Category Archives: Art from Code

Perfect Weather

 
beggining scrollpaper

Final Realized Collage

Like many of my classmates I thrust myself into the great unknown when creating my wallpaper. My process didn’t begin with any fancy sketches or a long overdrawn brainstorm, instead I went straight to the internet and began perusing wallpapers and patterns created by other digital artists. Some of the patterns and wallpapers that really spoke to me include:

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After collecting a sizable folder on my desktop of patterns and wallpapers, my own wallpaper began to coalesce. I was intrigued by the intersection of natural and obtuse shapes in a repeating sequence to create a wallpaper, and when creating my own wallpaper I wanted to incorporate the idea of nature vs. a pristine, human-generated pattern. Thinking about these things, I moved to create my own wallpaper.

Beginning with a repeating pattern: zig-zag lines

Beginning with a repeating pattern: zig-zag lines

Perhaps the most challenging part of my code (save animation) was creating the pattern that would serve as my background: a horizontally repeating zig-zag line. Even using a loop to repeatedly generate the lines, I found I was having trouble with the positioning of the vertex-drawn shape I created. While I considered scrapping the lines altogether at one point because of time, I was possessed with having the zig-zag lines as my background and finding a solution ot my coding problems. When I finally got the code to work and properly run along the length of my canvas, I felt incredible satisfaction and triumph. One thing this coding assignment has taught me is that every individual coder has his or her own “mountain” to overcome. For some people, loops and animations are incredibly tricky, or for someone well versed in loops, composition and design pose a challenge. Each assignment has given me a new set of tools to put to use, and another challenge which to overcome. After triumphing over the creation of my background pattern, I moved on to creating and flushing out other graphic elements.

Adding clouds and a sun

Adding clouds and a sun

When creating my wallpaper I thought a great deal about nature and perfection, and the ugliness of nature colliding with the structure and perfection of repeating patterns on a wallpaper. While most of the shapes on my wallpaper ended up being geometric, I tried to create some more organic and custom shapes with the coding tools at my hands (vertex drawing and arc to be specific). With arc, I was able to create clouds, and soon I was well on my way to creating a weather pattern. As I was coding, I reflected on how the proximity of shapes with one another created a new shape, or familiar objects we all know. Using arc, ellipse, and rect I was able to create a cloud and generate symbolic weather underneath using rectangles. However, if I were just to put all of my shapes in a horizontal line, they would have no meaning to one another. As I’ve spent over half my the first semester coding art, I’m surprised at how art and coding are both about relationships.

beggining scrollpaper

One hangup with my project is that I was unable to achieve animation. I wanted my rectangular raindrops to oscillate up and down, and the background pattern to loop and move upward, creating tension between the piece. I wasn’t able to achieve animation primarily because of the way I coded my objects’ x and y positions. When trying to return and introduce animation, I found it difficult to do so when I was already using the x and y in my for loops. I would really love to return to this piece and add animation!

On the subject of composition, while I generally like the colors I was able to achieve and the overall asethetic, there is something very bland and head-on about my wallpaper which I don’t especially like. After looking at my finished wallpaper, I shook my head a bit because the pattern I created reminded me of a blanket. I’ve noticed in much of my artwork a level of “coherence” or comprehension that turns my art “flat”. As I’m just beginning to dive into art, especially art created from code, I would love to develop my sense of composition and creating more organic artwork not so rigid and heavy-handed. Overall I am pleased that I was able to solve some personal problems with my code, but I still think there is much to learn and improve upon!

 

Happy Accidents


  this project has been one of my favorites thus far.This project came entirely from experimenting with code I was familiar with. I originally only had one pattern that would infinitely expand. My original intention was to create a perimeter for the pattern, however, after my conference, the project became a pattern that evolved into an infinitely changing pattern.
   

new wall paper is created and expands

 
  I really enjoy the almost 3D effect that the some of the patterns have. If you look at the screen for long enough you can start seeing new and more elaborate combinations. I would have like to be able to include changing colors in each pattern. Each pattern ends after reaching a distance of 400 and a new pattern is generated by the object-angle and continues to expand until eventually being replaced.
      wallpaper 2
wallpaper 3      

Subtle Contrast

My main inspiration for this project was Bridget Riley’s work. Specifically, I looked at Shadow Play and Natraja. These works have a lot more artistic depth than I could hope to replicate with my amateur abilities, but I really like the way she displays and compares color. To begin, I spent a couple hours creating different patterns that allowed me to contrast color in a similar way. I settled on a grid of right triangles, because the combination of the grid and diagonals resembled Bridget’s work.
Background

