Tag: music

Spring Inspiration (March – May)

This spring, I was largely inspired by talks and pieces of writing, maybe because I was fully immersed in my own studio work and I was mostly seeking written and verbal guidance:

“We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.”

1. Article: An Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists by Wayne Shorter + Herbie Hancock

“L’Engle weathered 26 rejections before Farrar, Straus & Giroux finally took a chance on A Wrinkle in Time. Many publishers were nervous about acquiring the novel because it was too difficult to categorize. Was it written for children or adults? Was the genre science fiction or fantasy? “

2. Article: “12 Fantastic Facts About A Wrinkle in Time” by Ali Parr

“Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

3. Article: Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity by Maria Popova (selected quote from The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947)

“Where did I get the idea that being stoic and silent was the best way to be a strong young woman? Modern medicine suggests that we amputate, shut up, or extract what we’ve identified as the problem. That we must “overcome” or “defeat” our illnesses and our wounds. Take a pill, cut it out, burn it off, etc. But what if our symptoms have something to tell us? What if every articulation of our bodies, minds and spirits, pleasurable or painful, light or dark, were a message spoken in a perfect language? In this time when we have so many unanswered questions, the danger is not that our symptoms speak, the danger is not listening to what they have to say.”

4. Article: “Your Body is Attacking Itself”: How Language Can Get in the Way of Healing by Jesse

5. Work by Christoph Niemann

6. Amanda McCavour and her work (McCavour currently has an exhibition of her work at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA (Eye of the Needle) and she was generous enough to do an experimental drawing workshop with us this past spring.)

7. Work by Suzanna Fields

“But practiced at its highest level, mise-en-place says that time is precious. Resources are precious. Space is precious. Your self-respect and the respect of others are precious. Use them wisely. Isn’t that a philosophy for our time?”

8. Article: For a More Ordered Life, Organize Like a Chef by Dan Charnas

9. Holly Exley and her work

10. Tumblr Account: Dear Art Director

11. Article: The Illustrated Correspondence of Artists by Allison Meier

12. Podcast: TED Radio Hour

13. Fran Meneses and her work

14. Album: Good Grief by Lucius

Links: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14

Share

Gabe Morales + Friends T-Shirt Design

DSC_1031

A few months ago I collaborated with my younger brother again, this time on a t-shirt design. If you’re new here, my brother, Gabriel, is a talented musician who has played all over Roanoke and other parts of Virginia with a host of other talented musicians. I’ve also worked with him on the design of his business card, debut album, and a few gig posters (Blues for the Holidays / A Brief History of the Blues). Check out his website for more info: www.gabemoralesmusic.com

DSC_1034

Our goal for the design was to create something simple, but bold. We eventually went with this pedal board design. I drew it by hand in ink first and then turned it into a vector. I was able to play with textures and patterns inside of the geometric shapes and then Gabriel played around with the color scheme and placement of the text.

DSC_1027

The design was printed on soft white cotton t-shirts by local printing company, Press Press Merch. For now you can purchase a shirt at any of Gabriel’s shows, but they will be available online soon. Click here to view his upcoming shows.

DSC_1032

DSC_1033

DSC_1035

Thanks for reading! xoxo

Share

May Inspiration

Last month I was largely inspired by performances and stories…

big eyes

1. Movie: Big Eyes

abramovic-art-2010-001-artistispresent_0

2. Documentary/Exhibition: Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

BM1

3. Musical Performance: Banda Magda

marr sugar

4. Joseph Marr’s sugar sculptures

kurtpio

5. Kurt Pio’s diamond paintings

down-the-rabbit-hole

6. Karen Schwartz’s abstract paintings

Links: 1/2/3/4/5/6

Share

Project: Banda Magda T-shirts

BM2

I’ve been sitting on this story for several months, but now I can share it with you! So there’s this amazingly talented international group of musicians called Banda Magda. I know of them through my musician brother, Gabriel, and the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform live at Jefferson Center in September of 2013 and I felt like I had been transported to another place. It was such a beautiful and entertaining show.

Magda Giannikou, the band’s tireless leader (pianist, accordionist, singer, composer, orchestrator, songwriter, music producer, etc.), is constantly creating and working on new projects. Last year she and her band put out a new crowd-funded album titled Yerakina. During the crowd-funding campaign, she also released a call for illustrators who could help design T-shirts. My brother told her about me and we were soon Skyping and sending messages back and forth talking about goals and ideas. I was a little nervous about the project since I had limited experience in graphic design work, but Magda had faith in me and was very supportive.

I whipped up a couple preliminary sketches based on Magda’s vision and we discussed style, color, and other content. Magda wanted the shirts to be quite bold, but simple and also educational. We decided to create two different shirts and each would feature a different musical instrument (vibraphone and pandeiro).

DSC_0170

DSC_0171

DSC_0172

 

Once I had the final drawings done, it was time to make them digital and add text. This was the most challenging part of the project. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and I was learning as I went, which is a great way to learn, but also very time-consuming. I learned how to create a vector and I played around a lot with color and placement. Many changes were made along the way, but the designs were eventually finalized and t-shirts were printed! Now many of the people who helped fund Yerakina own one of these shirts and you can also purchase them online here. The shirts have been traveling around the world as Banda Magda tours.

BM_VibesShirt BM_Vibes_detail BM_PandeiroShirt BM_Pan_detail

Speaking of tours, Banda Magda’s last stop on their most recent tour was Jefferson Center this past Tuesday. I saw them perform again (SO GOOD!), and I also finally met Magda in person. She is so sweet and she exudes creativity and passion. I feel so lucky to have worked with her and seen her perform live. What an amazing experience!!

