My Last Post

Hey everyone,

I know that everyone is probably off celebrating the New Year but I wanted to make a quick post. This year has really been amazing for me professionally and personally and this blog has been a big part of that! I always appreciate the feedback on my blog and love hearing from you guys. Not only does it show me that you guys are interested in what I’m writing but it also encourages me to make more posts. Also I want to give a big shout out to my Twitter followers old and new.

Never did I ever imagine that I would have 140 something followers on Twitter tuning in to what is going on in my life. It really is amazing since I’m just this lowly graphic design student who loves finding inspiration online. I’m just really getting started in my professional career and I can’t wait to share more of my work with you guys. So thank you guys for an amazing 2014 and best wishes for the New Year! Until next time!

A Drawing a Day…

Hey everyone,

I know its been awhile since I last blogged but I’ve had a pretty busy couple weeks. First I had finals and that whole lovely time of the semester and then I had my wisdom teeth removed. If you follow me on Twitter you already kind of know some of this stuff. Anyway, I’m still recovering but I wanted to do a post since the end of the year is coming up fast! One of my goals for this winter break was to start drawing more often. Starting January 1st I’m going to a drawing a day challenge to really commit to this goal. I may also post my sketches/drawings on my Twitter and Instagram depending on how this goes. I want to squeeze in one more special and final post for the year but for now back to today’s topic!

I found this inspiring article about seventeen-year-old Mandy Wang and her drawing journey. In one year she was able to transform and enhance her drawings by simply practicing on a regular basis. It’s really amazing how much her drawings transformed over that little bit of time. Seeing this has really encouraged me to do the 30 day drawing challenge and hopefully make it more of a habit. You can check out the article below where you’ll find more information on Wang and her process! Until next time!

Link to article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/29/teen-disney-artist_n_6390644.html

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My First Client(s)!

Hey everyone! I wanted to give you guys another update on what I’ve been doing this semester and I’m proud to say I’ve had my first client(s)!!! Ironically it had nothing to do with my graphic design class but another class where we had to provide some kind of service to the community. Me and another fellow student teamed up and came up with the idea to create posters for a library event at our school. That lead to us meeting with the director of the library as well as two other associates involved with the event. The event we wanted to make posters for was the therapy dog visits that occur at the end of the semester.

They come the week before finals week to help students deal with stress and take a break from the books. What I’m going to show you first is the moodboard that I made before creating my versions of the posters. My partner and I decided to do our own thing separately and then show our designs to our clients. That way we could show them two different styles and concepts and go from there. The clients did not see this moodboard and it was mainly for my own reference. I’ve found making moldboards really helpful in fleshing out my concept and they’ve become an important part of my process! As always feel free to leave you’re thoughts below!

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More Moodboards!

Hey everyone! I wanted to take the opportunity to show you guys a bit more of my work and give you a taste of what I’ve been doing this semester. One of our projects was to create a timeline or infographic poster that highlighted a current event. I really struggled with the beginnings of this project and it was hard for me to come up with a topic that I wanted to highlight. Some of my other classmates chose to focus on topics such as the Ebola outbreak, Human Trafficking and war related spending. I wanted to make sure that my topic was not only current but also had significant importance.

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri is something that has been widely focused on and I felt this project would help me to communicate awareness of the situation. I chose my timeline to be on the number of black males killed in the U.S. by police officers per year. I felt that by focusing on this the project would end up being more credible since I was not communicating an opinion but rather facts and statistics. Below is the moodboard that I came up and represented my concept for my poster. I eventually plan to post the end result when I have a bit more time but I thought I’d share this with you guys! As always I love hearing your opinion so feel free to make a comment if you like! Until next time!

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From Playtime to Photoshoot

Hey everyone,

I saw this awhile back and I loved the concept these photographs. These were created by photographer Kelly Lewis and the model is actually her daughter, Alice Lewis. I think what I loved about these initially was the sophisticated simplicity of the photographs. I mean really, when we get down to it these are essentially a group of photos capturing a moment of dress up. Lewis is able to take this simple idea and make it into something bigger and highlight this typical childhood moment. Its also something very nostalgic for most people too.

