We Should Know Each Other

Added on by Janine.
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We Should Know Each Other made for a fun afternoon. Thank you to Erin and Eleanor for helping our visitors make buttons and beaded necklaces. I enjoyed taking some photos of the event, but more specifically how the former school is being transformed into an arts incubator space.

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UPPERCASE shared classroom 309 with Gary McMillan, or rather "Maestro McMillan, Ouija Self-Portrait Mediator" aka painter with a very long paintbrush. (Or "finglonginator" if I may use a Futurama reference...)

The notion was that Glen, seated, would subconsciously guide Maestro Gary during this portrait session.

The notion was that Glen, seated, would subconsciously guide Maestro Gary during this portrait session.

Glen kept his eyes closed throughout the session.

Glen kept his eyes closed throughout the session.

The resulting painting had a likeness of Glen, except for the angry eyebrows.

The resulting painting had a likeness of Glen, except for the angry eyebrows.

Paint spatter and dribbles are part of the process.

Paint spatter and dribbles are part of the process.

Though UPPERCASE won't be participating tomorrow, WSKEO is still in full swing on Sunday, so please check out the event at the old King Edward school. Calgary is hoping with activities this weekend, so my family and I will be enjoying Heritage Park's Train Days tomorrow.

event full

Added on by Erin.

As a glorious fall weekend approaches, team UPPERCASE has a jam-packed schedule.

Tonight, Janine will be speaking at a PechaKucha event here in Calgary. PechaKucha Nights started in Tokyo in 2003 and are now taking place in over 550 cities. Drawing their name from the Japanese term for the sound of 'chit chat'. PechaKucha Nights are based on a very simple presentation format—speakers present 20 slides each, for only 20 seconds per side. All the speakers at the event in Calgary tonight were assigned the topic of 'seed'. 

Tomorrow, we're getting our craft on and connecting with our community. Since February 2008, Calgary artist and community-builder Mark Hopkins has hosted We Should Know Each Other parties in his living room, where hundreds of strangers have shared stories, laughter and new friendships. The landmark 100th edition of ‘We Should Know Each Other’ will take place at King Edward School, a 100-year-old building that will soon become Arts Hub and Incubator courtesy of cSPACE Projects. On Saturday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm we'll be participating in this event making buttons and bead necklaces.

lacemaking

Added on by Janine.
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Images from Vintage Lacemaking, a website dedicated to the history of lace. (I adjusted the contrast and cropping of the images a bit for our viewing pleasure.)

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beautiful bitmaps: X

Added on by Janine.
Louise Fili: When asked to create a bitmapped letter, I began to brainstorm on what forms bitmapping could take. Of course, there are pixels and grids, but how could I transform a harsh, gridded letterform into something beautiful? I began looking into the process of filet lacemaking, and I loved how simple, small squares of thread can translate into lush patterns, forms, and in this case, letters. 

Louise Fili: When asked to create a bitmapped letter, I began to brainstorm on what forms bitmapping could take. Of course, there are pixels and grids, but how could I transform a harsh, gridded letterform into something beautiful? I began looking into the process of filet lacemaking, and I loved how simple, small squares of thread can translate into lush patterns, forms, and in this case, letters. 

Here are some other images of filet lacemaking, showing the grid and pixel-like patterns common to this technique.

Audrey Mabee at Axis Contemporary Art

Added on by Janine.
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My neighbour in Art Central, Axis Contemporary Art has an exhibition of Audrey Mabee's work on display until October 13. You may recall that Axis owner, Rob Mabee, was our Olympic correspondent this past summer. Audrey is his talented mother. If you're in Calgary, please make a point of stopping by to see this show. Both Beautiful Bitmaps and Audrey Mabee's work will be up for next week's First Thursday.

Below is a view of the upper level of Art Central with UPPERCASE and Axis side-by-side. There are some nice new chairs around the rail—a good place to sit with your laptop or book. Deville is just off to the left and has excellent coffee and lunches.

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beautiful bitmaps: Dominique Falla

Added on by Janine.
From a detailed plan…

From a detailed plan…

to the intricate layering of coloured ribbon.

to the intricate layering of coloured ribbon.

