Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Process of Senior Project: Round 1

Hello, I've started my Spring semester, and I will be posting bits of my process. First up is my Senior Project. This may be the main thing I focus on.

The project will be a large illustration of an environment that is inspired and influenced by real places from my childhood (St. Peter, Minnesota, or places I traveled with my family), and from more recent places I've been (Minneapolis, Ireland, some places in Europe). The look of the environment will be inspired by 2-D video games, particularly those in the 'platformer' genre. I will also be making an animation showing how a cursor, which will look like a hand, can explore and interact and find little objects in the environment. So, it will kind of be showing how it could be like a point-and-click adventure, sort of in the style of the browser-based point and click adventure game Samarost.

Here are a chunk of visuals of my process and development so far:

An early rough idea of how the environment could be designed.

Some of the type of texture I will incorporate.

Some of my brainstorming and thinking-out-loud, as well as a sample of the look of the environment.

More pictures, as well as very short and rough trailer will be posted tomorrow.

I also wanted to mention that I will probably have some light guitar strumming or music of some form in the animation. The animation will display like a trailer.

That's all for now, goodnight everyone.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sketches, Chicago, and the Start of School

Over the past few months, I have been trying to enjoy my summer, but also got down to some bizz-nuss after being accepted into two separate shows. One is at the Fine Line Cafe, organized by "RAW Artists of Minneapolis". I will have as many pieces as I can fit on a table. Click Here (*Link to come as soon as I receive the link from the organizers) for a link to the page where you can buy tickets. I need to sell 20 tickets by September 19th! Even if you cannot make it, a purchase is appreciated. (And stop by the show TONIGHT at 8 pm, for this month's artists, including my brother Dylan Davis) Fine Line Cafe is located at 318 North 1st Avenue.

The other show is at Altered Esthetics in northeast Minneapolis, the specific exhibition being titled, 'Home', and featuring many other artists as well. The piece I had accepted is called 'Hands of Surveillance', and it was for a class assignment about how the government and other organizations are increasingly prying into our private lives, whether it's for 'national security' or figuring out how best to tailor ads to consumers. I'm not extremely paranoid myself about the topic, but it could make me pretty uneasy if I thought about it long enough. The opening is at 7 pm on September 2nd, and I believe it runs through much of September (Artist's Discussion on the 17th, 1-3 pm). It is in Northeast Minneapolis, on 1224 Quincy ST SE.

Otherwise I've been working a little at my slide library job, where I get to hang out with some great people, back in the Visual Resources department. Will be continuing that on through the school year.

Speaking of the school year, that starts on Monday, though technically I will be starting my first in-person class on Wednesday. I probably will start my online course, History of Illustration, on Monday. Already ran into the international students today, among other friends and acquaintances. The campus is buzzing and busy, and I'm very excited to begin the school year.

Oh, and I visited my grandparents this past week, which was nice. Then I (and my brother) dropped by Chicago and had pizza with my parents, and my cousin and his wife, some satisfying deep-dish pepperoni and sausage pizza, along with good conversation. We then spent some time with a couple friends who we had made in Ireland, and explored the city, including Bucktown, downtown, the Art Institute (museum and school), Millennium Park, a little of the lake front, and the Lakeview (Boystown) area, where I had a great dinner with my brother, my friend Meghann and my cousin and his wife. We left on the megabus, watching the tops of houses, apartments, churches, and cathedrals pass us by on the way out via the interstate.

In sketch news, Here are some recent sketches I made while at the Spyhouse Coffee on Hennepin Avenue. I tried some blind contour, followed by focusing on a single person, which included blind contour sketches of varying length of time (2 seconds to 10 seconds roughly). Then a longer, non-blind sketch. I notice I tend to give too much length to the head from the back to the front, because I used to give too little, so I kind of over-compensate now sometimes.

