Natalie K. Nelson is a designer and illustrator based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a tumblr site dedicated to her "What's On Your Mind?" project where she posts an ongoing collection of real Facebook statuses in illustration form. Each humorous illustration is completed in under an hour! You can take a look at some of her other illustrations on her tumblr page.
Sumner Stone is a typeface designer based in California, USA. From 1984-1989, Sumner was the Director of Typography for Adobe Systems, Inc where he created and carried out Adobe's typographic program. In 1990, Sumner founded the Stone Type Foundry Inc. where he continues to work as a typeface designer.
Sumner will be teaching a four-day type design workshop called "Structure and Emotion in Letterform" from May 28-31 in San Francisco at Letterform Archive and the letterpress studio at the City College of San Francisco. If you can't make it to Sumner's workshop, he is lecturing on the same topic on Wednesday May 28 at 7pm at the Adobe Town Hall. Click here for more details!
When I'm sifting through reader submissions, I never know what I'll find. From a fresh-faced illustrator hoping to get their first published piece or a seasoned creative who has turned a new leaf and is looking to share their new direction... surprise and delight are the hallmarks of a good submission.
The work of Peter Vogel of Nutmegger Workshop in Portland, Oregon prompted an immediate response from me—I began to follow him on Twitter, sent out a tweet, emailed a thank you and planned this blog post.
Peter introduced himself as a "30-year graphic designer/design director/creative director now making vintage sign art." His talent for lettering and his love of old signage is combined into his business of making vintage-looking signs. His signs are not meant as functional signage—they don't fabricate signs and to site installations—rather the signs are art meant to be hung interior settings, somewhat like charming set decoration or as interior design features.
"Generations ago, sign writers were a busy, sought-after bunch, but the heyday of their hand-lettered art was no match for the rising tide of digital sign-making technology. Nutmegger Workshop was created to celebrate the alluring charm of this long-forgotten art form. It is our mission to offer the finest period reproductions and original designs — handcrafted works of typographic art that add unique personality to any well-designed space."
Our contest collaboration, "It's a Creative & Curious World" with They Draw & Travel, ends on April 20. Be sure to submit your map of the creative and curious places and sights in the vicinity of where you live or where you grew up for a chance to be featured in UPPERCASE magazine.
We want to know about the quirky or unusual things in your world!
As we continue to celebrate all things patterns here at UPPERCASE, we thought we would show you some patterns submitted for Issue #21's creative challenge. We included ours as well!
What does colour mean to you?
Take a photograph of the colour media that is special to you (paint palettes, paint, trays, pastels, crayons, pencils, inks, pigments, etc) and write a brief description of how and why this art supply goes beyond being just a tool or medium. How does it enhance your creativity? What makes this particular medium special to you? How is colour tied in with your identity as an artist?
• Take a photo of your favourite media in good natural light against a white backdrop to show the object or artifact in its entirety
• Get up close and personal with some detail shots highlighting colour and texture and labels
• Provide a wider view of your workspace and artwork, showing your art supplies and various colours
Images should be RGB jpgs at least 6 inches wide at 300dpi. Please title the files with your last name. To submit your work, click here.
DEADLINE MAY 1, 2014
Is there something you've always wanted to know about UPPERCASE? Do you want to take a look at something specific behind the scenes? Do you have a question for me about the current issue?
Join my media experiment and send a tweet or Instagram question to @uppercasemag #uppercaseQ and I will answer your question with a quick Instagram video.
Keep track of the Qs and As over here.
In 2012, Sarah Cameron started a custom clothing design, alterations, and wardrobe consultation company in Calgary called Pure Couture.
Before starting her own company, Sarah worked for a vintage clothing store as a vintage clothes hunter. Each day she travelled to a clothing warehouse and went about hunting through piles and bags of clothing seeking unique vintage clothing and accessories to be sold in store.
Tell me about your job as a vintage clothes hunter working at the clothing warehouse. What was your job like?
I had a master list of what the store was looking for, and I would open bag after bag hoping for something amazing. It was hard work, but super rewarding if—after digging and searching and ripping open bag after bag—you found a real vintage Chanel bag, a beautiful embroidered wool parka with fur trim, or the perfect worn-in-just-right leather biker jacket. If I was really lucky, I would find a band t-shirt from the 70s. If the store I was picking for did not want what I found, I could buy it myself at a crazy cheap price, like a dollar fifty a pound. It was a very lonely job, though, because I was the only one searching for finds.
What were some of the unique things that you found while working there?
The best situation was if I could find beautiful leather shoes from the 40s and 50s—made in Italy and just so gorgeous. I once opened a bag, and it was full of shoes like that. Some little old lady must have passed away, and no one wanted her amazing shoe collection. That was a good day. My boss was super happy!
Tell me about the quilt that you made your daughter from the fabrics that you found while clothes hunting. Do you remember when you found the fabrics?
It all started with a dress. I found what looked like a old 50s-style dress that was falling apart, and I saw past that. It was made out of beautiful blues, greens and purple, it was a rose print but sort of modern. It was perfect. It not only inspired the quilt but most of my daughter's room decor. The back of the quilt is made out of what looked to be a old sheet. But not just any sheet—this was a beautiful teal and peach floral print. The both of them just fit, and along the way I found a few more remnants here and there. I started collecting fun fabric when I started clothes hunting in 2010, and when I found out I was having a girl I knew I wanted a baby quilt for her.
What do you enjoy about fabric patterns? Why do you like vintage ones?
I love unique fabric, but not fabric that's too weird. I think thats why I love vintage fabric, its different, but something about it is so happy and fun.
When and why did you start sewing?
I started "sewing" when I was about 10 years old and I was bored with my Barbies' clothing and wanted to design my own clothing for them. The clothes I made for them were mostly taped together. My grandmother gave me a sewing machine when I was about 12 and I loved it! She inspired me, and gave me everything I needed to start sewing. I still have my first sketch book from her. She wanted me to see beauty all around me.
What do you enjoy about sewing and designing clothes?
I enjoy designing clothing for myself, my family, and my clients. The best feeling is when people try a piece of clothing on I've made for them and it fits just right and feels just right. I have had a few clients cry over a perfectly fitted dress!
What made you decide to go into the Fashion Design program at Saddleback College in California?
I was sort of unsure what I wanted to pursue in college. My first semester was a mish mash of classes like marine biology, rock climbing, and introduction to fashion. When I realized I could have a career doing something I loved, I jumped at the chance. I was really lucky because the program at Saddleback was amazing!
Visit Sarah's portfolio for some vintage-inspired couture.
Post by Cara Howlett
Our neighbour here at the Devenish, Eric Goodwin, is a leather craftsman and founder of his own apparel company called Forge Apparel. Eric is pleased to be releasing his first women’s collection of purses and clutches this week.
Designed to fit Forge's classic look of leather and waxed canvas, the women’s collection will have the look and feel of Forge Apparel's men’s products, but with some feminine touches.
“I had my brand manager Kelsey Laugher help me out with some of the designs. She helped me out with what women want as far as dividers and pockets and zippers,” laughs Eric. “I merged her influence and design aspects with my own aesthetic and style.”
After graduating with a business degree, in 2011 Eric rented a studio at Art Central in downtown Calgary where he designed, created, and sold his rustic bags and backpacks until moving to the Devenish building in 2013.
Describing his products as gritty and organic, Eric’s designs are inspired by the Rocky Mountains and travel. “I love that really heritage feel to it, like back before there were five-star resorts and when travel was still pretty gritty,” says Eric. “That’s why I still work with the wax-canvas and the leather–very classic materials.”
Last week I was interviewed by writer Christine Chitnis for her forthcoming online course, Pitch Perfect. Available through Squam Art Workshops, this 4-week course will give you the foundation for creating professional pitches. Whether you're a writer or an artist or artisan trying to get your work published, it's an informative and worthwhile course.
I receive pitches daily, so I've seen my fair share of great and not-so-great pitches. Here are my tips on creating a solid pitch.
please note: If you've never communicated personally with me before and are pitching an idea to UPPERCASE, it is very important to follow the instructions posted on the submissions page. First off, it tells me that you have done some research by reading the website and secondly—and importantly!—it shows me that you can follow and respect direction... Definitely something I take into consideration when commissioning someone to create content or an illustration.
1. know the magazine
Know our audience, the tone of our writing and be familiar with past issues as to not pitch a topic close to something we have recently covered. From my perspective, if a person wants to be in the pages of UPPERCASE, they will have made the effort to read past issues and (bonus!) already be a subscriber.
2. understand what makes a good article
Communicate the story of an artist or how they fit into the UPPERCASE ethos rather than just showing a sample from a portfolio.
3. pitch something original
If someone has been amply covered in big magazines, then they're generally not a good fit for UPPERCASE. We naturally shy away from celebrity and fame, that's just not what UPPERCASE is about. Strangely, I have received submissions where the author introduces the pitch saying they read about so-and-so on such-and-such blog or magazine and would like the opportunity to write something for us. Why would we want to do something that has already been done?
Bonus tip for illustrators and photographers: include examples of your work in your pitch! I'm perplexed when I receive emails from illustrators who send generic messages saying they would like to work with me, but have just sent a text-based message and ask me to click over to their website to see. It is so easy to attach an image and makes a much better—and quick—impression. You may have only just sent one pitch out that day, but the editor receiving yours has likely seen dozens. Our submission form allows you to upload examples, so it is easy to select your best jpg and upload it. Oh, and never send unsolicited files via a file transfer service like Hightail—that's the equivalent of trying to force your way into someone's home uninvited.
Be patient once you've sent in your pitch or portfolio. Definitely don't email an editor a few days later asking, "Did you get my submission?"
