U is for...

Food is our common ground, a universal experience.

- James Beard

U is for Unique, Universal and Uroboros.

Unique: Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.

Universal: Relating to or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases

Uroboros: A circular symbol depicting a snake, or less commonly a dragon, swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity.

By now you would have come to expect that this course include elements to find magic in the mundane and the exceptional in the seemingly unimportant. The purpose of these mini projects is really about altering observation to find possibilities in many things. To develop how you observe the world around you, and to find inspiration more easily on an ongoing basis. Today’s project is inspired by a rather different topic. It is something that is unique in creation and universal in practice. The subject of today’s mini list is the shopping list. This object, often a list of everyday, rather mundane ingredients needed by us on our grocery trips, from bread, butter and milk to tofu, rice and ginger or other staple foodstuffs: every culture has their basic list. Every person has their own list, and usually there is something unique on these lists. Shopping lists fascinates me even though I never write them myself. How can something so seemingly ordinary be used as inspiration? Have a look at these two examples:

  • Ernest Hemingway’s grocery list is a little insight into this great author.

  • The second image is in Spanish and comes from a friend in Argentina. The words on the list are Perejil - parsley, Nestum – cereal, Palitos – cheese sticks, Manies – peanuts, Perros – dog (i.e. buy dog food).

The inspiration from these lists are about the mark-making that are found on these lists.

Mini Project

Today’s mini is about observation and simple flowing forms, creating shapes out of words. This shopping list is your source for inspiration for the mini. How can you be inspired by a few words scribbled, and something like a jotted down grocery list? In a way this touches upon asemic writing, where the shape of letters and words become more important than the meaning. In this instance the meaning becomes irrelevant, those of us who do not speak Spanish will not understand the writings. Have a good look at the shapes of the letters. These wavy lines are to become ribbon shapes. This process will obscure the words.

Process: Print out a few sheets of the Spanish list. If you want, print out the enlarged word file as well.

Have a look at the images of the words becoming ribbons, improvise, pay attention to dimension and shading. You can add more ribbon shapes or words, but use up all the words on the list first. You might want to do this a few times to get used to the letter shapes and how to best create flowing ribbons shapes. Pay attention to the dimension and shading to create volume and depth.

Additional project: Use the file of the individual larger word, turned sideways. They look like a plant form; try turning yours into a plant, what flowers will suit it? Do you have a shopping list suitable to become a ribbon drawing?

Some inspiration for letters, lines and ribbon drawings: http://uk.pinterest.com/estemacleod/a-is-for-alphabet/

You're welcome to share your outcomes in the group’s Facebook page. Please don't post course material or outcomes to to other public Internet sites or to social media.

#creativeleap #uisfor #unique #universal #uroboros