Thursday, March 24, 2011

[Working On] Thursday: Process Book Sections

Goodness am I tired!  I took a 3 hour nap this morning after class.  I literally pulled an all-nighter.  I was finishing up the printing of my big midterm process book project at 7:55 this morning - 15 minutes before class started.  I think I have put in more time on this darn book than any other project.  I just hope that it gets a good mark.  One bad thing did happen to it.  The last 15 pages or so printed wrong.  It's totally my fault.  I was trying to do a double sided print and put the pages in wrong so the double printed on one side of the paper and printed out of order too.  I'm really hoping that she overlooks that part.  They were filler type pages and this is only the up-to-this-point copy.  Maybe she won't realize it by the time she makes it to page 90 or so?!?!  Here is to hoping because I am so mad.  There was no time to fix it.  I was late to class as it was.  I always feel like she is looking down her nose at me.  I'm probably wrong.  I hope that I am wrong!  I have been told that only 15 students pass portfolio review, so I really need to be wrong!  I guess we will see though.  Anyhow,I just figured out how to turn my pages of an InDesign file into a JPEG file so that I can upload them to blogger.  I had to first export it as a PDF file.  Then I had to open the PDF and save as a JPEG file!  It saved each individual page as a different picture!  Wow!  I am so proud of myself for figuring this out.  It took a while though.  That's fine.  It's done.  So here are some selected pages of my design book:  View The Entire Document

Sorry this is sooooo long!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

[Working On] Wednesday: Conundrum

Here is a sneak peak at what I have been working on.  It's just one of many things going on this week.  Midterm projects are due on Thursday so I am sure I will be up all night tomorrow working on the finishing touches!  I'll try to post a few things for you to see.  


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[Working On] ....Tuesday! Environmental Alphabet

Hey friends!
I thought that since I didn't post a Working On Wednesday last week because of Spring Break, I would do a Working On Tuesday post today and then the usual wednesday post tomorrow.  I am pretty excited about my environmental alphabet.  Here it is:

So, what do you think?  I think I would love to do this again and again!  It would be fantastic!  I loved doing this and I really liked the outcome!  It's colorful, typographic, and pretty - all the things I like artwork to be!  I think in the future I will do more of these and maybe incorporate themes, places, types of fonts, etc.  So much fun!  Easy art!
Promise to post more really soon!  I have lots to share!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break!

By now you have probably realized that I did not do a [Working On] Wednesday post.  I am working on a few things but nothing is completed yet since I'm still out of town.  Once I'm back at home though, it will be a really busy week, and I hope to get a lot of things up on the blog.
In the meantime, I want to share this video with you.  Obviously I like the changes that have been made to blogger and the ones to come as well.  I like this video for more than those reasons though.  I just adore the colors and the vintage feel of the video.  I think they did a really great job putting it together!

Alright, I better get going.  I still have to shower and get ready to go.  Our friends are getting married today!  So happy for them.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Call A Doctor!

So, the back forgot to heal over the weekend, and when I woke up this morning it was worse.  I got on the phone and was on hold for almost a half hour before a guy finally took my call.  He told me that I was on a waitlist to get a primary doctor here in Knoxville.  Until I got a Primary doctor, I could only be seen at the emergency room in Johnson City - 2 hours away!  That would have been nice to know on FRIDAY!!!!  So, I jumped (or should I say, hobbled) into the car and started driving.  I got to the ER and could hardly walk I was in so much pain.  5 hours and 15 minutes later, the doctor finally saw me!  Holy Cow!  it took over two hours before they finally gave me a shot in my back, took an x-ray, gave me drugs, and sent me home.  Another two hour drive. 
I'm finally home after 11 hours.  Now I have to pack and get into bed so I can get up early and be ready to leave at 8am.  Florida, here we come!!
Have a fantastic week!  Loves!!

