Wk 5 – Automatic Drawing

When I read that this week’s activity was to draw I was scared. Personally, I’m not the best drawer, but luckily this wasn’t any “normal” drawing activity. We were going to work with a partner, close our eyes and let our “spirit” draw for us. The materials we used for this project was:

  • Drawing paper 22×30 “Rives BFK”
  • Table as a surface to draw on
  • Oil Crayons

Before we started I thought “how are we going to draw this with our eyes closed?”. It seemed strange to not like the art we were making, but I guess that’s the part of the art. We let our mind and our spirit guide us the way, which ended up being very interesting. I thought it was either going to be a mess or something so weird you can interpret millions of ideas into.

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Process

1. We started with placing our drawing paper on the table with two chairs on each side of the table.

2. After we got everything in place, we choose the first color we wanted to start to draw with. We both chose blue because it’s our favorite color and because we find peace in that color, which is what we related to this project.

3. We both put our hands or fingers on the crayons, closed our eyes and started to draw. In the beginning, it felt weird because it felt like we were just drawing circles on circles. We also laughed a lot in the beginning because of this.

4. After we used the first blue crayon, we changed our color to a lighter blue and did the same thing.

5. As the last color we chose was green because we wanted something different, but still, a color that related to the calm and relaxing feeling we wanted. The last color was when we really speeded up the pace. Both of the blue colors were drawing somewhat the similar circles, here and there in different sizes, but when we used the green crayon, some of our anger came out which drew a harder pressure at one place on the drawing paper.

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Result

The result was three messy circles randomly (or not) drawn on a sheet of paper. The result was much of what I thought it would look like, but somewhat smaller than I had imagined. When we drew with our eyes closed, it felt like we were using more space than we actually did. Another factor that was annoying was the fact that the paper was moving around on the table as we drew, which could have been good or bad. I guess it gave us more of a variety even though it doesn’t look like much of a difference. When we were drawing our last round with the green crayon I remember we felt restless and we wanted to get the frustration out so we started to pressure the crayon harder. As you can see, some of the greens are more compact exactly because of that.

-MN

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Wk 5 – Artist Conversation #3- Yeri Hwang

Exhibition Information

Artist: Yeri Hwang

Exhibition: Within Us

Media: Wood, Acrylic, Plaster, Latex, Electronic, Fog Machine, Mirror

Gallery: CSULB College of Art, SOA Max L. Gatov

Instagram: @yeriyeti


About the Artist

Yeri Hwang is an undergraduate senior who is soon graduating with her major in Studio Art at California State University Long Beach. Addition to this, she likes to write stories and playing video games. She has had a huge interest in art and craft since she was very young and her background in illustration proves that. It was in high school she started to draw and developed skills from there on. One of the possible theories on why she is so artistic is maybe because of her siblings. Her older sister is into music and her other sisters are very crafty, all a fan of the art. Yeri wants to go to grad school in either illustration or video games. Her biggest inspiration in is Alphonse Mucha and in studio art her professors here at CSULB.


Formal Analysis

Within Us is an exhibition consisting of different pieces of art such as a mini model of the Creation of Adam, a blinking sword, overlays of colors, a miniature house and an altar. What’s so different and unique with this exhibition is that all these pieces of art are moving in some way. The audience also has a part in the exhibition by turning lights and movements on and off. There isn’t that easy to connect all these pieces, but what they have in common is a spiritual purpose. They all tell different stories and historical meanings. Each piece has a note next to it where a one-word of spiritual meaning is placed next to the description of the thought behind it. On the last sentence on the note, it tells you what you can do to participate in this piece (turning the lights off/on, what to touch). Every piece of art is made from the ground by herself. She glued, cut and constructed the pieces together so that we can interpret in her art.

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For example, the word for the altar is “Acceptance & Forgiveness” which is related to what you do at an altar. Underneath it’s a text about forgiveness and question for us to wander about. The second note continues the story of the first and then tell you the instructions of what you can do to “clean your soul”.

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Another example is this color wheel with the title “Progression”. It continues with stating that the world is looking forward to your journey and instructions to switch the lights where you wish to be (you can spin the wheels and change the order of the colors). This is another example of something spiritual and two-parted that we can participate in.