I spend a time every few weeks combing through all the submissions. Ideas submitted months earlier might start to fit into emerging content themes. It definitely will take a while before you hear from me, but know that I have received your idea and am giving it careful consideration. I appreciate that you are entrusting not only your ideas with me, but often your hopes and dreams of getting published.
A collaboration project by letterpress printer Jessica Spring and designer Chandler O'Leary called Dead Feminists is a quarterly letterpress broadside series that features quotes by women in history tied in with current political, social and environmental issues.
"Broadsides are arguably the oldest form of mass-communication–a rabble-rousing medium that has helped bring about social change for centuries," says Chandler. "It was gratifying to discover that the words of these women still resonate today, and that we had the opportunity to tell our stories through the language of typography."
Each broadside is illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler and letterpress printed by Jessica.
Talia Tordjman is an artist and professor living in Israel. In 2012, she documented the moments in her life leading up to her 50th birthday on her blog My Countdown. She had included UPPERCASE magazine in one of the moments and so we did a little mention on our blog. Through this post, Alba Bici discovered Talia and an online friendship was formed.
Recently they had the chance to meet in person, with Alba making the trip from Italy to visit Talia in Tel Aviv. "Our common denominator was UPPERCASE. We are both passionate about it," says Alba.
We're happy that UPPERCASE played a small role in this story of friendship without borders.
It’s halfway through my practicum here at UPPERCASE magazine so I thought I would give an update.
So far during my practicum I’ve been able to see the ins and outs of UPPERCASE, help out with some blog posts and social media, and see the planning stages for Issue #22.
It’s been great being able to see behind the scenes at UPPERCASE. I have been struck with how many details need to come together in order for the magazine to be published. From taking care of the sales in the online store, assigning content for new issues, taking photographs of the current issue, updating the website, monitoring social media, and all the while connecting with readers all over the world. Its a busy job running a magazine!
One of the challenges I’ve experienced while at UPPERCASE has been writing creatively. After two years at college learning how to write news stories and press releases in strict formats, my creative writing skills are a bit rusty. It’s been good for me to experience writing in a different format.
For the next week and a half I will be writing a few more blog posts, learning more about Janine’s process for planning the summer issue, and helping with whatever tasks I can around the office.
It's been fun seeing the readers' excitement for the fresh issue on social media, and I'm looking forward to being part of that excitement next week as I finish up my practicum!
One of our stockists, Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado, has just received their order of Issue #21 and will now be selling it in their shop. Two Hands also sells back copies of Issues 17-20 on their online store, and is offering free shipping on orders over $75 to the lower 48 states.
Janine was hosted by Two Hands last April, where she was given the opportunity to introduce last year's spring issue. You can read more about Janine's visit here.
post by Cara Howlett
Dear Human is a husband and wife ceramic company based in Vancouver, Canada. Correy Baldwin, UPPERCASE's copy editor, interviewed the duo made of Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O'Connell for Issue #21's Dynamic Duo section.
Dear Human displayed their project Patchworked in Canada, a project using tiles shipped from Portugal, at the Toronto Design Offisite Festival in January. After the festival ended, Jasna and Noel applied magnets to the tiles and took them to the streets of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver encouraging passersby to find unanticipated beauty in the urban landscape, inviting a moment of pause and response.
We asked Correy about his experience of finding a tile in Montreal.
I found the tiles quite late on a Sunday evening. I was walking home after a night of playing music with friends in their living room on the other end of town—a pretty classic Montreal evening. So when I got home I had a banjo in one hand and a Portuguese tile in the other.
I had already been in touch with Jasna and Noel from Dear Human, so I knew the tiles were around and had been keeping my eye out for them. I’d actually gone out hunting for them specifically a few days earlier, but hadn’t seen any. That night I found them quite accidentally, which seemed more appropriate somehow.
I only took one of the tiles, and left the other one for someone else to find. At first I kept it at my workspace, but in the end I did probably the most ordinary thing possible and stuck it to my fridge. Jasna and Noel had put magnets on the back of the tiles, so the fridge seemed an obvious place to put it. It’s still there. Maybe this summer I’ll place it on the metal railings of my balcony.
I interviewed Dear Human a few days after I found the tile. Noel wanted to know which one I’d found, and he recognized it as soon as I described the pattern on it. If I hadn’t already been in touch with them, I would have called the number on the back for sure.
A few blocks from where I found [my tile] there’s a small Portuguese square with a lot of beautiful Portuguese tiles around it. I knew they would have found it an irresistible spot, and sure enough, I found a number scattered around the square. I pulled a couple of them off and looked at them, then put them back. A couple of old men had been watching me, and as I left one of them went over and look at them, too. So if Dear Human got a phone call from a confused old man, it’s my fault.
The project was inviting us to be more aware of our surroundings, to pay more attention to the smaller details around us, and I think it did a great job. Long after I found a tile I kept looking a lot more closely at everything while walking around, even in other neighbourhoods.
And I wasn’t just looking for tiles. I was just looking.