Girl Friday: Jessica Brilli

Added on by Janine.
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I received a submission this week to share with you. I had already bookmarked Jessica's paintings before but they definitely merit posting on the blog!

Jessica Brilli explores the beauty in artifacts that have withstood a radical transition of function—from practical use to design inspiration and decor. These artifacts have an immediate and lasting appeal, now captured in Brilli’s paintings. 

Although many of the objects—vintage typewriters, cameras, and radios—are not widely used anymore, they still have a place in our lives, for admiring and remembering more than using. Brilli investigates our cultural fascination with near-obsolete commodities. Will today’s technological devices have a similar effect in the future, or will their impression be fleeting because of their transient nature?

Jessica is a graphic designer/painter living in Quincy, MA. She works at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. "I design by day, and paint by night," she writes.

an ephemeral interlude

Added on by Janine.
Shauna and James from Trigger sift through my random piles of ephemera and paper bits and pieces.

Shauna and James from Trigger sift through my random piles of ephemera and paper bits and pieces.

Finished Eclecto notebooks made with magazine makeready, lined paper that I designed and customized with ephemera.

Finished Eclecto notebooks made with magazine makeready, lined paper that I designed and customized with ephemera.

Today Shauna and James from Calgary advertising and design agency Trigger, stopped by for some mid-day creative fun. Throughout November, we've been hosting Thursday noon-hour creative workshops in UPPERCASE—offering designers a break from their usual routines and a chance to play. Today's session also offered me a nice pause from my desk; I've been glued to my computer—issue #16 is going to the printer next week!

I had a chance to rifle through some ephemera... enjoy!

Detail from a fire insurance certificate from 1904.

Detail from a fire insurance certificate from 1904.

Insurance document from 1914.
Insurance document from 1914.
A little box of anagram paper letters.

A little box of anagram paper letters.

Some embroidered letters still in their package.
Some embroidered letters still in their package.
Lucky initials for somebody!

Lucky initials for somebody!

Some makeready from an old issue and the diecut and foil-stamped Eclecto spines.

Some makeready from an old issue and the diecut and foil-stamped Eclecto spines.

Fire insurance for $500 and $6 deductible on a 1.5 story shingle roof. No lightning coverage. 1904.

Fire insurance for $500 and $6 deductible on a 1.5 story shingle roof. No lightning coverage. 1904.

my life with paper: Francisca Prieto

Added on by Janine.
Francisca Prieto at work on her intricate folded paper works.

Francisca Prieto at work on her intricate folded paper works.

This text written by Francisca Prieto was originally published in the now sold-out issue #12 of UPPERCASE magazine. In that issue, we asked various artists to describe their "life with paper."

To me there is something magic about paper; it is hard to point out something specific, though it is probably the endless possibilities that it offers... It all starts with a blank page!

Over the years I have been collecting a variety of things made of paper and those things inspire me, from old tickets and catalogues to vintage ledger books and all kind of unusual finds. Each has something fascinating about them, the colours, texture, concept or simply because they make me smile. I choose them because I feel that somehow they have a story to tell.

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Each leaf of the book is folded using a traditional origami technique, to form a single modular structure. Selected and folded in a planned and considered way so that the dominant image, be it a chair, a bird, or a musical score, relates to the connecting pieces forming a multilayered artwork made up of many tiny compositions. By consciously linking each module a hidden narrative emerges in each of my works through the conceptual connections, thus combining my interest as an artist, mathematician and typographer, whilst searching for precision and fluidity in each artwork. 

Paper, as you can imagine, is quite fragile, so there are no mistakes allowed. You can easily tear it or leave a mark on it. Working with old, often rare books, I find that each page is irreplaceable, so I have to work very carefully. But the experience of transforming something very fragile into something totally new is what drives me. I just want people to look at them in detail and treasure them in a different way.

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For the last 2 years I have been working with old books. Books excite me and inspire me: the intimate relationship with their texture and colour and even their smell - all unique and distinct to each – ultimately feeds into the work. I have been working on a series entitled Between Folds, an ongoing body of work which draws together many of my interests: exploring the deconstruction of rare illustrated periodicals and books using modular structures whilst incorporating typographical elements. The delicate pages of these beautiful, often rare books are released from their bindings and restructured into new three-dimensional artworks. By dissecting, folding and re-connecting the pages, viewers are invited to experience looking at a book and all of its pages at once, yet without being able to read any one page individually.

