As I began to think about other possibilities for implementing illustration into resources for children, I had a neat conversation with my mom, a speech language pathologist. She works primarily with children under the age of 8, many of whom have developmental delays or cognitive disabilities. This was during the time when many of her therapy sessions had been pushed online because of Covid, and she had been looking for resources to use online. There are a few sites with available material, but many of the illustrations there are outdated or basic clipart. That is what inspired me to create these sets of sequencing cards.
Each set of illustrations provides simple step by step images that a child will be asked to arrange in order from start to finish. I chose to illustrate basic daily tasks that a child might need to perform so that it would not only be something relatable to converse about, but something that will become memorable when the child faces that problem in real life. To make these cards a successful learning tool for both language skills and problem solving, I created illustrations simple enough for a child to understand, but captivating using fun characters and bold color to hold attention and promote conversation.
I designed these cards with the intent for them to be able to fit both print and digital needs. By uploading individual illustrations to sites like Boom Learning, it makes card decks available for teachers and therapists to download and use directly in virtual classrooms. Print versions of the cards are laminated and can be manually manipulated by the child as they work to arrange the cards in order as opposed to the click and drag method used virtually.
While children’s illustration has been my primary interest and focus, and what I see myself continuing long term, I also enjoy more traditional graphic design, which is what you will see in my upcoming posts.
Another development of my work is the 3D manifestation of the odd things I’ve been working on in 2D media. Like the work featured in my last blog post, two out of the three of these are weird Furby creations inspired by the internet phenomena of odd-body Furbies. Another internet phenomenon that has inspired my 3D work here is modifying stuffed animals, more specifically giving them new faces made of clay. I was also inspired by the idea of taking something cute and harmless, like a stuffed animal, and turning it into something that might be unsettling in a humorous way.
My first foray into making these was through the most common path of modifying stuffed animals with some type of clay. Before I got started, I sketched out plans for what I wanted my stuffed animals to look like. After that, I started sculpting the faces. My biggest mistake with this project was that I chose to use model magic, which is very hard to work with and ‘dries’ to a “old marshmallow-like” consistency. I made do with it and forced it to work for this project, though. After I let it dry as much as I possibly could, I painted it with matte acrylic paints and sealed it with a satin acrylic varnish. In order to attach the finished faces, I cut off the faces of the teddy bears and glued on the clay faces in their place with a two-part epoxy.
I’m not 100% satisfied with the finished stuffed animals but that’s mostly because of the materials I chose to use. I still really enjoyed making these, and I love how unsettling they look. Furbies don’t scare me, but the Furby face I made legitimately creeped me out as I was making it and I thought that was hilarious.
This is my most recent project, and as you can see, it ties in more with my Furby paintings. For this one I decided to try using felt, and I enjoyed using that a whole lot more than model magic. The process for this was pretty similar to my last project, except I had to cut out and assemble pieces of felt. After gluing them on to the zebra plush, I sewed the outer edges of the felt down to secure it further and make the plush
I’m very happy with how this plush turned out. I enjoy how it’s a lot more huggable even though it’s still a bit creepy like the last two. Also, I’m not sure what it is, but something about the flat-faced silhouette cracks me up.
I am a graphic design student, with a heart for small town living and an eye for western apparel. About a year ago, I started making custom denim jackets that make a statement. The jackets are laced with hand painted designs, leather fringe, and lots and lots of bling. To bring together western apparel and graphic design, I began transferring my sketches of these jackets to a digital platform. The sketches shown in the blog today are from my collection of ‘Grace Denims’ jackets, which will show you just a small selection of my designs.
