Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bury your art?.. BARRIER art!

6 x 6, ink and paper

Hiya folks!

Here is the newest commissioned artwork for my friend's band Barrier.  They're from Montreal and are producing some great music so I was obviously glad to help them out.  The instructions I was given for this CD cover was: an Oven bird that looks like it's out of a 1930's natural history book, the band's name and the title of the album.

I was inspired by a photograph of an Oven bird hanging out on a branch (thank you Google image) and just went from there.  I really liked the way his head was turned... I went through a lot of images and the position of the bird in the one I picked I thought was more evocative than the tons of running Oven birds (they sure love to run around!). 

 The art will be silkscreened with black ink on a cardboard-type of paper (which is why I tinted the image using my extremely limited iPhoto - does anyone want to buy me Adobe? eh? eh?).
I was torn between two kinds of fonts for the title and showed them both to the guys... Majority rules and they went with the cursive.  Originally I had hand-drawn the "Barrier" part but now that I've used a digital font I find it really gives it a nice clean edge.

Ok so I have been pretty obsessed with the idea of the passing of time for a while now and anything that evokes looking back, contemplating the passage of time, nostalgia, etc.  These themes are typically represented by objects like clocks, hourglasses, even by scenery, from lakes to trees losing their leaves, flowers fanning, etc.  The reason I'm bringing this up is because I thought the posture of this bird was so perfect because it's not looking forward, but backwards, which I thought was ideal for the title of the LP: What to Make of a Diminished Thing.  I never asked the guys what they had in mind when they named the album but I interpreted it from an environmental, as well as political, perspective.  Namely, looking back in nostalgia at what used to be all the while contemplating how to move forward in a positive way.  Note that if the bird's head had been down, the tone would be of defeat, whereas now the tone is of optimism.   

But that's only my interpretation of the title, after all it could be about a break-up?  Either way, I think the title is powerful and can speak to many things.

So I'm really happy that people are asking me to create art for them!  The Smart Mouth shirt was an absolute hit and I got SO much good feedback!  I'm really happy people are digging my art because no matter how many times I've been complemented on my artistic abilities I still feel extremely nervous showing my stuff... Fear of rejection?  Quite possibly.

I've got a few more commissions on the way, which I'm really excited about!!  BUT that being said, I'm really getting into the crux of things with school, so we'll see how much time I can actually devote to art-making.  I'll keep you posted.

Until next time! xo


P.S. Check out Barrier: www.myspace.com/reconstructingbarrier  ... They also have a blog but it seems to be down right now.  CHECK IT!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back to Basics/ pour Iain

12x18, ink on canvas paper

9 x 11, silkscreen on black cotton t-shirt

Ok so it's been a whole 10 days since my last post.  The reason for this being that I had neglected some readings in order to have everything ready for the show and as a result have found myself spending every spare second trying to catch up with school.  
For anyone who doesn't know me personally, I'm a third-year student at Carleton University in the Humanities program with a double major in Sociology.  You might be surprised to find out I'm not in a visual arts program of some sort.  I decided to go into a non-visual arts program in order to learn about humanity in a way that would (hopefully) inform my art.  
I had always thought I would study art in university.  But that's simply not how life has played out, and while I've been extremely busy with school and work, making it really difficult for me to actually work on my art.  I've had to repeatedly convince myself that I'm not "not doing art" I'm just doing something else for a little bit".

All this to say that the exception to this school nonsense is commissions!  That's right: friends in need of artwork for anything from flyers to album covers to t-shirts (shout out à Iain Impro flyer style).   These small "jobs" have truly been the most welcome requests, as they gave me a reason to let my creative juices flow.  (and I am aware of how lame it sounds to need a reason to make art, but that's the reality and let's face it reality can be pretty damn lame)

So anyhow, I've decided to post some of the simple drawings I've done on request.  The first one is for my friend Finner's band.  He e-mailed me last night asking me to call him (an e-mail entitled URGENT) when I called him I found out he needed a shirt design a.s.a.p.  So I got to work when I came home from school around 4:00 and just handed it to him a few hours ago.  That's pretty efficient if you ask me!  Finner knew exactly what he wanted (which I find extremely helpful when I'm asked to draw something).  The design is for his hardcore band Smart Mouth and he sought to reference some of the bands he's found most influential by means of a Halloween-inspired shirt where people are wearing masks of the emblematic logos of Gorilla Biscuits, the Misfits, Danzig and Integrity.

The second drawing was for the Carleton University chapter of the Ontario People's Interest Research Group (commonly known as O-PIRG).  They are a great bunch of radically minded folks who put on great workshops and events so I jumped on the chance to create the shirt they would be selling at Rad-Frosh (the radical alternative to the unappealing regular Frosh, namely silk-screening and bike-repair workshops instead of bar hoping).  In this case they gave me no instructions for the design other than "it should be radical and attract the eye".  So this is what I came up with.  The version of the image I have posted is actually a picture of the shirt itself.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well the smaller details showed up (namely the greedy business men/women running away).

So these are  two of the latest commissions I've done, but I will be posting more of the earlier ones soon... As well as the ones that are one the way! woohoo!

'Tis all for now!xo