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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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Hatch Show Print
Hatch Show Print...

It’s not everyday you get to experience the history of a 129 year old letterpress facility, so when my archetype press teacher told us that Hatch Show Print was gonna visit Art Center I knew it was an event i couldn’t miss.  There were tons of letterpress posters for sale, ranging from an economical 10 dollars to a jaw dropping 900 + dollars.  The current owner of Hatch, Jim Sherraden, was the speaker for the event. He gave us an intriguing look at the history of Hatch Show Print, which was founded in 1879 by the Hatch Brothers. The shop hasnt changed much since then even though the location has moved 7 times.  Currently the shop is located in Nashville, Tennesse.  It’s hard to believe that this shop, which works with clients like CNN and Pixar, once was very close to being shut down. As Jim Sherraden likes to say, the computer is the best thing that ever happened to us, offsett printing was probably the worst thing that ever happened to hatch.  As soon as offsett printing came into exsistence, letterpress went out the window.  However the next revolution, “the digital age” all of a sudden pulled Hatch Show Print from the brink of disaster by unintentionally creating a new market for letterpress. Letterpress was once again appreciated as an artform and became a sought after look.  It truly is something that cannot be duplicated on a computer.  Jim puts it best “People are craving authenticity. They want to get to the roots of this artistry. When you look at a Hatch poster, it’s authentic. It’s one of a kind. It doesn’t have that slick glossy feel that computer-animated printing has”

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Exploring Caricatures
Exploring Caricatures...

Recently I discovered some amazing caricature artists on the web. Jason Seiler and Court Jones are among the best caricature artists I have ever seen. I was inspired to try my hand at a couple of caricatures, Ive never really been successful at caricatures but Jason Seiler’s video demonstrations gave me some insight into his process which helped quite a bit. I think these are definately my first semi successful caricatures.

Thom Yorke

Thom Yorke

Ron Paul

Ron paul

Cosmo Kramer

Cosmo Kramer

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Barney Frank

Barney Frank

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sketchbooks are so hot right now.
sketchbooks are so hot right now....

I thought i had made up my mind about what kind of artist i wanted to be, but ever since i started Art Center, i can’t shake the feeling that my true passion still lies with illustration. I find myself looking for any excuse to add illustration in my graphic design.  Perhaps its just the fact that im suddenly surrounded by all these talented people and frankly im the kinda of guy who wants to experience as much of all the wonderful fields of study the visual arts have to offer.  So on that note ive decided to try my best to keep up a sketchbook. From now on ill try to update this gallery at least once a week. Here are 10 sketches to start off with,enjoy!

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Commuication Desgin 1: Political Ad Series.
Commuication Desgin 1: Political Ad Seri...

Design projects that gravitate towards advertising have always been problematic for me.  I usually prefer to work on a larger time scale rather than make my ideas work in mere seconds.  However i realize the importance of being able to communicate clearly in a very short time frame.  Advertising is most definitely one of the fundamental tenants of graphic design. My comm design project was thus a true challenge.  The assignment was to create a tryptic of 3 posters informing a younger (college-aged) about one of the many propositions on the california ballot this coming November.  I chose proposition 4 ( requirement for parental notification before an abortion is performed). Our teacher, Tyrone, encouraged us to take the side that went against our personal views so we could practice being as objective as possible.  So I took his advice and chose to do my ad campaign against proposition 4.  My initial concepts were quite basic but they lacked the main ingredient a strong idea.  As the project moved on i began to touch on the many lectures on communication and my concepts  began to improve. Here are the current batch of concepts.  At this point in the project we are refining and further defining our concepts through refinement of the language, copy, visuals, and typography.  Tyrone preffered my “options” idea due to its straightforward approach, clear message, and impact.  So going with that idea, i will have to decide what type of imagery will complement the core concept.

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Fun with movable type.
Fun with movable type....

Archetype press is without a doubt my favorite class so far this term.  I don’t know if it’s the fact that im using equipment from a method that goes back 1000’s of years, or the fact that letterpress makes you realize how lazy a computer makes you. Our first project was fairly straightforward, we had to design postcards encouraging students to get out and vote.  We had to choose a  political soundbite or quote, i chose an Alexander Hamilton quote which i think is one of those eternally relevant quotes- “those who stand for nothing, fall for anything.”  And this is the design that came out of it.


We are currently underway with our second project which is even more fun and certainly a lot more challenging. Our teacher thought that in light of the current economic hardships in the U.S. and globally, that it would be appropriate to do a piece on a depression era song of our choosing. I ended up choosing Big Rock Candy Mountain by Harry McClintock. The song is about a hobo paradise, that contains among other things, police with wooden legs, cigarette trees, and soft-boiled eggs.  I thought this would be a perfect song to visualize through letterpress.  Currently we are conceptualizing and setting up proofs, here’s a sampling of one of my concepts. (note: this is meant to be a 4 page spread)

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Self Portrait #1
Self Portrait #1...

Self Portrait for Design 1 class. gouache and ink.

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So far…
So far…...

Well my laziness has certainly done a good job of keeping me from updating this blog. Funny how i thought making the site would be the hard part. Well for now here’s a new post.  So it’s week 3 and im just starting to get settled into the routine of art center.  Sure i realize that the work load will increase 10 fold but ill choose not to focus on that because im quite enjoying myself right now.

Even though i have yet to see other classmate’s work, i can tell there is a definite difference in this crop of students than what i was used to at PCC. It’s great to interact with people who are as passionate as I am about art.

It’s probably a bit too early to say but i have a feeling archetype press is gonna be my favorite class.  I’m not really supposed to take it till term 4 but somehow i got in so im pretty stoked (an a bit scared).  Here’s a look at archetype press classroom. It’s pretty damn sweet, supposedly Art center is the only school that has a press of this kind.

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So it begins….sorta.
So it begins….sorta....

So, i thought to myself, i finally made it! After 3 1/2 years of preparation i had finally arrived at art center. I was pumped, ready to conquer the world…..well the design world anyways.   But before i could set out to embark on this long, greuling, intense, but ultimately rewarding journey i had to go through a week of orientation.

Now ive been through orientations before, they usually follow the standard pattern of a series of lectures given by various teachers and staff regarding the schools policies and other important information.  But usually they don’t last longer than a day (maybe 2).  So, naturally when i heard art center’s orientation spanned a length of 4 days i was taken a back.  How could they possibly have enough stuff to tell me to fill 4 days.  Apparently plenty.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on the events of the orientation because frankly i found most of it quite droll and uninteresting.  Sure it was necessary information but dry nonetheless.  The first day consisted mostly of various lectures and a meeting with our fellow peer mentors. Pretty standard stuff i thought. However about the time we arrived at the sexual harassment policy on day 3, i had checked out and was ready for classes to begin.  The whole week felt extremely anti-climactic, being so close yet not quite there.

Of course orientation was not all bad. I had the privilege of getting to know quite a few interesting and cool people as well as a few familiar faces from my type 1 class at Art Center At Night.  I’m pretty sure we were all thinking the same thing -  let’s just start already.  I could feel the excitement and enthusiasm in everyone’s persona.  Which in turn made me all the more excited and even eager to see what kind of work my peers would produce.

By Thursday we finally received our class schedules, although in my case not without a few technical difficulties along the way.  If there’s one gripe i have with art center, it’s this policy of releasing our class schedule mere days before we start classes.  Makes if quite a bit more stressful when adjusting the schedule.  Orientation ended on Friday, with meetings with our department ( mine being graphic design).  Our department chair, Nick,  is a really cool and talented guy, so i found his presentation a lot more interesting and relevant to my educational experience.  Art Center structures their curriculum in a 4 term split where the first 4 terms serve to establish your foundation skills within your department and the last 4 terms help you use what you learned in the first 4 terms to explore and define your own path.  I think this is an excellent structure to follow.  The curriculum can also be seen as a funnel, where at the beginning the amount of units required is quite a bit higher than the units required at the end. So as the terms progress we take less and less units as our classes become more focused.  Term 5-7 i will be able to take an internship (which i do intent do take advantage of).

In any event, no matter how boring the orientation was, it did contain valuable information ( i will have no life) that should serve to improve my experience at art center.  So finally i am ready to take that next step into the exciting and somewhat intimidating world of art center.  As i have said before, i will try my best to keep this blog as updated as i can on any interesting projects i may be making.

Cheers, Aldis.

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Welcome To My Blog!
Welcome To My Blog!...

Hi everybody and welcome to my blog. This is a design blog that will be focused around my experiences at art center (orientation starts tomorrow!). As this blog is not yet completed please bear with me as i work out the kinks. Thank you for stopping by.

Cheers, Aldis.

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