Paul Overton of Dude Craft and Sister Diane Gilleland of Craftypod launched a new blog today called Make and Meaning. The intent of the blog is to explore the larger issues of crafting including materials, process and crafty business topics. So far, I’m a fan. The articles do indeed raise some meaty issues and the discussions are intelligent and thoughtful. I just spent some quality time on the post about craft book publishing. I’m also totally digging the magazine layout. Well done, guys.
Worth Its Weight: Top Ten Typography Mistakes September 17, 2009
Maybe it’s because I just saw that “Helvetica” movie, but I thought I should share this with you: Brian Hoff’s “10 Common Typography Mistakes.” This is a great primer for anyone DIY-ing the design of their own marketing materials. Even if you have no professional design training, using these tips will get halfway to having a professional-looking brochure or web site. via swissmiss
Parasol Mag Issue 2 Out May 9, 2009
Yasmine may not actually be a posting a print a day lately, but she is CRANKIN’ on this magazine. Published monthly? Seriously? I know it’s a pdf publication but that’s still ambitious. I wonder how long she can keep it up. I probably would have folded by now.
Issue 2 is a little heavy on the vintage-inspired photography, but it also has some neat features, like interviews with two 15-year-old artists (one of whom is a Biz Miss in Liberia–go Lovetta!) and a funny article about “Recession Projects” by Maria Adelmann. She’s like a one-woman WPA, both sponsor and recipient. My favorite thing about Parasol, though (aside from its price–nothing!), is that every article (and ad) is linked, so if I want to find out if I can afford those gorgeous flats from the vegan shoe company profiled on page 26 (answer: no), all I have to do is click on the company’s name. Now if only Kindles came in color and cost $50 I’d be all set.
Speaking of the WPA, A. told me about a friend of a friend who just started a new WPA in NYC with a donated office space and a whole slew of grants. Is anyone doing that sort of thing in the Bay Area? Please let me know. Also, does anyone know more about the NYC project? I can’t find them online except for a link to a Rhizome page, which I can’t view because I’m not a paying member. Bahstids.
It’s All Going to Be Okay April 29, 2009
It’s been way too long since I posted last, I know. We adopted a dog last week and it’s craft fair season again, so what little work I’ve been able to accomplish has gone exclusively towards getting ready for last weekend’s Indie Mart, and this coming weekend’s Unique Los Angeles. Still, I’m able to read the interwebs a little during meals, and yesterday at lunch I read Hugh MacLeod’s “How to Be Creative” manifesto, also called “Ignore Everybody” in its soon-to-be-published hardcover form.
MacLeod’s manifesto is a really refreshing read, because it puts the American dream back into perspective. It never promises anything–least of all that your creative idea will be successful–but it reassured me that my dreams are worth pursuing, and that success is still a reasonably attainable goal as long as I’m willing to put the hours in.
“How to Be Creative” is organized into 37 little chapters (40 in the hardcover edition), each titled with an original, pithy truism, such as ” Selling out is harder than it looks” and “Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.” While I agree with some of MacLeod’s proscriptions more than others, the sentiment behind each idea is sound. For example, on “keeping your day job” (#7), I may not agree that I should just “find that extra hour or two in the day that belongs to nobody else but me, and…make it productive” because I want more than an hour a day to be creative. As long as my life is financially stable, I don’t think it’s necessary to put a lot of time into a day job I don’t find especially meaningful. But I do agree with “balancing the need to make a good living while still maintaining one’s creative sovereignty” (i.e. the “Sex and Cash Theory”). In other words, it’s important not to compromise your creative work in order to make it more marketable, because that’s not fulfilling either.
I would recommend reading this manifesto to anyone who struggles with creative work, whether you’re in a band, thinking about starting a business, or just wondering where to go with your art. You can read the first twelve chapters on MacLeod’s web site, or you can download the first 26 chapters in pdf format at ChangeThis. I think now that he has a publisher, however, you won’t be able to read the whole thing unless you buy the book when it comes out in June.
Gluttonous Waifs March 27, 2009
I discovered an interesting site today called “design glut.” The intertubes led me first to their store (they had a pork chop bank), but I was intrigued by the following description near the top of the page: “Our webzine is an inspirational resource for entrepreneurs.” More accurately, their webzine is a series of interviews with successful designers. More inspirational than resource, I’d say, but good breakfast reading nonetheless.
It does make me a little upset and covetous to read entries where the founding waifs interview successful designers their own age (24-year-old cool hunters get invited to Davos? Seriously?) but those are my own issues. I just can’t handle people who are two or three years out of undergrad and already “experts” about something. Expertise is your consolation prize for getting older and less attractive. I’m sorry, but that’s just the rule. You’re not allowed to have youth/beauty AND expertise/money. It upsets the balance of the universe or something.