I made a poster for a movie I haven’t seen yet. It’s playing this Thursday in Chicago. Maybe I’ll see you there. This is my favorite kind of job. I get to incorporate painting and text and it’s made for a friend’s thing, for love at least as much as for money.

I was sitting next to Kat in the front row at the Siskel when she asked me about designing a poster. Cine-FILE, the movie preview site she runs with her husband, Ben, would be co-sponsoring the opening-night screening of the Onion City Experimental Film Festival. I’ve written for their site in the past and we’ve been friends for years so it was a no-brainer to say yes.

The fact I hadn’t seen the movie wasn’t much of a problem. I’ve seen a bunch of Akerman’s other films and there are stills and clips readily accessible. Painting movie stills isn’t my usual thing, though I’m no stranger to the practice. During pandemic lockdown, freeze-frames took the place of coffeeshop and bar scenes in my life.

Sometimes, while the students in my Wednesday portrait class are drawing I draw them.

My friend Katherine talked about how much she liked the Diamond Sugar label. I thought maybe there was some childhood connection since one of their refineries is in Chalmette, Louisiana, which is the state she’s from. But it turns out that Chalmette is a long ways from where she was born and she hates the memory of the smell of sugar cane, having grown up around so much of it.

I made her this painting thinking it would strike a chord but it turns out she just likes that company’s logo. She did like the painting anyway.

Talked with Lucy Sante about her transition memoir and with Mallory about The Messiah of Evil.

RIP Richard Serra