Posts Tagged ‘blog: stuff I made’.

Boom! And a Bear Comes Out

I wrote a song! It has been running through my mind for a long time, and I finally said “You know what? It is time to FINISH THIS. Time to lay it down. Time to make it the PARTY HIT OF THE SUMMER.”

Boom! And a Bear Comes Out from David Malki ! on Vimeo.

(Download the MP3)

I hope you like it!

If you also have a nagging “cool thing” that you need an excuse to finish, why not submit something to the Machine of Death Talent Show? We’ve pushed back the submission deadline to April 20, and we will accept video performances from remote participants (although if you’re in the Los Angeles area, we’d love to physically put you on the stage)!

More info here. If you can’t submit something, we hope you’ll at least watch the show on the evening of April 26, either live in Los Angeles or livestreamed at MachineofDeath.net. Here’s the Facebook event!

I will tease you with this as well: everyone who’s able to attend the show in person will go home with a very special item that we’ll be unveiling the evening of.

Admission will be free, so if you can’t make it, send your Los Angeleno friends!

These Are ALL Their Stories

Brandon Bird has posted all of the pieces from the “These Are Their Stories” Law & Order-themed art show, including my very own (detail pictured above).

I particularly like “Sugar Daddy Suspected of Murder”, “A Rich Man And His Very Young Daughter Are Shot” and Brandon’s own “A Complicated Murder Case”.

The show is on display right now at Gallery Meltdown in Hollywood, but today is the last day!

We made a sign

For the book sale this weekend!

1506 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice CA 90291. Sat & Sun, 9-4 LIKE THE SIGN SAYS

How to Make a Calendar, Part 5

Now Put A Bow On It

Continued from Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Although the printing is complete, and the room no longer smells like denatured alcohol & paint thinner (except for the splash I’ve added to my coffee for a little pick-me-up), there’s a bit more to be done before the calendars are Formally Finished. Once the covers are signed and numbered, all the cards are collated into sets and double-checked to make sure nobody’s getting two Augusts or getting shorted a February. Although I do want to sow a sense of existential ennui among the populace at large, we now have too many external calendar systems for any minor rebellion here to be tremendously effective, and I will save my efforts in that realm for more grandiose schemes.

Last year, we collated the cards by setting the stacks around a table and then continually circling the table over and over, picking up a card from each successive stack like it was the world’s most obsessive comic-convention freebie table. That was a very dizzy way to do things. This year we just kinda put them in a long row and then walked down the row a bunch of times.

With the cards collated, they’re then SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION into little capsule units that can be thrust headlong into our shipping workflow:

And these, along with the easels if desired, are what customers get! We spent the full day yesterday packaging and shipping, and I’m pleased to announce both that: all pending pre-orders have been sent, and all new orders are shipping out immediately. As of this writing, less than two dozen copies remain. Please, if you’ve been on the fence about ordering, don’t delay — I’d hate for you to miss out. UPDATE: You guys are too much. They are all gone!

(I will also be a little sheepish here and say that if they sell out while I’m asleep tonight, and I’m unable to update the store in time, please forgive me if I have to write an apologetic email. Hopefully this won’t happen.) ack

That buzzkill aside! I am so tremendously pleased with how this whole process has gone that I can hardly tell you. (Though you cannot fault me for trying.) Whether you buy a calendar or not, whether this has inspired you to make anything creative of your own or not, whether you’re even the least bit interested in this process or not, I hope you take one key thing away from this entire, long-winded story. I’ll put it on its own line and bold it so you’re sure not to miss it:

You can make something from nothing.

Let me repeat that. You can make something from nothing. The Wondermark Calendar is not a model kit that we assembled from directions. It’s not a box of LEGO┬« brand interlocking building blocks that we dumped onto the floor and then very precisely made into a spaceship. The LEGO┬« brand interlocking building blocks that we used were paper and ink. Any meaning that they have been given is meaning that we have fabricated.

