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.