Ailurobibliophile tote

Ailurobibliophile Tote Bag, All Colors

Ailurobibliophile tote bag is screen printed by me in black ink onto lightweight canvas which I construct into a tote bag. Bags may vary slightly in size, but are just about 13.5″ x 13.5″.

About the artwork

Ailurobibliophile tote

Ailurobibliophile tote

I worked out this design in late 2017 and had two variations on the typeface. I preferred the bolder typeface but ended up using the lighter typeface because I began with a stencil and it worked far better for that. But not well enough because I ended up having a screen made to screen print the bags instead of stenciling. I sent the art I’d been working with and after printing bags and prints I decided I really wanted to use the heavier typeface after all, and I like it much better!

About that word, “Ailurobibliophile”. Yes, I made it up. It popped up in my design consciousness about a decade ago when I was photographing my cats in the cat book library, on the books, in the books, napping, bathing, posing, and I held it there until I had such time to really work it out. Finally, I can let the world know about “ailurobibliophiles”!

What does it mean? Just what it says. My initial idea was just “lover of cats and books”. Then I photographed Basil August 2017…

Basil Will Be Reading

Basil Will Be Reading

…and knew the time had come. This was why it was to be introduced last September, back-to-school, that sort of thing.

As with all my designs, this one is based on a real cat, a cat you know, a cat just being a cat. Just after my Panhandle Trail show last August I started playing around with this photo and others I’d taken that morning at my desk. What I’d really like is to simply screen print it, but adding one more element to my studio in terms of materials and equipment and I’d be falling out the window. I decided I would be stenciling this design to start, much as I dislike stenciling more than a word or two of text, so it had to accommodate the strengths and weaknesses of stenciling. That would mean that the area “inside” a letter, for instance, needed a cutout to connect it to the greater background of the stencil or I’d end up with all the “a”s and “o”s and others filled in. It also meant that things like Basil’s eyes would need to be done separately. I can demonstrate, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

I worked up a few designs, and in doing so found more fun things to add to the text because Basil was “on” the books, and several of the books were “on” cats. Likewise with my photos of cats in the cat book library, and I was just beside myself with the possibilities. I finally managed to edit it down to three statements so I didn’t go on and on.

I settled on one design for layout and used several text variations, then chose two that would work well for stenciling. I couldn’t decide, and I especially wanted to be certain the “new” word was understandable, and the text clarified it, and nothing made anyone think overly hard so it lost its fun and whimsy. I sent it out to several trusted friends for feedback.

I preferred the heavier font. I think it balances Basil’s dark shape well. I added the little cuts into the closed letters and cut the stencil.

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© 2022 | | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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