In honour of the hail today, I’m posting a recent poster I did for the North Shore Chorus’ spring concert! They wanted something with riotous spring colour, but rather than go a literal route of flowers I found this gorgeous painting to use as a background. I hope the cherry blossoms that have been peeking out this week survive today’s weather!
For their 2016 fall and winter concerts, I created a unified theme for the Pacific Spirit Choir posters. Using different kinds of stock images, I kept a consistent look with the large rectangular panels, and bold colour gradients. Each poster had to be re-interpreted as a bookmark as well, adapting the elements of the larger image to a smaller, narrower area while retaining the legibility and feel of the original. I’m looking forward to taking this same style into their spring concert poster for a fully cohesive 2016/17 season!
The dust has finally settled after the July Cor Flammae concerts, and we are so pleased to have another successful summer concert series under our belts, and grateful for the artistic experience that came together.
When we chose REFUGE as a theme, it was months before the terrible events at Pulse Nightclub in Florida occurred, but rehearsing in the aftermath we were reminded of why we do what we do. Providing a space for queer singers to make art about survival, and providing a space of meditation on this experience for audiences, is not just an academic exercise but something necessary and artistically relevant to our lives. The point of art is to reflect, parse, transform and bear witness to the realities of the human experience. When people question “why queer art,” this year’s concert allowed us to answer that the queer experience needs to be heard and seen – queer art is a shelter; one that both saves us from the world and allows us to remake it with more room for difference. In making art about the queer experience we do as we always aspire to – connect the abstract beauty of music to that vital heartbeat of human life.
On that note, this year’s programme was a special undertaking. Learning about music history brings the pieces and composers to life for me, not only letting me geek out and expand my own knowledge, but also explore my favourite challenge: how to then translate that experience to the reader. My hope is that it works in concert with the performances to allow listeners to fully engage with this music.
OMG! I’m so stoked to the 2016 graphic design campaign for Cor Flammae! Preparations for this Summer’s concerts are heating up, and now that repertoire selection and auditions are done it’s fundraiser time! The initial web graphics for our annual shindig are out in the world, along with the revamped and sexy sponsorship packages.
[You may noticed we’ve bid Dandycat a fond adieu, and welcomed this suave and sophisticated unicorn as our ambassador of FUNdraising. Join us on Tuesday, April 19th at XYYVR (1216 Bute St) to party like a unicorn! Tickets available here! Get them for cheaper if you buy them in advance! Find out more on Facebook.]
That got me thinking that I’m not sure if I’ve made a comprehensive list of my Cor Flammae design projects anywhere. Here’s what I’m doing this year:
- Audition posters
- Conductor interview filming
- Thank you cards & Donor download cards
- Sponsorship package dandification
- Dandy Operandi web graphics, flyers and posters
- Concert web graphics, flyers and posters
- Concert programme (one of my favourite parts, as you know from previous posts)
The fun additions this year, include the initial conductor interview (which I filmed on my DSLR) and more graphics for the online campaigns – making images specifically for Instagram and Universe, in addition to the pieces for Facebook, YouTube and Bandcamp that we did last year. It’s wonderful to be able to broaden my skills by rounding out the campaign. I think this year’s campaign is forming into something clean, articulate and visually lush while still being fun – thanks in a large part to the great photos we have of previous years (which is another kind of satisfying). I can’t wait to get my hands on this year’s choir photo – styled by the amazing Missy Clarkson and Adam Dickson – and take off with this year’s concert materials!
I’m pleased as punch to have put together the spring concert poster for the Richmond Orchestra and Chorus Association and the North Shore Chorus’ spring collaboration. They will perform two concerts of one of Rossini’s sacred works, the Petite Messe Solennelle, on March 12th and April 2nd.
