Not too long ago I got a request from an art book writer to potentially have some of my work published. That was pretty exciting to me because… well, you know… My main concern was the photos that I would show. I had to take the initial photos on my own with awful lighting to give Charlotte Rivers an idea of some printed pieces…
I wanted to post these ultra almost scary close ups because I think it makes the letterpress look scientific and kind of alive. The paper is cotton on all of these. The Dirty Byrd paper on the grey one looks crazy hairy and is probably my favorite of these ultra crisp…. they are kind of scary. I hope it doesn’t frighten people away from elegant letterpress!
Today I printed a birthday part invitation – it was in two runs with clean justified type for Henry’s 40th birthday.
The client asked for Red ink. Now, what you may or may not know is that RED ink is the most difficult ink to pin down in the pantone book. As I was printing this last bit of the invitation today, I told my office-mate that Red is my Achilles Heel. I had to pick the red, which I put off til the last minute. Why is that? why do I have such a hard time with red… Well, let’s look deeper for an answer……
Anne of Card Tricks Designs, my office-mate, was talking about color combinations one day. She had a client who wanted to use Orange and Blue. An oceany blue or kind of turquoise one. She instantly complained that she didn’t really like that combo, and wanted to shift the blue to navy or something. I actually like the original combo though it does remind me of the Miami Dolphins….
But then she revealed that Orange and that same kind of blue were her junior high colors. and that she always hated that color combo for that reason.
It was at that moment when I figured it out. RED and white were the colors of the Marion Senior High School Hurricanes…. it is very clear. I don’t like straight red for the same reason Anne doesn’t.
Incidentally, I also don’t particularly care for Kelly Green and white, the colors of Sugar Grove Combined School. Though I don’t really have a problem with Purple and white, the colors of Northwestern University. HMMMM???
I only can wonder if every graphic designer has the same feeling about their school colors. Maybe those formative years are just very color sensitive?
In any case, here is a little starburst of sillyness I printed today…. testing out the red and white for Henry’s invitations….
My friend and one of my favoritest picture-makers Gia Canali has a blog and she just interviewed me a couple of days ago for it. I thought it would be fun to link to the blog because that would maybe become a blog vortex of clicking and no one would ever leave! yay!
It was actually really fun to do the interview. I did fell a little funny that my answers would be on the internet but I then i realized that I am already talking on the internet…. so I must be a little bit entertaining if YOU are reading this right now? right? Hopefully I can come across sort of knowledgeable too! (Don’t tell me any differently, please!)
I was a little surprised when I read back over my answers in some spots… particularly the Ugly Betty comments – you will have to read her blog to know what I am referring to – because I had just seen an episode a couple of days before and I felt maybe that I was misinformed about soy inks, or that the writers didn’t research very well… I think it was the latter.
Here's the card I made for Gia's Business
I loved talking about Verdie, my press, and I think I come off a little more chatty than I am on this blog about myself…. if you can imagine that. It’s easier sometimes to answer questions than to just make up what you want to say……..
But enough about me and Tiny Pine, let’s talk about GIA! She is a great photographer. We have both been apart of a couple of weddings as the vendors. She is super organic in her style and aesthetic. She uses both film and digital photography (kind of like how I use letterpress and laser or inkjet) and she does a variety of printing processes and treats her photos in lovely ways. I think we are sort of fraternal twins, maybe. We come from the same place but we do different things. (We were just talking on the phone about how we both are from the country and mountains and if that comes across in our work…)
Anyways…. I am so glad she decided to feature me in her blog…. I will do the same for my fraternal twin… Gia Canali is great. take a look at her site!
In the past couple of weeks there has been LOTS of change at Tiny Pine Press because I moved my studio across town, from a becoming over-crowded space to a shared studio with lots more privacy, without shutting down production and even squeezing in jury duty throwing a baby shower for one of my best friends (who had her baby today!! and I got to be in the room for the birth shooting video and photos).
In that time, I moved Verdie, my Chandler & Price Pilot Press. I was so nervous about shifting her weight that I had my friend drive her separately, very very slowly in his ultra large SUV and daring him make any dramatic stops…. begging him to drive with ease and quiet through Friday afternoon traffic in Los Angeles, changing freeways 4 times…
She faired just fine, and I placed Verdie into her new home. I tested her out sans ink to make sure nothing shifted somehow – she IS held together by bolts. OLD bolts – and then I left her.
