Category: Teaching Resources

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A Drama in Monotones, The Tutorial..

A Drama in Monotones, The Tutorial

Early June, 2021, A new series of Digital Illustrations & Animated GIFs

(This post is an adaptation from my personal website, it has context here as it serves as an example and prompt for reflective writing about one’s process. How may you turn this into an assignment?)

Welcome to yet another new series of art works! Let’s talk about how they come together while we appreciate them, shall we? I have always felt that writing about my process itself is a very helpful way for me retain it and expand upon it. I always find myself inspired by the process itself, so why just narrate it inside my own head… I like to share, as you know! Lets examine, how did this series start? Where does it all come from? Where will it go? What am discovering in the process that I should make a note of? Let’s take a look. Im a big fan of open education and learning from others, I hope this post can help you! Scroll down and take in these first two illustrations.

 

“The Untitled Minimal Setting”, 2021 Digital Illustration

 

“The Untitled Minimal Setting II”, 2021 Digital Illustration

The two images above really fueled this whole series below. I know, that may seem strange, but this is what may happen sometimes with process. Sometimes I simply create an arbitrary “scene / setting” first, but it was really through some random experimenting this time. I knew that I wanted to work in monotones and play with some single color values. The trees in the illustrations above came as ready made graphic assets. It is a part of a photoshop brush plug-in set that I found online, (there are tons of free brush tool plug-ins out there for photoshop..) I applied the tree as a solid color image into a flat landscape that I made and duplicated it to use as a shadow on the ground. I then added a gradient overlay to the tree’s layer and I duplicated the trees and the shadows as layers. I placed them all into the composition. I made a few other variations of this scene but these two above are my favorites. This was all done in adobe photoshop.

Next..

I now knew that I wanted to add “something” or “someone” into the scene that I had just created. A narrative or perhaps a snippet of “life happening” in a fun or other-worldly way. I kept thinking about the nostalgia that childhood cartoons had and continues to play in my art. I also wanted to make this image move, animate and loop. I recalled something… oh yes, that drawing that I made a few months ago, those cool looking line characters were still waiting for me to activate them! The image above (click on it to expand and make it bigger) was a part of series of characters that were drawn with a stylus in adobe illustrator with my wacom tablet. Those smooth vector lines are so much fun to make and are also editable as paths. This makes it really fun to alter and stylize. I began to deconstruct the image and isolate several parts.

 

As I mentioned, from the big drawing above I derived a few fragments and played with them. I reconstructed them into new forms and assets to start making a new character with. I mean, sky is the limit here and I love discovering the possibilities to expand things into new works. Once I was happy with my new graphics I colorized them and isolated them onto one page. I brought the new illustrator file back into photoshop and made individual files and layers for each asset. I realize now that I only focused on the upper torso and the arms of the character but thats OK for now as I can always continue forward if the inspiration keeps stoking the fire for more! Haha, I know that it will!

 

This was the first composition of the new character placed into the setting. Once I did this I knew that I could easily animate it too. I still really like the static illustration and it forced me to make another one, which you see below (haha, and a few more!) The illustration below is a bit more abstract and possibly even more fun to look at, what do you think? I kept going.. obviously, wouldn’t you? 

 

It was fun to make this variation, and.. once I did, I decided to send all the individual assets to my phone and play around there too. There are so many ways to use mobile devices for digital marking.. that is another story for another post as go forward. I love the tension that different devices and interfaces give in terms of their screen resolutions and how things look across multiple devices or outdated tech.. For example, this week I will pull this image up on an old MacBook laptop that I have from the year 2009. I’ll take a few screen shots of it and transfer it to a mini DV tape and play it back through an older monitor, or something like that. Those screen captures and variants taken from things like a mini DV tape are so much fun to play with.

