I dashed at the speed of light to grab my keys and brewed my morning rush.
I decelerated when the bright yellow sphere flashed before my eyes.
For the left picture, I depict a broken pencil because it represents hurrying through important things like your homework. There is no writing on the paper to portray empty-minded thoughts. When your mind is like a storm, when all these thoughts are bouncing around your brain, you aren't processing anything, but in reality, the thoughts disappear faster than the speed of light. Hence why I emphasized making the paper appear very white to compare it to a bright white light. For the right picture, I was focused on the idea of depicting something unhurried. Honey represented this well because it is such a slow moving substance that captures the exact opposite of being in a rush, which was shown in the left image.
The subjects in both photos, the broken lead and the honeycomb, are both emphasized with the use of a solid background. I used a very shallow depth of field for the pencil photo to blur out some of the lines on the paper so the viewer focuses on the central meaning of the broken lead and thinks about what the deeper behind the central subject is. I used a lower aperture to make the paper a brighter white and the pencil a brighter yellow to create contrast, and I used a higher aperture in the right photo to make it darker than the left one. I shot the photo of the pencil indoors under fluorescent light to emphasize my artistic choice while I shot the photo of the honeycomb outside in the shade. For the image of the honey, I used a slow shutter speed to emphasize the honey slowly dripping. I held the honey comb with a little tilt so when I was shooting from the tripod it would give the photo depth.
In my personal essay, I wanted to focus on how deciding on something simple can clear the stress that overcomes me when I'm faced with choosing amongst a lot of options. I represent these conflicting thoughts with the lines in the middleground coming in from different directions as if the thoughts are bouncing off the walls of my brain. The different colors of these lines represent the different options that are creating this stress and confusion. The black gradient in the background is used to symbolize the dark state of mind I am in when I can't choose between things and that all these stressful thoughts put a toll on my happiness. As for the simple decision that clears my mind, I used a water droplet because when I think of water at a literal level, it is solely oxygen and hydrogen molecules. Visually, it is just one color and does not present any difficulty for the human eye. A drop of water represents a cure for a lot of things as well, so in my illustration it represents the cure for the stress of decision making.
Coming into this project, it was hard for me to pin-point exactly how I wanted the water droplet to look. My greatest challenge was making the curves of the water drop using the pen tool but I made sure to zoom in enough and take my time to make sure the corners and curves weren't rough and jagged. I also used the the pen tool to create highlights on top of the water drop but then realized these highlights took away from the simplicity this water droplet was supposed to portray since they made the drop look a bit complex. Another challenge I faced was deciding the shade of blue I wanted to use for the water droplet. I kept switching my gradient from lighter shades to darker shades until I found the perfect shade right in between.
These two images have been juxtaposed to create a greater union between their underlying meanings. While I chose two very different objects to represent my theme, they both represent, in one way or another, the beauty I find in the grain of film photography. On the left side of the diptych I used an image of passing cars. I use this to express the metaphor a boulevard of plastic, which represents the physical element of film. On the right side of the diptych, I used an image of foil, crumpled up, and put in a cloud of smoke. The smoke represents the acid, while the foil is used to represent the stars, because each crease comes to a point. This metaphor represents the grain of film.
For the image on the left, to get the effect of the light streaks, I used a long shutter speed. This allowed the sensor in my camera to be exposed to more light, so as the cars passed by, the light of their head and tail lights were recorded. I also took the shot at night, so that the lights of the passing cars would be visible and allowing me to get a longer shot without it being too bright. For the right side of my diptych, I used dry ice to get the illusion of smoke by placing it in warm water. This allowed the dry ice to sublimate and diffuse, creating a low hanging cloud of carbon dioxide. I also used light coming in from the side to provide contrast in the foil and to make the smoke more visible.
In my illustration, I use an oak tree to symbolize my statement. It has many qualities that relate to film, such as its grain. In a tree, its grain provides it strength and represents the trees age. Each year, a tree grows throughout the seasons. In the spring, its growth produces a lighter wood than when it does in the summer, that way when you cut open the trunk, the lines appear in alternating shades of the wood's color. This creates the rings and lines when the wood is cut, showing us each spring and summer that the tree has endured. This connects with film, because film has a grain too. The grain in a tree provides strength like the grain in a photograph, where it heightens its meaning rather than gives it a physical strength. An oak tree also connects to my statement in that it represents age. Oak trees can live for hundreds of years, so I used this quality to represent film and its vintage stereotype.
The process that I used to create this illustration was tracing images with Illustrator's pen tool. This proved to be tedious because I had never used anything quite like it, but it is also very rewarding with the clean end results it provides. It was also challenging for me to stay organized with my layers. No matter how much I tried, I always would forget where one thing was or another. Another challenge switching over into Adobe Illustrator from photoshop because of the difference between raster and vector. While Photoshop uses pixels, Illustrator uses vectors to create shapes. Above all of that, creating my symbol in a way to represent my statement proved to be difficult.
I see a glass future. Waves of challenge wash over me.
For the first line I took a photo of a glass cup that represents my accomplishments in the future. I hope to one day be successful and drink to my accomplishments. This may be kind of literal but I feel the message is good. For the second line, I took a photo of a lightbulb. I did this because a lightbulb has waves of electricity that flows through it to produce light. You may be faced with challenges and you might be all out of ideas. Then all of a sudden the light turns on and you think of something.
When taking the photo of the glass I wanted it to be empty because I still do not know what is in store for my life. I wanted the glass to be a little dirty or cloudy so I used a dirty glass. This is because the future is not clear. The light bulb picture I shot from a below angle upward to show the bulb is high up. I wanted the picture to be grainy because the ideas you come up with in your head can be crazy and bright and fuzzy. I had the light bulb turned off because it represents ideas yet to come, not ideas that I currently have.
The wave represents the challenges that one faces on their way to success. The desert represents the bare and deadly wasteland that life can be if you don't remain focused. All of the different shades of blue in the wave represent all of the twists and turns that life has in store. The height of the wave is important because when you are riding a wave, you are at the top of the world and the top of your game. You also have the chance of falling off and losing it all when you are at the top. The color blue can be inviting but also dark and dangerous. All of the little grains of sand can also represent all of the people that hold you back in life. When you walk in sand you sink in but you can keep on moving.
The process I went through to create my wave was I first found a picture of a glass wave sculpture. I then traced that in illustrator and added the colors that I wanted to give it that cartoon wave look. I traced the sand and all the desert for the background. Some challenges I faced while creating my illustration were trying to find the right colors to use for my images.Using the pen tool was very difficult at first but then I got the hang of it. It was also very tedious to make sure that every shape was traced perfectly.
No Artist Statement submitted
My illustration focuses on a bald eagle soaring majestically over a baseball field. I chose the eagle as my main subject, and to represent me because I have the heart of an eagle. In the illustration, the eagle is hovering over his metaphorical nest. His nest is the baseball field. When I think of what defines me I think of my home. My home is the place that defines me. It's where I have learned all of my life lessons. To a bird, his home is a nest. To me my home is the baseball field.
I gave my eagle a smooth shade throughout every part of his body to show the beauty and detail that all bald eagles have. I needed to make my eagle as majestic as possible to show the pride and heart that I have myself. Every line and every color is designed to the exact specification needed to express what my inner animal would be. As for my background I have a simple layout of a baseball field with strokes of paint throughout. The reason I added the brush strokes was because a birds nest is created with detail and love the same as a painting. In my case, the painting of the baseball field is representing creation. A nest to a bird is the same as the field to me.
[H]e gives me the breath of life. The coffin for him might as well have been a shoe box
Plants, like people, draw life from air. Hence, I used plants in my poem and in the image on the left side of my diptych to represent giving the breath of life. I decided to draw the viewer's eye to the flower (and, thus, to life) by photographing a brightly colored flower against an all green background. Evil (that always lurks around the corner) is represented by the out-of-focus spider slightly to the left of the flower. The photo on the right side of the diptych represents loss. The crumpled sympathy card in the foreground symbolizes how loss can be in the foreground of our lives and, also, how futile fancy ornaments (e.g., coffins, sympathy cards) are in soothing those feelings of loss and sadness. The bleak, monochromatic trees and the asphalt on the street symbolize feelings of hopelessness. One of the few places with color in the photo is the sky, which peeps from behind the trees. This color represents that hope is on the horizon.
For the first image, I used a telephoto shot to give the image a flatter look with less dimension, to represent simplicity. Also, I used an aperture which allowed me to convey light/life through a brighter image. I positioned the flower (which was in a parking lot planter) following the rule of thirds to emphasize the flower. The bright lighting supports my subject because it allows for the message of life/goodness to be expressed. For my second image, I used a telephoto shot, so the image would have a look of depth. I used an aperture to compensate for the low light during sunset while not sacrificing the feeling of bleakness and darkness. I used the street outside my house as the shooting location. I positioned the card to emphasize how sadness and loss can be in the forefront of our lives. The lighting supports my subject (the card) in that the lighting of sunset gives it a feeling of depth, because of the elongated shadows.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/AndrewG.jpgFlowing (From Nature To Civilization)
For my self-portrait illustration, I used the symbol: green trees and leaves (nature), a silver cityscape and buildings (the internal world) and a blue river and clouds (the flowing passage of time). These symbols represent concepts which I present in my personal essay. The trees and leaves represent innocence and happiness, concepts which I associate with nature. The internal world's images represent progress as it is found in life and loss. The ever-changing river and clouds symbolize the progress of our relationships and surroundings.
The challenge that I faced in creating this illustration is one that I face whenever I make any type of art: the final product is never exactly what I had in mind. For this project, I imagined dozens of trees on the left half of the picture and, on the right half, dozens of lights shining from the buildings of the cityscape, as well as a river smoothly flowing. The main restriction with this project was the time constraint. The con of this restriction is that it makes the artist unable to realize his exact vision. The benefit of this restricted time is that the piece remains fresh in the artist's mind. That is, the artist does not become bored with the piece. Thus, the artist is forced to come up with creative solutions to problems he is facing. (In my case it made me ask the teacher for help). In the end, the artwork ends up being better than the artist could have imagined. A minor, yet still notable challenge, involved the symbols I had chosen. Whenever I create a piece of art that I have in my head, I have yet to discover what the artwork means before, during, and after I make it. Therefore, although an image came to mind during the pre-planning portion of the illustration production, I did not figure out what the message of the piece was until later.
My thoughts remain bundled and jumbled like grape.
And now the punctures from the cacti's hairs disappear.
The two lines I picked for my diptych with context around them were already metaphors themselves, so I captured images that weren't derivative from my actual statements. In the first line I used, I was aiming to represent an organized mess; to me that's what grapes are. Grapes seem to be scattered but are all actually attached and connected to one another. Basing off this central idea, I thought of items that while mixed together, are still technically individualized. This lead me to capture olive oil and vinegar because even though these things are normally paired and served tougher, I never see them physically mixed together. I always notice how the vinegar stays in it's own enclosure and doesn't spread elsewhere. When I set up the subject I tried to make the vinegar sporadic throughout the olive oil to represent messiness, however I made sure not to tilt the bowl so the vinegar wouldn't leave it's orderly shape. For the right side of my diptych I again aimed away from being so literal and decided to focus on the idea of the sensation of something painful being uplifted. That brought me to think of fire and how when it quickly goes out there's always that feeling of absence of the heat that was once there.
For both these photos I wanted to use an aperture that would create a shallow depth of field so the plain backgrounds would be blurry putting emphasis on the main subjects. For the left side I wanted didn't want the lighting to create a shadow in the bowl but instead bring out more of the contrast with white, yellow, and black. For the candles, I did it later in the day so the flame would be more illuminated compared to the rest, giving the flicker more power. The change in day I feel also gives the two photos contrast between each other and how the light hits each photo in a different way.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/AngelicaD.jpgA Million Choices
My choice for my symbol was made easily, I wanted to demonstrate the amount of options that people face in their life and thought that a paint pallet would best represent that. The significance of the brush being in the center of the palette shows that there isn't a decision reached yet. The background is various paint strokes against white, which is used to portray that with a cleared and relaxed mind, you can start piecing a puzzle together to create a final product.
To create my image, I had to find a clipart paint pallet to mimic because real photographs had strange shapes of paint to create to make it look layered. After I found that and had completed the simpler outline of everything, remembering to make every specific shape it's own layer, I had to add gradient meshes to make it look realistic. I found that it was easier to make the paint have gradients rather than the paint brush. After making my background I realized that the thumb hole was filled white and you couldn't see what was under it. This issue is what started the biggest complication that I had. In order to cut out the thumb hole, I had to remove my gradient. I then spent fifty minutes or so trying to find how to do something called a compound path, after various attempts and fails I finally ended up with the result I wanted. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to add a new gradient mesh to the object. I had tried a few other random ideas and ended up creating a normal gradient and ended up with my final project.
All I wanted was to run in my own blood
But sometimes, oh sometimes, I want to be the fiber that sticks
cause you are the tape I just can't resist
My diptych is a representation of isolation and the two different types of emotions that come with it. On the left side of my diptych, the video games portray how addictive something can be. For me, my addiction is being independent and pushing people away. Like gamers, I can get caught into the game that it leads to isolation. However, this isolation and addiction can give me happiness and it's something that I need. Although to others, it's a sad kind of happiness, it's what gives me joy. On the right side of the diptych, the glowing tail light of the car represents one car among many other cars. It shows the negative effects of isolation. Even though it can be addictive to be isolated, I can't isolate myself forever. In a populous city where we are surrounded by other humans, I have to park among the crowd. Even though I may be surrounded by people everyday, I still feel lonely and isolated.
For the left side of my diptych, I photographed a video game I had at home, creating light where it didn't reflect red on the photograph. I decided to use a higher aperture in order to create a more shallow depth of field and make up for the poor lighting. Since I wanted my photograph to show a more compact and crowded environment, I decided to zoom in on the video game. For the right side of the diptych, I took a photo of downtown Mountain View at night. Since it was dark and I wanted to capture the tail lights, I had to use a lower aperture so the car was visible. I also decided to squat so I would be eye level with the tail light and capture one car among many others.
My personal essay was based on personal space and how I feel conflicted when others invade it. I wrote about how I rather keep my distance with people due to the level of discomfort I feel when they are constantly in my space. However, at the same time, I have realized that invasion of personal space can be a good thing. To represent this, I decided to put moths in a sugar container. I wanted to use sugar because they symbolized addiction to me and how personal space is my addiction. I decided to add moths because they are these dull and plain creatures being trapped. I also decided to place them close together, with each invading each other's space. In addition, I added light bulbs at the bottom of my illustration because I wanted to show that the moths would eventually go to the light where it is more alive and bright. Through my illustration of the light bulbs, I wanted to show that we can choose the brighter option as represented by the light even if our personal space will be taken away. What I basically wanted to show was a contrast of a dull and bright environment.
I started my illustration without any clear direction. I just knew that I wanted sugar to be part of my symbol. Since I wanted that to be focus of my illustration, I decided to place a huge image of it in the middle of my illustration. After seeing that I need a more cohesive look, I decided to put light bulbs as my mid ground. My biggest struggle was coming up with a background that went along with my symbol. I was quite unsure about my symbol so coming up with a background made it harder. I also had some technical problems with Illustrator. The first technical problem was layering things. Sometimes, even when I thought I added a new layer, I had accidentally put objects in the same layer. Another technical problem was sizing and arranging my illustration. There were many times where I was unsatisfied with my project that I constantly had to adjust it.
BrandonTRing Ring Ring Ring
Treat People Like They're Dying And then a ringing, A constant ringing.
My first statement is the title of my poem. For this I used a circle of friendship bracelets on a nice simple black background. The black represents death and turmoil. I used friendship bracelets because when people are going through anything bad (in this case death), compassion from friends is what is typically needed. The ring of bracelets symbolizes the circle of friendship. The varied bracelets symbolize the variance in friend from personalities to culture and ethnicity. They bracelets overlap to show strong bonds and how friendship can overcome (for the most part) any hardships. For the second image, I used a doorbell. I chose it because it rings and because there is nothing more annoying than somebody ringing your doorbell constantly. I also used a doorbell because I couldn't use an alarm clock. Because of this, I had to choose something that had qualities like an alarm clock, and the quality I chose to imitate was the ringing. My second statement is the title of my poem. Treat People like They're Dying. For this I used a circle of friendship bracelets on a nice simple black background. The black represents death and turmoil. I used friendship bracelets because when people are going through anything bad (in this case death), compassion from friends is what is typically needed. The ring of bracelets symbolizes the circle of friendship. The varied bracelets symbolize the variance in friend from personalities to culture and ethnicity. They bracelets overlap to show strong bonds.
First off, I took the photos at home. All of them outside so I could get natural lighting (the lighting in my house wasn't to my liking). I used the Design room's DSLR Canon camera for the entire project. I think the photos could have been better if I wasn't in such a rush, but that's no one's fault but mine. I didn't really have any positions in mind. I just kind of took photos at every angle possible and then I went with the best one. Which by the way was incredibly difficult for someone as indecisive as I. After this whole ordeal of choosing which photos I liked, we used photoshop to emphasize our symbols in the pictures. The only things I changed in the photo was the background. I darkened it in both pictures. Then I just turned it in. That's the entire process. Overall the project wasn't too difficult. It was really me and my indecisivity that made it hard.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/BrandonT.jpgRings at the door. Layers like an onion.
