Don’t be a Dick!

At Milwaukee Makerspace we have two very important rules. Rule #1 is “Be excellent to each other.” and Rule #2 is “Don’t be a dick.”

These rules are common among hackerspaces, and in an ideal world those would be the only two rules you need. Unfortunately, people need to be reminded of these rules every now and then, so when I saw Brant in the Wood Shop making a beautiful “Don’t Be A Dick” sign on the CNC Router, I figured I too should make one using the skills I possess.

Don't be a Dick!

I present to you “Don’t be a Dick!” – by Pete Prodoehl – enamel on canvas – 8″ x 8″.

Nixon Times Two!

I started with this photo of Richard Nixon (aka “Tricky Dick”) and pulled it into Photoshop where I ran a few filters to knock down the number of colors used and basically posterize it down to two colors. It’s still pretty recognizable. Typically at this point I’d do some manual cleanup, but I did very little with this one. Some pieces require more than others, YMMV, etc.

You’ll see I also added registration marks. (Those little crosses.) They worked, but I’ll probably go back to the old registration mark method I used for my annular series.

Nixon Separated

The Photoshop file has two layers, one for black and one for gray. This made it easy to create separations, since I wanted to save each color out to its own file. At this point it would have been helpful to turn the gray artwork into black artwork for the next step, but it wasn’t needed this time. The next step? Oh yes, after I exported the two images to PNG files I then imported them into Inkscape so I could create vector files.

Lines for Cutting!

The art imported into Inkscape, I did a ‘Trace Bitmap’ operation, and our raster file gets converted to vector outlines. These are what we need for the Silhouette Cameo to cut the stencils. (I typically save the files in SVG format, which is the default for Inkscape, but then export as DXF files, as that’s what can be imported into Silhouette Studio, the controlling software for the Cameo.)

Paper Stencils

For the stencils I used thick glossy paper that was originally from a calendar. (Pro-tip: grab all the free calendars people offer you, the paper is quite useful!) As a special treat, the calendars I used had images of concrete walls printed on them, which, when put in contrast with spray-painted stencils, looks almost as cool as the final artwork!

So remember, friends… Don’t be a Dick!