Who stole my coffee?!

Firstly I’d like to welcome my second minion in the Orange-Elephants.Army [francescorizzi], who alongside [fallenaphrodite] will navigate the mechanical elephants to trample all over their keyboards in order to elicit text which will appear on your screen…

Secondly, I need more coffee.

Yesterday I spent much of my time after work backing up all the files on my laptop [via linux, my newfound life-saver] and then killing the whole thing and starting fresh with win7. There are a few features I can’t quite get used to yet but, I will say one thing. It’s fast, so fast that I don’t have any more loading-screen coffee breaks.

At any rate, when I got home today I set out to get a header for this blog. Poor me, I forgot to re-install all my graphics programs, and… appear to have mis-placed my disks! Oh noes! So I tried to gimp-it, the result you can see at the moment above. It’s not a good quality and took me like 8 times as long as it would have in adobe. I’m not satisfied but I gave up and just decided to take what I had for now. Once I get my programs back and have time again I will be changing it. [unless popular opinion likes it?]

I’m also considering what to do with my personal-website, currently at http://orange-elephants.com since I host it from the server box here at home I can do nigh-near anything with it. However, web-design has never been my strong point. [I think i mentioned that earlier?] I can critique a site for hours, and I know what [in most cases] went into it development-wise. I however don’t have the patience to really do much more than the basics myself.

All the idea’s I keep comming up with are busts. I don’t know flash, and most of the designs I think of are graphic/typography-based. There comes a bit of a conundrum when faced with fonts and typography. I know I can align most things using CSS, but will the text display? should I embed fonts in the page? When faced with so many issues my lack of experiance defaults to: make it images!

But I don’t want huge loading times!

My current solution? Since the website is more or less currently serving as a landing page to get here, twitter, and uh… well at any rate, its a diving board, which showcases some of my art on the side… I might just be able to do something if I get rid of the thought of traditional website and just go with a diving-board concept.

I need to think on this more, but I think that idea more than other appeals to me. There is nothing [much] of intrest to keep someone there, so why shouldn’t i just make it somewhere to ping-pong off of in a stylish artsy way?

Graphics Design ponderings…

When I was in 7th grade I had an art teacher, and I got lucky: I had the same teacher through 12th grade. I then went on to a community college for graphics design. I spent almost three-semesters taking -all- the art courses for the graphics design associates, but I never finished.

I was only 1 course away from the certificate of graphics technology and communication on the other hand. [Still only missing the figure-drawing]… Which strangely enough wasn’t part of the Graphics Design curriculum which I did finish -all- the art-and-tech related courses for. What’s left is all the general math/science/english stuff… Which if I went back now I’d probably breeze through but back then I really didn’t have the patience for it.

Regardless of my schooling, I am now working in the industry. I swear not a week goes by when I do not say “I wish I had believed my teachers in college when they said what was important rather than doing my own thing”… …”I would have never believed back then that artists really -do- buy books, and keep training, and everything like that… I mean its art right?”

Furthermore there is a teacher I had back then for color-and-design that I detested. She was constantly saying how if we wanted to be successful designers than after these 2 years, we’d continue on to a 4 year Design school. I remember thinking at the time, “It can’t be that hard, there is no need for another 4 years of this!” Well now I think “I really wish I had taken her advice.”

I was given a nice strong-foundation in art, and as much as I detested [what i percieved as my artistic-lisence being taken away] while in college, I really do find myself falling back on all my old text books, old notes I took. Remembering key things they drilled into my head until I couldn’t escape from it anymore.

Now on one hand I vowed never to go into graphics design after that… for the next fours years or so I had trouble making -any- art, because everytime I tried I saw myself anyalizing, diesecting, looking for how it would best fit for composition and color… all that stuff I learned just rolled through my head turning the creative process, into a science rather than instinct and intuition.

For awhile I hated that feeling…

How every time I looked at a piece of art, fine-art or design it didn’t matter. I was remembering all the history, rules of composition and colors, looking at it and critiquing how things were placed to maximize light and shadow, or move your eye.

Now, I work with it rather than try and get rid of it.

In fact, I find myself more-and-more often buying magazines, looking at articles and forums. Color managment, typography, layout, prepress… If someone told me I’d be doing these things all those years ago I’d have laughed so hard! The barrier and realization that I really do take my job seriously is that I went out and bought the design-essentials-index.

It was more than I wanted to spend. Truthfully all I needed was a CMYK book. But I didn’t want to buy something I couldn’t see and preview. So this was what Barnes and Nobles had, a set of 3 books bound together for the lump sum of 60$ which I would have -never- considered to be a purchase worth the money….

Yet right now, at this point, it -is- worth it. I am turning into my teachers, my aunt, and everyone else who always said “trust me you’ll need to know this later” who I either blindly rebelled against, or took their words on blind-faith while scoffing in my head. It is a rather perplexing thing… growing up and realizing that you have grown.


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