Background

From there, I wanted to create more color mixing. I added a circular rotating ellipse that was transparent enough to see the base pattern behind it. The ellipse is constantly shifting color as well, ensuring even more combinations. The sliding rectangle serves a similar purpose, lightening the triangles it passes over so that they can be seen from both perspectives every time the background updates.
Background + Mobile Shapes

Background + Mobile Shapes

Finally, I realized that all the bright colors made my wallpaper look rather childish, and subtracted from the overall experience. To alleviate that, I made the differences in color for each set much less vivid (either dark or light). In the final product, you get contrasts in each square, between the triangles in a set, and against the mobile objects.
Scrolling wallpaper final

Final Product

Adoornments

For this assignment, I spent most of my time just experimenting. I went in with no real idea of what I was going to do, but I just wanted to explore. I really didn’t sketch much because I jumped right into the code. One of the most intriguing things we’ve worked on in the last few weeks was the pattern of small lines. I was fascinated by them and knew that I wanted to use them as the background for my wallpaper. They create visual interest without distracting from the other elements. Later in the design, I realized that the colors of the lines were being lost on an entirely black background, so I coded a loop that creates a gradient through the multiplication of the coordinates. This change came late in the design, but it let me entirely redesign my color palette into something more interesting.


The next part that I experimented with was the Riley Circles we did in class. The ability to create overlapping patterns made them ideal for the aesthetic I was going for in this piece. I decided to use different colors on the top/bottom and the sides because the shape of the canvas is already irregular. With a canvas shaped this way, I thought it would be advantageous to draw attention to the oddity instead of trying to hide it. I liked the color results of the green/blue generator more than the red/blue generator so I put that one on the area with the larger area. I eventually decided to make them slightly translucent in order to create an effect like a mosaic or a stained glass window.


myles_wallpaper1


This border, while pretty, presented somewhat of a problem. In order for it to have clean edges, it would have either required me to let the corners overlap or to find a way to cover it up. This lead an idea about rotating squares. The problem with rotating squares is that the edges don’t travel consistently. So in order to have a consistent edge, I filled those corners with a stationary circle. It created movement of a different kind and, while I still think it looks strange, I enjoy it for that.


In my initial plans, I didn’t have the small lines in the draw section. They were part of the set up, which made it more difficult to put moving objects on top of them. This created the idea for what I have been calling the “runners” and the “track”: the yellow circles moving along the purple shape. Putting the runners on top of the track would have allowed me to have moving objects without leaving a trail behind. Eventually, I decided to just put the lines in the draw section, but I still liked the visual of the track.


myles_wallpaper2


The grid was all experimentation. I went in with no plan other than I wanted the center to be a grid. I probably spent more time on the color of the shapes than on coloring any other part of this. When I changed from a black background to a gradient, it allowed me to have more fun and to put a wider variety of color without being afraid that it would get entirely lost. Additionally, one of my favorite effects is a shape whose stroke randomly changes widths. I had originally included this effect on every part of the grid, but it got very busy so I restricted it to the orange circles.


By the end of this wild exploration, I was surprised to find a clearer image than I expected. While spending hours staring at wallpaper, I managed to make a door. I think it started, again, with the shape of the canvas. As soon as I drew a shape that mirrored the canvas, I started thinking about doors. And that influence made its way into the design: the heavy frame, the squares to mimic panelling. Even the circle-square decorations at the corners of the canvas are reminiscent of the metal plates put on the corners of doors. The door theme may have been an accident. But I still think it fits.


myles_wallpaper_final

Scrolling Wallpaper

My original idea of the wallpaper comes from “time”– When I choose new wallpapers, I always think about how to make the clock of my cellphone clear. Thus, I use many elements about “time” for this assignment. The picture itself only contains two very basic shapes: circles and lines; complex shapes will not form without them.  The circles in the pictures present different planets, and the blue one represents the Earth. Since the Earth is rotating every second, the time flies. The idea from the universe inspires me to use the Riley Circles, but change the circle into lines. As time goes by, the lines become darker, and it means that time will bury everything eventually. It was actually a clock-like shape at the centre, but I will save it for next time–it makes the picture more messy. I am not that good at wrap and parameter so I need to work on that…;0
IMG_5506

original

IMG_5514

Final

     

