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A vacation in my mind

My new blog was started over the holiday weekend.

www.avacationinmymind.com

Please visit! I plan to add posts in rapid succession over the next week or so to build it up, and then it will settle into a more stable rhythm.

Purpose: to look at the ordinary from a new perspective by showcasing places around Indiana that are “hidden” away, bring awareness to local charities that are more obscure, and  present photographic eye candy just for the fun of it.

I will probably even throw in a piece of design I am working on but link to my portfolio site for more details.

August Update

Hummingbird Moth / Bee

Ever since graduating in June, I have been questioning whether to dismantle this blog.

These past months I have continued as a full time Communications Specialist in the consulting project I accepted in February. The project has evolved into a lot of technical IT writing and not so much designing. The break from intense creativity after graduation has been good… but I am ready to begin adding more creative projects back into my schedule.

In the meantime, it is a Canon Rebel camera and the butterfly bush in the back yard that are providing me with the greatest pleasure this summer.

There is a possibility my love of photography may drive a new creative blog. I am knocking around some topic ideas and contemplating next steps, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, visit my new website and enjoy a taste of my current photography via the photos below:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Buckeye

Painted Lady

Variegated Fritillary

Mourning Cloak

Packaging Final

The packaging class ended with an excruciating fizzle… I pinched a nerve in my back so I could not sit during finals week! I missed my last day in a business class and 3 days of work. I hate it when that happens and it happens when I sit for 18 hours a day working on the computer in bad chairs.

So, while I could not finish it the way I was hoping, I did complete a package… barely. It was a toss up as to whether I just take the hit and get a C or actually push to at least get a B. I literally cried all the way through this one. When I was ready to quit, my roomies kept encouraging me.

This is a class that with enough time, I would have easily gotten an A because the teacher allowed us to redo our work after we received feedback. However, that week I was barely able to get my first drafts turned in. Very, very painful. Four weeks later and I am finally feeling fine, although I am still being very careful not to do anything to aggravate it. 2 weeks of daily chiropractor visits and then 3 days a week, and now 2 days a week.

At this point in time, I am still not sure if it was worth it for this particular class. One thing I have learned, these past 3 years, is what it means to push myself beyond what I thought  I was physically and mentally capable of accomplishing. Amazing how I have overcome stressors that before I never thought possible.

Part of the requirements on this were the handle and the die cut. I disliked the distinct color change between the computer color and the actual printout on the final, which was more orange, but I gave that detail up in the interest of being able to present a finished piece. Normally I would have tweaked and reprinted until this was perfect with my vision.

That is another skill I have learned – how and when to make the proper compromises, what to fight for and what to let go of.

Here are the final results for Packaging:

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Art Direction Final

Art Direction was partially a team class and I enjoyed the teams I was put on, even if we were working at warp speed. As a team on the final project we chose to research and promote Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The team also chose the tagline (which happened to be one I proposed, which was fun.) We then chose our 3 favorite group proposed headlines and general visuals. From there, we each interpreted the final pieces in our individual ways.

One challenge was to find high resolution stock photography and to create the ads in a way that the photography doesn’t scream “stock”.  We each used our own stock photography finds, although as a team we chose a general direction for each (extreme sport, old bicycle, and a business person.) I chose to crop mine and manipulate in Photoshop CS5 by removing the color. I also hand wrote a portion of each headline as if it were a note on the photo.

My thought for this group is that they could be located in a photography magazine.

Moving along with my product, High Tea, the next phase was to create labels and photograph the containers.

Instructions were to use clear glass containers with the product visible and a die cut of some sort. I chose to use our Penzey’s spice containers and package this as a gift set for high end loose leaf tea. I never did get around to dumping out the spices and filling it with the loose leaf tea. Oh well.

With more time, I feel I could have really done something with these (i.e. they have potential.) Feedback was to extend the labels further around, lose the die cut on such a small item or die cut around the logo, and to darken the name of the tea. Otherwise the teacher felt they were a strong design.

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Illustration Rework

Two days before my final was due, I had an epiphany and figured out why I was struggling with this painting so much. I spent the weekend re-working and adjusting what I had spent the previous 8 weeks creating. There was a lot of sanding off of what I had put on, then repainting. Fortunately, we were having a 80 degree, summer-like weather and I was able to do this work outdoors.

I can not even describe the amount of rework I did, but thankfully the teacher gave me grace. As long as I promised to complete it, which I will be doing in the next weeks, then he was satisfied with what I had accomplished so far.

It seems that my left side perception must be scewed. I spent my time adjusting that side of the painting, making everything just slightly bigger (well, the guitar a lot bigger) except for Ron’s face, which I needed to make smaller or just move things about (like bring his ear down and nose and mouth up… sounds odd, doesn’t it.) It is like that whole side was just slightly off scale or proportion.

It was quite the operation, and while it is definitely not finished, I was elated once I had created the outlines and positions. I now had a roadmap to the finished piece that I was very satisfied with, and for the first time in my life I believed I might be able to do portraiture- something that has been a very scary impossibility in the past.

Another fun discussion project in Art Direction class was a simple cropping activity with the 4th panel being a manipulation in Photoshop. This was showing how you can change the meaning of a photo with some very simple changes.

It did not matter which photo, so I dipped into a joyful moment last summer. My fellow students seemed to like it.

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