I wanted some kind of project that was like-a-new-year’s-resolution-but-not-quite. Originally I wanted to set myself the challenge of taking a photo every day for a year in order to improve my photography skills. Just a few days into the new year problems began to emerge with that plan. I leave for work before the sun rises, and get home after it has got dark, and am generally busy in my lunchbreaks. Although it would be possible to carry on with the project, the lack of natural lighting on a day to day basis was a huge restriction to start out with. So, instead, I decided to focus on something more flexible and achievable: A Design a Day.
This will include both my general design work for Cafepress, Zazzle, drawings and the like, but also more experimental work such as book cover design. Most of the cover designs will be for fictional books. Hang on… that’s not the most helpful word in a bookish context. Let’s try ‘book titles that I’ve made up and don’t really exist’ instead. That said, if I see a challenge to design a book cover that takes my fancy, I’ll give it a go and post a link to the challenge. Equally I’m happy to hear from people who have ideas or would like a cover designed (though I won’t promise anything, having never really tried fulfilling commissions before!) The aim of the project is to create more often, rather than doing nothing for two months and then going mad for a couple of days.
I don’t get on the computer every day, so there won’t always be a punctual upload (an hour or so an evening really isn’t much time to get a detailed design done in) but I’ll try and keep pace. The designs will appear on Tumblr and Pinterest.
One aspect of the Ipswich Library craft fair I rather enjoyed was having an afternoon sitting still. That might sound a bit odd, but I rarely get any length of time to just sit around. Outside the day job, my free time is usually spent on the ‘second job’: graphic design and formatting images and text for Zazzle and Cafepress. Any moments beyond that I can be found dashing about town, seeing people, being attached to my computer emailing people, and trying to be president of a social/charity club. So, I took a sketchbook to the library and spent a good part of the afternoon doodling, which was almost blissfully relaxing! I’d forgotten how much I used to draw at school, where breaks and lunchtimes turned into just such free moments and the computer rooms were always occupied by people playing games and thus inaccessible. I would insert some flimsy promise about setting aside more time to draw at about this point in the post, but I really don’t know where I’d find that time. I’ll have to content myself with carrying a notebook with me, just in case I stumble into a blank hour by accident.
Being a Christmas craft fair, the Krampus was the subject of quite a few of the doodles. I’d started cutting a lino block a few days earlier with the aim of hand-printing some Krampus cards, but didn’t manage to finish it in time for the fair, so hopefully I’ll have some to send out in time for next year. I also sketched out some layouts for some hare-themed lino prints and wintery scenes, so (alongside the actual craft fair) it was a productive day all round.
I’ve not tidied them all up yet, but here’s one using the little Krampus over at Zazzle:
I’ve been interested in the Krampus and other Germanic traditions ever since visiting Austria a couple of times many years ago. We went to two museums: one contained a photographic gallery of the region’s traditional costumes and performances, and the other was filled with wonderful artefacts, including a room filled with huge, hairy, horned monsters, taller than a man and intended to be worn as costumes during such performances (I nearly jumped out of my skin the first time I stepped through that door, they had such a looming presence in the room). Unfortunately my german was not good enough to make sense of all the descriptions at the time, but I believe I took photos in the hope that one day I’d be able to read them. I’d love to go back at the right time of year and see them in action!
For more information about the Krampus and the sinister side of Christmas, visit Krampus.com.
Why do the kids on break always pick the most expensive books to pull off the shelves? Opening them up and flattening the pages or dropping and scooting around the floor on them while their parents wander about chatting on their mobiles.
A welcome Sunday off from work to get some more Hunger Games variations done. I managed to fall out of bed early this morning and went for a jog, then balanced out the glow of healthiness by eating a whole Easter egg… Whoops. One down, 5 to go