Tag: net art

The Byproducts Poster of Twenty Twenty One

a big poster of many many small illustration organized into visual order

“The Byproducts of Twenty Twenty One” 2021, Digital Illustration / Poster – (click the image to enlarge)

 

The Byproducts Poster of Twenty Twenty One..

(originally posted to ryanseslow.com but there is context here. Publishing this here will publicly hold me accountable to turn this into an assignment)

Wow, it’s the final day of December, and 2021 is coming to an end. This has certainly been a challenging year..

It’s that time of the year when I get very reflective about my work. This meditation puts a focus on my personal work as an artist, as a professor (just finished my 19.5 years) and as a designer solving various problems for my clients both ongoing and new. A lot has been completed this year. Im proud of my work and of this blog too (more on that soon)..

Behold below, the byproducts poster of 2021! I have been meaning to turn this idea into a class assignment for my intro graphic design and illustration students for a while now, it always seems to escape me writing up the specifications for the project.. Perhaps it’s because the project and exercise itself is so much fun that I I keep it to myself! Let’s change that this coming year! (see, accountable..)

“Byproducts”.. what do I mean by “byproducts”.. well, I see it as a “secondary thing” or results that have been created or generated as a result of another intention. It’s incidental. About 85% of the graphics in the poster below were created in 2021, the other 15% are iterations and extensions of existing graphics taken from the last few years. I have been making art and design consciously for over 35 years.. (omg). This duration in and of itself results in a large repository of “things and stuff” that has been created over those years. Im pretty meticulous at organizing things so its very easy to find files by context and year. I love the idea of having a digital repository of my work on hand. The beauty of this poster (in my opinion) is the display of “orderly chaos”. The composition building process is a challenge and a puzzle. A design problem created on purpose to find harmony and unity by arranging shape, form, color and scale. Byproducts in this context are the result of the “unused things” that were created for specific purposes but didn’t make the next or final cut on a project or concept’s decision making. It doesn’t mean that these things don’t have value. They certainly do, and I love re-contextualizing them. Im giving these things utility by applying them as a promotional poster. A consolidated image of variety, aesthetics, styles and visual candy. A nice representation of how much I love to work this way and the work I love to make. 

The more time I spend looking at this iteration the more I realize I can add to it, or how I can re-compose it. I said it was a “poster” but we all know by now that it could be so much more. Imagine how this would look installed as a large wall piece applied into a clean white walled gallery? Hmmm.. 

When I posted this on a few of my social media profiles I immediately received inquiries if the piece would be minted as an NFT, or if the piece would be available as a physical print? I love all of these ideas and will let them dance in my mind for a few more days.

Happy 2022!

The Legacy & Preservation of an Original Idea

“The Legacy & Preservation of an Original Idea”

2021, Digital Illustration & Animated GIF by Ryan Seslow

A series of two new art-works, 1 animated and 1 static.. its time for a another reactive / reflective writing assignment. Let us view and reflect upon the art work below. The artist has left us with his intention about the work, but does that “add up” for you? What do you see? Let’s first break down the objective aspects of the images and then move on to the subjective and less formal meaning, shall we?

1. The Legacy – The Forever Animated Loop of the Ego..

2. The Preserved – The Forever Static Preservation of the Ego..

The concept of the artwork is derived from our ego-centric human thinking..  

We all want to believe that our individual “ideas” are original, unique and new.. We want to leave a legacy here on this planet.. and we want to make this happen over and over again. We want to believe that we are unique but also a part of the oneness of this world. We grapple with this, especially as artists. Deep down, we know the truth, that all ideas are built by an energetic collective continuum of the creative human potential.. everything is a remix. This series aims to capture the illusion of this statement as a single idea, contained and persevered both static and looped, living on forever..