 

This illustration above was composed from those same assets using my iPhone. I used the “Glitch’e” app (check the app store or google play) to bring it all together (as layers) and play with the color. It is over saturated on purpose to give the impression of a bit more intensity and a warmer temperature in the “scene”. The cropping of the composition leads us to think that “something or someone” else is also participating in the dialog.

Does it work? Ok, let’s animate this thing!

 

Then.. it was finally time to fire up adobe after effects and bring this guy to life. First, I put that background on a seamless directional loop to the left (I expanded the background layer / screen by twice the length of it) so that the character would appear to be moving forward in a walk cycle. This is my first iteration of this animation cycle. I like it so far but I want to do more with it. I need to fix a few of my puppet warp movements, or should I make it “glitch” more? Hmmm, Ill play with it a bit more and already think I have another idea..

 

Welp, as I mentioned, once things get going, its kind of hard to stop pushing the limits with creativity. I started to bring in “other elements” from things that were previously made. I make a ton of graphic assets from my illustrations and applied art works. This is the beauty of digital art, there is such a powerful immediacy to aspects of it. Of course, making the assets can be super time consuming depending on what you are doing. For example, working with the pen tool in photoshop or illustrator.. either way, its good practice and the assets are always waiting for you! I kept going and made things a bit more abstract… Thoughts?

 

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

mmm.page Creative Awesomeness

Ah, the speed and the beauty of the Internet! The Internet will always find out, and the Internet will compel you to share! Less than a week ago I was “woke” to mmm.page by my fellow colleague, collaborator, mentor and friend; MBS, aka Michael Branson Smith! MBS has an amazing acute radar for discovering all kinds of new creative digital tools! He always finds them first and so graciously alerts me right away! This past Wednesday he did this with mmm.page! He shilled me an example of what he created using his mobile device, I was impressed and activated! I jumped right in. I signed in. No password needed, just input your e-mail address and wait for the link to verify – that is all that is needed. Within 2 minutes I was in and creating…

I became reflective, immediately. A lot of digital artists and educators like myself may recall Net-Art creation sites like “newhive” and “to.be” back in the late 2010 – 2015-ish years. Those platforms were super cool for the time, purely web browser dependent, Net-Art making machines that pushed the context of the tool so far ahead. Both platforms created huge communities and produced a lot of new artists, art stars, web browser enthusiasts and educators. The creative potential of the web browser continues to excite me. The truth is, if you build it, they will come, mmm.page has brought this ability and energy back! I have been literally looking for something like this since both newhive and to.be vanished.. I know a lot of other artists, designers, educators and creatives also feel this way too. Bottom line, the site invites your energy, awesomeness and creative immediacy. Let me says that again, creative immediacy. Creative immediacy is the action that is taken once we become inspired and mmm.page is a bolt of lighting in terms of creative immediacy.

The site is for everyone! Of course I am speaking and sharing from my own personal interests, examples and awareness of how I want to use the tool, but, thats just one perspective. The tool can easily be used for digital art making, but more importantly to make beautiful websites of all kinds, and to expand the context of what a website is and can be. Plus, just how much creative control we have with in the web browser space itself. This is also a creative license to develop a digital identity! (And, we may create many!) This excites the hell out of me. The creator of mmm.page is called “xh”. xh -is a super cool person who is community oriented and has allowed for me to begin infiltrating the platform 🙂 I immediately reached out and made a connection. I love supporting new projects, participating and making new friends. Its always fun to connect with like-minded awesome peeps who want to make and share utilitarian tools that can help others. Cheers to xh!

 

This post is just part 1 of the many that I feel I can write about mmm.page! Im excited to bring the site’s capabilities back into the realm of teaching and creating a series of both individual projects and collaborations between students, faculty and campuses. And of course I hope that MBS will participate! (I know he will!) Im also excited to develop a new body of digital art works using the site and meeting new people in the community. 

