Posts Tagged ‘making’

Art Bugs

Tonight I dis­cov­ered that a cou­ple of box­es of art sup­plies and art objects in my stu­dio spare bed­room art room were infest­ed with the car­cass­es of many, many small lar­vae-type bugs. EW. I thor­ough­ly grossed myself out pick­ing thru to see what was sal­vage­able. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, a hand-felt­ed wall hang­ing, a felt­ed rock made from my friend’s dog’s fur, and pos­si­bly some wood­en box­es were among the objects that were beyond repair. Bugs eat nat­ur­al fibers, who knew?

This is actu­al­ly not the first time I’ve had an art bug prob­lem. Let me recount for you the times I should have learned my les­son.

1. Honey is Sweet

In the first assign­ment of the semes­ter for Fiber Arts class, our pro­fes­sor gave us three yards of muslin and instruc­tions to use ONE oth­er mate­r­i­al to cre­ate a sculp­ture. I cut my muslin into 5″ squares and chose hon­ey as my sup­ple­men­tary mate­r­i­al, stack­ing the fab­ric one piece at a time like a hon­ey-muslin lasagna. It turned out pret­ty awe­some, but then the hon­ey dripped onto the floor and the local ant pop­u­la­tion moved in.

Photo on 1-30-13 at 9.47 PM #2

2. Peter Paul Reubens and The Gathering of The Beetles

Lat­er in the Fiber Arts class, our pro­fes­sor took us to see the Peter Paul Reubens car­toons at the Rin­gling Muse­um and asked us to recre­ate an aspect of the  paint­ings out of fiber mate­ri­als. I chose Gath­er­ing of The Man­na, recre­at­ing the burlap bag held by the crouch­ing fig­ure at the bot­tom. My twist, though, (and I can’t believe I did this) was to fill the bag with manure that I dug out of the New Col­lege com­post pile. Ahem. Do you know what lives inside manure that has been decom­pos­ing in a com­post pile? Lots and lots of bee­tles and creepy-crawlies.

reubens_gatheringOfTheManna

3. Regina and the Resin

Anoth­er artist who shared my stu­dio space was doing awe­some cast­ing work with resin and soaps, embed­ding things like hair and My Lit­tle Pony parts. She had a bunch of pieces cur­ing — or so I thought — near the sink in a tup­per­ware con­tain­er, so I lift­ed the lid to take a peek. The objects which had not ful­ly embed­ded in the resin this time were chick­en hearts. Upon expo­sure to light and air, squirmy lit­tle white crea­tures (I will not say the name) that feast on rot­ting, non-ful­ly embed­ded organ­ic mat­ter swarmed out. SHUDDER.

4. Frog Tonics

I did a whole series of small bot­tles with linocut labels. They were filled with var­i­ous odd objects such as teeth, wool, hair, and well, a frog skele­ton I found in the library park­ing lot. Let’s just say there is a rea­son that peo­ple bleach bones before mak­ing art out of them. Luck­i­ly, this issue was well-con­tained in the bot­tle, and the bot­tle is now well-interred in a land­fill some­where.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

5. You’re Bringing What in Here??

In my New Col­lege senior the­sis show, I used hay bales in lieu of sculp­ture stands to dis­play my work. I remem­ber Gail, my advi­sor with whom I had a love/hate rela­tion­ship, ques­tion­ing me with a frown. “You’re bring­ing what in here??” she asked. Three weeks lat­er, I was bat­tling ant colonies and bee­tles as I cleaned up. (Oh and yes, that is a giant horse hide shown below).

group

 

As much as I hate to admit it, Gail’s and oth­ers’ con­cerns about the mate­ri­als I used in my art were war­rant­ed, and not just from a bug per­spec­tive although that is cer­tain­ly an issue as I dis­cov­ered today. I have mul­ti­me­dia pieces where I used wood glue to attach mate­ri­als to the sur­face, and the glue has yel­lowed in an unpleas­ant way. I have paint­ings that incor­po­rate latex rub­ber which is now dry and crack­ing. My encaus­tic pieces have suf­fered a good deal of dam­age over the years being moved from one house to anoth­er, and while some are repara­ble, oth­ers are not. And some have cloud­ed due to sun expo­sure.

