Rock bands, dinosaurs, and pom-poms, oh my! Influences for April's Bootcamp assignment

This was a fun one, you guys. The April brief took it up a whole nutha' level in making this a real world assignment: a poster design for the upcoming Make Art That Sells Global Art Gathering, a live event being held in Brighton, UK on June 12th, 2015.

Here is an excerpt of the brief:

Create a single design that works as both a poster and a postcard, for the ADVERTISING market.

The poster should be designed at full size 20” wide x 30” high, portrait.

[as for the style] consider where the poster will be used. It will be displayed on the seafront and around the city of Brighton, which is a highly creative place. The poster should appeal to men and women, and to a very hip crowd. … Ensure that your lettering is clear and legible.

We were given copy to include, and a specific color palette, which I think is lovely.

As all of our Bootcamp assignments begin, we were given a “mini” of hand lettering the words: THE GLOBAL ART GATHERING. Okay. So, this is right up my alley. I love typography and I love writing. I send hand written snail mail ALL THE TIME. And, I’ve been practicing my lettering a lot over the past year, to beef up this section in my portfolio:

So, this is where I brought out my pens, paints and markers. Lots of this is crazy doodly junk, but I did find a few useful sketches.

Sketches, books and COFFEE!

I have pages of this stuff!

My most time consuming study was this script lock-up which I later refined in illustrator using anchor points and bezier curves. I'm glad I spent the time because I'm really proud of the way it turned out in it's final rendition.

Brighton is so interesting! I WANT TO GO TO THERE.  Look at all these gorgeous images I found!

The Brighton Pavilion

Brighton Pier Amusements

Brighton Pier Ferris Wheel and Seagull

The pier is like our Santa Cruz pier, only 1000 times cleaner, arty and way more sophisticated! If I have my geography right, one of the most interesting tidbits that I “dug up” is that Brighton has an association with dinosaurs and fossil discoveries.

Brighton Pier dinosaur postcard, 1947

Awesome. That got me thinking….

Tea Rex?

During the development phase of this project, we were in the throes of redecorating our home office a la “Fillmore Room West.” My husband has a great collection of concert posters that heavily influenced my designs.

I had also attended a Pom-Pom making workshop as Makeshift Society, SF, and that got me thinking about confetti, and festivities and general colorful fun. I took some really great photos that day.

Pom-Pom remnants

You can see how this creative expedition infiltrated my mind to produce one of my final selections later in this post.

In the end, I exhausted every inkling of every idea that I had in order to come up with these three designs:

Tea Drinking Dino at the famous decorative railing on the Brighton Pier

I loved this design the best, but thought that the next one fit the whole concept better.

I love this hipster art maker!

After taking polls among my friends, family and classmates, I chose to submit my hipster arty seagull. Thanks, everyone for your awesome feedback, especially Dionne and Martina, art directors extraordinares! I love this little guy and his art maker tattoo. I had great fun with the textured, layered background, the fancy swirls in the famous Brighton Pier railing, and of course, the hand painted typography. I think this poster design really does capture the energy of the event. We'll see what happens next!

The class gallery went live today. There were 300 submissions from our class of 700; so many different takes and mediums. I think you will enjoy having a scroll through these inspirational pieces:

Click here to check out the beautiful posters!

The prize for winning the competition is, naturally, to have your poster printed and displayed out and about Brighton, a corresponding postcard printed and distributed, $500.00 and the pièce de résistance, a one-on-one portfolio review with artist agent, Lilla Rogers. Wow! I could use all of those things. For now, I am very happy that I have three great new portfolio pieces. Thank you Lilla rogers and Make Art That Sells Bootcamp for the amazing opportunity!

Tutorial: DIY up-cycled pom-pom remnant “confetti” coasters!

We have two sayings in this house: 




Here is a little up-cylced project I made on the fly this weekend inspired by our household matras: DIY up-cycled pom-pom remnant "confetti" coasters!

Simple sewn edge version

No Sew Duct tape version

Last week, I suddenly found myself the proud owner of a bag of teeny tiny yarn scraps collected from an afternoon of pom-pom making at the Makeshift Society SF with Brooklyn artist Dana Haim. I just thought they were way to pretty to throw away. But what to do with them? 

These are the beauties I made at Dana Haim's worksop

And these are the yarn bit remnants filling an entire shopping bag in my studio

While running errands, I found a bolt of thin clear vinyl at Stonemountain & Daughter fabric store on Shattuck in Berkeley. For$2.00 I was able to purchase 1/2 a yard! Perfect to try out a small project like coasters. Do you ever suddenly get that "jazzed for crafts" feeling, wanting to make something in an afternoon and have something awesome to show for it by end of day? I do. And I did!  Here's how I up-cycled the yarn bits from my weekend pom pom frenzy in five easy steps for this incredibly satisfying and fun coaster project:

MATERIALS NEEDED - Clear or transparent vinyl, yarn scraps - you could also use glitter, magazine images for collage, scrap book paper pieces, sequins, (really anything that is relatively flat), scissors, embroidery floss, large eye sewing needle, xacto knife (optional). ** for the no sew version use duct tape in bright color or patterns in place of the needle and floss.

* and a bit of masking tape (optional!)

* and a bit of masking tape (optional!)

Duct tape in fun colors for the "new sew" version.

1. Measure and cut 8 identical 4” vinyl squares. Lightly tape together two sides of the squares with 1/4" piece of tape for stability while sewing together (optional).

2. Using a needle and about a yard of embroidery floss, stitch around 3.5 sides of the clear square sandwich as shown. You could do a running stitch, but ever since I learned the blanket stitch in girl scouts, it has been my personal opinion that this method makes anything look better. Plus, it's fun. Yeah, I love a good blanket stitch.

Step 1 and 2

3.  Leaving a 2” opening on the last side of your vinyl square sandwich, insert a few pinches of yarn scraps into the center and evenly distribute by smashing around. Don’t fill the pouch too much. It should be sort of flat so that your drink is balanced and stable.

Step 3

4. Finish sewing pouch closed. I tied a bow at the corner of the square where my threads ends  met, but you could simply knot it, or even add pom-pom tassels!

5. Do this four times and you have a colorful stack of wipe-able vinyl coasters. Why not bring them as a hostess gift to you next friendly crafternoon?

Bundled DIY coaster set for the crafter noon hostess with the mostess!

If you don't feel like sewing, here is a "no sew" version that is just as fun!

1. Measure and cut eight identical 4” vinyl squares. Lightly tape together two sides of the squares with 1/4" piece of masking tape for stability while attaching pieces together (optional).

2. Cut four 5” strips of duct tape in the color of your choice. Anyone who has ever met me knows that I will ALWAYS choose neon. ALWAYS. 

Vinyl Squares, duct tape and cutting implements

3. Cut each strip in half lengthwise as shown. I used an xacto knife and ruled mat for accuracy, but you can eyeball it and use scissors, specially if working with small children.

Step 3 and 4

4. With each 2”wide (half strip) fold evenly over edge of two vinyl pieces sandwiched together. Repeat on two more sides. 

Two sides with taped edges

5. Insert a few pinches of yarn scraps into the center and evenly distribute by smashing around. Don’t fill the pouch too much. It should be sort of flat so that your drink is balanced and stable.

6. Add your last strip of tape to seal, making sure that you squeeze out any extra air in your pouch. While it looks cool, you don't want a plastic pillow under your glass unless you want coffee all over your workspace. Do this three more times for a set of 4. Since these taped versions were so easy, I made six total and the project took only 1 hour. Instant art!

Yay Neon!

Now may I have some more coffee please?

This project would be a great summer camp or birthday party project for kids. It's very inexpensive and can be done in 1.5 hours or less. It's also a great way to use up old craft supply scraps.