Tuesday, October 6, 2009

oh my.

While I was complaining about work (day job) related situations I realized I've been letting those things I don't honestly care about get under my skin far too easily. I worked through my thoughts and concluded if I were actually spending time doing something other than my day job, I would care about those other things and wouldn't be thinking about work once I clocked out. I simultaneously became aware of how very little I have focused on my passions the past few months. So I'm back :) not that blogging is necessarily a passion but this blog is focused on design, art and creativity. Starting it was originally a way to procrastinate building my design website but in the past it was very helpful to remind me to keep my passions in my day to day life.
I don't have much of a comeback blog for you, but I will share this site I discovered today.

Also, I am admitting my embarrassment for my utter laziness. This blog was started just a little more than a year ago, which means my website has been procrastinated for nearly two years. Seriously pathetic.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye

I just started my post series of dedications to my creative influences through out the years and to be completely honest, Michael Jackson was on the list before he passed. I still listen to MJ on a weekly basis. My mother had me in 1985 when she was 22 and I actually grew up watching MTV with her. I developed a taste in music very early. My first favorite video...

My favorite coworker is a 76 year old woman named Marie. This morning she shared a story with me about seeing MJ perform with the Jackson 5 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center.

Because MJ will have millions of tributes to him over the next few weeks I am going to write much less about him than I intended. Already I have heard negativity towards us fans. I just want to say that despite all the controvercies, no one can deny the world of music and entertainment has suffered a tremendous loss. His impact was so great, his shoes will never be filled.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dr. Seuss

I'm revisiting some of my earliest creative influences/idols. First up is Dr. Seuss. My all time favorite animation of his stories is "The Lorax" with "The Hooberbloob Highway" a close second.
Seuss was socially relevant, colorful, imaginative and enjoyable for all ages. To me, he is timeless. I had an idea to do a Seuss inspired cityscape for a design project this year. I didn't have the time to do what I originally envisioned but it is definitely a project in my to-do list. While I was browsing Seuss images for this idea I stumbled across something that blew my mind. I knew Seuss was an illustrator aside from just a children's author but I had no idea he did political cartoons. Check out the links , enjoy the cartoon and I hope it brings you the same warm nostalgic feelings it brought me.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday bonus post

This is a painting I did in 2006. I had it framed and gifted it to my mom. It hangs in her hallway.

It's about that time

Forgive the hiatus. As you might have guessed from my last post I had a lot going on for a while. Then I took a week and a half to chill out and celebrate my birthday :-)

Here are more assignments throughout this past semester that I didn't get posted.
The first set are from Foundations I: 2d Design and are all explorations of different design elements. They're not entirely fleshed out so don't look at them as complete compositions.My color wheel -very difficult to photograph the true colors but I liked the idea of it anyway
complimentary colors scale

The rest of these are all from my Drawing I class
10 quick sketchesstill life, my apologies for the lighting washing it out when it was photographed. tree in inkstill life in charcoal - we worked on this for 3 weeks in class but I missed a class so mine doesn't look quite as finished as it should

And that's the last of it! I've completed another semester of school. I'm out for the summer and it's time to get serious about Design. Working full time and schooling full time all while trying to maintain some sort of social life and complete freelance work the past 5 months taught me that I never want to do that again. In the past month I gained and lost 2 jean sizes. Weight fluctuation for me is the biggest physical sign of unnecessary stress. This summer I'm committed to getting my professional website launched and clearing my freelance plate (getting paid for the jobs I've already committed to). Come fall semester I want to be 100% devoted to design. I'm going to put more effort and time into my school work and begin shaping my portfolio. Most importantly I'll only be working weekends with my day job so I need to be ready and able to get enough freelance work to cover my expenses. I think my life and priorities have been slowly moving toward this path but it's time for me to get serious. I don't feel as if I've reached even half my potential because I'm too stressed out and tired from trying to fit in a full time job to pay for this education. What's the point of the education if you're not really getting the most out of it?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happiness and Alex Pardee

A long time friend, Ashley aka Trashley tagged me to write a list. I wouldn't normally consider doing this on my art blog.; I have Facebook for that. However, I think when you're feeling especially bogged down you need to breath and remind yourself of pleasant things to keep up your drive. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of doing the things that you are most passionate about and if you're generally unhappy you're perfectly capable of changing that.
So, things that make me happy...