I don’t know that I would have done it dif­fer­ent­ly, entire­ly. I embrace the idea that art, like life, is tem­po­rary and fleet­ing and prone to decay. Joseph Beuys, who is my most inspi­ra­tional artist of all time, talked about how his sculp­tures are not fixed and fin­ished such that “every­thing is in a state of change”. I’m not inter­est­ed in hav­ing a lega­cy as an artist (so, like, the stuff does­n’t have to hold up until 2179 or any­thing). Part of the rea­son I am no longer much of a prac­tic­ing artist is that I can’t bear to keep bring­ing things into the world and to become respon­si­ble for where they go and how they last. But, in some small way I want to acknowl­edge that Gail was right, and that she was not just pick­ing on me or being mean like I thought at the time. I made that felt piece with my hands, first card­ing the raw wool for hours and hours and then felt­ing it on the dri­ve­way out­side the sculp­ture stu­dio with a hose and a lot of Dr. Bron­ners soap. It had to stop exist­ing at some point, but at the hand (mouths) of bugs? That just kind of sucks.

Posted: January 30th, 2013
Categories: adventures, making
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playa to-dos: 61 days until the man burns

research how to make pan­cake tutus
buy one mil­lion yards of tulle in rain­bow col­ors
comb out my tutu dreads from last year
be excit­ed
inter­rupt john learn­ing david low­ery songs to ask tutu length
order EL wire for bikes

Posted: July 2nd, 2012
Categories: adventures, making
Tags: , , , , ,
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Staedtler-Itoya-Micron-Rotovision (Comic Process)

I am work­ing on a new com­ic, but it’s tak­ing a while since I’ve been busy at work (for­tu­nate­ly I’m play­ing with mark­ers there as well but in a much larg­er size).

20120329-232328.jpg

My process is start­ing to get a lit­tle more delib­er­ate so I thought I might try to describe it here.

My kit of equip­ment is real­ly real­ly spe­cif­ic. I use let­ter-sized paper specif­i­cal­ly for draw­ing comics that I get at Meininger, because I have found that nor­mal print­er paper (which is what I start­ed with! so easy! so acces­si­ble!) has too much tooth and the ink is more bleedy. The kind I have is Can­son Fan­boy Man­ga & Com­ic sketch paper.

I have a deep love of mark­ers and my favoritest most awe­some won­der­ful kind are made by Staedtler: the Lumo­col­or per­ma­nent pens in black in B, M, F, and S sizes. I think they might actu­al­ly be for writ­ing on over­head pro­jec­tors so I am a lit­tle wor­ried they won’t make them for­ev­er. Dear Staedtler, if you are lis­ten­ing please make sure to keep man­u­fac­tur­ing your pens!

I have also found myself in need of small­er tips as I get bet­ter at draw­ing, so I have a set of the Itoya Fine­point Sys­tem pens in .5, .3. and .1 and I like them pret­ty well. I have nev­er been a huge fan of Micron pens but I did need an even small­er size so I got one in 005 and I got a brush pen as well.

For my draw­ing sur­face I use a hard­cov­er book about brand­ing from when I was in school for design at RMCAD. :D It’s not even a good book but it’s the per­fect size to hold on my lap (I draw sit­ting on the floor with my back against the couch). I always put 5 or 6 sheets of copy paper under the sheet I’m draw­ing on, which gives the per­fect “squishi­ness” to the sur­face and helps man­age bleed-thru.

Oth­er impor­tant parts of my kit are a big chis­el sharpie (ter­ri­ble not-true blacks but some­times you need a real­ly wide mark­er), a Sumo mechan­i­cal pen­cil, and a 16 inch met­al ruler. Oh and my lap­top and or phone for image ref­er­ence. Fin­ished or in process stuff lives in a fold­er (upon exam­i­na­tion it appears to be a Mead Five Star fold­er labeled Psych from when J was under­grad).

 

I think one of the things I like best about draw­ing comics is that they aren’t hard to write since they are usu­al­ly based on some­thing real: a dream, a mem­o­ry, or an event.  Though I orig­i­nal­ly just drew them in real time, mak­ing them up as I went, I have start­ed actu­al­ly sto­ry­board­ing them out in pen­cil first on a sheet of copy paper. This way I can fig­ure out what the words are, how many cells I need to say what I am try­ing to say, and what images would go along to tell the sto­ry.

When I actu­al­ly start mak­ing the final com­ic I start by draw­ing the black­ened edges and mast­head area with my ruler and the B mark­er or the chis­el Sharpie. I start­ed doing this because my scan­ner can’t scan all the way to the edge, but I like the look of the heavy bor­der. I then let­ter the mast­head (is it called a mast­head in comics? I think that word might be a holdover from my news­pa­per class days).

Final­ly, I draw each row of cells (with the B Staedtler mark­er denot­ing the bor­ders), mov­ing from the top of the page to the bot­tom, let­ter­ing in the sto­ry as I go in the Itoya .5. For more com­plex visu­als I sketch light­ly in pen­cil first and then erase the lines once I ink. Oh yeah! Part of my kit is a big white eras­er. I would say about half of the pic­tures are drawn in pen­cil first, but I would pre­fer not to have to do this because it’s slow­er and I hate pen­cils. :)

I always have my com­put­er near­by to look up pho­to­graph­ic ref­er­ences for what­ev­er I am draw­ing. Okay and now the secret part. For images with per­spec­tive I will some­times put my paper over the bright com­put­er screen and trace some guid­ing out­lines in pen­cil! I cheat! It’s true! But I am get­ting bet­ter at per­spec­tive in gen­er­al and who cares any­way, it’s how the whole thing comes togeth­er than real­ly mat­ters.

Well, that’s about it, tried and true at this point. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my process and look for a new com­ic soon.

Posted: March 29th, 2012
Categories: comics, making
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3 things I spilled this week

Well, real­ly it was last week that I had 3 spills…

This is my most per­son­al com­ic yet. It was this time last year when we lost Mr. Kit­ty to lym­phoma & kid­ney dis­ease. Octo­ber 17, I think. I don’t even care if half of this is drawn one way and half the oth­er — we real­ly miss him and it was super hard to draw about it but also very mean­ing­ful to try.

 

Posted: October 25th, 2011
Categories: comics, making, words to rest in
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

art vs. craft vs… a lot of stuff

My friend recent­ly wrote a blog post in which she shared what she dreamed it would be like as an artist vs what it’s actu­al­ly been like.

I was in a pret­ty seri­ous band for many years and have a back­ground in fine arts (with a focus in paint­ing and sculp­ture) and I def­i­nite­ly wres­tled with some of the same issues while try­ing to fig­ure out how to actu­al­ly live out a cre­ative pro­fes­sion* (the ide­al vs the real­i­ty). There are two aspects of the how-to-be-and-be-hap­py-and-even-be-suc­cess­ful-as-an-artist issue that I want to address here: art vs craft, fem­i­nism, & the cult of the ama­teur, and the cur­rent trend col­laps­ing art/craft & consumerism/consumption.

Your Mom’s a Fiber Artist**
(the art vs craft debate from 3rd wave fem­i­nism to the cult of the ama­teur)

In the past 8‑ish years, there has been a huge main­stream resur­gence in a cat­e­go­ry of cre­ative activ­i­ties tra­di­tion­al­ly con­sid­ered more “craft” than Art. Knit­ting, cro­chet, sewing, etc are expe­ri­enc­ing a post-mod­ern renais­sance where it has become cool to play with fiber (and knit­ting has pos­si­bly even jumped the shark since every­one and their mom does it). Out­side of the realm of fiber arts, activ­i­ties like paper/printing arts, jewelry/metal work­ing, home craft, and cook­ing have gained a degree of legit­i­ma­cy that even 3rd wave fem­i­nism could­n’t have imag­ined.

