Monday, December 22, 2014

Designing the Solstice Card

When I began, I had one plan for this year's card: it would be a commercially printed postcard, preferably a large one. I made the decision at the beginning of the year after last year's time-consuming card became mired in the postal system. I mailed the cards on December 21 and some were not received (in my hometown) until January 13. I resolved to make it simpler this year. And it was. Designing the card was a pleasure as was uploading the file and letting someone else handle the printing.

After the early November Masscribes workshop with Mike Gold, I knew this year's card would feature words and lettering and would be based on work I did in the workshop. My first thought was to do something with these abstract exercises using words from Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.

I knew that there would be a small number of words. I thought about using "dona nobis pacem" which we sing every year at the Revels. I thought I might put the English in type: "Give us peace." I rejected this quote because I feel we humans are not being very humane at the moment and need to work for peace, not ask for it to be given. I then considered Joy to the World and Rejoice but felt that the sentiments were a little too exuberant for the times we live in.

I was reminded of a quote from Julian of Norwich when I saw it on a bracelet in a catalog and decided I would use it. I turned to some other exercises from the workshop for inspiration for the lettering. The lettering was done with a C-4 Speedball nib and Higgins Eternal Ink.

I did a quick draft

and then wrote the words multiple times.

It wasn't quite working and eventually I decided on two things: I would separate the quote into two parts so that there would be more space within the letters and I would use both upper and lower case letters as I felt that the large number of double Ls did not provide enough variety. I originally thought I would put the beginning on the front of the card and the ending on the back but decided against that. I turned the card horizontal and added the attribution vertically in type. The final image was created in photoshop with a photo of the sky as background. I took advantage of a special and had them digitally printed at zoo printing.

I was pleased with the result and pleased with the process. In my early days, making the holiday card was fraught with tension and sometimes despair. I love how easy it has gotten. One of the advantages of experience is that I have become better at listening to the work and letting it lead me. There is much to be grateful for.


FSD artist said...

Love reading about and seeing your process. Wonderful quote. I really like that you decided to separate it into two parts. Also like your thoughts that we need to work harder for peace. Troubling times in so many ways. Julian is a great choice.

Susan Sawatzky said...

a beautiful card with very special meaning to me.

Mo Crow said...

love your process and the wonders of this 21st C world!

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