Category: Digital Art

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Metaphoric Narratives with the Nature of Nature

Metaphoric Narratives with the Nature of Nature

2020/2021 Digital Illustration

Aaaaand we are back with another series of digital art works and a bit of a “how to” process post. Forgive me for the title of this blog post.. At first, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be an assignment tutorial of some kind, or just an over-sharing process and rambling session. It will serve as all of the above. Ok, so, lets face it, we all love photoshop. We all love the pen-tool and the ability to cut, create, apply and remix images with our graphic assets. Yes? Of course! OK OK, Ill get down to brass tacks already.. In this series I wanted to create and play with some fictional characters and also displace them into my everyday surroundings. It is in this process of being experimental that new narratives seem to poke at and guide us. Lets jump in. Of course I am sharing this process from the perspective of my own art making but also will use the steps to illustrate a class assignment for my foundation design and digital storytelling students. The ability to create well balanced and compelling compositions is skill set that is fun to cultivate and it never gets old. “Let’s always be practicing”, practicing  the ability to compose and create while mastering the dimensions of our picture plane. (that academic jargon…)

 

The gang is all here.. This example shares an integration of characters and the ability to use repetition, duplicates and scale (plus those shadows…). I love walking past the Brooklyn Museum in my neighborhood. I love the building itself and wanted to use it as one of the locations for this new “situation” to occur..

 

This image was taken outside of the Brooklyn Public Library, it shares a series of imagery and the application of a character. Our hero has found itself as a part of public advertisement. Perhaps this is fictional? OK, it is, but think about how your everyday surroundings may offer an opportunity for you to intervene, hack, displace and re-contextualize things. There is beauty in the seemingly banal or redundant, and what I mean by this is our everyday surroundings. We have the power to transform and transcend them. Visual imagery and image-making is a fun way to participate and also see the world in a new way.

 

By default, your friends are going to show up! Another example of repetition, composition and scale variation. Does this illustration tell a more compelling story than the image above it? Are the additional plants needed? What do they add to the composition and story? What is their intention here? Will they expand and take over? Well…

 

Above, is the original image that I took at Prospect Park that inspired the entirety of this series. (Im back tracking the narrative of this post a bit… just like in the Film “Pulp Fiction”… haha, not exactly but Im thinking about that..) The algae was really think and particularly a warmer value of saturated green than I recalled from most visits to this spot. It was also late July and pretty warm outside. Sometimes all it takes is one experience, story or image that causes the creativity trigger. After I took the picture I immediately reflected upon a memory of the 1980s film “Swamp Thing”.. are you old enough to remember that movie? Lol, I was just a kid when it came out but I loved it! So, I got inspired, fast! The image below was the first iteration beyond the “normal” picture that I took. But there is more to this puzzle below..

 

Sooo, you recognize the image below.. that is where the plant came from. Its one of the 5 plants (and growing) that I take care of..(its much bigger now as I write this a few months later too). Im illustrating all of this to help give you a bit of insight into the immediate and very intuitive thinking and creation process that I go through. I like the immediacy of using my own surrounds and digital image captures. This can all be so easily synced with other forms of media found in the public domain or via other creative commons resources. Plus, I experience the process as a muscle, it wants to be exercised, nurtured and practiced. It wants to grow!

 

I brought the image into photoshop and used the pen tool to cut it out. Once I had it free as an asset I started constructing my character. The figure was extracted from a painting found in the MET Museums Digital Open Access Image Archive of public domain works. There is a lot of good stuff there!

 

OK, so this fellow is NOT exactly “Swamp Thing” but it certainly expressed that energy and inspired the flow of the illustrations. I animated this guy below and also added it as a sticker on Instagram. If you use Instagram Stories, under the GIF search option you can put in my name (ryan seslow) and find this guy below… use it at will! There are some some others there too 🙂

Well, one idea leads to another and I kept going.. this is another character and asset above. The static image wanted to be added to a narrative and that narrative became a looping animated GIF. Its a short surreal story, and it was fun to make…

 

The Assignment Details:

Simply: Using this post as your inspiration, dig into your intuition and creative impulses and create a fun hybrid character that you can interject or displace into a narrative using your familiar surrounds.

Have fun and be sure to share your work here!

HNY! The First Post of 2021!