[As an aside, it is worth doing some read­ing about the art vs craft debate (or even just on women and art in gen­er­al) from the per­spec­tive of fem­i­nist writ­ers. I am not going to pre­tend that I am aca­d­e­m­ic enough any­more to do this top­ic jus­tice, but suf­fice to say that the asso­ci­a­tion of many crafts (and espe­cial­ly fiber crafts) with wom­en’s work/domesticity has his­tor­i­cal­ly rel­e­gat­ed them to a low­er posi­tion in the hier­ar­chy of all-things-aes­thet­ic, where­as fine Art-with-a-cap­i­tal‑A enjoys a legit­imized (and his­tor­i­cal­ly large­ly male-dom­i­nat­ed) posi­tion at the top of the aes­thet­ic pyra­mid.

Here is a poster by the Gueril­la Girls and some links for your aside enjoy­ment.

…end aside.]

Aaaaaaaaany­ways.

Back to the explo­sion of pop­u­lar­i­ty and sub­se­quent main­stream legit­imiza­tion of the craft‑y arts. I am cer­tain­ly not here to crit­i­cize the pro­lif­er­a­tion of craft-as-art-and-even-Art on the whole, but I do want to point out an unfor­tu­nate side effect: much like we have seen with music over the last 10+ years, we are in a peri­od that J some­times likes to call “the cult of the ama­teur.” It has become incred­i­bly acces­si­ble to become a cre­ator, a mak­er, some­one who con­cerns them­selves with the prac­tice of aes­thet­ics. In a world where you can buy Garage­band for you iPad for $4.99, a search for knit­ting pat­terns turns up over 8.3 mil­lion results, and Urban O*tfitters has a DIY sec­tion, how do you deter­mine who is actu­al­ly Good? What is actu­al­ly Authen­tic? How is value/meaning/significance assigned to art now that the angle of par­tic­i­pa­tion has widened sig­nif­i­cant­ly? I don’t have the answers to these ques­tions (nor am I try­ing to sug­gest that we res­ur­rect the cult of Genius). How­ev­er, I think it is impor­tant to acknowl­edge that as we swing away from the myth of artist-as-spe­cial, we risk swing­ing too far to the oth­er side, where we val­ue the ama­teur over the pro­fes­sion­al, the casu­al over the seri­ous, the mediocre or even crap­py over the skilled. And that is not a world that sup­ports and val­ues cul­tur­al pro­duc­tion by Artists.

Con­sum­ing Anti-Con­sum­ing
(or why Etsy is not all that it’s cracked up to be)

This brings me to my sec­ond top­ic. I have refrained from men­tion­ing Etsy thus far but it is obvi­ous­ly a result of the val­ue of hand­made enter­ing our main­stream con­scious­ness. Etsy encour­ages peo­ple to buy items from what they term small-small busi­ness­es (“human-scale economies”) and places an empha­sis on author­ship and prove­nance in the items mar­ket­ed there. In the­o­ry, Etsy is real­ly, real­ly great and I am whole­heart­ed­ly hap­py that it exists and espe­cial­ly proud of my awe­some friends who have shops here, here, and here. But (yes, I just did anoth­er “yes, but”).

