Tag: ryan seslow

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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!

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

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 – My Submissions!

GIF IT UP is BACK! (As you know!)

The 2020 Edition has an Open Call Until 10/31!

I hope that you will participate??

These are my submissions below to help inspire and activate your GIF making Chops! – Let’s GIF IT UP 2020!

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

Soooo, what is “GIF IT UP?” 

GIF IT UP is an annual gif-making competition for the most creative reuse of digitized 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 digitized 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.)

3Submit your GIF for a chance to win great prizes – https://gifitup.net

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

These are my submissions below!

My process is pretty simple, I jump into the archives and have fun selecting images! There is so much great stuff to explore. I love the feeling of getting lost in time. The images and archives above are really time-machines! I tend to look for things that connect to my childhood and or allow me to play with humor.Most of my animations below are created in Adobe photoshop and after effects. Keep in mind, using after effects with high resolution images may result in big file sizes. The GIF IT UP upload file size (maybe 3 MB tops!) allowance is small! (I hope they change this!) Have fun!

Applied Art Resistance Hybridization

an abstract digital image of a painting converted to a vector graphic

“Applied Art Resistance Hybridization”

Hmm, this is probably just a working title above, or perhaps just another bout of my applied art making resistance? Or wait, maybe it is not resistance, it is the creative desire to always things more. To always expand and push it beyond what was learned and practiced..

Yesterday, I posted the first image in this gallery below to my Instagram feed, and I wrote this:

“Another new painting – #wip – acrylic & oil on canvas, well 97% of it is… I spent many weeks looking at it and thinking about it. Is it still a #painting once it has been digitally photographed 100 times? Im struggling as you can tell. I have also now placed several digital forms directly onto this digital photograph of a painting, that you may never see in person. I wont be able to stop this you know.. All I can do now is make more paintings that will become digital images that I can use as props to make more digital things. And that is bliss!”

The post itself seemed to trigger the next series of digital enhancements and then degenerating and desecration.. it is good visual sketch of how my process seems to work. Do the digital works hold up alone as individual works? Should I print the vector versions at the same size of the actual painting (36″ X 48″ inches) and hang them next to each other. Good questions to have I feel.

The final result is a sequence of the individual images set as a motion graphic, or simply put, a GIF. I suppose my ambition is to create a metaphor that shows how the process is not ever static. Nothing is static, no matter how much we think we can make something permanent and forever, we cant, well not while we are operating from our earthly bodies, but thats a whole other conversation.

Generating New Forms with Household Items & Multiples

Generating New Forms with Household Items & Multiples

New forms are always awaiting entry here onto our planet! Its your job to participate in the process. Lets investigate a few news ways to see, create and explore forms using a common household item like transparent tape. The works in this tutorial are simply one way of executing the project. Im using transparent tape as a medium because it happens to be handy in my immediate space. Other types of tape can work just as well, but the idea with this project is to discover and leverage the application of multiple units. Im going to unify my forms by their material, shape and their size. From there I will create a few different compositions. Some will be applied to a wall in relief form. Some will be on a table top place and others will free stand 360 degrees in the round. My examples are below, and yes, I had a ton of fun applying a light source when it got darker outside. I suggest that you do the same!

Materials needed:

1. A roll of household tape, this could be clear scotch tape, or blue painters tape, or any kind of tape adhesive that will “stick” to itself and other surfaces.

2. A surface to place and build your experiments on. A wall, a table top or an existing object that may have context or contradiction to the form and material, sky is the limit so lets get busy, jump down to the image below.

The technique I applied:

What you see in each image below is a 2 inch piece of transparent tape curled into a loop. I simply repeated this same form at the same size over and over. I built up each arrangement piece by piece. The more pieces (loops) that you have, the more opportunities you have to experiment. Plus, you will need to do some trouble shooting.

Artistic References / Influences: 

Tom Friedman, El Anatsui, Antony Gormley, Tara Donovan, Ai Wei Wei, Tony Cragg & Andy Goldsworthy to name a few.

 

The image above was applied to a piece of white paper and arranged on the surface of the wall. I used a flashlight to add the shadow effects coming from under the piece.

 

The image above was simply turned 180 degrees and rephotographed. I used a flashlight to add the shadow effects coming from the opposite side of the piece and pointing downwards. Even the slightest alteration of the artworks position can add a dramatic change in its visual interpretation. I really love how this came out!

 

Here is an alternate camera angle for the same piece as above (ok, but with an additional few pieces that I added). This visual perspective shows the actual height and stacking of the individual pieces (loops of tape). 

 

I applied a light source directly to the image above to capture variations of the lights glare effect. The glare effect almost makes it look like the piece is in motion. This discovery played a role in how I went about the next few attempts at this project. The next few images below are also subtle variations of the same image. What will you do to create some filters and effects using light or the placement of your pieces?

 

OK, so the image below.. I changed it up. We no longer need to use the table top plane to position our pieces stacked flat on top of one another. In the next series of examples I worked with my piece vertically. Again, light and the perspective of my photos play a big role in the capture of the artwork.

I really love this image! It makes me want to use the image itself as a reference for drawing with pencil. The image below is also a variation but I dont think it is as powerful as the image above, do you?

 

Im excited to see your results and experiments! Will you work with transparent tape or try another material that may produce a similar result? Either way, please share your work!