Year of the Ox Poster featured in the 2010 SCAD Graphic Design Alumni Show

Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Year of the Ox | Tags: , , , , , , , | 52 Comments »

We just received the good news that our Year of the Ox poster has been accepted for the 2010 Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Graphic Design Alumni show. (Lisa is a SCAD alumna). Our piece was one of 30 entries selected for the show, which will be displayed on the SCAD Savannah campus in Poetter Hall throughout March 2010. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and take a look!

And although our Year of the Ox poster is sold out, our Year of the Tiger poster is now on sale at our Etsy store,

Etsy Store is Launched

Posted: October 20th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized, Year of the Ox | Tags: , , | 56 Comments »


The Kaizen Collective Etsy store is officially live. We are selling apparel and prints of some of the work we’ve featured on the blog. We’ve put up a few items to start, and will add more as we create new designs.

Our focus will continue to be on exploring, experimenting, and using the silkscreen process as a creative outlet rather than on creating things to sell.

That being said, if you have any suggestions of items you’d like to see, or if you would like a customized piece (meaning a shirt of a specific size/color, or a print on a certain type of material, etc.), feel free to contact us.

Thanks for all of the kind compliments we’ve been receiving, and thanks for visiting the blog and our new store. -LS

Year of the Ox

Posted: August 23rd, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Final Prints, Year of the Ox | Tags: , , , , , , , | 63 Comments »



A celebration of 2009 and of people born in the year of the ox, the design portrays the ox, the giant working animal, who loves and wants to be loved. -LS

Year of the Ox Process

Posted: August 23rd, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: Process, Year of the Ox | Tags: , , , , | 53 Comments »

Astrology is filled with archetypes and cultural icons…symbolic representations of important values and ideas. Chinese astrology, with its animal-based chart, is particularly visually rich. It can also be humorous, especially when your best friend, a petite and attractive woman in lipstick and heels, is an ox. We often joke about her “oxen-ness” and she often signed off her e-mails, “xo, ox” (a play on the xoxo hugs and kisses). So when we began to brainstorm ideas for new pieces, I was thinking of the humor of this phrasing, of the symbol of the ox, and what it might mean for the year of 2009. I thought it could be a fun piece to try.-LS

kaizen-sketches-1030 copy


I began with quick, stylized sketches. I wanted to capture something both playful and serious, strong but kind-hearted. I explored a more realistic rendering of the ox, then settled back on the more simplified approach. -LS


This is some of my exploration for the background pattern. I incorporated the number 12 in reference to the 12 months/animals in the chinese zodiac calendar. I also used circular elements to correlate with the circular representation of the chinese zodiac that I came across during my research. -JM


I have an unnatural obsession with Rubylith. I love to cut it. I wanted the Ox to feel more hand-crafted…I didn’t want it to just be a perfect vector image. The Rubylith introduces the hand, but is easy to scan and get something that can be cleaned up a little in Illustrator. I especially love the effect on the typography. I used in this project to create type that had the proportions of a well-crafted typeface, but had some rough, hand-crafted edges as introduced by the carving. At first, when we just had the text typeset on the computer, it didn’t seem unified with the image. When I carved the text, it produced small variations that are difficult to create in the computer, and this helped make the Ox image and the type feel as if they lived in the same world.-LS



We kept running into some problems with coating these screens. It turned out our trough for holding the emulsion was warped, and we kept getting uneven coats. To get the coats even, we ended up coating the screen with too much emulsion, causing drops and extra thick areas. When we’d go to burn the screens, some areas would wash out well, and others wouldn’t. We managed to get the screens burned, but we lost some detail on the smaller ox. We also realized we were probably exposing the emulsion for too long, making it hard to wash out. We’d end up scrubbing for a long time, scrubbing off detail from the tail or type. We’ve since fixed this problem, and have re-burned these screens.-LS