 

 

  1. Above: (click the image to enlarge)The Legacy & Preservation of an Original Idea, The Legacy, 2021, Animated GIF

 

2. Above: (click the image to enlarge) The Legacy & Preservation of an Original Idea,The Preserved, 2021, Digital Illustration

 

Cut-N-Paste-Analog-N-Electronic-Ness

A new post on process reflection through blogging.

The best teacher I have ever known is the “inner-one” that allows a time for reflection as it wiggles through its narrative from the inside outward.

Here is my take and example.

 

December, late 2021

Back at it. The saga continues. I want to make images, always.. Which is really saying I want to communicate better, or just more, or in new ways. Sometimes the communication is purely fictional. Sometimes the communication is out of frustration because I cant find the words at the moment. Or, sometimes it’s an other worldliness that is using me as a “tool” to make itself known. Either way, it’s a practice and methodology of my expression of “the-self”. My feeling towards art making has always been: “make something and then further extend what has been generated”. I always want to see how that “something” can be taken further. If I make a drawing, I will eventually want to make a painting based on the drawing (sometimes it’s with paint and sometimes the paint is with pixels). After I make the painting it may become the background for the original drawing I made, but the drawing has now been scanned and digitally manipulated. That digital image will get tweaked and revised and also expand. I will then print it, I love old school ink-jet printers and the aesthetic they can produce. Im a “cut-N-paste” lover too, so making collage based works is a must. 

Above, this is a pretty regular perspective I find myself gazing at. Many pieces, parts, fragments and clips awaiting their deployment. I like to see things both on screen and off screen. Printed matter still holds my attention. Its a form of nostalgia and a time-machine into my childhood where art making was always a part of my world. It never stopped and Im sure it wont as long as Im on the planet. Im sure it will continue even when Im off of the planet too, haha.

I suppose, Im always seeking to communicate some form of a “situation or circumstance” in my work. As if “something” was occurring at the moment and the viewer was able to peek in and hit the pause button to freeze the frame of that “something”. I do make quite a bit of animation work too, but that was the natural progression over time as a medium. Plus the tools are so much more accessible today. I never forgot the basics of what I have learned from two-dimensional design in high school. Figure / ground. Foreground, middle-ground and background.. I placed a border around this piece above, perhaps that clean boarder makes the image as a whole seem a bit more important.. or it just emphasizes the moment. The fragments above were not yet glued down, I lay them out and look at them for a while before I make them seemingly permanent. I always take a digital image.. always!

Im really happy with this piece above. The perfect tension between the subjective and the representational. A moment of passing memories, elusive and most likely not even accurate. A portal out of reality and into the imagination. I like to linger there. The image is made from a series of digital photographs and hand drawn illustrations that were manipulated digitally and the full cut-n-paste treatment at its best.. This piece is currently still untitled, for now.. I will surely scan it and bring it back into the digital arena again.

(this piece above is available as a 3/3 edition here – https://hicetnunc.art/objkt/375773 (or click the image)

Ah ha, well, the image above this one was derived from this one! A combination of a manipulated data bent images layered with several glitch renderings. Cut, layered, pasted and cut and pasted again. What works for me the most is the hand cut lines that are visible by their contours. You can see that this was printed and then cut out with a pair of scissors. The lines are not straight, we can only get that perfect line from a ruler and an x-acto knife.. I have no need for making anything “perfect” in such an imperfect world. 

Format change. A horizontal layout variation to switch it up a bit. This piece uses the same process as stated above. It has not yet been glued down and made permanent.. but is that even necessary with digital tools like photoshop? A good question to ponder and what does that mean in the future?

And then, oh yes, the ink-jet bleeding experiments! Did you know about it? Well well well, look at who’s attention just focused in! If you print on matte paper with an ink-jet printer you can use a soft brush and water and create some very cool looking bleeding aesthetics! Im a big fan of this piece! This is surely a subjective and abstract art work, but it still followed the same steps and process as I shared from the beginning. Im going to print some larger scale variations of this, and perhaps have one framed.

