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[ re s p it e ]

ryan cho /// mfa ilp

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[ Table of Contents ] Intro ...................................................................... 2

/// Fall 2016 Image Harvest .................................................... 3 Paper Engineering ............................................. 9 Letterpress ........................................................ 13 Laser Printing .................................................... 15 Sewing & Binding ............................................. 19 Publishing .......................................................... 21 Typography ....................................................... 23 Sketchbook ....................................................... 27 Art Market ......................................................... 33

/// Spring 2017 Animation .......................................................... 43 Silly City ............................................................. 49 Hand Lettering ................................................. 55 Pattern ............................................................... 57 Self Directed ..................................................... 63 Workshop .......................................................... 69

Looking Back .................................................... 73 Thank You .......................................................... 76


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[ Introduction ] I hated my job. I worked as an in-house graphic designer at a food manufacturing company. I had studied illustration in my undergrad, but I barely drew anymore. Most of my time was spent on Adobe Illustrator, rather than mixing paint. I felt myself wilting away in my cubicle, surrounded by the never ending piles of package design proofs. I applied to MICA to get out of this cycle. After moving to Baltimore, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had made the right choice. I had a steady paying job. Even though it wasn’t fun, it paid the bills. The first day of ILP erased any doubts I had in my mind. Seeing all the fellow classmates’ work made me realize that this is where I belong. From then, I vowed to never set type on Adobe Illustrator again and marched on. This “idea book” is a documentation of all the fumbles and the small moments of eureka that I’ve experienced through out my first year of Illustration Practice. It has been a bumpy road, but I only had to use Adobe Illustrator once.

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[ Image Harvest ] For the Image Harvest show, we were asked to revisit our old works and pull out new ideas. The end result would be displayed at the first floor of the Lazarus Building. I decided to paint skate spots that I found in Baltimore. I’ve been traveling around on my board everywhere and documenting all the found locations. From my iPhone photos, I made small paintings and created a mind map. The concept wasn’t fully formed and I presented the images scattered across the wall. I got a lot of helpful feedback on ways that I could expand on this project. Time to start over. I started thinking about combining two of my interests: skateboarding and trading cards. I treated the cards as art objects, rather than commercial products. I imagined a high school version of me, creating these out of materials that were around me. The final product was a set of fifteen portrait cards along with three foil cards. The special foil cards were accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

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[ Paper Engineering ] The in-class workshop was cutting colored construction paper with X-acto and creating silhouette shapes. For my reaction piece, I wanted to create something more three dimensional. I had some cardboard lying around, so I figured, “Well, this is technically paper. Why not?” I had been researching a skate shop for my Drawing Non-Fiction class, and wanted to create my own fictional skate shop. I got the glue gun heated up and started making little objects. I didn’t have a very specific goal in mind - I just wanted the shop to form as I went along. At one point there was an indoor skate park in the back. After the class critique, I decided to close down the park, and use it for storage instead. There was no way a small shop like this could afford a skate park. Perhaps one day, they’ll open an online store, and be able to afford the indoor park again.

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[ Letterpress ] The letterpress assignment was very openended. The prompt was to just draw anything and send it off to Boxcar Press. They made plates using our Adobe Illustrator files. I drew something based off of an image from my sketchbook. When our plates came back, we took them to Baltimore Print Studios to print them. We were given blue and red ink with the our own choice of paper. The whole process was fun, and I would love to use the letterpress again sometime soon.

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[ Laser Printing ] During our Rhino workshop, we were assigned to create a vector drawing for laser cutting. I used a sketch of a hand from my sketchbook and traced it out on the program. The next day, we went to the DFab lab to cut our vector images. Combining layers of the same cut, I made a hand sculpture. As for the reaction piece, I wasn’t sure where to go with this. I liked the hand, but what else could I do with it? I started looking at hand silhouettes online, and figured there was something to this. I always wanted a chess set, so why not combine the two ideas? I sketched out little hand gestures that could look like chess characters and got to printing. I ended up with a quirky little chess set. The front of each piece had hand gestures, while the back were the chess units.

