End of the Semester: How I’ve Changed

Well, this semester has come to a close, and it’s time to reflect on all I’ve did. I remember last year we had a final project in Digital Arts, and you had to show all you had learned, or something like that. I found the project, and it looks like this:


You could say there may have been a little bit of improvement this year. Here some of last years other notable works:


This is a cute flower sticker I worked on last year, using Adobe Capture like I’ve talked about before. It’s got some great line work, and it’s fairly even, but still looks like beginner level work to me.jeanseau_abigail_sureallism-1

I also worked with photo shop more, creating pieces like these two blue people. Now let’s take a look at some of my more recent work:

Black and White Sasqautch Unisex T-Shirt Front

You probably remember this T-Shirt I made for my dad at Christmas time. I actually free-hand drew this, so my line has improved considerably from last year. I’ve been practicing more in my sketch book and on the computer. Here’s a ballerina I’ve started to work on:


This was also done in my sketchbook. It’s very clip-arty right now because I still have some work to do with the limbs and hands (one of her arms is looking a little limp, and the other is much too skinny!). But I do realize that last year, I wouldn’t have been able to draw this well. I pretty much had to do everything digital because I hadn’t practiced drawing regularly, but this year I enjoyed transforming my own drawings on the computer.

I’ve also been working on learning more about actual theory, so I made some color theory posters. You haven’t seen these yet:

Color theory

This first color theory poster was actually really interesting to make because I got to learn about how to make your own art brushes. Anyways, most of the color groups that I learned about, I had already heard about or talked about with my mom, but it still was a good refresher.

My poster about tones, shades and tints, on the other hand, helped me A LOT. My artist mom is always trying to explain to me the difference, but words do not make as much sense to me as pictures. This poster helped me actually understand how tints are the hue mixed with white, shades are with black, and tones are with grey. I also discovered a really nice option on adobe illustrator which allows you to pick color groupings and then Adobe will make the different shades and tints for you.


Tones, Shades, and Tint

Besides learning more about color and composition, I’ve also learned a variety of new skills for my digital tool box. You’ll remember I did that fun My Own Font! post, where I showed how I had made my own keyboard. Then, I learned How to make Patterns!! which was super fun. Here is one of those awesome patterns I made:


Wow! Cool paint swirly things! So fun.

I’ve also done a little bit of Photoshop, like in this piece:


But mostly I’ve steered clear of Photoshop because I’m stubborn, and I find Photoshop to be not as interesting as Adobe Illustrator, which has all sorts of cool features. A good goal for next semester would be getting more comfortable with Photoshop, because as soon as I tried out Illustrator I kind of just abandoned it. I takes a lot more patience, and for my distracted ADD brain, Photoshop is like sitting in a seat for more than an half an hour without moving.

Anyways, I haven’t really talked about it at all on here, but I’ve also looked into some of Window’s digital arts and graphic design apps. They are pretty cool, but I haven’t had a lot of time to really get knee-deep in them and figure them out. One cool Windows app is the Paint 3D app, which allows you to create 3D objects on a virtual plane. In this way, you can create entire scenes, with depth and different perspectives. It also hooks up to their new Virtual Reality portal thingamabob.  I’ve just been trying out making different shapes and moving them around so here’s what other people’s projects look like:

Image result for Paint 3D

Pretty cool, right? You can pretty much make entire worlds, and then walk right into them. Think of the facets for using this: video games, movies, or just cool art projects! Imagine having to make a cell model for science class, and you actually make a walk-in  cell model, using virtual reality technology.

Next semester, I just might want to look into this. It looks really interesting.

In other news this year, I’ve really developed my personal style for digital arts. I have learned how to make more clean, and refined designs,  like this poster I made for my mom’s studio:


I actually had meant it to be just an excercise in drawing vector images, but it turned out so well that she ended up using it on her gift cards. I’ve also been helping her design her websites, here, and here. I’m also recreating The Abbey’s newsletter. I figured out how to get her business on Google Maps, which was really cool to see. Helping my mom with her website design has made me realize how much I enjoy just learning about new technology and creating things. I started this class hoping I would find my own way to enjoy art that was different than the rest of my family, and I think I found it. Digital Arts is really fun, and there are always new things to learn and discover. Programmers are constantly critiquing and changing their apps, there are always new tools and workspaces. It’s a multi-faceted genre of art. T-shirts, stickers, video games, websites, anything.

