February 23, 2009

Meanwhile -- back at my first career

I guess this blog doesn't have to be all about Skart.  After all, I do have a life and career out side of all this.  And sometimes this other life and job can be pretty amusing.  

Like for instance, this week we did a couple of shoots for GQ magazine.  The first shoot was for a story about Bachelor parties.  The concept for the photographs was an editorial spread about the different types of bachelor parties men can plan, from your typical strip club, to  a more subdued poker night to an overnight camping trip in the woods.   Instead of using men to portray the scenes of the story, we used Chimps.  Actually just two chimps.  Suzy, a 3 year old girl, and Jake, a 6 year old male.  The retoucher then duplicated the chimps in different positions as needed.  We shot in an existing strip club with little suzy.  She had the greatest facial expressions.  We hung a backdrop and built a realistic looking campsite in the parking lot of said strip club.  And then we copied the "dogs playing poker" scenario and had Jake holding cards and smoking cigars (as soon as we handed him a cigarette or cigar he knew what to do with it)  The final result were some of the most hysterical pictures I have worked. on.

The second shoot, also for GQ was of A.P.  We shot her at the Chateau Marmont.  It was a pretty easy shoot.  She came up with the concepts herself -- Having just had a baby she liked the idea of her being a homemaker with not much experience so we photographed her making grilled cheese sandwiches with a home iron.  Cute.  She was super adorable and really nice.  She went out of her way to meet and thank the whole crew, always a sign of a real professional who appreciates that the world does not revolve around them.  

February 09, 2009

From Concept to Creation

This is harder than I thought it would be.  I'm should have gone with my original plan. Now, after a few trials and non-tribulations I have decided I am going to screen print. 

I haven't printed anything since college.  I don't think I have silkscreened since I taught arts and crafts at summer camp.  Luckily for me there are plenty of people who have put up You Tube videos to refresh my memory on just what I need to do.  First step is getting a machine that will allow me to do more than one color.  I've placed an order on ebay for a simple 4 color, manual press.  It's a basic machine but as long as it can get my registration marks to line up it will work. Now I wait for it to arrive, and watch more you tube videos.

While we wait, let me take you through the journey that is bringing us right back to printing.

I completed my designs months ago but I've been humming and hawing on how to produce them.  My first thought was to paint.  My background (and degree) is in fine art and painting so that seemed like the natural choice for me.    I also loved the idea of using natural wood and allowing the grain to show through.  So here are pictures of my first attempts.  Acrylic paint on wood.

 I liked the colors and the feel of the designs, however, I couldn't get the lines crisp and neat and clean.  I felt like the designs were popping enough because the paint brush didn't allow me to keep it clean and crisp enough.  (maybe it was my unsteady hand, but it's my blog and I will blame the brush if I want to!) 

Next I played with the material.  I found a small local screen print shop with all natural paints and environmentally friendly practices.  I bought a roll of fair-trade, sustainable canvas hemp (one thing I never waivered from is my need to be "green") I commissioned them to do the printing for me.  Results are below.

Although the design seemed more graphic, I didn't like the way it soaked into the canvas and the soft texture. Despite my specific pantone color instructions, I didn't like how all the blues turned out.  It was then that I realized, to do it right I would have to do it myself.  By doing it myself I could experiment with materials, mix my own colors and make my own mistakes. 

Now I wait. 

Wait, and watch You Tube.

February 02, 2009

The Birth of SK Art

SK Art was born on March 29th, 2008 and not so coincidentally  so was Sacha, my good friend's son.  In fact it is really because of Sacha, (and his mom, CM) that I'm am creating this art at all.   For months before Sacha's birth CM would email and text me images and links to baby bedding, stroller patterns, all natural baby lotions, diaper bags, maternity clothes, baby blankets and anything else you could imagine an excited new mom shopping for.  We would mull over the colors to paint his nursery.  Is turquoise too girly? Is Navy too dark? CM has a bachelors in Fine Art, a Masters in Architecture and is currently working as a successful graphic designer of high end, custom invitations.  In other words, she has taste, style and a great eye for design and detail. Every item that her child touches, sees and wears is going to be coordinated and perfect.  

CM and her husband  share a love of travel  (Shhh, don't tell, but she has a little airplane tattooed on her lower back).  When we were looking at designs for the nursery  we became obsessed with online shops such as Dwell Studio, Boodalee and 2modern.  We oohed and aahhed over the choices (and gasped a little at some of the prices). We always had an eye out for something with airplanes but couldn't find something with the right colors, and modern feel.  That is when the lightbulb went on and the sketching began.  

I started researching different types of planes but decided to start with the standard "toy airplane style" of the biplane.  From there, I moved on to the 747.  By then I was on a roll. Float Plane, Prop Plane, Lear Jet.  Before I knew it I had 6 unique drawings.  A full series of art for the nursery.  CM's biggest pet peeve in baby decor was finding things that were too 'babyish'.  The color 'baby blue' was banned from her house.   I was very conscious  when designing the planes to keep them modern and whimsical without being too cutesy.  This was going to be the best newborn gift she would receive.  Little did I know it would be the start of something bigger for me.  

Of course drawing on paper and on the computer were one thing.  Translating them to actual artwork is a whole different ball game.  A good thing they didn't look too babyish.  By time I get around to turning the designs into hang-able wall art, Sacha will probably no longer be a baby.