Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Please Touch The Art.... WHAT?

Sometimes you just need some change. This week has been a downer for me, but I just gotta realize there will always be ups and downs. I just have to look for positive things.. Harder then you think sometimes. Even something as insignificant as a blog header is some good change... I like it. What do you think? Simple. The website I'm designing for myself inspired it. That will come later... after all the coding I'll be doing in order to get it running. Scary stuff. Wish me luck!

On another note... Last week was a good week for me. A lot of things just felt really great. It was just one of those weeks, where you feel on top. Too bad I always find myself being humbled after an extended period of glory.

We had the 7th annual warehouse show. This year it was an interactive show. "Please Touch the Art" I entered my blue woodcuts that I made last semester. The blocks are 17"x17" pretty big. There was a lot of intricate carving involved, this resulted in a LOT of late nights and even more diet DR P. I really like how they turned out.

For the show I was trying to think of a way to make my work interactive. I really like how a woodblock looks when they are carved. I put a lot of small details into these ones. It was a reductive piece, which means you carve one layer and print the lightest color. Print your whole edition and then carve again and repeat. They call them suicide prints... well because I guess you just can't go back. I ended up screwing my four blocks to the wall and then hanging my prints in front of them with magnets. People were then able to lift the print up and see the block behind it.  Like so

So at the reception the professors chose winners for the show... guess what. Yep I won Best of Show. I was not expecting it. It really was really shocking. It took me a second to realize they had called my name. It was awesome! Here is the award. This is going on my resume.

I'm waiting on some photos with me in it with my work. Until then...

Happy Printing!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have to tell of my adventures in ST LOUIS! I realize for those of you who read (if any??) may not want all the details. I have narrowed it down as best I can but please feel free to skip all, half, or every other sentence if you will. Be creative if you must.

My professor Kathy took 5 of us printmakers to a print conference in St Louis. Southern Graphics Council International is the official name. It was so much fun! We had a great time going to Art shows, print demonstrations and discussions and of course having a great time laughing and goofing around. We can't always be completely serious about everything in life.


We flew out on Wednesday morning, had a LONG layover in Denver (3 hours!). In which zero people were searched, one pair of scissors was overlooked, clothing was removed, 8 sodas were guzzled and some airport food was consumed.  In a nut shell pretty average I'd say. Then we got on a new plane to embark on our journey and they give us these dinky drinks.
For real? Can't they manage to give you at least a whole beverage? What good is a tasty beverage when it can only but tempt the taste buds? They fill the cup mostly with ice and give me an 8th of a 12 oz can. pretty minimalist if you ask me. Alas, we made up for this travesty later. Many of us have cola consumption obsessions. 

 SEGMENT TWO: Shmancy Accommodations
When we arrived we took a van crusade to our hotel. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel. Shmancy place. You had to use your room key to use the elevator. As artsy people had some issues getting it to work. We did a lot of walking up and down stairs, mostly out of impatience, but also because they were just to dang confusing. Many of the events for the conference were held on campus at Washington University. It was beautiful! A really cool old school campus.

SEGMENT THREE: Some Sights Seen

Check out this amazing tree. This picture kind of blows, but it was the best I could do on the run. It was growing in and out of the ground. I have never seen anything like it. I love this kind of stuff.

They have these really great streets that are so great for walking around. We had fun going into old bookstores and antique shops in between the art shows. Here's Vince Lisie and Alisa strolling.

One of our professor's grad school professors had a show while the conference was going. Her name is Karen Kunc. She does some beautiful prints. Check them out here.

This is a picture of Karen and some of her grad students (Kathy, second from left, my professor went to school with all of these cute printmakers).  I was trying to hurry and snap a picture and my camera (borrowed from my father, because I am a space and have lost mine for the millionth time) was on this weird setting that made everything black and white but Karen's shirt... I think it was quite an exciting accident.


Near the end of the trip we did a portfolio show. We displayed some of our work for people to come and see. It was a nerve-racking experience but I got some great feedback from people who loved my work. Here I am looking like a nerd. It was fun to hear what other people thought about my work and to see what kinds of things other people create. There were some good and some terrible. The girl next to me was incredibly nice but had the weirdest work. I wont go into the strange details of standing next to her listening to her explain her work... but. Yes. I love the people you come across at these sorts of things. Everyone did great presenting and by the time we were done there we were all ready to get out of there!

