Tag: illustration

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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

The Contemplation of Metaphoric Flight, A Creative Teaching Template

“We need a caption, Phil, I don’t want to disappoint Roz again, help me out here”
Countless memories, the sea air and the seemingly creative blunders of reflective such-ness..what will you contribute to the process?
This is a manipulated image, its a silly one, or perhaps you resonate with it seriously? Either way, we need to adjust the contrast of the art work, please help by listing some of the options we can apply.
This is great fodder for creative inducement, consider the potential of how images speak to us, especially finding value in the subjective. What will you “allow” yourself to share?
Contrasts can be oh so subtle, they can disrupt the default patterns, this is a metaphor! How will you disrupt the pattern to bypass the part of you that clings to the familiar?
OK, patterns can also be very COOL! Patterns are about order, but order is in need of an integration of variety every so often, OK, this is another metaphor, see the pattern? 🙂
A little bit of movement goes a long long way! A little bit of texture goes a long way as well. Seems to me that creative variety is more accessible than we may think..
Ahem, you get the message, right?

“The Contemplation of Metaphoric Flight”, 2019, is a series of digital art illustrations & GIF animations generated from public domain source images via the NYPL digital archives. The illustrations were created by your old friend, Ryan Seslow. The new series of works above were specifically created to be displayed here on the C.A.C as a part of the Net Art website’s ongoing exhibition series. It is intended to serve as a visual example, an accessible template, and the creative potential for displaying, publishing, presenting and archiving such a project. (The whole thing is a metaphor)

Wait! Am I suggesting that an online exhibition, published as a blog post on a unique cross-campus social media network can also be used as a teaching tool? A transparent pedagogical tactic?! Well, yes, yes, I am! Lets dig in.

The original public domain images were cut-out with the pen-tool, composed and applied using adobe photoshop (photoshop is your friend and loves you). Do you need a photoshop pen-tool / cut-out video tutorial? Go Here – The cut-outs were necessary for the first iteration of the static pictures above. (Im referring to the bird portraits and the human clothes used to place their heads onto and into) The cut-outs are handy as they can be saved as both .psd files (the original photoshop documents) and as a transparent .PNG file. The .PNG files have a transparent background, this makes it easy to layer them over and into existing images. Plus they are forever re-usable (variation, variation, variation). But, Ryan, I don’t have access to Photoshop… OK, well, there is a trail versions! Sign up and try it! But after that trail ends, so that you know, photoshop is not required to do any of this. Web applications like Pixlr are free and accessible for all to use in the browser window itself, er, with access to the Internet of course.. OK, you can just download the .PNG files here in ready to use mode (your welcome). 

Click here to access my database, this includes all spiritual GIF making insights and alchemy tactics to engage students!

OK, so, there are a few animations above as well. The first animations above were created in adobe after effects. The renders were pushed to my iPhone and into mobile applications like Glitche (yikes, its only for iOS) and iPhone’s “Clips” video sequence maker (there are alternatives for android) The files can be saved as mp4 or .mov files making it easy to apply the videos into other mobile video editing apps. Filters are fun to play with for more customizing and visual effects. The videos can be looped into GIF animations using great apps like ImgPlay (this app is awesome, it re-sizes, edits, and has multiple out-put sources.) Animated GIFs are great extenders of so many forms of communication! Im hooked on making GIFS! I make them all public domain by adding them to Giphy.com so by all means use them at will! Here is my feed.

Of course, the digital art, illustration, collage, GIF animation aspect can be a great creative course project in and of itself! Indeed, both on an individual level but perhaps collaborating is where the extended creativity and learning takes place. This can be achieved through digital storytelling using a blogging platform just like this one. See that, you find yourself “inside the actual example”! The illustrations above clearly required a caption, captions and or a narrative. Is the narrative fictional? Will you write a short story to support the images or maybe a reflection induced by the sequences of images? What references come to mind or coincide? How can you make the description compelling? Will you share hyperlinks to your references and resources? Will you embed animated GIFs or other snippets of relevant content? Can you recompose this blog post and use it as a metaphoric template for your own class project, assignment, syllabus or exhibition? (Hint, you can easily break free of the digital art example, but it might be fun to play with this as an idea.)

I believe that this example / template series will expand, who wants to collaborate on a creative cross campus project?

And seriously, have FUN with this!