My essay's main theme is treat people like they're dying. Because of this, I chose an hourglass, a door, and a doorbell as my symbols. The hourglass was my way of showing a passage of time. The doorbell is there because it's ringing replaces the alarm clock that I wasn't allowed to use. Both the door and the hourglass tie in together to represent death. All the sand is at the bottom to show that time is up and the door uses the expression death is knocking at your door. The door itself is smaller than the screen to show that death is an unstoppable force. A door won't stop death when you're time is up. And the dark gloomy background is meant to give off a depressing, eerie feel.
Initially, I was going to use an alarm clock as one of my symbols but I wasn't allowed to. So I just made a door with a doorbell on it. Unbeknownst to me, I had to use some form of time because my essay was based around a time theme. I learned of this fact after I completed my project. So I had to come up with a way to convey the passage of time and implement it. Lucky for me, I was given the hourglass idea by Miss Parkinson (thank you).Then came the challenge of implementing an hourglass into an already complete project. I didn't want to get rid of anything because it looked great the way it was. After a little contemplating, I decided to add the hourglass to the background. From there, everything just came together pretty nicely. There was no real challenges I faced besides the ones mentioned. I did feel like I had carpal tunnel syndrome a couple of times throughout the process but otherwise, it went smoothly. The title ,if you were wondering, is actually a personal joke. It refers to the large amounts of layers that my illustration had.
For my diptych, I used a picture that showed the many rings of a tree stump to represent the metaphor for time and a picture of a fossilized plant to show the metaphor for locked away forever. For the line, Seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, lifetimes, I thought a tree stump with many rings fit perfectly because it portrays the idea of time very well. Just the thought of how many lifetimes and experiences the one tree stump that I photographed lived through in its lifetime gives me shivers down my back. For the line, Locked away without a key, I believed a fossil would be the greatest metaphor because a fossil is forever locked away inside the marble rock it is at rest in. The fossil is truly locked away for eternity without anything to let it free of the rock, which is equivalent to being locked away without a key.
While deciding which photo should go where in my diptych, a sudden idea came to me. I thought I should put the tree stump on the left because it represents time, and the fossil on the right because it shows a greater degree of time, which is eternity. The transition between the two metaphorical pictures was perfect and thus the diptych was made. When it came down to photography detail, neither photo was shot through a telephoto lense. I didn't believe the view from the telephoto lens was necessary for my pictures. I chose a larger aperture for both photos because I want my photos to portray a deeper depth of field. The deeper depth of field gives both of my photos greater meaning and feeling. Location wise, I chose darker places because I want to show a mysterious feeling opposed to a happy feeling. I angled my photos at odd angles to further deepen the feeling of mystery I want to portray with my photos.
For my illustration, I wanted to depict the most meaningful aspect of my personal essay, which is the symbol of a shadow. The shadow is the most important part of my essay because the its symbolism is a metaphor for my personal history. My essay focuses on decisions I have made in my past that I am not proud of, and how these decisions will remain behind me. A shadow represents the poor decisions that I made perfectly because like my past, my shadow is always behind me. The shadow is a reminder to me of what I once was, and it allows me to never go back to my old ways again. As well as a shadow, my illustration has a small city that causes viewers to see the largeness of my shadow in proportion to the buildings. My goal in doing this is to show viewers that the immense size of the shadow represents my entire personal history.
While creating my illustration, I went through various phases of stress and anger due to one minuscule problem. That problem was the pen tool. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not seem to get the hang of it. Tracing with the pen tool was the main issue I encountered while completing my illustration. I would constantly mess up on selecting the exact point that I needed to trace the image, and I was strongly convinced at one point that I would not finish my illustration on time. As I continued to practice, it became less of an annoyance and more of a helpful tool because I finally learned to use it. This was a huge relief for me. When it came to selecting which symbols I wanted to use in my illustration, I had a rather easy time of it because the symbol of a shadow was so clear in my personal essay.
I am like a child lost in the supermarket.
It is only when my blood turns to ice do I realize how much I take advantage of the warmth.
My first line, I am like a child lost in the supermarket represents the feeling I get when placed into uncomfortable situations and the anxiety, stress, and overwhelming sense of isolation it causes. I choose to portray this meaning using an image of a tomato cut into two equal halves to represent the wide, bloodshot eyes a child gets when they have been crying, which is what children tend to do when put into uncomfortable situations. My next line, It is only when my blood turns to ice do I realize how much I take advantage of the warmth demonstrates the idea of how being in uncomfortable situations often furthers my understanding and love for things that I often look over in life. I decided to capture an image of a dying, red flower on the ground. Often flowers symbolize life, just like blood, and so I used a dying flower to represent this idea of the change of viewpoints I get when I am put into uncomfortable situations.
For my first image I chose to shoot with a 24-70 mm zoom lens with an f-stop of 2.8 because I was shooting relatively close up. I used such a low aperture because I wanted the tomatoes to be the main focus and also because I was shooting indoors and wanted a fast shutter speed. For my second image, I used a 50mm lens with a f-stop of 1.4 because I wanted the flower to be the main focus of the image and have everything else out of focus. I wanted to shoot when there wasn't very much light to try to give the image a sense of eeriness and uncomfortableness. So having this idea in mind, I shot my images 10 minutes before sunset so I could still have enough light in the camera without needing such a long exposure.
I choose the ocean to symbolize my personal essay. The ocean has a way of transforming itself from a storm to ice flat in an instant, and I wanted this idea to be the symbol of my personal essay. The ocean captures my uncomfortable feelings of being in unknown situations very well, but it can also symbolize the calmness in the realization of the things I love. The ocean can be a raging storm with crashing waves, high tides, and tsunamis, but, it can also be flat, relaxing, and beautiful. So I wanted the crashing wave of an ocean storm to symbolize the idea of my uncomfortableness. In my image there is a small sailboat, which represents me and how uncomfortable feelings overwhelm me, just like how the ocean is overpowering the little boat.
I created this illustration by first focusing on the wave and selecting an image to trace. I first ran into issues when I was trying to find an image of a wave on the internet. I wanted to create a big crashing wave, but all the ones I found were extremely complex and complicated and something I could not replicate. Because of this, I spent a vast majority of my time trying to find one. In the end, I found an image I really liked and it conveyed my statement very well. I also seemed to have issues with tracing the actual wave as there were four different sections that needed to be traced separately. The lines never matched up and there was always a little bit of blank space where you could see the background through the wave. I fixed this problem by making a different layer and putting it behind all of the others and drawing a big box of the color of the wave so it looked blended in and like there was no missing part of the wave. I then created the clouds and the sailboat. I had a very tough time creating clouds I liked and could never really make them as realistic as I had hoped for. I couldn't ever get the color right so I decided I should just use a gradient on them. Overall, I was happy with the way my illustration had turned out.
The picture on the left is based off of a line from my personal poem that says "through claw marks left behind". The picture on the right is based off of another line that says "uses sharp, jagged teeth to explore". My diptych represents how I think everybody expresses their love differently. My first picture is a footprint, which represents how I can tell someone has loved me by the parts of them I see in myself; the mark that they leave on me. The second picture is of knives positioned like teeth hanging over raw meat. This picture represents my view that when someone loves me, we both learn together what that entails and explore what our feelings mean. It is about being completely vulnerable and exposed, like the raw meat, and giving each other the power to hurt the other, but trusting them not to.
For the picture on the left I used the macro shot lense. I chose the aperture that I did because I wanted the footprint to really stand out, but I also wanted the background to be visible. I shot the wet footprint on cement to show that even light things can leave marks on hard surfaces, just like how the way someone treats me once can affect me permanently. I took the photo in normal daylight to make the footprint as visible as possible, and to make the dark gray of the print pop against the light gray cement. For the picture on the right I also used a macro shot lense, and I adjusted the aperture to try and let in as much light as possible without blowing out the picture. I lined up a bunch of knives on top of raw salmon, making it look like the knives were teeth dangling next to the meat, waiting to cut it. I did this to show how unprotected the meat is, and to show the power that the knives have to cut it (if they choose to) in order to metaphorically show what love is like. The whole picture is bright and clear in order to show how exposed love makes people feel.
For my self portrait illustration, I chose to create an illustration of a tiger behind the bars of a cage. The tiger is a metaphor for me. I got this idea from my trip to Thailand last December while I visited a tiger sanctuary. When I thought about going inside of a tiger enclosure, I expected to be scared. However, after seeing a tiger up close, and while I was staring down the cave that was her throat, I was not. I felt a strange sense of calm knowing the tiger was not going to hurt me. She had observed me and could tell that I meant no harm, so she knew that she did not need to act aggressively. This tiger is a metaphor for myself. We are both just trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt. The tiger in my illustration represents my realization that instead of automatically coming to conclusions about people's intentions, I should be more observant of the different ways people show their love to me. The cage in my illustration represents how my assumptions of people's intentions in my past have held me back from seeing the more discrete signs of people trying to show me how they feel.
In making this illustration, my biggest challenge that I faced was trying to draw the nose. I had to illustrate depth, and it was very difficult for me to figure out the shading that I wanted to use. I ended up using multiple different layers to create the look that I wanted, including layers of different shades of orange, layers of stripes, and many different gradients. I also had trouble tracing the stripes and making some of them darker than others in order to create a more realistic look, but it ended up better than I anticipated. It was hard for me to make up my mind about what I wanted my picture to look like, but I am happy with my end product.
I am a prisoner. Trapped by what people think of me.
I am nothing more than a show dog.
The fish in the glass bowl represents someone who is trapped. You see a beautiful fish with gleaming blue scales in a clear bowl. But if you observe closer, you will find the fish's fins are slightly frayed and its scales are blue with a dull brown layer on top. The glass bowl is not as clear as most glass it. Green algae lines the sides of the bowl, therefore diminishing the visibility of the fish. This represents the outer beauty of the fish that is clearly seen by peers, but the less obvious flaws of the fish and bowl portray that the image is beautified by what we think. Therefore, the fish is trapped by not only the bowl, but by expectations. The next photo is of toy army men in single file lines. The lined up army men symbolize how show dogs are lined up to be rated by the judges. Similarly, show dogs and army men are both prepped and judged by their peers. Of course they have their obvious differences, but both are displayed to the public. If you observe closer you will find that each toy army man is slightly different and never perfect. No matter how many replicas of the army men are made in toy factories, there will never be a perfect model. Each toy is a little different, but it is hidden from the public. Much like show dogs and their hidden flaws.
For the fish photograph, I used a higher aperture in order to get the best lighting. I was forced to constantly move around the fishbowl in order to take the perfect shot of the fish. I placed my fishbowl on a giant wooden table with a lot of filtered light, this gave me the perfect lighting in order to achieve the best picture. For the toy army men image, I used a lower aperture due to the minimal indoor lighting. I placed the toy army men in a corner and put a piece of white paper behind the toys as a backdrop. I positioned the toy army men in neat rows to convey the message of perfection. I made sure there was a light on one side of the toys, in order to see the shadow the army men made.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/CelineD.jpgDog and Fish
The symbols I chose were a dog in a cage and a fish in a bowl. Metaphorically, the cage symbolizes how society disables individuals from being themselves and the dog symbolizes many individuals who feel trapped by the thoughts of their peers. This metaphor from my essay states that, This image of the trapped dog leads me to realize that it should not matter what others think of you, you are living for yourself because it is better to be yourself instead of being molded to the constraints of society. I portrayed a show dog because they are constantly prepared to look pretty and acceptable in order to be scored by judges. In relation to society, we as individuals, are constantly trying to be presentable and in line with social norms. Next, I made a fish inside a fish bowl. The fish symbolizes the same thing the dog does and the bowl represents the cage. The main reason I added the fishbowl was to emphasize my metaphor because the fish also conveys someone who feels trapped by the constraints of society and the bowl mimics how one may feel judged by their peers.
The challenges I faced included not being able to use the pen tool and forgetting to add new layers. The pen tool took me a few days to figure out because I did not understand how to drag and move the curve. I overcame this obstacle by practicing drawing my fish several times. I also struggled with remembering to add new layers. I often used the same layer to draw different items. I finally had to delete a few layers and start over with new layers because all of my illustrations were on one layer. Overall, my challenges taught me how to be more efficient in Illustrator.
ChantiHOther People are not Medicine
Left: Your purple lips dissolved into mine like syrup
Right: I'm burning up, I'm sinking into myself
On the left side of the diptych I used purple lipstick because it resembles the purple cough syrup that comes to mind when I think of the word medicine. Purple lipstick is rarely be unless it's part of a costume or disguise. Metaphorically, this disguise leads many to mistake others for medicine. Through this photograph I was striving to metaphorically depict this common human reliance on others for mental health or happiness. I smashed the lipstick to give an unpleasant vibe to the photo and wrap up my personal statement that other people are not medicine. On the right side of the diptych I boiled a purple liquid to symbolize the anxiety and panic that comes when someone realizes they have relied too heavily on another person for their own happiness. I purposely chose a photo in which the bubbles are blurred together because I liked how it added a sense of confusion to the panic.
In the first photo I chose medium aperture because I liked the idea of the lipstick becoming slightly less in focus, however I wanted most of it to stay in focus. I chose an indoor location to give the photo an eerier, less natural feel which echoes the connotations of makeup. I also positioned the lipstick so that I would get some shadows which represent how humans, like shadows, are natural unlike makeup. In the second photo, I used a lower aperture so that the photo would blend together more due to the movement of the bubbles. I thought this strategy of making the photo look fluid would echo the syrup theme but also create a sense of stress and anxiety that comes with burning up and sinking. I used an indoor location because I needed to use the stove to boil the liquid. The lighting was a problem because I was indoors, but I did my best to minimize noise. I positioned the photo so that the bubbles would fill the frame and emphasize a feeling of being overwhelmed.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/ChantiH.jpgLoving Yourself First
I chose the symbol of a gentle waterfall because to me it represents the supporter of all life. Water supports life all over the world, however it doesn't have the power to stand up for itself when it's being taken advantage of. Humans have been contaminating Earth's water for decades and water allows this to happen. I want to be above this. That's where the bridge comes in. There's nothing wrong with helping others, however I believe it's important to love yourself first, which is the focus point of my personal essay. The bridge represents taking a separate path than the water, while still having access to the water which represents the ability to love and care for others. As soon as helping others begins to drain or harm me beyond repair, I must reevaluate my decisions and make sure to love myself first in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I faced many challenges when creating this Illustration. One of the biggest ones was tracing the bridge and figuring out how to make it look as realistic as possible. I had to retrace the entire front of it, change the color slightly, and add lines to the bottom of the bridge in order to get a more realistic feel. The water was also difficult to make realistic. However, by adding the drop shadow and highlights, I like the way it turned out. I also struggled a little with tracing the rocks because I ran into a few bugs with the application. However, I was also able to either resolve these problems or work around them. Overall, it was a fairly smooth process.
ChristianRStruggle to Accomplish
How did that artist get that face just perfect?
How did these famous poets do it so easily?
When thinking of perfection the one thing that comes to mind is a sphere because it is perfectly round in 3 dimensions. So I used a marble which is a sphere. I also believe that some artists achieve perfection in my mind when some of their art just looks just right. In my poem a face that looks perfect. I also struggle with writing poems and it seemed like other poets did it so easily. In my diptych I had a picture of math, a subject that people often struggle with.
For my photo I used a couple of poster boards that I had lying around to make a background that was not distracting. I chose to do this because I wanted the focus to be on the subject not on the background. I tried using the rule of thirds for the marble, but failed to do so for the math homework. I used a high aperture because there was not very much light in the room where I was taking the picture.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/ChristianR.jpgSome People are Awesome
In my essay I wrote about how I liked to surprise people. I believe that ninjas also surprise people. They are very sneaky and often use surprise attacks. They also surprise people with the amazing skills they have. This is why I chose to illustrate a ninja. He is balancing on a rock in the water. showing his awesome balancing skills.
Although I had used illustrator a couple time before, this project was the first time I had used the pen tool. It was hard to use because there were so many highlights to trace, and they had many different shapes that were very complicated. Also there were times when the color would not look right. I had to experiment with different colors to find the best one.
No Artist Statement submitted
No Artist Statement submitted
ConnorLWhat You Make
What You Make Always Exceeds Your Expectations
I'm making a pile
It's familiar, it's the building that came from my blueprint.
The first metaphor in my pieces are a pile in my poem, and a heap of trash in my diptych. These metaphors represent what the initial feeling of the creative process is, and shows how you see your work as you are making it, a pile, or just trash. My second metaphor is a blueprint in my poem, and some cookies in my diptych. The blueprint represents the end of the creative process because a blueprint depicts everything that goes into the final product, as well as the product itself. It contrasts the metaphor of the first line, because blueprints are neat, and organized, while when you hear a pile, it invokes a sense of chaos and messiness. The cookies represent the same end to the creative process, and how in the finale, the product always turns out sweeter than you imagined.
Each of my images were taken at my home, one inside, the other out in my backyard. Even though they were both taken with a regular lense, I changed the aperture for each shot to change the depth of the picture. For the shot of the trash pile, the aperture was very low, so I got most of the objects in focus to support my metaphor of calamity. I also shot the trash heap in the morning, which gave the heap a grayness that makes you feel almost depressed, which relates to how you feel when you are making something that you don't believe will be good. Next, I raised the aperture of the shot of the cookies way up, so that the cookies are the only thing in focus. This makes you understand that they are the most important part of the picture, and in my metaphor, the final product is the most important part of the process. The light shining on the cookies makes them feel warm, and I always relate warmness and cookies to relaxation, which is what you experience once you finish something you painstakingly are working on.
