Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Final Propaganda

Winter Break! It's amazing to think that the first semester is over, and I'm in my last semester of high school. I honestly could never imagine this happening, but here we are. For my final piece of the semester, I did a propaganda piece about the value of gun safety and education. "Educate not Regulate." This message is something that means a lot to me. I read the other day that since the tragic Newtown shooting, 194 children have died as a result of guns. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by properly educating gun owners, as well as children in the proper handling, use and danger of firearms. Not everyone can agree that gun regulation will stop deaths, however, you can't argue the value that a little bit of gun education could have in saving the lives of many.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Pier and Beard Propaganda

This week, I was very productive. Not only did I come closer to completion on my portfolio pier piece, but I also completed the propaganda piece that I was assigned. I'm really proud of how both pieces have come together, and I really see these as being probably my best, most professional quality work yet. For the propaganda piece, I'm really proud of my process. I did a whole lot of thinking outside the box and using familiar tools and techniques in new ways that I'd never thought of before, with very good results. This piece came together really quickly, and I feel that it conveys the message in a very potent manner. The idea behind this piece has to do with the fact that the school doesn't allow men to grow facial hair. Being one of those who has very fast growing facial hair, it's a very inconvenient and frustrating rule for me. For me the most basic issue with this rule is the fact that it's my body, and I should be free to do what I want with it. What gives someone else the right to tell me what I can and can't do with my own body? Also, I'm sure I'm not the only student who has to shave frequently but doesn't as it upsets my complexion. My having facial hair doesn't bother anybody, and I keep it well trimmed. I hope to find a way to change this rule by the end of the year, perhaps through this piece.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pier Propaganda

This week, I started another propaganda piece. This one is based on the ongoing debate over the fate of the St. Pete pier. I personally love the pier, so this piece is promoting the landmark status of it. I'm using the pen tool to recreate the pier in all its iconic upside down pyramid glory in Photoshop. The piece is coming together well, but it's still very difficult. I've put in many hours so far outside of class, but it's not quite done yet.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pen tool portfolio

This week, I began a new portfolio piece. I'm using the pen tool to redo a piece I did in beginning graphics. The original was my motorcycle which I had used the mixer brush to paint over a picture of. This time I'm recreating the motorcycle using the pen tool, as that has been the style which seems to be my forté. Here is what I have done so far.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chinese Artist Piece

This week, I created a piece in the style of Chinese digital artist Nod Young, who I found through an article at http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tutorials-effects/100-artworks-from-the-top-digital-artists-in-asia/ . I really liked his vector based style of art, which is, in many ways, similar to my own style. I really like the way he uses abstract shapes and a flat, smooth texture combined with welcoming, calming, typically pastel colors to create very cool works of art. In my piece, I tried to use the same ideas to create something that shows appreciation of his work, but is still very much my own. I ended up making this piece quite the learning experience in a tool which I'd thought I'd long since mastered, the shape tool. After being unable to find how to make a semicircle, I decided to make my own, and then from there, I really ended up really only using the pen tool and shape tool for the rest of the piece. I really like the way this piece just seemed to create itself, and as a result of that, is very abstract, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions as to what is going on in the many elements of the piece.

Friday, November 1, 2013


This week, we were assigned to reinterpret old Chinese propaganda posters. I took the original poster that I chose to reinterpret, and I remade it as a vector image. When I did this, I took most elements of the original down to the most basic form that I could without making them unrecognizable. My idea behind this is that when it comes down to it, propaganda posters are nothing more than a collection of lines and curves arranged in such a manner that it becomes something larger than the some of its parts, something that can provoke thought and action from the viewer. It's not what it's made of, but the way its parts are arranged that can elicit a response. This piece is supposed to make the viewer reconsider how they look at propaganda, art, and really anything, to see both the big picture, as well as the small pieces that make it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Name Piece

This week, we did a propaganda poster based on our names. From last year, I remembered that my name often implies royalty. Because of this, I used a crown like I did last year. I was originally going to create my own textures for the background, but that didn't work out well, so I finally caved and used two free paper textures that I found online, one on top of the other. By doing this, I was able to create the intended old, wrinkled poster/paper effect that I had in mind. I used the difference blending mode on the geometric objects in the piece, as well as the sword and the text. I used the cutout filter on the crown, which really came out very well. Perhaps the most difficult part of the piece was making everything perfectly centered, or at least enough so that it looks right. This piece turned out overall to be very polished and finished, and I'm proud of what I acomplished over the course of the 3 days that I worked on this.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Metamorphosis Final Piece

