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poetry broadside

For this project, we partnered with the SDSU Poetry International Foundation. We were given a list of poems to choose from and we were supposed to create a broadside combining the text of the poem with related imagery that we were tasked with creating. 


I chose the poem "Standard Checklist for Amateur Mystics" by Li-Young Lee. The poem as the title suggests is really just a list. It describes various items one would use for spiritual or mystical activities. I thought about aesthetics that felt "witchy" or "magical." To me the psychedelic concert posters and art nouveau ephemera always have ethereal aura to them. Upon closer research I realized the illustration techniques of these styles were incredibly similar, it was just the color palette and content that really differentiated these styles. I decided to mash up these styles for my piece. Taking the color palettes from psychedelia, but using imagery found more often in art nouveau pieces such as birds and wildflowers.


I decided to letter the title of poem to create a textural element in my piece that blends into the girl's hair. In the course of creating this work I redrew the text over and over again. I kept altering the style from more 70's scripts to more ornamental letters from the early 1900's. Ultimately I settled on letters that held elements of both styles, but was more harmonious with the design. For the text of the poem it self, I wanted it to be an element of the illustration. I created winding text paths across the night sky so the individual letters look like stars or paths of mist and only upon closer examination can you see the poem.

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