Malcolm English, 'Carnaby Street'

Malcolm English's illustrations for Tom Salter's book 'Carnaby Street.' 1970, color lithographs

Source credits, clockwise from top left: Pinterest/ n/a; Pinterest (s3.amazonaws.com); sweetjanespopboutique.com; sweetjanespopboutique.com

United; Divided

I drew this when we were driving back to San José from Puerto Viejo. I've been listening to a lot of Shabba Ranks, Damien Marley, and the likes lately and keep hearing "divided we stand, united we fall" in the lyrics of these Jamaican artists. I'd never really contemplated this phrase I've heard all my life as an American student until now— maybe because it feels astonishingly relevant at this moment in our society, with the division in our country unbearable, suffocating, and encouraged almost daily by our leader(s). I had this image of letters hand-carved into hand-made stone and concrete churches and schools. Maybe I saw a lot of that on the Caribbean coast or maybe it was on my mind from the constant parade of news images of Hurricane Irma engulfing the Caribbean islands. Anyways, I wanted to recreate the sharpness of those letters. I was picturing something resembling United Sans, but my chubby pen didn't allow for the crisp edges I envisioned. It still felt really empowering for some reason to meditate on and gain some gratitude for this concept.

My sketchbook drawings/documentation from Costa Rica plus some calligraphy practice. 

My sketchbook drawings/documentation from Costa Rica plus some calligraphy practice. 

'The Happy Film' with Sagmeister

Last night Christina and I saw Stefan Sagmeister for a Q&A and a showing of his film experiment The Happy Film. And today I am feeling more inspired, creatively, than I have since college. Sagmeister is one of the most influential and prolific graphic designers of modern — but really of all time. No other designer has had nearly as big of an impact on my creative approach and process as Stefan has. His hands-on experiments and typographic executions helped introduce me to graphic design in a way that made sense in my must-be-tangible design style. Also, he is hilarious. The combination of his Austrian accent, dry and awkward demeanor, and endless curiosity and depth of knowledge in all fields makes him enamoring to observe in person. He was great. I loved him. Christina loved him. And his film is a must-see film, for any and everyone, designer or non-designer. You can't know what to expect before seeing it at the risk of being put off by how unorganized and confusing it may seem. It will be available online early this summer. Learn more here

Stefan Sagmeister answering audience questions at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz after a showing of his film,  The Happy Film

Stefan Sagmeister answering audience questions at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz after a showing of his film, The Happy Film