Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Intersection: Art and Science

I feel like, when you are younger and in school, there is this type of separation of church and state between the disciplines of art and science. These two disciplines cannot live in the same space, and they are fully unrelated to each other. At least that is what I got from it. Science was empirical practical, sterile, while art remained emotional, chaotic and fluid. Granted, these two disciplines do have those qualities, but they are not exclusive to themselves. I know this was just a naive sensibility that I had at the time. However, there seems to be this absence of acknowledgement that one would not be able to exist with out the other.

I love looking at the intersections of art and science and the science of art. Psychology/sociology/anthropology could be construed as the study of human artforms and behaviors. Where as geometry/biology/physics can be seen as a more empirical art. The equation is the paint, where the answer is the solution. The solution being how viscous a medium is, or the way light hits certain elements.

As a graphic designer, science is essential to my image making. Just take a look at this Wikipedia page on B├ęzier Curves ( Granted I didn't read most of it, but I love the break down of how the curve functions and the calculations it takes to get there. I'm particularly enamored with this image:

There are also the use of pendulums to create spirograph like images, where the weight, angle and type of contraption being used determines the end piece. Which are then displayed as art.

Drawingmachine by Eske Rex from Core77 on Vimeo.

Here is a good article on one of those drawing machines.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Link Dump

I've been pretty busy getting some projects underway. Most of them are int eh fast turn around arena, so that leaves little time for musing on creativity or writing long rambling posts about toast. So, in the mean time I leave you with a few of my favorite or newly discovered sites.

Here are some sites that have come to interest recently due to the work that I have been doing.

Factory North
Design Firm

Gig Posters
Collection of Gig Posters from the US and more

Web tutorials for CSS3 and other HTML/CSS needs

Lost Type Fondry
Name your price for some beautifully designed fonts

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Architecture: Heliotrope Design

I want to live here.

As I get older, the more I realize how much I love super modern architecture. Love the windows and the sense of space, while maintaining the human aspect with the exposed shelving.

The rest of their work can be found here.

Freelance: I'm making all the mistakes

So, I quit my job awhile ago. I had been working there for 6 years. My work had stagnated, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the work I was having to do, and I wore way too many hats. At the end of the day, I hated my job. Yes, hated it. Not to say there weren't awesome things about it. The co-workers, the types of work I got to do that I had dreamed of. Yeah that was awesome. However, the managing, clerical work, never ending meetings, low pay and overall burnout did not do me any favors.

So, my awesome boyfriend said, "Hey, I have some extra money. Quit and do some freelance until you can land a job you will really like."


So, I was super gung-ho. I got a FL gig with my old job right after I quit. I soon had some bites for some other jobs. Unfortunately, some of them didn't pay. They were more for experience. And that was pit fall number one:

1) Gaining Experience on Non Paying Jobs

Ok, experience is fantastic. However, I need portfolio pieces. The jobs I chose did not necessarily contribute to my portfolio. This leads to:

2) Not flushing out my portfolio with freelance before I quit

I really want to punch myself in the head for this mistake. But, the problem with burn out is, you don't want to do fucking work after you have already worked 9-11 hours a day. All you want to do is drink bourbon, dance on chairs and maybe light something on fire. You definitely don't want to sit in front of a computer and continue to be creative. I did work on a few things here and there, they were so sporadic though and the quality inconsistent that I really was unable to use any of those "part time freelance" pieces I had created.

3) Burnout After Math

Not working is easy, playing video games is even easier. And while I sometimes fall into the "let's be lazy" trap, I am generally pretty good about putting on pants and eating breakfast before I start working.

After quitting my job, I will say, one thing that came back was my creativity. I hadn't really used it in a while. Granted my job was "creative" and required me to come up with new ideas, they were pigeonholed by branding and meetings that made me want to parkour right through a window. But now, I can dictate my own designs. I can reach out to my peers and get their opinions, when I want them.

4) Confidence

Ok, I have an issue with my confidence. Always have, probably always will. I am not Sagmeister getting naked in front of people to make a design point. I'm just me. So, I'm learning to embrace that.

The nice thing to realize, is my vision is mine and I hope that it is similar enough to someone else that they may want to have me help them create something amazing. Hell, I'm actually desirable from a design point of view. And that's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Learn On: Ctrl+Paint Digital Painting Tutorials

Story Time: 

I had an art show (my first to be exact) recently and in true procrastinator fashion, I had only two weeks to get at least 4 large digital prints, finished, printed and framed for the show.

However, I was a little lost when I went to start the project. What do I draw? How long should they take? Who is going to print them? Can I even draw anymore?

After much whining at my computer, cursing my unused drawing hands and tugging at my hair,  I did finish the pieces.

The end of the nightmare whirlwind butted up against the tornado of printing sorrow.  I thought I had the artwork uploaded, but had issues uploading to the printers ftp site, files became corrupted. *bear roar, more hair pulling* Finally around 10am, day of show, all things were at the printer. I got to pick them up at 2pm. The show started at 6pm.

Things continued to follow Murphy's Law. At home I couldn't print my business cards because the printer ran out of ink, so I couldn't print name cards for the wall, or makeshift business cards. *sad trumpet sound* After running around to the printer and trying to get the art into the frames, I realized that one of the pieces was too big for a frame and one too small. As I stuffed my face with food and tried not to get it on the prints, I managed to get the prints looking somewhat decent.

Off to the show! And onto the wall. Murphy's Law was torn down by shear determination and anxiety driven craziness. I celebrated with whiskey and running around the neighborhood.

Learn On:

Anywho, I would not have been able to work as quickly if I hadn't been to this lovely website:

He does amazing tutorials that are easy to follow. If you are a novice to digital painting, or painting in general,  he gets right down the the artist basics. Tone, value, how light plays with color and how to pick a palette. Granted I knew most of the artist student mumbo jumbo (I didn't spend 4 years in art school for nothing) his more advanced techniques helped clarify a lot of questions I had about using brushes, getting nice gradients and setting up your tablet to work more efficiently.

This is only one site that helps with digital drawing. However, it is really well done, free (for the most part) and really easy to follow.

Also, the people at The Color Group are freaking amazing, do really great prints on watercolor paper, canvas, and other neat things for a reasonable price. I highly recommend for bulk or small run art prints.

Happy art making, illustratoring, and being rad.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Design Changes

I've decided to move my design blog over to the Blogger platform. It's easier to edit, not as slow as some other platforms I've used in the past and will integrate nicely into my new website that I am preparing to launch very, very soon.

For now, i will up date with stuff I love, cool gadgets and current work. Stay tuned!