This week our activity was to go to Venice and paint our name on their free graffiti wall. It was only an hour drive and my friend and I parked in a neighborhood for free and walked over to the beach. It was a beautiful peaceful day and a fun experience. It was a little windy and I had never sprayed my name before so it was interesting to do, to say the least. I never realized how difficult it is to have so much control over the spray can when creating street art. I definitely have more respect for the artists that are able to be so precise with their paint cans.
This week I interviewed Esteban Ramirez in the art galleries. Esteban’s biggest accomplishment is having this show which allowed him to get all of his work together to present. His work in this show is his life long work finally starting to move in the direction that he’s comfortable with. This show was all about using pyro techniques which i found really interesting and also very beautiful. The way he captured his art was by taking photographs of landscapes that were lit with pyro. He also took abstract objects and colors and photographed them while being lit with pyro too. “A nice big print is an accomplishment of its own because so much goes into it”, he explained when I asked him how much effort went into getting the gallery ready. Esteban is a senior and will be graduating in May. He did his senior show last semester and built photobooths which allowed people who came to take pictures and comment on them with markers. It was an interactive live entertainment piece (wish I could have been there)! He explained that although he hasn’t had any accidents using pyro, there has been a few accidents in the field. There was an incident where a car exploded and one of his friends, whom was the inspiration for the show, died from their injuries. To prevent accidents, Esteban uses sparklers and mud balls to be safe. He started getting into pyro 5 years ago because his younger brother got him into it. Esteban was actually more afraid of fire growing up as a kid than being intrigued by its power. In general, whatever Esteban is interested in will spill over into his artwork. He likes to incorporate education, environment, and social issues in his work as well. Esteban informed me that he enjoys making commentary on social media and other current media trends as well. He explained how art is now everywhere on a global scale because of social media which is good and bad. “The unfortunate thing about art being so available is that upcoming artists can feel easily discouraged and get distracted at seeing all the great works out there”, he told me. Esteban is the art director for pro images and does fan photography for the LA Dodgers (my favorite team)! Check out all of Esteban’s awesome artwork on his website!
Jordan is a first year at CSULB and really likes how relaxing and beautiful the campus is. He went to Polly High School and thinks that college is less stressful than high school. He is a declared film major for narrative production and took this class as a prerequisite and will be starting his major courses next year! He does like this class even though it can be time consuming. “It’s very fun and my favorite project was either the plaster or the instagram project”, he said when I asked him what he enjoyed doing the most in class. Jordan’s favorite food is chicken anything, except for curry. His favorite animal is the hyena and his favorite colors are black, teal, and baby blue. Jordan likes to dance with friends during his free time and loves to go out to places like Los Angeles. He likes acting as a side hobby for now, but used to be a child actor when he was younger. He was on a few game shows on nickelodeon! He informed me that for now he would just like to act for fun because it’s good money. His ultimate goal is to get into the entertainment industry and work his way up to being a director. He doesn’t really care what position he starts out at, as long as he gets to be doing what he loves and wants to do. Check out Jordan and his film career on his website here!
This week our activity was to draw our name in bubble letters. I actually wrote my nickname (C for the first letter of my first name and ROB for the beginning of my last name) in bubble letters instead. I’ve had this nickname since I was a freshman in high school (graduated in ’09) and a few friends still call me this today. I really enjoyed drawing in bubble letters because I’ve only ever done it when just “messing” around. The tutorial video was very easy to watch, short, and had easy directions to follow. Drawing my nickname in bubble letters surprisingly didn’t take any time at all! This was a fun quick easy project and I’m excited to get to spray paint it on the wall next week in Venice!
This week in the art galleries, I interviewed Jesse So. He made all the small metal pieces in a year and ranged from a couple hours to a day or longer to create the individual pieces. His favorite piece is a water drop (seen top right) because it is in essence a simple form, but complicated at the same time because of the angles it has and how it changes reflections. “It pulls everything in to be more abstract”, Jesse told me and a few other students as he explained his favorite piece in further detail. All of the metal pieces were made from different types of metals, like: bronze, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. His bright shiny cameras (seen bottom left) were made from plaster and so was the biggest piece of the show (seen top left). The camera piece is made from all real cameras, except for the plaster one, made from a resin casting. He said that scale was a characteristic of the show and uniqueness was the theme. He was inspired by the machine he worked with and how he could make different sized objects, forms, and push how big or small he could make the metal material. Eventually, all that wondering led to this show of unique objects that took a total of 2 years to make. Jesse confessed that he liked pushing the limit and would like to try to make something bigger than his largest piece to date. Unfortunately, there was no website to be found.
I interviewed Andrew Haley for my classmate interview this week, whom is a first year and so far likes the campus a lot for its atmosphere. He is a biology major and hopes to someday do some kind of field research. He isn’t quite sure what field of biology he would like to pursue but will know once he starts taking more classes. Andrew took this class to get out of his shell because he is a very shy person. He told me that he likes the concepts of the class, but doesn’t like the social aspects of it. “It’s hard to do some of the social projects and to juggle this on top of hard classes”, he said when I asked him what the most challenging part of the semester had been for him. His favorite science subject is actually physics, but chose to do biology because he isn’t as strong in math and bio has always been his 2nd favorite science subject. Andrew went to Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California. I asked Andrew what his favorite food was and he answered with spaghetti, but specifically his aunt’s spaghetti that she used to make, “It is comforting and makes me think of my childhood”, he told me. His favorite color is yellow, even though the only yellow thing he has is his bright yellow backpack. Andrew likes to write music for fun and plays all the instruments. He used to play drums in a ska punk band he used to be in, but now writes alternative music. He also told me how his girlfriend is in school to open a bakery and brings him home pastries all the time! Check out Andrew on his website here!
