Finals MONTH

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

 

So here at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, we don’t just have a finals week. We have a finals month. Granted, this makes sense. But it really, really fucking sucks.

 

Essentially, because all of our projects are…well, projects, and not papers/tests, they tend to go on for longer than any normal final. Basically, our finals start just before Thanksgiving break and then we have about 3 weeks to finish them.

 

The good thing about this is that critiques tend to extend over several class periods. Which means if you get your work done by the first critique date, you have little to nothing to do for the rest of the remaining weeks. It’s a nice feeling.

 

But then all of the other stress kind of compensates for that nice feeling, soo…

 

In any case. the year is winding up before it’s winding down. And if you want to see any of the major projects I finished, I made a new Tumblr for my artwork which you can view here (and follow if you want!).

 

 

 

And also, aside from this miniature rant, I might be posting process from my Graphic Design class final project. It involves following a series of processes, and one of those is probably going to be text based (since I tend to think of myself as a pseudo-academic as well as a visual artist…). If I do choose to post the results of each step of the process I will create a separate category for them. This might be fun. Woo!…

 

 

 

Anyway. I’ll try and post more in the next few weeks but I’ll be pretty swamped. We’ll see how it goes. I will definitely post more when I get home for winter break (I have a lot of big news to share!)

 

Until then,

 

Hope everyone else who has to do finals is getting A’s for awesome!

 

 

Creating Websites Is…Well, It’s a Bitch.

English: Example of psd2temlates Css code

Looks fun, doesn’t it…

Yeah, I said it.

And it’s probably pretty common knowledge that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Sure, there are programs that allow visual drag and drop design, but those aren’t what I”m talking about. I’m talking about the coding. The from-scratch programming.

And that’s what I’m taking a class for. Learning how to code and program a portfolio website from scratch. And by from scratch I mean from scratch. no snippets of other people’s ingenious codes were used, no template was given to mess with. No, this is all from a blank page all the way up to a portfolio with functioning links, rollovers, and animations.

Now here’s the catch.

I think I”m a decently intelligent person who can think logically through systematic processes. But coding…coding it getting hard. Coding is a lot of little details that, if messed up, can damage an entire day’s worth of work. Coding is a lot of scary syntactical strings that have to have a close to them or else they’ll mess everything else up.

And then there’s the programming, which gets even more intense. And by intense, I mean even more confusing and technically touchy. Messing up the code is much easier, and it’s much harder to find that one character that has been misplaced/not placed at all.

Programming is also more intimidating than code (for whatever reason). I don’t want to touch jQuery because I’m afraid something will explode.

And then it explodes.

This is really just a whiny rant, but I thought I’d get it out there. How difficult this really is and how many things there are to think about behind the beauty of a website. Each element is made individually, each action has to be well thought out, each element has its pixel-perfect place…

It’s driving me crazy!

All of that being said, I do have a website that I’m currently working on fixing up (built, of course, from scratch). Please feel free to take a look and watch as it progressively gets better (or just falls to pieces…).

How do you feel about web development? Ever tried it? If you haven’t, ever think about how much goes into it?

Midterms

English: Kelmscott Press - The Nature of Gothi...

We're studying this sort of thing. Or we were; that was the first few weeks.

Oh man, I can’t believe that midterms are already right around the corner!

Because I go to an art school, midterms aren’t necessarily set dates for tests/papers. The only actual test I have is in my History of Graphic Design class, and it’s open note. I’m actually pretty unsure of my other classes, but I’m pretty sure for my Drawing 1 class we have a portfolio review. For Intro to Graphic Design, I’m pretty sure that the project we’re working on now is technically our midterm, though it’s really just an extended project. Luckily, my Breakthroughs in 20th Century class has no test and no midterm paper, although I think we have a final paper that’s a compilation of selected scholarly notes. And I don’t know about Media II.

On a tangent: my 20th century class is so difficult. The high school I came from was pretty challenging and intellectually stimulating, and so me saying that this class is pushing me is really saying it’s pushing me. I loved taking challenging literature and philosophy classes when I was in high school, but this is extreme. I’ve never felt quite so in-over-my-head, and surrounded by so many upperclassmen. I feel a little out of my league, to be honest, and it’s difficult to stay on top of things. It’s really fun though and I feel like I’m learning a lot and enriching myself intellectually. And I can sound impressive. Hopefully I remember at least some of it.

