this painting was commissioned for the cover of the Pasadena Weekly. my favorite thing about it is the bling bling.* i studied design in college, among other things, and the typography lessons were some of my favorite. we had a class with an old fashioned press designer. his passion in life was teaching us to sit up straight while we drew type. i didn't like his method but i do enjoy the outcome. i like drawing letters. when i talk on the phone, i doodle alphabets. i've create several fonts. when i see an interesting letter, i make note of it in my sketchbook. i'm rarely hired to draw type but this assignment was a happy exception.

* last october, my grandmother and sister organized a super surprise birthday party for my mom and dad. they flew themselves, myself, and our brother to texas for the occasion. our mom was stupefied. it was great. the whole family lingered for days after the event and, over brunch one morning, our grandfather told us that he'd discovered a new word. bling bling, he told us. he heard it on the tonight show. he searched for the definition. "it means something showy," he said, "something fancy, something unnecesarily extravagent." then he asked for more bling bling on his bagel.

© 2003 rama hughes