The first thing I did with mmm.page.. I applied MBS’s tip, I made a piece and shared it immediately as a part of guest talk and workshop I gave with CUNY Graduate Center students. The students were asked to use the site and jumped right in! – You can see that post here! (the results from the workshop are still flowing in as we speak)

 

I then got busy creating, playing and generating the examples below:

 

Here is the first series of my experiments made with mmm.page 

(click each URL and take a tour – most pieces are made via the desktop version but the last two links were made via mobile)

 

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.main

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.multi_drama

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.forward_motion

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.art_history_remix

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.parttwo

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.revolutions

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.MobileFlow

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.Mobilized

 

Do you like what you see above? Great, I thought so! Now, below you will see how things can be expanded upon further. The images below are full page screen shots taken with “GoFullPage” which is a free google chrome web browser extension that allows one to, well, get a full page screen shot. You can save the screen shot as a .PNG or a .PDF file. I began doing this with my mmm.page creations and then opening them in Adobe Illustrator to live trace them into vector files (I know, fancy fancy). As you know, vectors are scalable, you can make them and use them as small or as big as you wish, and they print really well too. So, mmm.page became both a creation and teaching tool as well as a catalyst to push things further. And of course adobe illustrator allows for infinite recoloring potentials.. Perhaps these pieces below will become 1/1 edition NFTs? Hmmm, lets see.. In the meantime, scroll below. PS – I may re-use these as background image settings for my next mmm.page creation. (fist bump)

More to come!

 

The “From My Window & Other Spaces” Workshop

Welcome to the The “From My Window & Other Spaces” Workshop

Many thanks to my host, Nanda for the invitation! My name is Ryan Seslow, nice to meet you!

 

Lets talk a little bit about Creativity, Immediacy and Intuition:

Creativity is..

Immediacy is..

Intuition is..

In what order do these words go?

Creativity + Intuition + Immediacy = …….. 

 

Reminder, we can always pause.

Pause, and become aware of this very passing second. I mean REALLY AWARE, so stop and be still.

You are alive. Contemplate that. What does being alive mean to you? Have you ever defined it beyond someone else’s interpretation? If not, its time to do this, and no, it can not be done in the next 3 seconds.. I believe that a big part of this life is to create and express that unique ability we all can contribute.

It will take some reflection.. More than this workshop and blog post, but perhaps this is a metaphor, a portal that lures you in and activates you.

You are a thinking, breathing, feeling, sensory being processing this exact passing moment. Exactly as you read this from the specific location that you are in, with the age that your body is, in the time zone of the highest level of what you understand consciousness to be. We can always expand this awareness. Its a metaphor (there is that word again), because all the while, you are simultaneously existing on a seemingly gigantic rock spinning through the “space” that the best of the best of the best world’s scientists keep discovering only keeps expanding into more….well, space. In the grand scheme of things, our gigantic rock may not be so gigantic when we think from this perspective. Its actually the size we think it is relative to our awareness of it.

How do you develop the ability to audit this awareness and ask yourself what potentials lay in this metaphor? And, how can we apply this other things that we wish to change or create from scratch.

It will require creativity, intuition and imagination. So go ahead and ASK.

Ask yourself: “What is the creative potential of my awareness of this moment, and how may I intervene?

When we turn this directly to our workshop and re-propose the question: “What is the creative potential of a window, my window and other spaces with in context?”

What would you like to express about this moment and the awareness of it? How will you do it?

Chances are, you are holding your “device or viewing this through a computer” as you read this.

You know what device I am referring to. Perhaps its a laptop, desktop, iPhone, android or a tablet? It doesn’t matter and either way, it first started simply as an idea. An expression of a collective need to expand, grow, learn and express. Much like the infinite expanding space that we mentioned above your device(s) is an intermediary tool to express the potentials of creative space. Our viewing are rectangles… sometimes they are held and viewed vertically and sometimes they are turned horizontally, but before any content is consumed, its a rectangle in its form. That rectangle is a window, and so is a web browser window..

You tech device(s) are remote controls for the planet!

