#133 Death & Destruction

#133 Death & Destruction
#133 Death & Destruction
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

This piece is an expression of empathy for those who lost everything in the recent natural disasters.

One week ago fam­i­lies across Amer­i­ca sat down to their tra­di­tion­al Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Some were elab­o­rate, oth­ers sim­ple, but most were savored in a warm, cozy home at a famil­iar table.

But not for those whose homes were destroyed in recent fires and hur­ri­canes. Many shared Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with strangers in shel­ters and even tents. Some made new friends. Some reflect­ed on how their lives had been over­tak­en by osten­ta­tious sur­round­ings. But none were at home.

Oth­ers were too con­cerned about miss­ing loved ones to par­take in Thanks­giv­ing din­ner. Not to men­tion where they were going to live, how to sur­vive, the deep pang of loss — homes, fur­nish­ings, valu­able pos­ses­sions and even cash that was stashed away in their homes. In many cas­es, liveli­hood, as com­pa­nies they worked for, or their home offices, were also destroyed.

The most dev­as­tat­ing and excru­ci­at­ing loss was that of loved ones: par­ents, chil­dren, sib­lings, rel­a­tives, friends, and pets.

At Thanks­giv­ing, no less.

It is hard to com­pre­hend. It is sad. 


Concept

I cre­at­ed this piece to empathize with those less for­tu­nate. I felt it might bring clo­sure to some, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a mor­bid piece. Maybe reflec­tive. I just felt it and cre­at­ed it.

The col­ors and effects I chose for the sen­sa­tions in the fall­en amper­sand rep­re­sent fire, water and seis­mic activ­i­ty, all nat­ur­al forces. It’s iron­ic that ele­ments such as fire, wind and water can be tremen­dous­ly ben­e­fi­cial and also ter­ri­fy­ing­ly dis­as­trous.


Comfort

I don’t know what to say to help the vic­tims of these recent dis­as­ters or past dis­as­ters, as some things are nev­er for­got­ten, nev­er recov­ered, for­ev­er mourned as a void that’s deep as one’s soul. If you have any words of com­fort please leave them here.

Here’s my clos­ing thought: 

Does­n’t nat­ur­al dis­as­ter cause enough death & destruc­tion? Why does man add to it with war and crime?

 Please comment here.


Production notes for #133 Death & Destruction:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)

Ampersand: Helvetica Ultra Compressed (modified)
Credits:
Background image: deposit​pho​tos​.com
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#102 Ups & Downs

 

#102 Ups & Downs
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

I’m sure 99% of you can relate to Ups & Downs, right?

Nor­mal­ly I send my lat­est Amper­Art release on a Tues­day (or lat­er in the week if I’m still adding final touch­es). But this one, Ups & Downs, is most appro­pri­ate for a Mon­day.

I’ve had my share of ups & downs this year, but thanks to fam­i­ly & friends, they’ve helped me through. I just wish one par­tic­u­lar con artist of a client would stop lying & pay her bill so my life can be more com­fy once again.

The one constant

Through all my ups & downs, there’s been one con­stant that has kept me some­what sane for the past sev­er­al years. That is cre­at­ing one Amper­Art piece each & every month since June, 2011—wow, that’s six years this month!

I would­n’t have kept at it with­out your loy­al sup­port & won­der­ful com­ments. Thank you, Amper­Art sub­scribers!

Please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing.


Production notes for #102 Ups & Downs:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Ad Lib
Ampersand: Hand drawn, based on Candara 
You may repost the AmperArt image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#100 Milestones & Goals

100 Milestones & Goals

 #100 Milestones & Goals
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

We did it! We hit the 100 mark! 

Thanks to you, amper­sand fan & loy­al sub­scriber, Amper­Art #100, Mile­stones & Goals, is the one-​hundredth issue of an Amper­Art poster, for which my goal has been one per month since this project began in June, 2011. 

I have issued, with­out fail, one Amper­Art piece per month (even if it meant stretch­ing the month to the last hour in a remote time zone that had­n’t yet reached mid­night, such as Bak­er Island & How­land Island, tiny out­ly­ing islands of the US).

Until now.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Iron­i­cal­ly, I missed the dead­line on this mile­stone achieve­ment, the one-​hundredth cre­ation of Amper­Art, Mile­stones & Goals. This was to be issued dur­ing April, 2017. It nev­er made it. 

Why? Because I could not come up with an appro­pri­ate title for the theme of “one hun­dred.” Should be easy, right? A big, impor­tant num­ber like that?

On the oth­er hand, I’ve had #101 in the works for months. That one’s easy: black spots all over a white back­ground, allud­ing to one of my favorite movies of all time, espe­cial­ly for the snap­py pencil-​drawn styl­ized effect — and the first to use the Xerox process for ani­ma­tion which gave it that dis­tinc­tive style.

Isn’t 100 supposed to be an important number?

