The Big Decision

For first year students, deciding what field you want to specialize in can be a difficult decision.  For Interactive Media Arts students, prior to registering for the program, there were two different sides: Interactive and Media.  Now that we’re in the month of April, both the Media and Interactive students have another decision to make.

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Sports as an art form

As per definition, art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, – producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” With this said, me as an artist; but also as an athlete, I believe that one can call certain moments in sports “art”. It is certain that it is not the same type of art as per say music or paintings. Nevertheless, the human creative skill is there. We are taking various creative decisions every step we take.

In addition, certain people can consider these moments of brilliance to be beautiful. Moments in which the player does something thought improbable, even impossible. A very interesting player in soccer history is Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, also known as Ronaldinho. In his prime, the man was sheer magic with the ball. He seemed to have a deeper understanding in the physics of it. The way he manipulated it, it looked as if the ball was an extension of his body. He used this to his advantage when performing complicated moves and skills with incomparable fluidity, which gave him an edge over his opponent. Currently, a man with similar affinity to the ball, but with less fancy skills, is Lionel Messi. Even when shooting the ball these people make magic happen.

In sports, even when the players aren’t the most skilled, are able to produce emotional responses from the viewer.  Be it anger from seeing an unfair play, or hope and passion to see a player giving it their all to win. Sports are a way for some to relief powerful emotions. The beautiful aspect of it is that we, as human beings, can be so empathetic as to share the player’s emotions by simply watching them. At the same time, as a player one can feel the support of the outside people pouring into the field. This is why I believe that sports can be a form of “art”.

Connect & Empower Your Creative Mind with Bēhance

Much like writers, designers and developers can experience a period of time when they can’t access their inspiration or bring themselves to create new work. This creative block can be brought on by a mental block, an emotional barrier, personal problems or even communication breakdowns.

Adobe has done their best to build their creative community with multiple mobile apps, allowing for easy access and shareable content between team members. They even have an app (and webpage), dedicated to inspiration and sharing projects between Adobe users.

Behance gives you the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the minds of other creatives in the Adobe community. With the capability to explore millions of design projects created by designers all over the world, Behance is the answer to my creative block and encourages me to try new projects every day.

Discover
Upon signing into Behance, you are encouraged to follow as many creative fields as you would like from the following list:

  • Graphic Design
  • Typography
  • Packaging
  • Branding
  • Editorial
  • Infographic
  • Poster
  • Exhibition & Signage
  • Logo
  • Music Packaging

All content posted is tagged under these categories.

Now that you are following different fields from the industry, Behance turns the landing page into a sea of innovative and inspirational posts from other creatives. As you browse through different projects, you can appreciate other artists content with the thumbs up icon and establish creative connections in the Adobe community.

You also have the option to search through content based on creative tools, by schools and organizations or through curated galleries.

Live
Behance offers a live video blog with scheduled tutorials and a live chat to encourage you to ask questions. Learn new ideas, techniques and trends from Adobe professionals on a daily basis. They keep an updated schedule available for you at all times, so you never miss an opportunity to better your skills.

Profile
Your Behance Profile is more than just a picture and a short ‘about you’ section. Behance offers you the opportunity to show off your skills, your work experience and even your references. You are able to create a shareable portfolio and even apply for jobs. The profile tab also gives you access to statistics of views and appreciations of your projects.

Behance gives you the freedom to showcase your designs and imagination while feeding your creative inspiration. Check out the Behance website today or download the app below.

App Store

Google Play

Trial and Error. Signed, your best friend

With the ability to share our knowledge and inspirations with others around the world: how do we come up something that is fresh, new and exciting? Collaboration. If you find yourself stuck in a rut unable to come up with an idea; Feedback from others is amazing. Will you always agree with that person? Probably not. Although, it never hurts to receive feedback. We will all have moments where we will fail miserably but, those failures will end up teaching us a lesson in time.

Trial and error is crucial step in order to succeed. There will be days where your mind will be blank or you didn’t present your best work but there is always a lesson to be learned with each experience. I know that I have. After I graduated high school I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I enrolled at Brandon University under a Bachelor of Fine Arts hoping to get into the Education program. I knew within a few months that university was not for me. The hardest part was realizing how disappointed I felt in myself for not succeeding. I worked different jobs and held a steady position with a great company in Brandon for almost four years but I was also very unsatisfied with the way my life was. I felt that at my age of 24, I should have been finished my post secondary education already.

