Saturday, November 7, 2009

We have an extraordinary opportunity before us. FireStorm Cafe, the sight of the daytime events of SPATSFEST 2009, is looking to redecorate - and steampunk it, at that! We have been called upon for input. below is a reprint from Johnny Lemuria with some of their ideas. I will be pesenting some of my own, as well.

Here is the text of Scott's proposal for redecorating Firestorm, please pass along to the rest of SPATS:
Per your request, I have written up the following summary of our present redesign concept. Please share this widely. We are interested in getting community input and support in making this dream a reality. Specifically, we are looking for artists and hands-on creative types.Present AestheticFirestorm Cafe & Books has been open for around two years and, in that time, has taken aesthetic cues from several different individuals with significantly different visions. The result is a somewhat motley space design. Certain areas (eg. the rear stage) are a downright visual cacophony.

New Vision.
We desire a unified space design that supports a creative yet clean/orderly environment. In keeping with our love of playful, literary themes, the Firestorm Collective has decided to explore the use of Steampunk decor and wall motifs. To avoid confusion, we are describing this as a "Victorian storybook" aesthetic.At this point, our primary focus is repainting the walls and fixtures. An ideal design would be simple enough that numerous individuals could contribute within an accessible stylistic framework. Because of our basement location, an additional concern is avoiding an overly dark design.

Potential Elements
We are conceptualizing the space design as segmented into three distinct areas, corresponding to the three inner walls.
Starting in the rear of the cafe, we're envisioning the short wall behind the stage painted in a sold, dark color - possibly with our branding in the center. This would create a performance area with the least level of visual distraction (unlike our existing tinfoil+mirror+veil+curtain+graffiti insanity).
To the right, the long wall that runs past the bathrooms and kitchen would be painted entirely as a silhouetted cityscape, using Asheville's unique architecture plus fantastical embellishments. In additional to fictitious buildings, we might include things like flocks of birds, flying men, a gigantic robot, dirigible airships, Cthulhuian tentacles reaching out across the city from the black rear wall, etc. We have some other neat ideas, but I'll stick to overview here!To the left, the long wall that runs past the bookshelves and children's area would be painted like a lightly-textured canvas with images silhouetted in white. This low-contrast concept would juxtapose with cityscape on the right and would be comprised of enlarged mechanical and biological forms, inspired by daVinci's sketchbook and the plethora of steampunk desktop art available on the Internet.
Similar to the right wall, this would all be done in very clean, bold forms (vector-esque) to ensure ease of maintenance and continuity of style.InvitationThe ideas above are just an initial brainstorm and we are really interested in getting input and assistance from community members!
Beyond the walls, we are also interested in transforming cafe fixtures, but we'd have to do so without sacrificing utility (I know, sacrilege!) and within a somewhat constricted budget.

= Scott

PS - I was inspired in part by the now famous, themed shops of 826 Valencia (eg The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co). I'd love to create something that people traveling through Asheville are told not to miss."