When it came to figuring out what field I wanted to study, I had a challenging time determining what spoke to me. While I loved the fine arts and thought I could flourish in it, I never felt fully confident in making it my major. I eventually decided on Graphic design, which surprised many. With graphic design, I had confidence that I could flourish and further improved my skills in illustration and design. After getting admitted to the major, I began building my graphic design career. It felt very overwhelming at first, there was so much to the field and various levels of expertise to learn and put into practice. I wanted to bring something representative of my art style to the Graphic Design field. Specifically, a gestural/illustrative style, that could be incorporated through design. There was a period where I felt lost with graphic design, and it was only recently that I finally became confident about what I was creating. The journey to finally becoming comfortable within the field started with my experience with typography.
Typography became a main interest in my art, especially with decorative and calligraphic typestyles. The work of Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley, Bonnie MacLean, and the psychedelic art movement in general became a main source of inspiration for typography. These fluid, gestural typestyles were hypnotic, the more you observed them the more alive they appeared. They communicated more than just the words, but an experience. When it came to finally developing my own typestyle, I started with something simple and bold, done entirely by hand. “Tell Me Something Deep,” was a recreation of a scene from “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” where the main character discusses her sexuality and attraction to women. I wanted to create this scene just for the quote. The way a simple sentence had such a profound impact, especially in the context of the main character and how she discovered herself. It stood out to me, both personally and artistically. The way personal expression, like sexuality and identity, can be seen through the art of language and communication. Typography, like most of my work, became another vessel for personal and creative expression. To express identity, emotion, and personal journey. To me this artwork cemented how typography could be used to express emotional depth. It made me realize how much potential it had, and how I could use it in my own gestural style.
Since this newfound appreciation, I continue to implement type into my work, creating my own typeface and using it as an art form. To communicate through art directly allows for profound levels of expression. Graphic design, despite being a constricting medium, has the most room for opportunity. To find something I enjoy in the field, while also allowing for my own personal expression was extremely gratifying.
For this blog post I would like to explain what is going on in my second piece shown in the Myriad exhibit titled Rain. This artwork is made of sixty-five individual stained-glass raindrops suspended from a circular wood piece by fishing line. The process of creating this project in time for the show was a whirlwind!
To be completely honest, the original idea behind this piece was to explore the concept of acid rain. As I worked on each individual raindrop, I found my intentions for the piece shifting. Although acid rain looks just like regular rain as it is falling, once I started to string the drops up, the piece read as “regular rain” to me. Although the piece turned into a celebration of the process of rain there are still important environmental implications included in this piece. Celebrating and educating about healthy natural processes is just as important as bringing attention to unhealthy ones when it comes to ending the climate crisis!
The process of making each individual raindrop and then tying fishing line to every single one became extensive. I cut three pieces of glass for each raindrop, ground the edges, wrapped the edge of every piece in foil, and then soldered all of the edges. In total, that came out to a whopping 195 pieces of glass that made it to the final piece! I quickly got into the groove of the repetitive process, and began to marvel at how it takes us so much effort to reproduce naturally occurring processes. Regular processes that occur all around us in nature that we don’t really think about like plant growth, snow, and wind are the products of so many factors I never think about. It was nice to slow down and consider how incredible it is that we are living in a world that is so naturally interconnected.
For the second project for Whitworth Athletics, I had to create a visual for Whitworth athletes in order to let students know more about each other. We interviewed 17 student-athletes and asked them interesting and fun questions. The name of the series is “Getting to Know the Pirates” and I created a total of 17 digital visuals for the student-athletes.
In order to keep the Whitworth Pirates theme, I chose white, black, and red colors in the series. The two typefaces I chose for this series represent a modern sports tone.
My sculpture has taken many forms. At SFCC my sculpture focused on geometric shapes, formalism, and metaphor. When I began to learn new mediums at Whitworth, my 3D works returned to combining representational and abstracted forms. I found myself drawn to animals. In my ceramic hand building class, we were given a prompt to combine two ideas or animals/creatures together to form one using the slab technique. I was at a loss what to do. Then I remembered some encounters my friend and I had with both sting rays and skates (a type of fish) in North Carolina. Inspired by those events and my fear of sharks and awe of whales, I created two pieces, focusing on abstraction, color, texture, pattern, and variety.
