Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Live All the Days of Your Absent Minded Life

I realize my hiatus from the blogging world has been ghastly. I suppose I have just been overwhelmed with how many things have changed in my life to really nail down my thoughts on things. The last two years have brought a lot of change to my life. It has not been easy, but I feel the process has brought me closer to figuring out who I want to be and what I want to make of my life. I am hoping to be able to share with you some of what the experiences and how they have come to change me. I am sure as I write about them they will become more clear to me as well.

Over the next few months I would like to share with you TEN experiences that have taught me the most in the last few years. My hope is that as I share with you the things that have shaped my life, you can find something that will help change the way you see the world.


Letterpress 101

Two summers ago (has it really been that long?) I took a letterpress class with my Dad and one of my closest friends Mandy. It was a fantastic experience. When I say fantastic, I must warn you. It has been quite some time since the class actually happened so all of the trauma and chaos has had time to dilute. You know when something really terrible or difficult happens to you and at the time it seems incredibly painful but then after you have had time to adjust to the trauma you can then iron out all the wrinkles in the story and learn from it? Maybe even forget that it was actually hard in the first place? Well I imagine since it has taken me two years to write about this that maybe some of the initial trauma has been lost in it's retelling.

Alas, I will try to write about it anyway. My Dad and I are extremely close. We always have been. This did not, however, alter the fact that it is sort of weird taking a class with a parent. I wonder how many people have done that in their lives? It was a really eye opening experience for both of us and I think we both learned a lot about each other. If nothing else it was fun to spend that time with him.

Something that made the class a notch above the normal stress of an art class was the fact that I was living in Logan at the time. Did I mention that the class was in Salt Lake, once a week on wednesday nights? Yes. I had to make the hour and a half drive every Wednesday to the class and sometimes a couple of times a week to work on our current projects. Not to mention the drive home afterwards. In the end I think we were all surprised to have survived the class, but I enjoyed what the experience taught me and the rare experience I was able to share with my Dad.

I know that you are all dying to hear a gripping retelling of three hour lectures about letterpress and typefaces, maybe some old books and the history of typography, oh and the art of fine paper snobbery... Why don't I save you the agony of a retelling.

Instead I have come up with 5 tips on how to survive a letterpress class.

1. Always, and I mean always make sure that you have a beverage in hand. Diet Dr Pepper or Diet Coke will do the trick. Having something to quench your thirst is the only way you will survive four hour (mostly lecture) art classes.

2. Keep in the back of your mind the reasons why you enrolled in the class. Why? You will question this.. many times. Just keep in mind the benefits that you envisioned before entering the classroom.

3. Take deep breaths. You will need to be calm and practice extreme and impossible Godlike patience when your Father (or significant other/friend/acquaintance?) whom you have always held in the superior slot, is driving you crazy because he/she is insecure about their artistic abilities. (I am sure my Dad had a similar rule in mind about his irritating bossy daughter).

4. Bring food. Starving while trying to be artistic is the best way to kill anybody's creativity.

5. Forget all the rules you make because they probably wont apply tomorrow.

Surprising how fast time gets away from us. I didn't know then that I would be separated from my family (and my pal and soon to be business partner) by 1500 miles. It is great to have those cherished, albeit frustrating/intense/emotional memories with my Dad. I miss him more than I could have ever imagined.

The last project for the class was a folded piece. Looking back I have to laugh at all the crazy stress that went into trying to pull this project off. I thought I would share some of the results from our class. I am sure as my Dad is reading this all sorts of chilling memories are crawling up his spine.

Diagnosis: Absent Minded - Created by Me, Melissa

     The card game to determine what level of absent minded you are. My family seems to be in the 7-10 scoring range. Some of the cards include: "Can't find any of the ten keys you made yesterday," "Can't count the number of times you've returned to your house before leaving," and so on and so on. We had a good laugh coming up with these (especially since all of them are examples from our own absent minded tales). The pattern I used on the back of my cards was from a woodcut print I carved. I thought it would be fun to add in some printmaking love.

Live All the Days of Your Life - Created By Brian Romriell
    My Dad has a Love/Obsession with numbers. His project has a clever take on the numbered life span. I love the layout he came up with for the project. The way it folds is really spectacular. The numbers show how many days old you are at certain ages. I love the inscription on the back of his book. Take a look!

 "Printed on the cusp of his 20,000th day"

I am so grateful for such and incredible role model. Who is ever lucky enough to be able to have an experience like this? 

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