“Oh, I dunno, just make me something.”
Frustrations! As an art student, this request was a whole lot easier to grant, with unlimited access to fully-equipped studio space, art supplies and surrounded by inspiring peers. Today, living in a two-bedroom 1,200 square foot condo (with the second room acting as the office/odds & ends and musical instrument storage), creating something gift-worthy (besides a simple card) is next to impossible. Especially for a
picky, umm, particular sister who’s a vegetarian, freegan (check it up, yikes!) and will single-handedly bring back the barter system. While we don’t see eye to eye on most subjects, I still love her dearly and make it a point to rack my brain around Christmastime and her summer birthday to come up with a suitable gift.
This time, I decided to make something that didn’t require a darkroom exposure unit, spray booth or acid (for intaglio copper plate etching of course, what were you thinking, gosh). As you’ve probably read in my previous posts, I enjoy baking, so creating a little jar of lemon curd seemed to be best solution to the gift conundrum, to be paired with her homemade bread. Lemon curd + toast = divine! I also heard from a secret source (thanks mom!) that she lost her bike lock, so I broke the no-purchase rule and bought a “Montreal bike thief-resistant” U-bar. Thankfully, bike-related gifts are exempt from said rule.
Thirty minutes later, the curd was cooling, and my freshly-designed label was ready for printing. My next endeavour will be to learn proper canning techniques for future delectable gifts.
A friend’s son once asked me: “If you were an animal, what would you be?” Good question. I find that I can identify with a variety of characteristics from various furry and feathered species: the appetite of a bird, the nocturnal habits of an owl, the ornery love/hate introverted temperament of a cat, the industrious tendencies of a beaver, and the timidity of a fox (emphasis on the cross-me-and-I’ll-snarl part). Personally, if I had to choose one animal, I’d identify the more closely with the darling Red Panda (look them up, they’ll melt your heart, and inexplicably induce an “awww” reaction). Ok, ok, this is not some elementary school writing assignment, so enough with the critter banter, and on with the subject at hand.
From my observations, most humans possess either characteristic or uncanny physical similarities to animal counterparts. That being said, I decided to pursue my illustrated birthday card project (refer to my husband’s panda card here) to create designs for my mom and my dad’s birthdays (cheesy dad pun included). I “otter” say, they turned out pretty well, oh deer!
I’ve come to the realization that my portfolio page is a little chaotic with a mixture of corporate jobs mixed with personal projects and that can cause a some confusion. I’m still working out the logistics of potentially having two pages, one for graphic design work and another for artsy pieces. Until then, my blog will be the dumping zone of all non-corporate endeavours.
As today is my husband’s birthday, I decided to make him a special card. Is it just me, or are the majority of store-bought cards designed solely for females?! I find it next to impossible to find anything meaningful for guys over the age of 8. I once bought what I thought was a blank card with the picture of an old man on the front for a brother-in-law with some witty caption about getting old, but upon taking the card out of the cellophane to write him a birthday message, I was horrified to find the text “guess you’ll need to start using the Viagra now” (or something along those lines) inside. Panic! Thankfully we can laugh about it now, but honestly, I find that there are very few quality cards for males that don’t contain imagery referring to golf, hot babes, red cars or sports.
All that to say, I decided to make my own card for my husband. Illustration is something that I don’t mind spending hours on to perfect, so I decided to draw out a panda in Adobe Illustrator. Without getting too cutesy, I just want to note that I have been calling my husband Bear for many years now, and I think that if he was an animal, he would be a panda for sure. Back to the card. After illustrating the final design, I had to separate the layers that I wanted to print separately in order to have certain sections raised with foamy stickers (like the grass in front of the panda, his arm and the hat). I don’t know why I decided to have the panda sitting in grass, because honestly, cutting out individual minuscule strands of grass at midnight was not the most enjoyable activity. Frustrations aside, the card turned out beautifully and my husband actually asked me where I had purchased such a perfect card. That made my day.