SEGMENT FIVE: Some More Wanderings

We walked around the town one last time and had a grand ol time together. We laughed so much. I love being around my print friends. They have become such a great part of my life. Here are three of us girls being weirdos per usual. We spend a lot of time together in the print studio so we've become rather close. I love them.This photo is a result of a very long day... This is one of our best I believe.

All of the streets in our area were super fancy. There was even a gated community...
It was crazy how huge and beautiful the houses all were out there. They are all incredibly unique and different, unlike this Utah business where we all build the same exact houses. It was fun to see all of the different styles.  Also another tree I found. Utah has so few trees comparatively. So I was all up on taking photos of them. Nerdy I know.

SEGMENT SIX: I am A Lit-tle Gerl

 So we stopped by a grocery store to pick up some snacks for the plane. As I was checking out, the cute little black, southern woman working the check out says "Ahre you grown?" I didn't quite understand her so I asked her to repeat. "Ah you groown? you look like a li-tle gerl" (try to read this with a southern accent. It makes it more enjoyable). I told her I was 23 years old. She looked at me shocked and said, "oh my goodness, I don't believe it! You look like a li-tle gerl, you can't be grown." I assured her that I was in fact being honest about my age, chuckled and left. This is always happening to me. I know I know ONE day I will be grateful. But for now I rather dislike being thought of as some adolescent little girl. It's quite frustrating. I have learned to get over being insulted and just laugh. It is funny, since the whole trip we had been discussing how I look much younger then my age and there you have it. Proof. The group got a good laugh at it.

SEGMENT SEVEN: The Distasteful Departure

The plane ride home was... well even worse then the way there. We were supposed to have a direct flight, but instead they decided that we needed to stop in Denver... again. Disappointment. The first flight had the worst turbulence I have ever experienced. The plane was bouncing all over the place. There was maybe 10 minutes of smooth sailing the entire 3 hours. Abe was sitting next to me and does not handle flying well so you can imagine the kind of shape he was in on the flight. His legs were shaking uncontrollably from his anxiety. In response he ordered a whole lot of alcohol. If you don't know, I have a very very very strong sense of smell. The smell of his beer, which was disgusting, combined with the turbulence made me incredibly sick. I have not thrown up since I was 10 and I was pretty close to doing so. When we got off the plane my face was flushed white and I felt so dizzy and disoriented. I think I am safe to say this was the WORST plane ride I have ever experienced. I used to think it was so ridiculous when people complained about flying, I guess I ate my words on that one. To look on the bright side they did serve us warm cookies.. Not sure if that really makes up for it?

All in all a really great experience for me and my fellow students. We had a great time in St Louis. It is good to be home, but now I have to find the motivation to make the push for the end of my last semester here at Utah State. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A life without books, is no life to live.

Are there actually living, breathing human beings who don't like to read? WHAT? Seriously it makes me sick, physically ill even, to think there are people who truly just hate to read. Someone made a comment in passing that they hated reading and... well Blaufdiafdsuaiofudghhhhh I hurl into my hand! Does this comment even deserve acknowledgment? Well I have a thing or two to say about that.

Since I was a wee one I have always loved to read. I really can't ever think of a time when I hated it, or even disliked it a little.. I blame my parents, and by blame I mean a positive thankful hug or two. Two truly inspiring, book loving....nerds. Could you ask for a better pair? Nay. I have benefited greatly from how my parents raised me. I grew up being read to at an early age. I remember my Mom reading us the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe series several times before I was 10. And by the time anyone had heard anything about Harry Potter my dad had already read us the first book. There are so many exciting things you can learn from books. Your imagination grows and is exponentially benefited from reading. You simply cannot learn all the things you can gain from books from playing a video game. No way no how.

One thing that I know is that a house is not a house without a considerable amount of books. That's all there is to it. Our house is full of books. We haven't parked a car in our garage in years. But who needs a garage for your car when you have beautiful books to fill it with? Lets be realistic here. My Dad is a book collector and my parents love to find new books as well as rare ones. Books in the hallways, family rooms, living room, basement, entry ways, kitchen, cellars, library, bedrooms, closets, attic, even bathrooms (although that last room in particular is reserved for the not so fancy books). Nonetheless, if it is a room, it has a book. It couldn't possibly be a complete functioning room without some lovely books. A truly tragic loss for those of you who can't or wont appreciate a book, whether for reading or for looking.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Developing my muchness

Just a heads up. This post is long, and some of you will not be interested in the slightest. I will rant, I will probably offend some, but I have to get it out and speak my mind...... again.