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I admire the dedication with which so many people work together into making these old journals, encyclopaedias, catalogues and books in general. The quality of their illustrations, the dedication with which the typesetter puts the text together, the precision of the binder, all contribute to create stunning art pieces. But the ones I work with have somehow lost their value due to damage by water, worms, missing pages, a broken spine, or they simply have been forgotten, so I love to give them back their glory.
 
Each book has a unique character and I enjoy translating that. I also like to keep as much of the book as possible, sometimes managing to use every single page, including the end papers and a bit from the cover. I like to keep any dedications, comments, fingerprints or other things that I find inside of them and that inform of their previous mysterious life.

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stock up! back issues on sale

Added on by Janine.

The fabled "cyber Monday" is upon us. All back issues are just $14 online (usually $18 apiece). Complete your collection or stock up for gifts... hurry, this sale's over Monday at midnight!

(And back issues have never been listed on sale before, so this is one-of-a-kind offer.)

mall avoidance

Added on by Erin.
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Share your love of UPPERCASE this holiday season! Our gift subscriptions and back issues make perfect holiday gifts. 

Use the code blackfriday to get 15% off orders over $60.*

*Discounts cannot be applied retroactively. Code expires November 28. 

happy thanksgiving, american friends!

Added on by Janine.
This chalk art by Melanie Burk is available as a free download compliments of Caravan. 

This chalk art by Melanie Burk is available as a free download compliments of Caravan. 

For us Canadians, American Thanksgiving also marks the start of the holiday season. With one month until Christmas, that year-end frenzied feeling begins! (Especially for people like me who have to design a magazine and get it to print in time for the New Year!)

If you're doing some last-minute Thanksgiving hosting or planning a holiday celebration, Caravan is a new online shop that offers downloadable printables and decorations. The shop is co-founded by UPPERCASE readers Alma and Mike Loveland (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at last year's Alt Summit) and Melanie Burk (Fifth & Hazel).

As you're sitting down to your turkey today, please know that the small UPPERCASE team—me, Eleanor, Erin and Glen—are very grateful for your support of UPPERCASE magazine. Our American friends account for more than half of our readers, so THANK YOU!

(And here's a little code... use "specialthanks" for $10 off orders over $50 in the shop until midnight tonight. Sorry, discounts cannot be retroactively applied or combined.)

ArtJunky

Added on by Janine.
Artwork by Lorrie Whittington (Illusio Creative) from the ArtJunky flickr pool.

Artwork by Lorrie Whittington (Illusio Creative) from the ArtJunky flickr pool.

Lorrie Whittington emailed me recently to introduce one of her projects, Artjunky.net. The site is "a contributor-based online art and design magazine, supporting artists, illustrators, designers, photographers and makers. Created by Lorrie Whittington and Stina Jones, and supported by a growing team of contributors, ArtJunky seeks to give creatives of all ages, disciplines, backgrounds, both emerging and established, a platform to showcase their work, profile new projects, design initiatives, techniques and tools of the trade."

I asked Lorrie a few questions about the new site...


With your own active blog and art practice, why did you and Stina decide to launch ArtJunky?

Why did we launch? Well, both Stina and I felt we wanted a  platform for ourselves and other artists to talk about that which we are passionate about, and that is art and design.

Both Stina and I enjoy writing about art other artists, new projects, initiatives, events and that which inspires us, but we didn’t want to use our own blogs for this. Our personal blogs are exactly that, personal and intended as vehicles to talk about our own art and personal lives, and whilst we both occasionally like to feature other artists on our blogs, events we have attended, and exhibitions etc, there is a risk of our own blogs becoming an entirely public space.

We also wanted something that was contributor led, which would not be tenable on our own blogs.

Today, well known Swedish illustrator, Patrik Boberg of Piktograkifa has now come on board which is great, as we are looking for illustrators, designers with an international flavour to come on board, and talk about what is going on in their own neck of the woods so to speak, and their own unique perspective.


What audience are you hoping to attract? What void do you aim to fill?

Whilst there are many good online magazines profiling artists, illustrators and designers etc, the majority of the artists featured are already well established, and those lesser known are just not finding a voice. So, we want to profile lesser known artists as well as those already established. Plus which, both Stina and I have noticed a significant ‘ageism’ at work in the art and design world. There are many good artists and designers around who are over the magic ‘35’ who are largely ignored. We want to give them a platform too.

So, our target audience are professionals AND enthusiastic  amateur artists, designers, photographers and creatives of all disciplines and mediums, and age groups.


How do you select your contributors?

