Postcrossing – set 1

The first batch of postcrossing cards is ON ITS WAY! :) I’m quite happy how they have turned out.

Alpaca postcrossing card

Bike postcrossing card

singing in the rain postcrossing card

It might be a while before I make new ones, because I have problems with printing the cards. That’s why it took me so long to finish them — I don’t have a printer at home. I used to go to the DIY copy shop at the university campus, but since a year or so they have made the copy shop “more efficient” (it’s also no longer DIY) — which means they replaced the two kind old ladies that used to run the place with ten students and a lot of old-fashioned equipment. It now takes 50 minutes and two employees to print one A4-sized paper in full colour and cutting it to the proper size. :(

If you know a good (on-demand) printer in the area near Nijmegen, please let me know!

I will take requests for postcards, by the way. If you want a hand-drawn card as well, leave a message in the comments, or send me an email. :)

Adventures in reading

This week I was in the local library. I go there every now and then, especially after processing a lot of theoretical theory, to clear my head. I just sit somewhere with a pile of interesting books and breathe the quiet library air, or I wander from bookcase to bookcase drinking in titles and subjects and genres. I love getting lost in a library. For me, every book is a door. I get high on books. My favourite thing to do is hiding myself in my room with a weeks supply of food and then binge-reading for hours and hours and hours on end.

I felt adventurous, so I decided to check out a part of the library where I had never been: the section for graphic novels.

I normally don’t read graphic novels. I’m a bit of a nerd, so I’ve read V for Vendetta and some of the Sandman and Death stories by Neil Gaiman and Maus because I love history, but that’s it. The collection in my local (medium-sized city) library is not extensive or anything, but there certainly were interesting (storywise and graphicwise) books to be found. I ended up reading half a graphic novel while standing next to the bookcase because I was so engrossed. Eventually I sat down and finished the whole thing.

shenzhen book cover
The cover of Shenzen by Guy Delisle
Continue reading Adventures in reading

Glam Pop inspiration

Inspiration can come from weird places. I am an active member of Pinterest and most of the time, this is the place where I get my daily dose of visual input. I hadn’t thought of using video clips as inspiration until a friend showed me a number of extremely glamourous video clips, mostly from Japanese and Korean pop bands.

This video clip by the Japanese metalband BABYMETAL uses elements of Japanese traditional culture and Japanese horror stories. I really like the traditional clothing and the kitsune (fox) masks:

Continue reading Glam Pop inspiration

Screen printing

In September I took the most difficult courses in university of my life. I am a computer science major and the specialization I chose for my masters was the most abstract direction one can choose: mathematical foundations of computer science. For 6 months, I studied type theory, category theory and complexity theory and wrote a research paper on term-rewriting.
To keep my sanity in these months of abstract thinking (and the obligatory ascetic lifestyle) I signed up for a course in screen printing from Jeanne Verbruggen at De Lindenberg, the local arts & crafts institute.

Every Tuesday from 6 to 10 in the evening I would get my hands dirty with paint and chemicals while experimenting with screen printing, assisted by a very kind teacher and 5 other people. We would share ideas, techniques and tricks to prevent things from going different than planned. Since I normally work with digital media, this ‘hands-on’ way of making art was a revelation and an adventure. I absolutely loved it!

Screenprinting a portrait of Bertrand Russell

It was also very challenging. There is no undo-button in real life, so when making art, a good idea and technical knowledge is not enough. You need a fair amount of concentration and also the experience to really make something.
I learned a lot during the course, besides the insight that analogous work has its own benefits and rewards.
The course is now finished and I have a stack of prints made during the course that are now ready for processing.

If you want to learn more about screen printing, I like this blogpost by Jane McGuiness where she explains the creation of one of her prints.