Tuesday, September 24, 2013


This is my first movie poster. I was lucky to be involved in creating it, and delighted that the filmmaker let me have that much fun. It began with a screenplay for a science fiction short titled Default, by E.M. Spairow. It is set close by in the future, has education as a theme, and a Bradbury book in the scenic design.The dystopian story displays a soupcon of horror, a touch of dark comedy, a terrible timely trope. What would that look like on a poster? There would be red and black, because those are the colors of the horror genre. Black at the bottom because if you're sinking, you're fading to black. Black is the pit of hell, it's also a dandy pedestal to support the art above, and it works as a perfect place to put credits now, and film festival laurels later. Anyone who has enjoyed seeing a PAID IN FULL stamp will appreciate the terror of a PAST DUE stamp so an inky untidy font surrounded by a decayed box in dried blood red would simulate an old school rubber stamp. The yellow to orange descending gradient in the background is meant to simulate flame. "It was a pleasure to burn," is the opening line of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I wanted the lighter versions of the Default stamp to glimmer enough to create a phantom shimmer. One of the prototypes had a 50% transparent gray gaussian blur ascending middle to top, but it was too much, and I remembered to rely on the audience to see what it wanted to see. Put everything in and then take stuff out. It's a good design rule and a good writing rule, too. In drawing class I liked the method of laying dark all over and using erasers to pull the highlight. I haven't seen the poster with gloss paper yet, but I think, with a good light source, it will fool the eyes into seeing fire. Glance at the poster, quickly look away and your retina will supply the ghost image I'm talking about. The filmmaker liked this poster enough to use it on the DVD cover, too. I'm delighted. The creative process is joy for me, and when the person I've drawn for is happy, that is bliss. You can follow the life of Default on the movie's facebook page, or on twitter.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ocean Storytelling Jewelry

The first person I followed on twitter is a woman in California. Her avatar is a Roy Lichtenstein image, he is a favorite artist, and she writes smart interesting stuff. Today's world of connection by technology is still a strange one for me. Connecting with a stranger on twitter was a first step. Do I know the woman in California? No. Does she know me? No. This year I've been posting jewelry I make on twitter. I feel weird doing that; it's easier to promote other people. The CA woman admired some pieces. Those comments are a connection that transcend twitter follows, a thread that links us as individuals. This week, when she commented on a necklace, I wrote her. She likes my work and I wanted to celebrate that. I'm going to make you a piece. What do you wear? Bracelet, necklace, earbobs and in what colors? She wrote bracelet and she likes ocean colors. I crave freedom to create this way, to disappear in creative bliss, to select findings that tell a story. The story of a woman who likes ocean colors. I do not have to know her, to sit in a room with her, I can picture her wearing this physical manifestation of her story. A woman who likes ocean colors. Anyone who likes ocean colors needs to have her own private ocean. Each of the glass beads chosen had thought of her in the selection. Each glass bead is an individual ocean and circled together are the earth's water in perpetual cycle. The bracelet is on its way to California, to a woman I know likes ocean colors. With the little story she shared and the art circle closed, a new cycle is created in the world.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bring Me The Head of Kyori Sato

I've coveted the Integrity Toys Fashion Royalty Urban Geisha Kyori Sato for years. I cannot explain it to myself. Nonetheless, I craved. I bought an Adele Makeda doll 6 years ago because she did not have the price point of Sato. I could justify that expense to myself. She's special, but Adele Makeda is not Kyori Sato. If I was feeling flush, I'd shop for the Urban Geisha, but mostly I'm never flush enough, can't justify the expense, chicken out. She is rare and expensive. I do not consider myself a doll collector. I did have all the Disney Great Villains dolls, which I sold this year. So maybe that's why I felt like I could finally get Kyori Sato. A deal showed up on ebay. I won the auction. I was thrilled to see the box arrive. She'd been described as taken out of the box, so I wasn't afraid to take her out myself. What I forgot was that early FR dolls are not fully articulated. I tried to turn Kyori's head. Her head came off. Not from the stem, her neck cracked raggedly, and I was staring at the decapitated body of my dream doll, her detached head still wobbling on the desktop. Stunned, I glanced up at the Adele Makeda doll on my dresser and, for a tiny moment, I thought she was smiling. In the complicated and entertaining backstory of Jason Wu's Fashion Royalty coterie, Kyori Sato and Adele Makeda are mortal enemies. I did not own Urban Geisha Kyori Sato for a full day before I killed her. For another full day I tried not to tip over into crazy. No, Adele Makeda did not cut off the head of Kyori Sato. Yes, the rigid plastic is a problem, and her neck knob was fused, and no, I did not subconsciously buy this doll so I could maim her. So what's the lesson? There are 1001 stories to write about this ersatz tragedy. A million universal truths to mediate upon, another million to discard. And one day I'll be brave enough to open the box again to glue her head back on her jagged neck.