a little outtake from a photo shoot this weekend...
This summer I'm teaching a typography class to a (pretty great) group of students. Their first assignment is to create a simple modular typeface from at 10 x 10 unit pixel grid. Then they must translate that typeface into a material object and photograph it. We were talking about some of these student projects at dinner. After dinner, Auggie prepared this surprise for me to see (his real name is Henry). He is very deliberate, always making clean, straight lines with his stickers and toy cars.
This is an alphabet we did together, mine starting from the top and auggie's starting from the bottom until we meet in the middle. It's part of a game he invented about teaching. I love the way his letters are different sized blocks and his H has 3 bars. The way we sit I am writing upside down and am often close to writing backwards — literally minding my p's & q's!
A rainbow felt heart for mother's day. A four-leaf clover I found in a friend's garden this morning.
The soundtrack for today is Rhythm & Sound which we used to listen to early mornings with the baby, who was born on a rainy summer day like this one.
We've been doing mostly unstructured making and drawing lately, but we got ambitious yesterday and made a stuffy out of one of auggie's drawings (a truck). I put up a quick & dirty tutorial on Windy.
^ We took a picture to text to his dad and he said, "Like this, I'm showing my hand." It works out well in a way, because I'm on the fence about putting pictures of him on here now that he's older. I've been taking less pictures, too, because I want us to be in the moments and he's moving faster now — it's hard to keep up and take pictures at the same time.
This is a family portrait ( a portrait of toy animals, not of us!) I'm really just posting to remind myself of an accidentally good dinner we made last night with leftovers, and we want to remember the recipe. The base was Spaghetti with Cauliflower & Speck from citrus and candy.
Our Greek version: Sauteé a handful of cherry tomatoes with basil & oregano and generous olive oil until softened and just beginning to blacken. Set aside with a few handfuls of fresh spinach. In the same pan, crisp up some pancetta, speck or serrano ham in more olive oil. Add in a few cloves thinly sliced garlic + zest of one lemon + chili oil + a handful of kalamata olives, roughly chopped. Deglaze with white wine. Return tomatoes to pan with fresh spinach + chopped parsley. Mix in pan. Squeeze half a lemon over the top. When the spinach is wilted, crumble some feta on top. Season generously with black pepper. Serve on top of pasta.
Our soundtrack to spring seems to be hannah georges.
The last few months I've been working more at my home studio designing children's books (and also illustrating a new series of books and developing an app for another). So it's a big focus in the house. Last month my son sat down and illustrated his own first book, "Trucks". He made a front cover and a back cover and then asked me to "hold it together" by which he meant binding it. I hope that's what he meant, heh. I had two special round paperclips that we used to hold the book together at the spine. A few weeks later, when I found some time, I scanned in the book and laid it out. He sat next to me to tell me the words. He also had many directions about the design and I gave him some typefaces to choose from. After we were done with that I interviewed him about the book and transcribed it in smaller type on the pages. His drawing style and interests have already changed so much since we did this. It's a little time capsule
I decided to publish it on my issuu account. So here it is, his first book!
I did a tutorial post today on the Windy blog: easter baskets upcycled from newspaper, lucky star strips & washi tape (full tutorial at link). We also used kool-aid dye for the eggs which smelled nice (boiled eggs, don't smell quite so nice...) This is our neighbour's basket: W, age 4. I did here a little washi tape "W" on the front. My son preferred to make an abstract washi tape sculpture around the table.
This is a post-planetarium craft we did, that I wrote up for Windy this week, taken from DKTL kids. This is the earth, drawn on coffee filter paper with felt pens, then sprinkled with water to become a satellite picture. The pink is an island. The dark green is Africa. The yellow is a beach and the brown is a train station. The light green patches are the ocean. This felt-watercolour technique works pretty well on watercolour paper, too.
If you give a man some pizza, maybe some tea, and another, tinier man, some oatmeal and Reese's pieces ice cream, and they get together at a party (the kind of party where you would find all these things), then this is what you find on the table afterwards.
I took Auggie birthday party shopping a couple of days ago at collage collage. He picked out this wooden snake as a present and asked to paint it for his friend. We used the leftover paint from the banquet snake. Then he made up meanings for all the colours for his friend. These are the meanings: yellow means the sun will be out; blue means there will be a blue sky, green means it is summer because there is green grass in the park and brown means there are cars and trucks outside. (I don't remember what red and gold mean because I didn't write them down right away.)
I miss summer.
The Y.N. Rich Kids are a group that came out of the the North Community Beats and Rhymes program started by the Minneapolis YMCA. They help kids make music when they keep up with their homework. This song was so good (it is super fantastic) that a local professional photography studio stepped in and made them a video.
It would have been just as great with lower production values, but I bet it made the kids feel amazing, and it brought a lot of attention to their program.
There are two things standing between me and seasonal affective disorder in this dumb part of the year (november): a tiny maniac marching around my home with a recorder, and grapefruit. It's grapefruit season! I love grapefruit. Everything about it is happy: it's big and yellow and it sounds like "grateful",
it is also a little bitter. It's not like the sweet orange or the sour lemon. It's a little complex. And it's pink inside. Perfection.
collage waiting to be picked up at school (not by by my son, by another cute little boy).
I really enjoyed this interview from 2011 with Laurence King,
"The market for digital illustrated books was always going to move more slowly than for text-only books, but it has developed less rapidly than I anticipated,
and in design and art is more-or-less negligible except for the sale of student books to “for profit” colleges, which sell them along to students as part of the price of the course.
Despite this, I feel sure that in the end the market for illustrated books that are content-driven (such as student, reference and how-to books) will become mainly digital. In the end, publishers’ costs for digital illustrated books will be much lower than for printed books, so publishers will try harder to tempt the market into digital products — not just with lower prices, but more importantly by exploiting digital possibilities. At the moment, digital illustrated books are only a major additional cost with little revenue attached, but I do not think that anyone in the art and design area has created one properly yet."
This looks good, Book Design by Andrew Haslam. I will be teaching a typography course in the spring at ECUAD, and I will add this to the recommended reading