Categories
Art

At the Office

Hand painted signs needn’t always be majestic, 8-bit thunderbirds.

They can be six, bold, black letters adorning a concrete wall.

As the art critic Jerry Saltz says:

But for almost its entire history, art has been a verb, something that does things to or for you, that makes things happen.

How to be an Artist 33 Rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively). Vulture Guides, Nov. 27, 2018, Jerry Saltz

Art can simply exist to do something for you. Like reminding you you’re outside the office.

Categories
Art

Rules to Art by. From the Immaculate Heart College

Read often

As scanned from my favorite book right now: Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires & Riots: California and Graphic Design, 1936-1986

By: Louise Sandhaus

With contributions from Denise Gonzales Crisp, Lorraine Wild, and Michael Worthington.

These rules were written by a class taught by Sister Corita Kent. Calligraphy credits: David Mekelberg, 1968

Rule 5 sticks out most. Develop self discipline by surrounding yourself with wise and smart people.

An excellent rule for all of life.

Categories
Art Drawings

Drawing for life

Bored. I waited for my ancient Toyota’s oil change to finish. The iPhone’s gravitational pull is relentless. But I punched it in the face and escaped.

I pulled out my sketchbook and began to draw the sofa in front of me.

Relief.

There’s many benefits to drawing from life.

Strengthening your observational skills. Learning to concentrate. Developing a new appreciation for everyday objects.

All excellent things.

But the best part?

You’re creating your own unique work. Your own original piece.

It’s your eyes. Your way of interpreting light and shadows. Your way of seeing shapes.

The lines that you scratch across the paper are all inherently you.

Only you.

It can’t be copied. It can’t be replicated. It’s how you discover this elusive thing called style.

Drawing from life will reveal your style.

Try it.

Spend 10 minutes getting some lines down on the toaster/lawyer/spacecraft infront of you.

Even if the proportions are wonky. Even if your lines look like they’re suffering from a bout of vertigo.

Do it.

When 10 minutes are up you’ll feel excited. Nourished even.

You may be disappointed with what lays on the page before you, but it will be all yours.

Cherish it.

Amateur tip: A great tool for scanning your drawings quickly is Scannable.

Categories
Art

The Thunderbird Rink Logo Caws out

47 years of Plano skating madness.

Of referees skating backwards.

Of youth group events and birthday parties.

Of Roller Derbys and makeout sessions.

But most of all, it’s 47 years of that irresistible, hand painted, 8-bit Atari graphics Thunderbird logo.

Endangered Species

It’s street art at it’s best. It’s street art SMT:

Simple. Memorable. Timeless.

Ok. SMT is not a thing, but since the moment I drove past it, the Thunderbird logo nested into my memory.

It’s piece of Plano, nigh Dallas history.

Read up on the Thunderbird Roller Rink in this Plano Magazine piece by Kaci Lahpor

Categories
Art

Light and Power

When’s the last time you learned something new?

But not from the internet. And not from your mama. Or your PHD sister. Or your boss. And not even from a book.

I can’t remember either.

But yesterday I was schooled by a building. By the old Dallas Power & Light Building.

Textbook

What facts did it share?

– The design inspiration came from the Art Deco movement.

– The sharp angular motifs are Zig Zag Moderne, similar to the Chrysler Building in New York.

– And that when completed, the Dallas Power & Light building was the largest welded steel framed structure in the south.

Dope.

I’m all set for Art Deco Dallas trivia night.

But then the questions poured in like wet concrete.

Questions like:

What’s art deco?

Who’s Lang and Witchell?

What’s the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs?

And that’s when I knew I’d learned something.

Because in my view, learning is more than collecting facts. It’s about being compelled to ask meaningful questions.

Light and power baby…

Categories
Art

Skate or Live

A standard Tim Ferris podcast question is:

If you could have a billboard with one message on it, what would it say?

Sure, it’s not a billboard. It’s an increasingly rare hand painted street sign.

But this must be Tony Hawk’s response…

What would your message be?

Categories
Art

Lifted

I was transfixed.

I’m always on the hunt for street art, but I wasn’t expecting any pieces at the polished Shops At Legacy. But then I turned the corner.

My senses were lifted. Kelsey’s lines and paints transformed a drab garage door into an explosive, 2D winged flower bed.

I’d never heard of Kelsey Montague before. My experience is most street artists don’t leave their name behind for all to see.

