Urbana Magazine Design

Page 1



dc full of color



URBANA/dc murals

GOOD THINGS START WITH "S" Dear Reader, It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you to URBANA Magazine as we start our first publication. 2020 didn’t give us a lot of stories to tell or events to assist. Our busy lives turned into boring day-by-day thing. But this year we are expecting to do more and while we get ready to enjoy the life again , URBANA magazine is here to bring the most fresh cultural content with the best urban artist interviews, new music trends, urban art, DYI design projects, future events and much more. I am Raquel Aparicio, graphic designer and founder of this 2021 first edition URBANA magazine. By now, everybody knows who Rosalia is. This artist has turn into one of the most popular icons of the Flamenco urban


music, elevating this traditional and authentic Spanish style to another level. She will be the leading in this first edition and that is the main reason why I chose her to be the image of the cover. The Design is inspired by one of her most famous songs in United States is “Con Altura” which include blue flowers and gold in the lyrics. This edition will also include an article of the best wall murals from Washington DC, a section of DIY and much more! I hope you enjoy as much as i have done giving this project life. RAQUEL APARICIO Founder & Editor

Star Smile Sweet Sofa Sun




Street Art DC DC’s art galleries are certainly some of the best places to explore masterful works of art. But DC’s color palette is not confined to museums or its bounty of natural beauty.


La Rosalía Before her videos were racking up millions of views on YouTube, the artist spent more than a decade training in one of the world’s oldest and most complex musical art forms.


DIY Lettering This guide to basic hand lettering for beginners is a great place to start whether you’re a complete design novice or a working professional looking to expand your toolkit.

Raquel Aparicio

“I don’t force things, I can have a wish, and then I let God lead me on the path, bringing me what I need" Rosalía "I am an active and creative girl that loves to work in different projects leaving the routine behind.I try to have fun with everything that i do!" 3

URBANA/dc murals





URBANA/dc murals

DC’s art galleries are certainly some of the best places to explore masterful works of art. But DC’s color palette is not confined to museums or its bounty of natural beauty. The city’s neighborhood walls are covered with vibrant and unique murals, celebrating everything from hometown heroes to Founding Fathers and even fruit – there are literally hundreds of outdoor artworks and street murals to behold! We picked out just a handful of the most color-popping, popular works for an instantly ‘grammable street mural tour through the nation’s capital. Before you dive into must-see street art, tag along with mural artist Aniekan Udofia – famed for his alleyway opus adorning the wall of local institution Ben’s Chili Bowl – as he unveils where he finds his inspiration in DC. 6

Bloomingdale ‘Neptune’ mural in Bloomingdale

during the 2019 ART ALL NIGHT DC event by artists Jeff Huntington and Juan Pineda.

81 Seaton Place NW

Downtown Black Lives Matter Plaza Located along a two-block pedestrian area of 16th Street NW in Downtown DC, this mural features the words “Black Lives Matter” in 50-foot-tall letters, in yellow and all caps, as well as the flag of the District. The portion of 16th

Head to DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood to grab a slice of pizza from Bacio Pizzeria and check out this vibrant mural in the neighboring alley. This bright, contemporary piece references mythology and was created

Street on which the mural is showcased, located just outside of the White House, was officially renamed by Mayor Muriel Bowser as “Black Lives Matter Plaza NW.” The area is open to visitors on-foot at any time of the day. The nearest Metro station is McPherson Square, on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines. Read our Guide to Black Lives Matter Plaza to learn more.

16th St. NW, between H St. and K Streets NW


Georgetown Wave Mural in Georgetown Nestled a few blocks from M Street in historic Georgetown, this iconic mural was created to replicate the mid-1800s Japanese print, ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ by Hokusai. In 1974, painter and architect John McConnell was asked to ‘dress up’ the wall of a rowhouse owned by his friends, which led to this breathtaking memorial to Hokusai’s legendary piece. After admiring the street art and snapping a few pics for the ‘gram, be sure to check out nearby Call Your Mother Deli for delicious bagels.

3510 O St. NW

U Street

also famous for its iconic building. The

Ben’s Chili Bowl

gigantic mural of iconic African American

A DC staple since it opened in 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl remains a mustvisit for tourists, locals and celebrities.

Southwest Waterfront

Known for its half-smoke – a DC

Culture House DC

and served with heaping helpings of

The Baptist Church whose exterior was transformed into a brightly colored arts and culture community center and gallery space near the Southwest Waterfront. Built in 1886, the Victorian and Romanesque architectural gem was re-imagined in October 2012 by artist HENSE and later repurposed as Blind Whino in 2013. Grab a ‘gram out front and make sure to check out ‘new. now.’; the exhibit is on display through March 21.

delicacy that is half-pork, half-beef herbs, onion and chili sauce – Ben’s is

restaurant’s U Street location features a figures, updated in 2017 by Aniekan Udofia, to include DC-native Dave Chappelle, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and Barack and Michelle Obama. Step

back for a wide-angled shot of the whole mural or get up close and personal for a selfie with one of the wall’s icons.

1213 U Street NW

700 Delaware Avenue SW


URBANA/dc murals

‘The Resurrection’ on U Street


Mount Vernon George Washington Triangle For a more traditional portrait of the country’s first president, head to National Portrait Gallery. But if you’re looking to see George Washington funk-a-fied, look no further than artist MADSTEEZ’s piece in NoMa. The mural is part of an international art movement, POW! WOW!, which celebrates culture, music and art all over the world.

331 N Street NE

Tucked amongst rehabbed carriagehouses and Shaw’s award-winning restaurants like The Dabney, Blagden Alley was once home to working class Black Americans following the Civil War and, later, creators in DC’s underground art scene. Now you’ll find a series of rotating murals including an oversized tribute to musicians Sun Ra and Erykah Badu and this piece, titled, “Let.Go.” by artist Rose Jaffe. 50 Blagden Alley NW

‘XXIV Carrot’ in Blagden Alley

You’ll definitely want to pencil this one in to your DC mural hunt. This epic street art by Aniekan Udofia features musical legends Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Billie Holiday. The spark of creativity is illuminated through a stargazing backdrop and the inclusion of pencils, piano keys and a depiction of Miles bellowing through his legendary trumpet.

2001 11th Street NW

Lee’s Legacy Mural on U Street Lee’s Flower and Card Shop first opened its doors in 1945 and specializes in quality flower arrangements, no matter your needs. Lee’s and Ben’s Chili Bowl— both Black-owned businesses — have been staples along the U Street Corridor since the 1960s. The Lee’s Legacy Mural was painted by airbrush artist and native Washingtonian Kaliq Crosby in 2017.

1026 U Street NW


Cleverly titled ‘XXIV Carrot,’ this mural in Blagden Alley features 24 carrots and was created by artist Marcella Kriebel with the help of the local community. Kriebel designed and outlined the piece, but members of the public were invited to grab a paint brush and add their mark to the vibrant project.

Blagden Alley NW

Columbia Heights Union Market ‘Yoko Ono’ Mural Union Market is your one-stop shop for mural grams! The revitalized NoMa food hall has something for everyone; there’s the heart wall topped with the inspiring message, “Never Give Up,” a project by LA-based graffiti artist Mr. Brainwash in honor of International Women’s Day in 2015. There’s also the [R] Mural Project, which was designed to inspire the community through art and storytelling, specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have been most affected. There are three pieces to this Union Market project that complete the narrative: the installation, stories of resilience and community resources.

1309 5th Street NE

The Columbia Heights neighborhood is full of street art celebrating the area’s culture and diversity. “My Culture, Mi Gente,” by artist Joel Bergner is just one such mural. The colorful artwork can be found across from the Columbia Heights Metro Station.

