Sep
29

The Art of David Weidman

By

51eGbFILTwL._SL160_Last week I had an interesting encounter with fate at the bookstore. After rummaging around in the clip art area looking at various repeat pattern collections, I began to leave the art section of the store when I suddenly turned back,  feeling like I wasn’t done.

I then found myself in front of the graphic arts bookshelves (not usually my first spot) and started scanning the logo design books in front of me. I pulled out a book, but a different book came off the shelf at the same time and fell onto the floor with a loud thud. Startled, I hastily picked up the book to make sure it hadn’t been damaged, and fell in love with the cover. Gorgeous.

Since I basically think everything is a sign, I put down the generic logo book and picked up this wonderful book of the serigraphs by David Weidman and found a chair to check it out. A few minutes later, I was out the door, book in hand.

Inspiration

The Whimsical Work of David Weidman and Also Some Serious Ones is perfect bedside perusing for me at the moment. Chock filled with layered, playful, sophisticated images, it offers a visual feast and some great design lessons. I’m so crazy about this book, that I wanted to share it with you in case you wanted to pour over something wonderful in the evenings as well.

desiderioshirt1Almost all  of his work are serigraphs–silkscreen prints. Back in my twenties, I had a clothing line with a friend–I printed all the fabric using silkscreens and woodcuts and she sewed every piece.  (We went broke pretty fast because we didn’t charge enough for these hand done garments, and because we started off broke, but that’s another story!)

So needless to say, I’ve loved silk screen printing for a long time, even though it’s kind of gone by the wayside in this digital world. But maybe that’s why it feels so fresh.

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Lessons in the Images

His work is such a great teacher–I love studying the composition, the layering, and how he builds wonderful characters from very simple expressive shapes.

I am also very inspired by the way he uses color as a graphic element, and how he bounces back and forth between really bold images/shapes, and lots of decorative detail to create a sumptuous surface and a wonderful narrative.

When I sit with the images each night, after I’ve drunk in their beauty, I begin to visually dissect them–why do I love this image so much? Why is it so successful? This both really increases my enjoyment of his work and is super useful for thinking about my own work, about what I’m trying to make/say/create.

I think his work speaks to me so much because I’m always trying to do what I think he does so successfully–move back and forth between the flatness of the surface and creating depth with color and layering.

I love the way he sometimes breaks up his pages into horizontal strips and creates a flat narrative that goes down the page–kind of echoing old woodcuts with his contemporary silkscreening. I keep thinking of the Marseilles Tarot Deck (love!) as well as medieval illuminated manuscripts.

I also really appreciate how he often creates images with negative space, and how it takes a while to figure that out. Nice.

And because he screen prints different images on top of each other, the multiple layers fill in the blank of the negative space to create interesting texture and depth. And of course, because he has such a great command of color, he makes it all look so easy.

He’s got a great site where you can buy prints and posters of his work. How fun to actually own one (of course my two favorites are no longer available! Ain’t that the way!) You can check it out here .

If you want to buy the book, you can buy it from Amazon here or maybe suggest that your library buy it!

Are You Inspired?

Have you been inspired by another artist/designer/craftsperson lately? If not, a fabulous book with lots of wonderful images that you find compelling could be the ticket to getting your juices flowing again, or maybe just flowing in a new direction.

And just slowing down and taking the time to study what someone else does right is really pleasurable and a great way to invest in your own creativity.

What are you reading lately–books, magazines? Whose work excites you? Leave a comment because we’d love to hear!

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Categories : Inspiration, Reviews

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