We interacted with simple geometric shapes every single day, we take all of them for granted and rarely think of the doorways we are passing through as rectangles. Or the TV that we watch as the rectangle. As we walk up steps we rarely think of them as the horizontal rectangles that stack upwards or downwards.. You get the idea..

What is the creative potential of YOU and the rectangle that you are holding or looking through? (this is the part of things where you think Im a little weird, right? lol..)

SO what are you passionate about? What is that you always wanted to express and share with the world? What is it that holds you back? Is what holds you back on the other side of the window?

If you never “Start” then you will never have a result to work from. The only metric you have are the ones that you fear your expression wont compliment.

So, lets start. Lets express. Lets share this into that rectangle / window that you are looking through and make it a practice.

Lets jump into an exercise -lets experiment and create a space on the web that is yours and personalize it. Broadcast yourself!

Taking risks that benefit your growth and personal development while impacting and including your fellow human beings has serious mental, spiritual & emotional value.

This is your story, and storytelling is the communication pilot of the Electric Landscapes we navigate.

LETS MAKE SOME ART!

 

Experiment with Some “Free to Use” Digital Tools:

Lets create a page using mmm.page (its Free!) – https://mmm.page

mmm.page is a web browser based digital collage making platform / space. It works perfectly in the “window” of your web browser. It also works on mobile devices!

Many thanks to MBS for the mmm.page tip off!)

Here is an example I made with mmm.page:

https://mmm.page/ryanseslow.main

I pre-prepared a series of graphic assets that you can download and use for this, but feel free to make and discover your own, especially if there is specific context to your ideas. Here is that link:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ZWB0jL_z_iU9mH2rf3Imthk4AUpYYRGi

Photopea.com – is a free web browser based digital image making and manipulating application, we can alter and manipulate and prepare images in this space!

 

Places to find Images online – Creative Commons based:

Pixabay.com – great resource for images and transparent assets! (we will use this for the workshop)

National Gallery of Art  With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain.

Digital Public Library of America The Digital Public Library of Americabrings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.

NYPL – The New York Public Library Digital Collections Archive

Flickr CC – Creative Commons on Flickr.

Gif Cities – Internet Archive

 

We will share the completed digital collage pieces here on the NET-ART Website!

Add your published URL to the comments section below (feel free to make as many variations as you would like!)

The Transcendent Energy of Play in the Classroom

The Transcendent Energy of Play in the Classroom

This post coincides with my guest talk on Monday 5/3/21 with the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy course.

Welcome!

Many thanks to Luke & Lisa, and the ITP students for having me!

I thought that writing a blog post here would be both timely and fun for this talk. It might be full of typos, those happen, haha, they can always be fixed 🙂 This post serves as an example and a potential to create and expand the overall synopsis, dialog, resources, feelings, philosophies and of course necessary contextual links! I hope through our interaction both here and during our talk that it will inspire you to create a playful, collaborative project for yourself, for this class that you are in, for the ones that you are teaching, and also with me here on the Net Art site! This is an inclusive, accessible and safe public space for all.

After our talk, be sure to scroll down to the “Reflections & further Pondering” part at the bottom of this post to share your thoughts. No pressure of course 🙂

 

Words like “playfulness, play and fun” are and have always been an essential parts of my teaching and learning practice. I directly extract the physical energy and emotions that these words activate with in me. I visually connect those feelings to bright sunshine. I connect playfulness to an overall lighthearted and open demeanor that can be applied to almost anything. It’s reflective to childhood and the wonders of learning, creativity and intuition. Playfulness is such a great form of expression as a medium. It sets an open invitation to access rapport. We can help each other learn this way, it is a passion of mine and Im not going to stop anytime soon 🙂

 

"communication" fingerspelled in American sign language

(Above – “Communication” – finger-spelled hand-shapes in American Sign Language)

Everything comes down to Communication. We all want to be loved, appreciated, heard, understood and included. I believe that this is our greatest life’s work, to learn how to best and fully communicate from the inner knowingness of who we are. Of course this is a journey through our constant growth of challenging our life experiences and how we reflect on them. Communication is our birthright and we all must tell our own story.

