Sunday, October 14, 2007

Interviewing Francis Raffalovich

Had a lovely, hour-long chat with Francis Raffalovich October 13. The S*bucks where we met was unbelievably noisy, so I have my recording transcription work cut out for me.

A couple of reference photos I'll use as a basis for sketching:

Highlights for me?

His story about how he came late to a faith and practice, and kept working as a geophysicist to support his wife and three daughters while attending seminary at night.

His pragmatic, self-deprecating wit.

His gratitude for his fortunate life, and his amazement about the love and acceptance he feels from God.

(Note: When I write about people, I'll use their own terms for the divine or what sparks them. Hence for Francis, the term "God." For others, there may be other terms.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yes, we have interviewees

The project starts to coalesce.


People who've expressed interest, and agreed to be interviewed and sketched:

Rachel Barenblat, one of my delightful blog-quaintances
Roberta Rosenberg, a friend I've known for years
Francis Raffalovich, the father of a work colleague
Donald Haughey, a recent acquaintance and art professor at St. Edwards University

More, hopefully, to come. Although not all may be used in the prototype, I want to be able to expand the project if I find it's interesting enough.


Visual organization:

Horizontal layout (I'll work as if pages would be printed 9"w x 6"d, since that's a standard format available on
A grid structure, based on a 4x4 grid (riffing on the quartile "Dawn," "Midday," "Dusk," and "Night" sectioning of Time) to provide continuity. The grid will function like invisible "bones" whose armature visually connects each spread.


The questions:

Background questions: Name, faith and/or practice name, age, their age when they began their current practice, city or region they reside in.
Content questions:
"Dawn" -- Tell me about the beginnings of your practice/faith.
"Midday" -- How do you balance other aspects of your life with your practice/faith, how do other parts of your life interpenetrate your practice?
"Dusk" -- How has your faith/practice changed over time, or how have your experiences with the world changed over time as a result of your faith/practice?
"Night" -- What is the most unexpected, most surprising experience or outcome you've had so far connected to your practice/faith?
Is there an object--personal or otherwise--which is very meaningful to you in the context of your faith/practice? (I want to get a photo-reference for it, either directly or through other means.)
Is there anything else I should know about your practice/faith that I don't, and that you'd be comfortable sharing through this project?


Appointments and email assignations will be set, art supplies will be sourced...and I'll post more as it unfolds.