I decided to get a bit more formal here in my presentation and laid down a few of these pieces. Sometimes it helps to get the gallery perspective and see one’s work “up on the wall”. The vertical perspective is helpful. Of course these pieces would look better in a more traditional frame, and its this exact exercise that helps me make those decisions. Below, are a few close up versions of each piece. Obviously there is more to come. Thanks for reading!

A Metaphor, A Reminder, An Assignment..

"A Metaphor, A Reminder", 2021, a Digital Illustration by ryan Seslow - A Metaphor, A Reminder is a new digital illustration that brings together an array of peculiar imagery. Most of which is very subjective - shapes, colors and forms layer over each other to display creative suchness.

“A Metaphor, A Reminder”, 2021, Digital Illustration

A Metaphor, A Reminder is a new digital illustration that brings together an array of peculiar imagery. Does it not?

What do you experience?

Are they logos? Icons? Glyphs? Pictograms? Symbols? A sheep in wolf’s clothing? 

Everyday is an opportunity to bring new shapes, forms and color combinations together. For what purpose, you may ask?Well, this might be an exercise, about the expressive power to evolve and transcend a something.. a metamorphoses..

Even if, some, or all of the new forms may be 100% subjective at first, they come from a “somewhere” and can be applied to a “here” and also to a “now”. We can fuse the whole process with emotion, creative energy, memories and positive vibrations. If we look and don’t create what will happen?

If we make and design and practice that everyday what will or may happen?

What can, only if, and or may, happen?

This world has made us all creators by default but we do know it?

What will you do next?

The Communication Game – Animated Video

The Communication Game – 2021 – Animation

Duration – 00:16 (set to loop), Size: 1080px X 720px

“The Communication Game” is a new animation by Ryan Seslow. Derived from an ongoing frustration with communication, accessibility and technology, the animation asserts itself through an overpopulated, heavily manufactured interface. Fragments of 3D models stiffly role-play as video game characters and jockey over each other in various scenes, situations and actions. The visual aesthetic is gritty, grainy and degenerated. The soundless video flows on a loop that creates a feeling of ongoing struggle as the viewer attempts to follow its chaos and understand what is being communicated..

 

In the comments section below generate a response that addresses your connection or disconnection to the animation.

What do you see? How does the animation affect you?

Can you relate to communication frustrations? If so, how and where?

Where do you see or experience this the most? 

 

2,500 Extra-Credit points will be given to all who respond and react!

 

Until You Write it Down – Class Exercise

a colorful image of a subjective landscape from another world

Until You Write it Down –

A Class Exercise – (feel free to tweak and alter this to meet your courses needs)

I have been thinking a lot about how our goals, dreams, desires and aspirations become the actual physical “objects, things, situations and accomplishments” that we experience in our lives. The process itself seems elusive and often intangible. The more I contemplate it, the more intrigued I become. Perhaps this is all a part of the necessary formula of developing self-awareness that motivates us into a stylized series of actions. Perhaps this is also a personal intervention that we need to create for ourselves and put it into practice? I believe that we need to be reflective very often and to audit our patterns of behavior. This includes our day to day thoughts and thinking process. It is far easier said than actually done, but lets brainstorm together a bit here. Im just a student of life writing this as both an intervention and a reminder for myself with the hopes that others may also find use value and inspiration in the exercise.

“Until You Write it Down..” is the title of this post and my intention is to use the title both literally and as a metaphor, I’ll explain more as we dig in but this post may (after editing and re-reading it 50 times) be a two-part series with deeper insight into the process as we go, so lets start slowly. By the way, I really love the word “revision” as I believe that it is actually a portal. Making revisions shows us that we can always make improvements based on the generating of a result that we have produced. Which, if you think about it, makes it impossible to fail at anything as we can choose to make a better result in contrast to our first iteration(s). That choice will play out first and foremost internally. It will be a new series of images, feelings and sensations inside the mind and body. The choice to do this requires some of my other favorite words, “patience, resolve, spirituality and surrender”. (I have by no means mastered the application of any of these words, but I am hyper-aware that they are huge contributors to the process..) To have patience about “something” (which can be a new or old situation, circumstance, person(s), etc..) is a matter of surrendering to that something, becoming quiet, shifting focus and attention away from it while having the resolve (insert the word “trust” here) to go forward that all will be well, and the outcome that one needs the most to grow or learn will be what manifests. This is also a practice, and the best teacher..

(*Note – this post may receive a few more formatting edits after its original publication date as I get more ideas as I re-read it!)

I believe that we must “exercise” our dreams, desires and goals into reality. We must also have a target to aim at with an end result in mind. Whatever we wish to be, do or have needs to be expressed outwardly from inside of the body (from our mind, feelings and emotions) and outwardly into the physical world. Our body plays a key role as the vehicle of the medium. Of course a dream or a goal’s narrative first happens “within”. We craft these things from our individual life experiences and begin to reflect and see ourselves engaged in the desired outcomes. But, do those inner narratives stall and become infinite loops of endless “wanting-ness” rather than actual tangible experiences? I can certainly say that I have experienced this many many many times. I continue to reflect and ask, how do we get those goal-based narratives that were birthed and given thought energy from inside to reach and harden into experiential reality? Well, “time” certainly plays a big role, and synonymous with “time” are those famous words that I listed above: “patience, resolve, spirituality and surrender”.

Here we are in the fall of 2021 as I write this. So much has and continues to happen at accelerated paces. Is it just me who feels this way? Of course not, we are all in this accelerated energy together. There is a lot to process, express and share related to the disruptions and trauma caused by COVID-19 and how this has and continues to impact us both individually and collectively. I need to save this for a follow up post, and I promise that I will write it soon. However, it is this last year that has induced a deeper and heightened level of reflection and awareness in all of us. 

A thought popped into my head as I write this: “Perhaps the emotional sentiments of missing out on something are really disguised and misunderstood as repressed, unclear and unorganized feelings of an intense desire to create?”

An inner light bulb clicked on. I thought, and asked myself, is my focus on “waiting and wanting” more than I am taking actual creative action on the things that I consider goals? And, what were those goals again? It’s been a long time since I stopped to think about this, plus, what I thought those goals were seem to be just all in my “head” kind of floating around. Fragmented thoughts are not a target, and this is something I believe I can control through setting clear intentions and listing a series of goals with desired outcomes.

We learn so many things at various stages of our individual life experiences. It’s not consistent with others, its more like extreme contrast, however, there will always be a number of things, situations and circumstances in our day to day lives that we will not be able to control. No matter how hard we try to intervene, some things will not be changeable and we will only experience them. I don’t mean this in a negative way but in a way that helps us come to terms with acceptance, surrender and the ability to understand that we do have a choice in how we can respond. Even if that means we need a long time to reflect and correct the way we originally reacted to something.. this is all too human. There are many things that we can put our focus and attention on, set intentions and work towards. The disclaimer here is that this requires self-awareness, a bit of discipline, your favorite word “patience” and a series of practiced actions, lets consider..

The summer has always been a special and significant time of year for me in my experience here on this planet. Im hyper-aware that I am conscious and living in a multi-sensory physical body. My body (we only have one..) is finite and I take good care of it so that it will work in a harmonious unison with my mental, emotional and physical health. Im grateful for my body and my health, even though I certainly overdo things from time to time. We all do.. The summer represents a time to slow down a little and spend more time working on self-awareness and replaying some of the years events thus far. I like to take stock on what has been accomplished, what still needs tending to, what I gave up on and what I need to let go of. This applies especially to really outdated behaviors, dreams and goals that no longer are desired (which requires the audit I mentioned above). Please keep in mind that all of this reflecting is “in my head” and streaming through the in and out phasing of consciousness through out the day. We all know that difference right? One minute we are super aware and focused on our current or implied thoughts and reflections and then another thought intervenes by unwanted infiltration and we become distracted and loose our original focus. This is a cycle of sorts, and we participate in it rather quite easily, day in and day out. Science tells us that we have over sixty thousand or more thoughts per day and most of them are repetitive. How and why do we create that repetitive automation in the first place? All of this thought energy stays “in our head” unless we do something to change those loops and patterns. I believe that we need another medium to contrast the process (besides thoughts in our head) to guide, realign and express things.

Im going to use the example of “goals” because it is extremely relatable for everyone. Can you think of one dream or goal that has been with you for a really really long time?

We all have dreams and goals. But wait, are those dreams and goals up to date in this current moment in alignment with who you have and continue to become? It’s not exactly an easy question. Think about it for a second, are those dreams and goals just “in your head” as looping recycled stories from 5, 10 or 20 years ago? Are they now just repetitive thoughts with no emotional charge or clear visual imagery? Do you FEEL anything as those loops play over? 

(Re-read that last paragraph above please)

This is an interesting confrontation and it warrants an audit of the stories that we keep telling our selves. Doing this seems easy in theory but there is a lot of psychology at play here. Resistance plays a role as the implication of “change” is something we are good at fearing. If we take stock and audit a goal or dream that we have had for many years and it has not happened then we have to be accountable for that. We usually take this as a disappointment, which does not feel good, but alas, it is necessary to move forward. Perhaps a good first step is changing the previous script. Updating it for today is the action to take but our “previous body and mind” may need more help in the process. Let’s clarify a few things, dreams and goals that have not yet happened are NOT failures. If these things are still important to you then they simply need to be updated and nurtured. They need to be expressed outwardly, meaning, outside of the body and into the world. Lets give it a try!

It is now time to “write down” your goals. We need to set a target and come back to give it water, love, nurturing and surrender to the control over “how” things will show up. (surrender and trust)

Step # 1 – Please get a pen or pencil and a piece of paper (or type this as a note on your phone or in a word processing document on your computer, or speak it into a recording device that you can play it back on, or use a visual signed language and record yourself so that you can see it play back) Now make a list of your top three short-term goals that you wish to accomplish now and do the same for your top three long-term goals (long-term could be with in the next 5 years). Step #1 of this exercise will most likely happen really fast, really slowly or you wont do it at all. Do these two lists flow out and come to you easily or does it take a while to do? Did you allow yourself to do it at all? Believe it or not, most people will not do this. They wont or have never made a list of their goals at all..  Remember, this intervention sends signals of “change” to the brain and body, and change is hard, so if you feel that resistance, know that it is totally expected. Take your time.

Step #2 – Re-read, Re-listen or Re-watch the lists that you have made a few times. As you experience those lists, how do you feel? What becomes of your emotional state? Do those lists make you feel happy and inspired and propel you into creative action? Or, do you feel sad, mad, frustrated or even nothing at all? If you feel any of these, you most likely may have a hard time adding a “WHY” reason / statement to each individual goal. This may be your indication that the goal needs to be revised or updated in its narrative. This is a good thing as it helps us get more clear on the goal. Why is this goal is important to you? How will this help you, and most importantly, how will the accomplishment of this goal help others and the world at large? For step #2, add this aspect to each goal to expand upon its clarity and deeper meaning. Add a statement of “Why”.

I found that this was pretty difficult to do the first time around! I kept getting distracted and spacing out. I also had to just allow myself to write out my lists and not “edit” them as I went. Once I gave that part up, it was much easier. The best part of this is how things took shape as I re-read my lists. I kept having more sentiments and ideas of the many little details and elements that were important and needed to be a part of each goal’s statement. This continued to expand until images started to form in my minds eye and as those images activated my emotional state, and I became more and more excited reading the lists. The reading part becomes charged with good emotions, and this seems to be a very important part of the process!

Ill be back soon for part 2, until then, feel free to leave your thoughts below!

 

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?