ART 350 - Graphic Design I

Taken during my Fall 2023 semester, Graphic Design I was the first design class I ever took. For our first project, we were prompted to create a collage in Photoshop using a previously collected visual asset library to portray an emotion. My emotion was vaucasy, which is the fear that you’re little more than a product of your circumstances. In choosing this emotion, I wanted something that felt familiar to me and had something to do with melancholic reflection. Texture was of the upmost importance to me since we had developed such a wide array of visual information via our asset library. Usually I despise collages because I like working within set parameters and collages typically break my mind. The process for this one, however, flowed really nicely and is now one of my favorite pieces I have ever made. I tried to create three different sections for different ways vaucasy can apply to you life. For the left section, I included elements pertaining to school, religion, world views, etc. The middle is based on the ideas of workplace and community. Finally, the right is based on birthplace and family. This has some of the most exciting texture work I have ever implemented in my art and inspired my next project to do the same.

Photoshop Montage
Photoshop Brush Experiments
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For this project, I was given the choice between a Photoshop animation or illustration. I chose animation. The title of the work, “The Garden,” comes from the greek philosopher Epicurus, as I was originally going to play a little bit more with the ideas of Epicureanism (absence of pain and fear constitutes the greatest pleasure, simple life, etc), though this did not fully come through in the final work. My goal was to create a dialogue between two characters that could basically mean anything or nothing at all, depending on what text is placed at the bottom of the screen (something I would like to expand upon further some other time). Something I found noteworthy was that the main character’s design (the one who walks in) was taken from a project I started in 2020 called Expired Thoughts. The original goal of that project was a comedic YouTube channel that used “chalky” animation, similar to “The Garden,” that explored really bizarre concepts that were extremely absurdest and comedic. For years now, I have used the character design as my profile picture for my discord and email. I thought it appropriate to use him as a character in this animation as a homage to an “expired” idea that follows the same ethos as he once embodied. This was definitely my favorite project of the semester.

Animation Sketches
First Test Animation
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For this project, we were told to illustrate the interior and exterior of an object. To be honest, I really struggled with this project. I never felt like I had a clear idea of what I wanted. For some reason, I was hung up on the idea of a loaf of something for a while…not sure why. It took me awhile but eventually I settled on the idea of an office within an office (supplies). I was thinking about taking it down a satirical route, sort of cold war propaganda-esk where the people inside the supplies were “listening in” on the hypothetical viewer or “stealing your information,” which is why the tape roller has some somewhat bizarre instruments and objects in it. I eventually simplified it into just an office (potentially gathering information, who knows). Trying to figure out the perspective on this piece was a real pain as it wasn’t truly isometric. I am proud of how the executive office looks like in the scissors, I wasn’t sure how to implement it for the longest time. This project showed me that I should never give up because until I put all the elements together, I truly disliked what I had created. Now, I am really happy with how it turned out.

Interior/Exterior Sketches
Kerning Experiments
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Technically, this final project counted as one of our exercises since it only took a week of class time, but I wanted to include it anyway with more of an explanation as I believe it deserves it. We were prompted to create merit badges to exchange with each other. The twist being, they were going to be cut on a vinyl cutter, and therefore could only be one color and required a minimal amount of small details. I wanted to make something a little silly with the prompt “helped a friend today.” What’s cuter than a kraken helping out a fisherman. Is he scaring away all the potential fish with his imposing body? Probably. However, it’s the thought that counts.