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[ Sewing ] The only sewing I’ve done before were for my pants, which rip in the back all the time. I would stitch these very hastily with bookbinding thread with no real technique. As long as my boxers didn’t show, I’ve done my job. So, for the sewing project, I wanted to something simple - baby steps. I started out with little country singer pouches. Like most things that I don’t know how to do, I turned to YouTube. I made a couple of pouches and was excited that I learned a new skill. Being new to Baltimore, I was lacking a lot of house hold items. I needed some throw pillows to nap on, so I made two. The images were based off of various Instagram selfies. There are so many screenshots of random selfies still on my phone that I need to delete.

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[ Publishing ] For the publishing assignment, we each got to pick a book to redesign. The twist was that these would be on matchboxes. I decided to go with Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. I loved the fact that these could be more than just small mock-ups of book designs - they could be little art objects. I decided to paint the book rather than digitally mock it up. The inside of the box contained a one word summary of the book, “intuition�. This was covered up with little icons representing all the various tales in the book.

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[ Typography ] Hand lettering is very, very fun. I used to work as an in-house graphic designer, and always found set type, oh, so boring. We had a typography workshop, where hand lettering was not considered a solution. What to do? How can I get out of working on InDesign, kerning letters and setting a grid? A typewriter! This was the perfect middle ground for me. I found a hi-res document of an old typewritten letter and got to cutting on Photoshop. The images were based on sketchbook drawings. I’ve always wanted experiment with the scanner, and this was a good excuse to finally do it. I had no idea how the drawings would turn out, and the end result was a pleasant surprise.

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[ Sketchbook ] We have fourteen people in our class. We each got assigned a sketchbook, which got rotated. We were in charge of drawing on the covers of our own book, and one spread for everyone else’s book. I started this project with the intent to experiment on each book, and get messy. I did for the first few, but quickly realized I liked drawing people too much. Most of them ended up being illustrations of people. Even in the “Cats and Dogs” book I drew portraits of Kitty Wells and Howlin’ Wolf. I’ll just experiment on my personal sketchbook.

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[ Art Market ] MICA holds an event every December where people from each department set up a booth and sell their work. Our prompt was to create something that could be replicated 25+ times and sell them to people desperately seeking unique Christmas gifts. I had a sketch/idea - one of those that you think it won’t get accepted, but it’s a fun idea, so why not? I drew out a toy dispenser machine and explained that I would make unique art objects that fit inside. I would have to make at the very least, 50 items. The items would vary, so the customers won’t get bored. Kim actually liked the idea! Now to actually execute it. I couldn’t find any used machines in any of the stores in Hampden. So I found one online and nervously awaited its arrival. The machine and the balls ended up costing more than I would have liked, so I was determined to make this work. My goal was to at least break even. I made a bunch of stuff zines, tiny sculptures, painted rocks, etc. In the end, I had a hundred objects.

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The hardest part of the project was the pricing. Based on the average time spent on each object, I calculated their worth. I also thought about how much people would actually be willing to pay. The two were very different from each other. For Art Market, I decided to price it closer to how much I felt they were worth. I slapped on a sticker that said “$6�. Throughout the three days, I sold around 8 pieces - most of which were sympathetic classmates who saw me spending hours on end making little objects. Overall, I felt that project was a failure, but Kim encouraged me to bring it to MOCCA, a zine fest in New York during Spring. I priced down the objects to $3 (I really wanted to break even). MOCCA was a lot more merciful. People constantly stopped at our booth to look at the machine! I sold most of the items and broke even. It was exciting to see the different reactions from people, young and old. It will be fun trying out the machine at other events in the future.

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[ Animation ] Animation! This was a really fun collaborative project. I was paired up with Charlotte Fu and we decided to do something humorous. We made a mind map of random words and came up with a concept by combining unrelated terms. “Achoo� is a story about an innocent man, tormented by a fit of violent sneezes. Each time he sneezes, an object escapes his nose. Oh, the poor soul! The final sneeze pulls out legs from inside, and the nose decides to run off with its new limbs. Charlotte and I sectioned off the work pretty well. Initially, I was worried that the division of labor might get complicated. We just did whatever task that was near us. I was usually on the left side of the animation and she was on the right.

