People Art Gallery
Exciting Photo Illusions
The swimming pool temporarily effed me up..
My first attempt at a layered piece, as inspired by the two images at the bottom.
It is a very detailed and delicate piece, and some parts are almost as fine as lace, so it was painful to cut, but I like the final result.
It is a rather dreamy piece, and the subject matter is of a girl sitting on a flowery balcony of sorts, her forlorn back facing the viewer, staring into the faraway moon. (Moon not included).
Hi Yue Xiang! I really like your layered piece, it looks really elegant and beautiful. I think the fine details, reminiscent of lace, give the whole design a very intricate, delicate and elegant look that I think is incredible. I really admire your control and patience in paper-cutting, I know I couldn’t manage that! I also think your subject-matter is very sweet and whimsical. It reminds me of Thumbelina, with the tiny girl among pretty flowers. However, I think you could improve it by putting a bit more space between the layers, like in the second of the bottom images, as I feel it adds a sense of three-dimensionality that makes it even more impactful. Even so, what you did is already very lovely and sweet. Good job!
Earlier this year, I was tasked to design the CCA shirt and it was indeed quite the challenge as I didn’t really know how to include elements of drama, which were mostly intangible to a visual design.
I included part of our motto, which was “With the same dreams, we soar together”;hence, the wings. The logo is actually a stage, where we all share the same dreams and shine together. I wanted to use Traditional Chinese lettering for the shirt instead of Simplified Chinese as our CCA is partially traditional and hopefully our legacy would be able to carry on! I felt that the design was able to represent our CCA partially but I was really very satisfied with the entire design and knew that I could have made it even better. I feel like maybe the logo idea was too overused and maybe I could have though of another more original idea.
Photo of the Design on the actual shirt
It was quite fun to be able to have the opportunity to design the CCA shirt as it was a time where I could actual think about what represented our CCA and of course, what our CCA represented. Hopefully, I would have more chances at designing shirts!
Hey Dawn! I think your final design looks INCREDIBLE! I love the white-on-black effect, it’s really cool and impactful. Congratulations on having an awesome shirt! I like the symmetry in your design, because I always feel that symmetrical T-shirt designs give the whole shirt a rather majestic feel. The wings and cool motto also add to this impact. I also think you did a good job with the inking, as the shadows are suitably saturated and appropriately-placed, giving the image a sense of being under strong light (like spotlights on stage, maybe?), and making it appear more eye-catching in general. However, I personally feel it could possibly be improved if you’d drawn more attention to the stage curtains, as I feel they are the most directly-linked-to-drama motif on the design and thus could warrant more emphasis? Perhaps by drawing them a bit wider or with more intense shading? Even so, there are merits to the way the curtains are now, as the subtlety of their presence adds a extra dimension to the idea of drama—that the acting’s become so immersive that the audience can’t even remember it’s on a stage! So, overall, good job with this.
Final design (Top)
Bonus artsy one (Bottom)
Hi Chen Rong! I think your fashion designs are really cool (though I wouldn’t actually wear the final design, sorry! It’s too girlish for my taste). I think the colours of the final design are especially lovely, as they look very sweet and soothing. I also like the way the darker purple is repeated both at the chest area and the lining of the dress, as it balances out the design very well. I also like the bonus artsy design a lot! In fact, this is the one I would choose to wear between your two designs haha…I think the addition of leather gives it a nice edgy look, although, personally, I wouldn’t mix golden/silver heels with the outfit, as they feel a bit too refined for the general feel of the outfit. Personally, I would suggest boots as footwear for the artsy look. However, you really must take this with a pinch of salt—I’m no expert in fashion either!
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, one big source of inspiration for my coursework is the work of Raymond Carver. Raymond Carver (1938-1988) was an American writer who wrote mostly short stories and poems. While Carver is not a visual artist, his writing is art in my eyes as well, as his command of language and ideas are truly magnificent.
