(Slightly bonkers but still wildly entertaining project, two of three. The middle one.)
Ever since I took the rocks for jocks class in college (ok, it wasn’t really rocks for jocks, it was rocks for people who wanted to hear Mark McMenamin talk about Hypersea and Ediacarans and salt), I’ve been totally fascinated by the Burgess Shale. It’s a remarkably well-preserved fossil bed, and one day I will visit it. (It’s in Canada, so I will have to get a passport first.)
You know how sometimes you’re really bored and kind of cranky, so you cast desperately around for something to make? Because making things usually helps with being overwhelmed by crap? (Maybe that’s just me. It could just be me.) Well, imagine that’s how it works. And then imagine that your weirdo housemate was a geology/English lit double major and has this weird plastic Anomalocaris toy. (And Wiwaxia. I’m pretty sure there are others, but those are the two that stuck in my mind.)
Also, I’ve been procrastinating as well as feeling overwhelmed. I like my procrastination to be at least a little productive. Actually, I like to claim that when I’m procrastinating, my brain is making fancy connections and coming up with things so that when I get around to not procrastinating, there will be nice, fully-formed things for me to do.
This is mostly crap.
Sometimes, though, I can pull something out of one of these bouts of feeling like my brain reserves are totally dry. I’ve been designing posters of Burgess shale fauna. They’re pretty awesome. I’ve got the creatures drawn, I need to do a couple of layers of background, and then I’ll post samples. (They’re actually so much fun to do that it might happen in the reasonably near future. Although I might need different pens or something, because instead of using watercolor paper like a sensible person, I used bristol board. I know. What was I thinking?)
But because of the way I did the creatures, I have a dilemma: originally, I was going to do linoleum cuts. Now, there are all these delicate lines much better suited for engraving or (maybe) photopolymer. I could go through one more redesign in an attempt to make them more linoleum-friendly, or I could put them on hold until I have enough money to get the photopolymer.
If it was just that, I would probably just make them into lino cuts, honestly. But there’s also the text. Yeah, there’s text. I wanted it to be a good solid sans — and I started the designs with an interpretation of Franklin Gothic. Which I could do in linoleum — it wouldn’t be the first time. But here I am, questioning lino, at least in part because I don’t have the right size blocks as it is. (I admit, my first thought was reduction blocks. Because that’s always fun.) So maybe it would be better to wait, and buy a font of 72 pt Franklin Gothic caps. (It’s possible — it’s in the Swamp Press catalog. Actually, no, wait, it’s not. Futura is, though, and Futura would be all right too.)
And, you know, then there’s another doubt: do these need to be letterpress? I keep thinking about making them more easily reproducible. On the other hand, limited editions are kind of my thing. And I know what paper I want to use. And I do need to experiment with pressure printing — which, if I went with my usual printing machine, would be how I’d do the backgrounds.
I’m going to debate this for a while, I think. In the meantime, I’ll finish the first designs, because they’re wildly entertaining. I enjoy making ridiculously complicated full-scale mockups. Also, it helps a lot in terms of visualizing details, even though the media I use for my mockups are usually quite different from my final printing process.
That’s project number two. It’s probably the most complicated to actually start, but once I make decisions, should be possible to finish quite quickly. It’s just that at this rate, I might not make any decisions for months.