Friday, May 2, 2014

Artist Lecture: Jill Wissmiller

Jill Wissmiller is well known for her current portraits made out of glitter. She is the head of the digital media department in Memphis College of Art. Although she is well known for the glitter portraits, she began with shorts and movies. In her lecture, she talked about her short films/scenes that she's done. Boots showed how important anger is. The audio in this short was hard to hear and understand. Hair Horse was about how women cannot control their lives, so they control their hair. Jill had never directed humans before this, so directing herself was the first step. Tiny Hatchet Hidden in Muff was about a different kind of anger. It implied violence. The short was unsuccessful because there was too much reading involved in it. There was a back story about what lead to the short that lost the viewer. It took too long to read and digest. Welcome to Cooksville was a feature screen play that had been shot in only four days. In those four days, she managed to kill off all of her characters in the story. The film had too much excess, she tried to cram too many things into one film. This made the film loose sight of what it was trying to do. The film had no soul, but Wissmiller said that it taught her a lot as a director. She then went on to the eight different article types, the different kinds of columns one may see in a magazine. She demonstrated these through shorts.
The Quiz was the first article type, and she choose to focus on "Do you love your breasts?" The short consisted on a little girl grinding the breasts off of a Barbie doll on the sidewalk. The little girl was trying to make the doll look like herself. The Quick Fix Way to Improve Life Enforcement article translated into a girl who thought her boyfriend was cheating on her. In order to make him love her, she does a bunch of voodoo tasks in order to fix the relationship. Jill didn't cover every article, but they both were interesting.
In closing she talked about her glitter works. She choose a guy from her high school, and had him dance in a cowboy hat. She also had her good friend Lily think about a love gone wrong. It turned into projecting the image onto a glitter surface.

Final Project: Carson Cards

For the final project, I was allowed to choose any project I wanted to work on, as long as it included certain tools. Wanting a break from all of the conceptual mundane projects, I chose to create something just for fun; greeting cards. I began by researching pickup lines and sayings. Once I choose a few, I illustrated them and scanned them into Photoshop. I cleaned up the outlines and colored them separately. I decided I wanted to put the watercolor like strokes on the inside of the card without an outline. On some of them, not all, I wrote the pick up line on the inside of the card interacting with the design itself. The shark card is the only one that is without a pick up line on the inside since it is in the shark’s mouth. The cards are about control. When making the outlines for the cards, I had to be careful in making the outline clean. When it came to coloring the cards, I let go and didn't worry about coloring outside of the lines. The two of them together create a balance that relates to the final days in the digital class. It relates to how important it is to have control and
determination in your life but how you also need to live and have fun. I feel like the outlines, the color, and the subject matter all communicate this idea. I feel like each design is successful on it’s own, but it looks even better together; as a series. Three of the cards are marine animal related, while one is unrelated. The ice cream was meant to confuse viewers. The piece relates to control and letting go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Project Process

When Michael assigned the final project I had no idea what I wanted to do. He gave us free reign, allowing us to choose anything we wanted, as long as it included certain tools. I thought about it for a while, and after coming up with nothing, I decided to take a break and do art history homework at The Brooks Museum. While there, I went into the gift shop and looked at the cards available there. I really liked them because they were done in an artistic style that was completely different than the cards in Target or Walgreens. I decided I wanted to make my own cards, that were more unique and cute. I began my research in the best way; looking up pick up lines. I wrote down about fifteen or twenty and decided on my favorites. I drew rough sketches of the designs and scanned them into the computer.

Once that was finished, I brought it into photoshop. I began erasing using the rectangular marquee tool, to erase large chunks of the background. I once again used the rectangular marquee tool to fill the background with a bright color, that way I could see what areas were erased and which were not.

 I erased other parts using the magic wand tool, and the smaller areas were erased by simply using the mouse. I also used the adjustment layers to make my outlines stronger, and more bold. I attached it to the layer underneath it so that the background color didn't dim down. I also used a layer mask on certain adjustments.
I then used burn and dodge to lighten and darken areas (more specifically in the jellyfish design). I needed the lines to be very dark and sometimes I gave highlights. I then opened it in a new file, with a line dividing it evenly so that the front would be the front and images wouldn't run over. On the jellyfish card, I copied the image into a new layer, scaled it down and flipped it horizontally so it faced the opposite direction.  I then used the clone stamp tool on the jellyfish closest to the picture plane to add one more fish.

