14 May 2013


My latest gwriting work is called "Vitale", for a friend in PPTC.  The area of Gravesend and Bath Beach is actually my preferred canvas.  I would run along the avenues and up and down the streets to generate the words.  If the writing goes east far enough it would have to deal with the diagonal Gravesend Neck Road, or if further up north there's King's Highway, but otherwise the roads are rectangular.  The really nice thing though is the words are pretty much upright, almost horizontal, not slanted like when I run along Bath Avenue or Benson Avenue.  The slanting is worst when I cross 86th Street and run along 20th Avenue etc.

I wanted to make the V in "Vitale" twice as big as the rest, i.e. make the word title case.  While I could easily virtually trespass two city blocks to make the sharp angle that forms the V, I prefer to make use of existing roads when possible.  I've always wanted to make use of the intersection of 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue but it turned for this project that won't work.  I can have the letters rise from Avenue U but I recalled that "Jason" didn't look that well when I had the letters rise from the middle line of the uppercase word.  It also helped that Lake Place ran through a few of the long blocks and would really help make a nice uppercase A.  Again, I can handle A even without a street running through a long block, but why not make use of what's already out there.

I tried to dot the i but the result is not as good as I hoped for.  I walked in circle a few times at the junction of 86th Street, Avenue U, and West 13th Street but did not get the circle that I hoped for.  While studying the map of the area, I planned to have the T's  horizontal line going from the dot all the way over to Avenue U and West 10th Street, to avoid having a line at the bottom connecting i and T.  But when it came time to actually do the work, I totally forgot and realized shortly later and connected T to A that way.  Whenever possible, avoid having the lines at the bottom of your words.  The few extraneous lines the better.

I got a call from my mother when I was midway through the middle of the A.  She had a doctor's appointment and I was going to drive her there, but she wanted to leave early and do some grocery shopping.  I had to speed up to finish the A, virtually crossing the track of the N subway line where Avenue V meets West 8th Street, and finish with L and E.  Perhaps because of the rush, I forgot to add a serif on the L's bottom.  The extra curve upward would tell the audience that the L ends there, that whatever beyond would be just the unfortunate need to connect the letters.  L still turned out OK, but could be better.  Note that by the time I got to E, Lake Place already goes too far south.  Luckily, Lama Court is another one of those alleys that cuts up a block.  Anyway, I think the map is wrong, that Lake Place does not go from West 5th Street to Van Sicklen, as I don't recall seeing such a street.

I usually run 8 km (5 miles) a day.  When I finished the E it was not 8 km yet so I ran some more.  Recall that one of the rules is that you don't want extra lines in the picture, so instead of running back along Avenue U, I used Avenue T.  I would have run all the way home to get my 8 km, but I had to reset the watch at Avenue T and West 13th Street because going further would have the extra line intersect the V's right section.  So no 8 km, but sometimes we have to sacrifice a little for the sake of arts.

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