Before switching my major and completely pivoting from science to art, I had a vague idea of what a career in the arts might look like. It was the classic “starving artist” stereotype and that in the end, art would have been something I study now but later, I would be working in a different field. Of course, I received positive and negative comments from the people around me. Some were supportive and encouraged me to continue pursuing what I love. Others would share how they knew someone who studied graphic design who now work at Costco as a cashier. Everyone has an opinion, good or bad, but thankfully my immediate family was always supportive, and I learned to navigate the – sometimes backhanded – comments I would get.
It’s now my sophomore year at Whitworth and naturally I’ve signed up for Drawing II. This class gave us a bit more freedom in exploring content in addition to practicing the technical skills in drawing. In the beginning, I was just going through the motions. Not putting too much thought behind the drawings, I’d submit them and get a grade. I enjoyed the process of working on a drawing, but the content was basic and cliché. The classic representation of “life and death” and more still-life drawings; I didn’t push the content any further. Until, of course, Professor Wilson called me out and pushed me to explore more interesting themes and subject matter. Thankfully, it helped me with the diptych assignment. This assignment had us create two drawings that would sit side by side. We were to explore the relationship between the two and include things that were meaningful to us.
I chose to talk about my identity as a Mexican American who grew up in a Mexican household but when I stepped out, I was in Washington State. This drawing represented the two cultures I navigate but it also meant that I saw them as two very different worlds. The name, I’m Neither from Here, Nor There, is a saying that’s often heard in the Latino community, especially the generations who were born and grew up in the US. The drawing contains the 50 pesos coin my grandpa gave me when I was around 12 years old. Not only does it have sentimental value, but it was a fragment of a country I have never been to. A country I’ve only heard about through stories and the first language I learned to speak. On the right sits a US quarter, representing the other country and culture I grew up in. This self-portrait was where I felt that I finally had something to say as an artist.
I now had a sense of direction in what themes and subjects in art I wanted to explore. Discussing issues of race and identity had always been a major part of my interests. Now I had the chance to share my story through the visual arts. I continued creating work that met the Drawing II requirements but also pushed the stories behind them even further. This second drawing addressed immigration with a sense of hope. At the time, there was a strong resentment against undocumented immigrants and much debate about the building of the border wall since 2016. I created the work by representing the torch that the Statue of Liberty holds and the monarch butterfly, both symbols of hope for immigrants. As Ellis Island received immigrants from across the Atlantic, the monarch butterfly symbolizes the migration of people from the south, in Latin America.
Today, I continue to explore issues regarding race, identity, and culture through the art I create. These topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion run deep for me as they are always present in my mind. Not only were they made apparent for me at a very young age, but they continue to place me and my family on edge whenever we step outside. We’ve seen the videos and have heard the stories. It’s not a matter of if it’ll happen but when. This digital drawing was one I made to combine text with the drawing. I wanted the words to have a physical and unescapable weight to them. Being words said to me, I’ve had to just move forward, but people’s prejudice continues to follow me through my life. It’s these experiences that forces me and my family to be on edge. We are constantly aware of who we are in the spaces we inhabit. How we speak, act, and look is something we need to be checking to avoid the looks and condescending tones. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s happened enough that we remain careful. It doesn’t stop us from living our lives, but it can be hard to explain these experiences. This drawing is one that I felt I needed to create. It’s an unfortunate story but it’s part of my story. I understand that my experiences are shared. It’s also a part of many other stories.
This is an unofficial rebranding project based on Cleanline Surf Co. It demonstrates the clean, structured, and reliable nature of the company. As well as its commitment to good vibes and the stoke of board sports.
Beginning with a rebrand of the company’s primary logo, I designed it with similar elements of the surf shop’s current logo while also giving it a new, fresh feel. The line work creates multiple ‘C’ shapes and a representation of a curling wave.