3064 15th Street NW

Shaw ‘Watermelon House’ Plastered on the side of a residence in Logan Circle, the Watermelon House is a must-see on your mural tour of DC. The story behind the Watermelon

FEBRUARY 2021 House goes something like this: the owners of the home hired someone to paint the side red but when the result was more pink than anticipated, the owners turned lemons into watermelon. The home has become an attraction for visitors and locals alike, even sparking its own Instagram account, @ watermelonjumps, which, as the name suggests, consists of people jumping in front of the juicy wall.

11th Street & Q Street NW

‘Marvin Gaye’ Artist Aneikan Udofia, who is the creative mind behind the Ben’s mural and Blagden Alley’s whimsical portrait of Sun Ra and Erykah Badu, pays tribute to DC-born musician Marvin Gaye in this masterpiece in Shaw. The vibrant mural is Udofia’s second of the soulful icon – the previous mural was created in 2013 but later covered by construction.

S St NW, between 7th & 8th st

‘Washington’ This colorful piece is situated across from Howard Theatre in the eclectic Shaw neighborhood. The mural was created by No Kings Collective in collaboration with Stella Artois (notice the hops); note that there are also features of the Washington Monument and the District of Columbia flag.

631 T St. NW




JULY 6/7/8/9









URBANA/dc murals

Ros 12


salía 13

URBANA/dc murals

Rosalía´s Incredible Journey Before her videos were racking up millions of views on YouTube, the artist spent more than a decade training in one of the world’s oldest and most complex musical art forms. One Wednesday in July, 40,000 people gathered on a synthetic grass field on the outskirts of Madrid to watch Rosalía headline the Mad Cool festival’s “welcome party.” For her, Mad Cool was a quick stop in the middle of a ninemonth tour through Latin America, Europe and North America. But as she took the stage in white platform sneakers and an aqua top with an enormous ruffle running over her arms and chest, she gushed in Spanish, “I am so, so, so thrilled to be here!” Giant digital screens hung on either side of the stage, projecting her face to the crowd. Less visible was the garter-belt tattoo peeking out below her tiny, high-waisted shorts: a replica of the one that the Austrian feminist performance artist Valie Export gave herself onstage in 1970.

On one side of the stage stood two male percussionists — experts in performing palmas, traditional flamenco hand claps. Palmas formed the backbone of Rosalía’s next number, “Pienso en Tu Mirá”, a deceptively sweet-sounding tune about jealousy that mixes voices, palmas and electronic samples in a shifting 12/8, 10/8 beat pattern. The song, a Pitchfork critic wrote, “stands out from virtually everything else on the global pop landscape”. It appears on Rosalía’s


2018 CD, “El Mal Querer”, a.k.a. “E.M.Q.” which earned raves all over Europe and the United States as one of the best albums of last year. The album’s first track, “Malamente”, streamed 15 million times in its first week in May 2018 and went platinum on the United States Latin charts earlier this year. “Malamente” also earned Rosalía two Latin Grammys and five total nominations, making her the mostnominated female artist in 2018. Last month, with the rest of “E.M.Q.” finally eligible, she repeated the feat, picking up five more Latin Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year. “E.M.Q.” transformed Rosalía’s life, turning her into a sought-after collaborator who has recorded songs with James Blake, A. Chal, Ozuna and Pharrell Williams. In March, she posted “Con Altura”, a reggaeton collaboration with J. Balvin, on YouTube. It now has more than 951 million views.

When “Con Altura” took the MTV Video Music Award for Best Latin in August, J. Balvin bowed toward Rosalía several times onstage, a gentleman’s acknowledgment of her role in composing the hit. “I think she’s the only artist who can be compared to Beyoncé in the Latin world” Juanes, the Colombian rock star who has won two Grammys and

23 Latin Grammys, told me. This month she appears in the opening scene of Pedro Almodóvar’s new film “Dolor y Gloria”, cast opposite Penélope Cruz.

