Author Archive

The Mystery

The information we have been provided with is regarding the 39th Annual Fullbright Conference, which will be hosted at George Washington University in DC from Thursday November 10th to Sunday November 13th 2016.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences and so I’m familiar with what works and what doesn’t about materials provided by the conference. In a addition to a commemorative program, because everyone wants one of those to take home for afterwards, I want to mockup a more functional app that allows schedule viewing. I also want to create name badges with personalized QR codes that can be scanned to create an in app networking system.

also I found you (ಠ_ಠ;)

2016 Conference

Mid-Term Assessment Advanced Typography

Where are you in your hours that you declared earlier in the semester? Looking at your work now, are your current accumulated hours enough?

I committed to working about two and a half hours a day on course work for this class, accumulating 112 hours by midterms. I’m not sure if I have consistently worked two and a half hours every day, but I probably have averaged about as much, considering some days I went far more than 2 and a half hours and some days I was busy working on other things and didn’t have as much time to commit to this class. However, if I am looking at my overall time spent on furthering my design education, also known as expert hours, I feel like I have definitely been successful in this regard. Between actual assigned coursework, all of the information I’ve absorbed sitting in the lab during other classes as a lab assistant, and plenty of time spent reading and watching professional designers talk about their work, I’ve been racking up the expert hours. I think this time commitment shows in my work and that if anything, I have learned the lesson of spreading my hours of work out over more days, especially concerning animation. I hope I never again put myself in the situation where I have to spend six hours straight working in After Effects.

Has your definition of “sophisticated” work changed from last semester? If so, how so? What is sophisticated in your weather report?

A conversation that I had with Jimmy has strongly influenced my understanding of sophisticated work. We were talking about my grasp on “style,” which is a bit lacking. He asked about my habits of looking at other successful work and told me to pay close attention to how they create within the constraints they are given, in order to reach the goals of the project. I think that as I absorb content, I want to be more intentional about picking up what works and then rather then just copying, analyzing why it works and trying to follow a similar process to get there. I think my weather report is sophisticated in the sense that I really stepped into the shoes of the viewer and made choices based on how I as a viewer would like to see the information. I tried to apply a logic of progression that begins to elevate this project to the realm of sophistication.

Describe how the new things you’ve learned so far connect to what you already had coming into the semester.

I was a little worried coming into this semester that my experience in typography was lacking. I was in, what I perceived to be, a less vigorous section of Typography I and I was worried this meant I wasn’t prepared. I think I was right in the sense that most of my technical knowledge of type had to come from supplemental sources (I read a lot), but I had picked up on the overarching concept of hierarchy. I think that I have been able to draw from all of my foundational classes, even ones not classified as GDES, in order to put together successful compositions that draw the viewer to what I want them to, or at least I know the questions to ask to start me on my way there.

What are somethings you are still unsure about in this project that you would like to know more about?

I think the aspect of this project that I would like to explore further is the idea of transitioning between two configurations of information without reintroducing the information entirely. In technical respects, I had a lot of trouble with this in animating without clutter. I think I want to spend some time thinking and reading about different methods of emphasizing information and transitioning that emphasis more naturally. I’d like to expand beyond the more conventional ways of drawing attention to type (color, size, etc.) and think more critically about the ways that people see and then process information. I want to look into the psychology of reading and see how we as people are trained to perceive different choices that designers make.

Assign a level of value to this project. Identify two other projects in your creative life and place this weather report relative to them. How close or far are they from one another? What qualities did each project have that the other’s didn’t that would rate them higher/lower?

I am going to look at this project in comparison to the interaction lesson at the end of Image Methodology  (where I used After Effects for the first time) and the final project in Typography I (where I was given an unformatted journal article and asked to format it). I think that these two projects serve as a good reference for my progress because they showcase my precious experience with the technical aspect of animation in After Effects, as well as the conceptual idea of taking pure unformatted information and applying design to it to change or enhance the meaning. I certainly have come a long way in respects to animation since the app mockup project at the end of last semester. I am not nearly as comfortable in After Effects as I am in Illustrator or Photoshop, but practice makes perfect. I think that if I were to go on and make more work in After Effects, it would be well informed by the process of creating this weather report. It’s true, the final outcome of the video is not as clean as I would like. However, I can pick out specific points and know how to fix them if time allowed that and I think that shows success in as far as the application of animation on this project. With respects to making design choices that give information more meaning, I don’t know if I have necessarily progressed. I think I had a pretty strong understanding of conventional ways to do that even a year ago, back in Typography I. The fact that I have not progressed beyond those conventional methods is what is pushing me to try different ways.

