While I have always sketched little cartoons in the margins of every one of my notebooks, illustration is an area where I have been wanting to truly grow for a while. I had plans to study abroad at The University of Plymouth in the UK and enroll in their Illustration track in the Fall of 2020. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to attend. Since then, I have been determined to develop my illustration style by practicing on a program called Procreate, watching hours of instructional videos, and researching illustrators on my own.
One of my core values in artmaking is to create from an authentic inner place. Authentic artmaking results in work that reflects snippets from life around me, in every medium. Some of these illustrations are still-life’s, and others are adaptations from my memory. I illustrate with a mix of bold and soft colors, flat color planes, slightly distorted proportions, and the utilization of negative space in the image overall. Illustration and children’s books are intertwined in my mind, so I often create while channeling my childlike nature. This is why I am hoping to one day illustrate children’s books.
My next piece is the Whitworth Art & Design Branding Project which was completed during the Graphic Design 2 class. This project was created by Professor Ben Necochea and was based on the renaming of the Whitworth Art Department to the Whitworth Art and Design Department.
Throughout this project, we were given the opportunity and freedom to reconceptualize the logo for the department. We also were free to stray from the established Whitworth University brand guidelines. This was a great opportunity to practice creating original logo designs.
After many phases and ideas, I settled on a concept inspired by Whitworth’s beautiful campus.
The logo was to be simple and professional, while making the letters clearly visible. I wanted this logo’s letters to connect well together and have balance. The “W” is in the shape of a person which helps to represent student growth in all aspects of their art. Hopefully this design projects the department’s shift in direction.
In this next blog post, I want to talk about how my ideas of critiquing consumer culture in advertising formed. Then, I will try to explain how I convey this idea within my own work. Before getting involved with graphic design, I only saw advertising in two ways; informative or annoying. The more I learned about graphic design and technology, I slowly realized how manipulative and aggressive consumer advertising has become over the past few decades. Entire million-dollar industries are built on selling users’ personal data for targeted advertising and there is no sign of this trend slowing down. I was disgusted not only in this societal trend, but also in myself for being a part of the problem as a graphic designer. To combat this, I started researching how graphic design can be used ethically. The best way to reveal the dangers of advertising is through counter advertising. More specifically, promoting awareness of this problem through graphic design.
My first project involving this topic is my “Consume Magazine” made in 2019. This magazine was meant to be about how we consume resources; whether it be food or media. The project was fairly successful in my opinion, but due to my limited knowledge of digital graphic design at the time, it now looks a bit mediocre. Nonetheless, I believe that this project helped me start thinking about art and design in ways which provide some sort of information to a viewer or consumer. Particularly information about how technology influences human life.
Another project dealing with this theme is my “Consume Catalog”. It is fairly similar in terms of content, but I feel it was more successful in conveying the idea of mass consumption. Pictured within the design are various dismembered cow parts or tools used in the cattle processing industry. They are advertised as if they were for sale in some high-end market and the prices listed are ridiculously high. For example, one of the images is a jar of cow eyeballs listed for $1,520. What I was hoping to convey in this was the brutality of the cattle industry and the extents that some people go to in order consume what they want, whatever it may be. In this particular work, I juxtaposed these ideas with trends which can be seen in the fashion industry of soaring prices for seemingly common items.
This project was created to fulfill an assignment for Graphic Design II, Spring 2021. The brief required us to create a new logo for the recently renamed Whitworth Department of Art and Design. We were instructed to create a new identity and completely forget the established guidelines set by the university. I decided to create a dynamic logo that can stand alone or change depending on which degree track is being referenced. I kept the logo minimal so the art and design work it is placed next too can speak for itself.
I started this project by creating the branding guide and dynamic logo. This established a set of rules for myself and others to follow when using the brand. I chose to go with a dynamic logo that fit with each track in the department. Even though each track fits under the larger Whitworth Art & Design umbrella, each one is unique and has instances where it should be distinguished.
The next step was using the dynamic logos to create business cards for each professor in the department. The front of the card features the logo and the back features their information along with the Whitworth A&D icon.
