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Design Portfolio -- critique requested!

Hey guys,

So I've finished up my design portfolio to send out to people as I look for a co-op term in Calgary for the summer. PLEASE give me feedback! I need it, and I want to get a job being a DESIGN STAH so I need the trickedest-outest design in freakin evar.

Job hunting on your own is so scary. But I think I'm better at it than I was before co-op. And if I get a good job this time i may never have to do it again because I have gotten several web design opportunities just from UBC after doing the co-op site.

Here is the small version:


Larger version after the cut

Read more...Collapse )If anyone knows of any good communities I could post this to for crits please let me know.

Painting -- the class, not the medium

I'm feeling really nervous right now. Even though I got a lot of good news today. [ETA: I don't know what day this was -- possibly Friday? I don't remember what good news I got on Friday.]

It's the end of the semester so that's always the root of my nerves. I think I may need to stay up late and just post this; it's different from how i usually feel at the end of the semester because I'm a little bit surer of what I'm doing, but of course there's a whole lot of self-doubt that's creeping creeping.

At the end of October I entered an art contest for Arts Instructional Services and Information Technology (Arts ISIT) -- we were supposed to make a 'image' sort of thing that answers "What is Technology". Anyway I did my thing in like an evening and I couldn't think of anything interesting to do (I haven't really illustrated in a LONG TIME because we are illustrative work is Highly Discouraged in my classes). Well maybe I could have, but it probably would have been a digital project. Anyway I won a white spot gift card, and the guy who won the grand prize is in painting with me. I would show you the subs but mine is terribly embarassing, but I thought whatevs, and I guess that was the correct thing to think because I did win the gift card *shrug*.

Today, December 1st, my show at the AMS gallery opens. I am really really glad that Phil* came by on the very first day because now I don't have to be nervous about when he will come by to talk to me. I wish he had actually really tried to talk to us one on one during the course of the course though. I might have made some more changes. I did try to talk to him but he's sort of hard to read so .... yeah. Anyway what he said was really useful and gives me a good starting place for next semester, but it leaves me totally not sure what grade I've gotten in the course, and I basically need an 80 or above because I'm doing honours. So I'm worried. But as he left he said grades are never set in stone and they can always go back and be changed -- I said I would remember that. So I know I have a path of recourse if worst comes to worst. I'm not sure it will, I'm not sure what I'll get, and I knew what he was talking about and it was a pitfall I knew I was risking but I felt like i needed it anyway and I think I did learn a lot -- got what I wanted to get out of it, so we'll see. We'll see. But it did sound like Phil expected me to continue making art and that if I went forward more with what I was doing I could make things that are good, and he said I have good ideas and he liked my sound pieces (one of which is definitely failing in execution right now).

* Phil is my painting professor. He's got a really weird sense of humour; he's hard to read and I don't have any real idea how I'm doing in his course. He's also very theoretically rigorous -- the guy who won the Arts ISIT thing is probably not doing very well in the painting class because he's not very into theory or conceptualism.

Photos from some of what's at the show after the cut ...

From VISA490 images

From VISA490 images

From VISA490 images

From VISA490 images

My approach to art

One of our assignments in Sculpture/Printmaking (don't ask) is to write a short (500-1000) word essay on our approach to art. I thought I would post what I have so far. Any comments are welcome! The last paragraph is a bit of an orphan; I liked how I worded it, but now I have stated the thoughts earlier. So i will need to graft. But eh.

For the past three years, my most common approach to art has been to be presented with a question, think of some angle of it that I find interesting, and then try to think of some way to address that in a visual mode. Of course this is because I'm a student, and normally I'm trying to fulfill a project. Now that I'm in fourth year -- and a few times in second and third year -- I have the opportunity to come up with some art ideas completely on my own, and how I approached that was to think about what I'm interested in and the themes I have gravitated towards around the projects. A lot of the work I did, even when presented with a project to fulfill in the last three years, had to do with thought and cognition. So now I'm trying to work with these ideas in more depth so that I understand why I gravitated to them so consistently. What I have discovered in this process is that I'm really interested in the “space” just beyond what I understand. I can't speak about that “space” specifically -- these are ideas that I think must exist, or spaces on the outside of ideas I've read about, or ideas insinuated by poems or fiction, but that I can't completely wrap my mind around them yet. Because I can't wrap my mind around them, I can't talk about them, and I've found that most of my reading on these subjects doesn't satisfy me; I am left feeling like there's something in the space that I still don't completely understand that is important.