Other components of this project show the potential for print media in their advertising and marketing. Some include screen printed t-shirts and promotional posters, as well as more pointed designs like the Cleanline Catalog which targets the shop’s audience by displaying their current selection of surfboards and other merchandise.
The business cards depart from the standard rectangular style and utilizes the semi-circle to enhance the logo design.
After spontaneously adding a graphic design major in the fall of my sophomore year, I took my first design class in January of 2020. I liked the idea of pursuing a more “practical” facet of the art world. I had no idea what design would become for me. I’m always telling people that I don’t approach graphic design technically. Yes, I have learned—and taught myself—a good amount about the programs I use, but I am by no means the most technically proficient Adobe user. I don’t know all the keyboard shortcuts, and maybe I don’t always go about solving problems in standard ways. All that is secondary to me. I am an artist first and a graphic designer second, so what I care about is the effect of my work. Color and composition are as important in my design work as they are in my paintings.
As I fell in love with the graphic design process, I realized that I favor a few areas in particular. Branding is incredibly fun for me, and I love layout problems in general. Working with books and posters are some of my favorite ways to explore layout design.
Last semester I had the opportunity to work on one large branding project with the guidance of my instructor, Ben Necochea. I chose to focus on a fictional rebrand of a health food café in my hometown. As I planned the project, I kept in mind the kind of work that I plan to do as a professional designer. One of my goals after graduation is to work with small business owners on branding projects that extend far beyond logos. I would love to incorporate the design of environments, packaging, and merchandise when I work with clients in the future. So, that’s what I did for The Wellness Bar. After developing a set of brand guidelines, I was able to design hypothetical takeout packaging, storefront signage, menus, employee aprons, and a mural for the dining space. I enjoyed compiling these elements in a physical booklet. Being able to direct this project to fit the path of my career made it one of the most pivotal projects in my time as a student.
Find me online at jaimecrainart.com and on Instagram @jaimecrainart and @jaimecraindesign
These images really showcase my printmaking abilities. Though I consider myself a painter, my prints are a huge part of my work, and often allow me to experiment with different art styles and concepts.
This piece allowed me to explore the theme of time, a concept that I explore a lot in my work. Though there is prominent text in this piece, my main concern was to play with positive and negative space.
This is my first piece in my Creation series. Before making this kind of art, all my art was representational, focusing mostly on portraiture. It wasn’t until I went on a trip to Seattle with the Art Department when I got the idea to make my Creation series. On the trip we went to the Asian Art Museum, and I got to see many artifacts, which deeply inspired me. Through this inspiration, I aim to make art that looks ancient and futuristic, allowing me to make my own artifacts. This has become my primary form of artmaking, and it has been extremely fulfilling.
This piece is based on a poem by Laura Gilpin called Two-Headed Calf, a poem that encapsulates the feeling of peace before a catastrophe, and feelings of abnormality.
Hi, all! My name is Emily Zacek. I am a drawer, painter, and have a particular interest in psychology. I am fascinated by the concept that every individual’s reality is shaped by personal experiences, beliefs, and emotions which can be shared to create relationship. This has brought me to focus my work on the moods evoked by different environments and formal elements. By stirring emotions and drawing the experiences out, I seek connection. I hope these works allow viewers to see my lens of reality while interpreting the pieces through their own perspectives, seeing the similarities between us. It’s all about relationship and connection.
As I have approached artmaking in this way, I have found that nature and landscapes often evoke some form of universal understanding, connection, and experience. I find myself exploring scenes that draw out a certain responsiveness within me, then I process what experience could have led me to respond in such a way and what experiences others may have had in a similar space. With this mindset, I depict environments using gesture, texture, and formal elements, always striving for emotion to be drawn out and a connection to be shared.
My Safe Haven series is a painted collection of meaningful places and moments for my husband and I. In our most important moments together, we have been surrounded by nature’s calm and beauty. I have cherished memories tied to each of these scenes. It is my hope that what is represented within these paintings draws memories into the mind of each viewer – moments that may have been experienced in a similar space.
