Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Social Critique: Looking at Graffiti Scars

For this project, I concentrated on the graffiti found underneath the bridge next to Jones Park. The style of graffiti art has always fascinated me. Furthermore, thanks to artists such as Banksy, graffiti has begun to be recognized as a legitimate medium. However, a lot of graffiti art never gets seen. It is either hidden away in private locations or covered up, because the act of creating graffiti is considered public defacement. I find this to be tragic, in a way, for graffiti is a medium often employed by artists that don't have professional training, or social outsiders trying to convey a message. Therefore, the suppression of graffiti can be considered the suppression of the voice of the social outcasts, who are concentrated among lower class youth. Through these photos,  I wanted to investigate what messages these artists were trying to express. See my photos here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Moving Through Time and Space

"'Time' has ceased, 'space' has vanished." The Medium is the Massage

While the execution of this project was far from perfect, I am actually somewhat proud of what I have managed to achieve. I've dreamed of creating a stop motion piece for a large portion of my life, and stop motion happened to go well with the concept I wanted to illustrate. After reading McLuhan and Fiore's book, I thought of another book. A Wrinkle in Time. Aside from being one of my favorite books, I felt that I could draw parallels between the ways the characters access the fourth dimension in order to travel through time and space and the way The Medium is the Massage tells of how digital media has increased the speed of our perceptions. In a way, digital technology has also resulted in the subversion of time and space. I felt this shift in dimensions would best be portrayed by a change from a 2 dimensional piece to a 3 dimensional piece. Thus, there is a literal transition between the drawing of a fox to an origami fox. As the video illustrates, art executed in the 2nd dimension is constructed far slower than the art in the 3rd dimension.

 I was also hoping to incorporate the idea that this increase in speed has led to an increase in conglomeration. As the book says "Print technology created the public. Electric technology created the mass."

Due to logistics, I was unable to edit the two videos together. Still, I am content that I was able to make this concept manifest in some form or another.

Sandra Dyas

Despite having lived within the corn walls of Iowa her entire life, Sandra Dyas has had many diverse experiences that help to influence her artwork. She's an Iowa City native. She got married when she was 20 years old. Had a daughter. Couple of years later, decided the marriage wasn't for her, and decided to get an education. After doing wedding photography, senior photography, and working in the theatre, Sandy branched out into new media. She was one of the minds behind the development of the Intermedia department at Iowa State and she continues to teach photography at Cornell College. Through her experiences, it is clear that she has learned to perceive her surroundings differently from others. Her photographs display scenes of small town life and Iowa landscape that one might initially write off as "quaint" or "nostalgic." It is through the way Sandra juxtaposes these images that her true artistry is shown. In her exhibitions, all photos are arranged judiciously, in order to lure the mind's eye onto a path that travels throughout the room. Sandra has a natural talent for composition, and she has a way of relating two seemingly unrelated images to each other, depending on the position of the subject in the frame, the colors of the photograph, or the textures of the photographs. I give you these photos as an example but I encourage you to check out her website.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Life With Photoshop

Long ago, when Neopets was still popular, I began to become obsessed with Photoshop and digital drawing. I spent hours on DeviantArt and Neopets drooling over the clean, colorful images that people created from Photoshop and other digital art programs. For the longest time I didn't have Photoshop, but this didn't stop me from studying every tutorial I could fine. Finally, in my sophomore year of college, I was finally given Photoshop CS5 and a Wacom Bamboo tablet for Christmas. It's safe to say that my art life was forever altered from that day.

The first work I did with photoshop was a self portrait. While the image itself is not the interesting, especially because I used my YMCA membership card as reference, I was proud of how the work came out. 

My most complete digital artwork is a logo that I made for my friends theatre company, which is called Flatirons Entertainment. The imagery in the logo is of the Flatirons, a series of mountains in Boulder, Colorado. 

The majority of the artwork I've created with photoshop has either been made in jest or as fan art, referencing some of my favorite video games and shows. It also tends to subscribe to a fairly simple style, with a lesser focus on realism. 

This year I started making comics for The Lawrentian, my school newspaper. I feel that my job as a comic artist has been very helpful in helping me get my artwork more recognition as well as to connect with fellow Lawrentians through my depictions of shared experiences. My job also allows me to indulge an old childhood dream of mine to be a cartoonist. While the comics are in a simple black and white style, I try to be as detailed as possible.

Stay tuned to see what I do next.

Welcome to the World

My name is Erin Davis, and I'm an aspiring artist and scientist. My scientific interest is the neurobiology of mental illness. Through art, I try to visually represent ideas I have about the world or novel emotions I experience. Simply, I am a very analytical person, and I seek to discover the truth of all things. Sometimes my interests can be described as dark or morbid, but that is simply because I don’t have the same reaction towards things that frighten me as others do. While most may be inclined to shy away from the thing that scares them, my fear motivates me to seek a greater understanding of the thing that scares me. Control over one’s impulses is necessary for artistic and intellectual achievement, as well as greater acceptance of diverse peoples and things. I find that art is one of the best mediums for expressing this truth, or truths, in exciting and engaging ways. Hopefully, my art will allow my viewer access to my brain. I enjoy traditional drawing with ink and pen, but I also seek to be a master of the digital realm. While I have negligible experience with digital video and photography I am fairly proficient in using Photoshop to make works of art. I am also a bit of an origami enthusiast, and I hope to explore how origami influences math and science and perfect my paper folding abilities. Furthermore, I wish to incorporate origami into a broader range of art, such as I have done in the past. Examples of my past work are shown below.