A Certain Slant of Light, Typographically Speaking

Posted on April 6, 2013


The project was vastly ambiguous, and also constrained.  Assignments like this always break my brain in the beginning.  It’s like breaking in fresh clay, I think.  In the right hands, something good will undoubtedly come out of it.  Speaking of breaking, here’s the project du jour:

gotta werk

I could have done an Emily Dickinson variety show.

But it took on a different shape:

photo 1 (1)photo 3 (1)photo 4 (1)That was the easy part.  The hard part was taking this to the next level: I decided to make a computer-viable piece of art that used text as paint.  I’d never done that before, but for some reason Jesse convinced me that I could do anything with an iPad.  So I fumbled around with search terms in the app store and settled upon two apps for under three dollars.  That’s so cheap I typed words to tell you the price.  The first program I used was Sketchbook Express FREE.  I imported my photos and used a transparent layer to trace them.  Then I flattened them together, and the resulting framework looked like this:

photo 5 (1)

eh? eh?!  Pretty spiffy.  I did that! ^ I had no idea.

So the next step was the most time consuming, but fun.  I used the app TypeDrawing for iPad v3.0. I colored in and over the “vector” drawing above with selections of verse from the Emily Dickinson poem which begins “There’s a Certain Slant of Light…”  I tried to be clever about it, when possible.  Here is the result, with a “key:”

photo 1

The shadows contain the line “shadows hold their breath,” the snow is the whole second stanza, the sky is the whole first stanza, but the darker bits say “when it goes ‘t is like the distance.”  The sun says “certain slant of light,” the deer say “when it comes the landscape listens,” and the footprints (did you see them?) say “look of death.” Oh Emily.

After I saved the image above, I signed my name across the whole of the sky in the picture below in text that says my name.  lol. Oh Lans…

photo 2 (1)

As an added bonus, TypeDrawing records your efforts!!!!!  Zoinks!!!

a. I never would have thought of that, and

b. How fracking cool is that?!

I was wondering what that play button was for in the “gallery.” I can’t post the video here, which is just as well, because it would be really long and boring to watch.

So I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of my process with breaking from form.  I certainly did break from my form to do it, and it was awesomes.