The First Post of 2021

Welcome to the first post of 2021, as well as the first body of new art works for the year. It all begins with a series of digital illustrations made from my own photography and Adobe Dimension. I have been meaning to dig into this application for about a year now so Im happy to start off 2021 with these new illustrations. They are surely surreal and “otherworldly” but the last 9 months is a reflection of just that, certainly surreal, isolating and otherworldly…and then-some. 2021 will be a year of deep investigation and experimenting with digital 3D design, 3D software and a jump further with 3D animation and motion graphics.

Im beyond excited! Hope you enjoy these first iterations, much more to come! Happy 2021!

 

“The Egg-Shaped Visitation”, 2021, Digital Illustration

 

“The Visitations”, 2021, Digital Illustration

 

“The Pill-Shaped Visitation”, 2021, Digital Illustration

 

“The Return of the Monolith Visitations”, 2021, Digital Illustration

Metaphoric Tactical Displacements

Special Ops agents find themselves displaced into an art gallery

“Metaphoric Tactical Displacements”, 2020, Digital Illustration

Two 3D generated figures dressed in special ops / tactical gear are placed into an art gallery. The viewer of the image is provoked to ponder what the circumstances are that brought together this “situation?” The frame is in mid-sequence appearing to be paused from its motion as we observe a seemingly ceaselessness of the characters. The art work on the wall is subjective, yet colorful, energetic and benevolent. It appears to be resembling a character from an animated film or a video game. It is familiar yet not completely objective. Is it the art work itself that is displaced in this image? Or is the image as a whole a representation or a reflection of something much closer to present day reality?

Add your response below.

Portrait Riffin’ for GIF the Portrait 2020

Portrait Riffin’ for GIF the Portrait Project

A Project Prep for the Fall 2020 Edition

Its that time of the semester again. The time where I introduce how to make animated GIFS to my students and fellow humans… OK, Im lying big, I teach this all semester long, how can I not, I mean.. GIFS! There are myriads of fun projects out there for us folks to participate in GIF wise. Did you know that? Through GIFS, we can make new friends! Explore and learn about cultural and historical events, fragments, objects, fashion, foods and so much more. GIFITUP 2020 closes its submissions this coming week, and I advise that you check it out, but let me reintroduce you to another ol’ classic, the GIF the Portrait Project is BACK! The project started on a tumblr back in 1963… another LIE! Sorry, it started back in November of 2013 and was created specifically for the project. The idea is, and remains simple: “animate a portrait”.

The best place to start when viewing the current submissions is right here on the project’s archives page <– this allows for viewers to see a more expansive timeline of works as well all digest the inspiration as you begin to feel propelled into GIF making action. GIF the Portrait will be receiving submissions from students at CUNY BMCC, York College & NYIT this semester. The second part of this introduction to the project and assignment will share a series of “how-to” and step by step tutorials to get you started. In the mean time, I got started on my examples below. Thats right, I participate in every assignment that I give! Im on this team too! The image / GIF above is the final outcome from my contribution (RAD right?!!) and that outcome consists of a stacked series of the individual images that you can now scroll through below. I had a blast making these and they are all inspired by Andy Warhol! I mixed together a series of both digital and print media to create each piece. More to come!

 

(a studio installation above, you know, for context..)

GIF IT UP 2020 Edition – Open Call!

GIF IT UP is BACK! The 2020 Edition – Open Call!

Yes, this is my first iteration and submission to GIF IT UP 2020!

(Content source taken from https://gifitup.net)

 

GIF IT UP is an annual gif-making competition for the most creative reuse of digitised cultural heritage material. It is run by Europeana in close cooperation with Digital Public Library of AmericaDigital NZ and Trove. This year two new content partners are joining the fun – Japan Search, a platform giving access to digitised material from cultural institutions across Japan, and DAG Museums in Kolkata.

From 1 – 31 2020 – October, all gif-­makers, cultural heritage enthusiasts and lovers of the internet are invited to create brand new gifs by remixing copyright-free and openly licensed material.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

1. Find an inspiring piece of copyright-free or openly licensed material from EuropeanaDPLADigital NZTroveJapan Search or chosen by DAG Museums.

2. Create an awesome GIF (Don’t know how? No worries – we have lots of resources to get you started.)

3. Submit your GIF for a chance to win great prizes

4. Share your creation on social media using the hashtag #GIFITUP2020