Another one from the illustration graveyard, can you tell I’m cleaning up my hard drive?
It’s about time! New poster in the Firefly series, this one for “Safe.” Which is, of course, the Big Damn Heroes episode. I still feel like faces aren’t my strongest suit, so illustrating four people was a challenge. Mal looks a little “Dirty Harry,” but that seems appropriate.
A little doodle that I worked on, that didn’t end up seeing the light of day. It was for an article on why you’re asked to turn your phone off on airplanes.
It’s been a little quiet around here. That’s usually the case when summer hits, and it turns into wedding and festival season. I’ve still been hard at work, I’m just too busy to blog about how busy I am (which, can we all stop doing that, forever?)
One of the projects I’ve been doing is a t-shirt design that I’m pretty excited about. I do a lot of my work on the computer, so using an actual pencil, with my hands, is so much fun. It’s definitely not finished, but I always like to see other people’s process, especially when it comes to hand-drawn things.
Adam had a fairly solid idea of what they were looking for when he contacted me, concept-wise, but not so much on the execution. So I spent my down-time at the LAN… I mean, umm… at… something not nerdy… working on sketches. The guy started out with a face, but I ended up liking the suggestion of a figure more than straight drawing one.
The band name will be worked out in much the same style, and the idea is for it to be one cohesive graphic when it’s finished. Looking forward to seeing this one on press.
We’re getting close to go-time on WMC Fest, and we’re still looking for volunteers. While there’s work to be done in all aspects of the festival, I’m personally responsible for making sure that we have quality photos and video of the whole weekend.
So why would you want to volunteer your time for WMC Fest? Well…
If you’re worried that volunteering means you’ll miss all the good stuff, don’t be. Shifts are short, so you’re not “stuck” in any one space for the whole day. Last year I opted to cover the speakers all weekend, and got to hear some AMAZING presentations while I worked.
Meet Cool People.
This isn’t exactly exclusive to volunteering, since you’ll meet great people anyway. But I got to hang out behind the scenes a lot as a volunteer, and spend some time with the folks that make the festival happen.
It’s Good for Your Portfolio.
Believe me, I’m the LAST person on the planet to pull a “it’s good exposure” on you. What I will say is that you’re guaranteed to have opportunities to shoot some really cool stuff. Last year I got to shoot things like Aaron Draplin planting the Puerto Rican flag onstage, a rainbow parade, live bands, and a breakdance battle.
Support WMC Fest.
WMC Fest is a unique festival and community event, and it’s something that I’m proud to be a part of. I saw first hand last year how much volunteers are needed to keep everything running smoothly. This year, I’m seeing first hand how all of the money going to the festival is getting put back into it, and making it better.
Get in Free.
While this is probably the most reasonably priced festival I know of, free stuff is still pretty great. Put in four hours taking photos or shooting video for the event, and you can hang out the rest of that day for free (plus, you get a t-shirt. And since it’s a design festival, you know it’ll be an awesome t-shirt.)
Where Do I Sign Up?
If you’re looking to volunteer for our photo or video crew, email me at email@example.com. If you want to volunteer for other positions, you can sign up here. Also, if you’re local-ish to Cleveland, we’re having a volunteer orientation at Go Media on May 23rd at 6:00. You can find out more or RSVP on the Facebook event page.
I’ve been pretty lucky, in getting to work on some extremely cool projects. But I think this one wins the prize.
I’ve been a huge fan of the band since I was 11 years old, so being able to design something for them is one of those bucket list things that I never thought I’d actually get to do. But you can now purchase a shirt that I designed, from Green Day’s website. 11-year-old me would be both crazy excited and generally confused by the concept of the internet.
I had a number of people ask, so here’s how I ended up with the design. I started out by complaining to my husband that Green Day has something like 20 years worth of graphics, and have a ton of imagery to pull from. He said something to the effect of, “Well, just remember what you like about them. Draw that.” So I thought about how I got into the band in the first place.
My dad used to have a habit of wandering around NRM and just buying something. Either he liked the album artwork, or thought a band name was cool, but he’d pick something up at random and give it a whirl (one year, he bought me a White Stripes album and Gregorian Chant Music, you just never know what the man’s gonna get into). Some afternoon while we were out shopping, he bought a copy of Dookie. Later, we were tooling around in his Pontiac Sunbird and waiting for the tape to flip (has a more 90′s-nostalgia-ridden sentence ever been written?), when “All By Myself” came on and this conversation happened:
Dad: “Man, those kids are baked.”
Me: “Heh, yeah they are.”
Dad: “Don’t tell your mom you know what baked means.”
