My friend Carmen and I had one specific project we’ve been talking about—to create a micro projection on a geode. Image mapping is rapidly becoming something more artists are exploring for visuals and installations, but it’s generally done very large. Large would be amazing on these geodes, but we wanted to see how small we can go, a personal and unique challenge.
We designed an image mapping over the shape of a 2″ x 2″ geode I created so that we could isolate each of the “crystal” shapes and make them glow. The result was actually quite fun! It looks like the individual crystals are sometimes glowing and pulsing.
We haven’t perfected it yet, but I wanted to post some of our results and process. We chose the video below to show the scale of the actual piece (starring my cat Stampy), and the images are various projections and angles of the piece. We’re thinking of eventually making this an installation piece, but aren’t sure of where or what exactly. Stay tuned for more thoughts and details as this project progresses!
Happy friday! First off, I want to thank everyone for all your amazing comments of support, ideas, and criticism. I’m not stressed by my latest geode being taken any longer; I think I was more shocked at the time that its life was so short (the shortest of any piece) and that my first attempt to extend its life utterly failed. I’ve always had a hard time with “starting over” when things don’t work out the first time.
I do believe the beauty of this project is that these pieces are temporary, that’s why I started out not even trying to glue them. They were all just placed into their little homes. If these are truly urban treasures that parody natures’ treasures, “humans are a force” that affects them too (thank you to my genius sister Kara).
Now! For the fun part. You all saw my “missing” art installation to replace my art installation? I received my first google voicemail today! This kind fellow let me know that he has “no information about [my] missing art”. Click the play button below to hear:
I was just perusing through Pia Habekost’s MyVisual EyeCandyDiary and nearly fell down when I saw Tokujin Yoshioka’s “Crystal Paintings”. These were apparently grown through vibrations given off by music. What?! Incredible. It’s hard to imagine how something so serene, quiet, and absolutely still can be grown from music. To me, the close up of the image reveals something fragile, the music almost suspended in time.
I went through Yoshioka’s site and found photo upon photo of stellar work, often made for spaces, collaborating with companies like Hermes, Swarovski, and BMW. His use of multi-media plastics, paper, music, and glass are inspiring to me, particularly the way he displays them and creates whole ethereal experiences.
All photos www.tokujin.com
My friend Consuelo just took an amazing photo of geode #8 at Daily Dose. When we took our fancy photos last week, we didn’t have a stand to take photos in the dark lit cafe so we got this lovely iPhone flash/instagram action going on in this one. Just wanted to post this more detailed photo up to show off the teeny tiny pieces I made in this one.
For a long while I’ve known that I needed to figure out how to create geodes to fit into real cracks. I can’t depend on finding perfect pipes and missing bricks forever and I really can’t imagine spending hours longer gluing pieces directly into holes in the middle of the night. I’ve been scheming up this process that I’ve confirmed today—works!
Below is an image of a tester I made in our house. I wanted to do it inside so I could have control over the situation if anything didn’t work or needed extra time and care. The process includes making a mold of the crack, creating a cast of the mold with gauze-like cloth and homemade “size”, and following the rest of my old steps to completion. The inner shapes here are technically too large, I just used some extra pieces I had that would at least fit.
I rounded out this geode with a glossy red spray paint. I like it for our house because it kind of matches, but it doesn’t quite pop enough for the outside world. I am still on the hunt for metallics in other colors.
The week before holiday vacation time in Texas was a hectic one. Greg had a production for Logitech in which he put on many hats—writer, art department, creative director, and director. He hired me as an extra and an artist, ah we love nepotism in this house. Although, being an extra in a bathing suit at a pool scene in December is the opposite of great, so maybe I don’t like this particular “in”.
Besides that dreary pool party, I was asked to create artwork that the hero of the video would wheat paste onto a wall. A. I’ve never actually painted anything and B. I’ve never wheat pasted. I was nervous, went through several designs, and had to email my images out to friends for help deciding which to use. I finally settled on designing in a way I’m used to (without overwhelming myself with something new), using illustrator and vector art with heavy block colors.
In the pool scene, all of the people are wearing animal masks, dancing, and swimming. I decided to take that idea and repurpose it for the painting, drawing four girls with animal masks on. The “handsome” at the bottom of the image comes from the new coffee shop, Handsome Coffee Roasters this was pasted on, coming soon to downtown LA.
I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, Greg and I are both quite enamored with the look and process of wheat paste (we’re rubbing our hands together conspiratorially). The whole drawing and painting took me 3 full days to complete. The wheat paste went up on the wall for about an hour and then was torn down. One of the more painful things I’ve had to deal with—I helped for a bit and then ditched the final cleanup.
