Coloring Book Project

Pattern Swatches

I chose to base my pattern swatches off of a Japanese wave pattern, Maori tattoo patterns, a Korean floral pattern, Japanese tebori tattoos, the Celtic knot, African indigenous art, and Greek mosaic pattern. First, I chose to make thumbnail drawings of the swatches, but chose to make them simpler so they would be easier to do digitally. For the patterns, I typically repeated portions of the swatches so that they would be equal to each other and I also used the reflect tool on the swatch of the Greek mosaic pattern. I chose to depict the Japanese wave tattoos with a gradient because I thought that it had resembled the shading technique used in the tattooing.

In order to color the patterns, I edited the color of the swatch images directly and chose to make a new pattern out of them. This resulted in the positions of the image in the patterns being slightly different from their black and white counterparts, but I used this to show the color more clearly. I chose the colors for my patterns by picking a blue and using the color guide in Illustrator.

Pattern Dude

For the first part of this project, which included a figure drawing session, I was unable to come to class because I was feeling unwell. Due to this inconvenience, I chose to draw a figure in a baroque costume from a reference photo which I had found online. I drew from this figure in ink, only choosing to suggest lines instead of making a detailed analog drawing because I wanted more of my focus to be in the digital drawing over it.

In order to make the digital version, I chose to scan the image and made an original and a linework layer. For the linework layer, I did most of my work in pen tool, which I had gotten more creative with due to the previous project. After finishing the initial line work of the figure, I chose to give the strokes more weight by selecting the entire figure and making the stroke weight 2p and selecting the option for varying strokes. Afterwards, I selected individual strokes to either make heavier or lighter according to the image. I then used both the paintbrush and direct selection tool to fill certain areas of my figure with black and white pattern, at some points using the multiply option to show the linework details through the patterns. I wanted to leave some empty spaces for coloring of the figure because it was going into a coloring book. Afterwards, I centered the image and created a 40p stroke rectangle to border the page on a layer underneath the layer with the linework. Finally, I made the rectangle no fill with a patterned stroke.

In order to color the figure, I began by making the colored pattern swatches and opening them on the document from the user defined files. Because I had areas with pattern selected with the black and white patterns, I was able to simply select and replace the pattern with a colored pattern.

Images

Our group chose to use the theme of “The Body and it’s Accessories”, so I chose to draw images of my legs and feet to draw in Illustrator. I chose to make very loose and light drawings in pencil, which I would trace in Illustrator on a separate layer. I chose to make these line drawings very loose and expressive so it would be easier to add pattern to these images. I chose to also keep some closed shapes in the drawing so I would be able to fit them with pattern.

When working further with the images, I chose to use varying line weights as I did in my Pattern Dude portion. I also chose to add certain charcoal strokes in order to create some variety. In order to create cohesion throughout the book, I chose to use the patterns made by those in my group. By sharing files on the Google Drive, we were able to download each other’s pattern swatch documents and use each other’s patterns. I was able to have some fun with the loose nature of the patterns and the freedom of the paintbrush tool. I found that I was able to create an interesting layering effect by using different patterns on top of each other with the paintbrush tool and and even create some darkness in the images this way in order to create a pattern around the image and emphasize it.

Cover/Back

When creating the cover, I decided to utilize different images and swatches from within my group in order to show various work. However, upon meeting up, we were able to finalize some design decisions, which included making my original front cover a back cover instead. I had gotten rid of the original text box, added more artwork, and created new colored pattern swatches. I used this experience to become more comfortable with making color patterns because at this time of the project, we had not completed our individual color swatches yet so I had taken the time to create them before adding them into the cover. I also added some loose charcoal strokes to mimic the look of the front cover.