This week, I worked on my submission for the Dali Surrealism contest/show thing. I un-giffed the fish I made last week, and polished it up in order to bring out the idea of metamorphosis. It took copious amounts of effort and lots of frustration of the worst order. I was ready to give up on this incredibly sinister fish. The tail posed a particular problem for me. I had to scrap the tail more times than I could count, but in the end, it was worth the effort.
The overall theme for this year's Dalí show is metamorphosis. In my piece, the metamorphosis is well, meta, meaning it's multileveled and self-referencing. The idea begins with a fish with an eye for its body. Move up to the next level, the fish itself becomes the pupil of the larger eye that fills the foreground of the piece. I also carry on this idea of concentric things with the dots within dots within dots. Even though it is a "flat", vector-based piece, by using the multilayered textures I am able to create a sense of depth and space, helping to accentuate the surreal, dreamlike quality of this piece, as well as the underlying theme of metamorphosis. Overall, I'm really proud of my efforts, and I hope it pays off. This is one of my favorite pieces that I've ever made, and I really hope that it makes it into the show!

Friday, October 11, 2013


Man, this week went by fast! Somehow, it's already the end of my last homecoming week, and its bittersweet. On one hand, I love the fact that I'm almost out of high school, but at the same time, I'm going to miss it! This week, in the very little class time we had, I was messing around with shapes, and began work on what may or may not be my next piece.

Friday, October 4, 2013

I keep changing the channel, but all I get is this stupid fish!

This week, I completely reworked the piece I began last week, taking a vector based approach rather than a painting based approach. This piece really seemed to create itself, lots of unexpected occurrences. This really adds to the surreal nature that I attempted to convey in it. I then decided to create a gif out of the piece, and when I did that, it added lots of very cool noise and grainy distortion to the piece, making it seem even more dreamlike and surreal. Overall, I really like this piece, and I'm very happy with the way it evolved from the original idea.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tablet Time!

This week, the new intuos 5 tablets arrived! They're honestly the coolest things ever, and are massively better than the older ones. Because I somehow got ahead on my work last week, I spent this week drawing a new portfolio piece from scratch on the new tablet! I haven't finished it, but if I can get some challenges figured out, I think it can be some of my better drawing work!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tutorial Piece

This week, I followed a really cool grunge poster tutorial to make a really cool grunge poster! Instead of using the images, fonts, and text they provided, I decided to use my own photography, a different font, and my own text, as well as creating my own "grunge texture". All in all, this has been a very productive experience.  This is the first tutorial I've done in a long time, and even though I'm much more proficient at Photoshop and design in general than I was last time I did a tutorial, I still find that I learn something every time I follow a tutorial. This one refreshed my knowledge of masks, and gave me some ideas of how to better use them to improve my work, as well as helping me hone my design skills, and think out of the box and create my own elements rather than using those created by others.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Portfolio Piece I: Alcoa Band Shirt Design

This week, I worked on the first of my portfolio pieces for the quarter. At the start of the week, I discovered a very very cool band, Alcoa. It is the very folky side project of the singer for the hardcore band Defeater, however, sonically, it couldn't be more different. In fact, the only thing the two bands have in common are well written lyrics and music. Being a relatively unknown band, there aren't very many t-shirt/ poster designs for them, so I decided to make one of my own. This piece is the result.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Multiple Exposure Art of Dan Mountford

Last week, I posted about five digital artists who made very strong surrealist art. After viewing the work of these artists, as well as 30 others that were chosen by my classmates, I have decided to create surreal artwork in the style of my personal favorite of these artists, Dan Mountford.
Dan Mountford creates stunning multiple-exposure artwork that makes for a powerful surrealist experience. He does much of the work in-camera, with some post processing in photoshop and other image manipulation tools for most pieces.

My favorite of his pieces takes the face of a woman and overlays a building scene and a vector drawing over her face. It's overall a very strong piece, in that it creates emotion, but I don't quite understand why it does, which is perhaps what makes it that much better than a lot of other works of art.

I like this piece a lot too. It is a much simpler piece, however, it is still powerful. The texture of the cigarettes seems to have depth, rather than being flat, which makes for a much better piece.

