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
Tags: , , , , ,
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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
Tags: , , ,
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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.