Well thus far, Stina and I our reviewing our own network of artists and designers. Personally, I have been looking for  people whose work I admire, who have a track record of blogging and writing, who are enthusiastic about art and artists etc, and whom I like.

To find out more about contributing, click on over here.

In

Unique NYC: Stéphane Hubert Design

Added on by Janine.
Light fixtures on display from Stéphane Hubert Design.

Light fixtures on display from Stéphane Hubert Design.

Stephane and Jaime

Stephane and Jaime

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Stéphane Hubert and Jaime Panoff are the intriguing married couple that make up Stéphane Hubert Design, a company specializing in custom made furniture and lighting sourced from primarily reclaimed sources. What amazed me while talking with them, was not just that the majority of materials they use are reclaimed (and a lot from New York), but that they were able to tell those visiting their booth where a lot of that specific product's wood was taken from. Past and present examples include wood taken from a New York City water tank, antique pine beams taken from 1800s townhouses, wood from the 1890s taken from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey, wood from the Coney Island Boardwalk, etc. 

Stéphane, originally from France, but calling the United States his home for the past five years, uses the sourced wood to create custom lamps, kitchen utensils, trays and furniture while Jaime uses her PR and Marketing background to help with creative direction. Through Stéphane Hubert Design, their individual aesthetic values come together, Jaime's more modern and clean and Stephane's more focused on their foundation of natural materials.    

This particular item's wood was sourced from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey.

This particular item's wood was sourced from the General Electric Factory in New Jersey.

Thus concludes Yvonne's coverage of Unique NYC. Thank you to Yvonne for her fine photographs and to Marat for helping to promote UPPERCASE at the event this past weekend.

Unique NYC: Susy Jack

Added on by Janine.
Susan Connor, the woman behind Susy Jack.

Susan Connor, the woman behind Susy Jack.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Susan Connor (Susy Jack herself!) was probably the most outgoing and personable individual I met during the entire Unique NYC event (there was lots of giggling during our chat together) and her items are just as so. 

With a background in painting, Susan went back to school for graphic design to create not-too-cute, not-too-formal stationery. Six years later, Susy Jack, in addition to prettily patterned paper goods, also carries a wide variety of other items—recipe boxes, kitchen towels, calendars, decorative clothespins, and the list goes on. She truly loves creating different types of items. It opens up a new world, enriches her and fulfills her joy of meeting new people. 

Susy Jack's eclectic and friendly patterned paper goods.
Susy Jack's eclectic and friendly patterned paper goods.

Unique NYC: Caroline Zucchero Hurley

Added on by Janine.
Charming items on display.
Charming items on display.
Caroline Zucchero Hurley photographed by Yvonne Rock.

Caroline Zucchero Hurley photographed by Yvonne Rock.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

Inspired by new colours and patterns she came across during a trip to Bali last year, Caroline Zucchero Hurley, who also happens to have a BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, began to create beach throws, pillow covers and necklaces. What makes her items unique, is that she is using her background of painting by actually painting on her creations. I loved this. And, all of her items looked so cheerful too. For so many in the creative field, we can easily spend hours isolated in our studios. Caroline combatted this strange feeling of isolated existence by teaching at a pre-school part-time and now shares her passion through meaningful interaction with the children. After learning about her pre-school work, her appreciation of simple shapes and bright and bold colours made even more sense. She is also just so warm and all of her items are so beautiful—make sure to check her out if you missed her at Unique NYC.

Cheerful details throughout.

Cheerful details throughout.

Special throws.
Special throws.

Unique NYC: Kallio

Added on by Janine.
Girls' dresses upcycled from vintage men's dress shirts on display from Kallio.

Girls' dresses upcycled from vintage men's dress shirts on display from Kallio.

The cutest upcycled children's hats.

The cutest upcycled children's hats.

This guest post is by photographer Yvonne Rock.

While attending Unique NYC, I had the chance to speak with Karina Kallio of Kallio, a very new children's clothing line in their second season. Kallio began after Karina, who originally worked in concept and apparel design, saw how much waste there was within the industry and wanted to combat it as well as raise awareness. Kallio does this by locally sourcing vintage men's clothing and upcycles them into playful dresses, hats, fleece capes, booties, and more. Through upcycling, "generations connect through clothing" and it promotes the idea that things should continue as opposed to being disposed of. I was taken with every detail. 

