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shout it from the rooftops

Michael Bierut via Adrian Shaunessy via DO:

"I remember a lesson from my first year of design school, a series of exercises that we did to learn about the relationship between the figure / ground relationship, the relationship between the thing that’s the subject of a visual composition and the area that surrounds it. For me, this is one of the most magical things about graphic design. It’s the idea that the spaces between the letterforms are as important as the letters themselves, that the empty space in a layout isn’t really empty at all but as filled with tension, potential and excitement. I learned you ignore the white space at your peril.

"In many ways, the lesson of success in design is the same, and it’s a lesson that every great designer has learned one way or another. Designing is the most important thing, but it’s not the only thing. All of the other things a designer does are important too, and you have to do them with intelligence, enthusiasm, dedication, and love. Together, those things create the background that makes the work meaningful, and, when you do them right, that makes the work good."


while i'm on the subject

Dear friends who've applied to grad school:

If you need letters of recommendation, is it considered rude to ask one writer to send the same letter to multiple places? I have a couple people in mind for rec letters, but I don't have 15 people in mind.

n.b. I'm not applying to 15 places; I'm applying to 5 places that all want 3 letters.


love and kisses

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Dear Zend:
Fuck you guys in the goddamned ear.



autumn food

Does anyone have any recipes for warm, autumnal comfort food that's also vegetarian? Particularly with vegetables like broccoli rabe, escarole, and kale? I dislike cold salads for dinner but I still want to eat green things. I like digitalemur's Cincinnati chili recipe, too.

I'm not vegan, or even particularly vegetarian these days. I just don't like cooking with meat.

In this vein, it is almost pumpkin-bread time.


how to write a cover letter

(inspired by regyt, and the fact that all my cover letters inevitably look like this, with love to teferi)

I saw your posting for [position] on [Craigslist]. I am [sentiment] by the opportunity to [kick ass on your behalf]. With my background in [this] and [that], I believe I would be [awesome] in this role.

I have [definitely actually attached my resume and not just thought about doing so]. I hope to speak with you soon!

[Love and kisses],

fine fetter

There was a lot of weekend in this weekend. Coffee date, lolling around on beaches, many scrabbling little efforts to do some drawing, kayaking, painting, and still other forms of artistry.

My shoulders are sore, slightly from kayaking yesterday, but truthfully from a run-in with someone wearing sap gloves. I have no shiny (or dun-colored) Burning Man pictures for you, only some bizarro-abstract colored pencil drawings and paintings out of red gouache and string.

Sentiment of the day: antsy. Even relaxing feels oddly constrained, but odder yet, that's okay.

on waiting

This has been bothering me for the past 20 minutes.

Poll #1450358 Grammar in TMBG

Which is more correct?

That's nobody's business but the Turks'
That's nobody's business but the Turks


Not Constantinople

I finally had a non-horrible day today, for the first time in two weeks. Last night teferi very patiently waited for my 14-hour day to finish and we had very fine Chinese at the Grand Sichuan in the West Village. Soooooooopdumplings. I'm now cleaning house in anticipation of one dymaxion, poking at my outfit for tomorrow (as the hair, which was to sort of go with it, is still much more gothy and less turquoise than anticipated), and whuggling layout ideas.

did ze *have* to?

bearsir is giving me horrible buzzed-head lust. Not that I needed help with that.

I shall get mine to at least shoulder-length, and get around to putting colors into it, before reconsidering. Yes, I will. In the meantime, I will pout and sigh wistfully and look for someone else's shorn head to nibble on.

Tonight I decided I needed to do something about my inability to draw anticlastic curves, and bought lilies at the corner shop and made two and a half drawings of them. In conte crayon, which is my new favorite thing, as vine charcoal gets everywhere and sumi-e is the harshest of mistresses. (I still adore it, but it's not a good medium for figuring out how forms lie together.) The first one is totally badass, if I do say so myself. The second one is terrible and obviously strained and has none of the vitality or color. It looks like a dead thing, not a flower. Partly I was getting fatigued and partly I was trying much too hard to compose the whole bouquet in a 9x12 page, but why did the first fall into place?

Related: need to find a way to sharpen crayons. Maybe sandpaper on a popsicle stick? I dinnae.


city - well, lawn - of dreams

Today I went to Governor's Island for a one-day picnic/Art Thing/local Burner playdate. Someone added an entry to the NonsenseNYC list about teaching a hula hoop fitness class, and we've exchanged emails, and he said he'd be there teaching a one-hour class today.

Was intelligent about sunscreen and actually avoided getting burned at all. Ogled many picturesque people -- it turns out girls who spin poi and do hoop-dancing tend to do well by it.

I am reasonably tiiiiired. 5 people started the class, and I was the only one left after 20 minutes. Made it to the end, though not gracefully. Afterwards I made an attempt to join the small crowd of people dancing around with huge hoops, and much enjoyed it, but am not strong or advanced enough to avoid bashing myself in the head. (I also regularly get myself but good in the shins whenever someone lends me their spinners.)

I can't wait for the actual class to start, in that inexplicably masochistic way.

Now, more Dhammapada drawings!
Yesterday I hung out all day in the chilly marble halls of the library, and took about 300 reference photos from books on Tibetan painting and Soviet propaganda. Camera shots are like photocopies, see, except they don't destroy the spines, plus they're free. Just sorted all of them.

The art and architecture room at the library included a bonus Crotchety Old Dude, whom I believe was wearing a string tie, and was definitely wearing a tailcoat and frizzy white muttonchops. arjache would've loved him, except that his way of getting anyone's attention was to rap twice sharply on a nearby surface with whatever book he had in hand. Well, maybe it was endearing. A bit. In a quiet room, though...

Now, drawing from photos is hard. Converting them from an unfamiliar graphic style to one's own (ha, I don't really have a graphic style, not yet), harder still. Applying a third historic style for maximum comedic (dogmatic!) effect, GRARH.

In conclusion, hard graphic work is hard. I have this project in mind, unfortunately for me. I hope I will finish at least one of a planned 15-20 instances of it.

I may need cookies. Thought I'd give myself a nice breakfast out, but the local coffeeshop does a very poor facsimile of waffles.

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February 2012
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