During the MATS B class which I took in the spring, I designed and created this map of Brooklyn Heights for the Editorial assignment. I have to say that I worked SO hard on this assignment! I took a ton of photos of our neighborhood and all the buildings where many famous literary figures lived, thinking that I would fit them on the map. Here is the cute building on Willow Place that Truman Capote used to live in:
In the end, I decided I wanted to really highlight the people who lived in the buildings, rather than the buildings themselves, so I didn't include them. And there are so many other people I could have included as well! I could only fit so many on the map. Somehow Brooklyn Heights seems to attract writers through the years...
I did a ton of research and drew and drew and drew many faces:
And played around with hand lettering styles:
I also experimented with different textures created with India ink:
In the end, I was really, super happy with what I was able to make. The pace was so fast. We basically had less than a week to complete everything. And I had to make sure I had my weekends free for my "real" work, so I had to complete these assignments during the week in about three days! It really taught me how to FOCUS with a capital "F" and manage my time well.
After the course was over, I was inspired by my friend, Arpi Krikorian, an artist, MATS classmate, and Art Center College of Design mate (though we didn't overlap!) who recently began showing her beautiful work to Swain's in Glendale, CA. She sells her Armenian inspired artwork there (my favorite art store during art school!). Check out her work here. Arpi was always so upbeat and supportive on the MATS Facebook forum, and I could hear her voice in my head when I thought that perhaps someplace in my neighborhood might want to carry postcards of my map. It is a historical, landmarked area, and the theme might resonant, I thought.
So I took my images to The Brooklyn Historical Society and the Brooklyn Women's Exchange, my nerves on edge, and just asked them outright if they would sell postcards of my image in their stores. I'd never done such a "cold call" before with my artwork, so it was kind of difficult for me, but I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained!
To my surprise, both places were so positive! Not only did they agree to sell them but they both want more designs! So I am now selling my postcards of this map at both places and have plans to sell different designs and cards in the future!
I just sold another batch of these literary map cards to the Brooklyn Historical Society today. :)
I have also started selling signed prints of this map to other lovers of Brooklyn Heights. I plan on setting up an online store soon, but in the meantime I'm just doing it privately.
I'm so thankful for all that I learned in MATS, both from Lilla Rogers and her amazing assignments, as well as the support and encouragement and friendship of the hundreds of other artists in the MATS community. The experience has really taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and try new things and push myself creatively. :)