Karina Kallio photographed by Yvonne Rock

Karina Kallio photographed by Yvonne Rock

meet our guest photographer Yvonne Rock

Added on by Janine.
yvonne's puppy, ten ten, and her boyfriend akira

yvonne's puppy, ten ten, and her boyfriend akira

ten ten, a sleepy and cute boston terrier

ten ten, a sleepy and cute boston terrier

yvonne makes simple coffee with friends into something beautiful

yvonne makes simple coffee with friends into something beautiful

an example of Yvonne's wedding photography

an example of Yvonne's wedding photography

capturing the details with selective focus

capturing the details with selective focus

I am happy to introduce you to the photography of Yvonne Rock, our guest photographer who is covering the Unique NYC craft event this weekend.

"i am a new photographer based in washington dc (available worldwide) specializing in portrait and lifestyle and slowly branching out into weddings. i also happen to be bilingual- japanese/english. i love coffee (lately i've been covering a single cafe in each city i visit), 60's makeup, discovering special hidden fashion magazines, traveling and simple clean design. and instagram (username: yyyvonne)! i live in dc with my boyfriend, akira, and our boston terrier, ten ten (she only understands japanese).

Unique NYC: guest post by Yvonne Rock

Added on by Janine.
Visitors explore all of the many amazing creatives with work on display at Unique NYC. 

Visitors explore all of the many amazing creatives with work on display at Unique NYC. 

These beautiful photographs and posts from Unique NYC are by Washington, DC-based photographer Yvonne Rock.  

Have you checked out the Unique NYC event in the Chelsea yet? It continues through Sunday at the 548 Center; so, you still have time! I had the chance to attend on behalf of UPPERCASE magazine and I hope the following highlights from today will motivate even more enthusiastic shoppers to attend tomorrow.

It is an amazing chance to discover many local artisans as well as shop all of their unique items—all in one place! Get that holiday shopping started early here!

Support local business! Featured here is Smith & Chang General Goods' booth. 

Support local business! Featured here is Smith & Chang General Goods' booth. 

The lovely Caroline Zucchero Hurley and her truly special jewelry and painted fabrics. I'm very much looking forward to sharing more details of her work with you this week.

The lovely Caroline Zucchero Hurley and her truly special jewelry and painted fabrics. I'm very much looking forward to sharing more details of her work with you this week.

Cheerful shoppers chat with the very personable and friendy Susy Jack (more to come!).

Cheerful shoppers chat with the very personable and friendy Susy Jack (more to come!).

Pretty jewelry showcased by Sewaphine. I loved all of their many colors.

Pretty jewelry showcased by Sewaphine. I loved all of their many colors.

UPPERCASE on display!

UPPERCASE on display!

Beautifully designed bookmarks from Unique! I couldn't help but take one (or two).

Beautifully designed bookmarks from Unique! I couldn't help but take one (or two).

UPPERCASE subscription cards.

UPPERCASE subscription cards.

Unique NYC continues tomorrow (Sunday, November 18) from 11-6pm. Look for more posts from Yvonne over the coming days.

my wall of typewriters

Added on by Janine.
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Getting my babies all in rows for a photoshoot this afternoon!

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The Typewriter: a Graphic History of the Beloved Machine is at 75% of its funding goal. Your support would be very much appreciated! If you love typewriters, graphic design, beautiful lettering and vintage fashion, then this book will be for you!

love or no love?

Added on by Janine.
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LOVE LOVE LOVE by UPPERCASE The poster I designed in 2009 and sold via my website. It was designed by typing the word love with various pressures on my Royal typewriter and then scanning and enlarging the results. See the original blog post here.

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LOVE LOVE LOVE by The Gap This week, Eleanor came to work wearing this shirt. This isn't a new shirt, she recalls purchasing it maybe three years ago which would place both designs to the same time period (and right when my posters were making the blog rounds). This design from The Gap uses various weights of the font Trixie. 

What do you think? Creative coincidence or lazy knockoff? Love or no love for The Gap?

However this tshirt came to be, it is old news now. And that's the thing... it is so difficult to police your designs once they are out on the web and in the world. If Eleanor hadn't worn the shirt to work, I would have never seen this design so very similar to my own. In the course of design career, my work has been copied and blatantly ripped off a few times. Unfortunately, there has been a case quite recently where I could very obviously trace the path from my work directly to some other company's product. In fact, I could overlay their design onto my original and trace the similarities in fonts, angles and placement of elements—let alone that the overall impression of the design was that it looked like it was by UPPERCASE. I sent polite but firm letters to the offenders, consulted with a lawyer and was very disappointed with my lack of choices to see the wrongs made right. Ultimately, I decided that I could not commit the time, emotional energy or funds to pursue it and I had to just "let it go". But the disappointment lingers and I wonder how the infringement will affect my income. It is very hard to let it go.

