Designing posters and flyers and sandwich boards for Thrills & Swoon was a fun assignment. Billed as ‘Improvised Romance’, this May 2013 Comedy Festival show makes affectionate use of pulp novels for inspiration.
My own secret thrill for the next few weeks will be seeing the posters on derelict buildings, alleyway walls and other such poster-posting places around the town, along with small stacks of flyers competing for attention with other flyers on coffee shop counter tops. In the category of “details no one will ever consciously notice”, the background here includes a swimming unicorn, a hand drawn rainbow and a sunset from a trip down the Nile I took a few years back. The central couple were part of an Eclipse Photographic shoot five or six years ago, for a completely different WIT show – but some looks never go out of style. The satin in the foreground is a Photoshop tinted picture of my old red petticoat. Sometimes commercial stock pictures just don’t have the elements you need.
Another poster off to the printer today. This intriguing improv show uses audience input as starting points for some well twisted tales.
It’s part of the 2013 Fringe Festival happening in February-March; so if you’re in Wellington, come to opening night, or, ok, one of the other nights.
With a shiny new computer one of the minor chores this week has been rebuilding my collection of filters and handy-dandy favourite tools. I love Photoshop, but another graphics programme I’ve used for more than 10 years is IrfanView , a deceptively simple image manipulator, useful to quickly resize or rename a folder’s worth of pictures, do quick touchups and cropping on individual pictures, and any number of other essential tasks. It’s entirely free – but worthy of a Paypal donation.
Irfan even lets you run 8bf filters. I’ve been rediscovering some old-favourite pattern-makers, the sort of things I use to make background textures and patterns to incorporate into more elaborate Photohshop projects. The free Mehdi plugins include some lovely effects – today’s images are the result of running some very ordinary pictures (of my first tomatoes of the season, and a fly that happened to land near them) through the Kaleidoscope filter. It’s fun to play on the border between recognisable-but-strange and completely-abstract.
Yawny starting points
Another great show from the Wellington Improv Troupe is due to start soon, a nine week soap opera, and I’ve been having a bunch of fun making some publicity material for it.
My bit of the project started with a half-hour photo shoot (that half hour included setting up the lights and photographing about 7 performers in different combinations). Then there was the real work of making online banners and icons, fliers and an A0 poster for the venue window. I love playing with retro design, but the 1980s when the show is set ain’t quite a classic era yet – the challenge was to evoke a ‘design essence’ of 1982, but not in such a way that it’s going to be mistaken for merely accidental old fashioned styling. The design also needed to let the possible audience know this will be more comedy melodrama than serious exploration of New Zealand education in the Muldoon years.
If you are in Wellington on a Wednesday during August and September, you should definitely come to the Fringe Bar and check out the
poster show for yourself!
On a photography night-walk through the city I encountered this wonderfully lit demolition site, with the gates open to allow a truck full of debris to exit. Went too far when processing for noise, but decided I rather liked the surreal effect; it was a pretty surreal scene.
Handheld, ISO 1600, f1.8, 1/125
Finished: the flyer for The Last Saloon, a show in the NZ International Comedy Festival in Wellington next month – should be an excellent time!
Just sent another promo flyer off to the printers – should be a fine show, based on the generally wicked-yet-lovely-and-nice women appearing in it!
Photoshop has a lively community of people who make handy textures, brushes, tutorials and patterns available for free – sometimes as an excellent way to introduce their commercial products, sometimes just for the love.
One site I go to when I need to pose figures artistically against a gritty wall or rolling wave, and I just don’t have a picture of the right wall or wave on file, is Texturemate.
Texturemate has hundreds of high quality, well made, nicely organised and all-round very useful textures. And, all free to use even commercially.
With added grit, thanks to texturemate