Come Worry With Us!
I was honoured to work on the poster and title designs for Helene Klodawsky’s film Come Worry With Us! The documentary tells the story of one of my favourite bands, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, focusing on the struggles of balancing parenthood with the life of touring musicians. It raises very timely questions around the pervasiveness of traditional gender roles, and the challenges of artists living within a precarious economy. It’s a beautiful, intimate portrait, blending the political and the personal, and I’m really pleased to have been a part of it.
Visit the film’s website here.
WU-TANG Letterpress Prints
For Expozine this year, I’ve reissued a run of my WU-TANG C.R.E.A.M. diptych, letterpress printed in gold ink on thick black cardstock by Kiva Stimac at Popolo Press. This edition is printed on her new letterpress, and the imprint is slightly deeper, giving it more relief and emphasizing the epitaph metaphor of the design.
Neptune’s Moons Poster
Show poster designed for the upcoming Neptune’s Moons concert presented by the Howl Arts Collective. Though the central graphic acts as a literal interpretation of the title, the poster also makes subtle reference to Afro-futurist aesthetics and sci-fi 70s funk in the digitally-lettered title treatment. It’s too bad we won’t be printing this with glow-in-the-dark ink!
In conceiving of the show, Kaie highlighted this quote by Marc Dery:
“Hack this: Why do so few African-Americans write science fiction, a genre whose close encounters with the Other — the stranger in a strange land — would seem uniquely suited to the concerns of African-American novelists? Yet, to this writer’s knowledge, only Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler,Steve Barnes, and Charles Saunders have chosen to write within the genre conventions of SF. This is especially perplexing in light of the fact that African-Americans are, in a very real sense, the descendants of alien abductees. They inhabit a sci-fi nightmare in which unseen but no less impassable force fields of intolerance frustrate their movements; official histories undo what has been done to them; and technology, be it branding, forced sterilization, the Tuskegee experiment, or tasers, is too often brought to bear on black bodies.”
– Mark Dery, Black to the Future
Neptune’s Moons event page here.
Sketch for Sunday: Perpetual Krisis
A little collage I made today combining an old photo of mine from my trip to Portugal and a painting from Alex Schaefer‘s burning banks series. I think it works quite well, and if I can find a way to reproduce it nicely, it should make it into the next issue of Four Minutes to Midnight.
Brahja Waldman’s Quintet Street Poster
Street poster designed for Brahja Wladman’s Quartet (Quintet for the show) double album launch this Friday at Café Resonance. Howl co-produced the album, and I also designed the CD packaging, images coming soon.
Facebook event here. Photo by the city’s best poster paster-upper, Stefan Christoff.
SSENSE: Beyond Control Editorial
I’ve sadly neglected this blog for a while now, due to some big changes and challenges in my professional and personal life. To my “loyal readership”, my sincerest apologies. The big news is that after a very introspective January, I decided to take on a full-time position as the Art & Design Director at SSENSE, a leading Montreal-based fashion company. The images above are from my first ever fashion editorial!
This is my first in-house job, and I’m quickly learning that the challenges are quite different than those of agency or freelance work, but I’m really excited to be able to dig so deep into, and feel ownership over, a single, unique brand. I’ve also been impressed by how different the fashion industry is from the advertising industry. Obviously, there are a lot of overlaps, but the attention to purposeful craft is very refreshing. The creative team at SSENSE is very talented and there are big plans for the company on the horizon, so please stay tuned. Here’s hoping my immersion into the world of fashion might also improve my wardrobe as well!
States of Grace
One of the highlights of my trip back home over the holidays was the 2 hours of Super 8 footage that my dad had digitised of old home movies he shot back in the seventies and early eighties. My brother diligently edited it down to a shorter compilation, which I scored, and we shared some nostalgia-soaked memories with the family.
As a designer/communicator, nostalgia is something I think about a lot (cue the carousel scene from Mad Men), and I knew I wanted to do something with this footage that explored these ideas. However, I didn’t want to emphasize the personally nostalgic moments, rather, I wanted to focus on the unique aesthetic of the images and the (digitised) film itself. It was quite a trip to sit through all the footage again in order to extract these select images, and I feel they’re somehow imbued with that personal investment. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, a few will certainly make it into the next issue of Four Minutes to Midnight, but for now I thought I would post them here.
You were a true poet / down to your scarred knuckles
Two years ago today, my friend and poet FA Nettelbeck died. A month earlier Four Minutes to Midnight published his final book of poetry, Happy Hour, with illustrations by Sophie Jodoin. I had planned to perhaps visit him over the holidays that year, take a trip with my brother down to the backwoods of Oregon, with a box of books in tow. Those plans fell apart, and in the new year, I was contacted by his sister Sandra, first to let me know that he was in the hospital, and soon after to let me know that he had died. I didn’t know that he had a sister. She didn’t know that he had a publisher.
I wrote briefly about our time “together” shortly after his death, and today, it’s weighing real heavy on me again. Things are looking pretty ugly to me right now, with a lot of blame to go around in this frigid country. The list is long, and probably not worth mentioning here, but the world looks a lot like he saw it, and I wish he could write it down for me. Set it on the page, or at least the screen.
New Year, New Portfolio
With the passing of the new year, and all the attendant reflection this entails, I’ve finally taken the time to revisit my portfolio pdf. The main goal of this redesign was to represent the growing diversity of my practice while highlighting the common threads (typography, poetics, collaboration, etc.) that tie my work together.
The process of thinking through my work was surprisingly difficult. Though it’s a new portfolio, it doesn’t actually feature very much new work. This is partly due to the honest fact that my newest work isn’t necessarily my best (something I clearly need to work on), and also due to the desire for the portfolio to act more as a signpost, rather than a comprehensive collection. Nonetheless, there are several exciting new projects included, alongside new documentation of older work. I’ve cherry-picked through my output over the last few years to select pieces that point towards the type of work I want to be doing.
Download the portfolio here