Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Recap... Street Printing, Talking with Jolie Holland about Ghost Stories, Meeting Hot Chip, and what to look forward to in 2013...

Hey everyone, it has been a busy and exciting year for crumblediamonds, my fledgling print making alter ego. I was able to accomplish many goals this year and met a lot of great and supportive people on the way... here is a short run down on how the year played out and some stuff to look forward to in 2013...

First off there is still time to grab a print or two before Christmas, the post office is frightful, but I am shipping at least twice next week so take a look at the online store and keep in mind many prints are half off, a real bargain for only 10 dollars. The orders going out this week will have freebies too, I like to keep everyone stoked. I think this Wednesday will be close to the last day to get your stuff by Christmas, so dont snooze dudes!

For local folks, I look forward to seeing some of you at next week's SubRosa Craft Faire, happening Saturday, December 22nd on the sidewalk in front of the coffee shop. The Faire runs from 10am-3pm and you can enjoy the new 40th Street parklet that has tons of room to hang out and chat in what used to be several parking spaces. There is a Facebook event for the Faire if you need more info, stop by and say hey!

At SubRosa's event I will have both the Lake Merritt print and this month's Oakland bike rider design represented ( and priced at $10! ). There are not many of these left, so grab what will hopefully be the first two designs of a long running series I plan for every First Friday in Oakland. A new landmark, individual or representation of the vibrant community we work and play in. SubRosa is just a few blocks from MacArthur BART, across the street from a great independent record store, and right next door to the legendary Manifesto Bicycles.

When I started making gigposters about three years ago, I was doing about one show a month and that clip lasted a while, making it possible for me to see some great shows, meet some of my heroes, and connect with fans of my art. This past year I did 4 shows, including my first poster for Oakland's prestigious and grand Fox Theater. Beirut's Fox show was a real treat and the print continues to be a strong seller, measuring 19x25 and printed on my newest larger tabletop press. The larger press was first used this year in the Oakland Museum of California's Great Hall as part of their exhibit, All of Us or None; Social Justice Posters of the Bay Area. Each second Saturday of the exhibit, a different Bay Area printmaker was given the chance to print one of their designs in the Great Hall and right smack in the middle of 68 historic and archival limited edition images. My design was a celebration of the Appalachain Dulcimer, and had its roots in the folk music boom of the 1960s. I was able to do a second print at the Museum, as part of their Summer Nights events, leaving the main museum open til 9pm and having DJs and artists entertaining and giving demonstrations in a lively, appreciative atmosphere. The second print, featuring the tattooed oaf from my poster for Pokey Lafarge, was a big hit. I think I gave away almost 90 prints that night. A little more about the museum events can be seen here...

Inspired by these demos I made a commitment to printing live at Art Murmur, Oakland's monthly art walk and celebration. For the past two first Fridays, I have had a booth on Telegraph Ave and was able to do one color on a 2 or 3 color print and make those prints available for sale. Each night was a lot of fun, I wanted to thank the handful of friends who helped out at my booth making sales while I was printing.

 Printing in public and some commissioned work kept me a bit busier than the usual gigposter every month, and one of the projects I am most excited about are the shirt designs I completed for Thread Council, an up and coming online retailer of artist tees. Thread Council has a an ongoing curated collection of designs and artists and my first two designs will be available soon, watch my Facebook page for more details and the exactness of timing on that. I still have tees for sale at Thalia Street Surf Shop in Laguna Beach and Thalia also has a rad online store for easy ordering. There is a sweet new colorway for my handshake design and the "dude" design is holding fast on his soft heather gray tee. Thalia prints a great catalog twice a year or so, and it always features an interview or write up on one of their great artists, written by my friend and Thalia employee, Corey Brindley. I highly recommend it!

Also a huge thanks to Derik Van Beers and Ray Yeh, owners and curators of the Roscoe Ceramics Gallery and The Uptown Night Club respectively. I had a small show in August at Roscoe, and a larger show of my posters at The Uptown during June and July. I am talking with several people about shows in 2013 and look forward to announcing more details after the holidays.

My first gigposter for the new year will be the Tribute concert to Joni Mitchell's album Blue being held as an encore performance on January 21st and 22nd at the Freight and Salvage in downtown Berkeley. This is my first print for the Freight, a longstanding supporter of Bay Area live music, and I am excited to meet some of the many local bands who will each be taking a single song from the record and interpreting it on stage. More info about the show, and my poster can be found here, tickets are likely to sell out so check in on it and I hope I see some of you there.

