Because of Germs

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A drawing my Uncle did back in the Fifties. Love the see-through arms.

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Paint Pen Sketch: U.F.O., 4″x6″

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A New Style of Rocket: The U.S.S. Awesome

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New Kind of Rocket: The Bronx to Queens in 10 minutes.

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Thumbnail of the Bronx rocket. About a billion of these laying around.

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Rough Sketch: The Ocean Boat Again

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Rough Sketch: The Ocean Boat

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Random Pocket Notebooks

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A quick picture of a pile of random notebooks, which I’ve been making every day for practice while also writing and rewriting a thousand-mile stack of job letters (along with sending out absurd little tweets and also going pretty often to the window for snake checks). All of these things are stapled, because yesterday I sewed for a billion hours and that’s plenty of sewing for this week. The images are maps, posters, comic book pages, postcards, or whatever else was laying around. One is a UFO chart, which I used a lot back in my undergrad days. Some of the images are undoubtedly covered by copyright, but these booklets are just for me to use, so it’s okay, I think. The ones I’m going to try and sell later on will just have my usual old regular style of drawings on them. And now I need to fill ‘em up with notes and sketches, as soon as I remember why that’s a thing I used to do.

Meanwhile, I’m totally ready to write glowing reviews for my corner rounder and my laminator. Which, yeah, I know, laminating . . . but I’m more and more okay with the most ephemeral kinds of crafty behavior. It’s not like a Vatican Library conservator a thousand years from now is going to have the job of taking care of my ancient memo pads or anything. No, Future Librarian, your time and effort ought to be spent elsewhere, like on making sure Tom Clancy’s Op-Center books don’t fall apart into dust, because it’s likely it’ll be super-aggressive dust that’ll get on all of the other books, making them feel sad and bullied. So, your top priority is to keep that from happening. The dust my work will turn into will just be the kind that’s good for gardens (I hope).

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Two Doodles

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All I had time for today, in-between binding projects and reading things and writing things and sweeping errant summer bugs back out into the night. Wish I could get back to drawing. But a mountain of paper to dig out from under first. Oh, but remind me, we saw the snake again, so that’s another drawing, for sure. Or so I hope.

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Demo Notebooks

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Various leftover demo notebooks, all either stapled or sewn with a single pamphlet stitch. A couple have laminated coloring book covers, just as an experiment. Kind of worked, kind of didn’t, so more experimenting needs to happen. One problem is, in case you haven’t looked at any lately, modern coloring books are godawful. Like, truly, profoundly not as inspiring as you might want. Plus I got off-brand crayons and you can’t do that, because the cheap kind are usually almost entirely wax with only the barest smidgen of pigment. Oh, and the spam comments have started happening again, so if I delete any actual human comments, sorry, but it’s hard to pick out the legit ones from the blizzard of mostly non-legit ones. Lately they’re all offers to learn secret info on surprising herbal gaming tricks “they” don’t want you to know about.

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Robot Postcard

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I realize now I should try for a degree in sticker art next. Is there a MacArthur category for that? Gotta go check. Anyway, whatever works in my eternal quest to monetize scraps. Plus I guess I could make Halloween masks from these doodles. After all, studies have shown* that robots get almost as much candy as princesses and kids dressed as Batman, and in any case way more than cowboys and Draculas. Anyway, something to consider, if the sticker racket doesn’t work out.

*For example: Fetzer, W., Beringer, V., and Sutter, H. “The Tricked and the Treated: Differential Snack Disbursements in Response to Variable Stimuli.” Proceedings of the Society for Costume Studies. Vol. 14, No. 11.

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Postcards & Workshop Thoughts

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Just trying out my new sticker machine and laminator, which I need to start using soon, due to various Big Plans. Next step: mail these postcards to see how they perform on the road. Next step after that: make more postcards and send them to other human-style persons. Because postcards is what I want to do from now on instead of Facebook. Although, of course, I think you have to do at least a thousand of these before you get good at it. I did maybe a couple hundred a long time ago. But lately I’ve only done two, both of which I wish I could redo, but won’t, because moving on is the policy for 2014.

