IMRC Open Studios Presentation
At the last minute, I changed my mind about what to show at the IMRC Open Studio Night. The day before was a snow day. The snow was lovely and crisp and perfect. It inspired me. I went out and took some pictures of my dinosaurs in the snow. I was very very cold. Then I spent the rest of the day in the house, working on turning the photographs into a cool project. I was up until 2 am but it was worth it. I created a series of dinosaur postcards. Then I displayed them with the dinosaurs. I asked people to write their own thoughts on the postcards to be sent to my mother. It provided a nice trial run to my hopefully larger postcard project in the future. It was also nice graphic design practice.
The dinosaurs were well received at open studio night. I saw a lot of people playing with them and photographing them. In the future I need to make them more interactive and less display. It was just too short notice. It would also be nice if I had more of the custom dinosaurs done
15 people wrote on postcards. Of those, 5 were from people who knows me. It isn’t as many as I hoped but will still take it as a good sign. I need to photograph them before I send them.
The graphic design aspect of the project was pretty sad. They look “ok,” but not spectacular. They are what they are, a last minute project. However, they really have potential. When I have a few more dinosaurs and some better photography/editing skills I think I could make something pretty awesome.
One thing I really like about the aesthetics is the intensity of the colors. The dinosaurs are already bright and I used GIMPs auto “color enhance” and “white balance” features. That really made them pop out against the white background. I think I could work with that to capture something visually interesting.
Virginia says that I should make the borders wider and solid colored. They are solid colored in the .jpeg files, but the actual prints have a white boarder. I had the boarder added because I thought it looked better but Virginia knows a LOT more than I do about design. Maybe she is right.
Overall, the best part of it for me was the realization that my interests really do tie together. The postcards seemed like an outlier in a lot of ways, but I realize now that it does have a lot to do with my focus on the expansion and preservation of knowledge.
Postcard Collection: Dinosaurs Don’t Love Snow Days
Dinosaurs have been inspiring humanity since before we had a word to describe them. The fossil remains of their bones have been discovered and rediscovered throughout history, promoting speculation on the nature of the great beasts and dragons of the earth’s ancient past. They were named “dinosaur” in 1842. The name means “fearfully great lizard.” “Fearfully great,” what better name could there be for such creatures? They are both “of us” and “not of us,” alien and yet deeply connected to the earth. The earth herself is complicit in the destruction and the revelation of what they are. The combination of fear and fascination is exciting. The more we know, the more we want to know. They promote the acquisition of knowledge. We know just enough about them for expansive speculation and limited limitations. Dinosaurs have captured imagination and inundated our cultures. They have played many roles. They have been heroes, anti-heroes, scapegoats and guides. We have a way of making them whatever we need them to be.
These dinosaurs (my dinosaurs) have become symbols of intellectual joy. It is the joyful pursuit of knowledge that is the deep-rooted, internal inspiration for my work. In that way, they have become profoundly personal. If I share them with the world, I am sharing the best part of myself. I try to incorporate them into my projects as often as possible. They are ideal subjects to be represented in one of my largest on-going works: Postcards.
Postcard 1: Close Encounters of a Strange Kind.
Postcard 2: Alone. Prepared. Fabulous.
Postcard 3: Fearless Adventurers
Postcard 4: Abandoned.
Postcard 5: Ice Fishing.
Postcard 6: Surveying His Domain.
Postcard 7: King of the Mountain.
Postcard 8: What are they up to?
Postcard 9: Saved?
Postcard 10:Bring Back the Sun! Bring Back the Sun!
Postcard 11: Tragedy Strikes.
Postcard 12: NOOOOOOOOO!
Postcard 13: Traversing the Frozen Wasteland.
Postcard 14: The Long Journey.
Postcard 15: Never Give Up. Eye of the Tiger! Baby.
Postcard 16: Bittersweet Reunion.
Postcard 17: No Actual Dinosaurs Were Harmed.
Postcard 18: Barbie was Somewhat Harmed.
Postcard 19: Damn Dinosaurs.
I send a postcard every day. I have sent thousands. The nature of a postcard contains a strange combination of exhibitionism and personal intimacy. The physical and intellectual acts of selecting the card and writing the words gives form and structure to a piece of self and time. It is a profoundly personal act. And yet, it is launched, skinless and exposed into the postal system. It can be, will be, seen by countless eyes and touched by countless hands. It will be banged, rattled, creased and stained. It will carry the marks of a journey that belongs only to itself. It will be imbued with mystery and permanently transformed so that it can never be fully possessed by the receiver. The recipient becomes, not owner, but custodian and curator of a shared experience.
Invitation to Join the Experience
I send my postcards to my mother. I do this in part, simply because she is my mother and deserves to be connected to my life. The larger part of the choice is because she is, who she is. She is the single most accepting, open-minded person I have ever known. There is no place in her psyche for arrogance and no sense of authority over the choices of others. She is the curator of thousands of experiences because she deserves to be.
I would like to invite you to join those experiences. Share a bit of yourself with someone you do not know. Share anything, any way, any amount that you want to share. Write a word. A paragraph. A poem. A quote. A message. Draw a picture. Sign it. Don’t sign it. Do whatever feels right. The cards are all pre-addressed and stamped. You can place them in the box or you can take them and send them yourself.