Friday, September 28, 2012

Chalk Art

I've found my new dream career-- I'm going to be a chalk artist.

I've seen quite a few cool chalkboards up on Pinterest--it turns out they're all done by the same woman, Dana Tanamachi. Jeremy and I found her website a few weeks ago, and spent way too much time one night watching her time-lapse videos of working on her projects.  It's just fascinating.  (Here's an interview with her on Design*Sponge)     

So for my friend's baby shower last night, I decided to pull out Jonas' chalkboard easel and try out my first chalkboard design.

I know, there is no comparison, but you have to start somewhere.  I'm actually really pleased with a number of things about this chalkboard, and I learned a lot of things as well. 

The most important key is working with wet chalk--it's amazing the difference in look the wet chalk gives.

Also key is sketching it out ahead of time, or creating the image on the computer first.  I did the layout fine by hand, but I wasn't able to randomly generate cool lettering fonts in my head.  I was working on this board without access to the computer, where I would have liked to be able look up cool fonts to use.

Thus the third thing, which is what Dana mentions in her interview too, is books of lettering.  Jeremy said they have tons of them up in the architectural library.  I've actually become a lot more aware of lettering in general.  Jeremy has a thing for typography, (Have you ever seen the movie Helvetica?  Yes, a feature-length movie about a font.  I've seen it, more than once.) and he dreams of his own letterpress. So to better my chalkboards I need to have access, via computer or books, to cool examples of lettering, and flourishes.

Jeremy actually said he was jealous that I did this already; he'd love to have a go at it as well.  But if we really want to develop this talent then practice is key, and taking every opportunity to work on it is necessary.  So we may be making a lot of chalkboards for many a random life-event in the near-future to practice our skills.  Like a  "We're so happy it's Tuesday!" chalkboard.

I can't wait.

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