The there are two symbols in my illustration, the swan and the background. The background represents the creative process that I discuss in my symbol paragraph, as well as give an example of in my narrative paragraph. It depicts how you only see the imperfections in your piece. The background is colored because it reflects the color of the swan, and is supposed to show how the background becomes the swan. The swan represents the feeling of the end result of my first and second paragraphs of my essay. The swan is very sharp and neat, and has hard color to it. It contrasts the background, in that it represents calmness, order, and organization. The final feeling I convey in my narrative paragraph is the feeling of relief and pride and that is what the swan conveys with the disorganization and messiness of my background.
I traced a picture of a premade swan with my pen tool, and added a separate color to each of the swan's body parts. The most difficult problem was the pen tool, by far. It was difficult to sometimes keep the fill color inside of the outline that I had made of the swan, and it was hard to follow the outline that I myself had made. There were many times that I had to go back in with the paintbrush tool and fill in gaps the were left behind in the swan because I messed up while using the pen tool. However, once I came to grips with what I was doing wrong and how I could fix it, I started to adjust how I used the pen tool so that I would become more aware of what I was doing, and I began to become much more successful with it. My symbol itself wasn't a difficult concept to come up with. Overall, the symbol I used in my English class related to the swan background, because I feel that it suits the personal statement that I had made extremely well.
No Artist Statement submitted
No Artist Statement submitted
DasomCOnly the Best...
Titanium white, lemon chiffon
A splash of ocean waves
like a chameleon, like a butterfly
The different spices laid out on the table on the left side of the diptych is a representation of embellishments to a final product. It is much like when you are baking bread. Although the flour is what mainly constitutes for the bread, the spices are what determine its flavor and aroma. On the right side, there are a multitude of costumes hanging in a closet. When emulating something, you can take the base of an idea, but it really takes your skill to make it your own. The costumes represent the character that you would take on in a show, but how the character is presented to the audience is really up to the performer: you.
In the composition of my piece I put the spices bundled together, displaying the different options available to add to the bread. In the right, the image is zoomed in on the costumes. They are a bit blurred, indicating that although the costume is what determines your character, the acting and emotions are what really makes the character come alive.
In my Illustrator piece, I chose a Viceroy butterfly to represent the symbol for my personal essay. Viceroy butterflies mimic Monarch butterflies in order to survive. The Monarch butterfly is poisonous, causing harm to its predators. The Viceroy butterfly therefore emulates a butterfly with good survival skills; in other words, it is mimicking the best butterfly. The leaves and vines in the background show nature's complexity, and add coherence to the overall piece. The negative space leads the eyes to the butterfly, the main focus of the piece. It also represents the room to put your own spin on an idea that you emulated to make it your own.
I really enjoyed creating my illustration. Some things that worked well were finding my symbol image, solidifying my overall idea for the piece, and working with the pen tool. However I came to face many challenges while creating the piece. The first one I encountered was when I found out I had to use the same symbol as the one I used for my media piece in english class! I had so many ideas I wanted to try on this piece, so I was a little bummed out to find out I had to use the same symbol. However, once I decided what I wanted to do, I stuck with the idea and perfected it as I worked on Illustrator. My next issue came from attempting to blend parts of the wing on the butterfly and getting just the right color on each part of the wing. I played around with different effects to get the result I wanted. The biggest problem was deciding the leaf placement in the background. I wanted to create a nice, nature-like feel while not having too many leaves or too little of them. Each leaf was placed deliberately; I think I spent as much time placing the leaves as I did on the butterfly! I struggled with contemplating how to fill the background without taking away from my main symbol, and also how to make whole space filled without it being too busy. In the end, the illustration came out much the way I intended, which is fantastic.
DavidNThe Inner Voice
He sits in the black bordered isolated box that numbs his howl to hint at the truth.
Listen. Shhhhhhh. Do you hear that? Your inner wolf howls for attention in the midnight of messes.
My diptych represents how everyone has an inner wolf, and that inner wolf is guiding you to your true life path. The left side represents where the wolf is and what it does inside of you. I chose a black box with an iPhone compass inside because it represents the individuality and specificity of the wolf. If you look closely you can see that the black box in this picture represents the wolfs enclosure. In other words I originally dreamt that this inner wolf was in a black box inside of my mind. The compass represents how your inner voice leads you to your true path of life. This is because no matter where you are or what you are doing in your life, your inner voice will always point you in the right direction. The right picture focuses on how your inner voice speaks to you and lives inside of you. I chose the CB radio because of its uniqueness and how it is used for communication. In addition, even if you don't want to talk in the radio, the radio is always talking to you. Which means that you can always hear people talking, which concludes that you can talk to the radio because someone out there is always listening to you. If you look closely into the depths of this picture you will understand that this is a voice that is never-ending.
The iPhone compass in the black box on the left of the diptych would be considered be a telephoto shot because it focuses on the one area of the black box and the rest slowly blurs away. This photo was taken in the golden hour for shadow and light effect on my main focal point in the picture. I shot at an aperture of 400 because the light was fading fast and I had to take drastic decisions. I was aiming to pull the viewers attention and make the photo pop in a dramatic way that would make them look twice at its glory. The CB radio on the right was taken right before sunset to give it sort of a glare on top to make it dramatic and complex for the viewers. I would consider this photo to be a Macro Shot, and this is only because of how you can notice the little tiny details captured in the moment of the picture. If you look closely you can make out little particles of dust and many other particles of matter which make this photo a Macro Shot. This photograph was taken in my car angled at the right position to make the viewer question where the photo was taken. This photo of the CB radio was also taken at an aperture of 400 because of how the light was so intense.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/DavidN.jpgListen and You Will Know
My Illustration represents how listening to yourself is challenging. Most people in society leave this problem out at bay but in reality its always in the back of our heads. It is hard to listen to yourself when others are telling you to do something completely different. I believe that once you learn to listen to your inner instincts, you will achieve true happiness. In the end, you will always have a choice in life but it is up to you to make the right one. I chose the wolf to represent the inner voice inside of all of us. It depicts a story of its own in how it is howling in the midnight of the euphoric wilderness. The wolf is standing on a large rock to symbolize that the wolf is howling to the stars. The stars represent you,they represent the person you are and how beautiful you can be. The dramatic moon in the background represents the inner light cast upon your inner voice. One day it might all be there but the next it could be gone.
Creating all of this was a struggle in the fact of how all the little details that were necessary in order for the piece to have balance and conformity. One of the hardest things was tracing the wolf. The wolf was the main piece so in order to make it substantial and detailed, I had to trace every little bit of the wolf's fur. It took me nearly 3 days to complete solely the wolf. Another thing I struggled with was the stars, I had to make every group of stars from skratch, this took a hefty amount of my precious, but well used time. In addition, if you noticed I used a gradient fill for my background to be dramatic and represent the time of night it was and how the color of the sky changes as you look further and further away. Another interesting and cool effect I added on to this wonderful piece, was the mesh effect. The mesh effect takes place on the moon to represent its brightness and how it reflected on the wolf. All in all, I hope to impact society and influence them to listen to their inner voice.
I can connect with the other pieces of the puzzle
And stack these connections vertebrae by vertebrae creating a strong backbone
For my first line I chose to use stitches in a quilt to represent my metaphor. My poem is about making connections, and this particular line mentions my ability to create these connections. The stitches represent the connection, and the pieces of the quilt the diversity of people. The stitches hold everything together, therefore they represent the connection. Puzzle pieces are all unique, and so are the patches of a quilt. On the right for my second line I shot Kapla blocks. They are similar to Jenga blocks, but are used for building instead of a game. I chose to use them to represent my line because while Jenga blocks are often seen for building, I see the inevitable falling apart. However Kapla blocks are used to create and build. This represent my line because it talks about how you must build up a relationship before it can work. Therefore the blocks show the building, and the delicacy of stacking thin blocks. Also how at any moment it could fall apart, like Jenga blocks, but they are slightly more structured and not aimed at the inescapable collapse.
To create my photo on the left I used the the quilt on my bed because it has obvious stitches, which I wanted to be the focus of my image. I had difficulty with the lighting because I did not want the shot to be too light, however I was shooting inside so getting the ISO and aperture correct was difficult. I tried to get as close as possible to focus in on the quilt's stitches. For my photo on the right I wanted the light to be brighter, however it was also indoors and so I shot near a window in order to get more natural light. I wanted a plain background because my block structure has enough detail on its own. I also did not want a distracting background, so I shot it in front of a blank wall in my living room. I tried taking shots from many angles to find the best angle. I also tried to get close to my subject in order to get some of the details in the wood.
The symbols I chose represent my personal essay because they show connections. My main symbol, a flower, shows connections because it requires connections for survival. The flower must connect to the stem, which must connect to the roots, which must be connected to the ground. Flowers are dependent on their connections. In my illustration the stem of the flower is intertwined with the chain, a further connection because they are combined. My second symbol, a chain, shows connections because each link connects to the next and they build off each other. Without connections the chain would just be separate pieces, and not useful. My third symbol, paper cranes, show connections because in origami one must connect the paper to itself in a specific way to get the end result they want. There are many ways to fold to paper showing that the end product of connections is very diverse and each is unique. In my background I used a gradient because the colors fade into one another and blend. This shows connections because when connecting with someone, you can adopt some of their mannerisms, idea, or ways.
I faced many difficulties in creating my illustration, however my greatest challenge was my chain. I originally traced it with the pen tool, however there was a fill in the spaces between the links, where I did not want it. I spent a lot of time adjusting the chain, trying to get to go where I wanted it, and to look how I wanted it. Eventually I had changed so many things it didn't look quite like a chain any more. I tried doing it again. This time was more successful, however when it came to getting the color, shading, and shadow of the chain to look correct, I faced a new challenge. I continued to try new tools, new angles, and new colors. Eventually after trying many different things I found a color and gradient mesh that worked. Another challenge was trying to figure out how I was going to connect all my symbols in one illustration. Eventually I decided to wrap my flower around the chain and make multiple cranes around it. Creating my illustration was difficult, however overcoming these challenges just makes me prouder of the end product.
DrewGPursuing to Start a Fire
In the left picture, I explore the line pursuing to start a fire by combining grass, lighter fluid, matches, and lighters. Together these components will develop an intense fire. A fire is a metaphor for how I attack my passions. I attack my passions without anybody getting in my way, just how a fire is so hard to put out. In society today it is hard for me to accomplish what I love without others bringing me down. Therefore, when I am pursuing my passions I should always do it intensely and powerfully, like the characteristics of a fire. The right side examines me cutting down trees in sight, which symbolize all the obstacles and hardships I face on the journey to accomplish my passion. Pursuing something I love is not always easy, and I am constantly faced with challenges, or trees as I use in my poem. I see trees all around, just like all the confrontation I always meet. The axe in the picture is a metaphor for me defeating the obstacles preventing me from success, because an axe cuts down or ruins something. The wood is a metaphor for the trees, or the catastrophe I am challenged with daily.
For the both pictures I tried the best of my ability to achieve a strong photo composition. For both the left and right picture I used the rule of thirds, breaking the photo into thirds for good visual tension. I did not place the image in the middle or cut off the horizon, and I created a shallow depth of field to focus on the subject. For the left picture, I took it lying on the ground to achieve a ground level shot and a cleaner background. I used grass as my background because the objects together combine a fire. I set the aperture to F16 because it was light out and I was trying to focus everything. For the right side picture I chose to capture the scene at a bird's eye view to allow the viewer to see the whole subject from a high angle. I chose a dried grass field as my location because in nature, it is where trees grow and wood is typically cut.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/DrewG.jpgPursuing to Ignite a Fire
The symbol I chose for my personal essay was fire. My essay focused on accomplishing a goal I was passionate about and the challenges I had to overcome to reach it. However, I accomplished my passion like a fire, essentially telling myself to pursue my passion and not to let my greed for money and power sway my flame. The symbol in my illustration was composed of trees and a fire burning them down, emphasizing the thesis of my essay. The fire is a metaphor for how I attack my passions with great tenacity. I accomplish my goals with power, strength, and dedication which are all characteristics of a burning fire. The trees in my illustration are a metaphor for the obstacles I face on the pursuit for my passion. Thus, the fire is burning down the hardships I face so I can truly accomplish what I desire.
Throughout this project I faced many challenges because Illustrator is such an advanced program; however, it was really interesting at the same time. My project mainly consisted of using the pen tool to trace the main background which was very hard at first, but I eventually was able to complete this process. I also had such a difficult time going around edges and curves, however as time went on I mastered it after countless questions and practice. Another obstacle I faced was adding layers, which unfortunately I learned the hard way, is so essential in this program. However, after many mistakes I reminded myself to always add layers and name them appropriate. Overall I did face challenges, but through help and practice I overcame these obstacles.
EdgarSAn invisible masterpiece
In my diptych, I wanted to show the blank canvas changing to a color filled canvas that i described in my personal essay. On the left, you see a boring, black, lifeless canvas that has nothing on it. On the right, you see a new, abstract, color filled canvas with randomized patterns and ideas all over it. The design painted on the canvas is a symbol for ideas and change over time inside a person's imagination, put onto a canvas in the real world. This could translate to music on a CD, or art in a gallery. For me, the canvas on the right represents musical ideas put into a computer, that is being translated into music. It is a confusing pattern of random colors and designs, but in the end it will all be compiled into an organized musical piece.
But thats what it means to me. To other people it may mean something else. To a chef it could mean a bunch of ingredients that will eventually be combined into a delicious, masterful dish. That is just one of the many different ways it could be interpreted. Each person starts out with a variety of disorganized ideas that eventually come to form a single piece that they will cherish forever. They may not be able to recognize these ideas at first, (left) but in time they will realize what they are and pursue their true passion.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/EdgarS.jpgLight the world up
In my illustration, I wanted to show that anybody can light up an entire city with what they love. For me, it is music and DJing. People all over the world can be lit up with ideas that come from your head. Every person has a unique light in their head which could allow them to change and light the world up if they choose to pursue it. Everyone has a unique spark that nobody else has that could allow them to change something in the world. Some chose to pursue that, others chose to play it safe.
I believe everyone should pursue their light, and do what they really love instead of what they know they can do. If everybody fully pursued their dreams, nobody would be stressed, we would live better lives, and we could spend more time with the ones we love, doing what we love.
Like a pebble in my shoe
That soon morphs into a nail piercing through my foot
Watching as the scarlet blood drips
Silently admiring how it shines.
This is the line for the left side of my diptych. I chose the rose with black paint on it to symbolize the pain and hurt that I have been through in my life. I didn't want to make the picture literal, so I decided not to have actual blood dripping from a wound. The pain that this represents is more than just physical, it is also emotional. The physical pain I have endured does not make me hurt, it just lets me feel something other than numbness. The feeling of nothingness has consumed my life, and I wanted to represent the rays of feeling I do have. My phobia of people finding out my secrets / Is like a black tidal wave ready to crash over me. The picture on the left, the crack in the ground, represents this line of my poem. I couldn't photograph an actual tidal wave, so I had to pick something that was far less intimidating, yet still gets the message across. Earthquakes happen all over the world, and they consume and destroy everything in their path, much like a tidal wave. My fear of people getting too close to me has consumed my life, like the numb feeling, and it has made me extremely paranoid. The crack represents that fear left behind by the overwhelming pain and numbness.
In my first picture on the left, I used a rose from my backyard and black paint that I found. As the shoot progressed, I poured more and more paint on the rose until it was eventually completely covered. I liked the photo that I used the best because it still shows the red of the rose yet also conveys the darkness of the paint. I did this in my backyard, and I positioned it so that the lighting was all pretty neutral. In my second picture on the right, I shot a crack on the ground, also in my backyard. The light was just from the sunny day, and it is coming from the top right position relative to the crack. For both shoots, I used ISO 100 and 5.6 aperture, varying the shutter speed as I went.
In my Self-Portrait Illustration, the symbols I used were a wave and a barren tree. The wave represents fear, and the tree represents the fragility fear can bestow upon a person. The wave is big and menacing, instilling fear in the viewer. The tree looks like it is going to be completely drowned by the wave, but despite its fragility, the tree is stronger than it looks.
To create this illustration, I used Adobe Illustrator. The Pen tool was a huge part in this, because I used it to trace both the tree and the wave. The tree took up a lot of time, considering it is very intricate and there are a lot of lines and spaces to keep track of. I used the Gradient and Gradient Mesh tools to create a smooth transition of colors within the wave. The Brush tool was also very helpful in creating the details in the wave itself. A challenge I met in doing my illustration was using the Pen tool on the tree. It took a lot of precise movements and placing, but in the end it turned out well.
EmmaPMedications Dont Fix They Conceal
The euphoric rush feels like you're floating on cloud nine.
We wear them to conceal our true identity.
The metaphor for the left side of my diptych was based on the line in my poem: The euphoric rush feels like you're floating on cloud nine. Feathers and water symbolize the word floating. Water represents floating because lightweight objects are suspended on the surface. Feathers are representative of floating because they hover in the air when they fall. A rainbow effect in the reflection of the water shows a sense of euphoria. I used white feathers because they symbolize purity and they provide a visual connection to the white sheet I used on my model. For the right side of my diptych, I used the line in my poem: We wear them to conceal our true identity. When I originally chose this line, I was going to use a mask, but I felt that was too cliché. Instead, I used a white drape over a model to hide the individual. I also blurred the image, so one cannot see the object being shot, thus concealing it.
