Here are some prints I made back at CSULB that I felt fit the spirit of the season.
Every once in a while I hear about an event that seems as if it were ment just for me. In this case I am talking about the Feast Your Eyes art show in none other that beautiful Portland, OR! It was an art show that featured:
mountains of Heavy Metal-inspired works of art in all variety of mediums from some of the most talented illustrators and poster artists around.
Meaning these humans:
- Mike Fisher (Maximum Fluoride)
- Lydia Crumbley
- Mauz (Monolith Press)
- Miguel Veliz
- Davey D’Andrea
- Glenn Smith (Glenno)
- Sam Ford
- Lee Zeman
- Mark McCormick
- Mike Sutfin
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stumbled upon it! A heavy metal based art show in a city that I have been wanting to visit for years! Of course I couldn’t go seeing as have a job, and bills, and family and other obligations to attend to. Stupid life. You may be wondering why I am even bothering posting about a show that has already ended and I didn’t attend‽ Well I am marking next years calendar in advance and keeping my ears open for the much needed second coming of this magnificant show. I wish someone else had notified me well ahead of time, so consider this your first notification. Once I find out the next showing I will mark it on my Calendar page, so stay tuned.
I got to know Kyle through MySpace. That’s right. I said it, MySpace. We grew up in the same town and went to the same elementary school, but he was a few years younger than me and our paths never properly crossed. He has work throughout the Bay Area hardcore scene and select bike shops. Look for his stuff on a west coast near you.
Name: Kyle Marmesh
Location: Bellingham, WA
Medium(s): Design, Printmaking
What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? Aspiring designer.
Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? myspace.com/alivedesign
When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? I have been interested in the arts for as long as I can remember. My family is pretty artistic so I was surrounded by it while I was growing up. My Bro is a musician, Pop’s draws a lot, and ma has always had an eye for interior design.
Who/What inspired your interest? I guess the initial inspiration came from album artwork and layouts. I grew up listening to a lot of punk and hardcore. Alan Forbes was a huge influence when I was younger, now I enjoy work by Linas Garsys, Steak Mtn! and You Work For Them.
Where do you first remember being exposed to art? I can’t remember the first time I was ‘exposed’ to it. But the first time I was truly intrigued by a single piece I was about 6 and I saw Van Gough’s ‘Starry Night.’ My taste has changed, nearly inverted since, but that was the first.
What is your day job? Teller at BofFuckinA!
Why do you create? Why does anybody create?
Is there any recurring theme in your work? Only that I’m never satisfied with the final piece.
What do you want from your work?I want to find and get inspiration from my own work.
What do you want viewers to take from your work? Be inspired. To think. To enjoy looking at it in any way.
How often do you work on personal projects? Pretty often.
How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? Only a few times every couple months.
Does your art support you financially? Nope, not yet. I can only hope to be so lucky!
Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? Yes.
What do you do in your spare time besides your art? Ride bikes mostly. Read books on typography and design. I grew up in the mountains so a day where I don’t touch dirt isn’t a very good one.
Which musicians are you currently interested in? JF Robitaille, Polar Bear Club, Bridge and Tunnel, Austin Lucas, Cursed, Chris Knight, and of course, Hot Water Music.
Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? Revival Tour in Seattle on Oct. 26!
How long do you generally take on a piece? It depends, on personal pieces I tend to take quite a long time going back and forth between drafts and different ideas. I’ve never missed a deadline for a client though.
Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? Haven’t had to yet, and hope to god I won’t ever have to. Not sure which way I’d go.
Do you work on multiple projects at once? Yes, quite often.
Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? If I know it is going to be printed by a quality shop I usually have a pretty loose grip. However, if it is going into unfamiliar hands, I tend to hold on a little tighter.
There is not a whole lot of graffiti around my town and even less worth mentioning. Being up in the foothills of California we don’t see a lot of graffiti. Most urban influence on the local culture dissipates soon after you pass the Central Valley. We don’t have the vast spans of concrete or dark allies that act as a breeding ground for street art, but if you look hard enough you will find some.