I often found myself expressing my ideas in creative ways and would admire digital art that I’ve seen online. I had a flashback to my grade 12 year, right before I graduated. My art teacher suggested that I take a look into the Interactive Media Arts program. I ended up doing a spend a day here but at the age of 17. With not much life experience, paired along with immaturity, I decided to go to BU instead. I often wondered if I chose the program here, would I have followed the same path of becoming a dropout? It took me a lot of failures, hard work, and perseverance to become the person who I am today. There still will be moments where I am sure that I may fail and question myself. Despite this I am also reminded of the woman who already got through so much and will continue to keep fighting in order to be the person I want to be.  

Is simplicity the easy way?

As an artist, I have been though many changes in the way is think, the way I see things and how I represent them on canvas. Many times have I had that internal struggle saying: should I leave this piece as it is? Or should I add something else? Yet, it is rare for me to think: maybe I should take some elements out. I have developed a love for making detail present in my pieces. I love spending time on every shadow, texture and any other aspect suitable for the composition. However, around the time of 6th grade, I remember many times I started to draw something and I got so sucked into it that I added way too much. In the end I wasn’t sure why, but I was not happy with the result. It wasn’t until I took a step back and thought: are all these extra things necessary in the first place?

Ever since, I still struggle with wanting to put more than necessary into my designs. But now I know to take a step back and analyse my composition. In addition, being a student at ACC has helped me a lot as I can see the work of people that maybe have similar minds as I do, or some that are totally different. I love learning from each one of them. All their experiences, which are all unique, effect their designs and creative ideas. This is very fascinating to me.

I do not think that a simplistic design is easy to pull off; there are is a lot of thinking that goes into it. In the end, what I have learned so far is that it is important to slow down from time to time, and take a look at your piece from a different point of view, still knowing what you want, but being able to learn from others as well. I still love detailed art pieces, but I can appreciate the beauty that can be displayed with a much simpler design. There is certainly something satisfying about a simple yet effective composition. Some examples we see out there are: The swoosh from Nike, or the stripes from Adidas; both very contemporary looks, they seem to never go out of style.

When Inspiration Hits

Inspiration. Ideas. Where do they come from? How do you know when they’re going to hit? How do you know if the idea that just hit you is a good one?

As design students, we are presented with the challenge of coming up with new ideas and concepts daily. With each now exercise, assignment and project, our minds race to find inspiration. What if inspiration doesn’t come? What then? Our instructors say, just run with the first idea you have. Don’t overthink it. So i have been trying to put this into practice (which is easier said than done).

So where do we go for inspiration? Some designers have epic Pinterest  boards, or search popular sites like Behance, Designspiration and Flickr. The problem with this, according to Smashing Magazine, is when taking ideas from similar mediums, there is a fine line between ‘inspired by’ and ‘copied’. So their suggestion is to look beyond design galleries, into the wide and awe-inspiring real world. Industries such as fashion, architecture, even music can help you visualize images which you can translate into your project. There are design playlists on Spotify! Did you know? Smashing Magazine has some links to said playlists. Like this one or this one.

 

The other morning as I was driving to school, stopped at a stoplight I looked to the sky. The rising sun hadn’t yet peaked above the horizon line, yet the colours emanating from the east were something else. The perfect gradient. The sky is an ever-changing canvas that never ceases to inspire me.

I believe it is important for us as aspiring designers and creators to keep our eyes open. Keep our childlike wonder and tap into our curiosity often. Try to look at things from another perspective. And when we have found that ‘other perspective’, look again.

Keep it real my darlings. Eyes to the sky.
xo M.

A Brave New World

 

Announced very recently, was another round of Downloadable Content (DLC) for Final Fantasy XV. This content is meant to flush out the main game and add on to, what most people considered an unfinished game at its original release in 2016. While widely successful, the story lacked parts that needed explaining.