 

And then.. the Internet shows up..

 

Links for Context and Usefulness

(Feel free to use, remix, hack and expand upon anything here)

 

The Story / About the Net-Art website, Creativity & Experimental Pedagogy

NET-ART’s Rolling OPEN-CALL for Submissions

 

Graphic Design Workshop at the GC 2019

Rebirth of the Course Syllabus, The Visual Aesthetic – Part 1

How to Write your MFA thesis in Fine Art & Beyond – Commons Paper

Why Should I make a Portfolio?

The Net Art Course Lightning Talk

 

Cross CUNY Campus Zine Collab with the NYPL

Cross CUNY, Galluadet & Touro Zine Collab

Collabs with MBS

 

Check out this semesters undergrad course website flow:

CT101 – Digital storytelling – (commons)

MMA 100 Foundation of Graphic Design – (openlab)

 

Animated gif of a landscape passing through the interior space..

For more Ryan Seslow on the web – ryanseslow.com

I make a lot of GIFs, Check out my work on Giphy here

Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self – The Online Exhibition

@ryanseslow – on twitter & instagram

 

Reflections & further Pondering:

In the comments section below, please leave your general reflections on this talk and the content presented.

What stands out?

What are the main take aways from this experience that you can implement and take action on right away?

What things do you struggle with as a student, educator and contributor to the world of education? 

Feel free to share links, and other relatedness.

 

Thank You so much!

 

 

 

 

An Agent of Accountability – A Digital Storytelling Prompt

An Agent of Accountability – A Digital Storytelling Prompt

*Assignment prompt – Create and apply digital imagery to exercise, express and extend a metaphor 

(this post is my example)

 

<begin-transmission>

An agent has manifested from with-in you. You are fully responsible for creating and bringing the agent forward. You might not understand what that means just yet, but you will. The agent is made out pixels and rasters. Each pixel is recordable and programable. They each hold a unique series of your emotions, behaviors, interactions and potentials. The agent lives completely on screen and is co-dependent on your device usage and screen time. You thought that you could hide behind the screen, potentially conceal your identity, remain anonymous, and a mystery… but the agent knows otherwise. The agent is here for accountability.

The journey begins from here.. please scroll down.

This image above was seemingly the first recorded visual iteration of the Agent. It’s meta data has been corrupted and continues to be untraceable.. there is also evidence of the original file reconfiguring itself by single characters just to jam the reading/extraction or processing of the information for testing.

A visualization was created above to show “how” the agent entered the Internet grid. The simulation suggests that it was through an open port glitch. This is a vast statement as the range of “open ports” are extremely infinite as uploads and software updates take place around the clock, server to server, port to port. There is an unproven theory that agents can and do enter the grid from simple plug-in updates via the open-source platform, WordPress..

The image above is the most current image that continues to manifest in multiple places. Although there continue to be iterations, much like the two images below that were discovered in late April, 2021. The origin of the iterations are still speculative and only educated guess’s continue to surface with little to no real science based data as to why. What do the iterations represent? Why are they needed? Are they metaphors for pressing / avoided inner demons and issues? Are they there to continue to remind us that we are in a loop? We will continue to follow the process and keep you updated..

<transmission- snip>

Ink Jet Printer Print Remixing in the Studio

Ink Jet Printer Print Remixing in the Studio

Well, its April now..

