silk-screened poster

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hand silk-screened black light poster. My band’s new EP was ready to go, and I was trying to choose the release format. Vinyl is preferable but prohibitively expensive. Digital is practical but unromantic. For many of us the listening experience is linked to the physical artifact…especially if we’ve been vinyl freaks. For me that’s certainly true. I want to hold something beautiful while I’m taking in the sound. In this weird new era when the music can transmit through a short download code, the artifact can be almost anything though, right?  I chose an art poster, specifically one with the parent’s basement/stoner contemplation demographic in mind.

“Where is my Roger Dean?” I asked. Kind friends pointed me to artist and awesome fellow musician Jason Killinger, and I commissioned him to come up with the image. I threw out a couple of reference points and definitely said something about the cosmos, but was still blown away by where he took it. Mind-bending space landscape! Originally I’d planned to have it professionally printed, but when Jason said we could do it ourselves my irascible DIY/art nerd self brushed aside all planning concerns and happily agreed.

That’s how Jason, me, and my friend David Brant ended up in listening to prog, drinking beers, and printing the first two colors, the flourescents, late night in a heat wave.

I woke up the next day looking like an extra from some electroclash video: totally covered in day-glo pink and blue ink. That said, it was really Jason who did the lion’s share of the work. From design to burning the screens to finessing the registration of the three screens, he made the visual side of this project come to life. Here’s the man of the hour holding the first finished poster:

We quickly turned out the lights and huddled giddily around it as I snapped on the black light bulb. Success! Torrents of pink lava & eerie blue illuminating possibly my favorite part of creative living: quality collaboration.

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beaded headpiece

July 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

Custom headpiece for the wedding of my dear friends Sarah and Phil. In my early twenties I ran my own business designing bridal accessories.  Each piece was made as the real deal, not a plastic sequin nor a poly flower in sight. My tiaras were solid silver & precious stones, my silk flowers were real silk or velvet…some imported from a tiny village in Cremona, Italy (had to Babelfish the hell out of that 2001-era Italian website). I’m still proud of my sourcing, obviously! Eventually I folded the business when I realized my daydreams were shaping up as crowns instead of songs. Not an acceptable trade of creative energy in my book at that time.

I love breaking out the old skills for friends, though. A custom piece is way more fun, and I get to fit it to the bride’s face instead of guessing. For this one Sarah had the idea of matching a beaded motif on her dress. I sketched the basic shape and started free-forming:

I’m still without a work table in my new place, so this was a spread-out-on-the-carpet job like my earliest art days. In addition to the beading we also chose some Edwardian-yet-kinda-Avant-garde stripped peacock feathers, and I decided to sew them to wire so they could be better controlled…an extremely delicate task.

Early on I concluded this should be several separate pieces to pin into the hairstyle for greater flexibility. It total we had the main motif, the wired feathers, and also several matching pins to continue the sparkle around the up-do. Fun fact: most of my headdress design inspiration came from close study of paintings. Thanks, Mucha!

Projects like this take quite a bit more time and thought than some others, but the payoff is proportional. I want the people I care about to have exactly what they want and the best I can give them, always.

(First & last photo by Love Me Do. See more here: http://lovemedophotography.com/blog/?p=2641)

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