I was originally planning on gifting my friend Dave a t-shirt with dolphins all over it, but Greg suggested I make an art piece with dolphins all over it. Sounded like fun, and it was.
I drew some vector art of a few dolphins and came up with a quick double-entendre to adorn the piece. All designers apparently need to add type to their artwork. I was thinking of adding the script-y typeface I’ve been using on my other paper pieces, but I ended up using “Lot”, a really bulky/blocky typeface. I think it goes a lot better with the similar bulky image of the dolphins. Overall, I ended up with a maniacal piece, dolphins chasing dolphins around and around taunting you and each other. Let’s not read too far into it though, it’s just super fun and perfect for my friend, Dave.
I was doing so good—writing posts almost three times a week, creating my own work, inspired constantly by others! One day I will learn what consistency is.
In the meantime, I’m posting old work. Officially, Oktoberfest has long ended, but there are some puttering little mini-Oktoberfests all over the country still kicking. I was asked to create some concepts for an internal corporate-America Oktoberfest this year and honestly, super excited to be given the task. I’ve always liked the vibe of Oktoberfest, and other festivals that aren’t just yearly holidays.
The above designs are a collection of accepted and rejected designs I created. The very first design was the accepted version, sans beer mug (what!). The rest are all rejected, and I was not surprised, they’re definitely the least obvious for corporate use. Unfortunately none of the illustrations are done by me, but if the overall layout was selected with illustrations I would have completely redone them to match.
I’ve already posted the top three paper cuts, but they were unmounted. These are the first entirely finished pieces, back mounted with a simple black, wooden frame. I created one more piece to go with the group, “Wow! Downright Forgettable.”, which measures 19″ x 24″. I’ve been waiting to post these until I got better photos of them, but the glare of the top piece poses quite a problem, so this will have to do. You can at least see that the shadows and light play in the background of these finished pieces to give them all another dimension. It’s a whole other experience than seeing them lying on a wood surface.
I’d like to keep going and create even larger scales of these—all hand cut of course—because I’m crazy.
The most intricate paper cut I have done so far, “Nichole & Alex”, was created as a gift for the bride-to-be during a bachelorette celebration this past weekend. It was to be potentially add to a veil as a keepsake and I wanted to gift something that was original and a part of me. Thus, I decided to create something I haven’t before as well as something that I thought would be decorative enough.
I printed about 18 of these designs in 3 different sizes thinking I would need to start over a few times. I ended up using the smallest size, about 2.75″ wide. I used Tyvek paper that is less likely to tear, this is a suggestion from Lex McQuilkin and it worked beautifully. Not only was it thinner and easier to cut, any slightest off-key jerk didn’t tear any of the thinner areas as I was cutting.
It’s not perfect and I’m not really sure how this goes with the veil, but hopefully it’s a nice, original piece of art for them. I wish I thought of this sooner for someone special!
Love this stuff. Found on Jonathan Jacques-Belletête Tumblr. I knit a similar design as the men’s scarf last year, still yet to be recorded.
This blog is as much about failures and process than finished products. I have a great series of paper cuts going and have been slowly collecting other materials to test the concept on. This blue plastic was a nicely finished matte bag I got at a music store in LA. It clearly does not hold up.
I laugh at how I decided to try a whole statement rather than even one flourish which would have told me enough. Although, I do love how the statement clearly reflects my failure. It’s like cause and effect or effect and cause or maybe I can just predict the future?
Yesterday was the deadline for the Communication Arts Typography Competition. I decided to enter the image above, an altered version of the Blow Up Flyer I created for the San Francisco Blow Up Forever party. I loved the flyer we created but I wanted to send something simpler and a step more conceptual. The paper letters actually blowing up out of the paper are super fun and I wanted to utilize the natural shadow they create when shooting them in the sun. This is the original, unretouched photo I used:
The idea of using the shadow keeps the image simple and natural. If something was literally blowing up out of the paper it definitely leaves that shadow (as proof above). This is what I love about using tangible items to create artwork, rather than making it up yourself on the computer. The one extra step of creating physical letters gives me the 3D image and the shadows to work off of.
The result, Blow Up and Get Down!
I recently recreated a logo for a writing project that’s being pitched right now. “The Golden Age” is set in Hollywood and what better landmark to represent than the El Capitan Marquee. I redrew and reorganized most of the original sign, and designed new text for the interior portion. I had some fun with the “outer glow” tool in photoshop to create the neon colors. The final sign was used in a poster for the show, but I can’t show that yet.
The next use of the logo, was to create a paper cut for the cover of the pitch book. Even after dropping quite a few details, this was the most intricate cut I’ve had to do. It is so small and had to look near perfect to be presentable on the cover of the book. The page under the book is a thick gold paper (seen above) and the book was hand bound with black silk tape.
