Austin.Reed

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Weekly Stimulus

As I go about stumbling the expansive internet, I do come across some excellent sources of inspiration. One of which I feel incredibly compelled to share is the Synaptic Stimuli blog. Finding myself attracted to unconventional art, this blog is one that provides a consistent source of a variety of work.

Despite my (primarily digital) design curriculum, I have somewhat disconnected from my computer to pursue work consisting of ink and watercolor. Although I rely heavily on my MacBook, it is really nice to be able to draw for a while without my twitter feed interrupting my work-flow.

Hengki Koentjoro is a photographer who’s work resonates well with my personal aesthetic. Jellyfish and coral, in particular, are creatures that I am yet to wrap my head around. They are truly fascinating. I hope to incorporate the delicate undulatory dance that they exhibit into my work. I believe it is going to take some serious refinement of my hand skills to achieve such. I am looking forward to the challenge.

It is quite interesting that over half of our planet is covered by ocean waters, yet we know so little regarding living organisms and the environment beyond a certain depth. As interesting as the topic is, we may not ever gain the knowledge needed to observe the deep water environments beyond the penetration of the suns rays. The fun is in the speculation of what could exist in between the us and the shifting tectonic plates that contain the molten metal under layers of our planet. Weird, huh? Go and try to draw that.

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speakthesound

It is the end of the semester, and I have officially completed everything for my finals. As a result, my portfolio website, is up and running.[thanks to enginehosting] Although there are a few tweaks to be made, I would say that I am pretty satisfied with my first real endeavor into html and css. I did incorporate a few tricks with html5. I love that new doctype and footer tag. By embedding my flickr albums into the site, I am able now to update my flickr account without having to update my website also. I am very excited to have all of this completed, I feel like I have accomplished quite a lot. My summer looks to be almost as busy, which is good for me, however; I expect that I will be taking a few days to enjoy myself before I get back on the wagon. And so, I leave you with this:

mmm. jquery…

and a beautiful intro: keds

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HTML5/CSS3

So it has been a hot minute since my last post. Lets just say it has been one crazy semester. I want to touch on a few points however. Chris Mills, from Opera, came to UTC recently as part of the <devCHATT> conference. Students and industry professionals alike gathered in the small auditorium in the Fine Arts Center on campus to get a little insight as to how HTML5 and CSS3 are streamlining web design. HTML5 is quite fancy and much more simplistic. Now elements like <video> are included. Thats right, no more javascript. Or much less of it anyway. Also, within this <video> tag, completely selectable captions are introduced as well as an option to translate the captions into multiple languages.

This is the new doctype  for HTML5: <!DOCTYPE html>

As much as I hat that exclamation point, I love the fact that I can understand what this doctype means. Woo.

Basically alot of syntax used on a regular basis has been abstracted away from the developer, thus using less code. Your eyes will thank you.

There are built in widgets for a calendar, slider bars, and input fields.

Within CSS3, elements have simplified as well. <text-shadow> for instance only requires a color, x and y coordinate, and a blur variable. They even can be nested and you too can create text that looks like:But please do not.

An opacity element has been included, and my personal favorite, rounded corners <border-radius>. No longer will you have to slice images in photoshop and import them into your markup. My friends, HTML5 and CSS3 are supported on all browsers except IE (big surprise there). Use this streamlined technology. In moderation please. Thank you.

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professionalism.

So I was fortunate enough to get a photograph of mine accepted into a juried student exhibition at the Cress Gallery on campus, which is on display and will be for a few more weeks. Although I did not place in the competition, it was really a great experience to have a professional take a look at your work and feel that it is worthy of being installed in a gallery. For that I am humbled.

The juror for the exhibition was Patrick DeGuira, who attended Parsons in New York and Memphis College of Art where he received his fine arts degree. His experience has taken him from gallery director to visiting artist, to curating solo shows along the east coast. Patrick has a really great personality. He actually took the time to sit down and give a lecture on professionalism and the art world. He hit a few main points that I found to be particularly interesting. One of which is breaking the rules when you have to. The world of art is not as fundamentally analytical as the accounting world. The driving force behind art is community. For a while, Patrick co owned a space that operated for quite some time while breaking every fire code in the book. It was a successful gallery space and housed some exceptional work until some articles were published and a fire codes official just happened to stop by. The space was shut down soon thereafter.

Another point I found interesting is (and we have all heard this a million times) “It’s not what you know it’s who you know.” Knowing information is extremely important, but it is who you know that will get your foot in the door. Knowing things helps initiate conversations with those people, so it is really striking a balance between the two. This leads me to my next point however. Networking is probably one of the most important things one can master to become successful, especially in the art world but it applies to the business world in general as well. How else are you going to get your name out there? The internet helps, but face to face interaction is crucial.

