For the better part of 2014, I slowly found time to work on some personal projects that had been on the queue for quite some time. I am happy to say that I was able to assemble a nice little body of work that will be opening in a new exhibition at the Talon Gallery at Northland Pioneer College in Show Low, AZ. The show opens Monday, 12 January, and comes down Friday, 13 February. I will also be giving an artist’s lecture on Thursday, 12 February, in the WMC Library, Video 2 Room at 2:30, followed by a closing reception the same day from 4:00PM to 6:00PM. If you find yourself in the area, please come by and check it out.
The work is all digitally printed collage work, dealing with my own interpretation of the rapidly evolving, shifting, and erosion of what was always thought, at least from my middle class upbringing, to be the “American Dream”. Long gone are the days of believing the ideal life consisted of owning a home with a white picket fence, a stay-at-home mother of two and a half children, and a family dog named Spike. Some of these changes have been for the better, some for the worse, but it has shown that the American way of life has certainly shifted. A core family no longer means a husband and a wife, but now includes same-sex couples. Certainly a good thing. But there is also the ever diminishing middle class, where fewer can afford to own that home with a white picket fence, and most go into crippling debt at the opportunity just to educate themselves, and to stay afloat. Single salary homes are a thing of the past, and more often than not, an individual with a single job is becoming harder and harder to imagine.
A few years ago, while I was still in graduate school at the University of Arizona, I (and a few others) had the opportunity to talk with Arizona Public Media about the Book Arts Building and the Jack Sinclair Letterpress Studio. Below, you can watch my fifteen minutes of fame… or more precisely, three and a half minutes. It was certainly a nerve-racking experience to be on camera, but it was also an excellent opportunity to spread the word about the great things happening in the lab, as well as share a few things about a process I genuinely enjoyed—and miss, so much.
I had forgotten about the video until recently, when I had another fantastic experience, taking a group of AIGA students from Northern Arizona University, down to Prescott to spend the day with Sky Shipley at his Skyline Type Foundry. I’ll write again soon, about our visit, filled with platen presses, monotype casting machines, and of course, pizza.
VIDEO: Book Arts & Letterpress Lab Teaches Old Craft
courtesy of Arizona Public Media and Laura Taflinger
Recently, dear friend and übertalented designer/artist/crafter asked if I would work up some ideas for blog identities; one for a photo blog (We Going Places) and another for an arts and crafts blog (We The Makers). They were ultimately rejected, as they weren’t exactly what the designer was looking for, but I thought they were successful, even if only for practice.
The We Going Places logo was created utilizing the Metropolis 1920 typeface, a modern take on the Art Deco styling of the early twentieth century. I built upon it further, by personalizing, modifying and tweaking the characters to fit within the vision of the logo. The idea was to utilize a face that hinted at a strong historical tie to design history, while at the same time adding some contemporary flair
We The Makers was created in a similar manner, utilizing a combination of BP Script and Futura, both modified, to stitch together a logo that would lend itself to the feeling of handmade, of craft. With those who consider themselves to be craftsmen, they take great pride in their work—this is where the idea for the flag came in, as a means for the craftsman to plant his flag, to be proud of his wares.