Meredith Design

Archive for April 2010

Before you read my quick rant,  ponder for yourself the ridiculousness of this argument and take a little solace from Penny Arcade.

Let’s first debunk art. Art is what exactly? People tell me I’m artistic every single day of my life now. They look at what I create and nod their heads in approval of a social standard. I have reached that level of acceptance by my peers. Am I really making art? Sometimes, sure. Most of the time? No. I’m trying to make a living and just happen to be enjoying the process. How about Michelangelo or DaVinci? Most of us know that some of their most beloved works of ‘art’ were in fact done simply for money and recognition. The purpose of the piece was to awe or inspire, to create traffic in an area that inevitably led to increased profit for someone involved. Some people might call that an advertisement, not ‘art’. Does that mean the “artist’s soul” is put whole heartedly into the work? I don’t think so. It just means it’s art that’s functional. Can you see my love of graphic design starting to peek through? Sorry. I’ll try to cover that up.

Now what about video games? Their soul  purposes are solving a puzzle and monetary gain you say? Let us ponder this further. What was the ultimate purpose of the Sistine Chapel if not to attract visitors into a religious place. But still, it’s final outcome was simply aesthetic in nature. Right? Wrong. It was there to make people think. Think about the awesome power of the Church and of God. Think about creation and existence. Think about the path one is on and whether it is leading them closer to God or farther.

All of this thinking and because of an advertisement for the divine. What game has ever been created that hasn’t forced one to think? I don’t mean just to run some problem solving gears. I mean there are games out there that make us question our existence, our ideologies, our faith, and even our sanity. These games will be different for everyone but if I had to pick one that was just as influential as the Sistine Chapel, I would choose Starcraft. For me, this was a game about learning why choosing sides is pointless. This was the first game I ever played where I was able to play the ‘bad guys’. I’m sure there are other games out there that had done something similar but as a 12 year old, this was ground breaking for my brain. I would loathe the ‘bad guys in the first part the campaign. They were killing my soldiers, of course I was angry with them. Then the second campaign would begin. Wait a second… now I’m not only killing those same soldiers but I want to. By the end of all the back and forth, learning the history and reasons of why each side was fighting, I realized wars don’t make sense. They still don’t make sense over a decade later. Now, I was a smart kid. I knew my history and I made correlations between the conflicts in the game and real conflicts, past and present. I understood the importance of deciding then and there that the only place where wars do any good is in a virtual reality. In art school, I made similar connections. Though maybe not as philosophically or socially profound, I made them nonetheless.

I think that’s enough out of me for now. I could go on and on about how past generations will never fully comprehend the ideas of the next generation or why deciding what is and is not art is downright inhuman but I won’t… not yet. Please don’t think I put this post up to argue with an old man. I did this for me. We should all thank him for making us think critically about the things that really have an affect on us.

With love  – M

Usually when folks mention that they were networking, I used to think it had to do with handing out business cards and giving a summary of your life’s achievements to someone who is likely more interested in the glass of wine or h’orderves he or she is holding. Thank goodness that’s not the norm. Being the fresh spring chicken that I am, I have only had the pleasure of attending a couple real events so far where mingling was the order of the day and the topic could turn to work. I guess the most important part here is that for me, and many in my field, our work is also our pleasure.

Just yesterday I had the opportunity to go peruse the new meat getting ready for slaughter at Cabrini College’s Senior Design Show. I say slaughter because their portfolio reviews are quickly approaching and they have the added pressure of having to present it themselves. My class was not privy to that experience, to out detriment. It’s so inspiring to see one’s old professors still working hard at improving every level of the program. Even better, all this effort shined through in the students work.

Back to the networking: it was all a bit overwhelming but I think I did well. My immediate goal was of course to see the new work, to catch with friends and professors from last year that I missed and to enjoy taking a reminiscing stroll around the campus. After I completed these objectives, I decided it was time for bigger things. It even happened that I was not the only alumnus/alumna present.

In the end, I connected and shared vital information with old friends and new friends. I wish that I had had business cards with me to hand out but I felt it would have been a little insulting to the students showing their work. I wanted them to feel I was really their for them first and for me second. I can honestly say I never imagined networking could actually be fun. Maybe later I’ll talk more about networking via the inter-webs but for now, there’s just not enough time in the day.

With love – M

I might throw some more shots from the festival, the less professional and more fun ones, onto Facebook at some point. For now, I give you some shots of my good friends Nathalie who was nice enough to let me play with makeup on her. The festival was loads of fun and I highly recommend it.

I received another email from that recruiter I mentioned in the previous email. I had told myself to just forget about, so I didn’t get excited only to be let down when I never heard from her again. But lo, here she’s come again. I have to admit I am a bit more excited now.

