I’m blown away by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. Period. But the way students like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg are using multiple platforms to engage people of all ages to stand up against gun / violence / culture is incredibly inspirational.
So, I have taken to my press to make posters for Saturday’s March for Our Lives. I am giving them to friends locally who will march in Richmond, VA and to folks I meet in DC.
Together, we can.
Collage is such an interesting way to play with pastiche. It’s easy to be playful with disruptive juxtapositions of scale and repetition of form. Cristiana Couceiro is a designer and illustrator living in Lisbon. Not surprisingly, her work is shown is some high profile journals like NYT, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Wired.
There is a humorous power play in many of her pieces and the nod to Russian Constructivism is timely, all things considered . . .
What appear to be whimsical references in much of her work (the bright colors and simple shapes) upon further reflection strike me as a bit lonely. There is a strong tinge of isolation, a disconnected randomness, and an abandonment or disregard for the natural world.
I love that about it – art that makes you think twice and take another look. It’s looks easy but it’s not simple to make or to “read”.
1, Tell your story as if you’re telling it to a friend:
This applies no matter where you are or who your audience is.
2, Set the GPS:
Give the place, time, setting and any relevant context. Keep it factual, short and sweet.
3, Action! Use active verbs or, as I like to say, ‘Think Hemingway’:
Spice up your verb choices but keep them succinct. Invest in a thesaurus (or a free app). Avoid multisyllabic, erudite, four-dollar words, over-intellectualising, philosophising, qualifying. See how many I just used? It’s boring to keep reading them, isn’t it?
Take two ideas, images, or thoughts and place them together. Let them collide. Remember German philosopher, Friedrich Hegel, here: That in posing two opposing ideas, a whole new idea is created (thesis + antithesis = synthesis). This tool wakes up your audience and is the root of all successful stories.
5, Gleaming detail:
Choose one ordinary moment or object that becomes a ‘gleaming detail’. Something that best captures and embodies the essence of the story. Make the ordinary extraordinary.
6, ‘Hand over the Spark’:
Reflect in the experience or idea that originally captivated you and simply hand it to your audience as if it were aflame. Carry the fire.
7, Be vulnerable:
Dare to share the emotion of your story. Be unafraid to ask your audience what you questioned along the way so they share your doubt, confusion, anger, sorrow, insight, glee, delight, joy, epiphany.
8, Tune into your sense of memory:
Choose the strongest of the five senses in your story and use it to make a deeper connection with your audience. There is always one primary sense that dominates every memory.
9, Bring yourself:
A story is as much about you as anything else.
10, Let go:
Hand over your story, letting it build to its natural, emotional punchline, then end it and get out fast. Leave the audience wanting more. Less is more.
I’m working on a series of screen prints of Lady Liberty in response to borders disputes here in America, home of the free and land of the brave. We’re not acting very generous right now. This weekend I’ll add some letterpress to the mix, though I am a little short on words.