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Dominique Falla: When I think of beautiful bitmaps, I think of pixels and I wanted to create a blurry pixellated effect with my letter. Each “pixel” that makes up the letter Q is the bottom of a strip of ribbon and I overlaid hundreds of different coloured ribbons to build up a multi-coloured effect. I wasn’t expecting the little bits of fluff at the end of each ribbon to appear, but it adds to the overall shimmering effect and I also love how the colours underneath show through the ribbons above. 

Dominique Falla: When I think of beautiful bitmaps, I think of pixels and I wanted to create a blurry pixellated effect with my letter. Each “pixel” that makes up the letter Q is the bottom of a strip of ribbon and I overlaid hundreds of different coloured ribbons to build up a multi-coloured effect. I wasn’t expecting the little bits of fluff at the end of each ribbon to appear, but it adds to the overall shimmering effect and I also love how the colours underneath show through the ribbons above. 

For issue 15, we invited 26 typographers, designers and illustrators to make beautiful bitmaps by taking this vestigial part of digital type—the bitmap—and making it into something to be newly appreciated.

This issue will be arriving in your mailboxes shortly, and we will be celebrating its release with a gallery exhibition of Beautiful Bitmaps here in the UPPERCASE studios (Thursday, October 4 from 5-8pm). All of the artworks are available to view online and will be sold as digital prints. A portion of proceeds from Beautiful Bitmaps will go to creating an UPPERCASE scholarship fund to assist a reader in pursuing education in design, illustration, typography or craft.

start your subscription today!

Added on by Janine.
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If you'd like your subscription to start with issue #14, please place your order today! Issue #15 is almost ready to ship, so we will send them both at the same time. After today, subscriptions will automatically start with #15 and you will have to buy #14 separately. thank you!

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By the way, our pigeon-covered issue #12 is down to just 10 copies, so if you need it to complete your set, fly on over to our online shop.

out of the bag

Added on by Janine.

An excellent video for a book about Freitag bags. {via Swiss Miss}

a visit to berkeley typewriter

Added on by Janine.

About a month ago, we were in San Francisco for the Evernote conference. We hadn't been to Berkeley before, so we took the train to go explore. There was really only one place on my sight-seeing list: Berkeley Typewriters.

Jesse Banuelos demonstrates some features of an older machine.

Jesse Banuelos demonstrates some features of an older machine.

All of the typewriters have had their share of love—and neglect.

All of the typewriters have had their share of love—and neglect.

The general jumble of the old and very old.

The general jumble of the old and very old.

The owners know what sells, so they paint certain typewriters red!

The owners know what sells, so they paint certain typewriters red!

A Selectric in non-original red paint.

A Selectric in non-original red paint.

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This machine was originally sold by Berkeley typewriters in the 1950s and has made its way home to the shelf once again. This particular typewriter sold to a young woman and her mother; after some debate they had returned to purchase it even though it was priced at over $500.

This machine was originally sold by Berkeley typewriters in the 1950s and has made its way home to the shelf once again. This particular typewriter sold to a young woman and her mother; after some debate they had returned to purchase it even though it was priced at over $500.

Of course, everyone wants to try before they buy!

Of course, everyone wants to try before they buy!

After introducing myself as visiting from Canada (and showing him my business card that depicts my red Royal typewriter) Mr. Banuelos let me take photos of his workspace. 

After introducing myself as visiting from Canada (and showing him my business card that depicts my red Royal typewriter) Mr. Banuelos let me take photos of his workspace. 

In such a place, keeping track of the days going by is perhaps a good thing. One could easily lose track.

In such a place, keeping track of the days going by is perhaps a good thing. One could easily lose track.

With more than four decades of typewriter repair, the organization and systems at Berkeley typewriter are definitely their own.

With more than four decades of typewriter repair, the organization and systems at Berkeley typewriter are definitely their own.

The Royal Quiet Deluxe is always a favourite.

The Royal Quiet Deluxe is always a favourite.

But wait, there's more! A peek into the back room.

But wait, there's more! A peek into the back room.

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Berkeley Typewriter in Berkeley, California. If you're in the neighbourhood, stop in for fresh ribbon.

Berkeley Typewriter in Berkeley, California. If you're in the neighbourhood, stop in for fresh ribbon.

the most expensive typewriter on ebay?

Added on by Janine.
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The opening bid for Malling-Hansen's "The Writing Ball", cited as the world's first commercially available typewriter circa 1870, is $105,000. Watch a wiki video about The Writing Ball here. >>>

teaching at the makerie

Added on by Janine.
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You may recall our inclusion of The Makerie in issue #12's article on creative retreats. Makerie organizer Ali Dejohn has been so enthusiastic about UPPERCASE that she invited me to participate in next year's retreat. I've come up with a very ambitious project and class—we're going to create commemorative books, on site, that very weekend about our experiences at The Makerie! It will be like a journal, yearbook, sketchbook, photo album all rolled into one:

CRAFTING CONTENT

Students will learn the craft of curating and creating content during this collaborative weekend-long bookmaking experience. Through photography and writing, they will document the Makerie and its people and assemble it into a unique handmade limited-edition commemorative book. Each day offers a new group of students instruction time with Janine as well as time "in the field.” Students will also be required to convene on Saturday evening for the physical assembly of the books. Students will learn how to bind books using a hidden stapling technique that is suitable for art journals, photobooks and other projects. Not only will we be making an amazing publication to be enjoyed by all Makerie attendees, the content skills acquired can be used for student's own professional development and applied to enhancing their blogs, portfolios or perhaps even writing that book you've been dreaming about. All students will be considered for future collaboration with UPPERCASE magazine and some content may be published on the UPPERCASE blog or in future issues. (Please note that this is not a design and layout class; the focus is on creating content and telling stories.)

Photography: learn how to tell a story through photography and active observation
Writing: interview skills, practical writing
Making: assembly of unique handmade booklets

I'm very excited to be heading to The Makerie next year. Check out their website to discover the other amazing creative things that you can learn at The Makerie. Registration is now open!

an internship with Lisa Stickley-Levis

Added on by Janine.

guest post by Meg Fussell

MEG FUSSELL

MEG FUSSELL

UPPERCASE readers will recognize the Fussell last name… I am pleased to welcome Tif Fussell (aka Dottie Angel)'s eldest daughter Meg Fussell as a guest on our blog today. Meg is studying in the UK and over the summer she had the opportunity to intern for Lisa Stickley-Levis.

Lisa is probably best known by her maiden and business name Lisa Stickley. Unfortunately, Lisa had to step away from the brand that she founded and has started fresh with numerous projects. Just launched is Betty & Walter, a vintage-inspired line of cosmetics available through Boots in the UK. 

Meg shares her internship experience with us, along with some images of Lisa's inspirations.

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During my internship I’ve hunted for luggage tags, lottery tickets, balloons and miso soup near London Bridge where her new studio lies. When I’m not running errands for lunch, I spend time tip-tapping away on the computer, helping with techy-stuff and blogs, in her beautifully decorated studio.

Some inspiring packages in Lisa's studio.

Some inspiring packages in Lisa's studio.

Lisa’s studio is full of old teapots, jars stuffed with plastic flowers leftover from her wedding day, and drawers full of odds and ends. Boxes full of treasures tower up to the ceiling, resting against the walls around her desk that are covered in recent designs. It’s rummaging paradise. 

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She starts work on an idea by painting, drawing and collecting to create mood boards. Once Lisa’s found a creative direction, she narrows down her vision and consolidates her collection into display books and sketch books. Full to the brim with magazine cut outs, these sketch books give insight into what Lisa finds inspirational, which is mainly her interpretations of the 1930’s to 1950’s. Throughout these books you find little quirky doodles and photographs that Lisa added. When you spot them, you can’t mistake her whimsical and playful style!

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As a creative person, I am always struggling with the dreaded ‘creative rut’. One thing that fascinated me about Lisa was her endless creative steam, so I asked her how she kept it up. She said that her foolproof way to get out of a creative rut was to sew lines repetitively onto a piece of fabric, essentially freeing up her mind.  I reminded myself to give this a go next time I’m stuck for ideas.

Illustrations by Lisa Stickley-Levis showing some of the pattern designs used on the new line of cosmetics packaging.

Illustrations by Lisa Stickley-Levis showing some of the pattern designs used on the new line of cosmetics packaging.