A title for #101 is easy. But #100? I fig­ured there would have been a sur­plus of phras­es, idioms, themes, ideas that allude to the num­ber 100. But Google was prac­ti­cal­ly dry. There’s the 100th Anniver­sary stone, the dia­mond. And the anniver­sary col­or, pur­ple (not my favorite col­or; can’t use that). There are plen­ty of news sto­ries about 100k marathons. But noth­ing all that sig­nif­i­cant about the num­ber 100 itself. I thought & thought & thought, but just could not come up with any­thing. 

April 30, 2017 came & went, and the string of one Amper­Art per month was bro­ken. Fran­ti­cal­ly, I tried to think of oth­er titles to cel­e­brate the 100th issue: Grin & Bear It, Dead­lines & Quo­tas (that would­n’t do — I missed the dead­line), Day Late & Dol­lar Short, Slow & Steady, Con­grat­u­late & Celebrate…on & on. 

Final­ly, I had to rely on the philoso­phies of Live & Let Live as well as Patience & Deter­mi­na­tion; just let it go until I come up with the appro­pri­ate title. I’ll issue two pieces in May.

Finally, a milestone

Yes­ter­day I hit on the word “mile­stone” and real­ized that would make a nice title. Not about the num­ber 100, but about an impor­tant mile­stone. So, what to pair that up with? Mile­stones & Achieve­ments? Mile­stones & Dead­lines? (After all, it was each month­ly dead­line that kept me on track to achieve this mile­stone, even though in the course of most projects & busi­ness teach­ings it’s the mile­stones that lead to meet­ing the dead­line.)

I had Mile­stones & Dead­lines all set to go, when I came across the phrase “goals & mile­stones.” That sounds sweet­er to most peo­ple than “dead­lines.” And it’s real­ly what I am try­ing to accom­plish: my goal is to keep churn­ing out one Amper­Art per month (okay, on aver­age) until I’m dead. So, I guess “dead­line” would be mean­ing­ful after­all, but I chose to rewrite the title as “Mile­stones & Goals.” (Goals & Mile­stones makes more sense, but it sounds weird & looks weird­er.) Final­ly, here’s the April 2017 Amper­Art, #100 Mile­stones & Goals…in May.

Our little secret

I feel defeat­ed about miss­ing the dead­line on such a mile­stone piece, and I hate to be dis­hon­est. So here’s the deal: You, my dear Amper­Fans, are privy to the truth. But between you & me, no one else has to know that I blew it. It’s just eas­i­er to con­tin­ue boast­ing “I’ve issued one edi­tion per month since the very first” than con­fess­ing “I’ve issued one edi­tion per month since the very first except I missed the dead­line for the one-​hundredth which was such a mile­stone piece I feel like a worth­less piece of crap.” Or maybe I’ll just admit I’m human. We’ll see how it goes.

 Please comment here.

Why I love Photoshop

Review­ing sev­er­al pho­tos for Mile­stones & Goals, I was focused on some sort of rock or boulder…until I saw this beau­ti­ful old wood post to which was attached a mod­ern sign, against a gor­geous back­ground. The blue of the sign is my favorite col­or blue, a cross between cyan, cerulean, turquoise & my all-​time favorite, Cray­ola Blue-​Green. So that one got down­loaded (and paid for, by the way). I guess it’s also sig­nif­i­cant that I chose this image to rep­re­sent Mile­stones & Goals, as I used to own a sign com­pa­ny. That busi­ness was a mile­stone to where I am today.

I did­n’t care for the dull­ness of the sign­post, being it was back­lit. Pho­to­shop to the res­cue. Here’s the before & after. I toned down the back­ground blue haze just slight­ly, but real­ly brought up the light on the post & sign:

 
Original photo
After retouching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are prob­a­bly crit­i­ciz­ing the lousy “pho­to­shop­ping” on the edges of the sign, right? Quite obvi­ous that it was plas­tered on top of the orig­i­nal image, cor­rect? Well, I thought so too — that the pho­tog­ra­ph­er did a half-​assed job of copy & paste (no, it was­n’t me). Guess what, though — it’s the actu­al pho­to. Upon enlarg­ing (see below) I dis­cov­ered the sign is a piece of sheet met­al to which a decal is past­ed. With the slight bor­der of the met­al show­ing around the decal, it sure does look like a crude retouch­ing job. But no, it’s real. (Click to enlarge.)

Clever one-piece sign

The final deadline.

Now that we’ve achieved this mile­stone of Amper­Art #100, it’s onto #101, #102, and so on, cre­at­ing a new piece each & every month (maybe with a lit­tle time shift­ing here & there) for the rest of my life…the final dead­line.

 Please comment here.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing.


Production notes for #100 Milestones & Goals:
Original size: 12x18 inches

Programs: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Bank Gothic, Ebrima
Ampersand: Ebrima
Credits:
Kilometer Pole Photo: © Afhunta | Dream​stime​.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!