Stained glass abandoned in favor of a vintage flavor

I decided against the stained glass approach in the end. I Chose instead, to focus on repeated patterns— a race horse silhouette, with the silks in the spotlight, and a larger repeating pattern behind them.

After much experimentation with various backdrops and shifts in color for the silhouettes, I landed on a maximum vintage palette and pattern, which incidentally called for my current favorite typeface. 🙂

Below: a couple of the numerous rejected schemes

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Stained glass, and stumbling upon a thief

I’ve been working on some ideas for the 2017 Derby Party poster for Commonwealth Bar here in Brooklyn; one idea being a faux stained glass approach. Above is the spare beginning of a design in progress. Below is the same design, incorporating a stock image as a placeholder to decide whether I wanted to pursue the idea before continuing work on it.
As I was perusing Google image for visual inspiration, I spotted a thief, caught in the act! Below is a poster (right) for an event in Chicago, whose promoter or venue blatantly stole my 2003 Derby poster for Ray (left), and then obliterated its elegance with godawful type treatments for a Derby Party.

Step one: Steal design. Step two: Ruin it!

I’ve emailed said promoter re: the violation of copyright, and requested it be taken down. I also offered the possibility of licensing the image or commissioning me for an original (neither of which I expect him or her to take me up on, but worth a try).

This takes the notion of a ‘lazy steal’ to a quite literal level as compared to the imitation from 2015. People: Google image search is not a one-stop-shop for royalty-free images.

Side note: Who has a Derby Party that ends before the race? Post time this year is at 6:46pm ; this party ends at 6:00.

UPDATE: The promoter replied to my email stating that the venue was responsible for the flier, and that they are making a new one.

LEDs and the dancing fireplace wall


Some fun lighting at Kelley’s house in Baltimore. Mini Light City right in the living room!

I got loads of photographs from installations around the Inner Harbor last night. I’ll be posting some of those soon.

In the halls of UMBC Visual Arts


It’s disconcerting to run into an oversized facsimile of my own stylized face in the halls of the university. Giving my talk on Saturday evening. Super nervous! But looking forward to it, and seeing the illuminations of Light City around the Inner Harbor.

From the archive: an outboard motor and a few lines

A vector illustration that was used for a poster a number of years ago, around the same time the poem below was written.

An outboard motor,
its rotors dull and pitted,
hangs from a century-old beam
among the rafters.
The darkness up there
would be forbidding,
were it not for the string
of lights ‘round the mirror

Which smudged reflection
is filled with faces,
flickering in shadows
Of candles
and various states
of inebriation.

The man behind the bar wears a smile
He flashes it often,
but only at targets, and only
when warranted,
like any conscientious
man-at-arms.

(@JimO)

Kitchen Nook, revisited


You may recall a post in which I talked about getting a new (to me) piece of furniture for the nook between the kitchen and the dining area of my apartment. The secretary in question arrived a couple weekends ago, a piece from the childhood home of a dear friend of mine. Before it arrived, I cleared that wall and painted it as per my plan.

It suits very well! And brings a gravitas to the space; still has plenty of room for the do-dads that were on the old shelves, plus room for stemware, a jar of creepy dolls, and the nested mixing bowls that belonged to my great aunt Dot.

Now I just need a more elegant solution to the cords from the lamps, and to replace the broken drawer pulls. I also plan to get a globe lamp to reside on top to illuminate the nook in general, in addition to the string lights inside.
Below is the composite I made in Photoshop last year to visualize the transformation:kitchen nook redesign

How are you feeling about Winter?

Yesterday was day one of the blizzard named Stella. Morning brought the rare and disconcerting phenomenon known as thundersnow. I’ve been tied to my work in recent weeks, however, so the change in the weather mainly just made it prettier and much quieter (barring the thunder) out my windows.

Here’s an illustration I started and finished for a client project yesterday. Silly me, I thought I could whip out some birch trees in an hour or two, but I got pretty granular with the detail, and wound up finishing it in three rounds of perhaps 1.5 hours each, give or take.

Below is the version I’m using for the album. It’s the backdrop of the inner sleeves, so it was silly perhaps to choose something so detailed, but it looks  more serene after decreasing contrast and adding the blue-grey in Photoshop for the final art.