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Archive for November, 2007

QWT-0803-2

Sunnyside is my neighborhood in Queens. Seriously, I love Sunnyside and I try convince many of my friends who don’t live here to move here. There’s a growing number of creative types who live here. Filmmakers, musicians, artists, etc. The area of Sunnyside north of Queens Blvd is so quaint. It has a little town feel where people are nice, friendly, and helpful. There’s definitely a sense of community and those who live here love it.

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It took me three days to plan out the two-color design. Here are the two blocks I carved. The right block is for the light blue, left is for the dark blue. Remember things need to be carved backwards on the block because it basically becomes a huge stamp.

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This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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My friend, David Friedman, is a genius at seeing life’s possibilities. He is a NYC photographer and married to one of my closest friends, Ellen (who is also a genius in graphic design, illustration, art, etc). I truly loved this post from his blog about statues and pigeon poop.

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We live one block away from Queens Boulevard. Our street is so quiet and beautiful, but once you start walking towards and onto Queens Blvd, it’s a totally different experience. Cars speeding past, horns blaring, car exhaust–you get the picture. Even with all this, I still love it. It has our major shops, excellent restaurants, and even a Starbucks on it. It’s also a major roadway into Manhattan. From 1993 to 2000, 72 pedestrians were killed trying to cross Queens Blvd and so it has been called “The Boulevard of Broken Bones.” Since then, the city has really beefed up the safety measures and its much safer now. How could I not design a shirt for this complex roadway?

This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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We have a bad-ass beagle named Chomsky. Yes, after Noam. This shirt design is for him. I have always loved dogs and love people who love dogs. People who like dogs are just plain cool. Like my friend, Sarah, told me “it makes people more human.” And I totally agree. So this shirt is also for dog people.

This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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The 1964 World’s Fair Pavillion is one of the best known structures in Queens.

This Tshirt is no longer available. Ciara ran her clothing company brands Ciara Couture and Queensbound from January 2007 to December 2010. She has ceased all clothing brand operations as of January 1, 2011.

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Prepping the block

Well, it more or less works like this, but every project is a little different.

1) I was inspired by a vintage international matchbox label to draw this cute biking couple.

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2) I make a drawing of the same design for each color. For this two-color design, I didn’t want to worry about registration, I scanned in the original, printed in onto two sheets of tracing paper and then I trace over them. So I end up with two sheets with different parts drawn and they match up perfectly.

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next to the drawing lay the linoleum blocks that I had cut from this huge roll

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3) I line the paper up with the bottom of the block. I use a binder clip to hold the paper while I use a bone folder to rub the design onto the block.

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4) And there’s the final print which I spray with fixative so the drawing won’t rub off.

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–I’ll post up the final carving when I’m done.

Here are the blocks I’ve done so far.

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I love artist materials

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I have learned over the years to make sure that I have thoroughly prepared for any of my art projects. I absolutely hate being in the middle of painting and have to stop to buy another tube of paint at an art store in lower Manhattan. The entire trip will take about two to three hours because I get easily distracted by products I think I need. My busy brain gets even busier. It ruins the “working zone” I get into. And for block printing, there are many materials I need, like pencils, erasers, tracing paper, inks, brayers, inking plates, scissors, linoleum, etc. Fortunately, I have a fantastic well-organized art supply closet (thanks to the container store). But the closet and my studio are running out of space, especially because I consider books to be part of my art supplies.

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