This Monday in lecture we got our first look at Maya. It was both awesome and intimidating at the same time. First, we saw how to make a simple object, the wine glass, using simple polygons. The professor made it look easy and very intuitive, but I have a feeling I may not find it so simple. The capabilities of the program truly are amazing though.
We saw how animated characters can be “sculpted” using Maya and other similar programs. The videos running through the creation of these characters were astounding. It really is as though the characters come to life from “digital clay”. I can see how useful these programs are in product design, animation, and numerous other areas of design.
The whole world of 3D sculpting and modeling was rather daunting however. I have never been a natural with computers and sometimes even the most intuitive programs give me trouble. Maya seems to be much more complex than photoshop and certainly less familiar to me. Hopefully, slowly but surely, we can orient ourselves in this amazing program and begin to utilized some of its vast capabilities.
We are still not yet done critiquing project 3, but what we have critiqued so far has been very interesting. Many people showed a transformation of self in their projects and connected strong ideas to their work. For example, one piece showed the artist transforming from a barbie back into her natural, true self. Her message was one of self acceptance and resistance to societal beauty pressures and conformity.
Another transformative piece showed the trajectory of thought and inspiration. As the series progressed, a repeated picture of the artist was altered to show colorful designs and shrubbery-like imagery emerging from his head. Still others showed a transformation of the real, photographed version of themselves into an animated persona.
The various ways my peers represented themselves was very intriguing. Some of us decided to show what influences who we are and who we have become, while others prefer to show the numerous sides that exist within the person they are. I found it a nice challenge to imagine how my self-portraits would be altered if I approached them from the perspectives of some of my peers.
I have decided to create a series of self portraits that reflect the people who have made me who I am. I have overlayed images of my family members on my own face. It has worked nicely that we seem to make similar facial expressions! The eyes seem to be the most important feature, as when I line them up right, the faces both seem visible and connected. I still have substantial work to do blending and refining the images to make the transitions between the faces smoother.
During Monday’s lecture we heard from Phoebe Gloeckner, a cartoonist and novelist (among many others media). I had heard of Phoebe before, from a friend who had taken on of her classes, however, I was a bit surprised by her bold manner. She spoke of medical illustrations and works she did of sexual positions and genitalia in general. Phoebe also spoke of her cartoons books that were loosely based on her diaries from her teenage years. I found it challenging and refreshing that she seemed to have few boundaries concerning the content of her work and her willingness to explain it. It made me think though, of how comfortable I would be with conspicuously displaying personal thoughts and issues and the deeper meaning and contents of some of my work.
Phoebe Gloeckner’s work dealing with the violent Mexican drug cartels and the effects they have on towns and families was also very engaging. The fact that murder is real and common worry and occurrence for the families is terrifying. The story of the quiet young Mexican girl who was murdered was especially disconcerting. The fact that little memory or evidence remained of her even in her own home and amongst her family is devastating. Phoebe’s stories about her trips to Juarez were shocking, but in a way I am thankful for the opportunity to become more aware of this issue. I sincerely hope the tragedy and atrocities these families experience can soon be alleviated.
here are some images that are influential and some important objects/
close-up of Do Ho suh's dog tags
places to me …..
pearls, pearls, pearl
Do Ho Suh's yearbook wall
1. One thought is a compilation of all the faces that make me, all the people that are a part of me. Perhaps in slivers to make up a face; perhaps layered under a silhouette or faded face.
2. Another possibility is a series of self portraits that represent various sides of me, various roles I interchange.
Daughter/sister/big cousin. Goofy kid/silly goose/dancer. Teacher/lifeguard/counselor. Runner. Crazy person.
3. Thoughts above my head. Self images that are not me, but how I/others see myself.
4. My faces reflected in small objects that are representative of small parts of my life. Objects that hold a lot of meaning and stories for what they are.
Rocks from camp. Pieces of track. Bulldozer. Worry stone.
I enjoyed checking out everyone’s hybrid animal creations today! It always surprises and excites me to see the variety of work we all come up with. Most of the pieces fit together well with the other “animals” in their series. For example, each image in one series of particularly convincing hybrid animals was surrounded by a frame, placing a storybook feel on each piece and connecting them all. Another series was three rather abstract representations of cats created in a similar fashion. Others repeated backgrounds or color schemes throughout.
I found the animated, cartoony pieces very intriguing. For example, the teddy bear with fish-netted legs and middle of flowers, along with the colorful seahorse with a rainbow main of hair both piqued my interest. I haven’t thought much yet to try a less realistic approach in my work in photoshop. These artworks showed an approach that starkly contrasts my images which are composed entirely of photos. I also enjoyed the humorous pieces, such as the army general with a dog snout and the “mercat”. Humor is another quality I have often overlooked when creating my pieces. Finally, a few series told stories (e.g the “new” little mermaid) which was an amusing and refreshing take on the assignment.