While designing the business cards I decided that I wanted to create a folder of information that would be sent to students when they were accepted into the department. I created several postcards, letterhead, and stickers that would be included in this folder. It would provide students with information like classes they need to take, what the department can offer them, and welcome letters from their advisor and the chair of the department.
The final portion of this project was creating a series of promotional posters that could be used to advertise the different tracks in the department. I adapted the tagline “Create Your Future” which can be found in the admission folder to fit three of the tracks the department offers. I wanted these posters to be eye-catching, engaging, and readable. To accomplish this, I used photos where the subject took up most of the frame and large text interacting with the subject. It creates an intriguing design that is still legible from afar.
After struggling with internal components and experimenting with different forms for way too long, I decided to make some drastic changes in my approach to making bongs. As mentioned in my last post, the first and biggest change was the cessation of hand building problem pieces, such as the bowl and down-stem. These components were to be replaced by premade glass components. By making this switch, I saved myself a lot of headaches in the production of each bong, and it also made them more user friendly. This made things easier for me, because I no longer had to deal with the down-stem (which was prone to cracking) or the sizing of the bowl (it is easier to size clay to glass rather than clay to clay, as clay shrinks at semi-predictable rates). The bongs became more user friendly due to the glass down-stem being removable (easier cleaning) and the standardized sizing of the bowl (easier to replace if lost or broken). These changes to the mechanics of my pieces also led to changes in the design process. Since I had finally figured out the internals of my pipes, I finally felt comfortable moving towards regular production. It was at this point that I started working in series, my first being the Shatter series, of which all these pieces are a part.
An 8-bong series, Shatter is largely inspired by Kintsugi; a Japanese approach to ceramic repair, that utilizes lacquer, gold, and other precious metals, to reform broken pieces. The idea being that there is beauty in the cracks and that they should be highlighted rather than hidden. The main difference from this series to actual Kintsugi is that the cracks in my pieces are simulated and “filled” with gold luster rather than gold lacquer. This, and the form of the pieces, were the only constraints that I had made for myself when conceptualizing this group of pipes. The surface designs were left open for me to explore different ideas. That is why the pieces vary so much in decoration, and why a majority of the series is just finished with different, solid colors. Having put so much effort into the mechanics of the pieces, up to this point, I was just starting to actually think about how I want to design the most visible part of my pieces.
In addition to wildlife, I also enjoy painting the human figure. It is exciting to capture someone’s expression with paint. In a series I did last year, I used my nieces as models and attempted to express what it is like to be childlike. Children have many qualities that often get left behind as people age. In these two paintings from the series, I used the setting of a playground and my color choices to illustrate some of these qualities.
In Joy, I captured a moment of a young girl getting ready to go down the slide. The setting of the playground accentuates the childlike feeling that is already found in her expression. I also chose colors that would suggest playfulness and childlike joy.
In Curiosity, I attempted to depict the childlike curiosity that many possess in learning about and discovering the world. In this painting,we see a young girl in the act of climbing on top of the monkey bars, an action that adds to the idea of wanting to learn and see things new. The girl’s expression is a very important part of the painting, and she looks off into the distance as she appears to be pondering something. I wanted to contrast the thoughtfulness of this expression with vibrant and playful colors.
After taking my first Adobe Suite class and discovering my love for design, I was able to improve my skill in a Graphic Design 1 course. I was originally concerned with the amount of layout and print design in this class, as the rigid structure of body text and magazine formatting did not lend itself well to my design style. Luckily, we eventually started an assignment called “Circle Icons” where were needed to illustrate different subject matter within the bounds of a circle. I took this project as an opportunity to test what I could do with Adobe Illustrator. Opacity, gradient, and shape builder tools were all used to create these icons. I think the koi pond is my favorite because the transparency of the water and the unique colors of the fish forced me to learn new illustration strategies.
This course narrowed my focus in illustration and allowed me to experience what my profession might look like after graduation. While the stylistic choices for this project were beginning to emphasize simplicity within complexity, it was not until the following semester that I began to use abstraction as a means for expressing this concept.