So yesterday was a GOOD day. It didn't really start out that way, but I am happy to say that It was one of the best days I have had in a while. There were a lot of things that could have made this a terrible no good day, but I made the best of it all.

I have been having a lot of late nights in the printmaking studio, and working hard to apply for an internship at Anderson Ranch in Colorado this summer and the Print conference on the 16th in St Louis. I am also doing an internship with Utah State doing design work for different departments. I don't get payed for that, so I work 20 hours a week at the Library as a student supervisor. Not to mention I am graduating this semester with a double major. So needless to say I have been Bu-sy. Maybe all of this stress and pressure has made me extra flippant, and testy? Who knows. I feel like I am handling it pretty well thank you.

I stayed up until 4:30 or 5 working on fine tuning my portfolio pieces to present to my class on Thursday. I worked pretty hard to improve things in my portfolio for this presentation. I was working on the items and sent them to print. For some reason the black wasn't printing. I pulled out the ink I had bought to replace it and it was light magenta instead of the normal kind magenta... Woops. (I guess magenta plays a big part in the black... interesting) I was in a panic. Luckily my class wasn't until 12 the next day so I knew I could get up early and do it. I tried to get most of it ready to go before I went to bed, but by 4:30, I was about to die so I decided to sleep. Of course it took me almost an hour to actually fall asleep. I woke up at 8, reluctantly I might add. Luckily Steve has figured out effective ways of forcing me out of bed, despite my anger and frustration in the mornings. We went and bought the ink and I came back and finished up with my work. Of course I pushed it all until the last moment, making changes and trying to get everything to look its best. We had to book it out the door to catch the bus. Poor Steve.

So I get to class. BFA was first. This is the class where we plan our end of the year, graduation portfolio show. I got there 2 or so minutes late and a group was up presenting a website they are making for the show.  I'll be honest, websites are cool but do we seriously need to create a website for this thing? In my opinion, NO. When they asked for comments I simply said, "I just don't think you should spend too much time on this thing, It seems like kind of a waste of your time. I mean who is even going to go to this site?" I felt like this was a valid comment. I wasn't trying to be offensive or anything, just giving my opinion on the matter. I had talked to several others in the class that felt the same way. The guy then proceeded to say, "well if you are planning an event you're going to look like an idiot if you don't have a website." BULL CRAP. No one just creates a random website for an art show. Come on. People will advertise events on already existing websites (that people actually visit) but this is just not needed in my opinion. What are they even going to put on this website? Let's be honest, the majority of the guests are going to be our parents anyway. Sometimes I hate design students. I really wasn't trying to create some uproar, but people were mad.

So our group got up to present our plans for the set up and decoration stuff. While I am talking about lighting this smart A up front says, "what a waste of time," just to mock me. I called him a douche bag right to his face. oops, it just came out. I'm up here talking about the most important part of the show, the actual displaying of our work and this idiot has to chime in with this comment to make himself feel cool. Of course everyone in the class laughs. I am always getting flack like this because I am the only person who ever speaks up for themselves and expresses independent thought. Most people just sit back too wussy to comment or tell what they think. It's really annoying actually. A minute late another person decides it will be funny to say it again... at this point I was ticked and spoke up. "Why don't those of you who I have talked to, who also think this web thing is a waste actually speak up instead of sitting back safely in your "i'm a wimp with no guts to express my own opinion seat" so I don't take the flack for everyone here. Seriously people tick me off. No wonder no one ever has the guts to stick up for themselves and promote their opinions. I get more flack then anyone in this class and I deal with it. The first week of class my teacher made a pretty awful, rude joke about me and I have taken joke after joke continually throughout the semester about it, and deal with it, usually with a smile, even though I am a person and yes I have feelings too. Whatever, crack your jokes and sit back in the dark in your little posse and pretend like you actually have a brain.

So I was called on to present my portfolio very last. I got up and presented and felt pretty good about it. Afterwords, my professor (who I have had endless battles with. I never know if he hates me or actually likes me?) payed me a huge compliment and told me my portfolio looked really great. If only you knew this man, you would know what a huge compliment that is. It seriously made my day! I was floating for the next couple of hours. Hard work always pays off.  Ill post a pdf of my portfolio soon :)

This post is not intended to offend anyone. And besides, if you are one of the offended it probably means you need to man up and actually speak your mind and participate in class. If your going into graphic design, learn to take it. It will make you stronger.