new work

i've been steadily producing work this past year, but i haven't been sharing too much about it. 

there have been little snippets and sneak peeks pop up on instagram (which is the best place to find out about what's been happening lately). 

i had this idea that i would accumulate a multi-layered, multi-media collection of work, as a way of testing myself, to see if i was capable of the intensive work that accompanies grad school, and also to see if i could produce enough for a solo-show in a gallery and the short answer is yes to both. 

in this past year i've made over 12 focused paintings, and combined with my quilts and embroidery series, i feel like I would have more than enough work to fill a small gallery. 

but the most important thing was that i didn't feel a crushing pressure while creating, as there wasn't a weighty deadline or a demanding list of rules that the work needed to fit within. (these things are important for process-based art). 

i added a new tab to the website, called simply- new work. there's one gallery so far and it showcases 5 of the new 'surface filling' paintings. please check it out and let me know what you think. 

i also am doing something that i hesitated to do, which is, selling my work. after you've spent so much time with your pieces, they feel like children to you. and if i sell them all, how will i fill a small gallery? but the simple answer (and why i was inspired to do it) is that to sell some of laborious artwork i've fabricated would enable me more funds to make even more art. and i need new canvases in order to keep producing and creating and growing and evolving. 

thanks, as always, for your support and appreciation of the work i make. 

momentum

wrote a poem about the passage of time.

my browser quit and the work dissolved into the ether.

ain't that poetic.

 

process-based art in a nutshell. 

you have to be okay with chopping it up.

being impulsive and knowing when to let the work be gone,

disappear into the mystical computer space where lost files roam free.

i'll try again another day.

a series of stitchings

surface filling stitches have always been enchanting to me.

they feel like a journey.

wandering threads traveling across the linen.

they feel like a freeform squiggle, where there is no wrong move.

the entire purpose is to make a mark. and so you make one. and then you make another. and they don't have to lead into anything, they don't even have to connect. they don't have to be the same color, they don't have to be anything at all. they don't need to be fancy, like detached chain stitch, or delicate french knots. they can be. but they can also be haphazard and strewn about. 

they feel like meditations.

they feel like a softly spoken whisper. 

they feel like a landscape, but peered at from a distance that you can't quite make out where things align, like your perspective is skewed. and again, there's no wrong answer. maybe it's an aerial photograph being emulated. or an underwater coral reef. but maybe it's just nothing at all. just marks on fabric. and that is perfect too. 

 

from the studio: branding + design

sometimes i do little graphic design projects for freelance clients and friends.

just wanted to share a sweet little rebrand i did for my dear pal christina of sogentlybefore.

she is a very talented poet and fiber artist, and wanted a more grown up look for her little shop. 

i envisioned something simple, with clean lines and just the right amount of crisp graphic lines while maintaining a hand crafted aesthetic. 

here's what my work boards looked like as i dreamed up some icons and a new logo for christina and her company. 

and the final result ....

:) 

laila

 

let's talk type: lovely signage

i've been instagraming 

some of my favorite signage 

from around chicago

recently.

marquee lights in blue door cafe. chicago, il. from my instagram feed (@laigrai).

marquee lights in blue door cafe. chicago, il. from my instagram feed (@laigrai).

busy beaver button co. chicago, il. from my instagram (@laigrai).

busy beaver button co. chicago, il. from my instagram (@laigrai).

 

i've seen lots of likes and love 

so i thought maybe you would be interested in seeing

some others that i've captured elsewhere

with my proper camera!

 

shall we begin?

 

i swoon for cursive!

i can't believe they're not teaching it in schools anymore....

i loved perfecting my letters, and practicing

the swoops

and dips

and curves! 

excellent example of what i consider classic signage - from france

excellent example of what i consider classic signage - from france

lovely script from a pastry shop in boston, ma.

lovely script from a pastry shop in boston, ma.

dolles taffy shop signage in rehobeth beach, de.

dolles taffy shop signage in rehobeth beach, de.

i remember watching my left-handed friend john

make his S's from bottom up 

(easier for lefties?)

and i mimicked him,

and to this day i make my S's from bottom up

and they are distinctly less 'pretty' than the rest of my writing

haha! 

i've always been keen on observing handwriting and letter forms.

 

i also adore packaging.

maybe that's why

simple signs in shapes 

feel so classic to me?

snips of type - paris, france

snips of type - paris, france

euno in boston, ma.

euno in boston, ma.

beach front signage - southern france - nice

beach front signage - southern france - nice

no type in this sign, but it is near and dear to my heart. rabbithole cafe in williamsburg, brooklyn

no type in this sign, but it is near and dear to my heart. rabbithole cafe in williamsburg, brooklyn

i find when the signs are made out of unusual materials

that catches my eye as well!

like this old wooden c.o. bigelow signage from nyc (below).

and most of the examples of oval/rectangular/floating signs above.

c.o. bigelow in nyc.

c.o. bigelow in nyc.

another 'no fail',

i will always admire

category of signage is:

weathered signs and vintage advertisements

even better if painted on bricks.

furniture and carpet store signage. boston, ma.

furniture and carpet store signage. boston, ma.

furniture and carpet store signage. boston, ma.

furniture and carpet store signage. boston, ma.

from my instagram (@laigrai). the daily news (on the side of a residential building. lincoln park. chicago, il)

from my instagram (@laigrai). the daily news (on the side of a residential building. lincoln park. chicago, il)

old confectionary shop. avignon, france.

old confectionary shop. avignon, france.

faded type and newer block type, with pieces missing. so good. bakery in carcassonne, france. 

faded type and newer block type, with pieces missing. so good. bakery in carcassonne, france. 

vintage faded singer advertisement in limoges, france. 

vintage faded singer advertisement in limoges, france. 

i'm sure i have more images stashed away on my computer,

but that about wraps it up for my ongoing 'best of signage' folder 

i keep on my desktop for me to drag my favorites into

to inspire blog posts like these.

 

i'm working on generating more original content with this blog-space

so i hope you enjoy this post! 

xo, laila

 

all photography by laila grainawi.