Treasures of China discovering in Kitchener

A few of my fellow classmates invited me to go to the Bob Marley exhibit being held at the Kitchener Museum. Well, I show up but could not find any of my classmates. No biggie, I’ll just buy my ticket and take the tour alone. While I’m purchasing my ticket, I asked if I could take photographs of the Bob Marley exhibit, to document my experience, but she told me I wasn’t allowed. Crap, there goes my proof of going to the museum. She did, however, say that I could take pictures of the Treasures of China exhibit. I thought, get pictures of some stone statues then cruise on through to the Marley exhibit.

Stamped and allowed for entry, I make my way up 4 stories to the China statue exhibit, thinking, I’ll just get what I need and leave. Well I got more than anticipated. I appreciate Buddhist philosophy and culture, so upon entering the exhibit, I took my time and really looked at what was on display. I thought of this more than just an assignment that needed completing. It was something that I might not get another chance to experience. In fact, I’m happy I was prohibited from taking pictures of the Bob Marley exhibit because much of what was on display, were things I’ve seen. Of course, the exception being a group picture of Marley and, off to the far left, Timothy Leary. Now that would have been an interesting group to hang out with.

My favourite two pieces out of the Treasures of China exhibit is Thousand-Handed Avalokitesvara by Heng Hao and Holy Scene of Sakyamuni’s Nirvana by Zhang Jiyn. The piercing red and contrast between the figures in Hao’s painting really grabbed my attention. The clam nature of the woman, sitting in peace between two ferocious men some how made me think of harmony amongst chaos. As for Jiyn’s painting, it’s the use of colour and the illustrating of larger than life man lying on his side that captured my imagination. I was instantly transported into the silent depths of a jungle, to a hidden temple, where I was witness to member in the group, seen in the foreground, who’ve come to the realization and attainment of what it is.

Overall, I had a great time touring the Kitchener Museum. I would describe my Bob Marley experience, but I think my time was best spent with the Treasures of China.

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Resume appeal

Yet another quickie, but something, in my opinion, is typecast as standard, boring, and straight-forward. The link is of an article that shows 10 unique resume ideas that will surely spark the interest of the interviewer. Now, for me, maybe some seem over the top, but I’m in no way discrediting its creativity, nor its ability of appeal. I created, at most, 4 resumes, all of which held similar information and were created in word. They all lacked creativity, but after viewing these potential resume concepts, it proves to me that creativity has its place everywhere. Now I personally won’t go out of my way to bake a cake with my resume piped on top, but I’ll definitely keep in my its aesthetic value to potential viewers. Sure what it looks like has the subtle ability to grab attention, but without the necessary qualifications, you might as well give it to your grandma. Content and form are crutches for one another, and both should compliment one another.

Seriousness deflated

This is a minor post, on the brink of re-posting someone elses work. Click the link and be transported to beautifully shot photography paired with equally suited typography. The humor is contrasted against the seriousness of the photography, adding to the overall appeal. Upon dissection of each composition, it’s clear to see design elements in play, ranging from the typeface choices and its colour to the position of the type on the photograph. It is one way of taking the edge off a knife and turning it into a banana.

Designer traits: contrasting my strength against my weakness

We all have them, strengths and weakness of a particular nature. Through my academic career, specifically dealing with graphic design, I’ve gained strengths and discovered weaknesses I was unaware I had. The following images is brainstorming of a project I did a couple years ago. I was asked to pick an item and portray it in 40 ways. I misinterpreted the project because it was meant more for 40 various illustration styles. Instead, I took a pre-existing object, in my case a clothing iron, and shaped it to fit other utilities and/or personalities. Aside from the bit of a mix-up, I did extremely well on the project because the teach thoroughly enjoyed my direction of thinking. So that’s where I thought to myself, I should embrace my approach. Now on the same project, my teacher noted that I lacked variety of artistic styles as well as detail in my illustrations. That was, and still is, a weakness I’ve had my whole life, my lack of ability in technical execution in mock-ups and illustrations. It is especially frustrating now, I’m 2nd year Graphic Design student, and I’m expected to produce high quality projects. Although, I must admit, my illustrations are improving, so that’s a step in the right direction.

So the grouping of images are ideas for the forms or personalities that a clothing iron could assume. I had the most fun trying to create a personality for an inanimate object. There are a lot of different uses for a clothing iron, but I don’t really have all the time to list them. This proved to me that I could utilize my approach to better complete any future projects. Or just having another way to pass the time.

I’m content with the interactivity amongst all the irons. One the outer rim the irons turn in a clockwise manner, creating a sort of moving boarder. Now each square, following the outer rim have things in opposition to them directly across from them. Columns 2 and 7 are all modes of transportation. Columns 3 and 6 are animals. As for columns 4 and 5, I did as miscellaneous. I’m okay with the illustration style, or lack there of, but I do see that it is a weakness of mine.

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The wonderful world with Alice

I’ve watched the animated Disney movie, Alice in Wonderland, when I was younger and didn’t much care for it. As I grew older, my interests have changed and I find this movie more and more appealing. I’ve never read anything by Lewis Carroll, so I’m going to assume that the movie is a reasonably accurate portrayal of Carroll’s story. I did not see the recent interpretation of Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton, which I’d eventually like to see. Anyways, I just recently watched another interpretation of Alice in Wonderland called Alice, directed by Jan Švankmajer in 1988. When shown this I was slightly confused, maybe it was the alcohol, but eventually everything became clear. I was told it was Alice in Wonderland and yes it was, but it to be composed by a kindergarten class. Well was I wrong. The overall style is grungy, dirty and dark. In comparison to the Disney movie, it is it’s opposite in every way visually. Disney is bright and whimsical, where as Švankmajer’s is gloomy and dilapidated. This is definitely not a children’s movie, for its tone is directed to a more mature audience. The eerie and creepy rendition of an already oddly thought/written story, has captured my interest and ignited intrigue. I was overcome with a giddiness and pleasure during the viewing of this movie, which seems questionable, considering the movie’s sullen style. I would highly recommend it be viewed by anyone with interests in stop-motion animation, a liking of atypical artistic movies, the enjoyment of the Lewis Carroll story, or to simply view another person’s version. The following is a trailer while the full movie can be seen here. I just added the movie links for something to view, although quality is poor, it’s a starting point into exploring the mind and capabilities of Jan Švankmajer.