Scrolling Wallpaper

I was uncertain of how I wanted to create a central background to the canvas.  I was influenced by the Annie Albers grid at first except I wanted to make it a resemblance of a grid more though, and less colorful.  I wanted the lines to be almost indistinguishable from each other.  After playing around with the code, I came out with a pattern that made the space between the lines smaller and smaller as you go across the pattern.  It changes the color of the canvas as it advances to the right and gave it somewhat of a three dimensional feel. Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.45.38 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 10.35.22 PM   I experimented a lot with the random functions with my color and in size of the shapes as well.  When I was visualizing it in my head, I first thought of placing random sizes of rectangles along the y axis, but I was unsure of exactly how to place it.  When coded, it looked chaotic like and I liked that concept to further influence my code. So I decided to place the same type of code just along the x axis.Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.39.14 PM I thought the dark pink background would allow me to use random fill colors as well, so I decided to randomize the fill of the rectangles along the middle of the screen. Then I added rotating shapes that wrap and bounce. With the small canvas size it allowed the image to look more crowded, which I thought went well with the other code. The random fill also allowed those objects to match the continuous random colors of the rectangles in the center. Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 10.46.04 PM The final addition to the code was a rectangle rotating around a fixed point continuously. I was first thinking of placing that at the center of the canvas but then realized having multiples of the code would play well with the canvas and space. I also thought multiple rotating images would add to the chaotic vibe of the piece mentioned before. A high frame rate would enhance that even further. With that being said, it is hard to see the actual final product through a screen shot because of the framerate.

Wallpaper: ;)

Wallpaper Wallpaper2 Wallpaper3   Wallpaper4 This work was heavily inspired by the ideas Vera Molnar’s generative creation of shapes which then are subtly changed and remade next to the original shape. Since my piece wasn’t made to be a static image, instead of showing the whole evolution in one image, I made the squares and circles change over time. The way this piece is set up, there’s a grid with each piece of the grid having a group of squares or circles which randomly modulate in size which gives a sense of movement even though it’s just the shapes changing size on top of eachother. The circles are moved up slightly higher than the squares which makes the gridding look a little less obvious and has the added effect of allowing the squares and circles to overlap in a more interesting way. As the piece progresses, the range of size values for the shapes becomes larger while also causing the shapes to be less transparent. As the shapes first start to become more than just outlines, the colors of the circles and squares look relatively simmilar, but once they become truly filled in, the colors are able to stick out more. This happens at roughly the same time that the shapes start to cover all of the space that originally was background. Behind this grid are two elements which are used to ground the randomness which the grid creates. The mouth and a triangle which slowly becomes less transparent and rotates around the opening of the mouth. The triangle’s role changes over the course of the piece. In the beginning when the grid hasn’t started to really take form and there is a lot of empty space, it’s used to create motion and is used to accentuate the mouth. As time passes, the triangle starts to become the same color as the circles and is used to fill in some of the gaps in the background. Finally, right before the grid completely overshadows the background, its color changes to a more vibrant fuller green than the circles and is used mostly as a texture to fill in the occasional stray piece of background. The mouth, being the only static element in the whole piece, is merely used to ground everything. The realistic nature of it, along with the pink color contrast the blue background and helps to make it so the viewer forgets they’re looking at just a bunch of circles and squares. There is a final layer above the grid made of squares of different shades of pink, blue and purple. They float above the grid and at the start of the piece are all together in a clump. As they pass across the x axis and loop back around, the speed of each object is increased by a random value and their size changes. When crossing the y axis, just their size changes. After the first crossing of the x axis, the squares start to separate from each other since their speeds change. Eventually, the x speed of the squares starts to increase to such a rate that instead of moving roughly diagonally, they are just moving on the x axis and every square is spaced far apart.

Modulated Synthesis

My attitude towards this assignment was radically different from my attitude towards the previous assignment. I was inspired by our classroom experiments in combining both for-loops and the mod function. I was also inspired by Josef Albers’ usage of colors and tiling to make a statement about both shape and color. The for-loop and mod functions lend themselves to accomplishing something similar to Albers’ goals. sample of Albers' work I spent several hours just experimenting with different shapes, colors, and insertions of randomness and determination in my code. At first I had a background with ellipses that moved within columns, remained similar colors, and seemed to shimmer (due to the addition of an overlay of darker ellipses floating through the screen.) This really reminded me of my childhood bedroom, which had a beaded curtain over the doorway and a shimmer curtain by the window. It seemed like I had created a synthesis of the two.
Screen Shot 2017-10-26 at 12.08.07 AM

first experiments

I decided to experiment with the circular motion assignments we were given in class, while still utilizing the color scheme and grid concepts I had established in my first sketch. This way, I was able to get a band of ellipses radiating in a circular way from a central foci. And I was even able to control the color of the ellipses, depending on where in the grid they were falling into.
Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 6.56.56 PM

