I won't use an exclamation point at the end of this sentence, but let me assure you, I am really excited about the upcoming year. After moving to Denton, Texas in July of 2014, I spent the fall adjusting to a new job, new city, & new friends. My strategy was to ease into all of this like a timid swimmer into a cold pool. Well, that time of ease is over my friends, and I'm ready to get back to work. I have been assembling a new screen printing studio, and I want to break it in with a buttload of new prints. That's why for 2015, I don't have a resolution; I have a project.
It's a simple idea: create one hand-lettered print each month for a year. I have always envied artists and designers who are able to create a series of similar pieces. My ideas for self-authored prints tend to be a bit all over the place. I enjoy type and illustration equally, and I want to excel at both. As soon as I finish creating something with letters, I want to get away from that and draw pictures instead. I'm also interested in a lot of different methods of production, so I've never tried too hard to develop a recognizable style. This way of working keeps things fresh, but it can also make a schizophrenic portfolio.
Last year, I completed a decorative alphabet. Each letter was its own little piece of art, but together they form a whole body; something greater than the sum of its parts. I like to think that last year's alphabet project was the perfect precursor to this year's project.
There is a well known formula for creating a successful body of work: keep some things the same, let other parts vary. For this series of prints, I plan on using the same two colors of ink (one thing the same), and a different color of paper for each print (one thing different). Each print will be the same size (same), and will feature a short quote or phrase (different). I have already collected most of the phrases that I want to illustrate. Other things that will vary are the styles of lettering and the tools of production. I want to use pencils, pens, brushes, cut paper, collage, and the computer. Right now, this series of prints is just a cloudy idea in my head. I can't see any of it clearly, but I have a sense that it will be really fun.
I will be sharing a lot of the work involved, which should involve images of drawings and of the printing process. I also realize I'm already a little behind on getting started, but that's ok. I don't need to stick to an exact schedule. I reserve the right to change direction, or quit altogether. Maybe at the end of this, I'll be disappointed with the results. Whatever the outcome, I'm happy to have a plan. I hope you'll follow along during this year-long project.