When approached with the ‘Self Poster’ project I was thinking very basic and clean, too inside my head. The outcome was not very strong at all. Carmile Zaino gave me the advice to “stay up watching television until 3am and then go to work” or something along those lines. Basically, she wanted me to stop thinking and just do/play around.
After reading Roman Cieslewicz’s book Master of Graphic Design, this poster was one that I found very inspiring. As well as his Q & A with Mary Rouard-Snowman:
M.R. You produce a great deal of work. How do you work? What is your professional method, what are your special tools?
R.C. I use all techniques – photography, paint, watercolour, but not drawing. I have one constant inspiration: the circle, the round figure. I often use a screen, which I discovered at Elle when I was making photographic enlargements to focus on a detail. I like the flexibility of the offset screen and its circular shape which allows you to bring in each spontaneous movement of the line. The impossibility of silk-screen prints paying for themselves led me to repeat myself, to fill some spaces between screens with the points of felt-tipped pens. I have made thousands of screens by hand. It was the lack of means, the need for an immediate response to my ideas, which led me to the repetitive reproduction of mechanical techniques. I delight in their numerous imperfections. My favourite colours are black and red. I don’t like blue and I adore lemon yellow, which produces such startling effects when used with black. For all my projects I make sketches to scale: 8 x 12 cm or 4 x 6 cm for 40 x 60 cm posters. First I create the format. I begin with the four corners, draw a slanting vertical and the diagonals from the outside edges. After that I place the figurative elements, framing them more and more tightly, sometimes cutting down. This classic compositional technique suits my eye perfectly. My professional choices and my responses to commissions are driven by impatience – a drawn line or a pencil conveys my ideas more swiftly than any mechanical tool.
Taking Carmile Zaino’s advice, and combining it with the inspiration from Roman Cieslewicz, this is what I came up with.
-J. Tucker Rose