I had a lot of fun with this one – I did a sketch of a Rossini portrait to use as my background and then scanned it in to my computer, where I changed it into a vector image in Illustrator. I had recently got my hands on some new fonts, and I enjoyed playing with the contrast between the script font of the composer name, and the bold modernity of the title text. I hope it references the traditional aesthetic associated with classical music, and the joyous, expressive energy that comes to mind when I think of Rossini, but with a clean, contemporary feel.
Whether sacred or festive music, ’tis the season to enjoy a smorgasbord of aural delights. There’s nothing that better embodies the spirit of gathering together to celebrate joy in the bleak midwinter than choral music!
I’m happy to have done the posters for two holiday concerts this year. If you’re on the North Shore and in need of seasonal song the weekend of December 5th and 6th, check them out! If you want something to get you in the holiday mood on Saturday night, The North Shore Chorus and the Carousel Chorus are teaming up to perform a selection of festive jazz music. For some seriously jubilant classical repertoire, check out the Pacific Spirit Choir on Sunday afternoon, with their performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Bach’s Magnificat.
I can now offer high-resolution photos for use in posters or online! Here are a few shots from my recent adventures.
Cor Flammae Rehearsal
Salon Salon at Studio 209
Pride 2015 & Performance by Cor Flammae
I’m so excited to be working on the Cor Flammae 2015 marketing materials! Using this year’s lovely image photographed by belle ancell and designed by Adam Dickson and Missy Clarkson, I’ve created YouTube, Facebook and flyer images utilizing a consistent look and feel across these different mediums, and made dark and light versions with a related aesthetic. I’m looking forward to getting the poster out in June!
Last year I had the immensely rewarding and transformative experience of helping bring a new ensemble to life, as part of the Cor Flammae administrative team. If you haven’t seen my previous posts, Cor Flammae is a classical music choral ensemble aiming to celebrate queer composers and vocalists – the only one of it’s kind in Canada – and I’m happy to report we completed it’s inaugural concert to a hungry and excited audience. We sold out 250 seats, and had to turn away another 100. There were even scalpers, which pretty much never happens in classical music.
I have been a life-long choral music audience member, with an ever growing interest in the world of arts admin, and a fascination with the puzzle of how to generate the positive feedback loop of audience engagement and participation that makes a stable arts venture. It was with great delight that I lent my abilities with a keyboard and a pencil to the Cor Flammae effort, jumping into the tasks of fundraising and print design. Audition posters, fundraising graphics, thank you cards and concert posters were all fun ways to engage and hopefully inspire folks to be singers, patrons and philanthropists for this brand spanking new choral group. Working on the branding vision with the choir’s Managing Director (my lovely and multi-talented wife) Missy Clarkson, we wanted something clean and modern, that would both reflect the seriousness of the talent and the music involved in the project, as well as create a fresh and contemporary appeal. Inviting people into this project, whether they were classical music people or totally new to the world of choir, is a core value for us – this project has purpose and something to say, new art to make, and we want to share an angle that hasn’t yet had much real-time application (though there is quite a bit of interesting scholarship on queer musicology – Queering the Pitch is a fascinating read) with anyone who would be interested. This also lead me to my favourite part of the project, the programme.
I’ve designed programmes before, but the great joy of the Cor Flammae programme was the copywriting I did in addition to layout. Researching the amazing composers, building off the bios Missy had compiled on the website, and trying to synthesize something we could share with the audience about their contexts, music and personal stories that would illuminate the concert experience was both an incredible deepening of my own knowledge, as well as a chance to geek-out as a writer and flex my academic training.
It was a wonderful experience, and now we’re looking forward to creating the same magic for the summer of 2015. Performances are on July 17th and 18th, when we’ll be performing an incendiary concert of sacred and profane works by queer composers. Come check us out!
The posters and flyers for Cor Flammae are home from the printer and I couldn’t be more pleased. There’s nothing like holding the real things in your hands, and it’s amazing to realize that it’s almost showtime! It was a real treat working with the fabulous image of the choir shot by the talented team at belle ancell photography. Now to distribute these puppies all over Vancouver!