Tag: project

Project: Banda Magda T-shirts

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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).

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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.

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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!!

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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

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Where Does It Hurt?

My final paper/project for my Writing as Art class last semester… I was going to make some edits before sharing it, but I decided to post it the way it was submitted first. I’m very attached to this work and will continue to develop it over the next few months. Creating this project was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The thought of sharing it publicly gives me a lot of anxiety, but I am interested to see how others receive it. Please feel free to leave comments! xoxo

Download the PDF version

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WDIH? 19-20

 

 

WDIH? 21-22

 

WDIH? Bibliography

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Still Here

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I’ve been absent for a couple weeks now and my excuse is just that I’ve been busy (this is a valid excuse, I promise). Anyway, things are wrapping up (no pun intended) as the holiday season quickly approaches, so I am finally finding time to return to the things I’ve had to place on the back burner recently.

Today I am finishing the first paper of my graduate school career (it has been no easy task, but it’s almost done!) Maybe I will post the finished paper in its entirety on the site later, or at least a link to it…but here is a peek:

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In the next two weeks I will teach my last museum classes and gifted art classes of the year. Here are some of the projects we have been or will be working on:

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Literal art gouache paintings

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Monochromatic paintings

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Abstract sculptures inspired by Chihuly’s glass pieces

My goals for this month are to finish a commissioned painting, start a new personal project (which I’m really excited and will share details about soon), and relax! I have a lot more to do, but I’ll spare you the list. Hopefully I will be able to post on here more frequently again, but for now, here is some more evidence that I have been alive and well:

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Conjoined Twins Project

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This time last year, I was taking my first sculpture class at JMU. Sculpture is super intimidating for me, but I really surprised myself with the work I did in that class. I mentioned this in a previous post about my sculpture class, but the theme of our final project was conjoined twins. We were free to make basically any kind of sculpture that related to this topic. My professor encouraged us to do a lot of research and explore all possibilities. We scheduled one-on-one meetings with him to discuss our findings and ideas.

I did a bit of research on conjoined twins in general and learned that there are many different types of conjoined twins. One type that particularly caught my interest was parasitic twins. Parasitic twins occur when twins begin developing, but don’t fully separate, and one of the twins becomes dominant at the expense of the other twin. The parasitic twin is therefore severely undeveloped and often does not resemble another human at all, rather, extra body parts. The word “parasite” has such a negative connotation and that’s what I wanted to base my project on. I didn’t want to make something that parasitic twins would actually wear or use, I wanted to create a statement piece. My idea was to alter a jacket to fit grown parasitic twins if they were to make it into adulthood. I wanted to add a cage to the front to reflect the negative connotation of the term “parasitic” and to communicate a feeling of shame and embarrassment.

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I have very limited experience in altering fabric, so this project was definitely a challenge. I got most of my supplies from Goodwill over Thanksgiving break: a wool coat, two belts, a patterned skirt, and a red button-up shirt (which I ended up not using because of time limitations). The first thing I had to do once I had my supplies was to create the cage. I created the cage by cutting a few rods of steel, bending them, and then welding them together.I added an extra horizontal rod at the top of the cage to hold a “curtain” that I cut from the patterned skirt. The pattern on the skirt was a cluster of black leaves on a white background. I chose this pattern as a reference to Adam and Eve covering themselves with leaves out of shame after they were cast out of the Garden of Eden. In the case of this project, the leaves are used to hide the parasitic twin out of shame.

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With the cage completed, I was able to figure out how to attach it to the coat. Because of my lack of practice doing this kind of work, my method was pretty crude. I did a lot of “guesstimating” and hoped that it would end up close to how I envisioned. I cut out most of the front of the wool coat and then sewed one side to the cage using thick red embroidery thread. I used the color red not only for unity because the coat itself has red in it, but I also used it to emphasize the sense of invasion. I attached two belt buckles to the other side of the coat, which then fastened to the ends of the belts that I sewed onto one bar of the cage. I’m happy to report that it turned out really nicely–in fact, it exceeded my expectations. The only problem was that the end product was a bit too large when I modeled it, which took away from the effect. Other than that, I was really happy with it and so was my professor.

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Have you ever created wearable sculpture art? Let me know about your experience in the comments! Thanks for reading :]

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The Bookshelf Chair: A Collaborative Project

Today I want to tell you about one of my first collaborative art projects. In the spring semester of my freshman year of college (2010), I took a 3D Design class. I have to be honest and say that I struggled in this class more than in any other art class I took, but I definitely learned a lot from it. I’m happy to share, however, that the semester ended on a really good note for me.