Break down the percentages of what entities are responsible for creating growth within the creative you. Am I part of it? Part of it is on you, right? Do you consider your classmates/friends as influencers on the course of your trajectory for success? At the end of the semester you will be evaluating me, but right now within your own pie piece, how much have you brought to the game? How did it end up that you brought that much?

I work my ass off. I put in hours of work on assignments and continue to make myself do design outside of assignments too. I give informed and constructive critique to my classmates. I absorb and apply outside influence to my work constantly. I put in the work. I think it’s starting to pay off. I think my weather report shows that.


Small dogs like balls…

And big dogs like balls…

all dogs like balls, even people dogs!

Expert Hours Declaration

The only useful advice I ever received from a substitute teacher in high school was this: “treat college like a 9 to 5 job, doesn’t matter if you don’t have classes that whole time, you’re working, whether that be working on assignments or studying or reading, you are on the clock  eight hours a day.”

I also once heard that for every hour in class you should spend three hours working outside of class.


However, in order to get 64 hours in every week, working 8 hours a day, I’d need 8 days. Rather than bend the space time continuum, I think I’ll just exceed that substitute’s advice by one hour and make it a goal to work nine hours every day.

If I apply the math to this course…


…sixteen hours a week spent on work for this course seems doable. Broken down, this means about two and a half hours a day, which I feel like I can commit to.

If I stick to this, I will have completed 112 hours by midterms and 224 hours by finals.

Better get working!

Final Assessment

fullsizerenderHow many hours of practice time per week would you consider excessive? How many hours would not be enough to create sophisticated work? Where are you situated?
It’s hard to count my hours, mostly because I feel like I’m always working. Even when I’m not physically sitting in from of a computer with illustrator open or putting pencil to paper, my mind is filled with design. I look at menus and I see type, I look at interactive apps and I see the gestures. I feel like design thinking consumes me. Is that too much? Maybe, but I think it’s helped my work, so maybe that’s ok. I definitely recognize that I also need to take time to “turn off” my design mind occasionally so that I don’t burn out. I would also like to add that any time spent in the lab past five o’clock on a Friday would be considered excessive.

What is “sophisticated” work? What is sophisticated in the designs of your maps?
Sophisticated work involves an elevation beyond the “default.” This means   there is a certain threshold of work that has to be done in order to consider the work to be sophisticated. I think often, this means taking whatever your original idea was and doing something more. In the case of my maps, this was most apparent in my visualizing information map. My initial bar graph was a standard stacked bar graph. It was composed of two solid colors and it wasn’t interesting. Eventually, I came up with the idea to create granola bars out of the bars in my graph. This added a whole new dimension to the graph and made it sophisticated. In addition to adding a sophistication to the project, I added a sophistication to my own level of expertise by learning new skills in photoshop.visualizing-information


What was some meaningful feedback you received about the maps and what did you do with that feedback?

decisions-insideThe most meaningful feedback I received was regarding my decision map. This was the only map that I had a lot of trouble starting on. I showed up to the critique where we were supposed to have a first draft and it was not up to my standards. I was frustrated that I couldn’t seem to come up with any thing decent, besides my main idea: kosher. I really liked the idea and was annoyed that I was probably going to have to change it. However, during our first critique, I was inspired by what Tuan (and others) had to say about the rationale behind decisions; the idea that our decisions, and the questions we ask in order to get there, have to refer to motives, not just the outcome. This helped me to redesign the way my map was structured and I was able to move forward with the rest of the design.

Describe what level of challenge you encountered in the creation of your maps. What was the hardest part / what was the easiest part? What was the most enjoyable part of the process?

I’ve found that in the design processes there are sometimes very distinct “aha” moments. All of a sudden, you have an idea that completely changes the way you’re thinking about a problem and it just works. That is the most enjoyable part of the process for me. I suppose the hardest part of the process is working through the time before your “aha” moment. I’ve learned this semester that there are calculated ways to work through that time. You can’t stop making just because you don’t feel inspired.

personal-geographyDid you do anything else outside of class, extracurricular, related to art, design, or creativity?