1. Mention the person who nominated you (see above).
2. List six unimportant things that make you happy.
3. Tag six blogs, state the rules and notify them with a teeny comment on their blog.

I'm having a difficult time thinking of things that aren't important. That's funny because Ashley's always teased me about being too serious. Ok I can do this....

1. The smell of rain and a cool breeze on a summer evening
2. Success at a perfect fried egg, over medium
3. Cutting paper
4. A really good cup of oolong or pu erh
5. Phone calls from people I miss for no reason
6. art/craft/office supplies

Annnd I'm not going to tag anyone. I'd love to read yours if you feel like doing it. Otherwise here's another artist for your viewing enjoyment: Alex Pardee

I saw this print for sale at the giant peach. I looked at the artist and sort of recognized the name. Looked him up and sure enough he's done several album covers I'm familiar with. I think I like him for a few of the same reasons I like Jeff Soto. I love contrasting disturbing/grotesque/gruesom/dreary images with bright colors. So check him out.
ps, #7 bonus track for happiness, receiving unnecessary gifts

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Shoe Movement

The past several months my sister has been on a kick about Toms shoes. She loves them and wears the hell out of hers, and I've definitely made fun of her. What's so great about them? I just didn't get it. I do love my slip-on Vans especially because I bought them on clearance for $5 and certainly wear the hell out of those but Toms look like any pair of shoes I could pick up at an Asian market for that same price. I thought it was just a silly fad. That is, until I read this article from the L.A. Times by Booth Moore. If ever I was caught with my foot in my mouth...
This company has been around for just about 3 years and what makes them so great is the one for one policy. You buy a pair of shoes for yourself and you're also buying a pair of shoes for a needy child. Beautiful. So I give in and I'll probably be buying a pair this summer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kurt Halsey

Kurt Halsey is Precious Moments for the hipster, which is probably why I like him so much. I was one of those little girls that had Precious Moments books, dolls, collectibles, and Valentines Cards. So his work seems like a nod to my childhood. The fact that you can buy reproductions of his work at Urban Outfitters proves it's for the hippest of the hipsters. And since you can also buy a pattern of his art from Sublime Stitching, it again reminds me of Precious Moments. Who didn't have a Precious Moments cross stitching kit? There's not too much to say about him or his work other than it is warm and sweet and trendy. The one with the Umbrella is my favorite. And in case you can't see well, the one with the birds says, "We are more than most will ever find" and the post-it says "So don't fuck it up."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

9 to 5ers Anthem by Aesop Rock

"Now we the American working population
Hate the fact that eight hours a day
Is wasted on chasing the dream of someone that isn't us
And we may not hate our jobs
But we hate jobs in general
That don't have to do with fighting our own causes
We the American working population
Hate the nine-to-five day-in day-out
When we'd rather be supporting ourselves
By being paid to perfect the pasttimes
That we have harbored based solely on the fact
That it makes us smile if it sounds dope"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Shepard Fairey

Please take some time to read Shepard Fairey's statement regarding his legal battle with the Associated Press. He used an AP photo as a reference to create his monumental "Hope" poster for Barack Obama.
A blog on Shepard Fairey (Obey) is probably long past due. He is definitely a huge inspiration. His work is incredibly impactful and though he's humble about it, that "Hope" image was the visual summation of Obama's campaign and a great success. Simultaneously he has definitely gained attention from people who ordinarily wouldn't give his work a second thought. This man is at the forefront of the art and design world and a wonderful role model. He has shared his financial blessings with charities, including the effort in Darfur and also sits on the advisory board for a non-profit organization called Reaching to Embrace Arts.
Most importantly he has taken meaningful, socially relevant art and placed it in dozens of contexts. Art is inseparable from culture and Shepard Fairey demonstrates that eloquently.

*I wrote Shepard Fairey an e-mail of support concerning this issue yesterday and by last night he'd written an e-mail of gratitude back. Unexpected and appreciated. Nice Guy.*

2D Design Assignment #4: Unity & Variety

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Native Art and Recognition in American Pop Culture

I have decided that I love working with charcoal and am really excited about it. This is assignment #6 from drawing class.