Content Analysis

There are many hidden messages that can be related to this exhibition. God, self-awareness, forgiveness and exploration are just a few of the theme that you can say that this exhibition has. Hwang explains that much of her inspiration about this was that she was able to find peace when she made it. She hopes that other people are able to find peace within her art as well. When she further explains the reason behind a two-part participation between the artist and the audience, she states that art is often very limited and by this, she expands its limits. She thinks that art should be for everyone and when people interact in her art, they get to tell their stories as well. For example, the altar is a journey itself from how she made it. She had many feelings streaming through her body when she made that because she has been through a lot and this piece reflects some of that.

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Here is a photo of me interacting with her art by holding the sword. When no one is touching it, it’s still a sword – stuck in a rock, but when the audience touches it, it brightens up like it’s newborn. The note next to the sword says “Choice and Commitment” because it reflects the choices we stand upon every day and how hard it is to make the right choice sometimes. The sword symbolizes having faith and going for it (touching the sword so it brightens up) because once you do, you can conquer the world.


Synthesis/My Experience

The most interesting aspect of this exhibition for me was the fact that the audience could also participate, which made us feel special or a part of something. I also find the spiritual theme itself fascinating because our lives are very much about forgiveness. Art is a way to express yourself whether that is true anger, sadness or happiness. Forgiveness is something between what once were anger but not is happiness. We learn to move on with our life, have faith in we believe in and focus on what’s important.

Sometimes when I’m alone or upset I seek to the art. Art is a way of escapism and that’s what I felt with this exhibition too. It moved me because of the realness and emotional input of our perspective. The art didn’t speak for us, but let us find out how to speak to it. None of the art told me rights or wrong, but it made me realize what I felt was right and wrong. I really enjoyed this exhibition as one of my favorite ones because of the participation I could contribute with. As soon as we get to participate too, it changes what we feel and the connection with the art. Without any connection, art is just the concrete answer on what we see or touch.

 


-MN

Wk 4 – Art Care Package

I was very excited for this week’s activity because I was supposedly going to send my friend back home a letter when I first moved here, but that somehow never happened – until now. Since I moved from Norway to California we’ve talked about sending each other letters every month. That turned out to be harder than we thought because none of us ended up doing it. On the other side, since it’s been a half year since I moved here, I’ve experienced a lot, which I’m going to share with her through the things I’ve gotten.

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These items are a collection of my experience here so far. Many of these items reflect the typical “American college experience”, which is a huge reason why I moved here. My friend knows of most of the things I did, but I thought it would be interesting to actually send her a physical proof of some of it. The package includes:

  • Photos with my friend from my very first American homecoming #LBSU #GOBeach
  • A little journal with the title “everything is going to be alright”
  • Two tickets from the Water Polo Game against USC and San Jose State
  • Quarters
  • A Vietnamese hand fan I’ve used a lot since I came here (SoCal weather)
  • A card of stamps from all the games I’ve been to
  • The wristband I got when I went to the hospital here after one week
  • A sticker from an art museum
  • The brochure from when I rushed the Panhellenic Sorority of Fall 2016
  • My name tag from when I rushed
  • Raffles
  • My wristband from an event arranged by ASI called “Smorgasport”

The similarities between sending someone an ACP and a Snapchat is that we send someone something we want them to see, often from something we have experienced. While a Snapchat only lasts for up to 10 seconds, an ACP package lasts. The main point is still there although a Snapchat is through social media and an ACP through mail. Both ways are creative and memorable, but for difference purposes and maybe to different people. If you’re going on a trip to Paris and want to show that to your friends, the easiest way is probably through Snapchat. You take a photo and it reaches them within seconds. On the other hand, if you want them to get a deeper connection or if there are personal feelings behind it, an ACP with a mini Eiffel tower or a postcard may be the way to go.

I think that ephemera is interesting because it shows you the value of something in that moment. A concert ticket from Micheal Jackson’s tour may not physical last for a very long time, but that’s not what matter. What matters is the experience through the ephemera. I think it’s actually good that the item is temporary because it reflects the moment. The moment didn’t last forever, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the best moment of my life. Everything we experience in life has value some have.