For the left side of my diptych, I used a standard Nikon D5200 lens. I used a low depth of field and the macro setting so that I could zoom in on the feathers without distorting the image. For lighting, I used afternoon sun captured through a window, which created a rainbow effect in the water. I positioned the feathers in different clusters and positions. When I knocked down the feathers, I captured the perfect suspension effect to support the left side of my diptych. For the right side of my diptych, I captured a person draped in a white cloth. I used a high depth of field so most of what I was shooting was in focus, and a very low shutter speed of 5 seconds to create a blurred effect. I used a tripod to make sure nothing other than my subject was moving. I let more light into my shot so that I would have an interesting shadow effect on my image. Lastly, I decided on the motion that I wanted my model to portray. At first I had my model running across my background, but the blur was too intense. Finally, I had my model spin and swing their arms, which captured the concealed image I was looking for to support the right side of my diptych.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/EmmaP.jpgThe Concealing Effects of Masks
The form of a mask represents the desire to hide the identity of a person or establish it as another being. Masks cover and conceal what people do not want others to see. Medications can act as masks by hiding emotions and feelings from the outside world. Similar to masks, medications can conceal what one truly feels and makes them not be able to express their emotions. I chose a white mask because white is a sterile and cold color which makes me think of numbness; and like medications often when you take them they make you feel numb. I chose to use accents of gold in my mask to show glimmers of hope. These gold glimmers represent how a medicated person can sometimes feel little hints of feelings shining through their mask (or medicated self).
I created my illustration using Adobe Illustrator. First, I placed my object of a mask. Then I used the pen and fill tools to create the objects and drawing of the mask. I tackled creating the mask first to establish a focal point, then I created the gold embellishment. I used the gradient mesh tool on the lips to give them a golden shine, and I used the gradient tool on the jewels to create a spherical look. The most difficult challenge I had to overcome was probably getting used to using the pen tool, and using the Wacom tablet to draw on. I overcame these challenges by taking my time and practicing with the new tools. Once I got the hang of it, I had a lot of fun creating my project using the tablet, and it was easier than using a mouse. Another challenge I had to overcome was the use of the mesh gradient tool in Illustrator. I had some issues with this tool because when I created one mesh and tried to create another right next to it, it would appear all choppy. In the end, I decided to use a gradient instead which had a similar effect. Overall I found this project very difficult but the ending result was very satisfying.
Stretch me, knead me, tug me, bend me, break me,
Now you've turned me to glass,
Beautiful but fragile
I am dough
The photograph of the bubblegum represents the dough I refer to in my poem, which I associated with change. I wanted to use an object that conveyed the same meaning as dough which is malleable and has the ability to change forms. I chose the shape of a bubble because at this point in the poem I am talking about constantly being faced with different obstacles in my life and the bubble shows tension, like something is about to go wrong, or pop. My other photograph is of confetti being blown, causing it to float away in many different directions. I used confetti to represent glass being shattered which in my poem I used as a metaphor for my pain. I chose confetti because, although it is broken up bits of glitter, it is also beautiful showing that the change occurring in my life, although painful, will eventually lead me to becoming a better person.
For my first image, I chose the side view angle because I wanted to contrast the bubble against the background. This makes it clear that, although the bubble is about to pop, everything else is still in tact, representing that my problems are self inflicted. Also, I used a wide aperture to blur everything in the background. This conveys that my ego is very large and that, at this point in my life, I am still learning how to treat others and do not always recognize how my choices affect the people in my life. For my second image, I had someone blow the confetti to represent that my actions determine the repercussions of change. Finally, I used Photoshop to brighten the pieces of flying confetti to show that there are many different moods that come with change. I wanted to convey through the fate of the flying confetti that the next chapter of your life lays in your hands and depends on how you react to the painful process of growing up.
The focal point of my image is the green asparagus, captivatingly green and strong. In my essay I talk about my initial symbol, the white asparagus, and how it depends on others for support, allowing them to dictate its fate. However, at the end of my essay, I transition and bloom out of the ground as the green asparagus, thriving off of my own happiness. I wanted my work to portray the asparagus as independent and proud, so I placed it in the middle and gave it highlights and color. Also, I added a shadow beneath the asparagus to give the effect that it is above everything. The next important piece of my artwork was my background. To create this, I traced the dreamworks logo, with the boy sitting on the moon and fishing. In my custom version, I replaced the boy with a piece of asparagus which also sits in peace and isolation. I found this to be a strong background that supported my personal essay and symbol, showing that you can be happy on your own. The asparagus is detached from everyone else, up above in the sky but content. I made sure not to use any overly dull colors to give a happy theme instead of confusing my audience with the feeling of loneliness.
I found highlighting my illustration most difficult because the initial image we traced had to be so large that it pixelated. Therefore it was confusing which parts of the image were supposed to be highlights and which were just blurry. Eventually, I gave up on making my image perfect and focused more on making my illustration look realistic and defined. Also, giving my clouds body was difficult because I didn't know how to use the gradient mesh tool properly. However, I overcame this by asking my peers for help and eventually was able to get the hang of it. Overall, I really enjoyed working with Adobe Illustrator, although difficult, it was a program I can see myself using in the future.
FelixNHeaven in flames, Beauty to the design
In my diptych I wanted to juxtapose destruction with construction. For the left image I wanted something that decays, something that was beautiful at some point it the past but is slowly dying and disintegrating. For this I chose to use Compost, something that used to be good and green and alive but is now falling apart. For the right side of the image I wanted to portray construction as function, something that works as it is supposed to. I found this functionality, and the beauty that comes with it in San Francisco. In the image there is an absurd amount of functionality, cars, lights, skyscrapers and billboards, all the things that one would expect to find in a city. All of this machinery however is lit up so I decided to make it stand out by contrasting it with darkness. At night you can only see the things that are working.
As for the technical aspect of creating the images, they were both taken on Dslr's. In the left image I used a wide angle at a macro distance with a wide aperture of f/2.8. This makes the small compost seem large and overpowering, and also gives it a sense of depth of field. An issue that I found was that the contents of my compost bin were to green for my liking so I put some filters to make the image itself seem degraded giving it the older look I was going for. For the right image I had to take a little bit of a hike to find a point in the hills south of San Francisco that was below the fog but still provided a good view of the city. I found my location and using a medium telephoto lens I framed my image to use Market Street as a leading line running down the photograph, leading the eye to the taller skyscrapers off on the left side of the image.
For this illustration I chose to use a variation of symbols of different metaphorical meanings to support my theme of beauty and height. To represent myself, I inserted an explorer symbol personifying myself as an airplane. I decided illustrate the plane in unnaturally high contrast colors while the other symbols were in their more natural nighttime shades. These colors show how I contrast the world with my naive ideas. As one will notice, the illustration is set before sunrise, when the sky begins to lighten. I set it at this time because it is my favorite time of day to explore. It is the only time of day when no one else is out, an opportunity to explore the world without the distraction of others. As I was creating this illustration, I decided I wanted to make the piece explorable, just as I like making the world explorable, by allowing the viewer to seek out details, such as making the stars all have unique colors and shapes, and showing every single control surface on the aircraft.
Most of the difficulty I had with creating this illustration was simulating dynamic light in a two dimensional environment. It was difficult to get the lighting on the airplane correct, as various shadows interacted with other highlights. There were more than 20 different shadows and highlights on the airplanes body that I had to create and adjust before I was satisfied with the product. In trying to resolve these issues I had to fiddle with the gradient mesh tool on irregularly shaped objects such as the airplane body, which tended to make a complete mess. Another slightly less difficult task was creating the silhouette of the mountain, expressing every little crevice and valley. The main obstacle in creating the silhouette was not the complexity of the work but the amount of time it took to trace every irregularity in the mountain range.
No Artist Statement submitted
No Artist Statement submitted
The spectacle for the whole to see
The beach becomes a swamp
It's like a key
When deciding what I wanted to use as my metaphor for the left side of my image I really wanted to choose something that everyone looks at. The first idea that I thought of was photograph a stage, because it is something that everyone looks at. Although I wanted something that everyone sees, and I thought the sky would be perfect for my image. I wanted various colors in my image also so I choose to add a tree into the photo. Conveniently the moon as far in the distance when I took these photos which helped link both my photos, with the color white. In my second photo I used my cat, whose name is Luna, which is the spanish name for moon. This is another personal way I was able to link my first and second photo. In my poem I use the phrase, It's like a key, I wanted to have com thigh changing and opening. I choose the cat going into a new room as a way to represent opening. The way I showed change was by using a cat, a cats eyes change when exposed to a new environment. The other reason I used a cat was because of convenience also.
When choosing the shutter speed when photographing my cat, I needed to to choose a faster shutter speed due to the fact that my cat was very mobile. I choose high apertures for both photos also because I wanted to let a lot of light in the photos. The contrast of colors in my first photo supports the blue and green in my photo and therefore the moon also stands out in the photo. The white in the photo with the cat also stands out, It gives almost an effect that the cat is glowing.
In my personal essay I choose to represent my idea of wings, or angels. My theme was to find the power to overcome your anxiety. When I was little I was very anxious, but I always found comfort and freedom in the idea of having a guardian angel. This is why I choose wings. I love the idea of flying, there is such a feeling of freedom when people think about flying. In my image I had the angel facing the opposite way so the focal point was the wings. I used a lot of white so it had positive things associated with the image. Another choice I made was the black bird. I wanted to make sure there was a sense of darkness in the image also. I had the bird look like it was going towards the angel, to symbolize the bird going towards light. I also used contrast of light and dark in the background. In the upper portion I used a darker blue, with the moon, and lower part I used yellow and the sun. This was to show contrast in light and dark. The dark is again anxiety, but the angel is in front of it, to go over the anxiety.
When making my image I started with the focal point of my image, the wings. I had struggled in creating smooth lines throughout making the entire image. As I got used to the pen tool the lines became smoother. Most of my images I had to retrace 4-5 times, except my wings. My biggest struggle was the outline of the body, where I made several attempts to outline the profile face. I used the pen tool on the dress also but I did not have problems when drawing the dress.
IsabelOLight and Darkness
The first line, represented on the left side of my diptych conveys the freedom and happiness I experience. I am a sunflower is a metaphor for my happiness. As the bright sunflower opens up to the horizon, so do I sometimes open myself up to light and happiness. In my diptych, I photographed multiple lit candles together in a dark setting. All the lit candles combined create a sense of light and energy. This represents the joy and feeling of light that can be brought to life within me. The second line in my poem, represented on the right side of my diptych, expresses the solemn and sad aspects of myself, contrasting with the left side. I am the embers of the night sky is a metaphor for the periods of sadness that I experience. I chose embers because an ember has only the glowing remains of a fire, conveying the dying of light and onset of the dark night sky. In my diptych, I photographed a wilted flower in my backyard. This connects to the same metaphor for the dark and sad side of myself, because the life the flower once had is gone. I juxtapose these images of the dark sorrow of the dead flower and bright joy of the candles to illustrate the dramatic contrast of the emotions I experience.
My image of candles was a macro shot with a big aperture and shallow depth of field. I chose a closet with zero light to photograph them so that the only light was from the candles, making them more distinct. I used a low angle so that I could focus on one candle, with the rest in the background. I wanted to show the cumulative effect of all the lit candles next to each other, creating a feeling of glow and happiness. The dead flower photograph was also a macro shot. I used a big aperture to create a shallow depth of field to capture the details. I chose to focus on one petal on the left so that the image was more interesting. The outdoor shade also gave a solemn tone, connecting to the meaning behind my image.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/IsabelO.jpgMy Opaque Mask
The main symbol I chose for my illustration is a mask, which was the basis of my personal essay. In my personal essay I wrote about the opaque mask I wear to conceal myself and my constant changing emotions. I illustrated a white mask with a teardrop on one side of the face and a sun on the other to represent the range of emotions that I feel. When working in illustrator, I wanted to draw the mask realistically, accurately resembling a plain white mask. I wanted to do this because I feel that my mask can cover up a lot, just like a white costume mask. Although my main symbol was the mask, I decided to add a teardrop and a thinking cloud above the right side of the face to show what can lie behind my mask. On the other side of the face, I drew a sun with glowing beams because I wanted to create a contrast between the sides of the mask, and also express the positive emotions I often feel that can be concealed.
At the beginning of my illustration, I struggled with figuring out how to portray the mask realistically. There were a lot of shadows on the placement of the mask that I didn't know how to trace, let alone what tool to use to do so. It was difficult for me to create the nose, eyebrows, cheekbones, and mouth because there were so many shadows and highlights that were needed to make it look realistic. Eventually, I figured out that I could draw these details of the mask by making many different colored shapes for each facial feature with the pen tool to illustrate its highlights and shadows. Once I figured out how to do this, it was easier for me to make my mask. I also struggled with figuring out how to incorporate a gradient mesh into my illustration. But once I realized how I could use this tool in my piece, I created a mesh on the mask face, the teardrop, and the thought cloud above the mask. Using the pen tool effectively was also challenging when I first started my illustration, but as I became more comfortable with it, I began to understand how it could be used to trace objects accurately.
JackTI suddenly see a bend
I suddenly see a bend approaching, I am free - the metaphor I found in this line is there is a surprise around the bend, which is just waiting to be discovered. It's like a kid on Christmas day who's waiting with anticipation to go downstairs and open presents. Like the bend in the road the wrapping paper on the presents is the same, you don't know what's inside until you rip the paper off. I am free, the metaphor that I thought that fit well, is a broken chain. The chain represents freedom mentally and emotionally. For me this freedom is in the form of cycling, cycling helps me clear my head and distress.
The first thing I thought about when I created my Diptych was the lighting. For the image on the left I wanted to have no shadows and a simple background that would be out of focus. I chose to make the background out of focus so that it wouldn't be distracting to the viewer. When photographing my first image I took a few photographs with a macro lens, a telephoto lens and a regular lens. Out of all of the pictures I took with the different lens I settled on the image in which I used regular lens. The angle I took my photo from was from eye level; I also took other pictures from above the present and ground level. I also took pictures from the sides of the present as well; I did this so that I could make shadows. I chose the default aperture so that it was properly exposed and neutral. I chose to shoot the present at my house because it makes it feel like you're at a surprise party. I positioned the present the way I did so that you could see all of the box and the tissue paper. The lighting helps the whole of the box to be seen and for a shadow on the bottom of the box.
For the image on the right I wanted to create a reflection in the chain and to make it look dramatic. For this image I used a macro lens so that I could get as close as possible and still have a clear and crisp image. I used a slightly darker aperture so that it feels more dramatic and interesting to look at. The location that I shoot this at was my house on the black tarmac drive. I chose to take the picture here because the background was distracting and it helps the viewer look straight at the chain, instead of the background and as well as the tarmac in the foreground. I position the chain in such away, so that the sun would reflect off the chain and create the effect that is shown in the image. The lighting that I chose to take this picture also adds to the dramatic effect that I wanted when I took this picture.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/JackT.jpgCycling Sets Me Free
The symbol I chose represents my personal essay because in my personal essay the whole story takes place on the bike and the places we go through on the bike. The bike that I created in Adobe Illustrator is also the bike that I ride in real life so I have memories of riding with friends and family. The Illustration that I created is so detailed because I wanted the bike to look realistic, for the bike to be the main focus of the piece and to help draw the viewer in.
The process I used to create my Illustration mostly came from the plan that I created for this assignment. The plan and my poem really helped me focus on a certain idea and build off it. The challenges I faced while creating this piece included, if I was going to fill the bike with color or not and whether or not I would add the graphics on the bike. The pen tool was a little challenging to work with in the beginning after doing a couple of practice projects the Pen Tool became very useful and easy to use. Selecting my symbol was easy but how I was going to show it as an Illustration was difficult. Another part that I had difficulty with was the background; my original idea was to have a very dramatic and scenic view as my background, but I ended up with the background being like the the sky. I chose this background because in my poem I describe myself flying down the hill and this line in my poem sparked the idea to use it for my background. I also chose to have the background represent the sky because it is less distracting to the viewer and helps the focus be on the bike and not on the background. The clouds that in the background are also in the Illustration to show that the bike is in the sky.
The picture on the left coincides with the line I tiptoe down the stomping path. I took a picture of books and a bell to show contradiction. The image of an old book inspires a feeling of a quiet library. I put the bell there to show the anticipation of the noise the still bell will make when it is rung. The picture on the right represents the line like a drum from a tribal ceremony. I took a photo of a splice of wood. I did this because I felt a rhythm in the rings of the wood. The rings in the wood help show this rhythm because it has a pattern that repeats like a drum beat.
The photo on the left was taken on a bookshelf in a small library in my home. I took it there because I thought the accent lighting created a sense of peace and quiet which helped to express the mood I was looking for. I really liked how the light was shining on the bell and the books created some shadows. I used a big row of books because I wanted the row to represent a path. For the wood photo I really wanted to get a ripple to show a continuous pattern like a beat. I used my telephoto lens to get a close up shot because when I tried to take photos from further away the pattern in the rings were not as dramatic. I used low aperture when photographing both images because I wanted more light to come into the photos.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/JessicaM.jpgThe Clown Fish
For my illustration, I chose to create a clown fish along with many other fish. The clown fish is swimming up and to the left, while all the others are swimming down and to the right. In order to portray happiness, I put a smile on the clownfish. I wanted the clownfish to stand out and seem out of place, so I did so by having the fish be a different species than the others and swim in the opposite direction of them as well. Although the clownfish is not behaving like the others, it is still happy acting as its own individual. All of the background fish the same color and are not detailed because I really wanted the clown fish in the center to seem unique.
