The first day of this school term, we were given our first assignment for Graphic Design II.
It wasn't very difficult . . . we needed to go buy a chocolate bar. I almost couldn't believe my good fortune . . . I think this was the best assigment ever, and after class I went to several stores, in search of chocolate . . . we needed to take pictures of the bars and the displays, too.
The idea was to use it to look at how the packaging was printed and put together, and to use the chocolate inside to put into a unique wrapper (that we each would design).
We could choose a country to use as a theme in making the design, and I decided on Iceland. I liked the idea of using an image of the Northern Lights somehow. There were several steps in the project, including marketing research and creating a "persona" who would be interested in purchasing your product. My persona was an "Urban Art Lover" -- someone who likes to travel and also loves beautiful artwork.
Then we all designed wrappers, printed them out and put them around the actual candy-- Voila! chocolate products that were our own brand designs.
Then we took a picture of the product, so others could see it in a photo.
This term I'm taking a class called "Professional Practices." It is for students who are pursuing degrees in either web development/web design or graphic design/art. And the beginning of our term happened to coincide with "Design Week"-- which is a Portland annual event where a myriad of designers and artists "show their stuff," network, and learn/discover what others are doing, or explore deep topics of interest to the art/design world (such as "empathy").
Our teacher encouraged us to go see what's happening at some of the Design Week events, and to make it even easier to do that, he planned a visit during our class time to one of the events-- and we didn't even have to go across the bridge to Portland to attend, because it was an event held right in our area, Vancouver, WA. Yes, this was an official Design Week event-- not a wannabe or competitor-- and at first many people in our class thought it would be in Portland, but we were pleasantly surprised--and rejoicing-- to know that it was right here (no, we didn't have to drive in busy traffic on the freeway to Portland and wander the maze of big city streets).
And I think we may have felt just a tinge of local pride . . . hey, there are some pretty awesome artists and designers in Vancouver, too, so we liked being at a local graphic design company.
The name of the company is "Gravitate." It is in downtown Vancouver. I took a lot of photos, so will put some of them here, and try to also tell about what happened during the event.
The first thing when you go through the door is this impressive entrance area . . . I like it! It has an interesting appearance and the wood brings a warm feel; it is spacious and I wonder what is up there ; it will be fun to go up and see . . .
At the top of the stairs were my fellow classmates and teacher . . . and the professional designers at Gravitate . . and a collaborative art project set up on tables.
What could be better than to have an opportunity to draw and make designs, while being introduced to this graphic design company?
I didn't read the instructions . . . the tiles were calling to me . . . so I just started in-- and unfortunately found out quickly that pressure on the pen makes a tear in the painted surface. However, the hosts at Gravitate were not too worried about this . . . they said they will repaint/patch up things if needed. I loved doing the drawing, and was happy that they had set up something like this that we could all take part in.
There are lots of kinds of drawings . . . loose, organic, and also more geometric.
Lots of opportunity to mingle . . .
And the Gravitate people were giving tours of their workspace . . . I went on one, and here are some photos of various parts of their building. My thoughts on leaving later on were, if I were to work in an office I'd really like to be in an office building like this!
You can write on all the walls in this room . . . it's made for using dry-erase markers.
One of the guest panelists for this event was Dene Grigar, from Washington State University, Vancouver. She teaches emergent technology, creative media, and digital culture, and brought along a project from her class. Anyone at the event could try out this virtual movement set-up, manipulating virtual objects that you could see using the goggles, with hand controllers.
I'm guessing that the workers at Gravitate have some opportunities to take exercise/play breaks, since they do have a ping-pong table, and also some workout equipment.
I'm glad we could go together as a large group of friends (our classmates). It was also interesting to meet some new people. After the opening artwork and visiting there was a great panel discussion, with four panelists-- who were associated in different ways with design. Besides Ms. Grigar from WSUV, the other panelists were David Hackney, Creative Manager at Hewlett Packard; Rebecca Kennedy a Vancouver city long range planner (with vision, and problems to solve for the future); and Tony Kuypers, Senior Art Director at Cinco, an advertising agency in Portland.
I enjoyed hearing the discussion and also doodling and taking notes. While listening I made a drawing of the four panelists, but unfortunately, that sketch has since disappeared (with some of my other belongings that were in a now-missing backpack).
The event at Gravitate was a good opportunity to learn more about what this graphic design firm is like. I hope they do this again for Design Week. Maybe this event can continue to creep across the Columbia, and Portlanders will be joining the Vancouver commuter traffic to come see the amazing artistic events over here . . .
