Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Posts tagged ‘Visual arts’

Work Wisdom from Milton Glaser

miltonglaser1,jul4-2013
IMAGE: here

“I always thought about, in early life, our objective, certainly people in the design profession, is to look professional, and to feel professional…. and you wanted to have that veneer and that sense of authority… and it was all we really wanted to do – you come out of school and you want your work to look like these marvellously slick, professional things that were in the world…”

“And then at a certain point, you reach professional level, and your work looks like that, and you realize its not enough.  That merely, getting to a point where your work looks good enough to be called professional is just the starting point.”

“…as a metaphor… when you start to learn how to draw… you are so overwhelmed with the difficulty with making things look like what they are… and you almost die trying to control your nerve endings so that the object looks like its supposed to, and you spend years doing that. And then finally you get to the point when you finally draw something that looks like what they are.”

“And then you discover, that’s not the point.  That being able to draw something that looks like something, is nothing.  That that is only the starting point.  Now you have to ask yourself, how do I make a good drawing, or an expressive drawing, or a drawing that means something.  Because the ability to only make it accurate, is actually a low-level ability.  Even though its taken you years to get to that point, its not very relevant.  But there’s no other way to get there.

“The same thing is true of your work. You sort of strive to make it look good, and make it look as good as your peers, and make it looks as good as the other stuff in the “Art Directors Annual”, and so on.  And then at a certain point if you continue and persevere, you realize that’s not good enough.  You have to go beyond that level, in order to engage that other thing, which is true expressive content, true meaning.”
-Milton Glaser, Design Matters

A metaphor that, I think, applies to all aspects of work, and anyone who wants to be truly great at what they do.

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Button-Down Shirts Put to So Much Better Use

Great installations by artist Kaarina Kaiakkonen.

This is one of my absolute favorite types of art – everyday materials reapplied just for the sake of being reconsidered (as color? as fabric?), rather than to even be environmentally conscious or to have a recycled-aesthetic.  (Not that those aren’t good reasons for reapplying everyday materials, but I just love when its just for the sake of the piece only)

apr20-2013,kaarina-kaikkonen

IMAGES: (top to bottom) here // here // here // here

“Using hundreds of second-hand shirts Finnish environmental artist Kaarina Kaiakkonencreates site-specific installations suspended above roadways or inside large warehouse spaces. Her most recent work Are We Still Going On? (top images), was conceived at Collezione Maramotti, a private collection of contemporary art in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and involves hundreds of children’s shirts hung in rows to resemble the interior hull of a giant ship. The shirts are organized by color on each side of the skeletal boat to represent a sort of symbolic dialogue about gender. You can learn more over on Art Texts Pics and see a brief video of the piece here. (via global art news)” (via Colossal and Hattip to Chris at his amazing blog!)

Make More Art

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
– Andy Warhol
(via this isn’t happiness via Swissmiss)

Rob Ryan’s Beautiful Paper Art

“We’re all the same people we were when we were children.  We’re just bigger and we pretend that we’re not.”

I’ve always been a big fan of this etsy artist, and by now he’s done some fairly high-profile stuff, but he still keeps his sweetness, and honesty and vulnerability in all of his work.

robryan,feb182013

IMAGES: here // here // here // here

robryan1,feb182013
This video for the Etsy Handmade Portrait series is just uplifting.

“A big part of my work is about seeing and appreciating the beauty in the everyday, to make people see how beautiful the world is and how beautiful their lives are.”

“My work is about being alive and its about being being human and about being a person.  And then of course this this other thing, and its Love.  Its a funny thing, there’s something about art that Love is almost a taboo subject – its almost to obvious to make work about. And to me its the most natural thing.  The need to love, to be loved, and the connections and the relationships.”

For more info, check out this article on the Etsy blog, or check out Rob’s etsy page.

Marion Deuchars on Design Matters

Today, here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a snow day. The most glorious of all days of the year, on the rare occasion that it happens. It lets you skip school/work, without having a makeup already planned! So usually it just ends in more time to do work, and more time to browse the internet, finally make a flickr account, get a sibling to bake for you, AND complete some much needed art projects.