Success like this inevitably provokes backlash. In Spain, rumors suggest that Rosalía is a fake created by industry professionals to satisfy market trends. Spanish Romani Gypsies have attacked her for using words of caló (Romani dialect) in her lyrics and for adopting Andalusian pronunciations and street styles in her videos. Catalan nationalists have complained that she should be using her platform to win support for their independence movement. In the United States, she has been accused of “Latin appropriation” by critics on Twitter who argue that as a European country, Spain should be excluded from winning Best Latin awards. But if you love music, Rosalía’s groundbreaking compositions and otherworldly voice are themselves the best answers to these sociocultural darts. Before she started topping YouTube and Spotify ranks, Rosalía spent more than a decade training in flamenco, one of the world’s oldest, most heartfelt and most complex musical art forms. It is as if a rising mezzo-soprano decided to leave opera and bring coloratura to R&B.



URBANA/dc murals “A song with a cappella or without a cappella?” Rosalía asked the crowd at Mad Cool. “A cappella!” the field shouted “I need lots, lots, lots, lots of silence, O.K.?” The field hushed. Everyone onstage went silent. As Rosalía poured out the flamenco classic “Catalina,” people wiped away tears. Her voice is both raw and liquid, vaulting smoothly from aching tenderness to angry longing. When she performs pure flamenco, Rosalía often sounds as if she’s pulling her heart out through her mouth. Duende — the ability to transmit deep, authentic emotion — is a moment of nearly mystical selfeffacement in flamenco, akin to an actor’s disappearance inside a role. Its emotional vulnerability cannot be faked. Whenever she performs, Rosalía told me, she always tries to find that moment when “you’re not there as an artist, not there as a person with your first and last name,” she said. “You’re nothing more than a channel” for the song’s “soul” to pass through to an audience. “You’re there more than ever, and super awake, but at the same time you’re gone.” She smiled with embarrassment, as if she were sharing a secret. “I started from zero,” she told me in Spanish. “Nobody in my family is connected to the industry. Not a single contact in the music industry or in the entertainment industry.” Rosalía didn’t want to talk much about her family, whose privacy she says she tries to protect. But she, her parents and her younger sister, Pilar, are close. Her mother, who was an executive at a local


company, quit to become Rosalía’s business manager. Pilar, who studied art history, often works as Rosalía’s stylist and creative consultant. Touring for “E.M.Q.,” Rosalía has traveled with them both. The origins of flamenco are not entirely known. The music emerged in Andalusia, which has hosted Arab, Jewish, Romani and Christian cultures for at least 600 years, and the Romani have always been associated with its performance, though flamenco’s guitar style owes much to Catalonia. One day when Rosalía was 13, she was hanging with her friends in a park with some souped-up cars — doors open, songs blasting into the trees — when someone put on Camarón de la Isla, one of the greatest flamenco singers of all time. Listening to him, she told the newspaper El Mundo, “my head exploded.” In the wake of that blast, Rosalía fixated on learning to sing flamenco. She took flamenco dance classes and inhaled records by Camarón, who cut several wellregarded albums in the 1970s with the guitarist Paco de Lucía. These albums are pure flamenco: nothing more than singing, guitar and palmas. But in 1979 Camarón broke with de Lucía to make “La Leyenda del Tiempo”, an album inspired by progressive rock that used an electric bass. Camarón and de Lucía made up, recording some stunning albums in the 1980s, but the friction between pure flamenco and flamenco fusionists has never really disappeared.

