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i was super honored to be asked to to design a "whimsical and slightly edgy" baby announcement for little elliot! final result was a 5x7 card + envelope. click link below for close-ups.

Read more... )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)

i recently drew a series of diagrams for a short manual on elephant foot care for Elephant Aid International. another fun exercise in drawing things i know nothing about! see below for a sampling of the finished diagrams.

Read more... )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
incautious media-intake has curious effects on my sketchbook.

mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)

in the latest of a series of landing-gigs-drawing-things-i-know-nothing-about (see also, diagrams on elephant footcare, instructional jiujitsu poster) i've recently been doing illustrations for web-based BudLight commercials that apply football maneuvers to everyday situations. if anyone on this earth knows less about football than i do, i would love to meet that person because we could probably have some awesome chats about stuff that has nothing to do with football. but it's been fun to learn what a 'juke' is, and what referee socks look like-- and the animation makes my drawings look way cooler than they actually are!

you can see all the animations that have been posted so far at the BudLight Facebook Page. there's a new one every week!

a couple of the illustrations )
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that ridiculous pop up book that i won't shut up about was accepted into a show that opens TODAY.

anyone in portland, go to 23 Sandy Gallery to see all the amazing pop up books!
for everyone else, there's an online catalog with images of evey book.

mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
for a change, sketches of live animals, rather than live music. from hanging around this weekend at the Music City Futurity, my mother's annual charity horse show.

9 scans under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
later august!

helloooo september.

i've been meaning to do a big post about my sketchbooks and sketchbook habits for a while now. this isn't that post, but it's related to the the underlying principle that my sketchbook is basically my brain's external hard drive. i have a smart phone that i'm a little obsessed with, but my sketchbook has always been (and continues to be) my real PDA, day planner, assignment book, etc. etc. it's the one thing that's pretty much guaranteed to be where i am, regardless of how frantic i was when i was packing my purse. i lose track of my sketchbook far and away less often than my wallet or my phone or my car keys.

i never used a calendar or planner much in school, but since i've graduated and started working a hodgepodge of comically-random freelance jobs, i've become much more dependent on actually writing things down in order to keep myself organized and on schedule (for certain values of both). one result is that i've started keeping monthly calendars in my sketchbook-of-the-moment.

more rambling and calendars under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
a couple pages from my sketchbook-- blind contour drawings of crosby stills and nash, drawn in the dark during a concert.

two scans under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
i spent this past saturday making a little house for my ridiculous pop up book about rats. it was pretty fun bc, as usual, i didn't start with a very clear idea of what i was going to make and how. i eventually ended up with a basic 5-sided box with an L-shaped drawer that pulls out. the drawer is made from three interlocking pieces of board, which will hopefully help it maintain integrity under stress better than if it was being held together with glue.

in keeping with the tasteful, understated color palette of the book itself, the box is BRIGHT ORANGE.

4 photos under here )
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this past month has been pretty heavy with graphic-design, which is sort of novel for me. i don't see myself as a graphic designer per se, but i'll take a stab at anything visual if it offers me billable hours! everything's a learning opportunity, and logos are nice because they're sort of like design candy: concise little nuggets of aesthetic sugar. =)

these are a few logos i've recently designed for music-related ventures around nashville. (most ventures around nashville are music-related. it's fun!). i'm also including some samples from the sketch process on each. since i'm not a proper designer with a vector-based brain, it usually takes me at least three rounds of sketches before i can muster the courage to move into adobe illustrator-- until then it's rapidograph and marker all the way.

read more )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)

a quick sketchbook spread from an in-store performance at Grimey's yesterday (colored in after the fact). i really like this band. their new album, The Disaster, kept me motivated during my mad blind popup quest a few weeks back-- and for those who didn't preorder it off pledgemusic, it was just released on itunes and at yesterday!

my view wasn't awesome, and i wish i'd been quick enough to catch a sketch of the trombone and maracas, but oh well; that's how on-site sketching goes. =)

scans under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
i made my first pop up book! it was something of an adventure (bc i had zero idea what i was doing) but i'm actually kind of pleased with the way it turned out! i've found that it's easier to motivate myself into semi-scary learning experiences like this when i have some sort of concrete deadline or goal, so i've been finding calls-for-entries to make new work for. last month's masks and naked women tangle is another example of me doing this sort of thing to myself.