This semester I started making a lot of notebooks. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.  After sitting in on Kim’s GDES III class during my shift as a lab monitor, I became a bit obsessed with bookbinding. I found myself staying in the lab late into the night making spiral bound notebooks. I came up with a whole business model to sell notebooks, determining ideal sizing and materials. I also made personalized notebooks for each of my family members as Chanukah presents, which was a really good exercise in reading people and thinking about how they will interact with an object.



Whether positively, negatively or neutrally, how has your life outside of school impacted your school work?
I have no life outside of school and that’s a problem. In the past, I’ve done a better job of balancing work and play. This semester, I’ve let work take over completely and I can feel the toll it has played on me. I’m trying to figure out whether or not this is just what life is nw, or if I really am working too much. I’m taking fewer hours next semester (still more than recommended) so hopefully that will help.

What does the most ideal classroom environment look/feel like to you? What does it mean to be part of a class? This semester, what was your part/role/contribution to this ideal vision?

I thrive in a design working environment. I’ve found myself spending more and more time in the lab, even when I’m working on assignments that aren’t design related or that I could be doing from home. I like being in a creative space to work. I think the most straightforward example of this was when I was working on my decisions map and I was in the lab and I turned to Alex to ask her to look at my work. Work cannot be done in a vacuum, we rely on each other (rightly so) for feedback. Our work should not be static and I am happy to be a part of an environment that allows for dynamic work to be created.

Mid Term Assessment

process shotThis course has opened my eyes to a new way of using practice time. I’ve always had a hard time crossing the bridge between digital and analog art. I now understand that these are just methods and can both be used to reach the same goal and in fact, should both be used. I am now totally in love with the idea of sketching digitally. Before, I though of digital work as “the final product” – something that fits neatly on an art board as is ready for export to web or print. Now I realize that digital programs can be used in every step of the process. I’m really glad Tuan showed us his projects and how he works, because I’m finding that the edgeless, orderless flow of work really helps me create. I think that this has enhanced my practice time and made my work a lot more organic. I think that I have a very consistent practice, especially because it’s whenever I have a free moment; even finding myself doing graphic design while procrastinating on my graphic design homework.

I pride myself on the sophistication of my work. I follow rules very well and so once we were given the guidelines for a successful symbol, I worked really hard to make sure that I followed those guidelines. I’m aware that this rule oriented approach to design has it’s drawbacks and can at times inhibit creativity. However, I have found that it’s a great way to get results. My product looks like what it’s supposed to look like. End of story. However, I’m hoping that over time, I’ll be able to do both – follow the “rules” and be creative. A concept that we discussed in another class is doing work both “above the couch” and “below the couch.” I think that by making work that is below the couch, I will be able to start bending the rules a bit and making sophisticated work that is truly interesting. At this point, for the purposes of our “rules” for symbols, I’d say my work is highly sophisticated.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-35-44-pm-copy-2 screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-35-44-pm-copy screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-1-35-44-pm

I have always had a tough time dealing with feedback I have a very personal connection to my work and often have trouble being objective when listening to criticism. I find it difficult to remove myself from the work, but like anything else, practice makes it easier. I have tried this semester to take a step back from my work when listening to feedback from both my classmates and from Tuan. I know how easy it is to end up working in a vacuum and I am very grateful for the opportunity to receive feedback. Outside of the classroom, I’ve had practice receiving feedback that was hard to hear from my first freelance job. I had one idea of what they wanted and they had another and it was tough. However, I’ve learned and grown from the experience and am doing my best to use feedback in the best way possible. If I had to place myself on a sliding scale, I’d definitely say I am towards the middle on this front, but working hard to get to the point where I can take full advantage of feedback.

vinyl on wallI’d like to think that the level of challenge I gave myself was relatively high. I entered the course with more illustrator experience than some. This is a product of a lot of free time during the summer. It would have been easy to complete the assignment using minimal effort. I would have produced interesting symbols and shown decent craftsmanship. Instead, I rose to the occasion and strove for perfection. A prime example of this was my insistence on not failing the letters test. In fact, I recut the vinyl after my first botched attempt. I’m still a little frustrated that the dots on my “i”s aren’t there, but after all, the size was ridiculous. I also tried new tools and methods in illustrator and really pushed myself to create sound shapes that will hold up to the 64000% test. I also tried really hard to make symbols that I wouldn’t have to “fix” later. I wanted my process in illustrator to be clean and legible all the way through. I avoided stroking objects and made sure to make compound shapes as I went. Overall, I think it was a god learning experience and I came out a better craftsman on the other end. I would definitely say I herd myself to an intense level of challenge.

