In Class exercise: Dominate Impression

The goal of this task was to take notes from the final scenes of “Revenge Of The Sith” and then use those notes to create something totally new from the words from our notes. Our notes were based on the many sense such as “Sight,” “Sounds” “Tastes” (What would those ‘environments’ taste like in our imagination) and “feelings.”

The following is something we wrote together based on the notes my team collected and fed to me while I was writing.

The hate I felt was a raging volcano welling up inside. The flame of my desire for her was intensified when she said I was breaking her heart, but it turned my passion into lava running through my veins.

As the cake burned in the oven I could just taste the ash in my mouth, intensifying my rage knowing that this argument was ruining dinner and now desert.

It was a matter of time before the ozone of the sparking element inside the oven would pop the fuse and the metal inside would ripple and bubble like an infected scab. While we continued to fight and the oven continued to melt down I punched the wall with all the rage I could buster and my throat became raw as I yelled “Liar!”

Her touch of her hand was electric; she knew she hurt me to my core. I started to breath heavily knowing the make-up was coming. I didn’t care as the house burned down around us as the landlord screamed from outside…

“NOOOOO!”

The Uncomfortable Date

The Task: Write for 5 minutes about A)an uncomfortable date, B)A carefree person, or C)A young boy homesick while stuck at summer camp.

I agreed to meet Tina at her favorite bar in Harvard Square. I sat on the stool drinking a double scotch while hoping she wouldn’t show up. It’s not that she wasn’t beautiful, she was, but there was something about her personality that rubbed me the wrong way. There were times that she was a 14 year old girl trapped in a gorgeous 24 year old body.

I also felt ashamed that my physical needs overrode my common sense. I just wanted to be with a woman and I was willing to take advantage of someone who had an uncontrollable crush on me. I wasn’t used to be pursued, I was always the pursuer.

Idiosyncrasy

id·i·o·syn·cra·sy  (clip_image001dclip_image002clip_image003clip_image004-sclip_image001[1]ngclip_image005krclip_image006-sclip_image003[1])

n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies

1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.

If I had to venture a guess, my idiosyncrasy has a lot to do with procrastination and the creative process. Too often I allow myself to look at the clock or the calendar and say; “hey, I still have time” while at the same time I have this nagging feeling that I have some unfinished business somewhere. I think it’s called procrastination, but I’m putting it off until later to look up the definition. .

This always happens when I have an assignment or job that I don’t want to do; it could be for work or for school but it’s even worse when it’s a chore that I don’t want to do for my wife.

I have a deadline, and when I’m first given this task I have all the time in the world. I actually have twice as long as I actually need. There’s the part of my brain that says, “Eric, get it done ahead of time because you know something is going to come up in the end…” but I allow something else to get in the way. There’s always some task that’s “more important.”

Before I do this magazine lay-out in InDesign I first have to clean the basement and get my print shop ready for the eventual day that I get the large media printer that I won’t be able to afford until I’m out of college. I’ll wait and wait while “planning” the whole thing inside my head, then panic when I have the least amount of time possible.

It’s at this stage when I begin to panic and just throw things on the screen hoping for a happy accident. It’s also when I start missing out on details that are important like “by-lines” and finding a suitable font other than the two defaults in the Adobe Creative Suite program.

I have no problem doing work on my own; during the Christmas break a bought a book called “The Creative Process” which has 80 tasks to do to sharpen creative skills. I had the book 4 days and I did one task a day… some of them I’ve been able to reuse in some of my classwork here at MWCC.

The worst enemy of a deadline is the internet; while it’s a great tool to find the information you need it’s also a great way to waste time. There are a lot of humor sites, instant access to the adult material that you used to have to pay for and you took it home in a brown paper bag, and of course Facebook the few other social media sites. It would be hypocrisy if I didn’t also mention blogs… I can’t start a project without reading the ‘necessary blogs’ on this specific topic or that…

One of the things I would like to know about myself is this… who or what could I have been if I didn’t pick up the habit of procrastination. And how come we have a pill for so many other mental conditions except this one.

Tell me about your idiosyncrasy in the realm of Graphic Design or your own profession.

Dreams

I often have a dream that’s not a reoccurring one, but it’s a reoccurring theme.

I’m not talking about the one where I’m a captured paratrooper handcuffed to a metal folding chair wearing nothing but a brown fedora and combat boots while being interrogated by a blond, buxom woman wearing a black body suit and speaks with an Austrian accent who looks exactly like my wife…

… I’m talking about the dream I have about finding an abandoned place and making it my own. Recently I had a dream about exploring a piece of land that I owned and by a river that I didn’t know went through it was an abandoned mill building made out of red bricks and concrete. In this dream I said to myself that this would be the perfect workspace for me to escape the chatter and noise of my family when I was working up against a deadline. Once inside this building was sparse and bare, half the walls had been painted white while the other half displayed the bare red brick that gave the interior a warm yet outdoors feel.