I was just perusing through this year’s Communication Arts Typography Annual and came across this lovely poster by Sean Freeman. Obviously, there is a lot of typography in the annual to be admired, but this one struck me especially. I love the use of actual objects to create type, such as I’ve been exploring with paper recently. The poster is also a significantly appropriate style for the band.
Check out more of Sean’s incredible work at Levine/Leavitt—it’s all pretty mind blowing.
Lex McQuilkin is an amazing illustrator I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with this past month. Not only was she perfect for the job we are working on, but she shares a love of paper art with me. She’s been working on it a lot longer than me and has given me some sweet tips. Her work above are beautiful examples of intricate paper work, often layered with decorative papers underneath. The typography, hand drawn, always works so nicely with her images. When I look through all of her work on her sites, I definitely take note of how she presents her work—within frames, hanging freely on pins, installations—and hope to be able to replicate something similar one day.
Lex is a resident artist with Million Fishes Artist Collective in San Francisco, is a co-founder of Aorta Magazine, and has started her own poster company, Argot Prints. Most of her work is dedicated to social justice, practice, and responsibility, often concentrating on women and queers on the arts.
These are the first three in a series I plan on doing. They are all 8.5×11 sheets of card stock hand cut with an x-acto.
I gave the first image, “Unoriginal”, to my friend without any background information and the comment back to me was, “Way to turn your state of dissatisfaction into something beautiful.” He hit the nail on the head.
Last week I designed this flyer for my friends that throw the party, Blow Up, in San Francisco. Late summer, they are going to throw a super Blow Up called, Blow Up Forever—with two dance rooms and a killer line up. We will be continuing to hone this design, but this was the kickoff flyer passed out last week.
Things are finally starting to happen! I’ve been bribing Greg with dinner at Pizzeria Mozza and massages in order to get him excited to make me things. He would have done these things anyway, but I like to give some extra energy into the project.
This week, after much trial and error, Greg has dreamed up and created a PVC pipe grid. The grid will be used for two projects, the first one I’ve already started setting up. The above pictures show first, the full set up. The second photo is an image of the grid, it’s a little warped because it’s not that strong (we’re not rich enough to buy steel or anything). Third, is the finished logo I created for Bishop/Tuzin out of paper already nestled in the clouds.
The last image is a straight on shot of the logo in the clouds. I made quite a few clouds from my first batch of pillow stuffing but I had to get more to fill in the background today. So far, so good. The really tricky part will be the camera set up and move…poor Greg needs to create a rolling camera rig so that we can zoom into the clouds and move up. Stay tuned!
Side note: sorry for the blurry images.
A few weeks ago I noticed a design competition with an awesome section called “Never Saw the Light of Day”. I knew just the project I would submit, but alas, I had never even completed it. This got the gears working again on my project for Jonah Ray, that was left unused and unfinished because of some work issues.
I set to work making a paper downtown Los Angeles. This just means finding a semi-decent image of the downtown skyline and drawing some of the buildings via illustrator or my hand. The first image were a couple tests I created, they were colored to match the actual image I was using. After a few test shots (including my own iphone test with giant roaming kitty in the background) I decided I didn’t want color and that the largest building you see should actually be the smallest in scale. Moving forward, all buildings would be white with black outlines, a more stylized version of the buildings that match the zombies already created and the television sets I have built (see the bottom photo for final buildings!).
In my original plans, I had a giant puppy dog in the scene. That makes the giant live kitty in the first image incredibly appropriate. The kitty won’t be the direction in the end, I’m going to draw some kind of dog to match the rest—a chihuahua or wiener dog—something terribly non threatening. I’ll have the final image up soon and I can finally call a second paper art project actually complete. Weird.
Continuing my setup for the stop motion video mentioned in my last post, my studio has gathered a low hanging fog…
I’m preparing for a short stop motion film for my friends’ website. They are starting a new brand for screen writing and filmmaking together and we need some imagery. The idea is to create several short videos that are classically cinematic and then use them super-sized, running in the background of their content. One image they’ve created is the well-used flying through stormy clouds, lightning flashing, and coming across the logo floating in the air. I decided to “Michel Gondry” the idea by creating a stop motion video of the idea. I started with the paper letters that I’ve already created and am now creating and test shooting the clouds (seen above). The clouds will keep me busy for a while, then on to the foil lightning bolts.
Oh hey, I’m actually working on non-corporate work during the day.
I recently rocked my letter “B” paper construction for my friend’s facebook profile photo. The typeface is Cambria bold, approximately 3″ high. I went for it and added serifs this time to these paper constructions with great success. I have a full logo for Bishop/Tuzin created—I’ll post that next.