23 February 2010

Jay Reatard Obituary: Finalized

I finished my spread on Jay Reatard's obituary. I really like the front page illustration. As always, click for a bigger image.

22 February 2010

Ex Libris: Color Comp

I did some test prints of my Ex Libris litho plate today. It looks okay. Hopefully it'll print better the more I ink it. Here's a test print and the Photoshop colored version. I'ma print the color parts on Epson & print the plate on top. & learn how to register in the meantime. Woo!

15 February 2010

Ex Libris

I'm doing an Ex Libris stamp with waterless litho for Digital Printmaking. This is my rough sketch!

10 February 2010

Jay Reatard Obituary: Color Comps

These are 2 color comps from the thumbnails down there that I told you not to look at. I guess you can look at these if you really want to.

10 / 52 Demons

This is a semester long side project to illustrate 52 demons, and from them create a deck of cards.

In my "demon" research, I came across this definition:
In the contemporary Western occultist tradition (perhaps epitomized by the work of Aleister Crowley), a demon... is a useful metaphor for certain inner psychological processes, though some may also regard it as an objectively real phenomenon.

I've decided to illustrate my own deck of tarot cards, which is actually 78 cards in total, but I won't be including the 22 Arcana Major cards (perhaps later?). The Arcana Minor cards are already divided into 4 suits: Cups, Wands, Discs, & Swords (or hearts, clubs, diamonds, & spades). They have 14 cards per suit instead of the standard 13, so I'll be executing 56 in all.

This is Ace through 10 of the Cups suit.

05 February 2010

Married to the Road

I have recently conjured the suspicion that being a young woman dating a musician in 2010 must hold a great parallel to the young women of the 1800s who tried to date sailors. Everyone knows something about sailors, and that something is usually that they are married to the sea. That old idea is a warning to lofty girls not to fall in love with them, for the hearts of such men will always belong to the sea. They are just as fickle as a modern day, struggling, touring musician. When they are away, they fantasize of home, wish and yearn for it, and seem to find little pleasure in their voyage past the spark of the first few days, as they remember all of the hardships a tour entails: uncertainty for a place to sleep, absence of a real bed or reliable companionship, monotony, close quarters, physical exhaustion and abuse. But when they return, it is only a matter of days before they are sitting at a bar, beer in hand, talking fondly of the road and reminiscing as if they cannot wait to get back out there and do it all over again.

And what of the women? We sit at home, at first relieved to have them out of our hair for a moment, yet within days have fallen into similar suit, missing their warm bodies in our beds, their inherent protective presence by our public side, and whatever combination of petty little details, like the smell of his pomade, or the ironically pink hued boxer briefs in the dryer. We, just as they, wish for the day they get home, and vicariously follow every rough night, every violent storm, every tumultuous wave they at sea endure. We, as women, are just as abused in this sense, for we are stripped our ability to coddle & nurture the abused, just as they are made to face it all without the coddling of a woman, which all men will deny a real need for, yet crave regardless.

Indeed, musicians today are not married to the sea, but to the road, and their guitars their boats. Their job is to chase something just out of reach, and to suffer the obstacles. The love they hold for something which primarily yields irritation is something they may never really understand; the need to leave, the urge to return, and the desire to repeat it all over is foreign to this species. Yet, we women are born with an understanding of emotional contradiction; we are made of it. That is why we can kiss them goodbye and kiss them welcome, time and time again. Though, I think it still takes a certain kind of woman to tolerate it all, don’t you think?

03 February 2010

People Watching

This is a guy I see at my favorite watering hole a lot. He's squatty, bald, with a big Jew nose and dark circles around his eyes. He's always wearing the most hideous turtleneck sweaters, drinking gin, and talking absolute bullshit about religion, politics, philosophy, society, and every other pseudo-intellectual topic a pretentious turtleneck-wearing douchebag would try to discuss at a bar on a Friday night. I've also noticed that he is always with a woman, although I'm quite sure he's gay, and she is always eight times drunker than he is. She's usually just giggling and agreeing with everything he says really emphatically. Actually, they might always be drunk because they need to dull the pain of his nasally, high pitched voice and condescending tone... Or they might just literally never get the chance to speak or contribute to the conversation because he never stops talking. I haven't figured out what to name him yet.

This is a guy that works at Huey's. Nevermind which one. He has a haircut that you usually only see on lesbians, swooping right into his eyes, and he always has this face on like he's about to cry. This drawing doesn't really look like him; I really only used him as a base, but when Take My Breath Away hit the chorus as he walked by, I had to draw him.