I first learnt of Carver in 2012, when we examined his work “Cathedral" as part of the Literature Mentorship Programme I was part of. From then, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for his writing, especially the themes of human connection and isolation that are prevalent in his works—in fact, my friends and I have even given a presentation about this before, titled "Seeking Connections: The Works of Raymond Carver".
(This is the first slide of that presentation)
Hence, the ideas of human isolation and connection, of people needing connection and understanding and relationships but also needing space and pushing others away, have been very interesting to me for a long time (I even used this idea of connection as a central part of my artwork for last year’s AEP EOY practical exam). I’ve always found that this theme resonates with me personally as well, as I have had both close and distant relationships with people in my life, as well as relationships that started close but ended up distant or vice versa. Of course, I also consider this a universal struggle for humankind, as we are a species both selfish and in need of companionship, constantly trying to find the right balance between distance and proximity—and this struggle for connection, this comfort in isolation, is exactly what I hope to express through my coursework.
Some other things that inspired my theme “distance” for my coursework are songs, like “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, “Major Tom (Coming Home)” by Peter Schilling, “Far in Time” by Mother Mother and “Contact” by Daft Punk.
Title: Suspended Suspension of Disbelief
Media: copic markers, acrylic paint, colour pencil, white pen
Date of completion: 25/12/13
This artwork was actually a piece of fanart of characters from the webcomic “Homestuck”, as a celebratory piece for christmas. I’m including it in my blog because I feel it was an artwork through which I learnt a lot in terms of technique, largely because the making of the artwork was not smooth-sailing—in fact, it was a frustrating process to make this, as I met quite a few difficulties in the process.
For one thing, I kept finding myself tied down by my limited understanding of the many mediums I used. For instance, I used acrylic paints in wet technique to aid with the backgrounds, as copic markers are great for smaller details but awful for covering large amounts of space, but this caused a lot of heartache later when the surface of the paper was different where it had and had not been touched by the acrylic, making the colours of the copic markers added on later to come out uneven. Ultimately, I was able to combat this using a variety of mediums to cover each other up/balance each other out, although the whole process was ultimately really troublesome. Thus, the process of doing this artwork taught me to be more attentive and sensitive towards the special qualities of various mediums (e.g. ink/white pens don’t always work over colour pencil, copics get weird over dried acrylic, pencil lines cannot be erased if covered by copic ink) to save myself the trouble and frustration of landing in and having to get out of various medium-related traps that I inadvertently set for myself. As an artist who works with traditional mediums, I think it was very important and fortunate for my growth that I realised the importance of understanding mediums. I have since been a lot more conscious about this, although I still make my fair share of mistakes.
Another problem I faced when making this artwork was the lighting. Backgrounds have always been tougher for me to handle, so I was honestly very unsure of how the shadows and highlights of the room would look, as well as the details of the room from the chosen angle. Fortunately, the second problem was fixed by frequently consulting reference images of the characters’ rooms (which were shown in the webcomic itself), to get a clear idea of where things were in relation to each other. However, the first problem was still an issue. In the end, I tackled this by conducting an experiment—I gathered some items (including, if my memory doesn’t fail me, an eraser and a sharpener) to represent the big shadow-casting objects in the room in the artwork, and positioned them inside this box-like structure that’s part of a shelf on my desk according to their positions in the actual setting. Then, I shone light in from the appropriate areas to see where the shadows were cast and which portions were especially illuminated. While I did ultimately tweak the results to an extent (e.g. making the darker areas on the top of the wall opposite from the viewer fall in a curve to improve visual effect), it was still very useful to my making of the artwork. That practice helped me learn a lot. Firstly, I recognized the importance and usefulness of reference photos in creating a convincing image. Secondly, I learnt how to be resourceful, how to apply acquirable knowledge to situations out of reality, such as using that miniature set-up to recreate a fictional setting.
It’s incredible how something as simple as christmas fanart for a beloved webcomic can lead to one learning so many things!
