The overall purpose of this portion of project two was all about experimental output. Since I have taken this class before, I knew a decant amount about some of the techniques. I knew a lot about super sauce and I knew that I wanted to steer clear of that technique for this project. I wanted to try something new and push my limits. While in Italy this past summer I became obsessed with textures. The natural textures in this world are amazing and so rich. I then after returning from Italy came up with this wild idea that combined my love for athletic clothing and my art. I had the idea to take up close macro images of natural textures and patterns found in our world and to convert them into digital representations. To then recolor these images to create designs similar to those found in athletic clothing, especially spandex material.
Recently in the last year or so my overall theme of my work and focus, whether intentional or not, has focused around “Seeing that the eye cannot see”. Mainly I have been using my camera and its mechanical abilities to create art that shows viewers those things out eyes cant. My inspiration for this series that I have yet to name comes from many different areas of my life. I am seeing the world differently ever since my concussion and since I spent a month in Italy. I am more in tune with the world and with the shapes I see in life. I have ideas flying at me left anf right and it seems almost everything I see is inspiring and adjusting my art in some way or another. I have been thinking about these types of art for a few months now. I knew what I wanted to create and I knew a general idea of how to make it but I had yet to conduct the steps I needed to complete this project.
My process started with my root focus in photography. I first photographed the bottom of one of my pet turtles. I am amazed by the patterns created in their shells and skin. I have three pets and have come in contact with over ten Diamondback Terrapins and amazingly every single one has been different. No two that I have seen in life or in pictures look alike. Each one has their own designs and patterns. I find this fascinating and knew that these natural patterns would make really interesting graphics. So I photographed the bottom of one of my turtles. I then converted the image to black and white and increased the definition as well as the contrast. This made the silver/tan shell appear whiter and the dark grey/black markings even deeper black. I then loaded this image into Adobe Illustrator. I live traced the image and set it to the default setting which creates a black background and the once black marking are not white and closed paths. It is then that I select each path individually and recolor it to my liking. I chose to work with only three colors and black because I felt if I used more colors that it would create a graphic that was too busy and no longer aesthetically pleasing. For this image I chose female oriented colors. It did not take too long for me to figure out the process and how to work in illustrator. What took me longer was trying to figure out how to make the remaining white paths, turn black. Once I figured this out, I was done. I printed out test prints and placed them on my wall, I also made the graphic my backdrop on my computer and phone. This is a technique I use often when I print tests of works. I am then forced to see the works and stare at them analyzing them multiple times through out the day. This is how I discover if I am done or not. After a few days of staring and analyzing the test prints, I was happy and ready to make it to the next step.
I decided from the start that I wanted to print on the stretchy fabric. Although not like the spandex that I imagine my graphic to be printed on practically, this fabric is very interesting. Once printed, I taught myself through experimenting and trial and error how to construct a canvas wrap out of the printed fabric. It was surprising very successful and looked professional enough for me to be pleased and content. I hung it on my wall and honestly stared at it for a few hours while doing homework and I was still pleased and loving it so I knew I made the right choices.
A few days later I was walking around and saw this moss like plants growing on the brick wall on the way to Anne Arundel. I though it may make an exciting graphic so I took an up close photograph and followed the same process as before. With this image I finally learned more specifically how to convert the illustrator document into Photoshop and make a plain black background. Once in Photoshop, I could move the colored shapes around in order to create a new overall lay out. I took a very portrait orientation image and made it circular and squared off. I printed this the same way on the stretchy fabric but the printed decided to go crazy and mess up over half the print. So I had to improvise and only use part of the overall image. I created a much more panorama landscape looking canvas wrap.
From this project I learned even more about Illustrator and Photoshop then before and I learned how o create a canvas wrap. I also learned what textures can and cannot be created into art this way. My work habits were different then in the past. Since, I have a Macbook Pro now with the Adobe creative suite. I have the products I need that I once had to walk to the Mac Lab for. I like being able to work from home and whenever I want. It is less stressful and I am able to jot down or fix a little thing whenever I want. Much like in the remix project I feel like I spent less time then I have in the past on this project but I say I spent about 15 hours in total on this project.
I am extremely happy with my two graphic prints and will absolutely reprint these images as well as create more. I think this project has lead me in a direction that will not only help with my SMP but also in looking for internships and jobs in the future.
When people see my images I want them to wonder what they are and what they are pictures of. People who have already seen them hanging on my wall in my house have already been asking what they are. Most guess that the large work is of a turtle’s belly. No one has guessed the moss one though. I have to tell them. I think in the pure nature of the fabric and the graphic design of it people will image it on clothing. Yes, it is presented as a canvas wrap but with as much clothing and advertisements we are exposed to today, I think people will make the connection. Formally the colors in contrast with the black background create a compelling image that supports that it is not a photo but rather a graphic. Aesthetically the color combinations just fit and compliment one another well. A downfall to these pieces is the transparency. I want to create more and print on thicker fabric more closely related to those that clothing is made out of.
As I have already said before, I am actually very pleased with my work and my effort level matched with my creativity and end product. It all played out well and I think I have created some of the best art works I have ever made and I am thoroughly inspired to create more in the future. I again think I deserve an A plus.