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:

Untitled-1

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:

tragicgoodbyes.png

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:

tragicgoodbyesbw.png

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.

 

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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:

TypographyA

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:

typetwotemplate

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:

Capture

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):

pen-tool-exercise-1pen-tool-exercise-2-300x198pentool

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:

South

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:

simple-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:

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.

originalnotan1

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:

sneakerstickerimage

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.

flowersticker

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

runfaststicker.jpg

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)

 

organictshirt

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.

Week 16 in Review

This week was pretty interesting because we really started working more with vector images, using Adobe Capture and Illustrator. I learned that drawing full shapes and NOT just lines is pretty important when working with vector images. In the above cartoon I failed to acknowledge that and it took longer than it should have to color all of the girls – even though they were just copies of each other! I ended up having to paint parts of the drawing instead of using a paint bucket because I had to many of my shapes were not closed.  I did have a lot of fun arranging the different colors for each girls outfit and I think it would be interesting to experiment more with how various colors of outfits affect your view of the cartoon.

In terms of focus this week I was pretty on task. It was a bit hard to get back in the groove of school after such a nice, long winter break so by the time Digital Arts rolled around on Tuesday I was ready to do some creating. I think I could have spent some more time on parts of the work I did this week, but I was really getting frustrated with how my vector images were turning out when I scanned them with Adobe Capture. Often, my scanned drawings will have holes in them where my original hand drawing did not. I actually like the effect it had on my symbol drawing below, but it makes it really hard to fill in using live paint. I actually had to outline some parts myself.

A few times, I had to refer back to the tutorials here for reference on live painting, but this week I was mostly on my own using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Capture.

 

 

growsymbolrustic.jpg

Eventually, I simplified the drawing by redrawing it with less roots and petals and added more color to create my final piece. I like the thoughtfulness and quite look of the first drawing, but I also enjoy the eye catching colors of the second drawing.

colorflowersymbol.jpg

It symbolizes the hope I have of growing outside of my safe “circle” in this coming year, whether that be with my art, writing, friends or classes I take. I can see glimpses of this hope as I explore new clubs, work on the book that I will eventually publish, and experiment with my mom’s oil paints (when she’s feeling nice). This idea of growing outside of my boundaries is actually also my short-term goal. I think this is something I need to work on because I have noticed that I often go back to the same sorts of ideas in my art and writing. I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad thing but I also think it’s important to explore.

As you can see from my vector images, I’m still working on my long-term goal from last post that stated something along the lines of creating a  simple vector picture that can accurately represent a topic. I am getting there, but I still need to work on simplifying my picture. Prehaps I can learn to say more with a little less, because I think that could be really powerful.  I will continue to grow towards achieving this goal in the coming weeks.