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The Shit Series | Part 2

The Shit Series is a personal project that kick started by my fascination with language and all the colloquial ways Aussies use the word shit.

Since its infancy back in January 2016, this series have grown through organic collaboration and using calligraphy, hand lettering, vector lettering and typography.

The inspiration behind these series is my Catalan Christmas celebrations. On Christmas Eve in Catalonia, we celebrate the “caga tió” (Christmas log that shits presents). We also feature the “caganer” (the shitter) in our Christmas nativity scene.

My Shit Series have taught me a lot of Australian slang. Check out the entire project, the inspiration behind each post and the tools I have used to create them; Good shit guaranteed!

Post number #100: Good shit takes time

Patience is not one of my strengths and my Green Fairy font has been a painful reminder of it.

I want to get there faster, I want to see results sooner and I want to make shit happen quicker… But sometimes, it is not possible.

Often, good shit takes up a big chunk of time and it all comes down to embracing your day a day and enjoying the process, and I am very much working on it.

Post number #99: Pretty shit

When something kind of sucks. As a beginner at anything, it’s very common to say “that’s pretty shit”, or my personal all-time favourite “this is not good enough” whatever good enough means.

I learnt Copperplate calligraphy in 2011 for the first time. I sucked at it for a very, very long time. This style of calligraphy never came natural to me and it has taken me many years to reach a point where I am feeling comfortable with the pointed pen and finally feeling the flow.

My teacher Amanda Adams once told me “your pens are like your dogs; you take them for a walk every day no matter if it rains, it’s cold or hot, you just do it”.

In my personal experience there are no shortcuts, only practice. And, if you decide to put your pointed pen down to sleep for a few weeks/months, be prepared to feel all the shakes again, guaranteed.

Post number #98: What a Shitshow

I’m super excited to present my second solo exhibition, this time in Spain at the Art Centre La Panera. This exhibition is a retrospective of my last five years of professional and personal practice, combined with several new pieces and the official presentation of my Green Fairy font family.

The inspiration behind this show is the use of language, the popular sayings and my Catalan scatological background featuring the acts of drinking, eating, peeing, and pooping as four elements part of a natural cycle in relationship and respect towards the land (ecology avant la lettre).

Post number #97: Dipshit

Thanks to the contribution of @madevisual and the inspiration of @andyjpizza and @homsweethom via Creative Pep Talk.

One fish asks another fish “how’s the water?” The other fish replies, “what the hell is water?” David Foster Wallace was an American writer who died in 2008 at the age of forty-six.

In his speech —addressed to a graduating class at Kenyon College— David reflects on the difficulties of daily life. You can read the full speech here.

My points are:

1) I was once a fish who didn’t know I was in water;
2) It’s easy to forget that what surrounds you is only normal because it’s what you know. To others, those surroundings might seem pretty strange;
3) Contrary to popular belief, the goldfish memory span is far beyond three seconds;
4) Goldfish have the capacity to learn and adopt patterns of behaviour. Yep, this means you can train them!
5) They are not stupid at all.

Post number #96: I’m in deep shit

My heart is with Catalonia.

“In a world of excess let’s switch off our phones, let’s want less, let’s blame and complain less, let’s be here and do something about what really matters. Let’s fight for our rights, let’s stand and voice our feelings, let’s scream at injustice and most of all, let’s stop waiting for governments and politicians to change something because they won’t. Let’s face the reality of the parade we live in, and change on a daily basis as much as we can by changing our eating habits, our thoughts, our talks, and our day to day relationship with life.” By @sattvasattva

Post number #95: I just ate shit

Thanks to the contribution of @teaganglenane

At the age of six I started figure roller skating. I was training every second day, a total of twenty hours a week. I loved everything about skating except the competition season.

My trainer was really tuff on all of us. I remember one day going to compete and feeling sick. I don’t know if I was really sick, or just freaked out, but I was throwing up in the toilette while the MC was calling my name on the microphone. So, I ran outside, performed my two-minute program and went back to the toilette. After that day, I started to hate skating.

At the age of 14, I had a bicycle accident where I totally ate shit! I broke the posterior cruciate ligament from my left knee. I was supposed to be sad because this meant that my skating career had arrived to an end but instead, I was secretly happy and relieved because I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore!

Post number #94: Dead shit

This week I went to urban dictionary to read the meaning of this expression again: “Lost, no idea what’s going on; does things so stupid that no person that has any logic can explain. All round stupid” And I could help but thinking immediately of someone that starts with_ _ _ and finishes with _ _ , don’t you?

Post number #93: Shit Yes!

YES to Marriage Equality
YES to Love
YES to Peace
YES to Dialogue
And please… NO to Violence

My heart is with marriage equality in Australia and with peaceful dialogue process in Catalonia.

