Visual Studies Seminar Blog Post #1


1. The main points in the first article are that art and innovation are very much alike, and that art is slowly becoming crucial to the business world. The main points in the second article are that artists and entrepeneurs are very much alike, and that artists should find people to help them make their vision(s) come to life.

2. Artists can learn that building reliable networks of people throughout their careers can help significantly.

3. I do agree that artists are entrepeneurs because most of them sell their work for a living. Whether it be street art, or something hung up in a museum, art is what helps them get by. Most artists are also becoming interested in creating businesses that sell their work, whatever it may be. I’ve seen lots of great art being sold on sites such as Etsy. While most of these are mostly small, on the side hobbies in order to earn extra cash, they give artists the confidence to create even bigger businesses.

4. Out of the 12 characteristics of artists, I agree with the following:
– Artists are neophiles. They are constantly remaking and making new ideas and images every single day, with different meanings.
– Artists are humanists. Many works of art were inspired either by emotion or an event in someone’s life. Artists want viewers of their work to feel a certain way, so they have to be in touch with “human condition” always.
– Artists are passionate about their work. If you’re not passionate about something that you’re creating, then maybe you should be doing something else.

5. I would probably add that artists are strong emotionally. Working in the art realm can be pretty difficult, especially when it comes to critiques. We slowly get to learn that while we may love our work, there’s always room for improvement – and sometimes we learn that through tough love.

6. I’m super happy that more and more people are becoming artists. It shouldn’t be a competition, and we should all support each other throughout our creative journeys no matter what.


1. I do have grit, but there’s always room for improvement. I feel like I need to work on not losing interest in any project that takes a while to complete.

2. Some things I could do to increase my level of grit is to not procrastinate.


Carla Martinez Mendez

Artists go through so much stress that we don’t know about. Sometimes, it’s better to step out of your comfort zone, and create something new. It’s interesting how Michael Kiwanuka was judged for writing a country song based on the color of his skin. It’s hard to create something different that most people aren’t used to seeing. In this case, a black man singing a country song. His creative process is very inspiring, because it shows that doing something different should be more exciting rather than terrifying. The possibilities are endless when you don’t set boundaries for yourself. By doing this, you let anything and everything inspire you. Whether that be someone on a bus, or a fish in a pond, the world is your oyster, as the saying goes.


Carla Martinez Mendez

I’m a minute into this video, and I have no idea what Amy is talking about. I don’t think that we are necessarily “born with” the talents and ideals that we have as we grow older. Becoming good at something, takes time and practice. You cannot pick up a paintbrush for the first time and expect to create a masterpiece. I feel like everybody is creative in one way or another. Whether it be creating new music, or sketching out a landscape, we all tend to enjoy the feeling of going out of the “norm” and creating something interesting. Also, I feel as though we tend to over-analyze our art. Especially with how the world is now, we’re afraid of criticism or “not being good enough.” If we just let loose a little bit, then I feel as though our art would be more free and genuine. Sometimes mistakes turn into amazing things. It’s just up to us to take that risk.


Carla Martinez Mendez

After watching “Stellar” a couple of times, I felt anxious and odd. What I was feeling couldn’t necessarily be expressed in words. The silence made me pay attention to the details even more than I would if there was audio playing along with the imagery. I took what I saw and interpreted it as something negative, as if this is a visual representation of what being nervous looks like. After the third time of watching it, I started to see faces. I imaged the bright specks of light that would move around at a rapid pace as eyes, and the different color variations as skin tones. I would give this video audio that makes the viewer feel lonely or afraid, because that’s what the video makes you feel as is. It’s interesting how at the end of the video, Stan Brakhage refers to Sam Bush as a “visual musician.” When we see art, we don’t really consider the creator as a “musician.” However, any form of art tells a story, just as music does.

