Monday, March 23, 2015

Personal Project - Patty Rodriguez

(The images look a little dark here! JPEG conversion is a bit janky)

For my personal project I went back and reevaluated two pieces from last semester. During that time I had 4 studios and a liberal arts class, so my workload was pretty intense and I often found myself strapped for time. I made a lot of work, but I was hardly able to spend as much time on it as I wanted. I decided to revisit my two favorite projects and work them to conclusion. The first is a weapon pattern made in Illustrator for Digital Illustration. The second is piece is made in Photoshop for Concepts & Metaphors, exploring the idea of a playground (and taking that into a fantasy/surreal territory). I'm pretty satisfied with how they turned out! I ended up using both of these projects for my Merits installation on the 3rd floor staircase, as well as the business cards I made for the physical takeaway.

Patterns in Nature - Scott Werner - Research Project

Plato: (looking at only his work on Natural Patterns) argued for the existence of universals, Considered ideal forms
Leonardo Fibonacci: Fibonacci Sequence
Joseph Plateau: Minimal Surface with given boundries
Adolf Zeising: Golden Ratio
Wilson Bently: took first micrograph of a snowflake
Alan Turing: Known for computing and codebreaking wrote “The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis” Predicted Oscillating Chemical reactions such as “Belousou-Zhabotinsky reaction” how stripes or spots are determined
Aristid Lindenmayer: Developed L-system, formal grammar to model plant growth patterns in the style of fractals

The Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction is a faimly of oscillating chemical reactions. During these reactions, trasition-metal ions catalyze oidation of various, usually organic, reductants by bromic acid in acidic water solution
Belousov has discovered the first reaction of this class with the Ce3+/Ce4+ couple as catalyst and citric acid as reductant. He observed that the color of the reaction solution oscillated between colorless and yellow and found that the frequency of oscillations increased with rise of temperature (Belousov, 1959; 1985). Zhabotinsky replaced citric acid with malonic acid (MA) to create the most widely used version of the BZ reaction (Zhabotinsky, 1964a). He has shown that the oscillations in the solution color were due to oscillations in concentration of Ce4+ (Fig. 1). He further found that oxidation of Ce3+ by HBrO3 was an autocatalytic reaction and self-sustained oscillations of Ce4+ concentration arose after accumulation of bromomalonic acid (BMA). He demonstrated that Br- ion was an inhibitor of the autocatalytic oxidation of Ce3+. He suggested that the BZ reaction consisted of two main parts: the autocatalytic oxidation of Ce3+ by HBrO3 and the reduction of Ce4+ by MA and its bromoderivatives, which were produced during the overall reaction. In his scheme, the Ce4+ reduction is accompanied by the production of Br- from the bromoderivatives of MA. Br- is a strong inhibitor of the autocatalytic oxidation of Ce3+ because of its rapid reaction with the autocatalyst, which is presumably HBrO2 (Zhabotinsky, 1964a,b).

The fibonacci Sequence fits perfectly within the golden ratio, this concept has been used to check against some of considered best artwork done in the world and throughout time
The Fibonacci numbers are Nature's numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple. The Fibonacci numbers are therefore applicable to the growth of every living thing, including a single cell, a grain of wheat, a hive of bees, and even all of mankind.
Plants do not know about this sequence - they just grow in the most efficient ways. Many plants show the Fibonacci numbers in the arrangement of the leaves around the stem. Some pine cones and fir cones also show the numbers, as do daisies and sunflowers. Sunflowers can contain the number 89, or even 144. Many other plants, such as succulents, also show the numbers. Some coniferous trees show these numbers in the bumps on their trunks. And palm trees show the numbers in the rings on their trunks.

A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc. Abstract fractals – such as the Mandelbrot Set – can be generated by a computer calculating a simple equation over and over.

A book that discusses how mathematics and harmonics affect our brain and perceptions but also suggests that it can be applied to nature.

Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing.

The size of the columns, which varies from site to site between a few inches and a few yards, is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools," says U of T physics professor Stephen Morris, who supervised the thesis project of PhD student Lucas Goehring. Cooling lava sometimes forms strange column-shaped formations with a remarkable degree of order. The most famous of these hexagonal columns are found at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, where they are said to be the work of Finn MacCool, an Irish giant.


