Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Little Light of Mine...

I just recently was in a meeting with a potential client, and we were discussing a tee shirt line for his company. He was talking about what qualities he wants for this shirt, the fit, fabric, graphics, but then says "of course, I would never wear it, I couldn't wear my own shirt design". I hear that a lot...designers who believe its some sort of sin to wear their designs, like its tacky or self-promoting. I absolutely could not disagree more. My primary impulse to make art is for my own pleasure...I come up with an image that doesn't exist that I want to see in the world. My works are my babies, and they are dear to me...I love wearing my own designs...hell, I'm working on one now with a giant "JTO" logo that I will wear everywhere when its done and printed on a tee. I'm not new to making artwork (nonstop for 36 years or so) but I am relatively new to this design day job world so I am gradually getting familiar with the no-nos. One guy told me recently you NEVER refer to your designs in writing as designs (i.e. "the green menu design"). I like what I do...the first person I aim to please when I make something is myself. When someone makes something and averts their eyes, and can't bear to be near it, that seems less like creation and more like the bear dropping one in the woods. Phony modesty.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Roky Erickson live at the 40 Watt, Athens GA

I wrote this email update to my pal Chilly (of the The 10000 Things blog) about the Roky Erickson show I caught Thurday night:

"It was absolutely great.  I was a little doubtful going in...I was worried that the crowd would be sparse...I did not sense a lot of anticipation leading up to the show, a general indifference.  I also thought that slipping Gnarls Barkley (unofficially) on the PopFest bill a couple of nights before Roky's show would steal his thunder.  Man, was I wrong.   There was a very robust, enthusiastic crowd there when I finally got in, later on, just as Dark Meat (always killer) was taking the stage.  I didn't buy the Popfest pass, I cannot endure seeing more than a couple of bands in a row (I am old and tire easily). I saw a lot of local Roky fans, everyone was really charged...several folks brought records to get signed.  Roky hit the stage with a very basic band, the Explosives, very seasoned veterans, total pros.  Guitars, a bass, a drum kit.  No keys, special effects, no electric jug.  It was blast after blast of great songs, played and sung with tremendous ferocity and authority, high and clear and awesome.  Roky sounded incredible.  No fumbling, stuttering, or running out of steam.  No talk, no banter, no noodling and tuning.  This is a man who walked and played and held his own with giants like Hendrix and Love and the Doors, a pace-setter of that era, and his formidable chops were center stage at the 40 watt that night.  A mob of people cheering and singing along with Two Headed Dog, Demons have Pictures, Starry Eyes, Bloody Hammer, and, of course, You're Gonna Miss Me (plus lots more).  Kids were MOSHING,  it was apeshit, I l almost got knocked over several times.  I was having too good of a time to be pissed.   A couple of encores.   Roky didn't start until almost 1 AM, and played for quite a while.  People staggered out of the 40 Watt, grinning and shell-shocked.  I got home about 3:30 AM, and was gloriously late for work Friday."

Thanks to Roky Erickson and the Explosives, the 40 Watt, and the PopFest organizers for a mind-blowing rock show!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

T. Rex iron on party...

I've always wanted a T. Rex t shirt. T. Rex is one of my all-time favorite bands, but I never could find a shirt I liked. Growing up in a tiny town in the rural south in the 70s/80s, I lived in rock tees, most of which I mail ordered. No internet, no credit cards. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. I ordered a ton of Zeppelin tees and jerseys. I ordered one of those Union Jack Def Leppard shirts, but was too embarrassed to wear it because it was sleeveless. I liked T. Rex a lot even then, but the rare shirt I saw in the catalogs of vaguely sleezy rock tee sellers like Musicade never had anything I wanted to buy...maybe they looked too seems like lots of girls like T. Rex. Now that I have the computer at home I wanted to play with making purely digital graphics and logos. This is the first one I carried out completely. I am trying the super cheapo Office Max brand transfer paper, and it printed great in my little free Canon printer/scanner combo. The first try was kind of botched, luckily it was on a kind of awful, baby blue, thick, boxy, "Arizona" brand t shirt with a heavy, high collar. Ugh. I have printed lots of tranfer iron ons on grey heather and it always looks pretty good...they are the shirts I get the most compliments for. Hopefully I can make some designs for a ne screen printed shirt series soon.