14408815_1338196439548625_443819424_nI have exposed myself to a lot of other expert experiences so far this semester. I always try my hardest to attend gallery openings and absorb as much design and art that Austin has to offer. I also had the opportunity to see my work from last semester on the Butterfly Project shown at the Bullock. The experience of going and talking about my work to people seeing it for the first time was very enlightening. I’ve also been doing freelance work this semester and it has been a new experience all together. Starting to make work for someone other than myself is definitely a new challenge and I’m really enjoying the challenges that come with it. While I would always like to do more, I think that my “extra stuff” would qualify as “lots.”


This semester I’ve faced a few challenges when it comes to social emotional development. This is the fist semester of my career at St. Edward’s taking a full 18 hour course load, as well as my first semester working. I admit that at times, I have been extremely stressed out and could have worked better to manage my time. However, I believe that I have improved over the course of the semester. Even writing this essay now, I am doing so as part of a structured plan for the weekend before midterms. I know myself and the time required for certain tasks and can plan accordingly. I also know the importance of self care and having fun. It sounds silly to “schedule my free time,” but with a life as jam packed with responsibility as mine, it’s important to take the time to breathe, and I am doing so. I think that I am making my way from out of control to in control and will only become more in control with time.

I have always been proud of my contribution to the classroom climate. I believe that I bring a lot to the table, metaphorically speaking and literally speaking this year as we sat around the table for critique. I’d like to think that I had helpful and honest things to say about everyone else’s work. I also pride myself in the fact that I was always available to help my classmates in any way they needed. As a lab assistant, it is part of y job to be available to students working in the lab. I have found that this availability reaches beyond the six hours a week that I am clocked in. My classmates respect my skills and find me approachable enough to come and ask for help. I think this is one of my proudest achievements this semester and I would definitely place myself at the highest level of achievement for this category.

Elements and Principles of Design

The Elements of Design



Line is the element of length as a mark connecting any two points. Lines can organize, direct, separate, be expressive, suggest an emotion, or create rhythm. They can join elements or divide them.


The external outline of a form or anything that has height and width. An example would be the three basic shapes: the circle, the square, the triangle, considered to be the fundamental shapes of design.


The look and feel of a surface. In two dimensional form, texture is essentially visual and adds richness and dimension to the work. Texture can also refer to pattern, which is visual texture.


The relative lightness or darkness of an object. Value adds dimension by creating the illusion of depth in design.


Color creates a mood within the piece and tells a story about the brand. Every color says something different, and combinations can alter that impression further.


Three dimensional form that has length and width but with minimal thickness.


An enclosed area of three dimensional space.


Solid three dimensional form.


Distance between shapes and forms, but it is best understood in designs as white space or negative space, terms used to refer to the empty but often active areas that are void of visual elements.


Can enhance or obscure, affect emotions, entice us to enter, create mystery, can even be the sculptural medium


Any word or image that moves functions both spatially and temporally. Can be implied as well as literal.

The Principles of Design



When all design elements relate to one another and project a sense of completeness. A viewer will always seek unity in a message. Without it, the viewer will lose interest. Designers use ideas drawn from Gestalt theory to help their designs.


When all the design elements are equally distributed through the design. There are essentially two types of balance: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical elements are arranged equally on both sides of a composition to suggest a stable or static motion. Asymmetrical elements create a deliberate imbalance to suggest variety or dynamical movement.


Scale is the comparative size of an element of art or object in relation to other objects and expectations about what is normal. Proportion is the relationship of the size of parts to each other and to the whole artifact or image.


Pattern created by repeating elements. Rhythm denotes the movement in the way that elements direct our gaze to scan the message for understanding or information. The term sequence is used to refer to the viewing order of the elements and to determine the order of multipage publications such as a magazine or book.


Indication of the most important element on the page based on the message. It’s the element that stands out and gets noticed first. The most emphasized visual element in design is called a focal point because it attracts the view

Project Three: Typeface Match-up

Project Two: Letterform

Project One: Maker’s Mark

Having grown up in the southwest, I have a strong connection to the desert. I chose to make my mark on a cactus pad that I found on the streets of my new home, Austin. I found a really interesting phenomena when I placed my mark up to the window in my dorm. Light completely transforms my “maker’s mark.”

1 2 3 5