This week our activity was to make a plaster mold of our hand and foot. After my internship I grabbed some burritos with my lovely friend Elizabeth and we started plaster project. Since I’m the only one in the class, we had a lot of extra plaster so I made 2 hand molds and Elizabeth made one as well. I love Star Trek and am a huge Spock fan so I attempted a plaster mold of the “Live Long and Prosper” hand sign (see the first hand on the left in the picture), but it didn’t really turn out too well. I also made a fist, which turned out better (see middle hand in picture) and Elizabeth did a “thumb’s up” sign (see end right hand in picture) which turned out great! This was a fun project that had simple instructions, was affordable, and a great reason to hangout at the beach!
I met Gabriel who likes to work with minimal color, even though he does appreciate color in other places of life. He told me that, “Color adds content I don’t necessarily want” he explained to me. However, a few of his drawings do have a little bit of red in them. His aesthetic is black and white for his work so he can express what he wants to clearly. Gabriel has had an interest in art since he can remember. He told me about a distinct memory of his from 1st grade that sparked his interest in drawing with crayons on paper. His favorite teacher came up to him with crayons and a coloring book, and he was amazed at the control she had over the utensil because he lacked that skill. He used to think that art wasn’t a career, but just a hobby he would always have. Gabriel told me that he started out undeclared, but ended up coming back to art every time. He is from New Mexico and completed his undergrad work over there and is now a second year graduate student here in Long Beach. He is very visual and said the first big difference he noticed between here and El Paso, New Mexico was all the different cultures. In Texas, they are very into their southern roots he said. He likes to investigate identity with tabloids and other superficial things so it is fitting to be this close to Los Angeles, Gabriel explained. He also likes to identify with feminism and turn it onto himself through a male perspective which is what he has been doing for the last year as inspiration. His favorite medium is drawing on paper because of the directness of hand on paper and likes connected paper to the body; it’s delicate vs. how durable painting is where brushstrokes can be repeated on top of each other infinitely. His favorite food used to be Italian, but for now it’s either Mexican or BBQ. Unfortunately, he does not have a website up, but hopefully someday soon!
I met James Hong in the art galleries this week and dorming with a roommate his freshmen year, currently. James is undeclared right now, but looking to art or physics. His roommate is sort of pushing him in the art direction and is who encouraged him to take this class because he is a film major! He explained to me that our art 110 class is a prerequisite for a video game design class, which is what he’d like to do with his art degree. He loves to draw, sketch, and doodle with pencil and paper. James is also a fan of concept art. He took physics in high school and researches the subject on the internet during his own time. “I’m torn between what I like to do and what I ‘should’ be doing” he said to me when I asked which major he thought he would choose. He thinks physics is what he “should” be doing as far as a career and steady job, but thinks his talents would be better spent making things in art. His favorite food is popcorn, he claims he is addicted to it. His favorite animal is a wolf or a dog and has a Maltese poodle that he misses a lot back at home. He went to Cerritos high school and got to go to the 2012 Olympics in London because he was in band. The school’s band played at Carnigee Hall in New York in 2011 and they liked them so much they invited to the Olympics. He played the clarinet and told me that the Olympics was a very memorable experience, but he was unfortunately suffering for jet lag. They played the opening ceremonies and then explored the next 2 days before they left. The craziest thing he said he saw were Gypsies that pick pocketed people in Paris! Check out what James does with his art or physics on his website here!
This week we entered the “SL” world and I interviewed Vanessa Blaylock. This was a completely new and unique experience I’ve never had before. I’ve played some WoW in my day, but had never been in a virtual world like this. Vanessa explained to me that the SL world is very similar to RL (real life) as well. She told me how they have a person in SL that sells shoes and made 1 million U.S. dollars in over 3 years! She explained to me that since she has her own career professing art, she likes to be able to have freedom in whatever she creates with her virtual creations and that money can influence the decisions people make so doesn’t focus on how she could make money in SL. She has been a part of marches where everyone in SL comes together to support a real life cause that is going on in RL and since they can’t physically be there, they do something in SL. Vanessa explained to me that there are RL musicians who will be singing/playing music in their studio and have their avatar perform for them in real time in SL. I would have never known that any of these things existed, yet alone were even possible, had I not interviewed Vanessa and had this experience. During the interview, both of our avatars took an elevator upstairs and had a dance party while I asked her questions. Even though I had a dog avatar he still danced the night away. Vanessa’s avatar even had a “fake pregnancy” dress on because one of her friends was going to open up a University with a fertility clinic in SL! She said that almost all of her experiences in SL have been great, but there can be creepy people hidden in dark allies, just like in real life. Vanessa told me that her favorite part of SL is that it connects people from different continents and enables them to hangout and discuss similar interests and share cultures. I’m glad we had this project assigned to us because I would have never known of all the possibilities in SL and now I have something to think about and maybe try in my free time! Check out Vanessa’s awesome work on her website here or here!