Been at it again.. those tensions between wanting to make more digital art work versus making more analog based art work. Its weird to use the word “analog” instead of “applied” but I guess they are really similar. Allow me to elaborate. I always want to learn. Its an obsession and an addiction. Its a good addiction though, and the word addiction is probably over used in this context. I became aware that computers were a tool for making art as far back as 1986. The fact that I could learn to write a simple program that would visually display the action of repetition was all I needed to know, really. Well, and to see as well to understand “how” this new tool would help and forever change the way that art can be made and communicated. The word repetition is one of my favorite “principles” of art and design. The process of repetition can easily be displayed as a pattern, or a series of patterns, just like physical actions and behaviors can be observed and recorded as patterns. MEMEs are also patterns and have roots in psychology and behavior. So, do a little bit of math in your head and think about how this example effects you? Repetition in behavior eventually equates to practice. Sometimes this “practice” is totally intentional and we do it with awareness and other times, well, we unconsciously engage into the unconscious practice of behaviors that also equal patterns that may not be great for us.. but what about process based patterns of techniques?

 

The image above is a constructive, addition based relief sculpture made from found and recycled wood scraps. Each piece was found, accumulated, saved and later arranged into this composition (wood glue held it together at the time.) The image is taken from a bird’s eye view to help give the impression that the piece is flat (the bird’s eye view is me standing on the table with the camera.) The photo itself creates the overall two-dimensional impression.. (the actual sculpture has been dismantled and released back into the ongoing scrap bin graveyard of an ex-sculptors memories…) as I write this, I find it curious that I mainly documented the piece in this way. What did I for-see or know about this pieces legacy back then subconsciously? This is an image of the completed sculpture on the wood-shop studio table, before it was exhibited a few weeks later.

 

The actual sculpture was created in 2014, exhibited 1 time in public and then stored in my studio along with a few other similar works. OK, I actually made a ton of pieces in this similar process, style and technique, Ill dig them up soon again, and if you know my work, you can see where the latest paper sculptures come from. Lets face it, light and lighting plays a big role in the capture of images, and in this case, both images are not great examples of the sculpture in good light. But the placement and displacement of the piece hopefully helps the viewer to see some of the potential of where the idea evolved to and from. The piece looks very different against a plain white wall with a light source applied to it.

 

I rediscovered the 1st image recently (because I finally zipped, exported and downloaded my entire tumblr archives.. 3.9 Gigs worth..) and opened it in adobe photoshop. I got excited. I used the pen tool to create a series of paths that traced around the outside contour line of the sculpture’s form and image as a whole. I converted the paths into a selection and copied it and pasted it back into the original image as it own layer. I scaled it down by 60% and rotated the image 45 degrees counter clockwise. Wallah! This is the outcome above. I suppose it was the tinkering with this image that helped me see the potential of how I could extend my experiments with this piece, which now had become completely not only two-dimensional but also existing purely as a very flat digital file. The image above activated the energy, I knew I must take further action!

 

Above, the 2021 outcome! Well, #1 for now – I got really curious and began to see the potential of another tool, my old friend, the ink-jet printer! I dusted it off, thanked it for its trusted service and loaded it up with some glossy paper and began printing out the form that I cut out and re-mixed into the first image. I cut the image up into fragments and pieces of different scales and covered each piece with clear packing tape. I also left a stroke of white to contour each piece that I cut out, I think it helps! The tape, this was just in case I wanted to plant a few up in the street here in my neighborhood, which is always fun to do. The tape helps protect it for a while from the elements.. and also keep its form in tact. Plus, it gives the image the appearance of a sticker or decal. I made this arrangement above. The piece has some gauge too, it pops off of the surface of the wall at about 2.5 inches. The entire thing is adhered with thick gorilla duct tape on each piece. Duct tape is very temperature sensitive so when the temp in the room changes, things will shift and move a bit. I like how that fuses together with the fact that each piece is just printed paper with clear tape over it. The seemingly “cheap” medium tricks the eye into thinking this is something much more like wood, does it not?

