Day 12

I've lived a life of relative ease, and as such I'm not sure I relate very well to hardship. I've never taken death very seriously. And people that don't take death seriously probably don't take life very seriously. However, I'm getting better, or is it worse? I mean, as I age I've seen more and understand more. My best friend growing up, as cliché as it sounds, has seen a lot. He's the most creative and feeling person I've ever met. We both moved to Hinton the same year and became fast friends. An aside: it was a conversation with Jim that set me to start this daily project.

It's hard to write about this without giving the full story, but as an adult Jim walked into his boyhood home to find his stepfather dead. Jack Cornelius, a Vietnam vet who'd raised Jim since middle school, had committed suicide. That exposure and acquaintance to death, can't help but tinge his work.

This poster is based on a 50-word short story that he wrote. It's a piece about empathy—beyond mere words, literally joining in another's pain. It's a piece about the suffering Savior. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin." (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)

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Day 11

A few of the Daily Artifacts were the fruits of whatever I happened to be working on that day. This poster is simply the cover artwork for a collection of essays written by members of University Baptist Church, Shawnee on the topic of resurrection. The book was distributed in-house, so to speak. UBC is home to many fine writers. Linda Pence, a former English teacher in the community took up the task of compiling and editing the book and then wrangled me into doing the cover art, which really didn't do the book justice.

Here you'll see a brief allusion to my fascination with the Wood-Type Poster style. Awhile back I was turned onto Hatch Show Print, a traditional letterpress print shop in Nashville, Tennessee, and was forever changed. The cuts or decorative elements in this piece are a bit too Rococo as I think back on it, but the condensed, decorative caps conjure up the Old American West aesthetic fairly well. Early pioneers during westward expansion favored wood type because of its light and smooth qualities, not to mention it was lighter to transport and more readily available than metal type of the time. Since the wood was hand-carved, craftsman took liberties by adding flourishes to the serifs. All-caps were common as it meant less to carry—26 characters instead of 52.

New Creation | 11 of 366 | April 4, 2011

Day 10

The towns I've lived in for any extended period of time—El Reno, Hinton, Weatherford, Oklahoma City, and Shawnee, Oklahoma—have all been along Interstate 40, which roughly follows the path of Old Route 66 from Oklahoma City to California. Billboards advertising motels, gas stations and local attractions are an inescapable part of the road-trip landscape and have been since the early station-wagon pioneers of Old 66.

This billboard, which I snapped on one of a thousand trips out west, could hold its own in any contemporary art gallery, but it's unlikely that its creators had such aspirations. The haphazard nature, and beauty, of the composition is a consequence of resourcefulness. The separate regions have been recycled—cobbled from other billboards in the area. Right to left: 1, 2, & 4 - Cherokee Trading Post; 3 & 6 - Texaco (Texaco stations were converted to Shell stations in the recent past); and 5 - KOA Campground.

Deconstructivist designer, David Carson, once noted that these randomly assembled billboards are probably more effective than the originals. What was meant to be a neutral plane of "unadvertisment" becomes quite by accident a violation of our expectations, which makes for great visual communication.

 

40 West | 10 of 366 | April 3, 2011

Day 9

Like a recurring dream over several months, I kept sighting this station wagon around town. On this day, I spotted and photographed it while my wife was grocery shopping. The occupant in the car appears to be asleep, relaxed or dead. It took a bit of finagling to remove the original background, in favor of a more ethereal placement. While the original, photographed car was indeed stationary, it takes on a sense of movement when placed in front of the "A–B" and oriented towards a target.

Our concrete understandings of life exist only between the fixed bookends of A (birth) and B (death). This car, as a metaphorical life vessel, travels along an x-axis with an acquiescent occupant well past point A, through point B, and towards a finish line of sorts (The flags were photographed at a used car dealership across the street). It's a poster about life and death, and life beyond death.

FYI: the car is a Dodge Aspen Limited Edition.

 

From Point A to B | 9 of 366 | April 2, 2011

Day 8

Growing up in rural Oklahoma, public transit was as foreign as foreigners. My first trip to New York was 3 years ago, and I've returned three times since then. Learning the subway is practically mandatory, and I consider myself sort of an expert now. I have the KickMap App and I've even given other people directions, granted they were subway virgins from Georgia.

At certain subway stations there is a physical person (which is really the only kind of person) selling metro cards, but at most stops customers interact with a digital interface that dispenses cards. When it's time to pay up the machine asks you to dip your card. I'm not sure why I found that language so interesting; it evoked ideas of a chocolate-covered card, dipped like a dilly bar.

As far as process is concerned, a Hershey bar was melted in the microwave and I found a few sprinkles in the cupboard. I'm not the best of hand models, but I took probably 20 pictures to get this "selfie" just right.

The poster also alludes to the translation from liquid assets to a good. The verticality of the credit card implies a meter, half-full and half spent on mere indulgence.

Dip Your Card | 8 of 366 | April 1, 2011