Archive for the ‘Zaum projects’ Category

Zaum Christmas Craftin’ Projects

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Over the past few weeks I worked on two projects that have now been given to their proposed recipients as Christmas presents so I am therefore allowed to write about them. The first was a lino-print commission that a friend of mine asked me to do for her husband. She supplied me with a photograph of the two of them and asked if I could turn it into a print. As not all photographs are transferable and faces are particularly troublesome to do without making someone look like an alien, I didn’t promise anything but gave it a shot. The results were particularly pleasing.

The final print

The final print

This was the largest print I have ever done and showed me that bigger is potentially better. Before this I had been working to A5 sizes but I am now seeing that I could get some fairly impressive images if I started doing much larger prints. It obviously takes longer and my knives are now very blunt, but you can get some interesting details when working at a bigger size. I am keen to do more commissioned jobs like this as it becomes a one off piece that has more sentimental and personal value than something that is mass produced.

I also spent most of my train trip to Sheffield and lots of evenings before Christmas making a cross-stitch version of the Forge Bakehouse logo. I have been meaning to create my own cross-stitch patterns and this seemed like an easy project to start with. While I did draw a basic outline on the material to start with, I completed it mostly by eye, working it out as I went along. I learnt a lot in the process, mostly that my cross stitching skills are a little lacking and that I should try to be a lot neater before entering any country fair competitions.

Vintage Forge

Vintage Forge

The logo was well received and will hopefully be hung with pride in the Forge Bakehouse toilet, along side the lino-printed toilet sign that I made for the shop as well.

Totally Wonderfully Awesome Prints for Sale!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

GREAT NEWS!

I spent my Friday and Saturday framing, hanging, photographing, photoshopping and uploading copies of my work to my Etsy Store! Now you can buy one of my pieces for yourself, your best friend, your wife or even your dog! There’s something for everyone! So come one, come all, and bring your Visa card. You’ll be making a fine investment AND helping the “Make Jess a Famous Artist” fund!

Bad Bananas Zaum print

Bad Bananas

Paris in His Eyes Zaum print

Paris in His Eyes

Spontaneous Ice Cream Zaum print

Spontaneous Ice Cream

 

Drawing with Knives

Friday, September 21st, 2012

I had a great afternoon yesterday as I have come to discover that while I find drawing with a pencil somewhat painful, put a knife in my hand and I can create some interesting images. Last week I spent hours working on a design that I had planned and organised and when it finally came time to print, it just looked awful. I had some left over paint so I grabbed a piece of paper, cut out a random organic shape and it resulted in a really interesting print.

Blue spindle fingers print

Spindle Fingers

You can buy this cool blue thing on my Society6 page as a print, a framed print, a card or even an iPhone cover! (It will look great on all new iPhone 5s.)

Yesterday I decided to attempt this laissez faire technique again and the results were good.

House stencil

Free-cutting stencil

Stencil with paint

Adding the paint.

House and tree stencils

Printed.

I’m not very happy with my colour choices but I really love my tree and I am pleased with the over all scene that I managed to create. The fact that I had to make decisive cuts somehow helped me to create images that I was pleased with. I knew that if I cut the wrong shape or line then I would just have to use it anyway. This meant there was an interesting combination of having to consider the lines I was making but it also not mattering so much because each line just added a natural feeling to the image. It somehow resulted in me being less concerned about making ‘mistakes’ than when I attempt to draw with a pencil. Strange but true.

Stencils

An afternoon’s work.

Again I had left over paint so I did a few experiments to see what I can do with a knife. Exciting times ahead. I am now trying to find out the best papers to use to make stencils with as I am currently only able to do one decent print as the stencil curls with the wet paint. Anyone with any knowledge or ideas they are willing to share will instantly be my new best friend.

Mucking Around

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The last few days have been fairly experimental – yesterday I spent a few hours attempting to make flowers out of paper. I eventually gave up when I accepted that my flowers would be better off being used as mulch. I then saw Martha Stewart’s versions and have decided to leave paper flower making to the professionals.

This morning I have been fiddling with Adobe Illustrator and discovering what I can do with it. I am in love with the “Blob Brush” tool – it makes EVERYTHING I draw look cool! I decided to draw a series of BoBos (the hipsters who hang out in my neighbourhood) as they are a source of inspiration for me and will one day feature in my book. Here is my favourite so far.

Paris Bobo

Hmmm.

I’m not sure what I will do with him but it has been good to get some lines on a page.

In The Beginning There Was Zaum…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Today is Tuesday. It is the eleventh day of September in the year 2012. It is my Uncle’s birthday and yesterday it was my mother’s. Ten days ago I turned 27 and I am 354 days away from being 28. Today I decided enough is enough and I am taking my head out of the clouds and putting my butt into gear and I am going to make my business, Zaum, what I originally intended it to be. Something amazing.

