spring update

I started writing this post from an 86 degree Easter Sunday in Washington D.C. when we were in town for a wedding, and I remember thinking that at the time it really good to see some sunshine and leaves on trees. That draft sat for over a month and here I am back in Albany, where we've finally emerged from the long winter and are now enjoying leaves on trees as well. Here's a little bit of what's been going on in the studio. 

Tour poster design for my friend Meg's band, Hand Habits

 
 

Branding design for Pint Sized (formerly Brew), a craft beer shop in Albany and soon, Saratoga, will have a sweet tasting room. I also created interior mural designs for the Saratoga location which they amazingly installed themselves using a projector. I need to get down there and shoot some images though! 


The Half Moon Market is coming up at the end of the month, which is a weekend-long bi-annual makers market that I organize with my friend Adelia. Adelia is the real mastermind behind this event, dealing with a lot of the market logistics and curation, and I have the fun job of creating the look and feel of the event's marketing materials every year. Adelia is a pretty bad-ass art director, though, and encouraged (maybe challenged?) me to create a poster using all hands-on materials. I edited/put together the pieces digitally, but everything you see was made originally with good old fashioned art supplies, like gouache, watercolor, ink and marker. Super fun. Come if you are local! 


There are a ton of other projects I've been working on, so keep an eye out for an actual portfolio update soon, but in the meantime enjoy this springtime playlist I made on Spotify.

Recent things.

January has been an incredibly quiet, productive month over here. Lots of great new projects happening, which I am excited to share soon as more come to completion. It has also been, obviously, a very troubling time for our country, so we have been spending an almost excruciating amount of time reading and listening to the news, and then using books, music, cooking and art as an antidote, which has been helpful. 

I recently completed this chalk mural for Merit, a software company located in downtown Albany. They have one of the coolest offices I have ever seen. The reason they needed this created was because they were hosting Craig Finn, of The Hold Steady, playing a "living room" show in their space. He is a great storyteller and performer. It was one of those really rare, special nights in Albany where you know an event this intimate just wouldn't happen in a bigger city. 

On to darker matters....

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We attended a march the day after the inauguration here in Albany and it was amazing. Apparently, it was the largest turnout Albany's had for a rally in a very long time. I, of course, loved the opportunity to make some signs. Harrison had the idea for this Woody Guthrie quote on the left, and I wanted something a little more image based, on the right. I'm currently working on designs for some free/printable postcards for writing to elected officials. More on that soon. 

Upstate Collage Night - the mobile art party I organize with Ira is happening on February 9 at The Tang, one of my favorite places in the 518. It's open to all. I love when we get to do Collage Night at these neat old colleges, walk around campus and pretend I'm 20 years old again. 

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We took a trip to Mass MoCA to check out the amazing Nick Cave installation. (Note, not Nick Cave of The Bad Seeds, a different amazing Nick Cave, ha). However, I was pretty taken by this much smaller, but still incredible exhibition by Sarah Crowner, called Beetle in the Leaves. You can walk on this brilliant tiled floor to get a close look at her dynamic, graphic paintings, which are made from individually sewn pieces of canvas that are then painting to form the compositions. This one really stuck with me.

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I tore through this book more quickly than I thought I would, despite the heavy content. Planning to read Play It As it Lays, next. 

Lenny Letter Illustrations

If you're relatively tuned in to modern feminist culture or art, you've probably heard of Lenny Letter, which is an email newsletter published by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. 

In the weeks leading up to the first "issue," it was a bit unclear as to what kind of shape it would take, but now that it's in full swing, you can see that Lenny Letter is an ongoing writing project that is full of amazing letters, interviews and features by everyone from Wendy Davis to Jennifer Lawrence, from Hillary Clinton to Gloria Steinem, and of course, Lena Dunham herself. Sometimes while reading these letter, I think to myself, "I hope Lena Dunham realizes how lucky she is." You have to be a certain kind of famous to sit down and interview Gloria Steinem about her mother and concha belts, among other things. It's amazing that they have been able to round up these powerful women and, perhaps even more so, that people as busy as Hillary Clinton actually take the time to contribute a piece to what is a relatively new and alternative journalism venture.

Another cool thing about Lenny Letter it often consists of long form writing (relatively speaking). Most email newsletters, blog posts and things many of us read are SO short, and even anything more than a few paragraphs seems oddly out of place. Sitting down to one Lenny Letter requires some attention, maybe about 20 minutes if you're not distracting yourself with other internet tabs. In the world of scrolling through Instagram, 20 minutes is a lot of time. 

My favorite thing about Lenny Letter though, besides the great content, is the illustration. I first noticed that Lena Dunham is a fan of illustration, when she hired Joana Avillez to provide illustrations for Not That Kind of Girl, which really enhanced the experience of reading it for me. 

Joana Avillez

Joana Avillez

 

Each letter is accompanied by a really stunning illustration.  These are just a few of my favorites. My friend Adelia and I were talking the other night about how Lenny Letter should probably be put into print at some point, like the Rookie Yearbooks. I would not be surprised if that was in the works. 

 Jordan Sondler

 Jordan Sondler

Leah Goren

Leah Goren

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman

Maria Paredes

Maria Paredes

The Rejection Project (518)

A few months ago, I was approached by Allison Lerman-Gluck and Alex Hovet, two young artists putting together a collaborative play called The Rejection Project (518).  Together, they collected tons of stories of rejection submitted by all kinds of folks from Albany, and created a multi-media, scripted performance that will be performed at the Albany Barn next week.

I haven't had too many experiences where I'm given almost full creative control over a design project from start to finish, but Allison and Alex put their faith in me. I created an extremely simple mark, using an "X" as a symbol for rejection. From there I designed a poster for the play, using an illustration of a crowd of people as the foundation. In a way, it was a good exercise for me, but I have to self critique a little, here. Overall, I am quite happy with the design. I chose colors and typefaces that I love, kept things simple and even got to draw, which I don't do often. Perhaps you can see though, that when given full control, I was kind of timid and a little restrained? Maybe this is me dealing with my own fears of rejection? Could I have pushed the design further? Or was this a good place to call it "done?" I wonder how others would have approached this assignment!

Posters were printed locally on French Paper Co. Speckletone paper. Get your show tickets here! 

 

A short video by Agostina Galvez

A friend sent me this video by Agostina Galvez created for a restaurant in New York called DIMES, and it made my day. How do you get these kinds of gigs? Don't you want to just support a restaurant that would hire an artist to create a nice video? A nice video with paper cutouts set to a very dreamy cover of "How Will I Know" by a person who can't seem to find much information about, named Evan Doering?! Whatever, enjoy. 

A project for Hudson River Exchange + And North

I had a lot of fun making up these little notebooks for my friends at The Hudson River Exchange, an amazing indie maker market in Hudson. They'll be part of a gift bag for guests at a dinner at Fish & Game in Hudson co-hosted by And North, a blog that offers a curated guide to upstate New York. Harrison and I ate there for our first wedding anniversary and it was ridiculously good. These little blank books are 4x5" and were printed locally on Mohawk Paper. 

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