You can do this too. I’m not saying you should necessarily make a calendar, or start hunting eBay for a GOCCO, or anything so specific — I’m saying that the tools and the effort and the materials and the sweat that went into our project are nothing my wife and I have a monopoly on. They are not hard to fathom nor out of reach. It just takes work: exposing yourself to ideas, swishing them around with other ideas and original notions, being a bit of a perfectionist at times, and just working at it. I know I’m never so satisfied with my job as when I sit down and make things that used to not exist.

(click)

I’m going to stop there; you can run with that ball anywhere you like, or leave it be, as you prefer. I just think it’s neat that there was nothing and then I had some cockamamie idea and figured out where to buy paper and stuff and then, a bunch of man-hours and problem-solving later, there is something. This is a thing we wrestled into existence. If you buy one of our things, you will be getting a tidy little package made of paper, ink, brass, and force of will.

If this calendar stays in your house, in the most quiet stillness of an afternoon when everything is at an ebb — if you get very close, close enough to see the fibers and detect the thin mounding of the ink over the paper — and if you hold your breath and if your refrigerator isn’t on and if the pets are all napping and nobody’s trying to email you right then –

– If the rest of the world is silent, and if the light catches it just perfectly right, I do believe you will see this thing’s heartbeat.

Thanks very much for all your kind attention this week, and for your wonderfully flattering patronage. While I was writing this, I went back and checked and it looks like one more has sold. I am serious. Get one now, if ever. UPDATE: They are gone, compadre. Wowsers.


That being said, I understand that this isn’t for everyone, and to those folks, sorry for hammering on this point all week. Thank you, regardless — I will make other things, on other days, for free most of the time, and presumably you will be able to share in those. It’s been a fun week but it ain’t over yet so now I am going to go to bed.

How to Make a Calendar, Part 4

Printing Pluperfect

Continued from Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

With screens prepared and supplies obtained, it’s time to print! Each screen is inked (above), affixed to the GOCCO, and THE PRINTING BEGIIIIIINS

One new challenge we had this year with the thermofax screens was the concept of cleaning and re-using the plastic frames. At the end of a run, the screens typically end up looking like this:

With the help of magical chemicals, we scrape and clean the ink off each frame, the mesh screen itself gracefully retired with the dignity due a hero whose job has been completed with honor (i.e., it’s tossed into the trash). Then, using several flavors of tape and tape-like compounds, a new screen is affixed to each frame! THE CYCLE BEGINS ANEW.

To be quite honest, this is a messy, time-consuming and smelly part of the process, and for those considering doing a similar project, definitely consider having all your screens mounted on separate frames ahead of time. It might be a much smarter use of time and energy than cleaning all these ridiculous little frames and running out to get more double-sided tape and cursing the heavens because a screen was adhered slightly crooked because you are not as good at doing this as someone who has set up a business doing it and has likely done it many more times more than you have. Takeaway business advice: Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Still, time-consuming or no, the method does work! Using just those six frames, we successfully printed 38 screens’ worth of designs onto over two thousand individual cards.

Now comes the fun part!

Every single calendar is individually signed and numbered. And they’re sent out in order, so the later you buy, the higher number you’ll get in the series. Do people care about getting low numbers? I’m not sure. Anyway, if you do, time’s a-wastin’! As of this writing (Thursday morning), over half of the run of 150 have been sold, which means that the very lowest numbers are already gone — but there are still calendars available, which there won’t always be, and they’ll be shipping out as quickly as possible all the rest of this week with love and kindness included at no extra charge.

Most places charge extra for that! Or they bury the kindness cost in suspicious “handling fees”. We guarantee all our kindness is certified organic and hormone-free. It will absolutely not gum up the inside of the shipping envelope. (We have learned our lesson about that.) Seriously, it is good.

If you haven’t ordered yet, won’t you consider it? We have been working hard all month on something that you can enjoy all next year!

And to those who have ordered: thank you so very much! SHIPPING BEGINS TO-FREAKING-DAY


Anyway there is still ONE MORE PART TO GO!
Tomorrow: Part 5: Putting It All Together