So yes, I've been a busy boy recently. Lots of yoga stuff, yes, but that's not what this is about. This is about some of the other stuff I've been getting up to.
Shortly after I was made redundant from all the Star Trek nonsense - I want to say last year, but I'm shocked to realise that it's actually two years ago - I found myself in a bit of a weird position (not *that* sort of position, you pervert); I was out of work but happy, embracing my newfound freedom but not quite sure how I was going to pay the mortgage (is it me or does that sound like an Alanis Morissette lyric?). As a result, and in an attempt to make my CV sound more interesting rather than just saying 'I've been playing around with starships for the last 12 years' I decided to hurl myself into some … let's say voluntary work. By that I don't mean I started serving homeless people soup, but rather that I wrote some music reviews, I wrote some film reviews and I started helping out selecting short stories for the brilliant Structo Magazine. One of my favourite bits of work, though, was designing flyers for a Toronto club night called Your Best Ever Wedding Party.
I remember exactly how I got this job: I'd come out of a Thursday night yoga class and was strolling back to my car while checking Twitter when I saw a tweet from former XFM DJ Marsha, who I'd gotten to know over the course of several years by constantly harassing her via email when she was on the radio and I was bored at work (she was also responsible for getting me on Twitter, telling me one evening that I would 'love it and be great at it,' so you've only got her to blame). On this occasion, Marsha was appealing for someone with photoshop skills who could put together a flyer for a new club night she was going to put on in Toronto, where she'd recently moved, based around the sort of music you'd step up and throw it down to at a wedding reception.
Being a bit of a dab hand at photoshop (if I do say so myself) and with nothing planned for the rest of the evening save for microwaving a sad jacket potato, I raised my hand and volunteered my services. The idea was to base the flyer around one of those awful Russian wedding photos - y'know the sort, where the bride has massive wings or the groom is tiny - and then make it a little bit more kitschy and ridiculous and over the top. After a couple of attempts we hit on something that we both though worked and flyer one was done.
To be honest I had no real idea that I'd do anything beyond that one flyer, but a month later Marsha came back to me with another awful Russian wedding photo and asked me to slap another one together in a similar vein to the first. And month and month she kept coming back wanting more and more and more. When I went to LA for teacher training I planned ahead and put together three flyers to cover my absence.
So why have I broken seven months of blogging silence and decided to talk about this now? Because like me Marsha's a busy person, and with lots of other exciting things going on in her life (checkout her website to find out exactly what) she has decided after two years to hold the final Your Best Ever Wedding Party next Saturday, September 14th, and I thought it would be fun to look back at the flyers because, y'know, I'm actually quite ridiculously proud of them.
So here they are, in chronological order: nearly two year's worth of flyers for Your Best Ever Wedding Party.
(serious stuff: while they might not look it, these things were heavily photoshopped; all the backgrounds were completely made from scratch using various different images I found online, with the brides and grooms all delicately cut out and popped on top. Suffice to say, the file sizes started getting ridiculously large as time and my ambitions went by, and I'm pretty sure I started rivalling JJ Abrams on the lens flare count)
|In hindsight, flyer number one lacks the ambition of subsequent efforts, but it set the template for what was to come|
|I honestly don't know what possessed me to put a coach in the background|
|I defy you to look at this and not start thinking about wanting a Ferraro Rocher|
|If I was doing this one over again I'd apply a bit of a blue filter to the bride and groom as they look more cut-out and stuck-on then is probably healthy|
|One word: MONOBROW|
|Up, up, and away!|
|There were so many things going on in this one. The foreground, lake, mountain and sky are all separate elements, so it was a bit like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, but I think it came out OK in the end|
|I like this one as there's so much going on visually with all the people, although if I was being picky I'd say the colours could've had a bit more oomph|
|I like this one for the fact that I managed to squeeze the Toronto skyline in, something I thought Torontonians would appreciate. The menacing winged groom swooping over their city clutching a shrieking bride they'd probably appreciate less so|
|A nice simple one. This was originally put together for the August event, but pushed to September when August was cancelled (the event, not the month)|
|There's a lot of colour here, which is nice. And she looks so happy to be flicking off her new husband|
|I really like this one. The muted blues work well, and I adore the gleeful expression on her face as she's about to smack seven shades of shit out of her tiny hubby|
|Quite possibly my favourite flyer. I went properly overboard on the Christmassy vibe after the previous year's more restrained affair, and to be honest I think I could've gone even further|
|Nice colours here. Another attempt to step out of the blue background box|
|Probably my favourite 'regular' flyer. The bride and groom look great - her smile in particular really lights up the image - and I was really pleased with how the background came out. I wanted more doves but simply ran out of space|
|I'd started playing around with darkened vignette edges in some of the earlier flyers, but I think the effect really helped this one; without it, it looked a bit too ordinary|