Sunday, November 11, 2007

For the Love of Letters: Tauba Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach is a 26 year old artist and sign painter out of San Francisco. And quite frankly she is awesome. Her works examines both the complex intricacies of letter form as viewed above (the letter F), as well as some interesting takes on words and how we use them. One thing that really setes Tauba apart is that almost all of her work is done by hand. Once you realize that you really appreciate the time and loving effort that is going into her work. This is the kind of artist I would love to see making an impact on the design scene. Although, as far as I can tell from the (admittedly) brief amount of research I did on her, she is a fine artist and sign painter only, and does not do any commercial graphic design.

Ironic to me because I've had a tie to the sign business running in my blood for over 40 years. My Grandfather started hand painting signs in Chicago for grocery stores, taught his son the trade, passed it on to his son-in-law (my dad), and now I work part time with my father. It's refreshing to see something like this coming from a sign painter, no offense to the family, but for the most part signs tend to be pretty utilitarian and often customers don't understand or accept design principles, making it pretty hard to incorporate good design. Also it's not usually worth your time. Alright my tangent is over.

Check out Tauba's website here.

How to Spell the Alphabet - 2005

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Sad Day for Russell Street

Tuesday night was just like any other night. Well pretty much anyway. I live in "historic" East Nashville. Which is the politically correct way of saying there are some pretty old and awesome houses surrounded by urban nastiness that the city wants to go away. Yeah there are lots of random drifters that are constantly passing by my 100 year old apartment building, but they rarely engage you, let alone do anything other than pass through. Not a big deal. I'm sure Nashville has crime, but it is pretty tame compared to most cities. I don't think that I have ever felt like I was in danger while in downtown Nashville.

It's not the end of the world, but somebody or perhaps a group of somebodies, looking for sweet loot to steal broke out at least 5 or 6 car windows on my street. One of them was mine. It was kind of a weird experience, nothing like this has ever happened to me before. When I opened my car door to get in, I noticed everything from my glove box all over the car. It took me a second look to realize my passenger side window now looked like crushed ice. For some reason my reaction to seeing this was not what I thought it would be, I really wasn't upset at all. I didn't know what to feel. So I drove to work (yeah I got a part time job until the sweet freelance money starts rolling in) and shivered.

The next day I had to take my car to a Geico Claims Adjuster, and for some reason that was when it hit me. I felt very anxious and stressed out. Maybe part of it was now I was realizing I had to pay for this. Not the person who did this, but me. Just like all the other people on my street. Breaking 5 windows at about $200 a pop. At least a thousand dollars of damages from probably 15 minutes of fun. Not to mention what ever was stolen. They didn't take anything from my car, or another friend that lives next door.

My sense of righteous indignation now began to flare. This person(s) was now out cashing in on stolen loot, hanging out enjoying themselves. While the rest of us were figuring out to how get our cars fixed, and wondering how safe our street is. It's the kind of event that makes you want to get a gun. However I'm morally opposed to that, so I have one better: blowgun. Yeah that's right just like the natives of jungle areas use. They are wicked cool, super accurate, and they won't kill anybody. I have a perfect view of the cars from my 3rd floor apartment window too. Anything goes down from now on on my street, prepare to get a dart in your neck.