Monday, March 31, 2014

Loverly Infographics

This chart caught my attention, first because of the content, but mainly because of the category division that comes through in the color changes of the background with the different greens. The images are simple enough to where they compliment, rather than distract. Also, hierarchy comes into play with the large, bolded white numbers and percentages, which is where the bulk of the information lies in the smaller text underneath each number.

This infograph has a very plain and simple feel to it; the number and image principle that was applied to the one above applies here as well. I really wasn't drawn to it in the context of scrolling on the internet, but i could definitely see it in a magazine like Time or National Geographic or something. The black text against the different grey shades stands out, which is good because that is where the bulk of the info lies. The image of the kids acts as a summary for the information that stands by it. 

This one is particularly interesting to me because of the smooth gradient it uses and the way that the states are organized by the color, rather than alphabetically. The smoothness is just simply attractive. When you look closer, you see that weight is represented by not only a human profile but a number percentage, and then your eye moves to the 4 smaller information blocks, all encompassed within the same larger box. The key is easy to read and the summary is not too much text to overwhelm upon first glance. 

This one is nice because of the lines that carry through each information block; there is a narrative feel to this one, where everything relates. Again, the hierarchy idea applies with the large key words like 'oil' and 'three trillion dollars' that grab one's attention; the colors are great, using the complimentary scheme. What I don't like about it is how busy it is. As opposed to having too much text that overwhelms the viewer, there are too many pictures, to me. 

This might be my favorite one, not because of subject matter, but the layout is fantastic. I've always had a thing for topographic maps, and this one is like the best of both infograph and map worlds. As soon as one sees the word 'population' and the spikes of the graph, we immediately know what the map is telling us. We don't need to follow any lines or gather many percentages and facts; the message is there simply for our eyes to view, not necessarily read. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Photoshop Phriends - 5 Artists Proficient with Photoshop

An artist who focuses primarily on the human figure, Seveso uses the tools of Photoshop to manipulate the shape of the body and the spaces around it. He often uses many atmospheric aura-type masses in an around heads, such as the image below, but also uses geometric patterning and hard edges to give people more of a robotic feel. Some of his other works use photographs of colored ink underwater which he also manipulates in PS. 
The image below is the first of his work and immediately drew me in because of the galactic feel of the mass coming from her head. If I am not mistaken, the mass is pulled from one of his ink photographs. While this woman is apparently more calm, many of his figures are full of energy, tension, and emotion, which is also something that is interesting to me. I like the idea of manipulating the person and relating them to the universe or other divine elements, which is why the photo drew me immediately. 

Huet's work may just be the turning point for me in terms of enjoying digital art. I have always respected and enjoyed viewing it, but as far as application goes and doing it myself, I never was particularly drawn to it.
Huet's work can be so surreal without losing the sense of reality or believability, sometimes. Other times, Huet completely manipulates the human or animal figure and creates scenes and scenarios that are engaging and strange. I enjoy most when he keeps the human figure normal but brings in other elements to the show, like enlarging other characters or props and playing with scale and color. Some ideas that are presented are very relatable and effective, such as the office scene to the right; we get a sense of chaos and confusion and stress, much of which is felt in the viewer I would really like to peek at his sketchbooks to find references, influences, and to learn about his way of thinking. 

Andrew (Andy) Jones deals with highly conceptual and psychedelic art. I found one of my favorite photos (see below) of all time, just in general, and had no idea it was his! This work, as well as Huet's work, really are inspiring to me because of their nature in separate ways. Jones's work focuses more on atmospheric energy, movement, and extremely vibrant colors with varied levels of saturation and layers. It is almost like his work is a combination of Seveso and Huet, using the human figure as a base but incorporating surreal elements. Most of his work includes people, some animals, and a lot is just atmospheric space. The metaphysical aspect that is evident in some of his work is what really turns my crank. He has a visionary style that I absolutely adore and would like to try to put into my sculpture work and paintings. I would like to know where he references and pulls from for his ideas. 