Also, sketching at a cafe is often an exercise in focus for me, because I have some anxiety/nervousness being around other people, and it's hard for me to just feel like purely drawing instead of having my thoughts racing.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Imagined Spaces Project

These are the beginnings of a potential project I will keep working on. It started as an exercise to get me working on art/drawing, so I picked something I know I like doing, which is making designs/floorplans/sketches for imagined spaces. Specifically, since I did this assignment in high school a few times (making floor plans for a house/building), I have always enjoyed thinking about what my 'dream' apartment or house would be.. with these sketches (and the start to the digital piece), I've been thinking about my 'dream' space, but more within realistic financial limitations; so, these images are for an imagined small, 1-person 1-bedroom apartment unit. I have some more floorplans for larger, possibly 2-person units which I will post as soon as I get them scanned.

Oh, and I kept these scans as they looked, the sketchbook visible and no touch-ups, 'cuz I like how they look (okay, yes, I am sort of just skipping that part because I don't feel like doing it.. but I DO like seeing sketches in original form. The lighting is mostly close to the originals on these, too, as far as I wasn't working under a glaring desk lamp that would have washed it out; sometimes when I do some Photoshop lighting adjustment, it blasts out the little scratches and eraser marks that I think add character).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Venice and Paris Blind Contour Sketches

The second round of combining-ation, this time with sketches from Venice and Paris.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blind Contour Sketches of Florence

Okay, so my brother and I traveled for two weeks after finishing our semester abroad at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland.

I did in fact have my sketchbook with me, but I didn't do a ton of sketching. What I did do, I am currently putting all on one page (one page per section of the trip). This is the page for Florence, Italy (the place that we spent the most time, about four days, with a wonderful host and friend).

Most of those doodles are blind-contour drawings. I tried picking a colored-pencil to convey the mood of the place that I was when I decided to do the drawings. The phrase, "A guy kicked it" is referring to somebody kicking that glass bottle that I was drawing (it was the night before Labor Day, and there was MASSIVE celebration on the streets, so crowded that you had to push and shove your way through to get anywhere; and so glass bottles left on the ground would just get kicked around, sometimes breaking into pieces).

More to come soon of the other places, which yielded less sketches (perhaps because I felt more rushed in the other places, having only a day or two in Venice, Weimar, and Paris, as opposed to four in Florence. We visited London and Brighton at the start and end of our trips, but I felt too focused on scheduling and meeting friends at the start of the trip, and at the end, too tired :P ).

PS. Here is a link to the Flickr set (see bottom of paragraph), of more than 1300 photos, taken by both of us (see tags for who took which photo), from those two weeks traveling afterward. It includes photos of the 'sights/sites' that you're supposed to go see, plus a handful of more random, sometimes more blurry, shots of just walking around. Also a ton of photos of book covers and some shots inside books, as we spent a lot of time in bookstores, especially in the children's illustrated book sections. (We took home maybe a dozen books, mostly smaller. One of my favorite illustrators as a kid, Sven Nordquist, had a newer book that was pretty large in terms of length and width, but we decided we had to squeeze that one home, and so did. He was famous for the Festus and Mercury books, or known in their native place as Findus and Pettson. Here is a link to the book we got, which was not related to Findus and Pettson, but still extremely awesome in its level of detail and color on each page: )

And here's the link to the Flickr set I spake of above:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Last couple weeks

13 days left. I am putting the finishing touches on finals. Booked a hostel in Paris for that leg of the journey after the semester ends. Trying to figure out exactly what numbers to dial when using my cell phone to call people in other countries. Going to print maps soon, of certain parts and areas of the planned trip, as well as the boarding passes. All this stuff I just mentioned has been good distraction material at times, because I'm entirely going to miss being here and being with the people I've gotten to know, and thinking about leaving all this can be kind of a downer.

Below are just some selections of photos from the past couple weeks. Kinda-sorta in chronological order. There are some shots of my artwork nearer to the bottom.

Left: Brijit, Emerson, Ellen, Cameron, Hannah. Pointing out how Liz is about to be attacked by seals. Center: Cliffs of Moher in the distance, near the departure point for Aran Islands ferry. Right (or third one): Tilly looking at the world upside down.