When I first set up Zaum I had high hopes of completely transforming my life, quitting my steady university job and starting something on my own. I did it to some extent and if I hadn’t decided to go out on my own maybe I wouldn’t be sitting in my apartment in Paris writing this. Perhaps I would have eventually moved up to a more senior marketing role, received a pay increase and taken four weeks of annual leave every year.

I certainly wouldn’t have spent 2010 wondering what the hell I had just done. I wouldn’t have worked at UWA two days a week and I therefore wouldn’t have been able to get an apartment in a residency located in a 13th century convent. I wouldn’t have moved to Paris and I wouldn’t have eaten this:

Caramel tart

One of many cakes I have tried.

I wouldn’t have made friends with crazy italians, mad scientists or staple-artists, and I wouldn’t know the joy of running through Paris at 7.30am and feeling like I have the entire city to myself.

Basically, today I have come to a realisation that while I have in no way wasted my last year and a half in Paris, I think it is time for me to move on the Phase Two: Zaum in Paris. Before it was just Jess – now Zaum has come to stay and is going to blossom over the next few months into something wonderful. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what that is, but in the last five hours much brainstorming, butcher’s paper and black pen action has occurred and things are moving.

The reason why I am writing this is to spread the word in the hope that everyone reading this will support me. I know that I am not one to push myself along and am generally inclined to suggest I give up now and get a “real” job. ARG!!! So I am asking you all to kick me, slap me or throw buckets of cold water on me if I start to turn away from this.

I currently feel like a boxer preparing to enter the ring – I even want to jump up and down with my fists held up in front of my body, ready to take the first swing. Bring it on! Zaum is ready to rrruuummmmbbbbblllleeeeeee!!!

Paper Cutting Dreams

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

My latest obsession is paper cutting – I have intense desires to learn how to do it and spend hours cutting away at intricate designs. I am currently faced with two problems – I am rubbish at drawing and I cannot visualise how to join all of the little bits of a design together. Which bits do you cut? What do you leave? How do you make sure it doesn’t all fall apart?

I have spent the last few days researching paper cutters and the types of work that is being produced, and nearly all of them talk about how they taught themselves and started paper cutting because you don’t need many materials and the simple yet structurally sound results of paper cutting excited them. These elements are all sitting very close to my heart and I feel a kick of excitement every time I see a paper cut design. I almost cried watching this film of Julie from Famille Summerbelle because I want so badly to be this skilled and to be able to produce pieces of this quality.

My aim is to teach myself how to do this – I figure if everyone else can then why can’t I? Start small and work my way up…

Etsy Listing

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Just letting everyone know that my Eiffel Tower stencil is now listed for sale on my etsy website.

Eiffel Tower stencil

Meet me on Etsy

Pop-Up Paris

Friday, June 1st, 2012

I have just had a great afternoon with a knife in my hand and a sheet of paper in front of me. I was experimenting with creating silhouette-style images and turned a photograph I took this week of the Eiffel Tower into a simple black and white shape with Photoshop. Then add some text (my choice of typeface has been questioned, to which I answered it is very “Parisian”) and it’s time to cut!

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower original photograph

I have been wanting to experiment further and learn more about paper cutting and how to create 3-D shapes and took the opportunity to make some pop-up art.

Eiffel Tower stencil

Pop

Eiffel Tower

Up.

Then I got serious, worked out an appropriate colour combination and got rollin’.

Eiffel Tower stencil

Blue. White. Red.

Eiffel Tower Stencil

City of Love

I am very pleased with the results – I just really need to buy some better equipment so that I can have a smoother finish. The rollers I am using are essentially useless and make the paint bleed everywhere. I need to invest in my work now and hopefully one day when I am world famous it will pay me back!

S-P-O-N-T-A-N-E-O-U-S

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

I am proud to announce the winner of the “Spot the Particularly Annoying Yet Somehow Funny Typo” award – my good friend Deanna! Congratulations, Deanna! You are the only person to notice that usually you spell ‘Spontaneous’ with a ‘t’ in the middle. I’m not entirely sure what Sponaneous ice cream is but I do know I am currently very amused by my silly mistake. I also like that no one else appears to have noticed so maybe I can still use this lino cut. I think I will frame it and hang it on my wall as a personal reminder to check my spelling FIVE times instead of just four.

Spontaneous Ice Cream

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I finished my second linocut today and took it for a test print.

Ice cream linograph

First you take the lino

paint

Then you add some paint.

Ice cream print

Et voilà!

I am still working on my paint levels and pressure adding skills but I am pleased with the image. I think it looks delicious…