I had this feeling very strongly last week while I read about Ludwig Wittgenstein's ideas about sense and nonsense. I have been fascinated by “nonsense” for a long time, and it's probably connected to my fascination with things I can't quite understand, and part of it, I'm sure, has come from reading books like Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Outside, Over There, Where the Wild Things Are, and Edward Lear's The Owl and the Pussycat as illustrated by Hillary Knight, as well as by T.S. Eliot's poetry and Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Haunted). Anyway, what I was reading about Wittgenstein is that speech about things that can't be “represented” -- which includes logic, which doesn't “picture” anything itself, and a whole host of ideas that might not “picture” the world – which means that many ideas, including most of philosophy, that make “sense” in general, at least in my understanding of sense, which is roughly ideas or thoughts that can be adequately explained in words. It seems simplistic, or exclusionary to me to put so many ideas that make functional “sense” in the realm of “nonsense”, when for me, the “nonsense” should be the space for those "things" that can't be completely spoken because they can't be completely understood. I don't agree that there isn't any point in speaking about them, if that's how one wishes to work them out -- because I've gotten this feeling of a glittering, full nonsense in many talks where I just didn't have all of the background to understand everything as it was being said. The talk earlier this year on the Somnatic Sublime was one of these experiences, and to a much lesser extent, the Thing Theory talk had elements of it. Talking about them fills them out a bit, and for me, filling out the parts that you can talk about makes the part you can't somehow more tantalizing because you feel you are getting closer. I do this sort of exploration in my head in words, but I also find it fruitful to make art about or within these spaces -- I don't need to fully chart or explain the spaces before I try to work within them, and the unfixed quality that art retains where philosophy or an "ology", in the attempt to be understandable, must relinquish to a certain extent gives me comfort that I don't need to completely chart that space, that it is still important and interesting anyway, and also gives me hope that maybe someone else will understand the art differently and be able to tell me something about the space I didn't know (and make it that much more interesting). I am, as you can see, quite torn (but in a pleasurable or interesting way) between wanting to understand and finding things I don't understand interesting, at least partly because I don't understand them.  

That's basically how I approach artmaking – I like to explore ideas, to play with them, and if they are ideas that I don't understand myself that's when I feel like I'm pushing myself the most. I normally don't feel safe making work based on ideas I don't fully understand, especially because I'm so used to critiques where I need to speak specifically about all aspects of a work, and I don't feel like there's room for me not to know things, but I hope that I can move past that. At school I think I have to understand the art I'm doing, or the ideas the art is based on, but I'll learn more about those spaces I don't understand if I do let go of that control and try to charge out into the unknown. I don't really want to fill them in and elucidate them, but I want to feel the spaces and see what I can make out of them, leaving them -- not empty, but full of air that might melt into solids.

I think that this is why I like to read fiction and poetry more than I like to read philosophy. In philosophy, the goal is usually to fill in those spaces, and often I am left with the spaces I thought I would read about still glinting at the edges of my thoughts. But fiction and poetry are doing what I like to do too – feeling around in the spaces for glimmers that resonate.


This is going to be a very short post because I have crazy amounts of homework to do as I was in Calgary this weekend.

However, I need to express my confusion this election -- not about how I want to vote, but how I should vote. I'm in a close riding (last by-election, which I forgot about on election day, the liberal won by 151 votes over the conservative) in Vancouver. There's also been a well-publicized push for Vancouverites to vote strategically to get as little blue in parliament as possible, and there's also been a large swell of such initiatives across the country. But I'm NDP at heart, and part of growing up with values that went against the tide in very conservative Calgary, I feel like it's my responsibility to the democratic system to vote with my values, not strategically. This was important as I got used to the idea  that I'd be wasting my votes (Canada's government is decided by which party has the most seats in parliament. Each seat represents a geogrpahic area, and the representative is determined by which representative gets the most votes in that area. There are four parties that run candidates in all areas, one that only runs in Quebec but has a lot of support there, and several areas that have independent candidates or candidates from smaller parties. So if you don't vote for the winning canidate in your area, your vote basically doesn't count. And all the parties that support electoral reform to something reasonable like proportional representation, where seats would be based more closely on percentage of popular vote, are the ones that don't benefit from the current system and will thus never be in power). So now I have to decide by following my conviction that strategic voting perverts our ridiculous electoral system further (by causing voters to misrepresent their beliefs) and waste my vote and possibly let a conservative get this seat, or vote strategically, possibly help prevent a conservative from getting the seat, possibly not have my vote wasted, but not have my values represented in parliament -- because the Liberal platform is closer to my views than the Conservative platform, but the NDP are the closest to my views.

Any advice is much appreciated. I'm really having a crisis here. I have no idea what to do tomorrow.


OK, I'll try to be a good blogger. To some extent.

I decided to take the digital video course. Here are some images I made for it. I like some of them -- I didn't hand them in, though -- instead I did a sound piece. The project was about the "space between stillness and motion" .. I slowed down and modified myself singing Summertime (a lullaby and maybe thus a "still sound") and then cut it into ten pieces that are supposed to face in and out of audibility. It's meant to be displayed basically in a dark closet, one at a time, so that the sounds barely straddle the audible.

 I want to talk about what I'm doing in my other courses but I'm too tired and have too many other things to do. So soon!

ALSO: HEARTS ++++ : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EdaLfJjDuE&feature=related (thank you girls guides of Canada)