Meanwhile on 5th & 26th..
Im excited to share this blog post with you today (and beyond as it will be updated and archived). As you all know, I’m a big fan of the CUNY Academic Commons. There are more reasons than I can mention at the moment, but I wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize the idea of how essential and easy it is to create a portfolio on the platform. I know, the word “portfolio” itself has several internal triggers. We almost always associate it with “work” or a “job” and it is time to purge, bypass and rethink this. That part is OUR responsibility. Lets not forget the word “FUN” as a part of this process because it can be the driving force behind actually creating something that you are both proud of and eager to put out into the world- (our community here and beyond).
The URL for my example portfolio on the commons is here – https://profryanseslow.commons.gc.cuny.edu
The portfolio site is designed as a visual tutorial that gives both suggestions and instructions, it will help you get started. Think of your visit to the site as inspiration on what some of the potentials can be. It is intended to be the fuel that sparks your ideas into action. I’m also here to help, so feel free to reach out. The example website can be applied to a professional faculty portfolio, a collaborative group project, a specific event or accomplishment. This can also easily be the template for your students, and student work, including helping students create their own variations.
More to come!
“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).
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!
Welcome to the 2019 MBS_RMS_NET-ART_COLLAB.
Lets get you caught up and give you some perspective, it would make sense for you to click on this link below first:
Be sure to click anywhere in the browser window and see what happens!
And now, well, THIS! –> MBS_RMS_NET-ART_COLLAB <—
“A long overdue project”, you may say, but alas, here we are. When you arrive at MBS_RMS_NET-ART_COLLAB Feel free to click on the graphics in the collage windows as many a great surprise compositions await you! Enjoy the iterations!
This project begins in html but lets see how it develops! This project is completely generated in the “pass the buck” style.
As of 5/19/19 it is MBS’s turn to add to the html file, publish it on the Internet and then send it back to RMS for more additions!
“Every Conversation I Never Overheard” – a second iteration forward.
Ryan Seslow, 2019, Multiple Channel Animated Video.
I feel that physical scale plays a role in the development, impact and sharing of works like this. I always ask myself, can it hold up on Instagram, Youtube or a website? The answer is obviously yes, but asking the question helps me give it further contexts to look into. There is an old outdated version / part of me that can still recall past teachers and mentors instructing that I shouldn’t share this new “work in progress” on the web until after I have shown it in a more traditional public art space. (How limiting) Thankfully, that is not my idea but one that was constantly shared with me (and the others around me) for many years. I never took that advice. I’m happy about that. I’m sure that I missed hearing a lot of the reasons for why or why not, and that’s also a good thing.
“Every Conversation I Never Overheard” puts an emphasis on the overstimulating visuals that I experience in my daily soundless travels through transit in NYC. As my ability to wear and use hearing aids degenerates rapidly I have been spending more and more time not wearing them at all, especially when I am alone and in transit. The less I hear, the more I see, and the more I see the more I hear inside. (re-read that last stanza) I see in narratives that seem to splice themselves together into a continuous sequence of scrolling communication. This is a first attempt at bringing together the visual aspect of the sentiment and experience.
*This art work is a part of the Ongoing Online Exhibition: “Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self”
“The Multi-Self Channel Narrative” is Part 1 of a new multi-channel soundless Video Art narrative. This piece is set as the background for the additional layers as they develop. This piece was started on March 24th 2019 and created from various art historical images that can be found in open access and public domain resources. This video art work is a simulation of the resources and a visual example of the potential! (More to come on this soon, including a “how-to” tutorial)
Video by Ryan Seslow
Graphic Design for Websites (and beyond)
“Graphic Design for Websites” is a workshop placing an emphasis on the basic elements and principles of graphic design in relationship to front end web design aesthetics. Students will be exposed to various examples and applications for wordpress based websites (on the CUNY academic commons and beyond). The workshop will also introduce and apply a myriad of Open Education Resources on design, techniques and software. Hands on exercises will be explored. Bring your laptop.
Welcome to the Graphic Design for Websites workshop!
Here we are, March 19th 2019 at the CUNY Graduate Center, NYC for the Digital Initiatives program!
Reminder #1 – Nothing is static.
Reminder #2 – Everything is default until we intervene, investigate, interact and define who we are in relationship to that thing.