I can make gift cards for my mom, or I can make crazy pieces like this, that are more artsy:


The Digital Arts converstation is always evolving, and I feel like I’m always growing.

Overall, I’ve learned a lot in this class, and I’ve enjoyed exploring on my own a bit. I’ve never really been bored, because there is so much to do. I’ve improved my line, learned about patterns and strokes, and ended up actually doing some real world projects for other people. I also started a Redbubble site which allows you to upload your digital art so people can buy it in the form of T-shirts, mugs, and that sort of thing. Next semester, I hope to expand my horizons and learn about other programs beside illustrator.

But that’s all for now. See you next semester!


Telling Stories

Welcome! Just a shorter post this week because I have a lot to do coming up…

These last two weeks I’ve been working on a bigger project that focuses less on shapes and color, and more on telling stories through art. I was really interested in working more on doing some more work with Photoshop, which is hard for me to use, and make a peice that looks more like something that’s intresting to look at, than something practical like last post’s patterns.

So I started at pexels.com and looked through some of the stock photos they have to get an idea of what I wanted to do. I found this image of an old window which I really liked. The window panels reminded me of story panels; little pictures illustrating the outline of a story. So I decided to make a story by putting pictures in each of the window panes.

I remember watching this dance a few years ago where they told the story of this young woman who meets a guy, and get’s married. They have a kid and move into this big house, and everything’s going great. Then the couple starts arguing more, as time continues the husband starts sleeping on the couch, and coming home late. They barely tolerate each other. But before they can make up, the husband is drafted into the army and goes away. Both of them, on separate continents, realize that they were at fault and wish they could see each other. After many years, the man is coming back on a ship to see his family, but instead ends up drowning in a storm. The woman is heartbroken and for evermore she feels sees his spirit in everything; her children, her home and heart.

To many of us this is the worst tragedy. The fear of dying torments many of us, and the idea of leaving something unsaid is almost worse. The fact that whatever you do right now could matter so greatly, is terrifying. But it’s something we deal with everyday, as we write our own stories and make our own mistakes. I wanted to show this in the peice I made.

I used filters and effects on the picture:


As well as 11 different images for the story, taken with Adobe Capture:montage.png

Combined into a single image with some cutting and color matching:


Another version in black and white which I might like a little better, even though you can’t see most of the pictures as well:


So yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing. It was an interesting experience, because I don’t usually do projects that take so long, or require that much feeling.

Next I’m working on doing a short video with claymation. I’ve been experimenting with some cartoons and making my own sets. More on that later.


My Own Font!

This weeks challenge: create an embellished A in your own font style.

And then completely get distracted and create an entire font line.

I started with a simple sketch of an A, then added vines, swirly que thingys, and leaves. In my head I was thinking of some sort of magical forest font- like something you would see in an old book about Fairies. I wanted it to be tall and bold, but also kind of fancy.

Here’s the original A I scanned into my computer using Adobe capture, which allows you to turn your drawings into vector images:

Then I messed around with effects and colors for a while. I didn’t like that the A was asymmetrical (haha), so I masked half of the drawing and then reflected the first half so it looked the same. Then I live painted the A this forest green color I liked. But when I finally decided on adding the glowing edges font, the green kind of disappeared. Sad that my image was now black and white, I copied the original A, and put it slightly skewed over the black and white one. Then I live painted that green. Bam:


It’s a lot darker than I was originally thinking in my head. I was going to go for something kind of airy and sprite like, but I also like how the A ended up turning out anyways.

Anyways, I enjoyed doing that so much, that I decided to do a whole font line with the same viney look. It’s a little weird, because when you zoom out you can’t really see the vines but it was still fun. Also another note: this font is not complete! There are still sections missing, lines that need to be connected, and you’ll notice there are no numbers in my template. I just wanted to try out the font machine I used without going through all the motions beforehand.

Okay. So all the letters I made are based off that one original A. I used the different lines already present in the A to form the straight letters, and used the warp effect to achieve the rounded letters. It took me about 3 hours just to put the whole template together, and I didn’t even draw any of the letters. I’m sure in some ways it might have been easier to draw the letters, but I wanted to see how far I could go on the computer, and you can’t those small leaf details without zooming in on the screen.

