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“For now we see in a mirror, dimly…”
“For now we see in a mirror, dimly...

Doubt (temporary title) is a series of sculptural spaces based around the idea that our perceptions of reality are flawed and limited.  The idea that we are viewing life through a dim mirror.  The concept was visualized through an experiment where I filmed myself sleeping and extracted a series of abstracted forms which came to represent a series of voids.  I created 5 pieces that expressed the notion of a void which could consume our entire existence.  I created this transition through an exploration of materials ranging from black foam core to sand. This is a working artists’s statement for the project:

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly,…” this quote from 1st Corinthians, expresses the idea that humans have a fundamentally clouded, fractured, and limited perception of reality.  We each live in our own, limited realities, going through life with blinders on.  This then is the root cause of our doubt, our fear, of the unknown. Yet it is human nature to seek the unexplainable, make reason of the unreasonable, and capture infinite in a finite space.  Our minds and bodies struggle to break free of our boxed in realities.  To express this narrative, I turned to a necessary yet uncontrolled and unconsious part of our lives: sleep. I documented myself during an entire sleep cycle and extracted my bodies various movements.  These abstracted shapes came to represent the metaphor of a void.  A visual sequence emerged when I used these shapes to create a topographical void.  The first piece represents our futile attempts to fill the void. It uses the metaphor of a coffin being lowered to the grave to represent the idea that no matter how hard you try the void is ever present. The notion of death as related to sleep reflected the dichotomy of eternity and temporality as well as the infinite played against the finite. The second piece alludes to the dynamic of the bed frame against our bodies. It is raised slightly above ground to reflect the image of a body in bed.  The space is explored from beneath as well as from above and from within.  The lack of an easily accessible entry way forces the audience to engage with the space through the act of climbing and crawling.  The third piece becomes completely clear and the void is broken up by a series of divides each containing its own void.  Once again the audience is forced to contort their body to fit through each divide.  The fourth piece speaks to both the temporality of things as well as the fragility of our constructed realities. The final piece abandons the frame and leaves only the void, thus transitioning into formlessness.  This then completes the narrative sequence moving from a consuming rigid structure to one which is nearly formless. This transition speaks to the consuming nature of our doubts

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Packaging 1
Packaging 1...

This term im taking my first foray into packaging, and so far im really enjoying it. It takes the some of the best aspects of design and ads form as well as a lot of additional considerations ( such as user experience, protection of the product, visibility in the store, etc) to the equation.  For our first project we had to redesign packaging for maglite. Currently maglite’s packaging looks like this.

Pretty much your standard hard to open generic blister pack.  In the store it looks just like all the other flashlights. So I wanted to approach this design problem from a drastically different angle.  I chose to highlight maglite’s unique qualities rather than the features that have now been adopted by most other flashlight makers.  My packaging revolves around a theme of heros.  Since maglite is very popular with firefighters, law enforcement, and search and rescue, I found this a fitting theme to highlight maglite as not only the choice of such real-life heros but also the choice of everyday people.  For the form, i wanted to stray away from the usual tube/box type of shape, I wanted an eyecatching form that reflected the quality of the product.  This project is currently in progress, I have almost finalized the form and am in the process of addressing the inner “tray” that holds the maglite and it’s accessories.

my initial form was basically a rectangle with a fifth tapered edge and die cut window

my initial form was basically a rectangle with a fifth tapered edge and die cut window

After my initial form exploration I went back to the drawing board, the problem with the rectangle was that the design was not front facing but rather off center, So I decided to go with a hexagon shape. However I wanted to retain the triangular shaped cut of the original rectangular design, as a result the new form ended up creating an interesting transition from a hexagon to a pentagon.

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Moleskin #1
Moleskin #1...

Sketcbook completed over term 3 + break.

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Drawing for Illustration term project (in progress)
Drawing for Illustration term project (i...

Illustration this term has been a revelation for me.  Gayle Donahue has opened my eyes to the potential of illustration that I never saw.  For my term project I decided to create a piece based on my family history.  Being from latvia (a former soviet country), I had a rich history to draw from.  So I’ve been filling this sketchbook with as many drawings from my parent’s childhood as I can. For the final piece i plan to produce a limited run of zines with the best artwork in them.

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Head Drawing Class
Head Drawing Class...

Drawings of a couple of Old Masters Busts from LACMA and the Getty Villa.

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First Post Since 08′
First Post Since 08′...

When I stopped updating this blog it was very hard to get back into it.  Fortunately I’ve overcome my laziness and decided to post something.  Here are a couple of pen and ink drawings from my drawing for illustration class.

