All posts filed under: Writing

More Work for the Art Center

I have been a bit busy the last few months! As I have been getting used to my role at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, I have been designing on several levels. As the Director of the Studio School, I create classes and events with my staff (Dalila DeCarvalho, I am looking at you!) . As the defacto art director, I design the materials to support them: pieces for print, web, for educational and promotional purposes. Applying a forming style I have had to design as quickly as possible, so I work within extremely narrow limits. It’s the only way I know to find great ideas, actually. I have limited the options for grids and fonts as much as I dare and let the color story develop as I go. It isn’t perfect, but it is actually starting to turn into a consolidated style my team can use. I have been able to get the catalog set up and it has come together well. I even get to go to Linco to print it! Press check …

Monstress Studio Clear-Out Sale

I am starting a new career, moving my family to a new town, and rebuilding my studio this year as I embark on a new suite of work. Buy some art, support Monstress!

Community Building: Workshop for GSS Members

I coordinated a workshop for Gowanus Studio Space members called Grant Writing for Artists which was led by Andrea Petrini. It’s all a part of my effort to give the studio quality programming that deals directly with the business of being an artist. Andrea is an expert on the subject, being both an accomplished artist and grant writer on the individual and organizational levels. Overall, we all were shocked at how logical the process is; personally, it is hard to think of so many of my regular activities as being worthy of funding. I’d never think of putting a stipend for myself in the budget, for instance. This starvation mentality is from years of doubting my creative output’s value while dealing with the overall scepticism or apathy the world generally seems to be filled with. How amazing it is to consider that organizations are genuinely interested in supporting our work! I came away determined and renewed. Andrea will be giving another workshop in June for GSS members, then we may schedule in a few for …

Results: Paper Litho for Beginners at the Brooklyn Brainery

The class was a huge success! 12 people came (a full house!), and after some initial issues with the paper I had chosen (seems that the Staples brand of 28lb is not up to snuff), we rocked with a mighty roll! Paper Litho Handout Look at all that fun texture! 👀Experiments from @bkbrains most excellent #paperlithography workshop today with @mon_stress #sundayfunday #messmaking #handsonfun A photo posted by Megan (@sugarlamble) on Mar 13, 2016 at 4:36pm PDT Paper litho class kicking off with @mon_stress A photo posted by Brooklyn Brainery (@bkbrains) on Mar 13, 2016 at 12:09pm PDT Learning Paper Lithography #craftysunday #crafty #lithography #sundayfunday #alwayslearning #printmaking A photo posted by cherylcrouse (@cherylcrouse) on Mar 13, 2016 at 3:13pm PDT

Kinetic Vis Comm: Where My Research is Leading Me

I have lived, played, or worked in Visual Communication in some way for nearly 30 years, since the days I discovered I had to draw in order to stay sane. I have been through the waves of self-development and technological change and now that I teach these skills to others, I am always looking for ways to give the most high-impact lessons at the right time. Now, as I find myself drawn to physical computing and other modalities, I have to regroup and figure out how to show my students how to engage as beginners. Once I started teaching at the college level, I taught straight-up web design for a number of years–it taught me process, code, order, and clarity. Now that web design has been tamed rather a lot, I am anxious to find another compelling way into the conundrum of how to show students what is truly possible without overwhelming them from the start. The rub is this: how can I awaken my students to all that is possible without immediately lashing them to the …

Year in Review: 2015

The year was good, overall. I was pretty overwhelmed by the call of service, so everything else paled a bit. My art making took an additional hit, but that was the last remnants of the Year from Hell – Jen and I had to make sure we were back in good financial shape. in 2016, my art and research come first. I am turning down all freelance yet again and turning my attention to several projects that I have managed to keep going in dribs and drabs. This chart covers everything that came within the year and does not capture long-standing duties and projects. Art Design Teaching Research / Service Jan Art show: Beyond Printmaking 4 Created tools for managing fellow instructors of 1167 COMD 1167: Type & Media Parsons Interactive / Web 1 Continued work on Gen Ed Committee College Theme Became a Peer Reviewer for Design Incubation Feb Game of Love used in Vietnam to teach school children Interactive / Web 1 Intensive Workshop Printmaking Club: Valentine’s Day Action, 2015 Mar Game of Love back in development with …

Why Printmaking is Important (And Always Will Be)

I have been getting a lot of questions about bringing the arts back into classrooms of all sorts, so I have begun a series of articles I hope to compile into an eBook for instructors. As an ardent S.T.E.A.M. proponent, an artist, and an interaction designer, I feel we must be able to give our students a wide gamut of experiences in our classrooms in order for them to succeed. Printmaking is a huge part of my personal approach. Printing $500 Bills I still remember when I pulled my first print: I was 22, working on my BFA, and I had no idea what printmaking actually was. I knew I couldn’t afford the supplies for the painting classes and that my allergies had cut short my ceramics career (darned clay dust), so here I sat in a musty basement studio chipping away on some linoleum. It was a simple one-color linocut: I created a composition, transferred it to my block, and carved it out as best I could. I inked it up, ran it through the press, …

Altruism as Your Medium

As I develop my practice as a design educator, I find there are some core ideas that I find I must get across to my students: Work with the tools you were born with before the ones you buy Play without fear every single time Good enough is not good enough when you can do better Give a damn every day and you can change the world This all really started back when I wrote my Master’s Thesis in the form of a personal manifesto for the 2D Design program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Here follows a shortened version: MONSTRESS MANIFESTO Repeat each day you are a cultural producer. I state the (personally) obvious. I remember the audience is my equal. I remind the audience we all choose what we believe. I invite evaluation and interaction. I sell no empty dreams of Perfection. I believe and believe. I CHANGE THE WORLD. This creed has served me well as a professional, as a parent, and as a citizen. It has been the core ethos I …

Monstress: The Initial Plan

In writing these articles, I have swiftly come to realize that I have a lot of work to do to get my practice back in shape. Much of my effort can benefit if I approach my online presence the right way. Having a web site is very nice and all, but being an online citizen is quite another. I try to use this platform as a means for establishing and maintaining credibility, finding peers and support, and generally recording my efforts so I might help others. The following is a wide-ranging examination which will help me hone in on what I need to do. My clarified goals I want to focus in on my art making in a way that helps me get closer to being the cultural producer I know I can be. I want to make work that changes lives while it pushes me beyond comfort levels and presuppositions that I hold dear. I also need it to pay more for itself or I cannot keep it up. It can’t just be a hobby: this is my personal research, and …

Monstress: Objectives & Current State

I have helped others get their cultural producing practices back in shape, now I am trying to apply all I have learned over the years to my own. I had to take a long hard look at Monstress Productions, which represents my longest running art project. This meant looking at Monstress.com as well, which was actually my very first website and online portfolio. What I do with others is sit down for some conversations about history, mindset, and workable goals. I try to get people to see what would really fit their lives, which does involve some delving questions. My goal is to get people to see the value and patterns in what they have already so they don’t feel helpless–amazing how I did not do this for my own art practice until now! Current state of my art practice (and online presence) I have been very busy the last several years and for a variety of reasons, my art practice has gotten shoved into the background again and again. Motherhood, switching careers, recessions? I’ve weathered them all, but …