I then colored them in purely in photoshop. I used a watercolor brush stroke to add a hand drawn look. 
I then took off the layer that had the outline on it, leaving just the brush strokes. I added a quick pickup line and saved it as the inside of the card.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Whats up with that final?

Greetings everyone, it's time for finals. In digital we were given free reign on what to do as long as we used certain tools in Photoshop. I've decided to make greeting cards. I plan on using really cheesy pick up lines and other sorts of fun things.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Life of a Hermit

When I first started this project, I wanted to draw my icons by hand and paint them in Photoshop. I began with an idea that involved a balance beam and weights on it to symbolize the things that take up most of my time. Once I walked around the class and met with Savannah and Toonky I realized that my idea was very disconnected and didn't feel personal. To change that I answered the simple question of "what do I spend the most time doing?" Well… I sleep or hibernate 38% of my time, but a bed would be too simple so I decided to build a blanket fort and put things inside it that represent my life. I didn't want to just draw the fort so instead I built a fort and photographed it myself. I then took the photo into Photoshop and began editing it. I drew the pen tool around an object (starting with the computer) and increased the feather radius to 3. I then clicked on hue and saturation and played with the levels until I found a color that suited the object. I repeated the process until every object I needed was a separate color. I then drew a banner using the pentagon tool. I copied that shape again and added a black stroke to it. I added text to it centering it. I then drew a black rectangle with the rectangle tool and wrote the categories of my time in corresponding colors to the objects. For the most part I really like the image, I'm just not happy with the black side panel. I want it to look more like an inforgraph and I'm not sure how to do that. I didn't like this project that much though, honestly I thought it was boring.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Info graphic Feedback

In class today, we broke up into groups and gave feedback for the first drafts of the info graphic projects. When I brought mine forward, I was unhappy with the appearance of it. I had tried to take the route of scanning sketches into Photoshop and going over them with the pen tool. I also realized, my concept was not as personal as everyone else's. In order to remedy this, I brought my problem up to my group of Toonky and Savannah. Savannah suggested I change the idea to a bed setting and using the pillows to represent the activities in my info graphic. She explained how my current project had a nice composition, but it looked like time was baring down on me, and it was unpleasing. She also suggested I use certain objects to represent my activities, such as a dumbbell for working out. I liked her ideas, but I wasn't sure about the bed idea. We all agreed that sleep was a big part of my schedule so I wanted to keep the theme and decided a blanket fort would represent my personality more. Although I like to relax and sleep, I like to explore and make things and I thought this was the perfect representation of that. Toonky suggested I use books to represent work-study and pillows for sleep, things like that. The idea was to keep these items inside the fort. He also recommended I use greyscale to help bring out my chosen icons. I looked at info graphs that I liked and decided I would use bright colors to bring out the objects that were icons. Overall this feedback was really great, and helped me progress with ideas.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Info Graphics

I choose this info graphic because I liked the layout of the graphic. I liked how big the illustrations were, but they still provided information. I like how large the title is, it grabs my attention and let's me know exactly what's going on. The most appealing thing about the image is the photos. They're very informative and the perfect way to present the information on this subject. The reader can actually see how the dance moves should look. The way the information was presented was what first got my attention, but the information itself is fun. I didn't expect to find such a fun info graphic. I think the graphic is very clear and helpful.

I selected this image because I really liked the colors involved in it. I think the graphic has a nice flow and organization to it. The information was appealing because of the way it looked. I didn't care much about the subject but I thought it looked really nice. The first thing that attracted me to the poster was the color, specifically the yellow title, the light blue of the "36% of consumers drink craft beer" and the glasses of beer themselves due to the gradient. I think the colored dots under the drinks become slightly confusing though.

