Stupid Shapes is a zine I created from a series of automatic drawings by yours truly. If you aren't familiar, automatic drawing is something I first read about in the Surrealist Manifesto; the idea behind it is to access your unconscious mind and as the Manifesto specifies, to harness "the omnipotence of the dream" to craft novel, inspired work from the strange symbols that each of our subconscious minds create to represent our own personal mythology. Unfortunately, I've been unable to craft an explanation that is any more concise or less wordy than what I've just described, so try and wrap your head around that while I continue…
Automatic drawing can be achieved in a variety of ways, but my approach was to create a drawing that required me to use the same motion repeatedly, but in a random unplanned pattern that followed a simple set of rules: no curvy set of strokes should overlap, and each page should be filled with these random curvy sets of strokes from edge to edge. I tried to keep the length of the strokes (or the thickness of the curvy shapes) relatively uniform to maintain some sort of cohesive scale between drawings. I also used a pencil with soft, rainbow colored lead that I would intentionally rotate occasionally to achieve a random pattern of color variance.
My original or "full-size" version of Stupid Shapes is pictured above and measures 4"Wx5"L, and consists of 11 drawings split into 22 pages of luscious, full color laser prints for your viewing pleasure. The covers are also full color laser prints on brown kraft paper, which is a little thicker than the white interior pages. Each copy has lovingly hand stitched binding that holds it securely together.
After I created this zine I ended up acquiring quite a few pairs of 3D glasses for a series of UV reactive (Black Light/Ultra Violet Light) paintings I was intending to show, however I quickly realized they would be much better utilized as a companion to Stupid Shapes. The undulating patterns in these drawings wiggle and pop-out delightfully when viewed through the paper glasses that come with each full size copy.
I adore tiny things & wanted to make a slightly cheaper version of some of my zines for folks who loved what they saw but weren't ready or perhaps able to purchase the full-size version. So for half the price of the original, I offered two mini-zines that combined, offered up all the same art in two much tinier packages. They measure 2.75"Wx4.25"L.
Most normal people would have thought this was a natural conclusion to this project and moved on, but I'm definitely not normal which may explain why I didn't exactly stop there. I created another miniature version of Stupid Shapes, this time with totally inverted colors which I couldn't help but notice the pleasant quality of as I was digitally processing the images for the original. The inverted color scheme seems to lend itself to the same lovely effect with the 3D glasses, if not more intensely (something to do with the black background I suspect).