I should just write. I should. Stop over-thinking it. Just….do….it. Okay, go. Now. I’m going. I’m starting, picking up the thread not knowing where exactly I left off or how to start or fill you in. Life doesn’t follow such a tidy narrative though, so I guess it’s okay if blogs don’t either. In an email from my friend Kate Singleton of Buy Some Damn Art / Art Hound said, any blog posts are good. Even if they are sputtering and sporadic.
I came down with shingles in August, with my recovery lasting well into September. The only explanation for why, in my case, was months of prolonged stress. While the virus wasn’t terribly painful – I was lucky in that respect, but it did cause 4 days of temporary blindness in my right eye, many doctors visits (thank goodness I have insurance), medicines, and strict orders to take it easy. Very easy. Okay message received, universe: clearly it’s time to make some changes. What changes exactly, I’m still thinking about, but I’m happy to report that I’m physically back-to-normal. After taking a significant break from maintaining any kind of personal work – ie this blog or anything else, I’m finding my way back to it. I get some flickers of inspiration here and there, lukewarm at best, so I know I’m not totally broken. But I knew travel would speed things up, and it just so happened that Chad & I had booked crazy discounted tickets to San Francisco way back in the spring so the timing was perfect.
The biggest reason for the trip was Tony & Kat’s wedding, but there were also self-assigned work: museums, galleries, literature, hiking, a golden visit to the Pacific ocean, a tour of artist Lisa Congdon’s studio, and coffee with Makeshift Society owner, the masterful Rena Tom. Our adventures took us all over the Bay area, on Bart, MUNI, ferry, car, bicycle, streetcar, taxi, and of course on foot. We saw more organic produce at the Berkeley Bowl than I’ve ever seen in one place before (Whole Foods included), drove legendary Highway 1 at sunset, noshed on a late night In-N-Out burger – animal style, dove into rich gourmet bowls of mac ‘n cheese at Homeroom, desserted at Tartine, and marveled at the highly technical event that is parallel parking on SF’s steep hills. And so much art – art, and people doing interesting things it was a feast for my brains too.
Thank you, California friends, new and old. The way you brought us so generously into your lives was all of the soul fuel I could’ve asked for. I’m looking for all the reasons I can to make my return and see some more of you soon.
1. Muir Beach Lookout. 2. Awesome logo on a Bay Ferry boat. 3. San Francisco’s literary festival, LitQuake plays hosts to comedian/novelists, David Handler and Andrew Sean Greer. Recap of the event here by my friend Margaret Edith Maggie who also kindly lodged us for a few nights. 4. I got chills seeing this couple unknowingly mimicking a massive Margaret Kilgallen painting at SFMOMA. 5. Woodland elf? Nope, it’s photographer Ben Speckmann in Muir Woods! 6. Lisa Congdon fans my already major lust for Scandianvia with tales her three week solo trip to Iceland, Sweden, and Copenhagen, and how it’s inspired her work. 7 & 8. Lettering inspiration dialed up to 11 at highly traditional custom sign-painting shop Golden West Sign Arts in Berkeley. 9. The ocean was so cold my toenails turned blue! Ah!!! Okay, not really. Just seeing if you were still paying attention.
All photos by me or Chad on iPhones or the Canon S100.
Giveaways aren’t something I’m really all that excited about most of the time, but occasionally it’s just too good to pass up. Someone out there needs to have this gorgeous 18″ x 24″ screenprinted poster, with seven glorious layers of texture and color. By Nick Butcher & Nadine Nakanishi, aka prodigy poster duo Sonnenzimmer. No one does gig poster design quite like Sonnenzimmer, not even close, which is impressive alone, but of course they don’t really stop there. What’s so brilliant about their work is the process doesn’t change much in any of the media they use. Whether it’s a print, a painting, installation, or even music, the project is structured around a system or concept, and then the ensuing visuals or sounds for the most part get to happen accidentally. That’s a decision that I have heaps of respect for, because it takes major guts to just go with whatever comes out of you, as it happens. And the outcome manages to be technically well-founded, elegant, and some how effortless all at once. Plus, Nick & Nadine are so gracious to be around, the types who just show up and get to work, sans bullshit. They’ve been a solid foundation of support in Chicago’s creative faction for years it’s only fair I should give them their due.
Further if you’re into jazz you can buy Free Jazz Bitmaps Vol. 1 and get a free copy of the poster with purchase. This album is a brand-new collaboration, a perfect little capsule of Chicago’s jazz scene right now. Have a listen here.
How to enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a comment.
2. Like Pitch on Facebook
3. Tweet it on the twitters, but make sure you @reply me.
You can enter up to two times! The giveaway will be open until April the 25th at 12am and I will announce the randomly drawn winner on Thursday of next week.
We’ll also be celebrating Sonnenzimmer’s new works and the album release on Friday, May 4th from 6 – 9pm at Saki. Live music by Nick Butcher, Katherine Young, Jenna Lyle, & Joann Cho. Free, as usual.
Oh, my dears. I’ve missed you. Thank you for being patient with me during my extended quietness here. I’ve been experimenting with my schedule & my billable hours, trying to find a better structure & schedule so I can bring home both the bacon and the blog. It’s been a tough process. And I’m slowly working out a re-design. This site’s been the same for almost four years now and I think that is a major part of my reluctance to write. The internet is different now than when I first created this site and doing some restructuring around here will do a lot in terms of re-investing my time. Never fear, I’m never going to pull the plug entirely, having a growing internet presence is too important to me personally & too important in terms of growing my business for that.
It’s funny, this process is so specific and personal. It’s like a ritual of sorts. I’ve been thinking a lot about the rituals of making things ever since my friend Vaughn Fender asked me to participate in the ninth issue of his online magazine, Peculiar Bliss. The theme of which is creative rituals. I didn’t even really think about what mine were until this topic came up, but now I can’t stop, and in some ways that’s kept me from producing here. Navel-gazing has diminishing returns after while…So here I am, consider this me getting over it. Jumping back in again, with a bang.
Vaughn’s done a lengthy interview with me on my process, background, and yes my rituals. The article also includes a whole bunch of my work that’s never been published anywhere, and my friend Julia Stotz was kind enough to take all the pictures of me. Ellen Hunter of Word Couture Consulting made sure I did my commas and grammar right. I owe major thanks to them for their hard work, you’re only as good as your fellow collaborators and these kids really threw down. Thank you friends, from the bottom of my heart.
Flip through the digital pages on ISSUU, Cargo Collective, or PDF. My piece starts on page 17, and there is plenty of other gorgeous illustration and photography on either side of the article as well. If you can take a few minutes to kick back and take this in, inspiration is sure to follow.
Have an excellent Friday! Next week is going to be a doozy over here. We’re talking WMC Fest, stories from our trip to Detroit, and a giveaway – which I never do, but this one is a unique one so I don’t think you’ll mind. :-)
I apologize to the non-locals for this post, but Chicago, you are going to this right? Yes, the Show ‘N Tell Show is the world’s only design-improv-talk-n-rock show. With plenty of variety and even the occasional Muppet, it’s guaranteed fun, promises. Come designers, photographers, musicians, comic book heads, style mavens, font lovers, code monkeys, and poster boys. Thursday’s guests will wow you, they’re some of my personal faves: The INDO Projects, Letterform, Paul Octavious, Paul Koob, and a top secret mystery vistor!
And, okay, so if you can’t come you should watch this bonus video instead. If you’ve ever been to a design conference, you should also watch this video. If you look closely, you can catch yours truly briefly at 1:45. (Gah, video is so awkward…like hearing yourself on an 80’s answering machine!)