10924765_939134252805373_2390695059276513151_n

20150526_215118

Banda Magda is working on their third album, Tigre, which will also be crowd-funded. Click here to check it out and consider supporting them! As always, thanks for reading. xoxo

LINKS
Banda Magda Website
Banda Magda Shop
Tigre Pledge Fund Page

Share

Gabe Morales and Friends Album Art

Hey! Today I’m here to share something that has been in the works for a pretty long time. I mentioned a while ago that my younger brother (an active musician) was going to release his debut album soon and it features my artwork. The release date has finally been announced so I can now share the artwork and all the info about the release!

DSC_1641

This album cover was my first big photoshop project that I did on my own (as in I didn’t really know what I was doing), but I began the project with more “traditional” media: pencils, ink, and paint. I painted several small paintings, fiddled around with some stylized lettering, and did a pen drawing of a potential cover. I then played around with two of these images on photoshop, layering them and using a variety of effects. After a lot of experimenting and tweaking (and I mean a lot), this is what I came up with:

GMFalbumcover

If you live in the Roanoke, VA area, you should totally come out to the release concert and show your support. This album came to life thanks to several bands and individuals including Talk is Cheap, The Jamie McLean Band, The Fat Daddy Band, Carlos Aranguren, and Cameron McLaughlin. The album was funded by a grant from the Blue Ridge Blues Society and recorded inside the Music Lab at Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA. A ticket to the release concert includes a copy of the new album.

GMalbumrelease

The release concert is taking place on Saturday June 21st at 8pm in the Rehearsal Hall at Jefferson Center. To visit the Facebook event page and see more info or RSVP click here.

Thanks so much for reading!

Share

A Brief History of the Blues: Promotional Artwork

Last year, I mentioned that I’ve been working on my graphic design skills. My younger brother is a musician and I made a promotional poster for his holiday show last year. He has another show coming up at the end of May so I made another poster for him. The process was much smoother this time around and I learned lots of new techniques and shortcuts. If you’re a beginner Adobe CS-user, I strongly suggest watching tutorials on YouTube and then trying out things yourself. Watching videos helped me out a whole lot.

GMTPoster_May14_Final2

If you’re in the Roanoke area and you enjoy great music and food, then you should definitely come to the show. I guarantee you will be impressed and entertained! As always, thanks for reading :]

Links:
Gabriel’s Facebook Page
Gabriel’s Website
Event Page

Share

New Work: D.C. Drummer

D.C. Drummer

D.C. Drummer
16″ x 20″
Oil

So…it only took me about 2 months to get around to finishing this painting. Better late than never right? The funny thing is that it only took an hour to finish it. I mostly just corrected some shapes and added details. Anyway, if you’d like to read the story behind this painting, click HERE. Thanks for visiting!

D.C. Drummer (detail 1) D.C. Drummer (detail 2)

Share

Graphic Design

As an artist living in a culture that relies heavily on technology, I’m realizing more and more that I need some graphic design skills. There is a need for graphic designers in so many fields whether they’re art-related or not. When I interviewed for the teaching job I have now, the man interviewing me said that computer arts skills are basically a requirement for being an art teacher today.

Ever since I was a student at JMU, I’ve been dabbling in graphic design. I took a computer graphics class as a sophomore (or maybe I was a junior…) and I was introduced–key word introduced–to Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and In-Design. I learned a ton of information, so much that I forgot most of it after a few months because I didn’t use the programs anymore.

In the past year however, I’ve been getting those skills back and then some. My younger brother, a talented musician, has kept himself very busy with his music and is working on an album release and some shows here in Roanoke. I designed his album cover (hopefully I get to share that with you guys soon) and I just designed my first promotional poster for him:

GabeMoralesHolidayPoster_Final_Flattened_2013

I’ve used Photoshop and Illustrator for both of these projects and the trial and error process is basically how I’m coming to understand them better. It’s a slow process, but the results are rewarding. You can expect some more graphic design projects in the future! Thanks for reading :]

Share

Presenting…

Keep an eye on this one!

Another painting I completed today is one that I’ve been working on for over a month. The reason it’s taken me so long is because it’s a portrait of a person very close to me. Even though I’m definitely getting better, I’ve always struggled with drawing and painting people. I rarely attempt to do portraits of the people closest to me because not only do I become a perfectionist and get frustrated if it doesn’t look exactly right, I also can’t help but worry that the person won’t like it or that they’ll get offended by it somehow.

Anyway, I’m trying to get over that, so I painted a picture of my 12-year-old brother. Perhaps I subconsciously chose him because he’s young and has perfect skin and will just think its cool that I painted him and not notice all the tiny details that I noticed while painting it… :P

I don’t think it’s perfect, but I’m happy with it nonetheless and I worked really hard on it…it’s got lots of layers of paint! :] Here it is:

Since I’m on the subject of my little brother, you should be aware of his amazing guitar skills! He’s already played alongside some great bands and on the news as well. Below are three of my favorite videos of him playing. Make sure to check out his other videos on YouTube as well. Enjoy! :]

Share

Audio and Visual Art

Music inspires me a great deal. Sometimes I am inspired just by instrumental music, but more often its song lyrics that spark ideas in my head. Some of my work incorporates the actual text, and other pieces are merely based on lyrics and no one would ever know it unless I told them. Here are some images of my artwork that were inspired by music:

Share