Sunday, April 12, 2015

Artist Post: Website Design

As it has been difficult to pick a particular artist that caught my interest, I decided to go into a few popular artist websites to compare and contrast, to see what does and does not work for each of them. 

David Wenzel

I mentioned David Wenzel's work in a previous post, but I wanted to take another look at his site for its originality and ingenuity. One element that I will likely parody in my own website is the "enter" page that one must click on to enter locate Wenzel's information. Already Wenzel is forcing the viewer to engage with his page- which is a frequent element in his site. I love the visual imagery of his website- the art definitely takes precedent. The movement that he adds to the characters that decorate his pages are fun and interesting, but they do not distract from the information on the site. Wenzel's personality is amicably portrayed through the depiction of his website, which is something that I hope to emulate in my own website.

Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa's author site is similarly visually engaging. The viewer is first presented with an overawing image that truly sets a tone for the website. She leaves a lot of the information to be accessed on the left with a nifty side bar and sub-categories that allow a viewer to sift through many layers of information. There are many different options provided in how a viewer can peruse a website-- this allows for people to travel it differently, depending on how they think. The meaty information is found later at the bottom after scrolling down-- I'm not sure if I'd want to stuff my own information so far in the back of the website.

Amy Mebberson

Amy Mebberson's approach is a little more direct. We are launched into her page, given first a few illustrations of her skill, and then information detailing exhibitions and social media connections. In my own site I hope to employ connections to other social media outlets so that my site is associated with my other websites. With less color composition in her background, the viewer can really focus in on her bright illustrations. While this works for her purpose, I feel like I would want my images to be larger and more integral to my website. I do like how she categorizes all of her art at the bottom of the page. This allows the viewer to find the type of art they are looking for with ease. 

With these sites as my guide, I will hopefully be able to synthesize the elements that I like from each to make my own website work. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

"Identify Yourself" Webpage

This is a very fascinating website. Two columns of text make up the format, but these columns do not move proportionally to one another. The left column, under which the bold word "Identify" is comprised of various informative paragraphs regarding the internet- how it is used, how it has become intrinsically linked to human existence and identity. The column on the right, which bears the word "Yourself", is Krystal South's (the site's creator) personal reaction to all of these things. She links her personal experience to the greater nebulous understanding of the internet into concrete, personal anecdotes on how she herself has dealt with her coexistence with the internet.

In terms of formatting, the website is rather simple- the color scheme is direct (making the site look even a little outdated) and there are no distracting images or advertisements. Coupled with the fact that all a user can do is scroll down, these elements allow for easy navigation throughout the site. If anything, I found the font chosen to be a tad childish and difficult to read. It definitely gave the website a less professional air (it remains to be seen if this was the author's intent) and it took up a lot more room than a thinner, more legible font would need. Moreover, while perusing the article I found various grammatical mistakes, but they did not impede clear interpretation of the article's content.

One particular paragraph that I found to be interesting was "The Accidental Audience". It had a detailed analysis of how art is viewed and interpreted online. One could find a user's work of art competing alongside food pics on sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Youtube. The meaning of these works are constantly being reworked as they are reblogged and taken further and further out of their original context. South grapples with the concept of this diluted art form, ultimately claiming that all art (no matter what form it takes) has its purpose, and no effort is meaningless. She also brings up the "bastardization" of the word 'curation' that has taken place on social media sites. Series of pictures collaged on Pinterest are being called works of curation, which inherently devalues the hard work of of the curatorial work done in museums. In troubling the presence of art on the internet, South brings to light the new and unexpected challenges that artists face in the increasing digitization of our world. 


Monday, March 9, 2015

Vector Portrait in progress..

This is how things look without the image… A little wonky because the background is supposed to be black. Colors subject to change :)

Vector Artist: Tobias Gobel

Being a younger, more under the radar artist, it was difficult to find a lot of hard biographical facts about Tobias Gobel. What I did find, however, was an amazing illustration portfolio online with this quote:

"Tobias Göbel always drew, but he needed to take some detours, one of them social education, before he actually became an illustrator. But now he fully concentrates on being an illustrator and has invented a style full of pop and energy."

Many contemporary artists of the internet focus on their art, not personal information. Gobel is no exception. But his body of work is incredibly impressive; I couldn't pass up the chance to showcase some of his vector work:

There are many accepts to Gobel's art that make his work pop: the foremost being his dynamic, pop-arty compositions. Predominately, Gobel is combining the female form with nature, creating dynamic word play and using pattern to make appealing shapes to the human eye. A lot of his work revolves around symmetry and balance; many of his pieces could likely appear on a deck of playing cards. Each work carries a dynamic color composition, as he tends to stick to a primary color and work with it throughout his piece. Linear emphasis lends to a specifically graphic feeling to these vector drawings, and the eye is constantly drawn to the hair of the women portrayed in the work.  

When searching for vector artists, Gobel really appealed to me. I think rather linearly about composition; I was drawn in particular to the innovative symmetry and color design of these drawings. His interplay with words and figure are particularly striking. Gobel's figures aren't necessarily the most important elements of his work- in fact, they are more used as means to achieve a larger meaning. Combined with beautiful nature, pattern, words, and figure, Gobel is effectively communicating human emotions, aesthetics and desires. If anything, I'd love to see more pieces combine both words and nature (as opposed to just one or the other)- I think the product would be very satisfying to see.