The Creative Cluster Bomb™
a letter a day feather typography lori corbett whispering eagle studio third raven design

A-Letter-A-Day (or every other day) sketch detail

Reading art and design magazines on a bitterly cold November day in front of a hot, popping fire (I love the sound, so I always try to get some logs with lots of sap), is both a fantastic idea, and a not-so-good idea. The fact that I even want to crack these magazines open in the first place is a huge step forward in the Journey back to making stuff. I see what I’ve been missing, but I also see what I can be doing.

I’m not sure exactly at what point I was knocked sideways out my sedate state of mind onto my psychological ass, but I can tell you that the rush of images, ideas – and the restlessness that came with them – will be known now and forever as The Creative Cluster Bomb™.

The sketchbook was retrieved (I have started keeping one with me at all times), and ideas furiously roughed and written. It’s a quirk that you who know me might have noted by now, that when I sketch, I also write.

A lot.

I think this may be a carryover from my years as a draftsman, creating structural steel detail drawings for fabrication shops. “Leave nothing to question”, was the mantra. And I just now realized that this little fun fact about my life before art connects directly to one of the ideas I want to explore. Most of my time spent drafting was before digital – everything was drawn by hand on vellum paper. I converted over to digital the last 3-4 years before closing shop in 2004, but always felt that the art was stripped from the process. People looking at my drawings could always tell they were mine without even looking at the signature box – the lettering and line work were that distinctive. Digital made things easier and more efficient, but I think digital was one of the reasons I lost interest in doing the detailing – the “art” disappeared.

How ironic that I’m now embracing and welcoming digital as part of my creative life.

Anyway. Hand lettering was an integral part of drafting, and depending on the discipline, varied in style. I didn’t really connect it with “typography” until I went back to school and earned my degree in Graphic Design in February, 2014. Two required courses in the curricula were typography classes. Two classes that, at the time, didn’t sound all that exciting, but, obviously, are critical to design. Well, I fell in love with type – fonts, letterforms, and later, the discovery of hand drawn lettering.

The Art of the letter.

And the connection was revealed and bonded with The Creative Cluster Bomb™.  I’m not entirely sure if this new exploration belongs to my art or my design. I think it’s both – part of that overlap I was discussing with a dear friend, Laurie McNeil (check out her work, and be prepared to be blown away). But since I’m still working on putting together my graphic design portfolio site (Third Raven Design), I will chronicle it here, for now. I’ve set a challenge for myself to combine my love of the avian with my new found love of the letter, and create A-Letter-A-Day (or every other day), using feathers as the base of the letterforms. I’ve sketched (very roughly), and written (extensively) a couple of ideas.

This serves two purposes – honing (and hopefully, improving) my skills as a designer and artist, and challenging my thinking and creativity. The letterforms may take a completely different direction from the sketches, and this is a thing I NEED to learn to let happen. My fatal flaw is locking myself into an idea, and fighting the true direction that idea may need to go (thank you, OCD. And stop using OCD as my crutch – that’s another fatal flaw). Good idea, or cheesy? Dunno, but it’s gonna happen. True failures are ideas aborted before exploring their potential.

So, taking the advice of another friend, Kelly Andersson – who says the world needs more feathers – this idea gets a chance. And started as soon as my exploded studio gets put back together. I’ll post each letter as it’s completed.

feather letter typography lori corbett whispering eagle studio third raven design

A Letter-A-Day (or every other day) Challenge idea sketches


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2 Responses to “The Creative Cluster Bomb™”

  1. love it. very creative, and an interesting way to add a feather context to any character… I didn’t know you used to do drafting, but I can see that influence.
    now get off your ass and carve a goshawk.

  2. Lori Corbett
    Lori Corbett says:

    Thanks, Sam!

    Yup – detailed steel since 1981, opened up my own shop and freelanced from 1988-2003 or ’04, then set out in pursuit of my art full time.

    The gos is in my brain – I need to do some sketching to at least get it to leave me alone until I get caught up on stuff. 🙂

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