Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Your Favorite Color?

This is a horrible question to ask an artist, or, in this case, a designer. When asked what her favorite color is though, Karina Higginbotham gave the story of how her favorite color came to be just that: her favorite.

Here's a video of Karina giving us a shortened version of her story:

Looking for a little inspiration?

Here's a map of a few locations in Cleveland, Ohio that would melt any artistic brain freeze. Some of these locations would be great to use as a photography site and others can simply be used for whatever your imagination allows. Especially beautiful are the abundance of parks and gardens in Cleveland. Most people wouldn't name Cleveland as a prime location for this sort of thing, but it's true. Take a look for yourself:

View Locations in Cleveland in a larger map

Note: Some locations deviate from the rest of the markers a bit. You may want to take a look at the larger map for a better view.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Be right back!

Due to a tech difficulty (thanks blogspot) some of my posts said bye for a while. Everything has been sorted out for the most part and my updates will be available shortly. There may be a new look as well, you'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Aesthetically Pleasing: Questions on Design

If you’re familiar with the tech world, you probably know about the recent “4G” iPhone leak. One of the most obvious things about the purported device is a major design overhaul, including a smaller design. If this is truly the next generation iPhone the design change makes a lot of sense when compared to its other i(InsertNameHere) counterparts.


For the past couple of years Apple Inc. has been producing many of products with a distinctive black and silver flair. Coupled with its newest addition, the iPad, having a nearly identical design scheme as the iPhone, it was only a matter of time before Apple cranked out a design upgrade.

Now, we’re not sure if this will be what the next iPhone will look like, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the prototype looks quite nice. Apple is known for its “flashy” products, but underneath the glitz is truly reliable hardware, relatively speaking. Sure, other companies have equally or possibly even better hardware than Apple, but it’s probably ugly not as aesthetically pleasing to consumers.

While perusing CNET.com, it seemed as though many users have a chip on their shoulder about the success of Apple with some saying their products are merely a cute paperweight. Considering Apple products sell and are functional isn’t a secret it’s obviously a moot opinion, but it does raise questions about great looking products.

Simply put, a Ford runs and a Lamborghini does as well, but if given the choice, which would, most people choose.


So, how important is aesthetics relative to functionality? Does it truly matter? Artistically speaking, looking nice is never a bad thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Aimee Wilder "Analog Nights" Wallpaper

Yes. Wallpaper.

What about it again?

Forget Louis Vuitton, some of the best designs around can be found on wallpaper, and not just the kind you use on your MySpace (that is, if you still use MySpace). This wallpaper is the traditional kind you soak and plaster onto walls. Regular old paint still seems to be the go to for adding personality to a room, but that doesn’t mean wallpaper has died. It just needs reviving.

Not too sure how many wallpaper artists there are out there, but one thing’s for sure: they exist and they’re not going away any time soon. This is a good thing, especially when you consider websites like this one:

It features custom made, COOL looking wallpaper. Not the kind we often think of in movie with throwbacks from the 70s, but the kind that’s functional and can really add to a living space.

Some of the papers on this website are absolutely phenomenal and look as if an artist came and personally drew or painted onto the wall. Unfortunately these probably aren’t the kind you can find at Wal-mart or Home Depot, but you can be creative with a room by using multiple designs and patterns for a distinctive look. Using vertical designs along with likes of floral or mixing and matching can easily create some other contrasting design. Simply find which colors complement one another (or not, if you’re feeling adventurous) and wallpaper your heart out. Not only will it look original, but it will also reflect your own artistic taste without burning a hole in your pocket.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Class Story: Watercolorist

Patricia Harper says she doesn’t know where she got her talent. One day she started drawing and never quit.
“I don’t remember my first drawing or painting, I only remember spending all of my time with a pencil or brush in my hand when I was a kid,” she said.
            Harper is a watercolor painter from Port of Spain, Trinidad, a Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. She says as a young child the island itself encouraged her to keep drawing and painting, as there was always something new to find.
            “Sometimes, especially during the summer, the sky or the water would look different every day for a week,” she said.
Harper came to the United States with her parents and five older siblings in the 1970s. Though she did not have the same inspirations as she did in the sometimes-cold northeast Ohio, being the youngest meant she had a lot of time on her hands.
“Everyone else is older than me by some years, so I always had to find something to do on my own,” she said, “East Cleveland wasn’t as exciting as home, but when you’re a bored kid you have to make the most of it.”           
            Harper is now in her 50s and creates more work than ever before. She currently resides in East Cleveland, Ohio, where she takes artwork commissions aside from being a registered nurse. Most of her work is in the form of paintings, but she says she still receives commissions to create colored pencil or charcoal pieces as well.
Her career in the medical field has been especially beneficial for her commissioned work. She says two patients’ families have requested paintings of their loved ones and she is happy to oblige.
            “I just really enjoy making people smile with my work, especially for the families since they sometimes don’t have much to look forward to,” she said.
            Beginning this year, Harper says she plans to start entering her work into exhibits and galleries once again. She says working full time on with a typical nurse’s hours per week has kept her from doing so for the last 15 years.  Even before then, her participation in these galleries was only a few a year compared to the handful or more she would do in years past.
            Aside from returning to the art scene, Harper says she is also excited to begin creating artwork in other media. She says watercolor will always be her medium of choice, but the popularity of digital work has sparked her interest in recent years. Her oldest son, Tyler, is a graphic artist and opened his studio to her to begin making moves in the digital realm last spring. Now, a year later, he says she may be ready to even take on clients if time permits.
            “She learns quickly, but then again I learned everything I know from my mother anyway,” he said.
            Harper plans to show off her latest work at the Hester Street Fair this summer in East Cleveland, Ohio. She plans to bring a wide array of her work and will have several pieces up for sale as well.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Guess Who (or What) is Back? You Guessed It: Traditional Animation

Disney recently released “The Princess and the Frog” to DVD and it's exciting on many different levels. Despite this being Disney’s first adventure with a black princess, it’s also its first whirl with a majority traditional animation in a while. With the advent of computer technology and such, we’ve begun to see much more computer-generated work being released. There is nothing particularly “wrong” with this, but for the generations accustomed to Disney’s classic side, this is a breath of fresh air.

Much work and preparation goes into creating a hand drawn feature length movie, and with the market for CG (computer generated) movies on the rise in the late 90s, Disney made the switch. Much of this had financial implications of course (Dreamworks and Pixar were blowing Disney out of the water once upon a time, and with no pun intended), but now that they are out of the water it must have felt like the a good time to release a traditionally animated film. That, and many people may not go for a princess classic in CG. You never truly know, really.

Anyway, technically speaking “The Princess and the Frog” is an awesome movie visually.  It had the characteristic colorful musical numbers present in nearly all musical numbers, but being set in New Orleans the directors likely knew they would have to put a lot of focus on Cajun and New Orleans culture. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, you would see how good a job the illustrators on this project did to artistically preserve it the movie. You can even see this by checking out the movie's website.

Now, will traditional animation stay awhile? Probably not, but that's okay. It's great to see good films in traditional animation can still do fairly well against its late 21st century counterparts.