Marking Time, in Several Senses
I am deep in semester-ness, and the headspace for launching a large project is hard to come by. At least for me, until I am well into a project and have designed tasks of various scales to use for various intervals of available time, it's pointless to take a big dive. Fractions of days here and there don't cut it. Spartan Holiday 3 and 4 await, with the former written and content-dummied up into the magazine format, some pictures in production but the whole of it still gauzy in my mind. I need a running start for that. (The approach of spring break may help!)
For now, I need smaller things to do and make. Regular readers know about my calendars, which I must somehow fashion if they are to be of any use to me.
Last Saturday, I came within 10 hours of running out of time. That is, I had produced spreads for the first nine weeks of the year, but at the stroke of midnight on March 1, I would have been operating in time I had not pre-fabricated in my book. Call me a goober, but that's an anxiety-producing situation. Hence I buckled down and banged out another 7 weeks, with more to come soon.
It's a pretty direct problem: lay out seven days. But I try to keep it fresh. This year I've decided to integrate collage pieces from a German encyclopedia published in 1896. When Robert Andrew Parker was in St. Louis on a visit about 10 years ago, University Libraries were getting rid of some old reference works. The encyclopedia set was one of them, and it had really lovely chromolithograph illustrations tipped in throughout. The black and white linework illustrations and maps were pretty spanky, too. Mr. Parker and I both desired the set, so we decided to purchase half of it apiece. Each of us went home with every other volume.
Meanwhile last year I made a trip to Germany to speak in Stuttgart and hung out in a few antiquarian bookshops. In one a picked up a couple of old German type specimen books from the 20s and 30s.
Sometimes I compose the weeks purely improvisationally. Other times I look at a typographic prompt or other source. The type books and reference illustration fragments have become elements of play.