When I first started this project, I made the clownfish much larger than the others and placed it in the center. Originally I only had one fish but i thought that in order to convey my message better I needed to add more fish to demonstrate that it is only one fish in a large crowd. The hardest part of creating my piece was finding ways to make my clownfish look genuine and communicate emotion the through design. I had a hard time finding the right colors and using gradients. I also had a difficult time using the mesh tool. I was trying to use the mesh tool on my fish but it wasn't working so I decided to use it on the bubbles to make them ‘pop'.
KarenQSour and Sweet
My diptych is a representation of my personal statement, Friendships just need faith to be seen, from my English poem about how trust and understanding make friendships work. In my poem, the first lines, Happiness covered a once bitter heart / Becomes sweet again, inspired the left side of my diptych. On the right side of my diptych is a picture of a pink and black torn heart to represent the phrase Like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that's undone. The emphasis on the word undone defined the focus of my diptych.
The left side of my photograph features Sour Patch Kids, which represent the first lines in my poem because they are exactly sour, then sweet. Friendships are sweet and sour: the sweet orange refers to the happy, cheerful, and most memorable moments with my friends, while the sour lemon yellow refers to sad and dramatic moments of life I want to escape. Without faith friendships wouldn't last very long. The struggles and misunderstandings make it a treat when the sour moments shift into the sweet moments. The right side of my photograph about a torn black and pink heart expresses what I mean by undone; I have shown a torn heart broken into pieces. This part of the image represents the struggles between two or more friends who face a problem that cannot be avoided. The misunderstanding of friends makes it harder to hold on to friendship; some misunderstandings just need time to pass and cool down. The black part of the heart is where the faith comes in; just because you see it with your own eyes doesn't necessary make it true. A friend just needs to understand the reasons of why the person made a mistake, believe, and give them trust. The pink part of the heart shows all the good memories are still there in every friend's heart. Overcoming obstacles strengthens the bond between friends.
The process I used to make the photos beautiful and juxtapose them involved Photoshop. I used the aperture I chose because it let in more light to make the photo neither too dark nor exposed. I positioned my subject the way I did because it was interesting and tells the story I wanted to tell.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/KarenQ.jpgClasses Of My Three Beautiful Friends
A girly background shows a happy, bright, and colorful person. The colors on my background include a light blue color, the color I've liked the most recently, and a pink color that I have loved since I was a child. The white shows simplicity, but also the complexity of all creations starting out, and it helps separate the two colors. Since this is my Self Portrait I wanted this to be the fullest portrayal of who I am. The symbols I used for my illustration are an ancient scroll and my P.E. clothes to represent the classes I have with my friends. In English class, I developed my personal statement, Friendship just need faith to be seen, which became the focus of all my Self Portrait work. The symbols I chose are so important to me because even though I don't really like running that much I am happy to have a class with my friends. P.E. class is where I can make new friends and create lasting memories that I will remember forever. The ancient scroll represents history. History class is where I learn about history of the world and also make my own each and every time I have History with my friends. When one of my friends moved away, I found comfort in the memories in the history we created together.
The program I used to create my composition was Adobe Illustrator. My illustration was a 17x11 landscape style. I also have trace my original pictures of the P.E clothes and the ancient scroll with the pen tool provided in Illustrator. I have used gradient, mesh, and shadows to make my artwork beautiful and stand out. The challenges I faced included trying to cooperate with the pen tool and getting the trace just right. Also putting them on the right layer was also a challenge. The mesh tool is a big struggle for me because I know the highlights are lighter than the color that is picked and the shadow is darker but I'm still trying to learn how to properly use it. Lastly, the gradient tool is also as hard as the mesh tool because picking the right color for the scroll is so hard since there are so many different versions of the same color just to get the effect of it. To add on to that putting the right effects to it look like an actual ancient scroll is a hard thing to do since you have to make modern paper look old part of it at least. I overcame them by practicing a lot, dealing with it, asking for people's point of view, and asking for help a lot because I really need it.
The moves were the same, but the mavericks were pressing new imprints into the polished rosewood floor
My fingers were dancers who were stuck doing the same choreography over and over
On the left side, I am trying to convey that a concept can be applied in many different ways and achieve a unique result every single time. In the photo, the concept is motion, the modes of transportation that left tracks on the dirt are the ways that the motion was applied, and the end result was many tracks going in different directions. On the right side, I am trying to convey how frustrating repetition can be. Anybody who has listened to the radio knows that the song Stairway to Heaven is overplayed on any classic rock station. It is also overplayed by amateur guitarists. Although the Led Zeppelin classic is arguably the most iconic song ever, its overuse in the media has stolen its charm and often leads to frustration among listeners. I used fire to signify frustration and a printout of the lyrics to the song because my father wasn't pleased when I proposed that I shatter his record of the album it was on.
The left side of the diptych was taken with a higher aperture so that all of the tracks could be in focus. I also used 400 for my ISO because there was a good amount of light, but the parking lot was draped in the shadow of a giant pine tree, so it was sort of dim. The burning of the lyrics, however, took place right before nightfall. This meant that I had to use a slightly higher ISO than I did for the parking lot photo. The aperture that I used was also lower than the other photo because I wanted the words to the song to be in focus instead of the rocks and pavement in the background.
The meaning that I was attempting to convey is that originality is redefining what people think they already know. Since this is a difficult theory to understand, I used the example of music to help showcase what I meant. Gramophones are things of the past, so I used this to show older influences gave newer generations of musicians a voice. A prime example of this would be how Radiohead used the psychedelic style of Pink Floyd, but modified it to create their own sound. The record on the gramophone is meant to represent bands like Radiohead: bands that drew from the influences of the past. Since a gramophone can play many records, it also shows how various artists could use the same influence to guide their work. The rainbow that is coming out of the end of the gramophone signifies the multitude of possibilities of sound that can come from writing songs with an influence from the past.
I used Adobe Illustrator to create this image. I first found a picture of a gramophone and then used the pen tool in illustrator to trace it. This may have been the hardest part in the process for me. Since I am left handed, I had to use the Wacom tablet on my left side. This sounds like it wouldn't be a problem, but the issue is that the controls for various functions on the Wacom tablet were on the left side of the tablet. This meant that every time I put my hand on the tablet to try tracing something, the tablet would open up the settings menu. I eventually gave up on trying to avoid the controls and started tracing without my hand being on the tabet. One needs precision and accuracy in order to get small details and writing with one's hand suspended in the air isn't the best for that. This is more of a technical issue rather than a conceptual one though. I knew what I wanted right when we were given the assignment, so it was doable in that respect.
Long, tangled, matted rope hangs off the thing's head.
Its wrinkled claws slide across my bunker.
For this project, I photographed a tattered stuffed animal and old, wrinkled hands to represent the two lines in my poem. The photo on the left side of my diptych stood as a metaphor for long, tangled, matted rope. In my poem, this line itself was a metaphor for a homeless person. In my self portrait diptych, I took this a step further and I used the tattered stuffed animal to metaphorically represent the sense of neglect that you take away from the line in my poem about the tangled rope. On the right side of my diptych, I used some old hands to represent the wrinkled claws that I mentioned in my poem. By comparing human hands to wrinkled claws, I attempted to represent the bestial side of human nature. I juxtaposed two photos of neglect in material objects and of animalistic human features to show destruction and the imperfections in the world, both man-made and natural.
Lighting was very important to both of my photos. Since both photos had dark metaphors that shaped them, I knew that shadows had to be a very prominent part of both photos. I decided to shoot my photos in the evening when the sun could fall on my subjects at a steep angle and cast shadows on to them which would make the contrast very high and give the photos a lot of depth and darkness. For both of my photos, I used a low aperture so that I could have a shallow depth of field, limiting distractions, and keeping the viewer concentrated on my subject. For my diptych, I also used black and white in order to limit the distractions of color that may inhibit the viewer's ability to hone in on the metaphorical meanings behind my photos.
I used three symbols in my illustration to represent the meaning of my personal essay. My personal essay was centered around the fact that I consciously block out the parts of the world that I don't want to see. The symbol of the pyramid in my illustration represents the tip of perception and shows that when I block out unsightly things, I am choosing not to perceive them. My second symbol is the rose-colored eye. This combines the symbol of the eye representing sight and the concept of rose-colored glasses, showing that I block out unappealing things and sugarcoat the world. My third symbol was the clouds and fog. This was a recurring symbol in my essay. Literally interpreted as the medium that blocks clear and complete vision, the clouds in my illustration represent my conscience blocking out unappealing things. I also chose to make the clouds green to show the sickly nature of my willing ignorance.
To create my composition, I traced many different images to create the landscape in my illustration. I traced an eye, a pyramid, and multiple sets of clouds to show my tendency to block out parts of the world. I used layers for each of my objects and I added sublayers for the individual part of that object. I trimmed the edges of my artboard. consequently grouping some of my clouds. This ultimately left me with eighteen layers. One challenge I had was getting the detail in the eye. There are so many shadows around the outside of a human eye that make it a hard object to trace. My biggest challenge was the part above the eye where I had to blend two shades around a curve. I ended up making a blend and blending two lines that outlined the section of shadow.
Timid creature wrapped in comforting armor
Time to put on a new skin, cold and hard, a churning grin
The metaphor I used, Timid creature, is used to describe my personal anxiety and fear. I get nervous in crowds and anxiety from public speaking. You can see how the hamster is curled up in a ball, afraid of his surroundings. The low lighting I used to represent how I would feel more alone when I was anxious. When I said wrapped in comforting armor it is supposed to represent my comfort zone. The hamster is behind a wall of glass, a form of protection against the dangers of the world that he does not want to face. For my second line I used new skin to describe how I would fake my confidence when facing my fears of public speaking. I made the skin of the banana in my photo the focus of my photo, to emphasize the importance of the skin and how it differs from the interior of the banana. Cold and hard, a churning grin Is the metaphor I used to describe my discomfort of pretending to be confident, how at first when I try to face my fears I don't feel that I am myself.
The process I used to create my piece involved using a macro lens. For my hamster photo, I shot in a dark pet shop. I positioned my hamster in a way that showed it's timidness, and in a way where you can see the glass it hides behind. I used very low lighting to emphasize the feeling of anxiety or loneliness. In my second photo I chose a banana as my subject. I chose to take this picture on a gray rocky surface, the colors of the banana contrast with the grey. I positioned my banana so that my picture was a close up long the length of the fruit, so you could see down all the way, where the skin was peeled, and where the edible fruit began. The lighting shines on the banana and primarily the peel, leaving the stones in the shadow.
I have chosen the symbol of a shell, one shell where you cannot see the creature within and know how it behaves. It represents the comfort zone of the performer on the stage. I chose to color it violet, because the color violet usually tends to represent deep thought or spirituality, and the experience of overcoming fears is not only an experience that with effect you mentally, but also in the long term. I chose to add a lot of prominent colors, textures and shadows to the shell to show the solidity of the comfort zone and the difficulty people may feel from trying to leave it. I also had chosen a curtains to show that this is the first time of overcoming the fear. I made the audiences seats have a drastic and dramatic shadow to represent how the performer feels afraid of the audience.
The process i took with making this piece began with my struggle to find a symbol that could really represent my poem, without it getting too complicated but being unique and creative enough at the same time. To me the stage was almost an obvious choice, but i could not decide between weather to see a shot light or just the plain wooden stage with a terrifying audience. At first i wanted my audience to be filled with monsters but i felt that dehumanized them more than my poem did. I primarily struggled with what to use as my primary symbol. I thought about and armadillo, and a mask, but the mask was too cliche with the stage. But a shell worked, a shell could represent so much so I decided to follow my shell idea.
KendraEEpiphanies out of Fear
For the first statement I photographed a dark hallway as seen on the left. At the end of the hallway is a slightly opened door, and if you look closely you can see a hand grabbing the door. This represents age old fears that everyone knows are just tall tales to freak you out, but you can't help but get a little nervous when you hear or think about it. On the right of the diptych is a photo of a Rubik's Cube and you can see that you only need one move to solve the puzzle. This is a metaphor for enlightenment or when you are tackling a difficult subject and you finally get that ‘eureka' moment.
For the left side I set up a flash to go off behind the door so that when I took the picture, the flash became the only source of light. This gives the picture an eery glow to emphasize a sense of fear. I also took the picture after dark and turned off all the lights to ensure that the extra flash is the only source of light. I used my sister to model the hand coming out of the doorway and wrapped her hand around the door so that it looked like she was opening it. Then on Photoshop I darkened the side of the hallway so you couldn't see the pictures on the walls as much. This helped bring the focus to the doorway. In the photo on the right, I angled the cube and the lighting so that the cube's shadow mimics that of the light coming out of the doorway in the left picture. On the right there is a spotlight around the cube to help emphasize the idea of an epiphany. The light also helps give the picture a bit of an eery glow similar to that on the left. I chose the right picture to have a lot more color, especially warm color, so that it feels more comforting to the viewer. It also help the picture pop out more than the left. This again is to emphasize an epiphany.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/KendraE.jpgRising from Darkness
The main symbol I chose was a bald eagle. It symbolizes strength and freedom. The second symbol, the cage, represents containment and frustration. The eagle has his wing extended to show that he is flying out of the darkness and into the light. He is carrying the cage to show that he is not confined to it, and will determine what he wants to do. The background is to show the gradual change from dark and uncertainty to light and clarity.
To create this illustration I first imported a picture of an eagle onto my art board in Adobe Illustrator. I then traced the entire outline using the pen tool. I added the feather details and drew the cage with the pen tool as well. I think that the biggest challenge was getting the feathers and the cage just right with the tool. The feathers had to curve and be placed perfectly in order for them to look like feathers and not a mess. Same goes for when I was constructing the cage. Finding out where to put the mesh tool was also difficult. I ended up putting it on the edge of the cage and the eagle's shoulders. Overall, I am really proud of the final outcome and I hope you enjoy it!
On the left side of my diptych is a picture of a white canvas with multiple neon colored paints splattered on. This was supposed to represent the fire that, bursts into life, by showing an explosion of color. The metaphor from my personal poem was supposed to represent the sudden acquisition of an idea or motive like an artist searching for his muse or a grizzly bear finally spotting its prey. On the right side is a picture of a dozen white roses with a single red rose in the middle. This represents being alone in a sense and how I sit in a dark room with only a workstation and my ideas. When I have free time, I like to produce music and lot of the times, I don't have a thoroughly thought out idea in my head already. This leads to me having to spend a lot of time trying to develop the idea.
When creating the neon photo, I chose a white canvas and neon colored paints because they are opposites. A white canvas is very plain while neon colors are very bright and exciting. I wanted to use very bright colors for the picture to really show the explosion and a sort of surge of energy. When choosing the location, I needed a spot that was not very windy, had a flat surface, and was shady. I did not want to take the pictures under the sun because it made the paint colors look different than what I wanted. When I arranged the roses in the vase, I made the flowers push up against each other so that there would be very little space in between them emphasizing the message that even though others are close by, I still feel alone. I took the photo indoors so that there would be enough light to make the picture clear but dark enough to include the feeling of being in a dark room. For both of the pictures, I chose the aperture that would make the picture look most like the actual thing. The two pictures were also both macro shots because I did not want surrounding objects to distract from the focal point.
The personal essay assignment was designed to show a deeper aspect of who I am through storytelling. My story focuses on the hunt or quest for my desires which entails obstacles that attempt to keep me from achieving success. The symbol I chose for my illustration was a grizzly bear because it has to deal with a lot of the same things depicted in my story. Grizzly bears face many obstacles in their quest for survival. Although they are apex predators, they still face opposition from humans, which I think connects to my story really well. Even though I am very privileged to live in an area as nice and safe as Los Altos where I don't face the same life threatening obstacles as many people my own age do in different parts of the world, I still have to overcome my own set of barriers. I chose to focus the illustration on the face of the grizzly bear because I think it shows the most emotion and detail. You can gather the most information by looking at someone's face compared to any other part of the body. I made the teeth bright and sharp to make them stand out in the picture and emphasize the predatory nature of the beast.
Beginning the illustration was really difficult for me. I had a hard time deciding which illustration I wanted to do and which symbols I would use. Also, figuring out which kinds of pictures would actually work was a big problem for me but once I began to understand the assignment a little bit better, I was able to decide on a picture. A challenge that I think I am still dealing with is making highlights look realistic. I feel on my final illustration that the highlights around the nose look very out of place.
No Artist Statement submitted
No Artist Statement submitted
KyraKThe Way into Tranquility
For the diptych I wanted to convey the contrast between stress and tranquility for my diptych. The left photo describes nature and my horse. This image represents the relief I get as my body and mind go into a peaceful and tranquil state when in nature. The picture of my horse's eye shows the freedom of being in the wild. When the horse looks at the mountains, the viewer should feel free due to nature's gift of the openness. On the right is an image of a fence with nature in the background. This represents the stress I feel in class as it begins to bury my thoughts, ultimately blocking progress. The fence is a metaphor for the confinement I feel at school. My goal for this picture was to convey to my audience that the fence is demonstrating jail bars, creating an ominous feeling of being stuck and there is no way out.