As I was walking through this, I found a place to put a desk that magically appeared. I produced my laptop bag that I forgot I had around my shoulder and began to work. With no internet, no children or wife I’m able to accomplish work that I had neglected for years.

Once my wife discovered this space and where I was, she came up the idea of renting this space out to make some money, or to create the ideal studio for me to start my own company. As I continued to work more people that I knew from the past and always wanted to work with started to appear with their own desks and took up space on their own. As this dream progressed, this space stopped being my own.

CGD 244 Research E-Stores

Introduction

I was asked to look at E-Commerce sites for my CGD244 class and see what I like and dislike about the ones I frequent often. It was the first time I saw the trees via the forest. Why do I really like some stores and how come I hate others?

No… really? How come?

Here’s some brief answers. Keep in mind that there are some stores I love to visit but I’m frustrated by their lack of on-line shopping tools and some of them force me to spend my money elsewhere.

Good Stores

Utrecht – http://www.utrechtart.com/

Art supply store – Very dangerous! You will accidently spend too much money.

Amazon – http://amazon.com

This is way too obvious but Amazon has a special tool for shopping – The One Click purchase. After you’ve loaded all of your information on to their site you can chose the “One Click” option and not have to go through the hassle of answering the same questions over and over again.

L.L.Bean – http://www.llbean.com/

L.L. Bean is one of the best on-line stores; you could shop there forever and never have to set foot in a store. The website gives you the option of looking at all of the products and actually zoom in on specific items so there are few surprises when the items arrive in the mail. This site also has a secure shopping cart and asks returning customers security questions to make sure you’re you and not just someone else who just happened to sit at the same computer you logged into.

Green Mountain Coffee – http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com

This is an important website for web developers to take special note of; visitors can actually subscribe to flavors of coffee. Simply pick your favorite flavors and they will be delivered to your door once a month, either by the K-Cup or by the Pound. You can also find flavors that aren’t available in stores.

Zazzle – http://Zazzle.com

Not only is it painfully easy to buy items on this website, but it’s also easy to actually SELL items on this website, too. The process to upload images you create is easy and they even offer instructions on how to make sure you image files are ready to print on their media. It’s a powerful tool for Graphic Designers to show off their designs on products people actually wear and use.

Horrible Stores

Creative Encounters – http://www.creative-encounters.com/default.htm

I love this brick and mortar store, I go there often in person to buy supplies and to get the things I can’t get anywhere else like top of the line drafting pencils. I envy the webmaster of this website… Except THERE IS NOW ESTORE!

Michael’s – http://www.michaels.com/

There are a couple of reasons why I just can’t stand Michaels, even though I spend a lot of cash there. It’s a hard place for a male artist to take himself seriously when it seems so feminized and childish. There is no on-line store… but there are “wishlists.” You actually have to go to the store itself to buy the things you need.

Zepher Designs – http://www.zephyrdesignsvt.com/

Very similar to the website for “Creative Encounters” – Just an advertisement for the store with no way of buying anything on-line; I think the same person built both sites. Breaks my heart knowing that the place where I used to buy all of my art stuff as a kid doesn’t have a way for me to keep buying stuff from them now. Oh well… guess I gotta take a trip back to the old stomping grounds once in a while.

Norm’s Ski & Bike Shop – http://www.normsskibike.com/

There is nothing on the website that’s clickable and you can buy and you can’t browse items. It’s another “brochure” website just to get you into the store. Regardless… A Graphic Designer sometimes needs to get away from the desk and get the blood pumping. This is my favorite sports shop in the area. Go there often.

Why I Would Buy Products From Specific Websites

The most obvious answer is simple, I would actually buy items from specific websites that offer different payment options besides just credit cards. Sometimes if I’m buying from a website I’ve never heard of before then I’ll use PayPal and only put just enough money into my PayPal account to cover the items.

I’ll also buy from a store that will allow me to read reviews from other shoppers on the site. I search the internet for reviews and better prices but If I can actually read other customer reviews on the site, it’ll make my decision making process faster.

Why I Would Buy Products From Specific Websites

Nothing will turn a customer off faster than an amateurish looking website.

To actually make a website work for you, you actually have to have to give the customers the option of buying items on-line. Too many stores that have websites that I visit often don’t have shopping carts.

