Week#6 Activity: Counterfactual Identity

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For this week’s activity we had a “fake identity” or pretended to be something we were not.  I dressed in my old work uniform from when I worked at an animal hospital and talked to people on campus to see if they would react differently.  I don’t usually wear work clothes or any professional attire at school so it was interesting to see how people perceived me.  The difference I saw was that it seemed like people took me more seriously and spoke to me more formally.  I went a bit out of my comfort zone and walked up to people to start conversation and everyone I talked to was friendly.  I chatted to about 5 people for maybe a total of 20 minutes or so.  It was a a unique experience and definitely a good exercise for me to be more outgoing.

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Week#6 Artist Interview: Nicholas Gaby “Miniature”

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This week I interviewed Nick for a second time.  This time his piece was all about things being on a much smaller scale, miniature in fact!  He used ceramic and wax to create this piece and is something he just threw together.  He was inspired to do this collective art gallery with other people from a show he saw last semester.  The show talked about space and scale, so another curator and him talked about making their own miniature show.  “When you come into the space you become aware of all the tiny things because people become hyperaware of where they are standing.  So far only one piece that wasn’t finished yet has been stepped on.”  Nick said the best thing about being an artist is not making money, but being able to be in dialogue with other artists.  He also explained how being an artist is not fixed and art can be related to philosophy in a lot of ways and how people explore ideas and materials through experimenting.  Nick also said he really enjoyed being an art major because of all the different people he comes across.  He’s met people who are just starting and some that are undeclared, but others are graduate students and faculty and they will all have their own pieces in the shows.  Personally, I really like small things because they are fun and I’m a small person so it’s nice when I can feel big too.  I really liked that the gallery started with miniature printed paper (see top left picture) and a magnifying glass to read it!  I thought that was super neat and creative.  See my artist interview for week#3 to see a picture of Nick himself.

Week#6 Classmate Interview: David Rho

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This week I met David Rho who is a sophomore at CSULB.  He lives in cerritos and is a pre-film major.  He thinks the school is okay, but a lot like high school except even more lenient.  David has been working with video blogs since his junior year of high school.  During high school he saw lots of youtube videos that inspired him to start making some himself.  When I asked him what the hardest part of starting video blogs was he said,“Talking to the camera is awkward so that took awhile to get used to and also editing and other computer tech things”.  He’s made about 20 videos so far, half of which are private.  David likes making videos about everyday things and making those familiarities funny.  During his free time he watches Netflix, eats, and sleeps.  David watches lots of television shows, but his favorite show is Breaking Bad (which I just started watching)!  David explained that watching Breaking bad is mentally exhausting, which I completely agree with, but that it’s a great exciting show.  His favorite food is Mexican food and his favorite color is white.  He absolutely loves hedgehogs so they are his favorite animal.  After school, he’d like to be a director or cinematographer.  David took this class because it was a pre-requisite for his major, but really likes it because it is so different from any class he’s taken before.  Currently doesn’t work, but is looking for a job at Yogurtland or somewhere like that.  Checkout David’s funny video blogs on his website!

Week#5 Artist Interview: Megan Kinny “Nature”

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This week I interviewed Megan who is graduating this semester.  Megan is originally from Michigan and moved to 29 palms near Joshua Tree when she was 15.  It was extremely hot where she lived, but that didn’t stop her from being outside.  Megan has always loved the outdoors and has a passion for hiking.  She uses mostly acrylic and collages that she sews into when she creates, but prefers oil paint.  She has recently been working with fibers and usually draws first to figure out her composition and what colors to use.  She puts a lot of thought into her studies before she actually starts to paint something.  Megan informed me it usually takes a week or 2 of planning everything out and then the painting will go by much quicker.  She’s been into art her whole life and her parents knew when she was a child she would be an artist.  It wasn’t until high school that she began to take it seriously though.  She doesn’t have a favorite painting of her own, but there is one in particular (top left) that is her favorite process.  She added the human form and loved the process of how it started and the composition of the female form.  She added a silhouette that is subtle because she didn’t want to dominate the painting, but to just be a part of the nature.  She really likes to focus on Mother Earth and goes on lots of nature walks to inspire paintings.  “There is personal experience in my work with body image and how females hide parts of our bodies we aren’t proud of and I add that with nature because I think nature is beautiful”, she explained.  This is her own way of including her personal critiques with something she thinks is beautiful.  I asked her what her favorite nature scene would be and she informed me it would be woods, trees, and all the rock conformations because “The rock conformations look like bodies stacked on top of bodies” she said.  Megan used to collect leaves and flowers and loved watching them age and transform with color changes.  She loves creating and the decision making you get to have when you create art, even if it isn’t a lot of power it’s still some.  Check out all of Megan’s gorgeous nature art on her website.