Introductions – This presentation and workshop is a blog post! A URL! It was specifically organized, designed and published this way, which all takes place on website.
URL, please meet the in real-life workshop students and guests. In real-life workshop students and guests please meet the URL. This blog post will grow and expand, I greatly look forward to your additions, suggestions and comments!
What is Graphic Design?
A great definition by: Juliette Cezzar
“Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form it takes can be physical or virtual and can include images, words, or graphics. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can be intended for a small number of people, such as a one-off or limited-edition book or exhibition design, or can be seen by millions, as with the interlinked digital and physical content of an international news organization. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.” https://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign
Question – After reading this definition, what is the first image that comes to your mind / attention?
What is Visual Literacy? The ability to recognize and understand ideas conveyed through visible actions or images, such as pictures. (according to)
Visual literacy is a skill. A visual literacy is the ability to both understand and produce visual messages. In today’s world of ever-expanding mass media it is becoming increasingly more important to understand. As almost all information and entertainment is acquired through non-print media, the ability to think critically and visually about the images and content presented becomes crucial.
Where is Graphic Design visually present?
Everywhere! Literally. All kinds of signs and symbols both digital and non, transportation, corporate identity and branding, all forms of packaging, printed materials, Internet / online content, websites, Ads, banners, blogs, e-books, album covers, news media, film and television titles, graphics of all kinds, fashion, clothing designs, art and so much more!
But wait, Are you a Designer? You’re all designing things each day, all day long, lets take a look into what this means..
How does design effect communication?
We must ask the question, what is the language of Design? One must identify and understand the Elements and Principles. The elements and principles are the design vocabulary – (Standard – the way it is defined in academic terms – versus – Customized – the way it is defined via each individual person)
- OER Resource – Understanding the Elements and Principles of Design
- Elements – Color, Line, Mass, Movement, Space, Texture, Type & Value.
- Principles – Balance, Contrast, Direction, Economy, Emphasis, Proportion, Rhythm & Unity.
- A great “E & P” explanation Video (lets take a look) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqQx75OPRa0
*An exercise for later – Generate a series of images taken with your smart phone that visually define the elements and principles of design in public space. We are in NYC, so…design is everywhere, reaching us both consciously and unconsciously. However, we never see a “single design” or “a single building” we see it with in relationship to everything else that is around it. Gather your images and publish them into a blog post. Send your published URL to me no later than tomorrow at 8am. (Im kidding, at leisure)
Where is the attention of human beings these days?
Obviously, online. The Internet!
How does design play a role in the way that we use the Internet and websites for teaching, learning, creating new courses, sharing course work, assignments and generating discussions? What about the way we conduct research, shop, entertain ourselves and so on? Are you consuming more than creating? Is it possible to creatively consume?
What is Creativity?
Creativity is the action and ability to give tangible form to an idea, impulse or intuition. It can be a new idea, or it can be an extension of something that already exists. Creativity can change the context of something in a new and innovating way.
Creativity and being human are synonymous (even thought your ego can trick you into not believing this) Creativity’s desire is your human desire and need of physical expression.
What role does storytelling play in the application of design and websites?
It comes down to Intention. Conscious intention. How can we apply this? Where do we start?
Let’s chat about Contrast. Contrast is wonderful. But contrast can also be a great motivator of procrastination. Endlessly seeking more and more examples can equal less and less actual action. Anyone guilty of this?
What would you like to create? What would you like to make? How will you go about it? Are you willing to practice?
Storytelling & Design & the power of the URL!
Process, Practice & Permission to be Experimental:
Here is your permission intervention. I hereby give you the permission to jump in! Its not at all uncommon to have MULTIPLE projects happening at once on the web. We all know this from the classes that we are taking and the classes that we may be teaching. (Im teaching 8 courses between 4 colleges and taking 2 courses for myself) From the projects we are a part of both individually and collaboratively, the more that we do, the more we realize that we can do. Sometimes “more” is simply being experimental! Its OK to use experimentation as the SUBJECT. Narrate and illustrate the process and observe how it organically takes form.
- CUNY Academic Commons – Free for all CUNY teaching faculty and students – wordpress platform that functions as a social network with in the larger CUNY community as a whole. How can you not be a part of this?
- WordPress & Reclaim Hosting – I highly recommend this synthesis of awesomeness.
- Tumblr – Free and very customizable, lots of options.
- WIX – Free and paid versions, also very customizable with a lot of options.
Projects as Websites, Websites as Projects, either way, its COMMUNICATION. Make it open, make it transparent.
Teaching NET-ART – Teach the Course(s) you have always wanted to teach! Create, design and build it! Your rules, your examples, your unique way of sharing. Im using the CUNY Academic Commons for this course.
Cross Campus Collaboration – My CUNY BMCC foundation Graphic Design course collaborated with my York college Digital Storytelling class to produce both an online and public example of collaboration. Our cross course ZINE was created in partnership and donated to the NYPL’s public ZINE collection and archive.
Public Projects / Group Exhibitions / Galleries & Open Calls:
Presentations – Lightning Talk!
(Above – a graphic icon / logo remix created with the Assembly app for iOS mobile)
The Industry standard software / tools for graphic design is Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator are powerful tools that can be used to generate virtually anything visual. From all types of static images and graphics, to logos, icons and animations, to retouching and layout. Adobe offers monthly subscriptions for their software and if it is affordable on the end of the user, it should be applied and taken advantage of.
Alternatives to Adobe Software:
GIMP – https://www.gimp.org/ – iOs & Windows
Web Browser applications:
PIXLR – https://pixlr.com
vectr – https://vectr.com
Assembly (iOS only) http://assemblyapp.co/
Additional Digital Art & Design Tools – This is a growing list and archive that has been building right here on this website. I encourage you to jump in, pick a new application or platform every few weeks and experiment!
Lets get to the DESIGN Making PART!
Lets assume that you do not have access to adobe photoshop, but you do have access to the internet, a web browser, and creativity that is pouring out of you!
- Lets open pixlr and Design a logo, icon or symbol that communicates and or supports something that you are currently working on. A logo for your course or personal website? A hybrid graphic icon to express several things that you are interested in? I created the logo / graphic for this presentation at the top of the post using pixlr and icons from the noun project. I added the text in pixlr as well. I applied attribution to the creators via the Creative Commons policy.
- Lets use pixlr again to generate a poster design that uses transparent graphic assets and text. I created a public folder here where you can access, download and the apply the graphics. Lets practice composing a picture using multiple elements. (Of course you can also discover and apply your own graphics!)
Save your work as a .jpg file and e-mail it to me! Rseslow@york.cuny.edu or Ryan (at) ryanseslow.com – I will build a gallery of workshop contributions below this sentence!
(((((COMING SOON in this SPACE – The WORKSHOP OUTCOMES!)))))
Open Education Resources – Courses to follow along with by Professor Seslow:
OER Resources – Text Books (online):
Digital Foundations: http://write.flossmanuals.net/digital-foundations/introduction
Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/344
Free Udemy Course:
Intro to Graphic Design – https://www.udemy.com/share/1001yQAkITd1dbTHQ=/
Online Guides, Tutorials & Project Resources:
Adobe – https://www.adobe.com
Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/tutorials.html
Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/tutorials.html
Terry White’s Youtube Channel for Adobe Tutorials & Beyond – https://www.youtube.com/user/terrywhitetechblog/videos
Wpbeginner.com – WordPress tips, tricks and more – https://www.wpbeginner.com/guides/
DS106 Assignment Bank – http://assignments.ds106.us/
Daily Create – http://daily.ds106.us/
Image Repositories and Graphic Resources:
The Noun Project – “Graphic Icons for anything”
Open-Access – Digital Collection – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Public Domain Images Public domain images, royalty free stock photos, copyright friendly free images. Not copyrighted, no rights reserved.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Images from the Library of Congress, now in the public domain.
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 America
NYPL – The New York Public Library Digital Collections Archive
Flickr CC – Creative Commons on Flickr.
Gif Cities – Internet Archive
Useful Articles & Inspiration:
What is Graphic Design? https://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign
Design History.org – http://www.designhistory.org
Key Moments in Graphic Design / Timeline – https://www.thoughtco.com/key-moments-in-graphic-design-history-1697527
Gestalt – Introduction – https://www.canva.com/learn/gestalt-theory/
Useful Article on Color Theory 1:
Useful Article on Color Theory 2:
Useful Article on Color Theory 3:
Color & Logos / Brand Identity:
New York City Transit Graphics Standards Manual – 1970
Dribbble – Graphic Design Community / Social Network
1. Graphic Design: The New Basics Paperback, Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Princeton Architectural Press, 1st Edition – ISBN# 1568987021;9781568987026
2. How to: Michael Bierut, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN# 978-0-06-241390-1
3. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign Visual Quickstart Guides (Peachpit Press)
Many thanks to Dr. Lisa Rhody for the opportunity to present and share this workshop!
I love the immediacy of taking photos with my iPhone and using them directly as inspiration for new digital art works. The ability to shoot, capture and apply one’s own visual references in immediacy continues to fuel my desires as a media artist. In my latest new media project I have been playing with the idea of anonymity and how it can be expressed from the perspective of being deaf and hard of hearing in a large city. In this case NYC, where I spend a lot of my time. Even though one may find themselves surrounded by thousands of other people at all times constantly in motion, you may not find one familiar face in the sea of human beings. This of course does not mean that communication is not being made and or exercised. Communication comes in a different ways. Many many ways. Some of which can be totally taken for granted. Are you a hearing person with normal hearing? Perhaps on your next visit to NYC, LA or Chicago wear a pair of sound blocking earphones and walk through the busiest sections of the city through the eyes of the soundless. What new sensations will you take notice to? How will all things visual enhance and or become more pronounced? Where will your visual focus be with the removal of sound?
As a deaf and hard of hearing person I live between the world of battery operated digital synthetic amplified sound and no sound at all. Even when there is sound via hearing aids, in a big city like NYC, for me its mostly distortion and the over amplification of the things I would rather not hear, like sirens, and multiple other things competing in the same space. I have the choice to remove my hearing aids and often do so in these environments. To this day I still find it utterly perplexing that my brain functions this way. I often opt out of wearing hearing aids in certain areas to avoid distorted noises and the limitations of what hearing aids are supposed to do. I don’t mind experiencing my world soundless. Its not a limitation in my eyes, nor is it a “disability” like many refer to it as. When the void of sound is present another sense kicks in. I become acutely attuned to the vibration of people, objects and things. I can also activate this when I wear hearing aids but its a little harder to do and maintain. Especially when multiple synthetic sounds and vibrations are competing with each other while my brain is trying to convert them into comprehensible meaning. How does this all work? Im both fascinated, perplexed and inspired to attempt to explain it all.
The first piece in the series came from this photo I took while crossing the street in mid-town on the east side. Even when wearing hearing aids I miss a ton of sounds and words when trying to communicate in noisy environments, especially the city. I was never able to “overhear” our follow the conversations of other people anywhere. Hearing people are exposed to this all the time, especially in public space. You kind of have no choice to a degree. I often wonder what that is like? I could only read lips to a degree and watch the facial expressions and body language create patters of repetition. Over time this became both a visual language and an emotional one as well in and of itself. In a public space like NYC it makes what I witness visually an ongoing anonymous experience. The works below are manipulations and extensions that are derived from one single experience and one single image yet it represents so many of the others like it.. This is a metaphor and an expression of how this effects me on a sensory level. Its kind of like a paused, freeze-framed moment of ceaseless motion where some parts stop and some continue to move. I find beauty in these moments and can retain them in my mind’s eye.
The static frames above inspired the second phase of the project’s development, making videos. The videos below are my first attempts to bring together the ceaseless motion of the static images and put them into actual motion. It seeded natural to do this over time. Visual motion is experienced as a whole frame rather than the moving of the legs as the people walk. How does this effect help you engage or disengage visually? Each video is short and unlike GIF files these do not loop over and over, they have a beginning and an end.
I also began to think about the environment itself. Meaning, what if the architecture also had a point of view on how they communicated with those thousands upon thousands of people that anonymously interact with them. A simple reversal of roles. How is it that the largest of objects can be visually ignored and unnoticed. How we place context on this kind of communication plays a role, but this role is mostly absent. I find a connection between buildings and the body. Both are vessels and containers. The contexts are both metaphors and literal / obvious. I get a great sense of duality from this as an idea and it has pushed me to want to dig deeper into the concept. This is the first series of works below using just one image to suggest the morphing of sentiments and feelings that are mirrored between the public and its architecture. Thank you for visiting. This blog post is a first draft into the further development of this new body of works. Revisions are being made and I intend to show and display the works beyond the Internet soon.