Another artist whose work is influenced by and incorporates psychedelic art, McNeir's work focuses on fractal imagery, ratios, mathematics, relationships, and energy. Her style is very similar to that of Jones, but uses less of the human figure in her work and relies more on the geometry of patterns and shapes and tends to draw connections between each, much like connecting the dots. This work is most impactful to me in that since I started the Geometry in the Arts course, I have yearned to include this kind of patterning and referencing in my ceramic and painting work. I am also in a very serious relationship and really enjoy, understand, and appreciate work that pertains to love. McNeir is one of my favorites. 

This work is much different from the work of the other four artists listed here. Rather than having playful concepts that come through or colors and patterns that take the eye around, Ryswyk's work focuses more on individual figures in a black and white picture frame who sport scary mutations, growths, contortions, and intense glares. The photos give off an historic feeling, like aged photos from an old science experiment gone wrong. These captured my attention because of their unique nature and historic feel. I am not necessarily attracted to them, but I do enjoy them because they get my thinking and get me to look at something that I would not normally observe. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Project 3 - Penguin F-150 (p3a, p3b)

Our third project in digital foundations was to create a character with a certain expression or movement out of paper, or papercraft. We were to pay attention to clothing, patterns, textures, and accessories for our character, as well as bodily movements and considering interchangeable parts. My papercraft character is a penguin sliding on his belly. I used the rectangle tool, clipping masks, guides, and anchor points primarily to achieve the form layout that I wanted. I was originally going to round the figure more-so than I did with the final product with more folds and tabs, but ended up losing myself in the construction, so I dumbed it down a bit and made it more geometric. To make the penguin slide, I attached him to a small model Ford F-150, sort of like a Hotwheels knockoff product. As far as the color scheme goes, I chose to keep it realistic to an actual penguin, using only white, black, grey, and orange, and yellow for his body (the red truck is irrelevant).
If one were to build the penguin from the template, one would consider following these directions:
1. Construct the 4-sided body that contains three sections (12 sides total); each tab connects to the adjacent side.
2. Construct the 6-sided head and attach it to the body
3. Construct each 6-sided foot and attach to each side of body at where the longer body segments are, snug to the line where black and white meet. Orientation is not necessarily important.
4. Cut a hole into the white portion of the middle segment of the body with half of the hole on each side of the crease, proportionate to the dimensions of your vehicle to which you plan to attach the penguin.
Notes. Rubber cement or tape are fine to use; tape is recommended for stability. You may need to trim your body for wheel drums depending on placement of the character on the car and location of the wheels.
5. Roll the penguin, have fun, life free, die young.
Originally, I was going to have a hill and glacier setting for the penguin to dwell in, but problems with my medium prevented me from doing so. I am very happy with the texture that I produced on the wings, but in the process of doing so and moving between computers, many of my organized layers were lost, causing the Illustrator file to be more confusing. I am happy with my penguin, however, and plan to build a set for him later on.

Project 1 - Self Portrait (p1)

The first project that we were assigned this semester was a self portrait made of only squares that were created by using the rectangle tool. Most people, I noticed during critique, composed their images of thousands of tiny little squares that conveyed value and form. I, however, chose to use much bigger blocks of color in a more "painterly" fashion, as my peers put it. Rather than taking my reference photo opacity to half, I left it full blast and eyedropped the colors from the picture into my blocks. Some of the rectangles were manipulated into stranger shapes, like trapezoids, because the assignment parameters stated only to use the rectangle tool; I saw no indication of foul play in using anchor points to manipulate rectangles. As I said, I kept the colors true to the photograph, but since the colors of a small area oftentimes were placed into bigger blocks covering more area, the final product almost looks like a mosaic. It is not necessarily inaccurate, but readability is somewhat lost when viewed up close. The background, in all honesty, was taken into very little consideration. I chose vibrant colors to reflect the playful mood expressed on my face and in my hand gesture, but I realize now that I should have played more with the background shapes and downed the opacity. I might have considered the smaller square technique had I known most of my peers were taking that route. However, I embrace the fact that mine was different from most everyone else's and I am fairly pleased with the result of my first official bout with Adobe Illustrator.