Published July 19, 2010
Art , Books/Literature , College
Tags: Brian Allen, Calligraphy, Digital, Fonts, Graphic Design, Letterpress, Letterpress Printing, Oral Culture, Pen Turning, Pixels, Print Culture, Printing
Photo by Bryan Rierson Photography and Brian Allen
Finally, my two primary interests united! Artsy inky stuff + cultural studies = my dreamy future. And last night I got a good dose of both when I attended a talk by Brian Allen called “From Homer to BFF: about how we express ourselves.” The event is part of a series hosted by hosted by CU Libraries Scriptalab and the Colorado Book Arts League, which resulted in a diverse audience: from hip graphic design students and aging papermakers and letterpress printers.
I was familiar with most of the cultural aspects of the presentation (Socrates’ anxieties about changing from an oral culture to a print culture, for example), but I really enjoyed Allen’s take on it. He talked about letterpress printing as a profession where men are allowed to be creative and artistic in a socially acceptable way. (Gender commentary gets you brownie points in my book.)
And he focused on the ways that printers and calligraphers have responded to a digital age– which is just a smaller version of how every oppressed group (whether racial, cultural, or professional) has developed strategies and adaptations for survival. See Gloria Anzaldua for further reading.
I also appreciated that Brian wasn’t totally against digital technology, given that so many craftsmen and women are. What is important, he concluded, is that we help digital technology to make good choices. And that we engage our own hands in the 3D world at the same time.
Still, while I was musing how to incorporate this into my professional future, I had to concede that is harder for women to get into this profession. Women are more commonly book artists and calligraphers, but printing is still a boy’s game. Ah, well. Yet another thing to add to my Badass Professions for Women list (which, so far, includes glassblowing, pen turning, and being a pilot).
Springtime at my college is always chaotically busy, in the way that makes you sort of black out, so that when you look back on this time in the fall you won’t remember an entire two months of your year.
One event we have coming up for ECO (our campus environmental organization) is Earthfest, a music festival on Earth Day. I worked on the poster the other day, then processed it digitally. Now off to the print shop!
in the sketchbook
Published October 11, 2009
Art , College , Politics
Tags: Art, College, Design, Feminism, Gender, Graphic Design, watercolor, Women
I’ve been swamped with work lately! Luckily, a lot of the work is art- and design-related, so I have things to post.
I haven’t explicitly mentioned this before, but please note that all of the work I post here is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative License. Which means that you can take and post these images elsewhere as long as my name/blog are credited and linked; you may not use them for commercial purposes; and you may not alter or edit the image in any way.
Over the past few years I’ve designed a few posters and t-shirts for the women’s center at my college. The media is one of the primary ways that we receive messages about gender– and this goes for both men and women. Sociological Images is a great blog that often has good examples of gender messages in the media. Dealing with gender and race when designing for the media is always a challenge: one has to be always conscious, always alert. And yet somehow, the creative process itself is always empowering.
I made this poster this weekend for 56%, a publication through the women’s center. The original tagline, when the mag was first founded, was “writing for, by, and about women.” It has since changed to “a gender-conscious publication,” and this year, “a magazine with a focus on gender and sexuality.” This piece was done in watercolor and india ink (except for the text at the bottom, which was added digitally). Below are some poster headers that I used the last two years.
And this (below) I made this a few years ago for a night of music by women:
I also have two t-shirt designs for Love Your Body Day, but that’s actually coming up soon so I’ll have a third design to post… perhaps they’ll get a post of their own.
Typeface, graphic design, and graffiti: three of my favorite things brought together into ONE fantastic project!
Basically, this guy went around photographing graffiti, and certain styles of lettering kept coming up (obviously). So then these patterns were turned into a font– badass.
Click on any word, and then any letter, to see the original photograph of the pieces in which that letter style first appeared.