Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now, and perhaps without even knowing it, you will live along some distant day into the answers. - Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 2, Day 2, kinda sketchy....

Oh boy!  As I'm getting ready for bed tonight, I realized that in that I totally spaced my sketching.....oops.  I had a freelance project that took me most of the day, and when I was finished, I was wiped out.

Tomorrow is another day, and after I take a run to the printer to do a press check I will catch-up with sketching and my design in another media.  As for the press check,  they are so exciting.  I get to see all the hard work I've been doing on this project come together.  I will be there as the first sheets come off the press.  I get give my approval and see them run.

I did decide on a photo.  I wanted to take on something a little more structured this week.  So D and J helped me decide on one with a fleur-de-lis  and iron work that is unique to New Orleans.

Inspiration Photo, Week 2

Til tomorrow!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inspiration: Week 2, Day 1

So it's Sunday, and time for an inspiration photo.  Today I didn't go out and take photos.  Simply put, I couldn't find the time.  So I went back through some of my photos to find my inspiration.  To narrow it down, I chose from on particular occasion.

Last year I went back to New Orleans for my High School Reunion -- yes, I was fortunate enough to grow up in New Orleans.  It was a unique place to live, eat and have fun!!  After all, there is no place like New Orleans! I had a great time reconnecting with friends whom I haven't seen in years.

After it was over, my friend Anna and I picked up her daughter A, and drove around taking photos.  We would just stop on the street, then A & I would get out of the car each snapping photos....poor Anna, she put up with it, but I know she wanted to be in on the photography too!  She's the best, and one of my most long-term friends.  We've know each other since 3rd grade.  Can't believe it's been so long!

It was really hard to narrow it down. Some I am posting are more nostalgic than true contenders.  You'll notice I was in an artsy mood when I took the photos.  So anyway, here are some of the photos that I chose to consider:

My High School, which is now an elementary school.

Can't have pictures of New Orleans without
a streetcar!

In the middle of uptown, there is is smoke stack.

Pretty flower from Anna's sister's yard.

Another must have, the magnificent oak trees

So beautiful and majestic

And the moss, I forgot how beautiful New Orleans is!

Although a lot of New Orleans has recovered from
Katrina, a lot has not.  It was tough to see!

I love all the paned windows, and the iron railings.

Random sculpture hanging off the side of a building.

Breaux Mart (the other way Schwegmann's) for groceries.

Paned windows and iron fences

Ferns....beautiful ferns.

New Orleans Water Meter....always loved then

Oysters, gotta have oysters!

Public Garbage can...not bad looking!

The Mighty Mississippi and the Bridges.
Although I never remember seeing a sandbar.

A tug and a ship...that thing was moving along, and fast!

A stop sign in the trolly tracks....who'e supposed to read it?

And you can't go to New Orleans without getting
some Beignets!!
It sure was good!!!

The fence around Jackson Square

St Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square

Detail of St Louis Cathedral Spire

Beautiful iron work.

On our way across Lake Pontchartrain, a rainbow.
Perfect end to a wonderful trip!

Now for the bad news...I'm not sure which one to pick.  Let me know.  I'll think on it, and start sketching tomorrow!  Do you have a suggestion?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wrappin' up the week

This has been a great week.  My biggest challenge so far has been finding time to complete the projects and postings.  But I am passionate about the creative process, so I'll just find the time.  I may not post until midnight, but I will get something done every day.

Sunday: Inspiration Photo January 23, 2011
Inspiration Photo
The week started great with a trip to the park with my daughter K.  In addition to taking some wonderful photos, I had a wonderful afternoon with my aspiring photographer.

Sketching Monday
A sketch of the texture of the fungus
On Monday I picked up my pencils and did some visual sketching. I tried different styles and had some fun.

Creative Tuesday: Part 1, Part 2
A sculpture of the photo image.
Tuesday is about creating in a different medium  or format. This post I had to do in 2 parts since I had a freelance project that I needed to finish and get to the files to the printer.  So I worked on it in the morning while I was waiting for the files to save and upload, then finished the project late that night after the kiddies were in bed. I was actually surprised at the result. 

Colorful Wednesday
Color Adjustment: Channel Mixer
On Wednesday, I played with different filters and adjustments in Photoshop.  It was fun to see how different filters work.  I've used them before, but this time I got a better understanding of what them do.

Graphic Thursday
Final Graphic Image
The image went graphic. 

Card for Friday
Friday was my hardest day to find the time and even though I'm not totally thrilled with the end result, I completed the challenge. 

