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.
The three pieces shown here use interior and exterior environments to express different reactions to negative emotions. Melancholy Dreamland uses a more muted color scheme, ominous sky, turbulent sea, and view into a dark interior to evoke a sense of dread. This is offset, however, by the whimsical subject matter. The lighthouse with white picket fence and garden, the sailboat rendered in a cartoonish style, and the friendly rounded hills contribute to a light dreaminess. Growing up in one of the rainiest regions in the country, I became accustomed to a pervasive dreariness, and this painting reflects the delight I take in the romance of such melancholy surroundings.
Cauchemar expresses a strange, inexplicable uneasiness similar to how I often felt at nighttime as a child. The room is lit with a soft glow. That, along with the abundance of pillows, pale pink roses, and soothing decor should make the space look enticingly comfortable and safe. Yet the harsh dark lines and deep black night outside prevent the room from feeling entirely peaceful. Feelings of unease and discomfort without a concrete source remind me of lying awake in my pink bedroom as a child, unsure as to why I was too frightened to fall asleep. Wide cartoon eyes peering out from under the bed were included as an evocation of a children’s book read at bedtime, yet it is unclear if they belong to a monster, or someone hiding from their own anxieties.
Similar to Melancholy Dreamland, Settling In is about enjoying the romance and dramatic intensity of sadness. The way I feel emotion is very deep and very strong, which can at times be hard to manage. A habit of mine, be it good or a bad, is to fully lean into my feelings. This means when I’m sad, I allow the sadness to take over. I listen to heart wrenching music, paint dark subject matter, and let the tears flow. Settling In illustrates this habit by placing a luxurious interior within a bleak graveyard setting. The warmth, comfort, and bold color palette of the interior express the extent to which I accept and settle into what I’m feeling, allowing it to become an oddly comforting environment. The graveyard, a not-so-subtle symbol of sorrow, death, and tragedy serves as an acknowledgement of the fact that my intensity can swerve into the mellow-dramatic. However, the contrast between the dreary graveyard and the appealing interior also emphasizes the strangeness of the fact that to some degree, cozying up in my darker emotions seems to work for me.
Building community is a foundational part of Whitworth culture and it is brought into every aspect of campus life. This year, as the Design Editor for the Whitworth Natsihi Yearbook, this was the overarching theme that was identified for us by our Editor in Chief, Madisen Montivino. Running with this concept and the visual component of the campus map, I designed 6 spreads to match the divided sections of the book. These titles, Place Making, Academic Buildings, Community Spaces, Athletic Fields, Residence Halls, and Beyond Campus, are lined up to guide you through important aspects of campus life and identify Whitworth’s intentional community building attitude. These designs were originally created digitally, but screen prints show the standalone compositions, not distracted by other elements from the yearbook spreads. These graphics are taken from the actual Whitworth map, but highlight the specific sections of campus that are big parts of Whitworth’s Culture. The overall title, Place Making, was identified as an alternative phrasing of “community building” and is a key phrase that is used in academic research on topics concerning campus life in the United States. A lot of thought went into the conceptualization and creation of these pieces and they underwent much trial and error before reaching the final iterations. The result is my series of 6 unique Whitworth campus map designs, all of which will also appear in the 2019-2020 Whitworth Natsihi Yearbook, the printing of which has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Summer Ball was one of my favorite books as a young teen and I wanted to use my vector design to put together a teen-friendly book cover. I combined warm colors and a summer camp atmosphere in order to create a cover that would align with the title: Summer Ball. The book is about an undersized basketball player (Danny Walker) who attends a basketball camp with the country’s top players. Throughout the camp Danny is faced with high levels of competition and a variety of conflicts. I used the basketball to represent the sun and included vector trees and mountains in the background to bring out the summer camp atmosphere. Furthermore, the large basketball hovering over the horizon is representative of Danny learning to overcome hardship.
The Things They Carried is one of my all-time favorite books. This book is packed full of short stories that chronicle the events encountered by soldiers in the Vietnam War. These characters are used to describe some of what Tim O’Brien encountered when he was in the war. This book gives a glimpse into the hardships of being a soldier. I tried to exemplify this through the cover of the book by giving the viewer a “sneak-peak” through the silhouette of the soldier’s head which acts as a lens through which we view the Vietnam War.
My logo designs showcase my preferred style of using simple, clean graphics to fulfill the client’s objectives for brand identity.
Commissioned for the fish lab at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington, the GHC Fish Lab logo was my first freelance project. The goal was to update and simplify the existing logo, while clearly highlighting the combination of fish and science. The salmon, fishing line and DNA strand were elements I incorporated from the original logo. In addition, the concentric circles, typefaces and varying letter sizes mimic Grays Harbor College’s official emblem.
The Oleum logo was designed for a fictional company that specializes in an organic line of cleaning products. The drooping leaf incorporated into the “O” and flowing script font represent the natural ingredients used in the products. This is emphasized further with the mint blue color – a symbol of freshness – that drives home the company’s values. The accompanying style guide allows the client to use this logo and exact color palette to keep the brand identity uniform.
These photographs are a continuation of the series that included the images Light 1-4 from my first post. The idea of focusing on the process is still important, as is the emphasis on light and shadows. However, I added a specific attention to texture for this set that I was not as concerned with in the first. I searched for mundane surfaces around me that had an intriguing texture and feel to them, showing the grittiness of the world. I also decided to focus on horizontal lines for this portion of the series, hence the names Horizontal 1-4. This set is darker than the first, but I have continued to simplify the subject matter in an attempt to remove the necessity of constantly knowing from the equation, whether that be in life or in art making. Once again my aim with these photographs is to create a method of calming the mind, both in creating and looking at them. I have found this ongoing series to be helpful in both my artistic discipline and my overall wellbeing, and I plan to continue working on it for a long time.