Post number #92: Packing Shit

This post was part of my @typism talk and represented my feelings about coming to Australia:

“It took me twenty-nine years to find the courage to pack my bag and book a one-way ticket overseas. I was so scared of feeling homesick and running back home at the first chance, that I flew to the furthest destination possible, as it would cost me an arm and a leg to book a return ticket back home.

The twenty-eight hours flight from Barcelona to Brisbane was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life”.

Post number #91: Scared Shitless

Presenting my first public speaking gig at Typism Conference.

Post number #90: Let’s group hug it out…

“Let’s group hug it out, have a cathartic cry, regain perspective, pat a dog and support the shit outta each other” by @katepullendraws

With this post I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has supported, encouraged and shared my creative journey so far.

Post number #89: I know my shit

This post is dedicated to all medical students and future doctors out there, whose efforts and passion will save and improve many lives.

Post number #88: Free shit

Experimenting with paint and a Rekab 313 brush.

Post number #87: Shit head

Thanks to the contribution of @ben_stephen

For the last five months I have invested a huge amount of hours working on my typeface. The font is not finished yet, but I’m definitely getting there.

After spending my entire Sunday using a brush, I have decided to allocate more time for analog practice and new tools.

Post number #86: Shit kicker

Thanks to the contribution of @ben_stephen

Post dedicated to all fellow designers like myself, who’ve spent countless hours doing tedious tasks and dreaming of better times.

Post number #85: You are driving a shitbox

Post dedicated to my friends @teaganglenane and @craig_mcconaghy who met last year at Shitbox Rally and are currency on their way to Adelaide to start their second @shitboxrally together.

Post number #84: Let’s pretend this shit never happened

Modern Carolingian using a 3mm broad nib and liquid watercolours.

Post number #83: Making shit up

Italic calligraphy using a 3mm broad nib and liquid watercolours.

Post number #82: You are hanging shit on me

Two calligraphic styles, two voices. Modern Romans at the top using a pointed flexible nib, and Modern Carolingian at the bottom using a broad pen.

Post number #81: It’s so shit outside!

This week has been all about 🌧🌧and more 🌧… Winter is coming!

Post number #80: That’s a crock of shit

This is how I feel about my Roman Capitals… So much room to improve!

Post number #79: Take no shit

Thanks to the contribution of @lisachristinalorenz.

Post number #78: Make a shit ton of money

“Be totally unashamed about wanting to ‘make a shit ton of money’ […] As women, we don’t get taken seriously until we get taken seriously financially. And so women you owe it to the rest of us, to absolutely be determined to make a shit ton of money so you can then invest it in the rest of us, female founders, and help women build businesses”.

A few weeks ago I listened to Debbie Millman interviewing Cindy Gallop on Design Matters and I got really empowered, so I designed three posts based on Cindy’s quotes during that podcast.

Post number #77: Sharing the shit out of everything

“Social media is simply a new methodology that allows women to do what we have been doing since the dawn of time, which is ‘sharing the shit out of everything’ in a way that men don’t” Quote by Cindy Gallop.

Post number #76: I like to blow shit up

Quote by Cindy Gallop.

Post number #75: Same Shit, Different Day

Thanks to the contribution of the amazing Lara Captan. Check out the video of this brush calligraphic piece.

Post number #74: Shit hot, Aussie ass

Thanks to the contribution of Megan Cain.

Post number #73: Bloody good shit mate!

Thanks to the contribution of my dear friend Troy Leinster.

Post number #72: Holy shit!

I’m forty and I’m totally OK with it.

It’s all happening this month of March! After my Aussie citizenship, now I get to enter a new decade and I’ll be using my Shit Series to go through any mid-life crisis that comes along my way.

Post number #71: This is the best shit ever!

It’s only taken me ten years and six months but finally, in March 2017, I became Australian and it feels so good!

Post number #70: Publish that shit

Back at the studio again having fun.

Post number #69: What’s shit, and where can I get some?

Schematic Roman Capitals using a 3mm broad nib and walnut ink.

Post number #68: Love you shit loads

Let love win in 2017. This post is dedicated to my very good friend Carlos Garcia, who’s always been there for me. Vector lettering.

Post number #67: It is not the shit that matters, it is the process

Rebooting the system and launching back-to-school mode. Neuland calligraphy using a bamboo pen and gouache ink.

Post number #66: I’m not too old for this shit

Watching the Williams sisters, Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open, makes me think about the value of hard work, focus and tenacity.

I tend to think about my age, and use it as an excuse for not doing shit… Well, I’ve taught a good lesson this week.