I selected this graphic because the cleanliness, the alignment, and clarity of the image. The simplicity of the image appeals to me, along with the color and clarity. A person could just glance at this graphic and understand what it was about. I was first attracted to how the image looked, the color grabbed my attention. I also liked how this one was more simple. The information is interesting, but it came second. 

I chose this graphic because of the clarity, craftsmanship, and alignment. I really enjoy how they stick with the same glass to represent the type of drink. The colors are appealing as well as the fonts chosen. The way the graphic was presented grabbed my attention more than the information did. I found it interesting that the type of drink was related to a personality. I like how for each sub-category the pattern that the text is laid out in changes so the audience can connect it to the main category, but can still distinguish it. 

I chose this graphic because of the clarity in the information presented, the craftsmanship, alignment/spacing, and visual hierarchy. The photos included are appealing, the different fonts, and information are as well. When I first saw this graphic, the information appealed to me more than the graphics. The graphics are very eye catching but the information related to my personal life so it caught my eye more. I like the way it gives more information in places to help the reader dive more into the topic, but if they aren't interested it's not in the way and doesn't disrupt the flow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Walking Read

Version One:
I found it hard to make a movie poster for my character at first because he was made in an environment already. I thought for a while about putting him in a library since the zombie is popping out of a book and coming to life. The more I planned it out, I realized that wouldn't have the movie effect that I was going for and decided to stick with the theme already made- a graveyard. I began by placing a photo of my paper craft in Photoshop and cutting it out using the pen tool. Once he was cut out, I used the paint bucket to make a black background. I then used the paintbrush tool combined with lowered opacity to blend the table the book was sitting on into the background. Once I had finished, I had cut out a photo of the moon and put it in the background. I then hopped onto Illustrator and made the lettering "The Walking Read" to play with the book idea.

Version Two:
I completely started over for version two. I decided to use a different photo of my paper craft project because this way, it would be easier to include a background and foreground. One again, I began by cutting the character out of the photo (from table up) by using the pen tool. I then made the background black with the paint bucket tool. I had played around with other shades of grey but they weren't as effective as the black had been. I then used the color replacement tool on everything but the red parts of my paper craft person to make it stand out and limit my color choice more. I wanted the lettering and the guts to stand out the most. Next I made extra tomb stones for the background using the pen tool with two different shades of grey to add depth. I then used the paint brush (set using the grass pattern) on the background along the tomb stones. It was then that I decided to bring grass in the foreground and make a path so that the eye could travel nicely throughout the piece. I then used the paint brush tool and played with the opacity to make a white fog. I added lettering courtesy of Adobe Illustrator that I thought looked similar to the original Night of the Living Dead poster and named mine Night of the Living Read. I used a red color to tie into the image in the middle and to make it pop. I added the names at the bottom, once again mimicking the style of the famous movie above. I chose white because I didn't want to distract from everything else going on. Also, most movie posters have names small and almost insignificant on posters. As a last minute thought, I added the moon and fog to help balance the space.  I'm really happy with my finished version and honestly wouldn't change anything. I had a good time working with this project and it turned out better than I thought it would. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Visiting Artist: Mark DIon

Mark Dion visited Memphis College of Art on February 27, 2014.  He is a globalized artist that uses archaeological and scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects. Throughout his lecture, he spoke about his projects in Italy, London, Germany, Folksden, Seattle, and the boarder of Mexico and the USA.  I really enjoyed the projects that took place in Italy and London.

 In Italy, he spoke about how it costs the people of Venice a lot of money to get rid of their trash (things like television sets or refrigerators) because of the canals. Since it costs so much, some of the people who live there will push their garbage into the canal itself. Every month, people scoop the mud from the bottom of the canal and put it in barges. Dion took the contents of a barge and sorted every object in the mud. He then took the contents of the mud and made it into a "treasure trove" by organizing them and displaying them in a "child like way." He put numbers by some of the objects, and naturally people expect there to be information coordinating with the number elsewhere, but there isn't. One of the things I really enjoyed about this display was that he left some objects completely covered in mud,  others were halfway clean, and some were completely clean.

