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Archive for August, 2010

To OFF I go…

August 12th, 2010

This weekend is the Ottawa Folk Festival, and I’m a little more excited about it than in past years… that’s because I’ve been working fiendishly on the event’s t-shirt and program design! I can’t wait to see all the volunteers and staff wearing the duds (sneak peek here, courtesy of Ming Wu :) — plus there’ll also be merch tees being sold.

This is the final t-shirt design:

I’ve shown it on a turquoise background because that’s what the women’s tees will look like (the unisex tees will be heather grey, and the kids’ tees will be red).

They asked me to come up with a design that was clearly music-based, funky, community- and nature-oriented, and not the typical banjo or guitar imagery… so I came up with this Seussian fellow and his critter bandmates.

Behind the scenes, my process went a little like this…

After a few sketches on paper, I did up a rough illustration in Corel Painter (as always, on my trusty Cintiq):

I brought the graphic into Adobe Illustrator, did a “Live Trace”, then cleaned things up a little; that’s what I presented for my first round of mock ups. For the next round, I went back to do a more complete drawing, again in Painter:

And again, I brought it into Illustrator to vectorize and clean it up, plus I added the text. Apparently, the woodpecker on the keys was a big hit at the OFF office :)

As for the program, I was able to use a lot of different elements from the t-shirt illustration throughout. Here’s the cover and a sample two-page spread looks like:

It’s been tons of fun to work on (though admittedly hectic!) — and I am so grateful to have been asked to do it.

Here’s a funny thing: I started up m chen wears a couple of years ago because I wanted to do more illustration. And as a direct result of doing these crazy t-shirts, I have been getting more creative work in my graphic design day-job. I never knew that my side gig would end up feeding my main gig! This particular project came about because one of the OFF staff had seen my shirts.

Just more proof that if there’s something you really love to do, then do it — and it might just grow into something bigger.

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Wolfe Island wrap-up — with videos

August 11th, 2010

What a terrific weekend we had at Wolfe Island. We wimped out on camping and stayed at MacDonald’s B&B, in a cabin separate from the house:

This used to be a stable (hence the decor), though it felt so tiny… and then, we found out why:

Just next door was a larger stable with a horse… and a MINIATURE horse. Turns out the MacDonalds used to breed the minis, and the sweetie above is their last one; she’s 29!

As for the MUSIC… well! It’s taken me until now to sift through, fix up and post all the vids I took. I’ll let them speak (sing) for themselves:

FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE GENERAL WOLFE HOTEL
Katie Moore (with Snailhouse) — Rush Enough

Cuff the Duke — Another Day in Purgatory 

SATURDAY AT THE MAINSTAGE
Jim Bryson (with Jill Barber and The Weakerthans) — Freeways in the Front Yard

The Acorn — Dents (Glory, Pt. 1)

Diamond Rings — On Our Own

Bahamas (aka Afie Jurvanen) — You Release Me (please correct the title if you know it :)

Think About Life — again… let me know if you know the title to this, please. These guys were the surprise hit for me — I’d never heard of them, and they blew my socks off!

Shad — We, Myself and I

The Weakerthans — One Great City!

The Weakerthans (with Jim Bryson) — (Manifest)

Another highlight of the weekend for me:

That’s me with Shad, who’d had a phenomenal set just hours before. John snapped this at the after-party, and when we left, Shad was on the dancefloor, still wearing my re[TURN] shirt. Whee! We will be back next year, to be sure.

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Return to Wolfe Island

August 5th, 2010

Last year, I went to the Wolfe Island Music Festival for the first time, and I had a blast. I’m going back again this year — again, to partake at their Vendor Village, but also just to enjoy the tunes. We’re wimping out on camping this time around, since standing at a booth and selling t-shirts all day after only 2 hours of sleep was a bit of a challenge last year (those campers like to party!).

Also vending will be my buddy Stirling Prentice, aka Winged Beast Outfitters. His tees put a smile on my face:

I Heart Good Bands - Men's and Women's T-shirts

Robots are Coming and They Want Kittens - Men's and Women's T-shirtsIf you’re an indie Canadian music-head and in the neighbourhood, I recommend the festival — it’s a free ferry-ride from Kingston, and a really nice laid-back event.

Have a terrific weekend!

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© 2010 Emily Chen Design & Illustration. All Rights Reserved.