Growing Pains: The Expansion of MCA

By Lauren Rae Holtermann, Editor

How many of you have a class that gets out past 8PM? Or even 9 or 10PM? Have you ever walked into a classroom or lab in the evening to find a dozen Memphis City School teachers staring at you blankly? Did you ever wonder why?
Part of Memphis College of Art’s mission statement is small with purpose. The school’s enrollment has generally hovered around 300 students, with 285 in the undergraduate program, and around 15 in the graduate program. However, over the past two years alone, the student body has grown to about 450 students, and frankly, there just aren’t enough places to put them all.

MCA is not a typical institution for higher learning in a lot of ways, not excluding geographically. We have no campus; rather, our college is confined to one building at 1930 Poplar Avenue that is under a 100-year-old lease with the City. Part of that lease are very particular limitations on how, if at all, the school is allowed to physically expand. In a nutshell, we can’t build outward or upward. You do the math.

So how is MCA going to accommodate the ever-increasing influx of new blood with the same amount of space it’s occupied for eighty years? Believe it or not, there is 6,500 square feet of space not purposed for student use in the building, and it’s sitting right under our noses: faculty and staff offices.

Starting at the end of this semester, administrative offices (Student Services, Admissions, Business Office) will be moving into the Grad Center at 1939 Poplar. By summer’s end, all of the professor’s offices will be relocated there as well.

The graduate program, which has been steadily expanding in part due to the recent demand for public school art teachers, accounts for about 90 students of the record breaking 452 head enrollment of last Fall. That’s a 600% increase since I started my undergrad career.

The grad program consists of MFA, MAT, and MAArt degrees, has been spread out between the constricted space of the current Grad Center, and classrooms throughout Rust Hall in the hours before, after, and between regularly scheduled undergraduate classes. As I mentioned before, if you’ve ever wonder around the school in the evening, you’ve probably accidentally interrupted one of them.

So where are all of these poor displaced Grad students going to go? To 477 S. Main--a 1920’s era building with five stories and a basement. Fifty thousand square feet that will be in the very near future known as the Memphis College of Art Graduate School. Grad students will have more than enough space and facilities to themselves, and as a result, the program itself is due for expansion and improvement, such as the addition of new majors, like perhaps Photography or Graphic Design.

Other than the transportational inconvenience it may potentially pose to some students and faculty, it will be nothing but benefits for those associated with the MCA Graduate Program. But how will it affect the rest of us?

That 6,500 square feet of newly freed-up space will be repurposed for liberal study classrooms, studios, and new Mac labs.

The response from students and teachers has been mixed. Betty Spence, Director of the Writing Center, is opposed to the move, saying, “This move will put a substantial dent in--if not destroy--the teaching and learning environment at MCA as we know it.” The close-knit community of students and the proximity of teachers is something that makes Memphis College of Art different than universities. In response, President Jeff Nesin says, “The goal and our job is to give you [students] the best we can give you.”

And in the long run, that seems to be what the school is doing. There will be more space for undergraduate classes in Rust Hall, meaning fewer classes will be scheduled in the late evening. Graduate students will have their own space and more opportunities for growth. Even the relocated professors and instructors will be making out fine, as each will have their own private office spaces, an upgrade for a lot of teachers, who have literally been put anywhere space permits—broom closets not excluded.

Originally, amidst all of the controversy and opposition from MCA instructors over who should stay and who should move, it was declared everyone would. Every office besides the administrative offices on the first floor (those spaces can’t be renovated into classroom space) and the Security offices will be emptied. However, there will be a few exceptions to the rule based on the location of the office in question, and the need for that professor to be near the studio. For example, Haley Morris-Cafiero, the photography instructor and lab tech, will probably stay where she is, as will Bill Price and Maritza Davila, who teach Metalsmithing and Printmaking respectively.

President Jeff Nesin responds to the ensuing controversy with, “Any change at all makes people crazy for the first fifteen minutes. Then a new year begins, and no one really remembers things being any different.” I related the situation to the recent EPA policy enforced move of smoking areas from the beloved Smokers Alley to the island of concrete twenty feet away, now lovingly referred to as Smokers Pad. In return, he mused back to the days when Smokers Alley was created, when smoking indoors was originally banned.

Sherry Yelvington, Vice President For Finance And Administration, assures me, “We’re working to make things better for you students, not more difficult.”

“The more we move, the more we will activate an actual campus,” adds Nesin. The musical chair game is set to be complete by August 1st, just in time for the Fall 2010 semester. Shuttle services will be arranged between the separate buildings all day rather than just morning and afternoon.

And as for us? We have nothing to worry about, and a lot of look forward to. I will be the first to admit that the situation is not ideal. The accessibility of faculty and staff during any standard school day is convenient and by now, this being my eighth semester, completely expected. Like Nesin said, it will take some getting used to, but every breathing, expanding entity goes through some growing pains.