adding a JS object that utilizes circular motion

I realized that where the horizontal bands and vertical bands intersected, I got an unpredictably cool pattern, so I decided to have the bands overlap uniformly. While doing this, I realized I could modify the color (again, using mod, hence producing a gradient.) The circular_circles object remained in this iteration of the code, but I realized that it was aesthetically unpleasant to have 2 radically different shapes (ellipses and rects) overlap in an non-meaningful way.
Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 7.06.40 PM

inserting a tiled background

So, for the moment, I forwent the inclusion of the circular-circles and instead played with the tiling background more. I added another function to my tile constructor, that allowed the gradient itself to change over time. And, through experimentation, I was able to have it so that the manner in which the gradient changed mimicked tiling itself. The picture below demonstrates multiple quadrants of graduated tiling. At this point in the process, I thought my work resembled a bit of Mondrian’s work, because of the juxtaposition of differently-colored ’tiles’. It especially resembled the work of other students’ in the class after they completed the animated Mondrian assignment. Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 12.18.10 AMAt this point, the fact that the assignment encourages using a JS object that has a parameter passed through it, I decided to abstract even the size of the tiles. Below is an image showing the result of modifying the size of the tiles. At this point, the repetitive element determined by the dark-purple background is completely omitted, which has its own implications. I think this is beautiful and smooth in its own right; but I did appreciate the repetitive nature of the purple color, as it gives the entire wallpaper its own sense of continuity.
changing the size of the tiles

changing the size of the tiles after adding changing colors to the tiles

Since I was not so pleased with this outcome, I decided to re-introduce the circular motion aspect into the tiles I decided I had liked, except instead of using ellipses, I used rectangles (as this would better fit with the current scheme.) This is my final product for now, but I could definitely use revisions. And with better understanding of coding, I could do a lot more.
final product for now

current “final”

Circling Pink

 
Circling Pink

“Circling Pink”

I began the process of creating my scrolling wallpaper by setting up the initial elements I would utilize for the final product. I was inspired by a 70’s aesthetic of looping circles. As a fan of the French New Wave, I set out to create a wallpaper I might find in a Jean-Luc Godard film.

Initial sketch

Being that the interiors of his films typically include solid colored walls, I wanted to create what I imagined to be a wallpaper one might find in Ana Karina’s kitchen.
Initial Wallpaper

Initial wallpaper

I was drawn to the idea of circular repetition and created a moving wheel to compliment the flow of the existing circular pattern.
Wheel on wallpaper

Wheel on wallpaper

As I added the code of the wheel to my sketch containing the initial pattern, I had the idea to add motion to the background in order to create a more unified visual. I utilized the random tool, creating a tie-dye like pattern.
Randomized wallpaper

Randomized wallpaper

This inspired my later use of the random tool in my placement of shapes. As I felt drawn to the circular aesthetic, I wanted the rest of the shapes to blend into the background, initially appearing to be a part of the circular pattern and at further glance taking their true shape. I struggled with integrating the wrap and bounce function into the overall sketch.   At first I used a simple ellipse, then morphed it into a triangular shape composed of randomized lines. This shape, in addition to the wheel, suggested a ferris wheel visual, which I found distracting from the overall piece.  I then reverted back to the ellipse, utilizing the random tool to create a spherical motion.
Image 5

Ferris wheel

I had a very positive experience creating this wallpaper. Through the prompt, I was encouraged to put to use many different tools I’ve acquired throughout the course thus far. I feel I’ve gained a better understanding of how the various functions work in relation to one another, resulting in a stronger grasp on the basics of coding. I was also able to express my interest in the color pink, experimenting with different shades and combinations to produce my scrolling wallpaper “Circling Pink” .
Circling Pink

“Circling Pink”

Nice to Look At

Okay, so loops have kicked my ass. Well, coding is kicking my ass, but here I am, trying. And not trying hard enough, but trying nonetheless. This project seemed like a fun idea, but when introduced to all the new ways to code things, I was second-guessing. In trying to understand concepts, I recalled struggling in math when I was in high school. I eventually came to a realization that I was trying to memorize formulas rather than understand why they work. I wish I could give a concrete example of this, but I have blocked all memories of math after my second year in geometry. Anyway, with the prompt, I immediately thought about my summer job at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. Their summer show featured artist, Robert Zakanitch, and pulled from the museum’s archives to produce a collection of pieces with the theme of flowers. Zakanitch is a little obsessed with floral patterns, and more broadly the idea of patterns.
Zakanitch's Soaring Gardens Grow