My drawing class is sort of my roller coaster class of this semester. It’s the class I only expect to pass and not excel at. I’ve enjoyed some of the projects and I feel like I’ve learned, but I don’t want to waste my stress and energy into a subject I know I won’t ever be completely happy with. My own drawing style isn’t in the style of a rendering drawing class, so I don’t want to change my style so much that it’s no longer me. If that makes sense. Maybe I’m just being lazy and making excuses.

My intro to  graphic design class is SO HARD. The work load is astounding, and I never feel like I have enough time. Everything is so technical but indescribably so, which makes it hard to adjust and improve. I think part of it is that I know that this is what I want to do with my life, and so it’s really hard for me to accept anything less than teacher-approved. It’s been a struggle and it’s made me doubt sometimes, but I think it’s getting a little better. I’m getting a sense for the level of work and attention I should put into it. And even though it makes me busy as hell, it feels like a productive busy where I learn a lot about what I’m going to need to know. It doesn’t feel like work where I won’t ever need it again: it feels like I’m building things I could put into my portfolio or I could learn from.

My Media II class has gotten a lot harder really fast, but it’s a fun place to be. It gives me the freedom to just sort of experiment and not worry as much about perfection because the teacher is more interested in our effort and our ambition. I’ve created things or helped to create things I never thought I’d make or do.

And I don’t have much to say about my history class – the teacher is nice, she has a sense of humor, but the class is brutal in the sense that it’s all lecture. It’s strange, but I’m used to discussion-based art history classes so I have trouble finding a point in showing up. But I do anyway. Our test is open-notes: we’re given 90 images to choose 15 from, 3 essay questions, and 30 short answers to take notes on (15 will be on the test). All of this can be put onto our computer and brought into the test…which is great, but feels strange. Like it’ll be graded 10x harder than a normal test. But I’m good at writing analytical commentaries, so hopefully it’ll go really well.

Anyway, that’s a little summary of my classes. I hope you enjoyed, and maybe it gave you a little insight on art school and what it REALLY is. Ooo, new hub, maybe?

Also, my Hubpages account is linked to Amazon ads and Google Adsense. So support your starving artist, and read my Hubs! I try to make my amazon products links relevant and helpful, so I encourage you to actually look into them if you find the content of the hub interesting.

Thanks!

A Much Needed Update

Avoid Alzheimer's Disease 2

Avoid Alzheimer's Disease 2 (Photo credit: AlzheimerHelp)

So I do have an excuse, albeit a pretty pathetic one.

I’ve been swamped this semester with school work and everything else in life. That’s not to say things haven’t been going great, but it’s more to say that they’ve been ever-moving. I was going to just let this blog die, but I don’t think I can do that to myself, or to my readers. Even though I haven’t posted in a month, cough cough.

So a lot has happened. We’re at midterms now and I have a lot of work, but I think it’ll all be okay. I’ll jus have to be constantly busy for the next week. But then things should wind down and then breaktime! I’ll be able to write a lot during that time.

I’ve made a few new friends during my blogging hiatus, which has felt pretty nice. College friends are so different than high school ones, and it’s a fascinating discrepancy. It’s made me more outgoing and more comfortable with myself.

Work wise, I lost my two jobs from last semester (as I might have mentioned, I don’t remember). That meant this semester meant scrambling around looking for jobs, and I actually got a lot of responses and three official offers, which astounded me. I get to build a website and code it for one client, which I’m anxious to start. It’ll be a learning experience and my client is willing to learn with me. I was also offered a job as a personal assistant for a handbag designer whose headquarters are based in LA. This was exciting to me because their products have been featured in international/national magazines and on celebrities. I had accepted the job and was going to start shortly after I had talked with the woman on the phone, but the next day I got another offer at a company that I’d talked to earlier. Apparently people have heard about them, and they’re going to teach me design techniques for web/mobile design, sales, etc. They work with a lot of local venues and DJ’s, artists, etc, so hopefully it’ll move me towards what I want to do after college.

Anyway, enough about me for now. I hope you enjoyed that brief update, I’ll try my hardest to update more frequently. In the meantime, check out my Hubpages Hubs, they’re updated more frequently!

Criminal Minds

So I just received my Valentine’s Day care package from my parents (yes, I’m that kind of daughter) and it came with lots of goodies! Food, of course, is a major plus that I’m looking forward to eating. I miss soda though. I kind of want some right now but I don’t have any :<

I also got a LOT of movies, and I’m excited about that. They were all on sale. Here’s the list:

Stick It
Dinner for Schmucks 
The Social Network 
Garden State
The Hangover
Pirates of the Caribbean 
Black Swan
 

Random, I know. But I enjoy all of these movies and I’m excited to have even more to add to my collection!

