New in the store today.

Soulcraftcandy greetings cards ©JonTremlett2013

Hot off the press, some of the new greetings card designs are now available in the Soulcraftcandy Store along with accompanying larger prints of the three images and an old favourite. So, if you’ve ever had a problem finding an appropriate card for that biking friend or relative and always come up short, then here could be a solution for you.

 

The three card designs in this first foray are from the Cafe Racer series of biro drawings completed last year and among my favourites. They have been digitally printed on heavy card stock with a matt finish to lend them some quality. They are A6 in size which works pretty well and helps me to offer them at a competitive price for a pack of three. Go take a look even if you’re not in the market, I’d welcome any feedback you’ve got.

 

The images on the cards are also offered as larger A3 and A2 fine art prints for those who feel like owning or giving something a bit more unique, and these are limited edition this time around, with a run of 250 prints in each size for each image. As I may have mentioned before these are Giclée prints of archival quality, fade resistant and on heavy stock acid free cotton paper.

 

That’s it for today, though I’ll leave you with a glimpse of something I’ve been fiddling with whilst I’ve been thinking about what I could put on a t-shirt. It’s just a sketch, but it could lead somewhere.

Soulcraftcandy sketch by Jon Tremlett

 

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In between times.

Cafe Racer sketch ©Soulcraftcandy 2013

There always seems to be a kind of unintended lull between the end of one project and the commencement of the next. It’s a time of reflection yes, moments spent considering the quality of the recently finished work but, it’s also a period spent shuffling bits of paper around whilst ones butterfly mind flits from one thing to another in an attempt to decide on what to tackle next. I am coming to the end of one of these phases at present. Whilst every impression is given that this is somehow wasted time, much more has been happening in reality.

 

Previously I mentioned wanting to get the nine small colour Cafe Racer pictures made into cards. Well, I did and they turned out pretty well. Using an online printing service that did some business cards for me a while back, Moo.com, I elected to have a small batch printed. The advantage of services like this is that you can order very small print runs which keeps your financial exposure to a minimum as you test the water, as it were. I ordered twenty of each design, so twenty sets in total. I also ordered twenty five each of three greetings cards based on the black and white biro drawings done last year. The intention is to try and sell them via the Soulcraftcandy store on Big Cartel. Well, that was the intention, and it still stands, though a good friend who’s starting up a bike building workshop and store has just taken virtually all of my stock off my hands, leaving me with a few greetings cards. However these will hit the store soon.

 

Time has also been spent thinking a lot about making stuff, something I haven’t done for a while and need to do more of. There are some fresh t-shirts sitting here waiting for an introduction to some printed transfers of some of the drawings, just to see how they’ll come out and to spur me into developing some specific images for printing on shirts in the future. Two books from the library about working in precious metal clay sit on the shelf awaiting further investigation, though I have no idea if I possess any latent jewellery making ambitions, and I’ve been checking out the costs of various sheet metals because I’ve got some mad idea that it might be fun to try and draw on metal with a Dremel tool. So, not much whizzing round the grey matter!

Cafe Racer © Soulcraftcandy 2013

To keep the hand and eye in shape, a couple of new drawings are about to start too, the first of which you’ll see here in rough sketch and tuned up pencil versions. I’ll try an ink and wash version, perhaps a biro one and, having just found an old dip pen in the drawer, perhaps an old fashioned inky thing. Time to get cracking.

 

 

Sketching, lots of sketching.

Dragster ideas.

With the print store now active, some space in the old brain is now free again to concentrate on filtering through influences and inspirations, sketching out ideas and hopefully generating some new images. Getting back into the swing of things as it were. It has also provided a moment to reflect on where things are going and how to try and incorporate various ongoing media experiments into the work flow.

 

The recent visit to the Dragstalgia meet at Santa Pod raceway has gone some way to rekindle interest in the whole dragster thing and this has started to filter through into the pages of the sketch book in preparation for launch into some more finished pieces. Like so many aspects of this motorcycling interest it serves up so much visual inspiration it seems often difficult to decide which bits to tackle first. There is a kind of blindness that descends upon you when venturing into an enormous retail store sometimes, there is so much stuff in front of you that you have no idea where to look first. It’s the same with some of these biking subjects, particularly if one finds oneself staring at the panorama of images downloaded from the camera into your photo library. The feeling can be that you are looking at everything and nothing at the same time. I find I can only get round this by switching it off and doing something else for a while. The subconscious is then somehow released to do what it does best and filter through the information before popping a mail into your mental in-box to let you know some form of direction has been chosen.

 

This is the time to sketch.

Dragster ideas 2.

 

Setting up shop, episode 2.

King of corners sample print.

You will have read in my last post that things have started to come together for the opening of the small internet shop for Soulcraftcandy where you will be able to purchase high quality prints of some of the drawings. I thought it might be interesting to write a little bit about the journey to this point so far.

So how are things going? Well, not too bad actually. Whoever you seek advice from in these matters, like in most cases in life really, you will receive plenty of information. All advice is good, you just have to work out which bits are most relevant to your course of action and use most of it to guide your decisions rather than slavishly following one point of view or another. Such was the case with the choice for which on-line retail supplier to go with. As it turned out, once this decision had been made, loads of other stuff seemed to fall into place as adhering to a given format or template made decision making much, much easier. There were some things though that remained outside of this comfortably convenient arrangement.

I know from many years selling design ideas to clients that although a concept may be brilliant, how others perceive it can be heavily effected by how you present the idea. In a sense the beauty of the presentation must be as wonderful as the idea contained within it, in order for it to gain maximum impact. Thus I knew that the quality of any prints I would be offering would have to be very high. I’d heard about giclee printing before, in fact I bought a print by another artist last year, it’s an impressive process. the challenge was to find a giclee printer in London who would take on my work. With a bit of research I’ve found one, and I think our relationship will be a good one. I chose him for all the usual good reasons but what really swung it for me was how I felt when entering his studio for the first time, it was immaculate. No offcuts or waste anywhere and spotless equipment. If ever there was a place which strongly adhered to the adage of “ a place for everything, and everything in its place”, this was it. The part of me that likes a tidy workshop and a box of clean, well kept tools was very happy. I ordered some sample prints from him and they are lovely.

The one at the top of this post is enlarged to A2 size from the original A3 format. I wanted to see what would happen to the line work and the drawing as a whole at an increased scale. I’m more than pleased with the result and this size will be offered in the store alongside the original A3 size for all prints. It’s almost as if I drew it originally at this size and after a bit of fiddling with saturation levels and such like, the image prints beautifully. Biro ink is not unusual in that the black is actually made up of lots of other pigments. As a result, when you digitise an image it often has a hue about it which can be perhaps blue or purple in nature. This can be difficult to control if you’re printing straight off, so a bit of careful adjustment is always required to get balance right.

King of corners sample print at A3

This print at the bottom is the A3 size. I clipped a business card to the board to give some idea of relative scales. And please excuse any discolouring in the photos. Even on a bright sunny day the camera seems to make up its own mind about light levels. You can though see the door of my shed, a small but meaningful space often used for moments of creative alchemy.