Zakanitch’s Soaring Gardens Grow

He is a founder of the Pattern and Decoration movement, actually, and he talked about how he was inspired by things like the floral linoleum pattern of his kitchen floor. This has little to do with what I actually produced, but I had in my head that I wanted to do something floral-like. I never for a second thought I could code a flower, I have to be realistic with myself. What I did come up with draws inspiration more from Bridget Riley in that her designs like Natajara are simple shapes turned into a more complex pattern. So when I sat down to code this thing, I realized I don’t know what I’m doing. I have a starting idea, and maybe that’s all I really finished with, but I struggled, needless to say.
I couldn't communicate what I was trying to achieve to my friend, but here is a rough rough sketch

I couldn’t communicate what I was trying to achieve to my friend, but here is a rough rough sketch

I got my software engineer friend on FaceTime to try to help me, and he kind of helped. I don’t know what I’m missing, besides time and practice and patience. What I ended up producing is a cop out. I’m pretty sure there was a much easier way to code what I did, but I wanted to produce something that if nothing else is nice to look at, and I did that.
Something Nice to Look At

Something Nice to Look At

I haven’t given up exactly, but I have hit a wall, and I’m trying to motivate myself to push through it. What I like about this is its simplicity, and that’s not a cop-out. I like the vintage colors, that I can’t even take credit for. It reminds me of Thanksgiving and birds.  I can do better.

Self-Portrait

My portrait basically comes from the idea “abstract”. It was mentioned in our class, and I thought it is a good way to show how I consider myself throughout my work. To me, mosaic is a method to generalise the details of one image; it helps to describe my feelings about how I feel to surrounding environment–the very original picture is a selfie I took several days ago, and I tried to use mosaic to show that I am still new here–mosaic spreads the image into pieces, making my face look like a stranger.The code itself is not hard but repeated–it seems like endless to finish. However, the final expression exactly matched my prediction.
The first time I thought out Mosaic on my sketch book

The first time I thought out Mosaic on my sketch book

original selfie

original selfie

The base of the final image

The base of the final image

The prediction of coded image

The prediction of coded image

Collage

The title of my collage is “Japonism”. The idea of this assignment came from the time when I was organising photos taken in Japan. Since the country itself has vivid, various aspects to discover and enjoy, I decided to use my own photos as the material of the collage, and naturally, the title of my collage became “Japonism”–the word is about how foreigners understand Japanese culture, as well as how it influences us. Firstly I chose the  photographic materials I had from the photo album, then I finished the draft due to the expressions of each image. Additionally, I found to web images to illustrate the topic clearly: the portraits of my favourite Japanese author Yukio. Mishima and two women in Taishō era. They represent different time and styles of Japan–Mishima represents the conservative, morbid beauty, and Taishō generation represents a democratic, liberal time period of Japan. Similarly, I used the other pair of contradictory images to reach the goal of “vivid Japonism”–the images of Ōsaka Castle of Tokyo Tower demonstrate ancient and modern Japan separately,  and they express that this country has it s various charm as always.I used 4 images as my background: the images of Mountain Fuji, the cherry blossoms, the Kanagawa Wave and Japanese newspaper in Shouwa era. Comparatively, they become the symbols when we think about Japan. Based on this fact, to make another contrast, I took the sign of Akihabara Station, too. As the centre of Japanese animation and media industry, slowly it has taken an essential role in Japanese pop culture. Thus, the Akihabara Station is considered as the new symbol of modern Japan. The main background music I chose is the song written by Ringo. Sheena, the musical director of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. She describes the modern Tokyo by this off-vocal song, and the element she uses also includes traditional Japanese music melodies and instruments. In conclusion, I really enjoyed the process of make a collage by coding–although using photoshop to cut and remake images during coding was really tough and time-consuming, I think it is still a wonderful, challenging assignment for me to finish; the collage itself arises my thoughts about “Japonism” again as well.
draft

draft

in process

in process

final image

final image

Rainbow Madness

download (2)

This one is all color, and a whole lot of experimentation. While with my last prompt, I had an idea from the beginning, the only thing I knew about this one is that I’d like to have a lot of color in it. My starting point was a small experiment I made earlier, a little grid where colors flow from one to another.
Color experiment

Color experiment

After some messing around, I decided to go with a scrolling motion (it is a scrolling wallpaper, after all). The colors were going from left to right, scrolling through all the hues. This eventually turned into a grid:

Continuing experiments  download (12)  download (13)

 I put another moving grid on top of that first one, creating an illusion of rotation, and I started adding more objects to emphasize this illusion.

download  download (1)

And then I accidentally removed the background, and what I was originally calling “Neon Madness” became “Color Madness”.

download (2)  download (4)  download (7)

I love how that turned out. Every part took an entirely different role. The grid is now an ever-changing colorful background, and the objects that originally would’ve been the focus were left to struggle for their survival – only barely clinging to their existence, always about to be erased by the strange rainbow that they live on. Each grid’s fading corners went from guiding the viewer towards the center, to specifically drawing attention to the other grid’s colors.

