solarbird: (korra-excited)

Heavy weekend of graphic design and editing here at Supervillain Studios. Particularly the editing – Anna got through the last sweep of Bone Walker the novel today.

The CD case we’re using for Bone Walker the album is wraparound-style! It’s also damn near indestructible. It comes from Australia, so that’s undoubtedly why. But it also means we can do new things with the art:

There’ll be a little booklet on the inside again too, with thanks and liner notes and all the usual. This thing is becoming physical, it’s turning into an object. (An object that, I remind you, you can pre-order. You’ll have a good shot at an extra present, too.) The album is starting to manifest.

…and the book is not far behind. Pre order now, because pretty soon, it won’t be a pre-order anymore.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Default)
The chandelier in the media room was really meant to be used in a dining room or something - it's too low, there's a big lower heavy bell that's the largest shade on it, stuff like that. I've raised it and removed the lower bell with the idea of pulling out the arm carrying the bulb entirely, but I fiddled with a much smaller porcelain shade and some decorative copper wire and I think I'm onboard with it.

The bulb in the new small lower shade needs to be brighter, I think, but not as much brighter as this picture makes it look.

solarbird: (korra-excited)

The soundtrack album is still at the mastering engineer – these things take a while, particularly since we’re having the same people do the replication. We’re using the same people that SJ Tucker uses for her CDs (thanks for the rec, Sooj) and I know their work, it’s quality. We’ll be getting it back in time for the release show at Conflikt, and there’s still time to pre-order it and help us pay for all these things.

Here’s the disc label graphic, as sent to the printer. It’s Kiri Moth’s art. Pretty, no?

All these pre-orders will be signed, and one of them will get a small special present included. Remember that test CD I was carrying around for a while? I posted about it back in October, and talked about carrying it around to places here.

One pre-orderer will also get that test actual CD. There are differences, too – we made mix changes on three tracks. I’ll sign that, too, and include a little note certifying that yep: it’s the one in the picture. It’s unique, a one-off, and if you find those sorts of things interesting, well, this is how you can get a legit shot at one. It’s not super-fancy or anything – it’s a CD-R with sharpie writing on it, I mean, go look at the picture. But it’s the only copy of that exists, and there won’t be another.

You can pre-order here. The pre-order ends when the CDs get here, and I don’t know exactly when that’ll be. So if you want a shot at the bonus stuff, now is the time. Clickie!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (music)

This came up in talking about posters for this Saturday’s joint show with Leannan Sidhe at the Dreaming. (6pm, 5225 Univeristy Way NE, Seattle, hope you’ll be there.) What matters more in a poster graphic: relationship to music or dynamism?

I had came up with this poster design:


The background image is from a comic, drawn comic style, which makes sense because hi, comic book and gaming store, and we’re doing some related songs, so it all works. I think it’s quite dynamic and eye-catching, which was my primary consideration.

Shanti, quite correctly really, felt it didn’t relate to her music, and she came up with some other imagery for the background. That’s what made the official poster:

Godking Owl Has No Pity For You

It’s a good image, I like it. It is more evocative of her music. It’s also lower contrast, and less dynamic from a distance. The eyeflow is still good, but… as a designer, I think it’s less attention-grabby.

So, as someone seeing these posters, which matters more to you? A graphic that is more grabbing (but not as evocative of the music style), or one that grabs less attention (and thus makes people less likely to see it) but which is more evocative of the music on some level?

And does it matter if you already know the music or not?

I tried to fit this into a poll, but couldn’t quite get it together in my head. So I’m just asking outright, in text. Do you think relationship of poster graphic to music is more important than eye-catchiness in show posters? Would you even think about the two if you went to a show, or would you forget about it as soon as you walked in?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (molly-content)
Shanti (fairly, I think) thought the previous background didn't fit her musical themes well, so she made another one.

solarbird: (Default)

It's not an official poster, but I stole a couple of elements, mostly Shanti's treated photos of herself, Jeri Lynn, and me.
solarbird: (Lecturing)

I’ve started a special-purpose Tumblr blog dedicated to an old newspaper I found being used as packing material at an estate sale. It’s called Seattle—July 20, 1971 (or “Let’s Read the Newspaper!”) and it’s photos of pages, ads, ephemera, and mostly-local-news articles from salvageable pages of that newspaper.

No deep meaning; just ephemera.

I won’t be crossposting that here, so if you want to follow it, go follow it separately, either on Tumblr or via its own RSS feed.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (shego-rule?-you?)

Well, it’s official: my music has enough fans to be worth pirating. Yay?

They’re both in Russia and they’re probably going to be 128kbps preview-grade streams (or worse – one’s lifted from YouTube), so yeah, have fun with that. I’m kind of flattered. I mean, to keep copyright I’m kind of required to protest (hence this), but lol yeah like that works. XD

But still, if you like my work, throw me some coin, eh? Stuff costs money. :D

Any of you hit any weird milestones like this? What’s the weirdest milestone you’ve ever hit?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (utena-with-anthy)

I made that new version of the comp sheet I talked about this morning. GIF embedded, PDF linked, in case somebody likes it that much.

PDF version

Changes: “Project” label added. Pink subsection lines (very faint in print) added. “Notes” section moved; “Legend” section added (see below). In-worksheet numbers changed from black to light blue, for easier visibility of marks made by pen. Top-sheet labels moved up a little.

I’ve got a fair bit of comping to do, so I’ll get to try this one out soon. The pink lines are just there as guides and print very faintly on my printer, by design. I thought about adding a leftmost column to indicate what each subsection meant, but that cost marking space, so I added a legend section down at the bottom instead.

I tried pink lines in notes, too, but they were really hard to see and I want them more obvious there. So I either needed to change them back to blue, make them a lot thicker, or introduce another colour, so I kind of decided it was best just to go back to blue.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (cascadia dance dance revolution)

I found these on Tumblr and edited them up to print resolution. :D

Shatterdome Maintenance Level

The studio is actually on one of the upper levels of the Lair. The last thing you want to do is lose satellite signal when you’re aiming energy bolts at your enemies. It’s just sloppy. Besides, if we’re going to be launching jaegers, who wants to wait in elevators?

Particularly when we drop the bass

Extreme crush hazard. Extreme.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (music)

How goofy is it that the same day John Scalzi updates about Snailquake – as a proposed companion piece to Sharknado – I simultaneously dig up 20 year old goofy fanzine art I did on Bad Ideas in Mecha Design: MechaSnail?


I actually think that MechaSnail would make a fitting opponent for Sharknado. They’d be highly effective as long as the Sharknado isn’t saltwater OH NO THE SAME FATAL FLAW STRIKES AGAIN WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING MECHASNAIL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (shego-rule?-you?)

It’s less a “rainbow” and more a “raindot” or maybe a “rainsmudge,” but it was pretty, in its own little -68db way.

Solstice in Seattle

And after the way the internet has been filled with assholes this past week (like eliminationist much? and goddammit Mike Krahulik makes it hard to be a Penny Arcade fan sometimes*) and, I thought, hey, we could all use a little of something not entirely horrible.

At least Kickstarter apologised for the horrible rape-manual project, which meant I didn’t have to decide about (and feel horrible about) either backing or not backing Abby’s webcomic. Because that webcomic looks awesome and I wanted to back it. And now I can. Yay!

I think I need something to kickstart my motivation. Or maybe it’s just that had-to-get-up-early-to-meet-the-plumber kind of 1am-the-next-day guh-just-kill-me-already feeling, because I can’t even get up the motivation to go to bed. How fucked up is that? I should invent a GO TO BED RAY or something. I can’t just repurpose the Fukkit Field, because that just makes you not do anything and you end up typing on the internet…


Did I leave that on again? Damn.

*: Seriously. It’s like, I’ve been a fan since 1998. I have the original ill-fated Year One book. I look forward to PAX months in advance. I get to play all the games, and as videogaming events go, it’s one of the less hostile and sexist. But despite that, you get horribleness like this. So I’m torn, right? I’m torn between, “Fuck you, you can’t force me out of here” and “Fucking hell, how the hell can I support these assholes?”

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (molly-wistful-rain)

In Monday’s post about clearing out my old glass art studio, I mentioned a completed piece called Water Dragon. A reader on Dreamwidth asked for a photo. This is a phone photo, and the piece is very dusty in it; I’d clean it up, of course, before any sort of handoff:

Water Dragon

I want the unclaimed pieces out, so like I said, make an offer.

ALSO! The YouTube version of Episode 3/June 2013 Geekmusic Podcast is now online, for those of you who like your podcasts with captions. Soundcloud, too. Enjoy!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

poison ivy

Jun. 3rd, 2013 11:11 am
solarbird: (bubbles-is-hardcore)

I've had a hoarse and horky weekend, thanks to forgetting my seasonal allergy meds on Friday - I must be the only serious supervillain who can be laid low by forgetting her antihistamines* - and I'm pretty much thinking I want this retail therapy:

...on the T-shirt. I mean, honestly, the band name comes from the opening credits of this show. Well, of the show they're parodying, The Powerpuff Girls. Who are they protecting Townsville from? Crime, and the Forces! Of! Evil! How can I not? XD

But I also have way too many T-shirts. I collect them for concert-wear, in form-fitting sizes (usually small), so I can show up on stage with a Fire Ferrets/Republic City T and things like that. It's fun. :D

But I do have an awful lot of them at this point.

Maybe I should get this one larger. It'll probably shrink. Now, where did I put that Chemical X...

