My greatest inspiration for painting comes from nature and life around me. My greatest inspiration for living comes from sharing life with “my kids”. Mix the two and you have a winning combination, in my book.
The Saturday before classes would start up heralded a favorite outdoor Fall activity and this time my sister and her kids joined me. The Feast of the Hunters’ Moon on the Wabash river near Lafayette, Indiana, is a family activity that is very interactive for all age levels. For the kids, it was a living history lesson and will be counted for one of their homeschool trips. For me it was a delightful opportunity to experience the world once again through their eyes.
As for the camera work… well, it was difficult to do with one hand being gripped so tightly by a 6 year old, but I managed to get Nathanael to let go a few times in order to get some shots.
The zoo is a favorite Indy destination of mine and I hope you enjoy it too since I will be going there a lot with my membership. This time, Rachel Leigh joined me and we spent a day downtown before before classes start up on Monday.
However… we hit the zoo early and found that there were few visitors and the animals were up and about! There is always something different to see no matter when you go, but during the week early before lunch has to be one of the best times for catching the animals and avoiding the crowds!
So if you enjoy zoo photos…here are a few for you.
We also visited the Eiteljorg once again… they have added 2 new exhibits, one which is by Robert Griffing, (an Art Institute of Pittsburg graduate! I take my online classes through that facility.) When here with the kids last week, we went through these a bit too quickly so I wanted to return. Rachel and I had a lot of fun critiquing the 2010 paintings on exhibit and examining the history behind Robert’s paintings.
I kicked off my break a little early with a trip to the Eiteljorg Museum with my sister and niece and nephew. The kids had a wonderful time and so did I. It is such fun to introduce children to new experiences! I think I get more out of it than they as I relive the newness through their eyes and fresh minds.
Sat. night we had a girls night out at my favorite restaurant, The Eagles Nest. We consumed a delectable repast (roast duck for me!) We watched the sunset upon the city and enjoyed the pleasure of the harmonious blending of live piano, laughter, and pleasant conversation.
NOTE: We ended this quarter with a very unusual Harvest Moon that comes around once in a rare 20+ years. I kept running outside to see it’s beauty (and to see if I could photograph it.) I even stayed up until 11:09 just to see the moon riding high with Jupiter nestled close by in the deep folds of the night like a diamond on black velvet. It was stunning.
So, just what DID I learn this quarter? As I made this list, I began to wonder why can’t learning be fun, easy, and painless? This quarter wasn’t as bad as the previous 4, but it had some tough moments! Here are my insights in random order:
If you are not in the zone, then don’t bother coding.
CSS can be a beautiful thing…or it can be really, really ugly.
Adobe Flash is clugy, difficult, and scary because it can crash without warning. But it is pretty and when it works, and it is fun.
Pain and coding are synonymous… get used to it.
I get some sort of twisted thrill out of clean code, properly commented, doing what it is supposed to do.
I can read code now! Wow! I mean, that is really, really wonderful and I am sure it will come in useful. Somewhere. I think. But I am not going to worry about that right now.
Hanging with the programmers and computer geeks (sorry Brad… not trying to put you in a box!) is really fun… you get the opportunity to learn about all sorts of new technologies and are introduced to breathtaking sites that they discover in their travels around the internet! I am definately going to miss that as I slide into the graphic design world next quarter. 😦 sad.
Breathtaking sites… they are beautiful yet intimidating to a novice designer/programmer.
Coding has an intriguing aspect, but I really am an artist / designer – that is my thrill and I missed it this quarter since I was constrained to design only what I could then turn around and code.
Taking 2 ground and 2 online classes is smart. I am doing it again next quarter.
Additions by Charlotte:
If your roomie is doing her coding finals, it is a good time to take a vacation.
Earbuds are great investments.
Finals: get ready for the 3 “ings”: crying, sighing, denying
This was an amazing online class! Fellow students were fully engaged and the instructor actually taught us (and seemed to enjoy it!) He stands out as one of my best online instructors and has raised the bar for any future instructors!
Remember, for this class we have a single client. Mine is Squangles, my own business in which I have partnered with poet, Charlotte Franck, to create unique children’s designs on furniture.
