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Senior Show Extravaganza!

April 13, 2009

So it’s finally here. Show Two of the Senior Thesis Exhibit opens tomorrow. I am both excited and exhausted! I can’t believe how much effort everyone has put into their work, but it definitely shows. Most (read: ALL) of my exhibit had to be executed during installation so it has been a busy weekend. I am thrilled at how it is turning out however and I am super excited to see how everyone else reacts to it. Below is a picture of my installation and my artist statement. Enjoy!

 

Over the past four years I have been in the process of discovering where I fit in the design world, where design fits in the art world, and where the art world fits into existence, if at all.

As a child I was always drawn to art as a form of communication. I immediately connected with it as a way to represent an idea, an experience, a concept, a feeling, a thought. This has stayed with me and come to form my perspective about art today. I believe it deserves to be more than something to look at.

I have most recently been infatuated by simply experiencing things and conceptualizing how the ephemeral fits into those experiences. The nature of the ephemeral is what makes it beautiful. The impermanence creates a precious quality. Knowing that this exactness will only be in existence one time, I connect to its mortality.

This project has been a way for me to translate this larger concept into a specific form. For me the idea of value has always been an ephemeral notion. What or who determines value? Why and how does it change? Things are classified as valuable, held in regard, then deemed invaluable and are eventually discarded.

I decided to explore all of these thoughts by examining my personal consumption and spending. I saved every receipt from every purchase for six months. As these receipts grew they became a form in and of themselves. Each one a collection from a moment in time. Some of them representing responsibility and necessity, others desire and gratification, and all of them representing parts of one greater whole.

The immediate consumption or acquirement is eventually replaced by uninterest and discarded, expressed by the floating and eventual falling of the balloons. By creating an experience instead of an object, this project has been able to more accurately represent the relationships between all of these ideas. It is ever-changing and impermanent, eventually transforming itself out of existence.

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Work…and golf…kind of

April 6, 2009

I love the company I work for because they care about their employees and are always looking for ways to improve morale and reward hard work. We have several events throughout the year for employees and their families. One of these events is the annual golf invitational. This is a fun event where everyone from work can relax and truly enjoy eachother’s company while participating in a little friendly competition. Most of the employees look forward to it each spring and this year is no different.

One of the best parts about the tournament is that every year the designers are charged with the task of developing artwork for the t-shirts. This year I was able to design all of the art and was very excited to do so. For the past few years we had a look that everyone really seemed to like and it was requested that we keep it this year as well. With a few suggestions/requests from everyone I got to work. Keeping the same look, I came up with a color palette based on the color choices they suggested. I then went on to design a “logo” for the front of the shirt as well as any other collateral that may be printed on hats, banners, etc. After completing the front design, I translated the artwork into a larger format for the back. I kept with the same design and worked with it to develop a larger design and to include the date of the tournament. Below is the front and the back of the shirt which everyone was very pleased with.

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Business Cards

March 31, 2009

Last year I developed a whole self-branding package of collateral. It turned out nice and was even accepted to be in the Sequoia Review, which is an annual publication of art and prose at UTC and I felt very honored to be included. After  having a year to really think about what I want to do when I leave school and also about how I feel like I can represent my design aesthetics, I decided to redo my branding. I spent several (read: MANY) hours brainstorming and sketching, to no avail. It is so much more difficult to try and represent myself to a total stranger on a 2 x 3.5″ space, although that is one of the challenges I love most about design. I scrapped the whole idea of a “logo” and instead just started to piece together different things that I liked. I worked on a color palette first. I wanted something pretty neutral, as I love working in earth tones and understated shades. Next I played with some type treatments. I’m not fond of flashy new typefaces, and instead decided to play around with some classics and see how they fit together. After MUCH experimentation with dozens of sans serifs and dozens of serifs I came up with a combination that fit well with me. Then I went on to develop graphics that weren’t too overwhelming, but that I was drawn to. After all of this experimentation and refining I ended up with the design below. I am very happy with it and can’t wait to see what it looks like printed!

 

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Graduation

March 24, 2009

So I believe it is finally starting to sink in that I will be a college graduate in a few months. Seeing as how there was a point in time I never thought this day would come, it is both nerve-wrecking and exciting. Although it has been 7 years since I graduated high school (yes, I said 7) it doesn’t feel that long most days (some days it feels like eternity). I think that is because my whole attitude toward school shifted when I started at UTC and changed majors.