Creativity and Making: Harra

Carla E. Martinez Mendez

Professor Robinson

Visual Studies I 1311

Mankind has been creative ever since the beginning of time. The fact that for millions of years, we continue to evolve and discover new ways of living our lives. Growing up, I’ve always paid attention to detail. Whether that be in a painting, film or textbook, more complex things interest me a lot more than simple ones. It’s ironic, because while intricacy does interest me, so do things that are more modern – more simplistic. I don’t think that they’re boring, but sometimes it’s not necessary to add so much that you can’t appreciate the beauty of a design, in whatever form it may be in. Of course, it does make sense for different counties around the world to build such elaborate decorations as a symbol of power or intelligence. The more time and effort put into something, the more it’s looked at and thought of.
If I were to consider myself a designer, I wouldn’t want my potential career to be taken away by a machine. The Industrial Revolution (along with making our lives a little easier) also took a lot of opportunities for men and women (eventually) to earn their wages and support their families. And while I do enjoy browsing the internet and online shopping, we need to think about where the line should be drawn when it comes to machinery in the workforce. Will it just lead to humans becoming more and more lazy? Only time will tell. I enjoy knowing that I earned my money, and that my time and effort wasn’t wasted. A machine could only do the same job as me if I let it.
Design is so intertwined with many of our lives that, if we don’t see some sort of visual along with a piece of text, or a design on a website, we’re automatically disinterested. This is why the art industry was and continues to be one of the most difficult careers to have. Not only is it competitive, but you need to prove to your client(s) why they should choose you to help them make their visions come true, instead of someone else. Design will always be an integral part of the economy. If a company wants to sell a product or promote something, they look for designers who can assure that consumers are interested in that product. Whether it be through bright colors or fun illustrations, consumers are easily persuaded. I’m excited to explore the different media in which design can be created.

Creativity and Making: Pink

Carla E. Martinez Mendez

Professor Robinson

Visual Studies I 1311


I enjoy living in a “conceptual age.” Because as a creative human being, I get to explore different media and ways to effectively express my emotions and the messages that I want to share with the world. The world is constantly evolving, especially with technology, and there’s nothing that we can really do about it. A couple of years ago, I had watched a video that was about the American school system, and how in reality, millions of kids, teenagers, and young adults are constantly constrained in terms of creative thinking and expression. Unless you’re in an art class, you never really get to explore your interests, and get stuck in the abyss of your core academic classes such as Algebra I or U.S. History. The video raised the question: “What would happen if we let our children spend more time on creative expression through music, art, etc. instead of math and science?” I believe that those children would grow up with a different mentality. One that’s more open-minded, and that they would be less afraid to put their art out there for the world to see.
I’m excited to see that the art business is expanding more rapidly than ever. Sure enough, even with the first week of school being over, I know how tough it is to make it in the art industry – to get a career out of it. However, that clearly isn’t stopping anybody, now is it? I’ve been interested in art ever since I was a little girl. Being able to visually please others brings me joy, it’s a platform I can use to make a change back home.
Growing up, I also did not enjoy taking tests. They made me stressed, anxious and disappointed if I ever did badly on them. It’s interesting that (as mentioned in the article) one’s IQ is truly insignificant when measuring someone’s success. If you were to tell that to a group of kids in elementary school, maybe they wouldn’t worry so much about the standardized tests that are created to pave the way to either a successful or average life. If someone has high-concept and high-touch qualities, they are automatically more fun and interesting for me to be around. Creative people, as part of the “creative class,” serve a huge role in shaping our society today. Without them, we would go back to being outdated.

Creativity and Making_Flusser

Carla E. Martinez Mendez

Professor Robinson

Visual Studies I 1311




Before reading “The Photograph” written by William Flusser, I had thought that a photograph was just a photograph, with no meaning behind the photographer. The ways in which colored photographs and black and white photographs differ amazes me. When you look at a black and white image, you tend to think about the context and meaning behind the surfaces that you see. However, in colored images, you disregard the context and focus on the world rather than the “photographic universe.” It’s interesting how Flusser identifies “black and white” as theoretical. It is true that they are concepts, and if we were to live in a world with no color, just hues of blacks, whites and grays, we would analyze the details more often.

Because we as humans tend to analyze many things on a day-to-day basis, we focus more on logic rather than judgement. This is probably why the debate on religion and science has been going on for many years. If everything is never completely true or completely false (as Flusser mentions) then where exactly do we draw the line in what’s logical and what isn’t? I never really thought that colored photographs were, in reality, worlds of concepts. It’s true that colored photographs are more abstract because when we see a black and white photograph, we are presented with less to think on, and end up being more concrete.

Flusser’s commentary on decoding photographs was, again, fascinating to me because it isn’t really something that most of us think about. A camera’s capabilities are much more powerful than I had previously thought. When you use one, you really are under a “spell,” because you’re limited to that camera’s capabilities and them only. And this can lead to conflicts with whatever the photographer’s intentions may be. I agree with Flusser that these two ideas are interconnected, and that it’s difficult to think about one while disregarding the other. They work together in order to make the viewer more interested with the photograph itself.

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