About admin

I am an artist interested in many different media. I have created this blog to post my current projects and interests.

Photoshop painting

It’s hard to know how to even get started with software as powerful as Photoshop, but I’m determined to learn how to paint with it. I’ve been working in Illustrator so much that I’m having trouble remembering Photoshop again. It’s time to refresh my memory.

Here is a drawing I did (digitally) in October. I just added a new layer of color to it. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m having fun as I go.

 

Personal Design Project: Business Card Redesign

A goal of mine is to be more conscious of the design I see around me, to study the choices made and to decide if and how I would do it differently. Here is a business card I was given:

And here is my one-hour redesign:

I couldn’t find the same image they had used, but I tried to keep to the same theme with what I found in the public domain. I can’t decide if I like the border or not. Perhaps not. It’s funny how different it looks here on my blog interface compared to in Illustrator. If I were going to have these printed, I would definitely do several iterations and test prints first.

Ups and Downs

Two months since I last posted! This does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. How does one finally face a task that has been put off for so long that it becomes something to avoid altogether?

I question whether “task” is the right word for posting to this blog. Sadly, it has become a task, because honestly, I see no benefit to doing it —except for occasionally looking through my past projects and having that moment of —hey, I did accomplish a few things!

What I would love for this blog to be is a place where I am communicating with someone (or several someones) and that a dialogue begins; where I can hopefully inspire or motivate someone out there, and where perhaps knowing that someone put a tiny bit of effort and time into looking at this will give me a little extra motivation for posting more.

But for now, I will just keep plugging on —sharing this with the vastness of outer space and hoping to hear signs of life from beyond!

At work, I am often given the task of creating some page headers for online courses. After a while, they mostly all look the same —a pretty picture and the title of the course. This time around, I’ve been trying to push it to be a little more interesting and creative. Also, I’m studying to take the ACA test for Adobe Illustrator. ACA=Adobe Certified Associate. It’s a goal to work towards —and I’m learning a lot of little tricks I didn’t realize were there in Illustrator. Yay!

Somewhat typical:

Typical Course Header

Experimenting with clipping masks:

Slightly less typical header

Experimenting with opacity masks:

Less typical course header

My favorite, made in Photoshop:

The header I like best

Notice the inconsistency of the I vs 1? Yeah, I don’t know which one they want. It bugs me, too!

Hours of writing

Okay, “hours” might be an exaggeration, but seriously. Have you ever written and re-written something, trying to make it look really good, but definitely hand-written? I thought I’d throw together a little quote poster. I saw one in a book I was given recently: Fifty Years of Illustration by Lawrence Zeegen and Caroline Roberts. It was by artist/illustrator Robert Massin. It intrigued me. (I started searching for it online so I could share, but it’s not coming up immediately and I don’t have the time to keep looking right now.) Anyway, I wrote the text over and over and over and was never satisfied. In fact, I gave up and then tried again days later, er… today that would be. So finally, in frustration, I just wrote and scribbled and wrote and scribbled. Not sure if it’s a look I’ll go for in the future, but it certainly is a breath of fresh air after what I’d been aiming for.

Thoughts about What Should Be vs What Is

Two things: writing like you think writing is supposed to be and creating artwork like you think it’s supposed to look. It is very hard to catch yourself being inauthentic, because really, where is the line between trying to make it good and making it in your own way? I suppose some people call this your voice or, in the case of visuals, your style. That is a very complicated thing, isn’t it? Because when we share what really sounds like us, or what really comes from us visually, it is imperfect, just like we are. Who wants to show how imperfect they are? And yet, I’m just beginning to see that those imperfections are what makes it interesting and unique and here we are struggling and struggling to make things perfect before we share our work with others.

I don’t have an answer as to when to share. I mean, there is that quote —who said it?— about a painting never actually being finished, but just stopping in interesting places. I’m beginning to understand this.

Now design —that’s a different thing. Or is it?

 

Just Do, Don’t Think.

I cleaned up my drawing table and have a stack of cut-up Panera boxes from a work lunch a while back. (I hate the amount of garbage and waste one lunch can produce.) I’ve decided to assign some parameter or limit to what I’ll create on them. The parameter is there has to be a man and a woman. That’s all. Not having some parameter before is why this stack of blank cardboard has been sitting here so long.

So, make and move on. And don’t think.

This is called “Women Point the Way to the Future.” (Funny how sometimes it’s very clear what the title is. This title was just there in my head when I finished. Most of my pieces have no titles unless I force one onto them.)

Shirt Stamping Method

Since I’ve only ever posted pictures of my finished stamped shirts, I thought perhaps this time I’d get a few photos as I worked on the latest one. The process is simple: sketch out and then carve the stamp, roll out some fabric ink, and have at it. Well, okay, on this project I also made a makeshift paper stencil for the shirt.