Left: Old (8th century?) church on the Aran Islands, during an after-dark bike-ride adventure. Right: Hannah, Dustin (aka Charcoal Dust), Liam, Dylan, before all were turned into poo-flinging apes (except for Dustin).

Left, Oak tree near Charleville Castle. Center, View from the top of the eight-story tower at Charleville Castle. Right, Charleville Castle basement

Left, Meghann the Meerkat. Center, Cameron, Hannah, Charcoal Dust

Above three and this one on the Left: Shots for my 'photo-illustration' project of little guys made out of kneaded erasers in various spots and maybe telling a story. Right: Corner sculpture. gonna have to paint my studio walls white this week, we'll see how it works out with this here...

Billy Jean/that milkshake song, remix

Biking on the Aran Islands

Monday, March 14, 2011

new updates

all of my new updates have been over at this blog for the past couple of months, in case anyone's wonderin':

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art I made here at the BCA

These first eight photos of are of the new direction my independent project for MCAD is going in. They are based on the charcoal drawings I did for the first half of the semester (see further below for those). The explanations further down there will help in understanding these ones, too, I think. I feel like these may go in a more interesting direction, and allow me much more freedom and time and ability to control the emotion of the pieces. Also, these setups are in my studio, and ideally I want to set them up outdoors, with better lighting.

Here are some snapshots of a few of the charcoal drawings I worked on the first half of the semester (and now plan to finish two or three of.. there are four total, I think they're all shown here), for my MCAD Independent Project. It deals with little people making their own world and environments out of found natural objects, as well as found trash. The photos might not be the best lighting, but since the license on my Photoshop ran out at the start of the semester, I can't adjust them in there.. and I don't plan on buying the CS5 Student Premium upgrade until I return to the States in May. Anyway, here they be.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Berlin, Irish Studies field trips, soccer, Crits, and Dingle

I'm still somehow a Blogger formatting newbie, so, the order of the blog post will be: photos first, with most recent events first (Dingle, Soccer, Irish Studies field trips, and finally Berlin). And then I have a big hunk of writing, in chronological order, addressing the topics listed in my blog post title. I am also going to make another post, soon after publishing this one, showing some of my recent art work stuffs done here at the BCA.

Here are photos (and video) from the class trip to Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland, as well as the bus ride back (the first two photos are actually the bus ride back; the first photo in fact is Galway Bay, right in front of Ballyvaughan):

A photo from one of our fairly informal soccer games:

The most recent Irish Studies trip, below:

Berlin photos below (blog post is further down still):

Being pretty sick at the moment, I thought I'd take some time to do some good old writing. Like usual, I don't know if I'll cover every last little thing, and I might forget some things. I guess I will do my best (and if I give up early on some descriptions, you can blame my cold, because yes, its reach is actually extending into my desire to stare at a computer screen for too long).


This was only my third time on a plane. I think it was AerLingus. I am going to be flying Ryanair in the two week travel period afterward; hoping that it's not extremely horrible as many people make it out to be..I've heard there are hidden fees, and that you have to pay to use the restroom.. as long as I get there safe and sound, I'll try not to worry about it.

Anyway, got to Berlin; felt very significant, as we landed, got off the plane, and made our way via bus to the hostel; this was my first time in a completely non-English speaking country. Right away after checking in at the hostel, we went on a school-led tour (faculty accompanied us on this trip). Saw where the Berlin Wall used to be, near Checkpoint Charlie, in the middle of the city. Walked through the Brandenberg Gate, and saw the Reichstag (the main government building) from the outside. Briefly saw the Holocaust Memorial sculpture from the outside, but at this point some of the group split off to go back to the hostel, because it was getting very cold. I was in this group, and we almost seemed to get lost, but eventually made it back. This tour marked my first time on an underground rail, or subway.