BeeConstruction

When we got the assignment to create a collage, it took me a long time to decide what theme I wanted to work with. But after several hours of watching a playthrough of the game Cuphead, in which a queen bee is a primary boss, I became fixated on the complex and rich imagery of bees. The hexagon shape sounded like a worthwhile challenge to construct through code. The hexagonal background was the first, and most technically challenging, thing I worked on for this collage. My original plan for the hexagon was to have it flat-side up, but when I went to hang it up in class, I found that I much preferred it the other way. Which caused me to spend a few more hours reworking the hexagon. The eventual solution I found was to over a transparent outline of a hexagon and to trace the points. Then I constructed triangles to cut out that part of the canvas. This technique of using the image of a hexagon to construct one came in handy for the hexagons in the corners, too. myles_collage_background The specific imagery that I was working on was juxtaposing the modern and the ancient views of bees. In the modern day, bees are often considered a pest and something to be afraid of. Older, more specifically Greek, views associated bees with divinity and the Oracle of Delphi. I personally find bees and their hives beautiful, so I found it fun to show these two perceptions side by side. myles_collage_sketch_bigger Then I started layering images and text. I tried to use modern words in more decorative fonts and ancient words in more modern fonts. Part of how bees communicate is through movement, so I included a moving bee. The moving background both acknowledges this and creates an almost hypnotic background that also connects to the divination aspect of the Oracle. myles_collage_final

Healing Hands

adding color and fonts       When the project was assigned I struggled to come up with a theme for the collage.  however, my friends suggested I embrace the Halloween season and explore witches! Immediately nuns stood out as their polar opposite. The further I looked into the images of both groups I began to note the similarities between them. A group of women whether it be an order or a coven, performing sacraments or rituals. They both have a strong belief system in magic and religion. At the core of both demographics is the themes of sisterhood!      
choosing images

choosing images

    initially, it was very difficult to decide which images would best illustrate the similarities between the two. I chose to not separate them but rather interweave the images of both groups.  
setting them in place

setting them in place

  the diagonal line shows artifacts that they both share. A tarot card vs a prayer card or an amulet vs a rosary. And I noted that all the images had one thing in common — their hands! Each group places particular emphasis on the power of hands. The hands are used for spells, prayer, meditation, and blessing.    
adding color and fonts

adding color and fonts

  Finally, after adding color to the project I wanted to depict that not all witches are evil and not all nuns are holy and vice versa and that each has faith in their own magic!  

Virtue and Vice

Finished Realized Collage

Finished Realized Collage

 

My collage began with a brainstorm of words and associations, held together by the single narrative of vice and virtue. Having just finished the Odyssey in my literature seminar, I was struck by the physical and psychological pleasures and seductions the narrative protagonist Odysseus had to temper himself against to make it back home after ten long years of war, and another ten years spent as a vagabond on the sea. While a handful of the seductions he has to overcome are supernatural, many of the “vices” Odysseus must ward himself against are almost impossible to overcome, simply because he is human. There were many personal lessons I could distill from reading the story of Odysseus and his battle homeward, as well as the the internal struggle that sometimes proved even harder than whatever his divine antagonists could cook up. With this in mind, I set off to make a collage to capture my interests in Greek myth, modern graphic design, vice, virtue, and the journey from adolescence into adulthood.

 
Initial Brainstorming and Layout sketches

Initial Brainstorming and Layout sketches

After brainstorming, I went in search of iconography and inspiration to guide the tone and mood of the collage. Creating a “third space” was not an easy task, and creating a specific tone and unique texture evolved constantly at every step in the collage process. Beyond just the images I selected for the collage, I had to be very careful about position and relationships. Questions such as: where do I want my audience to focus on? what elements of the collage am I naturally drawn to? what doesn’t look right? continually popped into my head. Many images or changed or discarded, and one of the hardest parts of this assignment was finding the correct typography to convey the tone I was seeking. Perusing through Google Fonts, some of there selection was either too comical or didn’t add to the atmosphere of the piece. Or worse, I would gather together a collection of fonts that practically looked the same. I found that I could spend hours browsing images and fonts online, but until I took the leap forward and threw the paint on the wall, I wouldn’t know if my design decisions would stick or not. Needless to stay, creating a collage was an exhaustive effort that felt even more meticulous than my self portrait. However, I also recognized after brainstorming that as long as I held onto the essence of my collage, the elements and imagery would naturally insert or subtract itself. The creation of the collage itself guiding my artistic selection.

