews: This might end up going a little off-topic, but I love to share things that are awesome, and I am religious about reading reviews before making a purchase.
5) Random other bits-- work from my day job, bits from my life.

More to come. Soon!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A quick first post about two upcoming shows 1) Detroit Urban Craft Fair is a juried show with lots of local handmade goods. Everything from night lights to felt finger puppets and everything in between. I will be there next weekend from 10am-7pm. You can check out for more information on the show and to check out the vendors.

2) Three weeks later I will be at Shadow Art Fair in Ypsi! This event is at one of my favorite bars in town and after having lived here for almost three years I'm really excited to be a part of it and not sidelined by my school work. ( for more details)

My next post will actually contain substance like 'what is this blog about' and that sort of thing.