The only difference between art seeing by many people and few people is the art’s purpose. Art is very subjective and it’s up to the artist self to decide if it’s something worth sharing with the world or not. Often that’s the point of an artist – to share their work with most possible people, but if there’s something very personal and internal, they may want to only share it with those who understand or who it’s made for. This can, however, be as much art as the art showed for the public.

Although I appreciate our technology, I think Snapchat can ruin the importance of what’s being sent. It’s viewed so fast and so much are shared through Snapchat several times a day that it’s not viewed as important. An ACP takes time, which may be a bad thing or it can just mean that it mean so much and the waiting itself hypes up our personal feelings.

I do believe an ACP have more value or “love” in many cases like the fact that you’ve used more time making it and sending it compared to Snapchat. However, many people can find Snapchat as more entertaining because much of it is meant for exactly that.

-MN

Week 4 – Artist Conversation #2: Elmer Guevara & Robert Nehemiah

Exhibition Information

Artist: Elmer Guevara & Robert Nehemiah

Exhibition: Immaterial

Media: Oil Painting, Bleach, Metal, Wood

Gallery: CSULB School of Art

Instagram: @3lmski1, @wookieewarrior

About the Artist

Robert Nehemiah and Elmer Guevara are two undergraduate artists, finishing their last semester of CSULB’s College of Art’s BFA in drawing and painting. They’re both born and raised in the southern part of Los Angeles, which is what most of this exhibition is based on. Other than being students, they like music and to travel. They have both tried different forms of art like woodwork and sculpting but found out that drawing and painting were their main field. From a young age, Robert and Elmer started drawing and from there on found their passion for art. As for this exhibition, their ideas explore people of Los Angeles and their different stories.


Formal Analysis

The exhibition “Immaterial” is a collab of two artists, sharing their common ground with two different types of paintings. Robert Nehemiah’s paintings are portrayals of some of his family members like his mom, aunt, and grandmother. He decided to have the final portrayal as a portrayal of himself. He used a different type of materials, carved in different forms like it was ripped from the material itself. For example, he used bleach, wood, and metal in one of his portrayals and painted on top of that surface. Elmer Guevara’s work is portrayals of people in his neighborhood in South Los Angeles, painted on canvas. Every painting portrays different people, reflected by their story or the vibe he got from them. His paintings show the suburban neighborhood style in Los Angeles and homeless people. The strokes look randomly brushed throughout the paintings and there is a lot of messy parts, which reflects the message very well. It looks like street art, but is in fact not, just art of street art. What these paintings have in common is the street-style and their portrayals of people. In addition to these common elements, many of the paintings have graffiti elements on them. On the other side, what’s different with these paintings are the material where Robert’s work are different carved out materials, less organized than Elmer’s standard canvas.

 


Content Analysis

When we look at the message these two artists are trying to send – we can look at self-exploration and/or street art. As they introduced us with, the portrayals are portraying people they feel have been overseen. Every painting is of people they’ve actually met and interviewed, which makes it real and interesting. The title of each painting are titles of the person they interviewed. The titles are not random nor is the people they chose to interview. Elmer especially was fascinated by the neighborhoods where he came from and wanted to hear their stories. Many of the interviews are of homeless people. Each painting shows the person and their background. It’s a collage that’s made by several photographic elements, composed through that and paint. I believe the artists are trying to represent a culture that is underrated and outcasted in our society today. As Elemer himself said, he got inspired by people and situations that happened around him in the neighborhood of LA. Robert’s vision was that everything is temporary, which he shows in his materials. The materials are eventually going to fall apart, which he wanted to reflect by the saying that “Let things be momentary”.

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An example of this is Greg. He was moving a lot during his interview which Elmer portrayed by brushed stroke lines in every angle, the city upside down and pieces of him in a movement.


Synthesis/My Experience

Personally, I loved this exhibition from the second I walked in. I’ve always been fascinated by street art and the city of Los Angeles. As a minority myself I found it interesting to see how these people were portrayed and the fact that their background doesn’t make them less important or valuable. People are interesting for me and the fact that everyone has their own story no one really know about, makes me wanna think about everyone’s story. The other part of the exhibition, Robert’s work was also very interesting for me because I loved the fact that his paintings were temporary as a symbolic meaning on life. What he made was great and he knew that, but he didn’t have to spend more money or time on the materials to keep it longer, based on the idea that “what’s good is now”. Everything we experience in our life matter in one way or another. I’m a huge believer in everything happens for a reason and I felt that’s what he tried to tell us. Moments from our past is over, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t matter. Instead of worrying about the future and dwell on the past, we should enjoy the present more.

