Tag Archives: quote

Dark Nights on Planet Earth

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Who wants to buy me a plasma cutter so I can do this sort of thing in metal?

Well,  I’m in love with this style of paper cutting, except, obviously, it would work even better in metal. It’s weird that I’ve never even attempted anything like this before; was actually way easier than I thought, probably the only bulletin board I’ve ever done that actually took less time than I’d estimated. The whole thing still took 12 hours over 3 days, but cutting out the details (with a scalpel) didn’t take much longer than sketching them out.

You can view some process pictures on my Instagram feed if you want to see that, along with some closer imagers of each design.

The quote is slightly messed up, probably because I never sleep as much as I need to. There should be another definite determiner between “in” and “contrast.” Still, pretty good stuff. Some kid will probably rip some of the details; they’re very fine and I wasn’t able to hit every spot with glue. It’s too tempting for the littles. After the break, I’ll go back and secure it a bit more.

Speaking of the break, I’m grateful that I didn’t have to get anywhere near an airport this week.

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Happy as Kings Bulletin Board

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Presumably, successful kings of prosperous countries who are beloved by their people and enjoy a reign free from war or internecine conflict.

Look what I made while I was almost too depressed to stand up! Except for the placement of the attribution it’s almost perfect. Good thing the “ALL” is in caps. It sort of mitigates some of the bitter sentiment here. We should all be happy. There’s plenty of stuff for everyone. I’m sure of that.

The quote–or poem, rather, as this is a poem in its entirety–comes from Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. I didn’t remember it from my childhood, but came across it in my copy of the book, which the Girl was reading for her English class poetry unit. That’s the whole sentiment. My copy of the book belonged to my mother as a child. She wrote her name and address on the frontispiece when she was a little girl. So that’s wholly sentimental.

The black letters are based on the Minya Nouvelle Regular typewriter-style font. The other letters are, of course, of my own devising. The chalkboard letters were created by hand-tearing each letter rather than cutting.

This piece took about 4 days, working an average of 2 1/2 hours a day. I hope it doesn’t blow away like the last one did.

Good at Heart

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You can tell which letter I did yesterday and which I did today, because yesterday’s letter are all too skinny. Still, a cool effect.

Some bulletins boards I make for the kids, but every once in a while I make one strictly for me. Hopefully the kids enjoy and get something out of it, but I needed the reminder. The lift.

The quote, of course, is from Anne Frank, written not terribly long before she and her family were betrayed to the Nazis and sent to the death camp where all of them, except for Anne’s father, died. About 70 MILLION people died in World War II. But Anne was right. In general, people are really good at heart. Just sometimes, they fall for the darkness. The darkness seems to be cyclical. And catching.

The political situation in America right now is terrifying to me. The darkness has a platform and a voice, but I have to believe that the light always prevails. Still, I cried in the car going home after I made this bulletin board, contemplating all the commonplace hatred that has bubbled to the surface of society in the last 20 years.

The butterflies refer to the poem “I Never Saw another Butterfly,” and the eponymous book in which it appears. It’s a collection of poetry written by Jewish children who were interned at Terezín, the Nazi’s “model” camp outside of Prague. While Terezín wasn’t a death camp, over 90% of the Jews who went sent there did not survive the war. The single yellow leaf is a reference to Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, a book that should be required reading for human beings. It’s partially a Holocaust narrative, but it’s also a manual for life, written in a time of death: a light in a the darkness.

The moral of the story is that you have to remain hopeful, or the darkness will swallow you.

Flowers in the Desert Bulletin Board

Remember kids, measure twice, cut once.

Remember kids, measure twice, cut once.

If you don’t recall the New Wave band Big Country and their hit single “In a Big Country,” go ahead and familiarize yourself with this seminal work of early ’80s pop music. It’s got a catchy beat and a good message. If you’re not familiar with ’80s music, don’t get freaked out by the intro. Just go with it.

Yesterday, I wrote down some quotes that I thought of using for the holiday bulletin board, and I stuck them in my wallet, and then I left my wallet at home when I came back and couldn’t remember the quotes. This song gets stuck in my head sometimes, though, and the clock was ticking. Long story short, because nothing got started yesterday, this one really came down to the wire. I didn’t have any extra time, and ended up going 45 minutes over my budgeted time, which explain why I screwed up the text so badly. I can’t believe that last E got stuck on the sun. It’s really upsetting. There are like 12 things I could have done differently to avoid that situation, but there it is. When you don’t schedule properly, and you rush, things don’t come out as well. All of the Es are too big, and I knew they were, but these were from the second batch and I was too frustrated to make a third, and now I regret it.

So full of regret was I that I forgot I already had a blog post for tonight and started a comic, which is now finished, to I have tomorrow’s post as well. Bonus, I guess.

Also today: an article I wrote one Panels.net about Angela: Queen of Hel.

How to Fly Higher Than an Eagle

You are the wings beneath my wings.

You are the wings beneath my wings.