Thanks and Enjoy!

Project 7: 4 x 4 Observation 3/4: I'm Killing my Plant.

So I attempted to try my new toys for my camera out and didn't receive them in the mail until Thursday afternoon rendering it useless to try and get a time lapse. Therefore I sat down and shuffled through the notes from last weeks class to develop an idea in culmination from feed back from the rest of the class. So I decided to try the food color idea. As I am not an advocate of possibly killing this plant I really want to see if watering the living plant with food dye in the mix will change the colors of the stem or affect it some way. I decided to use red dye. Through the process of watering it every morning for the last week, the only difference I have noticed is the plant is literally dying. There is no change in color besides the brown from the plant dying.

Project 4x4: 3/4 - Kickstarter (Artist Example: Alexandra Douglass)

For the third round of this project I decided to look at a relatively well-known platform and specifically how stand-alone artists benefit from using it.

Kickstarter, like Patreon, is a website run by crowd funding, mean people pay what they want to support a project. Unlike Patreon, Kickstarter campaigns have to meet a certain goal by a specific deadline and if it does not meet that goal it goes unfunded.

My example today is Alexandra Douglass, and her Kickstarter campaign to fund a high quality, 6”x9" art book (including four teaser pages) for her upcoming webcomic, The Cloud Factory.

Kickstarter link:

First off: Kickstarters ran by single artists are definitely possible. But those artists always have some degree of help promoting their Kickstarter and making all of the exclusive material for backers.

Alexandra Douglass developed her project and following for it a couple of years before beginning her Kickstarter. Such development involved maintaining a blog following her world building process for the comic, as well as releasing designs and teasers leading up to the Kickstarter launch.

Her primary tactic to selling her project is via a promotional video discussing the content of her comic, eventual release, and reasons for potential backers to support it. She uses a combination of both material from her comic and physical presence throughout the video - which I think, personally, really stresses the amount of personal confidence and pitching ability an artist must have to sell their work.

Outside of Kickstarter, she shared her project across many other platforms including Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. This and most likely through word of mouth, she was able to fund her project 11 times over (Her original $7,500 goal to $83,632)

So where is the project now? This Kickstarter was funded back in May 2013. After some quick research, it looked like her project went on hiatus back in January 2014. There are a grand total of 7 pages currently on the website of her webcomic! What happened?

The goal of the project was to only publish the art book and its 4 pages. Since her project went over her goal, she did add three more (bringing it to a total of 7 pages) and many other exclusive collectables like booklets, pins, and prints. For such a successful campaign, however, the project does seem bit stagnant. I think the biggest takeaway from analyzing a project like this is to realize what’s working and after it works to keep doing it - initial success does not necessarily mean it will continue! I do think this is a difficult undertaking for a single artist like Alexandra Douglass, however, considering she’s only one person and as a freelance artist she has to do other projects to pay the bills. But it’s definitely important to ride the hype and carry that success into the work ethic going to the remainder of the project before it wears off.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Free Doughnuts

Free Doughnuts from Megan Kowalski on Vimeo.

I left out a box of glam doll doughnuts for people to take in the College Center. For the first half hour, I left a sign with the doughnuts that said, "If you do a dance, you can take a free doughnut!"I noticed that not many people wanted to grab at the doughnuts because of that, and they worked off the honor system, where if they didn't do anything silly; they wouldn't take a doughnut. After the first half hour I changed the sign to say, "Just free doughnuts," and they disappeared fast. During filming, I couldn't be there to watch if the cameras caught everything correctly, and at some points, they did not get the shots I wanted. Also, one camera would automatically stop filming after every ten minuets. However, I caught most of people's conversations or reactions to seeing the doughnuts, which became more important. It was funny to hear some conversations, and I ended up more, "people watching" than "table-watching."

Seen Unseen #3 of 4 - Scott Werner

Title: Grayson Facebook Time Capsule

By: Scott Werner

For my third observation I have decided to put together a video using photos and video from facebook. I wanted to create a Facebook time capsule for my brother and sister in-law. The video starts from the announcement through the eight months since birth. The video was also taken from facebook where Grayson's mom had uploaded her first time with eating oatmeal. Lastly I put in a song that I composed and felt that it made a good fit.

I found it very interesting seeing her growth through pictures and seeing her amazing smile. It reminds me of when my youngest was that small. I wish I would have done something like this for her back then. However I realize that I now have seven years of photos that I can do this with!


Monday, March 16, 2015

2nd 4x4 Project

For this second 4x4 project, I decided to branch out from Society6 and take a look into other digital platforms that promote and market artist’s work. Patreon is a website similar to Kickstarter that involves crowdfunding, and allows artists to accept donations from patrons in exchange for monthly or weekly content depending on the number of patrons and the amount they pay monthly.

Sakimi-chan (Yue) is a Canadian concept artist. There is actually not much known about her except information provided from her deviant art and Patreon, but her internet presence is extremely well established and she's one of the most popular digital artists out there.

Sakimi-chan’s work mostly consists of fan-art, or work from other franchises. Selling work using the content of these franchises without a doubt involves a ton of research on their copyrights and policies on distributing such work, especially considering Sakimi-chan uploads pieces once or twice a week on top of maintaining Patreon. And she must do a good job, because doing the math:

Sakimi-chan makes roughly $518,277 a year.

Since Sakimi-chan’s prints, tutorials, resources, and other Patreon rewards are mass distributed, they are are in the average price range for digital prints ($10-$50). However, a unique nature of Patreon allows patrons to pay whatever they want for certain ‘tiered’ rewards. Of course the higher a patron pays the more material they gain access to from the artist, and for popular artists such as Sakimi-chan this is an absurdly good system to gain profit from.

Presentation, Themes, and Aesthetic
Since Sakimi-chan is a fan artist, her work is heavily influenced by pop culture, primarily from America and Japan. Her personal work is chiefly character design and concepts, but are purely for the sake of practice or speed paints - she makes most of her living off of fan-based work and making her techniques and tutorials on sale to the public.

College Center Table for an Hour

College Center Table for an Hour from Megan Kowalski on Vimeo.

I watched the large table in the College Center for an hour, 8:00pm-9:00pm on Thursday night. For an hour, it was mainly the same people there working on homework and talking. It's interesting to see where each person moves and sits while interacting with the others as well.

Megan Kowalski

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Project 6: Perspective from a part of the brain : FIGHT OR FLIGHT

Here is a summary describing the Amygdala or action emotions portion of the brain:

Summary as described by source:

The reaction begins in the amygdala, which triggers a neural response in the hypothalamus. The initial reaction is followed by activation of the pituitary gland and secretion of the hormone ACTH. The adrenal gland is activated almost simultaneously and releases the neurotransmitter epinephrine. The release of chemical messengers results in the production of the hormone cortisol, which increases blood pressure, blood sugar, and suppresses the immune system. The initial response and subsequent reactions are triggered in an effort to create a boost of energy. This boost of energy is activated by epinephrine binding to liver cells and the subsequent production of glucose. Additionally, the circulation of cortisol functions to turn fatty acids into available energy, which prepares muscles throughout the body for response. Catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline (epinephrine) or noradrenaline (norepinephrine), facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action.

Being in similar situations where knee jerk reactions are key to your own survival while being in the Marines, this probably comes to no surprise that I chose this portion of the brain.

I developed a short series of scenarios and pictures associated with those scenarios and only two options per scenario for you to choose from to get a sense of how you would react. This isn't a test to figure out if you are a hero or whether the choice you make allows you another day on this planet.

Feel free to put your answers in the comment box or answer them within your head.