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Lisa has never-ending enthusiasm and an impeccable amount of courage. Not many people could pick themselves up and dust themselves off after deciding to resign from being the creative director of Lisa Stickley London. She is coming back with full force with a new toiletries brand, Betty & Walter, launching in Boots stores in the U.K. mid September. It’s a quirky collection of 1950s-inspired toiletries with alliterated names like ‘Handsomely Hydrating Handcream’. When the samples arrived I had to stop myself from testing all the lotions and potions right there in the studio!

Sadly, the summer went by far too quickly and it’s back to Cardiff to finish my illustration degree. However, I am so honoured to have had the opportunity to work under such an influential designer. Look for Lisa’s new brand at www.bettyandwalter.wordpress.com.

girl friday: get your hair done

Added on by Janine.
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Here's something from my growing collection of odd typewriter images—a photo of a woman under a hair salon dryer typing away in the Gamages department store in Central London,1959.

Please support The Typewriter: A Graphic History of the Beloved Machine. We are getting closer to the goal, but there's still a ways to go! Thank you.

moment factory

Added on by Janine.
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Moment Factory is a Montreal-based multimedia company employing 85 people. Using light, motion and technology, Moment Factory specializes in creating large-scale audio-visual experiences that they categorize as ambient, immersive and interactive. Credits include multimedia content for Madonna's MDNA tour, Cirque du Soleil collaborations and orchestrating this moment at an Arcade Fire concert.

The company was invited to participate La Mercè, an annual arts and culture festival hosted in Barcelona. Their ambitious project will see Antoni Gaudí‘s Sagrada Familia swathed in light and colour during a 15-minute spectacle from September 21-23.

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jeweller: Kari Woo

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Kari Woo creates simply beautiful sterling silver jewellery such as the pendants shown here. Some whimsical, some graphical, her earrings and pendants are expertly crafted. For those of you in Calgary, you might remember Kari as one of the founders of Influx Jewellery Gallery, my neighbour in Art Central. Though Influx has a new owner (please visit Amanda at Influx for contemporary Canadian jewellery), Kari has moved to Canmore to raise her little boy and is still making work. Visit Kari's Etsy shop to peruse her wares.

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from the field: forage symposium

Added on by Janine.

What began as a Facebook group conversation about the challenges of working for oneself and building a creative business developed into a gathering of creatives on a small island off the west cost of Canada this past August. Presenters included Fiona Richards (Cartolina Cards), illustrator Douglas Jones, Leslie Shewring (A Creative Mint), Tamara Komuniecki (Delish Magazine) and moreKari Woo, a jeweller living in Canmore, shares more about the Forage Symposium

Bryan and Mariko, Feedlot Studios

Bryan and Mariko, Feedlot Studios

photo by Jenn Chic

photo by Jenn Chic

Mariko Paterson McCrae, ceramic artist a co-owner of Feedlot Studios on Gabriola Island courageously came forward early in the conversation to offer her studio as our venue. Luckily for everyone Feedlot is co-owned by Mariko’s husband, graphic designer Bryan McCrae, who was very much the all-things-technical support team. This magnificent setting provided the perfect retreat ambience for this fine gathering and a stellar behind-the-scenes crew of local artists, supporters, and small businesses helped to bring it all together.

A Gathering of Ideas + Makers, the symposium was an opportunity for inspiration and learning. Three days of jam-packed content included topics on how to use social media successfully, where to find funding for creative projects, partnership and collaboration and how to find your audience. We discussed the pros and cons of consignment vs. wholesale venues; brick and mortar vs. online; outsourcing production vs. keeping it in-house. Panels deliberated about time and money management, delegating, prioritizing and balancing family life with work.

Thanks to size and magic of our venue it felt like we were sitting around someone’s (albeit large) living room facilitating the intimacy of our discussions. Panelists were open and honest, sometimes standing on the edge of vulnerability. They shared both victory moments and challenges, advice about what to do and what not to do based on lessons learned, as well as valuable technical and industry information.

Personally, I already see the tangible outcomes that my attendance is having on both my creative and business practices. The nuggets that I gleaned from this bounty of information were solid affirmations with philosophical and practical implications. We are all scared, but who cares? Get over it. Just do what you want to do. Do your research and figure it out. Be prepared for success!

UPPERCASE was happy to provide complimentary magazines to Forage participants. Up next: more about Kari Woo.

hello Etsy!

Added on by Janine.

I have been invited to speak at Hello Etsy. In the Netherlands!

