It's been a while since my last update, but I am back!
I've been looking back through my old sketchbook from my elementary school art class- which was all the way back in 2010!
Our very first assignment in that class was to create a logo for ourselves, something unique to us that would identify us as a creator. I remember my creative process for these drafts, trying to find a creative way to use my initials in my logo. I remember being upset that I didn't have more exciting initials, and frustrated that my last name was two words instead of one, which added a whole other level of complicated to my mission. I experimented with including my middle initial (N) and with leaving out the 'J' in my last name. Looking back now, I realize that the process of creating this logo was just as much a part of the art lesson as the final logo itself.
I eventually converted my logo into a short, heart-shaped signature that I used all throughout high school and college.
After graduating from undergrad, I found myself the tenant of a small art studio in Kalamazoo participating in monthly Art Hop. During Art Hop, which is hosted by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo (ACGK), local businesses act as venues for artists to exhibit and sell their work, various groups host events, and my (former) studio building- the Park Trades Center- opens its doors to the public and gives its tenants the opportunity to participate as vendors in Art Hop without having to worry about paying the fee for participating. Art Hop is, of course, free to the public, but the ACGK charges a fee for participating artists.
Getting involved in this side of being an artist pushed me to create business cards to provide to people who bought my books and other goods. I developed a logo the encompasses the mediums I use- sewing, painting, and digital illustration. This logo was clean and minimalist, but could not easily stand on its own as an identifier of me as a creator. It required the context of a sign or business card.
In the past year and a half, I created my current logo, simple yet effective, colorful, and able to stand alone. While it does not depict the entirety of my work- in fact, it focuses on my bookmaking by using my shop's name "BooksBySof"- I realized that it doesn't have to. I use this logo on my business card and on my books, a simple sticker that identifies me as the creator of the book; in my digital work, I am satisfied with a traditional signature.
My concept of a logo has evolved from a personal identifier to an identifier of my work, acting as a sort of fingerprint that can be traced back to me as a creator. As I reflect back on my work from 2010, I see how one assignment from over a decade ago, an assignment that caused me so much grief, played a key role in developing how I represent myself as an artist today.
- Sofia De Jong