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Showing posts from 2011

Round - Illustration Friday

For my second entry on Illustration Friday, I continued exploring words, in this case a literal musical narrative of a round. I am still playing with adding writing to collages, I want to hop into InDesign so badly and type this text on a spiral! But that would defeat my attempt at exploring and expanding, so this felt like a good exercise for me in practicing a collage/writing technique.



My Creative Muse Out of the Box

Most people have a passion in life, something that they react to or interact with exuberantly. Some may call it their calling, others their gift. My passion is creativity. It is my favorite activity or topic, and I find it in most parts of life. So, when this year's "Out of the Box" call for artists went out (a benefit for the Akron Area Arts Alliance,) I wanted my piece to be about my creative passion. Creativity for me is something that definitely cannot be boxed in, and because it is all around, my creative muse would definitely be bursting "out of the box." Many visual artists go through phases in their careers as new inspirations or techniques are experienced and learned. The majority of my career has been as a graphic designer exploring and working in the fields of print and web design. In my daily work, creativity is what drives me, however process management and technical production often replace hands-on creativity. My goal to be working on a creative …

Apple - the spirit of Design

As a person who's intrigued by the "Occupy" protests, I was surprised by how much the passing of Steve Jobs saddened me. Why don't I lump Apple into one of those corporations extracting too much from the public and giving little back?As a graphic artist and fine art enthusiast, Apple embodies the spirit of design in every aspect of its products and promotions. Beautiful lines, simplistic design and functionality, and above all white space! The shell of every Apple product is a designer's dream. But not simply judging a book by its cover; every product also functions with such ease, the way a design tool should. I work on PC's, as I tell people "begrudgingly." Working on a Mac prior to every touching a PC, leads to many frustrations for me. Quick keys that are all but non existent on a PC, poor ability to properly name files, and functions that assume what you intend to do, only to be wrong. These errors in PC judgement cause the operator to go back …

Working Through

Creativity and Inspiration in Good Times and Bad

During a recent afternoon drive radio show; the hosts discussed their most annoying phrases possibly inspired by a past list presented by Oxford University. Trendy phrases such as "At the end of the day," "It's not rocket science," and "F.Y.I." were all considered overused and without meaning by the hosts and call in guests alike. As a fan of creativity and innovation I have also cringed at hearing these sayings plagiarized and repeated sometimes in place of original thought.A few other phrases came up that bother me in a deeper sense: "It is what it is" and "All things happen for a reason." To me these sayings touch on a lack of faith and creativity, and their overuse by a large segment of society is simply a sad statement of our times.Whether you believe in a higher power or simply in the good will of mankind, do you really want to believe that all of nature and man made decisions a…

Creative Innovation

Bringing Out the Best Practical Applications for Creativity

I constantly preach how creativity is important to innovation and I stress the importance of seeing life through someone else's eyes. Never has that been more obvious to me than after accidentally breaking my wrist.
I've wondered how do people with arthritis button pants or put on a watch? Simple things have become more challenging, and in the process of performing life's functions I've thought this may be how inventors of gadgets and medical devices come up with their ideas? Did the person that invented a button aid face the same situation as the arthritic person trying to be independent?
While phone apps are trendy and convenient has the creative energy that went into their development improved anyone's life, or rather filled a marketing program? Truly innovative ideas come out when a company or individual is inspired to improve the human existence. What company has contributed to society more, the softwar…

Reading a Picture

The importance of photojournalism to art, history and society.Narrative art is often overlooked. Commonly found in photographs, artists throughout history in all mediums have told a story by capturing subtle nuances of a moment in time. Norman Rockwell images, especially the painting The Problem We All Live With, is an excellent example of a picture that tells a story. Painted in 1963 it tells a story of the Civil Rights movement by the postures, emotion and details of the painting which help to give clues to what was happening in the instance that image was recorded. What a great way to teach about history, sociology or basic understanding and appreciation for what shapes the people around us.Dorthea Lange'sMigrant Mother, Alfred Eisenstaedt's V-J Day in Times Square and Eddie Adam'sNguyễn Ngọc are all familiar images that tell a story of a moment in time. I think the Situation Room photo by the White House Photographer will become a famous image for that same story telli…

Finding Creativity in Shades of Gray

We are in what seems to me a very gray period. No I don't mean the Northeast Ohio weather. I feel right now in society throughout the world we are seeing that the world is not black and white, rather shades of gray.It seems for some gray is very disturbing and they are struggling to put things back into the black and white categories they feel they belong. The bickering in several states over union versus non-union a conflict between the way things "used to be" and a new way to operate. The turmoil in Middle Eastern countries where technology has created a voice for those that have embraced it versus those wanting things to stay as they've historically been. In the entertainment world we're witnessing a split between reality TV and creative programming, forcing many to seek out entertainment on their own terms through online programming not found on network or cable.For many creatives, gray is beautiful. A black and white photo is not truly only black and white, …

Hearts and Thoughts

It's the week following Valentine’s Day. Maybe at this point, you are sick of anything red and heart shaped after being inundated with Valentine messages and imagery since the New Year. Maybe you love anything heart shaped, wearing it as jewelry and decorating your room or home with hearts from country to contemporary. We use heart icons in so many ways. In a greeting card we can find kitschy expressions of adoration. In fine art paintings we find the symbol used as an expression of deep love or as in a Frida Kahlo painting, deep pain. It even has worked its way into our language to replace words like in the famous “ I heart New York” slogan. But all these references point back to a way to visually express an emotion that is not easily depicted without an icon to represent them.My research into iconography would not be complete without exploring the origin of the heart shape. How did this symmetrical symbol that only vaguely resembles the actual organ become a universal icon? An i…

Above the fold

Challenger Explodes in FlamesThe Post Standard (Syracuse, New York)Terror Hits Home (pdf) Houston ChroniclePontiff is at Peace (pdf) Daily Herald (Suburban Chicago)Saints Go Marching In (pdf) Akron Beacon JournalAll of the previous newspaper headlines were found above the fold (see the wikipedia definition,) a term still relevant today in web design. For a web designer planning a site, important information is put in an area of prominence, or above the fold. Many sites are designed so that all the information falls within the visible screen area, not needing to be scrolled to view. Well of course there is the concept of fluid grids, implemented when screen sizes began to rapidly change and even shrunk to mobile phone size. As a visual based designer who's coding experience is mostly front end and who has little love of "whiz bang" special effects on a site, I don't care much for reposition-able sites...but I digress.
For a designer visiting a site, nothing is more dis…

Happy 2011!

Hopefully everyone has enjoyed the holiday season thus far. The holidays can be a time filled with opportunities for creativity and a time we could all use to celebrate peace and understanding, no matter what our individual beliefs! I’ve been disappointed when I noticed on New Years Day that many decorations were gone. Some who hurriedly put up decorations after Thanksgiving, have now rushed to turn off or take down their Christmas and Holiday decorations, even though many of us are still celebrating the Christmas season. I guess the unity of the Christmas spirit fades fast for some. I find it sad, especially for those of the Orthodox faith who will be celebrating Christmas in January, because the spirit of Holiday songs on the radio and public and retail areas filled with festive decorations are removed before they even get a chance to celebrate their holiday.All thoughts have now turned to resolutions and the New Year, fueled by retail and marketing promotions for organizing your ho…