Hello Etsy: Small Business In A Big World, is a day-long gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and be part of the movement to build a better world. Taking place on October 27 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands during the internationally-renowned Dutch Design Week, the summit will investigate the changing global economy, and will offer valuable insights on how you can not only find financial success, but also reimagine your business as a tool for building a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I will have three days in Eindhoven and three in Amsterdam. An UPPERCASE meet and greet is being planned for October 29 in my fabulous stockist in Amsterdam, Athenaeum—more details to come. If you're in the city, please do stop by and say hello.

Do you have any suggestions for what I should see and do? Suggestions of people or studios to visit and interview for the magazine? Thank you!

Ben the Illustrator

Added on by Janine.
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The Ben the Illustrator Collection includes fabrics, lampshades and pillows created by Ben and Fiona O’Brien. Ben (aka Ben the Illustrator) creates the fun artwork and his partner Fiona does the product design. These days, it is very common for illustrators to have such side businesses such as selling prints and products to supplement their freelance careers. For some, these self-initiated products overtake a freelance career and the illustrator becomes his or her own brand.

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Ben has some engaging articles posted on his website. "I Don't Recommend Becoming A Freelance Illustrator or 'How to become a freelance illustrator right now'" in particular alludes to the adversities faced by illustrators:

 1 - It doesn’t pay straight away, no matter how amazing you are, it can take months, or years, before you get enough regular commissions to make a living. And even once you’re established and well-experienced, you’ll still go through dry patches. Then even when you get your first commission, there’s a chance you won’t see the payment for a month or three!
 2 - We all lied to you, I’m so sorry, we all lied, we made it look so easy. Magazines, blogs, professionals, we all went on Twitter and did some interviews and just talked about how much of a blast it is, how easy it is, how busy and rich and satisfied we are. But that was a lie, I’m sorry. Just because someone is appearing to be super busy and showing some amazing projects, it doesn’t mean all is well behind the scenes, it doesn’t even mean they’re paying their rent. 

Read the full article here. >>>

Purchase some pillowy illustrations here. >>>

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maison alice: art for your home

Added on by Janine.
Jeff Rogers (Profiled in issue #10 of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Jeff Rogers (Profiled in issue #10 of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Anne Smith (Anne illustrated the pigeon on the cover of issue #12.)

Anne Smith (Anne illustrated the pigeon on the cover of issue #12.)

Petra Börner

Petra Börner

Alice Hoffmann

Alice Hoffmann

Alice Hoffmann is a German art director and graphic designer living in Zurich, Switzerland. She recently launched a new venture, an online poster store called Maison Alice. Curating a small selection a few times a year, the posters are by contemporary illustrators and designers with a nod to the heyday of vintage advertising posters.

"Quite recently I discovered my passion for illustration," shares Alice in her subscriber profile featured in issue #15 (October). "All day long I am searching for cool illustrations: old or new, coloured or black and white, 3D or linedrawed, on paper or on textile, in advertising or on bookcovers, on packaging or on the street, for children or adults, from China or from TImbuktu. Doesn't matter. Through all theses different styles and influences I get my everyday inspiration."

Art by Alice Hoffmann, founder of Maison Alice. (Read Alice's subscriber profile in the forthcoming issue of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Art by Alice Hoffmann, founder of Maison Alice. (Read Alice's subscriber profile in the forthcoming issue of UPPERCASE magazine.)

"At Maison Alice, we are passionate about beautiful art created by illustrators, graphic designers and typographers—and we think that their works should be part of stylish apartments. This is why we set up an online store where we sell art prints. The prints are all produced in limited editions, as we truly believe that quality should be more important than quantity. Maison Alice is positioned between the high-priced art market and the low-priced poster galleries and we collaborate with selected artists from places such as New York, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, Japan and Switzerland.

We print our collections using offset and silk-screen printing processes and high-quality paper. We also collaborate with long-standing printing shops in Germany and Switzerland, who turned their craft into art."

Sawdust (Participants in the upcoming Beautiful Bitmaps feature in issue #15.)

Sawdust (Participants in the upcoming Beautiful Bitmaps feature in issue #15.)

type tuesday: novo typo

Added on by Janine.
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This typeface, Novo Cela by Dutch foundry Novo Typo, has caught my eye.