Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Symbol Background

It's been a while since I finalized the design for Symbol, which you might remember looks something like this:


A few weeks ago, I also finished putting together the background that the symbol is going to sit on top of.



Those fabrics are a set that my sister picked out as a Christmas gift a few years ago, and when I saw them I immediately knew I wanted to applique something big and red over them. Except, now that everything is ready, I'm not as sure about the "red" part anymore. I haven't actually started placeing fabrics up against it yet -- that will be how the decision really gets made, of course -- but I've tinkered around on the computer a little bit, wondering how various colors would look....




20 comments:

Miles Johnson said...

Of course I am partial to the black. Not because it was first in your listed selections, but because it works. Have you considered "shadowing" the applique with another fabric behind the image? Just a thought.

jovaliquilts said...

For what you've shown, the black works best, but all the colors have the wrong tone. In my mind's eye, I see a deep, muted purple.

Jennifer said...

My instinct is to second jovaliquilts on comment about tones, but before I decided, I'd want to know why you're going for such clear, bright colors to start with. (No point giving advice if it's going to run counter to the whole concept.) That is, what made you think, "Oh, these colors are begging to have red slathered all over them!" to start with? (Apologies for putting words in your mouth--I'm being facetious there, of course, but the question is sincere.)

Linda said...

Hmmm, I really liked the purple the best--but then purple is my favorite! Love the whole process you went through!
Lurking Linda
stoleequilts@gmail.com

Libby said...

I like the black. I like the idea of red, but what about a deeper wine tone? How big is that background?

Michael5000 said...

@libby: those are 8 inch squares.

The reason I went for such bright, clear tones is because I was just goofing off with way crude software. Definitely the "real" fabric will want to be deeper. I actually DON'T like the black, myself -- I don't like mixing black with browns -- but just based on this little exercise, I am leaning a bit towards the purple idea.

@miles: Hadn't thought about the shadowing idea, and probably still won't, just because I'll want the shape of the symbol to be pretty stark. But, it's something to keep in mind. Thanks for the suggestion.

Heatherbee said...

I'm with Libby, and was going to say "how about a deeper red?" The other thought I had was a steely grey. Lovely background and symbol, anyhow.

I will have you know, by the way, that I picked out some lovely batik fabrics for you in Indonesia, only to discover that they were going to cost me not $12 but $120. Maybe next time.

La Gringissima said...

I'd think about a coppery color for the symbol.

(BTW, I suck suck suck at free motion quilting. Just had to confess this to someone who wouldn't say, "Aw, honey, it looks fine to me" like El Gringissimo does)

Bridget B. said...

Yeah, I'd have to say something in a reddish-maroonish-or-copperyish would be lovely - something with a tiny touch of texture/depth. Hmmm . . . very interesting. Thanks for letting us yammer on as you reveal your process . . .

cindyquiltsOR said...

Purple or blue ... but I think maybe cocoa brown.

So many options!

melissabrinkley said...

I like the black but I also like jovaliquilts idea of a muted purple in a deeep tone.

Patty Ashworth said...

Have you tried a dark brown? Something out of the background colors would be nice. I do like the black, but I thought that another color would blend in alittle better. Patty.

Jessie Pomeroy said...

hmm No I disagree I think a beautiful Deep Blood Red would be gorgeous in it's contrast...Honestly the red in your samples stood out to me the most :D

Bridgette said...

What does the symbol mean?

Michael5000 said...

It has no meaning. That is its meaning.

BiolArtist said...

A friend of mine loves your symbol and wants me to use it to make him a pair of laser-etched earrings for a Christmas gift to his girlfriend (?).

Could I have permission for this use? Would you like royalties in cash or some sets of earrings/pendants/whatever for your own gift-giving? Before this, I've I done my own designs, but my friend liked your design.

Thanks,
Kathryn Hedges
splendidcolors.etsy.com

BiolArtist said...

Forgot to mention, you can respond to me via biolartist@gmail.com and/or kathryn@splendidcolors.com.

Michael5000 said...

I get a remarkable number of requests from people who want to use the symbol in some way, often as a paired tattoo.

My answer to them and to BiolArtist is, knock yourself out. If I wanted to protect the shape, I wouldn't leave it lying around on the internet. (I do of course claim and retain copyright, and I don't want to find a recognizable version of the symbol up for general sale.)

However, I should also say that I find this kind of request just a little, well, creepy. It's clearly an instance of liking an image and not reading the text -- indeed, usually requests come with a question of what the symbol means.

What the symbol means, to reiterate, is nothing. It was carefully designed to make sure it was devoid of meaning. That was the whole point. So anyone who wants to have matching tattoos with their sister or spouse, or to give laser-etched earrings to his girlfriend, is creating a private meaning for the thing that wasn't intended for it. And behind that private meaning is... nothing. An absence of any meaning whatsoever. Which, in my book, makes it not the best choice for a sentimental gesture.

BiolArtist said...

Michael, I wrote you a rather lengthy response this morning, but I'd like to add that I read the article and your whole design process. I don't know if he read it or just found it in a Google image search for "two flames".

Although I did the laser-etching, I never completed the earrings because my car was stolen while I was inside TechShop doing the laser work. Whether or not you believe in karma, I don't know if either of us (me or the client) wants to have anything to do with it now due to the bad associations.

I was tempted to charge the client the full cost of recovering my car ($240 impound fees) and the $500 or so for the contents of the car that were long gone when it was found.

Michael5000 said...

You should charge ME. I'm the one who put it on the internet. It's like an attractive nuisance.

I wonder how it got connected to the phrase "two flames"....