Some of these stores should have the option for you to pick out what you need and have all the items waiting for you in a bag and rung up at the register for when you arrive so you can at least do some on-line shopping. It’s frustrating to see something you want to buy on a website, then go to the store and have a problem finding that same item on their shelves (as it’s happened to me too many time at Michaels.) or see that they advertise an object on their website but don’t have it in stock in their actual store.

I would rather take the time to drive from Rindge NH to Utrecht in Cambridge, Ma, and know that I’ll find what I’m looking for when I get there than go to a franchise like Michaels and run the risk of not finding what I’m looking for while getting annoyed.

I also want to write a special note about Michaels again… while they have a lot of great stuff for artists and graphic designers – if you can find it – I’m annoyed by the fact that the store and the website is geared more for the elderly spinsters and idle-minded housewife that has nothing better to do than play at craft making. It’s not a welcoming environment for a man.

For reasons I don’t fully understand I always feel a little embarrassed by Michaels and I wish there were alternatives for graphic designers like myself.

Role Model

Growing up during the 1970’s and 1980’s, I was fascinated by commercial art or graphic design. Who were these people who took something as simple as a need for a new soup can label and create a work of art that’s a joy to look at and makes the viewer compelled to buy it.

I was also fascinated by the conceptual artists behind the greatest SF movies of my life time. It would be hard for me to choose just one, but there was Roger Dean who created the incredible album covers for rock groups like “Yes” and “Asia” and did some phenomenal book covers. There was also Ralph McQuarrie who took George Lucas’s script and painted a dozen conceptual paintings that inspired Alan Ladd Jr. into bankrolling a motion picture that redefined the term “blockbuster.” Then of course there is Andrew Probert who did most of the conceptual drawings Gene Roddenberry’s projects and made the fictitious 22nd and 23rd centuries come a life and just as real as our own past and present.

Before I was freshman in high school I had all these artistic ambitions. I wanted to be one of those people who took an idea from the mind and made them real on the paper or canvas. I wanted there to be a teacher who would help me take my raw, juvenile talent and guide me into becoming a better artist.

The only class I was really looking forward to the summer before my first year of high school was art. I was a horrible student in all of my other classes, so horrible that I debated on taking my own life since all I head when I was at home was that I was no good and I wouldn’t amount to anything. My fantasy drawings would never take me anywhere.

Right way, when I met my teacher Mr. Blomgren I knew that this man was going to have a positive effect on my life. What I didn’t know that this memory would someday become my moral compass; whenever I thought about doing something that was stupid or wrong I always thought about him and what he would think if I screwed up.

Early on when I showed him the sketches I had done before we met he knew what I was trying to do. He immediately saw that I was trying to take viewers of my work on a journey – some place where they had never been before. He also saw that I drew my inspiration from some of the greatest SF books of that era, up to and including the release of the theatrical version of Frank Herbert’s DUNE.

Rather than encourage me to “get real” he helped me push the envelope by simultaneously teaching me how to draw things in the real world with genuine realism via texture and shading. How can I bend and break the rules of “art” if I didn’t know what the rules were.

There was one moment when I turned in a project that wasn’t my best and he knew it. Immediately after class was over and the bell rang, we all started to stroll out the door to head to our next class. Mr. Blomgren said; “Not so fast, Mr. Fisk…”

I stood there while he said; “You can do better than this. As a matter of fact, you will to better than this! You’re staying after school and you’re going to give this project 100%”
Either in this conversation or in a one we had at another time he told me “I don’t just deserve better than this, and it’s not just the rest of the world that deserves better than this; you deserve better than this. You’re short changing yourself and the rest of the world from your art when you just phone it in.”

By no means do am I employing that he was constantly stern or excessively tough; Mr. Blomgren was a teacher who was over-brimming with complete and utter joy for teaching and had genuine compassion and love for his students. He had a better understanding of me more than most members of my own family.

When I learned that he died earlier this year I had to go to his memorial service that was held at the high school and I was overwhelmed to see the auditorium packed with people standing outside the isles.

After the service I found his classroom, since it had been moved at least once in the past 20 years. The sights and the smells were the same; the odor of linseed oil and paint and a few other cents from a dozen other art supply tools and medium. I sat at what would have been my desk from so long ago and I wondered about the time that had pasted and my genuine regret of not reaching out to him before now.

I can’t help but wonder who or what I would have been if it hadn’t been for him and others like him.

The Five Types of Exposition.

Description: The Author hammers out a detailed text about what the reader should see in his or her own mind.

Comparison: The author illustrates what’s going on or the location of the action/drama by comparing it to something else.

Cause and Effect: How did something come to be? Let’s just examine what happened and how we got here.

Problem And Solution: Here’s the problem, and here’s how we (or our characters) can solve it.

Sequential: Here’s what happened, Step 1, Step 2, Step 3…