Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CCS to Haiti

So my school has gone to Haiti over spring break for the past two years, and I have the pleasure of joining them for their third trip. I will be staying there for a week to do volunteer work. Since we are art students, however, we don’t just do average volunteer work. We teach arts and crafts to groups of adults at the Apparent Project, who will in turn be able to use those skills to make products that can be sold in order for them to support not only themselves, but their families. A big problem in Haiti is that the country is so poor many parents are forced to give up their children to orphanages because they cannot afford to take care of them. In addition to volunteering at the Apparent Project, we will be going to an orphanage and helping out there.


Here's some of the work we've sold to help fund our trip! All handmade goods.

As someone who has never left the US before, let alone traveled to a third world country, I am excited and nervous all at once. I look forward to helping the people of Haiti during my stay, and know that they will impact my life just as much as I hope to impact theirs. Since my blog is art based, I will post an update after the trip showcasing some of the beautiful artwork done by the local artists of Haiti as well as the projects my group and I will be teaching them. Stay tuned for updates!

If you’d like to learn more about the Apparent Project or the CCS Haiti Service Learning Trip, click here. We're also accepting donations!

-Until next time,

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Fun New Process

So recently I have been working on a fun project with a whole different working process from what I’m used to. As I have mentioned previously I have been encouraged to experiment with my work and, in with this studio in particular, combine traditional with digital processes. For this most recent project I have decided to combine watercolor with Photoshop. The majority of the process I will be going over is traditional based with a little bit of Photoshop editing towards the end.

 I used graphite for the initial process of working  until I was satisfied with a line drawing.

From there, I chose to render the piece in sections. I duplicated my line work multiple times on Bristol paper and rendered small sections of it to be later compiled and edited in Photoshop. I used mostly one hue for these renderings to make certain I had the values working well.

 Once I completed those I scanned them in, pieced them together and edited the contrast, then multiplied the layers. I also converted the image to grayscale so I had a clean slate to work with when choosing colors.

By using the lasso tool I quickly was able to select the areas I wanted to color while still retaining the traditional textures beneath. This is the final result. Overall I really enjoyed this process, especially once I was able to color it. I believe I still need to push it a bit further until I'm completely satisfied with it, but I thought I would share this process for those who are interested.

Until next time,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Teachers, Classes, and Projects, Oh my!

     Hi again! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted new work, so I’m using this post to discuss some of the courses I’m currently in and the great professors who are teaching. The department I am in has acquired a new full time staff member who was a Detroit native, and I’m very thrilled to have him for one of my studio courses this semester. He teaches a few classes currently, but the one I am taking is Intermediate Digital Illustration. This course allows us to combine both digital and traditional media to create compelling images. The instructor for this course is a great illustrator, Francis Vallejo (you can check out his work here). He graduated from Ringling and has been teaching for a few years, but he’s now moved back to Detroit to teach at CCS.

     I appreciate his encouragement for us to experiment with our work and just have fun with it. We’ve done a few smaller assignments so far, but I’ve already learned so much about digital manipulation. The first few dealt with retouching our own work and cleaning it up in Photoshop to make a high quality digital version of the traditional piece. The next project dealt with using one of the previous pieces and flat coloring it in Photoshop, a technique normally used for coloring comics. I’m not into entertainment illustration very much, but I loved learning this technique. It really brings the original black and white inked piece to life. The other image shown is just a quick digital painting study from reference (and gives you a peek of my studio setup!).

Poster design using flat coloring, and a digital painting study on Photoshop.

     My other two studio courses are taught by the same instructor, Dave Chow. He is popularly known in the story boarding industry and for logo design. In addition to him being my teacher, he is also my mentor. I’m taking my Junior Studio and Retail Illustration courses with him, and have been very pleased with where his assignments have taken me so far. In studio I have been working on branding for a fictional punk rock band, the Skittish Sphynx. So far I’ve done a logo, album cover, and band poster. In my Retail class, I have done a beer label design that was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and glows under black light! Definitely a beer for the club scene. I also have been working on hotel toiletries based off of Bates Motel. I will have better photos to show of these assignments in the coming weeks so stay tuned for them. Overall I am having a wonderful experience this semester, and I’m excited to share it with you!

"Drink Me" beer bottle label design for my Retail Illustration class. 

Preliminary sketches for the Bates Motel toiletries.

Until next time,