I was going to use my own photos and videos to activate responses among those who participate and then quickly realized that I didn't want to put you into my shoes when I was deployed nor do I want that many questions:

Scenario 1:

You are in school and forgot to finish one of the biggest assignments of the year. Do you:

  • Show up to class without the assignment in hand and face the music that you failed to do the work.
  • Not show up to class.
Scenario 2:

You are at a night club with some friends and look over to see someone pushing another person much smaller then them. You notice no one is doing anything about it and have to go in that direction anyway. Do you:

  • Confront the person
  • Try to avoid confrontation

Scenario 3:

One of your friends tells you about this wealthier person's hot tub in their backyard and how they are out of town for the weekend. The both of you sneak in to the backyard and slip into the hot tub. After 15-20 minutes or so a police officer walks around the corner with his light. Do you:

  • Run
  • Stay and face the consequences

Scenario 4:

In a bank, you are in the back where there is easy access to a door when someone pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot if anyone makes a move. Do you:

  • Quickly run out as they are not looking
  • Stay 

Scenario 5:

Your best friend is stuck in a house that is one fire. You know that emergency responders will not be there for a couple of minutes. Do you"

  • Go in, risk your life and save them
  • Wait for them to attempt a rescue

The purpose of this test is to show people that responses all vary based on the type of scenario you find yourself in. A person who will fire back in a firefight in Iraq may not confront someone who is picking on someone in the club. It's all mitigating risks for survival.

Project #3 - Calendar : Redo Resume

For this project I decided to plot the process on how I can improve my resume to best brand me to future potential employers. The first thing I did before figuring out how to break this task down into smaller parts was over looked my current resume:

This is not part of a school project but redoing my resume has been something I have been wanting to do for a long time. This is critical because I will be graduating this December and need to consider the best way to sell myself on paper.

1. List of projects and tasks I need to get done.
  • School
    • Agency
      • Written summaries of ad agencies visited
      • Subaru ad ideas
    • Introduction to Graphics
      • Pictogram of Mel Gibson in Braveheart
      • Interactive iPad
    • Creative and Critical Thinking
    • Copywriting
      • Edit Radio Ad
      • Read Chapter 5-10
      • Take Test 3
    • Internship: Project Safety Nets
      • Mission Video
      • Website
      • Marketing Plan
  • Personal
    • Sell JEEP
    • Redo Resume*
    • Healthy Body
    • Discovery Channel Internship*
  • Business
    • Ret Pace
    • Infinite Ink Apparel
    • Mill Creek Downhill
    • New PF Beer
    • Develop Contest
    • Business Plan
    • Business Loan
    • Cam Com Productions
  • Social
    • Plan Trip to see Karli
2. The amount of time I really have on completing this project is damn near none. I have to get a job lined up since this is my last year of school otherwise bills will pile up. I would like to have it done ASAP.

How did I fit redoing my resume into my schedule?
  • I wrote down all the time I have open with all of the current projects, tasks, roles and responsibilities I have and realized I have very little time therefore I reworked my schedule to get the resume done as fast as possible.
    • I decided waking up at 3 in the morning two mornings out of my busy week will give me plenty of time to finish up this project.
  • Before I scheduled in the time to actually work on the resume I realized I need a concept therefore I utilized some of my off time while watching some TV to develop something. To be honest it was an idea that just popped in my head while I was relaxing. That idea was to develop a visual resume. Something that acts like an ad that draws peoples attention and then gets my story and accomplishments across quickly and straight to the point.
  • I broke it down into three segments:
    • Summarize my biggest accomplishments
    • Gather visual aids
    • Draw up a template
  • In the matter of hours I had all the components I needed to develop my resume. I only needed one 3 o clock morning to finish.
Here it is:

What affect does ‘time’ have on what you are doing?
  • Time affects the quality and amount of work you can get done on any project. Time affects everything that you deal with in life. If you don't take advantage of managing your time you will have regrets and not be able to accomplish certain life goals.

Did it work for you? 
  • I am an advocate of planning and compartmentalizing yet taking a project and breaking it down into small segments to then put them back together has been the best breakthrough in my mind since I found out about palm pilots and writing my schedule on white boards placed strategically throughout my whole house. A schedule on paper helps me so much more than putting it on my phone.

What were the changes you noticed? Find a way to document the original concept, and then as time is applied to it.
  • I noticed my mind wasn't bogged down with trying to figure out a full solution in one sitting. That never works for me because my mind wanders a million different places. Rather I find it better to breakdown from what the final product should be and work backwards. I have shown many people my new resume and they love it and are now modeling their own resumes off of it.