On another note, I’m watching Criminal Minds right now. It’s so amazing and disturbing and fascinating. I really like the characters and I really like the story lines. Compelling and interesting. Serious, though. Hard to watch at night.

Anyway. I’m very grateful for my parents and what they’re able to give me and what they’ve sent me. They’re coming to visit next week and I’m excited to see them! A nice dinner, groceries, a car, haha.

This was just a quick little update for all of you guys. Do you like any of those movies?

So guys, last night I couldn’t go to sleep because I was just bursting with ideas. This has never happened to me before in the way that it did at 3 in the morning. Eventually, I did something about it. Now keep in mind what time it was. My main goal was to get my ideas out, so I ended up just chugging the images out one by one. It was great, and fun. And at least my idea is out there, so I can refine it while awake.

So here’s the assignment: make 8 pieces that use text/image with photo. You’ll know what I mean when you look down the page. My first critique was essentially that I had weak concepts, so now I’m trying to strengthen it through a theme. My revelation last night was to base my series off of old nursery rhymes. It started with what my teacher said was my strongest piece for Black Sheep. So here are the 7 I did last night. Of course I still have to revise because most of them are pretty shitty, ahah. But the idea is out there, and that’s what the goal was!

See if you can’t figure out what goes with what (hint, it should be reaaaally easy!):

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Three Blind Mice
The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush 
Sing a Song of Sixpence 
This is the House That Jack Built

 

Philosophy is Nothing To Scoff At…

sigmund freud

Good lord, people, it really is nothing to scoff at. I mean I don’t devalue anyone who doesn’t have a taste for it, but God you have to at least respect some of the minds that contributed to its development. So why am I going on about this? Mostly because of the fact that the class I’m taking has actually -given- me headaches from thinking about the content. Not to say that I didn’t think hard about the things I read and tackled in high school, but this was a whole new level of mental effort. Freud wasn’t too bad; I’ve read things at a slightly higher level. After having read 19th century novels senior year, reading 20th century texts was a lot easier, syntactically. Anyway. The first thing we read was Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle, which was incredibly fascinating and, all things considered, an enjoyable read. I had to write a 1-2 page paper called a scholarly note, and I just got the resulting comments back today. I got a good solid grade on it, which I’m happy about, and I now know how specific to be/how much to cite the text in my paper. Which helps me a lot in terms of figuring out what the teacher is looking for.

The next exert wasn’t quite as easy. Heidegger‘s Being and Time introduction is something that I would be fine with never reading again…it’s SO CONFUSING. Everything feels circular, and everything feels so completely abstract and beyond any normal comprehensibility. I still don’t entirely understand it, and I know that my paper suffered from this fact. But it’s all a learning experience, and I really feel like I’m going to improve and be the better for it.

So guys, next time you start shunning philosophy, why don’t you try reading about Being and being and phenomenology D:

I Took a Break, But Learned A Lot

education

It's for real, yo.

Hey guys, so I’m sorry about not posting. I feel like a broken record… >< Anyway. I’ve been absent because I’ve been on a really really weird sleep schedule. And, I’ve been watching a lot of documentary movies lately. So I’m going to give you a review on 3 of them now.

Brother’s Keeper: This movie is about the death and speculated murder of one of four of the Ward brothers. The accused is one of these said brothers, whose innocence is the main subject of this film. While initially he signed a confession, he recants it and goes to trial pleading innocent, by reason of confusion and manipulation. It’s an incredibly eye-opening and intriguing movie about the difference between urban and rural peoples. The remaining three brothers live in destitute conditions, and are all relatively illiterate and uneducated. The accused claims that he was confused and manipulated by statements he didn’t understand into making a confession. His small town agrees with him in what appears to be an interesting social phenomenon. This is interesting because the Wards were considered outcasts who were never given a second glance, and yet they made friend of the whole town as a result of the circumstances surrounding their brother’s death. The movie, in whole, displays a fascinating dynamic between the mentalities of a small-town group of people vs. the big-town lawyers and political powers. By the end, the interest focuses less on the actual story and more on the growing community and the look into a truly rural lifestyle.

