LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ (or LSD) is in 14 days at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY in NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS.
Now is probably a good time to mention that I am the “FEATURED ARTIST” of the LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ show (which is opening AUGUST 6th and put on as a joint venture of the INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY, ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY, BIG TIME ATTIC, and PUNY ENTERTAINMENT). What this means is that despite the fact over 50 cartoonists (and writers) are contributing about 50 mini-comics to the LSD box, I have been selected by my peers to not only design this years box, but to also have a 1/4th of the gallery show to feature my work. Previous Sushi Featured Artists have been “KING MINI” , KEN AVIDOR, and KEVIN CANNON. Needless to say I was honored and scared shitless to be following in their shoes and ink (mostly cause you have to get all the way to KLONOWSKI before you get to a K in my name). But really–there was no time for shitlessness. Once I was elected last year to be the Featured Artist, I immediately had to begin work and come up with SOME kind of image for ALTERED ESTHETICS 2010 calendar. I wasn’t ready to commit to a final image for the box/show 11 months in advance, so I came up with this instead:
That out of the way, I was free to ignore my duties as box design guy for a few months… And then suddenly months later we needed a box design!!! Ok, ok…I spent quite a bit of that down-time working on ideas for the box. Box printer SHAD PETOSKY and I had a chat early on where he gave me some thoughts and advice on box design. “Never come to house again at 4am” was the first thing he said. Then he said to keep it simple–remember that silk-screening ink can bleed pretty easy, so the less lines (and thick ones at that) the better. This was great advice cause going into that talk I had lots of ideas–all involving lots of small, thin lines.
So those were out.
Pages and pages and pages of drawing later…and I still had nothing I liked very much. And then one night I decided I was running out of time and HAD TO come up with something. Out of options I did was Hansel recommends…and I went ZEN. I literally sat in a chair and stared off into space for well over an hour and let my mind go blank/free associate/and just work in images instead of words and thoughts. And then it came to me:
See, I’m a vegetarian. But at the time I was thinking up a box design I was working with a client who earned a lunch outing every 2 weeks or so…and all he ever wanted to do was go to KFC. I found this whole affair ridiculous, and spent a lot of time during those outings staring at KFC buckets and shaking my head. So this is what my brain mined in a moment of zen…KFC. Whatever. Next I had to think up color. Sushi boxes are always screen-printed in 2 color passes. 2 colors. That’s it.
The Lutefisk Sushi ‘A’ box was black and blue. Box ‘B’ was black and red. ‘C’ was blue and orange. What was mine to be? Do I go for colors that haven’t been used yet–your greens and purples and browns–? Do I try to develop some kind of consistent theme–black and blue have been used a lot–? After several tests I realized blue and red were probably going to be the best way to go. Then I started to realize you could overlap the red and blue and make an almost blackish purple. The I realized this blue/red/purple combo looked a lot like old Ray Zone 3-D comics. So I did a mock-up of a phony 3-D cover. And the key word here is PHONY. I can’t see 3-D–old school red and blue 3-D, that is. The new-fangled movie 3-D I can see ok. But old 3-D? No sir. So I proposed to the Sushi Quorum of 12 that we do a PHONY 3-D box. It looks 3-D! It says 3-D! It comes with 3-D glasses! But man–it is NOT 3-D!!!
Everyone loved the idea–except the phony part. Everyone else CAN see 3-D and didn’t find it amusing in the same way I did….damn 3-D seein’ freaks… As luck would have it Quorum member KEVIN CANNON had recently done some 3-D coloring work and was able to render a 3-D version of my box designs in no time. Now here we are just under a year from the time this all started and the box is done and printed and collated. See:
It’s been like watching magic seeing it all come together. Especially the silk-screening part. How the hell did people ever figure out they could do that?!
Anyway…I hope you come see and buy the result for yourself in 2 weeks!