Dirty writing

So I happened to surf to a website called therumpus.net after searching up adderall on Wikipedia. Now you might ask yourself, what the hell is the relation between a literary webiste have to do with adderall? Simple. It turns out that Stephen Elliott, is editor-in-chief of the aforementioned website, who wrote a book called the Adderall Diaries. Anyways, I was interested in what the book was about. It turns out that the book was not my taste, so I wanted to check out the website with the funny name. This is where I found some interesting stuff, mainly, this article. Besides it being hilarious and of a sexual nature, it reminds me, in some ways, regardless of how little, to my recently designed alcohol label. In some ways, both of these share similar content, sex. The label was designed for an absinthe, with the main idea being that it was a love potion. I tried to be subtle but opted out for taking the more explicit side of “love-making.”  I’m more content with the illustration, but on the whole, the design is weak. As for what I was originally intending to discuss, this manifesto is an entertaining read that points out sex is a fundamental subject and activity to be explored and enjoyed, not repressed and hidden. But mainly, I like this article because it’s an expression of an explicit nature. After all, it’s just art.

Philtre_Label Steve Almond - Why I write Smut

Designing uniform structures for subsidiaries

So I just read this interesting article from Stephane Thomas, who analyzed, critiqued and attempted to create structural wireframe websites for subsidiary companies of Automattic.

Automattic is a company founded by the creator of WordPress and is a host to multiple websites, that are similar in service. His critique is that all subsidiaries have a different structure to their information, aesthetic and usability. What he proposes is that similarities of each website must be recognized before any designing is to be had. Once the information has been gathered, then one can go about creating layouts that all follow a standardized look, function, tone and feel. Then he took a few of the websites and tried to put them in some sort of united form. At the end of his test, he conceded that to reduce all information into simplest terms was extremely difficult. He did not, however, say that it’s impossible, but keeping information accessibility seamless through multiple websites is a complex task.

Overall, I never really considered the way information is compiled so that it is fitting across the board from parent company to its daughter companies. To reduce and organize only the key information so that all companies have a consistent and seamless flow, is beyond my scope. I do, however, see the usefulness is designing a uniform structure because it’ll allow accessibility and mobility in and amongst these websites a lot easier and friendlier.

Geist, magazine style I appreciate.

I remember buying my first peculiar magazine, Geez Magazine, and being drawn to the visual interest
created with their designs. The content of the writing was something new as well and later took to searching
for relatable designs.

I’m not exactly sure, but my memory recalls the website being called Genuine Canadian Magazine. It’s a discounted magazine subscription website, but I was using the site  for magazines I could possibly check out in-stores. I chanced Geist and I’ve found it serves as a great aspiration I wish to someday fulfill.

The page layouts are fairly unobtrusive with its steady flow pacing. In designing it as such, they have focused attention to the content more than the design. This is due to the fact that this magazine is for creative writing, therefore, much of the visual design coexists with the content but does little to dominate.

There are ads placed throughout the magazine, but it’s not overwhelming. Personally, I find it entertaining to read, look, and imagine ads and their stories. So the number of ads didn’t bother me.

Geist’s visual and tactile design, approach, solutions and aesthetic are what  attracted me. Thus, enabled my choice in purchasing my first copy. Since then, I’ve stored upon a shelf, all the Geist magazines I’ve purchased, out of sentimentality. Overall, Geist might not for everyone, but I think it’s worth a look.

Helpful Adobe CS6 tutorials

I found a website in my search in creating a spiral in Illustrator cs6. It might be a simple function to preform in Illustrator, but it wasn’t something i could do properly. During my browsing I came upon a short video clip that explained how to create an equally spaced spiral. I found another tutorial video that showed how to create a simple op art rendering. Perfect, seeings how for a calendar project, I chose to mimic the styling of an op artist, Yaacov Agam. The author of these tutorial videos, Deke McClelland, only offers a select few of his videos for free, but it’s a good start for practice. I think it’s worth a look to get the ball rolling and from there, to branch out to other places.

Brainstorming about Nothing

In a recent post, I mentioned the Project of Packaging Nothing and how I would monitor my progress. Well here is another snippet of work done for this project.

So yesterday in class we had a gentleman named Brock, who comes from a design solutions company, and he came in to help our class better define the approach to this very open project. Since his professional job is to come up with creative solutions for design problems, an example being traffic flow within a store and how does one direct people? With his friendly demeanor and enthusiastic personality, he was able to stir within our heads, questions that asked more questions, that essentially lead us in different directions of perception. His task was to enlighten us that something as broad as, “what is nothing,” can be answered, if not condensed, when one acquires as much information as possible.

The main thing I got out of the session with him was lots of research, of all perspectives and sides and ways, is key when designing for a solution that will work. So for example, I did not think of this, but for me, my nothing, or intangible, is light. I explained my choosing, he said great but who’s going to buy it and who’s going to make it? I had no idea. Now I’m thinking of it a bit more about what he said, but I found that the little bit time he spent in our class, turned out to be very useful.