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Self-portrait of Robert

Wk 3 – Artist Conversation – Kelvin Lopez

Exhibition Information

Artist: Kelvin Lopez

Exhibition: Scry Baby

Media: Lithography, Litho Crayon, Gum Arabic, Nitric Ccid, Screen Printing, Squeegee, Ink, Watercolor Transparent

Gallery: SOA Galleries

Website: http://www.facebook.com/klart760

Instagram: @klart760


About The Artist

Kelvin Lopez is an undergraduate artist from San Diego who is in his last semester for completing his BFA in printmaking here at Cal State Long Beach. Because of his BFA, you can tell that he is taking art very seriously as the Bachelor of Fine Arts are an intensive degree towards a specialization field. Before he came here, he studied drawing and painting at a community college. The community college was a good fit for him because of all the resources he had there.

Lopez has always been interested in art, even though he didn’t see himself as good art in the beginning. Many students were really good, which encouraged him to take more classes and learn about his art skills. He took some art classes in high school, which led him to taking even more classes and eventually pursuing his dream as an artist in college. In addition to his love for art, he has love for his two dogs who are a mix og Siberian Husky and German sheperd. Drinking beer, festivals and collecting crystals are also some of his interest, where the crystals are reflecting his work that we will explore more of in a the next section.


Formal Analysis

Kelvin Lopez’ exhibition “Scry Baby” is an work of art consisting of crystals and printmaking. The entire exhibition is based on crystals – from collecting crystals as young and his printmaking with crystals as a repetutatve shape in all of his prints. The crystals varies in size, shape and colors just the prins. The crystals however are more alike because crystals are materials that is already made in comparison to his prints where you literally have no limits. His crystals are white, purple and grey/black and are placed on three different levels of tables depending on the size. The first table with crystals consists of six small crystals, the second one of three medium-size crystals and the last, one big crystal.

The other part of the exhibition – his prints are two dimensional prints that is a vizualization through crystals. His printmaking is made with layers or one layer (lithograph). It all depends on what you want to create. One of the rules he has with his printmaking is that the layers must be precise, meaning that it must be aligned. In his prints we can see different colors, from watercolor to no color, as a combination of the crystals and often an additionl photo. It can look like every print has different geometric forms, and they somewhat do – but this is more the illusion of the crystal that these prints are shaped into.

Photo, left: One close up photo of one of his prints. Simple and abstract print, showing several layers combined with several colors and lines – vizualies the crystal. Photo, right: An overview of the gallery, showing each of the different levels of crystals with the prints in the back.

Content Analysis

Now we have talked about the outer idea, but what is message behind this? To understand this, we need to have some backgroud information about the artist. As stated in his summary about this exhibition, the exhibition is made to discover hidden knowledge or visions through crystals. To understand what this mean, I did some research on the Exhibition name “Scry Baby”. Scry was already an unknown word for me, which made much more sense after I found out about it. Scry or scrying is the practice of looking into a suitable medium in the hope of detecting significant messages or visions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrying, 02/12/17). When first looking at the prints, it was difficult to find the message behind this because most of the prints were abstract and didn’t have much concrete existence. However, one print made me change my mind.

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This photo shows the artist today and as a kid, both in a faded crystal, which made me think this exhibiton is about his childhood or about his life and everything he has been through. When taking to Lopez he explained that the idea with the crystals and scry is to see into the future of his youth to symbolize the idea of scrying. He added that he got his inspiration from his ex-girlfriend who introduced him to onyx crystals. Each crystal has an indivdual belief and these crystals made him realize that all your desire will come true. The crystals are obviosuly playing a big part in this exhibition and his artwork, and the idea that there are more to life then what you think. As he mentioned about the crystals and scrying, life is about perspective and reflecting your own thoughts into your own belief.


