First, sorry there’s a been a silence. Second, happy Thanksgiving fellow Americans. Lastly, let’s get to business!
To love silkscreen, you have to embrace a systematic process: draw, make separations, shoot your screens, print, print, print, fix problems, print, and assemble. But we’re all human and that can get boring. Here are a few things I did to break the monotony while making the pop-up book that I mentioned in a previous post.
1. Leave colors to chance. I love to print on black but I never test how colors would look on it in photoshop. I avoid using the computer for all of my books– it never felt right and I’ve had too many frustrating experiences printing separations on vellum.
2. When making a mockup, it’s ok to second guess yourself. It’s more fun if the non-essential things aren’t final. It’s not so fun if the book doesn’t work so pick wisely.
I’m still assembling Curtain Call, but I’ll get you the full low down when it’s complete.
1. Gather people from all over the world to make a limited-run postcard about themselves and their location.
2. Mail your postcards to LGAL where they’ll collate and resend everyone a full set of cards.
3. Take one step closer to making it truly a small world.
The Postcard: Neon Sign Ghosts
My postcard is a tribute to the neon sign billboard, a now mostly discarded means of advertising in NYC. Fortunately this Pepsi sign, one of the last remaining neon billboards I’ve seen, is near my home. Its purpose is more for glitz but I’m still glad it’s there.
Surprise! It glows in the dark! A true tribute to the neon sign.
If you’re in Minneapolis on December 6 and have some time, check out the show!
A few months ago, I promised myself I’d spend until the end of the year making pop-up books. Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned so much reading and seeing beautiful old pop-up books with the help of friends. It’s been a great self-imposed adventure.
The thing I like most about pop-ups is the simple cut. One cut can make all the difference to turn an ordinary page fold into one that conveys a story in its form as much as in the illustration. In the end, I think these simple folds/cuts will always be my favorite.
But when you explore, you also have to do the things you don’t think you’ll like. In this case, it’s making the pop-up books that involve a lot of cuts and separate pieces I have to glue together. It’s a horror show to organize, and I’m not typically that organized, so this one’s been taking a long time to figure out.
This is the format I’ve chosen, a convention that’s typically used in pop-up cards, which are also rare these days.
Unfortunately in that state, it’s a card, not a book. When I first sketched this, I thought it would be enough to make a book that’s just one pop-up like this, but I knew it was cop out.
That just means a lot of sketching and brain work.
The work compounds.
Can you tell what’s going on? That’s the state I’m currently in– the experimental stage, but I’m excited and horrified.
TO BE CONTINUED!!!!!
Some sketches from the last month. We’ll see if anything comes out of them…
Lastly, lists always happen, but then again so do ghosts, so all is well in the universe.
Till next time!
It’s been cloudy for the past few days, which makes for sad picture taking conditions of some new work, so here’s a Tapestry update. I’ve talked about this before but Tapestry is a phone/web app where you tell stories by tapping/clicking through them. The caveat: you can’t go backwards so be careful how your fingers are tapping.
That being said, take your time and enjoy the stories. :)
The odyssey of the pop-up book, the Odyssey.
1. Generally, I start without an expectation. All I wanted to do was make a pop-up book with all the new techniques I learned for the past few weeks. First I thought I could make funny hats and then I liked how a certain pop-up would make a great umbrella. From there, I challenged myself to think of all the ways someone could find shelter from the rain and suddenly, the Odyssey was conceived!
2. Make a mini. Once the idea was there, I made a mini mockup. How mini, you ask? Let the dollar bill shed some light and show off my riches.
3. Make it big. Once I was happy with a layout, I made a full-size version and the broke it apart to prep it for silkscreen separations.
4. Make separations. At this stage, I knew how I’d be separating the colors, but not necessarily what colors I’d use to print.
5. Screenprint. You know how that goes.
6. Cut, fold, score, cut, fold, score. I don’t have any pictures but it deserves its own painstaking step. I timed myself like a proper scientist and it took me 25 minutes to cut, score, fold, and assemble my first book, which I streamlined to 7 minutes by my last book.
7. Behold, The Odyssey!
Each sketchbook is special, but there are a lot of things they have in common.
Always included are its date of birth and death and a list of its greatest achievements.
It’s also a nice place to be messy and ugly.
Below, I was struggling with drawing dogs, deciding what stars looked better, and what people should be doing in a forest.
There’s also bound to be math. Making books is as much a creative effort as it is making economical use of paper. I also make little mockups for cuteness and to ensure it feels good to use.
Not such a bad life for a sketchbook. :)
As a pop-up book maker novice, I’m probably amazed by the simplest of tricks.
Take this one exercise from The Pocket Paper Engineer, Volume I:
Essentially, you are drawing the same shape in 2D space, but not when all is cut and folded in 3D space.
With that guiding principle, I started to successfully and unsuccessfully experiment with other forms of the same idea.
After my first cut, I thought, “wow, this could make some really great trees,” which spawned the rest. This is my favorite part– when no ideas are wrong.
More updates as I start making real popup books!
Edition of 20.
12.5″ x 17.5″
Sorry to play favorites but these are some that I like best:
Pop-up book update soon!
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