This week we made an ice cream cone sign, for Super Duper Burgers. They wanted one modeled on the cone we painted for the San Francisco Chocolate Store (which, I'm told, might actually be on the same block as Super Duper...), but with a swirl of soft serve atop.
Ken took charge of designing, laying out, and painting the letters. After I pulled the shape of the swirl from the fro-yo art we'd drawn up from a reference provided for an old Loving Cup sign, I tasked Aaron with turning it into the chocolate-vanilla blend that Super Duper asked for. My instructions to him were that it be in flat, graphic colors, no blending, with a chocolate color, a vanilla color, and a shadow tone for each.
We have a wall rack of Dixie cups and coffee cups, each half full of some color or other we've mixed for various jobs--many of which never get used again, if not for a sample sign or practice session. Every half year or so, they end up in the trunk for a run to the toxic waste drop-off point for the SF City Dump. But Aaron managed to find therein, both a creamy milk chocolate, and a somewhat chocolatey-er shadow of creamy chocolate. They looked, in the cups, very much like melted ice cream. I have no idea what we'd mixed them for before. They weren't in the other cone sign. They were, however, making us hungry for ice cream.
Aaron whitened up some ivory, to serve as vanilla, but his work day ended before he could tackle the Vanilla Shadow. Thus, the job fell to me, leaning as I ever do, on the ol' color theory maxim that complementary colors make shadows for one another. So, I dunno, you can judge the results, above--I had a kind of lavender in mind; but more importantly: it felt imperative that a vanilla shadow mixing mood be set, by the appropriate musical selection. Vanilla shadow mixing music...
Fortunately, just a week earlier, I'd reacquainted myself with an erstwhile playlist fave, the sets Derrick Bostrom published some time ago, on his Bostworld blog, as Your Favorite Little Podcast. I highly recommend you subscribe through iTunes, and "get all", especially if you have any pressing need to tap into the darker side of vanilla.
I don't want to over-describe it... sure, there's a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll... has been derided as "elevator music". I write that much just to sift out the chaff. Grainier folk: dig in! It's a rich selection.
While you're waiting for all that to download, avail yourselves, under no obligation, of course, to the remaining "trash, treasures, oddities and obsessions" Mr. Bostrom has catalogued in Bostworld. He's benefiting us all, photographically and stereophonically, through the troves his local Arizonan antique and thrift dealers have reaped, presumably from the inward migration of our nation's retirees. I think I'm gonna get our apprentices to practice their grasp of the permeability of the top 'n' bottom guides in a row of letters, by painting the fonts from these Union Pacific calendar pages...
You might also be interested to read his reports on what it's like to have been a Meat Puppet--although you'd prob'ly wanna be mixing something other than vanilla shadow at the time.
To be fair, one need not only be mixing vanilla shadow to enjoy this. Ken and I were blaring C'mon, Let's Live a Little! through the soundsystem at Revival, while we were working on that this week, until the upstairs neighbors called down to the maître d', and asked that it be turned down. So, it works well with laying gold leaf, too.