Designer Interview

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For our post this week we were to contact and interview a designer whose work we respect. The information received from doing so was very intriguing and opens up a new perspective that we as students don’t get to experience yet. I chose to talk to a local illustrator named Christian Wolf who designs comics and does caricatures. I chose to talk to someone who works locally to see what their experiences are like working while living here in Kingston.

The process of contacting and talking to a designer was new to me. Being a student I haven’t done much networking in the design world as of yet. It is intimidating at first to go out and contact others but it’s a great learning experience for us to put ourselves out there and expand our horizons.

The most important thing I took from the interview was really staying true to where you are most passionate in design. From a young age, Christian was highly influenced by comic books and Mad Magazine. This area of design captivated him and that’s what he stuck too while developing his skills for the past 20 years. I think when you learn new things in design it’s important to take all of that in and explore it, but I also think it’s important to really be passionate about the field that you choose in design.

Another helpful discovery I made was that when you’re in a creative rut, the best way to get out of it is to take a break. You need to clear your head and come back to it, go online and look at new things in design to keep your ideas flowing. Another big thing is to push yourself with things that motivate you like music. I find it easy to relate to Christian because we both have heavy influences from music and when I’m in a creative rut, I turn to music to help me think creatively.

The best advice I gathered from the interview was that you really have to put yourself out there in the design world, and be versatile. Don’t wait until after you are done to start doing things in design, start designing for people and making a name for yourself as soon as you can. Make sure you know your skills and your best strengths and if you work from that you can start to build a customer base. The internet is full of helpful things for designers and you can improve on the things you aren’t good at from watching tutorials online. The more skills you have, the more diverse your portfolio will be which will help you significantly in your design career.

Overall this interview process was a great experience for me. It’s really great to talk to other designers and get new ideas and hear their experiences. I think the advice and information I learned from talking to Christian is helpful to anyone in the design field, especially to students like myself. I will definitely keep these things in mind for my future career as a designer.

Jess.

Some of Christian’s Work:

Desert TrekWolf GuardDancing Angels

Christian’s Blog

Christian’s Deviant Art Page

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Accessibility research into what healthy food really is.

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When my group researched into different communication problems at St. Lawrence College we found a very common subject to all our ideas. We found that people are making a lot of poor health choices, so for our main problem we decided to research, How people define what healthy food is?

We researched the top ten things being bought at our cafeteria and we found out that all of them were unhealthy and most of them were junk food. These things were very interesting to learn and somewhat shocking. We learnt that the decisions to buy these items are coming from many different factors; cost, ease, and the lack of information we have. Most of the food being marketed as “healthy” aren’t healthy, and contain things that we don’t even know. 

My group decided to do a poll to truly see the perception people have of what food is  healthy. We gave people the option to rank five different food items all ranging in nutritional value, from healthiest to least healthiest. 

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1. Garden Salad

2. Grilled Vegetable Wrap with Egg and Spinach

3. Chicken Noodle soup with Ham and Cheese Sandwich

4. Personal Pizza

5. Big Mac

The results to the poll were what we were expecting, almost everyone thought that the garden salad was the healthiest and the Big Mac was the worst. Surprisingly when we ranked the food by nutritional value that was not the truth, in fact the veggie wrap with egg and spinach ranked fourth. This is how we realized that a lot of the things that seem healthy are in fact some of the worst things for us, and the most important thing for this problem is to teach people this information. 

 

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1. Garden Salad

2. Chicken Noodle soup with Ham and Cheese Sandwich

3. Big Mac

4. Veggie Wrap with Egg and Spinach

5. Personal Pizza

I think we learned a lot of very important and insightful information as a group and we all worked very well together to find it. Everyone did lots of research and investigative work to contribute to the information we found, especially while looking at our extreme user who are students living in residence at the college and students with food allergies. For food allergies none of the ingredients are made available and options are very limited for them. The students in residence are stuck with having to rely on the choices that the cafeteria has, and if they don’t know what is in those options then they don’t know what is healthy. Those students also have a limited budget with the meal plan they have, and this means that they have to chose food options that may be lower in cost instead of health being a priority.  

It can be hard to realize what foods are actually healthy. Were you shocked by the results of the poll that we did? How do you feel about how foods are being marketed to seem healthy, when in fact they aren’t? 

Jess.

Hyperrealism in Design

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While looking at one of the blogs I talked about in my last post I was very interested in the subject of Hyperrealism. KoiKoiKoi featured a post on a young illustrator named, Karla Mialynne. After Karla illustrates something she takes a picture of the drawing with the tools that she used. They are mostly created using colored markers, acrylic paint and watercolor pencils. If you were looking at the photos without the tools in it you wouldn’t be able to tell that they are real. She uses such precise detailing and I can only imagine how long it takes her to draw each piece that she creates. 

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It is amazing to see other artists doing the same thing as Karla, and those that are creating even bigger works of arts using hyperrealism. I found this post that features acrylic paintings, oil paintings, sculptures, pencil drawings, ballpoint pen drawings, watercolor, charcoal drawings, and 3D paintings all done with hyperrealism. “Although sometimes art is meant to stress its detachment from the reality, hyperrealism practically erases this line.” (source) The comments and opinions on these pieces of work are all about how breathtaking and captivating they are. 

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Hyperrealism is not only done with small drawings and extremes like sculptures, it is also being used with icon design. In this post it shows how these icons have so much detailing that you can’t even tell they’re icons. “It’s incredible that these icons are being designed with so little pixel space, yet still retain such a definitive sense of realism.” (source) Hyperrealism is a truly stunning and unbelievable thing to look at.

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Have you ever seen an amazing use of hyperrealism? Do you think the role of hyperrealism will increase or decrease in digital design?

Jess.

My Three Favourite Design Blogs

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In design we are constantly trying to stay on top of what is new and relevant. With social media and how digital everyone is now, things are constantly changing and people are constantly sharing their ideas. I wanted to share some of my favourite design blogs that I think demonstrate great ideas and are relevant to how I think in design.

The first blog I want to share is My Modern Met:

My Modern Met is a website that highlights photography, art and design. The motto they have is to “Share, Inspire, Connect” I think this is a great resource to have because we always want to be sharing new things and connecting with others in our field, and we all know there wouldn’t be any design without inspiration. On the website there is a blogs page where you can see new and exciting things having to do with photography, art and design. I particularly love that this blog has a variety of everything, because I think all of those things are important in the field of graphic design.

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The next blog I want to talk about is KoiKoiKoi:

Founded by Danilo Rolle and Rubens Cantuni, KoiKoiKoi features art, graphic design, illustration, photography, videos and even tattoo art. The blog has everything organized into categories so you can go and look at what you are specifically interested in. The blog is all about being creative and having a resource where you can look at the new and creative things at the moment.

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The third and last blog I will be telling you about is Invisible Creature:

Invisible Creature is run by brothers Don and Ryan Clark, who have a design and illustration studio based in Seattle, WA. On their website they talk about how they formed their self operated business, their work that you can look at and their blog. They do everything from product design, to amazing illustrations and I love looking at them. With the brothers starting their own band when they first started off in design they also talk a lot about music. Music and design is the ultimate best of both worlds for me, so that was a big interest for me in their blog. They talk about how designing for music is different in this age, compared to how it used to be. Their belief is that even though things have changed and you may be creating different things, music still has a huge role to play in the world of design.

I hope you find these design blogs as interesting as I do and draw your own inspiration from them.

Jess.