And as always I had the great fortune to meet many great musicians and performers throughout the year. I got to sit and help at the merch table for the Avengers reunion show at Bottom of the Hill in SF. The crowd, cut heavily with original SF punk rock glitterati ( and in some cases their kids and grandkids ) was a really inspiring sight and seeing the legendary and short lived band, Noh Mercy was a real treat that night. I also got to talk at length with Jolie Holland after her terrific Noise Pop performance at the Swedish American Hall. Jolie is planning a recording or performance that is inspired by different collected ghost stories, so if you have some contact with the netherworld, perhaps you can contribute to this cool collective project. The best "star" moment I had this year though has to be running into Alexis Turner and Joe Goddard of the band Hot Chip while record shopping for my weekly Tuesday DJ night at Bar 355 in Oakland. Alexis and Joe were both easy going and apparently dedicated collectors of vinyl records, as they each carrying a hearty handful of records and picking some rare 45s off the walls of both Amoeba Music and Rasputins, two great independent record stores in my 'hood.

Whew... made it. I hope everyone has a great holiday season, filled with loved ones. Thanks so much for all the support, encouragement and friendship. I look forward to 2013!


I'm throwing in some free crumblediamonds magnets with all Holiday orders, and shipping has gone down a bit. That and half off most prints are making for some super affordable gifts! Check it out!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

EBABZ 2012 Recap!

This past weekend, I participated in a great and growing festival in Berkeley called The East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Festival which was held at Berkeley City College. The Bay Area is home to many zine creators and independent book artists, and SF hosts one of the best independent publishing conventions ( probably in the world ), The Alternative Press Expo, or "APE" for short. With this huge emphasis on self publishing and folding or stapling your creations into something to be sold for a few bucks, traded, or left as a serendipidtous little discovery in coffee shop, library, record or book store, its not surprising to find that EBABZ has grown a lot in the past three years, becoming a respectable, exciting and vibrant event. I participated in the very first Festival and took a year off last year vowing to return one day with my own book. I was working madly on it right up until the last few hours, and was proud to have my book "Oddfellows No. 1" for sale along with my gig and street printed posters.
I was sharing a table this year, and was pleased to find my table mate was an amiable UC Berkeley Grad student named Brad, who had just completed his first three mini comics as part of a meet up and draw event he organizes at Fantastic Comics in Berkeley. Brad had intricately placed a smorgasbord of candy all over his table and I enjoyed challenging people who asked if they "must buy a comic" to get a candy. It was pretty fun trying to make Brad bust up laughing too, I barely missed a photo of this swarthy fest goer as she noshed happily on a very incongruous piece of toast covered in what looked like marmalade. A picture of one of Brad's comics is below jam lady. His other two are not exactly fit for prime time blogosphere, and his arms got a workout covering those covers as our table for some reason attracted a minivan's load of young kids with their folks. Again blame the candy, probably.
As I kind of indicated earlier, I was in a uniquely upbeat mood on this particular day, influenced for the positive by my lack of sleep and previous night's spent printing on Telegraph Avenue for the December Art Murmur. I had the good sense to wear my Andrew WK shirt, and many people found this to be a step in the right direction. My knowledge of Andrew WK lecturing at this years Comic Con on the subject of ( what else? ) My Little Pony, met with bedazzlement. Brad clued me into the phenomenon of "Bronys" which are apparently otherwise large and imposing dudes who have a soft spot for MLP comics. In any case, none of this hilarity was enough to make me smile when I first arrived and decided to walk through a door of the parking garage labelled inexplicably "Exit". The "Exit" led to this, and with the door closed and locked behind me I was trapped like a lemming in this viaduct for a few minutes while I considered my options. I ended up taking each box and folder off the handtruck and grumpily squeezing through the thin bit of sunlight. Rock on!
I met many other fantastic people at the event, including my left most neighbor, Enola who lives in her van and publishes several zines of her own ( one is called Hawaii 510, and is about her time living similarly on the road in Hawaii ) and distributes several more by other artists and authors. There was also Avy, taking up our flank... Avy draws and makes her own cards and postcards, she completed several intricate crosshatched designs at the fest itself. And so many others! The guy in the dress, a new friend of mine from Seattle, Jay Bryant who is the designer for many of Jesse Sykes and the Sweethereafter's album packages, a very nice woman with a friend who got one of my last Bert Jansch posters... V. Vale, the esteemed creator of RE Search Publications and 70s punk rock impresario, and then George Zimmer, president of the Men's Wearhouse and Berkeley resident. My plan with Brad to tell George he would enjoy several of our zines ( "We Guarantee It" haha ), did not pan out, and I assume possibly Mr. Zimmer was there helping out one of his kids.
Thanks to the organizers of EBABZ and the Rock Paper Scissors Collective in Oakland for joining forces this year on a great day... I think everyone left looking forward to next year...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Art Murmur Redux

This has been a tremendously busy weekend of making stuff... On Friday I participated in the Oakland Art Murmur, and had a booth set up on Telegraph Ave. I was pulling the last color on this two color print and sold many, and met many great people as always...