Michael Beirut just made my Friday afternoon with his article over at Design Observer detailing his student portfolio from the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (from which I, Dairy Queen, General Disarray, Polish Princess, Mad Hungarian, Dutch, Matthew, and many other commenter on this blog also graduated.)
Two of my favorite parts of the article:
1. Plaka. For those who have never been forced to use this paint, well, you're lucky:
"That's not to say that we didn't learn practical things too, like how to render letterforms in a brand of black and white poster paint called Plaka that was specially imported from Switzerland and stocked in the UC bookstore expressly for us graphic design students."
2. JOE BOTTONI! A real stand-out on the faculty, mostly because of his casual attitude, white Easy Spirit-looking sneakers, and funny sayings (like calling good solutions "happy accidents"):
"This was a classic assignment given by Cincinnati professor Joe Bottoni that I believe is still given to this day: pick an animal and render it in simplified forms. I have fond memories of sketching gorillas at the Cincinnati Zoo. Oddly enough, I don't remember seeing the work of local boy Charley Harper until much later. Thank God, because he had taken almost all the available animals for himself. Painted by hand, again, in black and white Plaka."
Oh, the smell of Plaka and the feel of Color-aid sheets on a crisp fall morning. I miss Cincinnati and my school days. Luckily, I'm headed back in about 4 weeks for a visit.
A few of Beirut's expertly painted gorillas...better than whatever animal I chose, which was so mediocre in execution that I can't even remember its species.