Find me on Instagram @kyles_illustrationsanddesign or on Redbubble at KyleSmithgall
Hello, friends! My name is Emily Coy. I am a painter, drawer, printmaker, and illustrator. In my work, I focus on place, memory, and time. I have found that it is important to me to try to authentically grasp the details of life around me before I forget them. While I am aware that forgetting parts of life is inevitable, there is still a yearning to record normalcy. I try to focus on capturing the normal day-to-day because it can be easier to forget. When looking at my art, I want it to be a place of rest and reminiscence for the mind.
I was privileged enough to be able to take Whitworth’s printmaking class. There I had access to the equipment needed to learn of my love for printmaking. I specifically grew attached to the linocut process. Each step is therapeutic in its intentional nature. I have also learned that I prefer bold colors, shapes and lines in my work because of their permanent and stable feel. The linocut process lends itself well to creating this aesthetic. The ability to repeat an image satisfies my creative soul in ways I cannot fully understand. Through printmaking, I can create patterns that correlate tothe patterns I find in my life. The peaceful process, the boldness and the ability to create repetition are why I gravitate towards linocut printmaking.
COVID-19 and all of itsrestrictions. I was learning what it meant to slow down, to pay attention and to breath. I have experienced a whole array of emotions being contained within a space. No one argues with the fact that being kept in one place for months on end comes with its challenges. There were some interesting things I learned about myself and those living with me as well. Living with seven other roommates during the fall, there would be plenty of times where we would gather in the living room, watching Harry Potter, doing homework, catching up, and I would be embroidering on this piece of printed fabric. Each section that is embroidered has a different memory attached to it. I remember a certain mood I was feeling while working on a certain area. This fabric is my diary for the Fall of 2020, stuck in my house, full of good, bad and in-betweens.
My name is Daly Derwenskus, and I am studying Graphic Design with a minor in Visual Communication. A lot of my work as well as experience has been centered around website design. I chose Graphic Design because this was one of the areas I personally struggled with, and wanted to improve upon. The goal I have in mind is to be able to create my own graphics for my websites in the future. This can include banner designs, advertisement designs, and product thumbnails among other things.
This first piece was designed for Kapaa High School’s Athletics Department in Hawaii. It was a seasonal e-commerce site created on Squarespace with basic CSS integrations. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets that allows people to further design and style a website. It’s essentially the process of styling a canvas, or in this case a website. Because of how Squarespace can have limitations on what you can do, having CSS knowledge can be helpful. This website design project was completed while I interned at Osaki Creative Group and was my first client project for them. Throughout this project I was able to work with the other graphic designers who provided me with the logo for the project. I created the product shots, as well as other banner elements throughout the site.
This project was meant to reflect the High School’s brand image, as well as making it mobile responsive for the faculty, families, and students. The website URL I created was called “kapaawarriors.net” however it is no longer active. After completing this project, I found I had enjoyed doing both graphic design work as well as website design which helped push me in this direction.
Hi, I’m Sean. I want to talk about my past and how it has shaped my art making in the present. I wasn’t always interested in graphic design, in fact, I made conscious decisions to get away from digital and fine art. When I was finishing up my last year in high school, I knew that I wanted to follow my passions and not just play it safe in college by getting a business degree. So, after a lot of contemplating, I decided to follow my passion in music and go to school for audio engineering. I was fortunate enough to get accepted to the audio engineering program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. I was ecstatic not only because I was going to music city, but also because I could finally take my music goals seriously.
This excitement was short-lived however because I quickly realized that Nashville was not my cup of tea. There were too many tall cowboy hats and too much honkey tonk music playing everywhere I went. After a lot of contemplating, I decided to move back home to Spokane and attend college at Whitworth University, my mother’s alma mater. Art making was something that I enjoyed and I thought I was good at, but I never really considered making a career out of it. Not until I saw Whitworth’s Art Department and all they had to offer. Even though I knew nothing about digital art, I decided to major in graphic design and start fresh.
The number of metaphorical tools in my tool box has increased exponentially since beginning the graphic design program. Just two years ago, I couldn’t have told you what a layer mask is or what isometric design is. My time interning at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Art Museum and Sculpture Garden allowed me to contemplate themes in contemporary art and how I can incorporate some of those themes within my own work. I now feel much moreconfident in my work and what I produce and I can attribute that to the Art Department here at Whitworth.
