Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cosmos Contributes: Hearts for the Arts 2010

Hope this finds everyone in springtime spirits. I’ve got some great news to share with you today! Shown above is my heart…my “Heart for the Arts,” that is. It is one of 50 wooden hearts that will be auctioned off in an event to support the Worcester Public Schools on Friday, March 26th at 5pm.

Although technically, I am not a Worcester area artist, I was invited to participate in this fundraiser thanks to my wonderful coworkers, Michelle and Scott, and their lovely friend Christina, because well…we all work in the Worcester area and we’re all artists. So, to say the least, I am very happy to be apart of this event.

The wooden heart was kindly supplied by the The Worcester Educational Development Foundation. I’ve shown here, a series of photos documenting the process by which I created my heart. Basically, I patched up the knots and holes with some wood filler, painted it white, took a linoleum print/drawing, that I had made previously, and mounted it onto the heart. The print was then cut to the shape of the heart. I know it doesn’t sound that difficult, and it didn’t seem so at first, but in the end, it turned out to be a pretty stressful process. After all, I only had one print and one heart...thankfully no mistakes were made and it came out pretty awesome! Now, I just hope someone wants it ;}

I hope you’ve enjoyed the story behind my heart! If you have the opportunity to attend the event, please do. It supports a great cause and perhaps you’ll even walk away with a heart full of art! So, be sure to check out the details here. Hope to see you there!

Hearts for the Arts
Friday, March 26, 2010
5:00pm - 8:00pm
55 Pearl Street, Worcester, MA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cosmic Icon: Conversations with Artists, by Selden Rodman

Hello and happy Friday folks, sorry it’s been a week or more since my last post, but it’s been quite a challenge coming up with my first Cosmic Icon to post about. I had such a hard time choosing just one artist that I decidedly went with many artists instead…all of whom are featured in the most amazing book, Conversations with Artists, by Selden Rodman. If you’re not at all familiar with this book, than I am happy to introduce… 

Conversations with Artists really is a phenomenal book for any art lover; it features 228 pages of one-on-one interviews with some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Take one look at the list of artists on its cover and you’ll understand exactly how amazing this book is. Each chapter consists of about five to eleven interviews and each interview is prefaced by a direct quote from the interviewee. These quotes have become words that I live by.

To put it lightly, this book IS MY BIBLE. Every time I open its cover, thumb through its pages and revisit its content, my creative brain gets a jumpstart. It reminds me to keep on truckin’…keep on working…keep making new stuff and most importantly, keeps me sane as an artist. Thanks to this book, some of the artists featured within its pages, have developed into my biggest creative idols and influences. After reading page after page of interviews, the artists become more than just plates in an art book, or pretty pictures in a museum; they become at once human, profoundly living and recognizable as individuals with creative vision – a vision that, as an artist, I share.

And apparently I’m not the only one who values this book; just recently I did an Amazon search and realized that it’s a pretty sought after title. In fact I learned, thanks to Google, that this book influenced the singer/songwriter, Seth Swirsky when he wrote the song, “Herman Cherry.” You can read about it here. It’s a pretty interesting story.

So there you have it, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Cosmic Icon…that I fretted over for so very long. I plan to share many more in the weeks to come! So, stay tuned, stay inspired and stay happy…it’s Friday!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cosmos Creative Cards: A Brief History

The other day, while I was at the studio, going through some drawers, I came across a stack of old business cards that I saved. I was super excited about this since, the cards were created over the course of about five years and document the slow growth of Cosmos Creative as an entity and my personal development as an artist. So today, I thought I would share a bit about the history of their making...

The first card I made, was the yellow one; it features the Pinball pattern from the Cosmos Creative Collection. The pattern has since been, licensed to Pinball Publishing for use on note cards. However, this card was created around 2005, which was well before I licensed anything…I was making handmade books at the time, and just started to really get interested in patterns. I was sharing a studio with some very talented friends of mine, whom are best known as, Ghost-Town Design and lucky for me, they let me use their silk-screening materials and taught me quite a bit about the craft.

Second after the yellow card, came the turquoise card that features a drawing I did around 2004 called, Bridgescape Water. I remember distinctly that Darren, from Ghost-Town, helped me print this drawing. Thanks to him, it came out fantastic and the line quality was preserved. I even managed to make a few art prints from this; most of which I gave away to friends and family, so it goes ;}

After the turquoise card, came the orange card, showcasing the Circuit pattern from the Cosmos Creative Collection. This one, I did everything myself, which is probably why very few of these cards were ever made. I messed up a lot of what I printed. On a large portion of the cards, the pattern bled and well, didn’t look that pretty. Out of the batch though, I did manage to salvage a few and distribute them when and where necessary.

Next up, came the black and white card that I block printed on Bristol. I carved the block out of linoleum. It features a drawing I did sometime around 2004 called, Underground. That I later used in a piece titled, Underground Red. It was quite a tedious block to carve and even more so to print. But even still, whenever I feel necessary, I still incorporate this block into my work today.

After the linoleum print, I got lazy and just decided to spray some Sumi ink on paper, slice it up and call it a business card. Fortunately, it worked with the whole company identity that I was developing at the time and actually, I still use this sometimes for my cards when I need them in a hurry.

And last but not least, is the pink card, which features the Two of Hearts pattern from the Cosmos Creative Collection. I just recently made these in a rush, which is why I abandoned all creative processes, and went with laser printing instead. I know, such a shame, but sometimes, it’s a necessary evil. This was also the first time that I incorporated the COSMOS logo, instead of just the suggestive red star. Like I mentioned, these cards were done in a hurry and I didn’t have the time to hand stamp every card, as I had done before. Nonetheless, I actually like the way they came out. Dare I say, they definitely help to achieve a cohesive brand identity, which is easily recognizable, and therefore not necessarily a bad thing!

Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed this brief history session. I certainly would love some feedback on what card you like most and whether, or not, you like the use of the logo, or just the red star...so leave me a comment and let me know! Hearts!