Monday, August 31, 2009

GDS 110 - Coraline

I just watched the movie Coraline and thought the title sequence was really well done. Here are two versions of the title. The first one was on a website and the second is a still from the title sequence. The two are similar but tweaked to work for the different contexts in which they'll be used. If you've seen the movie, you'll know the significance of the sewing, button, cat.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Typography Image - GDS110

This Sierra Magazine cover really caught my eye. I like the design because the lettering really fits the content. This cover is accessible and inviting - the kid in me wants to see more. It's witty, bold and playful with lots of energy. Makes me want to have an organic food fight, ride a free range bike, and wear gnarly baubles. How hip would that be?!

Some of the font is serif and some sans - the mix works really well here. It's like several different people wrote on the chalkboard. The content is both informational and identity related. The only things that remain constant across issues are the title, the menu right above it (topics separated by vertical lines), and the tagline below.

Sierra often has a wide variety of covers that closely reflect the content of the particular issue. They also seem to go for a youthful, hip image. It was also pretty neat to see that they make a commitment to bring more cultural diversity and activism into environmentalism. They have a list of initiatives on the Sierra website.

The info about the cover provided by the magazine led me to the designer's web page. His name is Nate Williams and he hand-lettered this design. His site is amazing so check it out! He has a section called "letter playground" where he explores letter forms.

Death of a Fantasy

Even though this could be seen as a depressing sketch, it's a good thing...really!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Short and Stout

I wanted to sketch something calm and soothing this evening so I did a pretty little iron teapot. Back to classes today, returning clients and new clients -- life's gonna get interesting again.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hungry Ghosts

I mentioned in a previous entry that I'm reading a book called Open to Desire. The author is a psychotherapist and a Buddhist exploring ways to "hold" our desires (whatever these desires may covet) in a manner that is enlightening rather than clinging and craving.

Late last night, I was reading about the Hungry Ghosts in Buddhism. These are "beings who are in a state of chronic deprivation and longing, always searching for a nourishment that they are not equipped to digest....Their attempts at gratification just make them hungrier and thirstier." These Hungry Ghosts "obsessively seek nourishment from people and things who can only disappoint ....The gratification that the Hungry Ghost seeks cannot be found in the form in which it is imagined." Wow.

Reading this part of the book helped me realize that I may be chumming around with these guys too much. The author indicates that to begin to move away from the futile circle of the Hungry Ghosts, we need to acknowledge that they exist. In that vein, I've tried to capture what the Hungry Ghosts feel like to me.

Traditional imagery portrays the Hungry Ghosts as having tiny necks and pinhole sized mouths. In my mind, they have cavernous, voracious mouths wanting to devour everything; so hungry and thirsty, they feel like they can't get enough. Thank goodness I'm finding ways not to hang out with them any more...

Up Up and Away

Went through a Photoshop tutorial that one of the other students in the class did. Here's the result. Harder than it looks!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Beached the Cornfields

I'm in Alexandria, VA now. Spending time with my nephew this afternoon.

He was nice enough to get me at Dulles in DC when he thought he was going to get me at Reagan Int'l which is closer to my sister's house. I thought for sure I'd booked a flight to Reagan...woops. Oh, well, he was nice enough to come get me and we've had a good time together.

On the drive to Indy to catch my flight, I saw three huge trucks stopped by the side of the highway, each carrying a huge wind turbine blade. My sketch:

I have no idea why but I love these things. Maybe it's their sheer enormity. They looked kind of like beached whales. A little sad, actually. So clean and bright and peaceful in a weird way. Knowing that they're going somewhere to generate "clean" power makes me like them even more. I haven't been to the wind farm in Bloomington but I really want to get over there. I drove past a wind farm once and it looked kind of futuristic and ghostly. So cool! I'd love to just sit there for a while -- I've heard the blades make this big "whooshing" sound. So different from all the other engines we hear all the time. I wonder if anyone's written/illustrated a children's book following the blade from where it's built to where it gets put together. I think that could really work. Cool AND educational.

Art opening this evening. Should be fun! More sketches later.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Me...only different

Check out the self-portrait I made in Illustrator. It's kinda cool that I can give myself lusher lashes. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Crashing a little after my intensive summer class. Man, that was a lot of work but I really loved every minute of it! I'm finding it hard to believe that my graphic design class is actually over. Fun party at my house last night to celebrate the last day of class and get to know each other better. We're hoping to get together for critiques on whatever work we're doing next and to support each other in whatever graphic design adventures are next. Some of us will continue to follow each others' blogs. I feel a little narcissistic but I like this blogging thing. Look at me!!! Look at my stuff!! Read what I write!!! It also helps to organize my thoughts so the narcissistic satisfaction is mainly a nice perk. You should try it if you haven't.

For those of you who have asked about seeing my "work" (I'm using that word loosely at this point), here's a website that has my projects posted on it. We worked just bit with creating this little projects page and posting things to it. I felt a bit slow at learning this part. In spite of that, I'm amazed at how much I learned. Paul was an excellent instructor. Anyway, here's the url:

I'm off to Alexandria, VA next week to attend an opening for an art exhibit at The Torpedo Factory in which my brother-in-law has a piece. There were 300 submissions and his was one of 27 accepted! I'm pretty darned proud of him. I've never been to an art opening so it will be a new experience - especially when I feel legitimate about being there! What to wear? I have to leave here at the butt crack of dawn (as one of my clients so eloquently put it) to get over to the airport but the benefit is that if anyone asks (not likely), I'll be able to say I'm flying "back east" for an art opening. They'll think my bleary-eyed look is because I'm an important jet setter, right?

It will be great to spend time with my sisters and hang out in DC. Then, two weeks until classes start again and many of my clients return from their summer break. Summer's almost over, I guess. Sigh...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Almost There

I'm going a little nuts trying to get all my graphic design projects done. What was that Paul said about not waiting until the last minute? Oh, yeah....

Even though it's a little stressful, I'm still enjoying every project. I just didn't know I'd be enjoying each project for 12 hours straight. I'm taking a break from working and wanted to post a little design I made using a "pattern brush." I did a tutorial on how to make new brushes in one of the computer applications and this was my practice. Wish I would've left out those big black circles on the corners. Really distracting. Now that I've said that, you'll be distracted by them too, huh?

I'm sad to see this class end because I've liked it so much. I've appreciated how friendly everyone's been and that we've supported each other. Next semester, I'm taking a drawing class - I know, you probably think I don't need it. Ha, ha, ha! I'm also taking The History of Graphic Design. Both will be great but neither will involve any of this technical/software stuff I've been learning. I hope my tired little brain cells manage to hold onto some of it. I really think (and hope) I've found a second calling.

Back to work for me, I guess.