In London, he focused on the Temes River. The shore here is really rich in material that is rich in culture and archeology. Dion, and his group of volunteers would dig for four hours a day for an entire week. There were two dig sites; one was in Milbank, and the other was on Bankside. When the team was sorting the contents of what they found, they set up Indiana Jones like tents and divided them into subject matter. Everyday he gave a lunchtime lecture that was free to the people. When he built the display for the objects, he made a double sided cabinet. One side was for Milbank while the other was for Bankside. The cabinet was interactive, it had pull out drawers. The idea was to have the viewer find it themselves. There were specific organizational patterns per drawer so just when a viewer discovered a pattern, it changed. The idea was to give the viewer a link between past and self. 

Lovely Photoshop Artists

The following five artists inspire me with their work in photoshop;

1) Caras Ionut
Precarious: Impossible physical feats are made possible in the 'dreamlike' artworksTransformed: A standard picture of a man has been given a bizarre makeover with the addition of jet black wings
I was attracted to this artist because of how realistic yet surreal the images were. I like how they look like you could touch them, or like they could actually exist somewhere. I would like to learn how they create these images. I know the artist photographs images and uses those in his work. I want to know how to make it believable and three dimensional looking. I would like to play with making images realistic, I in no way want to do a self portrait again, but I want to make surreal things look believable

2)David Fuhrer

I was attracted to this artist because he creates surrealistic art. I love the use of color, the compositions, and subject matter that he chooses. Once again he makes unbelievable images, and their not as realistic as the previous artist, but I like the illustrative approach. I would like to know how he makes all the textures and colors and makes thing look so nice and put together.I would like to make compositions like these, a whole piece that looks put together. I want to play with making texture and not just flat shape.

3) Bobby Chiu

What attracted me to this artist was the irony in the pieces, as well as a painterly more realistic version of new school tattooing. Proportions are stretched to limits.and creatures are made up. I would like to learn how he gives his work the painterly feel. To me it just looks like an oil painting and I would like that effect on my own work. I would like to simply make images with this type of look. I want it to look like a painting rather than obvious computer work.

4) Jerico Santander

What attracted me to this artist was his color choice, surrealism, and realistic details. I want to learn how to make things so vivid and believable. I want to learn how to make the wrinkle texture or other textures. His work is super inspiring. I myself would like to do more three dimensional looking art in the class. I want to work on making images more realistic.

5) Craig Sellars

What attracted me to this artist was his style. I love how these look like paintings rather than digital art. From this artist I would like to know how to do this style. I like how things look like brush strokes. In class I want the same thing, I want to use more of a painterly style in my work.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not Your Average Fairytale

Originally when I had started this assignment, my vision had been to simply have a zombie cut in half with his intestines trailing behind him. I wanted to put him on a skateboard and have him move. During a half-way point critique, I set up the zombie on my sketchbook to display the template along with the 3D zombie himself. It was at that point that I realized I wanted to make the zombie coming out of a book. My goal in this project was to make a whole scene on a book to look like things were crawling out of it. I began in my sketchbook, problem solving and working out kinks to make a design that wasn't too geometric. I first came up with the head, because it was the most important element to me. I really wanted a spherical object. I moved on to making a torso and arm. I wanted to leave him one armed because he is a zombie, and they loose appendages all the time. I did not make legs simply because I wanted him to be in the process of rising out of the book. I jumped on Adobe Illustrator and transferred the designs, outlining them with the pen tool. I had tried to put type over the design, but it just wasn't working out for me. I then decided to print on ripped out pages of the book itself. This made everything more cohesive and organic. I had made the tomb stones and scenery behind the zombie to help put him in context. Even if someone didn't know he was a zombie, he is seen as a monster which I'm okay with. It's still the same concept to me. I went to a second critique, and there were some suggestions to make the round tombstones 3D, and to add red to it. I went home once again, and painted sheets of the paper red. I cut them into ribbons and crumbled them up, placing them all around the zombie, as intestines and guts coming out of his head/torso. I kept the color scheme basic black, white, and red. The black and white parts were left that way to look like it's still a part of the book. I chose red to communicate blood/guts. I honestly would not change anything about this project. I am fully in love with it. I'm very proud of it and it was a nice project to finish before the Spring Break.