I want to discuss art in a slightly more serious tone. A girl in my drawing class, Kristen, and our professor, Farrah, were discussing another professor. Farrah said when she was in grad school she thought his (the other professor's) work was crap. She said, in a laughter with a tinge of bitterness, that she felt people who do Native American art in this country have a much easier time selling and that they have the biggest market. Farrah and Kristen were right next to me so I decided to chime in.
It's not that they have the biggest market, it's that they have a large niche market. The buyers who like Native American art like this style almost exclusively. However I think Farrah's tinge of bitterness was implying that these artists don't necessarily have to be very talented, educated, or skilled comparatively to artists in other styles. Kristen even compared the exclusive purchasing of Native art to decorating your home head to toe, "white trash". Kristen is part Native, as am I, but we have VERY different opinions of this. OKAY White trash? Keyword=Trash. This is a negative label obviously and it upsets me to hear another person with a similar background as mine to compare the pride of Native heritage to White Trash pride, implying we're ignorant savages. She also said, "I just never got into the dream catchers and all that other stuff." Thanks Kristen, you're not doing anything to advance your people. Do us all a favor and just stop telling people you're part Native.
I know this blog is supposed to be reserved for art but sometimes you just can't deny it's social importance. Artists and artisans that work in cultural relevance are vital to the identity of a society or group of people. This is something that has been on my heart for quite some time. It has recently come to my attention that in general Americans really don't understand what happened to the indigenous people here. It's great that minorities are found in pop culture more and more (even if it's unevenly and almost generically represented). Our country has a huge fascination with Asian culture, and again this is awesome. All cultures interest me, but when was the last time you saw Native Americans in our pop culture? I'm almost positive that you would find at least 100x more Americans that know the differences between ethnicities in Asia than you could Americans who know that there are even differences at all between the Native American tribes.
I don't want to turn this into a rant about the struggles of Native people, but I do want to point out the unacceptable lack of representation in pop culture. I think this even contributes to deep seeded issues similar to my classmate's, Kristen who doesn't feel like it's admirable to have Native pride. But seriously people, if we're not even represented in American pop culture, where is it you think we're represented? At our pow wows, huh? Leave the Native culture to those select events. There's no place for it in your media and your art world...
That's changing, maybe not as fast as I'd like but there are people who are pushing to make these changes, and artists are the most influential to make change in this way. Did you click on the link for Demockratees when I blogged about Lush Life? Well you should check this guy out. As a designer who happens to also have Native American heritage I am ecstatic to see this. There is no reason why we have to do "Native Art" traditionally. It is definitely relevent in preserving what we have left of our culture, but it is also necessary to continue building on this culture.

a few facts relevent to my tribal background, Choctaw:
  • The Choctaw people were the first to be removed from their land and placed in Indian Territory during the Trail of Tears
  • It's estimated 70% of the Choctaw people died during this time.
  • Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw words "ukla" meaning person and "humá" meaning red.
  • The time period in which public education made it illegal to speak indigeous languages created a gap in the generations. To promote fluency in the language the Choctaw tribe offers free language classes to tribal members. Visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for more information. Choctaw is also offered at several major universitites, including the University of Oklahoma.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catching up

Two posts in one day was not enough. I finally uploaded more pics from drawing class.
This is actually homework assignment #1, the previous posts were #2 and #3

This is in-class still life #4

This is not the finished product of a landscape I did in class. I'll take another pic of the finished once it's been graded.

Two Posts in One Day!

Home work #2

Home work #3

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lush Life - Late

A hip hop art & fashion expo at IAO gallery in OKC 03/14/09

Awesome. Great turn out, larger venue would have been nice. In fact, I have a feeling if a larger venue is chosen for next year it could double in attendance and artist participation.

Here are the Indie clothing lines that were featured
Tree and Leaf Clothing
Group Fly
Cadillac Cowboy
Blooprint Clothing

and Thought Collective for which I have designs coming out this summer. Stay Tuned!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2D design assignment #3

geometric shapes using various mediums in gray tones: paint, charcoal, pencil & marker