Thankfully, this was filled in with the addition of several pieces of content later released as part of the Season Pass. Episode Gladiolus in which the character Gladiolus goes off on his own little ‘self actualizing’ adventure and later returns to the group. After that came Episode Prompto. This particular fill in came later in the game when the character Prompto is separated from the rest of the group and ends up searching for answers about his origins. During the interim, Square released a multiplayer mode, in which players could customize their own character and go on missions to help bring light back to the world. This is meant as a sort of filler to the main story in which the main character, Noctis, disappears for a ten-year period. Finally, in the latter part of the year, Episode Ignis was released. The order of operations is a little weird as the events of this are told off screen during the main story of the game, to which, Ignis is rendered blind.

With each episode, a secondary character encounter through the main story assists the protagonist on their journey. Gladiolus is assisted by Cor, a member of the Crownsguard to the King. Aranea, an Imperial soldier turned mercenary, helps Prompto. Lastly, Ignis finds an unlikely ally in Ravus. All these add some back-story to events that unfolded, but the game still lacked in areas.

Coming back to the content recently announced, some minor aspects such as the car your retinue cruise around the open landscape with, will now be upgraded to have off-road capabilities. The addition of the Royal Vessel, a yacht, will not give players the ability to explore the ocean beyond. My personal favorite in the announcements was the addition of the city of Insomnia becoming expanded. Lastly, extra bosses. Cerberus, Omega, and Rulers of Yore. Not much is known about the latest entry in terms of cost. Will players already in possession of the game be require to purchase more? Will it be included for those who already own the season pass? Only time will tell.

New NBA “City Edition” Jerseys. My Personal Favorites and Opinions

NBA “City Edition” Jerseys: A Fresh Start For jersey Design

 

Nike has taken over the NBA for the 2017-18 season as the league’s new jersey manufacturer. Because of this, we knew that we could expect some fresh new designs out on the court this season. Nike has come out with a new alternate jersey for each of the 30 teams in the league called a “City Edition” jersey. These jerseys are meant to have designs that aspire to a deeper level of meaning around the city’s or team’s history. I think that this is a fantastic idea and after seeing the designs, I can say this is just what’s the NBA and all of professional sports needed in the design department. Pretty much all of the designs are extremely unique and represent the team or city very well. I’m here to give my opinions on some of my personal favorites that were revealed.

Golden State Warriors

This jersey pays homage to the Chinese culture in the San Francisco bay area and while the Warriors have done this idea before, this is definitely the best one. The logo with the Chinese dragon looks fantastic and the addition of red amplifies the Chinese culture even more.

Los Angeles Lakers

Pays homage to Kobe Bryant’s nickname “The Black Mamba” by using a scaly snake pattern. Very unique and a great way to celebrate Kobe’s first year of retirement.

Miami Heat

A throwback to the 1980’s in Miami when Miami Vice was all the talk. The bold pink, baby blue, and black is much different than the Heat are used to wearing but I think it looks fantastic.

Orlando Magic

This is the wildest jersey design to hit the NBA since the early 2000s but I think that designs like this are great and they make a team stand out and be unique. The space design looks really cool and is something I never thought i’d see on a professional sports jersey.

Utah Jazz

My personal favorite reveal. The design is based on the red rocks that are all over the state of Utah. This color scheme fits the team much better than their usual navy, yellow and green and I wouldn’t be against them adapting it full time. The jagged rock pattern down the side panels is also a really nice touch.

So those are some of my favorites. I would love to hear what yours are. Here is a link to see all 30 of the jerseys that were revealed.

 

http://news.sportslogos.net/2017/12/27/nba-city-edition-uniforms-official-unveiled-by-nike/

All images in this post are from the link above

Inspiration in Your Pocket: The Subtle Art of Adobe Capture CC

As a Graphic Design student, Adobe Capture CC has quickly become my most reliable ally. Capture is part of Adobe’s mobile App family and easily the most beneficial for designers on the go. In 2016, Adobe combined four of its mobile asset building tools into one, forming a single app that can capture colours, patterns, materials, brushes, and shapes.

Adobe Capture CC opened the door to unlimited possibilities. With a few simple clicks on your mobile device, you can now create project assets from anywhere that are accessible all across Adobe’s mobile and desktop apps.

 

Shapes

Originally, the shapes function was the reason I downloaded this App. Capture takes your sketchbook doodles and instantly turns them into vector shapes, you can also create shapes from high contrast photos.