Hello! My name is Leah Yand and I am an artist and designer. Join me as I try to put my hopes and dreams on paper and explain how and why I do that. I like to think my art is an attempt at conveying my spirit and its freedom through salvation in Christ. I don’t think I will ever fully capture the hope and truth that God has given me, but art is the best tool I have found to try and convey that. My art is informed by other artists, using multiple mediums such as watercolor, charcoal, and digital art. In this first blog post I will be talking about my most recent work which is my mixed media watercolor paintings.
I am currently working in watercolor, acrylic paint, Procreate, spray paint, crayons, and basically whatever I can get my hands on. My art is heavily influenced by my artistic practice/process.
I love experimenting with materials (particularly watercolor) to get a unique or inimitable that sparks some sort of interest to my eye and for the viewer. Oftentimes, I must embrace a multitude of failures in order to get something I find interesting or worthy of further exploration. Art for me is physical as well as mental. As an artist, I strive to be excited about the art I’m making and embrace the chaos of my process and my mind. I love to challenge myself by letting the materials do things I’d never envisioned and emphasize that part of the painting. The fear of failure has been a constant foe in my life as well as in my art. When I am making something, I have to battle back that fear of failure and embarrassment and the insecurity of things not turning out. Practicing this in my artwork has helped me do this in other areas of my life and vice versa. My artwork is an expression of my simultaneous embrace of and pushing away fear. It’s me saying, “if I’m going to feel afraid, let’s see how far I can go even in this fear. How can I push through it and have it inform my work?” My process wasn’t always as free and intuitive and fun as it is now. It used to be calculated and focused. Intent on getting exactly what was in my brain onto paper. Now I let things happen, evaluate as I go, and intuitively react to what happens on the page.
My work usually starts with a place or reference image or sometimes by diving in headfirst with forms and color.
The image of a landscape or place is a good starting point for me because it is simultaneously ungraspable, because it is abstract and done in color palette that wouldn’t be found in nature, and understandable (referential) as a space. Color is important to my work. I gravitate towards magentas, blues, viridians, yellows, and lavenders. My paintings follow my stream of consciousness and because my mind is always turning with new thoughts and ideas, my paintings follow a similar pattern, but all of them inevitably end up different.
Find me at my website lyandart.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, I’m Levi and I’m a trans and queer artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. I used to work in primarily traditional media but have increasingly been using digital media for a lot of my paintings and illustrations. This is because it translates a lot more intuitively when it comes time to either post or incorporate it into design work. I also used to create a lot more portraits of people, but recently have been experimenting with content focused on animals, creatures, monsters, etc. as you can see from my Furby monsters series.
I enjoy creating work for a wide variety of subjects and kinds of content but have gravitated toward the bizarre, humorous, and/or darker subject matter such as horror or the occult. In a similar vein, I also quite enjoy messing with religious imagery and twisting it into being something more blasphemous or sacrilegious because I find people’s interactions and reactions with that kind of content interesting.
My affinity for depicting Furby faces on people or things that you wouldn’t expect and/or want to see them comes from a few things. First of all, I have had an inclination towards making humorous, bizarre, blasphemous, and/or mildly frightening content for a long time and this schtick within my recent art is just a natural outgrowth of that. What also kicked this off was a sketchbook assignment where I had to pick an object to draw different versions of, and I had been given a Furby not too long before. I wanted to choose that for the assignment because I enjoy Furbies and find people’s reactions to them amusing. I quickly began creating all sorts of weird Furby creatures, objects, and characters not too long after starting this assignment.
Another thing that led me to create this kind of work is that I have had a fascination for a bit with odd-body Furbies which are a fairly recent internet phenomenon where people attach Furby faceplates to various objects and materials. This is basically what I’ve made here and hope to continue to make in the future, just in 2D form.
If you’re interested in seeing more of my work, head to my instagram @leviathancrowart.