Rosalía saturated herself with their music. And she sang wherever she could: at home, in the streets, at local flamenco performances. “I’m certain that I will be an artist,”

Rosalía declared in 2007 on the Barcelona talent contest “Tú Sí Que Vales”, when she was only 15. She took the stage in spike-heeled boots, tight jeans and a tank top. Playing an acoustic guitar, with a medallion of the Virgin Mary dangling from her neck, she sang “Como en un Mar Eterno,” a nasal ballad by the flamenco fusionist Hanna. The judges looked bored. One of them demanded that Rosalía display “some character.” In response, she belted out “No One,” by Alicia Keys. That was enough to pass her on to the finals, where she bombed. “Rosalía, you were regularly off-key during the song,” a judge pointed out. “I can’t do everything,” she responded defensively. “I’m trying to perform, sing and dance.” Rosalía told me that she auditioned for “Tú Sí Que Vales” because it was the only way she saw to break into show business. Failure revised her ambitions. After that she wanted, above all, to become a great musician. She gave up dancing and got serious about learning piano. She started composing music, with melodies, harmonies, chords and lyrics, trying to teach herself song structure. “I wanted to have absolute control over my music,” she told me, “from the chords and the voicings of the songs to the arrangements and the production.” There was just one problem: her voice. All those years of faking a cantaora’s power without proper training had damaged her vocal cords. She could no longer project normally. Doctors recommended surgery. After that, she needed a year of vocal rehabilitation. “There’s something I’m supposed to learn from this: What is it?” Rosalía recalls thinking during rehab.


‘I sang with fear after my operation. I didn’t want to damage my cords again. And I had to sort of relearn to sing.’ Rosalía believes that nothing happens by chance. “I don’t force things,” she told me. “I can have a wish, and then I let God lead me on the path, bringing me what I need — and always trying to be alert to receive it.” As she recovered in silence, she learned to appreciate the discipline of vocal technique. And she realized that there was someone who could train her to become a cantaora. The professor José Miguel Vizcaya. He soon figured out that Rosalía was an absolute amateur: The only thing she knew about pure flamenco was Camarón. “I didn’t know anything,” she agreed. “And he taught me everything, everything, everything.”

Vizcaya, who performs under the name El Chiqui de la Línea was born in 1951 in Cádiz, the same part of Andalusia where Camarón was born in 1950. Chiqui himself began singing at flamenco clubs when he was 19. A brilliant cantaor, he signed a contract with Los Tarantos, one of Barcelona’s oldest flamenco venues, in the 1970s.

her, but he told me that she had a “perfect ear,” a prodigious memory and an exceptional work ethic. “She drives me crazy,” Chiqui said. The admiration was mutual. Rosalía didn’t have just discipline, taste and ambition; like all great artists, she also had an appetite for risk.

The CD, which Rosalía released when she was 24, sprouted from her friendship with Raül Fernandez Miró, a classically trained pianist 16 years her senior who performs under the name Raül Refree. In the 1990s, Refree ditched music school to form a punk band, then went on to become an important producer and musician in Barcelona. The first time they met, in 2015, they talked not only flamenco but also James Blake, Kanye West and Frank Ocean. After that, they met in his studio several times a month,

The beginning

Working with Chiqui, Rosalía stretched the range of her voice, learning to project while maintaining its flexibility and clarity. “I sang with fear after my operation,” Rosalía said. “I didn’t want to damage my cords again”. Rosalía may have known nothing when Chiqui met


URBANA/dc murals sharing music in long listening sessions. “It was like a festival of eclecticism,” Refree told me.

They never talked about recording together. But one day that fall, Rosalía began singing Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I See a Darkness.” Refree, who had introduced her to the ballad, sat down at his piano to accompany her.

one. “What we wanted was to find a personal reading of that song,” Refree said.

Even then Rosalía knew that she wanted to combine flamenco with electronic music. During the years she trained with Chiqui, she performed nonstop in and around Barcelona.

A few weeks later, she suggested they perform a flamenco show at a bar in Barcelona in front of an audience of about 20 people. “For me it was, like, cathartic. Every time I sang I connected very viscerally, you know?” Walking together afterward, they decided that they had an obligation to make an album”.

Before her videos were racking up millions of views on YouTube, the artist spent more than a decade training in one of the world’s oldest and most complex musical art forms. Many of the recordings Rosalía took to Refree’s studio were old and scratchy, time capsules from another age. Together they improvised new versions of each


She appeared on two dance hall tracks by her friend C. Tangana and on hip-hop tracks by DJ Swet and Cálido Lehamo. She joined a baroque chorus at ESMUC. And, to earn a living, she sometimes recorded music for commercials.