Post number #65: Shit happens in threees

Good things also happens in threes:

1) To kick start the year, I had the incredible pleasure to meet George and Dominique Falla from Typism. As a last minute surprise, Bobby Haiqalsyah came to give me (literally) a couple of hands to film my online class for the upcoming #typismsummit. Thanks to the Typism community, I met Nikita Prokhorov a great designer from Brooklyn who creates amazing ambigrams;

2) My special Brush Calligraphy weekend workshop with Carla Hackett at Rotson Studios is sold out;

3) And on day 10 of 2017, I’m on my way to the airport to join Filipe and Lauren Vilitati for their up-coming Fijian wedding. Next twelve days mean holidays to me!

Post number #64: This shit is important to me

Working on personal projects is very important to me. Today I spent my day at Rotson Studios having fun on my own. I always try to keep a balance between client work and self-generated projects: it keeps me happy and sane.

Post number #63: Sorting my shit out

My Christmas celebrations in Australia consists of spending quality time with my partner.

Rob and I usually leave Melbourne and spend the Christmas break on our own. We prepare Bloody Mary drinks every morning and reflect on how the year went for both of us. I am a big fan of mapping out our calendar year and setting our goals.

This post is about being back at the office today feeling great, cleaning my desk, backing up my files and sorting my shit out.

Post number #62: What a log of shit

In the next two posts I am going to share with you the inspiration behind The Shit Series, which is my Catalan Fecal Christmas Festivities.

The “Caga tió” is a Christmas log that shits presents and is sold all over Catalonia in supermarkets and Christmas markets. The Christmas log is a tree stump standing on stick legs with a very happy painted face. It is “fed” sweets and candy, pampered and cared for by children starting from the 8th December, and ending on Christmas Eve on 24th December.

On that night, the Caga Tió log is put very close to the fireplace. The children sing the “Caga Tió” song to get the log to “poo” some presents. The song ends with a final load cry of “Caga Tió!” which is the imperative tense of the verb “shit log!!”

Generally, the presents pooped out by the log are candy, sweets and maybe one gift. The bulk of Christmas presents for children in Spain are delivered on 6th January by the Three Kings on Kings Day (6th January), not by Santa on Christmas Day. More info here.

Post number #61: The Shitter

A Caganer — or “the shitter” — is a small figurine of a person squatting down with lowered pants shitting. They have been around since the 17th century and can often be found hiding in an obscure corner of a Nativity scene.

The figurines originally became popular among farmers who believed that the caganer’s “offerings” would make the soil rich and productive for the coming year.
 The “Association of Friends of the Caganer” states that the figures were meant to add “a human side to the representation of the mystery of Christmas.”

Wikipedia also mentions how the Caganer might represent “the equality of all people” because “everyone defecates”.
Nowadays, young children in Catalonia still play a Where’s-Waldo-like game that involves searching for the Caganer in the nativity scene arrangement.
 You can read more about it here.

Post number #60: I do have time for this shit

This quote is inspired by the great and generous Nicole Phillips @typographher and her recent blog post about my Shit Series. You can check it out here.

Post number #59: Shitting bricks

This post is literally me freaking out as I almost missed a really important appointment in my life. Great news coming up in the next months!

Post number #58: Shittie

Last week I was revisiting my post number 52 (Shitism) and I asked my studio buddy Chloe if there was a grammatical rule to determined when a word ends on “ie” or “y”… Normal questions that arise after almost sixty posts on the same subject.

Chloe told me that the standard way to say it, in this case, was “shitty”… So I redid my post and sent it to Das Automat to get a t-shirt for myself for Christmas!

Chloe also told me about the meaning of shittie. Google it if you, like me, have no idea what is this about… It cannot get any classier!

Post number #57: You can’t spell for shit

Copperplate calligraphy using a pointed flexible pen and liquid watercolours.

Post number #56: Have a shit hot Xmas

Sometimes you seek for inspirations, and other times inspiration finds you. Nearly a year ago, my partner and I were driving to Lakes Entrace and we bumped into a huge message on the side of the road. We stopped the car and I took a couple of photographs.

I didn’t know that I was just a few weeks away from starting “The Shit Series”, neither that I was going to end up writing 50+ posts about it.

Post number #55: Sheeeeit

This post is about me feeling extremely happy having my last five calligraphy workshops of 2016 sold out!

Post number #54: Dumb as dog shit

This post is about making a statement of what I consider my calligraphy philosophy: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist” Pablo Picasso.

Post number #53: Bored shitless

Brush calligraphy using a Pentel Aquabrush pen.

Post number #52: Shitism

This post is about my feelings after learning the news from the US elections. “I can’t believe that we are going to put up with Trump’s SHITISM for the next 4 years”.

Post number #51: That’s the best damn shit that ever happened

This post is about me feeling clearly very optimistic, as I was thinking “election day has finally arrived and Hilary will cruise along”… Wrong!