March 24th, 2005


By their fruits

On Tuesday addedentry and I attended a talk at the Apple Store on Regent Street by Sarah Coleman. Coleman is a creative lettering artist (what you or I might call a calligrapher, though she disclaims the title on the grounds that her work goes beyond traditional calligraphy, and her formal training in calligraphy is minimal) who is now enthusiastically embracing the world of digital graphics technology. It was refreshing to see digital techniques presented as an augmentation of traditional paper-based skills rather than a replacement, and her references to "real" (i.e. manual rather than digital -- though both, as she pointed out, relate to the use of our hands) techniques seemed to be just habit rather than rockism (or should I say paperism?). A good indicator of her attitude to the relationship between the two media was the demonstration in which she used scanned-in images of different types of paper, blending and borrowing the colours, tones and textures of the original papers to produce a beautiful layered background for digital calligraphic effects.

In addition to the interesting and inspiring (if a little nervy) demonstrations of Photoshop techniques and the use of the Wacom graphics tablet, Coleman also gave us a quick tour through her portfolio and the type of commissions she gets, and a short advertisement for 741, the collective of artists and illustrators of which she is a founding member. This was all to be expected. What I didn't expect was to be given a goodie-bag containing not only a free t-shirt but also an organic apple which the artist eagerly assured us she'd actually hand-picked herself! I was glad that I'd worn my original rainbow Apple pin-badge on my otherwise greyscale outfit: Apple may not have left the stripes on their logo but they haven't paved paradise yet.

Oh, god, this is some state I'm in

I forgot to bring any CDs into work with me today, so of course now I find myself desperately wanting to listen to all sorts of things. You know how sometimes you can half-remember the memory of a song-lyric, but you can't remember the song or the band or any of the words or the tune, just the shape of it and the way it made you feel? Or is that just me? Anyway, I had one of those today, and somehow convinced myself that it was something on Jackson Browne's album The Pretender, so I went to remind myself of the lyrics. I know the album really well and could probably tell you most of the lyrics off by heart anyway, but somehow when you're groping for something in your mind you keep looking past the bit you're actually trying to remember; it's always in one of the tiny gaps, the musical equivalents of down the backs of so(l)fas, the bits where you always slightly misremember the words at the end of one verse and as a result can never quite remember how you get to the next verse from there, so in your mind it's always just da da da da and then back into the words again with only a small hesitation like the one before you think of the next question to ask someone.

I didn't find my indistinct earworm, but I was reminded how the last two tracks on the album just knock me out every time. Collapse )