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[ Silly City ] The “Silly City” project was this year’s client based assignment. The project is by Fresh Artists; they strive to spark children’s creativity by

offering

a

supplementary

classroom

exercise involving art. “Silly City” was still pretty new, and they wanted to design a nice lesson plan. Each of us were assigned to interpret as we wished. I separated the lesson plan in to three makeyour-own zines and a teacher’s guide. I also pitched an idea to create memory cards for the architectural vocabulary terms. After we all turned the projects in, the Fresh Artist people chose my project! The zine idea ultimately got rejected, but they liked the memory card game. The zines got merged into the teacher’s guide packet and the student workbook packet. The timeline zine got translated in to a 20” x 40” poster and my vocabulary images were placed in 6” x 9” flash cards.

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[ Hand Lettering ] Finally, a hand lettering workshop! We each got the choice of creating a poster from a quote, or a hand drawn alphabet. I picked a Woody Guthrie quote, and drew reinterpretations of letter forms from his era. Some of the letters are based off of Ben Shahn’s illustrations, which breathed in the same timeline as Guthrie. This was one of the projects where the deadline dictated what I would do. I originally wanted to do an alphabet, but due to the short deadline, I went with the quote instead.

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[ Patterning ] The only thing I own with patterns are my flannels. I tend to stray away from patterns, I don’t exactly know why. So, the patterning workshop was an interesting experience. For the theme, I wanted to reference lowbrow culture. My mood board had a lot of skateboard apparel and graphics. The images on the patterns were of objects I would find littered on the streets of LA. Drawings of fresh feces, used condoms, and cheap price tags were placed on various items of clothing.

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[ Self Directed ] I started my self directed with the intent of creating an environment. One thing I knew coming in to MICA was that I wanted an interactive space for my thesis wall. I wasn’t sure about the content of my project, so I started by creating tiles for my studio. I then started making video game objects out of cardboard. I made objects based on my childhood memories playing these games. After a critique with Kim, I realized that I was trying to tell stories with these objects, but failing to do so. I quickly changed the project to be a zine with five illustrated stories. The project allowed me to experiment in image making and also writing.

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[ Workshop ] One of my favorite experiences in ILP was directing my own peer-to-peer workshop. My demonstration was on creating process-based images. The point was to be loose and not be too precious about anything. The students were encouraged to throw their painting on the ground, step on it, and destroy layers of paint. They used textured objects such as paper towel and bubble wrap to create interesting patterns between the painted layers. People seemed to really enjoy the process!

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Top Left: Jasjyot Singh Hans Top Right: Kaixin Wang Bottom Left: Jia Gao

Bottom Right: Tessa Wan

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[ Looking Back ] This year has been quite a journey. A whole lot of coffee, bland Chinese food, all nighters, bad breath, awesome friends, cheap booze, a million cigarettes and one messy desk. Both semesters have definitely had their shares of ups and downs. Kimberly challenged me the whole way and made me try harder each time. Although I am still unsure of what is next, this year has definitely prepared me for all the challenges thesis may bring. I am grateful for all the valuable experience and look forward to another year of ILP.

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[ Thank you ] A big thank you to Kimberly Hall and Whitney Sherman for the amazing guidance throughout my first year of graduate study. The crits always made me question my work and try to improve as much as I could. Thank you, Shreyas, for teaching such an awesome studio elective class! It pushed me to make more narrative work. I also want to thank my amazingly talented classmates who always inspire me!

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[ r e s p i t e ] Ryan Cho MFA ILP 1st Year Idea Book MICA  

MFA ILP 1st Year Idea Book MICA

[ r e s p i t e ] Ryan Cho MFA ILP 1st Year Idea Book MICA  

MFA ILP 1st Year Idea Book MICA

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