Week#5 Classmate Interview: Briella Matsumoto

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I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Briella today in the art galleries.  Briella, like myself, is also mixed!  She is German, Japanese, and Chinese.  She is the least connected with her German heritage, but can speak some Japanese because she lived there for 6 months while she was in 8th grade!  While she was in Japan she enjoyed how cheap the sushi was and wore the little school girl outfits you see in all the anime.  Briella also informed me that the Japanese girls use sock glue to keep their stockings up and even keep the glue in their purse.  She also understands a little bit of Mandarin.  Briella is a civil engineering major and is originally from Sacramento, California.  She picked civil engineering because she has always been good at math and science.  Her father is an engineering professor at Cal State Sacramento so for a long time she fought liking the sciences and being an engineer, but her father helped her see how all the math and science are applied in everyday life.  Briella told me that her dad is a her role model, but she is definitely a momma’s girl and always sticks up for her.  Although application of the subjects in math and science can be difficult and the major has definitely challenged her, she wants to overcome the obstacle and one day move up in an engineering company until she has a family.  She’d like to have 4 kids since she also came from a family of 4 and had a lot of fun with it.  She was 9 years old when her youngest sibling was born she she took on a lot of “mom” responsibilities, but is happy she did because now she feels better prepared for when she enters motherhood.  Briella told me that having a younger sister and 2 younger brothers was hard at times, but it shaped who she was.  “I wouldn’t be loving or know how to take care of someone younger than me”, she informed me.  She moved here when she was 18 to go to school at CSULB and loves.  She is currently living with a few other girl roommates her are all a part a Christian club here on campus.  Briella told me that living with people who share the same views has been really comforting and encouraging.  Finding that club has been her best experience here because it led her to find a community and a purpose.  She grew up Christian and this club has allowed her to continue on her journey instead of running away.  A lot of people don’t think Briella is Asian at all because of how tall she is and assume she is Hispanic (people never know what I am either).  She enjoys living in Long Beach and in her eyes it is “perfect” because it is next to the beach, close to the city, and there is a lot of suburbia as well.  She has never lived close to the beach before so being here has been exciting for her.  Her absolute favorite food is crab and seafood, while her mother’s Chinese food is a close 2nd.  Her favorite color is pink and she doesn’t have a favorite animal, but loves her dog Dalee (Korean for moon).  Check out Briella and all her adventures here!

Week#4 Activity: LACMA

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This week’s activity was to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and compare and contrast 2 works of art.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the art the museum had to offer because experiencing things in person is much different than just seeing a picture online or in a book.  My LACMA trip was my first experience at an art museum and it was a little overwhelming, but in a good-I want to be more creative and make more art-sort of way.  I enjoyed all the different gigantic structures inside and outside of the museum.  It was awesome to see how big they were up close when all I had known before was pictures my friends had posted.  My favorite was just walking around and seeing all the different exhibits with art ranging from different eras and places.  I decided to analyze Pablo Picasso’s “Portrait of Sebastian Juner Vidal” (top left) and Roy Lichtenstein’s “Cold Shoulder” (bottom left).  The two pieces I chose had similarities and differences, but I loved both the same (sorry no favorites).  They were similar in that they both caught my eye because of their bold colors.  Although they are very different colors because blue is considered to be a “cool” color and red is a “warm” color they both jumped out at me.  They were also both similar because they both made me feel the same emotion: lonely sadness.  Now, even though that isn’t a fun emotion to feel it is one I have often felt and seeing them in paintings was beautiful in a way.  It was cathartic that two people I had never met had felt the same things I had and were able to portray those feelings by creating something new and wonderful (quite the opposite of sad and lonely).  These pieces were both different in that Picasso’s painting had blended shades of blue and lots of lines where you could see and almost feel the texture.  Lichtenstein’s painting is quite the opposite where the colors are distinct and the lines are sharp, there is no blending of colors and it is very flat and reminds me of reading a comic book.  They also both differed because Picasso’s was all just blue, but different hues and shades.  While Lichtenstein’s painting was full of bright colors that had a lot of  stark contrasting.  Both of these paintings meant a lot to me for the same reason, even though they were created differently.

Week#4 Artist Interview: Nidia Morales “Split Ends”

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This week I was really intrigued by Nidia’s piece on hair and what society thinks is beautiful.  She had two videos constantly playing: the first was hair being brushed and the second was hair being washed and dyed with color.  She also had a bun figure made of hair underneath a sign explaining that people shouldn’t have to add things, accessorize, and alter themselves to be seen attractive.  I loved that idea and agree that it’s something we are constantly surrounded by and that people should be surrounded by embracing themselves with how they were born and natural beauty.  When talking to Nidia she explained that she started becoming obsessed with hair and her hair a few years ago.  She had to do multiple takes of the videos in her gallery, but it was her own hair!  She’s been growing it out and would ideally like it to fall just above her butt one day.  She explained how after taking all the time to grow her hair out she became very attached and would never want to cut it.  I totally understand that because I also have long thick hair and it acts as a safety blanket all the time (I thought I was the only one).  Nidia likes working with her hair and isn’t grossed out by it in the slightest.  She started collected hair in the shower drain and from brushes the last 4 months to do this piece.  She’s been working with hair for the last year, but took it in a different route this time.  She’s had short hair twice in her life (shoulder length), didn’t like it, and would never do it again.  I even asked her if she would shave her head for money and she said no!  Nidia is originally from the bay area, but is currently living in Long Beach.  She’s a photography major at CSULB and enjoys taking pictures of hair as well.  She loves colors, especially in people’s hair, but would never dye her own.  “I think it’s cool how people change and alter their hair with colors, but am too attached to mine to do that” she explained.  Unfortunately no website found.

Week#4 Classmate Interview: Ida Bohlin

ImageLast week Ida interviewed me so this week I got to interview her!  Ida is 23 years old and is studying at CSULB as a foreign exchange student from Sweden.  She’s been here since August and will return home in June.  She has her BA in business and economics so is really enjoying being able to take art classes where she can express her creativity.  We got to talking about art and I found out that she likes simple art, “Less is more sometimes” she told me.  I can agree with that.  Ida’s favorite art is when she can tell the artist put a lot of thought behind their piece and didn’t just throw it together.  I can definitely agree with that.  She enjoys making art and both her grandmother and aunt are artists so it runs in the family.  She is currently painting with water color in her other class, but doesn’t see painting as the art path she’ll go down.  “You can kind of do whatever you want in art”, Ida exclaimed and we discussed what we’d seen in the galleries over the last few weeks.  So far Ida really enjoys our art 110 class, although there are a lot of technological aspects and she admitted to me that she isn’t a computer person (neither am I).  Ida has had a great time being here in the U.S. and came to Long Beach for the nice weather and discovered the beach is her favorite place to be (me too).  She informed me of how cold the weather in Sweden is and how nice it’s been being able to hangout and experience another culture before she starts her master’s program in the Fall.  She wants to use her business degree in a creative way so she’ll be doing something along the lines of marketing with her own business.  She met her boyfriend in school studying the same subject and he’s here doing the exchange program with her too.  I was curious to talk to a foreign exchange student since I’ve never met anyone who has done that before so I had a bunch of questions to ask.  She explained to me that everyone in Sweden is pretty fluent in English because they start learning it in school at the age of 8.  She also informed me that Sweden is very Americanized.  For example, they have a lot of the same music, clothes, and designs.  They even celebrate Halloween and will start to celebrate Thanksgiving over there!  Crazy!  Ida also talked to me about the differences in gender equality.  She explained to me that over here it seems as if all the women always “dress up” for the men, but in Sweden the men dress up for the women just as much if not more.  The men are more styled with hair cuts and more gentlemanly over all.  An example she gave me was Halloween: girls here don’t wear lots of clothes on that holiday, but in Sweden the girls will wear lots of silly costumes rather than “sexy” ones.  I found out that Ida’s favorite color is turquoise and that her favorite animal is the horse.   She says everyone she has met here has been extremely nice, but she does miss all the food from home!  Check out this awesome Swedish gal’s experiences by going to her website.

Week#3 Activity: Instagram

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For this week our activity was to take at least 4 pictures throughout the day (February 6th, 2014) and post them onto Instagram with the #art110s14.  These were the 4 pictures I posted through out the day.  My first picture is of my teapot and breakfast tea for a 2-week teatox I’m doing right now.  The second picture is of myself and the mug that was given to me by this week’s artist interview Nicholas Gaby.  The third picture is one of my classmate’s roommate’s dogs that I kept playing with while typing up a lab report.  Finally, the last picture is a present my boyfriend made me this year for my birthday.  While looking back at the tag and seeing what my classmates posted I saw a lot of similarities and differences.  A lot of people posted silly pictures of themselves, the pieces at the gallery this week, the mugs that people also received, and food.  Some people also posted some more artsy pictures and weekend party pictures.  Being a science major I don’t have time for going out, so my posts didn’t reflect the latter.  I really liked how this project brought such a huge class of students more together by collectively showing all the things everyone shares in common.  Being able to click on the hashtag and see a collage of our class was awesome.