If you want to take this challenge with me, or even just parts of the challenge, please post your photos to the Visual Tapestry: Creative Journey group on Flickr.  I love to see what you do!

One week down, fifty-one left to go.  What do you think?

Thanks D, KLHood, JoLene, Becky, Julie & Patti for your comments this week!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Card for Friday

Again, I've had a long day.  I have worked on the card, but I don't like what I came up with.  But, the good news is it's done.  It's not ready for downloading...I've got to figure that part out.

The Card:
The Process:

Pictures only...don't feel like writing or actually my brain doesn't feel like thinking! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Graphic Thursday

It's time to take this image graphic.

It was tough finding the time today, but I love the "creative me" time too much to give it up!  I'll sleep a little less, do a little less cleaning, wait, strike that, I need to do more cleaning, so I guess I'll just sleep a little less.

Well I'm done, and  here is the final image:

I was inspired by the edges of the fungus in the
inspiration photo.

The Process of the Graphic:

All good graphics have a process.  Some are complicated, in-depth, and some just evolve naturally and easily.  Good design does not just happen.  We can't just push a button and make it happen.

My design process usually starts with research, what is my client looking for, what do they want to say/do, what is already out there, how can I make this design unique and special, is there a history that needs to be taken into consideration?

Then I make thumbnail sketches.  Then a will pick a couple sketches -- at least 2 - 3 different directions -- and try to refine those so I can present them to the client.  I try not to use my computer until I get to this point.  Simply put, the computer is a tool.  If I skip the sketching step, I skip the creative thinking process, and I make it harder on myself.

So now my images are in either Adobe PhotoShop or Illustrator and I can refine and work with color and other effects. In these photos, I make small variations, until I find the one that looks just right.

The inner 2 black rings are all the same size and centered.
The size of the outer ring is the only difference in these images.

These three have minor changes of the rings position and angle.
I also played with contrasting angles of the black and white rings

I chose the the first one on the bottom row.  It seems to have more depth, and I like it being off center.  Which one is your favorite?

Come back tomorrow for a greeting card that you can print with this week's featured design and send to you friends.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Colorful Wednesday!

As a graphic designer, I use photoshop a lot.  Even though I even consider myself an expert in PS, I am always amazed at how much I don't know. So Wednesday's are for playing with color in photoshop, although I may change that to playing in photoshop.  Some of the effects are amazing.  

I took my inspiration photo.....
and applied 9 different color adjustments to the photo colors and channels....for those not familiar with color theory and color process, here's a quick lesson:

There are 2 basic color  models -- CMYK and RGB.  
RGB is what we see on the monitor & tv screen, basically light and photos (which are created from light exposure).  It is an additive color model.  The 3 colors, Red, Green & Blue are combined together in various way to create a color spectrum.  If you have all 3 colors of light on top of each other, they make white, and if you don't have any color/light, you have black.
Inversely, the CMYK color model is used in color printing.  It is a subtractive model.  The colors -- 4 in this model: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black -- when all mixed together, make black, and as you subtract color from it, you can get a broad spectrum of colors.
So why did you need to know this?  So that when I talk about channels, and colors you will understand that I am  adjusting the red layer, the blue layer and the green layer (how much light gets through).  Hopefully this helps and I didn't just totally confuse you.   
The Finished photos:

Adjustment Used: Hue/Saturation.
Had to use the full saturation to get the red into the fungus.
I think it's stunning!

Adjustment Used: Selective Colors
Interesting that when I played with this function,
most of the adjustments only affected
the background and the branch, not the fungus itself.

Adjustment Used: Posterize
I love how this limits your color palette and makes big color blocks.

Adjustment Used: Threshold
This is similar to posterize, but black and white.

Adjustment Used: Invert (Negative)
I love the new colors.  This filter definitely makes
the background less distracting.

Adjustment Used: Channel Mixer
To see the effects of the channel mixer, I  only changed
one channel at a time, this time it was red.

Adjustment Used: Channel Mixer
Green.  I love the bright colors and the contrast here.

Adjustment Used: Channel Mixer
Blue.  Purple and Green.  I love these colors together.
Unfortunately they only work in a photo.
Clothes, room colors or furniture would be just too much.

Adjustment Used: Photo Filter, Cooling
This applied an orange-ish filter over the photo.
I love how it added depth to the color of the fungus!
Which one do you like best?  How about giving it a try and sharing it with us?  If you don't have Photoshop, there are plenty of other photo-editing programs that can do some if not all the same effects.
You can join the flickr group and post your photo there..