Couch Potatoe

This weekend was supposed to be one of those weekends where I work the whole time, try to do some house cleaning, and get a little homework out of the way.  Those plans came to an abrupt halt on Friday afternoon.  I came home from school and thought I would get some laundry done before I left for work.  As I was bending to sort the clothes, I suddenly realized that I couldn't quite get back up!  Oh, man I was in pain.  I'm still in pain.  I had to call into work on Friday night, Saturday, and again today.  I've been on the couch all three days trying to recover.  I'm just hoping that I can get into the doctor tomorrow because we are leaving town on Tuesday.  I'm pretty sure that it is my sciatic nerve acting up.  I did a little research and apparently it is pretty common when you have buldging disks or degenerative disks.  I have both!  Lucky me!  I always have a little soreness in the lower back but I usually just deal with it.  At one point my doctor said that by the time I was 26, I would need back surgery.  I laughed it off.  That's way too young for back problems like that, I thought.  Well, I'm 26 now, and the pain just got crazy!  I really hope that this isn't the official start of a downward trend in my back health.  I'm too young! 
Needless to say, I've been on the couch all weekend, and I am getting really bored.  Of course, I have managed to get way ahead on some homework.  My Process Book is due for a midterm grade in just under two weeks.  I'm almost done with it now!  I'm so excited and so proud of it.  I think it looks great!  I guess we will have to see what the teacher says though.  That could be another story.
On Tuesday we are leaving to go to Florida.  A friend of Dakota's (somewhere between a friend and an acquaintance to me I guess) is getting married and several of the guys that we served in the Army with are going.  We've really been looking forward to this trip.  It will be a nice chance to catch up with everyone and relax as well.  I'm thinking that I will find my way to the pool and forget to leave!  I really need a tan, and I am hoping to catch up on some reading, maybe some crochet, and if there is wireless at the pool, maybe I can finish my process book.  I'll let the guys do their thing.  Sounds like they will be playing golf all day on Wednesday, Thursday night is the bachelor party, Friday night is the rehearsal dinner, and Saturday is the wedding.  Hey, at least it's a break and the weather is supposed to be really nice.  Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, March 11, 2011


NoteSlate FRONT

We would like to introduce you probably the simplest tablet device today. NoteSlate. Monochrome paper alike tablet device, where the simplicity and technology evolution meets pencil and paper again. This classic instrument in new consequences. Natural look and feel through basic digital image, 1-bit image. All that networked with human touch. This new context of the classic device, this evolution, brings this tablet out of borders of what we know as electronic computer.

In NoteSlate, the handwritten interactivity is trying to change the rules of what we called electronic paper. The hand and human touch is presented in all ways. Emotions expressed, ideas exposed, shared.... and Network changed.

This basic human cultural device, pencil and paper, now in new post-information age. NoteSlate device in most possible simplicity, compatibility and continuity as the basic key point for further development and communications.
Copy, share and communicate as you wish.

tablet device, 1-bit display, monochrome, 1 touch

low-technology, back to basics, raw screen, paper alike surface, slick body, paper look and feel

human touch, overwhelmed with technology, optional, just paper page

low power consumption, solar accessories, passive mode for displaying static pages... capacity 70.000 pages

culture continuity, technology aspects, communication and imagination

development platform
development countries
open-society monetization
Freedom of future communications

The NoteSlate is trying to define the product itself, archetype, electronic paper. As simple as you wish.

The Internet, social networks, connecting everywhere are just beginning, part of the contemporary future. We don`t want to be overwhelmed with technology. The biggest simplicity is enough to express the basics, to explain the idea. Today all the devices are for us technologies, screens, gates, glossy shining objects... we think you will be covered with that anyway and use them. And fortunately you will have the NoteSlate. Maybe you would like to welcome something straight, less network connected, rural, almost natural, looking as a paper, physical, although very very useful. NoteSlate can be your own diary, notepad, writing memoir, for ideas, blurbs, hints, .. drafts,... your own world, you can believe on and you can create in. And you will love the wooden feeling of writing or drawing, as visible pixels come in.

This low cost gadget is very useful for everyone in a daily life. You can keep it anytime with you. Every day you need some notes, drafts, ideas, sketches, concentrate on your work in this unique monochrome interface. This e-paper tablet could help you to make that process as simple as possible. Immediately. The low consumption technology is enough for that .... Our target are all the people out there (creatives, managers, accounts, planners, future thinkers, writers, drafters, teachers, children, schools, geeks, all living people also in the third world, who needs to grab ideas on the paper and are still doing that with pen. And for the lowest possible price, it will be accessible for all the parts of the world. And the highest value it has are your own notes, ideas,... Keep your life as simple, as you wish.

