This book represents my semester in Intro to Design with Katie ries, Fall 2015. It documents all of my work as well as the process of me becoming a better designer and a better thinker. This book is typeset in Ever After and Baskerville.
"You Try, you fail. the real failure is when you stop trying." -Anonymous
The Semester >>> Dot/Line <<< >>> Expressive Text <<< >>> Object Iterations <<< >>> Children's Book <<< >>> Design and Vocation <<< >>> Final thoughts <<<
Dot/Lines Objective: Create four strong abstract pieces using different combinations
of grey and black dots and lines to communicate general words. The final four iterations were created on 4x4 pieces of white paper and mounted on a black background with one inch margins. The objective is to learn how to generate an abundance of work while demonstrating use of value, scale, line, negative space, continuation, similarity, closure, etc. all while practicing making things well and in a minimal, gestalt style.
This project affected my idea of abstraction because it proved that nothing is just randomly placed in an art piece. There is always an energy and feeling that comes from a particular piece. Before the project I thought that all abstract pieces could just be thrown together and were just interesting to look at. I, personally, didn’t find it difficult to convey my ideas about the different words without illustrating them because each word represented a abstract idea. Although you can physically see fear in someone’s eyes or discipline in someone’s posture, you still can’t see it as physically as you see a chair or a tree.
Reflection: The process of the project itself was very helpful and helped me really brainstorm
and dig deeper. It also forced me to revise and change ideas I had already came up with. I tend to fall in love with my original ideas and have a hard to time finding things to change about it, but by being forced to do so it helped me create more interesting pieces. At first it was a little challenging to get excited about a project with only basic lines and dots as well as such tight parameters, but once I got into the project and really started making a bunch of thumbnails and moving pieces of paper around, I began get excited to to see the final product and, hopefully, correctly representing my chosen words.
The Final Products ABUNDANCE
Objective: Choose a word from the provided list and create four different final
iterations of that word. The goal was to create meaning for the word only using typography while utilizing vast amounts of different mediums, inlcuding marker, ink, charcoal, and photography.
Before we began the project, we learned about and practiced different typography, especially serif and sans serif. This was to get our minds comfortbale with the new vocabulary as well as practice hand lettering for the Expressive Text project.
Initial Iterations What surprised me most about this project was the slight difficulty in crafting real high quality letters and planning out the spacing of each letter. It really made me think about where I was going to place the word and how thick I wanted each letter as well as how big of a space I wanted in between. Before when I would make box letters, I would just free hand it and end up with it off center or with the letters having different thicknesses and sizing. Forcing myself to make guidelines and sketch out where I want everything placed, helped my overall work and surprised me on how much better my work got as a result. I learned a lot about the different terms and names for different types of lettering from this project. I had heard of sans and sans serif before, but never really knew the difference between them or what they really were. Now that I know, it really makes me look at lettering differently and how each really changes the feeling a font can give you.
The Final Products
Reflection: The greatest challenge for me of this project was deciding what mediums to use and how to use them to portray my word the way I wanted. Especially with the 3D versions of my word. It was hard to position certain objects in a way that worked well and really outlined the word. I really tried to take advantage of the ‘M’ and the ‘E’ in the word ‘mine’. I tried pulling them closer and enhancing them to communicate possession. It also was helpful that the word has four letters so I could make it very symmetrical in a way. If I were to continue to explore expressive typography, I would experiment more with the 3D aspect and maybe try new methods. I would also play around with more cursive typefaces and thinner lettering and not so much on block letters.
Object Iterations Objective: Choose an object or animal with a distinguishable sihloette
and make as many iterations as possible using the following techniques: continious line, master artist style, collage, typographic collage, and geometric collage. Then we were to display our best pieces on a 11x17 poster using a grid format in InDesign.
Through the process of working with the giraffe, I learned about the curvature of its ears and itâ€™s snout. I hadnâ€™t really paid that close attention to those details before this project. I also learned about the spots and the typical pattern it takes even though not one giraffe is the same in that sense.
The most enjoyable media to work with was the collage. Iâ€™ve done some collage when I was younger, but never in this setting. I really liked working with abstraction and building the giraffe out of obscure objects and things cut out of magazines. It really opened up my mind to all the possibilities collage can hold.
Master Artists Salvador Dali & Banksy
The most challenging media I used for this project was working with the stencil and spray paint for my Banksy iteration. The stencil itself took a lot of time to craft just the way I wanted it and then working to get the spray paint just right so my stencil actually worked was a struggle.
The Final Product
Reflection: The presentation of the iterations helped bring the project
together as a whole. I think alone some of my pieces really were lacking, but when placed with my stronger pieces, they kinda of fed off of all the pieces as a whole, amplifying the work. Using Photoshop for this project taught me how to play with the curves and the shadows, which will be beneficial going forward. It allowed me to fix up my work without having to redo the whole thing and re-scan it. If I had to continue working on this project for a year, I think I would play around with the giraffe foot print and maybe work more with the geometric iterations. I really enjoy working abstractly so I think I would see how far I could push that and still represent the object well.