Boy or girl, anyone can relate to this idea of dressing up as a kid and seemingly turning into another person. Whether it was transforming into a princess or a wronged prom queen bent on revenge (okay, maybe not so much the later). It also continues to amaze me at how parents and their kids are actually collaborating together to make such beautiful and interesting photography. Yes the parent is taking the picture, but ask any photographer and they will tell you that the model is equally (if not more) important to the piece. I also liked the positive attitude of these two on the fact that Alice is adopted and proud of it. I think it says a lot about this little girl’s character! Anyway I hope you guys enjoy this and there will be a link to the original article down below you can also see the other photos there too. Until next time!

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Alice015These first two need little explanation, I love the history behind these two and often take inspiration from their stories! As some of you may know I did some Alice in Wonderland based invitations for a tea party to be held by the Queen of Hearts. I also love French art and architecture so I often think of Marie when I’m doing something with a fancier design.

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Carrie is just a classic, I mean its so well known and a great Halloween movie. I love how her eyes just pop here, especially with the blood near them!

Link: http://laughingsquid.com/malice-of-alice-photographer-mother-and-nine-year-old-model-daughter-bond-through-stunning-cosplay-portraits/

Take My Breathe Away

Hey everyone! I re-discovered some photos that were floating around in my email and I wanted to finally talk about them. These photos are actually self-portraits created by photographer Rachel Baran and they are amazing! I really love the mood and lighting in all of these. Although I don’t know her personally I think you can get a sense of her personality within these photos, which is what should happen in a self-portrait. Exploring the art of the self-portrait is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now but I never seem to nail down a concept.

My design concepts don’t come easy by any means but once I get them that’s it. Usually when I take photos I usually just take them, keeping in mind of course the angle, lighting, etc. Photography isn’t something that I’ve really focused on as much as I do my design work but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to me. On the contrary I have a real love and appreciation for photography and when I do go out to shoot some photos I always have fun. I still have a series that I’d like to continue, maybe over break, but the thing is how do I add to it so it still fits and makes sense as a series?

I think these photos address that  problem in the way that the focus remains the same but the setting and depiction change. The subject or focus is Baran herself and she does a great job of tying these pictures together so they stand alone or as one collection. Needless to say I found these very inspiring and unique because they are not the standard idea of a self-portrait. It also gives me a lot to think about when approaching my own work.  Baran just does a great job of setting the mood and feeling of each photo, which is what I really admire about these! As always I’ll have my favorites posted below and a link to the original article! Until next time!

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Link to article: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1GFssk#

Oh My Mood board!

Hey everyone! I know I’ve said in the past that I was going to post some of my own work on here and today I’m actually going to do it! That’s where mood boards come in! I did my first mood board at the end of last semester in the Spring and now they’ve become something I’m expected to do for every project. In case you don’t know, a mood board is basically a collection of ideas that a designer has about a project. A mood board usually includes a color palette, images, textures, typefaces, and even fabrics.

Essentially it gives you and your client (if you have one!) a visual of what you anticipate for the project. Not only does this help  you nail down your concept but its a great way to make sure you and your client are on the same page as to what direction this project is going in. The mood board that I’m going to show you today is one that I did as a series of three boards. The idea was to choose three artists, designers, or any other type of visual artist who inspires you and make a mood board centered around them. I think this actually turned out to be a pretty fun project because it was one of the more laid back assignments and it was a way to see the similarities between artists that have influenced our work.

I wanted to have three different types of artists for my boards because I wanted to avoid overlap and I thought it would be less redundant. So for my first board I focused on the brand Chanel. This choice was one of the ones that I just had to go for because I honestly never thought Chanel had a direct influence on my work or could even have similar aspects. Boy was I wrong, the aspects between my work and the Chanel brand were actually pretty dang similar. First off if the focus on women, which is something I never set out to do but it just happened. I know I haven’t posted much of my own work on here but just take my word for it. This past Spring I did a timeline on women’s fashion in the 1920s, prior to that I did a magazine spread on Grace Kelly, before that I was doing paintings emulating female painters…the list goes on. Another aspect was the use of flowers by Chanel which to be honest I never really noticed, yeah I would notice a flower here and there but it never seemed like a recurring theme until I started throwing images together. Also Chanel uses a lot of black and white in their images as well as other areas which gives it this vintage yet timeless feel. After about ten hours after fooling around researching on Pinterest I picked the images I liked best, found a fabric sample I thought fit, and added words with specific typefaces that I could use if I wanted to develop this concept further as a project.

