Saturday, November 17, 2012

the dichotomy of ability and understanding

Over the years as I've been trying to improve in art and in other areas, I've noticed a pattern that I thought I'd share. This pattern has to do with the relationship between the ability to do something well and the understanding of how to do something well.

First off, I think our understanding of how to do something is always beyond our ability. As we study, observe, read, etc, our understanding (hopefully) increases.

Our ability doesn't always improve at the same rate as our understanding.

Lets pretend that we can graph ability and understanding, which we can't, but we're pretty good at pretending so we'll do it anyway.

Understainding: -----
Ability: ----

So we're feeling pretty good about ourselves, because we can do art (or whatever it is) about as well as we understand what it means to do well.

Then we study. We look at awesome pictures, take some classes, brainstorm some awesome ideas.

Then our graph looks something like this:

Understanding: -----------
Aility: ----

And we don't feel so good about ourselves. So we work and sweat and stay up all night and fill fifty sketchbooks and try new things.

And then we have a graph looking like this:

Understanding : -----------
Ability: ----------

And we're feeling pretty good about ourselves at that point.

I think this keeps on going indefinitely. Our understanding will pull ahead, and we work hard for awhile to bring our abilities up to that level again. When understanding and ability are close to the same level we might get kind of comfortable. But as we continue to, like, live and expose ourselves to good art and hopefully learn stuff, it happens again, and our understanding pulls ahead. When there is a large gap between understanding and ability, well, thats a pretty uncomfortable place. But it's important part of this pattern.

I feel like I'm currently at the high-understanding/insufficient-ability end of the cycle right now. Not a comfortable place to be. Understand, I'm not asking for sympathy or "your art is so awesome don't say bad things about it" type comments right now. I'm just saying, I feel like I have so many ideas and sources of inspiration and my current abilities just aren't measuring up to the visions in my head.

Not such a bad place to be. But you know what that means?

Time to get to work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I really liked how this banner for HIST57 turned out, I couldn't wait to share it :D.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

As My Whimsey Takes Me...

Given a little incentive, I finally got around to vectorizing a few of my whimsey designs! Hooray! I've been interested in making these types of embellisments for years and have made dozens, but all have been pen-on-paper and never really brought to the computer. But thanks to Illustrator and a couple hours which probably should have been spent on homework... voila! Fancy computer whimseys!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Barnyard Buffet

We all know what a buffet for humans looks like.... but what about a buffet for animals? This was our first assignment in Senior Illustration Studio. We were supposed to make something that could be submitted to an illustration competition hosted in Italy. The prompt was "buffet" and the entries had to be square. I haven't done much with squares in the past... and now I know why. Squares are HARD. I think the composition worked out OK though. I haven't done many things previously that are this complex, so this was a fun challenge. I've been thinking alot lately about how to lead the eye around a composition, my original idea here was to have the viewer move around the painting in a sort of sideways figure 8 pattern.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Writing for Children Objective banners

Writing for Children Lesson banners

Here are the finished lesson banners for ENGL 320 R, Writing for Children. I was trying to emulate Eric Carle's Style. (As always, open them in a new window to see bigger).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Clown Feet page 2

This was the original image I thought of for the story Clown Feet--the rest sprang from this. I was playing around with the idea of a visual joke, one with absolutely no words required. I think I was successful, as several people I've shown this picture to (and others in the story) have laughed out loud without me having to explain anything about the picture.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Clown Feet

Trying out some really bright fun colors, as opposed to the more muted palette I've been using lately, at the recommendation of Nathan Fowkes, who visited BYU this week and gave us some ideas to strengthen our portfolios.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

another experiment...

In the past, I've drawn my ambigrams freehand and then traced them freehand on the computer (on those rare occasions when I have computerized my ambigrams). This time, I decided to use a different approach--while I designed my ambigram freehand as usual (during Church on Sunday, also as usual) after scanning it into the computer I used pieces of a "real" font--Lucida Gothic--to piece together this ambigram. I think in some ways it is more successful--more consistent and recognizable style--and in other ways less so--readability in particular. But I think it was a good experiment to do in any case.