Reflection

Through this project, I found that I was more comfortable working in a group because we were working with something which I was not used to, which was Illustrator. While I knew the basics of Illustrator, I found myself struggling a bit more with patternmaking and color rather than the brush or pen tool. I found that it was a good choice to be organized early on by creating a group chat and by creating a shared Google Drive folder where we were able to share all of our work with each other. This way, we could message each other when we were confused and were able to keep working with each other’s pattern swatches and images without having to organize meeting up. I found that our project was strong because we were able to utilize a unifying effect with our patterns being used throughout the book in each other’s pages. After seeing the finished product, I was able to feel much better about the way our project looked once it was completely put together.

Museum Triptych

For the project which consisted of a portrait from personal and cultural items, I chose to search for identity in a space that I’m not very used to. I wanted to experience more Korean art, which I had never truly experienced. As I walked around the Korean Art exhibit in the Metropolitan Museum, which was admittedly very small and somewhat disappointing, I found a various array of Korean paintings and small artifacts, yet nothing seemed to capture me more than a rafter finial, which was in the shape of a dragon’s head and had a wind chime. I liked the way the dragon was depicted; with fire flaming from the ears, mouth, and nostrils. This dragon head would’ve hung off the side of a large building.

I chose to also use my unique teddy bear named Jason, my keychain, tattoo needles, and a denim jacket, which I had spiked and put patches and pins on. I also initially chose India ink, however, I chose to use the ink as a medium rather than an object. I chose these items for various reasons. I picked the tattoo needles and ink because I use them in hand poked tattoos specifically and have an abundance of them. I picked Jason the bear because there’s a story to how I got him; I was at New York Comic Con and I came across a booth for Jack’s Horror Show, a shop for taking molds of an individual’s teeth and making false fangs from the molds. However, in making the teeth, there would be duds that couldn’t be sold due to production error so Jack decided to take these teeth and attach them to various stuffed animals. At the time I was wearing a skull mask that Jack also had and he gave me a discount for purchasing Jason. I picked my keychain because I currently have four items on it; a set of plastic skull knuckles meant for self defense, a bottle opener, a house key, and a dead lighter that I use as a fiddle toy when I feel anxious.

I combined the items in various thumbnail drawings for a contour design that would include them all.

I eventually decided on a design where Jason would be in the lower middle area of the frame with the jacket in the background on the left and the dragon coming in on the right corner. There would be the tattoo needles in the background and the keychain would be in the foreground of the image, almost in a trompe l’oeil manner.

[Contour drawing file lost, will insert image once able to rescan]

For the next part of the assignment, which involved studying the positive and negative space of the objects, I made several thumbnails, but ended up deciding on a design where the outlines of the objects were most distinctive and easily seen and where position was implied through the scale of the various objects. I then scanned the contour drawing that I had made and traced over it digitally, altered the fill, and switched the fill and stroke to create both a positive-negative and a negative-positive image.

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For the final step of the project, I created a drawing of all of my items in ballpoint pen, scanned the image, traced it in photoshop, and attempted to create a grayscale image. However, I found myself struggling due to a lack of closed shapes in my image to fill certain shapes with color. This caused complications with my value piece on Illustrator, however, I decided to work with this inconvenience by focusing mainly on the mixed media portion, which involved collaging over the grayscale piece. I found a lot of fun in this portion because I got to do some very experimental methods in this part, such as utilizing the India ink which I had decided to use as a medium instead of an object in the first portion of the project. I was able to decorate negative space with ink splatters, and even used the splatters on different papers such as paper towel to decorate the collage. I chose to add a three-dimensional aspect by referring to the studs and safety pins on my jacket and glued several along the shoulders and back of my jacket outline.

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[photograph of mixed media collage to be taken]

After some work on Illustrator to become more comfortable with aspects such as the pathfinder and grayscale, I was able to rework my value piece to include more shapes, colors, and stroke widths. Having to work in this way helped me become more comfortable with the program as a whole and made me utilize the basic skills that we had learned throughout the project.

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Museum Sculpture Reference Post

I chose the rafter finial in the shape of a dragon’s head from the Korean art section of the museum because I haven’t been exposed to a lot of Korean art both due to the assimilation to American culture in my family and the lack of art history that I had been previously exposed to in my education. I liked this sculpture because it was a dragon, which was a symbol for strength, and also because it was the purpose of holding the wind chime of a building, which meant it had a significant purpose in the architecture of the building.