*: You know what'd be funny? If Poison Ivy** had pollen allergies.
**: Strangely, I am not allergic to poison ivy. Or Poison Ivy, for that matter. But she's got a girlfriend.

ps: I did a bunch more work on the website over the weekend. Little things. Did you know the albums on the blog can play while you're reading the blog? Check it. :D And if you see any bugs, let me know!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (korra-fruck-out)

Three days left of prep for nwcMUSIC 2013/Norwescon 36. Everything is a little crazy and I am up to my ears in making support material.

There are particular work items I’ve been dreading. The MONSTARRS OF NERDCORE poster inspires particular ph33r, despite having the idea.

See, I always do big banner posters for each night’s concert sets. They get changed out every morning. I’m used to that. But this big nerdcore event needs a separate poster, because it’s DIFFERENT and UNIQUE and a ONE-OFF and a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE and and and I haven’t drawn much lately. Plus, my old Wacom tablet doesn’t work with any actual computers I actually currently own, because it requires a physical PC serial port on an actual PC motherboard, and believe me, I have tried and failed to work around this.

But Monoprice has these kind of shockingly cheap tablets for cheap. So I got one, and jeezum crow that’s better. Somehow, I’d forgot how much tablets improved drawing.

Click to Embiggen

It’s big – 11×17. I’m really happy with how it came out. Here, have a massive print-resolution MONSTARRS OF NERDCORE PDF. Suitable for framing!

Anyway, lots more to do. Will you be there?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: I made this! From a photo. (emma peel)

Once upon a time, I was a software developer. Actually, for a while. One of the slogans when I worked at Previous Borg1 was, “Real artists ship.”

Which also means “real artists work on their art, not just their tools.” Most of these DIY posts are about tools, not the art itself, and really, for me at least, tools are awesome but actually using them to make something is moreso.

So I’ve posted a lot about DIY equipment-making lately and will do so more in the future – but not today. Because some decisions have been made, some plans have been finalised, and it’s time to stop working on tools. It’s time to put up the Big Board2 and start making some recordings, because we are finally getting underway with the Free Court of Seattle soundtrack album.

Now, that’s really as much about DIY as anything else, since, after all, I am doing this myself. Therefore, there will still be DIY posts. They’ll just be process instead of toolsmaking. I’m not abandoning you. ^_^ Plus, I have a tools-making DIY post coming up from a guest writer in another month! So watch for that.

And that’s all for now. On the way out have some poster art I did for another band who have a Seattle show coming up in a couple of weeks. Visually, they’re way more about the light psychedelia than I am – I’m kind of the opposite of that, aesthetically – but they like the art so much they’re thinking about doing a T-shirt of it. That’s gratifying. ^_^

Leannan Sidhe Show Poster, Wayward Coffee

1: Previous Borg: Seattle always has a Borg, which is to say, the employer or industry into which you will be assimilated at some point. Once it was timber. Then it was the gold rush supply business. Then it was Boeing. Then it was Microsoft. Currently, it’s Amazon. I worked at Previous Borg.
2: Is the Big Board worth talking about?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cascadia dance dance revolution)
I don't do much light psychedelia - I'm mostly a designer, which is kind of the opposite of that - but Leannan Sidhe asked me to do a poster for their upcoming show, and that's the sort of thing they and their audience enjoy. So I gave it a go last night:

Leannan Sidhe at Wayward Coffee

From a design standpoint, it's a bit all over the place, but hi, psychedelia. Leannan Sidhe are quite happy with it, which is good. It's not like the posters I make for my own shows, but I got to use some techniques I rarely use, and that was a lot of fun. The starfields and moon graphic come via NASA; the band outlines and the outcropping the band is standing on are things I drew off of a couple of different band photos.

The print resolution copy (huge) is here. I really like how the curves of their logo interact with the moon surface - you can see it better at print resolution. That was all new technique for me (and is a bunch of stacked layers) and I think that came out well.

Oh, and the show is October 27th at 8pm, in Seattle, at Wayward Coffee. As you can tell from the poster. I hope. XD


Oct. 11th, 2012 11:52 am
solarbird: (Default)

ran out of ink again
solarbird: (banzai institute)

Spent the whole morning working with the printer on colour matching for the cover of Anna’s book. Screen-to-print colour matching is still such a pain in the ass.

Non-sarcastic pro tip: Photoshop lets you edit its CMYK output profile curve directly. If, by editing that profile curve, you can duplicate on screen whatever assholery the press software is doing to your artwork on paper? Do that, then hit the little button to invert the curve. This’ll result in Photoshop doing the opposite – overcompensating on screen in the other direction – and the two errors will mostly cancel each other out.

That’ll get you 90% of the way there. Then fiddle with that to finesse it the rest of the way home.

I also have a cool Westercon announcement but it can wait until I have time. :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!


Apr. 28th, 2012 07:56 pm
solarbird: (Default)




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