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  • damien jurado / saint bartlett

    Damien Jurado's new album, Saint Bartlett, came out May 25th, and on May 29th he played an album release show here in Seattle at the Triple Door. I made this poster for it. The whole thing, from start to finish, was a made-by-hand process. I am going to attempt to document that process here, for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing - if you're not, you can just check out the images.

    I have always made a great deal of my artwork on the computer, and this poster (along with one I made last fall as well as a large-scale painting project) is part of an attempt to unplug and get back to a more tangible process of making things. And it was a process!

    This poster began as an idea: embroidery by hand only, with no aid from computers or machines in any way (with the sole exception of scanning the actual piece of fabric to reproduce it). I haven't done any embroidery since I was in elementary school, probably, so it required some preparation and planning. I skipped over to Stitches to purchase fabric, embroidery thread, and the incredibly crucial heat-transfer pencil (this was necessary for making a pattern). I sketched the whole thing up in regular pencil, first. Everything was drawn by hand, including the lettering. Then I flipped over my sketch and traced the lettering on the back of the paper with the heat transfer pencil. This gave me a heat-transferable sketch of the poster - backwards - enabling me to iron it directly onto the fabric so I knew where to place my stitches.

    Labor-intensive as that sounds, the next step was definitely the longest part. Embroidering the band names was a long process, aided by the fact that the band names were none too short. I embroidered at home, at the Jurados', in the passenger seat of friends' cars, and on the way down to Portland for a shoot with Kyle Johnson (that post will come at a later date). I took to carrying my embroidery hoop around in my purse for whenever I had a free moment. To give you a point of reference, just one letter of Damien's name would take me anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on the size and complexity. Luckily, I am incredibly satisfied by this kind of time-consuming handicraft; there's something about the near-tedium that I can really get into.

    Once I finished the lettering, the trees were smooth sailing to the finish. We scanned it once, but I am a perfectionist and was not satisfied with the quality, so I ironed it out and re-scanned it. The original sits now atop my dresser, but prints are also available for $5 via Luckyhorse Industries, here. There will definitely be more unplugged tangible artwork in the near future...

    (Last two photos by the incredibly talented Sarah Jurado)