Demonstrate typographical hierarchy and best practices
Marketing: display a giveaway
use a grid
and a few other incidentals (font choice is from a previous week’s discussion, a well as the logo)
I also chose this one because in all my tallying of the various polls and feedback, 1 and 3 tied. However, the teacher chose #2 and I decided to go with that and see what I could do with my least favorite of the 3 designs. It gives my business a very different feel than I originally was thinking, but I ended up loving it. Tell me what you think!
Now I am really wanting to code the thing in Flash! Crazy! Aaarrgghhhh… I think there is more of a geek in me than I want to admit!
There is one thing I would change if I ever take it “live” – I would add my illustrations to each page. That would kick it up a notch, I think. Black and white outline, or maybe my puppy… something simple yet “me”.
This quarter was all about coding and designing websites! Made for a very technical quarter, which was an odd experience after a year concentrating on design. I have been learning a lot of software, but coding somehow made me feel like I was back in business college or working on one of my jobs!
I actually enjoyed using Flash once I spent time with the tutorials. It is easier than html/css, but can be just as frustrating when you can’t find that dilatory “.” or “,”! It can also do some weird and wacky things with no explanation and there were horror stories of Flash projects not working or crashing. That makes the heart drop! I was saving extra copies all over the place!
Here is my final portfolio site (remember… again, it was about hitting the requirements and creating as little pain for myself as possible. Also… I don’t like transitions too well, so I did not use them.)
Oh…by the way, there is an “Easter egg” in this… meaning a hidden link. Can you find it?
What is with this quarter? It’s another website final, but this time it is only designing (as opposed to coding.) In week 5 we did the prework and 3 mockups and week 6 we will be choosing the final design and completing 3 sub pages. Here are my thumbnails for the homepage as well as 3 of my favorite layouts. Now that I think about it, the layouts were probably supposed to all be in the same colors, but I had fun playing around with ideas and different color schemes.
I am not sure which is my favorite! The red circles are the 3 I chose to use in my mockups.
Thumbnails of 10 different layouts
Option 1 would have clickable photos that enlarge and have a description
Option 2 - lots of color and large scrolling images
The final project for my web class was to re-design the Art Institute’s site (I got a 295/300 on this! My menu jiggles and that docked me 5 points):
Use css (not tables)
create a Dreamweaver template and then use that for 6 pages (Home, About, News, Student Life, etc.)
sub pages must contain the same info as is on the site
links must work etc.
use Cufon to place a specialty font in the page titles
One of the sub pages
Unfortunately my partner bailed on me and I finally figured out he wasn’t going to show (it was his job to supply some of the graphics as well as help code the sub pages after I created the template.) I coded this and created the graphics in one weekend. Needless to say, I felt a certain sense of accomplishment over that! Prior to going into the weekend, I was feeling quite shakey with my html capabilities, but this has given me a confidence that I would not have had if I were working with a solid partner. (Not that I am thanking the kid, mind you! Made for a wicked weekend! As well asI took a hit on some late online homework .)
That crunch means there are some things that are not fully “clean”, but all the requirements were met and even exceeded. Below is a clickable version of the same seen above (for those who might be nerdy enough to care about the details!)
This week in Electronic Design we were required to create a packaging design for our business. Since Squangles is still very personalized, that was a challenge and the normal packaging (boxes, displays, etc.) was out of the picture. However, I have presented my work at art fairs and charity auctions. I also hand deliver the item to the buyer, who then turns around and gives it as a gift.
This was to be presented to the client on an 8.5 x 11 presentation board with various views. I chose to stylize a rocking chair design to reflect the wooden furniture portion of Squangles and create a hinged gift tag. Views include: front (closed), back (closed), and an inside (opened) with 2 ribbon options.
Since this is an online class, prework was submitted via a pdf file: SquanglesW4
Some splashes of bright complimentary color, the lines with an almost crayon-like look, whimsical font, and voila, the final logo.
The final, full color ad with the logo incorporated:
[Note: this is one of my illustrated table and chair sets with Charlotte’s poetry going around the edges. This was commissioned by a chiropractor and now resides in his waiting room, which is decorated in the soft greens.]