Since my first encounter with them came from a blue cassette tape, I figured I’d run with it. Making the actual artwork took a bit longer. I doodled up a cassette in Illustrator (so that I could scale it), and made a shadow, midtone, and highlight layer. I found some grunge brushes that I liked, and made a few out of textures I’d put together, and then just layered the crap out of them in Photoshop, and fiddled with the transparencies and blending modes. Honestly, the PSD file was an absolute ton of layers (all named super helpful things like “Layer 6 copy” – why do I do this to myself?) I probably couldn’t reproduce that exact graphic again if I wanted to.
The text is actually all handwritten. I had about 5 pages of various album titles written over and over again (sort of a Waiting print redux). “Green Day” and “Dookie” I actually nailed on the first try, but for the rest, I tested out a few versions. I had to figure a way to censor “Awesome as Fuck,” for sales purposes, and figured I’d just make it look as though it had smudged off. Which I did by… actually smudging it before I scanned it in. The whole thing is sort of a weird mix of computer generated and hand-made.
If you’re into it, they actually printed up both colorways. So you can get gray on blue, or blue on gray, right here. Thanks to Green Day, and the folks at Artist Arena, and John Moore, and my dad, who it turns out it way hipper than me.
I’ve been attending Can’t Stop the Serenity events for a few years now, and this past year contributed as a vendor. Since about every other person there asked me to make a Pittsburgh Browncoats shirt, I decided to finally get it done. Now you can show some hometown pride and your love for sci-fi westerns.
As for the details on this bad boy, it’ll be printed up at a local shop, on snazzy ringspun cotton shirts. Men’s sizing, small through XXXL. And if that’s not cool enough, you’ll also get free shipping to anywhere in the USA (yes, Hawaii, you too). I’m putting in the order for the first run next week, so get your orders in to the Op Ink shop.
Yeah, it’s that time of year again where I start telling people how they really need to go to WMC Fest (June 8-10, 2012). Last year was the first one I was able to make it to, and I know that Jeff and company have been working crazy hard to make this year’s even better.
Oh, and a music festival. I think they’re up to around 30 bands for this year, and have locked down a new space. You get to see Signals Midwest and Two Hand Fools before they play The Fest in the fall (congrats to both of yous, by the way).
It’s also a pretty amazing community event. I spoke to a lot of attendees last year that said they felt like they’d gone to summer camp. You meet a ton of cool people, and most of the cool people that I met at last year’s are coming back – as speakers, or artists, or just to hang for the weekend.
Now usually when I look at design conferences I get psyched about the speakers, the content, and then I look at the price and go back to what I was doing. I don’t have a day job subsidizing my continuing education, which means I can’t drop a grand on a conference (not including travel, etc.) The other awesome thing about WMC Fest is that it’s $50. That’s not even per day, or per conference hall, that’s it guys. For $50, you get access to all of the speakers, the gallery, and the music for the whole weekend. As an added bonus for my East Coast crew, it’s in Cleveland, which means the travel for us is also mega cheap.
That said, I believe it’s $50 through April 30th. I’m sure the price will still be totally reasonable after that, but this is the cheapest it’ll be. If you want to get your tickets and some swag to go with it, check out the WMC Fest Kickstarter. For the same $50 you were going to spend on tickets, you can get tickets and some cool WMC Fest gear, plus help to make sure they get funded (for those that haven’t been involved in Kickstarter projects, you only get money if the goal gets met. So if they don’t meet their $7,000 goal in time, they get $0).
And if $50 is still too much for you to spend on this sort of thing (hey, we’ve all been there), consider volunteering. I volunteered last year to take photographs during the presentations, and they have spots available for all different skill sets. This year, I’m actually going to be organizing our photo squad (so if you have some photography skills, or have a friend that does and might be interested, get in touch with me). You can also sign up to volunteer for any position here, or sign up for the street team to help spread the word.
Seriously, folks, go get those tickets.
After a lot of hours, and a few sleepless nights, we completed the Hear Me 101 manual (all 180+ pages of it). The short version on this is that it’s a social advocacy video program, that Hear Me is bringing to schools. There’s a lot of background information required on teaching video, so we constructed this manual to use.
Of course there are edits to be made yet, especially considering the turnaround was so quick. But we’re pretty proud of version 1.0.
This one’s taken awhile, but it’s finally finished! You can check out the new Shindig poster in the shop.
Kind of excited about this one, since illustrating faces isn’t exactly my thing. Also, because it uses one of my favorite lines from the series (although, with less stabbing). So if you want one, pick one up here. I’ve also put in a big re-order on the first three episode posters, so everything is in stock for now.
I spent a day just wandering around downtown, taking photos a few years back. I made this little collage, and sent it over to Troy DeShano, for his Collab Friday project.
Submitted without comment.
So last night, I got to hang out with the Commonwealth Press crew, and do some printmaking. I haven’t screenprinted anything myself since sophomore year of college (so… 2002ish?). Luckily, the boys did all the hard work, and all I had to do was decide what kind of paper I wanted and pull a little ink.
Lisa from Sapling Press gave us the run down on how to use the letterpress. I’m sort of in love with letterpress, and I’m fairly sure that if I had access to one of these machines, I’d never get anything else done (but I would have just the NICEST to-do lists).
They also had a woodblock print set up, which is a little more in my wheelhouse.
I met some awesome new people, Dan Rugh gave me a hard time, and I went home with some pretty sweet hand-made valentines. If you want to know when they’re throwing another shindig, you can keep up with Commonwealth and/or Sapling Press on the Twitters. More photos, as usual, on the Facebook.
Did you guys know that I’m also a wedding photographer? Well, I am. And because sometimes my work overlaps, I’ve started offering invitation design as a service.
You have two options for invitation design. One, you can head over to the Etsy shop and order sets of these pre-made designs. They’re semi-custom – you choose the wording, the colors, and the style. You save a bit of money on this, because I’m not starting the design from the ground up. I’ll be rolling out some new designs over the next few months.
Two, you can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on a totally custom design. I’ll set you up with pricing, and fill you in on how the process works. Just like my other design projects.
Either option is open to the general public (even international folks), so you don’t have to be booking with me to order invitations. But as a bonus, if you do choose to book with me for your wedding, you’ll get 10% off of your order. These take 3-4 weeks from order to delivery (5-6 for custom orders), so plan accordingly.
If you happen to be in the London area on Saturday, you might want to check this out.
At a time where there is a ton of red tape involved in putting on this sort of event, Tony Anastasi’s gone and pulled a festival out of his ass. This whole thing went from idea to actually happening in about a week, and if that weren’t cool enough, it’s free. Yours truly made this hand-lettered gig poster in about a day.
New print in the shop!
You might notice that the Sound System print was pretty close to the original word art design. I didn’t really think the one that I did for Waiting would make a good lino print, plus I really wanted to take a serious stab at some hand-lettering. I got a few more process photos from this one than the last print. I must have written this out a thousand times – on paper scraps, envelopes, sketchbooks, bank slips. If anyone wandered in and saw my desk, they’d have probably thought I lost my marbles. But I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
If you want to pick one up, it’s in the shop.
So my mother quilts and is pretty nerdy. There aren’t a ton of gift options in that particular Venn diagram overlap, so I went ahead and made her this custom iPad cover.
She’s pretty partial to the log cabin blocks, and apparently this pattern in particular. Setting up rectangles in Illustrator for the pattern didn’t take all that long (thanks, snap to grid!), but making all of the “fabrics” was a little time-consuming. It’s 13 different patterns, that I set up and then saved as swatches in Illustrator. I’ve always been a lot better at fabric picking than I was at the actual construction part of quilting, anyway.
The other bands on their tour, I’d never seen live. Actually, I hadn’t even really heard any of their music before now, but they both have a really interesting sound.
Tesseract was on first:
Then Animals as Leaders. Honestly, I got so distracted watching these guys that I kind of forgot to shoot for a minute.
EDIT: It looks like I’m going to be out shooting a show tonight, which means I won’t be around to change the shipping back come midnight. Which means free shipping gets extended until noon EST tomorrow!
All the cool kids are doing it, so why not? Buy any print in the shop today, and get free shipping on it. Yes, that includes my friends in the UK. What kind of prints you ask?
You can pick up any of these right here.
This one got a little dark. But hey, it’s a dark episode, folks.
I’m up to #3 out of 14 – this is gonna be a pretty long project. You can help fund it by buying a poster. Oh, did I mention if you buy one on Black Friday that the shipping is free? I didn’t? Well, it is.
We usually have to crank out one sheets on short notice, for foundation meetings and the like. I actually got to take a little time to put this one together, and am really happy with how it turned out. There’s a ton of information in this bad boy.
Some time ago, I put together a desktop wallpaper design to try and win some swag. I didn’t win (sad trombone), but they did go ahead and post it on the site as a download. If you’d like your desktop to look like my high school bedroom wall, then you can download it on the GDA site.
If you want to see what I’ve got running on my own computer, there are more downloadable wallpapers here.
So after a bit of trial and error, and a few less stab wounds than I’d predicted, my print’s done. Even better, you can pick one up in the shop. Makes a great Christmas gift, if your friends are as weird as mine are.
The design is based off of one that I did for the word art project, for Operation Ivy’s “Sound System.” And speaking of the shop, we’re down to one Train Job poster left, so maybe go check that bad boy out.