Thursday, May 17, 2012

N is for a New Plan, or why I am not a graphic designer had a type project last week: create a capital letter NI thought this sounded like fun, which, frankly,  surprised me a little. I think if I hadn't just done the you are beautiful I, I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought.

Type is the reason I am not a graphic designer. Seriously. My first semester at Pratt, there was some sort of organized talk-to-an-upperclassman-in-your-major event. I remember sitting on the floor in the elevator lobby on one of the floors in the dorm and listening to some girl tell us that she doesn't even use press type, because her type skills are that good. And none of her friends use press type either because their skills are that good. And how awesome is that because everyone knows an entry level position in a design firm is going to mean a job doing type.

That spring I registered for CommD classes.

That summer I decided I was crazy to register for CommD classes.

Because I didn't want a job doing type. I didn't even want to take a type class. I just wanted to paint. I changed my classes over to Fine Arts. Ironically, the following semester I changed my major from painting to printmaking and started making etchings made entirely of writing.These etchings are the inspiration for the look of the ink drawings I do now.

Back to the letter N... I thought about doing two, one each ink and painting. Then, I sort of ran out of time. Surprising, right? No? hmm.. Actually I thought they were due a day later than they were. oops. I had made all sorts of super swirly edged N's which sort of ended up as a sleek ribbonlike N. I masked it and inked it. But I didn't have lots of time so I inked it in away that I thought would mimic crosshatching by writing in different directions. It didn't work. It was hideous. And I mixed a brown ink which I can only say did not work. This is why I work in daylight. Artificial light sucks. So, I decided to paint over it. Even though it was dark. In artificial light. I think I saved it. You can still see the brown ink in the outline.

One of the cool things that came out of this was some inspiration for an old project. After I did the History Repeats drawings I did the seven deadly sins and the corresponding virtues. I did sample after sample after sample to get the inks just right. But after I was done with the drawings, they felt kind of generic. They were missing something. They just weren't personal enough somehow. I think I tried to make them too much about the sin/virtue rather than using that as a beginning point. So now I have a New Plan to paint over them. I think I will start with some gouache. I used acrylic on the N, but I want to lay into these slowly so I can keep some of the text. Look for future posts about how these images will change.


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