Week 9…Getting one step closer.

What I learned from this module’s assignments is that you want the design to be somewhat predictable and consistent for the user interaction.

This ran contradictory to my initial impression of what the “design” of a site should be about.  In my original storyboards, I had navigation links on the right side of the page and then would switch it up on another page of the site because I didn’t want it to feel monotonous.  It just felt like it would be so boring!  But after watching a video on Adobe and reading a few articles, I realized that by making it predictable you are really making it intuitive for the user.  They don’t have to think about how to navigate, which allows them to give full attention to the content.

The pretty part should be in the aesthetics – but don’t mess with the interface.  No one likes a site that is complicated or hard to use.  If I get frustrated with a site, I just google what I’m looking for and go to another site.

So the other main thing that I am starting to understand is that print and web are totally different.  What I thought would look good on paper, ends up looking like too much on the screen.  I realized this when I started making a Style Tile of the colors and fonts I wanted to use.

Here are pictures of the storyboard compared to the Style Tile:

Storyboard for the Bio Page

Storyboard for the Bio Page

Style Tile

Style Tile

For example, I originally thought that I would make actual squares as buttons for the links.  But when I tried it out on the page it looked unnecessary.  I thought that just using the word itself was cleaner – and everyone knows that you click on the links.  When you are staring at a white page, it feels empty.  When I look up at a screen the small details just seem unnecessary.  It’s counterintuitive to how I like things to look on paper, but I realize now it is a different medium and I will just get used to it with practice.

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Project 2 in November!

I feel like a total ass for turning this project in soooo late, but I did it!     

I learned a lot quickly about using Illustrator with this project.  I had to create 3 images from the scissors I drew in my earlier blog.  The images are close up of various parts of the scissors, so that you may or may not be able to recognize that they are scissors.

I spent the most time on the first image (artboard).  Coloring in the black was sooooo hard at first, but then as I moved to the next board I realized how I could make things much easier just reducing things to shapes.  When you are used to pen and paper and paint and charcoal for drawing, its daunting to figure out how to make what you do translate over into a computer program.  But the second board made me realize that the fundamentals are the same.  Reduce the images to shapes and build on that.  By the time I got to the third board I felt way more comfortable and was able to maneuver through much faster.  Well…here is my first project using Adobe Illustrator…

Why must I always procrastinate…

You would think that something as simple as selecting an object to draw in black and white, in its simplest form, would be as easy as it sounds. Well, not if it’s me.  It’s not that I don’t want to do it…I just get so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect that I put myself in a state of paralysis. I over-think each choice. Stalling, making it bigger and bigger until I am so overwhelmed that I don’t feel like dealing with it.  I’ll surf the net, read a book or watch a show.  Meanwhile, the task at hand is simultaneously weighing on my mind, building upon my anxiety.  Ugghhhhh…This is where I am right now at 11:09pm on Sunday night.  I should have done this last week, but this is the point I had to put myself in order to make something happen…

My friend Melissa suggested I draw my glasses (two weeks ago).  I thought this was a great idea, but I kind of need them to see and decided that I could think of something better.


My husband suggested an iron (last week).  I thought this was a great idea, why overthink it when I could just pick something simple and that was just sitting there anyway.  Then I decided I did not want to draw an iron because there had to be something better.

 I then decided on drawing a bottle of perfume.  I think perfume bottles are so pretty and love the way the light reflects against them.  I thought it would be visually interesting the way I could use black and white to illustrate the weight, thickness and liquid in the glass.

Then I reread the project description and it states that the object should be a man-made mechanical object with moving parts… Ugghhhh!  So now I am thinking about going with scissors, maybe…

My co-worker calls my personality “Type T’ – thrill seeking because you put things off until the last minute because you like the rush you get from feeling under the gun. Whatever it is, it’s real annoying because once I start I always realize it was not as serious as I made it out to be.

So tomorrow I am just going to pick one of these things and just draw it!

I heart Miranda July!

I was very excited to see that Miranda July was one of the featured artists in our digital design class.  She is creatively fearless and original.  When you see a Miranda July film, or read a story, you get to go to a parallel universe and experience something new.  Everything is quirky yet insightful and honest, without feeling forced.

I was first introduced to her when I saw her film Me and You and Everyone We Know.  The movie has several characters with lots of issues that manifest in odd ways – like the little girl who is obsessed with building a hope chest for her future husband.  Here is a great review of the movie by Roger Ebert.  I cannot wait to see her new film, The Future, which features some narration by a cat and is in theaters now!

I’ve also read her book of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You.  My  favorite story is “The Swimming Lesson” where a woman is basically  teaching these people how to swim on a carpeted floor in their home.  All the characters are seriously committed to what’s going on and it is just crazy.

It makes me think back to when my sisters and I were younger.  We would play my parents’ James Bond Soundtrack on the record player, clear a large area in the living room and pretend to be figure skaters while our parents were at work.  I remember those times as a very happy part of my life and in retrospect, part of it had to be because my life revolved around being creative.  I was drawing pictures of groceries so we could play “grocery store”, we would draw up ad campaigns for our ad agency and we would turn our Barbie’s Dream house on its side so we could pretend it was a car.  I realize that this is what children do, play and pretend.  It was so much fun losing yourself in those games and getting to be whoever you wanted.

Miranda July seems like the kind of person who does something creative, for the simple pleasure of it, everyday. She is not afraid to video herself doing a crazy dance or narrate what she imagines is the story of a random picture…she is truly inspiring.

A Blog of my very own…

I’ve always been curious about blogging but afraid to give it a try…”What if I couldn’t find anything to say?”…”What if no one finds it interesting?”…

So I figure that I’ll start by doing one more thing I rarely do – share my art and thoughts on the process of creating with the world (or just the 8 people in CAT 111).

I stopped working on this a few months ago when I felt like I was just getting lost!  What I am having issues with is that I had no intention, other than the color scheme, when I started painting it.  I just went with it and now it looks like a big plop of chaotic, swirly color.  There are parts I wish I could just erase or lighten.  It’s watercolor, so I can’t just paint over.  I made an attempt to darken some areas, but I don’t like how that looks.  It seems dull and I like colors to be vibrant versus a murky purple.

I do like that there is a sense of movement.  I want to keep the focal area/flowery looking part…so I am thinking the solution is to make this painting into a collage.  I can cut out the area I like and glue it on top of a dark background. It would break up the monotony of the color, which is problematic as well.  I can paint some more “swirls” new colors and sizes.  I’m also thinking that the fact that it will be a collage will give it another dimension by adding texture.

Making a collage would be new to me too; it’s not where I would have thought this would ever end up.  But that’s what I like most about art – you start from one point with one thought and almost always end up somewhere you weren’t expecting.

Or I might just forget it and work on painting a portrait of my dog.  Either way, I’ll keep the blog posted…