She has a room with a view out the window in this new place. She has her own room. It’s sort of small but she is small (only 200 lbs.) She sits on her tiny table made of pine and just waits for me.
Tomorrow I am making the final move…. Putting all the computery things in the big office space section of the studio, and I am going to print 3 runs on Verdie and see how she likes her new space. I think she does… there is a little window that lets in a good amount of light and it is quite cozy in there with everything in reachable distance.
Here’s a picture of my little press, in her new space… Doesn’t she look so happy??
I am a real conservative when it comes to printing. Not conservative in a political or religious way… but in an environmental way. In my family we reused as much as possible. This is a photo of my cousin JC’s drying rack. He washes and reuses the ziplock bags multiple times (I love how he hangs them to dry) (the photos a little blurry). I try to reuse as much as possible. At work and at home.
This week I got to reuse in the best way.
A client had sent out 150 save the dates. They were 100% tree free or recylced based on what we could get paper-wise because she has a big commitment to conservation as well. Of those sent, she had the wrong addresses for 6 people, so the save the dates came back to her. Instead of resending out new save the dates, requiring me to make up some more from scratch, she brought the returned ones back to me and I printed new envelopes and reused those perfectly good save the dates.
Now, I know that this form of reusing seems fairly simple and obvious. But I have been working at this career for 5 years now, and I can only remember a couple of other times when I did this. Sometimes reusing returns is necessary because we run out of whatever it is that is being sent (same as this case). But running out is actually directly related to being a conservative printer. I can’t stand wasting paper so I don’t usually print many over what is ordered.
And this client’s decision to bring the save the dates back so I could reuse them, well, that’s a testament to her commitment.
For the record, when I do have extras, I try to reuse those as make-ready for letterpress or for the big scrap bin for making valentines, birthday cards or other crafty things. Here’s a photo from a mess in my apartment floor from the “sometimes annual pre-valentine’s day ice cream social” that I have so my friends can make art with the year’s printing leftovers.
Can you tell I was the president of the energy club in high school?? I also represented the energy club in the beauty pageant when I was 14. I am not posting that picture, though. No Way!
I will tell you that it was a really big pink puffy dress…. Someone should reuse that thing for a big tablecloth and matching napkins.
I got back from the holidays in Southwest Virginia and in my mail box was a familiar envelope with familar handwriting. I was really excited cause it was heavy and that meant there was a prize inside…..
Lori D had sent me some silkscreen postcards that she made on the Print Gocco. She is brave for using that little machine for many reasons… Mostly because they can be very very tricky, but also because it’s nearly impossible to get the supplies anymore (they are from Japan and don’t have distribution, I don’t think…) She did two colors on one screen with this print, which is an amazing part of the Gocco… The little tricks. and it is small for small paper projects. OOH!! You Gocco!
Chipboard is cool, her inks are cool, her drawing is ultra cool. What else is there to say. Lori D is cool and I am so happy to receive such a wonderful present. (you just wait til I post the painting she did of my family. then you will really know how awesome this lady is!)
Since she sent me 5 of them, I get to give them away. But that is going to be a tricky decision because they are so precious… I guess having that it is a good problem to have… who to give the pretty cards to??
Oh, and they were for Happy Solstice. Which is also very cool. truly.
Ok. it’s fairly ridiculous that I spent $500 on a photo printer when I NEVER print photos. I never use glossy stock. I rarely print anything as big as 11×17. BUT I got a discount and I got this (not so) little guy. We’ll call him Stepper.
Stepper and I weren’t friends right away. I think he was a little grumpy that I hold on to the smaller and old old old 5400 under the desk. That little guy is a grandpa but still a work horse…
Anyways, I wasn’t very friendly to little Steppy at first because I couldn’t get him to print nicely like I saw in the demonstration. I used to print from Illustrator because I like the vectors but the prints kept coming out jagged and weird… especially the type. One day, I tried printing from Photoshop and the crazy problem wasn’t there. At that moment, I developed a BIG crush on Steppy.
Now we are best friends. He prints straighter and with amazing color (and he should cause he has 8 or so different cartridges in there – 2 blacks, even) and he is fast and accurate and I know that he only gets grumpy when I feed him crazy papers – but we work through it and work together. Now I am in love with him… We are still getting to know each other but I have a feeling this is going to be a great relationship.