Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the end of the semester

So, it's the end. It's been a journey, and not always enjoyable one. But, despite the struggles and setbacks and disappointments, I feel like I really learned some things. I had never used PhotoShop before, and now I feel a little comfortable with it. I'm excited to explore more. I also have 4 solid pieces.

I've decided to keep this blog going for the future. I already promised pictures of my fuzzy letter bag, but I've also got some other plans in the works. I'm going to be working on some wood sculptures over the summer, hopefully for submission in an art show at my church. I'm also painting a picture for my cousin and his fiancee for their wedding. So, fun stuff in store.

the results

These photos don't really do it justice, but here they are anyway. The fantastic lady at Staples did a great job figuring out the double-sided printing. I stitched the pages together with black floss. I made the envelope out of a piece of this great textured paper I found at A.C. Moore.

I'm really proud of this piece. I think it's my best work yet. Mostly, I think this is because my heart was really in it. I really like those fuzzy letters. They make me happy.

I tried to make a tote with fuzzy letters, but it hasn't turned out like I imagined, so it's back to the drawing board on that. I'll take pics when I can.

a sample page

The color is a little off because I forgot to save this for the Web in RGB color. Ignore that. This page is included as an example of the complexity of the layout. The W is on the 8th page of my book, and the drawings and paintings are on the 5th page.

some help with layout

I created this little rough copy of my booklet to figure out how to lay out the pages correctly. Making a book is more complex than laying out page one, and then page two, then page three. So, this little sketchy copy helped a bunch.

self-promotional beginnings

Our final project was a self-promotional mailer. This piece needed to display my previous work and also include a logo/brand that incorporated my name.

After exploring a couple different options, I decided to use the C I had created for the form-matches-content piece. I explored the AIGA website for some good ideas, and came across some nice little books, and ran with that idea.

Here is the first layout I drew for my little book.

Monday, May 11, 2009

more stuff I didn't include before

These are the thumbnails and rough for my self-portrait. I played around a lot with various foot ideas. Z really wanted me to do the unraveling head idea, but I though it was too creepy to be an accurate reflection of me. That and I couldn't draw what I saw in my head for it, anyway.

For the rough, I I had more in mind an ocean/beachy scene with seafoam and ripples and such. Alas, no good pictures of that could be found anywhere from the angle I wanted. As a result, the comp was much different from the rough. It still had some of the same elements though - feet, a reflection/shadow, and words following the ripples of the water.

a few things I didn't include before

These sketches were the beginnings of the form-matches-content assignment. I played around a bit with making "hot dog" an actual dog, but decided I liked the food/ketchup idea more. My "cowboy" idea changed a lot, too. I wanted to make a more sophisticated design than I had origionally thought, and moved on from just a hat. My "osmosis" idea was pretty set from the beginning.

Monday, May 4, 2009

that's better

I kinda knew that was the problem. I had to change the color from CMYK to RGB. Gotta remember that for next time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

let's try this again

Umm . . . I have no idea what happened to the color on that last one. And I tried to link the file again, and it looks like the same thing was happening. OH NO!! And right when I thought things were going so well. Darn. I'm gonna go get the thing printed and see what happens, and then try again later.

self-portrait final

Here's the final. I just finished it, and I had extra time (which is super amazing seeing as I didn't think I'd get it done by the due date), so I thought I'd up load it before it's even due.

I think it turned out well. I'm pretty proud of it. It looks pretty much how I imagined. I think I'm getting better at tweaking things with Photoshop. My confidence is definitely improved.

I'm anxious to see what everyone says on critique day . . .

self-portrait comp

This project is a typographical self-portrait - "to identify at least five words that describe who you are and use the words and a piece of you as design elements to create your self portrait."

Here is my comprehensive for this project. I really wanted to use a beach photo and some sea foam and such, but couldn't find one at the angle I wanted. So, I ended up taking my own picture of the river. I didn't have access to a computer, so my comprehensive is a color print-out of the river photo with the design elements drawn with pencil and colored pencil on tracing paper and glued on. High-tech, I know.

The plan for the final is to get rid of the creepy Muppets thing in the upper L corner and put an actual Muppet graphic in there somewhere, instead. Also, I'll be copying one of the rocks from the lower part of the picture and pasting it up top to be able to move the gummi worms up to maintain good visual balance.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Isn't this C fantastic?! I wanted to post this on its own because it ended up too small on the final project to be seen clearly, and I wanted it to be enjoyed in all its glory. I'm really proud of it and I think it came out really awesome. It makes me laugh when I see it.

form matches content

For this project, we were asked to illustrate a list of five words, and then bring them together into one cohesive document. The five words are cowboy, hot dog, linear, osmosis, and my name (as a nickname, initials, etc.). For a few of the words, osmosis and hot dog, I had good ideas that flowed well and were accomplished quickly. I had a harder time with cowboy. I had a really hard time with linear and my name. Once again, there were issues with how to do some things (my name was the worst) in PhotoShop, and once again, Adam helped me out big-time. In the end, I think it came out pretty good. I did linear last, and came up with the idea for the line connecting everything together at the last minute as a unifying element, and it ended up being really successful.

