Monday, December 29, 2008

illustration as a handmade gift

Here is an illustration I created as a result of my committment to give handmade gifts this year...

concept: New York City
materials: pen, pencil, paint, prismacolor marker, newsprint, cardboard, and photo matte
dimensions: 27"x19"

The photo was printed on newsprint and mounted to cardboard. The letters were done by hand using pigment liner and prismacolor marker; the letters received three applications of ink. The "ity" was cut from cardboard and white paint was applied to some of its edges.

Here are some close-up images:

© 2008 joe blend. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 19, 2008

"ink snacks"...a zine preview

I decided to post more preview images since the first zine will be listed for purchase in January 2009, roughly two weeks away (I'll post in my blog and on Twitter on the day of official listing).

Although the materials are inexpensive, it takes a while to make one zine. In order to establish a reasonable number of issues per year and zines per issue, I am going to make as many as I can over the next two weeks, then evaluate the production based on number of zines produced and the overall time it took to make all the zines. At that point, I will etablish an official production for ink snacks. Although I reserve the right to make any changes to the price prior to listing them in my Etsy shop, the tentative price per zine will be $3.50 U.S.

Zine name: "ink snacks"
Concept: bite-sized creativity
Content: prose, poetry, and small format artwork...along with a few surprises in each issue
Dimensions: 4"x4", unfolding to 14"x17"

zine cover

opening of zine (bound with linen binding thread)

close-up of cover typography

ink snacks (tm) cover design © 2008 joe blend. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

reduced price for my photography prints

Thought process

I realized that although there is a lot of work and creativity that goes into each photograph and print, at the end of the day it's still an inked piece of paper that does not require the same types of development that film-based prints had. There are no chemicals, no physical darkroom, no lengthy process; in contrast, the digital photography development process is quite simple once you develop a solid process for uploading, batching, color correcting for print, etc. Also, I don't sell my prints with a frame and/or matte (since I want to leave those decisions in the hands of the buyer) so there are no additional expenses on my end.

New pricing structure:

8" x 10" (individual print, limited edition of 150) - $35.00 U.S.
8" x 8" (individual print, limited edition of 150) - $32.00 U.S.
5" x 5" (individual print, limited edition of 150) - $27.00 U.S.

Prices for a series, for different dimensions, or for smaller editions will be based upon these specifications.

My intentions

The goal has always been "determine a price that is fair to both the artist and the buyer", which is harder than you may realize, so my decision comes from that objective. Having said that, this decision is not based on market trends or other general retail fluctuations; these prices are permanent and will not change again.

Prints and purchases

Each photography print is part of a limited edition and is printed on Epson Photo Paper; each purchase includes a signed print with it's number in the edition along with a certificate of authenticity.
To make a purchase, or view information about each photograph, visit my Etsy shop at Please review the shop policies prior to each purchase.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

thoughts on materials - "Staedtler pigment liner"

primary use: drawing, general line work
overall opinion: Good

advantages: great for final drawings, shading in small areas, multiple point sizes (0.1 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7mm) allow for great contrast in line weight within one drawing, nice control of application, waterproof, archival.
disadvantages: points can be ruined if drawing on paper that has a rough surface (such as certain types of handmade paper), ink will bleed on certain types of papers, not practical for rough sketching due to quality of ink.

misellaneous: this is my favorite medium for drawing; I love the control and smooth application. My favorite aspect of these pens is when the tips start to wear down; you have to use a little more pressure, which allows for even more control and a finer line weight with the 0.1 mm tip.

For more information on Staedtler products, visit their website at

thoughts on materials:

...prismacolor markers
...carving block
...coming soon (sketch pencils, espresso)

Monday, December 01, 2008

zine, issue#1...sneak preview

So here's a little sneak preview (although quite vague)...

What I'm showing here are the letters used to create part of the title for each issue's cover. I drew the letters on a linoleum block, cut out the type, then used small nails as handles when dipping the letters in paint and stamping them onto the cover of each issue. The beauty of this is that I get a slightly different result each time, along with some other great features that properly serve the zine's concept.

I'll post more images prior to the release date (check Twitter and abstractLatte for those updates).

thoughts on materials - "prismacolor markers"

primary use: color application
overall opinion: Good

advantages: great for two toned color, uniform application in small areas, great for bleeding if that's what you're going for, application can be easily controlled with practice, has two sizes of points (fine and broad)
disadvantages: excessive bleeding can become a problem if you're not careful, not good for coloring large areas, colors don't mix well, slight odor depending on how close you are to the end of the marker

miscellaneous comments: This is currently my favorite medium for color. The manner in which their ink soaks into paper is perfect for getting two toned color application without using watercolor or other diluted media; I find that the manner in which it bleeds combined with its opacity (at least with the medium to lighter tones) can allow for some interesting color applications.

What I will advise is that you practice applying the color to different types of drawings prior to using it on a finished piece of work. Depending on the type of paper you use, the color will most likely bleed outside its area of application and sometimes very easily (especially on newsprint); this can be an advantage if that's what you're going for but if not, you may need to adjust the application accordingly.

thoughts on materials:

...Staedtler pigment liner
...carving block
...coming soon (sketch pencils, espresso)

"thoughts on materials"

This section focuses on various types of art materials (both traditional and non-traditional) and their unique characteristics.

Some specific information will include a medium's reaction to different types of paper, good and not-so-good times to use them, advantages and disadvantages to their use, etc. Some materials are my favorites while others I try to avoid; regardless, I'll cover all the ones I've used and will venture into new territory to cover new materials when possible. While I have a number of materials at my disposal, I don't always use them regularly so new listings may not be added to this article on a predictable basis. As for traditional versus alternative materials...I have no preference; each element used in art is important and its origins, although possibly non-art based, are not as important as how well it may serve a particular project.

Art is a great experience, it thrives on new ideas and experimentation. My hope with this section is that it motivates you to try something new or to look at a familiar material in a new and interesting way. Any updates in this category will be provided through Twitter...

thoughts on materials:

...Staedtler pigment liner
...prismacolor markers
...carving block
...coming soon (sketch pencils, espresso)