The first image of my horse's eye I used a macro zoom lens so the eye would be close up and the main focus to help portray my metaphor. I shot with an aperture of 5.0 so the eye would be in focus and the background would be more blurred. I also wanted the background to have nature aspects in it so I positioned the camera in way so that the horse would be the main focus, but there were still visible trees and hills in the background. For my second image, I choose to capture the fence I did because I liked the contrast in colors with the fence and the background. My aperture was set at 11.0 because I wanted the whole image to be in focus and there wouldn't be one main focal point. I wanted the fence to take up the whole image so I placed the camera in a position where this would happen, but also so the sun was not too strong in order to avoid shadows.
Surroundings appear, pure bliss and beauty
Thoughts are blurred like a blurred out picture
In my illustration, I chose to create a horse because it represents how I find tranquility and relieve stress. I used the horse as my main focal point to show how horses represent freedom and my own feeling of freedom when in nature. I chose to put the mountains in the background because it helps contrast the horse and demonstrates being free in nature. The rolling hills also represents the obstacles I face in my life while the horse's gallop represents overcoming my challenges. I used different shades of green to also portray this same idea. At the bottom of the illustration there is a darker shade of green to show how I have many challenges and the colors gets lighter as it goes up to represents overcoming my obstacles.
During this project, I faced many challenges. First, I had to re-draw the horse, the mountains, and the rolling hills many times because I had trouble correctly tracing the shapes of the objects. I overcame this by working hard and spending a lot of time practicing with the pen tool. Another problem I faced was making the horses' tail look realistic. I used the brush tool and the pen tool to really focus on the small details of each strand of hair to make it look more life-like. Then, I used the gradient tool for the rolling hills to make the hills look interesting and more distinctive. I also struggled with putting my work on the right layers, which made it hard to find different parts of my piece. To overcome this, I tried to make sure I was precise in putting my work on the correct layers allowing me to put together a good project. Overall, I learned a lot during the process of making my project.
A strong, magnet shows its weak side and cannot attract any metal.
It attracts the postured, metallic model, strong-headed and confident.
In the line that represents the left side of my diptych, the magnet illustrates the disadvantages of someone who lacks self-confidence. One of the most important aspects of human behavior is creating relationships, but a lack of self-confidence can inhibit that behavior. I photographed a spider's web to illustrate this metaphor because of the web's delicacy and fragility. A webs main function is to catch food for a spider but its fragile foundation can easily be undermined by a brush with a larger object. The weak side of the magnet and the delicate nature of a spider's web shows that without strength each object's main function is useless. The right side of my diptych illustrates the line that symbolizes how confidence attracts others, mirroring my personal statement confidence is the foundation for friendship. I photographed a woman putting vibrant red lipstick on her lips as a metaphor for being confident. Makeup usually makes women feel more confident because it covers their flaws and makes them feel more attractive.
I used a macro lens with a shallow depth of field to photograph the spider's web for the left side of my diptych because I wanted the web to be the main focus of the photo. In addition, I even raised the saturation on the spider to draw more attention to it. I decided that this angle on the spider's web was the most flattering because it made the background less distracting. The bright daylight highlighted the clear spider's web, contrasting it with the green background. I also used a macro lens to photograph the model's lips for the right side of my diptych. This worked well because I could show great detail on the woman's lips. I used a shallow depth of field because I wanted the audience to focus solely on the lips. After taking many photos at various angles I decided that the shadows of this photo were the most visually interesting and also framed the lips effectively.
I chose a daisy as the main object of my illustration because it symbolizes strength and confidence. The daisy stands tall and alone to show how confidence needs to come from within in order to enable growth and development as a person. I decided to illustrate a brightly colored daisy under the dark conditions of a cloudy night to show that even in the darkest, most unfortunate circumstances it is still possible to survive and thrive.
The first step I took in creating this composition was to find my main symbol, or object. Once I decided that I wanted to illustrate a daisy I brainstormed an illustrated scene that would represent the meaning of my personal essay. One challenge I faced was tracing the daisy. On the picture of a daisy that I found some of the petals overlapped and others were not evenly spaced. This made it difficult to trace the daisy using the pen tool because in some places I had to leave areas blank and in other places I traced very wide petals because of the overlap. To fix this problem I used my paintbrush tool to individually trace each petal to get rid of the empty spaces or extra wide petals. While it was challenging to use Illustrator to draw a daisy, it enabled me to learn how to illustrate a real-life object.
From wrinkles like dying wood, I see a real smile.
I see your knuckles struggle to be glaciers despite the heat.
When photographing the picture on the left, I created an image that represents the emotion of happiness which is hidden in the words of my first line. The wrinkles mentioned in the line are meant to describe the lines around your eyes that you usually only see when somebody truly smiles rather than fakes one. That is why I took an image of a wrinkled hand with goldfish. The wrinkled fingers represent the lines around your eyes and the goldfish are added to increase the feeling of happiness. When working on the image on the right, I wanted to build something that could show anger. The second line I selected from my poem compares clenched knuckles to icebergs because of their color and the word heat is supposed to correspond with the feeling of experiencing anger. So I photographed a broken white mug. I chose a white mug to give a cold feeling like icebergs and tinted the photo in a warmer color to show the struggle of cold against warmth. I shattered the mug on the floor because breaking objects also gives off a sense of fury.
For the image on the left, I took somewhat of a macro shot of the hand because I wanted great detail in the image so any viewer could easily see the wrinkles in her skin and the texture of her hand. I chose a white door for the background to create a blank canvas to photograph over and I waited until the evening so the hand would create a nice shadow on the door because of the light shining in, almost horizontally, through the window. For my second image to the right, I used a shallow depth of field to focus on just one shard of the mug and put that on the side to prevent having the main subject in the middle of the image. I also used the light shining in from the window to have one half of the hardwood floor reflect a cool color and have the other reflect a warmer color to show struggle between hot and cold.
In my illustration, I created an eye with a rainbow iris and a fox track for a pupil. Around it all, the eye is trapped within a boring, grey room. The eye and fox track represent the theme of observation in my personal essay. The rainbow gradient within the pupil of my illustration expresses the variation of emotions that we experience because colors are often used as representations of different emotions. For example, red applies to anger, blue to sadness, and green to jealousy. And the grey room that surrounds the eye is there to show that when people enclose their colorful emotions, we are left with a grey nothingness. With all the aspects of the illustration combined, they convey observation of emotion and how we try to mask them. My personal essay mentions my connection to taking the emotions of others into account but leaves out why people try to hide what they feel. I added this to my illustration because I believe that's a major reason in why some people have trouble connecting with others. They are too afraid to show their own colors. But if you know what to look for, it can make understanding others a lot easier.
I only experienced a few difficulties when making my illustration, and most of them were minor. My first problem was finding an idea that could connect the idea of observation and my symbol of a fox track. This consumed a lot of my work time. My other major problem was using the brush tool. Finding the perfect brush settings was a trial, and even after finding them, getting the desired effect was difficult. I had to play around with the brush stroke to find something visually appealing. And when drawing the outline of the eye, using the wacom tablet became another challenge. I had to constantly adjust my hand and angle to get it right. This is why my drawing came out with a sketch-like effect rather than a nice and clean outline. It's not as simple as drawing on paper.
...deep blanket of unrivaled flawlessness awaits me
I return only to my small crate.
The inspiration for this diptych came from the personal poem I wrote in English class which was based off my personal statement: Perfection fuels my anxiety regarding the future. I chose a red hula-hoop surrounded by fog to represent an unattainable perfection. The hoop shows unattainability by being a shape that is considered perfect and nearly impossible to duplicate by hand or in nature; similarly the fog represents the same, as it is unique and magnificent. The fog also embodies both a deep blanket and unrivaled flawlessness because of it's appearance as it cascades down the hillside; it seems solid and it takes on shapes that cannot be recreated. For the left side of my diptych I chose to photograph an egg. The egg represents a sort of confinement experienced when one is in an anxious state. Additionally it symbolizes a comfortable environment and shows how it is difficult to break out of it once one is accustomed to it.
For the left photograph I used a somewhat large aperture and a medium shutter speed in order to create a larger depth of field to capture the fog in the background and its movement. I took this photo on the top of Skyline Boulevard. I chose that location because I knew it would provide the largest amount of fog going down a hillside on any given day. I positioned my subject in the center of the photograph because I wanted it to be the main focus of the picture and be the first thing to catch the observer's eye. The clear but slightly dark lighting was used to focus more attention on the subject by obscuring the background. For the right photo I chose a medium aperture for a medium size depth of field. I shot the egg on a white background so that it would stand out. I positioned the egg upright because it is the most obvious way to show it's shape. I used the natural light from a nearby window to give it a shadow to the side.
In my illustration the equilateral triangles in the background represent an unattainable perfection because they are difficult to draw freehand. Like a wave, time is uncontrollable, so my wave symbolizes the passage of time and one's inability to control it. The combined wave and triangles show how despite the amount of effort you put into a goal, it will never be exactly perfect within whatever time constraint you set for yourself.
To create my illustration I used a variety of tools in Adobe illustrator for each section. I used the pen tool combined with the gradient tool to create the foam and main wave shape. For both the triangles and the wave, I used the place function to put a photo where I could trace it for the shapes in my illustration. For the clouds above I used the mesh tool to create an illusion of depth. Additionally I layered slightly different versions of the cloud with a variety of opacities to create a thicker look. The mesh tool was particularly difficult for me because I did not fully understand how to use the tool, but once I learned how, I was able to use it in my illustration. I still have a long way to go with the mesh tool but learning the basics of it was a definite milestone.
NicolasFA good question
When I asked for ideas for the the left side of my diptych the ideas I received were as I expected; a balloon, a wave, a swing set, but I wanted to do something with more meaning. A paper airplane stays afloat according to how you make it, according to what you're capable of, while a balloon or even a swing set only have so long to stay up until they must come down, but an airplane's flight is up to how it's made. The paper airplane portrays that what I achieve is based on my capabilities; the more effort and time you take in building your airplane the longer you can fly. On the right side you'll see what looks like a book, and if you look closer you'll see the lines are crossed out as well as the book being burnt. The line I chose explains how you can't follow in the footsteps of someone else but instead need to make your own. I chose a book to represent writing my own destiny, thus why it was burned and the lines are crossed out. Making decisions shouldn't rest in the hands of my friends or family, but my own.
When taking the airplane photo I placed it in the tree for multiple reasons. The first because I wanted to see the sun in the background as well as the metaphor of the tree and sun. Both of which fall and rise, the sun with each day, while the tree with its leaves that fall to the ground. I wanted to capture the natural light while making sure the paper itself wasn't so white. For the right photo I took it outside for obvious reasons, mainly the fact that it was on fire, but also I needed to capture the detail and contrast from the different areas of the book which would have been difficult with lighting indoors. Both photos were macro shots in order to emphasize the focal points of each, the plane and book. I made sure to use an aperture that would not allow the lighting to over power the photo in order to preserve the natural look of each.
The symbol I chose was a fortune cookie, I chose this with the central message focussed on how you can't rely on someone or something to help you write your life. You can't expect to open up that one cookie that writes out your life. Instead of coloring the fortune cookie like it should have been, I chose to make the fortune found inside the cookie look like space. The fortune, which is found inside the a fortune cookie was filled to look like space. This was unique since space is what surrounds a planet. Space is something that is unexplainable, unpredictable and uncontainable, but yet it's being contained by the cookie. The reason for this was to further demonstrate how you can't let your life revolve around one thing like how the Earth revolves around the sun. A fortune is meant to be unexpected and unpredictable and you can't be expecting it to tell you what to do. The stars and black radial background were used to further portray the outer space theme of the illustration.
When making this illustration the hardest part was trying to make it simple. My original idea had many extra symbols that in the end just made the whole thing appear cluttered and cramped. After finding the photo that I felt showed off my symbol the best, I had to decide how to make it unique. I didn't want to fill it like a plain fortune cookie, mostly because it would just look boring. This is why I chose the Earth like fill, I wanted to really demonstrate my message and obviously make it look good at the same time. Throughout the process of making the illustration, I wanted to make it unique to me most importantly, after finding a photo that I felt portrayed my symbol the best I knew I didn't want to just copy it down to the nail, which is why I chose the outer space theme. Although the task to make my illustration unique was a struggle, I have to admit the most frustrating challenge for me, was making those stupid stars. Each one ended up being made individually which took close to 45 minutes, in the end I am satisfied with how they turned out but for the time it took, I like to believe it was worth it.
In my personal essay I wrote about a friend who stood up for what he believed in and didn't succumb to the norm even though it cost him his life. The main idea behind my image was resistance, that's why I added the raised fist as the main focus. Since the raised fist has been used throughout history to represent resistance, change, or violence; it depicts my topic of standing up for what you believe and not succumbing. But besides the raised fist, I added graves and nooses with bodies in the background. Since they both represent death, I chose to add them to the background because whenever there is revolution and resistance there is always death and hardships. For the background color I chose red because it's a bold color that represents violence and bravery, both key parts of revolution.
I created this image mainly using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. One of my biggest challenges was creating the image without using text or letters since in my original design I had the letters R.I.P. on the forearm of the raised fist. But since we weren't allowed to use text, I added graves into the background to convey the same message through images.
My first line Carved in delicate lines refers to how all permanent tattoos are applied to the skin through a process where a needle is repeatedly pressed into the skin. A very painful and violent process, almost like carving the skin. Although it's a painful and violent process the final product can be very fine and beautiful depending on the artist's skill and number of needles. For my image I decided to photograph needles sticking out of a pincushion because needles are the main part of tattooing, and without needles the process would be impossible. For my second line Melting in acetone I decided to photograph an empty spray can that I had painted. When I first got into paint cans I was always experimenting with layering and mixing different types of paints for different effects. I decided to photograph this one because I like the way metallic paint reacted with the black paint and created a melting effect with the two colors, and the melting and the mixing effect went well with my line about melting in acetone.
I shot this photo using my Panasonic G3, I used the standard stock lens that came with the camera. I set the camera to the largest aperture so that the depth of field was the shallowest, and that the viewer just focuses on the subject instead of the background. For the backgrounds I decided to have a bright white background for the needles to have a cleaner feeling. The picture of the can has a darker, more textured background for a rougher and dirtier feeling. In Photoshop I decided to add a black and white filter to both photos so the colors wouldn't distract the viewer's eye from the focus of the image.
No Artist Statement submitted
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/NolanR.jpgThe Opaque Door
When the word conformity comes to mind, I instantly think to that of a robot, or one who follows basic human functions. In my Personal Essay, I was trying to convey the idea of breaking out of conformity as an advantageous process.This is the reason why I chose a robot accompanied by a spotlight behind it. The robot as I explained previously expresses the plainness and mundaneness that one who follows conformity would hold. The same three colors are extremely repetitious throughout this illustration: Black, Grey and White. This robot represents the boringness, however I still needed to represent how breaking out of conformity can be helpful. The robot's eyes were originally white, so I decided to add an additional color (besides Black, Grey and White) to the illustration, which happened to be blue. As shown in the illustration, I placed a ray of light behind the robot. I used this object to represent how you would become more noticeable to others, and the special feeling you will acquire as I explained in my essay.
The process I used to create this composition was to base everything off the ray of light that shined upon the robot. I began to use a solid black to white gradient to give the robot life using light reflections. The main challenge I faced was giving the robot too much life. I didn't want people to think that breaking out of conformity was an easy process. Due to this conflict, I made the background, or the radial gradient, a shade that goes from dark to light as it approaches the robot. My main editing challenge was making sure the circles were actually spherical. Lastly, the pen tool slowly became more advantageous to me than a mouse as it was easier to maneuver around the canvas. Overall, I had a great time creating this illustration!
the red drips were pomegranate seeds that stained her skin
her dazzling facade momentarily dropped
On the left side of the diptych, there is a glass of water with food coloring being dripped into it. This represents the first given line: the red drips were like pomegranate seeds that stained her skin. I darkened the photo to make it more muted and sad, as this particular part of the poem was about cutting and how horrible it is. I used food coloring because like pomegranate seeds, it stains the skin, and it's vibrant color is beautiful but synthetic and cheap. Both the food coloring and the pomegranate seeds are metaphors for the blood that runs down an arm after it has been cut. The right side of my diptych coincides with the line her dazzling facade momentarily dropped. The mask is representative of this facade, as you can't see what's behind a mask until it is taken off. A mask, like a facade, hides the truth from the world and makes someone or something look more glamorous than it is. We as human beings tend to try to hide all our problems and make it look like our lives are perfect. I wanted the mask to reflect this false front that people put on to impress others.
For the left side of the Diptych, I had a family member drop red food coloring into a glass of water while I took pictures of the fallout. I then added a filter that changed the saturation of the photo, making it more muted. I also added a filter that darkened the photo slightly, making it seem sadder. For the right side of the diptych, I bought a cheap mask and placed it on my bed against the pillow, then added a filter that brightened the whole thing to give it a fake, cheap-glamour feeling.
In my illustration, I used a mask to represent false identity and illusion. I also used pearls because they have a sort of double meaning. Historically, they are associated with femininity and beauty, but because they are formed from sand, rock, or broken shells and glass, they are also associated with false outer beauty. I used mainly dark colors because they give off a more serious and darker feeling, particularly the deep red I used on the mask. Red is both a color associated with beauty or seduction and blood or horror.