Monday, March 30, 2009

more thoughts on toast

I forgot to add, in my last postings, that this particular assignment and the craziness that has been my journey toward completion have solidified in the minds of my co-workers that I'm a little nuts. I was a little bit nervous about not being able to turn in my assignment in on time, and I told some of the folks about it. Then, one of my co-workers was running errands for work near my house, and I asked him to look for the baggies of toast for me (he didn't find them). So, today, I took my new masterpiece in to show everyone, and they all laughed at it.

a masterpiece of toast

Fantastic, isn't it?! I'm kinda glad, now, that my first batch of toast got lost. I'm really proud of this one. It's a capital T in Times New Roman. (Oh, the T in the last photo is Easy Street Alt EPS.) There are several reasons why this one is better. First, the quality of the bread/toast - the first T was made out of English Muffin bread, which is smaller and dense and I had to cut into slices myself. Second, further evidence that practice makes perfect. Third, I had a lot more time to do it and didn't feel rushed at all.

my toast is toast

Our next project was to create letterforms out of toast. Pretty creazy, huh? Well, I had a lot of fun with it. I ended up making three of them for class on 3/25. I spent a really long time on them, and used a lot of bread. Unfortuately, I had a really bad morning the day they were due and ended up driving away with my toast on the top of my car. I tried to look for them when I got home that night, at 9. I wandered the streets with a flashlight. It reminded me of this book I have called Speck. It's a collection of collections - different people's weird collections of things. Pretty neat book, actually. This one guy decided to see if leaving a trail of breadcrumbs would work in NYC. He left slices of bread instead of breadcrumbs along the route to his girlfriend's house, and retraced his steps later to see if he could find the bread. He found a bunch of them, mostly all gross and mangled. I also succeeded in finding some of my bread, pictured here. Just my luck, it was the one of the three that wasn't so great.

Thankfully, Z believed my crazy story and let me re-do them to turn in on 3/29.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

final - textbook cover

. . . I played around a bit with background colors. I tried green, but it ended up a little monochromatic despite the really great shade of mint green that I was using. Then I tried yellow. Hideous. Then blue. Blue was much better. I added a little more yellow to the blue (thanks, Z, for that suggestion), and there you have it. Pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.

The class liked the color, but thought it still looked boring and textbook-y. True, but isn't it supposed to be a textbook cover? Besides, anything would be better than that garish thing the book currently has.


Thanks to my wonderful cousin Adam, who was super patient and helpful, this is what I turned in as a comprehensive the next Monday, 3/9. He showed me how to use kerning instead of stretching my type. He also introduced me to Illustrator, where I created the fun green squiggles. I think it came out pretty darn good, especially since it's my first project done in PhotoShop.

In class, posted on the wall, it looked really flat and boring. Sad to admit, but it's the truth. So . . .

Monday, March 23, 2009


This is as far as I could get in PhotoShop on my own. I made a box where I wanted my graphic to go, found a type I liked and stuck that in, and then totally freaked out because I only had a weekend to work on it by that point, and no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it...


This is the full-sized rough I did based on those two thumbnails. This is actually my second rough, because I didn't like how the swath of "energy" (as Z described it) came out in the first one. I had an idea in mind, and couldn't seem to get it down on paper, no matter how many times I drew it. This rough is actually worse than the first rough. From this, I went on a hunt for some sort of picture that conveyed that organic energy swath. That hunt proved unsuccessful.

Another thing this rough shows is an evolution in the 5 boxes in the center of the design. Z suggested that instead of putting words in the boxes, as I had originally planned, to use graphics or pictures that illustrated the different elements of design. So, yet another hunt for photos, this time with more success.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Hi. Welcome to my very first blog. Through it, I'm going to be documenting the journey of my ART 125 class. I'm also planning to upload pics of some of my other artwork.

So, let's get started!

For our first assignment, we were asked to re-design the cover of our Design book. The current book cover is a little bit disturbing, considering it's the cover of a book about graphic design. Hence, the assignment. Here are some thumbnails I drew. The idea I had in mind was something organic and fun in the background, and then pictures of some of the elements of design (typography, line, shape, color, etc) in the little boxes.