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The final project for the class was a collaborative chair project. We had to work in groups of three and create a chair out of non-traditional materials. I think we had about 4-5 weeks to complete it. The first part of the assignment was to create three prototypes and my group’s weren’t that great… It wasn’t until we hit up a thrift store in Harrisonburg (one that became a favorite store of mine later on) that we landed on a really good idea. We thought about creating a chair by combining two bookshelves and adding on things you might find on a real bookshelf to create parts like a foot-rest, arms, a back, etc. We did have to clear this idea with our professor since wood is definitely a traditional material for chairs, but the idea itself was non-traditional so she approved. The original sketch was pretty rough, but we eventually came up with a really nice design.

Now that we had a 2D design, it was time to make the actual chair. Here are the supplies we ended up using: 2 identical bookshelves (about 3 feet tall each), lots of old books, and a candle holder that was just for decoration. As freshmen, we didn’t have cars so on one of the trips, we had to walk about a mile from the thrift store to the art studio carrying stacks of dictionaries and other thick books. All I can say is that it felt way longer than a mile.

The actual creation of the chair was the most challenging part. I was lucky to have such hard-working group-mates. I’m not sure how much time we spent working on the chair, but I’m going to attempt to summarize the process. We wanted to create a throne-like chair, which meant we had to deconstruct the bookshelves a little bit. We cut a semicircle into one of the top shelves to create a curved back, got rid of the other top shelf, and attached the two bookshelves together.

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Old dictionaries were arranged to create the seat, back, and armrests. To make the armrests more comfortable, we cut them into a curved shape with a band saw. The dictionary  used for the seat “cushion” was opened up to the page that had the definition for the word “chair.” Clever, right?

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The footrest was created by adjusting one of the shelves to where we were able to slide it in and out easily. We glued the books on that shelf to the wall so that they wouldn’t move when the shelf was pulled out.

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We put a lot of effort into making the chair look as finished as possible. We even painted the visible nails so that they would match the color of the wood. My group was really happy with the result and I was really proud of myself for contributing to such a cool piece of art that was also functional (it was surprisingly comfortable to sit in!). Thanks for reading :]

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Working with Metal Part 1

Last semester, I took a Metal and Jewelry class at JMU. I was excited because I love jewelry and I get to learn how to make it? Awesome. Looking back, it was a roller coaster of a class, but all the ups and downs (including minor injuries) were worth it. I learned how to use a variety of tools and machines and developed a knowledge of skills such as akneeling the metal to make it bendable, creating a patina with heat or chemicals, soldering various forms together, silver-plating, sanding and filing, riveting, sawing, drilling, cutting, twisting, and so on.

Throughout the semester, we had ten exercises and three projects. Some of the exercises included sawing a curved line, giving sheet metal a texture, soldering a wire to a sheet, and creating three different rivets. The first project was a flatware project. We had a discussion about flatware and the difference between cheap flatware (such as plastic utensils) and quality flatware. For instance, the weight of a spoon is an effective indicator of its quality–the heavier, the better, as long as it’s still comfortable to hold in your hand, place in your mouth, etc. While we were allowed to stick to traditional forms and focus on handle designs, my professor encouraged us to push the boundaries a little. He said that our flatware could be functional or non-functional. We could make flatware for a certain type of person (a skinny model…) or a certain type of food (french fry picker, anyone?).

After lots of brainstorming and sketching, I decided to focus on just the form of the flatware itself. My idea was to create a relationship between soft curves and hard straight lines within each piece. The first thing I did was practice how to effectively curve back one side of a metal handle. This involved a lot of sanding, a lot of heat, and a lot of hammering. The final sample piece looked kind of rough but now I knew what to do. I started by drawing the layout of each utensil on a piece of paper and then gluing the paper to a piece of 14 gauge copper sheet. Then I cut everything out with a tiny saw, sanded and filed down the sides that would be curved back, akneeled each piece, and started hammering away. Here’s how they looked at this point:

After this point, I cut out the tines of the fork, sanded those a little, and gave the spoon its bowl shape, which was a lot harder that I thought it would be. The last thing I had to do was basically refine the utensils, and this seemed to take the longest time. Because of so much hammering, the pieces had lots of marks and dents that I couldn’t leave, so I spent hours upon hours sanding and filing, trying to get rid of them. (Part of the assignment also required us to use two different rivets within our project, but those didn’t turn out too well and are not pictured in the final image because I took them out.)

After about a month of working on this project, here is how my “copperware” turned out:

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