My focus now is on how I can blend what I have learned about audio with what I have learned about graphic design. My belief is that any work of art can be enhanced with the incorporation of audio and vice versa. Exploring this theme has led me down some interesting paths which I like to express in my work. The most recent theme which I am exploring is uncovering how technology can be beneficial as well as detrimental within daily life and our contemporary landscape. Specifically, the ethical implications of graphic design in modern advertising culture. My work “Some Goddamn Peace & Quiet” showcases this theme well and is the culmination of all of my knowledge and skills I have learned over the past five years. Audio, film, graphic design, and some aspects of fine art are all showcased within a minute and a half video and the accompanying object.
My name is Sophia Lizberg and I am a graphic designer originally from Boise, Idaho. When I am not pursuing my love for Graphic Design, I like to travel (before there was a worldwide pandemic), read books, create, watch movies, and drink spectacular coffee. My design work is the product of me working through the design process to create impactful pieces and serve a client’s needs. As a designer, I first look at what would best benefit the client and where my style fits in second. My style draws inspiration from the Swiss/International Style that originated in the 1940s. I am drawn to the sans-serif typography, legibility, and saturated/matte color palettes that defined this era.
It goes without saying that 2020 was not without its immense challenges. We faced a pandemic, racial injustice, the effects of climate change, and economic uncertainty, to name a few. When Whitworth University decided to invite its students back to campus last fall, we knew that the traditional t-shirt leadership students wore needed to send an uplifting message. We wanted students and parents to know that we knew how stressful it was to make the decision to return in the middle of a pandemic, but our faith in our community was unwavering. We are Resilient, Faithful, Whitworth.
The original purpose of this design was to use on the t-shirts for 125 leadership students for move-in weekend. It was also used for little t-shirts that went on stuffed animals that students stuffed at the first event of the year. When creating this project, I worked on incorporating my love of Swiss principles into the format of hand-lettering. It turned out that our message resonated with more than our students. As images of the shirt were published on social media parents, alumni, faculty, and staff expressed their love for the message and the shirt. This led to the design gracing not only the shirts of 125 students but magazines, stickers, facemasks, and more.
When the message resonated with the Whitworth community, the Office of Marketing and Communications reached out and asked to put it on the cover of Whitworth Today. The publication is the university’s semiannual magazine that has a reach of 24,00 readers. Along with the cover I had the opportunity to hand letter more phrases for a story on the 2020 graduates inside the magazine. It was distributed physically and is available for online viewing here.
When I was creating this design, I had no idea of the impact it would have on my community. Not only did comments started flowing in on social media declaring love for the message and design, but people wanted to know where they could get one. This was a new situation for the university because these shirts are typically only made for leadership students. We decided to break the precedent and make the shirts available to the public. Ultimately, t-shirts, facemasks, and stickers were made available for purchase.
I have known exactly the type of pieces that I wanted to make since high school. The idea of making ceramic bongs didn’t come from a desire to use them, it came for a place of intrigue after browsing Instagram for new ideas on what to make. After stumbling onto ceramist Daniel Nelson’s page and seeing his pieces, my heart was set on making some of my own. Due to the fact that making bongs is generally frowned upon by most high schools, I was unable to even try to make one until college. Once I was given the go ahead, I dove into production head on. These three earlier pieces show the generous amount of thought that I was putting into surface design at this time. This can be seen in the various types of surface techniques employed in these pieces and also in the varying degree of focus put into aesthetic design and/or representational design.
What these pieces do not show, however, is the amount of work and experimentation I was putting into interior components. For those that are not familiar with the mechanics of a bong, the general idea is that you are using water to cool the smoke of whatever herb you are inhaling. This is done by pulling the smoke through a down-stem (essentially a straw that goes into the interior of the piece), into water, before finally traveling through the mouthpiece and into your lungs. Another component of this system is a removable bowl piece that sits in the down-stem. This piece acts as both a holder for the herb and a carburetor to change air flow and allow for a hit to be taken.