Objective: This was a collaboration project with Dr. Bonnie Johnsonâ€™s
education class. We were paired up with an author and given the task of illustrating the story as well as typesetting the text given to us. The goal of the project was to get us comfortable working with a client in a professional setting and producing cohesive images from your authorâ€™s direction.
Children's Book Tina's Travels
The story documents a young bird, named Tina, and her parents as they travel the world. They stop to visit some of the most famous sites and see some amzing things, but Tina learns that even though she loved to travel, she loves her home the most.
I referenced other cartoon versions of the famous sites mentioned in the book. It helped me stay away from the more realistic side and keep me within the same style.
My partner was surprisingly easy to work with, in the sense that she let me have a lot of freedom with the illustrations. I was expecting her to have more specific things she wanted incorporated into the book. It was nice to have freedom like this, but also kind of nerve racking because I didnâ€™t know if she would like the work that I did. I drew inspiration from the books done by past classes as well as some of my favorite books as a child. I also looked up several different versions of cartoon birds to help me create my own versions of Tina and her family. I really enjoyed the Spanish translations she provided and incorporated into the book. Showing her strengths in a different language in this childrenâ€™s book gave the book a lot of depth and will help children learn not only about the famous sights of the world, but also a different language.
Reflection: I was a little nervous before starting the project because my partner didnâ€™t
contact me until about a week or two before we really started working on it in class. However, once we made contact with each other she was very easy to work with. I sent her examples of the drawings I had done, and since she gave me artistic freedom, had very little to say about the drawings themselves. She did make it clear what she wanted included in the book and I took that direction. Not a lot about this project was extremely challenging. Getting used to using Photoshop was probably the hardest part. Otherwise, the project was just a lot of work in general and a very time consuming process. If I were to start this project again, I think I would mess around with the idea of creating the actual pictures on the computer itself and not on paper first. I would also maybe try having the different sites spread on to two pages instead of just the one. Incorporating the birds into each site more would also be an idea to mess with.
Some Final Pages A look inside the finished book
Design and Vocation Questions to consider Are you called to creative work? If so, how do you recognize that calling? If not, to what do you feel called? In my opinion, I think everyone in some way is called to creative work. Whether it be in creating an amazing oil painting, designing a new methods of transportation, finding the cure for cancer, or even something as simple as making cookies. Just because one particular person is called to be the next Picasso, doesn’t mean that people who aren’t great at painting or drawing aren’t also called to creative work. I think you find and create creative work when you find something you love and pursue it. What, if anything, distinguishes art and design? If you have to pick a side, which do you choose? Why? When distinguishing art from design, I would argue that there isn’t really a difference between the two. There is a difference between classical artwork and advertising designs, but regardless both require conscious thought and artistic vision. If I had to pick a side, I would choose the art side because, even though I enjoy design, art gives me more escape. I get more of a relaxing vibe when I sit down and just draw or paint then when I plan a book layout. What is the difference between a good life and a significant life? The difference between a good life and a significant life is all about perspective. A good life is full of wonderful happy memories. A life where goals were achieved and despite the failures and the set backs, life still went on shaped by those failures and was made better. A significant life is something that is different for everyone and what a particular person defines significant. For me, a significant life would be to one day have children and a family. My life would be both good and significant just by being able to raise my children regardless of how they come into the world. Passing on your name and your life to another generation, I feel, is the best and most significant thing a person can do. What is the greatest failure you’ve experienced (that you feel comfortable sharing)? The greatest failure I’ve experienced so far in my life was when I missed going to Sectionals in the discus throw my senior year. I had gone to Sectionals the previous two years and was expected to even go on to State that year. I got in my head and threw poorly and missed moving on by one place. It was really hard to end my senior year like that, but being able to continue to throw here at SNC is such a blessing and has made that regret more bearable.
What’s something you’ve made in the last two years that you’re proud of ? My last semester as a senior in high school, I created a surrealism piece as part of my independent art class. I photographed a snowy, brick background as well as my hands in a cupped shape. I then placed the hands on the brick, edited using filters, and then printed it on canvas. I then proceeded to paint a little circus scene with oil paint inside of my hands. It came out exactly how I was expecting it to and it was a piece I worked extremely hard on. It even got submitted to the gallery in my home town. That piece, that I called “The Handy Circus” is something I have made in the past two years that I am extremely proud of. If you were guaranteed it would support you financially, what would you want to design or make for a living? I definitely would design for a living if it would support me financially. Even then, with graphic design being my minor, I would still like to keep it apart of my future career. For me, art in general is an escape and helps clear my mind. It helps me through stressful periods in my life and I owe a lot to art and the creative process.
Final Thoughts... Iâ€™d like to say a big thank you to Katie and Don for teaching this class this semester. It was an amazing and eye-opening experience for me. I feel I have become an actual designer even though I have much more work to do. Also a big thank you to the art department, in general, for offering this class. It has taught me to push past failure and to just keep creating. One of the most important things Iâ€™ve learned in this class is that your first idea is not always your best and you should always strive to keep pushing the limits. This class helped me remember why I want to minor in graphic design and why I want to keep art and design a part of my life after college.
"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." -George Bernard Shaw