This Isaac Newton quote probably refers most particularly to the work of 2 great scientists who came before him: Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei. Although Newton is still regarded as one of the greatest scientists to ever live, having made major contributions to the fields of mathematics, optics, celestial mechanics, and of course, the study of gravity, over 300 years ago, he had to acknowledge that his leaps would not have been possible had he not studied the foundational works of those who came before.

In other words, read a book.

A crow riding an eagle

A crow riding an eagle

As for the image, there are fairy tales that involve smaller birds flying higher and farther than stronger birds by riding on their backs, and there are several sets of photographs of this phenomenon which you can Google at your leisure. It’s a documented fact that little birds sometimes hitch a ride on bigger birds.

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Close up on the wing. Somehow, my freehand drawing shortened the back wing considerably, which I didn’t notice until after I cut it out, andI ended up having to add 2 pieces to make it big enough, but that was OK, since eagles have those layers of feathers anyway. it looks better this way.

The kerning on this one is off, because I only had a really limited time to work (I actually wanted to put in clouds, but as it was it took 30 minutes longer than I wanted) and didn’t measure properly. The letters were cut pretty haphazardly, no guidelines, no rulers. I just counted the occurrence of the individual letters and cut them of folded paper, so I only had to do each shape once.

In addition, I spilled a 1/4 bottle of rubber cement all over my shirt/the cement without noticing. That’s a first for me.

Reaching: A Bulletin Board

If you haven’t read Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, I highly recommend it. In brief, Hadfield is a well-known astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency who has completed 3 tours of duty on the International Space Station and mulitple spacewalks, much to his delight. He may be best known for recording the first music video in space. Hadfield is a highly motivationed thinker; on the surface, the book is a memoir about his life, why and how he became an astronaut. However, as the title suggests, it’s really a guidebook for life.

Paper vines emerge

Paper vines emerge

In short, Hadfield’s story is this: in 1969, like millions of kids, he watched Neil Armstrong take a stroll across the surface of the moon, and instantly, like millions of kids, his heart’s compass swung toward space. Unlike millions of kids, Hadfield kept his life pointed to his true north, and this is where his story diverges from everyone else’s. From the age of 9, he decided to live his life as if he would become an astronaut. At no point did he expect he would ever actually go to space–Canada didn’t even have a space agency until 1990–but that didn’t change his resolve to be prepare for the possibility, just in case. He writes that, from that day on, whenever presented with a choice as small as salad or potato chips, he asked himself, “What would an astronaut choose?”

Ascend, every day.

Ascend, every day.

Most of us lack the discipline to become astronauts. Perhaps our grades aren’t good enough, or we’re not physically fit, or our individuality precludes any sort of military training. The important part of Hadfield’s story isn’t: make these choices and you’ll get what you want. He repeats the message that he never honestly thought he would ever go to space; he just decided to be prepared if the question ever came up, and even if he hadn’t gone to space, all the things he did to move his life in that direction would have paid off in other ways. He tells another story, which involves a partnership between NASA and a music festival. Hadfield, thinking ahead as was his wont, determined that it was possible that he might meet Elton John, and if he did meet Elton John, Elton John might be aware that he, Hadfield, was a musician as well as an astronaut, and if Elton John knew that, he might ask Hadfield to jam with him, and if Elton John did ask Hadfield to jam with him, the song he would be most likely to suggest they play would be “Rocket Man.” So Hadfield prepared for possibly meeting Elton John by learning to play “Rocket Man” on the guitar. In the end, he did meet Elton John, but was not asked to jam, but that doesn’t change the fact that he learned to play a new song.

it’s a good message for elementary kids, which is why I chose it for my New Year’s bulletin board, but that doesn’t mean that adults of any age can’t or shouldn’t move their lives in the direction of their hearts.

The Trickster’s Hat Part 9

How and Why by Robert Graves

How and Why by Robert Graves

Exercise 29: illustrate a quote. But not just any quote. It was supposed to be something with a bit of humor to it as well as depth. I struggled with this assignment for days, perusing Bartlett’s, surfing web pages full of inspirational quotes. I didn’t want to put any effort into illustrating a quote that wouldn’t be deeply meaningful to me, and most of my favorite quotes are fairly serious, primarily about writing and creativity.

Just as I was about to lose hope, I noticed a little scrap of paper tacked to the wall behind me, where I had written out this Robert Graves poem, “How and Why” from (I think) the book Ann at HIghwood Hall: Poems for Children, published in 1964. (It’s entirely possible it’s from a different book of poetry for children by the same author, but I think this is the one). I had long been fascinated with the light-hearted, but also sort of provocative rhyme, and he long intended to illustrate it with almost exactly the precise designs I used here.

It took several days to create the lettering (I made these up rather than using a known typeface), sketch everything out, and ink it in. I’d still like to do some further digital work to touch it up, but this is probably my favorite finished product; It’s framed and hanging on the wall, just as I’d imagined it for about a decade.