I had a lot of trouble with this project because I didn't really want to do a mask, but I heard we had to use our symbol paragraph symbol. I was consistently discontent with my art and I restarted 4 times. I wanted the have a flower crown, withering away, over a girl's eyes. I was also uncomfortable with the pen tool, I prefer to draw everything and the idea of tracing was unappealing to me. My struggle was largely over the idea I was trying to represent, because I was so unhappy with the core content I had a really hard time getting through the project.
For my left image is a picture of a peashooter toy, from a popular game Plants vs Zombies. I chose to use the toy for my image because I wanted to show something that was out of place, yet in someway, fits in a fun comical way. This is why I put the toy on a grass field, to show a plastic fake plant next to a field of real, thriving grass. It shows a thing that should fit in an environment where it doesn't. Adding an additional sunrise purely for visual pleasure.
My right image is a picture of a building on Castro street at night. I chose this because in my poem I refer to a place that is oh-so-familiar, but something is wrong. I go to Castro a lot because I use to live in the area, but very rarely did I ever go at night. I, like most other people, consider night to be a rather eerie time, so it perfectly represents something that is familiar, yet different in an eerie way. When I took the photo, it wasn't quite dark, so I darkened the image entirely made the building night purple instead of a sunset yellow and I added more glow from all of the lights.
For my illustration, my main goal was to create something that people would like and also something that would confuse them. I wanted to fill them with wonder about how something in a place where it doesn't belong, fits so well. This is why I chose to make my fish floating in the sky, or that the city is actually under water. It is up to the interpretation of the viewer. Both make sense but you can't decide which one is right. It is things like that that can fill someone with wonder.
I knew right away that I wanted an underwater city as soon as I found an image of a big skyline. the sky was so blue in the image that I stopped and said, Hey, what if there were fish there? That made me pick out a bunch of fish to put in the sky, but once I started tracing the first goldfish, I realized how much work it was, and then decided that I would only need one fish in the sky to convey my message.
The image on the left side of my diptych features a wine glass with a solitary and relatively crisp fingerprint. This represents individuality and a strong sense of self. In my poem I wrote you are like the sun, a fiery glowing mess with anger in your fists. To me, this line is about being unapologetically you. This represents a fierce love for oneself and a refusal to be someone you are not. I used a fingerprint to represent firm individuality because a fingerprint is something that is unique to everyone.
The right side of my diptych was based on the lines when they try and fit you into their docile idea of what women should be, I hope you make them bleed with your edges. I used a waffle maker with batter spilling out of the edges to represent something that could not be fit into a mold. The batter spilling out represents a refusal to conform.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/RadhikaG.jpgIt's Not Conceited to Love Yourself
My illustration is based off the statement it's not conceited to love yourself. To me, this means one should not be apologetic about accepting and cherishing themselves. I chose a mouth to symbolize this because mouths are so versatile in art; they are often thought of as gates either to heaven or hell. I find this quite similar to the idea of loving yourself because it is such a simple concept but can, again, be the thin line between misery or euphoria. I attempted to make the inside of the mouth look a little bit like a galaxy because once you begin to love yourself, it's almost like a new world.
Adobe Illustrator was used to make this illustration. We found images of our symbols and then used the pen tool to trace and fill them in. Translating my ideas from my head to an illustration was something I struggled with. I had initially wanted the inside of the mouth to be a nebula but that was extremely difficult to make so I settled on something nebula-esque. I layered various shapes with different colors and opacities and then feathered them to create slightly blurred edges to create this effect.
My diptych metaphorically represents how we can use our dreams and imagination to break through limits. The limits are embodied by the building on the left; a tall, ominous sculpture that people are not allowed around. There is a fence surrounding the building, and despite it being in perfectly good condition no one is allowed inside. This building seemed perfect to represent mental barriers; you can have a perfectly good idea or goal, but because of your worries and fears holding you back you cannot reach what you desire. Often we let our fears get in the way so much that the color seems to bleed out of the goal we had in the first place, and it becomes scary to even attempt it… So we don't. The second picture represents dreams breaking free. The triangular door seemed unnatural and obscure; perfect for abnormal thoughts. The colored lights are meant to represent someone's individuality and uniqueness spilling out in a kaleidoscope of creation. These lights are just beginning to peep through the cracks in the door, but soon that door will be open and that creativity will flood through.
I shot the photo on the left at the abandoned offices near my neighborhood. I used a low ISO and aperture because the sun from behind the building gave it a nice natural backlight that I wanted to preserve. This backlight made the building seem taller and darker, giving it an eerie feeling which was accented by the fence in the corner. The picture overall hints at a place you want to avoid. The photo on the right was shot at my cousin's house. They have a closet beneath their stairway that is triangular and small, somewhat of a curiosity from my childhood. To get the rainbow light effect, my father and I hung several strands of Christmas lights from the inside of the door and then used a very long shutter speed. I kept the door open just a crack to show the lights gradually leaking through, and shot from the floor so that you could see them spilling out onto the floor in contrast with the dark room.
This image represents the meaning of my personal essay in that the flower is pushing past it's pain to grow and become beautiful. I showed the painful aspects in the mountains (a harsh environment that is not easy for a plant to grow in), the clouds which easily darken the sun, and in the fact that the flower is all alone. Despite this, the flower is about to blossom and let the world see it and wonder! It has overcome its obstacles and is triumphant, a graceful example that more people should emulate.
To create my image, I outlined all the different shapes with the pen tool and then filled them with a flat color. From there, I used the gradient tool for the biggest objects (the regular gradient for the grass and sky, the mesh gradient for the clouds, mountains, and trees). To bring out the flower more I used the pen tool again to outline every shadow and highlight on the bud, leaves and stems, then using the eyedropper tool to fill them to the most accurate color. It took a lot of time to try and get all the details just right. It was challenging for me to line up all the highlights and shadows so that they matched the lines of the flower, and it was also very difficult for me to outline the grass. This was mostly because in the original photo, these objects in particular had a lot of their edges blurred to I had to estimate where a solid line would look best.
RohitPGrowth through Adaptation
In the first statement, I describe a monstrous tree to display success through willpower and growth. It's determination that creates our achievements as humans, and in the left photo we see a pile of colorful blocks stacked upon each other. Each of individual color, along with its shape, represents an achievement I've accomplished in my life through determination, and because of this I grow into something more and make myself a better human. As of the bottom statement, the smoothes rock from the water portrays adaptation of one self. Transforming from something rugged and rough to something smooth and polished involves acceptance of one's surrounding environment, like the flow of water. On the right side of my piece, the dough was once smooth, but it altered itself with my handprint. This represents how I have to accept where I am now in order to change and move forward in my life and be successful to achieve something great, something I'm proud of.
For the left side, I took the picture at a low angle with a slight dutch tilt in order to make it look like something tall, like the tree I described. By using the rule of thirds and an extremely shallow depth of field, the background is blurred so it doesn't appear busy, and the blocks in the middle grab the viewers eye as they are the only things focused in the picture. Same as the right side, my shallow depth of field shows only two fingerprints in focus to display the impact my hand had on the dough as opposed to other aspects of the picture. I made the subject nearly the only part in focus in the composition and taking the shot at a low angle along the imprint brings out the indent of my hand.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/RohitP.jpgGrowth through Determination
My personal essay revolved around the concept of growth, which is depicted in my foreground subject. The green plant, sprouting, displays how I grow as a human through my determination in life. My willpower allows me to transform myself into a better human and achieve something that I'm proud of. The plant erupting from the dirt impeccably portrays how, in order for me to be successful, I must be determined towards my goal. Regarding the arrow behind the plant, I wanted the viewer to have more of a straightforward understanding of how, in life, I can have my ups and downs. The arrow climbing and crashing depicts how success isn't easy, and that the obstacles I face may create a setback that causes the arrow to decline at some points. However, it further emphasizes that I will continue to grow mentally and physically despite my failures. Lasty, the man shooting out of the arrow is a marathon runner after winning a race. It is the result of what determination gives you in the future, which is pure victory. As the viewer's eyes move up through my piece, they get a subsequent idea of the process of how growing and determination lead to success.
In order to create my composition, I layered the vital components of my picture in chronological order. First we see the plant grow, then the arrow further climbing regardless of its crashes, and finally the runner to portray victory, displaying the rise and outcome determination creates when I focus on something meaningful. Also, the background of the piece has a radial gradient that starts from the runner on. This was easily one of the most challenging parts of my illustration simply because I could not figure out how to match the colors nicely to the the three subjects of the piece, but my peers helped me with some of the choices. Colors, in general, were extremely difficult for me because I wanted to include natural colors, so my attempt at creating an inner glow into the leaves was extremely arduous since I couldn't get the combination right while keeping a black outline around the plant itself, which was, again, achieved through the help of my peers. Lastly, I struggled on tracing certain subjects, such as the runner, because the components in the original picture that were cut off forced me to visualize how certain body parts would look like in order to outline it with the pen tool.
On the left side is the line The Sun is The Center. Just like the candle in the picture, the sun is a lone source of light within our solar system, surrounded by empty space and darkness. The sun is also a play on words, a pun for son, the center of my parents' universe. Both the sun and the candle is a metaphor for me, and who I am. Because of my expectation as the sun, there are many expectations put upon me, which build upon my personal anxiety, and my need to strive for excellence. The sun, the candle, and I are all specks of light, surrounded by the darkness of the unknown. Because of the darkness around me, I must be my own guiding light, and reach into the confines of the unknown. On the right side is the line Where The Summits Are Higher. This line and the tree are metaphors for what I want to be in the future. I want to climb the "tree" that is my life. Though there may be obstacles to conquer, and the risks become greater and greater as I get further from the ground, I know that I must persevere in order to achieve my goals, and become the person who I want to be.
The pictures in my diptych were taken with two different techniques. In the picture of the candle, I used a high aperture for the photo of the candle to make every bit of the picture in focus. I did this because I wanted to show that even when surrounded by darkness, I can illuminate my surroundings and find my own path. For the second image of the tree, I used a fisheye lens. I used the fish eye lens because it allows the audience to see all of the tree, but not the top of the tree. This represents the many the many paths I can take to reach greater heights, as well as the unknown and unforeseen obstacles that may be at the top of the tree.
One of the hardest parts of being a teenager is acting as if life is moving along swimmingly without any problems, while internally, there is constant conflicts. My symbol represents the way teenagers choose to hide their true feelings from their parents, in fear of embarrassment and judgment. Parents often probe their children for feelings, but in this case, they rarely get a truthful answer. I chose to use a silhouette of a person's head, in front of a contrasting background, in which one half is light, and the other is dark. On the light side of the silhouette, I chose to include two pictures of handshakes, and on the dark side, I chose to include the quotes: The creative adult is the child who survived and I'm not telling you it's going to be easy, I'm telling you it's going to be worth it. The light and dark represent two sets of personalities each person has. On the light side, one is often cheery, and willing to make contact with other people. No matter how horribly one feels inside, on the outside, one hides it well to deceive others from one's internal struggles. However, on the inside, the quote represents what everyone has to go through: strife, fear, and sadness. Though not everyone shows it, everyone has felt one of these emotions secretly when facing the obstacles of life. When these two separate images are juxtaposed, I get a contrast between one's outward appearance of having life under control, and one's inward turmoil of life being difficult.
For my Illustrator composition, I started with the background. I wanted to have a contrasting background that was the same yet different, and it took a while to figure out how to find a fitting pattern swatch and change the colors so that I had a contrasting effect. The next challenge was using the mesh. Though I have made a silhouette of a head, the mesh is confusing to use in its placement of shadows, and to make the process even more difficult, I wanted to have the background bleach through, thus combining both the mesh, and altering the opacity took some time to figure out.
SabrinaKFeathers and a Trampoline
Fragments of memories floating up to the surface of my thoughts.
I euphorically touch the sky.
For my diptych, which comes from two lines of my personal poem, I tried to express how I long for the past and yet have to keep looking further despite the hardships of life. On the left hand side there is a photo of two feathers on a water surface. The feathers represent something light, floating. Since I see pleasant memories as light and delicate, I therefore used them as a metaphor for my past memories. The feathers are a bit wet because it represents how we can forget some of our past, and those parts of the feathers (memories) seems like they will sink. For the picture on the right, there are feet of a teenage girl jumping high on a trampoline. I see a trampoline as a piece of enjoyable equipment to make oneself feel happy and somewhat closer to the sky. The picture itself represents joyfulness and constant hope of reaching higher. Although the two photos seem contradictory, what they both have in common would be they have rather busy backgrounds. I did this to simply use a metaphor of how, in our rather busy lives, there exists something that needs to be focused on.
I shot both of the pictures in the afternoon when the light wasn't too light or dark. There is deep depth of field chosen for the left and a less depth of field on the right because I wanted to have the reflection of the water for the feathers and more focus of the girl on the trampoline. I chose to shoot the picture on the left in my front doorstep because I wanted the reflection of the door which could relate to memories. The photo of the trampoline was taken outside, where there is grass, and where one would usually go to jump around. The reason I had the subject in the left photo on water, is because most objects float on water. I had the girl outside on a trampoline because I want to see her feet up in the air where there are no walls restricting her. The light supports both of the subjects in the way it sets the mood of the photos. One seems more nostalgic and mysterious, while the other has more light and a positive look.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/SabrinaK.jpgMushrooms Under a Starry Sky
In my personal essay, I wrote about finding peace within everyday chaos, especially in a very distinct and new environment. When I was in fifth grade, my sense of peacefulness came from a cemented mushroom statue with four benches surrounding it. That was the place where I escaped my overwhelming new lifestyle; by closing my eyes, opening them, and then gazing at the sky. Coincidentally, a symbol of the mushroom represented the heavens and peacefulness in Taoist cosmology. Therefore, my illustration of a mushroom and a starry sky related to my essay in which the mushrooms and the sky were my symbol of peacefulness and hope.
I chose to have the mushrooms rather large in proportion to the background because I wanted to give it a bug's eye view, as if we are witnessing the mushrooms reaching towards the sky with its dome-shaped head. Also, it was so that the mushrooms would be more focused on. Furthermore, I chose a starry sky rather than a sky full of clouds to give less of an optimistic look. This is due to the idea it represented the darkness one can go through as the stars are the small hopes and possibilities that are out there. As I was doing my illustration, figuring out how to use the mesh tool was the most challenging part as I tried to give my mushrooms a more dimensional look. Luckily, after much trouble in doing so, I ended up learning a little by experimenting.
SachaMWhen The World Comes Crashing Down
Like a winning pageant queen who fell off her pedestal. Shattered like glass dropped from a two story building. I chose to photograph a knocked off chess piece, that piece being the queen, to represent my symbol which ultimately is a sign of defeat. When I was visualizing my line and thinking about how to represent it I thought a lot about what caused me to include it in my poem. The queen is partially in the sun but mostly concealed in the dark, I wanted the use of light and dark to show how the scale has tipped, the balance is off-thrown. For the left half of my diptych I chose to photograph shattered ice that I had first dyed a deep red. I chose to use this particular image because it puts a bit of a twist on the line in my poem. To most people red represents passion, pain, rage and energy, red is a very powerful color. By shattering the red ice I am in a sense showing a feeling, that feeling being partially pain but also power, I have taken power and begun to control my own destiny.
I decided to let the ice melt, just enough to create a puddle, because I wished for it to symbolize how nothing is ever permanent, pain is not permanent. I shot the photo of the queen on the pavement so that I would have a contrast between the light and the dark. I laid down the queen to show that it has been knocked over and cleared anything in the surrounding area so that your eyes would go directly to the piece. I shot it in the daytime, around noon, when the sun was high in the sky and gave off just the right amount of light. I chose to shoot it from above so that you are looking down on the subject, the queen who has been displaced. I shot the shattered ice photo in a garage again mainly for the contrast, you have this dark gray, bland black background and then this pop of red. I shot this above also, but this time bent my knees a little so it wouldn't be as much as a birds eye view. By doing this I was still able to capture the full image of the shattered ice while also capturing my background.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/SachaM.jpgLife Is Not Black and White
I chose to a butterfly to portray my symbol because I felt that I could use it in a way that made my message come across clearly but also was not cliche. First I had to choose what type of butterfly to use as my outline, I choose the Papilio Ulysses mainly because of its wing size and it had my desired shape. I filled each wing individually, spending first at least 15 minutes playing around with ideas as to what to fill it with and then spending the rest of the time bringing it to life. I want to leave my creation open to interpretation but I mainly focused on the individual detail of each wing and how it catches my viewers eye. For my background I used a blue and purple gradient, I wanted it to pop but not draw attention away from my focus point.
To create my composition I first outlined the butterfly with the pen tool and used that as my base. Using the pen tool was slightly difficult to adjust to at first but after practicing previously and using it more and more I became more comfortable with it. Another major tool I used was the symbol tool. I used that for three out of four of my wings. For the first wing, I chose the brush tool to individually draw and fill each space with the color I desired. For the rest I used various symbols as they seemed suitable and filled them with either black or white. It was difficult for me to transfer my ideas/thoughts from paper to Illustrator but in the end i was thoroughly satisfied with my work.
The image on the left of the diptych shows a spider web on an old and rusted bridge. The dust on the web speaks to the worn down frame of the bridge because both were needed at a time but have since gone ignored and unnoticed. On the right of the diptych is a snowy egret standing in a lake with the sun setting behind it. I thought that the bird's extremely long beak would emphasize the movement of a pen I describe in my poem.
