Assembling Things.

I recently attended a lecture given by designer Art Chantry. I have been a fan of his work for years greatly due in part to my collaborating with poster designer James Heimer. James has been gracious enough to give a lecture on the history of poster design to my class and Art’s work is a pivotal point in the history of the gig poster. During the lecture Mr. Chantry mentioned that we are no longer designers but we are assemblers. We take bits and pieces from the past, filter them through our hands and assemble design. He went to site that all illustration today is an appropriation of different art movements. While some of the illustrators and designers in the audience felt that he was saying that nothing is original anymore I walked away feeling quite the opposite. The concept of being an assembler of ideas feels right to me. Maybe it’s the fact that as a cartoonist I am constantly looking at the way artists in the past laid out pages, inked and drew their type or maybe it is my blue-collar background that enjoys a label that implies I use my hands on the daily basis? Either way this assembler title is one I’ll wear proudly.
One of the last points Chantry made was about type. He challenged anyone listening to draw type by hand at every opportunity. Made me glad to hear a preeminent designer challenging students and professionals in this way.  I try and instill this in every class/course I teach both in design and illustration. Proud to hear it echoed from such an amazing artist and designer.
Above: A recent page from my sketchbook with a logo I am designing. I did the finish inks with a Uniball Vision. I plan on cleaning it up a little in Photoshop but will leave many of the imperfections.
Below: A detail from the sketchbook page. After discussing this with hand-drawn type expert Melissa Lomax this is the treatment I will be seeing through to finish.

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