Tag: collaboration

Gabe Morales + Friends T-Shirt Design

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A few months ago I collaborated with my younger brother again, this time on a t-shirt design. If you’re new here, my brother, Gabriel, is a talented musician who has played all over Roanoke and other parts of Virginia with a host of other talented musicians. I’ve also worked with him on the design of his business card, debut album, and a few gig posters (Blues for the Holidays / A Brief History of the Blues). Check out his website for more info: www.gabemoralesmusic.com

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Our goal for the design was to create something simple, but bold. We eventually went with this pedal board design. I drew it by hand in ink first and then turned it into a vector. I was able to play with textures and patterns inside of the geometric shapes and then Gabriel played around with the color scheme and placement of the text.

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The design was printed on soft white cotton t-shirts by local printing company, Press Press Merch. For now you can purchase a shirt at any of Gabriel’s shows, but they will be available online soon. Click here to view his upcoming shows.

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Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Project: Banda Magda T-shirts

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I’ve been sitting on this story for several months, but now I can share it with you! So there’s this amazingly talented international group of musicians called Banda Magda. I know of them through my musician brother, Gabriel, and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live at Jefferson Center in September of 2013 and I felt like I had been transported to another place. It was such a beautiful and entertaining show.

Magda Giannikou, the band’s tireless leader (pianist, accordionist, singer, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, music producer, etc.), is constantly creating and working on new projects. Last year she and her band put out a new crowd-funded album titled Yerakina. During the crowd-funding campaign, she also released a call for illustrators who could help design T-shirts. My brother told her about me and we were soon Skyping and sending messages back and forth talking about goals and ideas. I was a little nervous about the project since I had limited experience in graphic design work, but Magda had faith in me and was very supportive.

I whipped up a couple preliminary sketches based on Magda’s vision and we discussed style, color, and other content. Magda wanted the shirts to be quite bold, but simple and also educational. We decided to create two different shirts and each would feature a different musical instrument (vibraphone and pandeiro).

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Once I had the final drawings done, it was time to make them digital and add text. This was the most challenging part of the project. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I was learning as I went, which is a great way to learn, but also very time-consuming. I learned how to create a vector and I played around a lot with color and placement. Many changes were made along the way, but the designs were eventually finalized and t-shirts were printed! Now many of the people who helped fund Yerakina own one of these shirts and you can also purchase them online here. The shirts have been traveling around the world as Banda Magda tours.

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Speaking of tours, Banda Magda’s last stop on their most recent tour was Jefferson Center this past Tuesday. I saw them perform again (SO GOOD!), and I also finally met Magda in person. She is so sweet and she exudes creativity and passion. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and seen her perform live. What an amazing experience!!

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Banda Magda is working on their third album, Tigre, which will also be crowd-funded. Click here to check it out and consider supporting them! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo

LINKS
Banda Magda Website
Banda Magda Shop
Tigre Pledge Fund Page

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The Bookshelf Chair: A Collaborative Project

Today I want to tell you about one of my first collaborative art projects. In the spring semester of my freshman year of college (2010), I took a 3D Design class. I have to be honest and say that I struggled in this class more than in any other art class I took, but I definitely learned a lot from it. I’m happy to share, however, that the semester ended on a really good note for me.

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The final project for the class was a collaborative chair project. We had to work in groups of three and create a chair out of non-traditional materials. I think we had about 4-5 weeks to complete it. The first part of the assignment was to create three prototypes and my group’s weren’t that great… It wasn’t until we hit up a thrift store in Harrisonburg (one that became a favorite store of mine later on) that we landed on a really good idea. We thought about creating a chair by combining two bookshelves and adding on things you might find on a real bookshelf to create parts like a foot-rest, arms, a back, etc. We did have to clear this idea with our professor since wood is definitely a traditional material for chairs, but the idea itself was non-traditional so she approved. The original sketch was pretty rough, but we eventually came up with a really nice design.

Now that we had a 2D design, it was time to make the actual chair. Here are the supplies we ended up using: 2 identical bookshelves (about 3 feet tall each), lots of old books, and a candle holder that was just for decoration. As freshmen, we didn’t have cars so on one of the trips, we had to walk about a mile from the thrift store to the art studio carrying stacks of dictionaries and other thick books. All I can say is that it felt way longer than a mile.

The actual creation of the chair was the most challenging part. I was lucky to have such hard-working group-mates. I’m not sure how much time we spent working on the chair, but I’m going to attempt to summarize the process. We wanted to create a throne-like chair, which meant we had to deconstruct the bookshelves a little bit. We cut a semicircle into one of the top shelves to create a curved back, got rid of the other top shelf, and attached the two bookshelves together.

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Old dictionaries were arranged to create the seat, back, and armrests. To make the armrests more comfortable, we cut them into a curved shape with a band saw. The dictionary  used for the seat “cushion” was opened up to the page that had the definition for the word “chair.” Clever, right?

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The footrest was created by adjusting one of the shelves to where we were able to slide it in and out easily. We glued the books on that shelf to the wall so that they wouldn’t move when the shelf was pulled out.

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We put a lot of effort into making the chair look as finished as possible. We even painted the visible nails so that they would match the color of the wood. My group was really happy with the result and I was really proud of myself for contributing to such a cool piece of art that was also functional (it was surprisingly comfortable to sit in!). Thanks for reading :]

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Fall is Approaching…

I’m not doing a very good job of keeping the site updated, I know! :/ The last few months have been crazy in a slow kind of way if that makes any sense… The future is still a little fuzzy, but I have been taking steps toward the things I ultimately want. I promise I’ll actually elaborate on that in the next few posts (which will not be months apart…). After some updates, these are the next 5 posts you can expect to find here (maybe or maybe not in this order):

  1. My August show at Larkin Arts
  2. The story behind the collaborative bookshelf chair
  3. The story behind the conjoined twins project
  4. The zillions of hours that led to me finally earning a teaching license (this will probably be split up into multiple posts)
  5. My experiences at some conferences/workshops in the last year

I have so many things I want to share! That’s just part of the list :P

 

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