 
Background: Topographical Lines with Cyan Purple Gradient

Background: Topographical Lines with Cyan Purple Gradient

Central Images And Color Palette

Central Images And Color Palette

                               

There was a host of digital and graphic icons and imagery I drew inspiration from. Since Robert Rauschenberg, collage has only been aided by the advance of digital imaging and processing. While I didn’t have very many fancy applications at my hands besides Photoshop, p5.js is a very robust drawing program that allowed me to edit, translate, rotate, scale, and manipulate in many other fashions the images i inserted into my digital canvas. After creating this collage, I come away with an even greater appreciation for the subtle art of position and placement. For example, I struggled as a beginning collage artist diversifying the placement of squares which gave my collage a very rigid and structured look. I can say I spent as much time thinking about where I was going to place and translate an image on the canvas as I did coding that translation, if not more. Even still using a great deal of squares and rectangles, I think I begun to achieve some diversity and nuance in the drawing the audiences’ attention to specific portions of the collage.

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If there is one part of my collage I can latch onto and say that I am happy with, I would argue I am very happy with the color scheme and palette I was able to achieve. I love working with conflicting, opposite, and opposing colors, and in my brainstorm I was latched onto the idea of a gradient. While that original gradient changed in some dimensions, I really fell in love with the background I created using a topographical map and an overlay of color. While I sometimes felt the ideas of vice and virtue I was playing with didn’t always shine through, the highly pigmented color palette and hues cinch the collage together and keep the viewer constantly searching for information and creating inferences from association.

collage image

My creation of this collage comes from my own appreciation for the story of Homer’s Odyssey, my love fro graphic design, strong color palettes, and my own musings about mortal temptation. While not directly hitting the bullseye, I think I landed somewhere close.

The L Words

The L Words I’ve made many collages in my life. I’ve always enjoyed cutting out images from magazines or flyers, taping them to the lid of a shoebox and finding satisfaction in the collection of visuals. Making collages always felt very personal, I was unknowingly trying to represent a part of myself through the images I was cutting and pasting. As a student of media, my life has been a path woven together by the television and films I’ve consumed. I’ve always looked to digital story telling to inform my own narrative. Out of the hundreds of series’ and films I have watched throughout my life, nothing has made as big of an impact on me as Showtime’s The L Word. This is not a unique narrative; many people attribute The L Word to their own coming out stories, as many people, like myself, need references when beginning their road to self-discovery.
Initial plans

Initial sketch

Graphics sketch

Graphics sketch

Considering the fact that The L Word (2004-2009) was and remains to be the only American television series with a cast of lesbian characters, it has played an enormous role in the lesbian community. Though I cherish The L Word, I also find extreme disappointment in the fact that this affection I hold towards the show stems from the reality that it is the only one of its kind.
Initial layout

Initial layout

My collage is simple. I’ve included portraits of the main characters, symbols of the central themes, and recognizable sounds and dialogue from the series.   I’ve approached the aesthetic with an early 2000’s lens to mimic the visuals found in The L Word.  My collage reads as obvious and straight forward because unfortunately, in 2017, this is the extent of lesbian representation on television. I wanted to highlight the absurdity in the fact that this is all there is. These few women, these representations of the “l words”, are the only ones the lesbian community has to identify with on television. These women, these terms, hold so much meaning because of their extreme rarity in media. I juxtaposed the smiling faces of The L Word cast members with an image of traditional lesbian representation on television. So often do we find queer representations of women through the male gaze, something The L Word addresses and successfully avoids. I also emphasized lesbian hashtags, a concept that both unites and devalues.
Traditional representations

Traditional representations

Throughout this process, I’ve found the creative elements, the selecting of sounds and images to be very straightforward and satisfying, while the construction of the collage itself has been more of a challenge. As this is the first project I’ve attempted to code without a direct reference, I’ve struggled with taking the tools I’ve learned through the readings and in class exercises and putting them to use without an outline. While this has been a struggle, it has also been a great learning experience. I’ve had to exercise problem-solving strategies, spending time testing different methods to reach my end goal.
Flag by vertex drawing

Flag by vertex drawing

Though I managed to solve most of the issues that arose with coding this piece, I have yet to be able to get rotations to work. I was unable to get the three animated elements to follow a center rotation. Every time I tested different rotation examples, my entire collage rotated along with the element I was trying to isolate. This is something I hope to address in class.
Issues with rotation

Issues with rotation

The L Words is a collage I’ve made to showcase the few lesbians on television, both in disappointment for their lack of company and deep appreciation for their existence.
The L Words