But I’m glad she did. My eyes keep focusing on the two blue flowers towards the bottom center. The red starfish stigmas and the pink splattered petals won’t let me turn my gaze.

My only hope is closing firefox.

Discover more about Kelsey and her work at: Kelsey Montague Art

@KelseyMontagueArt

#WhatLiftsYou

#TheShopsAtLegacy

Categories
Art

Trippin’ off 7 lines

The Bird scooter’s logo made me do a double take. Triple take even.

With only 7 lines my mind produced 3 three different images.

I saw racing wheels speeding underneath the wheel guards.

I saw a stoned, grinning, robot who forgot to trim his eyebrows.

And I saw wings pressed back against the deck, while a terrified tourist flies towards a stoplight.

What do you see?

Categories
amreading Art

Drawing with Adam Savage

Chapter 6 from Adam Savage’s new book Every Tool’s a Hammer ripped me in by the necktie.

I knew Adam would talk about screws and cardboard. I knew there would be tips on organizing your workspace. But an entire chapter on how drawing will transform your critical thinking?

I’m in.

First Adam reminds us, despite all of the planning technologies that exist, a piece of paper and pencil are still formidable planning tools:

Today, the maker space is not lacking in planning tools. There are software and mobile apps and various mechanical apparatus, and they all work the way they’re designed, but none of them seem to do what a simple pencil and piece of paper can. Because unlike those other methods, drawing out your idea shares the physical, tactile character of the building and making it is meant to precede and facilitate. Drawing is your brain transferring your idea, your knowledge, your intentions, from the electrical storm cloud at its center, through the synapses and nerve endings, through the pencil in your hand, through your fingers, until it is captured in the permanence of the page, in physical space. It is, I have come to appreciate, a fundamental act of creation.

Then fellow maker savant Gever Tulley provides a solution to the timeless excuse I can’t draw:

“The pushback I often get is, ‘I don’t know how to draw,’ and my response is ‘Well, how about you go home and spend the summer drawing every day and then we’ll talk about it in the fall when you show me your notebook,” Gever said, rightfully indignant. “Because we know that practice can move your mark making over to something more precise and controllable.”

Adam explains how drawing works as a translation tool:

From a planning perspective-whether it’s for current or future projects-I look at drawing as a translation tool from my brain to the physical world, where I have frequently found words wanting in the explanation of complex objects and operations, which, of course, is the entire purpose of every plan ever made. What is a plan if it isn’t helping you understand what you’re building and how you’re supposed to build it?

Adam also uses drawing to topple creative blocks:

I frequently use drawing as a tool or a technique to break through that dam. Drawing always gives me a new vantage point on the project and allows me to see the thing I’m building with enough distance to identify the next step more clearly. In that regard it’s almost immaterial what I draw. I might draw some reference pictures for a collaborator to understand what I need from their contribution, or to see where their contribution fits in the wider picture. I might draw some mechanical subassemblies that are kicking my ass. I might re-draw the item I’m making for fun, just to stay inside the construction in my head. I might draw a case for an object, or a case I’d like to build for it when it’s done. Sometimes the exercise of thinking about what might contain the thing I’m working on can help me define better what it is I’m actually building and help illuminate what has me stuck. It’s all information. A conversation between my brain and my hands.

And shares his drawing inspirations:

I draw inspiration from the drawings of others. I never tire of poring over the drawings and graphic novels of Moebius, for instance. I get a lot out of looking at Ridley Scott’s storyboards (he’s a wonderful draftsman). Since I was a kid I loved all those old drawings from the mid-century issues of Popular Mechanics. Something about their clean lines and multidimensionality and the way the artists kept all the pieces separate yet constantly oriented to each other, spoke directly to how my brain looks at ideas.

Remember young ones:

You don’t have to be great with a pencil for this to work. Like I’ve said, I’ve never considered myself particularly good at drawing. For the longest time it never felt like the line did what I wanted it to do, yet I continued to draw. One, because it continued to be useful, and two, because it clearly helped me get better at communicating my ideas more precisely.

Enough reading about drawing. Grab a stack of paper and draw.

Categories
Art

This too I pass.

Street art is temporary.

The question I ask myself is, will this piece still be here tomorrow? Will it exist next week?

Or will it have been painted over? Cleaned off? Wiped away?