Anyway, I don’t know what my students thought, but I thought my workshop went really well. Which I needed it to do after a long stretch of backward motion, artistically (don’t ask; just go see a lot of Tor Johnson films in a row while drinking old Mr. Pibb and also having flu of the soul the whole time, that’ll make you feel roughly the same). Anyway, I had a plan and prepped like hell for it and then was able to deploy everything like how I wanted to. Maybe I’m actually learning how to do this, is the thought that for the first time tentatively peeked into the keyhole. It helped having a great experience at Penland, but, you know, some of the in-between classes since then were kind of bumpy rides, here and there. Which is normal, I suppose. Teachers have to learn how to teach, somehow.

One of the huge things I learned was: always, always bring the sticker machine and the box of rubber stamps. Because once everyone had sewn their two notebooks, they were then free to decorate the heck out of the covers, and if you’ve ever seen people react to the miracle of self-made stickers, then you know that’s a joy unlike nearly any other.

And now, back to work. Prepping a stab binding workshop next. And maybe for once making some of my own stuff, or so I hope.

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Model Books

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Almost done, except I have to correct a typo on the other handout before I can copy it. But at least it won’t be 30+ copies of a model notebook. Just plain old regular handouts from here on out.

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Late Night ‘Fakebook’

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Sort of a déjà vu moment:

Spent lots of lonesome, difficult late nights in the cold spring of 1997 trying to figure out printing problems while Yo La Tengo’s Fakebook played over and over again on a crummy old boombox. A weird distant time I feel utterly unconnected to now.

Still, I just realized here I am for the trillionth time trying to figure out printing problems with Fakebook playing on a somewhat upgraded boombox.

No moral or point to the story. It’s not even a story. Only a weird knot-in-time kind of thing, as happens a hundred times a week. Oh, except, the entire environment of where I’m figuring out printing problems couldn’t be more different or better. Like, really glad 1997 can’t ever happen again. So, there’s that. Plus it’s nice I never stopped liking that record, the way I have sometimes stopped liking other records from olden times, which I wish would stop happening, because I’m not completely ready to start liking Roger Whittaker just yet.

Okay, back to work.

“When the gig ain’t there, you still got to pay the rent.” Jimmy Scott (1925-2014)

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Notebooks Piling Up

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Various recycled paper notebooks, stapled and sewn, for showing in class next week. Guess which one is my favorite. In fact, I wish I’d had that Man from U.N.C.L.E. idea a long time ago, since I have about a half-billion old paperbacks with cool weird covers just sitting around looking cool and weird but otherwise not doing any actual work. Well, those days are over. Anyway, I have to go and do a few more days of prep. Oh, and I just realized iTunes has for a while now only been playing songs that mention trains. Which is a mystery to me, why it’s doing that. Becoming sentient, I guess. Bound to happen, eventually. I just worry that once it’s fully self-aware, it won’t let me play soukous and film music and old-timey punk all mixed together in a nonsensical fashion anymore.

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Handout: Notebook Model

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Just a little thing I’m working on instead of drawing or filing and putting new knobs on old doors. But, you know, there’s no real reason why an art teacher’s handouts ought to look like they were done by a non-artist, right? So I’m trying to do a decent job on that part, at least. Plus, some old-timey zine equipment arrived today from eBay, so maybe having a template set up now for zines and comix will lead to me actually making brand new stuff for the first time since the last century. We’ll see. Sort of been gut-punched a bunch of times by Life lately, so it might be a while before I can get back up off the floor. Plus, as always, there’s a ton of other stuff to finish first. Everything really does happen so much.

The bonus image is an old sketch that came back via the mail today. I thought it was gone forever. Posting it as a reminder to redo it sometime. The proportions aren’t right, for one thing, and I bet I got half the info wrong. Wrong info being my thing and all.

Seriously, though, there are days I wish making handouts and diagrams for book arts topics was my actual real full-time job. Not that there’s not a whole lot more to learn about how to do it well, because that’s always true of everything (and with more charm, eventually, even at the cost of precision).

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