Anyway, Marion Deuchars! About a month back Marion Deuchars was on the podcast Design Matters, and I finally got to listening to it. She talks about her work as an illustrator, how she creates nostalgic r’s, contemplative a’s, peaceful p’s and childlike q’s. She also talks about what its like to illustrate with a character in mind, for example when she wrote around George Clooney’s body for the cover of GQ, or when she she collaborated on Tilda Swanson’s children’s clothing line.

Listen to it here.

Also, her two boys pipe in at the end of the show, and were SO CUTE, and I have to say, more than a bit poignant.

Here are some of the great quotes from the show:

“…there’s an age where a child draws without inhibition. We can all recognize that kind of drawing, because we’ve all done it.  And then, around the age of 10 or 11, and its mainly in a Western culture, we try  to attain a kind of realism, and its whilst we are obtaining that realism, is where things can go horribly wrong.  So for the one’s who obtain a realism that they’re happy with, for example if they manage to obtain some kind of porportion within the drawing or they try to draw something that resembles it, and they’re quite happy they continue, …. but for the majority of people, its too much, and basically they decide from that point that they are not very good at drawing and that their drawings are bad, and they stop drawing, and not only do they stop drawing, but they generally never draw again.  And can even develop a fear of drawing, which is actually quite common.  And I always say, how can we develop a fear of something that’s so amazing and that gave us so much personal expression as children. And suddenly we decide we’re no good at it and we stop.”

“I think handwriting, hand lettering, is fascinating because it offers you an insight into personality.  I think when you look at the lettering that’s been drawn you try to imagine who drew it, who wrote it, and that’s quite different to a font…”

” ‘My children’s drawings surprise me all the time.  They break the rules, they inspire, they make me laugh, they shock. I don’t want that to change for as long as possible.’ ”

marionduchars,feb82013
She also has 3 books out, all on Amazon.  When I have money again, I’m definitely buying “Let’s Make Some Great Art”! : Let’s Make Some Great ArtLet’s Make Some Great Fingerprint ArtLet’s Make Some Great Placemat Art

marionduchars2,feb82013

IMAGES: here // here // here

Art: Elizabeth Peyton, David Hockney and Pencil Crayon!


Elizabeth Peyton and David Hockney are artists who both use pencil crayon really, really well.  And that’s super interesting to me, because its not something you see a lot in fancy art and its extremely affordable and accessible.

Elizabeth Peyton: here // here // here


David Hockney: here // here // here

Notice how Hockney uses the pencil crayon more in a general-shading way, whereas Peyton uses the lines of the pencil crayon really effectively to show planes and volume and direction.  Both of them mix and layer colors so well, which add such a sense of detail and depth to the pieces.  I find with the colors and the texture of the pencil crayon, each of the pieces have a hardness and a sense of defined shape, but also a softness in their layering, the shades used and the way the drawings often fade into the background.

Anyway, enjoy! Back to studying..

Students: Variety for Portfolio

( Hey dudes, just a warning: this week might be a bit shoddy with blog posts, since I have a killer exam next week and then some family stuff coming, but I will try to keep up as much as possible! )

Sup fellow students! So, we are going to talk about portfolios again today.
Although you should take my advice with a grain of salt, one thing that I think is really important to have in a portfolio, is a demonstration of a lot of different media.  When applying to art or design school I think that it is so important to show how your voice translates, your versatility, where your interests span to, that you are open to trying new things, that you are willing to go against your natural skills, etc., etc.  Also, I mean if it were me reading through hundreds of portfolios, it’d be nice to see a cool new media used every so often.  It wakes you up I think, and makes you re-think a product or material you may have forgotten about.

Anyway, here are some examples of types of media you should dabble in:
1) DRAW
2) PAINT

3) COLLAGE
4) COMPUTER – graphic arts, solid modeling, whatever!
5) SCULPTURE
6) MIX 3-D & 2-D and TEXTILE ART
7) WRITING

8) FILM

9) ETCC!!!

10) combo of all/some media ………….

drawing – Leonardo da Vinci here // paint – Happy Menocal here // collage – The Selby here  (ps: I know this isn’t really collage work, but it makes me think of collage, cause its a really well-chosen and well cut-out photo) // computer – Solid Modelling of USB Port here // sculpture – Rodin here // mix 3-d & 2-D  – Maranon here // writing – The Mavenist here // film – The Pleasure Of here

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