I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school but I ended up at UGA (mostly because of the music scene – I won’t lie). I changed majors each of the three semesters I attended there and could never quite find something that seemed to fit. By the time I had moved to Chattanooga and transfered I had no idea what I wanted to do and had somehow found myself in limbo between art and education. I had always enjoyed art as a kid but I never really had any formal training, nor did I take any art in high school (with the exception of the one class I had to take to graduate). I was very nervous about my talent and thought I wouldn’t be able to make it, but I reluctantly took on the role of “art student” knowing it was probably the only thing I could do for the rest of my life and truly enjoy it.

Turns out it was one of the best decisions I had ever made. I didn’t care that I was basically going to have to start over and have another 4.5 years to go. I loved it. I excelled far more that I thought and I love the program at UTC and all of the wonderful professors who are passionate about art and dedicated to their students. I have a new found love for all things art and design and just plain creative. I am extremely excited to have to opportunity I have had to grow and flourish in such a caring, fostering environment. Although it is still a bit scary I feel more that prepared to step out on my own come May. 

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Twitter…Yay!!

March 15, 2009

So with school becoming quite overwhelming this semester, not to mention the whole idea of being out of school (finally) and into the “real world,” I have been in somewhat of a technology protest lately. I was getting fed up and bombarded with all things online and felt like I had totally forgotten about my life away from the computer. I rebelled against Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Basecamp, and yes…blogging. This persisted for a while until I started to realize how more connected I felt when I was “plugged in.” I still had all of my relationships with people offline yet somehow I felt I was missing something not being a part of their online life as well.

Enter Twitter.

I had signed up for Twitter about a year ago and immediately didn’t understand it and just let my account sit there until recently. I finally picked it up again after several of my friends and classmates had joined and once I started following people I realize what a wonderful creation this was! I can connect with people in my town with whom I’ve never met, yet we share similar interests and I am able to be MUCH more informed about the things happening in my city. I feel like an active citizen now! I know what’s going on when and where and I can share things with others as well. Overall it has revitalized my acceptance for the online world and helped me to realize that I don’t have to disconnect with my offline life in order to keep up and online life.

 

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Senior Show Finale!

March 3, 2009

Group projects are both rewarding and challenging. This one proved to be no different. Within our group we were able to help each other, communicate, and critique our ideas to end up with a successful design that translated beautifully into each of the deliverables. A lot of the work was divided with everyone pitching in where they could. In the early stages I was not as involved in the creative process due to some family issues I had to attend to. Alyssa, Jessi, and Blake all came up with some great ideas and creative directions to try out. Eventually Alyssa’s design became the foundation for our final work. I worked with everyone to refine the colors which seemed to be one of the main issues, and eventually we found a color palette that worked well with the design. We chose a cool palette and a warm palette to differentiate the two show posters. While trying to brainstorm ideas for a guerilla marketing idea, Blake mentioned using post-its to mimic the color blocks in the design. I got to work cutting a stencil and Blake spray painted a whole board of post-its giving us a beautiful handmade idea that was both negligible in cost, and effortless to maintain. The idea is interactive in nature, so everyone can take them and move them around as they please, giving the show more exposure. After all of the deliverables were made, I jumped into creating a keynote presentation to get the rest of the class on board with our idea. I started out with the design itself, carefully explaining each creative choice that was made, and our reasoning behind it. I then went on to explain how each of the deliverables fit into the idea behind the design. Everyone pitched in on the presentation, and overall it was a success. Even though our idea didn’t get picked in the end (although it came in a close second), the stickies were a huge success and will be implemented in the final marketing! Overall it was a good experience where everyone contributed where they could, and it showed in the final presentation.
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Senior Show Cards

February 24, 2009

So the senior designers have been given the task of creating the promotional materials for the senior show. We have to make two posters, one for each show,  a mailer that will include both shows, a press release, some kind of mass email, some kind of guerilla/viral marketing idea, and a keynote presentation. Our class has been divided up into groups and our group of four has been working on concepts and execution. So far Alyssa and Jessi has come up with different variations on a similar concept. I really liked the way it was looking, but was wanting to change the visual graphics some how, because I am not a huge fan of gradients. So in wanting to keep the broken up look of the original graphics, I took a bright photo and scaled it up into giant pixels. This created the look I was going for and it easily allows for variation with different color compositions for the different pieces. Since the design of itself is simple and clean with lots of white space, the colors can be as different as we want without disconnecting with the rest of the pieces, but still allowing them to differentiate from one another. There are still some kinks to work out and some more type setting to be done, but I am really happy with where we are at right now. It is clean, well-structured, fun and engaging. Tomorrow we will find out if the rest of the senior class thinks so as well!show 1show 2