Creative environments, education, business, science, marketing, networking,... optional.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

[Working On] Wednesday: Postcard Project

I feel as though I really need to preface this project with an explanation before I end up bombarded with ugly comments.  A few weeks ago I was on campus late at night.  I couldn't park near the art building because of an event that was going on, so I had to walk a good distance back to my car.  My walk took me through the "social square" of campus on a pedestrian only road.  Apparently this is where all the students that live on campus hang out at night because there were a ton of people all over the place.  Some were playing football, some were skateboarding, and others were sitting in groups doing whatever.  The whatever part is what I want to address.  As I walked, I noticed a very large group sitting around and right out in the open, they were smoking weed!!!!  WOW!  I was shocked.  I mean I could smell it and I could see the pipe being passed around.  I can't say that I have issues with people that do that, but I can say that I was surprised to see them out in the open in a very busy area just doing it like it was no big deal!  I wanted to ask them if they were not afraid of getting caught.  What happens if I wasn't just a casual passerby?  What if I had had been an officer?  Did they not care?
Out of curiosity, I decided to check into the school's drug policy.  Would you believe that it was very hard to find?  Although I did find the policy, it took some searching.  One would think that a policy regarding drugs on the campus of such an important and huge school, would be out in the open and easy for everyone to see or find.  It started me thinking about how effective (or ineffective) the policy can be or is.  Apparently it isn't all that effective because not only are students using drugs, but they are using them right out in the open with no concern for their surroundings!
Obviously there are so many different types of drugs:  some legal, and some not so legal.I'd be willing to bet that a good percentage of the students at UT, use at least some form of drug on a weekly, if not daily basis.  Drugs to consider are caffeine, tobacco, weight-loss medications, anti-depressants (both prescribed and otherwise acquired), painkillers, energy supplements, alcohol, steroids, and of course they obvious ones like weed, cocaine, heroine, and mushrooms.  So if we consider this, than why is it that doing drugs is so easy for students to get away with?
Fast-forward a few weeks.  We are assigned to create a postcard and send it to the school addressing a human issue that we previously brainstormed.  Well, I had previously brainstormed Prescription Abuse and branched that off in many directions until it came down to drugs in general.  I thought this would be the perfect time to question drugs on campus and the lack of action taking place over the issue.  A word that really stuck out to me was the word "AWARE."  Maybe the faculty and staff are simple unaware that this is going on.  Maybe they assume that the students wouldn't do drugs on campus, and therefor they leave the issue alone or covered.  I thought, perhaps all it takes is some action to make them aware of the drug behaviors on campus and to uncover the reality - to point it out and put it up in their faces to take a look at.
There was one other requirement for this project.  We had to channel one designer that we had previously researched.  We each had three designers to choose from for our channeling exercise.  I picked the one that I loved the most:  Gail Anderson.  She has an amazing talent with typography and I really wanted to use her work as a means for my own.  So, I will stop boring you with the back story now and present my project.  First is a picture of the Gail Anderson work that I considered:

And now here is my postcard:

What do you think?  Do you like it?  Do you think it is effective in portraying the idea I am trying to get across?  Is it a good communication method?

Saturday, March 05, 2011

4 Years Ago ( A Heavy Burden)

4 years ago today I was in an "it's complicated" relationships.  Of course neither of us were good for the other.  We had a way of loving to fight.  We both had our baggage, and it was really heavy.  The setting was Iraq....we were there.  The rules kept a divide between us.  Many days and sometimes weeks would pass and our schedules never met up.
4 days later I saw his friend in the chow hall and asked how he was doing.  the answer I got was, "Ryan is dead."  I told him, "Don't fu*k with me." and walked away.  But it was true.  He had been killed.

March 5, will always be stuck in my head.  We can ask what if as many times as we want to, or think If only....
but that doesn't change anything in our lives.  We can choose to remember all the good times and remember what made us happy, or we can choose to regret every moment that we held a grudge and every moment that we didn't give someone a chance.  The past is just that - the past.  However, we can make the choice, to forget about it or learn from it.  When someone we care about is suddenly gone, there is nothing that can be done to change that.  We can though, remember all the times that we could have said something or done something differently, and apply that to the future.
when you love someone, you have to let them know.  When someone makes you smile, smile as big as you can.  When you can choose to fight, choose to hug and laugh instead.  Life is too short.  In an instant it can all come crashing down on you and you may never have the chance to say, "I'm sorry....I love are matter to me."
4 years ago, I lost someone special, and although I could never imagine not having Mr. Fantastic in my life now, sometimes I still wonder what if, and that is an awfully heavy burden to carry.
My wish for you is that you never carry that burden.  My wish for you is that you always take the time to make up before you go to sleep, to forgive before you walk out the door, to remember that the little things that upset you are only little things compared to all the good that there is.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I'm posting to post!!