There were pretty much two main lines that I used to create all of my letters, and then it was just up to a few warps, turns and reflections to achieve the overall letter. The hardest part was making sure that each line fit together nicely. I think the letter S was the hardest to make because it was completely made out of curves. It was difficult to get all the pieces together. Here are the two lines I used:

curved linestraightline

Next part was to find a make-your-own-fonts webpage. I chose Calligraphr because it was easy to use, free for the most part, and the first one that popped up on my browser. Calligraphr has you download a template with basic letters and few punctuation marks, you can add some arbitrary characters, but some are restricted for if you pay for a membership.

Next step was to fill out the template! I dragged it into my Adobe file and dropped in the characters I had created. I learned the hard way that every part of the letter NEEDS TO BE IN THE BOX. It took me several uploads, and many minutes of frustration before I realized this. Here’s my completed template:


You’ll notice that the p, q, and g all take up the whole box, and their “tails” don’t hang down under the letter. This is easily fixed by messing with the “baseline” under “edit characters”  once you’ve downloaded the template into Calligraphr.

Finally I was done with my template! Next step is to press “Build Font” and it will process each letter. Here’s the examples I got:


And bam! I got my own font! I call it: FOREST MAGIC! Its a little weird, and off center, but it’s my own font! And it’s exciting. I can’t wait to use it.

Tune in next week for a new adventure….

DPE Week 9

This week we worked more with the pen tool. Needless to say, it was a learning week.

Here are some of my practice images (the last one is not done):


Okay I must admit, this week the pen tool grew on me. BUT its really tedious still for me. I don’t like spending 10 minutes outlining the Taj Mahal.  I worked on it by outlining these images as well as working with this game. And though I was definitely a lot faster by the end, it was…not the most fun thing we’ve done in here. On Thursday we also started on a vector image of south which I am still working on:


This project is pretty fun for me because I get to use color and I am actually using the pen tool for a more practical purpose. I also experimented more with with the live paint tool and learned to not expand shapes if you are going to fill them in because it will double your work time. That’s my little way of saying I now have to go through and individually click the live paint for each individual shape to fill them in. So I have got to get to work.

See you next week!

DPE 8- Q and A Questions

What grade do you believe you have earned? Why do you believe that?

I believe that I’ve earned a low A to high B. I’ve been really focused and on task, working hard on the different assignments we’ve had, but I keep forgetting to upload some of my completed photos and blogs…which is the actual grade. I am going to try to be better about that, it’s just a lot of bits and pieces to put together in my mind.

Post the image that you are most proud of and then answer these questions:ib-tshirt-design

Why are you proud of this image and more specifically, what did you learn while creating this image?

I’ve already posted this image, but I love it because it shows so much of my growth. This was the piece where I felt like I really mastered the pen tool, and I experimented with a lot of other different tools that I hadn’t worked with before. I learnt how to align things in a way I liked and really make a piece look cohesive. Even though it wasn’t a winner with the IB coordinator, I still really enjoy it.

What has been your biggest challenge in creating imagery this semester?

I think my biggest challenge has been creating images that I was confident about. I really kept self doubting myself while I was making my images and not focusing on the process. When we had a group forum with all the other ideas for the IB t-shirt I kept comparing my designs to the other one’s, which was not good. This was silly of me, especially since the IB coordinator ended up really liking some of the designs I made.

What project(s) have you enjoyed the most? Why?

I’ve enjoyed the Saxon project the most I think because it was the biggest challenge yet. Also, it was fun to do something in color after we’ve been doing so much in black and white. I really needed to splash some  colored pixels on the virtual canvas.

What project(s) have you enjoyed the least? Why?

 I’ve actually been really frustrated with our latest composite image project. I’ve forgotten a bunch of things from Photoshop and it took me awhile to find all the missing files in my brain about how to cut out part of an image and so forth. I was also feeling annoyed at the photoshopiness (that’s an adjective thankyouverymuch) of my image. You know when you can tell that something is very obviously fake and has been photoshopped in? That is  kind of what it looks like:

Week Three

Second Semester is off and running! I keep putting off updating the blog for Digital Art two so I’m going to talk about last week first, which was the first week we were supposed to update our blog.