Here’s my prob­lem with Etsy. It’s cool that it’s root­ed in ideas about alter­na­tive economies. In prac­tice, though, I see a race to the bot­tom (after all in cap­i­tal­ism cheap­ness wins). In an effort to com­pete (or per­haps out of igno­rance about their val­ue as cre­ators or even in spite of their val­ue), sell­ers must suc­cumb to mar­ket pres­sure and the pre­mi­um for arti­san and hand­made gets thin­ner and thin­ner. Sara Mosle wrote about the false fem­i­nist fan­ta­sy ped­dled by Etsy two years ago. The NYT ran an arti­cle ques­tion­ing the effort required to run an Etsy busi­ness as well. Since then, I haven’t exact­ly seen things get bet­ter. Search­es turn up a pro­lif­er­a­tion of list­ings made with ques­tion­able mate­ri­als (cheap & made in Chi­na), ques­tion­able author­ship (every­one copy­ing every­one else… owls and deer any­one?), and even ques­tion­able sell­ers (is it real­ly a small-small busi­ness and is it real­ly hand­made if you are clear­ly out­sourc­ing your labor and pro­duc­tion?). I mean, it’s not like all of Etsy is like that, but it’s def­i­nite­ly there as the dark under­bel­ly of the indie com­merce machine. At the end of the day, I think that the mar­ket pres­sures you see in play on Etsy might be the undo­ing of craft-as-Art, and iron­i­cal­ly of hand­made as a viable cre­ative pro­fes­sion. It’s very dis­ap­point­ing because it’s so tan­ta­liz­ing­ly Almost.

Final­ly, let’s not for­get that even for the best that Etsy has to offer, it’s still about CONSUMPTION. I’m going to go way out of my league here intel­lec­tu­al­ly and aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly and say that my gut reac­tion is that when Art/art/craft/Craft seeks its val­i­da­tion through con­sumerism, artists aren’t real­ly com­ing out ahead.

It’s my bed­time but I plan to read more about this last point (this, this, and some good old marx seem like decent start­ing points), to make sure I’m not being full of sheep. Please call me out if you dis­agree, I’d love to have the con­ver­sa­tion or some links to read.

*It turns out that I became a UX design­er, which was a good fit for me cre­ative­ly, but try­ing to fig­ure out how — and whether — I want­ed to “make it” as a musi­cian or a fine artist took a lot of soul search­ing.

 ** Dear Mom. I don’t mean this as a dig against moms.

Posted: September 13th, 2011
Categories: making
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

the tv in the background is playing i wear my sunglasses at night

And I am cur­rent­ly pro­cras­ti­nat­ing at pack­ing up our final stuff for Burn­ing Man (I’ve bro­ken the fam­i­ly pat­tern of pack­ing neu­roti­cism), drink­ing beer that was made by Sethotron, and eat­ing grilled cheese sam­mich­es made with bacon and heir­loom toma­toes (yum), and kind of just kind of a lit­tle tiny lot bit freak­ing out about leav­ing for Burn­ing Man in the morn­ing.

I’m putting on my ethno­g­ra­ph­er hat (er, in this case a pink tur­ban — no, real­ly! I have unfem­i­nisty hair to pro­tect!) and I’ll report back in a week, hope­ful­ly with some pics of me wear­ing a tutu and cov­ered in playa dust. God­speed us Black Rock City!

Posted: August 30th, 2011
Categories: Daily
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i made a zine

yep, i did.

the last time i did some­thing of the sort i was 15 and i made it with a kid named MK who was some­body i met from the aol punk mes­sage boards and my screen­name was oran­gesid and i am pret­ty sure i wrote about the pro­pa­gand­hi riot at the VFW (that i did­n’t “get” to go to).

so then fast-for­ward many years and i am a design­er by pro­fes­sion and let me tell you how chal­leng­ing lib­er­at­ing it was not to get sucked into doing this thing on the com­put­er. cos at one point i was try­ing to pick out what font i was going to use and a lit­tle voice at the back of my head told me “no, no, no you are miss­ing the point entire­ly.” and so i picked up some tape and a mark­er and 3 months lat­er once i was done pro­cras­ti­nat­ing less busy with work i final­ly had 26 pages to scan on my copy­ma­chineprint­erthing. and oh did you remem­ber that when you make real phys­i­cal print­ed things the pages need to be in mul­ti­ples of four? ha ha, yeah, that’s embarass­ing. so i added two more pages.