(links to the project at my website gallery)

this is a picture book of pen-and-ink drawings with two pop up spreads, three cutouts, and a central 3D box structure with moving layers. it tells the story of a little girl who gets kidnapped by rats after her father's death. the concept of the Rattenkönig (a group of rats who get knotted together at the tail while burrowed together underground) is used as a visual metaphor for the grief experience and the search for connectedness out of absence.

keen observers will notice i'm still attempting to use pink as a "gloomy" color, with questionable effectiveness. but this project marks the most ambitious palette i've attempted yet (four whole colors! and none of them black!) so maybe i can be forgiven for keeping my favorite around as a security blanket as i tiptoe out of monochrome.

...and just in case i tricked anyone for a second into thinking i know what i'm doing, i'm including some sketchbook scans to show my design process in all its baffled panic. the first half is me thinking way too deeply into the conceptual structure of the narrative, and the second half is mostly me realizing i haven't the first clue how to build the thing i've just designed. i learned so much in the last 48hrs of this project.

9 sketchbok spreads under here )
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just restocked my etsy shop with more blank books. buy them! they're ridiculous, and good for writing and drawing in. =)

each book is made with my own special blend of whimsy and obsessive attention to detail, using a variety of fine decorative papers, 4ply linen thread, 50lb acid-free canson sketch paper, and the covers of ridiculous old paperbacks from the bargain bins at the library used booksale.

peruse the books in my ETSY shop

--any friends of mine living in nashville, just contact me directly if you see one you want. we can settle up outside the bounds of etsy.
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i made this book a while ago as a present for a friend, but only got around to making the box and actually giving it to her last week.

it's a bilingual (English/German) editon of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis/Die Verwandlung (spellchecking a language i don't speak was hilarious, btw), with a double-spine variation on the tape binding from the massive tutorial i recently posted. each bookblock is illustrated with six beetles (under the cut) printed onto fiber paper. it's technically part of an edition of three, but so far this is the only copy that actually exists.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery.

beetles under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
a couple sketches from a CD release party at mercy lounge last night.

two scans under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
the exposed tape binding in 140 easy steps - a photo-tutorial by molly brooks

a few people expressed an interest in getting a photo-tutorial for the binding technique i used on this project, so i thought i’d give it a shot!

(thumbnail above links to the tutorial at my website)

the technique is an open-spine tape binding with each tape mounted into both boards. i learned it at school in honest-to-god bookbinding 101, and it's my favorite. it's a bit more labor-intensive than coptic, but not much more difficult, and quite a bit sturdier. it's less likely to fray with heavy use, but it still gives you the flexibility at the spine that you get with coptic and other exposed spine bindings, so it will lie flat and close around a pen and double over itself like a legal pad and pretty much put up with all the abuse a coptic will, with even less risk of falling apart.

i didn't invent any of the techniques pictured here, and i'm certainly no bookbinding expert or teacher, but i hope i've managed to describe the process in a way that makes sense to someone who hasn't encountered it before. it's the first time i've ever attempted a tutorial, so i'd appreciate feedback on its quality!
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
i just recently finished a bookbinding project for the same wonderful client who commissioned the book of Emerson poetry. this one is a collection of quotations, illustrated throughout with tiny flowers in red watercolor ink (about 500 of them, all told- yowza).

this is also both the widest and (fortunately) the best exposed-tape binding i've ever done-- i'd worried that the stitching would get a bit wonky given the thirty or so signatures between the covers, but it turned out super regular and not wiggly at all! =) evidence mounts that i do my most exacting work in a frothy panic.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery.

before starting the project, i submitted a proposal with specs, paper samples, and explanations of what i intended to do- i think it's kind of fun to see that initial design side-by-side with the finished book:

mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
just a few sketches from a songwriters' circle i went to last night, to benefit nashville flood relief.

guys with guitars under here )
mollybrooks: butterfly attacked by scissors (Default)
last week i designed and made a double-sided accordion book with illustrations in ink-and-brush. it's about the codependency and combination of anonymity and self-exposure that are encouraged by emerging social media. because this is me, that's all expressed visually by tangly hair and oodles of naked women.

thumbnail links to the project at my website gallery, along with a longer explanation of my thought process.

this project has naked chicks in it.

January 2011

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