Christmas Break 2010

Christmas break was approximately 4 weeks long. With all that time, you would think a lot would get done, but on the contrary, it seemed I only accrued more to do! I did fit in some fun with the family with our seasonal cookie day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, visits to the Eiteljorg museum’s first train setup, and visits with friends.

Incidentally, this was also when one family of kids broke out into chicken pox (Christmas Eve) and promptly shared it with their cousins on both sides of the family. Kids at our church were dealing with the result of that all the way through Jan.

One design related item I did accomplish was the annual family calendar that did not get printed until the end of January due to printer breakdown.

This year I chose a theme of vintage children’s books and had a lot of fun with that. This has always been a favorite topic, but the more research I did on it, the more in love with it I fell. I even purchased a couple of vintage books… a Mother Goose book that my Mother grew up with and one of my own first books that is falling into tatters. Now I want to start collecting vintage children’s books! The art is so amazing (especially because it is not computer generated!)

I did not include all the months, but here is a slideshow of some of them and some wonderful links are included below.

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Vintage Kid’s Books My Kid Loves – a blog with wonderful images

Project Gutenberg – Free vintage e-books – the children’s books have gorgeous photos and you can download these to your e-reader

At Home with Pencil and Paper

While I struggled with the advertising projects, the Life Drawing classes were an oasis for me. I felt like I had finally come home and was losing myself in the homework. I understood this. It was basic. It was kinetic. It involves the whole being – spirit, mind, body – as well as many senses that are untouched in my computer work (which is still very left-brained for me.) It is difficult to explain. 

When in the lab, I lose track of all time and the world is upright. Nothing else matters but the challenge before me, and I fell in love with capturing  in graphite the reality I was experiencing. This then translated over to my technical pen work, which can be seen in my Corporate Communications final and this year’s Christmas cards. It also inspired me to pull out my oils and brushes once more and start painting my beloved Christmas ornaments.

I came back to the “me” I love being… the artist me… the me who loves the world she sees through appreciative artist’s eyes. I am happy and it is impacting more than just my school experience… it is eveloping my whole world.

Here is my final lab drawing on my large sketchbook.  This is with a live model who would stand for 20 minutes at a time, then take a 10 min break. Each time she came back the folds in her clothing would change, so that was a challenge. One of my fellow students wasn’t thrilled with the back view, but the front view involved a shirt full of ruffles and a textured vest… I think this was the easier view for the timeframe we had (2 hours or so). I could do this all day long!

Final Design Layout

For our Design Layout class, the final was to choose an inanimate object, write what it means to you, and then design three 11×17 posters. They were to be photographic, illustrative, and text only. My object was key lime pie and I wrote about the first time I had ever tried real key lime pie when Lainey and I visited the Florida Keys.

With all my energy diverted to my Corporate Communications class, I let the creativity slide a bit on this project (and the teacher commented on that.) I plan to use these as the basis for a frameable final print to go in our kitchen, so I think of them as my “roughs” of the final project, which is not yet finished.

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Sketchbook: Holiday Style

The final weeks of my sketchbook for Life Drawing were gearing more towards the topic of Christmas. This included documenting my ornament painting, a poinsettia we had, as well as reaching back into my photography class last year and using my Mary/Jesus  images to create this year’s Christmas cards.

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Branding: Finding my Voice

Life Drawing and my teacher, Beth, both contributed to my finding my voice in the brand. As I struggled with how to be myself in this computerized project, Beth kept commenting on my fine arts side. So I decided to move in that direction and voila, a sketched tree and bird became the basis for my branding presentation.

It began to “have legs” as I could do a lot with the sketching idea as well as the stylized bird.

For a view of the entire process in an interactive .swf file, go to my online presentation.

Here are a few touchpoints created for the brand:

  • Front and back of my business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Tag
  • Holiday tshirt design
  • Online banner

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Sketchbook: Heads and Hands

Another study we did was on the planes of the face as well as self portraits. I did 4 of myself and liked none of them, but I am including the one our instructor liked best.

I am also including a couple of my studies on hands. These were sketched sitting in the chiropractor’s office right before class! Talk about doing your homework at the last minute.

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Branding: Brand Brief

Another visual that is presented to the client (or class, in this case) is the compilation of many intense hours of work building the brand values, mission, vision, key messages, etc.  These all build up to the “Big Idea” for the brand located in the center of my layout (on the blue). It seemed with everything in my life that I examined, I came back to inviting people to meet God, each other, a great store/product, an interesting concept, or myself… always that invitation to engage in and interact with each other. So I took that as the “big idea” in my life.

An invitation to relationship through verbal, written, and visual communications.

Sketchbook: Masters

Sketchbook homework often included copying a Master drawing. I hope to continue with this exercise because it was extremely helpful to study their particular styles.

DaVinci’s horse, a study of how architecture imitates the human form, Michelangelo’s figure: