Topics that have interested me and influenced my artwork have encompassed many academic fields. The main thing I have come to recognize about myself is that, though strenuous at times, the research used to discover meaning within the work I create is the most impactful part of the creative process. I never really know where these theories will take me, but the ability to quickly edit and create art in large quantities is what mainly drew my interest towards screen-printing.
Printmaking has been the most influential studio course that I have taken during my career at Whitworth, influencing the research and interests I have continued to pursue. Being given the option to repeatedly take the class for credit has only aided my effectiveness in creating and developing ideas through the printmaking process.
The prints included in this post are one of the initial trial-and-error process prints I went through to learn about the relationship between different 2D objects. They explore how orientation can change our perception of the objects. The initial idea was that these different shapes would help create a perceived 3D cube on the 2D page. Most of the research I did on this topic took me in the direction of phenomenology and Philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, as well as artists Josef Albers and Robert Mangold. The combination of these sources and the creative process is what led to different iterations and designs in this series, as well as influenced my need for in-depth research throughout my creative process. This impacted not only my artwork but also my entire Whitworth experience, making the liberal arts experience even more crucial for my education.
In this selection of works, I’ve focused on expressing various ways that mental illness can manifest and impact the tone of life. Interior Space delves into this from a more positive perspective. Having personally dealt with anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphia for significant portions of my life, finding comfort within myself and my body has been quite a challenge. This print represents the surreal peace that arises (on a good day) when significant work in learning to accept yourself finally pays off. For me, learning to see my interior world as a sanctuary that I carry with me has helped me be less afraid of the outside world and my place within it. The use of sparkly stickers and cutesy motifs in concert with sharp black shadows and contours serves as a metaphor for the intensity with which many of our dreamy and playful hearts have to push against dysfunction.
While the benefits of healing can be immense and profound, A Thousand Sordid Images was conceived out of frustration over the problems that persist. Despite the endless other characteristics that define me as a person, it often feels as if the messy parts of me are the only aspects I present to the world. The woman portrayed in this image appears interesting and confident, with her tattoos and unique interior design choices. The metal leafing on her underwear emphasizes the brazenness with which she presents her whole self, and brings a vivacious energy to the statement she is making about her identity. The woman’s bold presentation of herself makes the sink, overflowing with black liquid, even more noticeable and strange. It could be argued that the eerie mess makes the whole image more interesting or compelling, or that it distracts from the positive aspects of the character the image represents, leading her to appear messy, dysfunctional, or irresponsible.
The two Dollhouse paintings were made by printing the same linoleum plates onto two separate canvases. I then experimented with altering the color palette from one to the other in order to impact the mood of the image. Both were painted in sweet, cheerful color schemes and the overall style and size of the house is one of luxury, comfort, and elegance. When looking closer however, many of the details in the home seem off in some way. The abundance of untouched desserts piled on the kitchen counter, floor, and table, the wasp’s nest hanging like a chandelier in the living room, the gaping hole in the floor of the upper right bedroom- all of these elements contribute to an unease in the otherwise pleasant environment. This house illustrates the complexity of being raised in a family that holds a significant amount of privilege, appearing functional and content, yet is plagued by mental illness. The sweet color palette and youthful imagery (stuffed animals, cartoon hearts, frosted desserts) paired with dark and nonsensical narrative elements are key to the purpose of these paintings. They reflect the mind of a child as they gain slow awareness of the deep problems within what was once thought of as a perfect dollhouse life.
One of the things that first drew me to graphic design was the visual interplay between images and text. The following examples display two different approaches – handmade and digital – to this image-text relationship.
Spread Your Wings is a handmade collage that conveys its message through medium, color, text and imagery. I layered elements found in magazines over a stylized, hand-drawn background. The finished product uniquely allows me to combine my love of quotes, photography, graphic design and fine art. While most of my work is created digitally, I find the process of making things by hand therapeutic. For this reason, I plan to incorporate collage into my future designs whenever possible.
Inspired by the Seattle Children’s Theater world premiere production of Black Beauty, this poster was created to advertise the play in a fictional setting. The story of Black Beauty is a tale of animal cruelty and hardship told from a horse’s perspective. This juxtaposition is depicted in the horse head image because it combines both real and fictional elements, much like the story itself. Using the head shape from one of my own photographs, I added the graphic pattern to resemble the style and form of the large horse puppet in the play. Additionally, I chose to make the eye detailed and realistic to represent the narrator and to instill an emotional connection with the viewer. Limiting the color palette to gray and black unites the text with the image.
This design is dedicated to a late friend and teammate Deante Strickland. Some of my fondest memories with Deante were playing basketball all over the Portland area. Whether it was working out in the muggy SEI gym or playing a high school game at Central Catholic, Tae was always running circles around defenders. The silhouette depicts Deante’s number “11” emerging out of the Portland skyline. I created one of my light-hearted illustrations of Deante to represent his laid-back character and contagious smile. I also included the quote by Martin Luther King Jr to represent the perseverance that Deante displayed throughout his life. He persevered through people that doubted his short stature, his attitude and his dedication to academics. After two years of junior college ball Deante played for two years at Portland State before graduating. He was planning to go back to school to earn a masters and play a season of football at Portland State before he passed.
J. Bloome is a mock floral event and décor company. I used my illustration style to create a logo that people will associate with the company. My greatest challenge was to combine simplicity with uniqueness. I tried to accomplish this by using soft lines and a limited color palette. I used a limited color palette with the peach and cream. I used splashes of green to make the brand more dimensional. Color is important to this design, however it can also be displayed in black and white without losing the association to the company.
I created this logo for PlumCrazy Photography last summer, and it was the first full project I had done with branding, from conceptualization to completion. It was a great process of discussing with the client what was needed, and then taking the thoughts and ideas that they had envisioned for their company and representing them in a visual way.
This was a project I designed for my old high school’s recording of their spring production of The Little Mermaid. Due to COVID-19 regulations and closures, they were only able to perform on opening night before the rest of their season was shut down. They were, however, given permission to do one last performance of the play without an audience in order to record it. I had the privilege of designing the artwork for the cover of the CD. My brother is a senior this year and it was his last performance in the pit orchestra with the school. I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this experience with him, and creating the cover design was a lot of fun. The shape of the CD definitely posed some challenges initially, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone as an artist, and I believe that is important. I partnered with PlumCrazy Photography, the company that produced the video, to finish the design.
This was commissioned by a family friend and his Podcast team in Utah. The hand design and inner circle of the logo was already established by the time I got to the project, but I created all other aspects of the design. I set the text in the arc of the logo and added the outer rings, and I created the YouTube banner from scratch. This freelance job was a great exercise in communication with a client and how to complete work in a professional and timely manner.
I was recently gifted an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil as a graduation gift, and I have been creating illustrative designs like crazy. I find this method to be a great way to combine my interest in illustration with my love for typography in fun and engaging artworks. I hope to use this new tool in the future to aid in my branding and logo creations, possibly transferring designs I create on my iPad to Illustrator and turning them into vectors to add more of a hand-drawn feel to some of my designs.
This was another product of my new iPad and is another example of the combination of illustrative images with text to present a message to the viewer. Being able to focus on the details of a design through the hands-on approach of using the iPad has been extremely helpful in my design work.
This week, my first piece was made as a compliment to one that was shown in my previous blog post, Bursts of Rays. I call this piece Bursting in Blue. It is a colorful piece painted in blue and carefully layered in various colors which gives it a bright and chill vibe. When I was making this little beast, I worked to create spikes all over the body. Because of the spikes it can be moved and arranged to stand in different positions. I like to think that it almost looks as if it has a life of its own. While I have been making these things over the past few weeks, I like to imagine them crawling off to hide.
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This watercolor is part of a design that I worked on last week for an idea produced from another of my art classes. Since the shutdown, all my classes have had to do a 180° shift and determine how to switch up classes so that they could work online. I have now had the joy of practicing my painting with watercolors over these couple months. I really love how this painting came out, so I wanted to include it this week. I love nature and I often incorporate nature and landscape scenes into my art.
One of my favorite tools in graphic design is the brand guide. Preset style rules create an element of challenge, and it’s just plain fun to find creative solutions within these limitations. Even in my personal work, the first step to creating a design is to choose fonts and a color palette.
Another thing I enjoy is satire- and you’ll find nothing makes satire better than following the branding guidelines of the thing you’re parodying. The following works are a couple of tongue-in-cheek pieces I’ve done this year.
This year for the Whitworthian, I got to participate in choosing some new fonts and revamping the layout and design guidelines. These guidelines are reflected in our print editions as well as in any infographics and in-house ads that appear in the paper. The infographic shown here is one I did for this year’s April Fools’ edition of the Whitworthian, which was unfortunately not published due to the campus closure. The copy as well as the art are my own composition.
As I’ve been involved in club leadership and student media, I’ve become more invested in – and disillusioned by – ASWU. Sometimes, during election season, it just seems all of the candidates are saying exactly the same things. It’s with this in mind that I set out to design the most generic ASWU campaign poster possible. The poster, shown here, follows both the Whitworth branding guidelines and the seemingly-prescribed talking points of the campaign.
Many North American birds migrate from their winter feeding grounds in subtropical and tropical climates near the equator to their summer breeding grounds as far north as the arctic tundra. On their way, they make stops along four distinct paths– the Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic flyways. The Pacific flyway involves coastal and inland wetlands, forests, and plains which are all vital for the survival of these migratory species. Unfortunately, those ecosystems are the most threatened by human development. Studying how bird populations change in response to pressures from habitat destruction is not limited to just their homes in the summer or winter, the flyways are just as important. Recent research that quantifies the massive population declines across all families of birds in North America in the last half century is frightening, but through conservation and research efforts, can be remediated before more species go extinct. My goal is to be a part of that effort, to restore habitats utilized by birds across their entire range. Because birds are an indicator species that responds quickly to negative and positive events, helping them means helping the entire ecosystem they inhabit.
Warblers are an iconic group of migratory birds in North America. Wilson’s warblers are a favorite of mine because of their brilliant yellow plumage and sweet song. I have observed them in the forests of Oregon’s coast range, Olympic National Park, suburban yards in Spokane, and in the cloud forests of Costa Rica. Individuals may travel over 5,000 miles from Central America to the Northwest Territories of Canada. Here, the male is painted perched on a sprig of coastal willow.
A family of spotted sandpipers breeds at a high-mountain lake in the Cascades that I visit every summer. I love watching the adults totter nervously along the shore, and fly across the water calling to each other, then the fuzzy, spindly-legged hatchlings racing between the driftwood. In Costa Rica, I observed them in their drab gray and white winter plumage, foraging along the banks of the Río Grande de Tárcoles near the delta into the Gulf of Nicoya. Such differences in appearance make identification much harder, but the characteristic nervous see-saw bobbing gave them away to me. I have painted an adult in breeding plumage stalking insects just beneath the lake’s surface on a tranquil July evening in the mountains. The dark concentric ripples contrast the softness of the bird’s colors and complement his dotted breast.
This piece was inspired by something I find immense value in, the freedom of speech. I see this as a luxury that’s both crippling and uplifting; Speech can be used to diminish, insult, ridicule, encourage, exasperate, the possibilities are endless. As one of my only pieces that has a conceptual meaning behind It. I figured it was best to include this into my blog as an artist to give you a glimpse into what I find value in.
This was a piece I made in my first year of college. Being new to all the courses Whitworth had to offer really allowed me to explore my style of art. I chose these colors due to the contrast between them all. This is important to my art and design because this is a simple pattern accompanied by a simple color scheme, yet it gets used at every Christmas party.
This was made for an assignment in the beginning glass my freshman year. The piece turned out exactly how I wanted, the bright colors in the middle being surrounded by the clear glass adds view to what lies beneath the glass dish. This is another favorite when looking for a veggie or cookie tray.
During the summer of 2019, I had the pleasure of interning at DLR Group’s Seattle office. During my time there, I worked directly with this 1200-person firm’s in-house Creative Services team to develop various graphics projects and assets. Typical processes included reviewing a creative brief with the firm’s global head of in-house graphics; discussing and exploring potential directions; crafting 2-3 design options; and refining art into a single solution.
While interning with DLR Group, I worked with the firm’s Creative Services team on graphics related to an annual in-house event called DLRU (a gathering of emerging design professionals from across the company’s 30 office locations). Work included illustration and layout for a series of wayfinding placards. The creative brief emphasized whimsy and humor on top of the firm’s core brand palette.
Another project was creating a series of divider pages intended to be used in a variety of project proposals for the K-12 sector. The dividers were created to be relatively gender- and race-neutral, in hopes of representing the diverse body of students in the districts the proposals were appealing to. The design is artistic and eye-catching while remaining consistent with the company’s brand identity.
Two things I’m known for: drinking too much coffee and not getting enough sleep. This led to the idea behind Night Owls, a fictional coffee shop that opens at 5pm and closes at 9am for the “night owls” like me. The style was inspired by the hipster cultures of Seattle and Portland, along with the outdoorsy vibe of the Pacific Northwest.
The goal was to create a chill, peaceful environment primarily for college students to pull all-nighters and finish their projects and papers. This project expresses the grungier side of my personal style, with chalkboards and exposed brick being key components to the aesthetic of the shop. The combination of script and typewriter fonts also contributes to the grungier style.
Each book cover was designed using Procreate, my iPad, and my iPencil. The Alice in Wonderland Book Cover was based off of a vintage cover I found online where Alice is taking a bite from the mushroom. I recreated this cover in a modern fashion using an illustrative style and bright color pallet. I let my creativity flow when it came to drawing the plants to create the feel of wonderland. As for the Poppy cover, I created a narrative on the cover that leads the viewer into the book with design principles. Poppy, the main character, is a mouse who lives in the forest. This book is about her adventures. I have her pointing her needle towards the beginning of the book, and I have the owl swooping down on her. This creates the visual narrative that encourages the viewer to open up the book. The plants are more strategically placed to create visual interest in relation to the characters.
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The narratives told in the works seen here both relate to more subversive and specific themes in comparison to the lighthearted work seen previously. “Stay Woke” is meant to speak out about those who possess privilege without even realizing it, thus making them unaware or unwoke. Conversely, others may not share those same privileges, having to be aware of their situation at all times, and forcing them to stay woke. “Just Peachy” is meant to reflect the response and smile that we are expected to give when asked how we’re doing. Even if the answer is in fact very different, everyone expects you to be just peachy.