The end result is below! Kind of…I actually reworked it recently to help with another project so I will post both versions. I didn’t do a major revamp, it was just something for me to help me be a bit more organized and apply the original idea to my current project. Anyway I hope I didn’t overwhelm you guys with this large post but I didn’t want to do a separate into because who would just want to read that. My next one will be a bit shorter and you have two more of these to look forward to. Also please feel free to give me some feedback as it is always appreciated! 🙂

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Friends with the monster…

Hey everyone! I can across a really unique artistic interpretation of various types of mental illness. That being said I’m in no way trying to trivialize mental illness because it is a very serious disease that many people suffer from. I just wanted to share how an artist interpreted these illnesses through an artistic form. From what I know about the artist, Toby Allen,  he has suffered from social anxiety and he wanted a way to express his feelings through art. When I first saw this I thought of it as not only art but as a form of therapy. Writing has always been a good way for me to express my feelings and just get them out because I can write whatever I want without having to have anyone see or be judged. I thought this was a great idea as a form of therapy and releasing some of the feelings we may have some times. I also think to turn them into monsters was a good choice as well. Often what we think of a monster is something that seems scary to us or that we don’t understand. Mental illness is highly stigmatized and many people still don’t even believe it is a true illness. I think that by creating more awareness and hopefully reaching out to others and offering compassion instead of judgment. Anyway I hope you guys like these and are inspired by them, I think it’d be a great exercise for any artist because we all have things in our lives that act as “monsters”. Below will be a link to the entire article but I’ll have my favorites on this post. Until next time guys!

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Link to article: http://www.fastcocreate.com/3018089/schizophrenia-paranoia-depression-and-other-mental-illness-brought-to-life-as-real-monsters#1

I’m so Jelly!

Hey everyone! I found some amazing photos of jellyfish (hence the title 😉 ) that I thought were really beautiful and I wanted to share them with you! The man who photographed these is Aaron Ansarov and he did an amazing job with these in my opinion. What I really liked about these was not only the vivid colors but also the focus on the details that we normally don’t see. I love watching shows that explore nature and highlight the beauty of the creatures among us so this was right up my ally. Although these photos are really nice to look at I also found them very inspirational in a way. One thing I really liked about these are the natural patterns and shapes that occur in these photos. At times they look like some kind of abstract art rather than a jellyfish. These also kind of reminded me of ink blots since the shapes are so unique and seemingly random at times. I could easily see these recreated with watercolors or even pen and ink! If you go to the website, which I will link below, they are have some images that move and a video which are also really cool as well. Below are some of my favorites and the rest you can find at the link below. I was really inspired by these and I’d like to try create something showing that in the future so who knows! ;D

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See more here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/features/2014/08/140821-portuguese-man-of-war-animal-ocean-science-pictures/

New Semester, New Post

Hi everyone! I was on somewhat of a hiatus this summer which wasn’t necessarily intentional. This blog mostly functions as a kind of school blog but I usually try to make posts even when I’m not in school because I like sharing things with you guys. This summer I was pretty busy, I was working a lot and when I wasn’t working I was trying to enjoy the summer with my leftover time. That being said I really didn’t do much on the artsy side or writing side for that matter either. However, I wasn’t gone, I’ve been trying to go on Twitter more often and try to make a somewhat interesting tweet. By the way if you haven’t followed me on Twitter please feel free to do so @melfranco17 and send me a message or two!

My goals for this semester are to start working on ways to develop my style more and expand my portfolio. At this point I’m not completely worried about my portfolio but I definitely think I need to start focusing on it more. What I had a hard time on during the summer was coming with projects to create. I really wanted to do simple projects so that I could have a couple of small items instead of a larger project since I was low on time. I guess the good thing about school is that time is more balanced and scheduled, at least for me. I’d like to keep doing mini projects along the way not only for fun but so hopefully something will come from them. I’m thinking more like postcards, posters for events, even maybe some promotional-like items, who knows! Also, I promise to have much more interesting posts with pretty pictures soon! Until next time guys!