so, here it is. issue one of my zine called ‘animal/people’. the theme is love & loss and in it i process a bit about los­ing mr. kit­ty and oth­er things. there are some great con­tri­bu­tions by colleen, jen­na, and heather. and i am real­ly proud of it.

if you would like a copy, then please harken back to the way zines worked last time i did them and send an SASE and $1 to… wait, i am not going to post my address on the inter­net. i won­der how much P.O. box­es cost?

so, just email me at linds­dot­moore­atmedot­com (you know the drill with the dots and stuff) and i will send you some snailzine­mail. and if you would have sent me a dol­lar in the mail maybe you could donate it to the boul­der humane soci­ety instead. thank you lovelies.

 

Posted: July 17th, 2011
Categories: making
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

Rainbow

This yarn is the most bee-you-ti-full yarn ever ever (said like grand­pa).

Posted: May 24th, 2010
Categories: making
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Daringly Stupid Spring Compost Kickstart Method #7

Note: tight fit­ting lid with car­bon fil­ters rec­om­mend­ed for steps 1–3

  1. At the height of cit­rus sea­son in mid-Jan­u­ary, grow lazy and “for­get” to take out com­post pail for three weeks (“it’s cold!”).
  2. Dis­cov­er fright­en­ing black wiry mold grow­ing over grape­fruit remains, and quick­ly close lid of pail. Call off com­post­ing of veg­gie scraps until spring.
  3. Leave pail on counter until late March.
  4. Decide that you should not leave the pail on the counter while you go on a spring break trip to sun­ny Flori­da, just in case the con­tents of the pail decide to make a break for it while you are gone.
  5. Set the pail on the back porch for the last few snowy weeks of the year until mid-April and the start of gar­den­ing sea­son.
  6. Grow dis­il­lu­sioned with try­ing to pull up the Lambs Ear that you plant­ed two sum­mers ago, despite the warn­ings from Grand­ma Alice (“it’s like a weed! it spreads!”).
  7. Mean­der over to the com­post pail and lift the lid.
  8. Become intrigued by the foamy, mush­room­ing sub­stance inside the pail.
  9. Decide to pour the con­tents of the pail into your black com­post bin, which is full to the top of brown, dry gar­den waste from last fall.
  10. Mar­vel at the way you can still iden­ti­fy a few car­rot tops and an onion skin at the bot­tom of a pile of sludge.
  11. Cringe at the smell waft­ing up from the anaer­o­bic pile of tox­ic slime.
  12. Decide to use the com­post aer­a­tor to “mix in” the slime and encour­age break­down of exist­ing brown mat­ter.
  13. Remem­ber that your com­post bin is pre­car­i­ous­ly bound togeth­er with zip ties, and poke the mass of dis­gust­ing­ness gen­tly.
  14. Pull out the hose and apply water to both the bin and the pail, the lat­ter of which clear­ly needs to be left out in the sun to “air out”.
  15. Stir a bit more vig­or­ous­ly, until you real­ize that flecks of vom­i­tous wretched goo have land­ed on your left arm.
  16. Run away quick­ly as an angry wasp tries to find out why you have poi­soned his home with putrid cit­rus mat­ter.
  17. Return bro­ken lid to bin, and secure in place with heavy rock.
  18. Debate with John about whether to call the envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion agency.
  19. Show­er (extra soap required).
  20. Wait for your com­post to turn into a love­ly, rich pile of organ­ic good­ness!
Posted: April 18th, 2010
Categories: Daily
Tags: , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Micro-movements

I’ve been lis­ten­ing to some SARK audio bits where she talks about micro-move­ments. Today my micro-move­ment was 5 min­utes on my loom, which I pre­fer to call my weav­ing machine. Look at my progress!

Posted: January 14th, 2010
Categories: making
Tags:
Comments: 1 Comment.