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Art Dharma

I have this professor for 2D design, this very long winded and less helpful professor that I've had for a couple of classes in the past and hasn't changed. However, yesterday he lectured for TWO HOURS. That's pretty excessive for a design class. Normally I just get started on the work but he was actually addressing a student with a problem I've faced many times. This guy was struggling to produce something up to his standards and trashed his work the night before so he had nothing to present for critique. Our professor addressed this issue quoting Van Morrison and Zen concepts. He said he was sympathetic and not offended because sometimes you just don't get the result you expect. But, "A professional works everyday no matter how he feels" just to keep the motivation going even in complete desperation. The push and pressure from a dumb idea can accomplish remarkable results. "Great faith, great doubt, great practice" curiosity & inventiveness... wake up to the possibility. Every artist has to learn how to assimilate this to your own daily creative process.
The creative process..... yeah I'm working on that. I have this awesome work space at home. My walls and shelves are covered with things that inspire me but I just haven't pushed myself enough. I told my friend Loren the other day that I hate drawing because I'm slow and it doesn't come easy. But I love it because once I push myself to finish I've improved. But I hate it. And I hate things I'm not naturally good at. Obviously what I feel about drawing is another one of those love/hate relationships.
New goal: I want to start making my self draw in my sketch book daily.

PS I said I'm going to post all of my work from school this semester and I meant it. I just haven't got around to taking pictures of all of it. But I do have 7 assignments from Drawing class and 7 from 2d design and they will be up sometime this month. Here is my 2nd in-class still life. I turned it in unfinished, again because 3 hours is not enough time for me. About the quality of the photo... yeah I take these with my phone. Get over it =)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rima Makeup Studio Ad

Yay, finally some work to show you! Yes, I was the model for this ad but not by choice. She made me because it was last minute and I was the most convenient. It will print 5x15in. and also 5x13 in several of the Oklahoma City area high school papers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What you miss when you are late for everything

My friend Brad introduced me to Regina Spektor in the fall of 2007. I have since acquired every one of her albums and memorized the lyrics to nearly every song. I absolutely love her. She's become one of my favorite musical artists. I got on wikipedia tonight because Brad told me a very touching story about her song "Sampson" a while back and I wanted to see if I could find more background. I didn't, but I did discover that she opened for The Strokes during their 2003-2004 Room on Fire tour along with the Kings of Leon...... um wait, I went to that concert!
Yeah, I went and I was incredibly late. I saw the end of Kings of Leon, literally their last two songs. As they were the second opening act, I clearly missed Regina Spektor. I could have been enjoying her songs for at least three years before hand. The Strokes were by the way, an impressive live act, lots of energy. I remember Jules leaning over the railing seperating the crowd from the stage and falling in, on accident, head first right in the middle of a song. He continued to sing and didn't miss a single word all the way to recovering his composure on the other side of the railing. Very entertaining and one of my fondest live music memories.
Anyway, this disapointment may seem trivial, oh wow so you didn't hear a singer when you could have big deal, but it is a big deal to me. Music is a very important part of my life and the writing of various artists have made huge footprints on who I am and helped me acquire new perspectives. Realizing what I missed out on Regina simply because I am not punctual has made me realize I should put a little more effort into moving a little quicker when getting out of the house. Honestly, I am rarely on time for anything. Who knows what else I have missed. From this day forward I will have slightly more motivation to be punctual.

*Brad's music myspace is kind of a joke to him. He never logs in or updates and the recordings do not do his guitar skills justice. This guy is the most amazing guitar player-for-hobby I have ever heard. He's also very artistically inclined for visual media and a lot of fun.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

When Arrows Don't Penetrate, Cupid Grabs the Pistol

This is obviously not an official Outkast video but I love this song and really love Andre 3000. Listen to it and enjoy your V-Day, be it with a significant other, friend, family member, or yourself :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Reviews on professional printers

For the first five years I did design work I never had to deal with a printer or the technical side and requirements of my files. That was the early years back when it was a hobby, before graphic design became my major and before I got paid more than $75 for an ad. Looking back my first experience with a printer was unbelievable. King Kopy in Noman, Oklahoma is amazing. They are friendly and helpful, even when the store front is crowded and busy. Their prices are extremely affordable and my fliers came out perfect. Absolutely no complaints. If you're in the area, I highly recommend them. These files aren't that old actually but I had very little art education and absolutely no design education so of course I'm looking at them now and seeing all my design flaws. BUT when I printed them, the print quality was terrific and that's what this entry is about.

