Monday, August 24, 2009

The First Lecture: Materials, Magazines, and Minimalist Messages

On the second day of our intro to graphic arts class Professor Babcock showed us the materials he used for his professional illustrative work and suggested materials that all the students could use. Some of the students were shy, but he eased the tension by telling an intersting fact about the psychological effect of how the levels and spacing of a room can effect the student's perception of the teacher.
He proceeded to demonstrate the refinement of using sable brushes and how they are expensive but durable as opposed to breaking and wearing down several cheap brushes to compensate. He also showed different quality inks and pens to show the what inks are appropriate for some projects and what cartein pens could accomplish more for fine detail or just to use as to fill space.
I've always been curious to know about these difference in quality material because as I venture into the world of illustration, I've noticed that several artist describe the kinds of brushes and inks they use but until now I've been unable to see the actual brushes and inks, let alone how they vary.
After the demonstration, the professor gave a list of art magazines that he said were signifigant for graphic design and illustrators to have in order to learn, update, and be inspired by as we develop as artists. All of the magazine supscitions seemed expensive, but hopefully worth the price. Money is currently tight enough as it is and art students often have to spend a lot for materials without monetary opportunities to pay them back. Some sacrifices must be made in any ventures.
Towards the end of class, he began to talk about the use of basic and uncomplex imagery to send messages to the common public. He used a term- Semiotics- which he said was the study of the meanin of things. He drew a dot on a chalkboard and called it an eye, saying it can take just a dot and people will interpret in one way or another. It reminds me of a scientific test in the eighties where they showed babies the image of a person smiling and reduced to the common smiley face drawing to see if a baby could still recognise and respond positively to the drawing becauce it had similar friendly features as a person smiling. The babies reponed to the smiley faces positively.
The right symbol or image can be one of the most powerful tools a person or media can use; wearing a cross lapin, or a elephant or donkey banner can divide a room in the right situaton.
Professor babcock wanted us to apply this concept in a series of three drawings, using simple signs and symbols to tell about stories we experienced. I feel I have done well enough with these drawings, and I am curious to see the stories people will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post. It sounds like you were listening. I like the example of the smiley face symbol for babies. I'll have to use that next time.
    Watch the spelling on: [magazine subscription, certain, differences in quality materials, artists, I haven't been, graphic designers, meaning, because, responded] . Also on campus here Graphic Arts is very different from Graphic Design.