Gravitate specializes in web graphic design work, for use in marketing online. This is a very useful type of design; if you need some help with your web graphic design, you could inquire here: www.gravitatedesign.com
During last term I worked on a publication project . . . it is a guitar instruction book, written by a guitar teacher -- it's something I'm doing in trade for lessons. I started on it, getting about 1/3 of the content created for a project in my Publication Design class, and will be continuing to do the rest. There are some illustrations in the book, to go with songs, and in a few other places. Here are some of them:
This winter I enjoyed taking photos of many winter trees. Here is a sampling-- we did get some snow this winter so some have snow, and others don't.
This fall and winter I've been designing some greeting cards. They are mostly made with pen and color pencil drawings that were scanned. Some are also made using digital art.
I've started to look for ways to market the cards. They are for sale on my website and on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/DianeHurstArt). Also there are some in a couple of shops downtown, now! This week there are two stores that purchased some for resale-- they are Broadway Station (a mailstop; they have some cards and misc. other items) and Lo-Lo on Broadway (a gift shop with lots of essential oils, soaps, lotions, cards, and some other things).
And I have 2 card racks now . . . for displaying at art shows, etc. One is a wooden rack. The other one is wire and rotates. They were both items requiring more than one person to put together. . . I found this out after trying to fit the parts together on one side, while they kept falling out at the other side. So was very glad to get some help from friends to put together the wire one, and from my son to assemble the wooden one.
Here is the wooden rack, with cards :)
This fall I took a class in InDesign. It was good to start getting acquainted with this software, for designing books and booklets. Also had a Typography class, and learned many things about letters and type-faces. Below is one project done for Typography; it is a blend of three different text sections, placed together in a design.
It is kind of a snapshot of fall . . . the weather, and the trees losing their leaves mixed in with autumn colors..
Also, this fall I took lots of photos of leaves . . . everywhere I went it seemed like I kept seeing these wonderful, colorful, interesting shapes and sizes of leaves, and since I didn't usually have my camera, I was glad that cell phones can take pictures. Will put a few of them below.
This last photo was altered in Photoshop, to increase the speckly appearance of the pavement and bring out details in the leaf.
Also have been making lots more drawings. One of these was of a leaf, so will put it here:
This August I have artwork up at Low Bar . . . it is a very nice bar/restaurant in downtown Vancouver. They have a dramatic and awesome way to display art there-- there are three recessed panels where pictures are hung, with lighting. They also have amazing food . . . I had a Greek salad when I was there for First Friday, and I think I have never had so many kalamata olives before.
The series of pictures that is at Low Bar is the same as what was up at the downtown library for just a few days in July. But at Low Bar, they will be there much longer, through Aug 30.
Come and take a look! I will put a few pictures of the setting here, but these are small in format and don't show how long and tall the three panels are; each panel has three color pencil pictures hung on it.
"The Eye of the Storm" -- ink and color pencil
"Blue Green Color Fence" and "Yellow Purple Design"
"Color Machine" -- ink and color pencil
I'm getting ready to bring a set of framed pictures to the downtown library . . . these will be included in a show featuring myself and three other artists.
It begins on First Friday, July 7, with a reception from 5:00 to 8:30 . . . and will continue through Saturday and Sunday.
I hope you can make it to see them while they're up!
The downtown library is on C street:, 901 C St, Vancouver, WA 98660
Here are some sketches I made while attending a music event in May, in Nashville -- It was the Objective Sessions, an opportunity to learn about the goals of The Extreme Tour, a music tour that reaches out with free music concerts that bring a positive message. There were also great opportunities to learn and develop as a music artist. I am a songwriter, and found these four-day sessions to be very helpful and inspiring.
Enroute, on the plane . . .
This was an Air B&B; there were musical instruments all over the place . . .
This event is entirely run by volunteers! Here are a few of them getting ready for sign-in.
Rocking out with Sideways Derby, one of the music groups who played in the evening showcase.
There is a big banner on the stage . . . a backdrop for the speakers and other participants.
Royal Ruckus is a rapper. His stage partner is a little dog named Olivia.
Performers were critiqued by a music industry panel.
Another Air B&B -- close to downtown, where the event was held.
A workshop speaker with his glasses prop . . . and another industry panel, doing Q and A
Everyone was singing together at the start of this meeting in a school.
You better not whine at Puckett's -- there is a $5 fine.
This grocery store and restaurant was the place for an after-party.
What could be more fun than an open mic? This is inside Puckett's.
There was an interesting plant in the window-- maybe a cactus? -- at this Air B&B.
I sat across from this person, waiting to get on the plane to go back home.
I've enjoyed making some line/shape designs in recent months . . . here are some --
These are made with ink and color pencil.