A (letter) pressing need

My favorite tools for expressing myself are paper, pen, thread, and fabric. Over the years I've dabbled in many media, and I think it's important to try new things. It helps you discover what works well for you and can help grow your appreciation for the talents of others.

One thing I'd wanted to try for a while was typesetting and letterpress. As a practitioner of hand lettering and a lover of all things type, it has always fascinated me. Recently, I had an opportunity to take a letterpress class with my daughter at Igloo Letterpress, a charming studio/shop in Old Worthington. They recently moved into new digs in an old hardware store on the main drag, and they have a beautiful new space for classes and workshops.

We learned to typeset a phrase the old-fashioned way, one letter at a time, using movable metal and wood type.

We took turns hand-cranking the press to make our final prints.

We had a great time learning something new and creating something awesome.

My sister, mother, and I went this past Friday night to Igloo's Galentine's event - a casual event where we made watercolor & letterpress Valentine's Day cards.

They have a variety of classes, workshops, and projects for artists of all ages and skill levels. Head over to their class page to learn more!

 

Whirlwind

April has been quite a month for me, hence the radio/blog silence. I unexpectedly (but pleasantly) changed jobs at the beginning of the month, planned and hosted a 1940's themed birthday bash, got engaged (squeal!) at that same party, presented my fabric designs to a local arts group, secured a licensing deal with a children's clothing manufacturer, and was selected as a featured artist for #wildartcolumbus, spawning 5 new pieces for online and gallery exhibition! File this post about my Make Art That Sells assignment under 'better late than never'!

This month's MATS Bootcamp mini assignment was to hand letter the phrase 'The Global Art Gathering'. Without knowing where this assignment would ultimately lead, I dove in headfirst and had a lot of fun.

I used similar iconography to that in my logo/website design, and added color and watercolor texture.

I was pretty happy with where this was headed, but when the assignment came out, I had to switch gears. The assignment was a design that could be used as a poster and a postcard for The Global Art Gathering in Brighton, UK this June. When I needed to draw together reference materials, I turned to my well documented love of vintage travel posters.


I had a blast researching Brighton and the things that make it unique, and am now suffering the side effect of needing to go to there. I started by working on some iconography of landmarks.

I loved the bits and pieces, but they weren't really working for me as a poster. I tried a cityscape next.

 

While definitely moving in the right direction, I knew it needed something more. After adding watercolor to my drawing, I used the Ferris wheel icon as a backdrop for the city, and I was pleased with the results.

I'll be back soon to share my pieces for #wildartcolumbus. In the meantime, check out Wild Goose Creative on Instagram to see what I (and other Columbus-area artists) have been up to!

Home is...

In February, our MATS Bootcamp mini assignment was plate scenics. If you're scratching your head at that, know that you are not alone...I was irritated. What the hell is a plate scenic? I'm supposed to sketch plates? Or the scenes on plates? As always, Lilla provided some guidance and inspiration – lovely photos of vintage plates, with romantic little scenes painted on them. I still couldn't quite wrap my head around it. I asked myself what kind of plate scene would appeal to me, and the answer was clear – the same kind of scene that always appeals to me – adventurous nature. I immediately began sketching various National Parks and wilderness destinations we've visited in our travels. Just like January, I started out annoyed and overwhelmed by the subject and ended up in love.

When the main assignment came out the next week, we were to create our art on wood slices – a perfect fit for my natural theme. This also gave me a chance to stretch my painting muscles as well as pick up a new skill (although skill may still be a generous term for it)...wood burning!

Devils Tower in Wyoming

The assignment called for one finished piece, for the wall art market. I made several to test the waters and really play around, and ended up with 5 pieces that I love, all of which are now hanging in my guest bathroom.

See more of my favorite pieces here, and check out my final submission and those of my MATS buddies here.