The L Words

Secret Garden

Start of Collage

Start of Collage

Failed collage attempt

Failed collage attempt

The Finished Collage

The Finished Collage

This collage piece was mostly focused on me trying to get a lot of elements from different sources and try to get them to look as natural as possible together. Except for the phone which was intentionally made to be somewhat ethereal looking, I think That everything meshes together pretty nicely. While originally this piece was supposed to be a critique of people critiquing technology, it morphed into something that’s about death and ascension. While overall I believe that I did a pretty good job with this piece, I feel that I could have tried to figure out a better use of text for the collage. I think that the use of lots of connected semi translucent triangles gives the collage a sort of low-poly aesthetic which mixes nicely with the snake. Also, I’m very happy with the way the yellow light beam is synced up with the ladder of the man in the iPhone. One of the artists that I was most inspired by with this piece is Magritte who creates very surreal, uncanny paintings. I believe that the man on a ladder in the iPhone somewhat resembles some of the motifs he uses.

A Hedgehog Goes on a Walk in a Big Forest

Screenshot from 2017-10-09 21-05-00

Once upon a time, there was a Hedgehog who wanted to go on a walk.

Why did the Hedgehog want to go on a walk? He didn’t really have a reason.

It’s just what the Hedgehog wanted to do for as long as he could remember.

And so, he set out to walk, perhaps to learn something, perhaps to find his perfect forest.

Screenshot from 2017-10-09 21-10-59

The Hedgehog first walked through the forest he grew up in.

The familiar trees were as beautiful as ever, but the Hedgehog kept walking anyway.

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The old forest gave way to a new one, filled with trees the Hedgehog has never seen before.

This forest seemed so big, and so amazing.

But it was not quite what the Hedgehog hoped it would be.

So the Hedgehog decided to keep walking.

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Soon, the Hedgehog found himself in a yet another forest.

“The trees in this forest are similar to the trees back at home,” the Hedgehog thought.

Would this be a good place for the Hedgehog to be?

Only time will tell.

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This is a small planet, filled only with places the Hedgehog is familiar with.

The Forest Planet is divided into three parts, each populated by beautiful trees from every forest the Hedgehog has seen. As the Hedgehog continues to walk in search of something, this small planet is there to keep all the memories of every forest he has seen.

When the Hedgehog revisits one of those places on the Forest Planet, he recalls a familiar thought he had while he lived there, familiar sounds of each forest play, and out in the distance, the fog seems to form a mirage that makes the forest seem even closer to reality than it already is.

While this project does not share a lot thematically with Richard Hamilton’s work, his collages were my main inspiration. I really enjoyed the way “Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?” blends together textures and cutouts of various objects and people to create a very coherent room.

In my collage, I tried to achieve a similar effect by combining colored polygons that make up the world with various images to create the little planet.

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I really enjoyed creating the polygons that make up the planet and the sky. To make it easier to visualize the parts, I created a small tool that showed me the necessary x and y coordinates to make the shape fit what I have in mind.

My favorite part, however, was creating the sky.

landscape

I’m very pleased with how this effect turned out, and I hope I will be able to use it in the future. To create it, I found a picture of a landscape, and used actual colors from it. I made each polygon of the sky slightly transparent, so that color from the one behind it bled through. I also made each polygon “rough” to give the sky a bit of a handmade feeling, as if I cut out a bunch of pieces of colored paper to create the sky.

Danger Zone

What is finished (for now)

My first instinct with this assignment was to write “this is a collage” and turn that in, in true Rauschenberg style. But then I decided to give it a shot and see what I could come up with. The assignment came right after the country’s biggest modern mass shooting in Las Vegas, so I was thinking about gun control and mass shootings and terrorism and things, and it made me consider fear and danger, and that was the theme I went with.

Playing around with some ideas

It’s a weird time to be an American. I suppose it’s kind of a weird time to be anyone or anything because we have so much stuff. We have more information at our fingertips than ever. Technology is insane. Politics are absurd. But we still have time to think about Kim Kardashian’s butt? When I think about fear, this week I’ve thought about coding (haha). And assignments, and the future, and relationships, and money, and and and++. Then I thought about what other people are afraid of and how big of a spectrum that is. People are afraid of spiders sometimes, and sometimes they’re afraid of nuclear warfare. There’s so many different tiers too. I suppose it’s all psychological, but in a sense I think they’re a difference between being afraid of a constant thing like a spider, and being afraid of the dangers of cultural appropriation (hence, Kim K’s butt).   There’s a lot going on in my piece, because there’s a lot to be afraid of. However, there are images on there that people shouldn’t be afraid of or think are dangerous. But that points out a larger discussion about who’s to say who can be afraid of what?