First Draft of Global Warming

This is the first draft of Global Warming. It started very simple and almost boring. I think I had just started getting my feet wet with Adobe Illustrator and as time went on, I began realizing what I was able to do in the program. I chose blue because the Earth is known for it's water, most of the planet is covered in it. The color blue is also representing a cool temperature because global warming melts the ice caps in the Arctic regions of the world. I chose to use Orange because it is a warm temperature and is supposed to help communicate that the sun is in fact the sun.  I chose to use gray as the little girl because it was a neutral color, and she is partly made up of smoke because smoke pollutes our air and partly causes the problem. 

Templates to Make a Zombie

Head/Neck/Eyes (if you choose to include them, theyre the top two patterns on the right) The neck is the template on the top left. Everything under the neck and eyes is a part of the head.

Left Arm


In order to build a paper zombie graveyard, you need the following items:
1) An old book that you don't mind never reading again. It works best if it's a hardback.
2) Adobe Illustrator
3) Red paint, Acrylic will work best, but watercolor will work also
4) An exato knife, scissors work as well, but it will be a lot harder to make the tabs and details.
5) Glue, I used a glue stick but liquid glues work well too
6) A cutting board
7) Ripped out pages from the book mentioned above
How to make the zombie:
1)  Print out all of the templates onto the ripped out pages of the book
2) Cut out the head template (not the neck or eyes)
3) Glue the tabs together, you should have a spherical shape. 
4) If you choose to include eyes, cut them out now and glue the tabs together. Then attach them to the                 head. If you don't want to include them, and have a gash in the zombie's brain, then leave a                     hole.
5) Cut out and attach the neck to the base of the head.
6) Next cut out all of the parts of the torso template
7) Glue all of the tabs together. Finish a section/ strip before you move on, they will literally come                       together in the format of the template. 
8) Cut out the left arm. You do not need a right arm simply because he is a zombie and it fell off in                       battle...
9) Glue all the tabs together and attach it to the torso
10) Lay down the extra pages from the book and paint them red. Let it dry for an hour or two, flip it over and do the other side
11) Cut the painted pages into thin strips. 
12) Crumble the paper and stuff some of it into the zombie's head, leave some hanging out
13) Glue the remaining strips to the book under the zombie, make them run all over the page, these are                his intestines.
14) Cut out tomb stones, trees, and crosses to make the book look more like a graveyard.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stop Global Warming

Earlier in the month, I had researched gestalt principles. In this work of art, I chose to incorporate two into my work. The gestalt principles are great ways to sort of trick the mind and play with how you see things. It was really awesome to take what I had learned and make something out of it. In this particular piece, I had used proximity in the girl's shirt with the orange lines. I had also used closure within the ice cream cone. I began this project by choosing a worldly issue, global warming, that really needs to be changed. I started with the ice cream itself. To me, it is the most important thing about the picture. I believe it helps get the concept across since it is the world melting. I traced a very generic photo of ice cream with the pen tool and chose colors to fit the Earth. I then made the little girl, I wanted to use a human in the picture because we are the cause of global warming and as a child, we're ignorant to the world and it's issues and I feel that a lot of people are simply ignoring the fact that our Earth is in danger. I drew her with the pen tool as well, and used the pencil tool on her shirt. I then went on to make the sun and flames with the pen tool. I am happy with this piece, but I do think it could have been better. I'm not happy with the sun flames, but with how much I learned on this project I am happy.

33 Hours, and a Selfie Later...

The idea behind this project, was to simply make a self portrait  out of squares. Having never used Illustrator, working with only squares really helped get my feet wet with the program and begin to understand it. I began by simply taking a photo of myself or a "selfie." I then put a filter over the photo that broke the image down into simple colors. After that I began making very tiny squares. I did this over and over, each color having it's own layer in Illustrator. Towards the end, since the layers were under all of the others, I was able to use larger squares. The "selfie" was cut off at the end of my sweater and I wasn't too sure what to do to it, so I made the squares look as if they were disintegrating. I am very happy with this project, it took literally thirty-three hours and it looks like me. When I started this project my goal was to make the image so well crafted that people would know who it was and I believe it accomplishes that.