Janet (j4) wrote,

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.

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