 

Above you can see how the piece integrates itself into a few other works on my studio wall. The piece to the left is a figurative arrangement made in a similar way using bristol paper and duct tape and the portrait is a digital manipulation made from some data-bending techniques (that portrait image also has a layer of clear transparent packing tape on it.) I think that the clear tape actually adds another layer of saturation to the printed image. I think this picture helps give an impression of the overall scale of things too. Perhaps these pieces all kind of work well together too..?

 

This is a larger detail of the data-bent portrait. It contains several layers that have been manipulated in photoshop. I feel that it looks OK as a digital image on screen, but there is just something so nice about the over saturation feel of the ink jet print quality that just seems to help the overall aesthetic of this. Of course I am biased as the creator of it.. haha. Will this piece make the NFT cut? Perhaps? Lets see what it led to below.

 

The image above follows the same idea as the wood piece up at the top of this post. This is also an ink-jet print out that I cut up into fragments and covered in clear packing tape. I used loops of duct tape to hold the pieces and parts together onto the wall. It helps that wall is also made of painted brick and that its pretty old.. vintage aesthetics man.. When I first made this piece I felt that it was really missing something and or was just too busy for the eye to follow, but my IG peeps seemed to love it and also supported the piece as it was, and I don’t mind being wrong at all! I love it now, and its good to share where the original came from as this piece was purely digital at the start, made in 2017 and never printed or displayed off of a “screen”. See below.

 

The moral of this story, there is definitely a lot of value still in print, remixing and reviving older works. We have repositories of images from our own work.. Especially for works that are purely digital and for works that are purely applied. Seeing the work in the opposite context creates a good tension that will usually result in the making of new work! The work may surprise you more than you think! OK, so now Im off to make some 3D models of these for Virtual Reality :))))

The Word “Break” is in “Spring-Break”..

The Word “Break” is in “Spring-Break” – March 2021

Its been a heck of a year.. here we are 1 year later from when the Covid-19 pandemic caused mass lock downs here in NYC and far far far beyond. Im not yet writing this from a “post” Covid reality.. but it is late March 2021 and Spring Break has arrived across many academic calendars for the next 2-3 weeks.

Here is a friendly reminder for those in the teaching profession and beyond, take a good read and please let me know if you need me to help you in your AWAKENING…

 

  1. Fellow teaching colleagues, some of you really need to hear this – what example(s) do you think that you are setting when you overload your students with hefty assignments that “need” to be completed over their spring break?

 

  1. When this is promoted and expected, it is all about you. EGO. It says that you are not mindful and considerate of others, especially your students and what that time may mean to them, as well as take away from them.

 

  1. It also tells the student that taking a break is not important even when it is clearly scheduled to happen. I’m not talking about the suggesting of “inspiring-ness” to check out if they wish to, but ridiculous deadlines and expectations during that time.

 

  1. The word “break” is in “Spring Break” – as in; take a break away from the repetitive actions, commitments and deadlines that have occurred consistently over the last 8 weeks.

 

  1. Here is the mantra; compassion, empathy, patience, understanding. There is no EGO in teaching. Let’s all take a break.

Xeroxed (A Metaphoric Looping Confrontation) The Explanation Post

digital photocopies, on loop as an animated GIF

Xeroxed, (A Metaphoric Looping Confrontation..) The Explanation Post

2020, animated GIF, blog post excerpt, full browser page GIF and video embed.

Welcome back, if you previously had an intervention with this blog post then you know that it will have rolled you to a full screen version of the animation looping in the browser window. All that the unsuspecting viewer was able to see was a “preview” of the blog post that appears in the blog roll section of the home page, or on the blog page itself. The preview of the post was hopefully engaging enough to lure you in. If you clicked on the preview it would redirect to the actual information in the post, but that never happens, you are taken directly to the looping action itself. A forever looping Xerox photo copy of a blank page…

(PS – you can revisit that simulation hereClick Here <– or Below to View the full Web Browser Page Variation of Xeroxed)

Lets talk context. A photocopy machine produces an endless series of copies.. Our brain responds to several aspects of what we see. It is enough information for us to reflect upon having the experience before… When the ink toner begins to run low it starts to produce degenerated copies. This effects the image and the ability to communicate its message(s).