Moving on to the next company I used, Next Day Fliers, it's far from a happy ending. I first ordered business cards for Marion Kay, full color front, black and white back, UV coated, and Rima, full color front and back, also UV coated. These cards looked amazing and you couldn't beat the price **I'd like to interject, because a friend of mine was disappointed in the timeliness she received from another printer, when they say "press ready files the next day" that means the job starts the next day. It does not mean they'll be shipped the next day**. The cutting was great, colors were dead on. My boss liked them so much I a made a 3rd design for all the people who work at her salon. At this point I actually had formal design education under my belt and I know how to create press ready files on my own. I also know to do test prints at home and I know the difference between mustard yellow and a subtle cream. What I didn't know is not all printers care about you, your design or your colors. They care about getting the order out quick and making money. The cards came back in 8 different variations of mustard yellow. They were so hideous. When I called about the colors being so far off I was passed through 3 people over the course of a week. I finally dealt with a very pushy guy who was incredibly condescending. He said he looked at the file and the print sample and said the colors were the same. He mocked me and asked if I understood the difference between RGB and CMYK, if I'd ever used a color index, and refused to give me more than a discount of 40% on my next order. I was so flustered you can't even imagine. For those of you who don't know me personally, I am a pleasant person but when it comes to taking care of business, I always take care of business. I learned from my grandmother, a fantastically strong woman, who knew how to tell a sales person what she was going to pay and walk away with free gifts. The fact that I couldn't get a free re-print out of this guy says that he is really good at his job and that Next Day Fliers has experienced this situation with other customers many times before me. Now, a printer should be allowed some margin of error. Their colors can't be perfect 100% of the time but the color variation in this order was unacceptable. If a company can't take responsibility for such a terrible job, the savings is not worth taking the chance. Sadly, my boss chose to go a head and take the 40% off and reprint with white backgrounds (which she prefers anyway because her design taste is pretty conservative). I vowed to never use them again and I hope you spread the word.
*I'm going to scan and post a document with the failed print job and what the colors should have been at another time*
When it came time to re-order Marion's cards we went with Jak Prints, efficient, environmentally friendly and they offer a hard copy proof. Rima was very enthusiastic about printing green and we were pleased with the final result. Absolutely no complaints on my part! The prices are competitive but a little higher than what Rima wanted to pay for her cards. So she chose a company she had experience with in college, PK Graphics. I thought she knew from the Next Day Fliers fail that it's worth paying a little extra to ensure you'll get exactly what you want. I guess not. The colors are very vivid, although the black ink looks slightly smudged. That however is not the fault that pushed me over the edge. *Again another scanned image to come* It was the atrocious cutting. In an order of 5000, almost all the edges of at least one side were frayed. For about 1/4 of the cards on another side you can see colors that are distinctly from another design order. The cut is made past my safety lines and you see lime green and sky blue.
If Jak Prints is in your budget, I highly recommend them. Not only will you be satisfied, you will be making less of an impact on our planet :-) If they aren't within your budget here are some tips to get a satisfactory print job from another company:
  • Always use a color index when you design
  • Pre-print from home and/or the office
  • Get a hard copy proof
  • Educate your self on the company's policies and disclaimers
  • Once you find a company you're satisfied with, hold on to them like gold. Become a loyal customer. Refer friends, colleagues, competitors, anyone and everyone. When your printer does mess up, and they probably will, you can use your loyal customer status as leverage.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where have all the real fashion designers gone?

I am so very annoyed with women's fashion right now. I'd like to see more originality and less recycling of the biggest-mistakes-in-the-industry (Marc Jacobs, Why!?!?). I'm going back to my high school mentality of wearing absolutely anything I feel like, but this time I'll do it right :-) (No more pencil thin eyebrows, men's pants that sag in the butt or ill-fitting thrift store find- I own a sewing machine now)
If you like the current trends, more power to you but it's not my taste. What is my taste? It's very eclectic and hard to describe. Sometimes I feel like dressing up but most of the time I dress down. I love hip hop culture and I like almost everything at the Giant Peach.
But actually I've tightened up my budget to save for next year aka my final senior year aka the busiest and most expensive year of my adult life up until now. So I can't shop for clothes for a very long time. That's alright, I think I have enough to re-dress every hipster in Norman. (yes, those are photos of three closets I use. What you don't see in the first closet are 3 drawers on either side of the doors and clothes on both poles pushed back.)