Synthesis/My Experience

This exhibition made an impact on me that I thought it wouldn’t have. At first, I thought this was one of the many exhibitions I’ve seen before – abstract art with no meaning. However, when I started reading into the meaning behind the crystals it made me so interested I read about several meanings behind different crystals. The onyx crystal that Lopez was first introduced for is only one of many intersting crystals. The idea is very interesting, especially for a dreamer like me. I’d like to believe that all my dreams can come true as long as I’m passionate about it and work hard. The crystals are each protecting us from the bad out there, whether that is bad energy, anxiety or demons.

Another fascinating lesson from this is the meaning and definition behind “Scry”. As mentioned earlier in this post, scry is to foretell a hope of message or vision. Even though I don’t believe you can look into something and get the concrete act of what’s going to happen, I do believe the message is important. Believing that you can do it and that looking into your future with a minset that you are capable of getting everything you ever wished for as long as you work hard. As an artist myself (different art form) I have the same type of goal – to inspire others to believe in themselves, which is what I now have gained from this exhibition. We are more alike then we are different. photo-feb-08-14-34-34

-MN

Wk 3 – Classmate Conversation: David Valle

This week’s Classmate Conversation was with David Valle! David is a first-year Marketing major who wants to minor in Graphic Design. I found this very interesting because I want to minor in Marketing, which is why his mindset reminded me a lot of mines. We both want to mix creativity with business. He wants to minor in Graphic Design because he has always had an interest in that field and when he was young he used to draw a lot. Similar to many people I’ve met here at Cal State Long Beach, he went to Downey High School, which is not that far from here. Another interesting fact about David is that he was born in Mexico. Addition to this lovely conversation, we started following each other on social media.

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Week 2: Landscapes with a Corpse

For this project “Landscapes with a Corpse” we were going to create a setting of our death. We were going to create a setting where we explained how this happened, why this happened and what led to this happening. We were going to show to or more photos to illustrate two different perspectives on the same story.

I decided to create a scene that was related to my own personal life so that I could relate better. This scene is about a young girl who is on her phone with her friend, too distracted by the call and surroundings around her that she loses track of what matters in that moment – her life. She didn’t pay attention to the car that was hitting her, which resulted in her death.

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The first photo shows us the car and the dead girl (me) on the ground with her phone in her hand. This perspective is from a stranger’s eye, randomly passion by and seeing what just happened. I chose dark colors, mostly black and gray because I wanted to portray the sadness and tragedy of this event. The weather was perfect because it had just been raining which you can see on the wet ground and the water drops on the car, which is another effect I wanted to use in this photo.                                                                                       The core idea of this death is that we get easily distracted by the world out there and things that don’t really matter. This photo reflects how you can lose yourself if you’re paying attention to the wrong thing. Our society is always going to try to distract us with what’s the best for them, but not for you. We can see that in the news today – how many articles are portrayed in a manipulate way. Even people you know can be a distraction. The message in this project is to have your prioritizing right and don’t let anyone make you lose your focus on what’s really matter.

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The second photo portrays the same event but is taken from another perspective. This photo is more artistic and abstract because it’s supposed to be messy, which is a metaphor for what’s happening. The photo has abnormal proportions on purpose because it’s looking like the car is almost falling down on the model. I did this to show how messed up this tragedy is – a reflection of our broken society today.

This project was really interesting because it let us open our creative minds and creative something new. I’ve never made anything like this, nor have I ever thought about a photo like this. That made me challenge myself and think in a way that I’m not used to. If there’s anything I could have done differently is making it even more dramatic, with preferably fake blood or dirt so it would really look like an accident. However, my resources were short and I’m still pretty happy about the result.

-MN

Week 2 – Classmate Conversation: Tayler Martin

For the second week of the Art 110 class, I got to know Tayler Martin! Tayler is a first-year student who is currently studying Nursing at Cal State Long Beach. She commutes to school every day, but luckily she lives in Long Beach so the ride isn’t that long. Just like me, she used to play soccer but stopped playing after she started in college to focus on school. On her free time, she likes to be outdoor and go on adventures with her friends who she also likes to hang out with. She works at a pizza place where she is going to work at after this class, which is why she was wearing her uniform (t-shirt) in class. Speaking of what she was wearing, Taylor had a huge tattoo on her arm which was the first thing I noticed about her. Addition to her flower tattoo on her arm, she has four more tattoos and is planning to have more.

-MN