Working Title/Artist: Rafter Finial in the Shape of a Dragon Head and Wind Chime
Department: Asian Art
Culture/Period/Location: Silla
HB/TOA Date Code: 06
Working Date: 10th century

Artist Statement: Bridge 2

I know that when it comes to art, I’m a very lonely kind of person. I don’t feel comfortable sharing art with another person. I can do schoolwork just fine in partner or group projects–like a history or math project or something–and even better if my group gives me the “artsy” part of the project like drawing, but an art project is something completely different. If I had to, I probably could do a kind of “I-do-the-linework-you-do-the-color” collaboration with another artist, but overall, I think I thrive best on my own in art.  Art is intimate and sensitive to me; it’s where I shed my skin and leave myself vulnerable. It’s hard to connect that with another person.

In the beginning of the project, my partner Echo and I somewhat agreed on this mentality. We had a difficulty forming a conversation we could connect to each other with. So we inherently created a project that was more focused on our similarities instead of our conversation. We found out we were both Capricorns, the Sea Goat zodiac. Also, based on the concept of masks, we related on using actions that could be seen as angry or self-destructive behavior to mask our emotions. This influenced the medium and thought process of our projects, which we chose to each do individually with the same concept and theme. I chose to make three watercolor pieces in a series that depicted a girl with horns crying, the girl cutting her horns off, and then the girl inserting her head into the mouth of her beast, which could easily close around her without her horns. The horns were influenced by our Capricorn theme and the story of the series was based on the mask we related on. Echo made a mask with large goat horns out of a brass wire. While I believe the individual pieces were both impressive, I also think that compared to our classmates, we lacked a certain connection in our work.

In the following week, Echo and I arranged to meet up and find a way to connect our different projects. We met in the Making Center in the Parsons building and had a conversation about how the beginning of the project was difficult because of the respective intimacy that we have with our art. After lingering on the topic for a bit, we threw ideas back and forth about what to do for the project. We related in the way we knew how to give stick-and-poke tattoos and we reasoned that tattooing each other would undoubtedly form some type of connection. So we left to go tattoo each other in Echo’s dorm.

On the way out of the Parsons building, we were in the elevator when everything went pitch black in the enclosed space. For about five seconds, we were silent, trying to register what exactly happened. I vaguely remember thinking to myself “please don’t let Echo be one of those people who have a fear of being trapped in an elevator”, just as we looked at each other and the door opened. We rushed out in relief that we weren’t trapped and I told her the quick thought I had. She told me being stuck in an elevator was actually one of her fears.

Once we got to Echo’s dorm, I met her suite mates and the one-eyed cat that lived with them. Echo and I sat in the living room and set up our tattooing kits. I have the tendency to carry it with me in case a friend would want a quick tattoo and I could make a quick buck. We decided on the tattoo we wanted the other to do, drew it on each others skin in ballpoint pen, and prepared to tattoo each other. The table had blue nitrile gloves, India ink, alcohol, bottle caps, and paper towels scattered around it until we finished, about an hour later. I wanted the words “KEEP GOING” in the font that I saw Echo do on herself on my wrist and I tattooed a cross onto her leg. It was a process that did involve a bit of pain, but it was one we were both used to. We took pictures of our tattoos and topped them with A&D ointment.

For the next class, Echo couldn’t come because she felt sick, but I was able to set up and present the project. I chose to bring in a purple drape-like blanket and small tea light candles along with print-outs of the photos we took and our previous individual projects. I arranged the presentation so the blanket was pinned to the wall and draped slightly onto the table where the wire Capricorn mask was placed. The three watercolor pieces were pinned onto the drapery and the two photos of the tattoos were placed above them. On the table besides the Capricorn mask were scattered tea light candles and tattooing materials such as needles, ink, gloves, and alcohol. For the presentation I also turned off the lights and lit the candles to give the the piece a presence similar to an altar.