She deployed all this experience when she wrapped recording on “Los Ángeles” and began devising the senior thesis that eventually turned into “El Mal Querer.” Her first thought was simply to find a way to draw melismas over danceable beats, so she could do more than sit in a chair, the way cantaoras traditionally perform. On the recommendation of a friend, she read “Flamenca,” an anonymous lyric poem from the 13th century that has nothing to do with flamenco. She threw out most of the poem’s lovetriangle plot and all of its aristocratic fawning. She kept its vision of a toxic marriage: a man whose insecurity leads him to lock up his wife. She blurred the gender-based roles and read up on the psychology of jealousy. She gave the songs she composed secondary titles like “Chapter 2: Wedding” and “Chapter 4: Fight” to suggest a narrative. Her lyrics read like a feminist version of “Carmen,” a bad romance told mostly from a female point of view. When “Los Ángeles” earned her a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2017, she had already performed early versions of “El Mal Querer” at ESMUC.

FEBRUARY 2021 Each flamenco song style, or palo, is associated not only with a particular kind of melody and harmony but also with a specific metrical pattern. Many palos have shifting beat accents, known as amalgamated rhythms. “It’s super hard for someone who doesn’t come from listening to amalgamated rhythms,” Rosalía told me on the velvet love seat in her hotel. I asked her to show me how it was done. She leaned forward on the couch, curving her body over her hands to teach me a fast palo called bulería. The moment she began striking her palms together, something flicked on: an intensity and also a playfulness. The beat was in her hands, her right foot, her shoulders, her throat. She clicked syncopations with her tongue and growled Mae West like “ums” on each beat.

In many of her songs, the pattern is harder. “Pienso en Tu Mirá,” for example, uses an amalgamated 12/8. It took her years, she said, to feel comfortable singing in this kind of rhythm. “It’s not something

immediate. It’s something that each time you feel that the more that you know, the more you realize that you need to keep studying and learning, because there are details. The ones who know most are the older people. Grandparents are the ones who sing bulería best.”

Pablo Díaz-Reixa, known as El Guincho, knew nothing about amalgamated rhythms or Phrygian scales or melismas before he collaborated with Rosalía.

A few months after, Rosalía invited him to watch her perform a pure flamenco concert. By then, she already knew that she wanted “E.M.Q.” to be what she called a “voice-centric” project that sampled different voices and played with vocal harmonies. She later invited him to help her record a song for “E.M.Q.,” “A Ningún Hombre.” Their chemistry in the studio felt natural, Rosalía told me. “I’ve worked with other guys and the way Pablo is is very special, because Pablo really listens a lot,” Ro s a l í a s a i d . “He embraces the fact that I make a lot of decisions.”

“Think in like 6/8,” she said, clapping quickly, “and the bulería is here: One, two, three. Four, five, six.”


URBANA/dc murals They spent the next year and half making “E.M.Q.,” meeting nearly every day to work at his place on laptops, a sound card, a microphone and a keyboard. By the time they cut their final two songs — “Malamente” and “Pienso en Tu Mirá” — they were working hand in hand on every aspect of the composition and production.

Rosalía loved working with El Guincho, but there were times while they made “E.M.Q.” that she felt nervous, even anguished. She was in debt, taking on serious artistic and financial risks. What if her experiments mixing flamenco with urban music didn’t pay off ? What if nobody would bet on her? She wasn’t signed with a record label. Independence let her make “E.M.Q.” exactly how she wanted. It also meant she had no guarantee that her music would ever see proper distribution. Then she met Juanes. In September 2017, the Colombian superstar Juanes saw Rosalía sing pure flamenco at a theater in Madrid. Looking every inch the cantaora, she appeared before an audience of about 100 people wearing a long velvet dress and sitting in a chair next to the Romani guitarist Joselito Acedo. “And this woman started singing,” Juanes told me. “I wanted to die. I mean, I had never felt something so strong with someone singing in front of me like what I felt that day”.