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Art Center Term 1 Megapost.
Art Center Term 1 Megapost....

I know this is about a week late, but after last week’s hectic end to the term, I immediately slipped into lazy mode. However, I have finally decided to get off my lazy ass and write this post so….

It’s been an amazing 1st term at art center.  Looking back at what I’ve accomplished, the great teachers and students I’ve met, I couldn’t be happier with the experience.  No amount of opnions from previous Art Center Alumni could have prepared me for the workload.  I knew going into art center it would be intense, but I didn’t realise how I’d be able to handle it (with a lot of coffee and energy drinks).  Having gone through the first 1/8th of it, I’m surprised I was able to work as hard as I did. I don’t consider myself to the be the hardest working indvidual and I have a certain amount of problems with procrastination, but I suppose thats the value in Art Center being able to allow me to exceed my own expectations.  But I fully realise, this was but a taste of what is to come. All semester long, I’ve heard Term 2 is gonna kill you. I say bring it on, I feel more ready than ever to accept the challange.

Of course the most important valuable thing about Art Center is the work that is produced and the skills that are gained.  I am very happy with how my work turned out, especially with my Design 1 book.  Granted, there were plenty of areas where I feel I need improvement. But that’s why I came to Art Center, to learn from my mistakes.  I think looking at the work I produced this first term as a whole, I feel it’s time for me to step outside of my comfort zone. Throughout this term I’ve become more aware than ever of my design “habits”. Wether they are good or bad, is irrelevant, I think that if I don’t explore other avenues, other design solutions, I will never grow.

I think the most essential element of my overwhelmingly positive experience at  art center has to be the students.  Without the inspiration provided by their work, I would never get as far as I did. I discovered that by showing my work in progress to as many students/faculty as possible, I was able to get a whole range of different opinions and advice.  Gaining multiple perspectives is always the best way to force yourself to try something different.  I know that in the classes where I had the best students my work came out better for it.

Design 1 was definately the best example of this.  There were so many outstanding students in this class, that I was never lacking inspiration or ideas.  There was an enviornment of friendly competition and at the same time everyone was always willing to give advice.  It also helped that our teacher, Jon Nguyen, was outstanding.  He really knew his stuff and taught it well but I think what really made him stand out in my mind is his willingness to allow us to explore and experiment beyond the basics.  I don’t think I would have been as interested in design 1 if he hadn’t allowed us to integrate our own illustrations.

Another class that really made a great impression on me, was archetype press.  Technically I wasn’t supposed to take this class till term 3 or 4 (after type 2), Steve Kim pulled some strings for me and Gloria didn’t mind having me in the class at all. This class really put things in perspective for me, in terms of typography on the computer.  I learned to appreciate the process and allow myself to make mistakes.  It was a tough process because I was used to controlling everything in the computer, but working with type on the press forces you to account for the factors you can’t control.  It was truly an eye opening experience, and I know my typography will be all the better for it.

Here are a few pictures of some of the other students work from final crits in draw and shoot. Unfortunately I don’t have my design 1 book pictures yet, I will post them, along with more pics of my projects as soon as I get my book back.

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Scholarship Review.
Scholarship Review....

Wednesday was scholarship review…scary. Thanks to a record amount of complainers, we had two extra weeks to prepare, so everyone was ready this time around.  Having had my portfolio ready to go the previous monday, I was pretty confident in my work and was really happy to have to opportunity to complete a few more projects.  When I saw everyone else’s work I was really impressed, so many first termers had such amazing work and everyone’s work was up to par for Art Center’s standards.  It really humbled me to see all the good work, and motivated me to work harder. Here’s what my table looked like.

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Final Prop 4 Ads
Final Prop 4 Ads...

After dozens of concepts and revisions, ive finnally finished my prop 4 ads. I’m quite happy with how they turned out. Although i wish we had been working on another project by now, i appreciate the fact that I was able to get a high level of refinement in the design and the concept.

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Drawing for Design 1
Drawing for Design 1...

The great thing about art center is that exploration is encouraged and I try to take every opportunity to expand my horizons artistically. For Design 1 we were assigned to find examples of different color combinations such as triad ( 3 primaries), complementary (2 opposities), analogous (2 or more adjacent), and monochrome (1 color). Our teacher also gave us the option of making our own artwork that demonstrated these color properties.  For me this was yet another opportunity to take a not too exciting project and take it in a new direction. So i decided to make a series of drawings around the theme of our overreliance on technology.  It was easier than i thought to come up with different ways to express this idea visually. This is a WIP so i am working on painting these in watercolor as we speak.

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