Since I was making these pieces with no prior experience, my biggest hurdle was making these components not only work but work well. These pieces all feature hand thrown down-stems and bowls; I have since stopped throwing these components as they have proven to be both a hindrance to piece production and overall functionality. The down-stems tended to crack and generally not be up to par function-wise, and the bowl pieces were nearly impossible to size and lacked the “standardized sizing” that glass pieces have. Testing and re-testing these components using different styles and techniques is what shaped how I make pieces now; all in the pursuit of creating pieces with top-quality functionality.
I am a senior at Whitworth majoring in art and also taking prerequisites for different jobs in the medical field. I am originally from Wyoming and get much of my inspiration for my art from there. I enjoy hiking, hunting, fishing and being in the outdoors. My primary subject to paint is wildlife. I enjoy getting out in nature, observing animals and taking photo references, and later turning those observations and references into works of art. I will be graduating in May with a Bachelor of Art and am currently taking an EMT course as well. My plans are to be a practicing EMT this coming year while making as much art as I can.
This piece marks the first painting that I was really proud of. I saw these elk while hiking with a couple buddies in northern Yellowstone in January. We were snowshoeing when we spied this group of six bull elk. We stopped and quietly observed them for a while. It was the morning after a big storm and the elk were digging into the snow with there snouts to eat grass. Yellowstone is brutal in the winter and many animals don’t make it through those months depending on the severity. Elk in Yellowstone are presented with many challenges in the winter including finding food and conserving energy that they need to expend staying warm and running from predators. These elk were out before first light after a brutal storm that night. Digging in the snow with their snouts for grass, the elk carried on with survival. We watched them for a time, and first light hit them as they looked back at us. In this piece, I experimented with color, using lively colors and hues in the elk and the warm light shining on them. I juxtaposed these lively colors and warm light on the elk with the cold and snowy landscape around them. I was able to pay closer attention to form, color, and light in this piece than I had in previous paintings. This piece pushed me to keep playing with color, expression, and composition.
This is another one of my early wildlife paintings. In this piece, I used a photoreference from a photographer I know. It depicts a pair of wild horses in Wyoming. Wild horses are not common anymore but it is always special to get to see them. During the first few months of a foal’s life, the mare is the foal’s source of life and protection. As with all my pieces, I wanted this piece to evoke an emotional response from the viewer, and I attempted to do this in the way I paid attention to the gestures of the horses and utilized color in the horses and their surroundings. I wanted to show the warmth and tenderness that exists between a mare and her foal. The gestures of the animals tell a lot in themselves with the foal curled up in the grass and the mare standing nearby watching over. I paid close attention to the gestures of these animals and utilized color and light to better establish this relationship. I related the figures to each other by using colors reminiscent of nurturing and warmth. I also used light and warmth in the surroundings of the foal and mare showing the safe and protected environment the foal is in with his mother standing over him. Depicting and learning about light was a primary focus for this piece. I was also able to keep exploring and learning about form, color, and composition.
I am constantly reflecting on the events that lead to my current art style and creative process, so it is only logical that I introduce my work from the start of my journey at Whitworth. When I transferred from Spokane Falls Community College, I originally planned to major in Computer Science. My interest in this field stemmed from my fascination in video games, as I wanted to program similar digital experiences for others. It was not long, however, before I realized that the visual aspect of video games is what captured me, and not the tedious background coding. After a spring and summer hiatus to reevaluate my passions, I landed on Whitworth’s Graphic Design program. It was the perfect combination of technological and visual creativity, and my first class in Adobe Creative Cloud resolved any doubt I had about switching career paths.
Growing up I had always been obsessed with nature and wildlife, so when it came time to create my first zine on “anything we wanted,” I immediately jumped into working with sea life. I chose to use Adobe Illustrator for this project, as the versatility of the vector format interested me. My primary goal with the booklet was to draw attention to the complicated and fascinating characteristics of marine animals through simplified vector shapes. The formal strategies used in my marine life booklet also reflect my work’s conceptual basis, that the contemplation of simple components, complex systems, and the relationship between the two allow for one to experience true beauty.
Find me on Instagram @kyles_illustrationsanddesign or on Redbubble at KyleSmithgall