The first thing Juanes did after leaving the theater was call his business partner, Rebeca León, a former vice president of Latin talent at AEG Live/Goldenvoice. “Rebeca,” he says he told her, “please, you have to take a train to Barcelona. You have to talk with Rosalía. You have to talk with this girl.” Earlier that year, Juanes and León had started the Latin entertainment company Lionfish.


In Barcelona, León found Rosalía finishing “El Mal Querer.” In January 2018, León joined Rosalía’s team as the artist’s manager.

But even León had trouble finding a home for “E.M.Q.” “In the beginning many people didn’t understand,” León told Variety. “They said it was too left of center, you’re gonna have to spend too much money, it’s never gonna work.” In cases like these, YouTube videos have become a lifeline for Spanishspeaking artists. For the videos that she needed to make “E.M.Q.” feel accessible, Rosalía turned to her friends at Canada, a Barcelona company that shoots multinational advertisements and music videos. In their productions for “Malamente” and “Pienso en Tu Mirá,” the director Nicolás Méndez stirred together Spanish icons and urban signifiers: olives and big-rig trucks, bullfighters and track pants to express a new vision of Spanish identity, one that is profoundly traditional and yet urban.

“Malamente” now has more than 107 million views on YouTube. “Pienso en Tu Mirá” has crossed 50 million. Weeks after they went live, Rosalía signed a contract with Sony Spain. Suddenly “E.M.Q.,” an album made by two friends holed up in an apartment, didn’t look so left of center, and Rosalía had secured the backing she needed to promote it all over the world.

This summer, at the MTV music awards, Rosalía took the stage and performed the closest thing that she has written to a straight love song: “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mí”, a collaboration with El Guincho and the Puerto Rican trap and reggaeton sensation Ozuna.

Dancing was the first thing that Rosalía gave up when she decided to become a serious musician. And

it was the last element she needed to transform herself into a global pop sensation so she messaged the choreographer Charm La’Donna. Rosalía didn’t want her dances to suggest submission. “There’s always an intention to show the figure of the woman with strength and power,” she said. With La’Donna, who has choreographed most of Rosalía’s videos and live performances, she hatched a dance style that blended flamenco’s sinuous gestures with hip-hop’s punch. It’s still too early to know how Rosalía’s career will evolve. “I know that I will age making music, and I want to see how my music changes with the years.” What she wants most is “never to lose the desire to keep making music.” Last February, standing onstage in a floor-length red dress at the Goya Awards, Spain’s version of the Oscars, Rosalía sang, in Spanish, “Me Quedo Contigo” , by Los Chunguitos.

In her arrangement, Rosalía replaced the electric guitar and the drums with backup singing by the youth chorus Cor Jove de l’Orfeó Català. The change brought forward the song’s subtext, making it a declaration not just of romantic love but also of spiritual devotion. Her voice danced between strength and vulnerability, the knowing sneers and smiles of her pop performances were wiped from her face. In the final bars, her eyes glistened; her lower lip trembled. It was beauty. It was innovation. It was duende. Could it also have been a song about a life devoted to music? “You still haven’t seen everything that Rosalía can do singing pure flamenco,” Chiqui told me. “Everything that she is, everything that she has inside, it still hasn’t been seen.”



URBANA/dc murals

This guide to basic hand lettering for beginners is a great place to start whether you’re a complete design novice or a working professional looking to expand your toolkit.

