Studio Culture Event (Part 2)

Following last week's post about my preliminary work with SCAD, the next two weeks will be about my role during the Studio Culture Event. Today's post will focus on the artwork I created before the event.

The goal was for the students to be in a creative, problem-solving mindset before walking into the event. After some discussion, the committee agreed that I would create visual comic strip "prompts" to engage the students before they entered the auditorium where Curtis Zimmerman would walk them through revising the Studio Culture Document. The comic prompts would put hypothetical situations before the students to get them thinking about things from an unbiased, 30,000 foot view.

The comic prompts took several iterations to land on a good format. The delicate balance between being too obvious and offering too much freedom of interpretation was tough. However, we finally landed on having a nice illustration with empty comic panels. I have included a few examples of prompts below:

The blue illustrations were there to give the pages some style. When I created the poster, I unintentionally established the color palette for the entire event. I attempted to stay consistent with that while creating new, energetic illustrations to inspire the students. The use of abstract, textural elements with hand-drawn sketches seemed to do the trick. 

The examples with filled-in panels were there to help the students understand the point of the empty squares on the page. We kept them rough so that students would feel open to drawing in them. If you make something too pristine, people don't want to mess it up. Our hope was that the students would feel comfortable drawing on the page, no matter what their skill level was. The entire goal of the event was to get students excited about the studio culture, and these seemed to help with that purpose. 

Here is a closer look at the illustrations I created for the prompts. I put a little extra polish on one of them before posting. Sometimes you just can't keep yourself from touching up an old work of art. 

Stay tuned next week for more on my role during the event!

SCAD Studio Culture Event Part 1

I recently completed a long-term project with the SCAD Architecture Department. My role on the project was to offer visual suggestions for the Studio Culture Event, a function aimed at increasing student involvement in the revising of the Studio Culture Document. Among the many ideas thrown at the wall, a few of them stuck.

First of all, I was responsible for coming up with some sort of interesting way to incorporate visuals into the event and the final document. To do this, I sketched out ideas and presented them to the committee in charge of the event. Here are a few of the sketches:

The aim of this image was to convey the 
progression from student to professional.

This image's purpose was to explore a 
new way to format the final document.

This image was used to explore a stylistic
way to show how each student brings 
something different to SCAD's studios.

My first full assignment was to create a poster image that would generate interest in the Studio Culture Event, seen below:

The original version of the poster had a girl on the left, but I decided to edit it in order to increase the visual interest. My goal was to work with the positive/negative play of shapes in order  to create a loose, yet readable image. It has a very structured composition, but a tonal, textured rendering that helped keep the piece lively. The last thing I wanted it to say was "Come to this typical, boring event."

That's a look at the early stages of the project. Next week, I will share some images that were used for the actual event. Stay tuned!


This morning, I ventured out to do a plein air oil sketch. I found a neat spot to park my car and set up the easel in front of a large marsh.

I thought I was going to miss the sun cresting but managed to get my paints together just before it rose (a miracle to be sure). From that point it was a mad dash to capture as much information as possible without blinding myself. About 30 minutes later, up to my elbows in oil paint, I ended up with what you see below:

Lesson of the day: It is way more difficult to paint outdoors with oils 
than it is to sit in my comfortable studio on my computer.

Even though it was a rough start, ranging from oil paint complications to forgetting my palette knife (note: pocket knives are NOT a good substitute), it all came together to be quite the adventure. Always good to start the day creating in creation. I can't wait to try it again!

And we're back...with robots!

After a long time of transition, I am finally back! I have just settled into a new studio after a few months of being in limbo between two areas of living. Now, I am completely stationed in Savannah and ready to get back to making work. It's so encouraging to see people viewing my blog even in the absence of updates. Thank you for your interest in my work and my life. 

The past few months have been filled with more teaching of art than producing it, but I have been growing as an artist all the same thanks to little lessons I learn from God each day. It's so cool how He will teach you a deeper principle by just observing the way creation works, like light falling on a structure or the natural shape that trees are conformed to. It puts a whole new swing on the prayer, "Give me eyes with which to see". Ha.

For this post, I thought I would share a robot I have been working on recently. I applied some of the lessons I have been learning lately, and I think they really added some appeal to the design. What do you think?