Hey all!
Just wanted to tell you that it is a beautiful day today.  I just got out of my astronomy class and I actually enjoyed it today.  Instead of the usual fill-me-up-with-a-bunch-of-facts type of class today. it was all falling into place.  I was participating and the teacher was quite funny today!! I thought I would share this beautiful picture with you today of a nebulae  that is 6,000 light years away.  That's a really long way!  It's beautiful though.  There is a lot of hydrogen there!  We can see red and blue light from the different stars and hydrogen particles.  Basically, it's just fantastic!! 

Today, Mr. Fantastic has a meeting with his English instructor in my art building!  I'm pretty excited because he has never been in my building on campus yet, and I have a class (Art History) right about the same time, so I am going to leave at the same time and go in together.  Such a small thing that makes such a big happy feeling.  I finally get to share with him the place where I do all my work and feel the most creative.  It's a pretty awesome building as it is four stories high but the whole center of the building is empty but for a giant atrium.  the classrooms are all along the outside and you can look over into the "pit"  where everyone hangs out and makes art between classes.  I love it because there are trees growing inside the atrium and all kinds of posters and neat stuff all over.  It's like art inspiration central!

I'll be finishing up my costume tonight when I get home for work.  I'm not sure if I told you about it yet.  I had to come up with a Mythological creature and portray it through costume and performance.  My "creature" is the goddess of dew and her name is Petrichora.  She has feathers, and sparkles, and even a tiara.  I love her.  We are supposed to go tonight to be in a parade downtown as a class, but I was already scheduled to work so instead, my instructor decided I have to go to a public place and have someone record me performing in my costume.  Mr. Fantastic is going with me in the early afternoon tomorrow so I can do that.  I think we are going to go to the mall.  I hate that I will be all alone for this and make a complete goof of myself!  Oh well!
This weekend is also going to be a huge study weekend.  I have an Art History midterm on Monday.  It is the first test of the semester in that class, and there are only two tests so I pretty much have to do really well on it.  I cannot get lower than a B in the class if I want to be on schedule for my portfolio review next year.  You see, I cannot get lower than a B in any of my art classes to even be accepted into the School of Art.  Yikes-no pressure!
Well, I hope that you all have a lovely weekend!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Forevers Not So Long

I found this video and it is so beautiful!  I have two favorite lines from the whole thing:
"Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me?"
"Do you want to know my name?"
Oh, please watch this!  It makes everything in life seem so small.

Forever's Not So Long from garrettmurray on Vimeo.


I'm In A Hurry And Don't Know Why

For some reason this song came into my head today.  I think describes me perfectly!  I think it is my new theme song.  Maybe that says something about my crazy life right now.  Maybe it is a clue that I need to slow down and enjoy things a little more.

I hope you are all taking the time to slow down your life today and enjoy all the little things it has to offer us!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

[Working On] Wednesday: Favorite Color

Did you know that my favorite color of the moment is yellow?  It's my color of my year!  When we were told that our inspiration for the week needed to be taken from our favorite color, I got excited!  There are so many yellow things.  All week I kept seeing tons of yellow things and wished I had my camera.  I do have a ton of stuff though.  Here is what I've come up with for Yellow:

I scanned this from my paper collection

I scanned in my ink cartridge

I scanned in my pencils

I scanned in a silk flower

This came from our milk jug handle. 

Click on the pictures to see their sources.

I hope that your week is going well.  Enjoy that last few days.  I can't's almost Spring Break!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

My Feature Post has a title!!

Alright, so I have decided on a catchier name for my feature posts!  Instead of Process Book I'm going to be calling it [Working On] Wednesday....and that title should tell you that I have also decided to move the post to Wednesdays!  I think that this would make it a lot easier to be sure that it is up on time, not to mention that it sounds cooler than working on Monday! So, come back tomorrow to see what I've been working on!!