I like landscapes pala...

This semester I'm taking the Illustration 4 class, a class where we go out every Friday morning and do en plein aire painting through the afternoon. The first couple weeks were, I admit, very frustrating. I have painted a fair amount in the past, but never really focused on landscapes--figures have almost always been the subject of my paintings in the past. So its not surprising that I struggled. But this last week, I feel like I kind of got over a hump. I'm still far from saying "I'm so good at landscape painting now!" That, I think, is still quite a few humps away. No, this hump was more along the lines of, "Hey, I might eventually be able to become somewhat competent at this!"

Also, I discovered that using palette knives is very fun. Also, they are much easier to clean than brushes are.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Clown Feet

I'm working on alot of projects right now, just none that are done enough that I can post them here. One is kind of a personal project that has been rolling around in the back of my head for awhile.

The idea started back in my Illustration 2 class. For one of the assignments, we could choose to respond to either of two prompts--either "vespa" or "clown". Not really having much of an idea of what "vespa" was supposed to mean, I went for the "clown" one. What is visually interesting about clowns? I thought. I want something I can play around with, something thats kind of fun. It occured to me that they have really big feet, which would be something fun to play around with. I did the assignment and didn't think much about it after that.

Lately, however, I've been trying to think of personal ideas and projects which, for whatever reason, I haven't been able to fully work on or play around with. I remembered the clowns with big feet, and thought it would be a fun to do a series of pictures playing around with that idea.

Then the other day in my Business Practices for Illustrators class there was a presentation about a website called Talespring, which is a website where book applications can be made and then self-published to the apple store. They also said the're holding a competition for all the students in our class and also a class at UVU--whoever can make the best kids book app before November can have it published for free.

Somehow, my brain put those things together--a digital childrens book applications, comptiton, and a series of pictures about clown's big feet. I've decided to make a story to enter in the competiton--wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trying out something Eric-Carle-esque. How'd I do? I'm still getting the hang of this. I made all the textures myself with acrylic paint, but all the shapes were done in illustrator.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Banners for a Writing in the Social Sciences course. I was inspired by Al Hirschfeld, but kind of did my own thing with it. As always, open in new window to embiggen :D.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Creative Writing banners

These are my favorite banners from the Creative Writing course. (Open in new window to see big.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New idea for Personal Finance course... its been approved! Forward Momentum!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Sensational Team

Elizabeth Wein is one of my favorite authors. I couldn't wait for her newest book to come out in the US, so I ordered a copy from the Book Depository. And then, as I tend to do, produced a piece of fanart. I haven't worked a whole lot in photoshop lately, so this was just me kind of trying to figure it out all over again. Characters of course (c) Elizabeth Wein, art (c) me.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This was an idea I had for a splash of a Personal Finance course. Unfortunately, Suzy said that piggy banks have already been done so I'll have to think of something else. I liked the picture though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Political Heritage Splash Package. There are different sizes for everything in print/internet, so thats why theres two of each. I was kinda going for a greek pottery look, but at the same time less flat.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Its a bird.... no, its a plane... no, its...



Super insura-man and wonder-insura-woman!

(You know, I think I might have to work on those names...)

For a C.E. class, showing that insurance agents should be their clients superheroes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Those awesome Christmas decorations you were thinking about...











...they might not be such a good idea.

I did this for my dad's C.E. class about fires.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Justice/Mercy ambigram





Well, I'm home. Did you all miss me?

To celebrate my return, an ambigram! Ambigrams are a hobby of mine which I haven't really brought online much. But I tried computerizing this one.... still in progress. Most of my ambigrams are rotational, this is the first time I tried my hand at a perceptual-shift ambigram. I'm feeling pretty meh about it, I'll still fiddle with it to see if I can make it more readable. If you see it as having the first letter as "M" and the last is "y", what do you read? What if "J" is the first letter and "e" the last?