Quick tip: Make sure to outline your doodles with a dark coloured marker before using the app, it will pick up the lines and curves easier.

 

Colour Themes

It’s so simple, just point and shoot for colour themes. Pulling colours from the real world has never been so easy. Snap a picture in the moment or use a picture from your camera roll on your phone and let Capture do the rest. Six movable circles will show up on the screen, once you’re happy with the colours picked, you can save your colour theme and use it over and over from your CC Library.

 

Patterns

Create new and authentic patterns using the digital kaleidoscope with the Pattern tool. Select one of five geometric real time templates at the top of the screen and move your camera around until you find exactly what you’re looking for. The app prompts you to refine your pattern before saving it to your CC Library.

Furthermore, Capture goes above and beyond by building  textures and materials in seconds and also allows you to create customized brushes, forever creating original and authentic designs.

To top this digital sundae off with the perfect cherry, all assets created in Capture are instantly saved to your Creative Cloud Library making them accessible in all of your Adobe mobile and desktop apps. Creating genuinely original designs has never been so simple.

Adobe Capture CC is a designers dream and it fits right in your pocket.

There is more information available on Adobe’s website:

https://www.adobe.com/products/capture.html

Your Style?

 

 

The concept of an artist’s own style is very interesting to me. So many artists stress out trying to find this golden and unique style that sets them apart from the rest. Yet, can we truly make exact copies of others people work without trying?

Since I have use of reason, I have been very fond of creating and drawing. Although, I really started to invest a  large amount of time into it when I was about 7 years old and my uncle told me about this series called Dragon Ball Z, he had watched it when he was a kid too so it’s been around for a while. I started watching it every night as it was shown on TV, and I was hooked. I fell in love with the art style and the creativity that it offered. Years later, I saw my uncle painting one of this show’s character on glass. It was a small piece. I thought it was fantastic and it gave me inspiration to develop a passion for drawing; not on glass, because I was young and I found it too difficult, but I started drawing and developing with any other media; pencil and paper being my primary choice. Over the years, I developed my technique further and I was able to replicate Dragon Ball characters rather well.

When I was about 12, I heard of another anime series on TV that I should check out. It was called Naruto: so, I watched it and just like with the other series, I completely fell in love with the story but also with the visuals that where between simplicity and complexity. Yet, they where very effective. As I did with Dragon Ball, I also tried to imitate the drawing style of the series, making various illustrations of the characters.

I have to admit that never in my life did I ever think what my own style was. I never saw anything wrong in drawing famous characters or designs. I always thought that it was ok to have something that you like drawing, over and over again; in doing so one develops the skill to use the art mediums or tools without stressing too much over the “idea” and if it looks right or not. As one has an image beside to compare.

In my humble opinion artists shouldn’t worry about having their own style of drawing from the beginning. I believe that the simple fact of you being a different individual, with a brain and body that works differently than others, is enough to make anything you do different, even if it’s a microscopic difference. And after a while in the process of trying out different styles; one will find out that there are some styles that stand and make you feel happy, those are the ones that will guide you in discovering your own style.

Top 5 Design Trends for 2018

As designers, we all have certain styles we love, and once we find our own signature style, we tend not to stray too far from our comfort zone. But staying in one place for long, my friends, is not so comfortable after a while. You may start to feel left behind, or obsolete in certain areas. Interactive design is constantly changing, and as this new year starts, we are all probably looking for inspiration and new avenues to explore. There is no longer any excuse for not creating user friendly, interactive and visually stunning websites. So here are some insider tips from Digital Synopsis and 99 Designs on trends to start incorporating into your work now.

1. Bold Typography / Intersecting Elements

With web coding technology so far advanced these days, it is easy to use more than just the basic web fonts. Custom fonts are very widely used on many websites now, creating strong visual tones for your page and to help portray the overall feeling of your site. Now start playing around with these fonts and types – break them up in different ways and use intersecting elements of type and graphics to create interest.

2. Vibrant Colours / Duotone

Many large companies, such as Spotify, have pushed trends such as duotone to the spotlight. A trend that started last year and will continue on into 2018. Vibrant tones online are breaking out of those web safe colours. Technology is allowing us to use thousands of colours, so why not take advantage. Bright colours are sure to attract attention.