Several people have asked me what exactly kanzashi or かんざし or 簪 looks like. Well this lovely lady does a top-notch job on the fabric flower side of it. Keep in mind, what she does is usually very traditional, keeping to the patterns and styles used in Japan since the beginning, we’re talking before 400 BCE. My kanzashi are quite a bit more modern looking because I use a different folding technique. As I finish some and get some photos up, I’ll be sure to start explaining more of my methods…or at least the ones that work.

With love – M

Below are 3 pictures, 2 line arts and one finished Copic piece from yesterday. Nothing amazing but progress is being made. What could be more important? Follow here for more.

I received an email yesterday that was a bit of a heart stopper, in a good way. It was from a fortune 500 company’s human resource department asking for my information from me concerning a position they had open. It would be a dream job to me, to say the least. They used many of my favorite buzz words that you don’t usually see from a company looking for a graphic designer. Things like “inject inspiration and creativity into the innovation process” and “a passion for product innovation and creation”. Best and craziest part? Guess where their two locations are. Oh come on, guess. Ok ok it’s Hong Kong…and Wilmington, DE. Nice, right?

With love – M

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/03/earth_hour_2010.html

Talk about big changes. These photos speak for themselves.

Can we? Is it even feasible to just switch for a couple of hours a night? Check out the numbers for yourself. That’s 4000 cities. Amazing. But for only one night? Come on, we can do this. That’s so much power! I wonder if Wilmington was one of those cities…time to contact Governor Markell.

With love – M

http://gizmodo.com/5513783/the-world-would-be-better-if-everyone-watched-this-video

I suppose the photo mentioned in the above passage/video has been around for a while. No matter, I think it bares a second glance. A quick double take maybe. Just soak it all up. That’s us. We are infinitesimal. Perhaps it’s a shame that I didn’t pay close attention to the overall gravity and immense emotional factor invested in Carl Sagan’s words and the picture he holds so dear. Perhaps it’s a shame that it took an entertaining video with quickly changing images and coaxing music to get me invested in it. And perhaps even, as stated in the comments for the post, it’s a shame that the only dark-skinned person shown in said video was a single basketball player.

This does not change the fact that the most important part, the message of the passage has finally hit me and others in my position. With so much out there to read and see, it’s not suprising that so many of us young wanderers tend to miss these sort of things. The sort of things that can really matter to a person. Yes, the Catholic Church is in turmoil, there are people dieing in some place I’ve never heard of, another environmental petition war is being waged, or another scandal in the UK or US is being uncovered. These things are popular but they are not always, if ever, fulfilling.

It’s like food. My body eats healthy food so that it can take on and hopefully succeed in the task at hand. My mind and soul are no different. I try to feed them richly but in moderation so that I don’t get overwhelmed with facts and ideas. That’s possibly the hardest part for me. Not tumbling over that cliff of ‘it’s all too much’. But it’s posts like the one above that remind me why I wander here. Why my virtual feet never stop moving. There is hope. Hope that others out there understand the need to ‘modernize’ or make interesting the ideas of those that shine brightly in their own fields but lack the digital and generational savvy to speak to us wanderers.

On an unrelated side note:

The business cards for my mom’s sewing business finally came in a little while ago. I hope to have photos up shortly. They’re rather adorable if I do say so myself. Also finally finished my first painting in SAI painter tool. I say finished but really it was just a test painting to play with the tools. Several of my fabric flowers are nearing completion so be sure to check back for some photos of them during this week or next.

With love – M

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Real quick –

I decided to join the PA Forums today and the reason for it was because I saw some good things going on in their Artist’s Corner and Writer’s Block areas. I’ve had this short story sitting around in my Google Docs for a while and finally decided to submit to the wonders of the web to see what kind of aid I might receive. My main issue, aside from the fact that most of the people I had given it to for feedback never got back to me (I made the mistake of choosing busy people) was that I feared for my writing skills. Do I have it or don’t I? Should I re-make the illustrations I had started for this story and finally finish the project started for a Flash class over a year ago? Should I take my other ideas, now dormant in their infantile stages, to the next level? Or do I let these things die and focus on my other projects?

Ah, so many questions. But hark! Is that a reply in my inbox?! Why yes it is! As I read on I realize not only has this person taken the time to leave me a hefty reply but that they really and truly got to the heart of what I needed to do with this story, to make it into something tangible. Amazing. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more inspiring criticism. If the world is lucky, this person is already a teacher because this one’s got the gift.

Now I’m off to bed…though I doubt I’ll sleep to well. I’ll be too busy thinking. Dusting off those gears. Illustration ideas come a lot faster when you’ve got a real story to attach them to. If interested, you can find the story and the best reply I’ve ever received on anything here: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?p=14395583#post14395583

With love – M