NOT LETTING GO: ANOTHER TSHIRT TALE

Modern Dog is a Seattle-based design firm who is standing up to the big guys in another case of infringement on a tshirt. They have chosen to fight, at considerable expense and effort. In order to offset the costs, they have set up a website which accepts donations to help in their legal bills. I made a small donation to show my support. 

Modern Dog writes: "Compelled to make things right, we entered into a lawsuit that is now a year in the making. If anyone had asked me a year ago if I thought this case would drag out for months, I would have said no. I naively believed that this case would be settled in a few weeks.

Boy, was I wrong.

We find ourselves in a battle with some of the biggest corporations in the world, and we have no idea how long and hard they intend to fight as they have seemingly unlimited resources. Our jury trial date is not until September 2013, in that time the process could easily bankrupt us. We need money to see this case go to trial; money for depositions, forensic accounting, expert witness testimonies, and other expenses related to the case.

In June of 2012, I made the decision to sell our Greenwood house, partly to reduce our overhead expenses, and partly to fund the lawsuit. I realize now that we are in it for the long haul. I cried the day I handed the new owners the keys, but I also felt a sense of relief because I knew that I personally would be able to help my company fight."

Please help the underdogs.

And do your part when it comes to respecting intellectual property. Know the difference between inspiration and infringement. Don't put images on Pinterest if you don't know who created them. Don't repin or post without attribution. Give credit where credit it due.

byline: Carolyn Fraser

Added on by Janine.

When it comes to UPPERCASE magazine contributors, the quality of writing by Melbourne-based letterpress printer Carolyn Fraser is always top-notch.

CAROLYN FRASER

CAROLYN FRASER

As an editor, I look forward to Carolyn's articles because I know that they will be informative, but also contain beautiful writing. I am happy to see that Carolyn is contributing to the Etsy blog with an article about The Nicholas Building:

"For many, the Nicholas Building is the last stronghold of an artistic culture that thrived in downtown Melbourne in the late eighties and early nineties, before cafés opened and the old warehouses and office buildings were converted into luxury apartments. Designed by Harry Norris and constructed in 1926, the once grand building has steadily declined from its early days as a model commercial office building to the scruffy decrepitude it’s in today. The toilets often don’t work. Piles of tiles lie smashed at the base of the walls from which they’ve fallen. Crazy nests of telephone and electrical wires sprout from the ceiling. But rather than recognise these hazards for what they most probably are – evidence of a possible death trap – Nicholas Building tenants hold onto these signs as a guarantee of their continued tenancy."

Look for an article about tintypes written by Carolyn Fraser in issue #16 and enjoy our back issues, each with a gem of writing by Carolyn. Fingerprints, kiss impressions in letterpress, fancy dress, Cash's labels to amateur chemistry and typographic specimens... Carolyn has covered a lot of creative territory over the years!

unique nyc this weekend

Added on by Janine.
Susy Jack broken plate tea towel

Susy Jack broken plate tea towel

Make Shop Live random bottle cap pin cushion kit.

Make Shop Live random bottle cap pin cushion kit.

Confetti ring by Stephanie Putter Jewellery

Confetti ring by Stephanie Putter Jewellery

This Saturday and Sunday is Unique NYC, a weekend long community shopping event that showcases local, modern, made-in-America designs, fashion, art, and food. Above are some items from the vendors' websites that I liked! (Alas, I can't personally attend, but look for UPPERCASE postcards and photographer Yvonne Rock who will be documenting the event for the UPPERCASE blog.)

November 17 and 18 from 11am to 6pm
Center 548 (548 West 22nd Street)

Tickets are $10 at the door and you get a free tote bag plus there's an open bar, DIY projects, complimentary massages... and 10% of the proceeds go to a local non-profit World Up. Show your New York artisans some love this weekend, I'm sure they would appreciate it greatly!

work.place

Added on by Janine.
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Another documentary photography project on Kickstarter now is Carlie Armstrong, based in Portland, Oregon. "Last year, I began a project detailing the work spaces of Portland-based artists and craftspeople, a project called work.place. The project is absolutely, 100% film and is currently on hiatus while I seek funding to continue onwards as a film-based work." Carlie's Kickstarter campaign needs a boost to secure funding.

The photos shown here are from Hinged Strung Stitched, a bookbindery.

western edge

Added on by Janine.

A journey from Mexico up the Western coast to Vancouver to document artists along the way. Sounds like a great project to back on Kickstarter.