I really like this piece because it shows many different subjects overlaid over what appears to be some sort of dog/bear creature, yet does not feel cluttered. Often, with this many subjects, a piece will appear cluttered or messy and detract from the overall feel of the piece, however, in this case, its the many animals overlaid over the dog/bear that make the piece so strong.
Though this piece is simpler than many of his other pieces, I find that this one still has the same careful, deliberate composition and the same ability to create thought and emotion in the viewer in such a subtle manner you may not even notice it right away.  The way I understand this piece, the girl is thinking about the beach scene, as if a fading, but fond memory of days past.
As with the previous image, this image is relatively simple, yet potent. For me, the way the overlapped fingers seem to make sense in context with the outline of the hand upon first glance, and then it becomes apparent that there are far too many fingers for that one hand, makes for a strong surreal vibe that this piece gives off. The various skin textures are also help to distract the mind from the fact that there are extra fingers until you realize that it's from a different hand.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Surreal Artists

Dan Mountford
Brighton, UK

 Dan Mountford is a very talented artist from Brighton, United Kingdom. His work with double exposure, though it could be considered more photographic than digital, is most definitely surreal. By purposefully double exposing carefully composed photographs, he is able to create images that evoke feeling and transcend reality. I’ve seen a lot of similar pieces involving double exposure techniques, but none of them come close to the work of Dan Mountford.

George Munteanu
Bucharest, Romania

 George Munteanu has a very diverse portfolio of digital art, much of it rooted in surrealism. Some of his images are more fantasy than surreal, and others lean towards more science fiction. I find his pieces that seem to be based in reality but a stretched reality, a departure from certain normalities while others remain. This gives the pieces a very surreal, dreamy characteristic that I wish to emulate in my work.

 Andreea Niculae
Worchester, United Kingdom

 Andreea Niculae’s portfolio of digital art ranges from digital drawings/paintings, to tattoo related design to some very unique posters. In the various areas that her art covers, she uses unique stylistic notions and out of the box thinking to draw the viewer in and create interest. I find her work inspiring and I would like to use a similar poster design technique, and really artistic technique in general, in my upcoming pieces.

 Daniel González
Santiago, Chile

 Daniel Gonzalez’s digital art is very cool. Mostly vector based, several of his surrealist pieces take normal objects, and put them into a distorted, digital world. For example, one of his pieces is a bicycle, but it appears as if it was split into the wavelengths of light that make up the image we would ordinarily see. He has a very clean style of vector based graphics that I hope to learn from and apply to my own work.

Sebastian Feraut
Paris, France

 Out of the five artists I found, Sebastian Feraut’s work is the most “out there”. Both his paintings and his digital art have a otherworldly, dreamlike, but not entirely realistic quality. This surreal quality is very appealing to me, and his extensive use of colors and curves makes for very visually appealing pieces. Upon further inspection, not only are they visually appealing because of the bright colors, but also very detailed. I really like his extensive use of monsters and creatures in his pieces, and perhaps I could learn to incorporate more life into my pieces, whether or not they are real lifeforms, thats a different story!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School!

Summer is over, and school is back in session. This year I'm  taking the Honors Graphic Design course, and even at this early point, it's quite clear that the expectations and workload is higher, but so is the reward. Our first piece is surrealism, which I'm still trying to figure out what I would like to do for it. I can't wait to get back into making art!

Friday, May 10, 2013


I hope I get everything in, I'm trying to showcase the entire year of work.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


but, I finally finished my E30 poster. I began at the start of the year, but kinda forgot about it after I couldn't figure out what to do with it. I finally decided to put it on a background of BMW racing colors, with the E30 text over it, which brings everything together. I really am happy to have finished this peace, and that it turned out this well!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Superhero Finished!

This week, I finished my superhero project! I decided to do Polar- the bipolar superhero/villan. I like the way this piece turned out, it's very cool. I learned a bit more about blending options, especially layer effects, and gradient overlays, which I used extensively throughout this piece. This was definitely a good learning opportunity for me, and I can see myself using most everything that I learned through this on later pieces.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Superhero Part 1

This week I began work on my super hero project. I'm making a bipolar superhero/villan which I think I'm going to call Polar. The idea is coming along pretty well so far, I like where it's going. This is what I have done.