Two Weeks in Hell: This movie is drastically different. I’ve been on a special ops military kick recently, haha. Anyway. This movie is a documentary about the 2-week “interview” process in becoming eligible to train as a green beret. The movie is divided into two parts, in which the crew follows students in this grueling process from day one to the final test. I think what was most fascinating was how mentally and physically taxing this two weeks was on the young men who tried out. It’s beyond comprehension; it’s all about bringing them to their breaking point and watching how they handle it. While it’s a horrible thing to watch, it makes sense. Being a part of the Green Berets is a taxing and intense job, and being babied through training wouldn’t make sense. It would actually be worse. And the movie makes such a good point of this. And it helps to know that the instructors were once in the same shoes and have been in the field, and so what appears inhuman is really from real-world experiences.

Declining by Degrees: Wow, this movie. Just wow. It’s basically an examination on the quality of higher education and the reasons behind its shortcomings or accomplishments. It talks with teachers and students from state and private universities about teaching and the college experience. It’s really depressing to see the lack of effort that’s passable in large universities, and it’s even more depressing to see students with so much potential forced to go to lower-level schools because of financial shortcomings. There are students graduating that have worked their ass off, and students that are graduating that have coasted by. It makes me feel so lucky that I’m able to go to a school like MCAD and have the luxury of a private education. It also makes me incredibly thankful for my high school education and how over-prepared I felt after leaving and how I feel now.

I recommend all of these movies. I hope you enjoyed my reviews, there probably will be more to come. I have a lot of tabs with documentaries open, yay! Haha.

New Theme!

Portrait of Sigmund Freud

Hey, so it’s been a pretty dull few days, but I changed my theme up just a bit. Hope you like it!

Also, on another subject, my classes have been going well. Here’s a quick update on all of them, day by day!
Drawing 1 (Monday, 1-6): This will probably by far be my worst class, but maybe it’ll get better once I get used to it all. Basically it’s a bunch of still life drawings, which is boring anyway for me, but oh well. I’ll learn a lot, I know. The first project is due Monday and it’s going to be very difficult to finish…or at least push myself to, haha! Anyway. The teacher is decent and there are people in the class that I know, which is good. Hey, maybe I’ll even improve!

Creative Breakthroughs in 20th Century Thought (Monday, 6:30-9): Well it’s unfortunate that I have this class after standing for five hours…but I think I’m going to really enjoy it. The first seven weeks are on existential thinking and confronting ones’ existence…which is pretty intense. And a paper every week…so by next Monday I need to read some Freud and write a 1-2 page paper, but I really think I can do it. It’ll be exciting…an enriching academic class, I hope.

Media 2 (Tuesday, 1-6): This class is soo fun! I enjoy the classroom atmosphere and the teacher is great. The conceptual level is so much higher than that of last year, and it’s refreshingly challenging in a totally different way than before. Our first project went pretty well, and the next level of the assignment is to make a book. I haven’t started…and I know I should have…but anyway. I’m excited about it nonetheless.

Intro to Graphic Design (Wednesday, 1-6): This class most certainly is challenging.   The teacher explains things…a little weirdly, so it’s hard to adjust to his line of thinking. I think it’ll just take some getting used to. Or I hope, at least. I didn’t do my first project quite right, but we have a chance to fix and edit it, so I was working on that for a few hours tonight. Although I realize that I probably should have been doing other more pressing homework. Or chores or something. But naaah. It’s still early, I might do some other homework yet.

History of Graphic Design (Friday, 9:30-12): My only early class, isn’t that awesome?! Anyway, I really like the teacher, and the class sounds really fun. The first day, we talked about the progression of writing throughout the ages, beginning with cuneiform and ending in modern written dialects. She talks pretty fast, but it’s a fun class. I really enjoy it, and I like art history classes anyway.

So that was my week, and I have a WHOLE lot of work to do! I think I’ll be okay though. I’m trying to not procrastinate, but it’s going to take some time. I have to buck up enough to start before the day it’s due, ahah. Wish me luck!

I hope that everyone else’s semester is going alright, whether you’re a teacher or a student or something else! And if you’re not in school, then I hope winter isn’t too chilly for you. Happy living!

Lots of firsts! Anyway, I’m really proud of this, actually. I still have a lot of work to do on it, but it’s not due until next week so I’m going to let it sit and then make some edits later on it. I have a lot of empty space, I know, but I’m just going to take a break from it.

Anyway. The assignment was to make a portrait of someone using type. Ideally, this person was supposed to be recognizable in comparison to the source image. The importance rested in the concept of the design – that is, choosing a person in which rendering them in type would make conceptual sense. So I chose to do Charles Dickens in mostly script fonts, with a few serif fonts scattered around.

I hope you like my “first draft”!