The next day, we visited some galleries on faculty-led tours. Some interesting art here and there. It was an early time to get up, though, and no time for naps or snacks left me fairly hungry and tired much of the day. Still a cool experience, though. Saw the building that used to be the SS headquarters during WWII, but which has since been occupied by squatting artists. Lots of neat graffiti and some cool arts and crafts for sale. Ate some food at a Singapore restaurant; visited a cool mask and costume shop. That night, I chose to go bed early while Dylan went out with some classmates to this same place, where they had a bar and a live show going on. Either this night or the next, before Dylan went out, we also visited a used clothing store called The Garage, but did not buy anything.

The next day, we had more scheduled tours, this time to a museum. Very old and astounding artifacts, and very large too (almost complete pillars from Roman coliseums, which were at least forty feet high) Then we had free time. We split and joined back up with a couple different groups at various points. Walked through a Turkish market, had a good cheesy sandwich/flat-wrap like thing. Lots of the kiosks were not necessarily Turkish, but many were. Found a cool little kid's playground with some classmates and friends, back behind the market, in between some buildings. This night, which I think was the last night, I traveled with Dylan to an area near our hostel that was supposed to have good bookstores. We found a neat little semi-basement coffee shop, and a bookstore. The clerk at the bookstore helped us pick some specific-to-Germany illustrated children's books, and we picked a couple that we thought just looked neat, too.

The next morning, we had some scheduled tours, then had the afternoon free. We spent much of the time finding a couple bookstores the northern portion of the Mitte area. One store, called Grober Unfug, yielded a couple good finds that we bought (one of which was partially in English, and another one that was completely, but which the clerk said were German artists).

Also, I was called an Old Maid during a card game of that same name, one night at the hostel (the name-calling was part of the fun).

Irish Studies field trips

Every Friday, we have a lecture in the morning for Irish Studies, and then we go out on a field trip to sites that relate to what we talked about in class. Besides the lack of bathroom breaks, it's an informative experience, and it's neat to see and touch such ancient sites up close. The instructor, Gordon D'Arcy, is a wealth of knowledge (and is an author and artist himself; the book for the class is partially written by him, and many of the illustrations are by him as well).


Some people here at the BCA have been getting together and playing soccer for a few weeks now. It's been very exhausting, but very fun. Lots of people and things to laugh at, very good release. When the BCA groundskeeper joined in one day, it was a pleasant surprise. 2/3 of the people playing have hardly or never played soccer (or futbol), but it's still really fun.


I felt that my crits went really well. The main thing I was personally worried about was that I wasn't pushing out of my comfort zone enough, but I may be doing that currently (more on that later). Sitting through other peoples' crits was not as tiresome as I expected; I probably could have spoken up more than the one time I did, though. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have been sick and sit through the critiques, though (Thinking of a particular vegan friend. I'm feeling the having-a-cold-pain now, but thankfully not during Crit week).

The presentation by Tom Molloy, an artist who used to work at the Burren, but who is now pursuing his own work on the contemporary art scene (nationally and internationally), was very interesting, and relevant to our world today for sure. Respectable how much mind-numbingly repetitive work he puts into much of his art.


Most recently to the writing of this blog post (just got back on Sunday), we visited the Dingle Peninsula in southwest Ireland. In this region, enough people speak Gaelic/Irish that many sign posts are written only in this language. We went on a couple scheduled stops and tours the first day, including a scenic beach next to some amazing cliffs, and then a tour of a museum dedicated to the former residents of the nearby Blasket Islands; before 1953, it had a population of 200 at its peak, and the residents lived very isolated and harsh lives.

That night, I walked around with a couple different groups to a few different pubs, ending up in one with some live music. The next day we went to an aquarium, and got to pet several small sting-rays, and hold a starfish (both cool experiences). There were also sharks. And ice cream later.

Okay, as I said earlier, I am feeling pretty under the weather as I'm writing this. I could include more, but I want to get to the last stage, which is posting photos (and video). And actually, the photos will appear at the top of the post, which you probably already saw of course, if you are a read-from-top-to-bottom sort of person. The videos may appear below:

A crab trying to communicate with Meghann at the aquarium in Dingle: