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October 2012

Week 7: Artist Statement

This week in Digital Media, we had to create our own album art, infographic or poster and present it to the class. I chose to create an album cover of myself (because I am a musician). I was really excited at the opportunity to actually have been able to set aside enough time to properly create this album art. 

Here is my album cover along with the artist statement that describes my goals, inspirations, difficulties and obstacles that I’ve overcome during the process of designing and creating this album cover.

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My goal for this project was to convey to my audience (the listeners or future listeners of my music) a sense of my personality, as an artist and musician, as well as a sense of what this album is about. The title that I chose for this album,“Autumn Reverie” really reflected what the songs in the album convey; autumn being a metaphor for the ending of many different parts, stages and relationships in my life. So, I thought it was appropriate to have the album cover convey the sense of autumn. I chose to have the photo-shoot outdoors for that reason, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. The colours really support and emphasize the theme and I really enjoyed working with all of those beautiful autumn hues. 

Concerning methodology, I used my version of Photoshop CS2 at home to create this album cover. My friend Gergana Peeva, a visual art student at York University, shot this picture of me in my backyard.  I’m very fortunate to have her talent at my disposal and to have been able to use this picture as a material for this project. 

I chose to keep the design simple and keep the focus on the picture that I chose. So, I basically chose to emphasize my shape in the photo by adding multiple borders around my shape as well as creating a layer of a pinkish hue contouring my shape as well. For the name of the artist and the album title, I chose pretty simple fonts (Letter Gothic Standard for “EMSEA” and Lucida Handwriting for “Autumn Reverie”) in order to keep the design simple and to not take too much attention away from the photo.   I really wanted to create a sense of familiarity and I really wanted to play on the theme of autumn (the beauty of summer coming to a dramatic ending) with bring colours of fall (the oranges, yellows, greens and reds). I’ve also chosen to incorporate a light pink to add more of my personality and character into the album cover. I’ve also incorporated the same shade of pink in my other album covers (that I’ve made previous to this course), I chose to keep bringing back the same colour so that it’ll create a sense of more familiarity as well as conveying my professionalism by staying consistent for my audience. It’ll also play on my “brand” as it creates more of an image for my artistic persona. 

There were many elements that inspired me when creating this album cover. Such as the presentation of typography (I’ve paid much more attention to my use of typography and used my fonts in a more intelligent way), my previous works in graphic design (such as my other album covers and other layouts) as well as several graphic design pictures that I’ve come across on Pinterest, Tumblr, Etsy, etc.

Prior to actually beginning my photo editing in Photoshop, I sketched out a basic plan for my layout of my album cover. This was very useful to me as I was able to edit my layout plan for the cover before even beginning the process. As a result, I was able to save time and figure out how to avoid any layout problems I could have prior to my editing stage. 

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My challenges were basically trying to balance the focus of my picture, while trying my best not to make the album cover look too busy and loud. I tried to incorporate the colours I thought best represented what I was trying to convey, while still keeping the focus on the subject of the photo. 

To conclude, I think I succeeded at conveying myself, as an artist as well as a musician (myself and what the album holds) through this album cover. If this was used as the real cover of my album, I think it would definitely represent the lyrics as well as the music in general that I created. It supports the theme and also conveys a sense of familiarity and warmth through the beautiful hues of autumn. Overall, I think that I really captured what I intended to capture in this photo as well as in the edit and I think the audience that I would be likely to attract with this album cover would correspond very well to the audience that would enjoy the actual music.

Thanks for reading, 

Marie-Claire Duquette

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Week 6: Topic of choice

I thought it would be helpful to use this week’s blog to reflect on what inspired me for my album art project.

First and foremost, I find it awesome that I actually get to create an album cover as a project for school. As a musician and a busy student, creating an album cover was always something I wanted to do but I never set aside enough time to do it. So you could imagine my excitement at the opportunity!

As for my inspiration for my project, I’ve been paying more attention to graphic design as well as typography and photography (I’ve been following more blogs and other various sites) and I’ve been discovering a lot of different elements in art that I’m truly appreciating for the first time. I didn’t think I expected to be so affected by typography as I was, when entering this class. But I’m very glad that I’ve discovered the importance and power of great use of typography (Huge thanks to Jessica, who specializes in typography, and her lecture during last weeks lab; it was so useful, interesting and inspiring). I’ve found myself reflecting a lot more of what font to use in my projects and I’ve really found how influential typography is.

Also, I’ve tried to incorporate the principles of design into my album art. (Because I’ve made more than one album cover in the past, I can practice repetition in the consistency of my “brand” that I’ve created in my past album artwork.) 

I’ve been paying attention to many different graphic design sites such as Pinterest. And I’ve found many different designs that have inspired me and definitely made me rethink the power of design. Here’s an example of a picture that really interested me.

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I found it very interesting in that with simple geometric shapes and some really cool textures and fonts, the artist was able to tie the whole picture together in a very simple yet eye-pleasing way.

I also tried to incorporate this same principle in my album cover. I really thought over the whole concept of my design and tried to keep it simple but still interesting. I worked with the colours that I initially had in the pictures I used, but also tried to simplify it a little and work through the mood I was trying to send. 

In next week’s blog, I’ll explain my concept at creating my album art/cover and describe what inspired me to create the album cover and make it the way that I chose to. 

For now, I’ll leave you with this beautiful picture I found on the site from the same user as the picture above

(http://leifpodhajsky.com)

Have a great week and thanks for reading!

-Marie-Claire

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Week 5: Lighting and Igniting!

This week, we had the awesome opportunity to enjoy a lecture given by Lance Weiler. During the lecture, Lance discussed his previous projects such as Laika’s adventure as well as Pandemic 1.0 and many more. He basically explained his approach to each of the projects and how it all comes down to the story that you’re telling through the project. One of the most important things that I took away from this lecture was that when creating any type of work, you should also focus on the participation of the audience in order to keep and arouse even more interest in the project.

I also really liked how Lance Weiler used the data collected from his audience to further the story that’s being told through the project. In this way, Weiler creates a direct connection between the audience (participating members in the project Pandemic 1.0) and the project itself, as it’s taking their own information and transforming it into part of the story. I thought this was a really creative way to make the project more interactive and realistic as well as create a deeper presence of the project as a whole. This is because their use of data simulates real data itself. Hence, the Pandemic 1.0 “Universe” is spreading and growing progressively as more and more people are involved and “affected”.

To conclude, I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to see that lecture as I truly appreciate the advice and perspective of such a talented story-teller.

I can’t wait to start more of my own projects and work on my own story-telling abilities as I now have a better understanding of what that’s all about.

Thanks for reading,

Marie-Claire

Week 4: Every colour tells a story…

My weekly blog assignment for this week was to pick out 4 different picture from the internet and analyze the colour schemes, patterns, etc. as well as the colour psychology that goes in behind it.

So, here are my four choices of pictures as well as my analysis of each, below the picture.

I think the goal of this image was mostly for entertainment or for personal enjoyment. It seems to be more of a simple photo that doesn’t exactly have a goal besides conveying emotion and inspiring viewers/bloggers. I think that the colours used (light blues and oranges) seem to convey softer emotions and reflect a comfortable atmosphere to the viewers. This was mostly achieved thanks to the warm yet light orange of the sun. I find it creates a feeling of familiarity and comfort. But at the same time, the slight blue-ish purple found in the picture, brings out a more playful friendly atmosphere (which suits the photo quite well, as there are many teens enjoying the beach in it) Overall, I enjoy this picture and find that the colours in it were used quite well. I wouldn’t normally ponder the colours of an image like this, as I would assume no one was really trying to convey a real message through it (as an ad would perhaps) but without noticing it, the colours really did affect my emotions and I found myself feeling comfortable and relaxed when I first stumbled upon this photo.

I’m still not quite sure what this image was created for as it seems to be a simple creative representation of galaxy (and not intended for advertising purposes). However, I still feel that the colours used in this photo affect the viewers feelings in a strong way. I think that the different shades of light blue (as well as dark blue and all the shades in between) create a feeling of relaxation and wonder in the viewers. The blue also plays on our emotions as we feel more comfortable with it (blue alludes to loyalty and trustworthiness). This picture seems to have a mostly monochromatic colour scheme (different shades of blue) however there are also slight shades of green and yellow included in this picture, making the colour scheme an analogous one. Overall, I feel that the colours used in this picture really help to convey the feeling of relaxation,  nature and comfort, all the while creating the feeling of wonder and mystery. If this picture were black and white, it wouldn’t have nearly as much significance as it does in this state. And for that, we have nothing but colour to thank.

This picture is also not in obvious use as an ad for a company but could have easily been used as an ad for a shoe company as it displays the shoes in a very natural and beautiful way. Although the colour scheme for this picture is monochromatic, it still seems to convey a simple and elegant charm through the mixture of gold shades displayed throughout the picture. I feel that the shining gold of the shoes create a more glamorous feeling where as the different deeper shades of the wooden floor seem to create a more nature-related comfortable feeling. Overall, I enjoy how this picture conveys the two different feelings of comfort and familiarity of nature through the wood as well as the mystique and glamour of today’s world.

This poster is a vintage ad for “Levi’s”. I found that I really enjoyed the colours they chose to use for this poster as it really conveyed the right sense of femininity and nature (with the brightly colour flowers and butterflies). I also liked how they used primary colours as the most dominant colours in the piece.These would most speak to the viewers and would be the colours that stand out to them the most because primary colours tend to be the colours that are the easiest to remember. The blues included in this picture also play on the trustworthiness of the brand. The yellows and reds create a warm welcoming feeling and attract the eye (as a advertising poster should) and the reds also create a desire for consumption and so, create a desire within the viewer to buy the product. I assume that this is only a part of the actual vintage poster that advertised the company as it doesn’t have the name of the company listed very evidently in the picture (except for the circle in the back that has the name listed backwards; suggesting the poster was flipped) However, the advertising techniques in colour is present in this poster and I think that the company did a good job at conveying the right messages and emotions to the viewers through the colours used in this poster.

To conclude, I had a lot of fun looking for the particular pictures that I thought were worthy of discussing on this level. I feel that I’ve learned a lot about how much colour plays into advertising and I understand thoroughly just how much colour affects the way we think and feel, which is why it’s such a huge tool for advertising companies and others. I really enjoyed learning about the importance of colours and their role in digital media and I look forward to learning more next week.

Thanks for reading,

Marie-Claire

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