Art & Development

‘Tis the season to get excited and make things

christmas wreath

Ken, my printmaking teacher, used to stock up on canned goods in early December, so he could lay low until the holiday frenzy blew over. I thought it was brilliant. Exposure to Adbusters, anti-consumerist punk ethos and St. Nicholas’ makeover at formative ages made sitting out of Christmas feel cool (and at least a little morally superior).

This year, though, I went for it—and I ended up engaging in the kind of crafty, modest home projects that I think accounts for part of Christmas’ appeal: to get excited and make things, to be creative, to express generosity and gratitude. Projects included stockings (two people can be a family, too!) and preparators’ mini tool aprons for some of the outstanding colleagues I’ve had the pleasure of learning from this year.


preparators mini work apron

I also finished the poster for Southern Exposure‘s upcoming exhibition, a series of four solo projects by Mike Lai, Genevive Quick, Lacey Jane Roberts and Andy Vogt. I had a great time exploring typography and printing with fluorescent inks in collaboration with SoEx, and am quite pleased with the result. Most importantly, SoEx liked it, and two of the artists have told me they were happy with it as well.

soex poster


I can’t wait for November 5th already.

Maybe it’s because I’ve already mailed my ballot, but I’m finding all the election season debating, campaigning, commentary and publicity-stunting to be quite gaseous and slightly nauseating. I’ve had my fill of catchphrases, insistent manipulations of facts, deflections and ugly, reactionary extremism.

I value the opportunity to learn about the candidates, but I’m losing my ability to see past the demogoguery and make sense of it anymore. Where’s the substance? The facts? The reason?

I suspect all this electioneering is media junk food as much as the next televised garbage.

In fact, my political-propaganda-fatigue is reminiscent of Christmas-fatigue — the exhaustion of being bombarded with the omnipresent, fourth-quarter-sales-driven pressure to consume. At Christmastime, I find myself asking, What am I doing in this store? I can’t hear myself think! These days, I’m asking, Why am I clicking on this link? How did I become so partisan? In both cases, I look forward for the quiet of the new year to bring some relief.