Daily Bytes | Visual Arts

Capt. Eddie’s Holiday Space Camp

In our December 2006 edition of 15 Bytes, Tom Alder’s column focused on LeConte Stewart. We illustrated the article with images of a number of the Christmas cards Stewart created each year and sent to family and friends. We’ve decided to continue the artist Christmas card tradition and this year we feature the Holiday cards of Ed Bateman, akaCaptain Eddie. If you are an artist and create your own Christmas cards, send us images of some and we will feature them in our blog this month.

When did you start making your Christmas cards? What gave you the idea?

My first Holiday card was made in 1980 (!) when I was a high school senior… probably because I had some spare time, the graphics teacher was away, and I found some spare paper and had access to a printing press. That one wasn’t fully original… I found a funny picture that I wanted to share. The first Capt. Eddie card probably wasn’t until about 1990 – hard to remember now… and it did use a computer – somewhat exotic too in its day. Somewhere, I have copies of them all… I keep promising to pull them all together.

For about the past ten years, the cards have usually said something about my life from the previous year or had some tie in to a current art project.

How does one get on your Christmas list?

People that I come into regular contact get them – and they tend to be called Capt. Eddie Cards. I have to watch it, since I’m up to way over a hundred now. Even though I deliver a lot, there is still a bunch of postage. People come to expect them – my dentist always asks (months in advance) if I’ve started it yet – and a deli I go to claims they won’t let me in without one. I have friends that have years worth — and tell me they are the only cards they keep.

What’s the most enjoyable thing about doing the cards?

It’s fun to have a piece of art you can make and give without worrying about financial concerns. In some ways, it’s a way to experiment and go out on a limb. But it can be hard to keep going on a theme and do something new. So, it is always a challenge… especially to do at holiday time. (Why do the holidays always come at such a busy time of year?) And maybe, it’s kind of a cheap gift.

Using the Capt. Eddie project was a way to explore other techniques and interests. In a way, these explorations led (in a rambling way, of course) to the work I did in graduate school… although they are sillier and look much different.

You’ve also sent out Capt. Eddie music CDs. Is that part of the card thing or is that separate?

The CD is kind of a way to get around the cheap gift thing. Originally, I made a few Capt. Eddie pins. They were etched metal. But then my source for etching (Utah Engraving) dried up. The CD was an idea from Pat Eddington. Even that is getting out of hand – I think I make over 50 now. This will be the fourth year on the CD project. It’s a nice gift – especially when you don’t know what to give someone. Or if someone is really cool or a friend.

To view Ed Bateman’s non-Holiday digital art work, go here. To visit Capt. Eddie’s Space Camp, click here.

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