By taking the shot of the web at the center of a cross, I want to convey a message of their connectedness. I used a telephoto lens to get an extremely close-up view of the web and its intricate layers. I also did not want the image to include the ends of the cross so as to give the effect of a network that reached beyond the picture. When photographing the egret, it was crucial that I shoot at sunset or sunrise because of the golden light that is reflected on the lake water and the bird's feathers. Both pictures had a gold and brown theme which helps them speak to each other more obviously and effectively because of their cohesive colors.
In my personal essay, I describe an elephant as protective, wise, and a symbol of commitment. In my illustration, the elephant is the most obvious component because of its importance in my essay and personal statement. In my essay, the elephant is a reflection of my values. In my poem, I describe the breakdown of my brain. The circles down the face of the elephant represent my thoughts getting less and less coherent The coral background symbolizes a strong love but also loyalty because coral is a combination between red, the universal color of love, and yellow the color of friendship and happiness.
I began my illustration by using the pen tool to trace the outline of an elephant. Using the pen tool in the correct layer was difficult to remember at first, but I was able to figure out a solution to working in the wrong layer by locking all those that I was not using. Overall, I am extremely proud of my illustration, it took a lot of time and patience, but the feeling of accomplishment when I was done was completely worth the challenges I faced.
SeanBGazing on a Mother and a Child
The left photo is a picture of binoculars sitting on a post with a beautiful view of almost the entire Bay Area in the background. The binoculars represent an object used for viewing something. They are pointed off in the direction with the view showing there is potential to gaze upon the world in great detail, however the binoculars aren't being used because I wanted to get a broader look upon the world instead of narrowing it down into better detail. The right photo is a picture of two trees. One of the trees is significantly larger than the other, while the second, smaller one, sits right next to the trunk of the larger tree. The smaller tree represents a child that hasn't found himself truly yet, still sitting in the shade of his mother.
Both of these pictures were taken at Foothills Park off of Page Mill road. The left photo was shot from the viewing area and I used a telephoto lens. I put the binoculars in the bottom left corner of the photo because I wanted the view of the Bay Area to be the focal point of the shot. The right photo was taken off a hiking trail in Foothills Park. I used a telephoto lens as well and chose this picture because it was the best example of a smaller tree in the shade of a larger one.
/galleries/2014-2015/p1-Self_Portrait/Diptychs/images/SeanB.jpgThe Silent Tree
I chose to make this illustration because I really liked how it showed silence. I put the tree on top of a grass hill because when the moon is out there is no noise in this scene in nature, everything is perfectly still and quiet. I chose to display this illustration at night because night time is very peaceful especially in forests.
I was very lost in the beginning of the illustration project and had a hard time figuring out what could relate to being silent .I finally thought back to how peaceful I thought nights are especially during fall when the leaves have fallen off all the trees and rustle in the wind. This is where I got the idea of a tree on a hilltop for my illustration. The leaves gone from the tree give it a sort of dead-silent feeling. One of the most challenging things I had to overcome was making the moon in the top left corner. I spent a long time trying to get very specific details correct on the moon and get the perfect looking craters and shape. After I finished drawing the moon I used the gradient mesh tool to give the moon some shadow and make it look more realistic.
From the persistence of dependence
to the absence of space
Left Picture: During the night, in the city, all of lights come on, and it becomes quite clear that everything runs on a system as power grids become saturated. This shows how everything has a very specific design for a specific use where everything is dependent of each other. Right picture: In the Mojave desert life is far, and few between, and generally very wide open. This accurately represents the lines of the poem, and juxtaposed the picture on the left because they show the extremes of the spectrum with showing a system, and then something that is all natural, and has no plan for an immediate future
The picture of the left, of the city, was shot using a 50mm f1.4 1/30s shutter, and then digitally enhanced to generally brighten it and some greater contrast as well. I decided to place the lights off to right a bit to stay within the rule of thirds. For the picture on the right, I actually used my phone, which has a wide angle lens and a 13mp sensor. The picture turned out surprisingly well, but still would be nicer to have been shot on a DSLR. Pretty good though for a phone.
Because my Essay was describing awe inspiring moments over large scenic areas, and how light brings inspiration. I decided to use this to my advantage, and draw a frame of a planet with some characters from my favorite video games to emphasize the image of a fantasy that is likely from your dreams, and would be definitely something that you would enjoy seeing. More specifically, for those that understand, the character that is standing on the white orb is from a story that revolves around bringing light to earth, and individuals.
Regardless of this being my first composition in Adobe Illustrator, I found it to be a great learning experience, and had a great time doing it. One of the main challenges that I had constructing it, was figuring out all of the ways to do one simple task; as most were buried underneath a labyrinth of commands. The pen tool was pretty easy to get the hang of, but was also a challenge when i tried to outline the intricate details in figures. Overall it was a lot of fun, and I am excited to use it again. Unfortunately things came out a bit darker than I meant them to be, but it still turned out well. :)
SierraKGods and Chaos
The first photo depicts a broken crown of thorns laying on red rose petals. The crown of thorns itself is a metaphor for one who suffers for a cause, or one who bears a painful burden, and by breaking apart the crown it symbolizes throwing away these burdens, which embodied the deems problems unworthy of gods line. With the rose petals, a rose with seven petals is a representation of perfection in alchemical texts. The fact that the petals are scattered, rather than being apart of a rose itself represents the acknowledgment that perfection is impossible, and striving for it is only more trouble than its worth. On the second side of the diptych, it shows a candle-lit journal with a vial of ink and a pen laying on it. On the journal page itself, is writing in the Greek alphabet. I attempted to create a sense of uneasiness, or mystery in the photo through both the lighting and the writing. The reason Greek was chosen specifically was that it related to the Labyrinth of Crete and the Minotaur, in which children were sent into a maze that lead to their deaths. This was where the fearing every turn not for what is there/ but rather might be line comes from.
On the first picture, I had chosen to take the picture just before the sun was setting to try and catch the dying light. I felt that it would have set the mood, as well as contrast the colors of the picture better than afternoon lighting would have done. As for the second picture, that is quite different. I had taken a picture in a dark room, with a single candle to light up everything. I felt that candlelight would have expressed the uneasy mood better than any other sort of light, despite the difficulties in balancing the photo from being either too brightly lit or not lit enough.
The symbol that I chose to represent in the illustration is the sleeping cat, with the throne tying it into the unworthy of gods line in my poem. In my essay, I had talked about how I generally try to go through life worrying about as little as possible, for life is much simpler that way. A sleeping cat is an easy symbol to associate with carelessness, and it's coloring added another factor onto that. Black cats are seen as unlucky (Or very lucky, depending on which version of the myth you're looking at) and its calm demeanor can be seen as ironic, since you wouldn't associate that sort of aloof attitude from something that, by legend, causes problems and bad things.
In the process, I found that I had relatively little problems technically. It mostly lied in me not completely switching from Photoshop commands to Illustrator commands. The main thing that cause me trouble though was the cat itself. Not it's shading or highlighting, but the actual trace of the cat itself. I had made the mistake originally of trying to outline each individual part rather than coloring in it's silhouette, and then adding form and depth through shadows and lighting. This forced me to restart twice on the cat, so I spent much more time than I should've. After I had figured it out though, It was relatively smooth sailing, with the only things blocking me from working being my own personal motivation.
People don't come in cookie cutter shapes and sizes.
You should suck it up and shut your lips.
My diptych shows how change can be deceiving and unwanted. For the picture on the left I chose to represent cookie cutter shapes and sizes through a rubber stamp. I wanted my picture about conforming to be a ‘cookie cutter' to be able to represent all types of people. This is why I chose a stamp to represent it. All stamps are made perfectly exactly like one another. My picture shows a different flower stamped on the paper than what the rubber stamp is actually showing. This represents how you don't need to conform to the perfection or the simplicity of the stamp, you can and should be yourself. On the right side of my diptych is a picture of a stop sign. The stop sign is a metaphor for shutting your lips. When you shut your lips you stop talking, which is why I chose to represent this with a stop sign. When you are driving and you see a stop sign you immediately begin to slow down to a stop, just like when you shut your lips you stop talking. This side of my diptych shows how when you are being told to stop, you should just suck it up and shut your lips.
For the left side of my diptych I used a small aperture because I was inside a brightly lit room. I chose to take the photo of the stamp at a side angle because I thought it looked more interesting to the viewers eye. The side view also helps to elicit the impression that the rubber stamp is different than stamp that was stamped onto the paper. I used bright lighting so that you could see everything in the picture clearly. For the right side of my diptych I used a big aperture because I was outside in the dark. I took the photo of the stop sign outside in my neighborhood. I took the picture of the stop sign head on. I positioned the camera head on because I felt like it made the stop sign the main focus of the photo.
The symbol I used for my illustration was a wilting pink rose. In my essay I talk about how friendships are like flowers because they start out as a small relationship, then it blooms into a beautiful friendship. In my essay I discussed how once you try to change a friend there is no going back and that is like the end of your friendship. This is represented by the wilting flower. When a friend tries to change someone in a friendship the friendship ends just like how a flower will wilt and die if you don't treat it correctly.
The process I went through to create my illustration was very difficult but I learned so much. After I decided on the symbol I would use from my essay in English class, I researched and found a reference photo to use. I decided to use a photo of a drooping flower with petals dropping off of it. I then used the pen tool to trace the flower and its petals. Following that I used the gradient mesh tool to create a 3D effect on the flower and to give the illustration a lighting source. My biggest challenge in creating this was using the pen tool. The pen tool is harder to use than it looks. I found it to be a really big challenge when using the pen tool to create perfectly round lines as opposed to straight lines. Overall, I feel that having been exposed to the pen tool will help me a lot in my other projects using Illustrator.
Companionless nights, and desolate mornings
Each an asteroid barrelling at hypersonic speeds
The first line, Companionless nights, and desolate mornings, is intended to convey a feeling of utter solitude. I try to convey this feeling of loneliness addressed in the poem through my photo on the left side of the diptych of a marble. The marble is small and and the only one in the frame. I put the marble in an area you wouldn't generally find a marble, on the cement pathway leading to my house. Since the marble is small and out of place, it really depicts a feeling of solitude and mirrors the feelings of loneliness and feeling out of place. The focus is on the marble, while the background is blurred out. The negative space and the direct focus on the marble work together to bring to attention and magnify the isolation, an aspect that is not always pointed out. On the right side of my diptych, I have an image of a slingshot in firing position to represent the line from my poem: Each an asteroid barrelling at hypersonic speeds. The asteroids mentioned in my poem are a metaphor for my thoughts and how my mind races when I'm alone. I used a slingshot with a rock in it in firing position to show how my thoughts (or asteroids) move at rapid speeds, but with a destination in mind. The rock symbolizes the asteroid or my thoughts and the fact that the slingshot is ready to be fired, but not actually fired, shows the potential my thoughts have and the places they could go.
For both the marble and slingshot pictures, I used my Canon t3i Rebel with the standard lens. For the marble shot, I placed the marble on the pathway outside of my house to show how it's out of place. I used a small aperture, to create shallow depth of field in order to really focus on the marble while blurring the background out. For the slingshot image, I also used a small aperture for a shallow depth of field, applying more focus to the slingshot itself. The stone and hand are the largest things in the frame to highlight their importance, as they symbolize the asteroid or my thoughts and the potential they hold. Both images are shot in the afternoon with the sun glaring down on the subject matters.
I chose to make the planet, Jupiter wearing a graduation cap. I chose the symbol of Jupiter to represent a journey, since it constantly goes around the sun. I put a graduation cap on it because it symbolizes opportunity, as once you graduate, a lot of new experiences and opportunities open up to you. Through the image of Jupiter wearing a graduation cap, I want to show the viewer my personal journey towards opportunity. I also decided to make a gradient coming out of Jupiter going from yellow to black, since the light or potential comes from within, while the surroundings are dark.
One challenge I faced while making the planet Jupiter was making the planet realistic and come to life. It was hard to make all the spots and color changes on the planet itself, and oftentimes I could not finish in the period given. I had to pause my work mid-tracing and had to come back to it and try to continue from where I left off, which was challenging at times. I also had some difficulty keeping all of the different details of the image on different layer in Illustrator, since often times I put many details on one layer. I had to go back and separate the details and put them on different layers.
WillemGLove is Losing its Veracity
the trees have walked away
The trees walking away are a metaphor for certain people or things in life that are not expected to leave or go away. The left side contains a cardboard box with the words Free Wood written on the front. Under this box is a pile of chopped up scrap wood. The trees in the poem are in a way, the pile under the box. It infers that the trees, people, have instead been cut down and placed into the pile. The house in the second line represents home and how people will leave to progress in their lives, no longer under support of parents. The photo is of a group of leaves on a stone pavement. The leaves have left their home (a tree), and the wind has left them away from their tree. The wind represents the indifference that chaos has in life.
I left the house and now the wind has displaced me
The left image has a fairly shallow depth of field, however this is less noticeable since the background is right next to the box. I used a larger aperture because in this case it is more pleasing to look at and the lighting was darker due to the time of day. The right image has a group of leaves hyper focused on. The background and foreground are both out of focus. I tried to use this to tie back in with the line and how the wind displaces people. The displacement in life can be rather foreign, so everything can be out of focus. The lighting was overcast for the leaves because it provided less contrast. I did this so the subject could blend in a little better. It is hard to tell things apart as one is disoriented. I took the photos without disturbing the subjects because I wanted a nice natural look to them.
The moon is a symbol from my essay. The red planet is actually our moon; our moon becomes red very rarely and only happens during a lunar eclipse. I used an orange moon to contrast with the navy blue background. The background is a trace of water reflections that one would see on lake water. The moon was in the symbol paragraph of my personal essay where I explain how people take the moon for granted. And the moon in this piece is to make people finally look at it. That is why I made it red, to grab people's attention.
I used the gradient mesh tool for the moon and the regular gradient tool for the texture on the moon as well as the blue wavy background. The moon was traced from a picture of a blood moon. I used a drop shadow on the moon to get it to pop from the illustration and give the piece depth. The hardest part of the finished piece was definitely the trace of the wavy blue water. Reflection of water is very unique and precise. That was very difficult and time consuming. The second hardest thing was choosing how I was going to construct the piece. I had made an alternate piece but ended up choosing against it. It was of the horizon line of the ocean with clouds in the sky, however the clouds ended up blocking the moon and I did not want that.
WilliamTLight from the Darkness
I broke my back in 7th grade. I consider this injury to be an event that has shaped me to become the man I am today. Following my injury, I felt very lost. Sports were the center of my life, so when this gruesome injury took athletics away from me, I felt that my identity was taken away with it. In my poem, I write, Sitting on the sideline so lost. For my diptych, I thought a lone bird on a wire would be the best image to capture this feeling of isolation and uncertainty. I chose to take the picture of the bird from the back, looking out into the distance, to symbolize how I had to contemplate what would come in my future. However, I managed to overcome this setback, and this is explained in the line, With courage and creativity, I expand my interests. My new physical limitations made me realize I had to expand my interests beyond athletics. I became more involved in school and experimented with activities such as student government and acting class. I chose the image of a bright flower blooming out of darkness, to symbolize how I not only pushed past a dark time in my life, but I also grew into something new.
For the left side of the diptych, I chose to take the picture of the bird from the back, and this symbolizes me looking out, unsure of what to expect in my future. I heighten the contrast to make the photo more dramatic and intense, creating an ominous scene, which symbolized the fear I felt about my unknown future and identity. For the right side of the diptych, I took the photo in the pitch black night. Then, I adjusted the brightness to make the flower brighter. I thought it was important to make the flower stand out from the darkness to symbolize how this set back actually helped me thrive and grow into a brighter person.
In 7th grade I broke my back playing my favorite sport, tackle football. I felt very lost and without an identity following this brutal injury. However, I overcame this dark period in my life by embracing my new physical limitations and expanding myself as a person. Accept disappointment with courage and creativity is a motto I chose to live by, as I found new interests such as making art, acting, playing basketball and cooking. To represent how I did not let my sadness take over, I chose a turtle as a symbol because it has a hard, protective shell. I made the turtle in my illustration wear a platinum, metal shell because I was determined to be strong, like metal, following my injury. The bland green turtle is juxtaposed against a collection of colors. The vibrant colors emanating from the turtle represent how I ultimately became a more colorful, interesting, bright person because of my injury. I chose many different colors as a symbol of the many new and different interests that I developed after my injury.
To make my illustration, I first traced a photo of a tortoise I found online. After I traced the photo, I was able to fill the tracing with what colors I wanted: green for the skin, platinum for the shell. Then, I used the ellipse tool to make a circle around the tortoise. I made this circle to surround the tortoise because I wanted there to be contrast between the tortoise and the colorful rays shooting outwards. To make the rays of light, I used the pen tool to draw each individual ray, then I filled them with color. To create the fading color effect on the rays, I used the gradient mesh tool. I had trouble understanding why, exactly, layers are not only useful, but necessary when using Illustrator. This was my first experience with Adobe Illustrator, and I found it difficult to remain organized, in terms of naming each layer and keeping them in order. In conclusion, I learned many useful skills in this project. It was great learning how to use Illustrator and spending some time to think deeply about this momentous event in my life, and how it shaped who I am today.