It is the weekend before Halloween and I felt a little festive so I decided to carve a jack-o-lantern. Here is how it went:
Went the local pumpkin patch.
Picked out an ugly little bugger with a lot of character.
Pulled out my woodcut tools and some inspiration.
Sketched it out with a marker. I like to use the contours to shape the features
(Toxic Avenger was on TV).
Cleaned out the guts.
Start carving I used a fillet knife that I could make smaller details with and took my time with it.
The green pumpkins are a bit thicker than the orange ones, so I didn’t bother using the wood cut tools to much, but I gave the mouth a little dimension.
Than I lit it and hope that it doesn’t catch on fire later.
A while back I was working really hard to create some design pieces centered around facial hair. This may seem strange to some, but I have always had an appreciation for facial hair stylings. I usually wear some form of sideburns myself. Anyways, I dove into research and tried to find as much history about specific facial hair styles as possible so that I could create a really informative piece. I ended up getting rather overwhelmed by the whole thing and only created a few layouts before I pushed the whole project to the back of my mind. Below is the only one that I am really satisfied with (for now).
This sample is about the facial hair stylings of various dictators and evil figures throughout history. I hope to continue the project in some way, shape or form. I may just make it into a series of posters grouping similar types of people and discussing their facial hair. I will be sure to post any advances on the subject.
I met Ape, as she likes to be called, during my 3rd year at CSU, Long Beach. We had Computer Graphics with Tim Musso (a total badass designer) and became quick friends. She is absorbed with the smallest details and is relentless in the pursuit of perfection. She is a fantastic designer, the only student I personally knew that made it into the rigorous design program at CSULB. Take a look at her explorations of different materials and textures and you will see why.
Medium(s): experimental but alas, largely design.
What do you consider yourself (artist/designer/other)? A designer with the self-indulgent, rebellious spirit of an artist.
Where can we see your work (place/publications/url)? Through clairvoyance only, better have a crystal ball handy.
When did you start gaining interest in artistic forms of expression? As a youngster.
Who/What inspired your interest? Mom, awww.
Where do you first remember being exposed to art? Supervised: melting crayons and marble art. Unsupervised: playing with mud and coloring in the pictures printed on paper towels and watching them bleed underwater drops.
What is your day job? I design for West Coast Choppers, school, and freelance with Mr. Tang Bang.
Why do you create? It seems to be a necessary human activity.
Is there any recurring theme in your work? Concept: I like to challenge what people are comfortable with. Execution: Nature in some form.
What do you want from your work? Fame and glory.
What do you want viewers to take from your work? In my own work do not care if people completely understand. I do, however, want people to feel challenged by the concept or execution. Working for clients is another story. That is, of course, where your own ideas are often compromised and the clients objective is priority.
How often do you work on personal projects? Mostly I turn my school projects into concepts that I am interested in so they become personal. They are sometimes not what the instructor had intended but in the end I am helping paying his/her salary.
How often do you work on commissions or commercial work? 3-5 days a week.
Does your art support you financially? Yes
Do you feel preoccupied with your art, do you think about it often during the day and night and do you anticipate your next session? Depends on the project but yes quite often.
What do you do in your spare time besides your art? Travel, read, concerts, experimenting with art mediums. If I am back home I ride my horse and work in the woods.
Which musicians are you currently interested in? Ani Difranco, Emily Wells, PJ Harvey, Bright eyes, Johnny Cash, Flat Mountain Girls…
Are there any events you are looking forward to attending? A trip to China, Burning man, oh so far away… South America…
How long do you generally take on a piece? Varies significantly. A day to a few weeks, sometimes months.
Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of your art? Yes, I have refused to work on projects because of conflicting ideologies ( i.e. nestle skinny cow, lingerie ). Most of my friends and family have become distanced as I lack the time necessary to sustain close relationships.
Do you work on multiple projects at once? Constantly.
