What a kick in the pants it was to be asked to create art for the side of an air plane. GSD&M Advertising—Southwest Airlines—Shamu Air Plane. Because I am a woodworker and I was not satisfied with what my broad nib steel pen was giving me, and the song of the pen, ink, and paper was out of sync, I made a special pen from an oak ripping for this project, which I still use today. When it’s right, then I can write!
This was a unique challenge using "H", "L", and "P" for a wedding monogram. After hand drawing the letterforms several times I came up with the ligature connections that worked. Refining the monogram using Adobe Illustrator the letterforms began to flow together very well. The client loved it. Happy bride begets a happy bride's mother which sets the tone for a happy wedding. What more can I do for my client but, to please them.
Inspired while listening to Roxy Music’s 1982 album Avalon at 2am one morning I began sketching these freeform letters based upon Celtic calligraphy. Later I read about Bryan Ferry and how he started working on the material for Avalon while staying at Crumlin Lodge on the west coast of Ireland. I had no idea that the Celtic spirit in the music would take me there but, it did. I continue to test myself in what I can do. New techniques, shapes inspired by past scribes and modernized by current tools. I must always remember that there is always more than this.
Eric Johnson was inspired by the "Birth of Cool" exhibition at the Blanton Museum at The University of Texas at Austin. We talked about the art and music of the time, how album covers looked, conceptual type play and so on. This concept is based upon a very popular illustration style of using colored tissue paper and gluing the shapes over one another to gain more than a few colors because the bottom tissues show through the top providing combined colors. It's a funky color theory process. This was created by scanning colored tissue and drawing the letterforms in Illustrator and pasting the shapes into InDesign for windows to place the scanned tissue.