3. Split Page / Asymmetrical Layouts

Image Source: sitepoint.com

Grids are made to be broken in 2018. Splitting your page and grid layouts to create asymmetrical sections on your page is distinct and unconventional, and will set your site apart from traditional sites. It’s risky for certain markets or brands, but very striking when pulled off correctly.

4. Custom Retro-Modern Illustrations


Image Source: dribble.com

Gone are the days of clip art. Trending now are simple, line images, which combines sleek, modern lines with retro colour schemes to keep things playful and friendly. Customizable to fit any concept or business.

5. Thoughtful / Interactive Animations

Animations have come a long way and in 2018 will focus more on intentional movements and directions. Signalling interactive content to engage users, helping them move through your site with ease and purpose.

Now give it a go! Explore! Create! Be wild and free my dears.

xo M.

The Future is… Soon?

Video games have become a way of life, a culture even, for the mass population. An ever-growing need to have the next best thing, even after the latest in video game entertainment has just released. However, what about those titles that get announced, delayed and delayed again? Alternatively, even have an announcement released only for us to be told not to expect it for another year or two? Well, here are some titles to look for in the upcoming year.

Metal Gear Survive, oh boy, this has had controversy from all accounts I’ve witnessed over all forms of social media. Many die hard fans of the Metal Gear franchise feel this is very different from what the series is all about Metal Gear Survive is set in another dimension running alongside the canon dimension of Phantom Pains. From what I’ve seen, the game will be open world survival where the player must work to build up their base while finding others lost in this dimension, resources and fending off the horrors that plague the land. All while trying to find a way back home. Metal Gear Survive is set to release February 20th, 2018 and will be host to a beta running from January 18th to the 20th, 2018

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Of all the titles releasing in 2018, Metro Exodus is the one that has me in the highest state of anticipation any normal human being can be. There isn’t much known to me about the story, but from the videos and screen captures from what has been released, the graphics have once again improved since Metro 2033’s release of March 16th, 2010. All new story, possibly new characters, a whole new world to explore above ground. Enemies and weapons. I really feel that my words cannot do this game justice. This video however is an excellent example of what we can expect to see in the future tile set to release Fall 2018.

And finally, the Final Fantasy VII Remake. How long have we been waiting for this? Far too long, and if any of the videos and screen captures are an indication of what to expect, then it has been well worth the wait. With the apparent addition of more backstory on the secondary characters of AVALANCHE, a more FFXIV style of combat and those oh so spectacular graphics, I don’t expect anyone to get anything done upon its release.

 

Pop Team Epic: Comedy at its craziest

New Year, new season of anime. This winter, many great anime have come out, but I am not going to talk about all of them. I am going to talk about one specific anime called Pop Team Epic, or Poputepipikku in Japanese.

This anime started as a manga by writer and illustrator Bubuku Okawa and was wildly popular for the fun it poked at political, social and entertainment topics all around the world. One moment the two main characters, Popuko and Pipimi act like nothing’s going on, then they go wild mentioning wild topics unrelated to the story. If you think that this is a kind-hearted show about two girls trying to go through life, buckle up, because things get insane in a funny way.

The first episode of Pop team epic starts with a generic slice of life intro, not including the girls. The design of the characters in the opening are very nice and makes it seem like it is going to be a nice romance/slice of life anime. When we get to the episode card, small hands grab the sides and rips the card in half. The character Popuko appears, and with a man’s voice; and a cute, but deadly look in her eyes; says “Not.”, and the craziness begins.

Watching through the episode myself, I really enjoyed the comedy and the quality of the animation. Everything rolled smoothly and the animators designed the characters exactly as they looked in the manga. I was laughing every minute. From the tropes of other animes that they used, to references of pop culture. There is even a small shot where a shadow person is spinning a fidget spinner. When I saw it, I laughed so hard I was worried I was going to get a noise complaint. There were a few things I believe could have changed. The episode itself is not that long, around 12 minutes; but it splits into 24 minutes with the same episode playing again with female voice actors this time. I feel if they split the anime into two different episodes with a small note saying if it is either male or female voice actors playing in the episode. As an anime lover, and a designer, this anime gives everything I love in one small and tall, crazy package. I would highly recommend it if you like characters going through crazy antics and pop culture jokes. My rating: 9/10