Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Cards

My older brother Chris is wicked clever, and for about 10 years now has been making his own Christmas cards. He makes them by hand, each individual card has a unique color fade done in colored pencil, and there is always a cross in the design, usually using the color fade as one of the axes. Most amazingly, they are all made from a single piece of paper - no cutting and taping. He cuts the shape and folds it to make what you see below. (Now with commentary from the artist)

My collection of cards from Chris

I think this was the first model; 1996

Simple, but one of my favorites: this was the year Chris picked me up at the Academy on his way home from Virginia Tech, so inside the card it says "Merry Christmas! See you in the car!" 1997

I believe this is the first of his photo cards. I can never figure out what the photo is, since it is a blurry b&w shot; trees from speeding car? 1998 ( #3 was the photopaper one (blurry photo inside is time-delay photo of sky over an abandoned Virginia quarry at midnight ).)

The other photo card; inside, printed on the paper is a photo of the Virginia Tech power plant at night, from across town. 1999 ( #4 was the card with the photo built-in - that one shows Virginia Tech at night.)
This is when I think he started experimenting more. 2000 ( #5 was the largest one, which you've tagged as "experimenting more." I actually regard that one as my least ambitious entry thus far, coming as it did the year after that VT one (which was amazingly difficult to produce. It took me three solid weeks of working it like a second full-time job to produce 40+ of those).)
Easily the most complex, this one came with instructions on how to fold the vaguely reindeer-shaped set of six squares into the cube. Note how the color fades work in three dimensions. 2001 ( #6 was the cube - after #5 I owed it to my fans to try something tough.)

Bad photo, but cool concept. The cross is now implied by the negative space defined by the triangular "wings." 2002

Chris enters an anarchistic phase, using carefully torn paper in the designs. More pastel colors. 2003

Hard to see, but this card had the cross implied by the folding elements about 2/3rds along the length. 2004

I also make my own Christmas cards, but I am not at all clever or inventive. So, below are my cards, continuing my tradition of using photos featuring "Danta Claus."

Safe card, suitable for grandparents, cousins. Wish I had made a better chart, or borrowed a projector to do a powerpoint slide.

Claus. Danta Claus. Idea better than execution.

"Dan Loves Christmas!" Another weak entry - more decoration would have helped.

I had hoped to parody the old MTV ad, with the television lighting up my face in a darkened room, but I just couldn't make it work. Oh well.

Cards for grandparents, friends of the family featured DC landmarks. Predictable, generic.

My favorite of the landmark shots

Should have gone closer to Jefferson to make this one work better, but my fingers were completely numb at this point.

This year's best card, I think. Had hoped to have one of my female friends stand in as the stripper. But how do you ask your friends "I'd like you to wear these high heels and fishnets and let me take some photos." Had to photoshop something together - not too bad. Posted by Picasa

No comments: