Wk 15- Art Experience- Designing MY Life

This week’s art activity isn’t like our normal “art” experiences. This week we watched a video by Dave Evans called “Designing the Life You Really Want” his talk was mainly about applying design thinking into your life. I think this video came into my life at the perfect time. As a senior who is graduating in about a week, I really needed his advice about how how to go about designing my life after graduation. He claimed that about 80% of people pursue a career that is completely different than their field of study. And that it is okay to do so because people’s interests, needs and goals, evolve over time. This made me kind of happy to hear because I am currently thinking about pursuing a career different than what I majored in.

Dave also claimed how he hates when people ask the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I honestly hate being ask this question as well. This question implies that we are limited to only being ONE thing once we are adults and that we stop growing. But humans never actually stop growing. Instead he tells us rephrase the question into “What are you going to do as you continue to grow?” I like this question a lot better.

As I continue to grow there are many things that I would like to do. I have narrowed it down to 3 for the purpose of this activity.

Here are the 3 Possible Future Me’s:

  1. The thing you currently think you’ll be doing with your life

A school teacher. I love teaching. I have recently been thinking a lot about pursuing this career. In high school I had a few jobs tutoring younger kids and even did an internship at an Education consulting company that created Common Core exams for grades k-12 (This was my rapid prototyping). I didn’t realize before that teaching and helping students really makes me happy. I know I would have to get my teaching credential which would take a year or so which I could do a year or so after I graduate. I think I might still be a little young to be a teacher so I am in no rush haha. In the mean time I could work in a learning/ tutoring center or even at my old high school. Then once I have my credentials I can start teaching in my own classroom. I would love to teach elementary school. Another thing that really entices me about being a teacher is all the paid vacation time. I don’t know any other job where you get paid winter and summer vacation. I would love to use this time to travel the world because I’ve never really left California. Paris will be my first destination. Then Italy… Ireland…Spain…

2. The thing you would do if the current thing disappeared tomorrow

Public Relations. In college I majored in journalism with a specialization in public relations and a minor in communications so I could always fall back on this. I thought I wanted to work at a fashion public relations agency but after doing my internship at one in Beverly Hills (this was my rapid prototyping), I’m not so sure its for me. The work itself was easy, I loved working with fashion like clothes and jewelry and working with stylists and celebs, but what I didn’t like were the long 9-5 hours sitting in an office and driving in 2 hour traffic to get to and from work that left me with no energy to do anything but sleep after I got home. So I guess I could apply for an entry level position at an agency which would be an account executive and then hopefully get promoted within 5 years. Not really sure what else I would do in this. Probably move to LA where all the fashion PR agencies are at and drive everyday in traffic. Yay…

3. The thing you would do if you were financially secure, and no one would ever laugh

A painter. I wish I could paint all day and drink wine. If I was financially secure, I would definitely be a painter and sell my pieces here and there to make some money. I could also teach art classes which would be amazing. I would also travel so I can discover new art and see the most beautiful places and paint the landscapes so I can remember what it looked like and felt like forever. I could even blog about it because I really enjoyed having this art blog. I would even love to work in an art museum. That would be a great job to be surrounded by creativity all the time. This is probably something I could do when I am a lot older and married probably with kids but who knows.

Ratings:

  1. Painter
  2. Teacher
  3. Public Relations

Dave Evans also mentioned that when people say “be your best self” it implies that you only have one self. But really we have multiple versions of ourselves. And these different versions of our selves are ALL good and require different things to be happy. So it is not very practical to just work in one area you entire life but try out different jobs to satisfy your other selves.

After I graduate there are SO many things I want to do that I don’t really know where to begin. I just know that I am going to do everything I need to do to make all the versions of my self happy. 🙂

I can’t wait for life after graduation.

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Wk 15- Classmate Conversation- Jacob Siciliano

For our last Classmate Conversation of the year, I met Jacob Siciliano. I learned that Jacob is a first year and a freshman. He is from Lancaster, California. I told him that I was familiar with Lancaster since I have been there multiple times to visit family. He told me he felt sorry for them because Lancaster is a terrible place to live, which made me laugh because my cousins who live there say the exact same thing. There is absolutely nothing to do in Lancaster.

So Jacob instead is living at the dorms at CSULB. He lives in the Parkside dorms which I do too! So we were able to bond over the fact that living at the dorms isn’t the best. We agreed that the food at the dinning hall completely sucks and that having bad roommates can make your time here a living hell. He tells me that he hopes to get an apartment near campus next year because he absolutely hates living in the dorms. He claims that he has very rowdy neighbors who play their music obnoxiously loud and there is prankster in their suite always doing stupid pranks in the bathroom. He especially hates sharing a bathroom with people who are messy. He also told me he was basically an only child since his only sister is much older than him which is why he isn’t used to living with so many people here at the dorms.

Jacob is a film major who hopes to specialize in screen writing which came from his passion of theater and acting when he was in high school. Check out his blog here!

Wk 14- Art Experience-Japanese Garden

For this week’s art experience, we headed over to the Japanese Garden to do some sketching. I was so excited for this activity because the Japanese Garden is my favorite place on campus. I am lucky enough to live in the dorms right next to it so I like to visit it sometimes on my way back from class. I love coming here and experiencing the peacefulness and the serenity of garden. It’s the perfect place to de-stress after a long day of classes. Walking through the gates of the Japanese Garden is like walking into a story book, a movie, or an entirely new world that makes you forget about everything else.

So for this activity we were instructed to do several little sketches of the views in the beautiful garden. However, there is one rule. We are not to use our eraser AT ALL. According to our professor erasers like to make us believe that there is a perfect line out there when there really isn’t. We do not need this negativity in our sketching life. This is perhaps some of the best advice I’ve been given. I thought this would be no big deal but on several occasions I found myself having to stop my hand from flipping my pencil over to erase my lines.

As instructed, I did some 30 second sketches that were mainly drawings of the water lilies and some rocks.

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For my 5 minute sketch I added some more detail to the other sketches by drawing more plants and rocks and tried to do some trees doing the contour technique on some trees but that was a little bit hard so they ended up looking a little abstract. Which worked out perfectly for the abstract drawing and so I made all my trees a little abstract looking.

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For the representation sketch I focused on drawing one of the pretty Japanese lanterns by the water. It was a little easier to do this one because the lines are a lot straighter and more visible than with the trees and plants.

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Overall, this was probably one of my favorite art activities we have done. Sitting in the Japanese Garden sketching was so relaxing and made forget about the impending doom of finals. I should definitely do this more often. Here is my final sketch of the garden.

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Now here real are some pictures of the beautiful Japanese Garden because my sketches don’t do it any justice. 🙂

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Wk 14-Classmate Conversation- Maria Romo

Today I had a lovely conversation with Maria Romo at the Japanese Garden. This is Maria’s first year attending CSULB. She is a freshman majoring in Communication Studies. She originally came in as a Psychology major but after interning for Assembly member Cristina Garcia as a program coordinator she decided she liked this career field and switched to Communications. She is from Cudahy, CA which is near South Gate. She tells me it is a 30-45 minute commute to school everyday. So her home is not too far from CSULB which is why she choose to go to this university. In her free time Maria says she enjoys watching a lot of movies and going hiking. She is currently obsessed with the HBO series Games of Thrones. She claimed she had just watched the season 6 finale right before coming to class. I too am a little obsessed with Game of Thrones so we had a long discussion about our favorite characters in the the show and the questionable things they’ve done. She also learned that her favorite color is evergreen and that she is taking this art class to fulfill her GE requirement. Lastly, when I asked if she had any pets she said no and proceeded to tell me a very gruesome story. She told me she used to own two hamsters a few years ago but one day when she forgot to feed them she claims they ate each other… awful. Check out Maria’s blog here!

Wk 13- Classmate Conversation- Esmeralda Melchor

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting Esmeralda Melchor. Esmeralda is a Long Beach native who decided to attend CSULB because she didn’t want to leave home. She loves living in Long Beach way too much to move anywhere else. She is a freshman and is a film major. For her sophomore year she is hoping to join the film club to get more involved in school. She told me she was heavily influenced by her mom to major in film because growing up her mom would always have a video camera in hand recording her and her siblings. Now she wants to be the one with the camera. She is mainly interested in becoming a director. It is her dream to make and direct music videos.  Her favorite type of music is everything rap and alternative. When she is not at school Esmeralda works at candy shop in Long Beach called Sugar Daddies. Her favorite candies are Sour Belts.

Wk 13- Artist Conversation- Laura Lopez

Exhibition Information

Artist: Laura Lopez
Exhibition: Selvatica
Media: Drawing and painting
Gallery: Werby Gallery
Instagram: @artelauralopez

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About the Artist

Laura Lopez was born and raised in Colombia. She decided to move to the U.S. about 3 years ago to go to art school. However, she plans to return to Colombia soon after she finishes her Master’s degree in fine arts. She misses the tropical atmosphere of Colombia which heavily influenced her thesis exhibition. She is inspired by all the nature from her home town that helps her create her art. She is currently majoring in drawing and painting at CSULB’s School of Art. When she is not painting, Lopez enjoys being with friends in her free time.

Formal Analysis

Lopez’s exhibition was beautifully filled with color. Her large paintings of the jungle were detailed and demanded attention from the viewer. Although she used colors and shapes that are not normally found in a jungle, those aspects gave the paintings an edge with a bit of abstraction and surrealism. The colors were especially prominent giving off a metaphor that the jungle is alive and has a spirit or a personality of its own. The character Lopez gave her jungle paintings with the colors and patterns construct a visual narrative about the natural world. Thus, creating a new way to experience nature.

Content Analysis

Lopez’s work was obviously inspired by the jungle. She admires the way nature builds and creates different types of life forms that are interconnected and grow together as a whole to create one ecosystem. She claims that the intelligence of nature is reflected in her work. Lopez was also inspired by the belief of Pantheism which is the idea that the whole universe is full of spirit and life is a whole spiritual reality. To her, nature is the most sacred temple. She uses color and pattern to build imagery and composition. The linear structures in her work function to express organic growth  in natural ecosystems as the jungle and other wild forests.

Synthesis/ My Experience

Lopez’s exhibition was such a beautiful experience of the jungle. By looking at the paintings it is obvious how much she connects with and feels at home in the jungles of Colombia. She told me how it is her true home where her roots are planted which supports her creative life to bring this metaphor into visualization. I absolutely loved her notion to express her emotions about her home to life through her art.

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Wk 12- Art Experience- Ethnography

What was human life like before electricity & the light bulb?

Pretty damn lame. I’m assuming. I honestly was not very excited to do this activity when our professor told us about it, but it didn’t turn out to be so bad. The purpose of this activity was to spend an entire night without electricity so we can imagine what it was like to live a thousand years ago when humans did not have light and electricity. I know that now it is something that we take for granted. I have always had electricity in my life since the day I was born and have come to rely on it heavily. Most humans today do.

So for my night without electricity, I did a couple non-electric related type things. I took some pictures of what I was going to do before the sun went down to show you guys and then turned off my phone.

I spent most of the night outside in my backyard so I wouldn’t be tempted by any electricity in my house. I live with my parents and my 3 siblings who use a lot of electricity. The TV is usually always on, music is always playing somewhere and they are always on their phones. So being outside was my best bet. I started about an hour before the sun went down and spent it playing with my dogs.

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Playing outside with Chachis.
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My silly little Jerry.

After playing with my dogs outside for a while in the dark, I decided to get this candelabra we have in my house and light it so I could do some painting outside. This wasn’t the best idea. Painting by candle light is not very easy as the lighting is not very good. I know some of the best artists in history could only make their masterpieces in candle light, but I just wasn’t able to see clearly and didn’t get very far with my painting and gave up.

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My next activity was trying to read a book by candle light. Also not fun. I got this Bad Feminist book on my birthday last month and thought today would be a good day to start reading it. However, reading in the dim light is the perfect recipe for a headache. I didn’t even make it past the prologue.

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Bad Feminist in bad lighting.

After my failed attempts to keep myself entertained in the dark, I decided to go back inside. A few hours had past already so I just decided to end my night and go to sleep. It was probably the earliest I have gone to bed in a long time. It took what felt like forever to fall asleep but the bright side of it all was that I woke up the next day feeling extremely well rested.

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No electricity = bed time.

Overall, this was a very frustrating activity to do. I mean it wasn’t too hard to be without electricity but it was a little boring doing this activity on my own. I knew it was going to be a little tough going in to it because I rely on electricity so much. The bright side to this dark activity was that I did get some amazing sleep. Maybe I should refrain from electricity after the sun goes down solely for this purpose haha. Living without electricity is also more organic and harmonious with nature since I did have to spend a lot of time outside. But it is more limited and boring because most of the activities we are used to doing require electricity. I really don’t know how people survived without constant stimulation. I truly wonder what they did…

Wk 12- Artist Conversation- Alice Andreini

Exhibition Information

Artist: Alice Andreini
Exhibition: No-Man’s Land
Media: Drawing and painting
Gallery: Max L. Gatov Gallery East
Website: andreiniart.com

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About the Artist

Alice Andreini is graduate student at CSULB’s School of Art. She is a drawing and painting major working on getting her Master’s degree in Fine Arts. This exhibition served as her thesis for her degree. She is originally from Minnesota but found her self in San Diego awhile back and then ended up in Long Beach for school. She has always had an interest in art while growing up but was too scared to pursue it as a career since it was not very practical. So for her undergraduate degree she went with medicine at first but then switched to theater arts when she realized she needed to pursue at least some type of art. When she is not working on her paintings in the studio she enjoys reading poetry and philosophy in her free time. After she receives her Master’s she hopes to continue to create paintings and become a college professor.

Formal Analysis

Walking into Andreini’s exhibition, I immediately noticed five very large and colorful canvases. Except for one canvas that was small and black and white. The paintings were detailed to the extreme. They contained several colors and layers of paint that gave them a sort of 3D effect. They also contained several geometric lines and shapes that gave the paintings an illusion of a virtual grid. It was obvious that these were landscapes of golf courses but with a bit of abstraction and surrealism. Golf courses are known for being very nature filled and picturesque. However, Andreini challenges this notion with her paintings by creating a new way to experience nature.

Content Analysis

Andreini claims that the way her landscapes are framed reveals the ideologies of a culture. In America, there is a frame for nature where it is presented as an uncontaminated “truth” even though it as already been appropriated as a body of symbols. According to Andreini, nature is regarded as a “pure” form but it’s innocence has been spoiled and used to profit through expansions of territories. In her paintings she reveals the constructs and seductions of the landscapes. The golf courses represent the allure of the American pastoral but she works them into a net of spatial and ideological constructs that are unveiled to create a new realm where perceptions are disrupted. This her new way of experiencing the world.

Synthesis/ My Experience

It is weird to think of nature as being something technological, when technology is anything but natural. At a first glance, I did not realize Andreini’s paintings were nature landscapes because they don’t resemble anything natural. But then, the poles with the little flags gave the golf courses away. It is interesting how she created a landscape while making it look like a movie animators draft. With her paintings, I believe that Andreini succeeded in uncovering the machine under nature and converting it into a virtual reality.

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Wk 11- Classmate Conversation- Jackie Perez

For this week’s classmate conversation, I talked to Jackie Perez. Jackie is from Maywood, California which is near Downtown LA. It is her first year here at CSULB and she is studying film. She told me she commutes to school but she wishes she dormed here so she could experience what it is like. She decided to major in film because she really enjoys movies and the aesthetic pleasure she gets from watching them. She told me, she loves the insane happy feeling she gets when she goes to Disneyland or watches a Disney movie, so it is her goal to direct movies that will make people happy and give a similar euphoric feeling. In her free time she enjoys drawing, reading online and scrolling through tumblr. When I asked her if she had any pets, she told me a pretty sad story about how she used to have 2 dogs but they recently ran away. She’s been devastated ever since they were not able to find them. Despite that, Jackie seems like a really happy and kind person and I really enjoyed my little chat with her. Check out her blog here!

Wk 11- Artist Conversation- Yujia Gu

Exhibition Information

Artist: Yujia Gu
Exhibition: Tracing Gun Violence in the USA
Media: Installations, Info-graphics, LED display.
Gallery: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Instagram: @yujia_gu

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About The Artist

Yujia Gu is a student at CSULB’s School of Art and is working to get her Masters in fine arts. She moved to the United States from Asia about three years ago and has been enjoying her time going to school and living in Long Beach. She was hesitant to move to the US at first because of all the gun violence happening here that they hear about over seas. Her mother was especially worried for her safety but nonetheless Gu was determined to study in the US. She was intrigued to know if the gun violence was real or not.

Formal Analysis

In her exhibition, Gu reveals some astonishing statistics about gun violence in the US. Her exhibition includes statistics about mass shootings, the comparisons of gun violence among different countries, the number of children killed by guns since Newtown and much more. The way these statistics are presented is essential to the art show. She includes an info-graphic map that points to the places where gun violence happened during the last 72 hours in the US. She also has an LED display showing the number of people who were shot every day. Perhaps the most shocking part of her exhibition is the writing on the wall that reads “More and more people are buying guns to protect themselves from more and more people who are buying guns.” This is to show that gun violence is an endless loop.

Content Analysis

Before moving to the US Gu did extensive research on gun violence in the US. Her interest in it is what inspired her exhibition. The purpose of it is to make people realize how serious the gun violence here is. From her research, she has discovered that schools, business buildings and places that are more active and populated have a higher risk of having gun violence. Her main goal is to inform the viewer about all the gun violence happening around us and to encourage them to understand that it is necessary to learn how to properly use guns and have gun control.

Synthesis/ My Experience

I was really surprised to learn some of the statistics presented in Yujia Gu’s exhibition. I think a lot of the time the people who live in the US like to turn our heads to the side and pretend that this isn’t all happening. People like Yujia who live in other countries take it more seriously than we even do. Gun violence is a serious issue in our lives and gun control needs to be improved. This exhibition was definitely a eye opener.

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