From street signs to chalkboard menus to national ad campaigns, you can discover hand lettering everywhere. But it’s also intimidating for those of us who are just getting started. It takes practice, so luckily we have two lettering experts, Annica Lydenberg and Roxy Prima, to give us some tips to get started. 1. Choose Your Pens & Pencils Having the right supplies will help make hand lettering easier, but you don’t have to go out and spend a fortune on pens and pencils or brush tips right away. There is an extensive range of devices, depending on what kind of style you are going for in your lettering. Pencils: Mechanical or Lead In Prima notes, “I like to use mechanical pencils because they


always stay sharp. My favorite is the Koh-l-Noor Mephisto Pencil.”Lead in pencils can be hard or soft, ranging from 6H (hard) – 6B (soft), with HB being middle of the road. Lydenberg says, “I typically sketch at first with lighter pencils—meaning harder lead— and then move on to softer lead, darker pencils, once my design has taken more shape.” Take a look at this pencil hardness guide for reference. If you’re just starting out, you can grab just about any drawing pencil set from your local art supply store.

Pens Pens come in a lot more varieties. “I love working with really fine point ink pens, but I have many friends that prefer thicker brush pens,” Prima says. It’s all about finding what works for you. She says a good starter set of fine tip pens, is Micron. “They come in in a range from really tiny (for those little details that give your work a little something extra) to a nice thick size to fill in your letters

FEBRUARY 2021 with black ink. These are perfect if you really want to focus on clean, detailed letters,” she says. For a more loose, freeform style, Prima says brush pens for brush lettering are the best, and she recommends Tombows. 2. Choose Your Paper This is a huge category and everyone works differently. Sketchbooks or lettering books are always great to have on hand, and one of Prima’s favorites is the Canson Multi Media Paper Pad. “I like it because if I am using ink pens, the paper is thick enough that it won’t bleed through,” she notes. Tracing paper is also really good to have when you are first starting out. “It gives you a nice smooth surface to practice on, while not draining all the ink in your pens.” Lydenburg suggests using graph paper. “It will help you keep the weights consistent as well as your baseline, x-height, and cap height.” Once you’re past the initial sketching stage, you may want to graduate to a nicer sheet for your final work-up. Prima uses Bristol paper for her final pieces for its smooth surface and thick weight.

slow and accurate than quick and messy,” she notes. “Shapes and lines are the building blocks for letters so they are really good for practicing. I draw lines and curves to practice my spacing and control of the pen. This is also a good way to get to know new pens and pencils and see how they work.” 4. Start Lettering! Now that you feel comfortable with the basic shapes of letterforms, and your hand is nice and warmed up, it’s time to play! “Hand lettering gives you the freedom to do anything you want with your letters, so experimentation really helps me come up with new ideas,” says Prima. Take a small word, or just simply a letter of your choice, and draw it in as many ways as you can think of. Fill the entire page, or multiple pages and don’t think about it too hard.

3. Do Some Warm-Up Exercises We’ve established the tools, so let’s start sketching different lettering styles. Using a ruler, make straight lines on your paper. Start by making some angled straight lines, moving to more complex curves and shapes. Try to keep your shapes the same and evenly spaced. “This will help you with balance and kerning in your future hand lettering pieces. And take your time—it is better to be

Don’t worry about it being good or pretty. The most important thing is to

practice and try and do it every day. This is just about trying something new and seeing how far you can push your letters! As with any type of art genre, it’s a good idea to know what’s already out there and see what works and what doesn’t, and what styles appeal to you. Lydenburg says, “Start by examining lots of fonts. Particularly, look at where the weight falls and the white space that is created by each letter. White space is just as important as what you are drawing.” When she starts a project, she builds her letters from the inside out, noting, “sometimes it helps to start with a more skeletal structure and then build up the body of the letter around that.”

5. Produce a Finished Piece Take a short phrase and give it some life. Take a look at your page(s) from the last exercise, and pick a few styles of letters that really stand out to you. Pay attention to the words that are the most important and should stand out the most. Sketch each word in a slightly different style.Don’t be afraid to mix very different looks together and to have your letters interacting. Next, outline the letters in a thin ink pen and erase the pencil. Finally, do all the details and shading that make the piece look finalized!”.


URBANA/dc murals

www.urbana.com 24

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.