Title: Chinese New Year Card for School’s Key Sponsors
Media: paper cut, ink pens, white pen
Size: A5 (folded)
Date completed: 8/8/14
This is the card I designed as part of one of our SoVA assignments—to make a chinese new year card to give to the key stakeholders of our school next year. It was kind of a nerve-wracking, but somewhat fun, experience. The nerves came because it felt like a lot was at stake (no pun intended) if I messed up the card. Rationally, I was pretty sure the stakeholders wouldn’t be overly bothered even if that happened, but I was still concered. In particular, I was worried that I might accidentally put something inauspicious in its design, or write a chinese character wrongly, and cause offense (or actual misfortune) to the poor stakeholder who receives it.
But aside from that, doing this piece of work was useful to me as it brought many of my weaknesses to my notice. Namely, I realised that I am especially weak when dealing with delicate, detailed tasks, as I am often too careless or rough when handling my materials. In this case, it was when cutting out the shapes of the goats from construction paper (which I later stuck onto the red paper of the card) that my shortcoming was flung in my face—the first goat came out alright, but when it came to the second one I made blunder after blunder. When cutting it out, I repeatedly used too much strength, and would place cuts in areas that should not have been cut. This problem, I alleviated by altering the shape of the goat to fit my mistakes. However, my next blunder proved fatal—even after feeling confident that I was making no mistake, I somehow accidentally covered the wrong side of the cut-out goat with glue! It was incredibly silly, and incredibly tragic, and the poor goat had to be scrapped in favour of an entirely new version of being made (this version is also the one now stuck onto the back side of the final card). Hence, I felt my weakness in handling tasks requiring delicacy and care was highlighted to me through this artwork. While it is, of course, never enjoyable to face the consequences of your own shortcomings, I still feel grateful to this artwork for helping me better understand my weaknesses, as that has also helped direct me in my ever-ongoing quest for self-improvement.
Doing this card let me better understand my strengths as well, as it let me realise that I’m actually more resourceful than I thought. When making the card, I was faced with a problem—how was I to cut out two almost-identical goats based on a single sketch? In the end, I placed a clear plastic already-damaged zip-log bag (that I happened to have around) over the sketch and used a marker to trace the sketch onto the bag. Then, I layered the construction paper over the part of the zip-log bag with the goat sketch, and put them over my iPad screen, on which I opened a white page at full brightness to work as a makeshift lightbox (I had considered directly using the “lightbox” with the original goat sketch and construction paper, but it was too thick for light to shine through). While there are probably some even more ingenious methods to accomplish the same task, I was still pretty proud and amazed at myself at thinking of such a method. Thus, my card-making experience let me learn about my strengths as well as my weaknesses.
Title: Class Funfair Stall Poster
Media: Ink pen on paper
Date completed: 10/8/14
This was the poster I helped design for our class’s funfair stall, which was selling cold soba and yakitori sticks. The text was not added by me but by my classmates, but I drew the base picture using ink pens on paper. My part in the poster designing process looks like this:
When I did this poster design, I was, to be very honest, not putting too much thought into it, as I was asked to make it on a very short notice. Hence, my priorities were to include images of both soba and yakitori in a way that would make the image look balanced, appealing and impactful. While I think I did alright in making it balanced, by using a triangular balanced composition in the poster design, and that it is appealing enough to serve its purposes, I think I could have done better to make it more eye-catching and memorable. Ultimately, a poster is meant to attract viewers’ attention, but I feel that my poster design is not as strong as it could be in this key aspect. While I suppose my thick, bold lines, and the choice (not shown in these images) to cut out the posters according to the shape of the images in it rather than as a typical rectangle, did help to give the posters a degree of attractiveness and impact to viewers, I feel that the design I used was not iconic and eye-catching enough, because there is no pivotal part of the image that can especially capture one’s attention, as I composed it in a way that the emphasis on each of the elements in the artwork is spread out in a rather balanced way. Thus, if I were to do this again, I would improve on the design by simplifying it, to make it more iconic and immediately noticeable, rather than making is a detailed piece that people will not feel as compelled to look at. I would also design a more attractive and impactful logo for our stall name “So Yaki”, instead of simply writing it out in a generic font, such as by using a font based of Japanese calligraphy strokes that would capture the essence of our Japanese stall.