Here at VisuaLingual Corporate HQ, we have been busy developing a couple of new Over-the-Rhine serigraphs, which were unveiled at the Cincinnati Art Museum last Saturday and are now for sale at MiCA 12/v in OTR.
Above, a map of all the building footprints in Over-the-Rhine. Each of our neighbors should get one! Printed on a dozen colors of Murano papers, there is one that matches your sofa. Below, a “poem” constructed of anagrams of “Over-the-Rhine,” printed on assorted vintage wallpapers. This print will probably appeal to fewer people, but it makes me giggle.
This is the really exciting part of the news, though — exactly a year ago today, I walked out of this greige cubicle for the last time:
…and decided to start spending my time in this slightly more inspiring workspace:
Briefly, here’s what happened. As an undergrad, I studied Philosophy and Critical Theory and took studio courses on the side. I started to see one endeavor enabling the other and focused more and more on semiotics and cultural production. I saw popular culture in a newly relevant light and, being both visual and verbal, creative and analytical, I decided to become a designer in order to play a part, however small, in the production of my own culture. The now-defunct Emigre magazine proved that I wasn’t alone in my thinking.
In graduate school, I delved fully into design authorship. Yadda, yadda… Seven years of teaching and client commissions followed, and I started to feel as though I’d lost some of the naive conviction that led me down this path in the first place.
But, how did I end up in Cincinnati? My partner-in-crime decided to attend graduate school at UC, and I followed him here. It’s so easy to like Cincinnati when you have no real expectations. A year ago, to fill up my free time and aid in my jobless soul-searching, I started documenting whatever Cincinnati quirks struck my fancy. I spent a lot of time thinking about place, and specifically this place. Eventually, I started this blog to keep track of my inspiration, and also started writing about Cincinnati for a few online publications.
I thought it would be cool to design a set of coasters that map out my neighborhood, as a kind of coffeetable installation. That was almost eleven months ago. The next thing I knew, I got a little write-up in BuyCincy. Then, the Enquirer‘s Joy Kraft called to find out where my coasters were being sold, which prompted a quick run to MiCA 12/v, and Mike [thankfully!] agreeing to carry them. The coasters were in the store for a couple of hours when the first set sold. I know, right?
Lest anyone think that my life is all sunshine and rainbows and puppies, let me assure you: it is not. For one thing, there are no puppies… Luckily for me, I know what it’s like to be a lot poorer than I am, and I also know what it’s like to be richer but far less happy. All in all, I’ve had very few days of seriously doubting what I’m doing, and very many days that prompt me to say, “You like me, you really like me!”
To everyone who has expressed interest in our work, thank you so much. You don’t have to care, and it means a lot that you do. For taking a chance on a vague notion of hyper-localized cultural production, thank you to Mike and Carolyn of MiCA and MiCA 12/v, Dan of Park+Vine, Erin and Charla of the Contemporary Arts Center gift shop, and Emily of NVISION. Thank you to Jesse of Krafthaus and Nick of the [now-defunct] Nicholas Gallery for supporting my ideas. Thanks to Meghan for inviting us to the Cincinnati Art Museum. Lastly, thank you to the customer in Australia; today I’m sending off my first international VL shipment to you!