This animated piece of Internet / Web Browser codependent art is digital and paperless. It is a paperless looping series of repetition to activate your self awareness…. ah the metaphors… a metaphor and an indicator of behaviors. What loops are you facing in your life that you walk right into over and over producing the same results.. the results that get a bit more degenerated each time we become aware that we are in the loop? Below is a screen shot from the previous “page” which is actually a page. I used a snippet of CSS using the page ID # to redirect the URL once the preview of the post in disguise was clicked on – the code is below.

.page-id-20721 #main-header { display:none; }
.page-id-20721 #page-container {
padding-top:0px !important}

Your Assignment: Create a visual metaphor that applies the idea of “redirection” as a concept that can function as a static or looping image to extend its meaning. The final outcome must be shared via an active URL.

 

 

Linear Expansions, A Continuum of Line & Form

“Linear Expansions, A Continuum of Line & Form”, 2021, Work in Progress, A Cut Paper Wall Relief.

Im excited to share the progress and process of this new series of paper cut-outs. The forms are arranged directly onto the brick wall in my studio and live there as the piece builds a little more each day. 

Everything starts out as a drawing in my world.. mostly. I suppose thats because its where I got started with art making. Above, we see just a series of smooth and gestural intuitive lines. Im always both surprised and excited by the infinite outcome of what the lines will do. I never draw the exact same character twice. There is always another iteration to explore and become surprised by. The paper cut out at the top of this post is in progress and has thoroughly been inspired by this series of drawings created last week. I cut them out and arranged them on my wall to create a “narrative”. This also serves as an example for my Illustration & Design students this semester. I hope they like it!

 

The drawings above are a result of this process in the video above. I finally started sharing some of these videos on social media… These kinds of drawings happen in immediacy. Fast, intuitive lines that form each character. They are all different yet unified by their stylized lines. But why stop there, I began to think about process and creating gauge and layers. What happens if I cut some of these forms out? And so it went..

It all starts out like this. Start to extract the drawing by flattening it into fragments. Im using a think bristol paper as my paper source. (Strathmore) the surface is smooth a durable. But alas, it is paper and paper is temperature sensitive, so over time it does buckle and curl. I find that this actually helps though, see the process below

(Sorry for the blurry pict above -Ill reshoot this!) I then lay out a flat variation of my cut out forms in layers, very much as one would use layers when using adobe photoshop or illustrator. This is the analog version, and it is a lot of fun to do. The application onto a flat surface is next. Im working kind of large on this piece to see how the scale holds up, I will make a few small pieces too. 

Here is the first character that was applied to the wall. The forms are adhered to the wall using several loops of thick gorilla brand duct tape. The duct tape works well because it can be “stacked” and it is strong enough to hold the weight of the paper as I layer it. Keep this in mind as the further that your pieces layer and come off of the surface of the wall, they may begin to show the effects of gravity :)) – the process continues!

Process – Here is the progress with the second character created and applied to the wall.

Here you can see the beginning of the third character as well as the reference drawings before they were moved to make room for the next characters.

I work a little bit each day. I enjoy the process so much so I tend to work slow to savor the journey. I also enjoy sitting back and looking at the piece as it grows as it gives me a lot of new ideas. Of course, the next adventure will be to make the characters free standing and able to support themselves in the round. 3D is inevitable both as a physical sculpture and a 3D model in a digital space. 

As of today, 2/17/21 this is where Im at in terms of progress. Should I add more smaller pieces and fragments as scale contrasting details? What am I missing? Lets hear some feedback!

Note – YES, I plan to work in this style with other more permanent materials. I would love to see a series of these placed into public space, would be sweet to see a series inside the nyc subway stations 🙂

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!