I think that because the weakness of our project was shown in the first critique, it was easier to find a way to strengthen our piece for the final critique. I believed the critique midway through the project helped improve the potential and outcome, which was shown in the comments received about the final presentation, which tied together all aspects of our project. A strong point of the final critique was the presentation itself, which even brought together the part of our project were we lacked a connection. The “altar” of our connection had a very strong visual presence and worked well with the aesthetic of all the materials. Overall, I believe that the end result of the project was extremely successful.

Material Connexion: Coats Signal

Coats Signal

Invented by Coats Group, a leading thread industry, the embroidery thread was made to be a reflective thread to be used in fashion applications. The thread was made by the group with special lubricated finish in order to withstand the intense sewing process when creating apparel in order to retain its reflective function.

Properties:

Highly reflective
Sound absorbing
Tear Resistant
Soft
Flexible

Capabilities:

Used in protective and reflective clothing

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Everyday Materials

Thread

The “inventor” of the cotton sewing thread was Henna Wilkinson from Rhode Island in 1793, who was the first American woman to ever gain a patent in her country. The thread she used did not sew very well, but she did become credited as the inventor of the cotton sewing thread. While Wilkinson is the accredited patent inventor, thread has existed since early humans have first sewn clothing.
Thread can be either animal, plant, or synthetic, depending on the origin. The process of making thread involves the material being twisted with two or more plys of yarn.
The cotton fibers used in thread are biodegradable, yet different manufacturers can integrate nonorganic aspects into their thread such as polyester.
Properties:
Durability
Elasticity
Consistency
Flexible
Absorption

Capabilities:
Sewing fabric together
Mending tears in fabric
Adding and securing buttons
Embroidery
Retaining ink used for tattooing
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Needles

In 1755, Charles Frederick Wiesenthal, was awarded the first British patent for a sewing needle with an eye at one end. However, like thread, needles had been around since ancient times, typically having been made out of bone or wood, unlike modern needles which are typically made from carbon steel wire and are nickel or 18k gold-plated to combat corrosion.
In the tenth century, needle making experienced a breakthrough with the arrival of high-quality steelmaking technology, with a process known as drawing.
For modern needles, while they are typically made out of materials that are perfectly capable of being recycled, to throw away needles such as medical or syringe needles, they must be disposed of by putting the needles face down in a labeled container for sharp objects or blades.
Properties:
Sharpness
Shape
Purpose
Versatile

Capabilities:
Knitting
Sewing
Injection
Upholstery
Embroidery

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Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil replaced tin in 1910, when the first aluminum foil rolling plant in Switzerland. The aluminum foil replaced tin foil after World War II due to being cheaper and more durable.
The process of making aluminum foil involves constantly casting the aluminum onto a roller, with beta radiation used to make sure the foil is at the desired thickness, which can be adjusted by the pressure given by the rollers.
Some aluminum foil products can be recycled at around 5 percent the original energy cost, however, many laminates aren’t recycled due to difficulties in separating the components and the low yield of aluminum metal.
Properties:
Electrical Resistivity
Thermal Conductivity
Impermeability
Non-absorbency
Hygiene

Capabilities:
Storing food
Shape retention
Heat conductor
Packaging food
Insulation

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Habitat

Habitat, is, by definition, the natural environment of an organism, or the place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism. A habitat must be able to sustain the life of the organism living in it and encourage the growth of the same organism. A habitat should be where an organism is able to thrive and properly grow without inhibition from the very habitat the organism lives in.

I personally don’t believe that I have a single habitat where I can grow and thrive. I find that my habitat exists in what I create around myself. The relationships I make, the art I create, and the feelings that I experience are all part of my habitat because I do not have a single physical habitat where I survive and thrive. I don’t feel like there is a place in this world where my life is being sustained and my growth is encouraged, except for when I create that place for myself. I feel as if my habitat exists when I build it around myself.