Last week I worked on notans, which you can find more about here if you are interested. Basically “Notan” is a Japanese term recognizing dark-light as an element of design. It’s all about how positive and negative space interact with each (think of the yin- yang symbol.) First, we started with a simple 3 by 3 black square in Adobe Illustrator and did some basic cutting and flipping. This was my first basic notan:


As you can see, the jist of a notan is to cut a shape from the black square using the divide tool, and then reflecting it across the axis you want it to. It’s relatively simple once you get the hang of it, and looks kind of cool once your all said and done. Next, we moved on to a complex notan, which we used the pen tool on. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I seriously struggle with the pen tool. It’s really hard for me to figure out how it works, and I just don’t understand why my line will go one way when my mouse is moving the other. However, this last week, I was able to start to control it better. It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot better than my first attempts at using it. Here is the complex notan:


I’ll admit right now, I got REALLY frustrated with the complex notan. The horrible Adobe pen tool came back to haunt me from when we first started Adobe Illustrator, and I was not ready. Then I had to figure out why somethings wouldn’t reflect right, and why some would reflect vertical while others would go horizontal. This notan got on my nerves. I’m not even sure if it can be classified as a notan since it’s not exactly symmetrical. In the End though after everything was finished, it looked kind of cool. I tried to make it like a pair of alligator jaws in a river (hence the weird squiggly line and bubbles). I don’t really know why I chose to do a pair of alligator jaws, but it might have been because I was mad at Adobe Illustrator.

Finally, The Original Notan! I left this one incredibly simple because I noticed in my previous one that they got pretty crazy and all over the place. I wanted the notan to be sharp and clear and organized because the was part of the point. I started thinking about the division in groups that we often have. How we think about the labels on them rather than the whole person, and that causes separations or lines between us. Notice how the “labels” are the only thing crazy and out of place in the notan. Yet there is a common unity because we are all sitting around the same “table”.  In addition, if you look at the whole design, it creates one person, not four dot people.


I think I’m getting a lot better at creating organized designs. When I first started my digital arts class, I didn’t know how to reflect or rotate or align, and so I had a lot of design problems. Look at my last notan, I can see that I’ve grown a lot in that area. My short term goal for digital arts will be improving on my pen tool skills. It’s still pretty hard for me, and I don’t quite get the whole thing about “anchor points” and “handles”. Looking at my notan designs, I can see that I still didn’t have quite the control that I wanted with it. I also would like to figure out how to edit my pen lines. My long term goal for this semester will be paying more attention to detail. I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting frustrated with a peice and eventually think “good enough” even if I don’t really like it. This semester I want to work on having patience with my designs.


Week 17 in Review

This week I had a lot of fun- we got to make stickers! It was fun to doodle different symbols and see what I could come up with. I can’t wait to see them come from the vinyl cutter.  Here are some of the stickers that I created this week:


A Run Fast sticker which I personally didn’t think turned out very well. I didn’t realize until I had exported it that putting the words Run Fast under a shoe might not be the symbolism I was hoping for. Also, the very clean font next to my doodle is just begging for my drawing to be cleaned up-this one didn’t go the vinyl cutter. However, in my next sticker I addressed the tidiness problem. My model for the shoe was a clip art picture from this link.


A Grow sticker! This one was definitely my favorite- my drawing looks much cleaner and compliments  the Joker man font from Adobe Illustrator.


This is another Run Fast sticker but with a snail instead. I started thinking about an oxymoron during the tutorial here which said that a field mouse wouldn’t be a very good doodle to have under the word BOLD, unless you were trying to be funny or get the viewer thinking. Compared to most people in the cross country world I’m a snail, and yet I tell myself to run fast at every race- so I thought this sticker might be a good reminder to myself sometimes.

I think that I have accomplished both of my goals from the past few weeks. I’ve gotten better at saying more with less, and I am getting the vector image thing down.

We also did a T shirt design this week which turned out really cool. Mine says “Organic” which was printed against a black plain t shirt. (Scroll down for my final design for some reason my organic symbol took up an unreasonable amount of space)



Final Projectimnotkidding.jpg

Finally, here is my FINAL PROJECT for digital arts 1. I’m so sad I am not going to have this class next semester because it was truly one of the best electives I’ve ever taken. I tried to keep my drawing simple because I have so much trouble getting Adobe Capture to work right, and I knew I was going to struggle it. I hope to continue working with Digital Media on my own because I find it so fun and new. It seems as if there are always new things you can do to manipulate your drawings and pictures. I think that I might end up continuing to edit this blog, mostly with my photography. I’ve grown a lot over this semester, from becoming impatient with the smallest design problem to being able to put together vector images in minutes. I still have work to do,  and my final images are certainly not as good as some others, but I’ve learned to be patient and have discovered new mediums that I’ve never dreamed of.