I will soon be attending a student/professional mixer at tubatomic studios, a local web design firm here in Chattanooga. The Idea is to meet local professionals to create relationships and possibly land an internship or even a j-o-b. As part of the AIGA Chattanooga chapter, we met recently to discuss the upcoming mixer and speak to a few professionals about what to expect. It is a little nerve racking but I believe it is going to be an exceptional experience.   Here are a few notes I took to prepare myself.

I am looking forward to it. Just Remember that everybody poops and everything is going to be okay.

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let me tell you about richard perez

Richard Perez is a designer out of San Fran on the other side of the country. A great designer/typographer/illustrator, Richard has quite a voice in the design community. I just wanted to share with you.

via: SkinnyShips

Follow him on twitter: @skinnyships

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the simple things

Simple pleasures can make you happy. When we are happy, we make better design. It’s science.

Do you know what is simple and great? Negative space.

via: Pixelelement

via: random Russian site

So I talk a lot about my perception of the world as being an extensive environment in which typography exists. I really enjoy going to the neighborhood grocery store or blockbuster and visually absorb what most people don’t pay much conscious attention to. I’m a sucker for some nice package design. and nice album covers. and movie posters. ect. ect. There are quite a few terribly designed packs of chewing gum out there, but you know that feeling you get in your gut when a particular item catches your eye and you know immediately that someone really conceptualized that product. I then proceed to immediately pickup and inspect the packaging.

Thanks to Neil at ElbowRoomDesign, you too can see all the different techniques incorporated into the design. It is on the verge of overboard using almost every trick in the book, from spot varnish to a custom die cut. Neil wrote a pretty cool article on the evolution of chewing gum packaging. You can read it here.

via:ElbowRoomDesign

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ISO50

The great Scott Hansen has officially blown my mind..again.. Ive been a fan of ISO50 for some time, but I had never seen this poster that I just happen to stumble upon today. man, he is a great designer. look at this:

When I grow up I want to make work like this. Everything Scott puts together contains beautifully subtle hints of retro style. It always seems to remind me of a slightly yellowed polaroid photograph. Plus I am into blurry things now. A lot of my personal work is  starting to incorporate blurred objects. Anyway, I digress. Go to his shop and buy some prints. also listen to his music. This guy is extremely talented.

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calendarness.

Thanks to last semester and my current internship, I have gained a great appreciation and affinity for well thought out calendars.

Its a new year.

Be sure to pick your tongue up off the floor.

via: grain edit

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enginehosting.

so thanks to Leslie Jensen-Inman’s magic and enginehosting.com, my new official domain name is http://www.speakthesound.com. For the time being the domain is being redirected to my blog. I am really pumped to get working on the new site.

I just wanted to say thanks.

here is some cool stuff to check out. Do you like to dance and design at the same time? you should check these sites for some great design,  podcasts, and mixtapes. holla

ISO50

brainfeeder

LowEndTheory

NuevaForma

AND… look at these beautiful buildings.

via:SweetStation

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if you have ever had to make a [web banner]

Have you ever had to make one or look at them specifically for a homework assignment? I have, and i am here to tell you that there are many, many poorly designed banners out there. I think the reason they have such a bad wrap because most of them are ugly and take up valuable real estate. They flash and blink and are pretty annoying, especially the ones that play sound (especially when you are in the library and you forget that your speakers are cranked to 10.) I digress. Our assignment was to find two web banners that were cleverly designed. It was a pretty serious endeavor to say the least. I did manage to find a few though:

via:http://www.mccoy.co.uk/

This banner I found surfing portfolio sites of graphic designers via StumbleUpon, (which you desperately need if you do not have it already). I think this banner is pretty interesting because of the background image. I feel like it was an appropriate decision to turn the banner into a speaker cabinet. It is more effective because it is a very substantial object. The typefaces used are Cooper Std and Helvetica, I believe. Both of which are respectable typefaces and shows that the designer actually had a thought process instead of just slapping things down and making the banner blink. I am not sold on the contrast boxes behind the smaller copy, but I guess you have to compromise with the web somewhere, right?

via:C&M Consulting

This one is pretty cheesy and not completely legible. White text would have helped set off the supplementary text. I really enjoy overlaying textures, its a great effect, but it seems out of place here. The background image is beautiful. I have an affinity for light switches and taking photographs of them, so I immediately was drawn to this banner. I feel like the bottom line here is to aim for high contrast and simplify the information as much as possible. I feel like having less text on a banner might persuade a viewer to click on it easier because of its aesthetics. Time to go make one of these things. wish me luck.

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twittah

Flickr Photos

Konvok Museum

Konvok Museum

untitled

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