Do you have trouble parting with your finished work? Because most of my design work is disposable, no. Everything else that has more artistic value I give to friends and family.
(On the 101, Oregon)
(San Francisco, California)
(San Francisco, California)
One of my first college typography projects was to illustrate an adjective (I think the class was VisCom 322a with Wendy Emery). I didn’t fully comprehend the task at the time and it took me several comps of several different words to even start to get the hang of it. In the end I chose the word “Resurrect” and my finished product was still fairly lifeless and boring. My instructors usually liked my sketches more than my final product; when I cleaned things up they tended to loose their character. It took me a couple of years to realize that it was strictly and exercise in stylizing text for logos and headlines (what can I say, I fell asleep a lot in class).
(Preliminary Drawings and Progression)
(Final Draft Below)
A great example of illustrated type can be found at your local music shop. Heavy/Doom/Death/etc. Metal band logos are the epitome of typography illustrating definition. The logos are usually hand rendered, extremely embellished and incredibly hard to read. Over the years I have enjoyed struggling to read metal logos in the record store and online. They have a tendency to be symmetrical and as graphic and gruesome as possible. The letter forms often mimic blood splats, dripping intestines, bones, dead trees, lightening and anything sharp. When viewing these logos there is no mistaking the music’s attitude (but you’ll probably misread the name). Similar logos won’t be found on the latest pop-chart-topper or easy listening bargain bin. Take a look at these ones I found online:
Now I am not saying that all of these logos are beautiful examples of custom type, but I do believe that they are great examples of really pushing the limits of illustrated type. There is no reason why this type of emotion can’t be conveyed in more mainstream projects. Granted these logos can be nearly impossible to read which is allowed because these bands aren’t worried about being recognized and sold to the general public. The rules of corporate logos don’t keep them up at night. Lets review the 5 cardinal Rules of Logo Design brought to you by Entreprenueur.com:
(Frankly I hate design articles like this in business periodicals. It gives business men and women a false sense of entitlement and they think they can argue with designers about what is good/bad)
- Your logo should reflect your company in a unique and honest way. Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business owners want something “just like” a competitor. If your logo contains a symbol–often called a “bug”–it should relate to your industry, your name, a defining characteristic of your company or a competitive advantage you offer.
What’s the overriding trait you want people to remember about your business? If it’s quick delivery, consider objects that connote speed, like wings or a clock. Consider an abstract symbol to convey a progressive approach–abstracts are a great choice for high-tech companies. Or maybe you simply want an object that represents the product or service you’re selling. Be clever, if you can, but not at the expense of being clear.
- Avoid too much detail. Simple logos are recognized faster than complex ones. Strong lines and letters show up better than thin ones, and clean, simple logos reduce and enlarge much better than complicated ones.
But although your logo should be simple, it shouldn’t be simplistic. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. Look at the pros: McDonald’s, Nike, Prudential. Notice how their logos are simple yet compelling. Anyone who’s traveled by a McDonald’s with a hungry 4-year-old knows the power of a clean logo symbol.
- Your logo should work well in black and white (one-color printing). If it doesn’t look good in black and white, it won’t look good it any color. Also keep in mind that printing costs for four-color logos are often greater than that for one- or two-color jobs).
- Make sure your logo’s scalable. It should be aesthetically pleasing in both small and large sizes, in a variety of mediums. A good rule of thumb is the “business card/billboard rule”: Your logo should look good on both.
- Your logo should be artistically balanced. The best way to explain this is that your logo should seem “balanced” to the eye–no one part should overpower the rest. Just as a painting would look odd if all the color and details were segregated in one corner, so do asymmetric logos. Color, line density and shape all affect a logo’s balance.
These are the exact same rules used to grade our corperate identities in various class projects and they are tried and true in today’s world. The majority of metal logos won’t fit more than two of these “requirements” and that’s ok, because people in that world don’t give a fuck about corperate rules. When designing for the corporate world you must switch gears, but it is always good to step outside of your comfort zone.