ART 102

I am currently enrolled in Art 102.  The class is all about time-based art such as performance, sound, books, etc.  Our instructor is not a professor, but rather, she is a Grad student.  Each week she assigns us an extremely lengthy reading to complete and then write a paper about it.  I am not the only one that finds these readings to have no real purpose other than busy work.  They are terribly written and extremely dry.  None of them have taught me anything except anger and frustration.  This week's assignment is by far the worst.  Perhaps it is because I just get more angry with each paper that she assigns.  Apparently our papers that we have done up to this point are not correct.  As a whole, we have summarized the assigned readings and then put in a paragraph or two about our own thoughts.  She informed us that from this point out, we need to make our papers an analysis of the readings.  She wants us to write about our thoughts and how we feel about the readings.  She has also decided that the papers will not be one page long anymore, but instead will be three pages long!
As always, I put this assignment off until the last night because I absolutely couldn't muster up enough energy to read the crap that we were given.  After reading most of the paper and writing my analysis as I went, I got so annoyed that I just stopped reading it altogether.  I decided that if she wants to know how I feel about the reading, I would tell her.  The following is my 2 1/2 (not the required 3) page paper:

The Politics of Performance
            In Performance Art there is nothing leftover.  After a live performance, all that is left of it is a memory.  This is a very interesting statement that makes me reflect on what exactly performance art is and how it can be presented. “Performance honors the idea that a limited number of people in a single time/space frame can have an experience of value which leaves no visible trace afterwards.”  Since memory is such a fleeting idea, it is important to present a performance that is remembered.  How we do that can be difficult, but there are many factors to consider.
            What makes performance so wonderful as a form of art is the inability for us to mass-produce it.  Each performance is unique regardless of any similarities it has with another performance.  In each performance, the performers disappear and become what they are representing: music, character, personality, dance, movement, sound, and/or art.
            While reading “The Politics of Performance,” I became annoyed and angry.  Although the first couple paragraphs led me to think that the chapter might be worth my time, and that I might actually learn something about performance, the further I read, the more obvious it became that reading this was a waste of my time, energy, and thoughts.  The chapter started out with a few interesting ideas related to performance, but then it took a terrible turn.  As the reader, I was bombarded with anti-feminist ideas, talk of genitals, a mockery of Catholic faith, an offensive jeer at Nietzsche, and boring, poorly written performance critiques that seemed far-fetched and contained abstract conclusions.
            Simply using large words and a related vocabulary word here and there, does not constitute a good paper.  Jumping from one thought to another and then back again without clear transitions, makes a paper hard to read, but more notably, it makes the reader want to stop reading the paper at all.  Throwing in several eccentric ideas just for the sake of having them in the paper, makes no sense whatsoever.  The author, Peggy Phelon, goes off on tangents about a handful of “performances” ( I use that word lightly) with long passionate ramblings that seem weird, often radical, and as though she is simply writing to impress someone.  Her critiques are extremely bizarre and unless you have read the artist’s statements about their performances, seem fabricated by the writer for the sake of writing a book long enough to publish. 
            As we near the end of the reading assignment, we notice a change in chapters.  Suddenly we are reading another chapter.  The first few paragraphs of the next chapter begin in nearly the same way as the last chapter we read.  The ideas mirror each other.  Although this is a welcomed relief from the previous chapter, it does not contain any new information.  To make it worse, the author starts droning on about more performances again.  Without missing a beat the author jumps from homo-sexual desires, to feminism, to savings and loans programs set up at loan institutions that promise security. 
            By this point, I asked myself, “What the hell am I still reading this [curse word, curse word] for?”  I closed the file on my computer screen and opened my word program to begin typing a response to the required reading.  Honestly, I am really frustrated by all the reading assignments that do not teach me anything about the subjects we are studying in class.  So far each of the readings has been lengthy and boring.  They have not interested me in any way.  I have learned more from “researching” the material on websites like Wikipedia which is not even a very good website to get educational information from due to the fact that anyone can write anything on that website with no real discrimination of real fact vs. fiction.  Wikipedia or if given the choice between that and the article we were required to read for homework.
            I apologize if this analysis seems harsh or disrespectful.  My disgust with the reading assignments for this class is in no way geared toward you as an instructor.  I simply find them to be a waste of time for no real substantial purpose other than busy work.  I feel it is extremely important for an artist to understand all forms of art and gather inspiration from all aspects of their lives.  It is also important for students to trust that their instructors are educated to a much higher degree than they are as students.  I recognize your educational merits and respect them completely.  I realize that you probably have a reason for having us read these material, but  I also feel that reading such terribly written, boring, and uninformative material is not worth my time as an artist or even as a student.  I understand that by not finishing the last two pages of the reading assignment, I have not fulfilled my homework requirement.  I accept that I will most likely not receive full credit for this assignment.
Hope Your Week is going well.